Our waitress last night had pretty hair, long waves of deep red, heavy curls held back from her face by small, jeweled butterfly clips. She was tiny, had dark green eyes, and wore a faded blue peasant top and snug fitting, low-waisted jeans.
She was attentive to The Skimmer as he tried to figure out what kind of beer to order.
"No one ever has the type of beer I want."
"We have over 70 varieties to choose from. What kind do you like?"
"Anchor Steam? We have Anchor Steam."
"Hey, whattyaknow. I'll take one."
"You got it."
She winked, picked up the menus and headed to the bar and I leaned into The Skimmer and said, "She is a doll." And without missing a beat he said, "She wants me."
I laughed, "She does?! How do you know?"
"I got a vibe."
"Yeah, you got a vibe."
I looked around the restaurant. We had accidentally stumbled into a hipster restaurant/bar after an art show where The Skimmer had several of his pieces on display. Lots of scenesters of all ages eating, drinking, nuzzling, mingling. It was my kind of room. Exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, a tiny, intimate space with low, warm lighting. I noticed a couple at a corner table, sitting close and I turned to The Skimmer and said, "You know, maybe I should offer you what Cheryl David offered Larry."
"You know, a vacation from marriage for one night. One night. One night only! With The Deep, Wavy Redhead or whoever you'd want."
"I could never do that."
I laughed, "Why?"
"I'd get too nervous."
"Go ahead. You can do it. All I ask is no diseases!"
"And, oh man, would I ever get picky."
Which really made me laugh. And feel relieved. That he didn't immediately hurdle the table and start talking up the blonde near the front door or any other number of women of all ages, shapes and sizes in that dark little room.
Deep Wavy Redhead returned with our drinks, cute as ever. She placed my wine in front of me and then slowly slid The Skimmer's beer in front of him as she leaned towards us and asked, "Are you two going anywhere after this?"
Which I thought was a strange question but replied, "Nope, just going home."
She smiled, shrugged her shoulders and headed back to the bar.
The Skimmer said, "She wants a threesome."
Which really made me laugh even harder, "Oh my God!"
He lifted his beer and also his left eyebrow. And I said to him, "I am not a part of the deal I offered you. Let's just keep that in mind. Where it's gonna have to stay."
Just in case no one notices. Yes, he had a role as a liberal voice. But such a boring, familiar voice. There was something about his writing that simply forced you to stop reading, even when his motives were obviously honorable, his compassion deep, and his solutions sincere, if invariably trite.
That let me to start clicking around the blogosphere where I found a link (h/t Shakestweetz) to an article T.A. Frank wrote a few years ago in the Washington Monthly, Why is Bob Herbert Boring?
Bob Herbert is a sensible person who usually assesses things more accurately than his colleagues, regularly hits the streets to report on the world outside, shines a light on people and issues that deserve far more attention than they usually get, and tells you things you really ought to know but don't. But here's the catch: you don't read Bob Herbert. Or, if you say you do, I don't believe you.
Nothing about Herbert's writing ever made me stop reading him. I have the New York Times set as my home page and on the days Herbert's columns are published, he's my first read of the day. You can believe it, because it's true.
Where Herbert's been called boring and trite, I'd call him elegant and sane. Not to mention eloquent. He was definitely not part of the food fight culture, which is one reason I liked reading him so much. He is an adult. And he reminded me in every column what my priorities should be and what our country's priorities should be.
...surrounds me these days. And it has me thinking of one of my favorite Bukowski poems.
59 Cents a Pound
I like to prowl ordinary places
and taste the people---
from a distance.
I don't want them too near
because that's when attrition
but in supermarkets
I can look at their bodies
and their faces
and their clothing---
watch the way they walk
or what they are doing.
I'm like an x-ray machine
I like them like that:
I imagine the best things
I imagine them brave and crazy
I imagine them beautiful.
I like to prowl the ordinary places.
I feel sorry for us all or glad for us
caught alive together
and awkward in that way.
there's nothing better than the joke
the seriousness of us
the dullness of us
buying stockings and carrots and gum
buying birth control
and toilet paper.
we should build a great bonfire
we should congratulate ourselves on our
we stand in long lines
we walk about
I like to prowl ordinary places
the people explain themselves to me
and I to them
a woman at 3:35pm
weighing purple grapes on a scale
looking at that scale very
she is dressed in a simple green dress
with a pattern of white flowers
she takes the grapes
puts them carefully into a white paper
that's lightning enough
the generals and the doctors may kill us
but we have
The Skimmer gave me this beautiful orchid for Valentine's Day. And it's still alive. Even though I unintentionally left behind my GROW DAMN IT rock when we moved. It was buried under three feet of snow down by the mailbox. The buyers will have a fun surprise this spring.
Anyway, that last little bud on the lower left bloomed today. It's thriving.
I've read recently that people think when a blogger quits writing it's because they've run out of things to say. That's not why I haven't been writing. I've got lots of things to say. Always have. Always will. It's just that I haven't felt like saying much of anything lately. I've felt a lot like Snoopy here.
Could have told you all that for the last eight weeks I've been taking my vitamins religiously. Go me. But, I haven't been wearing my glasses religiously. So, I recently discovered that the vitamins that I thought were my vitamins were actually The Skimmer's vitamins. I've been taking Centrum Silver for Men, 50+ once a day, every single day for eight weeks. And because, since I've been taking them I've been sleeping better than ever, I'm now afraid to quit taking them.
So, what does that mean?! What might I turn into?!
(Enter your own stereotypical, sexist behavior here!)
But, did I feel like telling you that when I discovered it?
No, I did not. Bleah!
All kinds of fun stuff like that's been happening to me and around me. And I need to start writing about all of it before I start to lose the ability to write at all. I used to write every day. And that seems to be something that writers should do. At least Oliver Miller thinks so:
4) You’re gonna have to write all the time. I wrote for about six hours a day, every day, for 15 years before I could quit my boring job and become an actual paid full-time writer.
Which reminds me of a funny story. In his excellent autobiography, animator Chuck Jones talks about his first day at art school. And on his first day, the “mean” professor said this to the class: “You have 200,000 bad drawings inside of you. The sooner you get rid of them, the better it will be for everyone.” Startled gasp! The class was horrified. And Chuck Jones, genius and creator of Bugs Bunny, etc., was horrified for a second too. Until he realized this: “Wait. I’ve already done at least 300,000 drawings.”
The same thing happened to me on my first day of school. Our professor said, “If you want to be a writer, you have to write for six hours a day. No exceptions.” And I was appalled, until I remembered that I did that already.
You’re gonna have to write all the time in order to get better. No one can make you do this. You’re going to have to make yourself do it.
I hate when I'm the only one who can make myself do something! But, instead of falling down on my bed and bleahing into my pillow, I'm going to give up on the bleahs and give it a try.
Stop back soon. This blogging thing could get fun again. And if not? We can all bleah together.