Clareified

Where does the good go

Archive for March, 2010

Before the fall

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

I heard some form of this story not too long ago. It stuck with me, for various reasons, but I’m not entirely sure I’ve settled on its meaning. I don’t necessarily remember all the real specifics, but here is my generalized retelling.

This is the story of two boys.
Friends since childhood, they started their relationship much the way we all do when we’re young. To wit: Hi, we’re the same age! Let’s play.
And play they did. Bikes, balls, running, videogames, they were two peas in a pod.
Then one of them fell into drugs. And he fell hard. He quickly moved up the addiction ladder from sneaking sips of beer to stealing his sister’s mp3 player to get money for cocaine.
His parents shuttled him from one unsuccessful rehab center to another. All the while, his best friend worrying, supporting, visiting, helping the best he could with a struggle, even men three times his age couldn’t begin to tackle.
Ultimately, the drug abuse had too powerful a hold. And when his friend stole his identity and directed the police to his door for a crime his friend had committed, he knew it was time to cut ties. Sadly, he turned the page and walked away.
They would, however, find each again some years later.
The non drug addict boy had graduated from college by now, had some minor successes, but had lost his job due to marked economic decline at the decade’s end. He hustled soft card games for money, subletted an apartment, dated occasionally. He was getting by.
His friend, on the other hand, had seemingly finally found the rehab program that worked. He had been clean for almost a year when he sheepishly showed up at his friend’s door to apologize for the things he’d done.
The young men hugged and no further words about the past were uttered. The former addict introduced his fiancee. Told his friend about the business he’d started. They picked up where they’d left off before drugs had cut their friendship short.
However, a few months into their adult friendship, the former drug addict came to his friend wanting to talk.
He was concerned about his pal.
“You need direction. I have a relationship and I’m a businessman. You are just wasting your life with nonsense. Yvonne and I are worried about you. Look at me!”
The young man listened quietly. He finished his cigarette and tried to suppress a smile.
“Yes. Look at you,” and he walked away without another word.

Lady Lazarus

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

In high school I stayed far away from writing reports about Sylvia Plath. First, I never particularly cared for her poetry. It seemed weak to me, mousy. Second, the poems I liked were all about suicide and death. And I didn’t need another trip to the dean’s office to explore my fascination with death. (One time I got an easy question wrong in Spanish class and did used my “thumb/pointer finger gun” to shoot myself in the head, complete with sound effects, earning me my first trip. If they only knew about my world domination plans! *Tents fingers* Insert evil villain laugh.
But it’s ladies month (oh, what a month! Oh what a month!) So here’s yer bowl of Plath angst and self-violence. I never understood the Nazi imagery in the poem (I googled it when I settled on this one and most of the entries said it was about her father, who was German. But how do you write a poem with that esoteric a reference before I could google? Boo. Plath sucks. No offense. None taken.)
Lady Lazarus
by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it–

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
O my enemy.
Do I terrify?–

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot–
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else.
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I’ve a call.

It’s easy enough to do it in a cell.
It’s easy enough to do it and stay put.
It’s the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

‘A miracle!’
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart–
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash–
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there–

