Wednesday, November 17, 2004
SLUTS' DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE!
OK, I'm done feeling ill over this stupid election, and I'm ready to face the fact that I promised one of you honkies a free T-shirt, just for voting. Do you supposed I motivated anyone to vote? Do you imagine that one voice, in the dark, could make a difference in this election?
Apparently not. Pavel, you won the goddamn contest. Please email me with your preferred style, your size, and your mailing address, and I'll send you your brand new rabbit blog T-shirt. Or, if you'd prefer a childless whore T-shirt, I can send you one of those instead.
That's right, childless whores. You heard me loud and clear. I am now selling childless whore T-shirts, replete with a (rather fetching) childless whore illustrated by Terry Colon. Please note that she likes to read the newspaper, and drinks mostly German beer. If one of you whores would prefer a T-shirt with her reading The New Yorker and drinking a giant martini with extra olives, that's possible, but you'll have to prove your spending power by buying a bunch of T-shirts first. Or, you could bribe me, and I'll, in turn, bribe Terry. Money talks.
Hell, he might even draw you a pretty redhead with a glass of red wine and a Vanity Fair, or a lovely blonde with some chinese takeout and a nice pilsner. With enough bribe money, the possibilities are limitless.
"And so the Childless Whore Movement began, the way all movements began in that long forgotten era of high capitalism: With T-shirt sales."
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
SOMETHING MORE COMFORTABLE
Barely a month ago, I wrote to express my gratitude for some advice that you had given me quite some time back, and that I had finally gotten around to taking. Things were looking up, for the first time in I don’t know how long.
And now it’s all gone to hell.
Oh, not because of any flaw in your advice; no, that was working out. Doors were opening, blindfolds were being removed, ugly but comfortable shoes were being worn.
Do you have a minute? I’ll try not to bore you.
Part of the long-term problem was that I was in love, and not with the person to whom I was married. No, my objet d’amour was a former co-worker, a woman I’ve known for nearly 15 years now, and who was really very understanding when, nearly 10 years ago, I told her about my feelings. That’s not how I think of you, she said. And that, I thought, was good enough. We were still friends, a relationship that continued to grow. I didn’t stop loving her, mind you; I just didn’t talk about it. She knew, of course, but didn’t let it get in the way of our friendship.
Since then, we’ve been through a lot together, and helped each other through some particularly difficult times. So, when she was diagnosed in April with a recurrence of the breast cancer which we thought she had beaten in 1995, I was ready to provide whatever support I could. The cancer was in her liver, which is obviously very bad, but the doctor was cautiously optimistic, and set an aggressive course of treatment, including chemotherapy.
I helped around the house, I drove her to the hospital for treatments, I took her to movies when she felt up to it.
In August, she began experiencing visual disturbances, and it was discovered that the cancer had spread to the brain. Again, very bad. Pretty goddamn terminal, in fact. Still, the doctor seemed to think that it was worthwhile to add radiation to the treatment regimen; this one-two punch left her wiped out, however, so she had to take a leave of absence from work.
After that, I was checking on her every day, running errands, making sure that she was eating regularly and taking her meds on time, and just sitting with her.
We had a scare in September when she became excited and disoriented while at the hospital for radiation therapy. It turned out that her potassium levels were dangerously low, and they kept her for a couple of days until things were back to normal. At this point, she gave me medical power of attorney, and wrote a will which named me as executor.
A couple of days after they sent her home, I was driving her to radiation (every day, now), when she reached over, took my hand in hers, and told me that she now realized that she had, in fact, loved me all these years.
We decided that it was best, since I was spending most of my spare time at her apartment anyway, that I move into the spare bedroom. I took as much time off of work as I could, and made sure that other friends were there to check on her when I couldn’t be.
We spent evenings sitting and watching TV, reading, or just talking. There were so many things that she wanted us to do together “when she got well,” she said. We made plans. My heart was breaking, but we made plans.
Halfway through October, she collapsed while at the hospital for treatment. The oncologist told me that neither the chemo nor the radiation were having any effect. I made the decision to discontinue treatment, told her what he had said, and took her home to die. Hospice came in, and made things a hell of a lot easier. It was a very quick decline after that, and she was gone less than a week later. I held her hand as she exhaled her last breath; I cleaned her and dressed her for the viewing; I stayed with her to the end and then some.
