Isn't this one of the sexiest pictures of figs you've ever seen? My friend ana took it and there are two more on her journal. I love her photography. I never knew figs were so vaginal and sexy before. Of course I should have known this because wasn't it supposed to be a fig that poor Eve gave to Adam that somehow later got changed to the much less threatening apple? And aren't figs used in art to represent female sexuality? It's so interesting because since figs are in season right now, and my neighbor has a fig tree, I've been thinking about them and eating them, and then ana shared this picture. Synchronicity.
Burning-Man-wise everything is working out/coming together so perfectly. All the worries I've had about money, the RV rental, the stuff we need to buy, has all worked out. I waste so much time worrying. It's one of my greatest character defects.
My Mom was so kind to help me pick up the RV today. Here she is, this almost ninety-year-old woman, and she schlepped all the way out to Carson with me, again, to put the rental on her credit card for me. I am so lucky to have a Mom who is as generous as she is.
I can't help but want to add that I wish there weren't so much psychological trauma that has to go along with this. I know that she means well, and that she loves us both, but she is so unable to let go of her fear, her relentless negativity, and it can be upsetting and wearing on me. I was so happy to get a few copies of the magazine we're in this month, and I gave her one today. She looked at it in the car, but she literally could not stop saying negative hurtful things to me about the way we live, and about my life. I so wanted her to simply say, "Oh good for you Jacqui, you're in a magazine, and these are such nice things they've said about you. I like the pictures," or anything other than the kinds of things she did say. It went a little something like this;
MOM: Oh dear, what a pity, your home can never really look like this. It's just so sad that it has to be filled with animals. Your beautiful home. Why don't you keep it up and make it look nice like this all the time? It's so messy and awful. Oh look at this man, he's so handsome, and he likes gardening, why couldn't you be with a man like that?
ME: Well, for one, because he's gay, but more importantly because I am already with a man, Mom, a man I love, who has been kind to you, and has been my partner for a very long time now.
MOM: Oh yes, I know, but you don't really love him, and he's never going to make enough money to support you. You need someone with money. I'm not saying he isn't attractive. Look at this picture here, (she indicates his album that we have playing in her car -- she isn't listening to it), he's a handsome man, he could look good if he'd lose some weight and get a tan. Why can't he get a tan?
ME: Because he works all day and doesn't have the time.
MOM: Couldn't he go out in the sun at lunch?
Then there was the conversation we had about an old friend of mine who was on the cover of a magazine with one of my high school teachers, who also happens to be my neighbor.
MOM: Here, I brought a copy of this for you. Didn't you know her?
ME: Yes, Mom, I told you. That's Maria, she went to Saint Paul's, then she was my little sister at Marymount, and after that we were at UCLA together. I have been following her career and rooting for her for a long time. I told you she was doing really well, but you didn't know who I was talking about. Isn't that great? I am so happy for her. She just got married too.
MOM: Just got married? For the first time? How old is she? Why wasn't she married before?
ME: I don't know, maybe she was busy with her career. Why can't we just be happy for her that she found a great guy and got married now?
MOM: Well, she's a little old. I think it's just too bad this couldn't have been you since you've always wanted this so badly. But she's so pretty and it's all about her figure. You've never had a good figure. And her Mother was so famous. I saw her once at a party...
ME: Mom, her Mother and her body have nothing to do with it. I mean, beyond the curiosity factor, she got where she is because she worked for it. She's really good, a good actor, and she stuck with it and worked harder at it than I did. She worked at it for so long before she finally got the success she deserved.
MOM: Do you think she would have gotten where she got if it hadn't been for her mother? It's all about who you know, and you just don't know anyone, and let's face it, you just don't have the figure for it.
ME: You know what Mom, I would just be happy to get work. There are a lot of large size or real size people who are working. I just have to get back out there again and audition. I would love a career like Cathy Bates has, she's not sexy tiny hot, and who cares? I love her, I think she's beautiful the way she is, and I love the career she's had. God, I would be in heaven if I could get work like that.
MOM: Oh that Cathy Bates. She makes me sick -- that scene in the Jacuzzi with Jack Nicholson, why, she was repulsive! You're not going to be an actor. Why won't you face this? You've missed the boat! But maybe you could be a writer. Do you think if you wrote a letter to one of those movie critics that maybe you could get a job working for one of them?
You get the picture. She means well, she wants me to be happy, but in the narrowly defined way that she thinks it is possible for me to be. We think so differently at times, and it can be so confusing because despite her prejudices, her fear, and our differing viewpoints on things, there is often a lot of truth to the things she says, and I love her. Sigh.