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

Dawn Summers: American Hero

Sunday, March 14th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

On Saturday, all manner of hell just about broke loose in Brooklyn, NY. The skies were just this shade of pitch black at nine in the morning. The rain was slamming against my windows. And the wind, oh the wind huffed and puffed and tried to blow my house down.
I called my mother and informed her that I believed 2010 had physically manifested into percipitation and was trying to get me.
She said I was crazy and told me to nap.
Hmmph.
I stood at my balcony door and watched the water splashing against the paint. Puddles were forming.
Mmmhmm. Nap.
I put in a movie. I would tell you about it, but I am apparently, now locked in a movie review battle royale on Film Chaw with Julius Goat, so I need the ammunitions reserve. (Incidentally, you guys read that correctly, there is a man, somewhere (Canada, I think) with two personalities, who thinks he can outblog DAWN SUMMERS!!)
Anyway, I’m watching this movie, and when it ends, I put in another movie (now, I’m just trying to get into his head) and peek outside again. The puddles had merged into pools. My cooler was floating from one end of the balcony to the other. My planters were naught but dirt and water — mostly water.
I called my mother again!
“The balcony is flooded!”
“Really?”
“Yes! 2010 is coming! Like that Terminator guy who turned all liquid silver and poured himself into the house!”
“Did you nap?”
Damn you, woman! I. Will. NOT. NAP.
I’m almost finished with the movie, when I see something move out of the corner of my eye.
Water!
Everywhere!
It’s creeping toward me and my lunch! I roll off the couch and stand up. A pool had formed in the dining room, though the area directly in front of the balcony door was completely dry! The windows were closed and the ledge was also dry. The water was literally materializing out of thin air and HEADING MY WAY!
I picked up my comforter, called the front desk and grabbed some shoes.
“Luis, this is Dawn! In apartment 12! Two thousand and ten is trying to kill me. It has broken in from the balcony and is pooling in the dining room.”
“What? There’s water in your dining room”?
“Yes, water, 2010, tomato/potato, send HELP!”
Our little handyman, Duncan, rang my bell about five minutes later rolling one of those yellow buckets that janitors use in public elementary schools. He also had an industrial size grey string mop.
“Where’s the –” he started to ask before staring down at the flood of rainwater creeping toward my front door.
“Um.”
He rubbed his head.
“I think I’ll go get the water machine from the basement.”
He aboutfaced and left me with the mop and the flood.
I stared my nemesis down.
“You stay there! I will SO MOP YOU!”
I gripped the handle. You know, to show I meant BUSINESS!
It inched forward.
“Ahh!” I jumped on my couch.
“Fuck you!”
I called my mom to update her on my deteriorating situation.
“You said, NAP! And now I am walking on my furniture!! ON MY FURNITURE!”
She apologized profusely for ignoring me earlier.
“Call the super.”
“I did.”
“Put down some old comforters to soak up the water.”
“No, the guy is bringing a machine to suck it up.”
She was silent.
“So why are you standing on the couch?”
“Cause the water called my mop bluff.”
Sheesh. It’s like this woman has never heard of a Mexican standoff…between a black girl and um…water.
Duncan came back.
“I gotta go.”
He asked me where the outlet was, I pointed to the pronged holes in my wall.
“Yeah, this wind is killing the east side of the building. The woman in apt. 17 – her whole place is flooded.”
“Where’s it coming from? The windows and doors are dry.”
He trudged through the pooling water and looked out.
“Your whole balcony is flood! Did you see that? That’s where it’s coming from!”
He turned the wet vac on and it began to buzz.
I put my movie back on. Luckily, it was a French flick with subtitles cause I couldn’t hear anything. And then my apartment whirred silent.
The power blew.
I reset the breaker thingie and everything came back to life.
I finished my movie and ten minutes later, pow: out again.
I turned off the TV, all the lights and fixed the thingie again. Thirty minutes later it blew one more time. The handyman emptied the wet vac again, but water was still coming.
I had to drain the water from the balcony or we would both die! (Shut up. You tell your stories your way, I’ll tell my stories my way!)
I dug my rubber rainboots out of the closet and grabbed the plunger from the bathroom.
I was going out there. I pushed the balcony door. It didn’t budge. I jimmied the handle, still nothing.
“Duncan, I can’t get it open.”
He shuffled over; water rippled around his ankles.
He pushed the door. Nothing.
“It’s the wind, man!”
He leaned his whole body against the glass and it eeked open for a moment before slamming shut again.
So…if I go out there, I won’t be able to get back?
Who signs up for a suicide mission wearing pajamas, boots and holding a two dollar plunger?
How is this my life??!
“We should prop open the door with something heavy.”
“No, then everything will get wet. Look, I’m going out…you save yourself if anything goes wrong. I will be okay. And if my mother calls, you tell her I said “I told you so!””
We pushed against the door until it opened wide enough for me to fit through, I stumbled out into the eye of the storm. The door slammed behind me and the wind laughed cruelly.
I waded over to where the drain should have been, but it was covered with debris. I started to kick the leaves away and immediately regretted not having laced my boots.
Water seeped in.
Well, at least I’m not wearing socks.
I started to plunge the drain. The rain and wind shoved me against the wall.
The water height remain unchanged.
I grabbed a broom and tried to push the water over the side.
This was a BAD idea. Each time I pushed the water to the edge, the wind spit it back at me. My pajama pants were drenched.
I went back to plunging the drain.
After about five minutes, I heard a gurgle! A circle began to form and as it gathered momentum the water began to recede!
A-ha, 2010! Suck on that!
I was actually able to open the balcony door quite easily – no doubt thanks to my newly acquired plunging muscles.
I stepped back across the threshold into my apartment.
Victorious.
I had saved myself, Duncan, my building.
In effect, I had saved the world.

Got yer 2010 tag right here, Ftrain

Thursday, March 11th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

Unfortunately, all the doctor appointments has resulted in a new bout of funemployment. (Sucks, but I’m fine. Plus, I hated it with the fiery passion of a thousand Path trains. And if it gets really bad, I’ll just move to Arizona and share a room with Wygant.) Also unfortunately, flights are Redonkulously expensive, so…
Ok, a woman with any semblance of dignity or self-respect would NOT be posting a review of fifteen movies, less than two weeks, after her last post reviewing about a dozen movies. Such a woman would pretend to have friends or interests or, a job. Lucky for you guys, I have none of these things! What I do have is a Blockbuster membership, bitches!

My favorite movie is 2012! It’s Independence Day, Titanic, Beaches and Armageddon all rolled into one! Go see it! Go see it now!
Full reviews here.

