Pieces of Me

Jewel, eat my blog.

early January

At a client’s house. He works from home for Tel Aviv University. He’s on the phone.

Sam: He already said no to travelling all the way to Tel Aviv . . . yeah . . . well, we’re having a dinner for [Prestigious Professor], who’s retiring after a very eventful career. We’d love to extend an invitation . . . President Robonovich will be pleased to confer an honorary doctorate . . . yes, I heard about the Nobel! Please extend my congratulations! Of course, I understand that Vice President Gore has a very busy schedule. Uh-huh. I look forward to hearing back from you. [hangs up]

Me [duster in hand]: I find it impressive that you hob-nob with people like Al Gore.

Sam: Well, yesterday I got turned down by Bill Clinton.

Me: Yes, but you KNOW HIS NUMBER. [dusting my way down the hall] I want an honorary doctorate.

Late January

On a breakfast date with Rocky, I hear a conversation in the next booth, between three women in downtown-office clothes. One of them has a co-worker who came out as a lesbian.

Secretary #1: It doesn’t bother me, but . . . blah blah homophobic blah.
Secretary #2 [in a confidential tone]: Did it change how you were around her?
Secretary #1 [after a pause, lips pursed]: Yes.
Secretary #3: You just never know when they’re going to hit on you.

Or, simply hit you.

Early February

I’m sitting in Central Market making eye contact with every black woman who comes in the door. I’m waiting for Sharon the Shea Butter Lady, who I’ve never met.

Waiting. Dum-dee-dum. Twiddle twiddle.

I’m sorry, I’m just not going to start going up to all the black women and ask them if they’re from African Visions.

Mid February

A friend of Harry the Landlord’s sees Rocky for the first time in a year. Her eyes start glowing and she scuttles towards us with her clawed hands outstretched and her mouth, filled with jagged, cig-stained teeth, gaping open, as if preparing to devour my child. Rocky is understandably hesitant to extend a greeting.

Also Mid February

My family goes to Jugglefest with Ev and Ev’s Mom. We watch a juggling video during which the narrator says “It’s ok if you can’t hold your balls.” Every adult in the audience laughs out loud.

Late February

At my night job, a gig modeling for sculptors. I get into position on the model stand, settle my body, isolate the muscles that are at work, allow the rest to melt. I set my focal point – a nice, neutral off-white door jamb, relax into it, prepare for the long haul – six weeks, six three-hour sessions in the same pose.

I soften my focus, let my mind wander . . . then abruptly, a woman decides to move herself – right in front of my focal point. I am now staring at her quadruple-D breasts, and now I’m set and can’t adjust anything.

Six weeks, staring at this woman’s gigantic boobs. If they turn up the AC, I’m going to be REAL distracted.

Early March

Mom and I are having a conversation about an ex who, until recently, I still had feelings for. She says, “You just dangled a participle RIGHT in front of me.”

Mid March

At my night job. Steve the Big-Time Sculptor, the instructor, is bending over someone’s Blue, slapping clay on it. “You don’t have enough . . .” {add add add} “. . . you’ve got to put more MEAT on that.”

Then, later, Steve again: “CUT IT OFF.”

Near the end of the night, it’s discovered that one of them gave my hand six fingers.

Early April

Steve the Big-Time Sculptor runs a sculpting academy for adults. His sculptures are life-sized nude women, beautifully rendered, with large chunks of the sculpture cut off, to reveal the odd shapes and lines under the cut. Steve is a tall, leathery old goat with white stubble on his head, bloodshot blue eyes, deep smile lines, whiskey breath and a way about him that makes you forget you usually have physical boundaries. I’m in my car, on the last night of this run, writing before the session starts. Steve comes out and ambles over. “So, can you do the next figure class? Same bat-time, just no clothes this time.” (They’ve been doing face, hands and feet for six weeks). “No, I’m going out of town at the end of April. I could maybe do the June one.”

He grins. “Damn. I was looking forward to seeing you naked.”

That was a totally inappropriate thing to say to an artists’ model. And now I know why I like him so much. “I’ll see you in June, Trailer Park.”

“That’s Doctor Trailer Park, Honey.”


One response to “Pieces of Me

  1. Oh I’ve missed you. This made me laugh out loud.

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