Sunday, January 13, 2013

Things of Beauty and a Bath

My dad has been and gone, leaving many improvements in my domestic environment.  This weekend, Velvet has been playing Dungeons & Dragons down in the trust fund kids' dorm with Hawkeye.* Velvet wants Hawkeye to work at Hippy Dippy Quaker camp with him this summer.  Velvet himself may well have gotten a little promotion so that this summer, he'll be head of Outdoor Living and Wilderness Skills for his division.  They'll be working organic farms and wandering around in the woods.  It's a valuable skill these days since I'm pretty sure we're going to wind up living like Planet of the Apes on account of Climate Change and something I believe is called Neo-Liberalism which resulted in the destruction of most of the environment and global malnutrition with the peculiar consequence in the US of a horde of people whose minds and bodies are so compromised from ingesting toxins in plastics, pharmaceudicals and McRibs that . . .

Oh, who knows what the heck is going to happen in the midst of all this calamity?  I maintain that life probably sucked pretty hard back during the Bubonic Plague or the Ice Age, so most likely humanity will continue to muddle through.  Meanwhile, Velvet got three As and a B** last semester, and I've just had a bubble bath in my stylin' bathroom.  I can float in my tub as if it were a floatation tank from back in the 70s.  It's a little decadent, but I find water mediations very healing.  Nevertheless, there's no way I can pretend the practice is at all sustainable, and it reminds me of the scene in Star Trek Voyager when Captain Janeway ordered Tukvoc to see that Nelix got a bath.  Nelix can't believe the crew can replicate so much water that they squander it lavishly.
Here's Nelix:


Here's my tub:


I had the water deeper than that, though, which is why I could float and why I felt a little guilty even though it may very well have been two weeks since the last time I had enough peace and quiet to indulge in a water meditation.   I've been focused on unpacking and settling in so that there's a place for everything and everything in it's place again.

It took me a couple of weeks to accept that this place is actually mine.  That no one is going to bang on my door, waving papers, and announce that I have to be out in 24 hours because there's been a big mistake.  The Christmas tree was down before I finally started to feel relaxed.  I don't feel fully secure yet - most likely because it's taken so long to get my loan through the process down at the Credit Union.  Finding a lender for an HDFC coop was a little trickier than I imagined, but I love the credit union.  I have successfully moved my money to an institution that stops business so that the staff can play with a customer's dog.  As it happened, it's been unusually warm here due to climate change, I expect, and the windows were open at the credit union.  My loan officer noticed a friend walking by and shouted from her desk, "Hey! You Jerk!"  The fellow put his head through the window to joke with my banker, and the next thing you know, a little terrier mutt was running around wagging her tail at everybody.

When I was down there six weeks ago to sign some papers it took the loan officer fully 10 minutes to find the papers, and I had made an appointment the day before and everything.  She found some Hershey's kisses in the drawer, though, and stuffed them into her pocket while she went into the back office to look for my papers, muttering "Shit, Shit, Shit," in a stage whisper.

I love the credit union.  My friend Shelia lives around the corner from the credit union's main office on the Lower East Side and says that sort of behavior is common in their neighborhood especially when an outfit hires former heroin addicts.  Shelia turned up during the Restoration project.  We have known each other since before I got married and became Mrs. Schmenkman.   The two of us, and our dear, dear friend Lesley, were the worst secretaries in America back at the Public Relations firm.  We used to ditch work at 3:00 to do shots at O'Neals - a bar that used to be on the corner of 57th and 6th. Lesley died from a blood clot years and years ago when she was just 31, about a week after she'd flown to and from L.A. for work.  She had her own little PR company that handled rappers, and when those rappers sung gospel songs at her funeral in Newark, it nearly blew the roof off the church.  Lesley and Shelia were very best friends. I had drifted away after having Velvet, although we did hit a couple of bars where Velvet could sit in his bouncy chair.

