Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Notes from my conscience

April 28, 2010

There’s humor in here somewhere.



1. Do not eat meat. It rots in your gut. It is seething with bacteria, growth hormones and feces. And if you can help it, don’t eat any animal products.

2. Stay away from white flour. It has no nutritional value whatsoever. It’s the devil.

3. Sugar will rot your teeth. Avoid sugar. More importantly, avoid sugar substitutes. They cause cancer.

4. Processed foods cause cancer also. They will kill you. Processed foods are a good example of man’s inhumanity to man.

5. You can eat fruits and vegetables, but only organic and only locally grown. Stay away from corporate organic growers in Ecuador and Costa Rica. The travel time and energy it takes to ship these organics foods to your local market depletes the ozone layer.

6. Soy is a scam. Avoid soy.

7. Fish isn’t safe anymore. There’s mercury and PCBs in the water. Don’t eat fish. Take omega-3 vitamin supplements instead, but with a few rules: don’t buy just any over-the-counter fish oil. Check the amount of EPA and DHA of each capsule and what fish they use when extracting the omega-3s. And by all means, make sure you get a pure brand that uses molecular distillation.

8. Stay away from plastic containers. They’re toxic and made with polyethylene terephthalate. Polyethylene terephthalate when ingested is like eating arsenic. Drink tap water instead, but only if your water has been tested for bacteria.

9. Keep away from coffee, sodas, caffeinated products, chocolate, alcohol, drugs and sugary sports drinks. They destroy your hormones and upset the delicate Ph balance of your system.

10. Only wear clothing that is 100% domestic, organic clothing. Do not buy from Anthropologie, Gap, Old Navy, Abercrombie, Free People, Lucky or any other big name brand for that matter because they disregard child labor laws and operate in foreign countries, bastardizing the local culture and community.

11. Do not buy Pitbulls as pets. They are bred for destruction.

12. Corn and other fruits and veggies are genetically modified. Did I say fruits and veggies were safe? They’re not.

13. As for religion, disregard all organized religions, especially Christianity, Judiasm and Islam. Religions are notorious for misleading the general public into the false belief that man rules the world. Religion moves us away from adapting to the environment to forcing the environment to adapt to us. Bad news. Stay away from religion. Buddhism is not a religion. It’s a philosophy, so it’s safe to think about. But don’t organize a group around it. Like in Tibet where Buddhism has become a “depraved Shamanistic religion where Lamas tell fortunes for alms, by the haunches of mutton, or dice; they beg and cheat; to mystify the ignorant, they mutter squeaky conjurations or play with human bones.”

14. Do not watch television or stare at a computer screen for longer than 20 minutes a day. The radiation will burn your eyes out.

15. Masturbation is OK. We now know it doesn’t blind you or cause calluses. Although some blind people do masturbate.

16. Transportation is destroying the environment with CO2 emissions. If you must get from point A to point B use a bicycle, horse, skateboard, surfboard, pogo stick, sail boat or simply walk. Hummers, thank God, are no longer being sold. But electric cars are bad for the environment too. Dead batteries end up in landfills.

17. Use fluorescent bulbs only.

18. Collect rainwater in a cistern or a bucket to lower your water bill. Don’t drink it. It’s contaminated with mold, bacteria, algae, protozoa and small particles of dust not to mention lead, arsenic and pesticides.

19. Keep your shower to a three-minute maximum. There will be no drinking water in 90 years.

20. Do not wear perfume. It’s poison and it causes bees to lose their sense of direction.

21. Avoid make-up. It causes skin cancer.

22. Do not go into the jungle without a face mask. Humans are spreading diseases to the gorilla populations in Africa.

23. Do not pay federal taxes. 54% of your tax dollars go to military spending. War causes global warming. Then again, it causes death, which controls the population. Note to self: rethink not paying taxes.

24. Avoid soaps and shampoos with Sodium Laurel Sulfates.

25. Don’t use cleaning products or bleach or harsh, powdered laundry detergents. Don’t flush these chemicals down the toilet and or dispose of them in the trash.

