So. had tea and clotted cream and also profoundly delicious strawberry jam (weirdly runny, yet continuous, holding together: fluid, with gobbets of fruit, one long pure varying stream of sweetness, you understand 19th century kidlets thinking of it as candy) with the Misnomered Brunette this afternoon. Yes ma'am. The MB is my former roommate, longtime confidante, sometime idol, sometime disciple, and so on, and so forth, et cetera et cetera et cetera. Cinematic & literary representatives of us include, um, those girls from Heavenly Creatures and Emma plus Jane Fairfax. We are patently not Angela and Rayann, or Emily and Ilse, no matter how much I may wish we were. Anyway anyway of course we talked about this kissing Arnaud thing. Here is a transcript:
MB: Her husband??
AB: Yes, her husband. They've been married for, like, five years.
MB: That's kind of a lot of years.
AB: Basically as long as I've known her.
MB: I thought you knew her in college.
AB: No, that's my other arch-nemesis, and I met her in high school.
MB: Oh, Cleanthe.
AB: No, she was college. She's not really an arch-nemesis, she's just an irritant.
MB: Yes ma'am.
AB: Anyway, so, yes, it was her husband. I kissed Lillian Swift's impotent husband.
MB: Pretty crazy.
AB: Yes ma'am. Anyway, isn't that crazy?
MB: Pretty crazy.
AB: You bet. I guess it's not that crazy. I've kissed a lot of gentlemen in my day.
MB: You have kissed a lot of gentlemen.
AB: But no married ones.
MB: You kissed my boyfriend that one time.
AB: Yeah, but I forgot he was your boyfriend.
MB: The mescaline.
AB: Yes. I knew perfectly well that Arnaud was married to Lillian. That's the way I knew who he was at all.
MB: Did he know you knew?
AB: I don't know. We didn't discuss it. Yes. Yes, he must, because I've met him before, with her, at different places. Jack's weird barbecue last year. That wedding we went to. That jewelry sale, remember, where we ate the gnocchi?
MB: I wasn't at that.
AB: That wasn't you?
MB: No, definitely not.
AB: Oh. It must have been the Ignominious Redhead?
MB: Oh, probably.
AB: Oh, yes. Oh, yes indeed.
MB: Crazy that you would confuse me with the Ignominious Redhead.
AB: Oh, come on. I'm sorry. (uncomfortable pause) She's really a poseur, you know that. She just dyes her hair so she can be like us.
MB: That's why she's ignominious.
AB: It's too bad, because she could be misnomered if you hadn't taken that one.
MB: Except I'm basically really a brunette. Is this getting too postmodern for you, Nonnie?
AB: It's making me a little uncomfortable, yes.
MB: I'm sorry. You know, I hear that your latest subject guy is reading Borges.
AB: Yes, he is! How did you know?
MB: The other night, when you were in the bathroom, I was looking for that Barbara Kingsolver novel I lent you and I found your notes so I leafed through them.
AB: You should talk to him about it. I've never read Borges.
MB: I'd love to. Anyway, you kissed this guy.
MB: And he knew you knew he was married to Lillian. Did Lillian see?
MB: Why not?
AB: I don't know. We weren't in a hidden place. We were in a room with four other people in it.
MB: Did they see?
AB: A couple of them did.
MB: Do you think they'll tell her?
AB: I don't know. I don't really care, really. I mean, I hate her.
MB: She's your arch-nemesis. So why do you care at all?
AB: I guess I feel guilty.
MB: How did it happen?
AB: I don't know. We were having some stupid conversation about shallots and how I didn't know what they were, and I was talking bad French, and then we were kissing, and then we weren't.
MB: I have to go back to work.
AB: He's the first person I've kissed since Freddy.
MB: Oh shit! He is!
MB: That means he's the first person besides Freddy that you've kissed in like eight months.
AB: I know.
AB: I'm a slut.
MB: For what?
AB: I don't know. I feel like a slut.
