na foine ting
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
So the security guard often brings our Wall Street Journal in for us, but recently has held it hostage until I answer a trivia question.
Today he thought he'd get me with this one:
"In the original Star Wars movie," he said, as though he were sure I'd never know, "what is the name of the character played by Peter Cushing?"
I barely looked away from my computer.
"Believe that was Grand Moff Tarkin," I said, and now the Journal's next to me on my desk, safe and sound.
Found this gem:
Good Lynx game last night, with punches thrown and people being thrown off the ice (and onto the ice, and...) and some fine hockey in there.
I'm not sure why Brian was getting flung down by his own teammates, but no doubt they had a good reason.
Personally, I'm slightly disapointed that more clothing doesn't come off during these scuffles. I mean, Parker goes to the bench half naked most of the time.
Clearly Lynx needs some pointers in fighting style and jersey shedding.
I volunteer to help instruct.
You know, out of the goodness of my heart and all.
And Brian? The reason they target you is because you're huge and fast and scary and they think you might score.
My Viking Name is Kaðlín Oxthews.
- You're a fearsome Viking, but you aren't completely uncivilized. The other Vikings make fun of you for that. You are strong and tireless, frequently shouldering burdens that would tire lesser women. You're not a "berserker", but you're among the toughest sane Vikings around.
You can handle long sea voyages easily, despite the lack of amenities. You possess some skills which other Vikings respect.
You have a fairly pragmatic attitude towards life, and tend not to expend effort in areas where it would be wasted. Due to your gregariousness, you don't strike fear into the hearts of your victims. Try to be a little more surly in the future.
A little more surly, it says.
Heh. Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh.
What's your Viking Name??
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Saturday at Gavin's hockey practice one of the dads spectating got horizontal.
I have that moment of hesitation, you know... EMT expired, out of practice, no business being there, all that. But it all comes down to the same thing. The same question that started all this.
What if I'm the only one who can?
Then shouldn't I?
After years of seeing so much hard core hurt and suffering... all the stick thin children with open sores and flies buzzing around them, lepers on the street, all the guns and fearful silence and oppression, all the fighting and all the poverty and struggle, you know, and you get a sense of your own privilege, your own security, and at the same time how easily
--it could be you.
That's the thing. That's why you do it. That's why you act, do. Jump in.
So someone was saying "start CPR, does anyone know CPR??" and everything slowed down to a crawl and it was things like watching for breath (there) and noticing eye movement despite his being unresponsive, and then he was conscious and oriented and then Hugh was there and some off duty firefighter and eventually I got the AED like he asked and then
I faded to the back.
Spending the rest of the day second guessing everything I'd done, kicking myself for not taking a quick second to see if he had equal strength in both hands because I still think it was a stroke and...
I suppose it doesn't matter. The SJ firefighter said in that tone of voice "probably just a faint," and I felt like saying
FUCK you, you son of a bitch, that's three years, Firefighter I, Firefighter Instructor, Swiftwater rescue Tech, EMT, police and SAR and half way to Washington with the Secret Service, don't talk to me like that.
Instead I said thanks and went back upstairs.
I don't know what it takes to belong there. I don't know what it takes to be taken seriously. It isn't skill, it isn't certification, it certainly isn't my desire or intent.
There's something I'm missing. And I'm not sure what it is, and not sure I'll ever know.
So it's do what I can when I should... and then walk away.
Cyrus clocked me in the side of the face with a shinai on Sunday.
Definitely my fault, for being too far in, and for refusing to wear a helmet.
It made a horrible hollow melon sound, in my own head. A sort of a sick "pock."
Funny, unless it's you thinking you just got your jaw broken.
I'm fine, though, and can eat and talk and manage perfectly well if I don't open my mouth too wide.
Obviously giving blow jobs is right out.
Got two assists this weekend, one with the Pirates and one with the Hounds. I'm playing on good lines, with people I like. Spoiled rotten, and loving it.
Getting the crap kicked out of me on Sunday before the game wasn't the best idea, though. Between Cyrus' hit and the rather overenthusiastic cuts of some Australian guy I think wasn't too happy to find I actually did know something about sabre... I was pretty mashed again before my game, and unfortunately it made a difference.
