please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The Rusty Sharp Things are sitting in a bucket, outside in the rain, getting rustier. The bucket is an old thing made of tin that held firewood at Bachelor Pad Two for as long as I've been alive. In fact, this whole damn place is decorated in early Sixties beach house. It smells like the sea.

Truly: there is the sectional that first graced my grandparents' home in Astoria for twenty years or so, then was relegated to the beach house, like all things we, in the family, no longer wanted.
Myself, when I bequeathed things to that house, it was more along the lines of A Decent Vacuum Cleaner Finally, or some witty, pithy remarks in the guest book (hereafter known as The Great Book of Life and Death).

This summer included a Da Nang-esque airlift out of Bachelor Pad One, getting all the furniture (and a fair amount of the art) out of Bachelor Pad Two, month's-long hegira to the Bee's place (two adults and two Thug Dawgz in a one-bedroom apartment), finally coalescing here, in fantastic Dockworker's Paradise.
And now...O Christ, there she goes each morning, to a job of some sort...Somewhere. This leaves me to look at stupid shit on the internet, shortly before me and the girls get together for pitchers of martinis.

My day begins when hers does, what with me making some coffee and rudimentary breakfast. Actually, having this dry season in my own employment has allowed us both to truly take our time in moving all these many times, and for me to ineptly build things.
Well, this house, for all its stately double-lot backyard, is tiny, and needed improvised storage, which a middling carpenter like myself can certainly sort of figure out.

So I go over to Mr. Plywood (whose logo is a diamond-shaped, coverall-wearing man made of wood, with lurid holes where his eyes should be), and stand there feeling like a fraud. It's so much better when I'm there for a job: "Hey man. Oregon Ballet Theater? Y' got an invoice for me?"
But standing there requesting several awkward cuts on strange pieces of wood so I can make the world's least impressive shelving unit for my many, many vinyl records? I feel like I'm in Man Drag.

Then I go get some groceries (my man likes her pear cider when she gets home and takes off her trench coat, throws down her briefcase and badgers me for her pipe and slippers, doncha know), and prepare to make some dinner. Having recently figured out what constitutes a decent chicken confit and how to make risotto, I'm all right.

Truth is though: if only I still had that fucking beach house. I took so many people there who only broke my heart, or failed to appreciate it for its inherent greatness, it stings most mightily that here, this summer, I can't take someone that I truly love.
And I consider this too: that for so many of the recent summers, what I was really doing was going there with couples who were happy with one another, and...Me, who was always happy to be there, but Alone. Or better yet, sitting there alone for a week, mourning the loss of yet another fine love affair.

I tried not to be a spoiled brat about it. I was on the phone with th' Gringa a couple summers ago, sitting there eating baked brie with roasted garlic, crusty bread and mussels seethed in the limey, tomatoey, salty brine that is the byproduct of my salsa-making. Staring at the sea going golden at twilight, living like a pimp, but all I could think about was: why the fuck isn't there someone here for me to share this with? What's the point of assiduously harvesting the blackberries from the bush out back when there's no one to surprise them with in the morning?

As my father once pointed out to me though, not everybody has a beach house.

So now we live further up the river. On a good day, I can smell the swamp cabbage and sea breeze, just as if I'm over on the coast, visiting my relatives. I live with a woman who routinely writes wonderful things about me that I, despite what I've been told is a gift for words, can never truly reciprocate. I've been a cynical bastard for too long.
Or: I say them to her face. Writing about such things always struck me as boring and trite. You never get to watch any of my fictional characters have sex, either. That's somebody else's job.



Blogger Aunty Christ said...

Yeah, you are all right.

And the point of harvesting blackberries when there's no one to surprise them with in the morning? Why, to freeze them and stick them on your girlfriend's banged up leg after she stupidly falls off her bike one evening, of course! Oh, thanks for that, and a million other things. As for writing about sex--I mean, that's what You Tube's for, inn't it?

5:47 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

True. So true. It continues to mystify me that the one narrative voice I don't like speaking in (currently) is my own.

But yes, you're welcome, and now we have our own damn blackberry bush in our own damn backyard. Damn!

9:01 AM  

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