So here I am. I was just beginning to learn how to be the person I’ve always known I could be. I had finally found the kind of love that I believed I deserved.
For the first time in my adult life, I was happy, and three weeks later, it was all gone again.
So I ask again: Is this someone’s idea of a joke? Because if it is, I feel compelled to say that I’m not terribly fucking amused.
God has a great sense of humor, actually. Of course, some of his funniest bits rely on great expectations, high hopes, big plans, and other bits of signature human nonsense: the fiery car crash on prom night, the honeymooners kidnapped by Columbian vigilantes, that first celebratory line of coke passed to Len Bias on the night of the NBA draft. Haw haw! Our lord and savior cracks me up!
Those who don't really get his sense of humor are pretty much fucked, I might add. He'd prefer that we chuckle appreciatively when he makes a funny. Otherwise, somebody's gonna pay, and if everybody doesn't laugh long and hard when that somebody pays, well then, you're looking at a genuine catastrophe - which is sort of like an elaborate practical joke, except with more sirens and news trucks and distraught humans sifting through the rubble.
I remember looking down at the landscape from a plane that was taking me home to my dad's funeral and thinking, "We're all just a bunch of little ants, fighting and celebrating and laughing and then, when one little ant dies, everyone weeps and wails and it doesn't fucking matter." I imagined a whole globe filled with fighting, celebrating, weeping, wailing ants - millions of ants, all weeping and laughing and dying at once.
It wasn't some huge insight - I had always thought we were kidding ourselves to think that anything really mattered as much as we felt like it should. It was just a strong sensation. In that moment, the whole world didn't just feel like a neutral place where things lived and died - the whole world felt like a cruel, cruel joke. God must've enjoyed that moment - there I was, really getting his sense of humor for the first time.
Who am I kidding? God was probably at the In 'n' Out Burger Drive Thru, chatting with one of his idiot friends on his cell phone while some pimply teenager packed up his Double-Double. He was probably pulling a "Joan of Arcadia" thing on the teenager, telling him to move to a trailer park in Utah with his girlfriend and wait for further instruction, then getting back on the phone with his buddy and laughing so hard he snortled chocolate shake all over the luxury interior of his Jag.
He does too drive a Jag! Don't be daft.
Anyway, I feel for you. No, I don't actually feel for you, that's not true. I'm just saying, I remember feeling fucking awful, terrible, horrible, cheated, angry, etc. and of course it was nothing like the way you're feeling, but it was in the same universe at least. So I'm sorry that's the universe you're in right now.
But - (Yes, of course, you knew there would be a but. This is the Land of Buts. You wouldn't have come here if you didn't want a but.) But but but but....
But, do you remember that episode of "The Love Boat" where there's this couple that falls madly in love, but the man obviously has a big secret? Maybe it was Julie, the cruise director, who was in love. I'm not sure. Let's assume it was Julie. They were on a cruise to Australia - it was a special two-hour episode, maybe the season finale - and Julie had finally met this fantastic man, and they were soooo damn in love. He was putting champagne on ice, she was slipping into something more comfortable, they were watching the sun set from the Lido deck - that's how you expressed your love back in the '80s. But something was wrong, the guy had some Big Fucking Secret, who knows what. So then, after a Sidney montage (the opera house! the beaches! a victorian house! a boomerang!) they get back on the fucking boat, and the guy's gone. Julie doesn't realize this until the boat is well on its way, and naturally she's devastated. But what's this? A letter! From her true love! The letter basically said something like, "My darling, sweetest, most lovely Julie," (I never really thought Julie was all that, but whatever) "Six months ago I was diagnosed with a rare, terminal disease that was guaranteed to kill me in exactly seven months. OK, maybe eight. I could not bear to tell you this, because I preferred to put champagne on ice while you slipped into something more comfortable. Anyhoo, I'm dying, and I cannot bear to drag you into it, because I would never, ever want you to suffer like that, plus, I'll just get grumpy and unattractive, and I'd rather you remember me in my prime, Aqua Velvet fumes emanating from my manly visage, my gold chain, tangled in curly chest hairs, glistening in the light of the setting sun..."
