Up in the aerie, very hot & sultry out. Back from picking up the neighbor's share from the CSA farm (she's down in the city). D and I take about a quarter of the haul - this week, for us, beefsteak and plum tomatoes, a couple of apples, soft mixed lettuce, arugula, a red pepper, and green beans. I made an executive decision and took the broccoli rabe, left the kale for neighbor. I could have reversed it. But I didn't see the point of giving us half each - greens cook down to nothing. I borrowed scissors for the cutting border and snipped zinnias, a flower that looks like purple springtime scilla, a lurid pink feather-boa plumed annual, and a hefty bunch of basil for pesto. This late in September a hot summer day is a gift. So far, in my own planters, I've held out on yanking the petunias for mums.
I lost my cool yesterday in a way that I'm not proud of and accomplished no good. Though maybe I was "within my rights." I'd come home with groceries and neighbor who's been pretending I don't exist for years now (and communicating the same vibe to her friendly, puzzled toddlers) came marching up the drive insisting - politely of course - that she'd shut the garden hose that her little girl had turned on in play. I said, don't bother I should water anyway. A five second contretemps ensued - I'll shut it off, no don't, no really I'll shut it, no don't - these are the first words I have exchanged with her in at least two years now. So I said - and I didn't realize how very tense I was for some reason, it just came out - is there some reason you've been giving me the silent treatment for a couple of years? Neighbor is quick-witted but of course was taken aback and went into deniability mode. I'm not aware of anything, she said. Really, I said. And that was that, she slunk back down the drive without turning off the hose, and I slunk in the house going, WTF did I just do?
I am sorry I did that, it did absolutely nothing in terms of conflict resolution. It was more like this impulse to address the elephant that (from my point of view) is always in the room. Once in a while you just want to say - hey, there's that elephant.
I enjoy reading Cary Tennis's advice column on Salon, and he had a good one the other day that I related to. I guess I have all kinds of issues with power plays that I can hardly begin to sort out. Like the whole weird vampirishly resurrected after 30 years thing - power game on his part, very married and almost undoubtedly with a local another besides, never mind "virtual" me.
I stopped by the supermarket this morning and am just horrified at the bovine horrible mean ugly stupidity that reads on so many people's faces (maybe especially, and I'm sorry to say it, senior citizens, at this hour, at this market anyway). Look, I'm in a provincial hick town, and anyone "my type" - smart, good-looking & intelligent - is at work in the city someplace, or pretty much anywhere but the supermarket on a Friday morning. (Though a few of the young cashiers look like potential bright lights. I hope they don't wind up getting trapped.) But it just horrified me, reading those rigid, unintelligent faces. I truly felt like an alien, wired completely differently from these people who their entire lives have lived within rules - and enforced them. Their faces are hardened and twisted into meanness as a result. As I went up and down the aisles encountering these superannuated zombies I felt - what am I doing here?
D said that neighbor said that neighbor's neighbor B doesn't like her chickens marching on his crew-cut mowed weed-free lawn. What a vapid idiot that guy is, his empty lawnscape a good reflection of his empty mind.
Oh Lord, I'm sorry to go off like this, especially to kind friends and readers in such places as Manhattan, Denmark, and Finland. It's just that it's a very weird society here in the States (outside city centers that is), and what you may read about and puzzle over about Tea Partyers and Sarah P and whoever else (honestly - I've gotten to the point where I've all but stopped following the news - what is the point? it just upsets me and other than firing off a letter here and pulling a lever there those dynamics go on despite me, won't be changed by me - so I continue on with this blog) gets played out on a microlevel. As unreal as those dynamics seem - have you ever actually met a Tea Partyer? - oh yes, they're real all right, you can pick them out - they're the ones, usually of a certain age I think, on whom you can see the twisted dumb unhappy meanness.
And I'm talking ShopRite, which is a nice supermarket as supermarkets go (i.e., unpretentious, human-scaled, good produce, isn't afraid to mark things down). I never set foot in W***mart or a lot of those places that America keeps building in its psychotic fury to pave itself over.
Oh darlings everywhere please someone come out of the woodwork and give me a big old long soul kiss, the kind that leads to another. I promise that if I ever run for office I will make a point of increasing opportunities for people to make mad, beautiful, joyful love.
Sitting here with my hair up and my body toned in anticipation of love in a pink cotton bra as gloaming falls on this sultry late September afternoon - well, I'm supposed to just let go and let it happen and I've been doing nothing if not that so where the hell are the kisses? and by the way I give as good as I get...
Oh lord, darlings, peace and goodnight. XOXO