26. Don’t accumulate trash. The more trash you accumulate the more trash ends up in a landfill.

27. Do not have children. The planet is overpopulated. Children are responsible for generating 1,600 pounds of garbage a year. Children eventually turn into adults and end up generating 128,000 pounds of garbage in a lifetime.

28. Do not buy paper products or use them.

29. Recycle.

30. Do not shop at Wal-Mart, it rapes local economies the minute it sets up shop in town, keeps its employees at the poverty line so as to maintain its profit and “costs federal taxpayers $420,000 a year” by not paying its employees enough to get off public assistance.

31. Do not buy a house with more square-footage than you need. It’s a waste of resources.

32. Don’t travel or buy travel literature. It causes global warming.

33. Don’t smoke.

34. Do not marry. Marriage causes children. Homosexuality is safer for the environment as it doesn’t result in children. So, become gay, but stick with one partner. Many partners with unprotected sex causes AIDS and condoms are environmentally unfriendly. Remaining single and masturbating is safest.

35. Don’t spend money. Money generates more productivity. Productivity generates energy, products and ultimately waste. Don’t buy anything ever again. Re-using is safe. Except maybe disposable diapers. In that case, use only cloth diapers and wash ’em.

36. Above all else, avoid McDonald’s. McDonald’s soaks their fries in trans fat, uses lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of Central American rainforests and takes away farmland from poor, third-world countries to fatten up Americans. One meal from McDonald’s is contaminated with urine, feces, blood and vomit and linked to breast cancer, bowel cancer and heart disease. Stay away from McDonald’s.

Bits & Pieces: Castellon

August 29, 2009

Siesta_by_dogmadic

The train takes five hours from Madrid to Castellon. I hate Madrid. I am glad to be rid of it. I feel free. I course through olive trees and rocky, sepia colored cliffs. Then orange trees. Then lush green palms and eucalyptus, stopping once in Valencia and then on to Castellon. Everything we own is packed into four suitcases that a stranger helps me unload and roll toward a taxi. I am alive with excitement and hope. I will have my baby in Castellon. I will live by the sea. I. Me. We will live by the sea. Just to say that and really mean it sounds safe and pure and old. As if nothing could touch us here.  Protected by the flat line of crumbled walls and moats around the city. And the watchful eyes of the Virgin of Lledó.

We will actually have money now too. I have calculated it a hundred times. 80,000 pesetas for the rent, 40,000 for food, 50,000 for utilities, 10,000 for spending. We can go out to eat now.  I can get my hair done. We don’t have to wait Marie Carmen to bring us leftovers. Old furniture. Broken furniture. Just so that we can sit at a table with four chairs.

I tip the driver a few pesetas and I meet R at the Hotel Castellon, a few blocks from the station. He’s already arrived  en coche with Gisela, his co-worker. They are having beers in the lobby. Together, they will man the Unix systems of BP, British Petroleum’s corporate office in all of the Costa Azahar. I bring the luggage in, piece by piece to the desk and sit beside my husband on one of the sofas. The waiter asks if I’d like to try a horchata de chufas. I say, “por favor,”  and stretch out my legs.

I can smell the sea but I cannot see it.

Bits & Pieces: the Manzanares

April 29, 2009

Manzanares

There is a river that runs through Madrid. It’s called the Manzanares River, and he’s right. It is ugly.

“It’s not like the Seine, Tracy.”

“I know, I know. But I’m just curious. There’s got to be something to see. Can we go anyway?”

“No, there’s nothing to see. It’s ugly and you have to take the Renfe Cercanias.”

So, I go alone and he’s right. It is ugly. Maybe he told me to get off at Principe Pio. Maybe it was Alto de Extremadura. I can’t remember now. But I walk quite a ways through low-income, orangy brick tenements, with green awnings before I see the river and cross it. It’s nothing to see. And I cross it pretending it’s the Pont Neuf or the Pont Alexandre III. I speak French to myself, “bien sur,” “absolument,” “oh la la,” and remember the nights Karen and I crossed at the Pont St. Michel on our way back home at three in the morning from Le Violon Dingue. It hurts to do this. But the Manzanares is ugly, and I am trying to be happy anyway. The water is murky. The air is cold. And there are huge concrete cinder blocks left like trash on the sides of the black water.

