Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year, o best beloved!

readers, friends, countrymen,

thank you for lending me your eyes.
i wish you every happiness.

may your dreams come true-especially the dream you tell NO ONE AT ALL,
the one you keep hidden away because if you are afraid if it DOES NOT come true,
you will never stop crying. so you hide it.

stop hiding yourself. you are beautiful.

faith, trust, pixie dust.


ps: the rainbow cookies came out AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mamzelle Stops Straddling the Fence and Straddles Mr C




"Then sleep, love. I'll wake you."

She smiled, slid down further into the bed and pulled up the covers. She looks so lovely, Mr C thought, running his hand along her side, her thighs. He wanted her again. After waiting so long, how could he not want her every second? And pressed up against him like this, her skin still slightly pink, their mingled sweat coating her, he couldn't stop touching her. It had been everything he had dreamed of and more, so much more.

A few hours later...

"Mamzelle, wake up," Mr C said, kissing her neck, his arms around her. "Wakey, wakey, love. It's ten to twelve. I promised to wake you so we could greet the new year together." He loved the way she slept, that satisfied half-smile on her lips. He'd stayed up, watching her, experimenting. Every time he'd kissed her, touched her, no matter where, she had smiled, rolled towards him. Her ears, her shoulder, the curve of her hip, back of her knee, whether he kissed, licked, stroked or laid his hand flat on her, the warmth of his palm against her, she had turned, parted her legs. "Mamzelle, almost time."

"Mmmm, I'm up." She turned her head around to kiss him, but kept her body spooned into his. "And so are you, Mr C. Not quite finished yet?" She nudged him with her leg, spreading her legs slightly. He pressed into her slightly, then shifted so he could roll her onto her back, touch her, kiss her. "Shall we start the new year with a bang, imprint more memories, hmm, shall we? Oh god, yesssssss..."

Mr C, not bothering to answer her, had lowered his head, tracing the veins in her skin. He paused, hearing her "oh god", flipped around so he could kiss her mouth. As he slid into her, he whispered, "Happy new year, Mamzelle. First of many, love. Happy happy year."

"Hard to Cry with a Gun in Your Mouth"

This was written a few months ago, around the time I started this blog. I posted it, but I worried that it was too controversial, too revealing. Now, I read it to remind myself where I was, what I was feeling and to wonder at how far I've come. More than that, it warns me not to go there again, not to let myself fall into that deep state of despair, not to believe everything I hear no matter how much I want to believe. This was a cry for help and there was no help forthcoming. Only I can help me, can save me. The human spirit is a miraculous thing, a marvel. What the mind and body can endure and triumph over, how the soul can find one tiny spark of light in the darkest pit, it is truly Awesome. Miles to go...

July 5 2007

"Hard to Cry with a Gun in Your Mouth"

Tonight is First Thursday at the Orlando Museum of Art. I've gone to special evenings at the Brooklyn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Met, but never here. I'd heard it was a big singles scene. Who told me that? K? S? V? Well I guess any of them and their respective husbands would know if it was a singles scene or not, would have noticed when they were here if there was hunting going on. Never been my thing, singles places, but I guess I'll have to find out about that aspect of being unmarried at some point in the future. In any case, tonight, the place reeks of couples and coupledom. Not coupling, that's a smell I enjoy. This was more....complacent.

Tonight's theme is illustration, artwork created for posters, publicity, books, newspapers, magazines. Diving into the surrealism of "Tsunami Moon", the genetic memory of "I'll Never See Another Butterfly", and that of a friend of a friend's work [], the work that spoke to me, that hit me, that hurts to look at, is "Hard to Cry with a Gun in Your Mouth."

Oh, I know that feeling. The cold steel, grey or blued. Slick and hard and smooth. Sliding between my anxious hungry lips, running my tongue around the sight and flicking it, sucking on the shaft. Cradling the grip in one hand, while the other strokes the chamber, making sure it does not slip from my eager mouth. Hoping for fulfillment, counting the seconds until it shoots into my throat, into my brain...

I cannot cry with a gun in my mouth. I will laugh with joy, but I will not cry.

There have been times when, speeding down a rain slicked road, the traffic poles were a beacon welcoming me, calling to me. If I swerved just a little bit... But the terror of not dying stops me. To risk, not death, but incapacitation? That I will not do. Trapped in a life I hate, a me I despise, is a sorry enough existence. To be trapped in a body, useless, my mind still functional? Who will pull the plug? Who?

If I cannot live, I do not want to be here.

I come from a long line of suicides. They would deny it, but they were subtle, as subtle as homicide can be given proper care and preparation. Driving a person to drink, to drugs, to self-doubt on a scale beyond imagining, making a person crazy enough to want to end life are all forms of homicide. If I have lost touch with this world, I might as well sever my links to it. This goes far beyond the anonymous ‘suicide by cop' because this is personal. Happenstance? Accident? Anything can be an accident. Brakes a tad squishy? Car push you off the shoulder of the road? Lump in the carpet at the top of the stairs? Allergic reaction to meds? Criminal intent? No, bad things just happen sometimes. But I say, there is no such thing as coincidence. There are no accidents. I haven't lost touch with reality, with sanity, it was taken from me. And I want it back.

