Jennifer, over at realia, has issued at challenge that involves exploring beauty. I hesitated for a little while before I decided to take the plunge because dedicating yourself to seeing the Beauty instead of the Bull Shit is a big commitment. I'm thinking that seeing Beauty - which is all around us in abundance if we keep Beauty in our awareness - is just what I need to pull me out from under all the bull shit in the Buzz Kill zone.
He's still hovering around here with a paint brush - spreading tiny amounts of Spackle in spots on walls that have already been covered in joint compound from floor to ceiling, primed and given two coats of fresh paint. I wish I could see the Beauty in that kind of OCD bull shit - but I just can't. It's a beautiful thing that we were able to take Velvet to the airport together without fighting, but I authorized a sleepover for Cupcake on Saturday night because I was counting on her to provide a buffer between Buzz Kill and me on Sunday morning. On the way to LaGuardia we dropped her at her apartment on the East Side since she wisely declined to participate in a prolonged public good bye. All in all, Cupcake continues to get a Gold Star from me.
The other day, Velvet confessed that even though Cupcake made demands on his time, especially when she wanted him to hang out with her goofy friends, he would have probably burned down the house if it weren't for her. I confessed to Velvet that I had been thinking about burning down the house myself lately. It's a thing of beauty when you can have moments of real sharing with your child, so I'm counting that as Number 1 of the 101 instances of Beauty I have committed myself to noticing.
Velvet is safely in Wyoming now, excited about heading out into the back country. As it happens, one of his instructors went to Tree Hugger University and majored in Environmental Studies just like Velvet is doing now - or would be doing if he weren't suspended. Pretty soon, he'll leave his cell phone and iPod behind for some weeks and enter into a phase where no news is good news. It's kind of hard to be totally out of contact with your kid, but truly, if there were a problem, someone would call me. For tomorrow, though, the guys are going to a local golf course to get accustomed to their skis. On the phone today, Velvet told me that he couldn't sleep last night because of having nightmares where he'd been kicked out. I told him that I was glad he was taking things seriously, but there was no need to worry. They'll only kick him out for drinking or smoking weed, and he has total control over his own behavior.
He'll be back in the middle of May, buffed up from the trail and proud of his accomplishments, busting a gut to get up to Hookah House to see his friends. I imagine the apartment will be sold by then, and I'll be in the final stages of figuring out what the next step is for me.
Nothing makes me feel like moving home to Austin like winter in New York City - especially this year with the heaps of frozen dog shit on top of piles of sooty black snow. It's fucking awful. Not a bit of Beauty except in so far as I should be grateful I can see at all. Old snow in New York City is nasty shit.
Part of me thinks that my best plan is to get a small two bedroom apartment in Harlem for a year or two, do A Course in Miracles with Magic of Life Max and take pole dancing lessons under the guidance of my daughter Gigi the pole dancing Quadroon. She's not really a Quadroon, and she's not really my daughter - but it's so rare that a person gets to say, "My daughter Gigi the pole dancing Quadroon," that I try to work it in to a conversation whenever I can. Gigi's thesis for her Masters in Psychology has to do with women's sexuality and dance which led her to explore pole dancing. She got pretty good at it when she was in class with some girls downtown, and now one of her friends got her own pole dancing studio so they could manage a few private lessons for an old broad like me. I figure it's the very best thing for my aching arm.
I believe I'll declare it Thing of Beauty Number 2 that I can seriously consider living in Harlem and taking pole dancing as a plan for the coming school year. I may run off to Vermont for a while, though. I have a fantasy where I create a hippie haven - or a home for wayward bloggers with a sun porch, wine cellar and a garden full of weed. I also have a fantasy in which I can rent my uncle's house a few blocks from the shores of Lake Tahoe on the California side and write - but I could do that in Vermont, too, assuming that I can find a day job with insurance. Another part of me wants to go float in my mother's swimming pool for an extended length of time and call it a sabbatical. These last few years have worn me out.
I'm fixing to find myself at one of life's crossroads again, and I'm delighted to have options. Probably Options should be Thing of Beauty Number 2 with the Pole Dancing & Harlem plan as Number 2A.