TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER
an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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11.20.03, thursday morning
Last night I was loud, surrounded by Irish expatriates in an Irish bar on Clement. I don't know why. Perhaps I was preparing for a future life in bedlam, as an expatriate American writer-teacher in her early 30s, stressed-out in Dublin. Billiard balls clicked atop tables upstairs. Tall, unmentionably clad femmes fatale bounced down a runway on the television screen to my left while CNN reported Michael Jackson's imminent arrest on the smaller television to my right. A snifter of cognac gleamed like an overturned glass bell in my hands; for my dad, I told Jimmy.
I was giddy, with the presence of my love's subject, with the poem written that morning when statistics should have been top priority, but most likely with the beer we had earlier gulped down. Close my eyes and the places where we sat and drank appear like movie sets assembled by unseen, long-gone hands: a wet bench under a blade-still windmill in dark Golden Gate Park while lamplight flickered on and off (a rustling behind us, perhaps a raccoon, perhaps human, restlessly shifting on a makeshift bed) and there, yes, a log propped parallel to the California coastline, before black waves and incandescent foam, us shivering as a distant lonely light slowly swept the night-draped Pacific.
Later in Jimmy's car, we spied on a caped woman, walking deliberately down the street as she sang, soprano in her private opera. For a moment, I felt as if we were characters on an immense stage, its curtains drawn and the rest of the world waiting for the next act to commence.