This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Our Chests Consistently Splendid

Today my luck did a 180, and the cotton in which I am shitting is really super tall.

Because this morning as I was headed down the front stairs to run to the BART station, I felt something cold fall down my collar, and then I discovered that a key had dropped into my shirt. Thinking maybe someone on a higher landing had dropped it, I examined the space above me, but all I saw was the clapboard ceiling, a cobwebby light fixture.

With the key in my palm I pushed through the front gate and down to the street, where someone had parked a midnight blue Jaguar with a black leather interior. No one was watching, and wanting to get a closer look at the seats, I went over to the driver's side window. The windows were shiny, I could see myself in the paint, and even the door handles were like something you'd find in a velvet-lined box. I traced my finger along a handle, and just wanting to test it out, I realized that the car was unlocked, so I slid in behind the wheel. Ahhh, leather seats!

I have no idea what compelled me to try it, but I felt the key all warm in my palm and I slid it into the ignition. The engine ingited, which much have tripped some hidden wire because the glovebox yawned like an oyster opening up to reveal a pearl. Inside, on a silver plate, sat a delicious jelly donut. Looking carefully over my shoulder I backed out of the parking spot. Then I heard this sharp little yelp, and backing up further, I realized I'd just run over my neighbor's barky little beagle.

Free donuts. A new Jaguar. My neighbor's dog is dead. Today has to be the luckiest day of my life so far!

Tommy, Can You Hear Me?

I don't really believe in luck. Not good luck, anyway. With the bad kind, though, the safest thing is to believe in it, a little bit, just in case. Because it might get really pissed if it finds out that not only are you fun to fuck with, you're also a nonbeliever. Maybe bad luck is a diva bitch who won't be ignored, sort of like Ann Margret in Tommy when she finally smashes the mirror and Tommy regains his sight.

I watched Tommy on Monday with Matty, and the movie gave me some much-needed perspective. At least I am not blind, deaf, and dumb because after my father died, my mother slept with another man. Nor did I receive injections from The Acid Queen's deadly robot-casket. My cousin didn't iron my back, and I never got lost in a junkyard while chasing my ideal self. I didn't pass through my Oedipal stage only to become a semi-dictatorial messiah standing on a ball that's been spray painted silver. Not once have I been mutinied by the masses of rebellious teens who once worshipped me, confusing the entire plot.

Things aren't all that bad, and they tend to get better. Like Roger Daltrey, perhaps we will all someday fly our own hang gliders to the ocean, where we will rip off Ann Margret's fake nails and jewels, then we'll swim around in our tight jeans, our hair sometimes dry and fluffy, sometimes wet, our chests consistently splendid. Perhaps one day each of us will stand like Tommy, on the crest of a hill, backlit by a blazing sunset sky.


Blogger ginab said...

well you write a good dream. to dream is to believe.

I've never understood Tommy. I mean, you know that thing about my attention span? I can barely watch two episodes of the dog whisperer and I really like the show.

So I'll dial the farm in the state soon. was rolled today. part of being a woman.

In the meantime, i hope a good man licks your neck. screw the key.

1:36 PM

Blogger ing said...

Ginab, I sort of wonder if the people who made Tommy understood Tommy. It seems to be chock full of big, recognizable, unexamined themes, but what it all adds up to in my mind is a spectacle. Fun to watch, but ultimately a vehicle for performers. It's full of the stuff we're always hearing from rock stars about women. Tina Turner is spectacular in it, and the only real flaw is that Roger Daltrey would have had a much easier time swimming if only he'd taken off his jeans. . .

The main thing I love about Tommy is the idea that a blind, deaf, and dumb person becomes famous for being the best pinball player ever. That's a very interesting idea. It's the part of Tommy that feels most original.

You were rolled, though?

If one of the men I'm (I guess) dating happens to lick my neck, I hope he proves first that he is good. A good person is worth a thousand Jaguars, a hundred boxes of donuts, and silence at bed time.

8:21 PM

Blogger sage said...

Donuts, a Jag and a dead dog... don't take much to make your day!

As for Tommy, I saw that when it came out, I'd forgotten most of it--I liked the music.

I enjoyed Suri's book, The Death of Vishnu--read it a number of years ago. Great book.

8:26 PM

Blogger matty said...

Oh, wait! TOMMY is my second fave movie!!!

...after A STAR IS BORN, that is!

I can still remember watching it with my mom crammed into a cinema with a bunch of youths and hippies smoking pot and my mom's contact lens pop'ing out during one of Ken Russell's optical upshots of The Acid Queen number!

Man! I love that movie. My mom only took me because I promised to stop talking about it and The Who if she did. I failed to uphold my part of the bargain. I was only 8 after all!

