Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dear friends, this blob is slowly sliding over to zulieka.com.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

STILL LIFE WITH FAST MOVING DOG

New dog. He is an all-muscle greyhound, looks like a horse and is spooked like one too. So suddenly I am getting up early (is 7:30 a.m. early? Perspective is off.) This dog takes up so much space it's like having another man in the house. Too bad he can't shape-shift into boy form, big stupid boy with big stupid heart and white teeth and biceps.

He has his racing id tattooed in his ears. What a strange life he's been having, hey? One day chasing robot rabbits and the next slated for lethal injection (17,000 greyhounds are euthanized each year). Someone decided he was too beautiful and too friendly to be put down, so he gets whisked from Florida to Massachusetts, gets his shots, gets neutered, and now my little Fido is here beside me wanting to please. I have his old racing muzzle, yellow plastic on which his race name is written with a black sharpie: "Cool Kid".

He can't navigate stairs yet, so he's here on the carpet next to me snoring. Upstairs I have E-frdy--his new name, now that he has retired from racing as well--snoring in my bed. They both smell awful; I'm not sure which I prefer. E-frdy's pores leak stale beer, and Fido is a farting carnivore.

Why is E-frdy so effing wonderful? He's an artist, he can build things like no other over-educated white boy can, he is kind and he is a devoted father. He calls from work every day and asks me what he should pick up for dinner. He is lanky and muscular just like my new greyhound. He washes dishes and cooks, and sometimes he musters up the courage to add two more brush strokes on his painting. He tells me I am beautiful when I need to hear it, and he is the proud owner of a nicely proportioned wanker that I've never seen, in our 7 years together, go flat.

What is so effing wrong with E-frdy? He does not have the gift of gab but he thinks that he does when he is drunk, and the crack of his over-excited high-pitched voice as he is espousing utter goofiness makes my hairs stand on end. (There is a point when cliche phrases become as common as common words and you cannot avoid using them for readability, like "mustering up courage" and "hairs standing on end" and "gift of gab", or, maybe I'm just too lazy and tired now that I have to get up and walk the dog. I can hear a mosquito.

Also, the cheap beer. Every Tuesday I take out the trash, and I fold down six or seven paper cartons that each held twelve beer cans. The cans pile up all over the house and I put them in a plastic bag at the side of the road for the mentally handicapped guy with eczema who takes them. There's nothing unpredictable about E-frdy. He will always drink, he will always drink Budweiser, and he will always drink too much Budweiser. In much the same fashion, "in much the same same old fashion" he will think that we are supposed to stay together forever. Not even because he likes me (oh could you like me, a woman with so little love?) but more so because I'm a comfortable habit he can't break. I hate the routine of it. The shorty socks, the brand of his razors and hair gel, the same positions in bed wherein Efredy gets off first and zaps me with the vibrator, the same askance look and all his old clumsy side-steps when I try to bring up money and finances. He won't fight. He'll flee every time.

If we were not together though, I would want to keep him as my friend, and I'd want to jump him as well. I keep telling my daughter "You can't have everything you want." Maybe I am not supposed to tell her that. Now I have this dog instead of a divorce. I want my daughter and I want my dog, and after that, there's nothing else but his credit card debt to split.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DOE WITH POINTS

Without music, I would have been a lesser person. I had no choice in my exposure to it, so sometimes I wonder which way I would have gone without it. Freddy and my brothers still ask me why I stopped painting.

Painting and drawing were private pursuits that I controlled without input from my mother or from teachers. Two-year-olds like to color where they are not supposed to, on the walls, on their bed sheets, all over their board books. That feeling of joyous rebellion probably never leaves a painter.

When I was in pre-school, I painted a yellow chicken with so much yellow paint that the entire newsprint sheet was caked and cracking. I didn't have any paint at home. Believe it or not, I didn't even have crayons. I had a box of colored pencils, but my mother kept them out of reach. I took my painting of the yellow chick home and cut it up and dropped pieces of it into a cup of water. Then I had enough yellow paint to cover a whole wall of my bedroom with a truly giant yellow chick.

My mother went after it with a sponge and soapy water, and it washed right off, but she wouldn't know where I got the yellow paint. I held onto my secret, stored in a private arsenal that she couldn't touch or wash away.

I had a friend across the street, Christina, who was chubby and dark-haired, and a year older than me. We went swimming together at the country club where our fathers played golf. Why I remember this: one of the lifeguards was also named Zulieka. How was it possible for us to have the same strange name and be so utterly dissimilar.

Christina was running around the perimeter of the pool, and Zulieka the lifeguard yelled at her to stop. Christina's mother, who was consistently on the low end of drunk, slowly rose out of her lounge chair to catch her. Christina thought this was funny, and she giggled and ran faster. In the sun, a screaming mother and dark blood on the concrete when Christina tumbled and broke her crown.

Christina proudly showed me her six stitches. I knew why she had them, because my mother told me. Christina was a bad girl who did not listen to her mother or the lifeguard.

Which brings me to the deer I hit yesterday. But not yet.

I remember one more incident involving Christina. We were playing in front of my house, and she waited until the last second to go inside and pee. In our house, all the toilet lids were kept closed, but this was not the case in Christina's home, so when she pulled down her pants, she sat and peed without thinking, on top of the lid and all over the bathroom floor. She called for my help and asked me to get her some towels. I pulled towels out of the bathroom cupboard, and watched her wipe up the mess and stuff the soiled towels back into the cupboard.

Christina made me promise not to tell my mother. Even my friends were a little bit afraid of her.

