A belligerent refusal to stand down, even when others’ well-being was at stake. She couldn’t be wrong. Everyone else was wrong —wrong! — including the experts.
Sound like my sister?
Yes, yes it does, but I’m describing Typhoid Mary aka Mary Mallon. People died because Mary Mallon couldn’t be wrong. Such a tale of misdeeds, makes me think belligerent homicide should be a thing.
I’ll be goddamned, I thought reading about her for the first timeyears back. We must be related.
I might be thinking about family — about our particular pathologies, the Irish quirks of mind — because of this potato. I’m not kidding.
It’s a little silly, maybe even hilarious — my heart is a potato — but it also strikes me as some of the truest words I’ve ever written.
As I fling myself about in search of a new writing topic, it’s clear that this time I’d like to draw from my own history.
I know so little. I said to my cousin Ginny recently that everything I know about the Mallons could fit into two paragraphs. I’ve heard a bit more about my mother’s side, but because of one particularly unreliable aunt (talk about personality disorders!), I don’t know how much is even true.
They don’t call them the query trenches for nothing! I’m only two rejections into the process of querying agents for my novel and it’s clear it’s not for the faint of heart.
On Twitter, where I’ve taken it upon myself to follow a number of writers and agents, I don’t know which tweets are worse, the people who sent out ten queries and got three requests for full manuscripts THE NEXT DAY (breathless emoji) or the ones who sent out 100’s over a period of three seasons with zero response.
The rejection I got last week stung quite a bit because it was a referred query, not a cold query. I tried not to place a lot of hopes on it, but of course I did. How could I not?
But there is great news and it comes in two pieces.
One. I was wise enough to send out many other queries while waiting to hear from the referred one. That means I’m familiar with the process and have a bit of momentum going. I’ve written a goddamned synopsis. I’m not intimidated by online submission forms any more.
Two. I bounce back is a thing I say about myself because it’s true. I bounce back. Even though I’m tired today, I am celebrating my resilience.
If bird sightings signal anything, I’m in luck. Last week I saw a juvenile red-tailed hawk and this morning, a flicker.
Also, I broke with long-standing patterns of buying cheap or used clothing and splurged at the mall recently. I put the new t-shirts and linen pants in my closet in a very nice neat pile. I now call these my airport pants, my airport tops.
Lastly, the Covid numbers are up in Middlesex County again, so I doubt I’ll go to the protest at Boston Common on Saturday. Sure, the protest is outside but the T-ride isn’t. Maybe I’ll drive in, but right now I’m pretty wiped out from ten or more days of having the runs.
Am I the only person on earth who can shit her brains out day after day and not lose a single pound? Doesn’t seem fair.
Rihanna in her pregnant glory, aglitter. Hillary Rodham Clinton in a toned-down red satin gown with famous women embroidered along the hem. Say their names: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sojourner Truth, Harriett Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt. Blake Lively makes a satiny ascent, waterfalls of silk trailing behind her.
And the men! My favorite was the one who looked like a pirate — tall black boots, a string holding up his pants. I can’t think of his name. The young man with lavender hair and ruffled collar was yummy too — setting off discussions about male manicures.
At the very moment Glenn Close exploded onto the red carpet in day-glo pink, someone in the hallowed halls of justice leaked a draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
Can I eat dissonance? Will I survive this? Will our daughters?
Repeat after me: a Christo-fascist state. Learn to say it. We now have a court that isn’t even political, it’s fucking religious.
Instead of calling right-wing stunts “performative nonsense,” how about calling them acts of terrorism? Wiping out two districts of Black voters in Florida, letting billions of dollars of food rot at the border just to make his opponent look bad, creating criminal penalties for doctors performing abortions.
I want to go back to an era when watching guests at the Met Gala is an exercise in petty judgment. Who looks fabulous, who looks ridiculous, where do we find the best cleavage and the ritziest jewels?
There wasn’t time for anyone to design a gown out of wire hangers. There wasn’t time for women to attach bloody ribbons to their lace.
If justice exists in the sky, can we coach her to come lower, to re-establish domains in Appalachia, in Houston, Miami, and the Ozarks? The fact that they surrounded the pillared halls of justice with fencing this morning tells you something.
But maybe we should skip the pink hats this time and work the phones instead. Waltham, the next town over, is sponsoring a protest tonight and I feel tired just thinking about it. I’ve been to two there already — one in support of releasing the Mueller Report and I can’t remember the other.
She can’t remember all the protests she went to under trump’s reign.
Can our hunger for justice outweigh every roadblock? Can it blow like Hurricane Andrew, taking out entire neighborhoods of anti-women strategies and policies, moods and feelings? I hope maintaining majorities in the House and Senate isn’t too much to ask for.
I turned twenty in Dublin. At the time, contraception was illegal there, abortion was outlawed, of course, and homophobia institutionalized. How Catholic, I thought. How medieval. Never in a million years did I think the day would come when Ireland was more progressive than America.
And what about the now-fully-ensconced Justices’ lies before Congress — and yes, that’s Justices’ with an “s apostrophe” because three of them lied to get their seats. Oh yes, Roe is established precedent. Oh yes, we follow precedent.
Riz Ahmed — that’s the actor’s name. One booted foot on the step above, crotch to the camera — pure, natural swagger. Unlike that other pirate, bloated and lacking his eyeliner. I can’t even absorb the story about the latter, but it infiltrates everywhere. The formerly gorgeous Johnny Depp looking like a bad batch of muffins in a suit. That dumb pony tail.
We all get old, but did we have to witness a time when our daughters have fewer rights than we did? I was in high school in 1973, on the verge of so much bed-hopping — maniacal about birth control as I was careless about everything else. I was spared the need for a procedure, but almost everyone I knew in college — or let’s say 2/3’s of everyone I knew — had a pregnancy terminated. Safely. Not without trauma, mind, but none of what was difficult arose from infection or fear of dying.
The Gilded Age was the Met Gala’s theme this year. The idea of robber barons is particularly hard to take at this moment in history. Five white American men possess more wealth than the bottom 60%. Or is it 80%? I don’t know — ask Robert Reich. Whatever it is, it’s obscene.
But we want our celebrities. Sparkling stilettos and borrowed diamonds on bodies lovely and distant, unattainable and yet, due to the nature of film, also somehow ours. Belonging to us.
Is God punishing us? If so, for what crime? What sin?
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PS I cannot figure out how to turn off comments for a single post so let’s just act as though I have? The topic has already taken enough out of me for now.