WIRED is using one of my photos for an article on oxytocin, called ‘Love Hormone’ Arouses Suspicion, Too. I wish they had asked first, but even so, I can’t think of anything more apt.
Anteater of Broken Dreams, artist unknown.
Wow! The Ministry of Social Engineering medical adjudicator has approved my application for baby benefits, much, much faster than anticipated! Apparently Parliament just passed a bill giving precedence to the development of registered parent lists to combat the grim business reality of an alarmingly low birth rate, even while giving a lot of lip on TV to synthetics, rejuvenetics, and “aging gracefully” to avert the financial crisis. (I hate those posters, don’t you? Always at the bus-stop, next to all the other ads targeted at poor people.) This is all so unreal, like I’ve fallen down a rabbit hole. Never in my life has the government ever been so helpful! They’ve even given me a chit to register with a far more luxurious creche than my income bracket would allow, because of my high test scores and because I’m such prime birthing age.
Next step: asking the new partner how he feels about the whole thing.
No matter what the politicians in Ottawa say about population control, I’ve decided I’m going to be a mother. We might be past peak oil, our air poisoned, our water even worse, but my biological clock is ticking, louder every heaving, lonely night, and more insistent with every passing day, leaving me shaking with desire for a baby like a leaf in a heavy wind. So I don’t care if I have to live on the other side of the border fence, I’ve already signed up for the fertility testing and registered with the district as a potential partner-parent, available for insemination, contingent on mutual RBT-H:D results. Wish me luck!
He calls, soft, exhaustion laced, considerate, concerned. I recite, trying to remember the swirling words of the story as I find the book, flip pages to the story, “Here is the story of Mignon as I remember having read it in a famous old book.” Somewhere in my day there was news about travel, about death, difficult to process, the sort that kicks in both the head and the heart. “A young man named Wilhelm was staying at an inn in the city. One day as he was going upstairs, he met a little girl coming down.” He is driving, the sound of the city sliding by the windows, an echo of tires and commuters tinted brake-light red. I can picture him if I concentrate, the tilt of his head, the way his hand rests on the wheel, pale eyes on the road, even while in the center of my self, I refuse to believe in our structure. I hate how something so small can keep me alive. “He would have taken her for a boy, if it had not been for the long curls of black hair wound about her head.” I listen to what’s between our conversation, shoes crunching across gravel that I’ve walked across silently in bare, frozen feet, when he sits to undo his laces, the shuffling of a coat being removed and left on a rack. Habits beginning to be memorized, the shape of how he moves through space, the way he signs his name. “As she ran by, he caught her in his arms and asked her to whom she belonged. He felt sure she must be one of the rope dancers who had just come to the inn.” All of this comforting, a little bit effortless, a narrative that smooths like water over stone. I skim through the book, my favourite story on the very last page, and do my best to quietly read, warm as feathers, sharing solace over the phone. “She gave him a sharp, dark look, slipped out of his arms, and ran away without speaking.”
Reposted from Dan Curtis Johnson:
Back in 2005, I posited that there should be a day of the year on which everyone posts not about the usual things that they do, the usual life that they have, but instead about a day in a completely different sort of life. A day in which everyone falls down the rabbit hole like Alice, a day spent where the rules are completely different.
I thought a fine day for such an event would be the 27th of January – the birthday of Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Why, golly, that’s five days away, Thursday next week! The Seventh Annual Rabbit Hole Day is almost upon us!
In 2005, of course, it was largely limited to LiveJournal but in years since it has spread to the various other blogging platforms and even onto Flickr. Maybe this is the year it gets all over this Maybe this is the year it gets all over this Facebook thing that I heard someone talking about somewhere maybe one time.
For consideration: try it! you’ll like it! who doesn’t like to get away from the Usual for a bit?
Today is the anniversary of the day I was hit by a truck seven years ago. It threw me thirty feet, peeling the skin from my knees like red fruit, shifting my bones, and tearing my silk skirt and shoulder like they were made from the same tissue. My hips were no longer a cradle, but a crooked cup, dropped and badly repaired. My right arm wouldn’t follow commands.
Your heart, it tastes like something I used to remember. Words restarted, strange memories, reverb, a breath of fresh air, and shift. (Standing in a room torn down years ago, shouting at a man who will no longer talk to me, never see, don’t mention, “I never said it would be easy to be with me.” If I could have seen the future, I would have walked out then, every step away a commitment to a better tomorrow.) We sit in your vehicle outside my building, the third night in a row, dark, midnight warm, a scene from a movie we’re writing with all the verve of a massacre, interpreting the strings, showing our scissors, oxytocin gleam, sharpening knives, as close as the moment at New Year’s Eve when we kissed under confetti and flashing lights. A change, the weather, our sea, research material, a history beginning to mingle, to be.
Between my arms, pride, peroxide corrosive, sincere and loaded as a gun. Lying on the couch, discussing humanities, a button floats to the top, ready to be pushed. He stiffens, ambiguity banished, a familiar motif, easier for me to get to than him for me, a center of Rowan tree, witch tree, anger, dense and thick with power, almost spitting his words as, counter-intuitive, I relax, comfortable with the coda, the moment, hatred matched with an alpha sympathy. We both have this. It is a gift, as well as a curse. Us as graphic motif, living, crackling towers of fury, hands raised, ground shaking, pulling down a storm. He apologised, though it was unnecessary, an instinct ground deep, appreciated as part of a medley, a comfort carved from context, clever and adored. Though you make me afraid, I wanted to say, it does not stem from this, but how much I want to live in your heart.
Amanda Palmer’s pretty and sometimes delightfully filthy new album, Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under, has been released on-line, free to listen, $0.69 USD or more, depending on what you feel you can afford, to download (either as an entire album or as individual songs).
“Please indicate your gender. Press one if you’re a female. Press two if you’re a male.” Even though I am a binary answer, I still flinch, thinking of the graffiti I read earlier in the woman’s washroom at Cafe Du Soliex, (next to Amber’s love note to Silva), FOR A GOOD TIME, FUCK THE PATRIARCHY. Still, the pre-recorded voice is friendly and the questions regarding politics are otherwise banal, so I stay on the line, answering by pressing the appropriate telephone keys. The entire thing is over in under two minutes, as counted by the timer on my wireless phone, and at the very end a truly robotic voice warbles through some syllables, the echo of a Radiohead song, Thank You For Your Time And Participation.