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Thursday, September 11, 2003

I'll Keep This Short And Sweet
I have hated this day for the past three years. It is the day that will live in imfamy for my generation. "Nineeleven", we'll s/pr/ay, wildly, a new solemn catchphrase that evokes mental images of flags, or fighterfighters, or both.
I have disliked this day immensely not because of the thousands of innocent lives lost on this day two years ago, but because this is the day that started it all: Afgahnistan, Iraq, French-bashing, securities tightened and freedoms revoked, and the revival of that god-awful Lee Greenwood song.
It's funny. I am ashamed of my President, my country, and my heritage. The word "American" most often makes me cringe instead of smile these days. Yet I am also ashamed of my feelings and reactions. It's not fair to those who lost their lives this September morning two years ago to place my angers and frustrations about these "godblessed" United States on them.
I have never shed a tear on this day. I am not going to start today, two years after the fact. Blame it on my upbringing, my coldheartedness, or my disdain for patriotism. Yet for what it's worth, I will walk around with respect in this here "cold heart" instead of the usual eye-rolling cynicism; if not for my country then for all of those who passed away unexpectedly and unneccasarily on September 11, 2001 and for those who still survive.

jesus, don't cry/you can rely on me honey/you can come by anytime you want/i'll be around/you were right about the stars/each one is a setting sun
tall buildings shake/voices escape singing sad sad songs/tuned to chords strung down your cheeks/bitter melodies turning your orbit around
voices whine/skyscrapers are scraping together/your voice is smoking/last cigarettes are all you can get/turning your orbit around
wilco.yankeehotelfoxtrot.jesus,etc.

Fresh squeezed by melly at 4:24 PM

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Politics
I move to open the session.
(or not. we could just leave it closed and understood and happy.)
I second the motion.
(of course you would. you're a yes-man.)
All in favor say "aye".
(i remember when i was little i used to watch popeye but my momma didn't like it on account of--)
Aye.
(bruto's violence and oliveoyls girlishness. mom said that girls should be able to do--)
All opposed say "nay".
(things, meaningful things, and break stereotypes and all of that shit. well, she didn't say it like that then, but that's what i think--)
The "Ayes" have it. The session is now open.
(of it as now. momma was the one person in the world that told me i couldn't just be a momma, that i had to do something. momma teaches, now. for something to do.)
I move to open the docket.
(so i had this idea in my head all my life that i had to find something to do, something to be. and today i said, "poof! i want to be a journalist yuppie in new york!")
Nay.
(somehow momma doesn't agree with me. she says that--)
Motion to open the docket denied.
("this is not a good goal!" she admonishes, "it is not a good enough goal to want to become a preferred customer at henri bendel or saks!")
I move to close the session.
(i don't see why not, seeing as being a preferred customer would mean that i am rich, and therefore--)
All in favor say "Aye".
(would mean i was successful, at least in that--)
"Aye."
(respect.)
This session is now adjourned.

Fresh squeezed by melly at 7:53 PM

Monday, September 08, 2003

Judging from the Smell, It's Strawberry Flavored
It is on days like this that I really question the judgement that leads me to pretend to fall asleep on the floor of a 6 year old babysittee, and then actually travel off into the land of snooze. It is on days like this that I question the judgement that somehow landed me with a faceful of gum plastered to my eyebrows when I awake.
That kid is going to die a slow, painful death someday. I'll let her pass first grade first.

Fresh squeezed by melly at 8:12 PM

Sunday, September 07, 2003

What I Do On Saturday
We wander up to the field as the helmets are wandering away to their repective lockerooms. Mosquitos are visible in the stadium light. Some girls in yellow-and-blue leotards (Go Mustangs) are dancing by the 20-yard line.
"Best freak show you can buy for 5 bucks." says Heathuh-Rose, dryly. I know she does not want to be here.
We are late at halftime; attempting to be fashionable. I smeared paint on my eyelids before we left the house; a huge feat for me. I felt protected. Our watches were set to the gossip-mongering, however pathetic that was, instead of the game.
"PARTY AT OPPEL'S HOUSE!" someone screams, and there are drunken hoots of agreement. Nevermind that Chris Oppel, only a sophomore, is arguing with his parents just a few bleacher seats away.
The players trot/waddle back into the arena, but noody except the seniors notices. I wonder if they're more excited about the 27-14 lead or the fact that the anorexic dance freak show has been discontinued for a more supersized, beefed-up version.
"And people wonder why we're such a violent nation," muses Heathuh-Rose. She is sullen, only here because she could tell I really wanted to go. This is out of character for both of us.
There are people everywhere, staying away from the lights and wearing other people's sweatshirts. Apparently it's not acceptable to wear your own damn fleece. We're nocturnal sheep, here in Portage.
I spot some other friends dwelling near the chain-link fence that separates Those Involved from Those Who Just Show Up. A guy is laying on his back on the pavement, looking at the sky that is obscured by darkness.
"Heeey. Ryan. Um. Whatcha doing?"
Ryan squints at me and runs his hand through his hair, straight through to the asphalt. "I'm so wiped, Mel-Belle." he says. The hustle-bustle and Ryan show equal inattention to each other. He's one of the coolest people I know.
"TOUUCCCCHDOOWWN!" I look up briefly, not caring about the boos.
"You ok?" I ask Ryan.
"He's fine," interjects Carla, her dark skin glowing. "He's just being a screwball." She laughs. I obviously missed something, because Carla never says asinine things like that unless it means something to someone. She loves to live among sly secrets; building a fortress of her personal brand of happiness around herself.
We stand in a group of 7, (minus Ryan), huddled against the slight breeze, passing the game with giddy screams meaning nothing at all.
"African or European swallow?"
"Woo! Smuckers! Woo!"
"Meredith."
The fight song was heard in the background. Onward Central ever onward/Fight to victory! Blue and gold forever fighting here's our song to thee rah rah rah...
"Meredith."
My head was lost in all of the music.
"Meredith. Mitch. Behind you, to your left. 5 rows up."
I turn my head slowly, nervously, not even knowing who was speaking. And there he was, wearing a plain gray t-shirt in the sea of navy sweatshirts.
"Mere. Your chin is clenching." I turn back now, to face Heathuh-Rose. A sad smile is playing across her lips; she knows me too well.
"TOOUCHDOWN!"
People are leaving now, streaming out of the stadium, heading for the dance. Sweatshirts are stripped off to reveal strappy tank tops and AberZombie muscle tees.
"Can we go too?" I plead, to anyone. I suprise even myself.
"You don't have a date." says Heathuh-Rose softly, obviously. I've never had a date.
"I'll take her," says Ryan, his voice wafting up from the ground. I'm indignant that they think I need to be accompanied, but I am secretly grateful. Heathuh-Rose tags along too, clearly worried for my mental health.
I'm not a party animal, nor a party person, nor even a part-ay person. Hell, I can't even dance. But I hand 3 bucks to the man shouting at the door, and I step into the strobe.
I am here, just me, on the dance floor, tired and scared and longing and slipping and sliding on the slick smooth surface. I hang onto people; some I know and some I don't, and I leave five minutes too early and late.
I call Heathuh-Rose when I get home. "We lost the football game, didn't we?"
She starts to laugh, madly, and squeaks out a "yes".
"By one point, huh?" I'm whispering now.
She promises to call me in the morning. She forgets to answer my question.
I know I will fall asleep with the streetlight in my eyes and my mouth tasting of one too many Skittles.

I'm just a boring example of everybody else/I threw the out the old one as soon as I found something else/I'll never tell you what I do on Saturday
-steveburns.whatidoonsaturday

Fresh squeezed by melly at 12:32 AM