I head back down the subtle arc of the overpass. It’s late in the afternoon and  I don’t want to be alone after dark. But I end up lost, looking for the entrance to the Metro, wandering down streets where old widows still wear black and sing sad old Castilian songs of lost love and broken hearts.

Bits & Pieces: the day after

April 29, 2009

The_rear_view_mirror_by_theofficesupplies

It’s the day after. I’m married. I’m taking my husband back to the airport so that he can catch his flight back to Spain.  But my car breaks down on the side of the road in Cherry Hill. It just dies at 276,000 miles. I think it’s symbolic. The official end of my old life so that I may begin the new. I break down across the street from a hotel where a Rapid Rover is parked by the valet. I race over to the driver and asked if he will take “my husband” to the Philadelphia International Airport. He says, sure, so I pay him because R has no money. I kiss R goodbye. I cry. He zips off down Route 70 in a van. I won’t see him until Christmas Eve.

I am alone.

I go inside the hotel and call triple A for a tow, from the hotel payphone. I wait by the side of the road for two hours, counting on my fingers the days until I will see him again, catching the sparkle of gold around my finger at nine, then nineteen, then twenty-nine.

Bits and pieces: the wedding day

March 20, 2009

bride

I don’t have a diamond. No bridal veil. My father doesn’t walk me down the aisle. There is no aisle. He’s not even invited. I am married on the side of the White Horse Pike by a judge I found in the Yellow Pages three days ago. My mother is crying. She says to R, “you don’t have to do this you know. You can wait.”  No one is giving us gifts. I have spaghetti and meatballs for dinner at Tony’s Restaurant, after. I rent a room at a motel, which has a sauna. Our room is called the Bridal Suite, and it has pine paneling and a brown shag carpet. My new husband is talking to his friend A___ on the phone. It’s been almost two hours. I am lying in bed next to him, waiting, in my white bra, white panties, white stockings and white garter belt. I am waiting for crazy sex and deep love and a feeling of forever. I keep calling myself Mrs. M___ over and over and over. And in the morning, I write it down: I am Mrs. Tracy M____.

Repent, repent

December 1, 2008

November, 2002

I’m asking you.  God or man. Is it so much that I can’t understand the truth. I mean, I’ll survive this. I’ll be better tomorrow. And even better the next day. Today is hard because I’m still a little hung over. Eventually, life will go back to the mundane and I’ll be unsatisfied again. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Unsatisfied but alive. I really got knocked off my ass, that’s for sure. But I don’t doubt I’ll be better tomorrow. It’s just this nature of mine. I’d forget everything if I could, but my nature keeps seeking to solve the mystery. I keep asking all these questions and coming up with no answers. Everything’s so exotic and convoluted. I’m wondering why [the lover] and [the husband] have both said to me that I’m so intimidating. Smarter. Better. What does all that mean? I don’t know. It sounds like a cop-out. It sounds like I’m doing something seriously wrong. It sounds like that’s the fashionably polite thing to say to get a woman off your back. I don’t know. I’m trying not to care. But it’s not working. I’m going nuts thinking that I wore the wrong shirt, or that I said the wrong thing. That I said too much, or not enough. It would be so easy to pinpoint the exact moment when it all fell a part. But my shame is keeping me blind to the fact that maybe there was nothing there to begin with. I was lonely. I came on too strong. Worse yet, I feel a sudden need to repent for my sins, repent for being something and someone I so desperately want to be but can’t. He would have got it up for Courtney Love. That’s for sure. Maybe even Pink. So, I’ll wear rocks in my shoes or something. Flog myself.  Tonight, maybe, I will sleep on a bed of nails. 


And then, here I am at home. Breaking glass, and [the husband] is crawling on his knees, not judging me, not asking about last night, just picking up the mess, and I’m crying, thinking, now there’s a man who really loves me. Attentive. Attentive. Repenting for his own sins. But then I stop, and say, Bullshit. Don’t believe the lie. See? My brain is working against me. It’s saying that I’ve been a damn fool all my life to have such expectations of men. [The lover] was right. There’s nothing below the surface. But still I keep digging for the mystery. [The husband] was right, he said, This is me. I’m a simple man. But I said no. There’s more to you than meets the eye.

