Posted in Almost Dorothy, Food In The City

Almost Dorothy Interviews Almost Dorothy About Fried Chicken and Other Things

Flavor Flav's Fried Chicken.
Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken.

Almost Dorothy: What makes you most vulnerable? List at least 5 things that make you feel vulnerable in English and one in Spanish (or any other language other than English or Inglish). If you are one of those ‘guys’ who says, ‘I’m not vulnerable’, you’re a lying sack of shit. It is true, dumb ass. Answer the fucking question.

Love. Falling in love. Falling out of love. Falling on a loved one. Falling. Cucarachas. Ma.

Almost Dorothy: Why do these things make you vulnerable? Be real, bitch.

Because it makes me hungry. Because it makes me feel like fried chicken. Because it’s like going to church with the devil. Because it’s like having crabs the size of Missouri. Because falling hurts. Because falling is hard. Because love is falling hard. Because love is hard like falling is hard like walls are hard like wood floors are hard like concrete is hard but it wasn’t hard to begin with. It all starts out soft, pliable, almost magical. Like fried chicken. It’s like ma. Like the woman who watches my back with a knife. Like the woman who cooks like a goddamn blind woman in a junk yard. It’s like losing your skin, love. Like peeling onions, but nothing like pickles.

Almost  Dorothy: Are you weak or strong when you are vulnerable?

I’m always a weakling and that’s what makes me powerful. Like a bullet without a gun or a gun without a bullet, it’s what it is that makes it powerful. Not what it does.

Almost Dorothy: If you could one thing about yourself (or your elf), what would you change and why?

I would change my underwear more often. I would change the need to change. I would change less often. I would change nothing. I would change the things I’ve changed. I would never ask for change. I hate change. I would change hate. I would wear a hat more often to hid the changes. I would change the hat I wore to the funeral that I never went to. I would have gone to the funeral with or without a hat. I would love you more or less with or without a hat. I would go hatless though a thunderstorm if I knew how to change the past. The past, I hate. I hate the past and the changes that led to wind.

Almost Dorothy: Biggest failure in life?

Not building an animal farm out of real animals.

Almost Dorothy: Are you worthy of love & belonging?

Ma says I ain’t worthy of anything but she’s on crack and fried chicken. I don’t listen to ma cause I know how I feel and I feel I am worthy of love and belonging no matter what that bat says. She’s not a baseball bat, but she hits like one. The other day I went to the mall. It was full of things I couldn’t buy because I forgot my purse or wallet or whatever it is kids are supposed to carry these days. I knew I was worthy of things–of everything–but I just couldn’t buy them, so I stole them and now they belong to me. Don’t tell ma cause she’ll call the cops and cuss me out. That’s how things go between us. That’s what makes us family. That’s what makes us stick together. Makes us belong to one another. Which makes us belong to no one because if they’re gone there’s no one left to belong to. But, then again, I guess the desire to want to belong is belonging whether or not you’re longing to belong. It’s like a sing-a-long without a singing partner. You can still sing-a-long to a song without a partner and feel like you’re part of something. Part of a song. Yes, I’m worthy of love and belonging–and new shoes.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Angel

Angel: The Schopenhauer Slap

“One need only look at a woman’s shape to discover that she is not intended for either too much mental or too much physical work. She pays the debt of life not by what she does but by what she suffers—by the pains of child-bearing, care for the child, and by subjection to man, to whom she should be a patient and cheerful companion.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

PROLOGUE

THE LAST DAY, MAY 20-SOEMTHING, 2012

When Angel threatened to slap me, ma said. I rationalized his anger and lost my brain stem.

That’s what ma said in her sleep just before she woke up at 5AM, ripped her giant t-shirt and fishnet stockings off and smashed the mirror with the mighty force of fifty gorillas. Dramatic and stunningly cinematic, ma stared at her shape all wild and wide and hairy. Bobo the Mutt shook and shivered as he presided over the shape of revelations to come.

I was his patient and cheerful companion, ma screamed holding her brain in place. I fucked it up. He was hurt by someone else—(and himself, I cut in)—and I could tell by the way he never looked me in the eyes. I promised to take care of him, she cried, but he was too much. He promised to take care of himself, I screamed at ma with bits of glass in her hair—but with the click of a mouse and send of a text he chose them instead of us.