I will not die. I have a mission, a calling, a charge to complete. I have orders to follow and I cannot leave this world until my work is done.

I will not follow in the footsteps of my parents or brother. I am not a gambler, spinning the chamber and cocking the hammer. I will love it, I will make love to it, but I am faking every second. I will pull away and let it discharge wherever it will but not into me. Oh no, not into me. No.

"And I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep."

Mamzelle Sits on a Fence

"It's alright."

"No, it's not."

"Yes it is. Really. We've already discussed this. I have no problem with it."

"But I am tired of discussing it. I want to do, to feel. I do not want to talk anymore." Mamzelle paced the small living room, running her fingers through her short, blue hair. "Not okay, not okay, not okay. No, it is not okay. I am tired of this, tired of myself, tired of my vacillations...."

She continued speaking, but so softly Mr C couldn't make out what she was saying. He realized that she was praying, although whether it was in English, French, Latin, Hebrew, Tibetan or some combination thereof, he had no idea. The prayers of Mamzelle went to whatever god appealed to her at the moment. Her version of monotheism was very close to her version of monogamy: pray to whichever one was most suited to solving the problem du jour. Tomorrow, another god might present itself for adoration. Mr C sighed. At least, her pantheon was very small, very limited. Others might speculate as to the scope of her oeuvre, but he knew it for what it was. She'd never had a reason to dissemble with him.

Mamzelle had assured him that this behavior pattern would stop, had stopped. For all her pretenses of carelessness with herself, claims of being cavalier and casual, free-thinking and openminded, he'd known her long enough, witnessed enough, to realize it was all a facade, glitter to cover. He knew she slept alone, had a strong streak of asceticism, was in fact extremely proper. What was it her friend said? That she was a Victorian school marm masquerading as a Danish hooker? Everyone else saw the hooker, he saw the school marm. Because he looked at her actions, her context, not just her words.

She'd lived celibate for many years, ‘cleaning her synapses instead of her pipes', rationalizing and making light of an unpleasant period in her life, and was prepared to do so again. Once the twinges of addiction passed, cold turkey, total abstinence was an easier concept, an easier feeling than intermittent stimulation. The occasional tryst that left one always on the alert for the next session, the next ‘hit', either coming down or building up was not for her. Celibacy was calm. He could see why it appealed to her, but hoped to persuade her otherwise.

Mr C got up from the sofa, put his hands on her shoulders. "Stop, Mamzelle. It's alright. We do not need a resolution this minute, not even tonight. I've told you and I'll tell you again: I am here, I am not going anywhere. Whatever constructs you have in your brain, they are constructs. Not real. I am real."

"Mr C, I...I..." She shrugged his hands off, crossed her arms and looked down at her feet, at the cracked tiles. She hated those tiles. Plain beige tiles, the only pattern the cracks caused by dropped pots and pans. The broken pieces pried out, edges tested along a forearm, slow pink rain leaving a pattern of its own on the tiles, the carpet, pink rain in a room of neutrals.

"You what? Come." He turned her around, put his arms around her, kissed the top of her head. "Cute. Very cute, the blue. Are you going to keep it?"

She shook her head. "The color, a week perhaps. Then, orange or green I think. Or most shocking of all, my natural color. If anyone knows what that is, its been so long since even I've seen it. The cut will last as long as it lasts." She sniffed his chest, his neck.


"Hmm?" She looked up at him, relaxed now since the conversation had turned to trivia. Trivia did not threaten, did not open doors or boxes.

"Oh god, Mamzelle," and he kissed her. "God, Mamzelle."

"Hmm..." She was lost in the sensation, swimming in a sea of passion. Her arms around him, she stroked the back of his neck, pressed herself against him. "Hmm?"

"God Mamzelle..." He broke off the kiss, but continued to hold her tight to him. "How could he? How could they? What is wrong with them?"

"What? Wrong? Who, Mr C? What are you talking about?" She tugged at his hair, kissed the hollow of his throat, his earlobes, the corner of his mouth. "What is bothering you, carus?" I want to fuck his mouth floated through her. I want to kiss him all over and feel him kiss me. Everywhere. I want to know what he tastes like. I want. I haven't wanted in so long...

"Them. Him. How could he kiss you with that lying mouth? How could he lie to you, deceive you, do who knows what with that mouth and then kiss you? You kiss with every fiber of your being, with such nakedness. How could he take that from you and give you lies in return? Scum. And you knew and you let him do it anyway. Why? Why did you stand for it?"

"I don't know. I hoped I was wrong. It was easier to believe the lies than deal with the truth and its inevitables, being alone or courting someone new. This way, I knew what I'd be doing and where at any point in time. It gave an orderliness to my life, a comfort." She freed herself from Mr C's embrace and walked to the window, ran her fingers along the window ledge he had used as a night table so many times. Glasses, wallet, keys, cellphone. Their ghosts were there, taunting her. "I don't know why I prolonged it. I knew, I felt it. It wasn't right, hadn't been right ever since I found out... How can any woman respond to someone she knows is lying to her? Response is based on trust. Where is trust when there are lies?

"Mr C, you know I am the queen of liars, I will lie from hither to yon, but I never lie about what I feel. How could I? How self-defeating would that be."

