Octopus' Garden

Monday, January 02, 2006



Confession: In real life, I sometimes avoid any meaningful social interaction with people until they’ve been on my radar for a year or so. That way, I can observe them from a safe distance and get used to the idea of them. I don’t think I actually do this on purpose, but I’m not convinced that makes it any better. It occurs to me that I’ve become much too adept at Batesian mimicry. It occurs to me that I need to stop.


I walk down to the river this afternoon to see what it looks like in the rain. The current is moving a little bit more quickly today, and cold drizzle punctures the gray-green surface in an insistent pizzicato that leaves a succession of ring prints, like many tiny wet glasses quickly set down and then plucked off a coffee table without coasters. I bring an umbrella, but don’t use it. The rain, I finally decide after careful consideration, doesn’t mean me any harm. And so I give in to it.


Last night there is music and happiness and laughing. A pot of body glitter is passed around the table and the women’s faces, the tops of their lovely exposed holiday breasts, sparkle in the dark and the smoke. There is dancingdancingdancing. There is beer. And blues. Crisp, elegantly sexy guitar solos and searing, intricate fiddling.


At one point in the evening, I am cajoled into having a drink at the Elks Club with two other women. I am told that if I go to the Elks I will officially become a local. As if the F.O.E. is a litmus test of some sort. When we arrive, we might as well be sci-fi outer-space Amazons descending down the stairs of our 1950’s B-movie rocket ship. I decide to pretend to be a sci-fi outer-space Amazon during my stint at the Elks Club. (I rule with an iron fist, I tell myself as I drink my Budweiser.) There are many cowboy hats and hubristic belt buckles. There is two-stepping. The room is set up like a high school dance. There are sweet elderly couples holding hands and dancing cheek to cheek. A very nice woman goes around the room with a large platter of deviled eggs and offers one to everyone. Even to me, the baffled sci-fi Amazon from outer space. And you know what? There’s no way in a million years I would have ever thought to have made those deviled eggs up.


After the band, a party at Prospect House. (The houses here are sometimes named: Prospect House. Brookman House, etc.) There is impromptu music in the living room. My friend M. plays guitar and sings with two other women. Their voices are sweet, and flicker in the candlelight.


This year I will learn to become better at trust: trusting the circumstances, giving my trust more freely to other people . . . trusting in myself.


At the river this afternoon a muskrat came floating down the current in the rain. It lifted up its head to gaze at me as it passed the wooden landing where I stood, then slipped below the surface again. Its tail curlicued for one moment in the air like a black question mark. Of course I know the question. Will you tell me the answer?
posted by Artichoke Heart at 1:23 AM


I also observe people for a long time before letting them pass through my force-field. This is the main reason why I don't date much - for some reason, people on dates seem to think that they should get closer than a safe distance!

M. Luminous
Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:53 AM  
Exactly. Dating poses a particularly tricky conundrum in this regard.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 11:37 AM  
AND deviled eggs.

Don't you think that more hor'dourves should be "deviled?"

If my morsels aren't a little bit demonic what's the point?

But a stuffed mushroom will always get my attention across a crowded room. Every time.

And tapenade is possessed by all the gargoyle sprites. Legion swine.

Smoked salmon canapes will make me turn my head all the way around.

I'd writhe for goose pate.

Lift my skirt and toss my panties to sailors for a mouthful of caviar.

Give me merange divinity; extract the sore orange eye from the egg.

Fault the vulnerable souls.
Those urchins without boundaries.
My larder is darksided.
Blogger Turquoise, at 5:31 PM  
I have to say the imagery transition from hubristic belt buckles and deviled eggs to pots of body glitter was masterful... ;)
Blogger Lenka, at 6:20 PM  
Dude. The Elks Club? As in BPOE? (Best People on Earth!)

I LOVE the Elks, my grandpartens were members and my cousin got married at the Elks Club. Okay, so I might have chosen a different venue, but hey, it was fun! So is the VFW and the American Legion. Seriously, I love 'em.

Happy New Year AH - may it be filled with wonderful things!
Blogger MJ, at 1:08 PM  
my friend peter bought me a mt. fuji beltbuckle for christmas. now all i need is a cowboy hat. triple butch threat (that is boots, beltbuckle, cowboy hat).
Blogger Shannon, at 1:33 AM  
Turq: Your sexy food imagery is dazzling!

Thank you Lenka and MJ!

And Shannon . . . my, my . . . triple threat indeed.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 6:58 PM  

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