August 21, 2011

WOODCHIPS

I dreamt, two nights ago, that our tremendously sweet grade school teacher downstairs neighbor, buried my unsightly, overgrown garden in woodchips, and I returned the favor by beating the shit out of her like I was a teenage girl in some cafeteria cellphone footage fight. I feel embarrassed now everytime I have seen her, happy and grilling with her husband beneath our porch. Doing violence unto someone in a dream, being terrible to them is perhaps worse than when you have a sex dream about someone you aren't attracted to and then you see them and feel all weird when you look at them.

I have been engrossed in the Joan Acoacella book Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints, a collection of her long artist profiles in the New Yorker from the last 15 years or so. More dancers than I give a shit about, but I forgot all about that pc. she did in like, 2000, about the publication of the letters between Simone de B. and Nelson Algren, and her description of how Simone was basically, like, Sartre's weirdly co-dependent slave (muse is a total understatement, as she was his editor, secretary and pimp) and her description of how physically and personally disgusting Sartre was with his wall eyes, tics, miniature size and impotence. Either she had horrible self-esteem (sound like it) or he was really a charmer making the most of his special gifts. Also, Acoacella, in her introduction talks abut how several of the women she profiled, writers especially, gave up their work for years, stopped, worked in fits, didn't find their craft until they were 60 or 80--and how she finds that perhaps because of the times, women being conscripted into certain roles (motherhood, dutiful daughter), that's just what happened, but that also she floats the idea that women get discouraged much easier. I think both are true. The men in her profiles are bold, tenacious, braggarts, lotharios, anti-semetic, lunatics, need no convincing of their genius, their careers and success never altered by parenthood, but what another persons idea of what a father does or does not do. Anyhow, her writing is, duh, probing and unflinching and historically ravenous. She's not quite quietly feminist, but she is not shy about pointing out what was different for women, esp. women of a different time in America.

Still, mostly, my summer is listening to this Key Losers album and cooking podcasts and going to the park with William, where all the nannys (often outnumbering me 10-1) laugh at my beginners idiocy, my management of my own just-started-walking child. They are old pros, deftly dealing with toddler twins, changing diapers on the bench with one hand, remembering to bring a towel to dry their charges off after they play in the sprinkler-things.

Posted by jessica hopper at August 21, 2011 10:21 AM | TrackBack