November 29, 2005
The primary human transport device in our society today is the car. Our beloved vehicles, lord how I love mine. These hunks of junk become our friends, our enemies, our success, our demise, the significant other in a highly co-dependant relationship.
Today I spent 2 hours sitting on the highway, my car parked, turned off in the middle of route 95 North. A really bad accident occured around 2pm right around the time I was headed down the highway. Long story short, nobody was killed, thank goodness. However, my search for after-the-fact news on the accident has been less than successful. It seems that local news stations are only interested in the here and now. Is this a good thing?
The highway was out of control with rabid construction workers looting the streets, jumping in and out of each other’s vehicles. The National Truckers Association convened about 4 cars ahead of me, while tight-faced business men and women yapped on their cell phones, disgruntled to say the least. I shut down my engine, pulled up my e-brake, and sat quietly in my car for about 2 hours. Luckily, I had a book that I had bought for a dear friend but decided to read it myself. It worked out well since I hadn’t read the book, but wanted to read it before giving it to her, so this gave me the chance to get started. Precious moments, I am fortunate.
I’ve noticed an influx of people being pulled over lately. Today I saw a dark-skinned Hispanic Heman. His hair was long and he drove some kind of Honda truck. I felt sorry for him because the police officer was shining this flashlight directly in his eyes. Really, I could see him squinting. A damn shame. But really, we are such fragile beings.
A good friend of mine is recovering from a 24-48 hour virus that she along with 15 people who sat at the same Thanksgiving table as her came down with only hours after eating dinner. Her temperature was upwards to 102, and it was highly contagious. The family, who have blood-related medical consultants on hand ruled out food poisoning because some people came down with it the next day. If it were food poisoning, everyone would have felt the affects within a strict time frame of one another. Almost worst than food poisoning, this was a thoroughbred human virus as catchy as the Christmas jingles on the Oldies station.
It’s a scary thought, these little viruses scurrying around like mice. We’re trapped, trapped like rats in our own bodies! Like La Mettrie said in L’Homme Machine, “The human body is a machine which winds its own springs.”
Unlike a car in a co-dependant relationship with its owner, our bodies are like clocks. Enabling our selves to push forward, our automatic functions, when functioning “correctly” take us where we need to go. Like clocks we do so not without losing precious time.
November 26, 2005
It was the night before Thanksgiving. I had been wallowing in the prospects of gluttony for approximately 12 hours, and the future looks plentiful. After teaching my mother’s classes at the studio that night, my sister and I locked up and headed over to Johnnie’s Foodmaster, which was open extra late that night. The mission was to get swiss cheese and 1/2 and 1/2, but as we walked through the aisles I found myself holding a half-sour pickle wrapped tightly in the same plastic bags that deli meat comes in, and a 1/4 pound of seafood salad.
After a long and silly discussion about tart molds, we proceeded to the checkout. I noticed that several people were walking out of the aisle 3 checkout line. You know how people get, when someone is taking longer than expected at the grocery store. People can be very impatient when it comes to the food. I’m happy waiting in line usually, as long as it’s reasonable. I like to tally my approximate total without looking at the pricetags while I wait and then see how close I was once I get done with checkout.
Since I don’t mind waiting, and now that 3 people had left the line, I decided to take the spot behind “the slowpoke.” Well, it turns out that the slowpoke was taking a while because she didn’t have nearly enough money for the food she had gathered up. (e, pardon the self-plaigerizing that is about to take place.)
the woman in front of me at the checkout had a few items scattered on the conveyor belt, a few in a bag, and had some in her hands. she was also holding a bundle of cash, mostly $1s. it took me a minute to gather what was going on. you know, she was with it. she was put together, i think she was haitian judging from the accent but she had a bag of sugar, an acorn squash, grapes, a loaf of bread, and milk on the conveyor belt. she had about 5 or 7 other things in a bag held behind the counter and the total was getting high.
she only had $20 and change and she started exchanging items for other more important items. basically, she didn’t have enough money and i’m standing there behind her just saying to myself, this ain’t right. so as graciously as I know how, I leaned over to her and said, “i would really like to help you out.”
