Sunday, July 16, 2006

Before the penny arcade comes the natural history of the misanthropic daughter's island.

If I were to ever become an eccentric billionaire the very first thing I would do is buy an island. Preferably one in a lake. Nothing against the ocean or tropical paradise, but as a Midwesterner at heart, I just wouldn't know what to do with a salty beach and a jungle. For a short while that is appealing, paradise always is. But I'm looking for more trials and tribulations in my personal island, something with algae and aspen trees. Maple and especially oak. No, scratch that last one. Weeping Willows. Everywhere. Lining my island. Big ones. The kind that tickle the skin on your back when you try to read under them. And what a beautiful name for a tree. I simply adore any inanimate object with a name that is rich with personification. I want a forest that cries for me. I would build a cabin. Myself, of course. If I accepted help not only would I feel obligated to share my island with someone, or worse yet, someone would know where to find me on my island. The island would need to be secret as well. I would have a small sailboat that I could man myself (Yes I do know a thing or two about sailing. I can also tie a wide variety knots and am an expert at tanning on them.) My island would be wonderful for exploring. I would make small subtle dirt paths outlining and intertwining the entire place. These paths would lead to small clearings at random places that are bathed in sunlight. I would occasionally hike naked just for the sake of bathing in the sun in these small clearings. On this island I would become very brown and my feet would grow enormous calluses on them as a result from being naked so often. Not naked in the sexy way, just the warm way. I would also probably be really dirty all the time from my exploration, and being that there will be no running water, I have to bathe in the lake and the occasional storm. I will dig my own well for clean water, I'm pretty sure that I know how, or I'll figure it out when I get really thirsty. I won't have to talk to anybody, or answer any questions. I will have a second cabin that is just a library. All sorts of books. You name it. Electrical manuals, fiction, lots of fiction, history, medical texts, erotic fiction, etc. I might keep a journal. I' not sure about that one though. I will have a piano in my cabin and a wonderful bed. A nightstand too. I love nightstands. They are my favorite piece of furniture. A coffee table to eat at, because I prefer to sit on the floor when I eat. I will eat a lot of soup that I make with vegetables from my garden. I will also have a goat for milk, cheese and yogurt. There will be decrepit ruins left from other eccentric misanthropes. I will piece together their lives from whatever remains of them and write epic novels about them that I will publish under an assumed pen name and they will become international hits. Sometimes I will go there for just a few days, a weekend perhaps. Sometimes I will go there for years at a time. So, in short, someday when I start mysteriously disappearing and reappearing, you will know that I finally won the powerball.

I would also rebuild the penny arcade at the Minnesota State Fair for Eric Ziebarth.

Daddy's girl.

I had my wisdom teeth out this past weekend. Five of them. My dad was very proud of me (my dad is my dentist), he had never seen in thirty years of dentistry a supernumerary tooth that looked like mine. It wasn't really an extra tooth, but more like a pearl shaped bone, just hanging out in the nether regions of my mouth. When he initially saw the x-rays of my mouth, taken on my birthday, he swelled with pride over his very own recessive DNA. I am wise and in the process of de-evolving the human race. Where is the steak darlings, mama's hungry.

Before this, my dad was never my dentist. I have always gone to see his partner. Nothing against Dad's craft, I was always just a little uneasy about the whole mess. Due to my lack of time and the subsequent necessity for an after hours surgery, having my dad extract my teeth was the only option this time around.

I have always had a profound respect for what my father does to earn a living. It impresses me more that he loves it so much. The occupation with the highest suicide rate in the world. The dentist; our contemporary proverbial boogey man. People weep at the sight of him. He still loves it though. Loves to work with his delicate hands. Loves to make people feel better, smile for him. He told me tonight for the first time that he finds the gap in my teeth to be a remarkably even and beautiful gap, and that he will never again offer to close it for me. When I was a child he used to cast jewelry for me. He made it out of the gold reserves he had at his office for caps and fillings. I still have a little gold K that he casted when I was 10, with a smidgin of a chip of a diamond in it which originally belonged to my mothers engagement ring when dad was in medical school. Oh my, how I digress . . .

Back to the story of extraction. I was indescribably nervous about the experience (apparently my dad was as well, he confessed to me tonight that he had the shakes before I came in, this coming from a man who hikes for three days in the jungle of Ecuador to preform oral surgery on children of impoverished villages once a year). I asked to remain awake for the whole procedure because I am terrified of anesthesia, and also it was my first chance to see my father at work. I most clearly remember beginning to hyperventilate and feeling one of his hands brush my hair off my forehead and hearing "Don't worry precious" while his other hand was busy twisting a pliers for dear life extracting a particularly infected tooth. Also looking into his eyes, his face slightly spattered with my blood as he stitched up my last socket, was something beautiful. He just kind of looked like he was sewing a quilt or something . . .

Now and forever. A daddy's girl.

dehydration leaves the most beautiful grimace on a man's face.

Yesterday I was giving my good old buddy Dusty a ride home, after a most fulfilling night of beer and non-stop "Lost" watching (If you haven't seen it, I recommend you do, even if it is just for the sake of pining for the boy scout hero, Dr. Jack. He's the kind of man who makes you wince and bite your knuckles when his bulging, sweating biceps quiver as he lifts one vulnerable woman after another and carries her to safety. eh hemm. so anyway . . .) Rocking out to a sweet mix CD of summer jams, its a standard drive home. We pull up to a long line of cars at an intersection on University. Nobody is moving. There are no signs anywhere indicating what is going on. No fire truck, no ambulance. A couple police cars ahead, but as far as we can tell, there isn't any good reason for us all to be waiting around. The bus next to me becomes impatient and honks. Within a few nano seconds other cars honk. Caught up in the mob mentality, I honk. Dusty laughs at me, and being the kind of girl who rarely gets a good laugh out of people, I do it again. Thank god, Dusty chuckles again (although, this time there was a sense of forced hesitation, way to be a sport Dusty). Sitting, sitting, sitting. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Dusty seems a little to hung over for small talk. We just keep saying "What the fuck man." Finally, the sexy lady cop (in my eyes, all lady cops are sexy) starts waving cars forward, a couple at a time. As we approach my eyes are scanning the area, looking for the fire. All clear. As it is our turn to be motioned forward, a Nico song comes on. My favorite Nico song, "These Days". Pulling through the intersection, relieved that we are moving and moving to a beautiful moving song, I hear Dusty quietly say "Oh shit."

So I look out Dusty's window as we pass and there it is. A marathon. A wall of sweaty flesh coming right for us. It looks like at least 200 people, all men. All wearing only short shorts. It was tan and shiny. Bodies jiggling, looking quiet lovely and desperate. It didn't last long; we were through the intersection in a few seconds. Then we were talking about how sweet marathons are. I dropped Dusty off. And turned around and began towards home.

I can't stop thinking about all of that masculine flesh. All of those contorted dehydrated, suffering faces. Coming right at me. Coming for me