Sadly, I realize it’s my imagination that needs a restraining order.

But there’s hope, yet.  I’ve got the teetering side of what looks to be a balance somewhere inside me. I’m not completely lost in the darkness.  Something in me knows that there is no mystery. The mystery is that there is no mystery.  But it’s cold on that side. It’s dark. It’s stark. It doesn’t tell a very exciting story. In fact, it hurts. It’s the dead-calm voice of a man I desired last night saying, sorry, I’m just not attracted to you in that way.  And it’s the eyes of a husband saying, I may not be him, but at least I am real.

Leap Year

June 5, 2008

He used earth words and planted gardens and liked going down south and road trips to nowhere. He had tattoos of the Devil on his forearm, and looked like God, with big blue open seeing gentle eyes that had a spirit steady and true beyond the simple human spirit. He was a great kisser. Like me. But quiet. And deep. Not deep in a click-your-fingers-at-a-coffeehouse deep; not even the kind of temporary deep you think you see in the face of a student of philosophy. He was deep like rivers that cut through canyons as old as the brachiopod lingula and the horse shoe crab.

 

I met him when I was young. In a bookstore.  Buying war novels for my father. I liked to call him Mr. Smith, but his name was Steve. His hair was long and kinky and I remember I could smell his clean, hippy, 25-year-old smell as he flushed spines in the history section.  He said to me: “You see, you have this calming affect on me. I actually want to struggle with you.” And I thought to myself, I want to run my fingers through the algebraic recipe that cooked up the lines of your hair. I was on fire. I perused picture books of the American desert and listened to Navajo tunes. I bought a dress with flowers that came down to my ankles and I wore sandals.

 

He struggled with me. And then he took off. Restless. One day in May. He rode with some friends in an orange VW bus out to a reservation in New Mexico to study art and history and eat mushrooms and pledge a vow of celibacy to the Great Spirit in hopes that one day he would understand the difference between love and lust.

 

I waited. But he didn’t come back. The Spring was over. The warm, tired, lovesick days of August too, and eventually the fall and then the winter…

 

I fell for a waiter. I made love to a Jew who became a Rabbi. I danced meringue with Paul Garcia in a club named Brazil. I kissed Doug, Scot and Eamon and the Twelve Apostles and a Moroccan named Arie. And I sold my soul to a drummer one Leap Year because I lost count on how many times he said: you are so beautiful, baby.

 

I married a Spaniard who barely spoke English and barely brushed his teeth. He was tall and lanky and had a long face like El Greco and chased me around the bedroom, “Come here, wife. My sex is hard for you.” We lived in a piso on the 4th floor of a rundown building in Vallekas, a gypsy suburb of Madrid. I made tortillas and arroz con leche and sometimes crouched on the terraza under the hot sun and watched stray cats fuck on rooftops. I cried for home. And dreamed of humidity and the green, oxygen pine trees and grass that grows with dew stuck to each blade like a rock climber descending a cliff.

 

I became a woman. Desired. Pedestaled. Unwoven. Torn. Shredded. Real.

 

I made two babies. Moved to Jersey. Bought a home. Divorced. Years passed. In the Spring of ’04 I spread my father’s ashes across the jetty down on Nebraska Avenue. Saying goodbye to the man who taught me how to love. Boyfriends came. Boyfriends went. Sons grew up.

 

I bumped into Mr. Smith at a record store one night in February. He was buying vinyl and I was perusing the Cds. I barely recognized him without his long hair. But he still talked smooth and his tattoos were all black and green. And I thought, if I had my own they wouldn’t be the face of the devil. They’d be words. Words that save me from my self, where God, not man, is the Second Coming and the Third and Fourth. Words when strung together become the only thing in life that’s real—forming a straight line like Time to a Westerner.

 

We talked about books for a while. The west.  He didn’t remember much. And so I shrugged when he asked if I wanted to go for a drink. No, I said. Maybe another time.