Your Ten Favorite Holiday Memories
1. You are playing mechanized baseball: a ball bearing is pitched out of a hole, and the bat is a pinball flipper — and fwap! The ball bearing falls into one of a series of holes marked “single, double, triple, home run, and out.” There are vastly more outs than hits. Then you move on to submarine warfare: small plastic ships float out near the horizon line as you look through your periscope: you estimate position, hit the fire button on the handle, and BOOM! Down goes das boot!
2. You are the night’s confabulation. You don a Richard Burton affectation and on occasion you break out into song and dance, Al Jolson style, viz., a good Jewish boy doing blackface or something minstrel-like. Not to worry, you’ve run this through the department of psychological sanitation, and nothing that you do or say will offend, chagrin, or impinge upon a healthy state of mind. No, in fact, you shall be put through the “so called” ringer, and as a point of further fact you are wearing an Arab strap, and it will assist you in hitting certain notes with a certain meaning. No! No cause for alarm. This is all family friendly, PG rated, and sanitized for your protection. The buzzword to listen for: gentrification, collateral damage, enhanced interrogations, debt ceiling limits… the list is long, but you know them well. So without further ado…
3. You are Claudia’s kid — conceived at that apartment she and Terry lived in above the Garden of Eden Diner in Hoboken. Yeah, remember they were doing roadie work for Yo La Tengo that year, they even opened a couple of shows for them using the name of their first band, Rasputin’s Swim.
4. You are a case of the shakes, momma made the shake n’ bake. I got the shakes, momma made the chicken fried steak. I got the shakes, momma made the whole world quake — she’s got the power you know. I got the shakes, momma said she’s going away.
5. You are the doxology of reflection in a darkened alcove. God is in the alcove. God is in the house. God is loose in there. Who let him in? Did you bait him with cerulean cookies and sugar clouds? Now God’s rummaging around. Uninvited. Unwanted. What dolts you both are.
6. You are biddable in the execrable moments before the prisoner is executed. You are Richard Burton bombast, Shakespearean affectation a notch too loud and an eyelash too wide. You are the murmuration of starlings lost in the roiling chaos in that instant before banking hard left. You are the suppurations of wounds that don’t heal three weeks out. You are the gesticulations of the man without legs as the detritus and shrapnel falls back to earth and settles on the rim of the new-formed crater. You are the child transfixed with the sky as she traces the arc of the parachute bomb’s parabola on its ecliptic. You are.
7. You are last day of November: when ladies of idle lament, and big men with boxy jackets in swimming trunks, big trunks, salute portmanteaus in the streets of Deauville. You sing, “break up to make up, that’s all we do, first you love me, then you hate me, that’s a game for fools.”
8. You are lust unbound. You just want to kiss her, “please just let me kiss you.” She wants to smash you. “I will let you smash me. Beat me with that truncheon, smash me with that truncheon.” Then she broke the spell and hissed: “disrepute!” You lodged a complaint via computer, the one on the street corner, then you had enough. You stopped.
9. You are tornado thoughts ten seconds after the weather warning has been issued.
10. You are the shrieking instrument panel on the jet spiraling earthbound.
“I like to do the opposite of everything that is making money.”
— Meg Ramey