AB: Oui oui.
Just for your edification. I like to do shit like this.
Marcel Proust, A L'Ombre des Jeunes Filles En Fleurs
Pauline Reage, The Story of O (good God, now I really truly am a Cosmo sex diary)
Some Lady, Angel on the Square (children's novel)
Anne Carson, Short Talks
DH Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover
Robert Graves, Homer's Daughter
Rebecca Somebody, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (yes, I know)
Some Mystery Lady, Daughter of Time
Norman Mailer, The Prisoner of Sex
JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings
Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground
Keats, Collected Poems
Jacqueline Rose, the Haunting of Sylvia Plath
Karen Kukil, The Journals of Sylvia Plath
David Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down
David Lodge, some other book about factories
Some other Lady, Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
Moon Unit Zappa, America the Beautiful
Anne Carson, Glass, Irony and God
God knows what else
Well. This is news. Last night, at a weird little attic party (not a loft party, dearling, never get invited to those) held by a friend of a friend -- lots of eery-looking, ambrous candles, diaphanous curtains and ancient samovars filled with different-colored teas, strange distressed-wood-panelling everywhere, artsy handmade books lying about, a funny little bar that was a resurrected confessional, where you went in the penitentiary end and received your drink as a penance, I guess -- I drank four whiskey sours out of a vintage glass bud-vase, smeared blue paint on the inside of my arm, ripped the knee of my trousers, punctured my thigh climbing up onto the roof, burned a perfect heart-shaped hole in my diaphanous overblouse with someone else's lit cigarette, got in a brief fist fight with a member of a wedding party because I asked her which prom she was from (I totally destroyed her lilac satin gown!), told some girl that she reminded me of Garth from Wayne's World, and -- AND -- kissed, on the mouth, Lillian's impotent husband Arnaud. Who is perhaps not so impotent around me, but you know, I was very drunk.
There. I said it. I know Lillian is my arch-nemesis, but I regret it, because I'm not interested in Arnaud -- he's so effete -- or at least I wouldn't have been, if he hadn't been Lillian's husband. And oh my. I've never kissed anyone else's HUSBAND before. Boyfriend, oh yes. Fiance, sure. But husbands are a different story. They have a holy bond! It's sanctioned by the church!
Of course, as soon as our lips had parted, and he had removed his long, white, lingering French hand from the base of my head, and I had crushed my disbelieving face into his cream-colored cashmere shoulder, reeling and pleased and regretful, I shored myself up and strode purposefully into the confessional, confessed, drank a shot of bourbon, and drove my tongue deeply down the throat of the bartender for fifteen minutes. He wanted to go back to his place after the party, so I followed him sheepishly at four in the morning, but I wouldn't sleep with him, I just ate a crate of my darling clementines while he painted my toenails, and in the morning I crept out in one of his bathrobes, because my pants were too smoky and awful to wear, and my mouth still tasted like weird, weird, weird Arnaud.
I went grocery shopping yesterday after I left the office. It was a terrible day to go grocery shopping, since I don't have a car anymore & it was raining and I was exhausted from sleeping on this weird hard yogic bed that my cousin Eowyn gave me last week (my old feather mattress was infested by crickets, oddly enough). Anyway, it was too bad that it was raining, because I needed to get some groceries, so I walked fifteen blocks in my professional-looking burnt-orange stiletto loafers & saffron-colored linen suit-type thing, holding a newspaper over my head with one hand and holding a copy of "Homer's Daughter" aloft in the other, level with my face, so that I wouldn't have to think about it raining. On the way home, however, I didn't have that option, as I had to hold both hand hooked behind my neck, my elbows jutting out like a couple of funny looking beaks in front of me, the bags dangling like useless wings or ugly papooses or terrible excised lungs behind me, banging against my shoulder-blades. Hooray.
But I had fresh corn and green beans for dinner, which I cooked in my hot terrible kitchen, and then I drew pictures of rabbits.