"I know. You can't lie about you, about your feelings. You may try, but you can't. When words and actions disagree, trust the actions." He took her chin in his hand, turned her face to his. "Kiss me again, Mamzelle. Please."

He pulled away, breathless. "Can't you see, love? Your whole life, you've chosen children, brats, who emotionally abused you, took advantage of you, lied to you, horrible lies, half-lies, obfuscations or they abandoned you, another lie. Give them up. Put away your childish ways, stop playing with children. You can't keep repeating the same thing expecting different results. It doesn't work that way. You deserve better. Change."

"I am trying, Mr C." She buried her face in his shirt. "I miss him. I am ashamed to admit it. I miss all sorts of things about him. I don't want to, it serves no purpose, yet I do."

"I'll burn it out of you. I will raze it. Lay a new foundation. I'll build memories with you that will last a lifetime, more than a lifetime. Told you, telling you again, I am here, I am now, I am not going anywhere." He smiled at her, pushed her hair behind her ears. She used to have such long, lovely hair. Shed a lover, shed hair. It would grow back. Water a plant, feed it, it grows. "Reward my patience, Mamzelle. All I want for you.... Just kiss me."

Cupping her head in his hands, torsos pressed together, he wondered. Did she always kiss like this, with this intensity? It was almost too much, the way his nerves responded to her. Kissing her was more satisfying than most of the sex he'd had, fuller, sweeter. Had she kissed her past playthings like this, had that effect on them? He shuddered at the thought of her wasting that energy on casual passers-through.

Because they were. Her boytoys and arm candy had no relevance to her life, not any longer. They'd provided her with an escort and an orgasm. All she had asked for, all she had gotten. But he knew she ran much deeper than that, she covered her feelings with bravado and pride. Her loneliness ate at him. There was no reason for it. He would have taken it away gladly, at any time. So many times over the years, he'd been tempted to stop her, put himself in front her, make her look. She wasn't ready, before now. He wasn't ready.

He'd make her fill the old chasms. Or bridge them. Find a new field and lay a solid foundation. They'd started. He dug deep. One shovelful at a time. Slow work but nothing great is accomplished without work. A shovelful of dirt, cement, bricks. Sad memories, hope, trust. And then, new memories would be created. He'd get her to trust him in this, as she did in so much else. He had all the time in the world.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


so its about 8:20 dec 25 and what has robyn been doing this fine morning?

last night, bowing to popular demand, we made 7 dz peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. one of my favorites, quick easy, foolproof.
went to 2 of the disney hotels to see the trees and let elles chat with santa.
even the older two were on 'best behavior' and let me take pictures of them
back to HBK for the night, very odd feeling, very disorienting.
people out back had a VERY loud party until 4 am.

yes i was up until 4 am.
and up again a 5:30, although i elected to go back to sleep until 7
7:10, got up, made traditional baking powder biscuits,
used my french rolling pin, gentler on the dough.
besides. i like it. it is the perfect weight.
its long. its tapered. it is sooooooooooooo smooth.
my plastic rolling pin only has enough heft when it is filled with ice.
my marble pin is so heavy it KILLS anything it touches.
you have to be gentle yet firm when working with dough.
biscuits, 28 biscuits, 2" diameter.
and i know my oldest will yelp, biscuits are HER thing, not mine.
she will have to deal with it.
still restless, not sure yet if i am willing to go to the store to get yeast.
okay, scones. em loves scones. but i already made chocolate chip cookies....
and i made chocolate chip scones 2 or 3 days ago
no oranges here, tangerine? fresh ginger? that'll work. i'll make 9. good number.
use the vegetable peeler to get some zest off the tangerine and peel the ginger root
could somebody out there explain to me WHY i don't own a zester?
stir it into the flour, cut in the butter
mmmm....butter. sweet cream butter.
beat an egg into the buttermilk, stir stir stir.
drop onto cookie sheets, bake. taste. they're good. very good.
i think i'll make an orange glaze, 10X sugar, orange peach mango juice.

later: brownie bites. raspberry diamonds. there is a can of pumpkin in the pantry.
pumpkin spice cake? muffins? roulade with pumpkin mousse filling?

[sigh] how i deal with stress, happiness, grief. i cook.

what category does today fall into?

NOON UPDATE: just pulled the last batch of cream-cheese filled
brownie bites out of the oven, 7 dozen total.
still have 2 sticks of butter, about 3 lbs flour, 2 lbs sugar in the pantry,
a few jars of jam, corn syrup, what next, what next?
me: but i'm happy in here!
me: fine. i'll give in to your demands. can i make raspberry diamonds, rainbow cookies and pumpkin muffins later in the week? please please please?
the girls to each other: she's off her meds, isn't she?

i don't know why they're complaining. there are only 12 biscuits left, 4 scones and they finished 8 brownie bites while my back was turned. i wonder if there is any eggplant in the house or chow fun noodles...or phyllo dough. yes. i haven't made bastilla in a few months. and with then i can make baklava and and and