Still, playing was good. Dave got the gloves dropped on him, and Buzz yelled imprecations and got ejected and we all secretly hoped it would turn into a bench clearing brawl and of course it didn't.
Playing with Logan and Kristine was especially sweet. Good chemistry, good passes, and Kristine and I seem to make an excellent PK team. Hello, yes, we are in your zone. How did that happen? I don't know. Look! The puck!
On the way to the Hounds game traffic was jacked up because someone's inert body was lying across the Wolfe/El Camino intersection. I watched the people bent over whoever it was, yelling at each other while three different people called 911 on their cell phones.
I looked at the time. I thought about what could happen if it were serious, and how I should stop and get out of my car.
I was saved making a decision by the arrival of a couple of engines and PD.
I cried all the way to my game.
Thursday, June 24, 2004
Bullshit about Bertuzzi.
It's like what Wilson said about the Shelley hit... no one said boo and he only got a 2 game suspension because the game wasn't nationally televised and they weren't playing clips of the hit for days. Not to mention the fact that Stuart got right back up and took his stupid "fighting" penalty. Despite being completely fucked up.
If Bertuzzi hadn't misjudged the hit, and if it hadn't been a media field day... this all would have gone very differently.
But... it was a flag to wave and now a guy who doesn't deserve it is going down. It's utter bullshit. Bertuzzi's a good player. A good guy.
Yes, there should be sanctions. But this is totally out of proportion; he doesn't deserve this.
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Huxley and Pierce just bought "Defense" for their MEN ON THE EDGE anthology. That's three of the six hockey stories that have sold, and as much as I joke around about hockey smut this and that, the fact is these stories mean a great deal to me. The whole series does.
Huxley called "Defense" a "fascinating allegory for dangerous sex."
That's nice to hear. It's one of the most experimental things I've ever written. It's good to know that it stands as it is, and works, and is understood.
So you know, I think I'm in decent shape. I'm on the ice five, sometimes six times a week, sometimes twice in a day. I can play two games in the same afternoon and not feel it that much the next day.
Today I'm wrecked.
Not from hockey, although hockey on top of it probably didn't help.
No, this is the old familiar uneven ache of too much bladework.
Bec laughed at me as I limped into the kitchen and informed her: "My right quad is locked solid. And my left ass cheek."
She also fenced sabre, and remembers. Back in her day, Maestro Burchard used to take them down to the beach and make them do footwork in two feet of water and wet sand.
On Sunday, Harry gave me a saber and a main gauche and stopped trying to get me to do the proper theatrical combat form. He trusted me to keep a safe distance--given we don't use any protective equipment--and not kill him, and the two of us just went at it.
He claims I scare him. Harry, who eats scary things for breakfast and much of his day, and I think is just trying to make me feel good. But still, he claims that Orion's big and hits hard and scares him, and Carl's mean and scares him, and me? Well, apparently I'm scary because I'm something of a wild card.
Which I can see, given that when we later picked up two shinai and started bashing on each other and everyone else there, I was using nice, clean kendo cuts with good old Italian fencing footwork.
I love this stuff. I love edged weapons, I love taking fencing straight out of that stupid het-up sport context that always made my teeth grind. Teeny target area. Miniscule strip size. No body contact. That stupid rule about right of way.
(You know, right of way is just dumb. It means that if someone has their arm extended first, regardless of whether or not your blade makes the first contact, they get the point. If you reapply that rule back to fighting (which in theory is the point of the sport), it's like saying "well, I had my arm out first, so despite the fact that you've just skewered me through the heart, you're dead and I win.")
And that's coming from me, queen of the beat attack. I digress.
Harry is not going to Iraq for the moment. They want him (who wouldn't?), but apparently we're sending fewer troops, and for the moment, not him.
It makes me stupidly, crazily happy. Happy enough that I bounced around with weapons in my hands and got blisters everywhere and wrecked my knees and was completely spent before my game.
But had fun.
And am glad he's still here.
Sunday's game highlight: pinning some guy against the boards until he was really pissed off and we got possession. Until the ref gave me a warning, on the verge of a call, and I got pushed hard as the guy got out from under me and skated away.
The rest kind of sucked. I had a nice breakaway which I promptly dumped before I even hit their blue line.
I lost my temper when Chris skated through me for the third time, pinching up through my position without looking at me, passing to me, or having anything to say.
