All Ears

Not too long ago I decided that I didn't want to be simply a good friend, but that I wanted to be a good listener. I used to learn so much from the people I surrounded myself with. And I think I finally realized that it's not the people around me that have changed, it's me. I stopped listening. 


Six People I'd Have Over For Dinner

Six because that would make us eight (S is invited, he's charming and the one to pour the scotch at the end of the night while I pour the coffee). Now let's set the scene. On the dining table are our plain white plates that let the food shine for itself and a platter of meat and cheese because how else do you break the ice if not by reaching for the same wedge of brie? There's candles dripping and making a mess and a Spotify playlist that is meant to represent me plugged into the record player, which is meant to look like we're actually playing vinyl, although no one's flipping it every ten minutes.

On to the dinner guests. 

  1. Oscar Wilde - my favorite author. The Picture of Dorian Gray is his only novel and my all-time favorite, full of disillusions, a double-life, and self-indulgence and how it brings Dorian to his end. We'd discuss art and literature, and he'd wear his signature green carnation on his lapel. This dinner would also be a great opportunity to have Oscar sign a note to me in each of my three copies of his novel, and also I can ask him for the original Lippincott's magazine printing. I have no shame. 

  2. Henry Miller - my favorite writer and we can be those two at the dinner party that constantly talk about how much they loved Paris while no one else cares. He lived there and would write erotic fiction with Anais Nin and sell them for a dollar a page, which I read in one of his novels so it's probably true, but don't hold me to it. Some of the novels that he wrote were banned in the U.S. in the 60's due to their obscenity, which as a teenager was totally the reason I wanted to read them. Later, I found that he writes some of the most beautiful prose and has since been an inspiration for me and my prose writing. 

  3. JK Rowling - my favorite series and so many questions. She's the sensible one in this group. I'd love to pick her brain about Harry Potter and more importantly, all of her philanthropy. She wrote one of my favorite quotes said by Albus Dumbledore, "Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love." It speaks to me because why else live if not to fall in love with people and be loved by those around you? Everything else seems secondary. Loneliness and the lack of connecting with people is a very isolating feeling in this very full world. 

  4. Edgar Allan Poe - my favorite romantic (he really was - there is word that he'd write love poems for his female classmates; oh to be in his class). His life had so much sorrow in it, we'd wallow about life and maybe shed a tear in our glasses of wine. I adore his macabre short stories and could get lost in their terror any night. I do wonder, how could someone with so much romantic inclinations have the ability to write so darkly at the same time? Like with Dorian Gray, I must be attracted to men with Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde complexes. 

  5. Zach Condon of Beirut - my favorite musician and contemporary crooner. Knowing that when he was 21 he had already created an amazing album makes me feel like, At 21, what had I created? His music always sounds very worldly to me and paired with his vocals, it's melodic poetry. He can make music on the mandolin at the coffee table after we're all stuffed and need a lullaby to sleep or a serenade to bed. 

  6. Claire Boucher also known as the musician Grimes - I mostly want her there to start the dance party afterwards and maybe mix a few beats. Our living room would be the dance floor and we'll all be so intoxicated that we'd saber a bottle of her favorite champagne with S's gaucho knife from Brazil. While we're all making fools of ourselves during the dance party, S and Zach would be in the studio making music with our old organ collection. If Claire can't make it, Yolandi Visser of Die Antwoord would be my other wild card. I could listen to a beautiful South African accent all day simultaneously trying to interpret the dramatic slang. Plus, she seems like she isn't afraid to party. 


Matters of the Heart

These are photos from Thanksgiving. I suppose life caught up with me and I never posted my favorites. But these beautiful images are from when we passed my camera around between me and my little cousins. I showed them how to hold the camera, to look through the view finder, and to not be afraid to capture people. Sure, many came out blurry and out of focus, but when I saw these, the familiar and abstract scenes seemed too perfect to be accidental. There are little budding artists in our family, which makes me proud. 

And  then they would capture portraits, like the last one of me, and they'd get the focus just right. They'd capture the moment just right of silly faces, big laughs, or content expressions. 

Valentine's Day is coming up. It's not really a "holiday" to me, so very unlike Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday full of family, food, drinks, and a beautiful table with beautiful people. Valentine's Day is a day where I like to avoid restaurants, maybe check out a hole-in-the-wall bar, and mostly, it's an excuse for S to draw me an organ. Not sure when it started, but at some point S drew a Valentine's Day card for me of an anatomically correct heart, writing something correlated inside. There's also been a left lung, and a skeletal hand that said, "I'm glad we exchanged digits." Be still my unromantic heart... Not sure what organ S will give up this year, and whatever your tradition is, I hope it makes you smile like receiving an organ from your lover. 
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