Friday, August 12, 2011

Never too late to quit


On the eve of the first week of my public service masters program, I can’t help but be near the point of nausea as I listen to the never-ending drone of bought-and-paid-for political candidates and their asinine supporters as they fill the sound waves of my beloved country with self-centered, money-mongering decrees insisting that the way to bring our country out of our dysfunction is by continuing to ease taxes and fill the coffers of big money corporations and various government agencies that are controlled and manipulated by these corrupt firms thereby bringing “the power back to the people”. I know that to be an informed citizen, I should listen to and thereby respect this entitled, ignorant and greed- filled perspective of many of my country(wo)men. Yet, it is my patriotism and sense of opportunity which I have come to know well as a privileged American citizen that deeply regrets and repudiates such short-sighted, entitled and disgusting attempts at preserving the spoiled standard of living that is unfathomable by the majority of our fellow human beings worldwide with whom we are obligated to share resources and virtue. One day the lights of our materiality may be shut off and our credit cards no longer functional. Will this be what forces those of us who are unwilling to look around and inward to quit sucking our selfish thumbs?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Reading


Although I should be spending my free time preparing for classes this fall by reading books like The Public and Its Problems, by John Dewey, my heart is enlivened with the quest to understand a few other things, central to my personal life. In the past months upon my return to the United States, I have met a few men who seem to be excited to have met me and plead that they want to see me again in the future, the excited feeling being mutual. But in all of the few cases where this has happened, the man seems to fade into non-existence with dispassionate text messages or nothing altogether. I then implore my guy friends to help me understand how a man can lead me to believe, for hours in a night, that we have a chemistry and that this guy is truly inspired to court me, as I just might have been the “smartest and sexiest woman [ they’ve] ever met”, only to completely abandon this notion and turn into a schmuck, by impersonating an overgrown, na├»ve school boy. Most tell me that the cu de grace is that the guy may only have wanted to know you in the “now”, like tonight, if you know what I am saying!

I say this with the most earnest attempt at understanding and compassion, but come on Fellas, how can a simple one-night-stand with someone impressive and cognizant fulfill your desires? I would say you need to expand your horizons as you, my friend, are a victim of low, low expectations, for there is oh so much more she has for you. But that is okay, our friends will reassure us that, though you seemed to be the real deal, you actually did us a favor in never calling or even lamely “friending” us on facebook. It means as much also to say that I never believe it when someone says that men are pigs, expressed by this case in point, where one might hypothesize that this “chemistry” lasts only so long as I go along with the one-night-stand plan. I mean not to demoralize the entire stratum of men, in the romantic, courtship context, as my few, cherished boyfriends past are the utmost in what it means to be a gentleman and a man. So I shall take a break from these love affairs in Neverland and go back to my summer reading list.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

3 Cigarettes in an Ashtray


Patsy Cline’s, Three cigarettes in an ashtray, is playing on my way home from The Hill. I laughed out loud to myself as this song began to play, thinking of how sobby and gritty her songs are and how sad and excitedly she sings them. I am back in St.Louis, it is a new-old town for me. I raced other joggers today in Forest Park, amazed that the trail was cleared in our snowy winter. Later getting a pint, or two, with a dear childhood friend, I felt the peace that always sweeps over me driving into the heart of a city with the cityscape reminding us that we are home, safe. The brick city houses, full of windows, with steep, short front yards are like my family, they have been there since my beginning and promise to offer comfort and protection as I, like the city, grow and change.
Yet no longer are we kids. We act like grown-ups, knowing when we should go home and looking forward to a fresh, productive morning. Many friends are moving out of my memory dream of my life as a St.Louisan, with kids, mortgages, bedtimes, yet this city comforts me, even as I drive Frida, my trusty, funky, metal companion, down a quiet Clayton Rd, knowing how to get anywhere by heading North, South, East, West.
I am in my nest, a big, beautiful brick home behind Tilles Park, welcomed by the people who knew me when I learned how to navigate ice-covered turnpikes and realized just how important it is to stay in touch. I hear Saturday Night Live is on in the living room downstairs, I am home.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Can I ask you a question?




I lost my earring at the end of this night. They wanted us to leave so quickly, after I just pulled up a seat. His name is John and I was growing enamored. My friend was his teacher, but I sassed him asking why he made a face. That was the start of it all. He told me people always acknowledge him from above like they know him. It was true, it happened all night. Sitting there with him, he was a celebrity, Mr. Popular. Though I learned his name was John from all the people calling out to him as they passed, I don’t think he ever knew my name, really. The teasing kept us taught, intrigued, engaged, alive. I followed him to the bar outside for another round. He reassured me as I tried to decipher the path of least resistance to the bar and waited for a clearing. There, leaning over, finally feeling in his space. When we sat back down, I ventured to the next level, “Can I ask you a question?”, “Yes, I dove into a pool my senior year of high school and hit the bottom.” I wanted to find out so much more, to delve into this source of strength, to absorb wisdom and grace. I asked him how tall he was, 6’1 in real life he told me. When my friends told me it was time to go, I kissed his cheek, knowing I was in the presence of someone great. When I asked him what he was going to do, now he had finished with college, he replied, keep being awesome.
A few blocks down the street, I turned back to find my missing earring. When I returned through the back door, he had it in his lap. I leaned down and kissed him and he told me he thought it was destiny, safe in his presence, owning his life and immeasurable in his effect.