Aside from Pride & Prejudice (where Ms. Keira giggled entirely too much), I’ve had a bad run at movies lately. The Weather Man, Shop Girl, The Ice Harvest… they were all sub-par. I broke the streak with Walk The Line, which mostly made me thirsty for Jack & Ginger. After an evening with Joaquin Phoenix, I came home to my own look-alike. Linus bit The Suitor in the face, leaving a vertical scab above his lip. “I look tough now,” he said. I was too shocked and scared to cry.
It’s a horrible feeling knowing something you love so much can hurt someone you love. “It was my own fault,” he said. “I put my face in his face.” Still another dog wouldn’t react that way. I felt like I was in the middle of a family argument. This isn’t the first time he has struck. Linus has only chewed on the flesh of my loved ones, and not out of jealousy. He bit my sister in the nose, Erin in the lip, a MID in the cheek, and now The Suitor in the kisser. Linus loved all of them. And The Suitor is particularly Alpha, well, with both of us, so it was really a surprise. I don’t know what to do.
Today I’m going to see Rent with the girls. We’ll clutch arms and be good at being girls. Then we’ll probably eat sushi, even though you don’t go and eat sushi on a Sunday night. As a Jew, I really should be eating Chinese food, but I’ve stopped doing that because of all the salt and ew I feel after I eat a delicious crackling scallion pancake.
This weekend, I hit First Friday at the Guggenheim. I escaped my friends for a while and was able to enjoy the exhibit instead of the people. I wasn’t feeling particularly social. I was in my own head and wanted to be delighted by the art, find a story. I did.
There was a painting in one of the wings that at first made me think of Madeline. A small child in a blue coat stood alone between two buildings. A red balloon had escaped and was hovering up, between the width of two buildings. Oddly, she wasn’t looking up and watching it float away. After spending more time with it, I realized the people in the windows were committing suicide. Dear God! I found my friends and made them look at it. “What a pretty painting.”
Then they left, and I stayed to see the rest of the exhibit. I’m glad I did. Sometimes I need the museum, but it’s still something I enjoy doing alone. But today is for friends, for Rent, and Sunday night cocktails by a fireplace, somewhere in this cold city.
AFTER SEEING RENT, it made me realize, all the more, how little convention matters. How playing by the rules, we let ourselves create, by living and painting in the lines, we’re not really living. I lived that hospital corner life once. The one with the cableknits and pearls where I asked nicely and baked. Life’s too short to short myself love. To care about rules. To not live the life I was put here to live because I’m afraid of what someone might think. We hit the grave too soon, and while we’re here, we speak of miss and regret. I complain too often. I’m happy for my life, my family, and health, for the privileges I’ve been extended, for the opportunity to see bad movies, too. I’m thankful for you, even when I’m busy complaining about my lobby or lack of heat. Even when I don’t say it. I am. Now, I’m going to sit by a fire with my girls for our Sunday night of four.