My typical answer to “what do you do?” sometimes invites a metric tonne of questions that I do not feel like answering. I have learned to say “Internet marketing.” in a tone that does a pretty good job of closing the topic. But today I have stumbled upon a better answer. Please.
I don’t mind that liking the color pink makes strangers wonder if I’m gay, or if I support breast cancer, but I am proud of the fact that my ability to compartmentalize politics and aesthetics leaves me free to love the color in a vacuum, devoid of the BS the rest of the world brings to such a nice, (effeminate, breasty) shade of my favorite color red, and that that ability sets me apart as one of a few, a proud, a aesthetes.
And I might even go so far as to call myself an early adopter of this particular round of pink in-ness. Waaay back in aught-two I was preaching the merits of the handsome j crew pink khakis, etc, while all you philistines was still taking cargo pants to the next level.
But when the susan b komen marketing machine begins to take over my world, putting pink towels on the belts of quarterbacks and pink pistol-grips on glocks, i.e. when pink becomes so ubiquitous that I am unable to compartmentalize my appreciation of it from the rest of the world’s clamoring, then I begin to feel a bit put upon.
Because it is nowhere near as much fun to love something that every other soul on this planet loves as it is to alone love something.
I want to reassure you that I am a material man, that my first impulse is not to think metaphysically about these kinds of things. But dudes I am telling you it was awfully hard to avert my thoughts from the possibility that the universe was trying to tell say something to me here. Or rather shout it.
I kept thinking about the This American Life episode in which Spalding Gray’s widow tells the story of the bird that visited and revisited their family after he disappeared. She refers to an Irish story: “if you find a bird in your house after someone dies and it’s alive, the person’s soul is free. And if you find a dead bird, the person’s soul is restless.”
She didn’t say anything about if a bird lands on your head and then can’t be shooed, but I am inclined to believe it is a good sign.
Also, this business about foo shit.
Henry was born one year ago right about….. now.
It’s been an amazing year: a tough year; a tired year, an exciting year; a gorgeous year, a thrilling year; but mostly, a year filled with a seven hundred and fifty million-billion gallon spill of you-oughta-be-ashamed-of-yourselves L-O-V-E love. Happy Birthday Henry. You made my life.
we spend our lives trying to keep bad things from happening to girls, while we meanwhile try to keep boys from doing bad things.
double knock on wood plus reversies.
I found a little serpent in the driveway of the farm last time we went out to walk the paths. The Catholic lawyers ran him over, and he was good and dead by the time I discovered his carcass lying still in the dirt.
No more than nine inches total, just a baby probably, a life cut short by an early-model Florida-plated Chrysler 300. Florida. Chrysler. Catholics. It does not get any worse than that.
But he was so near-intact that I thought maybe I could preserve him and put him on a shelf for looking and wonder and study. I brought him home and put him in a tupperware to bake him dry out in the sun.
Callous as hell, it probably seems, but really, I’m mostly sure he won’t really mind. And too, my goal is reverence, not profanity. Being as spirit-forward as he is, he can probably read my meaning better than most of you meatsacks.
Everything, it turned out, is not all right. In fact, if you can believe it, my thumbnail fell off. I really thought it wouldn’t. Then I thought it would. Then I didn’t. Then I knew it would.
I updated Courtney periodically, the forecast ponging back and forth every few days, “I think it’ll stay” one day, “It’s definitely coming off” the next. And so she made fun of me, as she should have. “Keep me updated.” she teased after a month of wishy-washy prognostication. I started referring to it as “my journey” a week or so ago. There must have been something more profound than either she or I knew afoot to put a label on it like that.
And there was. Because it came off, (Or I cut it off. Or most if it, the part that was hanging from a corner, the part that was going to catch on something and make trouble for me. It had been pushed up by the new nail enough so that I knew the tender bits underneath was safe. It was just a matter of clearing the debris.), and when it did it was obvious, fingernails are just one more window into the soul. Add it to the eyes, tack it on to the mouth, that pearl-hard shell of shiny keratin is a prosopopoeiatic mirror. Remove it, and you’re looking at a zombie, a soulless mask, a face with no sense.
Lamp it yourself, nerds: