Sunday, March 1, 2009

The night of the eggplant parm

In the past few days, I have moved. Vacated one life and am now in a holding pattern until the next begins. Scary times strange steps and a lot of the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs record holding my hand in a way the first one didn't but the last one more than did.

This is where I'd post a picture of the page from my old black spiral Mead notebook on which I scrawled, in landscape orientation (that's a little page layout humor, yo!), "I DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE NOT TO GO BACK TO YOU. NO MYSTERIES.", but I got freaked out living in a moment between past and the future like that Kate Bush song says and deleted my entire old Flickr account the other night, so that picture's long fucking gone.

I don't think I have the emotional or mental reserves at the present moment to get to anything major. Too tired. Too hung over. Too much of one thing and not enough of another, with all of that being some sort of obnoxiously vague metaphor for something. I'm reaching here, people.

Rather than have this sound like a bad LiveJournal...

...I'll give a big "thank you" to the super-awesome Megan "SuperBadass" Volpert and the restorative powers of her eggplant parmesan for making the tail end of a really, really long set of days something that will eventually inspire a self-referential prose piece entirely composed as a parenthetical aside and called "(Had never really had eggplant parm before but even if I had 'twould not compare, nor shine as bright nor flicker like the firefly's tail glistening against that reflective surface, to this incredible creation of magic and wonder and OMFG IT WAS GOOD Y'ALL)".

(Side-note about parenthetical asides: an ill-executed one will fucking keep me up at night. While reading an advance copy of Jennifer Egan's The Keep, I came across a passage which was prefaced by an open parenthesis...that was never closed. Ever. Now, granted, that's why Advance Reading Copies, or ARCs in the stupid world of stupid publishing that I love so stupidly with all my stupid heart and it makes me so angry and frustrated and I even love that and anyway I digress, have gigantic slappy copy all over them reading "THIS IS AN UNFINISHED COPY. UNFINISHED. IT MEANS NOT DONE. NO ONE HAS PROOFED THIS EXCEPT FOR THE INTERN, AND WE FIRED HER THOUGH REALLY WE SHOULDN'T HAVE SINCE SHE WORKS FOR FREE AND AS SUCH IF WE POPULATED ALL OF THE PUBLISHING HOUSES JUST WITH UNPAID INTERNS WE COULD SAVE PUBLISHING"-because, um, they've not been proofed. So typos happen. Words are misspelled. The ARC I have of the forthcoming English translation of the late Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire has a bunch of oddly typeset underscores prefacing random words. But when a parenthesis isn't closed? How is someone raised on a diet of modern and post-modern lit and literary criticism NOT supposed to just ASSUME the entire book, from the open parenthesis on, ad infinitum, doesn't take place as an aside? Seriously, I say this with as much calmness as I can muster when even thinking about it makes my hands shake and brow sweat again, the unclosed parenthesis in the ARC of The Keep kept me up all night, tossing and turning. To assuage my fears, I had to both reassure myself that the next time a closed parenthesis appeared it would, in turn, close the initial open one also AND hunt down a finished copy in a Borders later to prove to my obsessive-compulsive brain that, in fact, the entire book actually did happen in real-time and not as some digression.)

In the fridge right now sits this:

A tiny bit of left-over love from the night of the eggplant parm. A little more of that, and a little more thought-gathering, and I'll be ready to, erm, write down the bones? I think after this year I'll never be allowed to say that again.


Barbara Friend Ish said...

Breathe. We're having adventures. You are the bravest little toaster ever. I know 'cause I have been participating in a comment thread on FB this morning in which someone said (honest to god you can't make this stuff up) "I'd like to get my children's book published, but I wouldn't want it to be a hassle." I had to roll on the floor.

'Cause if you're not up for a hassle, you have come to the wrong industry. Hell, if you're not up for having your heart ripped out of your chest and obscenely licked by someone you've never even met, you're in the wrong industry. But if you're not up for the hassle, you will never know those sublime moments that make it all so worthwhile.

You know those moments, Russ. You've got the guts to play here. Remember to breathe.

(M)ary said...

maybe not closing the aside was an artistic choice.

i have many unclosed parentheses in my life.