You get the gist. So, Julie was heartbroken, but the Cap'n told her in his most sensitive Murray voice that it was better this way, that she had to respect her man's wishes and stay away while he died alone, among a bevy of high-priced whores in little nurse's uniforms.
Now, I remember thinking: Who the fuck wants to die alone? Why the fuck would he do that? What kind of martyr doesn't even tell his fucking girlfriend that he's dying? Why would that happen? Is that really so generous, or is it just completely fucking deluded and totally controlling?
So. Back to you, Unresolved. It was confusing, but based on your last brief note I'm gathering you broke up with your wife a while ago, and then started helping your friend deal with her illness. And then, after 15 years of telling you she wasn't interested, your True Love told you, three weeks before her death, that she had loved you all along.
OK. She may very well have loved you all along. Even if she had only imagined that she'd loved you all along, that's fine, too. But we're presented with a scenario that's almost the exact opposite of the one presented on that fateful episode of "The Love Boat." She didn't spare you much pain, did she? I mean, she's forgiven, she's blameless, that goes without saying, given the circumstances. She needed you, and you were there for her. That part is beautiful. But you still have to clear your head and think of yourself. She gave you a revised version of history. It seems almost a little unfair to you. OK, maybe you're still married, and she was protecting your wife by not telling you that she loved you all those years. Is that it? I don't know. She really loved you all along, and didn't tell you for 15 years? Hmm. I love someone for five minutes, I open my mouth. I mean, I'm compulsively confessional, sure, but... still.
Look, there's no way for me to understand a single thing about your relationship. All I can do is encourage you to look out for yourself now. You're going to be here, feeling shitty, for a while. This is how it feels. Lean into it. Keep writing long, angry letters. Tell your story. Feel it. Wallow as much as humanly possible.
But even now, when you're feeling completely empty and awful and unspeakably bad, just keep some small part of your mind open. That small part of your brain should be focused on the simple things. The rain on your face. That odd glow before the sun rises. Travel. Good books. Cinnamon toast. Eventually, this part of your brain might also want to spend a tiny bit of time imagining someone who might love you rather quickly, and say so. I want to argue that what you learned from your friend has less to do with your shared love, together, and more to do with your capacity to love. In fact, your friend may have suddenly felt that she loved you all along because suddenly, you had grown into someone who absolutely deserved love, who deserved to have been loved all along.
OK, that's the version I like the most, and I think you might, too, eventually. Look at what you've become! Someone who can give love and time and energy and devotion without asking for much in return. Someone eminently generous and kind and loving. You can pretend it's all about what she brought out in you, but that's not entirely true. These are things you own. You have an immense capacity to give love to another person, and you've just discovered it. This is something worth celebrating.
Your story with your friend is over, and that's fucking sad in a million ways. But your story is just beginning, like it or not. You've started to open yourself up, you're coming through this intense experience, and really, instead of naming this The Defining Tragedy of Your Life, which would be a damn shame, you could name it "The Big Gift." By confessing her love, however confusing that might be to outsiders, she gave you the gift of hope, hope that there might be more experiences of truly fulfilling, connected, intense, satisfying, exciting, mutual love in your future. She made it clear that, above all, you're worthy of being loved deeply, and of loving deeply.
This is most definitely someone's idea of a joke, and you can either start laughing, laugh until you cry, abandon yourself to the horrible beauty of it all, or you can close up like a flower and wilt and die. I say warm up the bread machine, get some cinnamon, make some goddamn toast and have a nice, hearty chortle at the pretty wrath on us all.
