By Karen D. Rickenbach
Rogue angels chiffon my nights, twelve arms flailing,
Those long whispers of limbs that curl a pale blood around my throat.
They are maddened by my breath, as constant as God’s bare foot.
I saw their burning flesh drop and felt the slow vibration of death,
A hum-drone known to the ages.
Jet fuel streamed under the lime-stripe of a firecoat, poof!
Then I ate them, I swallowed their stardust exploding on glass,
One hundred freight trains crashing.
Come tonight, I’ll cream your skin and feed you cowfoot and beans.
There will be a love song, then you could find my keys and my checkbook and maybe
In my room everything would feel new, like a red birth or a
Muscled and panting fish gill, or just green grass that serves as a bed
If not, we'll talk about it when I get there.
The writer of that poem is a WTC survivor (56th Floor, North Tower). The poem itself won Brooklyn College's Donald G. Whiteside Poetry Award. My post about 9/11 from three years ago is here, friends-locked as it contains personal stuff. The woman I was having breakfast with that morning is the one whose daughter broke her leg and could not come to the Bar Mitzvah. We had a dilemma about whether to invite them, because our event was before their event and our kids are no longer really friends, and she and I have had a strange relationship ever since that morning which it is hard to believe was five years ago. Her son's Bar Mitzvah is next weekend (my younger son is wailing in despair that he has to sit through ANOTHER one so soon), and this will be the most time we have spent with their family since our children were very young. Yet I always think of her quite a lot on September 11th and I imagine I will for the rest of my life.
Am far more fried tonight than I was last night when I was still flying; it was a long, strange day, starting with brunch with out-of-town relatives and friends of my parents' that was quite good but involved more carbohydrates than I probably should have consumed after Saturday. My in-laws are friendly with my father's brother and his wife, whom they have seen in L.A. several times while visiting apaulled's brother, so both sides of the family mesh very nicely and I love that I can get all relatives from either branch together and everyone likes everyone else. I also saw my parents' very good friends from New York, though barely saw my sister at all this trip except on the dance floor, since she didn't get to brunch until we were almost ready to leave (her daughters were staying with my parents but she and her husband were at a hotel downtown).
Anyway, I ate bagels and kugel and leftover cake from the candlelighting yesterday (which we did with playing cards, not candles, heh) and ended up with a sugar-glut headache, which I did not need given that our shower broke first thing in the morning -- the thing that pulls up to divert the water from the tub isn't pulling up -- and then the microwave broke in the evening! The latter seems to be completely dead, the clock won't go on or anything, and flipping the circuit breaker doesn't do anything, and we can't try unplugging and replugging it without taking apart the entire stove since it's built in above the fan. If it's not one thing it's another! So now I need a plumber and an electrician, in addition to someone who does cement work now that the chipmunk babies have moved out from under the front step, and know how I will be spending the day tomorrow! :p
We did have some nice feedback, like from the sister of one of my mother's best friends -- originally my parents did not have her and her husband on the guest list, but apaulled and I are actually friendlier with them than we are with the sister who's my mother's good friend; her husband helped apaulled get a job when we first moved back to DC after living in Chicago, and when we run into them, they are always very conversational and remember what's up with our kids and stuff (I used to babysit for their kids). And the boy whose grandfather had died came to the party anyway and apparently had a really nice time, which is particularly sweet to hear because other than our son, he didn't really know any of the kids there; had met our younger son a couple of times and one of the boys who is a year behind him in Hebrew school, but he goes to a different public school than any of our kids' friends. Also apparently impressed my uncle's son, who is my younger son's age even though he's my first cousin (uncle also has two daughters near my age from previous marriage, both of whom have babies -- originally they had planned to come to the Bar Mitzvah but decided they couldn't deal with flying restrictions, particularly the possibility of having formula and diaper rash medicine confiscated).
At the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, one of the jugglers takes a break in the middle of a crossroads. This is pretty much the way I feel right now. *g*
Watched Brotherhood, find Tommy SO much more sleazy than Michael right now. And I despise Freddy -- all that "I love my dead gay son" routine (to quote Christian Slater from Heathers, "Wonder how he'd react if his son had a limp wrist with a pulse") and then he goes and murders his son's lover, which sure looks like displaced homophobia to me, not just needing someone to blame. Interesting that the show has gone out of its way to indicate that Michael, who is prejudiced against nearly every ethnicity not his own, has no particular prejudices against gay people though I bet he'd have exploited Freddy's son the same way he'd exploit anyone else connected with Freddy. Somehow I find this less problematic than Tommy's using a funeral for political shenanigans. Sure I'm sorry that his family is so strained for money, but I just can't warm up to him or see him as really working for the good of the Hill rather than the good of himself. It's like his wife and children are extensions of himself rather than independent people he wants to support (hey, he should talk to Freddy, though I think Freddy's going down...I just think he's taking Michael with him, and Mom's secret boyfriend is going to wreck everything for everyone).
Must go sleep and brace self for tracking down plumber, electrician, etc. Sigh. At least we successfully tracked down the woman who made the Bar Mitzvah centerpieces so she can make a replacement Kirby for our still-upset son, and this one will be able to hang on a wall!