Saturday, December 22, 2007

To Be or Not To be, That is One Question

Are we to be or not to be, that is one question
you ask me, wondering what my answer bodes.
There are other questions we may suffer,
we will suffer the vicissitudes of fortune
and take arms. Oh to take arms!
What means it? To take arms?
Shall we gird ourselves as if for war,
have plentiful the slings and arrows
and weapons of mass destruction?
So readily available in this age, a mere click away,
paypal and ebay make it too too easy to prepare for this.
Shall we have these things at hand to feed the urge for war?
Or shall we take arms, take our arms,
take my arms, take your arms, press them together,
wrap each other in arms, wrap our arms around each other?
Oh god.
and lose all opposition, a lovely truce,
white flag of capitulation waves,
all earlier conflict forgotten in a great joining of arms,
a unity of being, shall we? Shall we?
No more separation, no more partings,
however sweet the sorrow that is.
I'll have no more of it.
I'll not be parted from you.
Flesh calls to flesh and answers.
Oh, how it answers that call, that tocsin cry...
Your call.
I will answer your call. No other.
I feel you near me, no matter how far you are.
Miles, inches, they are the same.
Every mile is an inch and every inch a mile when we are not joined.
My hair rises, static electric tingles, nerves standing, blood pounding.
I hear your voice, through waves, so distant.
You whisper my name, lips brush my cheek, my ear, my neck.
"Tell me. Answer me."
One question. Only one.
One answer. Only one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mamzelle Makes a Decision

Mamzelle stared at herself in the mirror. She picked through her lipsticks. None of them felt ‘right'. Even her lipsticks were fraught with memories and memories had no place in the here and now, in the yet to come. The easy solution would be to just get a new lipstick. Isn't that what women have done, always done? Start a new chapter, start a new relationship, start a new life and symbolize it with new lipstick or new polish? Something new and unsullied on the lips and fingertips so as not to taint the yet unformed?

So much anticipation, so much to consider. Big step and she was unsure. She frowned. Many of her past choices, most of her past choices, had not been wise, had worked against her. She acted from passion, from the moment and her long term thinking was slim to nil. Even when she thought it was all worked out, when it seemed everything was just so, all the little duckies lined up, it only served to make it easier to gun them down. Rat-a-tat-tat, rat-a-tat-tat, as they fell, one, two, three, more than three. Any number greater than three was insegrievious and might as well be infinity. Mamzelle sighed, licked her lips.

She was afraid. There were levels, aspects to this relationship that she had never experienced before. Last night, he had laid his cards on the table, his dreams for the future. What Mr C wanted from her, the type of pressure he was bringing to bear, the type of commitment he wanted was unlike any in her oeuvre. And he was not backing down.

He was patient, but even he had his limits. After watching her, witnessing her madcap life, waiting for her to finish with and dispose of her series of boytoys and arm candy, he had made his move. Chess master, he'd plotted, planned long and detailed before even approaching her with his wish to change their relationship from casual to... to what? To something more personal, something more intimate, something permanent. Her current situation did not bother him.

"That is all fact and therefore trivial. Yes legalities are what we do, Mamzelle. I can't help being what I am, nor can you stop being what you are. I am concerned with your heart and you, not with your filing status. I want you. You'll find your way through the labyrinth. I'll help you, I'll support you. And I will be at the center when you find your way there. Just no more games. I don't think I could take any more games. I watch you, see how you hurt yourself and it hurts me. I can't do that, see you hurt."

"Yes, Mr C, you are what you are. Law is in your blood, it is your raison d'etre. It is not just an occupation, it is what you live and breathe. Yes, we know my feelings about the legal profession as a whole, but about you? You remind my of my father. To you the law is higher than any happenstance of litigation. And I appreciate that, respect that, as I appreciate your concern."

He reminded her of her father. The way his mind worked, the leaps and connections it made were a fascination to her. His genius was even more appealing than his person.

She knew. If she brushed him off again, pretended not to understand, made blithe jokes, it would end before it started.. The cracks had widened, her insides were seeping out. They would hid the sidewalk and fry. Well, perhaps in summer, in this weather, they would get washed down the sewer drain, she thought as she picked up yet another lipstick.

He wanted her. He'd made that plain often enough in the last few weeks. He knew her. He knew things about her, saw things in her, understood the machinations of her mind and heart It had been so long since she'd been able to talk to someone about the world at large, about the impact each person leaves and how the individual has an obligation to leave the world a better place. Small people discuss things, average people discuss people and great people discuss ideas. Their discussions verged on the great. The bits and pieces that various persons in her world had insight to, he put all those pieces together and, to him, her sum was so much greater than her collective parts. Mr C joked how even her evil was beautiful to him, that her mean streak was so tinged with guilt it had its own charm. And her kind? Her soft? He was truly puzzled how anyone could give that up. He wanted her good, bad and ugly. He wanted to see her impact.

It was a responsibility. If you save a life you are responsible for it, for what the person does with that life. He wanted to save her and be saved in the process. If she accepted this troth, yes Mamzelle, call it what it is, a troth, a contract, not a tryst, oh no, Mr C had no interest in mere trysts or encounters, where would this go? Is making a commitment to a person the same as being committed? Both were crazy, the one filled with hope and the other with despair. If she stopped looking at the despair and let herself feel hope, a new cladogram opened. The alternate pathways were infinite and wonderful. And she knew that the dark would not be so black with someone there.

Three days. She still had three days. And she shivered.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The December Dilemma

Yesterday was David’s birthday. If he were alive, he’d be 53 instead of frozen at 39-1/2.


