Thursday, July 24, 2008

You call yourselves scientists?

Yesterday when I got home I spent a long time sitting on the sofa and just staring outside the window. Most of the view from the window is palm trees and the tops of rain trees, very pleasant. There is also a great patch of sky that has calmed down the claustrophobia I acquired while living in the shoebox, my former abode.
Now, yesterday evening there was a lightning show. Out of this one piece of steel-gray sky would emerge the most jaw-dropping bolts. The patches of cloud would light up to silver for brief moments, and then go back to that placid gray. And the palm fronds moved in sibiliant waves- it was enchanting.
However, I soon started thinking about lightning and again came to the realization that I know nothing about it. If a kid asked me, "what causes lightning?" I would have to shoo it away and tell it to go play.
Then, this morning, I got a sign that I am in elite company in my ignorance- I read this.
I feel vindicated.

Coconut juice

J and I were very enamored by a hip-hop song we once heard in LA, the chorus of which went something like, "put the lime in the coconut and twist it all up!" Even more of a draw was the artist name- Tyga. It took a few tries before we got the fact that it was actually 'Tiger'.
So we discussed what our rap names would be, if we decided to switch careers and become rap stars. J came up with one pretty quickly- Meaty. Written as Mea-T.
Struck dumb by his brilliance, I remained nameless. Until yesterday. If I were to become a hip-hop star, my name would be Better. Pronounced- Bett-ttah. Ha!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Crossroads

The second half of my life will be black
to the white rind of the old and fading moon.
The second half of my life will be water
over the cracked floor of these desert years.
I will land on my feet this time,
knowing at least two languages and who
my friends are. I will dress for the
occasion, and my hair shall be
whatever color I please.
Everyone will go on celebrating the old
birthday, counting the years as usual,
but I will count myself new from this
inception, this imprint of my own desire.

The second half of my life will be swift,
past leaning fenceposts, a gravel shoulder,
asphalt tickets, the beckon of open road.
The second half of my life will be wide-eyed,
fingers shifting through fine sands,
arms loose at my sides, wandering feet.
There will be new dreams every night,
and the drapes will never be closed.
I will toss my string of keys into a deep
well and old letters into the grate.

The second half of my life will be ice
breaking up on the river, rains
soaking the fields, a hand
held out, a fire,and smoke going
upward, always up.

~Joyce Sutphen

Monday, July 07, 2008

The dog is on the table

Aside from my man Nadal's Wimbledon win, yesterday was also significant for another reason. Members of my old gang from college had a reunion, and a reunion on a massive scale. It involved planning and administration that would have done a military general proud; e-mails have been going around since July of last year. The guest list numbered more than a hundred from countries as far flung as Poland and Denmark. The venue- a small town in Brittany, northern France, no doubt will never be the same again. So now that the grand event is over, I look forward to the many pictures that I'm sure are soon going to surface on the Internet when someone Googles 'wild party.'
Too bad I couldn't make it. There was a teeny hitch- I needed to come back to BLR and look for an apartment. AND the little detail of my not having bothered to obtain a French visa. I suppose I should have tried- I could have charmed the French officials by saying "le chien est sur la table."

Friday, July 04, 2008

German Sheep

My Dad informs me that Tango is being formally charged with dereliction of duty. Why? When strangers approach our house, he welcomes them and enthusiastically escorts them to the front door. Far from being the fearsome beast as could be imagined from the rather ugly "Beware of Dog" sign, Tango is quite the charming host.
What to do? But we should have realized this when we saw that his favorite occupation is chasing butterflies all around the garden. Or when we noted his tendency to come and rest his face on people's knees and quietly leave after being petted on the head.
But since he is slavishly devoted to the father, maybe he will see reason if told to be fierce. After all, isn't he supposed to be territorial and fiercely aggressive towards strangers approaching his home?
Or maybe the father in his wisdom will use Tango's preferred Marie biscuits to bribe and train. We shall see.
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