Sunday, September 22, 2002

Be a Brazen Girl as you Wander this World

Gini's this wild-haired, free woman from a previous generation-- the type I tend to bond with, financing some variant of an alternative lifestyle with a day gig where I'm bound to meet them. I'd recently hired her as an independent contractor on the gig where I originally met her, and she came into the office where I sat chatting with the arty guy from whom I'd determined I needed some graphics help on the project.

"Well! Aren't you cute?!" she addressed him, loud, on entry, to the shock of all, including herself. "Yes!" I concurred, emphatically, though silently, nodding and choking in ill-fitting managerial role, "that, precisely." And kudos for whatever it is that makes a 50-something year old white woman say that outdablue to a 30-something black man she'd apparently never seen before-- on the job.

I called the plumber finally, after missing the appointment weeks ago, then not returning his phone calls, as I was given to some Handy Hannah antic I'd hoped would eliminate the need for him. He responded within an hour. (I guess it was that longheld "e" sound, in "please" in the message I'd left that did the trick.) I told him the problem. He said "I'm just finishing up for the day, just got off a job..." I interjected, "Hey, I just rode a bike for 30 miles, some of 'em UP the George Washington Parkway, so I'm sure you can hang, right?" Brazen.

He oh!-ed then complained in recognition that I was among the reasons that he'd gotten held up in traffic, taking an hour and a half to get from Anacostia to South Dakota Avenue (having to go by way of the Rock Creek Parkway!) I recalled what a fellow biker said to exasperated drivers in the 12th Street tunnel earlier that day and said it to him "Wow. You should get a bike!"
He laughed, came by an hour later after picking up the requisite part, commended my biking feat and the plumbing work I'd done, finished the job-- and didn't charge me.

I Only Make Jokes to Distract Myself From the Truth

"Your lats are well-developed." The instant he said this to me, kneading where he was, I knew that what had been aching were in fact, my obliques. My lats are those things I know not to even think of working, because it seems 1 set of 12 anything sends buttons flying off my shirt and me looking rather...manly, though busty, just a few days later.

My lats were those things that kept me out of the dress for robbie roo's wedding; the dress I'd so cavalierly told her dressmaker from a 500 mile distance--'oh, make it by a size 6. Mama makes all my stuff by a six, sends it up here, and it fits fine!' Yeah, well, even Mama couldn't help this time. The dress that was allegedly a size 6 would zip no farther than mid-back, nor shimmy far enough past my hips to reach the hem to my ankles; nor had the alleged seamstress left enough fabric in any seam to be let out. Everyone was a good sport about it, it was only my vanity at stake after all--there were even trial dress exchanges.

I exhaled loudly, whew! smiling broadly--the day had been saved, I'd leave my peeps with pride intact-- Houser's dress fit--a little loosely, but hey--better than the alternative. Then I heard the zipper in my dress halt halfway up her back (apparently she's got well-developed lats, too.)
So, the jig was up, no way out offered. I styled a satiny fuschia-like, halter-type, mid-calf wonder, painfully slowly down the aisle at robbie roo's wedding; the one she'd been planning in minute detail since we were in Mrs. Ingle's sixth-grade class, scratching out groom and groomsmen's names and penning in others according to the crush of the week. The video's a hoot, I hear.

After living so long in the dark, a glimpse of light will make you giddy

Holden (not his slave name) wrote that in The Good Girl, a twisted flick with some funny lines, all delivered rather well; this could be Jennifer Aniston's launchpad (not that she's hurting for money, access or dates, or anything!) Tini shoulda turned right, still, just to shake it up a bit, the road less traveled and all. Turning left, with all that comes after, Hollywoodized a perfectly cool little story.

I was blissed out Friday night, flying downhill in the woods, my arms flung up, grinning so wide the full moon competed for space. A short while later though, after I'd been momentarily dropped, I realized I hadn't been relying on my own light as we trekked through the woods. Left to my own device, I found the light was far too diffuse. While I could be seen from every direction (according to the brochure) I couldn't see more than a foot, maybe two, in front of me, which wasn't real useful on a trail twisting through woods, at night. Good to know.

It occurred to me that maybe I should trade in my effusive revelry--
Woods. Water. Full Moon. My God, the absolute splendor of it all! A blue heron glided overhead, then folded its huge fringed wings and landed for awhile a yard away from where we sat; it gave us a shout-out when it left. On the trail, I'd sweat and pump up some steep, sinewy grade, refusing to stand up, sometimes refusing to gear down, then be rewarded at the top by the sound of water rushing and splashing down nearby rocks.

--for a little fear, and I did; for a second. But! The only way out is through, so I pedaled, slowly, each revolution giving me just enough light to see which way the trail wound in front of me, allowing me to steer left or right if need be, just in time. Soon enough, I had shared light again, and giddiness restored. 20 miles by moonlight.

At the beginning of the ride, when the moon was on our side, I regretted not having a video camera strapped to me. The canopy was so beautiful, freeze-framing vignettes in front of me I can still summon. I overheard a woman say recently, "that's how you know you living right" and I wondered to what she referred. How do you know? On this night, I thought, this must be how I know-- all this, and I'm not even being a Good Girl, necessarily. Mercy.

The Marathon Man once asked me why I like trees so much. I'on'know. The symmetry of the branches, it's like sculpture... (the more moved I am, the less articulate.) Turns out there is a reason. Chinese Astrology, (and promulgated in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Feng Shui), contends it's my element, based on my kua number.

Elemental--b (1) : of, relating to, or being the basic or essential constituent of something .

The blinds have arrived, and the top-down upgrade works just as I'd planned. I let them about a third of the way down the picture window, still high enough to exclude the driveway and street, and there...just as I'd envisioned, perfectly framed, the dogwood, foreground, then the maple. It's quite lovely, from where I sit. I feel so free.

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