Anyway - the friendship between Shelia and me has been restored, too, which is Thing of Beauty #65-101 (realia).   Hopefully she'll join me at KGB Bar for the 10th Anniversary of Drunken! Careening! Writers! - the humor reading series developed and curated by the lovely and talented Kathleen Warnock.   I'm proud to have read in that series myself a few times over the last 10 years.  As it happens, Drunken! Careening! Writers! played a role in my divorce because (1) the first time I read there, when I was still Mrs. Schmenkman the owner of the bar made a pass at me the minute Buzz Kill left, and (2) a couple of years later, I read the story the story that blasted Buzz Kill right out of the marital residence and led to the clause in my divorce stipulating that I use a pseudonym when writing.  PENolan was born.

I think that's Thing of Beauty #66-101.

* Hawkeye is referenced in this post from the archives, Velvet the Dungeon Master (stonerdate 03.31.09).  He didn't have a name yet.  Neither did Cupcake, but she was certainly the young female hanging around the D&D game.  Searching the archives, I found that there are five years of posts from Menopausal Stoners, and one of the first posts was about that independent documentary I was in about Brazilian Bikini Wax (Why We Wax).  As it happens, Shelia and I found each other at the cocktail party following the New York premier of Why We Wax at some film festival downtown.   She was there with a friend who was also in the documentary.  What are the chances?  That's a perfect example of why Bokonists say, "As it happens . . . " when we know things have happened As they were supposed to happen - not through the machinations of some supernatural being but due to the laws of cause and effect in the great pachinko machine of life.

** The B was in Psychology 101, and the As were in Intro to Theater (he directed an updated Hamlet with Hamlet as the prince of a US Satellite nation in the middle east), Anthropology (his favorite) and African American Experience.  For unknown reasons, he was the best student in African American Experience.  He told his sister Gigi (a quadroon) that all you had to do was mention Angela Davis in your essay, and the professor gave you an A.

10 comments:

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

"Like"!

an average patriot said...

Pretty cool!

Vancouver Voyeur said...

It sounds like things are settling in and that's a good thing. I got bubbles and salts for Christmas but have yet to take a bath and enjoy them. You have inspired me. Guess I'll try them out. Oh, and post more pix of the apartment! :-)

ellen abbott said...

so I'm still getting the cast of characters straight...you have a daughter that you don't write about or Velvet has a half sister? that was Velvet you were referring to that told his sister Gigi...?

I wish I had known you when you lived in Houston. You lived in Houston, right? I'm not just making that up?

PENolan said...

Jimi and Woody - thanks for stopping by
V.V. More pics as soon as I get just a little more accomplished around here. Promise. And enjoy your bath!
ellen: I did indeed live in Houston and still visit fairly regularly. I graduated from Spring High School up in the NWSuburbs in 1977. As for Gigi, you've given me an idea . . .

Gail said...

Hey Texas - you can float in your tub? That is amazing, love that. You, like us, are settling in, adjusting, finding our new rhythms. And a big "yay" to Velvet for his grades.
Love to you girl
Gail
peace.....

Jennifer said...

Loved to read about Lesley and Sheila and the credit union. Beauty, yes. I have a deep bathtub, and I indulge in a deep water therapy occasionally and I don't feel guilty about it. It's the kind of thing that's good for you inside, and then it's good for you on the outside when you're at places like, say, the local credit union.

beautiful bathrooms said...

Bathrooms are the utmost luxurious rooms in you home so we must design it as we want it.

Anonymous said...

Hi - just stumbled here ... I also went to Spring High School . Lived in Lexington woods . Suburbia hell , I kinda joke , I did drugs as therapy but there is truth to that . Acid got me through those days ...

Anyway that was long ago -
Found yoga 20 yrs . Ago while living in Hawaii . Now live in San Antonio , teach private yoga . Get to the village to study with my teacher when I can , feels like " home" there .

Cali said...

I could only float in my tub if it was twice as deep AND if I could learn to float with my legs at a 90-degree angle. Color me jealous!

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