Tell me about your favorite pissed-off protest songs, honkies. I know you're just a bunch of sad sack crackers out there, but you have your little tragedies, don't you? Even if they involve long lines at the Sephora, they still matter, punkies! Oh, yes they do! Oh, yes they do! Who's an angry little honky, hmm? You are! You are! Butt-white honkweasels feel pain deep down inside, even if they don't show it in their crusty cracker smiles and chirpy Howdy Howareyas!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
PRESIDENT JERKBURGER, I PRESUME
Ouch. Ow. Ouch. Ow. Oh. Ugh. Ooof. Ouch. Ow. Ouch. OW! Fuck. Ow. Ouch. Bleh. Yuck. Uh. Oof. Blah. Yulg. Ung. Ffff. Uh. Shit. Goddamnit. Motherfucker! Mother. Fucker. Bleh. Yuck. Blah. Huh. Mmmm, yeah. Fuck. Fucking cocksuckers. Fucking total fucking horseshit. Idiots. Fucking dimwitted motherfucking honkies. Stupid crackers. Goddamn dipshits.
It takes a nation of slow children to hold us back. It takes a nation of paint-sniffing morons to hold us back. It takes a nation of bible-thumping freakjobs to hold us back. It takes a nation of selfish blowhards to hold us back. It takes a nation of crusty old fearmongering dick cheeses to hold us back. It takes a nation of bloated white jerkwads to hold us back. It takes a nation of homophobic monkey-spankers to hold us back. It takes a nation of self-serving honkwinders to hold us back. It takes a nation of heartless buttholes to hold us back. It takes a nation of fucking assholes to hold us back. It takes a nation of warmongering toxic corporate gladhanding fuckweiners to hold us back.
Now President Jerkburger feels he has a mandate, does he? Our kids are dying in Iraq every day, and Jerkburger, who brayed about the importance of "winning wars" well before he was even elected the first time, feels absolutely smug and content to stay the course. We are led by a self-satisfied, reckless, soulless frat boy into one of the darkest periods in American history, and all our fine citizens can concern themselves with is whether or not they'll be forced to see lesbians in wedding dresses. Jerkburger feels most at home tucked comfortably in the pocket of corporate interests, and our great nation is troubled over the other guy's lack of moral fiber - you know, the guy who went to war, who stood up for what he believed, who dedicated his life to public service? That one. He's the worrisome one, not the one who spent those same years getting fucked up with his blueblood buddies, then running a few businesses into the ground.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. All too obvious to even put into words, at least for roughly half of us.
I don't know. I fucking thought we were almost out of the woods. I just don't think I can hold my breath for another four years. There's a great divide in this country, and I intend to make my position on the tree-hugging, peace-loving, pro-gay-marrying side of the fence crystal clear from now on. Fat lotta good that'll do, but what else is there? Look, all I really ask is that we come up with a few more really good, modern protest songs. If I have to sing "All we are saaaaying..."? Well, that doesn't work for me. This is a new era, let's give the whole angry-humans-in-the-streets thing a fresh new look, shall we?
Anyway. At least someone will get a rabbitblog Tshirt out of this. Official drawing is tomorrow. Cross your fingers, honkies!
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
TODAY IS THE DAY!
VOTE VOTE VOTE! Votey vote votiferous votive votily votingly voteful. I have a very good feeling, honkies, that we'll have a brand new honkwinder in office by the end of this fantabulous day in the life of democracy. I have a honky hunch that our great nation, dominated by cracker culture and lily-white discourse and honky heuristics, will soon be led by a honky with a brain in his butt-white honky head. Sing hallelujah, honkies! A brand new honkified day is upon us.
But first, go vote. Vote for the tall guy, you know, the sane one, the one with some ideas in his skull, the one with some sense of dignity, the one with some need to care for human beings outside of his rarefied circle of self-serving dickcheeses, the one who doesn't sound like a bemused fifth-grader with stolen candy in his pockets, the one who's less likely to make the entire globe snicker loudly when they listen to him speak, that is, when they're not fearing for their goddamn lives. Vote for the smart one, the one who won't make you cringe one day, when your kids ask you if you voted for him. Vote for the one who won't go down in history as a frightening puppet whose puppet masters fucked everyone with impunity.
The human will do. Vote for the human! The taller one, he's the human. Vote for him!
Then send me your "I voted - this is how it went" story (with or without frilly details), and I'll pick one of the voters at random and send him or her a brand new rabbitblog Tshirt. It's got a rabbit on the front and everything.
Vote, honkies! Vote, vote, vote!