Friday, February 22, 2008

country radio


I.

There's a certain je ne sais quoi about a radio station that sings to you about tequila at 8 in the morning. "Don't ask her on a straight tequila night," he beseeched me as the third merge-monstering luxury sedan of the morning careened into my lane, "She'll start thinkin' about him, and she's ready to fight." Funny thing is, it's a beautiful song.

Many of them are. Hokey, yeah - but I'm hokey. Songs that don't bother advancing beyond the bleached bones of what America used to be about; the America that my parents signed up for. The America that lived on and on, long past its mainland expiration date, in the collection of Air Force bases I was tucked into as I grew.

I know every syllable to a bunch of them - many more than you'd think, to know me. Songs about the cheap seats, and rear-view mirrors, and the creature from the black lagoon, and being better together. It doesn't matter how far away I get from those Fourth-of-July flightlines and jungle-lined football fields, I still tear up a little to hear That One Damn Lee Greenwood Song. Years of perching on the cutting edge of musical culture have only driven me back there...back from $20-gin-and-tonic, cellphone-photo, American-Apparel-commemorative-festival-shirt music to bowling-alley, hay-barn, open-highway music. I'm fully aware that these guys are created by the same machine. It's just quickly becoming my favourite part of the machine.

As I exited the freeway, he was offering me a glass of chablis and some quarters for the jukebox so I could turn her love life around. Thanks, man. You started my day off right.

II.

I'm entering Day 12 of my 30-day Bikram challenge, and I feel incredible - long and tall, as though the heat of the room has melted my bones and sinews and is slowly drawing them out of where they'd settled. In that room, under the firm massage of the instructor's voice, my body goes places I always thought it couldn't.

I've become fascinated with the sensuality of the class. I love the way the warm, wet cloth hangs against my skin - like it used to, walking home through tropical rain - and the subtle changes in the temperature of air as it pulls through my nose and the back of my throat to fill my lungs. In triangle, I stare at the droplets of sweat snaking from my wrist to my shoulder. Forced to stare at my full body in the mirror for an hour a day, I've become at once more aware, more accepting, and more enthralled with the miracles that allow me to breathe - nevermind hold my foot over my head for ninety seconds.

Best of all, old ills are evaporating. My wonky wrist has returned to peace, and the popcorn tattoo that my shoulder used to beat upon rotation is quieting quicker than I'd dared to hope.

In short, I'm diggin' it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

the feast of saint valentine, esq.


The only thing that's truly known about St. Valentine is that he was a martyr, and that he died horribly. He might've been a priest, or a bishop, a hermit, or an African (gasp!) The feast of St. Valentine may actually celebrate more than one saint. Nobody knows for sure. He/they may have died up to three times.

The original iteration of the holiday was probably a Christian attempt to supercede a hot little nudity-and-S&M-laced Greek festival (with a lot of blood involved) about sucking on the tits of wolves.

The feast was removed from the official Roman Catholic calendar in 1969, of course. With all the world's juices flowing, the Catholics had to shut 'er down.

Thing is, St. Valentine had not much to do with anything. 'Hallmark holiday' is an overused phrase - and this is the classic application - but it's giggle-worthy to think how slapped-on this one is. The only reasoning I can come up with for the lip-biterly assignation of carnal pleasure to this maybe-one-of-three-African-martyrs-or-a-Roman-hermit Church holiday is that...gee, let's face it...the letter V is pretty sexy. It's the opposite of the letter capital-I.

It's why the world loves Valentino Rossi, and vigilantes, and Vivica Fox (I mean, really) and vasectomies. It's why they call it Vaseline and Viagra and a vibrator. It's why we buy that she falls for the lumpy, crazy, sadistic burn victim in V for Vendetta. V is a powerful muscular push to openness. V is a bud that opens to the warmth of the sun. People need a reason to celebrate that kind of thing, because people ignore that it's a muscle you have to use. People spend a lot of money to prove that they know how to respond to that impulse.

Y'know what the best way to celebrate Valentines' Day is? Wait for sundown, 'cause that helps you appreciate mystery that much better. Open champagne. Watch 'Strictly Ballroom' all the way through to the end, where they've just discovered that human love and attraction is the coming-together of a million inexplicable variables and boom! there it is and they win the contest because their variables added up to a perfectly balanced emotional orgasm and 'Love Is In The Air' starts to play right before the credits roll and the old people who used to dig each other but were fighting reach out to each other because the world is naturally healed in the space that these two people create because they chose each other. Then get naked, have sex and eat some chocolate. There's your holiday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

annies aftermath


I have Spongebob Squarepants' personal Superman address book, and now I have to make arrangements to return it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

life, but not with toxins


I.

The old mattress? Gone. The old couch? Gone. Nothing old remains. New things have taken the place of the old in almost every sense. All is full of love - and colour, and texture, and light.

There's an awesome new table, where there was no table at all before; in its Platonic form, the table is a locus of nutrition, conversation, togetherness. We have this, now, in a delightful design that reminiscences of a closed bud that opens with each shared meal.

The couch is idiomatic of this family - modular; changeable; flexible in ways that a reg'lr one could never be.

The new bed is exotic and evocative and airy...and BIG, because 6'+6"5"+(18"x[pi]) does NOT equal Queen. And deliciously softy-firmy, too. Wiggle-inducing.

New things are arriving, too. New colours and ideas, which bring with them openness.

II.

I'm excited about what's happening to my physical person as I affirm my dedication to this new approach to self-care. I feel a well-being that curls up from the roots of me like a smiling kundalini serpent - my heart open and light and full of giggles. I wish someone had told me about this years ago. I feel more beautiful by the hour - more expressed. More me, because with every breath and stretch and morsel I am more aware that I am you, too. Our hearts are the same, yours and mine, dear reader. We are the same person. Think about it.

I was warned before I undertook these changes to my activity and nutrition that my body would raise something of a fuss. There are "detoxifying symptoms," she said. Most are easy enough to bear - a headache here and there; an unexplained rash that raises and disappears within a few long hours; a cramp deep in the belly as the body finds something ugly to tussle with. The benefits far outweigh these annoyances.

The really difficult hurdles are the ones that have nothing to do with the body itself.

"I'll say this once because I know you understand it," he said. "This way of treating your body is wonderful. But there's still something in you that's fighting the release that you're trying to achieve."

And, in the saying, that unclenched my fists. My heart felt like my body does after a long Bikram session. Breathe. Deeper. There you go.