Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Memories

Okay... for anyone who’s noticed the hiatus--- my computer’s been behaving like an adult child who’s just discovered she’s adopted. Rebellious, uncooperative... turning a digital finger... and I have this increasing feeling of being the only person at the wedding who’s about to burst into tears, or to tell the bride you’d slept with the groom years before, or refused to, and had to nearly take out a restraining order... but of course all that is spilled milk or poured champagne at this point. And you don’t. You simply kiss the happy couple and stroll out to the verandah and stare off until you’ve killed enough time to leave politely.

I can’t help this inherent cynicism at festive occasions... and can’t imagine any intelligent human isn’t clever enough to do a credit check on any sort of gift horse these days—even the ones with a horn on their forehead.

It’s not what you get, it’s what you do with it--- I mean, if you get a wrapped giftbox, some of us must care more about what we will put inside it than what we will remove. Some of us will use it as a template—will paint the sides, wrap it up and pass it on, lick it, leave it out in the rain until it is soft enough to re-shape into –well, a space shuttle?

The end of the space program is a huge mistake. Not the money thing—it’s all a total waste of cash... a mammoth black hole like almost every single national program which only functions in theory. To me it’s sort of a sign that we are shutting down – that we are becoming a literal and less imaginative nation. No more visions and spacemen—let’s get with the social networking and money culture. Things we can brainstorm and then remove actual cash from, even though there are only theoretical profits. Like Bernie Madoff. Like the art market. Like the whole stinking banking system which reputedly has issued 300 trillion dollars in loans to one another and collected the interest and awarded it to its new financial astronauts in the form of astronomical bonuses. The national deficit is in their pockets-- their Ferraris and inflated art collections, their wives' colossal diamonds, their properties and investments.
Don’t get me started. Beyonce, you could feed every starving child in Africa with your income. Not to mention your wardrobe. My heart bled for you when you cried in your pathetic PR documentary. It makes me enjoy the music only slightly less.

Yesterday on the train, a tiny girl sat next to me and showed me her new dress. It had butterflies on it. It deja-vued me into a dress I had at the age of 4— a summer butterfly dress that I loved so much I slept with it. Couldn’t believe its beauty, and that it was actually mine. It had these straps that tied at the shoulders and on the family cookout occasion on which I debuted it, I couldn’t stop looking at my lap...purple and blue butterflies--- turquoise and pink. After dinner that night my pervert uncle-by-marriage managed to maneuver me into a screened-off room where he asked me the usual set of inappropriate questions secret-abusers ask children. I kept on looking down at my amazing dress, and thinking something about my eyelashes and the way my Mom said butterflies kiss.

So he never quite did anything to me, but the threat of it was there, the filthy cloud of contact-sickness with which people like him contaminate innocence. And in those innocent years, you didn’t tell your mother...and even if you shared it with a sibling, they would assure you that no one would believe it, and you kept it to yourself. Abused dogs and little Caylee Anthony even if she lived would probably never testify against their mothers. But I never wore the dress again, and I hope my tiny subway friend will wear hers in good health and innocence until it is outgrown.

And on the cusp of whatever age I am now, at the moment when what you forget equals what you remember.. .and then it begins to outweigh, and then you forget what you’ve forgotten and there are these selected memories you keep running into… I see how one can replace memories with fiction, evil with memories. And it’s not our fault if we love the rapist, and how we can’t delete and re-record that glitch in our psyche—it is now part of the pattern, that wild out-of-time drumbeat which will repeat and become familiar--- maybe even comfortable— but it will never again be even.

And maybe that is a good thing. Like my laptop which feels in a way more like a Ouija than a keyboard.

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