Writing is a lot like fishing, both of which I enjoy very much. Both are hard work. And a lot of times you get skunked. But if you keep trying, eventually you catch something. I have always been drawn to activities that require far more effort than they offer reward. I don’t know why this is. Masochism? Low self esteem? Perhaps I’m a bit of a simpleton.
They sit, like astronauts in their bubble helmets, reading different magazines that all say the same things…magazines that teach them things no self-respecting old woman should know. When they talk about Lady Gaga, it makes me inexplicably sad. I want them to talk about quilts and recipies for pie crust. I want them to be like Grammy was. She died years ago, but, I guarantee you, she wouldn’t care about Amy Winehouse. But they come, and we accept them. Every Wednesday. Like clockwork. We call them the tottering trio. They are old…they like their hair orange and their hairdressers gayer than a Cher concert. Tito and I tolerate them because they are consistent. They are easy. They pay in full and tip well. But there is no art in it. I always secretly hope that they will leave the salon without anyone seeing them. Their coiffures are not exactly something I am proud to be a part of.
While they sit under the dryers, Tito does his best to avoid making eye contact with me. He is angry because I said that I liked his shirt. He wore it to see if I pay attention or to test my sense of aesthetics. Or something equally stupid. My assertion…my support of the shimmering purple shirt…is a betrayal, or too cavalier…or something. And now I will pay for it. It will start with the cold shoulder. Not just cold…glacial. Then there will be long stints in the bathroom with crumpled tissues strategically placed around and red eyes that I will not be allowed to ask about. I sigh and run my hand over the stubble on my head. Continue reading “The Purple Shirt.”
You are standing on the precipice of a skeletal building frame when you make the following realization: underneath your skin there are systems and universes and sacks of general gooey mayhem which you will never understand. They operate without your knowledge and assist you in many ways. They breathe for you, crap for you, process food and water. They also give you cancer, strokes, pink eye.
From the top of the building frame you can see the rooftops of the city. They are pointed and flat, adorned with abandoned mattresses and patio furniture. Behind you, the sun floats like an egg yolk in the sky. It warms your neck and makes you feel a pleasant nostalgia for nothing in particular. You are merely glad to be alive, momentarily, with the sun on your neck and the city spread out before you like a patchwork quilt. Continue reading “Contrast”
I majored in Creative Writing. Not because I like writing – because I like Ferraris and fast women. Majoring in Creative Writing in San Francisco was one of the smartest things I have ever done. We drank wine during class. We took lots of smoke breaks. We were passionate and in love with writing and reading and the sheer bliss of it all. I met a lot of great writers. And I met some crappy ones, too.
I am going to make a huge generalization here. That’s how I roll. Most of the good writers I knew looked like your average citizen. But there was always one or two kids…kids who actually wore berets and smoked those short foreign cigarettes. Kids who wore scarves when it was warm. Kids who carried notebooks everywhere and tried to sit in conspicuous spots and look like they had existential jock itch. Man, they annoyed me. And they never seemed to produce much actual writing. Continue reading “What a writer looks like…”