Vagina Dentata is in the hospital with a leg so infected that doctors mentioned amputation. Velvet saw the lesions for himself, and it may have ended all ideas he ever had about being an EMT. When he got home last night, he had clearly been nauseated and exhausted by the entire experience of helping Buzz Kill get Vagina Dentata through an admission process that took 36 hours. I'm not sure why the hospital left Vagina Dentata in the ER overnight, but these things happen in a health care system Glenn Beck declared is the best in the world.
Fortunately, I have been spared all the details. I have been napping in my sunbeam, having brunch at Cafe Lux with Gigi and seeing Mr. Wisdom. I've also been reading Time Quake, the last novel Vonnegut ever wrote. As it happens, much of the action in the story takes place in my neighborhood. The building across the street in real life is the shelter for homeless men where Kilgore Trout lives in the book as well as the offices of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. It's cool because one of the things I've been contemplating wile I'm laying in the sunbeam is preparing for the Grandma Zone, and Vonnegut comments on events in the book from "his sunset years." It's like Vonnegut himself has been ushering me into the next phase of my life with insight and commentary provided by Kilgore Trout. Ting-a-ling!
Looking at Velvet, one might think I'm nowhere near the Grandma Zone. And I'm not - at least not as far as Velvet is concerned. Gigi, on the other hand, has spent the last couple of months snuggled up with a man, and they've been seriously discussing the prospect of having children together. The idea that I am Gigi's "real" mother has been firmly established ever since Velvet was in 10th grade and started telling the guys that she was his sister. She's a beauty now, but when she was still in grad school and studying the relationship between women's sexuality and dance vis a vis pole dancing class - she was the kind of hottie who stopped traffic. When she attended his high school graduation as part of the family, my father was tickled pink to discover he had thirty year old pole dancing quadroon as a long-lost granddaughter. Dad has been perpetuating this story ever since.
Now that Gigi has already turned 33, she has no intention of letting grass grow under her feet. The potential father is a successful entrepreneur in his early 40s. He's fully African-American, and Gigi has visions of chubby brown babies dancing in her head.
She quickly modified the story of her birth to replace The Man from San Antone with Mr. Wisdom as her birth father. According to the legend, Mr. Wisdom and I had a brief but intense fling when I was an undergrad resulting in me passing off my nappy-headed offspring as The Man from San Antone's daughter from the wrong side of the blanket. All the wrong sides since it would have been 1976 in the great state of Texas where the history of race relations includes one of my favorite holidays: Juneteenth. Although Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation with an effective date of January 1, 1863, slaveowners in Texas were able to keep this information to themselves until June 19, 1865 when the news finally trickled down to the slaves.
That bit of history may explain a vignette that occurred some weeks ago on the Uptown 1 train. I was sitting directly across from a grizzled old black man, who was either drunk, crazy or both. He remarked on my beauty and asked if I was from France.
I said, "No. I'm from Texas."
He said, "Kansas?"
When he said, "Kansas?" again, I stood up, held onto the pole in the middle of the subway car, leaned closer to his ear and shouted, "TEXAS! T-E-X-A-S."
He broke into a big, toothless grin, and declared, "Oh! You're dangerous. You Texas Crackers are dangerous."
I could only agree.
I'm nearly certain that Gigi and I were sitting at the bar in Cafe Luxembourg when she modified her personal creation myth. At the time, I was of the opinion that such modifications were entirely premature with regard to Mr. Wisdom, but now that it appears the man will be around for a while, I kind of like the storyline.
This budding relationship with Mr. Wisdom has brought to mind, yet again, the Mandelbrot set:
I've been reflecting on how past relationships revolved around my ongoing attempts to have an impact on emotionally unavailable men. If a person who I myself imbued with the power of Existential Judge paid attention to me and developed some sort of fondness or affection - which is as far as it could ever go since Love was out of the question because I viewed myself as fundamentally unlovable - it not only proved I had value as a human but also secured my right to exist on the planet. Countless hours of psychotherapy can explain this fucked up emotional gestalt, but at the end of the day, how I got that way doesn't really matter.
What matters is that I'm not that way anymore. That's why in March, we celebrate my release from the looney bin instead of marking the anniversary of when I went in, which as it happens, is St. Patrick's Day.
When Mr. Wisdom and I first got together, he was very available - but then circumstances conspired to make him unavailable. Consequently, the Universe presented me with another opportunity to run a familiar maze. This time, I feel like I've finally navigated my way through it successfully. It's kind of like when the point on the Mandelbrot set pushes beyond the black dot or the red squiggle out into the great blue beyond. You still wind up with an endlessly repeating pattern no matter how far out or how far in you go - but at least you're in different territory.
I'm finding this territory pretty comfortable, actually. It seems that I'm finally on my way to becoming the cool old lady I always wished I could be, and now that I am comfortable with my own self, it's much easier to be comfortable with other people. It's especially nice to be comfortable with a man I genuinely admire and respect.
I'm still not quite ready to have a sleep-over date with him, but I've relaxed to the point where I don't feel like I have to shave my legs just because he's coming over. It's still too soon to say if Mr. Wisdom and I are really going to have a relationship, but it's beginning to look like we're seeing each other. I'll call that Thing of Beauty #46 -101 especially since it reminds me of this song by Keb Mo. I've been wanting a relationship like the one in this song ever since I first heard it years ago. If I understand the process of manifesting what you want to the Universe, you've got to put it out there clearly. To that end, I'll manifest a man who feels like the one in this song:
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