Girl, Dog, Trees (You)

posted in: Luv, Paean 6
"Girl, Dog, and Trees," by Bahniuk, 2007. Image: Panoramio via Wikipedia.
“Girl, Dog, and Trees,” by Bahniuk, 2012. Image: Panoramio via Wikipedia.



I wanted a picture of Las Vegas for this post.

But none of the photos of the strip were right. The glitter of the casinos and the vibrating neon lights didn’t strike me as “eternal” or “resilient” in the light of the mass murder, which is what I was hoping. I figured the lights would read as beacons of hope, but they didn’t. They frightened me. They made me feel sick.

Focusing was very difficult today because I kept thinking how the people who got down on the ground when they heard shots were doing exactly what we’re all supposed to do when someone is shooting because getting down on the ground is safer. But it wasn’t safer this time because the devil had scopes and cameras. This time, doing the safe thing was the wrong thing. Down was up; up was down. And death swept the ground.

If you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who was wounded or who lost their life at the concert, I love you and I am sorry for this. If you don’t know anyone (or anyone who knows anyone) I love you, too, and I’m sorry for this.

Last night, in under 75 minutes, patchwork quilts generated $5,300.00 in Hurricane Maria relief aid. We did that. Together. And this should give you a deep hope, this act we did together. If we can turn quilts into food and medicine; if we can say “Yes” to the question, “Can you help me?”, we can make it. We can make it in the face of all this.

The picture I found for this post is more perfect than I could have hoped for: It’s Las Vegas. The image is filed in Wikipedia, right along with the pictures of the city, because Las Vegas isn’t just the strip or the casinos, of course: It’s the desert, the sky, the sagebrush, the sun. Las Vegas is a girl, running in pink shorts, giving chase to her dog across the little rocks, running to dinner, or her new baby brother, or to get to the hide-and-seek game.

Las Vegas is a little girl, 16 miles northeast of the city, running purely for the sake of going fast, for the sake of feeling the air on her soft, perfect cheek.


posted in: Chicago, Fashion, Travel, Work 10
"The Chess Players" Lucas van Leyden, 1508
“The Chess Players” Lucas van Leyden, 1508. (The chick is winning.)

I cannot stay in my home when the second phase of the renovation begins and so I am leaving on a jet plane. I will go to Miami, then Las Vegas, then Iowa, then New York City, in that order, and you’re coming with me.

First, I should say that the bathroom looks incredible and it’s not even finished. The Greek key tile inlay is exquisite and now that it’s done, the rest of the bathroom will go quickly, but this means that the kitchen is about to be dismantled with sledgehammers and picks and slathered with dry wall and plaster and wet tile goo and mortar and sweat. The dust produced by the bathroom work over these weeks has threatened to choke me dead or drive me insane for the simple reason that my house has become impossible to clean. A visible layer of powdered wall daily sifts itself down upon my books, my tables, my quilts (!) and no amount of dusting, wiping, swabbing, etc., ameliorates the situation for more than a matter of hours. The kitchen is twice the size of the bathroom and the thought of doubling my already sisyphean dusting attempts creates in my brain uncomfortable, hula hoop-like gyrations. I work from home, for heaven’s sake. There is no escape here. So I will leave.

Signs point to Miami for New Year’s, which I’m excited for; I’ve never been and wanna see the art. I’ll be in Las Vegas for just a few days in mid-January, randomly; I actually have a a mild affinity for Vegas — all those feathers! Then I think I should head over to Iowa and work in the magazine office for a spell; good for the job, good for the team, good for the parental units who live in town, as well. And then, if a few things fall into place, I’ll be off to New York City, where I’ll stay with my older sister and eat lots of chickpea crust pizza in the East Village and visit my favorite resale shops that sell used Balenciaga at 80% off 60% off. Only in New York can you get an exquisite Dries Van Noten, bias-cut, asymmetrical cape-coat-pantaloon, used, for $85 bucks. Combien j’aime la mode…

So. You wanna go?

You’ll see Miami through my virgin eyes. You’ll see Vegas through a filter of someone who’s a) been there before and b) never gambles. You’ll see Iowa; glorious, quotidian Iowa where there are only feathers on the birds, thereby giving us more opportunity for reflection and rest (a good thing after Miami and Vegas to be sure.) And then New York City, the huge, glittering onyx in Earth’s fancy cocktail ring.* Oh, it will all be a gas and I do so love to see new things and write it all down. We’ll have fun, you and me, and when I come home, the bathroom and kitchen will be done.

I have some packing to do.

*In fact, I am headed to New York on the 20th of this month, as well. The Fons Family is having Christmas in NYC this year, so if you read this blog regularly, you’ll get plenty of New York stories over the holiday; this may come in handy if you’re stuck in Boise and need something sensational to read.