daily preciousness

Saturday, October 02, 2004


I was just standing there at the Duplex Diner, where all the boys drink, flirt and kiss one other.

Photographic representation of
boys flirting and then kissing

Anyway, I was talking to Charlie and Brett and new pal Rob. I was reciting my new favorite poem by Dickinson:

The Brain is Wider

The brain is wider than the sky,
For put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.
The brain is deeper than the sky,
For, hold them blue to blue,
The one the other will absorb
As sponges, buckets do.
The brain is just the weight of God,
For lift them, pound for pound,
And they will differ, if they do,
As syllable from sound.

And it's such a great piece, too. (Of course, you have to mentally replace the word "brain" with "mind" and try not to spoil the rhyme scheme. Although, I have to admit, it does work better in the initial line.)

But Emmy was a poet who wrote those words decades before psychology was ever thought up, so you have to just let it go.

You gon' make me
lose my mind,
up in here,
up in here!

So I was just standing there, one foot on my barstool, just spouting poetry, when some guy comes over and attempts to scoot the chair away from me. My chair is being burgled. Burgled!

He's dragging it away while my foot is lodged in there. I'm hopping like a drunken Easter Bunny with my drink in my hand. He must have gotten about a meter away before he realized that he was pulling more than what a mere bar stool could weigh.

And I'm like, "Excuse me, but I have a limb stuck in there. Could I remove it before you sprain my ankle?" And California pretty boy with the curly home perm is like, "Ahh, DUDE, I didn't see your foot in there." He smiles a perfect grin and throws his tan hands up in a vaguely apologetic manner.

And I'm like, "Did you just say 'dude'? Do people really say that anymore? That's so Baywatch of you. I'm reading a book on psycholinguistics and I find it very interesting that you'd still use that holophrastic, gender neutral, exclamatory construction."

And he's like, "I've got a Ph.D. in Modern Language Studies from U.C. Berkeley, and in fact people still do say 'Dude.' I can assure you of that. Can I have this chair now?"

And I'm like, madly, madly red-in-the-faced by the quip, the academic letters and the overall sass of it all. And I'm like, "He just totally used me to get a bar stool."

Suddenly, I realize that I cannot -- ABSOLUTELY CANNOT -- reveal that I frame my conversational narrative in the shallow and relentlessly casual manner known as the "And I'm like" rhetorical discursive model.

With a sudden chill and brain-freezing realization, I see that indeed I am guilty of such a thing.

But I promised myself today that I would be true to my voice and write this blog as it came to me. And that is the most painful thing that has happened to me all week. The awful truth that my brain has atrophied and my conversational narrative style is so painfully shallow that it sounds like an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Oh -- and Henry and I both bought a copy for the each other of the same CD, which is annoying but also sweet that we know each other's taste so well.

As you can see, I'm all, "it's been a very painful day!"


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