“Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old

“Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old

“Mommy, you’re a hippo.”
“I’m a what?! Why?!”
“You’re a mommy hippo. Because I want to be a baby hippo.”
“Oh.”
“I’m a baby hippo, but I’m also Denzel.”
“So like a baby hippo whose name is Denzel?”
“No, sometimes I’m a baby hippo, other times I’m Denzel.”
“OK.”
“Mommy, you’re also a baby strawberry.”
“WHY AM I A BABY STRAWBERRY?”
“Because it sounds nice. Daddy is a watermelon.”
“OK.”

***

“Are Marines allowed to ride in elevators by themselves?”
“Yes.”
“Do they have guns?”
“Yes.”
“And unicorns?”
“What?”
“They wear unicorns?”
“Uniforms!”
“Mommy, you’re laughing too hard. You’ll pee yourself if you don’t stop.”
“Says the kid who accuses Marines of wearing unicorns.”
“Do Marines have to eat dinner?”
“Yes.”
“What if they don’t like their dinner?”
“I’m pretty sure they just buck up and eat it anyway?”
“So they don’t cry?”
“Not over stupid stuff like dinner.”
“What do Marines cry about?”
“Serious stuff. Probably.”
“Like when people die?”
“Like when people die.”
“Does everyone die?”
“Eventually, yes.”
“Do Marines like cake?”
“Of course they do.”  Continue reading ““Do Marines like cake?” “Does God have a butt?” Conversations with a five-year-old”

A decade without

A decade without

When starting a letter to the other side,
I first want to point out that things are mostly fine
I mean, sure, there’s a war on, thousands have died
But I grew some nice boobs while you were away, Sir Robin (ha ha).

The economy you always lamented
Is somehow even deader
Than you could have imagined.

The clubs are still bad.
The roads are the worst.
The rich look like sores about to burst.

I’m penniless and getting older
My home is mostly a man’s shoulder.
I don’t mind.

You were right about my first love
You were right about what men want
The dead are never wrong.
You don’t feel dead to me, though
You’re just carbon no longer
You’re brighter than photons.

I’ve earned so many badges since I saw you last
I’m running out of space for letters on my chest
But it’s like what you always said
What unmakes the mind first unmakes the bed.

My son was playing the piano with his nanny
I walked into the room and had to walk right back out again
Made manifest to me
A message from you in precise calligraphy
Signed with a heart and that half-smile
On my little boy’s DNA
Oh, you’d love him, darling
And he you
Your beauty has so many unexpected homes
From piano keys to the way a bee drones.

There were many wounds I’ve minded.
Many times I’ve said
“What is this goddamn arrow lodged in my chest?”
My armor goes all the way to my bones, as you know
But every arrow eventually finds its way home
And when mine does I think I’ll be less afraid than some
Haven’t I always had you to lean on
When the tower falls
When the hanged man hangs
There it is, there is your face.

Goodbye Paul Newman, Goodbye Blue Eyes

While I was busy hopping planes and reading Orthodox prayers at dangerous altitudes, Paul Newman passed away.

He was a sex symbol way before I was even born, leading most of my friends to diagnose my crush on him as a symptom of raging insecurities. In some ways, I suppose my friends were correct. But Paul Newman never struck me as just “hot,” more like forthright and noble with the hotness being the cherry on top of it all: a modern-day Aragorn with an especially pretty smile.

Eulogizing one’s old, hopeful, fluttery movie star crushes is a deeply unpleasant task. But unlike Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger, Paul Newman didn’t die young. This wasn’t a case of a tragic, creepy, voyeuristically glamorous (in the sense of madness and personal turmoil being glamorous if their vessel is attractive enough) waste. This was a ripe, old, and rich life drawing to a conclusion. We should all hope to live as long and do as much good.

The one thing that makes me really sad when considering Newman’s passing is the fact that there are few young actors in Hollywood who can hope to measure up. And this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with them, but with the idea that the business appears to be changing. The whole idea of the superstar is becoming largely passé, or so I have noticed in the last few years. On one hand, this is a good thing, especially if you’re tired of the same damn warmed-over, flavourless, soppy blockbuster being shoveled down your throat with demeneted insistence. On the other hand, there will be less Newmans. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

Regardless of whether I’m right or wrong: Rest easy, Paul. If anyone has earned it, you have.