Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Big-Boned and Fey"

My day yesterday:

7AM: Drag sleep deprived self to gym
9AM: Eat borsht out of a travel coffee mug in the car (gym parking lot), which was mine for the day! (Yay, auto body shop! Fixed the huge dent in the car that was caused by some American teenager sideswiping my seventy-year-old father-in-law in the car two weeks ago.)
9:10AM: Scribble some "epiphanies" (which today don't seem that profound) in the little "Pleasant Goat" journal I bought in China two years ago.
9:15AM: Drive to U-district listening to a CD of all the Tori Amos songs my ex-boyfriends made fun of.
9:40AM: Yay, Presidents Day! Free parking in the U-District! Make flashcards of Russian noun and adjective declensions at Solstice until my brain wants to explode.
11:45AM: Walk ten blocks north to Russian bookstore, which claims to open at 10AM, but never does. Take crappy cell phone photos of fascinating Ave. graffiti on the way.
12:10PM: Russian bookstore is not open. Sad face. (As a beloved little student of mine would say).
12:11PM: Turning and walking back south, run into gnome-like Russian bookstore owner on the sidewalk. He had just stepped out to buy cigarettes, he says. "Now remind me your name, miss, and I'll see if we have what you're looking for."
12:20PM: After holding my childishly written Cyrillic list at a strange angle four inches from his cloudy, impaired eyes, the bookstore owner goes upstairs to the stockroom to look for Auktyon (avant-garde punk band) CD's, leaving me with a stack of other CD's he thinks I might like to listen to on a malfunctioning, dry-soda-stain splattered "boombox" plugged in on the floor. I sit down in my long fairy skirt and attempt to make the thing work, with partial success. Meanwhile, an elderly, rotund, 5'2" Russian customer with an impish smile makes it his personal duty to hover over me and attend to any needs I might have in the absence of the store owner. Every time I look up at him over my shoulder, he is grinning down at me in a way that makes me feel like I'm made of marzipan. When I stand up, my shoe gets caught on my skirt, and I hear a ripping noise. Lord knows what that old man can see now from where he stands behind me.
12:30PM: I now own a 2-disk mp3 set of Auktyon's complete work from 1986-2002!!!!!!! Spend another half hour talking to the bookstore owner about the ideal borsht, Russian alcoholism, Venedikt Erofeev's Moscow-Petushki (semi-autobiographical book about a drunk in Moscow who spends his days thinking he'll catch a glimpse of the Kremlin, but whose plans are always derailed by alcohol), and Vladimir Vysotsky (1970's poet, actor, and musician extraordinaire).
1:15PM: Return a stack of of Russia/USSR related books and DVD's to UW Libraries. (Among them the movie Wings, a 1966 film about a middle-aged woman who finds herself dreaming sadly of the days when she was a pilot in WWII. Absolutely beautiful.)
2PM: Meet an old friend of mine at Sureshot. This friend is a calming angel on my shoulder. We talk for hours about all the ways in which he is more of a woman than I am, and I am more of a man than he is. We tell each other all our recent fears and epiphanies. We watch two pitbulls almost get into a fight in the middle of the coffee shop. Our conversation ends with me telling him that what makes a man a perfect lover has nothing to do with what that man does during sex. The most beautiful, tender lover I have ever had was the one whose fingers danced like ballerinas across my skin when we WEREN'T having sex. My friend writes these words down in the black notebook he always carries. He is a poet, with the most beautiful hands I have ever seen.
7:30PM: Meet another old friend of mine for baked potatoes and a beer. This friend has always been and will always be a fairy devil on my shoulder. The beautiful trouble he will get me into someday has once again been postponed, but in the long run, it is probably inevitable.
11PM: Drive home listening to a Vyacheslav Butusov CD that I also bought from the Russian bookstore. (Justification: $5 off coupon the bookstore owner's pretty young blond wife gave me back when I bought a bilingual Pushkin book several months ago.) As I drive, I conclude that the future of my life is as clear as a bug-splattered windshield.
11:30PM: Lean over and kiss my husband, pure beautiful soul, on the cheek a thousand times as he sleeps. Then go turn on the computer. Spend the next two hours listening to Auktyon mp3's, thinking of how I really should be going to bed, and how I really should be doing something productive with my life, then shrug and think that I only live once, why not let it be beautiful? I know that if there is one skill I possess, it's making up for lost time. I always meet my responsibilities in the end.
2AM: Fall asleep wrapped warmly, lovingly in my husband's arms. (All else fades in comparison.) Pass the night dreaming of sweet, adoring, asexual love with the gnome-like Russian bookstore owner, except in the dream, his body is strange, twisted, and deformed, but adored by me all the same.


  1. You ARE living a productive life. Reading this day made me gasp, smile, laugh and sigh. And end it exhausted, as you must have been.

    I think you are doing exactly what you should be doing right now.

  2. Was this a busy day for you? Or is this type of schedule why your 7am self was sleep deprived?

    Until you mentioned the film "Wings", I completely forgot about that comic book I told you about at the last writing group. It is called "the Night Witches" and was part of Garth Ennis' Battlefields series.