Sunday, October 23, 2005


today has been an epically unkarmic day.

it started unpossessing enough. woke late, the first saturday in two months where i didn't have engagements by eight, and lazed about. lazing about, for those naive and unskilled, is a wonderful state that delicately balances the basic needs like primo lattes against the risk of 'industry'. quite delicious but definitely acquired skill.

slowly, carefully, inkled my way into actual action. cleaning. lots and lots of cleaning. the last time i really cleaned was when i reclaimed my apartment 4 months ago from the gnomes of neglect. there was great sneezing, mild cursing, and confused darting of cats. a delightful trip to the basement to reclaim the humidier almost resulted in death as the 'not before marriage' neighbor's cat tried to dart into the basement. the humidifier went flying, i narrowly missed the cat's neck and the cat sought higher ground. this was followed by the enviable joy of public laundry. upside: i have learned a lot today about the latino version of WWF.

home after 8 hours chores to rest. deep breath. quiet house. out to rent movie and pick up bottle of wine. home, happy, ready to relax and enjoy my cozy abode. assembled the humidifier while previews ran. enjoyed the first ten minutes of movie (Fever Pitch- fine, i have a weakness for Drew Barrymore. who, that isn't blind, doesn't?). pop into the bedroom to put up my sweater and---

i have no ark so the cats will likely drown... a pool of water encircles the humidifier, soaks the area rug, reaches toward the intake vent for the heat. cats scatter, parts fly, i schlepp humidifer to shower and towels to floor. ugh. area rug onto chairs to dry, towels mop floor then into sinks to drain, cats on backs of furniture-they are just like that...

frenzied activity. can i get no breaks? well, the turn with the neighbor's cat apparently cracked the humidifier reservoir so no vacuum can be maintained. water will flow. and flow. and flow.

fuck. but hey, i caught it and mopped it, and at least the floor was clean when i started so i should be able to stall a repeat trip to the laundromat. all is in the shower so now i can settle back down with a glass of wine and enjoy the movie.

glass from cabinet- arcing shatter through the air, in my arm, on the sink, to the floor. WTF?!? glass exploded. must have touched something but still.

o. k.

new glass. ancient glass. hardy 60s alcoholic testament to liquor glass. rock on. ain't nuthin short of WW to break this baby.

mopped up shards- no interest in hemorrhaging cats. now settled down with wine and high-water cats for the movie. first scene fine. second scene fine. third scene, funny with the psycho bit. fourth scene suddenly close-captioned. can't escape. now spanish. now french. now german. the germans watch romantic comedy?! i thought that is what they held special elections for?

eventually eject the disk and start over. but i have a PS2. so again with "The Parental Level of the Player has been set" or something. so again with the code. watch scenes 1-3 again b/c why not. and four now seizes for reasons previously unrevealed due to funding sources... so eject the disk and clean and crabby and clean and back in and scan scenes 1-3 and now fine on four. but who really needed to see a spin class AGAIN?

the movie was fine. plenty funny. plenty both sides. in spite of all previous expectations, done with time to waste. my two channels: Cheaters and the local news as revised by Fox. hmm. so pop in a disk of MBFGW.

here is where the lessons come in. lesson 1: there are few few movies that stand repeated viewing. most fail for the same reason relationships fail if they last long enough-- the things that attracted you become kitsch and annoying and drive you away. Exceptions: The Linguini Incident ("they're in the white group."), Dave ("Was it that day in the shower?"), Princess Bride (pick your own quote- its like fish in a barrel) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding ("I came alive when I met you."). other honorable mentions: Elf, Sleepless in Seattle, Happy Texas, Raising Arizona.

"what do all these movies share?" i hear you ask.


nothing at all except they have all survived repeated viewings under challenging circumstances. all i would buy again in a heartbeat.

lesson 1b: there is no good, fiscally prudent way to predict which movies will successfully weather life to fit in this category. unfortunately, you just have to take a chance.

after the movie, i brushed my teeth and stumbled onto lesson 2- the reason i am writing now. i have a 'jack-n-jill' bathroom which spills into my bedroom. Sonicare buzzing, i glanced into my clean clean bedroom and was struck by the lack of rug. (rug still drying in the main room over dining chairs) suddenly i remembered the way my bedroom had looked before my mother had her way with it. the comfortmeter needle lodged permanently between aesthetic and Spartan. it was all fine and was probably a decent representation of what i needed in a place to sleep.

but Mom came. saw and was displeased. there was great reconnaissance after which large sums of money, both hers and mine, were spent to civilize the space. now the curtains have color, the comforter is down and purple, throw pillows frolic with the teddy bear and a great rug fills the void of the floor.

this is my life.

a representation of my whole life.

i live it and carefully but my mother, mon amie, comes along and adds a peculiar joie de vivre. i settle into the civilized space she has created, the sanctuary she makes of my cave.

so what exactly is lesson 2?

lesson 2: life alone is fine, at least sometimes. life with my mother is Technicolor all the time and i would give an organ to have that always. easily more than one.

the take home: life without my mother is flat and insipid and Spartan and null. every day i am so unbelievably grateful for the privilege of living within her radiant circle. how cool is that?

with love,

Jackie Chris

1 comment:

Pam said...

Darling Jackie Chris!

Your exploits are always exciting - sounds like another harrowing day in Fort Collins! So sorry about the humidifier!!!

I am glad to bring you a little joy, a little color, cause you bring me nothing but joy and pride and happiness!

lovingly yours, mom