what flies, what dangles

The semester has ended; my students are hacking up their final papers like so many alleycat hairballs; spring is springing along the east coast, causing otherwise insightful people to tell each other how exquisite the palpably obviously exquisite days are; and I have been counting down these days, minutes, and moments of panic, waiting to see if my book sells or if I should roll myself in a rug on the Bowery. (on a sidenote, I take comfort that some years ago I figured out how to keep one’s self alive, food-wise, on $1.17 a week plus a lemon peel – details on request). The waiting game is not good for my psyche, and I haven’t had the focus I’d like to have, thus the infrequency of these posts. My apologies.

That said, no small number of curious life experiences have transpired since last we spoke. In the research for my forthcoming experience-daredevil Nerve column, I Did It for Science, I went to a hypnotist to try to relive the “primal scene” (the origin, says dr. Freud, of much neurosis, of which I have much). I won’t preempt the material I’m going to put in the piece, but I will say that the first question the receptionist asked, when I called and explained my agenda, was, “In this life or a previous one.” Right now, honey, it’s all about this one. If I can get it somewhat down, maybe I’ll go back a few.

A few days after doing the chicken dance in Mesmer’s office, I left early to go to DC to give a seminar en route to joining up with Dave (my best bud from high school) for a weeklong trip out to Carolina’s outer banks. En route, I repeatedly saw one of my favorite things, Truk Nutz , which some years ago I made the mistake of not buying for my brother. Life is full of regrets, not attaching a set to Hillary’s Subaru, not riding the mechanical bull in all my years at Duke, or not buying Foam the 8-lb can of gefilte fish or keeping my ultraskanky moustache for Jeremy’s bachelor weekend. Alas.

Dave had never seen the nutz, so I was happy to share my cultural expertise. And then we arrived at the beach house, tastefully appointed with a zebra-print sunken bar, redundant microwave, 4 dishwashers, and a screening room with leather armchairs, cup holders, and the complete 35 dvd “one-and-a-half-star collection” (“Hey, anyone for Hitch or National Treasure II?). I know I’ve been ranting ceaselessly about vulgar expenditure, but this house might take the Devil’s food. (I will confess to enjoying the pool table, however, and my game actually seems to be developing).

I also managed to save a fading dragonfly. It was indoors, clearly being undone by the décor and about to expire, so weakened that I was able to grab it by its body (thorax?) and take it outside, where, when released, it flew off happily, despite the lack of zebra-print. Maybe this will increase my multiple-decade dream of coming back as a dragonfly in a future life. Why that, you ask? Among animalia, they’re the most nimble fliers, and oft they do it one mounted on another. What better existence?

So I guess I’m not just focusing on this life, try as I may. Clearly I need to be back in Ms. Inimitables’ arms, where the here and now seems especially there and then, flightlessness notwithstanding.

Till next time, my lovelies.