How I Am
By Jason Shinder
When I talk to my friends I pretend I am standing on the wings
of a flying plane. I cannot be trusted to tell them how I am.
Or if I am falling to earth weighing less
than a dozen roses. Sometimes I dream they have broken up
with their lovers and are carrying food to my house.
When I open the mailbox I hear their voices
like the long upward-winding curve of a train whistle
passing through the tall grasses and ferns
after the train has passed. I never get ahead of their shadows.
I embrace them in front of moving cars. I keep them away
from my miseries because to say I am miserable is to say I am like them.
I helped Daniel edit an essay last night and woke up at 5:30 a.m. realizing there was a crucial change that needed to be made in the first paragraph, so I got up to boot the computer and make sure it got done. Then I went back to sleep at 6:30, woke up at 7:30 when Adam left for school (driven by Paul since the weather was terrible), fell back asleep, woke up at 8:15 when a cat climbed on my legs...my point being that I did not precisely have a restful night and am feeling even more incoherent than usual. I thought about staying home all day and avoiding the rain, but someone was freecycling The Daily Show's three-disc "Indecision 2004" set and I knew Daniel would be thrilled if I got it for him.
So I drove to Kensington to pick it up, through a neighborhood that used to have quirky craft shops but now has mostly car repair places. Then I had a weird amount of time before I could pick Adam up so he didn't have to walk home in the rain. I stopped at Ritz Camera and ended up buying new bags for both my new superzoom and my DSLR -- I wanted one less cumbersome for the latter -- I have both a terrific backpack for travel and a somewhat bulky shoulder bag, and I wanted one of those new swing bags that go over one shoulder and swivel to make it easy to get the camera out. I thought I'd get the Tamrac, but when I tried them on, I liked the Lowepro better.
The bigger camera bag required a big plastic bag to get it home without getting rain on it. Of course as soon as the bag arrived, so did a cat.
In fact all three cats wanted a turn, but fearing the suffocation risk, their cruel owners quickly took the bag away. This led to much huffing and glaring.
Here you see all three cats being starved to death by owners taking too long to open the canned food.
Princess Cinnamon likes hers to be watered down and mushed till it's practically soup.
Whereas Queen Rosie, who has bad teeth and is the reason they get so much canned food, prefers to wolf hers down right out of the can, and then try to smush her face in the can to lick that clean.
Princess Daisy eats on the kitchen table. This started when she was a kitten, because otherwise Rosie would nudge her aside and eat her food and then throw it up.
These days they get along fine, since they both eat so fast that the other doesn't have time to steal.
We all watched the Kevin Kline-Jennifer Garner production of Cyrano de Bergerac on Great Performances on PBS, which I thought was pretty good though not great, but I was so happy to be able to see the production that my quibbles didn't ruin my enjoyment. Kline was memorable if a bit over-the-top at times, some of which can probably be attributed to putting a live stage performance on the small screen. Garner was okay, which is how I usually feel about her; flamboyant and colorful, not a swoony Roxane which is all to the good, but her highs and lows are so extreme that she seems to have a mood disorder. I liked Daniel Sunjata's Christian a lot, and Chris Sarandon as the Comte stole every scene he was in. Definitely worth watching if you get it free on PBS and probably worth buying on DVD for $24.95 which is a lot cheaper than a Broadway ticket.