I did not cry, well not from that anyway, not yesterday. I buried myself in work, so much work. Typing, editing, collating, data entry, cooking, baking, all sorts of work to keep my hands busy and perhaps fool my mind and heart for a while. Perhaps. Perhaps not. You can fool some of the heart some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the heart all of the time.

My youngest helped me bake cookies, over a dozen dozen cookies, four different types. We made cinnamon-pecan rounds, orange shortbread and jelly filled thumb print cookies. That’s only three? Well, while those were chilling, I made the girls peanut butter chocolate chip cookies as consolation snacks. The orange shortbread cookies still need to be dipped in melted chocolate. I’ll do the trimout tomorrow night when youngest and I make cream-cheese filled brownie bites.

How else did I spend my day, distracting the empty hours? I talked on the phone. I played on the computer. I had a long conversation with the girls’ dad, discussing our separate lives, how we each feel about this and where we are going, the divergent paths we are pursuing. Our youngest brought down our wedding portrait from her closet, where she keeps it hidden. A year ago today I smashed my bare foot through that portrait, shattering the glass, bloody footprints on the carpet when I left to spend the night in my office. It was a lifetime ago, maybe longer. We even discussed what we might have done or not done if we had known it would come to this. Oh, that’s a gloss. That’s a lie.

I knew. I saw. I saw it years ago. So did he. We are not stupid. We are not blind. Stubborn, intransigent, sullen, with so many hurts over the years, so many large and small hurts festering, a succubus on our love, leaving us sickle celled and broken. Hard to ignore an elephant in the room, especially a vampire elephant, but we managed. Only thing, sooner or later, if you ignore the elephant, the room is filled with elephant excrement, leaving no room for anything else.

I even watched TV.

Anything but allow myself to feel, to fall into that grief, that open wound with his name on it.

He is 39-1/2.

I did not bake a cake. I did not light a candle. I did not visit his grave. I did not buy him crayons, not the box of 16 scented nor the box of 48 assorted classic. I did not eat sushi or pickled turnips or make vegetable cutlets with mushroom gravy a la Galishoff’s. David and I spent eight years experimenting until we were satisfied with our rendition of a vegetable cutlet. Our final product has a mashed potato and matza meal base, with a bit of coarsely mashed turnip, chopped carrot, peas, cut string beans and diced, sauteed onions and garlic. Form large patties, saute in oil, high heat to get a crust. Finish in a 375 oven. These keep and can be reheated in the oven. The microwave will break down the crust. I did none of these things. None.

And then it was night. I am alone with my thoughts, my memories. The ghosts talk to me, crowd me. Pull me to them, press me. They laugh at me, at my desperation and avoidance, taunting me with replayed conversations.

I cap my pen. Close the book and add it to the pile of books, papers and folios waiting to be reshelved. It is a large pile. I have not attended to housekeeping recently. Still, I am the only one to ever enter this place, so I am the only one to be disturbed by the disorder. If I have disorder here, it must serve a purpose for me. I’ll divine it later, the purpose. Meantime, I curl up in my favorite chair and pull a blanket over my head.

I can sleep or I can cry.

If I keep the covers over my head, I can pretend to be asleep and no one will know if I am crying.

Even me.

I can hide the truth from me. I can pretend.

Or at least I can try.

Happy birthday, David.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lagniappe Night

What could be a better evening? To spend a few hours at the Hosmer-Morse Museum, wandering the galleries, soaking up the new "Quest for Beauty" exhibit! The new exhibit, a retrospective of Tiffany’s life and art, from his earliest works as a teenage pencil artist to his death as world renown interior designer and glass artist, with stops at his oils, watercolors, architecture and decorative arts studio, is stunning.

There is a jazz quartet playing in the next gallery, which helps to complete the fulfillment of the senses. The eyes, pleased by intricacy, color, texture. The sense of smell and taste having been earlier indulged by the consumption of a glass of Banfi Rosa Regale, all that is left deprived is the sense of touch. The night is young.

Walking down the proverbial garden path to the back pavilion, a young woman demonstrates how stained glass is constructed. She goes over the pattern making techniques, how glass is selected, marked, scored and snapped. The pliers, grinders, soldering iron, copper sheathing, all the tools peculiar to this particular craft are displayed and explained. A discussion of the different kinds of glass suitable, commercial grade, art, custom, the repetitive patterns, unique splotches, textures available, ensues. I am reminded of my days wandering the marble "graveyard", examining scraps of marble and granite, looking for the piece that would complete my kitchen, give me a cool surface to roll pastry dough, to use as a desk, a counter.

The slab I chose, a reddish-brown speckled piece has a black meteor arcing from the middle to the end. I carefully layout the exact cuts to be made, wanting that meteor to end at the upper right corner of my work surface. The pieces that are cut off I have recut to top the nightstands in my bedroom, protecting the surface of the wood and adding more visual, textural fullness to the room.

Granite is cold.

The woman holds up a piece of art glass, having cut it to get the color striations exactly where she wants them. She wraps it in copper, uses the soldering iron to melt it to the glass. I am starving, being fed crumbs. I want to do this, learn this, hold a soldering iron, join the pieces feel the heat of the blowtorch through the protective body gear, sculpt it, pour molten glass...