I yelled, and came off swearing and snarling about him being a selfish fuck.
Poor behavior, and Sparks wasn't afraid to tell me so.
Being in the right and knowing everyone thinks so... still doesn't make that stuff okay.
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Let me tell you the story behind my new truck.
But first, here's the truck:
Gavin named it Dratini, after this Pokemon guy:
And here's the story:
My first ever car was a '63 Chevy Impala, which had had one owner: my grandmother. She'd installed curb feelers on all the fenders, which gave it the appearance of an enormous oxidizing white whiskered submarine.
The Impala drove something like a tank. I know this because my dad used to drive tanks and told me so. Also because I was sixteen and drove like a teenager and liked to parallel park in San Francisco on hills and frequently had to move cars in my way to do so. With the Impala this was practically effortless, although the mileage--about 2 miles a gallon--was killing me.
After the Impala I somehow wound up with my grandfather's '67 Chevy Camaro, SS, Camaro red, with a white vinyl top and a 350 under the hood. Not much better gas mileage, but way faster. And no whiskers.
After I totalled the Camaro
[pause for respectful moment of mourning and for the anguished screams of car enthusiasts to die down]
--I had a string of beater cars. Corollas, Volvos from the sixties that had been used to tote surfboards, and finally an '88 Bronco II that I loved to pieces, and saw me through both firefighting and hockey, carrying in its generous cargo area everything from sticks to goalie pads to a dozen stacked rolls of three-inch hose.
I loved the Bronco, but every once and a while I dreamed of a car with things like a seat that faced to the front instead of tilting to the side. I dreamed of side view mirrors that I didn't have to reach out and manually hold up to see what was behind me.
I dreamed--sitting on Highway 198 in 110 degree heat waiting for the firefighters to clear the road--of air conditioning.
Dreaming led to looking at other people's cars, thinking "if I didn't have beater cars, what would I drive?"
The perfect vehicle would be big enough for hockey gear, friends' hockey gear (even goalies), *and* the friends, while having a kickass stereo system and reasonable comfort. It would be good for camping and good to take kids and family for the road trips we're prone to taking. It would be a reasonable size: something I could drive without feeling like I was taking up more than my fair share of gas, ozone and the road.
It would have side view mirrors that stayed up unaided.
It would have air conditioning.
Cut to earlier this spring: I'm leaving a Sharks practice in the Bronco, hustling back to work after happily watching the Sharks for an hour or so. I see a great-looking SUV pull up next to me at the stoplight, and spend a few moments noticing how reasonably sized, comfortable and perfect looking it is before I notice who's driving it.
I mean, clearly this truck has room for hockey gear. And clearly it's air conditioned.
Oh, and that extremely gorgeous guy in it is Nils Ekman, who judging by the warmth and softness of the smile on his handsome mug can only be talking to his girlfriend on the phone.
I stare, mostly on the pretense of checking out his truck some more but finally the light changes and he pulls ahead and I'm left realizing I'm still stopped at a green with a really dorky grin on my face.
It was a silver Ford Escape.
The holy grail of trucks after that moment, the only truck I wanted to own.
Now this is all highly amusing to any of you who know me, and even more amusing to those of you who have ridden in any one or all of my collection of fine beater cars.
Me. With a truck with power windows. With power anything. With air conditioning.
Still, I looked around Yahoo Auctions and Ebay and read the consumer reports, and Becca very kindly didn't laugh me out of the room when I mentioned that used ones started at around 16k or so.
"Get a new job, then we'll talk," she said, which was fair, and I thought that was as far as it would go.
But then it happened. A strange combination of events which looks an awful lot like kismet, and just bears out that I was really meant to own Nils Ekman's truck.
I mentioned my truck. I mentioned loving my truck but wanting an Escape. I mentioned it in the locker room, where my teammate Carrie was. Carrie had an Escape she wanted to sell.
I mean, really wanted to sell.
Then events tumbled even faster in a direction they never go in my life. The easy, successful direction. I got a loan I never expected to get, all the paperwork got done and we actually had the cash on hand for the down and I got it insured and we signed things and I took Carrie and Bec and Gavin and the loan agent out for Thai food and
there I am, driving my new truck around town.