When my mother noticed the bunched up towels, she called me to an interrogation. At first, I maintained that I didn't know what had happened. Then as she broke me down, I let on that Christina had had an accident and had made me promise not to tell. But my mother believed that I was lying still, and tried to hammer into my four-year-old head that the only thing worse than lying to your parents was blaming a friend for your mistake.

It wasn't a turning point, but it set in motion the pathological lying. What does that mean, please. Not the American Academy of Psychiatry's description, please. Pathos and Logic.

I lied about all events big and little. I just told everyone what they wanted to hear. There wasn't any point in telling the truth if the truth was not going to be believed. However, I felt ashamed as I lied, and I believed that all disasters and traumas that I witnessed were my fault.

Which could bring us back to the deer, the second deer I have killed in six years, but let's not just yet.

I know how to make you love because I know you. You should figure me out, and soon.



I believed that my father should be president of the United States. Should we allow our children to think so highly of their fathers while the mothers change diapers and cook chicken and rice?

Why do you think I learned to take it all in three glides, when on your own it takes 56 minutes? Wouldn't you like to have that kind of power in a tongue?

I had dreams about the man I would marry. He was waiting for me by a brick house across a river that was filled with dead people. He was tall and fair-haired, and even when he helped me cross, he didn't seem to see me.

I showed a crayon drawing of the face of my future husband to my father, and watched scorn rise from the folds of his facial muscles. The proportion is wrong, he told me. The eyes are too high on the head, and too far apart. No one's hair is actually sunshine yellow. Go look up Leonardo Da Vinci, we have the translations of his notebooks.

I didn't show any drawings to my father again, but the humiliation and anger of being told that something I'd created was worse than laughable was motivation. (To be the best ever! That'll show them!) It happened fairly quickly, with one drawing that I spent every waking hour erasing and redoing for three days.

I still work this way, without stopping or sleeping much, but I can only sustain energy for a week or less. I don't have the stamina or patience for anything bigger. I've started forty short stories in the last year, actually forty-four unfinished three page short stories. It's disgusting. I stay up until three or four in the morning, and then realize how stupid my writing is, and then go to bed and wake up a foul bitch.

That first accurate portrait was of Vladimir Horowitz. Then I drew Ivo Pogorelich and Bernard Shaw. I can't explain why Bernard Shaw--I've never read any of his plays--but maybe he was in National Geographic that year. Then into puberty the subject matter devolved to women out of Vogue with pouting lips and pop stars. I drew hundreds of them, fast. I stuck all these drawings into my Czerny piano studies, so that my piano teacher would see them and understand why I didn't have time to play the same scale fifteen hundred times in a row.

Running down, and that deer still waiting--is my daughter going to hate me?

I won an art scholarship and a music scholarship. For my music audition, I played the piano and the violin and I sang. This is why I didn't have any friends.

I turned away from painting because I just couldn't do it all, and painting didn't carry me emotionally like sound did. I was only good at mimicking other painters. My understanding was limited to cartoon-expression: for instance, a freshman-year self-portrait with a needle and thread puncturing a cheek. It's not beautiful or creative (which is what I thought it was at the time), it's just needy and whiny. I didn't have an instinctive feel for line or composition. I've never seen a painting that takes my breathe away. I've seen paintings that stay with me, but I've never been taken to God by a painting, and music does that to me, almost every time.

I want men who are better than me at some kind of art form so that I can learn from them. I like to be critiqued and I like to get pissed off. You can have this kind of relationship with a man because, even if he is feels threatened, there is no question of a hundred-pound woman physically overpowering him. You cannot have this kind of relationship with a heterosexual woman because after she hates you, out of jealousy, or because you really are an egotistical shit, sex is not there to repair the damages. Sex heals so much.

Freddy is an incredible painter. His paintings are luminescent and tender and distant. However, because I am not giving him love, because I am a nasty selfish creature, on the same night I hit the deer and wrecked my car, the kitchen floor was moving with maggots. They popped underfoot like white lies. I didn't stop for the deer.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's just easy to get in and out of here. Summer, in three days, is when I'll start the transfer to zulieka.com

I can't go to LA. Our fights are pathetic. We turn into hairy, violent creatures.

It's not LA that I want to go to--I want to just go. I become pathological, whatever that means. Selfish mostly. A nasty bitch is his favorite moniker. He becomes the man I consciously have ousted from my life: jealous, possessive, childish, desperate for maternal affirmation, and worst of all, whiny.

He held me down by the wrists and talked directly with my nipples. I can see that they are the biggest problem between us. If it weren't for them, none of this would have happened. He is talking to them, asking them if they are enjoying the power play and is that why they look hard? as I watch the wall and make note of where the wallpaper isn't lined up exactly. Then I bend my knees and kick both my feet out against the plane of his chest, and when he falls back, I pound into him with my fists. I have some light bruising around the wrists (I was really hoping for more) whereas he has black/blue footprints on his pecs. He always trumps my victimhood, dammit. The damage to his soul, he says, is irreversible. My student Genia, who feels music instinctively, points to her head and says "There's no such thing as soul, it's all up here." Good god do I need a break. Why doesn't he?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our appetites are different. I need salt and vinegar in the evening, I used to need men. I need money, I used to need tonguing. I used to get depressed as a matter of routine fasting from enjoyment when the spiritual tolerance of enjoyment keeled to a side as it does when you fuck too much, now I eat chocolate mice because the cat is never away. I am a cat who can't stand cats, and the cat is never away. But still, I am not going to knock cats. You can't help what you are or what you are made to eat.