Friday, November 16, 2012

Eat the Apple, Sippy

Sippy, you see that woman? Look over there by the fountain. No, not the tree; move your eyes to the left. To the left. You see that woman? That’s a woman, Sippy, a woman in a fur coat. No, that’s not a bear. In this park, they don’t have bears. Maybe it looks like a bear to you, but it isn’t, it’s a woman. You see who I’m talking about? That woman. I used to know her. 
Years ago. She was my neighbor. Her name is Mrs. Nash. Nash. No, not Nosh. Who would be named Nosh, that's not even a name. Are you listening to me, Sippy? That woman over there, she’s blind. 
Blind, not blond. No, she’s not blond, she’s blind. That woman. The one over there on the bench, by the fountain. Yes, the one you thought was a bear. That’s Mrs. Nash. She’s blind.
I know what I’m talking, trust me. When you’re neighbors with someone you notice these things. She lived right in my building when we were on Vyse Avenue. She was on the second floor, like me. She had windows, they faced the front. The woman is blind, Sippy, she can’t see a thing but she had windows on the street. I’ve got two good eyes, they gave me windows to the back. 
You hear me? All day long I looked out on other people’s laundry, I smelled their stinking garbage. But she had rooms with a view. It used to gall me something terrible. I told my Solly, I said to him, “Where is the justice?”

But it wasn't her fault, I didn’t hold it against her. It was the rental agent, that crook Rubikoff. Ira Rubikoff. Roo-bi-koff, the rental agent. Doesn’t ring a bell with you? No matter, he’s dead. Don’t be sorry, you didn't kill him. No, not Solly. Solly's not dead. Solly's my husband. I'm talking about that rat, Rubikoff. Pay attention, Sippy. Well make more of an effort. 
So, that woman, Mrs. Nash, the blind woman, I’m telling you, she could do anything you or I could do. Honest to God. She shopped for herself, she cooked for herself, she baked even. Yes, in the oven. When I passed her door I could smell she was baking. Sewing, too, she made her own clothes. The whole works, not just hems, the entire outfit she would make. With darts for her bosoms. She had large bosoms. It's not a criticism and it's not a compliment, it's just a fact. 
And I’ll tell you something else. She did her own laundry down in the basement, in that old machine there. Yes, she did, why would I lie to you? And she hung it up in the backyard, with clothespins. I saw her do it. From my windows I could see her, with the undergarments, the good linens. She had nice quality things, that Mrs. Nash.
I’m telling you, Sippy, there’s not a thing she couldn’t do. Except drive a car. I know, of course, who wants to drive? But with her, it’s not a matter of want. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, let’s say she wanted to drive. Who knows why? It doesn’t matter why, let’s just say she wanted to. If she wanted to, still, she could not do it. 
If I wanted to drive, if you wanted to drive, whatever the reason, we could do it if we wanted to. But her, Mrs. Nash, if she wanted to, still she couldn’t do it. 

Because she’s blind, that’s why. You forgot she was blind? That’s the whole point. The point is, the woman is blind. She can do everything the same as you and me. But she cannot drive a car. 
No, that is the point. It’s my story, Sippy, I know, she was my neighbor. You don’t even know her so how could you know the point? The point is: no matter she had her windows on the front, no matter she could sew, she could bake, no matter she was born over here in this country, her husband, he had a good job, a nice head of hair, all of that makes no matter. What I’m telling you is, even if she wanted to, she could not drive. It’s just not possible. 
Okay, Sippy, you see your point and I’ll see mine. Let’s just leave it at that. No, I’m not angry with you. I am not angry, trust me. Here, Sippy, eat an apple, be happy. 

It's an apple. Put out your hand and take it. No, it won’t give you gas. I want you should eat it. I’m telling you one more time. Eat the apple, Sippy.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Places in the World

Places in the World I Would Mark on a Map. If I Were Making Such a Map. Which I'm Not. I'm Making a List.

