Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tag, I'm It

A slow-moving blogger gets tagged, courtesy of Joseph K.

So, to business.

Ten years ago. I had to look at my resume to refresh the old memory bank. Miserable in Seattle, though not yet in servitude to Microsoft, deliriously thrilled about going in to work every day in part because it got me away from the Thing I was living with, known here as Mr. 8-ball. I was beginning to wonder if being a grownup meant emotions were dampened, muffled, my last passions already tasted and gone, if adulthood meant a flattening out, nothing left anymore but Duty, Responsibility, Compromise.

I was wrong.

Five years ago, I was roaring through the desert in a Miata with Mr. Billy-to-be. After a day of driving, we would emerge from the dusty car jangled and wind-buzzed, giddy with adventure. One month before, we had gotten engaged, and two weeks before, we had quit our jobs in Seattle. We were trying to see as much land as possible before a) I went to a reunion in London, and b) we moved to Hawaii. Did we have jobs in Hawaii? No, we did not. Did we have a place to live? Nope. Who could wish for more?

One year ago. Note: squeamish readers may wish to skip this bit. Our fantasies come true, we'd been a year in San Francisco, blissful, Mr. Billy and I both working jobs we loved, in love with the city, still thrilling to all the things we'd missed in Hawaii, when something broke loose inside me and I started bleeding. Or rather, didn't stop bleeding as I should have after my regular period in August. By mid-September, I'd been bleeding for a month and starting to feel a little less solid, a little like I was standing on the border between this world and...something else. I gushed through October and November.

I remembered a roommate of mine, years ago, showing me his mother's journal. His father didn't believe in doctors, and she had started bleeding. The last word in her diary, before she died, was: "Gush."

A day or two after making Thanksgiving dinner for several friends, the bleeding became hemhorraging, and it was a long slide from there to emergency rooms, medications, transfusions and surgeries. After one minor surgery, one major, and one middling, I still don't know what it was all about, but the bleeding has stopped, there's nothing left in there to bleed.

Yesterday, our friend Quigley, staying with us for a few days, treated us to brunch in a neighborhood café before disappearing into a cab to the airport.

Five songs I know all the words to. Huh. This is not necessarily a list of songs I love, because I can never understand the words in songs. These are songs I had the liner notes for.

Elvis Costello, "Beyond Belief". Leonard Cohen, "Sisters of Mercy". "America" from West Side Story. "O Come O Come Emmanuel," 15th century French hymn, I think. "In Our Lovely Deseret," Mormon hymn.

I wish I knew all the words to a Clash song, but there it is.

Five snacks. Grapes, cheese (any kind), Trader Joe's multigrain crackers, chocolate (dark), the brains of virgins.

Five Things I'd Do With $100 Million. Lewis Black would pay an excellent salary to someone to be his personal ball-washer. As I don't have balls, I'm stumped. Pay someone to tell Joseph K every day that the supermodels he's dating are really into him. Make a platinum (gold is so eighties) statue of my cat, and hire a staff to worship it and evangelize for the new religion.

Build good, solid low-income housing in New Orleans.

How many is that? Oh, oh, yes. Buy a house in San Francisco. Only way that will happen.

Five places I'd run away to. That special little room in my head. No, you can't come in. My grandparents' ranch in southern Utah, the way it was when I was a kid. The treehouse my dad designed (not built - yet) for the woods on his land in Pennsylvania. Lisbon. Almost anywhere in Italy.

Five things I'd never wear. Those heels-that-look-like-tennis-shoes thingies. A tube top. Slacks, just because of the sound of the word. Slaaaacks. Shudder. "Nude" nylon stockings, actually a disturbing orangey color. One of those little American flag pins (I'm more patriotic than you. How come you don't have a flag pin, huh? Do you hate freedom?)

Five favorite TV shows. The Daily Show. Deadwood. The Sopranos. Six Feet Under. Off.

Five greatest joys. You know who you are. Finishing the book will be up there too, soon.

Five favorite toys. Hm, the pink one with the little vibrating...ooooh, you didn't mean those kinds of toys? Stumped again.

Five people to tag. If you've stuck with me through this whole ordeal: The monkeys, obviously. Yes, that means monkey 0, bluemonkey, and mommonkey (Jill). monkey 0 and bluemonkey, I know your blogs are mostly fiction, so feel free to fictionalize, if you must. Blondemonkey, once you get on the blogwagon, consider yourself tagged.

Oh, I'm drunk on the power! To round it out, I'm tagging both Anne and Anna.

You're It.


anne said...

I hope you're doing much better now.
And yay for virgin brains! The best, right?

And HA! Gotcha! Done it already!

Joseph K said...

This is a cool tag, because it lets you learn more about the people whose words you've come to appreciate. Re a house in SF, I am not sure if even $100 million will cut it.

Caryn said...

Just got the tag. Thanks. Now I feel like one of the cool kids. :-) Will probably have to address it tomorrow or Wednesday, depending on the work schedule.

Caryn said...

Hey, Teach! Here's your homework! How'd I do? Did I get an A? Did I, did I, did I? Forgot to mention, I brought you a shiny red apple...

Here it is!

Chemical Billy said...

Ack, Anne - now you know what my memory is like.

Joseph - don't believe everything you read.

Anna - A+! (it was the apple that got you the +)

azuremonkey said...

Brains of virgins, yummmmm. And if it's Blanche you want to platinum-ize and turn into a deity, call me a disciple.

Sorry for the lateness; I'll get on this... soon-ish.