Cheers & Jeers

I’m not trying to steal BiPM’s gig here or anything. But as I crafted my entry for today’s C&J over yonder at DailyKos, it began to seem a shame to bury it in a giant discussion full of C&Js.

This particular C&J was born of sadness, lack of sleep and having just watched Being Julia, with the splendid Annette Bening.

Why the latter, you ask? Well… Lemme see, how do I ‘splain this? You ever watch a fine performance in, say, a period piece — and for a while thereafter find yourself speaking in the manner of the film’s dialogue? Affecting, say, an accent, or a particularly formal prose for a few hours?

I’m always amused by this phenomenon in me. Sometimes it’s as subtle an affectation as walking like a character in the film.

Anyway, I didn’t bury my own voice completely in this little foray, but the film, and Bening’s performance in particular, did colour my turns of phrase. I found it quite diverting.

There’s virtually nothing political about this piece, so pass it by if that’s what you’re looking for. Nor is it a rant. I may be chided by the Boo Dude for abusing my front page privileges on this jaunt, and perhaps rightly so. I am a very irresponsible “Front Pager” here at the Trib; haven’t contributed nearly anything like regular posts.

In my defense, I did warn our fair host of my irregularity and aversion to anything resembling quotas, deadlines or standards…


to Friendship:

Someone once told me that if I reached the end of my life and could count my True Friends on one hand, I’d be very, very lucky. Well, here I am in what is, ostensibly, the middle of my life (unless I am missing some vital piece of information), and I can, indeed, count my True Friends (my Kindred Spirits, as Anne of Green Gables would say) on one hand – just. Jonna is in Traverse City, Anne-Marie in Grand Rapids, Christopher lives in Manhattan, Mary makes her home in Chicago, and now there’s Jessica in Austin. Which brings me to…


to Friendship From Afar:

Jessica moved back to Austin yesterday and I sobbed and sobbed from the moment we parted. I do count myself lucky to have such a beautiful coterie of friends, I do. But I have to admit to feeling just the teensiest bit unlucky, as well. They’re all so far away, you see. And here I am in California, in what may officially be termed my late thirties… alone again. Naturally. And I really don’t know if I’ll be able to find another Kindred Spirit here. I’m simply too worn out and too impatient to go through that “get to know each other and if the stars are properly aligned discover a friend for life” routine. It’s exhausting, and too often disappointing.

Oh, I have “lunch” friends. But no one here to really talk to, no one who knows me inside and out and still loves me, loves me in spite of it all and because of it all. Worse… no one I love like that. Email, telephones – we say we’ll keep in touch, but we won’t, not really. Every few months we’ll have a good talk, but the times between them will grow longer. Of course, whenever I see one of these dearest, beloved friends, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But it doesn’t do a bit of good on a day-to-day basis. It’s simply not the same as being in the same town; no one to meet at Wednesday matinees and gossip with about the stars – or, if the movie’s really good, fall into deep discussion with about the meaning of it all. Ah, me. Lucky and unlucky, all at once. Ain’t that just the way?


to Bottled Iced Tea.

There’s no earthly reason it should taste better than any other kind of iced tea… but there it is.


to How Rare It Is To Find UNSWEETENED Bottled Iced Tea In This Godforsaken Town.

DO most people really prefer SWEETENED iced tea? How ghastly. Whenever I find it unsweetened, I buy up all the bottles in the store. Most times, however, I stalk up to the coolers and search in vain. Oh, Snapple makes every possible variety of iced tea, god knows; who could have imagined how many goddamned flavours of sweetened fucking tea there would be? And no room left to spare for the simple, elegant, refreshing and UNSWEETENED iced tea? Apparently not. Lipton makes the best bottled iced tea, unsweetened; but all too often the stores stock their lemon-flavoured, sweetened tea… and neglects those of us who prefer it sans sugar – or, god forbid, artificial sweetener. Heathens. Pagans. Savages.


to Quality Problems:

That’s what they call it in AA: when the bitterest complaint you can utter in the course of a day is that you simply cannot find bottled, unsweetened iced tea… your life, my darling, does not suck.


to Complaints Unspoken: Or, Bottled Iced Emotion, Unsweetened…

But of course, the bitterest complaints go unremarked, don’t they? Alone in the deep, dark, desperate hours of the night, oh, my dear, the anguished tears you swallow, lest you wake the child you love and the man you adore. I suppose it’s a natural part of life, to reach the end of the middle and realise how many chances one has missed; how life simply went in one direction and you with it, while your dreams and plans and hopes faded into the distance, back at that fateful fork in the goddamned road. And it seems so ungrateful to bemoan the loss, when what you have is so lovely, so worthwhile, so enviable by so many who would leap at the chance to live your life.

So you keep it to yourself; you don’t even write it in your journals, for fear they be read upon your death and misinterpreted as a repudiation of the life you’ve led. And it doesn’t really matter all that much, as the days bleed into one another and pass into years, decades. It’s only when a certain piece of piano music happens to play when you’ve had too little too eat and missed a nap and run yourself ragged all day that it catches you unawares… and you slip into the delicious melancholy of nostalgia and regret.

It passes. It always does.

A woman nearing her fifties sat on a porch with her aged grandfather, watching the sunset. She’d been crying earlier, and he asked her about it.

“Grandpa, if you added up every single second, every moment of true joy I’ve had in my life, I doubt they’d add up to more than a couple hours.”

Grandpa kept on rocking as he gazed off into the riotous colours of the evening sky and said,

“Ayup. Precious, aren’t they?”

And finally…


to reasons for living…

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