Archive for thought

THE HORMONE TRAIN

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by kimmy

Last week I worked with an elderly woman whom, if she had not been dressed in gender-specific clothing, could have easily been mistaken for an elderly man.  Her hair was short and grey, ears elongated, face coursened, bushy eyebrows and in the morning light, numerous whiskers shimmered on her chin.   Her lipstick, earrings and manicured nails seemed out of place, as if dirty coveralls would have better suited her, and I began to wonder where I had seen such blurred dichotomy before.

Then I remembered the cute pudgy faces of babies and children, who if not also dressed gender-specific, could easily be mistaken for one another.   Beautiful, radiant, round-faced and asexual, like the angels Botticelli envisioned.  Innocent of the ways of the world and ignorant of the train.

We all ride that train, the hormone train… the rollercoaster that’s a required ride, the one that scoops us up in youth and kicks us off in age.  And why do we get on aboard?  Because Nature’s desire to continue itself supercedes everything else and we become passengers without thinking.  Without our participation, human life would end and that simply won’t do.

Long before reason and judgment fully develop in the brain, Nature flips our endocrine switch and suddenly we divide from gender-neutral to gender-specific and the only thing we seek is to become whole again.  We search relentlessly for our missing half by coupling with lovers and spouses, hook-up and heartbreaks, and along the way, Nature claims its prize:  a new generation is born.

These future riders will take our seats on the train once Nature has finished with us.  Once our breeding ability wanes, we are no longer useful and our endocrine system will slow, prompting Nature to dump us at some distant station and collect its new riders.   Once ejected, we return to our former asexual wholeness, albeit much sadder and wiser, and wonder how we managed such a whirlwind journey without really being aware of the ride itself.

But such is the cunning of Nature that it does not require our permission, only our participation.  For if it waited until we could give reasonable and objective consent, we might become so finicky and demanding that babies would be rarely born and Nature shorted its proper due.  And that, my friends and fellow riders, simply won’t do.

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AN UNSCHEDULED REWRITE

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2011 by kimmy

She winds her hands in his hair, long argent strands curling around her fingers .  The smell of tobacco and mint drifts from his lips.  What are you thinking about, he asks.  Don’t you know?   Strange how the sea cannot fathom the heart.

“CUT!!”  The director threw the script to the floor.  “What kind of dreck is this?” he bellowed.  “Get me the screenwriter!” 

His assistant scuttled to the door, making frantic motions with his arm until a slumped shouldered woman with tired eyes appeared and lowered it to his side.

“You called for me, Chief?”  She shuffled across the soundstage and pulled a battered laptop from her satchel.

“You call this passion?” he said, kicking the script her way.  “How can I make the audience pant when you don’t give me any heat?  Jesse!!” 

The assistant crept out from behind him.  “Gimme one of your Vicodin; I got a migraine”.  He swiped the pill from the assistant’s trembling hand, and washed it down with the last dregs of coffee in his mug. 

“Listen up, people, we got 6 hours to pull this together or we don’t make deadline!  And you two…” he said, glaring at the actors on the set bed, “at least try to look like you’re interested.  You’re actors for chrissakes…”

The writer raised the lid and began typing…

She rakes her fingers through his hair, long silken hanks that brush her face and curtain them off from the rest of the world.  She inhales deeply before looking into his eyes, searching for meaning within still tidal pools.  What are you thinking about, he whispers.  How much I love you.

“CUT!!!  No, no, NO!!  Not rom-com cornball bullshit!”

Again the script flew through the air and the hapless assistant scuttled to find the writer.  “If I had a bigger budget, I could have hired someone with talent, who knows what I want!  But, noooo… I’m stuck with a literature geek from Hyde Park! JESSE!!”

Jesse sprinted to his side. “Get on the phone and track down that writer from Vivid.”

“But, sir,” squeaked Jesse, iPhone in hand, “he writes porn.”  

“I don’t care if he’s a goddamn porn writer, at least he can write heat!!” The director leaned back into his chair and mumbled under his breath. “… two SAG nominations and now this… If that woman doesn’t torpedo my career, I don’t know what will.”

The writer stepped forward from the group standing paralyzed off-set.  They watched silently as she padded up to the director and opened her computer. 

“You sent for me, Chief?”

He turned with some effort to face her.   “Did I or did I not tell you that this is not a film for women?” asked he through clenched teeth.  “I don’t care about the psyche of this character, or any like her.  This is a man’s film.  It’s not even important that she thinks at all, only that she’s ready to go.  Got it?”

“Got it, Chief.”  

The director dismissed her with a wave and called for a twenty minute break.  The set was immediately abandoned as cast and crew fled outside to smoke and worry.   The writer sat quietly in the silence, recollecting her memories and tapping them onto the keyboard…

She twines her fingers through his hair, still damp from the shower.  He’ll need another one before she sends him home, damper still with sweat and longing.    What are you thinking about, he growls. There’s an off-shore storm roiling in his eyes.  How much I want you.

“Cut!  Print!”  The director’s shoulders sagged, but there was a trace of smile across his thin lips.  “There!” he said contentedly.   “Now was that so hard to do?

The writer shrugged and closed her computer.  Harder than you’ll ever know.

OPEN YOUR EYES

Posted in musings, personal, social commentary with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2009 by kimmy

You’re not fooling anybody.  Do you really think you can maintain the status quo by pretending not to see the mess in front of you?  What kind of twisted logic has brought you here . . . the type that conveniently fits into your preconceived delusion, or the one that completely excuses you from interacting with others?

No, I’m not talking to the idiot standing next to you.  At least that poor soul had the courage to own his actions.  What about yours?  Are you planning to let them lay and deny all responsibility? 

I don’t blame you if you do.  What could be more disheartening than unpleasant personal discoveries?  The shock alone could set you back and rekindle your appetite for self-destruction.  What a naughty creature you are!  says that voice, spinning round and round in your head.  Maybe you ought to follow its advice and indulge in a few more destructive habits.  You’ve earned the moniker, haven’t you?  Might as well live it, too.  Who could fault you for giving in to temptation?  Self-pity is such a succulent fruit.

Go ahead. . . pick it from the tree.  I won’t tell anyone.  They’ll have to torture me before I reveal your secret.  But then, I’d rather face an entire panel of interrogators than the one to which you’re forced to listen.  Your Grand Inquisitor is more devious.  What could be more fiendishly effective than using your weakness to his advantage?

Consider the bait.   You’re given a glimpse of what lies beyond and it fills you with joy, the kind you have rarely experienced since becoming an adult.  As you reach for it, you’re suddenly snared in a net of your own making.  All your self-doubts, malingering ties and paralyzing fears converge and render you powerless.  The more you struggle, the tighter the mesh becomes, until at last,  it squeezes the last breath from you.  You curse your captor, blaming him for your plight, but all he does is laugh.  He’s done virtually nothing, except watch you strangle yourself.