It’s complicated, ma said. But so is quantum physics. His words burnt every plank on the ancient bridge between us, she said. But, I couldn’t fall back. I faced him face to face and asked him to get a job to help us out so we could buy rice and beans, chips and salsa. So we could move from co-dependence to mutual connection. I also wanted him to get his wings off the ground and free himself from the spiraling labyrinth. But, his anti-self turned his back on me, she said, and walked out of the room. He felt betrayed cause I promised to take care of him. Things change, I told ma, and the promise was not transubstantial—it was to lift him up, not weigh you down.

Even if it was a vague threat of violence, I deserved it, ma said. Even that’s a dangerous rationalization. It was a threat of violence, I told ma. I know, she said. But I felt responsible for his anger—for his health, raging depression and erratic behavior. I was the only one taking care of him. Like a good mother, I said. No one helped us. No therapist. No counselor. No friends. No family. Especially, no family, Angel said. No guru or godsend helped us through his life changing diagnosis. Once, he visited a crystal rock specialist, but came back more depressed. I remember, I told ma. But he didn’t want anyone else in, she said, even in the bleakest moments all I could do was hug him and pray God would take care. I wanna keep it between you and me, Angel told ma. I wish to remain nameless, she said he said. And live without shame is what he really meant.

Taking care, I told ma, is when you asked him for a fair exchange of energy. Besides, I said, he spent 20 hour days on the virtual reality machine re-manufacturing worlds within worlds and looking for answers to fit the narrative of his manufactured self-image.

Angel gave ma his answer that last day: You are not my family and you’ll see who I AM when I turn my back on you and fly.

“It is because women’s reasoning powers are weaker that they show more sympathy for the unfortunate than men, and consequently take a kindlier interest in them. On the other hand, women are inferior to men in matters of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

Ma’s first boyfriend, who turned out to be a socio-pathetic bag of almonds, went to jail for assault and batteries. Ma found his real arrest record on the virtual reality machine and showed it to Angel two weeks before they split. After ma dumped her ex, her ex tried to stab his new girlfriend with a kitchen knife. This occurred just a few years after ma’s ex slapped ma when they were in a relationship. He used his foot and fists too, but always missed. He did this when ma asked him to step up. To pitch in. I’ve been here before, ma said. And it was fresh in my head when Angel made his casual threat. Needless to say, ma doesn’t react well to threats. Not any more. Despite her women’s reasoning. Not even if the threat is just a fleeting suggestion.

Ma believes in the power of suggestion. The threat of violence is violence, she said. She doesn’t blame Angel, but she doesn’t blame herself either, so that leaves us with a paradox that leads us to an illogical conclusion that places blame on both of them or on the universe—or worse, God’s benign hand. We are responsible for our actions and threats of action, I said. Threats are manifestations of Schopenhauer’s deep-seated hatred of the feminine—and of our other half—and of women’s superior understanding of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness.

“The greatest sorrows and joys or great exhibition of strength are not assigned to her; her life should flow more quietly, more gently, and less obtrusively than man’s, without her being essentially happier or unhappier.”

—Arthur Schopenhauer

I lost my brain, ma said. I let him down even though I tried to lift him up over and over again. He didn’t want to get up, I told ma, you gave him an open home and a big heart and he collapsed in your head. And anchored himself between what he wanted to be free of and what freedom is. I lost my brain, ma repeated again as she stared at the reflection of the silly wild wide beast self in the shattered mirror. Your brain is right there, I said pointing at the dimple between ma’s breast implants. She fake-smiled as she held glass chips in her hands. It’s what makes you ma, I said. Ma, she said looking into the shattered mirror, is an illusion at best.

An ideal at best, I said. Human at worst.

Ma, what have you learned? I asked.

Not to break the mirror, she said, with my monkey fists. And that the only thing worth beginning is the end of Schopenhauer’s world of course.

Read “On Women” by Arthur Schopenhauer here http://theabsolute.net/misogyny/onwomen.html.