380: what did it say?

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How I work
How I work,
originally uploaded by missjasmine.

1. something to start you thinking

“Longing. Longing for a wave of love that would stir in me. That’s what makes me clumsy. The absence of pleasure. Desire for love. Desire to love.”

2. countdown

I spend a lot of time thinking about New Year’s Eve, and how what you do on that night of nights is supposed to set the tone for the year. I always say that I don’t believe that shit, but I’m always a little anxious when the clock strikes twelve. Because instead of kissing a hot guy, I am often smiling into a glass of champagne or shoving a potsticker into my mouth. I wonder if anyone’s ever looked at me at the moment and said “You know, if she didn’t have that cheese straw in her mouth, I’d kiss her right now.”

3. Crap or French?

I had to see something to cheer me up after Friday night’s showing of “Brokeback Mountain” with Andrew and Rozi. I felt this especially after talking about it with Damien (who saw it) and Jacinda (who hasn’t yet). Jacinda made me tell her the whole movie, and I did, though I hate giving away the whole thing when I think she should see it for herself. I told her the theater was pretty silent when the movie was over — no excited chatter about Oscar nominations or mumbled comments about the late hour and the cold night air. Jacinda said that the only movie she ever saw where she believed people were so stricken as to be mute was “The Joy Luck Club”. It may sound cheesy, but that movie gets me every time. Jacinda said when she saw it, she noticed a large scary looking man bawling his eyes out, a gun in a holster just visible under the legs of his trousers.

So I thought that I read that the 4pm Saturday show at the Music Box was Sing-Along “White Christmas”. But I only discovered that it was “It’s A Wonderful Life” just before I got to the theater. Jacinda was all for seeing it, but Joe and I were not so much. We elected to see “Innocence”, playing in theater 2 at 4:20. This gave us enough time to stand on the long-ass line for popcorn. We killed time by talking about Joe’s recent trip to Las Vegas, perverts, and Roman Polanski. We didn’t know for sure if he was allowed back in the United States, prompting Jacinda to remark that the US should engage in a “Secret Santa” gift exchange with France. France gives us Roman Polanski, and we give them Henry Kissinger. The fussy-looking mother standing in front us didn’t like us before, and she certainly wasn’t our biggest fans after that remark. She tugged her child a little closer to her and glared at me.

So the movie was not about the Holocaust like we had guessed. It was about a school for girls between the ages of 6 and 12, a boarding school or orphanage where girls play, take biology classes, and dance. They arrive at school in coffins, and the eldest girls disappear every night at 9pm, only to return the next day before dawn. Girls run away — some succeed, some don’t. The only adults are two teachers and a few old women who serve as housekeepers. A headmistress appears once a year to take away one of the 9 year olds. It was all allegory and metaphor. It wasn’t especially good to me, though Jacinda seemed to really hate it. If nothing else, we were all confused about whether or not the movie was actually total crap, or was it merely “French”? The idea that our idea of crap would actually be could be good by stereotypical French taste made for interesting conversation on the way back to my house, like we’re just boorish Americans who can’t appreciate Jerry Lewis’s comic genius. Ri-ight.

4. gin

Marlowe Berry-Baker is a pimp. Marlowe is Rob and Jan’s dog, a charming terrier-poodle mix who moved from lap to lap, snuggled with whoever picked him up, and ate bits of carrot. Jacinda kept telling me I should get a dog, and I want to, but I’m not sure if Molly would be cool with that. I would love to borrow Marlowe every once in a while. He could come over, we’d have snacks (gingerbread for me, dog biscuits for him, turkey bacon for the both of us), and he’d help me write something good.

I had some dessert, which I had sworn previously to avoid. Sr. Pancreas didn’t want to be bothered that night. But I could not resist the homemade macaroons, and otherwise, I was pretty responsible — I drank gin and club soda instead of gin & tonic. Do you know how much sugar tonic has? But I didn’t spend all my time eating and drinking. Caught up with the girls, chatted with some new folks, broke a glass. Whoops.

After a few drinks, Jacinda and I got to talking, like we do, about dumb shit. This particular night, we talked about our respective urban upbringings in houses that were often short on cash but long on hijinks. While Jacinda and Jalissa’s mother (“JaMamma”) would punish their misbehaviors by making them write essays about why what they did was wrong, my mother would throw her flip-flops at us kids when we were bad. Fortunately, Mom had bad aim. Unfortunately, she had a talent for humiliating us in public. Armed with impeccable (for her, not for us) timing, she was unstoppable.

Like, my sister and I and the lame-ass girls from down the block used to crouch behind the front door to our apartment, the second story of a semi-detached two family house in Brooklyn, to eavesdrop on the surly teenage boy who lived next door, and his hot skater friends. I think we thought they were real skaters because they knew how to do ollies off the front stoop onto the sidewalk. And this was before skateboarding was mainstream so they were like real rebels to us. We listened for our names, hoping that Eric noticed the Vision Streetwear stickers we stuck to our bookbags, or that Efren noticed Malou’s new formfitting t-shirt that she wasn’t allowed to wear to church. Of course they never did. Either they talked about actual skateboarding, stealing cigarettes from Efren’s dad, or the squirrel Eric was trying to keep as a pet. And whenever it seemed like we were going to hear something good, crouching in the dark entryway, our ears pressed to the mail slot, that’s when my mother would appear at the top of the stairs, flip on the lights, and yell down the stairs. “Oi! Jus-meen! Joh-say-leen! Are you ‘abing your period again? I got a coupon por some Always at the C-Town!” At which point the guys, having heard everything, would start laughing hysterically and start banging on our door. We wouldn’t slink up the stairs until we could hear their skateboards carrying them away.

Naturally, I relate this to Jacinda, and she’s wetting her pants, she’s laughing so hard. Which means that, in the on-going contest to see who says the funniest thing that day, I won. But then, of course, this story only makes me look like a freakin’ idiot, which means that I lose.

5. the things i do for like

a. I actually watched “The Day After Tomorrow”, that’s how much I like Jake Gyllenhaal right now. Patrick, you were right about the wolves — freakin’ hilarious.

b. I want to throw a party with the theme “Bougie Nights”, if only so I play all the freestyle and early hip-hop I want.

c. I turn 30 next year. A lot of wheels are spinning in my head. Lots of movement. But we know how I make plans then don’t actually execute any of them. Of course, I quit smoking, cut out sugar (almost), and lost about 25 pounds this year. Who knows what could happen if, for once, I say shit… and then actually do it?

d. Rob and Jan have, what I feel, is a real grown-up apartment. Properly framed artwork, books everywhere, and charming pets lurking nearby.


But we, when we feel, evaporate; oh we
breathe ourselves out and away; from ember to ember
our fragrance grows fainter.

Al Green – You Ought to Be with Me; Mobb Deep – Shook Ones, Pt. 2; Rufus Wainwright – The Makers Make; The Weird Sisters – Magic Works



~ by Jasmine on December 19, 2005.

2 Responses to “380: what did it say?”

  1. Did you decide what to do for NYE yet?

  2. Of course not. I mean, I committed to a party on the South Side, but I can totally see my laziness (and my fear of being the only single girl at a party full of couples) doing me in, and keeping me home with some Chinese food and “Donnie Darko” on DVD.

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