Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Mind Tricks

Dan took me aside and told me I needed a vacation. He asked where I would like to go. How would you take that? I suspect he was asking this because I have been exhibiting crazier and crazier behavior such as keeping up on the laundry, staying right on top of the daily sheaves of notices sent home from PS 107 requiring weird dates, phone numbers of emergency contacts, and signatures in hidden places. I've been making fantastic lunches for the Vegetarian so she doesn't have to confront blended and breaded fowl/beasty school-lunches. I've gotten progressively more efficient at keeping things truckin'. I am painting when I can sneak away. But here's the catch: I'm not feeling a thing! This might seem good, indeed sometimes I think maternal anesthesia is nature's way of keeping moms from filling up the bathtub and....Well.

So Dan could see the spirals that had replaced the brown part of my eyeballs and asked where I needed to go. I recognize that since he is out of town much, much of the time, I am in survival mode. I'm not so good a mother alone. I want to paint, I want to read. I get exhausted in my mind. Boone's public displays of unevolved rage-handling (conflagration) have nearly undone me so that I don't really have what it takes to listen to Em's analysis of the class bully. Sad. And I can now separate myself from all this and send my body out on the tasks of home-maintenance while my mind hangs out in Honolulu.

I first discovered mind-body separation magic when I worked under the mustached tyrant named Mike at Wendy's fast food restaurant in high school. What? I just prepped the salad bar? When?
I perfected the magic trick under the demanding iron rule of Spiro and Maria Nicolopolopolis, the owners of the photo lab I retouched for later in dewy young adulthood. Maria would pass by my work table, pause, slap me in the back of the head, cull laughter from the other workers, and move on. Hello Maui! These, and a parade of other bosses, stole my youth. They snacked on my carefree heart and beauty like it was baklava.

So who is my tyrannical boss now?

I guess people reach adulthood when they have become their very own self-housed tyrannical boss.
My boss now not only wants me to keep this place tidy and the kids off the TV, but she also wants me to have at least twenty-six paintings ready to show the people from the Whitney Museum on Monday.

Here is my vacation, then: Dan took the children away to Boston and I am alone here. My clothes are all over and fruit flies are camping out on the dishes in the sink, drunk off the rotting fruit in the bowl on the table. There's not really any thing to eat unless you can tell me how to cook up pantry moths. The blinds are drawn. My family has been gone now for five days and I paint to a clock with two times on it: Light and Dark. Absent are all those niggling hours divided up into little minutes, dripping down all over the place, disappeared.
These days alone have not been the binge of movie-watching, fine dining-out, chick-lit reading, or even nothing-staring like I thought they might be. My vacation has consisted of painting without interruption. This has to be the best vacation ever. My mind is once again residing in my head which is happily still attached to the rest of my body.
That's not to say that I don't feel bruisingly guilty about all this. Don't worry.
Furthermore, I miss those raucous Utahns like crazy. Ha.


Anonymous fatty said...

the difference between us is that if i had the house to myself, i would spend all my time biking, eating, and sleeping. i doubt that i'd get much painting done, which is a shame, because i firmly believe that if i were to try, i'd discover i am a better artist than you.

1:44 PM  
Blogger newbrooklyner said...

fat-tay: I firmly believe that if I were to try, I'd discover that I am fatter than you.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Errorista said...


See, I am trying, and I'm nothing more than either of you. Booo....

4:35 PM  
Anonymous fatty said...

you should know that i've been to your site like nine times today, checking to see whether you'd posted something, so i could comment in a timely manner and thereby avoid getting smacked again.

7:45 PM  
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