imperial violet


Monday, September 26, 2005

lonely navigator

i didn't know that my last post would be my last post.

at the time i was simply planning on taking a little break until i had something lovely or jaunty or sublime to write about. but the summer kept delivering one-two-punches the manner of which were previously unknown to me. how do you write when it's all bad news?

then, when the tide sort of ebbed, i thought about coming back. but when i looked at the symmetry of a site that began with the death of my grandmother and ended with the death of her husband, the writer in me couldn't say no to the simple beauty of it.

so, i'm ceding this little parcel of internet land.

but i'm doing a little prospecting, looking for a new blogosphere homestead on which to stake my claim. i'll be around soon. just gotta find the perfect site name and a little spruce up dust for my rusty pen.

once i'm settled in, i'll invite y'all over for lunch and a fight and a good long chat.

much love and squalor, M

Monday, June 27, 2005

go gently

john bryant and i sat in trigonometry, baffled as usual.

our big joke was to pretend that this was german class, so everytime mr. hamblin would say something about a tangent, john would nudge me and say 'those crazy germans, they have such weird words.' and i'd laugh not because it was funny but because i loved john secretly and horded any bit of a jokey connection between us.

our principal entered. he called my best friend, sunny's name. she gave me a 'what the fuck?" look on her way out. john and i watched her go and then gave each other the same look. sunny was a good girl, if she got called to the office it was bad news.

bad news ain't the half of it. her two year old neice, debbie, drowned. debbie lived with sunny and her parents because her mom was a flake. today, the mom decided that the best place for a cranky baby in utah november, was the waterfall up ogden canyon. debbie lost her footing and fell over the edge.

my first funeral. sunny took me by the arm, tear streaked but somehow beatific, she said 'go see debbie, see how peaceful she looks. it'll make you feel better.' i had a feeling this wasn't true but i went anyway. all i can say is a two year old in a casket was and is the saddest most awful thing i've seen.

fifteen years later, i arrived in utah for my mother's wedding to a phone call from sunny. she remembered that john bryant had been close and wanted me to know that he recently died of lung cancer. he never even smoked. sweet awesome handsome john. i looked up his inscription in my year book- 'to my german buddy. i couldn't have made it without you. you better call me this summer or i'll die."

the next morning i awoke to another phone call. my grandmother calling to say that my grandfather had just died. he was still in bed and she needed my mom and me to come right away, before she called the coroner. my grandfather's body is the first i've seen since debbie.

i went outside and called my mother's eight sisters, in town from all over the country for her wedding, and told them that their father was dead.

the man who walked me down the aisle when my own dad failed to show for my wedding wouldn't live to walk his own daughter. his air force uniform, freshly cleaned for the festivities would be his burial suit. he would have a full military funeral with a twenty one gun salute and taps and a jet fly-over. he would've been damn proud.

he was buried next to his own father, for whom, years earlier, both he and my dad were pallbearers.

now, they're all gone into that good night. gently, i hope.

Friday, June 17, 2005

hail hail the gangs all gonna be there

wish me luck, kind folks.

i'm off to utah for the wedding of the mom.

suddenly, i'm inexplicably terrified. i love my soon to be step-dad. i'm psyched for my mom. there is nothing bad or foreboding about the occasion at all.

but i woke up this mornng all knotty and stomache churny and doomy-fied.

is it the sprawling brood of my mother's eight sisters, most of whom i haven't seen since the surreal funeral of my grandma? the pressure of being a maid of honor in front of such a various and sundry cast of characters? am i worried about going home again?

or maybe i just ate a bad batch of falafel last night.

it's gonna be great. really. i'll send a dispatch from zion, detailing the festivities.

assuming the plane doesn't crash.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

sleepy jackson

it's my own damn fault. obviously i was on a fishing expedition.

you ask a cute straight boy what he finds attractive in a girl, you fishin'.

