Charlie Brown in the Dead of Night
By Melanie Jordan Rack
This howling makes me shiver, but it ought to be beautiful.
I wish he would stop it. And you're out there, too,
little girl, smiling over sticker albums and apple slices.
Who is it takes care of us? Who mends trees
when their limbs crack, who thinks of a question like that?
I know worry is a way of filing, but the folders are too long
or too narrow and none of my frets ever fit. The space
around my head at night is easier to work with,
blankets piled on top of me so I can barely see the rise
of my chest. They don't mend them, that's who.
I don't know which is worse, the barking or the silence.
Tomorrow, maybe, I can win your eye
with animal crackers or a pencil with sparkling foil clefs.
And what good is that, the blessing eye that might not see
me surrounded by autumn's energy and nearly bursting
with rhapsodic blood? It's a lot to look for.
There's a lot to see in people, the way they hover
at the edge of knowing and oblivion, the way they keep on
clipping hair and making appointments, clocks with hearts.
It's definitely a tick when I see you, your dress smoothed
over invisible knees, tick the way I feel you know me.
I've danced with girls before, swaying lightly back
and forth, just on the edge of what it means
to fill my body, of being poured in like wet cement.
Then worry filled up my shoes, but it was almost pretty,
a haze like sundown or chiffon before I had to sit down.
If life is a series of escapes to the punchbowl, I want to ask
out loud, is this it? But what kind of question is that?
I'll be fixed tomorrow when the day is mine, opened up
like the white cream of a cookie. Keep trading
lunches and mittens with me-what is love but one
big cloakroom-because mine is the longing
of a Hercules let loose, mine is the fear of a burst
oil candle, bright with flame and dim with the rupture.
He'll keep it up. Until I'm out there barefoot
with flashlight and dogdish, or until sunlight sticks up
unruly, ready as a willing head waiting to be combed.
A joyous Candlemas-Imbolc-Brigantia Festival to you all. I am sorry to report that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning this winter will continue indefinitely. Do we think Phil is a Gay Rodent? Or are groundhogs not rodents? If I lived closer to him, I would write slashy photo essays about him, at any rate.
Yesterday (as you all probably know already, even those living on the far side of the world, because television leaves no one unscathed) was Superbowl Sunday, meaning that I spent the evening watching a football game at the home of my oldest friend, her husband and their three children, plus what had to be close to 100 other people, though they were never all there at the same time as some came late because various family members were busy and nearly everyone, including us, left at halftime because all of our kids would have school in the morning. It's always great fun and total chaos -- there's a ton of food (trays of buffalo wings, wraps, little turkey and ham pita sandwiches, fruit, cheese, etc., plus about fourteen desserts), two enormous rooms with TVs in one corner and vast crowds of kids playing with toys everywhere else, a smaller room with a computer and games where my elder son spent the entire party...my husband and I are among the few who actually watch the game.
There are a few other people from high school whom I see every year at this party, and the husband of one of them started to tell me a piece of horrific gossip about someone else in my graduating class before his wife shushed him and demanded that he stop gossipping. So my one yearly opportunity to get real dirt on someone I grew up with has passed. This is just as well, as New England is my in-laws' team and my husband was entirely focused on the game during the fairly boring first half, the highlight of which was the Troy preview (side note: yeah, Hugh and David, but Van Helsing looks really, really cheesy). We drove home during the halftime show and watched the really exciting second half while trying to wrestle the kids to bed.
Every year at this party they have a betting pool -- everyone old enough to have a clue what's going on must contribute a dollar and try to pick the winning team and the total number of points scored. My younger son said he didn't care, so I picked a number for him that seemed an absurdly high point spread, and then picked a somewhat lower number for myself. Guess who won, and got the phone call telling him so, and now has an appalling amount of play money?
Here is an article and, more importantly, pictures from the Evening Standard British Film Awards (click the link in the article) at which Paul Bettany and Max Pirkis took home trophies. Ohh the longish hair and stubble on Paul...I cannot resist. I am assuming any award anyone wins from M&C has to be good news for a possible sequel and possibly a kick-ass DVD package.
Yeah, I haven't left the internet...haven't even left fandom. I think things have calmed down. But I think it's a safe bet that you won't be seeing any fic from me longer than a drabble for some time, just so you're warned.