By Fran Lock
I might not wash today. I might
let the weekend slide into gratifying
anarchy. I am supposed to be thankful,
this town is not among the true nightmare
portions of the world. A roof over my head
and quite sufficient shine on the silver,
thanks. I might, though. Haven’t you seen it?
Your city pokes a crafty fang at a ﬂight path.
It’s my city too, I suppose. You think you
are in control. Idiot! To name is to own, not
to know. And now we are so used to blood we
miss the silly crimson pity of it. I dream of
hardmen, the torturer’s tweezers; of scholars
supplanting their teeth in basement gardens.
It’s there, but you miss it. I don’t miss
a thing. It’s always there, the aura before
a seizure, inside my expendable circuitry,
deeper than dog years down, always, even
always. I dream of the made face coming
apart in my hands like wet bread. I might not
dress today. I might suck sauce from the bottle.
Here’s mud in your gloria mundi, and a blue
blowtorch to your extremities, dear. How do
you feel about that? Or the massive enigma
of love? Does anything shock you? I
am supposed to be grateful, the shirt on
my back and quite enough coal in the cellar,
thanks. But a grand mal growls at the back
of the mind, and the back of the mind is
a bottle bank, love. We come and go, stooped
in their palisades. The rich are always with us,
their hexentanz and agonies. Here’s Kate, we all
love Kate, oblivious, bombshell, and didn’t
she used to be us? Not me. Your city, its nicotine
ﬁngers, windows lit, yellow and sickly. Here’s
where we crouch our snouts to the wall. I might
not leave the house today. Haven’t you seen
what’s out there? Their vaunting faith; the awful
punitive spring. I dream of muti and suitcases;
grown men stabbed in their Camden hamlets, eyes
without faces, world without end. It’s there, still
there, but you do not see it. I see everything. I see
it all. And the billy-born-drunks in the house next
door are shouting again. Inadmissible ﬁgments
slurred through the wall.
Friday was quite cold but lovely -- wind chill around freezing but a nearly cloudless sky. I had a bunch of things to get done in the morning and Paul had Zoom conferences, so we had lunch late. I had a bunch of clothes to sort now that it's almost spring and the various charities are picking things up again. When Paul was done with work, we went for a walk at Locust Grove, where we saw doves and downy woodpeckers as well as some snowdrops and trees that looked like they were thinking about budding. We had chicken and chorizo paella for dinner.
I absolutely loved the finale of Wandavision -- I wanted a story about Wanda and Vision, not about Mephisto, Magneto, or whoever else was predicted to appear, and I love that it was another witch who was Wanda's main foil (unlike Hayward, I refuse to call Agatha a villain: "There'll always be pitchforks for ladies like us"). I also love that Tony and Thor were both right about Vision being so fundamentally good that he doesn't even need Shuri's download. I loved that it stayed close to its themes of grief encompassing an entire world; I loved the theories and don't care that a lot of them weren't meant to be.
And we watched Coming 2 America, which -- having just watched the original the night before -- is quite derivative and more than a little corny, but has a lot of enormously fun scenes with great cast additions (shameless Leslie Jones, authoritarian Wesley Snipes, racist Colin Jost), and serves the female characters a lot better than the first. Some of the African stereotypes would be painful if they weren't played for parody -- I mean, the neighboring country is called Nextdoria, lions and giraffes wander around the palace -- and the things that bugged me most about the monarchy are also things that bugged me in Black Panther.