From time to time I’ve mentioned the hausfrau spirit of my ancestresses that inhabits me occasionally. This haunt, I’ve discovered, has a sense of humor, or a particular streak of cruelty, because she only takes over when I can least spare her the time. Case in point: this morning, I had less than an hour to get ready for work, due to the fact that of late I’ve been incapable of getting out of bed on the first try. No matter: housefrau demanded that I take out the trash (no mean enterprise, since our driveway is freakin’ long), wash the dishes, iron, make my bed, and straighten up my room, the kitchen, and the living room, besides the normal routine of shower, dress, makeup and blow dry. At least the haunt is efficient: even with all that, I would have been on time if the neighbor’s dog hadn’t jumped on me and gotten muddy paw prints on my slacks as I walked out the door. Fortunately housefrau knows how to fix all stains, and I was only 5 minutes late. The funny thing is that all the other people in my group walked in at the same minute — I wonder what ghosts deter them in the mornings?
Another noteworthy occurrence from this morning: on the drive in, “Black” by Pearl Jam came on the radio. This is the song that makes 99.9% of my generation drop everything and stare glassy-eyed into space while it’s playing. But at least I’ve got a story to go with it:
I spent the summer of 1996 in Kenya, on an archaeological field school. I could write forever about that summer, but the relevant point here is that I became very close to one boy, Scott, a pre-med student from UCLA. Since I had a boyfriend back in the States, I did my best to keep things platonic with Scott — in retrospect, one of my stupider decisions, since I broke up with said boyfriend practically the minute I stepped off the plane when I got home — but that’s another story. So Scott’s and my story is one of unrequited…something. Anyway, the day before we got back to Nairobi Scott handed me a folded-up piece of paper and walked away…I opened it to find the lyrics to “Black”. Some days I roll my eyes at this memory. This isn’t one of those days.
Now, see, I could let this song and this memory rattle through my head for the rest of the day and sink me into a deep azure funk. Today, though, I’m not gonna let that happen. I’ve got work to do (oh, do I ever), and I have a hunch that housefrau will be waiting for me, whip in hand, when I get home. I’ll use her drive to my advantage to make the farm a little less white trash. You have no idea how much stuff constantly needs to be done to keep the place from looking like a trailer park. Anyway, till then, I’m plugging in Sleater-Kinney and avoiding serious thought like the plague. Peace out.
A wonderful story just appeared in the Washington Post online — a white elephant was found in Myanmar. Admittedly, the fact that the local military is using its appearance as an “auspicious event that bodes well for the military state” isn’t so great, but…but…it’s a white elephant. Something straight out of legend…you can almost picture the sun smiling beneficently and blackberries springing from the ground at its every ponderous step. Something rare and darling coming to startle us all, like in the song “Yellow” by Coldplay: “Just skin, oh yeah your skin and bones/turn into something beautiful”…