It's gorgeous. It's comfortable. I can make the driver's seat do Astronaut Position. I can listen to six CDs at once. The windows go up and down and up and down and the moon roof slides back and forth and back and forth and the power locks go clickclickclickclickclick. It goes vrroom and handles like my Bronco only tighter. It has the feel of a friends' truck, well loved, well taken care of and happily handed over.
And the airconditioning works really damn well.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I don't take meds.
Sometimes part of me wants to believe there is a Magic Pill, you know, and in fact knows that if someone messed around with combinations of drugs long enough, all this might go away.
Or, more likely, it wouldn't.
Some things are surefire. Friends, my family. A hug from my kid, who assures me I am "not too crazy" and is largely unfazed by my behavior.
Other things also help.
Like noon at Sunny Cove, with Gavin scrambling down the cliff behind me, while the last of the surly morning fog subsides under the idiotic cheerfulness of the summer sun.
Things like waves that cross the cove on the diagonal, big enough to get up some speed but easy to catch and not big enough to pound the crap out of me if my attention wanders and I get under rather than on one.
Things like a bright purple boogie board which technically belongs to Gavin but I am still allowed to use, at least until later in the day when I get under rather than on a wave and somewhere in the ensuing tumble down the beach it finally splits in half.
I lay in the gentle sun and listened to Gavin and his new friend discuss the best way to slay tentacled cliff dragons, wet and tired from surfing and watching the dolphins that were playing out there, not far from where the surfers were.
I made a few calls, mostly because I felt guilty for hogging all the relaxation and enjoyment for myself.
Then I gave up, and after a brief interlude where I played the part of the massive slavering tentacled cliff dragon (until I'd been slain several times and the heroes needed a snack), flopped back out in the sun and simply was blissed out for a while again.
We get caught up in our patterns of suffering, so much so that we forget that there are ways, obvious ways, to alleviate them.
A phone call, a cup of coffee and conversation. Telling the truth about where we are.
Surfing, making sandcastles.
Dozing in the sun.
Monday, June 14, 2004
I have a choice this morning.
I can write about my weekend, about falling apart and breaking down. I could write about sobbing for hours over things I really don't understand, things about myself and how I relate to my writing--or don't relate--and about the novel and how I sat upstairs at J's place away from everyone else and after I wrote the scene at the end of chapter one, went and locked myself in the bathroom and masturbated and cried.
That would be a lot to tell. A lot to venture in public space.
I hadn't planned to write about those things.
I'd planned to write all about our cat instead.
"I'm so sorry," he said. I outweighed him by easily twenty pounds, and was a far stronger skater. "Are you all right?" he said. "Are you sure?" he said.
I'd known we were going down, and hadn't thought about anything but keeping him away from the puck. I had that moment of lucid clarity where things slowed to nothing, and I hooked my arm around his knee, and when we hit the boards, made sure he came down with me.
I stood in the shower and Bec said later she lost count of how many times I screamed the word "fuck." She liked that I called the pretty, put-together girls with the handbags chinchillas.
Especially at volume.
I skated alone most of the game, called for passes that didn't come, fell back when D went deep, quietly did my job of forecheck and grind.
I've gotten to a place, or maybe it where I was at this weekend, where I don't bridle at the isolation. I clock in and out of each shift, and figure when they're ready, when they see me, when they think I'm good enough, they'll bring me in.
I came off after two sprints up and back, given all I had, gasping. R reached his stick out and tapped my shin in passing me to the faceoff.
I remember I'm not alone, no matter how much it feels that way, in the end.
"Kate," said our neighbor, coming back into her living room where G and I were visiting, "I just looked outside and I think your cat is at the bottom of the stairs."
I nodded. "I know," I told her. "She's waiting to walk us home."
Lilith has stepped up her hunting habits, just like the last time Bec was pregnant. We can't decide if it's about ridding the environs of dangerous vermin or that she doesn't trust me to provide the pregnant mom with enough tasty snacks.
In any case, we've had three mice, a squirrel, all manner of insects and very nearly our neighbor's calico in the last two weeks alone.
Last week she brought in a live mouse, apparently for Bec to play with before consuming it.
Unfortunately Bec is not as skilled nor as enthusiastic about throwing terrified, squeaking mice up in the air and pouncing on them.
So the mouse escaped, and to our extreme squicked displeasure, has been hiding out in the dining room/kitchen area since.
