“Making love around the fire of the alphabet.”

I am in love with stories.  I am in love with you and the stories you tell about yourselves.  I am in love with the stories I get to tell you.

In some ways, what makes us unique among animals is nothing to write home about–we are the apes most concerned with cleaning up poop, our own and the poop of others, even other species.  No other animal spends to much time fretting about poop.  That’s really nothing to be proud of.

But the other thing that makes us unique are the elaborate stories we tell.  This, right here, my words to your eyes is a miracle and one we take for granted.  We are so lucky, to have words so freely available to us.  To be able to write and to read and to respond.

I’ve often wanted to tell you about the essay that changed my life, Carole Maso’s "Rupture, Verge, and Precipice /Precipice, Verge, and Hurt Not," but I didn’t know how to explain it if you couldn’t see it for yourself. 

Today, I pulled it back off the shelf and read it again and sat in my office and cried.  It makes me so happy, this essay, and it reminds me again why we do this and how we are so lucky to get to do this–you, my army of Shahrayars, and me, your Xeroxed copy of a copy of a copy of Shahrazad.

And also, in one of those happy fortuities which is the internet, I found it for you in cyberspace.  You can read it yourselves and love it or hate it.  But there it is, my favorite essay.

I read this for the first time ten years ago, I imagine, and was dumbfounded and moved.  I remain moved.

Here is what I heard about feminism and how closely entwined feminism must be with my ability to read and write and, most importantly, be heard.

Even though you call me sentimental—on the one hand girly-girl, on the other hand loud-mouthed bitch, on the one hand interesting and talented writer, on the other hand utterly out-of-touch idealist, romantic—it is you who wants the nineteenth century back again. When things were dandy for you, swell. You want to believe in the old coordinates, the old shapes. To believe in whatever it was you believed in then. You were one of the guys who dictated the story, sure, I remember. Who made up the story and now go teaching it all over the place. But even then, when you sat around making it up, even then, my friend, it had nothing to do with me. With my world. With what I saw and how I felt.


You will call me naive, childlike, irreverent, idealistic, offensive, outrageous, defiant at times, because I do not believe in a literature of limitation, in a future of limitation. I annoy you with this kind of talk, I know. You’ve told me many times before. You’d like me to step into my quiet box. You’re so cavalier, as you offer your hand.

How familiar does that sound?

I do not believe it has to continue this way—you over there alternately blustery and cowering, me over here, defensive, angry.

You guys, this is what I’m trying to say to you.  All this stuff, where you say, well, that’s just how it is; no, it’s not.  These are just stories we tell about ourselves and we can tell other stories and we can learn to believe them, to believe in them.

I believe that, with all my heart, that words can change us, that reading and writing can transform us and heal us and bring us closer together.

Maso says:

Despite all efforts to tame it, manage it, control it, outsmart it, language resists your best efforts; language is still a bunch of sturdy, glittering charms in the astonished hand.

And I know that, if I can convince you of that, these dark squiggles on a sea of electric whiteness hold all the magic we need to make ourselves known to each other.  If I can convince you that it can be done, and that these letters and these words are the tools with which we can do it, then I wonder if you will let me.  Let me slide myself in there where you are most vulnerable–a tongue through slightly parted lips, a finger gently into your soft places.  Let me whisper my words in your ear, my hot breath on your cheek.  Let me speak to you in hushed tones when you are alone.

And, when I am most lonely, I will shut my eyes and feel your cheek against mine, and listen carefully for the magic you give me in return.

It’s greater than we are, than we’ll ever be. That’s why I love it. Kneeling at the altar of the impossible. The self put back in its proper place.

The miracle of language. The challenge and magic of language.


Why Grown Ass People Sleep with Teenagers

As Grandfille points out, our resident Pedophile Barbie is going back to jail.  Grandfille ask notes that many folks are confused as to why a beautiful woman like her would resort to fucking a teenage boy–they seem to think this would be some great gift to said boy.

