n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, December 24, 2005

wrapping da gifties

Aha, who needs what? Who wants what? Where is this person going to put this present on the list of presents they receive from those both caring and less?

paper, jagged cuts, straight lines attempted, evaded, folded and taped over; ribbon wrapped, stretched, scraped, curled; spirals of boxes taped together, paper cut too short and patched over, tape running out; pen marks on corners to differentiate. santa paper for the jewish-brolaw; crinkled, crumbled paper to fill in the spaces; rocks placed in a plastic baggy, then doubled over, to foil even the cleverest of present shakers; bulbs divided and repackaged for stocking size; beer bottle slowly losing line.

thoughts of friends in Chicago, c2 away from her blog, the texans I love, some fleeing to and from home like inhalations of panic, kansas city leavings, kansas beckoning with flat farm winds, sweden and little typing babies, new york tressings and tall books of words lined to and fro, translations from Polish, and books assigned to me in such a way I haven’t been bossed in years. Note to self: incredible gratitude. This world is lifted up by generous openings.

deaper meaningsrain slogs the ground, warm huff of wind degrees away from the snowballs I would like to rub in my sister’s face, muddy slippers, and a little doggy face looking out over the rim of our hottub beseechingly (he is the monk of the dogworld, striving for perfect absolution and abnegation of his innards in subservience to grace and glory of all who are higher than him, which is everyone), a car passes by and the dogs run left, a car passes by and the dogs run right, a little breezes shimmies the deciduous trees but leaves the evergreens righteous.

thoughts of friends here, the girl I went to Narnia with who also read those books like they were whole worlds, Natalinchka who has so far dodged me but will be hunted down like the cherry on a cupcake that must be succulently savored as the tip of holiday itself, my sister who wiggles her butah and gets the brolaw laughing hard also by suffocating him with her paws, the father who gives me 250 pages of his novel-in-progress with a sly note implying that comments would be welcome. The dinner forthcoming.

Will they like their presents? Should I regift anything? Should I give up the hat that I like so much? Does my butt look cute in these pants, and even if it doesn’t, why does that even matter? Will Ali call me cranky tomorrow, as she has done every Christmas since 2002? Will I be cranky tomorrow? Am I a bah-humbug with relentless self-righteous fury in my heart?

Rosario called me yesterday and the opening to the conversation was:

“Hello. Hello.”
“Rosario? Is this Rosario? It’s Rosario, isn’t it!?”
“This is Rosario.”
“Oh, I’m so glad to hear you. I thought I wouldn’t again.”
“Well, I tried hard to hate you, but I couldn’t. I’m just no good at hating anyone.”
“Especially me, right?”
“Well, yes, I guess so.”
“Merry Christmas, girl. I’m glad you called.”

And I was. I wanted to know how she was, and that she couldn’t stoke her heart with the same kind of hatred I’m capable of. I tried so hard with her, but had to let myself know when it wasn’t right anymore. Oh my, Christmas re-realization: it’s been ages since I’ve been willing to have a girlfriend, a more than a sensual-moment-between-acquaintances, in my life. How young I was: funny how flickers the naïf, innocence. Rosario tells me about her family, and herself, and we avoid all the topics I know she doesn’t want to touch on. We are gentle with each other, and there is much going on in our lives.

woodpile, drifts and slices of pine from the trees that fell over on our lot, and they are piled, covered in tarp. I pull the bottoms, let the tumble, watch my toes. I toss chunks ten feet, aim for fifteen, feel the pull of deltoids, of quadriceps. I move the china hutch to the new house and bully my mother into getting rid of the ugly pieces, wipe off the rest and settle them down into a pattern of choice, windows washed with faux-windex, bamboo floors swept and vacuum, I slice across them on my socked-skating feet, jump up and bite my mom on the arm (some things never change), the decorations are re-arranged, and I rehang a painting of a Russian Orthodox church so it’s not right next to the avant-garde Chilean geometries.

the walls here are painted: orange, yellow, blue in my room, purple in my sister's, green in the bedroom and bathrooms. Tiles are growing in corners, a stove coming to rest upon it.

santa will come tonight. after a few shots, my sister and I will sneak out of bed at four o’clock and make sure of that. in the morning: coffee and wide yellow reflected sun and a new year approaching. tonight: my packages reach conclusion, labeled with words like “for the jew” and “bad bad bad, no shaking” and “I love you” and “how many chucks can a woodchuck chuck” and “merry christmas.”

To all of you too. Peace.
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