Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pope Caitlin the DAMN FIRST

Who else is bored by that last post? Yeah. Anyway, now you know how I write after a few glasses of wine.

Air travel to Tallahassee was pleasant this season. Met a Williamsburg-residing art enthusiast on the leg down to Orlando; made nice with several little kids on the return. One sister said she liked my Unicorn in Captivity tote bag, so I told her about the Cloisters. Her brother had already found an affinity for the Middle Ages via a battle ax included in a McD's Happy Meal. A Columbia sweatshirt-wearing preschooler danced and waved at me singing "Jingle bells jingle bells" for about an hour, filmed occasionally by his father, drawing close and then giggling away behind a row of chairs. Waiting for luggage at JFK, a precocious gal and I discovered that our mothers had both tied ribbons onto our suitcases.

Coasting over a fluffy sea of anecdotes, I took some notes during "My Super Ex-Girlfriend." You know who's in that? Luke Wilson, Rainn Wilson, Uma Thurman, "Cameron Diaz" from Lost in Translation, and a very butch Eddie Izzard, who sneaks in a Switzerland joke. NB, the shortest distance between two plot points of this action-manhattan-romcom happens to include hurling a great white shark through the window of a highrise. Those New York chicks don't know their own strength.

Spent the late wee hours of the birthday drinking wine with Rat P. and friend, listening to my old rival and love get excited about Nabokov and French film theory, as well as his stories about a friend who served on special forces in Afghanistan, undergoing training getting held underwater until he passed out, mailing home spare funds in an Xbox or some shit. On the 23rd, one of the two young women at the party who had survived brain tumors (what) didn't recognize me at first. Out on the patio, I fraternized with culture workers: an old best friend who hosts dance parties in Sarasota and a casting agency assistant in LA who still insists that clicking ballpoint pens open and shut on my arm passes for flirting.

Christmas Eve I cleaned out my bedroom closet. It had been my closet since I was 9, so there were some pretty good finds. Still best ever yearbook signature, from the vaguely predatory dude who now goes by Golden Bull on MySpace: "I'm glad I'm signing this instead of Jeremy, who could never appreciate the gravity of the situation." The naked reclining fairy tucked away in a notebook. Lots and lots of poems, like the one about listening to Mazzy Star in the driveway. About ten years worth of movie ticket stubs, stashed inside a L'eggs egg. Some diplomas. Notes, letters, and postcards from as early as sixth grade and as late as the semester abroad in Japan; scripts for summer camp performances of abridged Shakespeare; physics homework; my first two diaries, one of which bears the distinction of beginning mid-sentence...All hand-written and photographic evidence of more people than I regularly conceive of having passed through the muscle of my affection. What a blessed, desirous, dizzy-headed gal have I been, all the while inside a sufficiently rational gourd. Who knew? My phone rang while I paused outside the car; I put the last box down on the asphalt. Five and a half inches of rain flooded down and something invisible yet still rain-like flooded up.

I saw some important ladies for lunch on the 26th, a date with real emotional heft, and a feeling I wasn't quite familiar with as we greeted each other, something smack between fear and love...exaltation? They are these sublimely strong women, probably the bedrock of goodness that kept me from really getting fucked up by that punk senior year. Like, I want one of them to be pope. Pope Caitlin the DAMN FIRST. I should probably tell her that. She started asking hard questions of her faith on a volunteer year with the Jesuits in Birmingham.

Dad didn't come along to the airport, so I listened to him encourage me to keep studying Buddhism over my brother's speakerphone. As we pulled out of the garage, Dad all smiling and worried I might sleep too late or watch too much YouTube, I teared up. Alex and Mom were teasing each other about something in the front seat, and family felt complicated. I love all of them but almost never at the same time. What's the deal with that?

Back in the city, albeit briefly, I lunched with Yuko at a v. traditional noodle house, lots of "gomenasai"s all around. We practiced the social kiss outside Starbucks, and she kept running her cheek into mine too hard. She had many interesting things to communicate, from her views on bisexuals to feeling the soul of her father go to heaven to who's on her team in our class.

Heading into 07, I’m looking forward to working on the following resolutions: (1) cultivating a scholarly New Yorker writing style, (2) staying on top of my work, and (3) not worrying. Heterogames have been green-lighted clear through spring.