Apr 3, 2002

No one lives forever

I am treading tenderly today. And I don't mean "today" in the sense of this rotation of the Earth. I mean "today" in the sense of the one diorama that might be used to illustrate this era in my life, if my life were an exhibit at the Museum of Man. Such a diorama might depict me wearing jeans and boots and a snappy top of some sort. And I might have a tote bag slung over one shoulder as I cross a busy street on my way to work. Or I might be taking a picture of a dimly-lit room or a very purple flower. Just exploring this page in my imagination has me straying dangerously in the direction of a Gil Elvgren painting. How ever did that young lady manage to find her panties down around her ankles as she attempted to flag down a taxi without dropping that bag of groceries with the one stalk of celery keeping watch periscope-style? How indeed.

I am treading with great tenderness today. And wondering what goes on in the world as I sit still. And loathing the very thought of sitting still for one minute longer than is necessary to sustain life or hold down a job. I am walking ahead gingerly, careful not to bruise the grass underfoot. Careful not to awaken the neighbors. Or the sleeping lions. Careful not to upset things. I am traveling in secret. It seems. While no one is looking. But what does it all mean?

I have many pretty dresses. Smart little black numbers that can be worn with a pair of high heels and a bit of jewelry. Pretty things that are so sweet to look at you'd almost expect them to smell of peaches or apples. I have many pretty dresses. But I am almost certain that my this-era diorama would show me in jeans. Expensive jeans, but jeans nonetheless. I have many pairs of pants that aren't jeans at all. Some of them even have glitter on them. Why must the Museum of Man be so committed to this notion of portraying me in the most casual of dress? Don't they want my mother to be proud? Those jerks. I'm never going there again.

I'm fond of the French dip. But I think we are fooling ourselves if we believe that the French ever eat them.

I am dismayed at the way that electronic devices have supplanted the tangible in my life. I bought myself a nice address book a few years ago. But I never write in it. I keep all of my contact information on my computer or in my cell phone. Despite the fact that I relish the thought of having things written down on paper. I do write things down on scraps of paper and shove them in my handbag for safekeeping (which often turns out to be accidental discarding). And I do have this pleasant picture in my head of a man wearing a nice suit and perhaps even a hat, and he's reaching into the inside breast pocket of his suit jacket to retrieve a piece of paper that has been folded over several times. And he's unfolding it. Then he reaches into the outer breast pocket to get his spectacles. And he puts them on, still holding the piece of paper in the hand that holds the glasses. It flutters in the air like a delicate bit of wing. Then he clears his throat and adjusts his eyes to read what is written on the paper as he straightens it out, causing that sound that paper makes when you straighten it. I have no idea what the paper says. I just have this picture in my head.

I'm the sort of friend you can call at any hour of the night. I hope the Museum of Man doesn't forget that one crucial fact.

posted by Mary Forrest at 12:24 AM | Back to Monoblog


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