Archive for March, 2012

Alchemy

March 28, 2012

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This morning I went for a walk in my neighborhood, taking pictures that I thought would illustrate “Los Angeles in Spring.”

But when I got home and examined the photos, I found something else entirely: an enchanted forest; a haughty fairy; a frog prince’s bachelor pad; the wing of an elegant green beast; a many-eyed, long-lashed monster; the buttocks of an ogre; a bouquet of stone flowers.

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Ugg

March 20, 2012

At my yoga place, you take off your shoes outdoors, by the door. This is usually a good system in Southern California. But on Saturday it was raining: cold feet, wet socks.

After class, I was putting on my rainboots when I noticed the man next to me. He was scruffy and bearded, wearing jeans and a snappy pea-coat, just like half the men in LA. Except he was missing several teeth. And exchanging his own soaked, ripped shoes for someone’s newer, dryer pair.

I went Nancy Drew on his ass: Marched back inside the studio, told an employee that a homeless guy was stealing Uggs, and fled down the stairs before he’d know who tattled.

When I came out of the grocery store ten minutes later, he was standing outside Starbucks, wearing his original wet shoes. (I checked.) It was drizzling; he was hunched forward as though his chest were an umbrella for his feet.

I passed him. Went another twenty paces. Stopped. Took out five bucks and walked back.* His skin was almost as bad as his teeth.

“Take this,” I said. He mumbled thanks.

But I don’t think either of us felt particularly generous, or thankful.

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* Get out the money in advance: The same strategy I employ with valet parking guys. That way there’s no prolonged small talk, no fumbling with my wallet: What if I find I have no cash? Or, worse, only twenties?

Lace

March 10, 2012

I am choosing not to do the homework for this week’s writing class.*

I’m skipping it because I’m back at work this week, hence so busy I feel guilty about taking Saturday off. But I needed time to exercise, do laundry, putter, and write a combination homework assignment/blog entry.

See? Multi-tasking!

They say women are better at multi-tasking but I think that’s just a nice way of saying we have trouble focusing. A lot of men can focus like a dog with a bone. Give them a sport or a comic book or a work assignment, and they’ll think about it for hours. Without thinking about anything else.

It’s amazing.

Whereas women (and by women, I mostly mean “me”) — I could be working on the Advertising Problem of the Century, and a portion of my brain would still be wondering how to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, what shoes I should wear tomorrow, and whether Mei will be too old to be a flower girl by the time I get married.

Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t want to be a man — boring underwear! — but I wouldn’t mind thinking like one occasionally. Just for a break.

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* The assignment is to write a page starting with the words “I am choosing not to.” As one of those self-conscious French artists would say, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe.”

Wednesday

March 8, 2012

This picture is a Christmas present from Mei, who is 6. I look at it in the morning while I’m putting on my earrings and perfume. I really try to take the message in.

But yesterday, having a grat day wasn’t easy.

I woke up with the relic of a nightmare — I can’t/won’t describe the whole thing, but there was barbed wire, a decapitation, and a toilet: a scene so awful, so original in its violence, I was ashamed of having dreamt it.

After that, the pains were mostly petty:

My sweater itched.

Someone stole my parking space.

I dropped my pen at least four times.

I had lunch at my favorite restaurant and then didn’t like what I ordered.

There were no seats at the coffee shop, so we had to sit outside.

It was cold.

I delayed peeing several times, leading to discomfort.

I forgot my hat.

The drive to class took an hour.

But!

Even this day had its bright spots:

The biggest, most moonlike moon I have seen in a long time.

A little girl at Intelligentsia — a baby really, just learning to walk — who was smiling so hard she toppled over.

That’s it. Joy.