Let me explain it to you.   Teenagers need space to fuck around and make mistakes and grow up.  Grown ass people who fuck teenagers, as I’ve said before, have a vested interest in preventing that teenager from growing up and realizing what a loser the teen-fucker is.  That’s why fucking a teenager, even if they appear to be willing, is wrong, because, in order to fuck a teenager, a grown ass person must fuck with that teenager’s head.  If they didn’t fuck with that teenager’s head, the teenager would eventually ask such troubling questions as “Why can’t this person find someone his or her own age to fuck?” and realize that the answer is “Because this person is a loser” and stop fucking them*.

But, why do hot women, who could, seemingly, have any man they want, fuck teenagers?  Here’s my theory.  In all of these cases that reached such high profile, the women were in relationships.  I suspect that these women have spent their whole lives being the pretty, pretty princesses who could always count on their attractiveness as an inducement for men to spoil them.  However, once they get into long-term relationships, their partners grow tired of having to treat the pretty, pretty princess as if she is the most special treat on the planet and not just an ordinary human being who needs to do ordinary things like laundry and dishes and yardwork.

These teenage boys have no experience with ordinary life.  They don’t pay bills or work or feel the full weight of adulthood and so they have no expectation that these women will either.  The woman has found someone who only sees her as the pretty, pretty princess and who expects her always and forever to need special attention that no other man can give her.  So, she chooses the boy who can help her maintain her belief in her special, unique self over the man who wants her to be a grown up.

I suspect the dynamic is similar for men who fuck teenage girls.  He loves that, to her, he is always so smart and powerful and special, because she’s got little history to compare him to.



*Keep yourself safe.  Follow the Shill’s guide for unfoolish coupling.  If you take your age, divide it in half and add seven, that is the youngest aged person you can date without looking like a skivvy loser.


How To Tell if You Live in the Midwest

The Professor is right.  There appears to be some confusion about just what the Midwest constitutes.

Citizens of Earth, let me clear it up for you. 

Midwestern States

Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas*

States Which May Share Our Culture, But Are Not, In Fact, Midwest, Mostly Because the Midwest DOES NOT Have Mountain Ranges

Arkansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania (but really, only the western part)

The State We’ll Take Because It Has to Go Someplace, but Damn It, Now You’re Stretching It

West Virginia




*[Insert eye-roll here]

Just Some Stuff that I’m Thinking About This Morning

1.  Photopoppy sent me a link to some actually tiny cat pants.  Citizens of earth, look up there at my cat in tiny pants.  Notice that he is smiling and enjoying his polka dotted pants.  Why is this?  Not merely because he’s got some stylish pants on, but because he’s an imaginary cat.  I drew him.  In real life, cats don’t like to wear pants, as is obvious from the photos of a bunch of miserable cats in pants on this site.

Fix your cats.  Spare them the agony of tiny cat pants.

2.  I am just so tickled by the idea of my boob freckle being some kind of magnet for trouble I can’t even tell you.  Once a boob freckle gets that kind of reputation… Well, what more can you aspire to?  The boob freckle is now practically mythic–Aunt B.’s Legendary Boob Freckle.  That sounds like the name of something people should be delighted to see.  How awesome is that?

3.  Didn’t yesterday feel kind of like an object lesson in how men and women communicate differently?  First we had W. and our Wayward Boy Scout being all like "Why are we fighting?  We’re not disagreeing with you." and me being all like "We’re not fighting.  I just want you to admit that I’m more right than you."  Then we had me being all like "Hello Sarcastro, Do you want to chat for a bit about the funny way a knife went into my foot?" and Sarcastro being all like "There is a knife in the foot of my friend.  I must get to the truck  and drive to her house and hold the wound together with my bare hands while calling an ambulance I dialed with my prehensile big toe.  I must have enough information only that I can make the most efficient plan and execute it."

4.  Does the Midwest have a quintessential song?  The South has a lot of songs–"Sweet Home Alabama" etc.  But is there some song you hear that just makes you go "God, yes, that’s just what it’s like to be from the Midwest.  The right mix of ‘keep to yourself’ishness coupled with sticking your nose where it doesn’t belong and driving around a lot of flat fields devoted to corn and beans?  I just don’t know.