Finally over the weekend we sat Lilith down and explained to her that while we appreciated the whole u-kill-it mouse present, we were really very inept at these things and would she
PLEASE FIND THAT DAMN MOUSE AND GET RID OF IT NOW???
Last night she'd apparently located it, because she took a sudden and unprecedented interest in the china hutch.
Much chaos ensued, observed by Rebecca from the safety of a chair. I would pound the hutch with a broom, and Lilith would look at me like I was a moron while climbing carefully around the hutch and doing an impressive feline version of a bird dog point.
There, she was clearly saying. Poke a hole *there* and I will kill it for you.
Unfortunately humans are unresourceful and stupid and could only open and close doors for her.
She gave me a baleful look as I finally went to bed, and settled down on the ottoman by the hutch, ears pricked, gaze trained on the napkin drawer, apparently to wait out the night.
"She brought the mouse," Bec told me, while I was taking my shower this morning.
Brought it out, quite dead, and dumped it on the floor of our bedroom.
Rolled on it a bit, to let us know that mice are not only tasty but harmless, and we didn't need to have all that fuss.
I took it out in a newspaper.
She watched me with a resigned look.
You know she's thinking, great. Now I'll have to go out and find something and kill it again.
Friday, June 11, 2004
An anonymous troll on the Asimov's bulletin boards challenged me to define erotica versus porn, as though this were some new and interesting kind of question.
Anyway, since it's been done to death (along the lies of evolution versus creation, and Coke versus Pepsi), I thought I'd take a different run at it.
And yes, it's also what I really think.
With apologies to Leonard Cohen: "Erotica"
Now you ask me to define the forms
Of written perv; describe the norms
But you don't really like any of it, do you?
They go like this:
Penthouse is dirt
Soft porn's in Flirt
The artists are composing erotica.
Erotica's artistic search for truth
A nude who's bathing on the roof;
But porn is when you grab her and you do her.
If she ties you
To a kitchen chair
Whips you hard--it's porn--you screw
But if it has some heavy meaning it's erotica.
You say I define these terms in vain
I'll go to hell all the same
And if you want to know the truth, I'm right there with you.
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The smut, porn, dirt or erotica.
I do my best to write the meat:
I don't like labels, hate "elite"
I'm an artist but I didn't come to fool you
It's really all
about the fuck
I love it, write it, but am stuck
With selling what they're calling erotica.
Thursday, June 10, 2004
More Coffee, Please.
OK. I think I just redefined absent-minded.
I just called myself, missed the call as I waited for myself to answer, got voice mail, and left myself a message.
Then I called and picked the message up. YOu know, from that call I missed from myself while I was on the phone with myself.
I had no idea any of this was transpiring until I listened to the voice mail and thought, "wow, that person's voice is familiar."
No, I'm dead serious, here.
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
I was disturbed by this whole smut puppet thing.
I mean, at a lot of levels disturbed.
I don't like anti-porn propoganda, and I'm not thrilled with the idea of a pornographer sleeping with the enemy, regardless of the fact that I can also get "way way way way way" behind keeping porn away from kids. To a point, and certainly depending on what your definition of "porn" is.
It's funny this comes up today, because yesterday I was on the couch rereading a really nasty smut piece I wrote mostly for my own amusement, and Gavin came up behind me to ask me about something or other, and I quick, quick closed the window.
Then I realized, "wait. He can't read."
Recently we're starting to hear him experiment with "bad" words he hears on the playground. "Boobies!!" he said to me the other day, mostly to see how I'd react.
"Breasts," I corrected absently, and we went on to discuss why he couldn't eat ice cream for dinner.
This was how Bec and I were both raised. She said in the same tone to him the other day "G, penis play happens in private. Take it to your room." End of discussion.
Gaiman quoted Linda Williams' comparison of porn and broadway musicals, where in porn the story exists to break up the sex acts... and in musicals the story's really only there as a way to break up the songs.
Gaiman goes on to praise Kate Worley's OMAHA series, in which he says "the sex, like the conversation, like the people, exists to forward the story."
I think I'm looking to write fiction where the sex is the story.
When Marcy Sheiner bought "Shoes," she said it was on the condition that I put some sex in it. "It's a sex anthology," she told me. "So it has to have sex."