I took my TOMMY soundtrack to show and tell and got in trouble.

And, no I don't think it is meant to mean much. It IS a total spectacle of Ken Russell drug fueled imagery and sound -- and a most probable inspiration to MTV vid clip makers every where!

But, you failed to mention the other rocking movie we watched!!! 2LDK! I bet even Gina could sit thru that one!

You know, my fave part of our afternoon was when I tossed my Diet Coke bottle into B's giant plasma screen and I got to roll about in beans. ...I still don't understand why you felt the need to whip me with your perfect hair --- but, I LOVED the way it sounded like electronic bleeps as the hair whip'd across my face! That was awesome!!!!

I love it when you do that to me, baby!

I want Elton John's boots from that movie. Oh, wait. I have them. I'm wearing them right now! Hope I don't trip and fall on Little Bagel!

love you!

5:44 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

I have to admit Tommy is a movie not on my list of been there done thats. I am not sure how I missed it, but I did and I will watch it when given the opportunity, but I reckon it will create different thoughts and ideas than when it was first in the theaters.
As I have said before and will of course repeat, I cannot pick a favorite movie.If given a year or two and given the opportunity to re watch, my perception may have evolved.
You know, when they made this movie I would wager there was some sort of hallucinogen's in the mix.I would also wager the writers, actors etc are a little vague on what the movie means. Maybe I should watch the flick and judge it afterwards. Kind Regards JW

8:39 PM

Blogger ing said...


Really, though, I'm trying to switch my focus to the good stuff that happens. On Friday night I got in some practice, and yesterday I spent the day with good friends & saw a cute little show, and this morning I read a short story by Barry Hannah, and through the whole thing I spent some time writing and thinking. I'm getting by. When I hear the bad-luck stories of others my age and I see the scars, I figure I made it through all right. And now it's time to leave all of that behind, and to continue the trajectory. Maybe now things will go right for a while. I'm not counting on it, though.

Yes, the music is good. Especially the Eric Clapton gospel thing.



Wait, I thought your favorite was Mrs. Palfrey?

The Acid Queen scene could pop out an eye. And back at show and tell, I bet the kids just loved what you brought them (I would have). When I was a kid I was fascinated by Tommy, and even though Elton John's boots and the Marilyn Monroe church and the baked beans scared me, I thought I was getting some glimpse of the adult world, in all its freakish corruption. I couldn't wait to grow up, and I was scared to grow up, too, sitting in our living room on the bumpy carpet, drinking cherry kool-aid. I thought I'd wind up in New York or Los Angeles, where I'd thrive somewhere in the midst of the drugs and the pimps and whatever sex meant, watching but not fully participating. The idea of life and all that it does to us was thrilling back then because I didn't understand that I had to manage it. Now, I find myself in the midst but not really separate, hurtling through it, trying very hard to avoid the obstacles & crashing sometimes. Lately I've been having dreams about driving too fast. The brakes don't work, and I can only steer.

Oh, but I enjoyed the electronic bleep of my perfect, dried out hair, too. I don't understand why it only makes that noise when I'm whipping your face with it. But we'll have to wait for B to replace the television before we can try it again.

2LDK is a really fun movie, and the script is fantastic!



Yes, when I was ten or so, Tommy seemed like the paragon of all movies! Now, I have a hard time enjoying anything with dialog that's sung rather than spoken. Maybe someday I'll grow out of that.

As for hallucinogens, do you think so? I figure the crew was too busy making the movie and the actors too dedicated for that kind of thing. I'm sure you learned, as I did in grade school, that if you try drugs you will go insane & wind up in a hospital, foaming at the mouth, tied down to a gurney, with poop in your pants. You might be confusing some of the imagery in the movie with the real and inevitable consequences of trying drugs, even once, just because the other kids say it's "cool".

10:08 AM

Blogger matty said...

What a beautifully written response! For me TOMMY was just so cool --- I don't guess I ever thought of it in terms of the adult world.

...the only two movies the made me afraid of adulthood were SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and CRUISING.

I had to sit through SNF 2.5 times until the cinema manager escorted me to his office and had me call my mom to remind her that she had drop'd me off at the movies. I remember not understanding much of what was going on so much of the time.

And, tho I was about 13 when my father took me to see CRUISING -- I was so afraid that I would be trap'd in a world of leather, crazy gay killers and mean giant men in cowboy hats.

But, with TOMMY, I just wanted Ann-Margret's bedroom and the Pinball Wizard's boots!

...I think we're all crashing about in this adult world afraid. Anyone who claims that he/she isn't is just not being honest.

2:28 PM


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