I’v never been big on angels, but this Angel of the East came to Johnnie’s that night and did something that no Feed the Children infomercial, or this week’s MTV Real Life, I’m Dead Broke, can teach anyone. I was shocked at the distance at which everyone kept themself from the situation, and how the energy being produced in those few minutes was just a pure stench of discomfort. Without railing the people that could have or should have done things differently, I just want to say that things happen in funny ways sometimes, at funny times. I hope, but really believe, that she and her family had their thanksgiving dinner on the table.
You may be able to fill an empty plate with a few cents or some oats, but there are very few ways to fill an empty heart. That’s why we need to keep working so hard as human beings, friends, family, and fellow to keep eachother full.
November 23, 2005
Today is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. My love sparrow and his sister are home in Connecticut, and I am here back in my old room. Each time I come to spend the night at home, my room seems to shrink in size. Yesterday I was greeted to the excercise machine that has never been used (but no longer has a place in the family room). Also, the sounds of faxes serves as my alarm clock on the desk that was built inside of the room, and therefore cannot leave the room unless taken apart.
The best part of my room is the dark blue walls, the memorabilia from my earlier years plastered on my walls, and the twin size bed that still sooths my soul even in the crampiest of spaces.
Tomorrow there will be somewhere between 20 and 30 people here, eating ridiculous amounts of food along with much of the nation. My family traditionally serves not one, but two dinners on Thanksgiving. We start with the common turkey dinner, all the fixings. I’ll be contributing a vegetable swiss casserole to this feast. After we eat, we sit and talk, laugh, howl, and dance and then it’s time for the second course. This one is more fun for me.
Lasagna, brichiolle, manicotti, and some vegetables to aid in digestion. The Italian course this is, and it is delicious. My mother already made the lasagna, and it is hovering in the second refridgerator in the basement. I can smell it when I go to get water in the middle of the night.
So, Happy Thanksigiving everyone. I’ll leave you with this….
Q: How did the Pilgrims know it was time for the first Thanksgiving??
A: Oldies 103.3 and the local mall had been playing Christmas music for two months already.
November 14, 2005
master, blast her here’s the infinite caster
dropping shadows on your body like you didn’t even ask her
she came down like the fire and out like the earth
and you try to measure it but its bigness in its girth
just got you like a rat trapped with no cheese
so rise up people just like new orleans
November 4, 2005
This morning at approximately 11:38am I was driving home from the munchkin music class that I teach on Fridays. My usual route is familiar, and usually don’t recall the process through which I returned to my selection of parking spots at home.
Snippets of Cambridge hippyuppups, Scrubbin’ Bubbles, Taco Bell KFC and Hess are so ingrained in my brain that I sometimes forget to look. But this morning, something great and monumental caught my eye. Glowing 50 feet in the air reflecting the Cambridge sun on the corner of Prospect and Hampshire was this…
Luckily, I hit the red light immediately and was able to sit and gaze at this for the next 60 seconds. The introduction of this new 7-11 means many things for our neighborhood here.
1. Hess gas station is not a 24 hour facility. 7-11 is, and my late night cravings for cigarettes and/or beef jerky can now be satisfied within 2 minutes or less.
2. 7-11 is taking the bold step to introduce hotdogs to our neighborhood. This can only bring greatness.
3. Slush Puppies are at our fingertips, along with the Big Gulp. This might be the most important change, and let me tell you why.
Two of my housemates, Arthur and Eliot, have a strong and curious attachment to Diet Coke. Just this past week there was no Diet Coke in the house and Eliot was foaming at the mouth. He could barely eat, and I was very worried. I even found him drinking tea at the kitchen table.
Luckily, Art took action. He kept close surveillance on the Hess gas station for 48 hours. His instinct told him that there would be a 2 for $5 on 12-packs within that time frame. As the hour came near, he arrived in our kitchen cradling four 12-packs of Diet Coke. His withdrawal made him very belligerent and this too worried me.
With the Big Gulp in town, both of these fine men will be kept at bay should we run a shortage of Diet Coke again. All I can say is, thank you 7-11, thank you very much.
But despite my glee, I am left with a couple of questions as well.
1. Is the 7-11 coffee as good as the Store 24 coffee? It’s been so long, I don’t remember.
2. Will 7-11 provide free Boston Globe’s with the purchase of any coffee?
3. How long will it take for the workers to memorize my face, so they don’t check my ID?
My guess is 8 - 10 weeks. I’ll let you know how it turns out.