I want. I am consumed with desire, with wanting, with a wanting that is on such a different level than the wanting of the body. My being, my ish, wants this, needs to do this. As much as I need to write, cannot live any longer without writing, it wants. I take a deep breath, slow myself. Patience, the time will come when my hands will do this. My hands will be scarred, cut, burned. Happy. The work of my hands pleases me. I will find a way, a time, for this too. My hands will sublimate for now. They understand. They understand patience so much more than I do, that whatever will happen, will happen in god’s time scale, not mine. And I breathe.

The chapel, the various windows with their deep colors, the carnival glass vases, ripples insets, cracks feed me. I am overwhelmed with beauty, dizzy. There is a window with one piece that strikes me. A deep purple on one side, the back an opalescent lavender striped with pinks. When this was in a home, did the owner stand there, walk inside, outside, feeling this?

How can I leave this place? Why do I deprive myself? I could come here every month, every other month, and I restrict myself to once a year. Why? Was I waiting for an invitation, for someone to accompany me? For surely the enjoyment of beauty is enhanced when it is shared, another’s perspective, knowledge, parallels are always welcome. Yes, it is. And yes, I was. I’ll admit it. While I enjoy museum and gallery hopping by myself, do it often, there are places I want to share, share with someone I care about. Lacking someone to share this with, I deprive myself. I do not want to do this alone. I would rather abstain in toto than indulge and be only partly filled. Now, tonight, having someone here, someone who appreciates, makes the experience better. It does.

And there is more.

My friends have often heard me complain that I "never go to the movies", that the only movies I see are kids movies, Enchanted, Ratatouille, Happy Feet. We leave the museum, drive to the mall to see the new Denzel Washington flick. Handsome actor, New York setting for me, lots of action and a true story for him, and a really good movie to boot! I enjoy the whole concept of heroin dealers as big business, a multilevel corporation with all the attendant benefits and drawbacks. Denzel Washington as the CEO of Blue Magic, wearing a Brooks Brother suit and Burberry raincoat, as opposed to the cliche half-assed pimp dealer, is perfection.

To sit in an adult movie with another adult? Mirabile dictu! It’s as if I’m in a foreign land. And to be with someone who does not maintain a running commentary of asides, questions, interpretations, parallels? It’s peaceful, relaxing. This was an unrestrained pleasure. Mindless, light, yet I was able to actually appreciate the experience without being keyed to respond to "what about, but if, and then, oh yes, do you?" every few minutes. I had the freedom to get into the movie.

[sigh] A very good evening indeed.

And better.


Across from the movie is Schakolad. Chocolate covered pretzels, truffles, molded lollipops, dipped fruit! The smell, oh god, the heady aroma of chocolate liqueur fills me as the tang of bittersweet chocolate fills my mouth.

I stand there, eyes closed, feeling the truffle melt, my tongue rubbing the ganache filling against my upper palate, back and forth, licking my teeth.

I am drunk with pleasure.

I take another bite, cool mint slams my nose, tingles, itches. It is so rich, so high in fat content, there is no room for the hard chocolate shell until I swallow. The thick liquid coats my esophagus, warms my stomach when it hits. I am transported, standing there, eyes still closed, so still, frozen in time.

There are many wonders in the night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mamzelle Starts a New Chapter..or Perhaps a New Book?

Mamzelle leaned her elbows on the table.

"Oui, a lovely evening. Merci, Mr C."

"No, Mamzelle, thank you. I don’t know when I’ve felt so...enlightened."

"Enlightened?" She laughed. "Eh bien, I brought a glimmer of knowledge, an epiphany of understanding to you?"

"It’s a facet of the universe I know nothing about." He leaned back against his chair, tapped his fingers on the table in time to the band. "More than a glimmer. Now I have an interest, a desire, where before I had none. Indeed, before I didn’t care if I was ignorant of this or anything other than the parameters I had already established in my world. You are shifting my boundaries, making me reevaluate all my preconceived notions."

"All this from a lecture on a museum exhibition? My, are you sure it was me that you were with tonight? that it was me who gave this wonderous, enlightening lecture?"

"Oh yes, Mamzelle, only you. And I want more, to learn more, hear more."

"Pfft! Men!" She smiled, tapped his hand with her finger, then interlaced the two hands. "They always want more. More this, more that. The mantra that accompanies every courting male, every strutting peacock, every budding relationship."

"Is this then?" He placed his other hand on top of hers.

"Is this then what, Mr. C?"

"A budding relationship? Will you allow that?"

She blinked, then removed her hand from his. Wrapped both hands around her glass and swirled the wine. "Buds? Budding? Am I a horticulturalist to be concerned with buds and budding? You know I have no expertise at all in that area, not even an ability or inclination to fake expertise."

"Oh, you can fake anything if you wanted to, I’ve seen you do that!"

Her eyes are wide, startled at his comment. He’s seen? "But why would I want to? It would serve no purpose here. It is not situationally appropriate or required."

"True. And not even amusing here. I’d never want you to fake anything. Ever. If you don’t know, you don’t know."

"You’d not want me to dazzle them with brilliance or-"

"-baffle them with bullshit? No. Not me. You want to do that with the rest of the world, that is your prerogative. It amuses you sometimes. But not needed. Don’t ever do anything just to please or impress me. "

She snorted. "Do something to please or impress another? Not in my makeup Mr C."

