Sunday, November 08, 2020

I write from here, from the warehouse of unsold women

Aerial Photography Awards 2020

2 Categories, 100+ awarded images and photographers. Read more →


Whining Pundits

Quelle surprise! Some pundits are trying to distance themselves from their pre-election calls

On why nose breathing is better than mouth breathing – “The nose filters, heats and treats raw air. Most of us know that. But so many of us don’t realize — at least I didn’t realize — how [inhaling through the nose] can trigger different hormones to flood into our bodies, how it can lower our blood pressure … how it monitors heart rate … even helps store memories. So it’s this incredible organ that … orchestrates innumerable functions in our body to keep us balanced…”


A Conversation On Editing-Driven Writing

“Commentary Magazine has, from the beginning, been an editor’s magazine. Very few pieces that Elliot Cohen edited, or that I edited, or that Neal edited, were not worked over, sometimes radically worked over. There are arguments about whether this is a good way or a bad way, but that’s the way it was at COMMENTARY. I don’t think any other magazine, except possibly the New Yorker, is as heavily edited as Commentary has always been.” – Commentary

I write from here, from the warehouse of unsold women

It has begun. The second wave of the pandemic. I keep thinking of it as a sociological phenomenon rather than a biological one, like fifth-wave feminism. And it is. It's second-wave pandemicism — because I wasn't angry enough and lonely and scared enough and tired enough the first time. 

It's been 202 days of German lessons, and more than 6 months of working from home. The order I put in at Ikea early this past summer, the curtains to prettify and the task lighting to enlighten, should finally be delivered next week. 

But the last few days, weeks, have been hard. It's too cool to sit on the balcony in the morning, it's more effort to go for a walk. The rituals that helped summer pass are broken.

I dreamt my period came suddenly and my shirt-tails were soaked red, I put my hand between my legs but couldn't stanch the flow, there was so much blood.

I went for a Thai yoga massage because I needed my body stretched and steamrolled. I learned that I've forgotten how to relax. How difficult to be in the body and to let go. What I like so much about this style of massage is the trust exercise of it, the surrender. And it seems I'm unable, I'm so tightly wound, on alert, ever vigilant, and tired. And when he thumbed my right forearm near my elbow, I started to cry. “The body remembers,” he told me. (And I was remembering you, stroking my arm.)

That was Friday, the day Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. I feel sadness, and hopelessness, and defeated. We are Ruthless. 

Tonight I cut my hair and dyed it blonde. Haircuts (unlike massage) are nonessential. I would do it myself. All pandemic-long, I've wanted pandemic hair. A badge of honour. I would cut my hair in protest, in solidarity, as self-mutilation. It's gorgeous.

Some books arrived today, among them, King Kong Theory, by Virginie Despentes:

I write from here, from the warehouse of unsold women, the psychos, the skinheads, those who don't know how to accessorize, those who are scared they stink, those with rotting teeth, those who have no clue, those that guys don't make things easy for, those who'd fuck anyone who's prepared to have them, the massive sluts, the scrawny skanks, the dried-up cunts, those with pot bellies, those who wish they were men, those who think they are men, those who dream of being porn stars, those who don't give a flying fuck about guys but have a thing for their girlfriends, those with fat arses, those who have dark bushy pubes and aren't about to get a Brazilian, the women who are loud and pushy, those who smash everything in their path, those who hate perfume counters, who wear red lipstick that's too red, those who'd die to dress like horny sluts but haven't got the body, those who want to wear men's clothes and beards in the street, those who want to let it all hang out, those who are prissy because they're hung-up, those who don't know how to say no, those who are locked up so they can be controlled, those who inspire fear, those who are pathetic, those who don't spark desire, those who are flabby, who have faces scarred with wrinkles, the ones who dream of having a facelift, or liposuction, or having their nose broken so it can be reshaped but don't have the money, those who are a hot mess, those who have only themselves to rely on for protection, those who don't know how to be reassuring, those who don't give a fuck about their kids, those who like to drink until they're sprawled on the floor of a bar, those who don't know how to behave; and, while I'm at it, I'm also writing for the guys who don't want to be protectors, those who want to be but don't know how, those who don't know how to fight, those who cry easily, those who aren't ambitious, or competitive, or well-hung, or aggressive, those who are timid, shy, vulnerable, those who'd rather look after the house than go out to work, those who are weak, bald, too poor to be appealing, those who long to be fucked, those who don't want to be dependable, those who are scared on their own every night. 

Bring it on, second wave. We are already scarred against you.

The drumbeat of juicy epithets

Madam Józefina Przełęska had woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. By ten o'clock, this fact had become a universally acknowledged axiom in the kitchen. By eleven, the entire apartment had broken out in such pandemonium and hullabaloo it was as if there was not just one wrong side of the bed but at least two. 

By noon, the noble residence of Madam Przełęska was pitiful scene of chaos and panic, where august antiques fought wildly in single combat, moving from place to place until, amidst unrelenting skirmishes, they were cut down with the heat of battle and remined motionless, their fashionably spindly legs sticking straight up into the air. Amidst stampeding servants, the lady of the house galloped through the apartment like a Valkyrie on the warpath. Before her resounded the drumbeat of juicy epithets, behind her billowed the flounces of her dressing gown like a burnoose sweeping over the rubble.

The vacuum cleaner growled in the sitting room, salvos of carpets being beaten reverberated in the courtyard, here the windows were thrown open because this stifling air was simply unbearable, there the windows were slammed shut because these drafts could blow your head right off.

On top of everything, the telephone rang without stopping, and the hailstorm of words pelting the mouthpiece slashed the air like a whip.

It was that very moment the doorbell sounded in the hall. It was the last straw. Madam Przełęska pivoted and darted over to answer the door personally, much to the horror of her servants, who, in their hearts, had already entrusted the welfare of this unfortunate guest to the mercy of God.

— from The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma, by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz.