Thursday, June 25, 2009


Out of Our Lives

What a shock to learn of Michael Jackson's passing.

I hadn't had much good to say about Michael in recent years; his isolation and self destruction were hard to see. But what a talented performer he was, and having watched him grow from a dynamo of a child to a beautiful young man was amazing to me.

Then came the endless messing with himself: the plastic surgery, the whitening of his skin. I wondered how he could have missed how much more beautiful he was, just as he was made. How could he reject and abuse that man in the mirror?

So here's an old clip of the original Michael. Most of the videos have been disabled for embedding, which is sad, because I'd like to share his beautiful dance work, in something like "Rock You" or "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough." In these he's carefree, thoroughly enjoying the moves and the music, not yet affecting all the royal epaulets and shit. Just beautiful and young, the whole world before him.

What a loss. But it's been so long in the making.

Michael, I've been missing you for years. Rest in peace.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Betty Bowers Explains Bible-Based Marriage

Thursday, June 04, 2009


Time Passes Slowly, Except When It Doesn't

Yesterday Spousie and I went down to the pond that's around the corner from our house and took our binoculars to do a little turtle-watching. It's something that we would find it hard to fit in if I weren't sitting around waiting for my shattered radial tip to regrow, embrace the cobalt tack that's holding things together since my surgery. I can work about two and a half hours a day, and then I'm spent. I take a lot of naps, the better to let the old body shop open up for repairs when I'm Out.

There are lots of things can't do, both at home and at work while the mending takes place. I can type, but I can't write. Sewing is out; reading is in. I can transplant little seedlings in the greenhouse, and I can water, but I can't bend over, so no digging, weeding, putting plants into the ground. Spousie's list grows as mine shrinks. She picks up what I can't do, and ours is a yard that takes two people, lost in the garden love-slave business of spring. I can't drive, but where is there to go? Spousie shleps my to my appointments, to my short shifts at work. Otherwise I gaze out at the lilacs and forget-me-nots, as if I could see them growing, chloroplast by chloroplast.

Ain't no reason to go in a wagon to town,
Ain't no reason to go to the fair.
Ain't no reason to go up, ain't no reason to go down,
Ain't no reason to go anywhere.

What else? I can still Photoshop, though my drug-addled brain is less than inventive. I surf the net, noting all the usual stupidity. Angelina has new tattoo! gushes the Huffington Post,
probably via People Magazine. What is the Meaning of Michelle Obama? a newsweekly wants to know. Rush wants Sonia Sotomayor (big surprise) to fail. Conservative pundits wonder whether our new court nominee "can really understand" what America Is About, as if understanding our Constitution was the sole province of conservative and stuffy white men.

I watch the fuss about Carrie Prejean come and go, note the latest in boob job fashion as the left tries to attach some phoniness to a beauty queen's natural assets, as if it were a challenge.
Some tabloid, or is it the Huffington Post again? dares me to match the celebrity with her reshaped titties. I image search and crop the empty eyes of Republican women and wonder if Meghan McCain has credibility with anybody as she tries to sell her peers on her family's Awesome Party. I learn that I can be annoyed from whatever distance, beneath whatever opioid cumulo-nimbus.

The object of the moment, as the doctors say, is to stay ahead of the pain, and I dutifully swallow the pills that keep the throb at a bearable distance. I think of all the pill abusers that used to pass
through Doc's practice, back when I managed it, trying to get him to write 'scrips for backs that didn't really ache, blood that had been dropped into urine in a fake kidney attack. I am grateful that my painkillers hold no mystique for me, that I finally have come to prefer my own tacky version of consciousness.

Time passes slowly out here in the daylight,
We stare straight ahead and try so hard to stay right-- that old Dylan song wanders through the echo chamber of my head. In three weeks I'll be in physical therapy, stretching my way back to whatever rotations the new bolt will allow. In the meantime I'll keep company with some good writers, sleep through the podcasts that pour through the earbuds, twisting and turning my dreams into writhing combinations of old baggage and new players hefting it.

Today was difficult. Mostly, though, my life seems to be a series of lessons on gratitude, and through all the pain and annoyance of these days, I don't forget it, an occasional teary outburst aside.

Like the red rose of summer that blooms in the day,
Time passes slowly, and fades away.

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