"Oh but it is, Mamzelle, it is. It is such a part of you that you are not even aware of it. I watched you with him, saw you do things to please or amuse him, even to your own detriment. It was sweet. Bastard didn’t deserve it."

Mamzelle glanced at the TV screen near the bar. It was set to a sports channel. She sipped her wine, grimaced at the taste. She wondered how much Mr C knew about her, how long he’d been looking at her, seeing her, without her being aware of his interest. Had she been that enthralled, that blind to everything else, everyone else? Had Mr C been that discrete in his patient observation?

"You’d prefer champagne, mon coeur?"

"Not tonight, Mr C, not yet prepared to take that step. No. We are still too new to each other. Or at least you are still too new to me. I need to be cleared of any ghosts before I can feel free to start a new chapter."

"Je comprends, Mamzelle. You have enough ghosts among the dead. I don’t, I won’t compete with your ghosts among the living."

"You do not compete? There is a competition?"

"For you, there is always competition. Your past, your present, every person that comes into contact with you in some sense is competition. That’s alright. It is only the recent past that concerns me."

"I do not set up competitions. I am not that way."

""It is not anything you do. It is the way of the world, the way of the male beast to compete for a beautiful, desirable female. To want to mark her as their own and keep others away. So it does not matter what you do or don’t do, I will still be competing on some level."

"No. You are not." She took his hand, placed it on her thigh, then put her arm around his shoulders. Leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "You are not competing. I am not a battlefield. And you are your own person. When the time comes, I want to be my own person with you. No ghosts clouding my pathways. You will have your own folio."

"Folio? I rate a folio?"

"Well, that is what you have indicated, what you requested. Perhaps not in those words, but that is what your request means to me. That you have no interest in being notes, a paperback, a hardcover even. You want to be a folio."

"You’ll take that step?"

"Hmmm. Oui. Soon enough. We will take steps together. And I will take my quill and calligraph your name on a lovely leather folio. Blue-grey, I think. With silver ink."

"Things continue, it will be a very a large folio. I hope."

"Eh bien, oui, Mr C. Only those relationships which go on, which have depth, rate a folio. Rare and wonderful thing."

"It will, Mamzelle. I’ve waited a long time already for you, for you to be done with your varied and sundry others. I can wait as long as you need me to wait. If you are willing to spend time with me now and then, get to know me, then that is all I ask for now. I am happy with whatever you are happy with. I have no one else vying for my attention, I have no need to make implicit threats to you. "As long as" you are fine with this, then I am fine with this."

"Oh dear, Mr C!" She laughed. "That dreaded phrase! You quote me to myself, mirabile dictu! Seriously, I know. I did not know the reason for your solitary existence, but I appreciate it now. Truly."

"The last few weeks have been, forgive me for saying this, awesome, Mamzelle. Don’t cringe. It’s how I feel."

"Well then, Mr C. It is late. I have work to do." She stood, slid her arms into her jacket.

"I’ll walk you to your car."

"Not necessary, mon ami. I am fine."

"Oh, mon coeur, it is necessary. It’s late. It is the right thing to do. And besides, I’m selfish. Maybe I’ll persuade you to kiss me." He smiled at her, winked.

"Embrassez-moi, non baisez-moi, Mr C."

"Mamzelle! Ta geulle!"

"Oh, oui, Mr. C., oui"

"When the time is right." Mr C. kissed the top of her head and held the door for her.

"Merci, Mr C. In god’s own time. In god’s own time."

The Misadventures of the Shoes: Take Us Home!

We are so tired of sitting here. We want to go home. No. We want a home. We want someone to take us home, any someone. As long as that any someone is beautiful and will take us the places we deserve to go, take us miles and miles away floating over this laundromat...

Oops. Wrong commercial. Can you imagine US in a laundromat? Inane! Insane! Impossible!

So who will take us places, take us out to dinner, to shows, to museums, out dancing-

OMG! Out dancing. We must pick someone who will take us out dancing. Oui! Certainement! Absolument! Sans doute! That is more important than anything else we will do because dancing will lead to... Oh yes, we must go dancing! Swing is good, that’s fun, the waltz, measured and stately, the tango. We were made to do the tango. One two three, dip, one two three, spin, one two three, fuck, one two three. Not hip-hop. Could you imagine US doing hip-hop? That has got to be the most ludicrous image in the world. Hip-hop is for sneakers, not for shoes. And never ever for shoes such as the pair of us.

One two three, fuck. Yesss. We want to fuck. All else is commentary, a prelude, foreplay to that. Look at us. Don’t you want to fuck us? We are so sleek, so shapely. Look at ou tiny waist, the flare of our instep, our vamp, our long sculpted heel. Look at our zipper. Zzzip! The sound it makes putting us on and off, snug around a shapely ankle, bend over to zip us on, adjust our straps around that ankle. Now throw us up in the air to fix the last strap, way up in the air. Oh my, we are so far apart and what is happening at the other end of the leg from us?

That is why you must take us home. So we can take you dancing, find you a pair of black patent wingtips to rub up against us and then he can explore the rest of you while we lie in the closet with our heels snug inside those wingtips which held his foot just as he is snug inside you, enjoy you, please you.