Places where I hesitated before entering. 
Places where I smelled smoke but there wasn't any.
Places where I bought a book just because I liked the cover.
Places where I've fallen down.
Places where I felt invisible.
Places where I forgot to breathe.
Places where I was almost run over.
Places where I wasn't honest with myself.
Places where I heard sounds I couldn't identify.
Places where I wanted to leave but had to stay.
Places where I learned something new and fabulous.
Places where I couldn't avoid speaking with someone I didn't want to speak with.
Places where I didn't know any language that was useful.
Places where I was afraid to be up so high.
Places where I collided with a bicycle.
Places where I didn't want to buy anything.
Places where I visited dead people.
Places where I had to endure too many rules made by too many other people.
Places where I didn't wear any items of black clothing.
Places where I felt comfortable in my own skin.
Places where I couldn't avoid big bugs.
Places where I embarrassed myself by laughing uncontrollably and inappropriately.
Places where I was still and quiet and alone and happy.
Places where I waited for someone who never showed up.
Places where I held her hand and she held mine.
Places where I couldn't stand the smells surrounding me.
Places where I danced with abandon, until my feet wouldn't move any longer.
Places where I could feel my heart beating faster.
Places where I was mistaken for somebody else.
Places where I was actually very brave.
Places where I operated large machinery and didn't lose any body parts in the process.
Places where I kept my mouth shut.
Places where I thought I was alone but it turned out that I wasn't.
Places where I pretended to be English.
Places where I lost control.
Places where I have gone in my dreams.
Places where I said the opposite of what I meant.
Places where I read the last chapter of a book before I read the first.
Places where I met someone I'd always wanted to meet and they turned out to be as wonderful as I thought they were. 
Places where I was talking out loud to myself and people noticed.
Places where I lost my temper (and/or was rude) and regretted it.
Places where I lost my temper (and/or was rude) and did not regret it.
Places where I stood still in the middle of the street and couldn't go on.
Places where I was happy and comfortable and safe in the middle of a huge noisy crowd of people.
Places where I swooned over dessert.
Places where I dropped a full bag of groceries and broken glass was involved.
Places where I was robbed.
Places where I had an epiphany.
Places where I succumbed to the irrational urge to buy at least one new pen that I didn't need.
Places where I wept in public.
Places where I expected to be welcomed with open arms and I wasn't.
Places where I stopped to re-tie my shoelaces.
Places where I didn't understand the instructions.
Places where I entered a room and walked right out again.
Places where I shook hands with someone whose grip was limp and damp.
Places where I waved to somebody, thinking they were somebody else.
Places where I waited for a bus that never arrived.
Places where I didn't stop to smell the roses.
Places where I bought a pair of beautiful shoes even though I knew they didn't fit. 
Places where I eavesdropped on strangers.
Places where I looked out a window but didn't see anything because my mind was elsewhere.
Places where I walked into a movie theatre after the movie had begun.
Places where I got a haircut that I hated.
Places where I stopped before I got to the top.
Places where I walked down the street playing an instrument.
Places where I refused to give up.
Places where I took something that didn't belong to me.
Places where I fell asleep in public, drooled a little, and maybe even snored.
Places where I squinted into the sun.
Places where I left a performance during the intermission.
Places where I didn't see her at first, and then I did see her, and I was so happy she was there.
Places where I stopped at the Scenic Overlook and thought "ho hum."
Places where I slept soundly but later she said there was a ghost in the room.
Places where I ate an excellent meal in a restaurant, on my own.
Places where I made a promise I knew I could not keep.
Places where I said "I'm sorry" and meant it.
Places where I had no business going in the first place and I shouldn't have  been surprised when things turned out badly.
Places where I picked wildflowers along the side of the road.
Places where I sat around a campfire singing those good old tunes with utmost sincerity.
Places where I didn't do a good job with a hammer and nail.
Places where I heard disturbing news.
Places where I ran out of time.
Places where I thought the line or queue I was on would never move.
Places where I saw something I wish I hadn't seen.
Places where I had to quickly take off my hat/scarf/gloves because suddenly it was much too hot.
Places where I got caught in the rain without an umbrella.
Places where I bumped into something or someone because I was walking and reading at the same time.
Places where I gave up too soon.
Places where I  spent a whole day in the public library.
Places where I ran out of coins in the phone booth before the conversation was over.
Places where I had to answer awkward, embarrassing questions.
Places where I refused to get on the elevator.
Places where I had to say "no" repeatedly before I was heard.
Places where I received good advice but ignored it.
Places where I thought "this must be a dream," but it wasn't.
Places where I didn't get the joke.
Places where I relished being in the limelight.
Places where I felt safe in my disguise.
Places where I wrote in the dark.
Places where I followed a stranger down the street because I was curious to see where we would both end up.
Places where I refused to consult a map or ask for directions.
Places where I regretted not being more competent in math.
Places where I thought I'd be bored and restless but instead I was peaceful and content.
Places where I had to pay money to use the toilet.
Places where I saw a friendly face in the crowd and it was the reassurance I most needed.
Places where I sneezed and couldn't find a tissue in any one of my many pockets.
Places where I accidentally stepped on a crack even though, under normal circumstances, I would not do that.
Places where I startled a wild animal as much as it startled me.
Places where I should have knocked before entering.
Places where I ate something that was too hot and it burned my tongue.
Places where I looked up just in time to see a bird begin its song.
Places where I read the "keep off the grass" sign but I didn't heed it.
Places where I was in water up over my head.
Places where I couldn't find an all-night pharmacy when I needed one.
Places where I resisted temptation.
Places where I was foolishly sentimental.
Places where I came eyeball to eyeball with someone else's insanity.
Places where I abruptly changed my seat.
Places where I was disappointed in myself.
Places where I was the least athletic person in the group.
Places where I cleaned someone else's house.
Places where I went for months at a time without cooking.
Places where I hitchhiked.
Places where I was intimately familiar with public transportation routes.
Places where I could have consulted a dictionary but I chose not to.
Places where I felt uncomfortably touristy.
Places where I walked into a museum just to use the bathroom.
Places where I didn't recognize myself.
Places where I knew all my neighbors.
Places where I should have trusted my intuition, but unfortunately I didn't.
Places where I stood up for myself.
Places where I asked for help and got it.
Places where I was thirsty.
Places where I was much too bossy.
Places where I couldn't remember the rules of the game.
Places where I ran out of ink.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Would You Rather?

