My first impression of this was something like, “Awww, sweet teenaged lion boy!” Further consideration suggested the possible presence of a so-called “man bun” that seems to be all the rage, and which I find irritating on many guys but oddly attractive on others. However, when it came down to it, my hand refused to interpret that hipster hair hiccup and went with this instead. He’s a lot groovier and somewhat less wide-eyed and innocent than I’d thought at first glance.
Neighborhood Splotch, No. 1 in an endless series, because I see things in splotches and blotches on sidewalks, streets, walls, fences, poles — everywhere and anywhere to the point of madness, especially given my extreme anthropomorphism. The only way I think I can deal with the bombardment is to draw or paint what I saw that stopped me in my tracks and spoke to me. Which, thankfully, hasn’t been *literally*. At least not yet!
I was going to wait to do this until I could do a “good” drawing. But this couldn’t wait. And neither could I. The time is now, damn it. The time has never been more now than now.
I’ve read a few pieces about how wearing pins is bullshit. Those that I’ve read make the assumption that pin-wearers do nothing but wear a pin, that it’s a way to assuage “white guilt”, blahblahfuckingblah. I think THAT’S bullshit. I’d guess that’s what it does for some people.
But I’d also wager that many people who wear a pin have already been champions for or protectors of or allies of the marginalized groups who might need to know that they can count on other people to be a safe place for them, someone to look to when they feel alone or scared or whatever else they feel, all of which is wholly legitimate. Many of my friends are members of the LGBT community, many of my friends are non-white, many of my friends are Jewish (including my best friend a/k/a ME).
If I wear a pin, or I display an image of a pin on social media, that doesn’t mean I’m in a fucking circle jerk with a bunch of people who are doing nothing but twiddling their pins. I have ALWAYS literally spoken up for the underdog. If I wear a safety pin, it’s not so other white people think I’m a truly amazing white person like they are. It’s so that the non-white/other marginalized human beings who are fucking panicked (along with us white people who have always given a fuck) can see, in that tiny gesture, that the world of people who care for them is HUGE.
Yesterday afternoon I met a fella I have been Facebook friends with for eight years. I mean, in real life, face to face, in the actual flesh, not a hologram or talking head on a cell phone (not that I evr do that, though, either) or any other thing other than the good old-fashioned way we did back in 1948. And it was fabulous. As was he.
He and his husband of 23 years live in Bisbee, Arizona, on several handsful of acres, in a house that I, especially in my Manhattan mindset, would call a complex. They have tons of space and a pool and from what I can see from photos online, it looks quite sleek and streamlined and masculine and marvelous, like the gents who call it home.
So, anyway, I got to the restaurant, a neighborhood staple that has been here for ages and fortunately seems to be sticking around, unlike many other establishments, and selected a seat by one of the big windows. My first impression of my friend was of him moonwalking past the window when he saw me, and I knew we were in for a ride. Even while seated at a table.
So we spent the next five hours gabbing and guffawing and gnawing on sandwiches and French fries and onion rings. (He only had one onion ring, I think, and I was left to be a beast on my own, which, frankly, is fine.)
I never would have met this hilarious, absolutely insane (in the best possible way) person had it not been for Facebook. Or learned some very useful American Sign Language. So in that regard, Facebook served a useful purpose.
Still, I’m pretty much over it for the time being, which is kind of a “blessing in disguise” (pause to vomit a little, in your mouth or otherwise — just not someone else’s mouth, unless you’re thoroughly disgusting and that’s your “thing”) because that means I’ll be here, spewing my spew. If people come here to “see” me, that’s cool. If not, that’s fine too.
I feel like I’ve come home.
Hello. Is this thing on? And other assorted hilarity that has been done to death.
Don’t worry, though. I won’t say, “I’m here all week. Try the veal,” and not just because of the vegan thing, or as people say these days, ‘Because veal,” which makes me cringe so hard that not only do my bones shatter but the bones of anyone within a five-block radius.
I also won’t say, after making a truly profound statement, “Mic drop,” and include a meme-like photo of a microphone.
This I promise you.
As of this morning, I left Facebook for a while. I have always been a “do my own thing” kind of person, and right now I need to just be in my own space on the Internet insofar as expressing stuff in writing goes. This is even more my “house” than my Facebook page, and it’s independent of the Facebook brand. I could say more, but I’d risk sounding like a git, and good god, we don’t want that. I don’t want that.