Oh yes, we must find someone to take us home so we can have a good time. Oh yes.

Her. Look at her. Why, she’s been crying. She drips tears, she leaves a trail of tears. What? She will fight no more forever? What does THAT mean? Of course she will fight. That is why she is here. To fight dirty. Here, lovely lady. We will be your weapon of mass destruction. We will give you unfair advantage in this war you fight. Hineni, lovely lady! Hineni! Come on, you see us. Yes, you do, don’t deny it.

Mmm hmm. You hear our siren song. We will seduce you, we will lead you down the islet that stretches between the Scylla and Charybdis. Pick us up. We will make it better, we will stop the crying for a while if you let us help you, if you take us home. We will make it go away. We will, just look at us. Imagine us.

Hello there, beautiful. You are, you know. So beautiful. Oh lovely lady, living well is the best revenge, you know that. He’ll like us, too, like how we make your legs look, your whole body will be enhanced. He will see you in these and he’ll want to grab us and kiss us, throw you back on the bed, fling us over your head and oh my!. He will bite your ankle, lick your calf, suck on that tender part on the inside of your knee while his hands touch us, his fingers find places to slide into, stroke the arch of your foot next to us, snug into the ankle strap, slide into and and and. Goodbye right foot! Goodbye left foot! I can barely see you so far away!

What will he do when he sees you in us, lovely lady? What won’t he do when he sees you in us? Just think of it. You can feel it, lovely lady, yes you can. You like it. You want to see him on his knees admiring us, admiring you wearing us.

And if not him, we’ll help you find someone new to make you feel beautiful and desired and sleek and sexy. We will make you stand out from the rest of the cattle, we are the only one of us in this world and you are the only one of you.

Yes, lovely lady, yes.

"Visa or Mastercard?"

"American Express."

"Sign here, please. Enjoy them. They are stunning."

"Oh I will. I most definitely will."


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Knowledge Is a Poison Fruit

The apple fell into her hand.
She bit, she chewed, she swallowed.
Realized she had to take a stand,
Tired of her hallowed insides hollowed.
She took another bite and then
Leaned back to watch the cloud.
To determine who or what or when...
Of her part in this, she was not proud.
She’d take responsibility for herself,
Not for anyone else or their misdeeds.
Impatient, too long kept upon the shelf,
She had unmet desires, wants and needs.
Open your eyes, wide, and let them see!
Take a chance on what you want to be.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

happy chanukah, dear readers!

no i haven't disappeared, been working. i have had a ton of editing work to do, including revising some works previously posted here (DO take a peak at cafe deutschland, much improved) and observing the holiday of chanukah with my kinder. yes it is a minor holiday. yes, in these united states it is blown out of proportion by its proximity to christmas. yes, it has bought into commercialism. EFES, readers who know me, will sigh and say, to robyn it is an excuse to cook!

of course it is. isn't every jewish holiday "they tried to kill us. we are still here. let's eat." and do i feed? yes i do.

in addition to 'regular' latkes, the girls wanted spinach latkes. and i made apple sauce. but this year, i NAILED those latkes. NAILED them.

realizing that i cannot tolerate the smell of deep frying, makes me ill, dizzy, faint, i have spent years finding alternative ways to make latkes. when i lived in brooklyn, with an industrial strength exhaust hood over the stove, the deep frying smell was tolerable, but here? just cannot stand it. so. i have worked any number of ways to make latkes in the oven. and i have found the secret.

parchment paper.

i lined the pans (13" x 18", 1" high sides) with parchment paper. brushed the paper with olive oil. ladled tablespoons of latke batter onto the paper, 12 per pan. brushed the top with a bit more olive oil. 450 degree oven for about 12 minutes. turn the broiler on high to add a bit more color. perfect!

the parchment paper helps conduct the heat while protecting the bottom from excessive browning AND keeps them from sticking. i am hooked!

as for the recipe, what do i put in my potato latkes? this year: 5 lb yukon gold, shredded, excess water squeezed out. 1 medium vidalia onion. 5 medium carrots. 4 eggs. 1-1/2 or 2 cups matza meal. lots of garlic powder, salt, pepper. oh yes, diced the potatoes, cube the onion and carrots. shred the potatoes WITH the onion and carrot, so they are thoroughly blended. mmmmmm......

if you've never had spinach latkes, its just 2 bags of frozen CUT spinach (16 oz each), 2 eggs 1 cup matza meal, garlic powder salt pepper dash nutmeg AND the secret ingrediant: 1/2 vidalia onion not quite diced, caramelized. thaw the spinach over the stove or in the microwave, combine with other ingrediants, 'bake' as i did the latkes (or deep fry if you can stand it) and serve. these are extra yummy served with a small wedge of brie, or topped with shredded mozzarella. the heat of the latke will melt the mozzarella into it.

i am not going to bother to tell you how to make applesauce. okay i am. granny smith apples, peeled cored cubed. cinnamon. brown sugar. 1/4 cup water to coat bottom of pot and prevent sticking. simmer over medium flame. IF you are serving parve or milchtig, you can add a tablespoon of butter. unless your kids are vegans. in which case you have my sympathy.

so children, that is all for now, i have to get back to work. as i post revisions, i'll let you know so you can reread.

time to check the dance of lights out my window...