Sunday, December 29, 2013


I was dismayed to find that the spinning top atop a dumpster bearing art, art transcended from graffiti, had gone missing the last time I was on that block before escaping to L.A., where, I reassured myself as some or another Madhattan shouldered me before the missing oracle, I could always consult the coin-operated genie oracle of Venice Beach, down the street from an old apartment of mine. Just in the event that a literal oracle was needed. 'Tis the season.

I noticed the top when I was engaged in some or another animated conversation with my cousin at the pub with a front-row view of the art dumpster. It started spinning madly. Then stopped. Then spun the other way, preset for some purpose via a mechanism or a malfunction, in concert with an unseen force, be it pragmatic and non-oracle-like or not [vibrations].

At any rate, it was entertaining. An element of spontaneity. I was not bored. I was not going about my business and hearing a dirge-somber song about Christmas at the supermarket, where I was picking out cat food at the time, making for a cliché forever-alone picture were I inclined to view living alone as a bad thing. Those mainstreamers sure do push their pointy 1950s pencils, with the insistency-->

Instead, I can't help but remember my chorus classes in elementary school in the 1980s, when a variety of holiday songs were sung, with two of the more popular Hanukkah offerings, "Light the Menorah" and, obviously, "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel" AKA "The Dreidel Song" (the dreidel song), being the best by far. I fall in the camp of having fun as having holiday. For me, The Beach Boys' Christmas Album is gospel and...that's about all I'm interested in after decades and decades (with respect to Nat King Cole). So it's odd to me to see people get so excited over pretty much any it at this point, though upholding ritual so often appeals to me. I think it could be the non-appeal of the One Thing principle I feel we're all being packaged into, which negates, say, large swaths of people happily pursuing Other Things or Multiple Things, whoa. Or maybe it's just all too serious back East, save for when that stalemate is broken by would-be oracles.

Like these two crazy kids.

If they came down the chimney of a house I was in, and it so happens that I'm in a house with a chimney...almost never, I'd be thrilled. Every year, my brother and I go into the den of my parents' home on Christmas Eve and kind of gape at them. What am I seeing? Magic out of discards? Spontaneity?

Go on and on about the most wonderful time of the year while I'm trying to pick the least-brown box lettuce, mainstream oracle pusher, and even invoke the word "magic," but is magic a limited quantity for you, a once-in-while treat just so long as you haven't been bad and enjoyed yourself or something?

I suppose the pent-up energy would result in excitement. But why get pent up in the first place?

You could find magic in costumed soda bottles.

Or maybe, if you're a Manhattanite, you find these idols gauche, as well you should for you occupy, from all I've gathered across this nation, one of the last urban spaces where finding them gauche and even offensive might not be seen as crotchety, and I know you think this makes you sophisticated, but crotchety is not sophisticated. Weird is not dumb. Mad all the time is not smart. And yet these are the cultural realities pushed here. And I think hmm, maybe that's what doesn't work for me here as a woman, they don't find me funny the way men do elsewhere or as a writer, a writer who is published time after time outside the East Coast, this lack of non-sanctioned laughter, with sanctions on fun having been taken up quite literally by Ray, Mikey B & their boys, nowadays...

Is the effect permanent? I don't know but long before the reign of our current marauders in responsible adult suits something made me stand up on my chair at my parents' kitchen table at age four and proclaim "I'm going to California," and maybe this is happenstance, an attempt to Rubik's Cube my life, so maybe it means nothing even as a small voice, an inner oracle, whispers that hopefully it means everything for a happier future now (cue: what is home? where is home? is there any such thing? why does my mind guide back? why do people insist there are still four seasons, where is autumn?).

I don't know but I find myself staring off into white sun. And in the back of my mind a tall man soon to take office back home. Three wise men and me in the Los Angeles International Airport bar, kind California men laying back while being there, being gentlemen; accepting, reassuring, laughing at my jokes...the walls I feel pressed to erect back east fell back west and now I fear it's back to wall street, to demands, vague angers, public snits, to flailing around like a kempt, younger female Lebowski, getting riled by rilers, back to where I try to be a good sport about my cleats being too tight, and I can still feel that stretch of hilly streets in my thighs, elevation versus brick-walled buildings, vibrations versus stalemate...