Babysitting Gig

Babysitting Gig“And He Was…”

Found myself thrown into an impromptu babysitting gig for a friend.  Seems her chain of emergency back-up babysitters all came up empty, and I was her last resort.  Needless to say, I’m a sucker for sacrifice, and since she’s one of the few people I’d do anything for, I said, “sure– what the hell.”

Her children were delightful.  The baby boy is the most cherubic child I’ve ever seen, and he was an absolute hoot.  Give that kid a napkin or a paper towel and he’s dancing around the room as if he’s doing a ribbon-twirling gymnastics floor exercise.  The little girl is also a sweetheart, despite the fact that she threatened to pour root beer over my head.  (I would’ve let her, honestly… I have no shame anymore.)  She was playing an iPad game at one point, and when the obligatory in-game purchase opportunity appeared, she shouted, “I DON’T WANT YOUR GARBAGE!”  Good girl.  I did feel for “Fabio,” the virtual chef in her culinary game, though… he was trying so hard to teach her how to make an omelette, in his over-the-top stereotypical Italian accent (“Mama Mia!”) when she dismissively said, “Fabio’s a failure.”  Damn, girl… that’s cold.  I immediately thought of one of my favorite moments from Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket, in which Anthony (Luke Wilson) visits his grade-school-aged little sister shortly after his release from a “nervous hospital.”  After the visit, Anthony tells his friend Dignan (Owen Wilson) that his little sister thinks he’s a failure.  Dignan replies:

“What?!?  She said you’re a failure?!?   What has she ever accomplished with her life that’s so great, man?”

Brilliant.

*********************

So anyway, in a moment of respite (shortly after the baby boy went down for his nap) I snapped the above photograph on my phone– an homage to both Julie Blackmon and The Talking Heads, I guess.

Close to Me

Close to Me

I’ve waited hours for this–
I’ve made myself so sick–
I wish I’d stayed asleep today.
I never thought that this day would end–
I never thought tonight could ever be
This close to me.

Just try to see in the dark–
Just try to make it work.
To feel the fear before you’re here,
I make the shapes come much too close–
I pull my eyes out,
Hold my breath,
And wait until I shake.

But if I had your faith,
Then I could make it safe and clean–
If only I was sure
That my head on the door was a dream.

I’ve waited hours for this,
I’ve made myself so sick–
I wish I’d stayed asleep today.
I never thought that this day would end,
I never thought tonight could ever be
This close to me.

But if I had your face,
I could make it safe and clean.
If only I was sure,
That my head on the door
Was a dream.

(apologies to Robert Smith and The Cure)

Incinerate

Incinerate

I ripped your heart out from your chest,
Replaced it with a grenade blast.

Incinerate [repeat]

The firefighters hose me down–
I don’t care I’ll burn out anyhow.
It’s 4 alarm girl nothing to see…
Hear the sirens come for me.
You doused my soul with gasoline–
You flicked a match into my brain.

Incinerate [repeat]

The firefighters are so nice.
I remember you so cooolllllld as ice.
Now flames are licking at your feet–
Sirens come to put me out of misery.
You wave your torch into my eyes–
Flamethrower lover burnin’ mind.

Incinerate [repeat]

(apologies to Sonic Youth)

Turn Around

 

Turn Around

Cold hands, warm heart,
Big dreams, false starts.
Those pills don’t work,
They just make it worse.
Don’t say you’re through–
I’ll swim beside you.
So this town, this sea,
Won’t drag you underneath.

You gotta know that this will turn around,
Until then I will not let you down.
When you find your ship has run aground,
You can call me, I won’t let you down–
I won’t let you down.
This will turn around.

Sick days, drunk nights,
Short fuse, loud fights,
Lose weight, all bones,
White trucks, the undertow.
Don’t say you’re done–
‘Cause you’re brave and you’re loved.
And this town, this sea,
It won’t drag you underneath.

You gotta know that this will turn around–
Until then I will not let you down.
When you find your ship has run aground,
You can call me, I won’t let you down–
I won’t let you down,
This will turn around.

I won’t let you down.
You’ve gotta know that this will… 

Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh
Turn around, turn around, turn around oh

(apologies to The Postal Service)

Sunshowers (September 16th)

sunny-rain
the rain is full of ghosts tonight

Had the day off from work, and I’m wondering now if it might’ve been a better idea to go in, just to keep my mind occupied from nine to five, if anything. Instead, I’ve spent this mostly grey day mired in melancholy, haunted by ghosts and watching the strange weather through my window as it shifted back and forth between ominous skies and sunshine. Showers came in fits and starts all day, often even when the sun shone.

There’s an old wives’ tale that claims if it’s raining while the sun is shining, it means the Devil is beating his wife. I made that comment off-hand once at work during a sunshower, and most of my officemates were appalled. Only the oldest person in the room, one of our retired volunteers, had ever heard that expression before– to everyone else, it was arcane. Standing at my kitchen window today, wistful and watching the sun shine through the trees while the rain fell, I remembered that old wives’ tale and I couldn’t help but think how fortunate the Devil is to still have a wife, and how he should probably be treating her better.

I was originally going to post the poem “Neutral Tones” by Thomas Hardy to commemorate my old anniversary, as it’s a perfectly greyish poem for this greyish day, but ironically enough, the tone of the poem wasn’t quite right. Instead, I’m going to share a sonnet from Edna St. Vincent Millay, as it’s much more beautiful and its sentiment seems more appropriate.

rain_whiterose1

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

(apologies to Ms. Millay and to Mrs. D.G.S.)