Would you rather eat BBQ potato chips or garlic mashed potatoes?

Would you rather spend a weekend in Paris or at the Mall of America?

Would you rather have people think you are a zombie or a Republican?

Would you rather watch cloud formations  or fold a huge pile of laundry?

Would you rather be a movie star or a shooting star?

Would you rather live in a barn with the barn owls or be a clown with a traveling circus?

Would you rather be a jello mold or a dunce cap?

Would you rather bake a cake or ride on a roller coaster?

Would you rather weed the garden or whittle a piece of wood?

Would you rather walk a labyrinth or compete in a rodeo?

Would you rather go fishing or play tiddlywinks with a five year old?

Would you rather see a movie based on a Jane Austen novel or attend a yodeling competition?

Would you rather send tweets on twitter or go bird watching?

Would you rather go kayaking or take a ballet class (wearing a tutu)? 

Would you rather climb to the top of an old oak tree or enter a nationally-televised spelling bee?

Would you rather plow a field with a tractor or go bungee jumping?

Would you rather milk a cow or be a skateboarder?

Would you rather be a chipmunk or a rainbow?

Would you rather take a week-long vow of silence or participate in a crossword puzzle contest?

Would you rather be a gooseberry or a goose?

Would you rather eat a dozen sour pickles or go up in a hot air balloon?

Would you rather be a $2 bill or a kazoo?

Would you rather watch a Tom Cruise movie or sing an unrehearsed solo in the community choir?

Would you rather be a strawberry shortcake or a lost mitten?

Would you rather live poor in NYC or rich in Billings, Montana?

Would you rather choose your own nickname or have someone else give you one? 

Would you rather see Aida at the Metropolitan Opera House or run a marathon race?

Would you rather be a Tibetan monk or Lady Gaga?

Would you rather be a dermatologist or a dog groomer?

Would you rather dance the polka or paddle a canoe?

Would you rather be a dental hygienist or a pinball wizard?

Would you rather be a lobster or an English muffin?

Would you rather go to a horse race or play beach volley ball?

Would you rather have hiccups for a day or eat a ketchup and mayonnaise sandwich?

Would you rather be a cupcake or an Olympic gymnast?

Would you rather wear a strapless (and sequined) evening gown or a Girl Scout uniform?

Would you rather be Mona Lisa or a goldfish?

Would you rather count backwards from 10,000 by 8 or eat a pound of cotton candy?

Would you rather be an elephant trainer or a hula dancer?

Would you rather eat a steak or search for a bushel of seashells at the seashore?

Would you rather be a pickpocket or repair antique pocket watches?

Would you rather watch a marathon of "Twilight" movies or a marathon of "The Godfather" movies?

Would you rather build a cairn out of a pile of loose rocks or out of a truckload of jellybeans?

Would you rather be the envelope or the stamp?

Would you rather lead a parade down Main Street (while walking on stilts) or go fossil hunting?

Would you rather join a mariachi band or a knitting circle?

Would you rather be a vampire or a bowl of Japanese noodles?

Would you rather have orange skin or be an orange?

Would you rather be a monarch butterfly or a sumo wrestler?

Would you rather tat a lace doily or make a snowman out of guacamole?

Would you rather be a florist or a first grade teacher?

Would you rather know or guess?

Would you rather write your own obituary or have it written for you?