Which just proves what Gaiman said about porn in the same piece: "[The sex acts are] what you've come to see ... what you'd feel cheated if you didn't get."
But while I think that's true in some smut, I don't think it's true of all smut.
And while I like hard porn (a lot), I also like fiction about sex that isn't just music to jack off to.
"Shoes" was about sex. It was about a woman having a sexual awakening (at least on a small scale), and how it illuminated and exposed the extent of her failing marriage. It was about a lot of other things, too. Dependence and love and denial and red patent leather.
I think it's a pretty hot story at points, but certainly not as a whole.
I put in a cocksucking scene for Marcy. It fit the story all right, but completely detracted from the weight and impact of the real sexual moment, which was also the story's denoument. It became a different story, though I think still an okay one.
"Defense," which is still over with the MEN ON THE EDGE editors, doesn't have a milisecond of actual sex in it, except for the protagonist mentioning he gets hard.
The whole story is about a guy beating the crap out of another guy.
It's definitely the most erotic and intensely intimate story I've written to date.
So here's what I want to know. The porno puppet asks:
"Have you gone into your daddy’s closet and found a bunch of magazines with naked mommies in them? Did this make you feel yucky inside?"
Are pictures of naked "mommies" (because apparently the only possible state of being for a woman is "mommy") supposed to make a kid feel yucky inside?
Because we'd better take down the magnetic Venus and David magnets on our fridge pronto, if so.
This is what makes me crazy: how sex gets made dirty. How sexuality gets made dirty. Tabooification, if you like. People, acts, groups getting marginalized and degraded because that apparently has to happen in order for someone to get off.
That's what pisses me off.
I don't want to add sex to a story about sex to make it more salable.
And I don't want people teaching asinine, sexist words for people's anatomy to my son.
I want to write about sex, to delve into that whole part of human experience, and not just because it gets you or me or someone's Daddy-with-his-stash off.
The ironic thing about Marcy's anthology was that it got panned for being too serious, too depressing, too dark, and for not having enough hot sex in.
And it was a good cocksucking scene and everything.
Monday, June 07, 2004
Probert, Probert, Probert.
Apparently it still takes a lot to take the old goon down.
You can just hear the conversation in the booking pen:
"You take his picture."
"Fuck you. You do it."
"I'm not touching that crazy motherfucker."
"Fuck it, then."
"Yeah, fuck it."
OK, OK, so not all the novelists were as bad off as I made it sound. Julia was in fact downright philosophical, and it was a good conversation. It's good to find writers who still breathe as much life into the process as the product, and who have the ability to both be wry about and celebrate the whole thing.
And not only that, she's cute.
I'm tired, and tired of being tired. Saturday night it came down to a choice between sleeping and hockey, and of course hockey won out. Late night stick time is good, and appreciated even more for being free, but I was pretty wrecked by gametime Sunday.
We lost. We lost a lot. I mean, like beaten with a really big stick lost.
I got to a point where I was resenting the effort I was putting in, where I watched the score go 5-0, 6-0, 7-0... and wondered why it was, exactly, I was killing myself to hustle out there.
Brian said I looked like I was having fun. Which was true, and probably the reason I never actually gave up.
It's still fun, even 10-1. Unpretty and frustrating, but still hockey, and still good.
Playing on a consistent line, not rotating a player through, was awesome. Kristine and Pants were killer linemates, and I think in a few games we'll get our groove and be a real threat. That is if the powers that be don't get the brilliant idea to shift everyone around again or put me back on defense or something.
And although I've been told all along as a winger to maintain my position, guard the point, both Brian and Tom told me this week to back up closer to the faceoff circle in our own zone.
It was semi-magical, finally doing it. Suddenly I had much more control of that end of the defensive game, and was able to cover their D far better. The best part was breaking out, though, and finding I was lined up, close enough for passes and still able to skate for and catch the trickle pucks that I'd been cherry picking to not miss.
Good stuff. I'm back in a learning and developing phase, and that, of anything, is a happy thing.
I still haven't called P.
I put her number in my cell phone after we'd talked and danced and she'd confided to me that she was largely flummoxed by other women, who, she said, only wanted to go out and have coffee. Who never, she said, wanted to "do anything."