"you know what i love? if a girl was holding a dog on a leash and trying to juggle a cup of coffee at the same time and the leash kind of got tangled, and maybe her glasses were slipping down her nose? that would be the cutest."

of-course i immediately bought a dog and some glasses from a flea market and took up drinking coffee. and practiced being befuddled and clumsy in an adorable way.

but besides that...

been thinking about what is my own personal catnip.

it's sleepiness.

something about a grown man, rubbing drowsily at his eyes with the back of his hand.

or the way a boy sounds when you wake him with a phone call. groggy and cute and vulnerable. a boy whose pistons aren't all quite firing yet. a boy who doesn't have his game face on.

or if you walk in and the boy is napping on a couch and you sort of take in his sleepy boy state before you sit down gently next to him and run a hand from shoulder to foot. stroke his cheek before his eyes open. not quite focusing.

then, hopefully, he smiles. slow and dreamy.

mmmm. forget about slipping spanish fly in boy's drinks. i'm going for sleep-eez.

Friday, June 10, 2005

i'm gorgeous inside!

the slogan is written in swirly red letters with an overly perky exclamation point!

one of those addendums they tack on to 'house for sale' signs. like

'reduced price!' or

'i have a pool!" or

"the family who was murdered here before were really bad people, even the kids, so don't let that deter you from buying!"

but the 'im gorgeous inside!" entreaty always strikes me as sad and desperate. the awkward girl making a midnight plea for the uninterested boy's attention.

it screams- "i know i'm not much to look at, but look again, i really am! look deeper. look deeper, damnit!"

it might as well say- "i have a really good personality!"

or the utah version- "i have a sweet spirit!"

now me, i don't have a pool, a reduced price, a murdered family, a winning personality, or a sweet spirit.

all i got is an unbelievably sweet ass. and that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

tickle me

tickled blue
Originally uploaded by imperialviolet.

a quick left outta chinatown and you're in the pristine beauty of elysian park.

i'm using webster's preferred definition of 'pristine'- 'an area bejeweled with drug dealers, grafitti tags, and decayed car seats half buried in rough dirt.'

but he promises the overgrown trail will wind itself up towards an unbelievably gorgeous view of the l.a. skyline. he also mentions that i should be on the look out for ticks but i ignore that part.

we scramble and climb and lose our footing a little and suddenly the 10 freeway zooms far below us, oddly adorable as the wind up cars chug furiously.

it's clear and sunny and slightly cool. i feel impossibly strong on the hike down. stalking cheetah strong. 'top o' the world, ma' strong. conquerering armada strong.

we power down a huge brunch. i actually say out loud 'i feel so good!' which comes out sounding sorta crazy and overly loud in the hipster restaurant.

back home, still feeling the afterglow of my outdoorsy physical prowress, i take off my shirt and notice a red bump on my lower back.

a hypochondriac, i'm sure that it's an imbedded tick, filled with lyme's disease, pumping facial paralysis inducing bacteria through my bloodstream.

a self aware hypochondriac, i'm also sure that it's nothing, just a minor skin irritation. but what if i'm wrong?

i google 'tick removal' and sterilize a pair of tweezers. after a minute of squeezing, a black thing burbles to the surface. i press harder and out it comes. goddamned disease ridden vermin.

now i'm just waiting for the bullseye rash to appear.

and i'm never ever encountering nature again.

will someone please bring me a pizza and some hardcore porn?

Monday, June 06, 2005

amber says

they all came calling for her.

the pervs

the blowhards

the decent guys, just out of a bad marriage. unsteady and frayed but, hearing something in her voice, thought 'maybe ...'

her voice, casually warm, the kind that smiles but doesn't snicker. she liked long walks on the beach, soaking in jacuzzis with wine coolers, making pancakes for her 'special someone' in the morning.

just a girl maybe. but then again, maybe the girl of your dreams.

here's what i know. i didn't do it to fuck with those guys. they weren't even part of the equation.

i'm prone to building sandcastles- beautiful transient places to live and dream in- until they're washed away or trampled.

amber was a sandcastle. i created her and left her message in the 'love search' mailbox. the thing about being a kid no-one notices is that you notice everything. and i knew they'd love amber. i knew they'd want to reach out and smell her honey wheat hair.

the calls came and kept coming and piled up on top of each other. my mom got tired of explaining to the broken hearted and the horny alike that 'there is no amber here.' she had the phone disconnected.

we both pretended not to know that amber was a 13 year old malcontent. equal parts rage and loneliness.

and, from then, until college, phoneless.