Quote of the Year

Thursday, March 11th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

“We’ll likely have to remove it surgically. But the good news is it’s benign, benign, benign. It’s a rare condition we usually see in women in their twenties.” -Breast doctor, which totally turns out to be a real thing.

Though…I don’t know why she said “usually”? I am so 29.

Thanks for all your comments, e-mails, texts and support! Y’all rock.

Crazy awesome

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

Years ago I blogged something for which I got a lot of flack. To wit: I wrote that you are who you are by the time you’re 13 or 14. Heck, I might even have said 9. I was a quietly observant, weird little girl with a twisted sense of humor and creative revenge fantasies when I was 7. And I kept a daily personal diary by 8.
I heard the arguments against my thesis.
I may have even been swayed, but only to a degree. Perhaps 15 or 16. But it’s a lot earlier than we’d like to believe and I still don’t believe that people change. Sure, you may quit drinking, but you’ll indulge excessively in some other thing: like Jesus.
You may quit the gang and become a soldier – but you’re still about violence.
As for me, I’ve always been about defying expectations. So much so, that I can honestly say 90% of the time, I’m not sure what it is I actually want, but the minute I can sense someone else pushing me in one direction or another, 100% of the time I passionately, vehemently, with every fiber of my being, want the opposite of that! Oh, it doesn’t even matter what it is. Even good stuff, I’m all “why would you think I want a billion dollars? Negro, you don’t know my life!”
Meh.
Yet another one of those wonderful quirks which makes me delightful to be around.
Petitedov has one of my favorite exchanges up on her blog. It goes something like someone yells “everyone’s different!” The crowd shouts: “Yeah!” And then a lone voice says “I’m not different.” It makes me smile every time. Cause that would so me.
Smart ass.
That impulse no longer causes me to act out or take stupid risks anymore. But that’s mostly because I am slow and I’ve aged out of the juvenile justice system. I’m too pretty for prison.
But this poem made me smile because I think it’s a little bit about bucking convention and marching to the beat of your own drummer. Even if the beat of your own drummer is just playing other people’s beats backwards.

The Crazy Woman by Gwendolyn Brooks

I shall not sing a May song.
A May song should be gay.
I’ll wait until November
And sing a song of gray.

I’ll wait until November
That is the time for me.
I’ll go out in the frosty dark
And sing most terribly.

And all the little people
Will stare at me and say,
“That is the Crazy Woman
Who would not sing in May.”

Twofer Poetry Wednesday

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

I wrote today’s poem selection post weeks ago, but then Falstaff sent me this kick ass poem and I thought I’d share it with you guys. Um…completely without his permission, by the way, so …um… do any of you guys know a good lawyer?

It’s probably nothing
by John G. Hartness

It can’t be terminal
because I’m entirely too interesting
to die in my thirties.

Dying young is romantic,
all James Dean ball of fire
and leave a pretty corpse.
Dozens of “better to burn
out than fade away” clichés,
but it guarantees a certain
type of memory
and appropriately tragic grieving.

Long life is all bittersweet
sunset metaphors and lavender smells
hiding the entirely understandable stench
of piss that seeps into every room.
It’s fond remembrances and casseroles
and marks made and people left behind
and wry smiles in memoriam.

But dying in your thirties
is just so lame,
like a bad joke with a non sequitor punchline.
Because you’ve just started
to understand your ignorance
but haven’t managed to learn
what anything means yet.

Accountants die in their thirties,
struck unsuspecting by buses
when the light changes,
or insurance salesmen that choke
on a radish in their Ryan’s food bar salad.

So because I am far too interesting
to die before I’ve fully explored
how amazing I really will be,
then it must be nothing.

Translation?

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

He didn’t want Dawn Summers’ black foot up his ass.

“In every category, you’re going to miss some wonderful people,” said Davis, who has helped assemble Oscar’s In Memoriam montage since it began in 1993.

When asked why Michael Jackson was included when actors were left out, Davis explained that Jackson had appeared in a popular theatrical film recently. Fawcett and Jackson both died on June 25.

“Think of all the blogging we would have gotten if we had left him out!” he said.

Happy Birthday, Pi

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

May this be your best year yet and may all your wishes come true! Especially your wish to make me a cheesecake pie and bring it to me. Yes, especially that one.
Happy Birthday!

Formspring

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 by Dawn Summers

My elf refuses to post for me anymore on the grounds that “I don’t feel like blogging” is not the same as an inability to blog. I vehemently objected. However, the lack of posts yesterday indicates that while my objection was duly noted, I evidently can suck in.
*Deep breath*
So, we’ll know whatever there is to know on Wednesday. But I’ve really got nothing to blog about, so feel free to 1. Entertain yourselves 2. Ask me fun and clever questions. Especially math questions. I am awesome at math questions! Just ask Alceste, I was adding and multiplying in MY HEAD a couple of days ago. In. My. Head!
Also, you can ask me about beating Kearns at text messaging. I am very good at that too. Curiosity something something.