She talked about being homesick, and we talked about how it was to live in the US, and how she might take up hockey. We talked about skating dates, going to salsa clubs, and generally hanging out.
I'm not sure why I said it, in that tawdry liminal space when the lights go up and the glass gets swept off the floor and they turn the music in the bar down.
I'm not exactly sure why, as I typed in her phone number I said "hope you're not skittish about hanging out with lesbians."
Maybe because I had a sixth sense that it would be a problem.
Maybe because I thought she knew and I wanted her to know I knew she wasn't, and also I wasn't trying to pick her up.
I saw the stifled social recoil, and made it easier by backing down, myself.
Her boyfriend made her polite apologies, which really only made it worse.
I could mention that I also found her attractive, except that it doesn't matter to this story, really. Or rather, it does, but it doesn't.
You see, don't you, that that's the point?
Wednesday, June 02, 2004
I think this is what I was looking for all along.
Falling in, where I bring my bag and my sticks and my crisis du jour (and there is always a crisis du jour) and find myself pulled into this easygoing locker room embrace. Jokes and teasing, the routine of getting dressed. Surrounded in a kind of heavy intimacy of skin and bodies and the smell of gear, yet somehow also distant if I want to be. Quiet, even withdrawn, while conversation goes on around me and somehow I am at once included and left the hell alone.
Teased, flirted with, given shit for my surly mood during Monday's game.
All of it continues out onto the ice, where I am separated by this almost ridiculous carapace of plastic and padding, and then joined by the common colors of jersey.
I skate my own solitary patterns during warmup, then someone bumps or jostles me, and we pick up a puck and throw it back and forth. Practicing the attunement that is almost too-deep connection, where five other people on the ice have my fierce attention, my unflinching loyalty, my complete willingness to physically engage.
There's no part of me left off the ice, nor any reason to hold myself back. It's as safe as it is dangerous, contained by things like fraternity, and the sheer inexorable routine of the game.
The best lovers are like this, who demand this much while giving me this much room to act, to be. Who are as constant and firm as a sheet of cut ice, and as full of possibility in how things might play out there. Capable of reflecting and supporting anything I bring, any cut, any fire. And having their own rules, size and shape, demarcations and lines I follow.
I'll come back to this. To you.
Even separate, now part of who I am.
So. Last night's scrimmage with the Ice Monkeys was great. They're a great team, a nice group of folks, a more grown up, mature version of what I hope the Hounds will eventually be.
Tyler's a good coach. He's clear and concise in explanation and has a sense of humor that doesn't get in the way of business. At this point of learning, a whistle stop scrimmage is perfect: it's good to bring everything to a halt, and have the game and the play explained right there, before I forget what happened. Then start up again, and be able to apply what you now know.
And it was good, sweetly good, to have members of my own team there, to exhale into the familiar routines of banter and flirtation, to have it made known that I behaved badly Monday night, and also that it was ultimately OK.
I remember fire, and all the tension of what I thought I had to be, how I thought I had to act.
It's gone now, gone here. I show up, I play. Anything I bring is accepted and integrated, anything I am worked in with the rest of it. I've stopped tensing for the inevitable moment of rejection, of discovering I'm not good enough and never have been.
There is no moment like that. They've already seen the worst and the best of me. It's just puck and ice and plays, beyond that.
Petaluma was good. Familiar, even with all the time spent away. Morning popovers, and the kids running around being knights and maidens and Robin Hood and random characters from Pokemon.
I got serious fur-time with Alby, who is utterly like and unlike Gil, with her coloring and eyes and wolfish reticence but also having his own doofy sweetness, and some serious brains which he fortunately never uses or he'd be dangerous.
Did a lot of reading and a lot of thinking about writing, including conversations along the lines of intervention with a handful of novelists who were at the "I'd rather shoot myself than finish this" stage.
The ironic thing is that I came out of the weekend really wanting to write another novel, which is really sick and twisted, if you ask me.
I'm almost done the hockey smut collection. A lot of it has been sold, and I'm ready to look for a publisher for the lot of 'em, together.
I have a couple of good stories ready to go out and into the mill, and a general sense of forward motion.
I really want to post Rebecca's new poem here, but you'll have to wait until it comes out in the new American Poetry Journal (http://www.americanpoetryjournal.com/).
But she really is that good. And it really is that good a poem. Still staying with me, days later.