What do I want? To write more, and to write more here. So that’s what I’ll be doing. Can you stand the excitement?
My phone likes when I ask it how old celebrities are.
“Okay, Google. How old is Ted Danson?”
“Ted Danson is 68 years old.”
“Okay, Google. How old is Mary Steenburgen?”
“Mary Steenburgen is 63 years old.”
“Okay, Google. How old is Jason Schwartzman?”
“Jason Schwartzman is 36 years old.”
But after that, Google gets impatient and only supplies the number without the name, like a parent who, on the way to IKEA, thought it would be fun to do that “I spy with my little eye” thing, and realized quickly it wasn’t going to end with the car trip.
Someone recently posted on Yelp that she objected to a bodega cat in an East Village store. Other Yelpers jumped to the cat’s defense. But gosh, I totally share her anguish!! The presence of a cat in any public setting, especially in a bodega, where they’re often iconic fixtures, TRIGGERS me. One hissed at me in a YouTube video four months ago, baked-good-shaming me for indulging in a gluten-free muffin, and I was so traumatized that my mom had to go to my interview at Kate Spade *alone*.
P.S. If you don’t like it, gato the fuck out of NYC.
I picked up these three things on my walk through Central Park this morning. First the dinosaur, then the single leaf, then the three-leaf ‘set’. I didn’t realize they all coordinated so well and didn’t intend to use them together. Indeed, I didn’t even know why I was picking them up. But I’m so happy I did. There’s probably a ‘lesson’ in there somewhere, but I don’t want to roll my eyes at myself for cheesiness.
Three hours earlier, this white plastic bag transported a homemade macaroon to a friend at the gym. Now it’s bringing home a tiny baby bird for burial in the flowerbox graveyard on my patio.
I found you 20 blocks away, Hubert. I didn’t know what you were at first, but when bent down and saw your closed eyes and yellow beak and flightless wing, my eyes filled and I sniffed away the immediate tears. Had you ever lived at all?
I buried you a few minutes ago, still crying. I told you your sweet life mattered.
Rest in peace, Hubert.
Any day I see Shamu is a very good day.
I met this grand Great Dane/German Shepherd mix maybe five years ago in Central Park and have seen him several times since then. Almost every time I’ve seen him, I’ve exclaimed, “Shamu!” and stopped to smoosh him and chat with his dad. That was the case this morning on my walk home through the park.
As I stopped, I saw a woman I thought I also knew from the park walking with an adorable little shaggy dog who reminded me of another dog named Trudy. (For a while, I had thought her name was Woody because her mom, Marai [I’m guessing on the spelling; it’s pronounced like “Mah-RYE”], has a bit of a European accent, and I couldn’t quite make out the name. Heehoo!) We both chatted with Shamu’s dad and smooshed Shamu. We were both grinning like idiots.
“Shamu is the biggest motivation for everything I do,” his dad said. Marai and I said we understood completely. We all admired Shamu some more, which is physically impossible *not* to do.
“Didn’t you have a little dog that looks kind of like the one you’re with today?” I said to Marai (I didn’t know the woman’s name until today). She said yes, she did, but Trudy (or “Trudle”, as she was now calling her — I guess I had *still* been mishearing the name!) left this world about a year ago. “Her heart stopped,” Marai said. I felt like mine did too.
After we left Shamu and his dad, we walked a while together with her little scruffy dog, Grace, a rescue (just like Trudle) bounding in front of us. Grace would turn around to look at us and smile and we would smile back at her and at each other. “I couldn’t be without another dog after Trudle,” she said, “I told my daughter to go online and find me a little someone.” She is now in love with little Grace.
We gabbed some more about dogs and losing fuzzy members of our families. She then went her way and I went mine, and I found myself by a little grassy area dotted with a wide variety of dogs all happy to just be dogs, and I grinned like a big dope. I turned and there was Marai again, who had approached from an opposite direction, making her way back. “I love it. I just LOVE it,” she said, grinning at me, as she passed.
I called out, “Oh, I know! So do I!”
Mornings like this, connecting with people like this (and dogs like these), slowly strolling through the park, not letting stupid nonsense clog the ol’ brain-nook, just being, as “they” say, in the moment … this must be what it’s like to be a dog.