Art takes time, people.
Art takes time, people.
Leaving Shelby Park I crossed paths with an older woman—mid-sixties-ish, lumpy and non-descript—walking a beautifully manicured sheep dog. I stopped my van, smiled, and waved to let them cross.
Locking her knees and digging her heels into the pavement, this woman looked me cold in the eyes, shook her head forcefully, and said, NO.
I wasn’t trying to sexually assault you, lady. Just wanted to let you and your animal cross the street.
It was as if she’d just taken an evening enrichment class in standing up for herself, and damn it (*insert mental foot stomp*), she and Wilfred Brimley would cross the street when they felt good and ready, not just because some perky suburban mom in a minivan pressured them into it.
So help her God.
Driving home from work, phone buzzing and vibrating in my purse pocket, Kindle filled with stories/temptation on the seat beside me, I thought, Man. I wish I had a car that could just drive itself.
And then it occurred to me that that's called "taking the bus".
One morning at dawn, at the top of the Woodland Street Bridge, I saw a homeless man in profile, pants pushed down around his knees, projectile diarrhea cascading from his bum into the bushes that border the Courthouse Plaza. He leaned on a shopping cart for support.
On my way home, I saw him again, pushing his shopping cart and drinking a grape Fanta.
Outside the new convention center. I pass four men in hard hats, and I smile and say good morning. This goes on for a week, maybe two. And then one morning, one of the guys stands ceremoniously and offers me a bouquet of flowers. Not flowers he's bought, but ones he's picked.
I don't take the flowers, because I have six miles to go and because then there would be a thing between us. And I would be bound to smile bigger and harder and be all oh, HI, it's you, "FLOWERS GUY". And this makes me wearier and angrier than I want to be at a nice man in a hard hat who has offered me flowers.
Again on the Courthouse Plaza: A guy who occasionally practices Tai Chi. I imagine he's thinking to himself, This. This is what it's all about. Just me and the stillness of the morning, and my deep centered thoughts, and my commitment to the ancient practice of Tai Chi. And a part of me thinks, good for him. While another part thinks, asshole showboat, will always be single. Can he not do that shit in his living room?
Yesterday: Just past the community center, I saw a dead squirrel. I tried not to look, but I always look.
Today. Same squirrel.
Between his two front paws someone has tucked a yellow number two pencil.
It is sick, and funny, and absurd, and beautiful.
I know it's April Fool's Day, but I assure you the "before" pictures you're about to see are no joke.
I mean, they are a joke. Just not a joke on you.
This was the boys' bathroom (which doubles as our guest bathroom) back in January, when we finally decided to do a much needed "design refresh": new paint, new floors, and a new pedestal sink.
It's not the easiest room to take pictures of, but that's an ugly closet to the left when you first walk in, and then there's this hideous old vanity and cheap-ass "gold" mirror right beside it:
The vinyl floors were terminally filthy and stained, and the wall was performing its own little Shawshank Redemption.
Klassy with a K.
I used to wonder why our boys were so reluctant to practice basic bathroom hygiene, and I now realize it's because they were too busy wanting to kill themselves. In the most depressing bathroom ever.
So I called in my cousin, who is a builder/plumber/electrician/tile/younameit guy, who as you'll see in just a second, does really, really good work (and tolerates my incessant controlinatrix text messages ARE YOU ON YOUR WAY? HOW ABOUT NOW?).
Then I sidled up to our dear friend Michael, who's an interior designer with taste far superior to mine, and I told him what I was thinking about tile and paint colors. And while he was peeing on himself laughing about my complete and utter lack of imagination thinking it over, just for kicks, he did a little rendering of what could be, if we just moved this wall here, and knocked out that closet there, and put in a vanity like this, and a countertop like this or this ... and then I pretty much stuffed him in my pocket and refused to let him climb out until every last drawer pull was purchased. You get back in there, Mister, and whisper to me about the towel racks.
I am excellent at making decisions, when someone gives me five beautiful options to choose from.
But I could never have brained this whole thing up from scratch:
Not in a million years.