Another typically paranoid and weird thing she did yesterday was to accuse "someone" of poisoning her. We were on the freeway, I was driving, she was in the passenger seat, and Rosa and Esther were in the back. She started to cough from the air conditioning, that she had set too high, so I got her water bottle, offered it to her, and rubbed her back for her. After she had a sip or two she said, "Are you trying to poison me?" I looked at her and thought, "Is she kidding?" because she has this really dry wit sometimes, and it's hard to know when she's serious about something that outrageous. She said, "It tastes funny, you might be trying to poison me." So I immediately took the bottle out of her hands, downed a whole bunch of it, handed it back to her and said, "There, if I was trying to POISON you, then I guess we're both going to die." Then, without missing a beat, she said, "Rosa, you've just killed both of us!"
Everyone laughed but I honestly think she was a little concerned. WoMan, if I'd wanted to poison her, don't you think I would have done it years and years ago, spared myself the suffering and moved to the Bahamas or something? Sheesh. I can't even kill a flea, I can't even begin to contemplate the idea of killing my beloved Mother. Not even when she hit me with her car, twice, because Beau was late getting dressed to go to the movies, and that was one horrible experience. Plus, I worry myself sick over her health and well-being every day of my friggin' life. I'm there in a flash when she needs me, and there's rarely a day that goes by that we don't speak, twice, on the phone. And there's the fact that I've gone through my inheritance from my Father collecting her dresses in order to show her how much I care. God it's all so twisted. Money, you see what it does to people?
Yesterday there was a little drama between Mom's housekeeper Martha, a couple of waitresses and the manager of The Los Angeles Country Club. *Great big sigh.*
I really don't have the time or energy to go into the whole LACC thing right now. I wish I had a link to any other time I've written about it, so I could just send you there, but LA, as my Mom and her friends call it, (as in, "Are you going to LA this weekend to play cards?") in a nutshell is; one of the most exclusive CONSERVATIVE private country clubs in the United States, (They didn't want to let the Reagans join because they had been in the "movie business"), full of Republicans, people who play golf and tennis, and until only recently, wouldn't admit, anyone Black, Jewish, Asian, or pretty much anything other than white, old-moneyed wealth. When Claire Fisher said recently "I think we're in a Republican Hive", on Six Feet Under, this is exactly the kind of place she was talking about. On the other side, (as if there can be another side, but hate me though you will, there can be), this place is full of family memories for me, puppet shows and marionettes, birthday parties, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Easter Egg hunt, Sunday brunches, wedding and baby showers. And all of the many people I came to know and love, both members and staff.
It's complicated and hard to swear off the entire lovely rolling grassy hilled memory filled place as being completely wrong, but I swear to you, I knew from childhood that it's admittance policies, and some of it's more old-fashioned rules were totally wrong, and on and off through the years I've gone through phases where I'd literally burn my sticker, (you get a little secret window sticker for your car that identifies you as belonging), and at great personal cost would refuse to go for a year or two, but then I'd break down and go for a meal with my Mom because it meant so much to her. You know, women couldn't even wear pants there until just a few years ago, and of course the men had all kinds of private areas reserved exclusively for them, so you don't even have to look at the racial equality factor before knowing there was something deeply wrong. You know that enormous stretch of land where you can't see anything but big green bushes and trees that goes on for miles, a great big sixteen hole golf course that lies smack in the middle of Beverly Hills, along Wilshire Boulevard after you pass all the high rises? That's the LA Country Club. I used to be afraid to write about it, used to, hell, still am, because if you do anything, and I mean anything to upset to anyone, you could get your family blackballed and tossed out, or at least really, really, embarrassed and gossiped about over ladies lunches and card games.
And I said I wasn't going to go into it...oh well, I guess I'm like a little wind up writing dolly, once you turn my key on any subject that is a bit sticky, you just can't shut me up.
The point of the story is that the woman I have planted in my Mother's home, my only toe hold against her scheming housekeeper and everyone else she surrounds herself with who hates me, (and this is because of my very liberal social attitudes), Martha, who works on Sunday's, got into a fight at the club on Sunday. Oh Lordy. On Sundays my Mom goes to play bridge with her friends. Martha drops her off in the morning, and picks her up in the afternoon. She usually drops her off, then comes over here for coffee or lunch, hangs around gossiping with Ana, and then goes back for Mom, but for some reason she decided to hang around. Not a good plan. Even I don't think my game is A+ enough for this place. You have to be ever vigilant or you might just put one foot wrong and upset someone, you never know. So Martha decided to stay, and made herself comfortable in one of the lounges near the "Mixed Foursome" or something like that.
Of course Mom never bothered to explain any of this to Martha, she doesn't know how rule-bound and careful this place is, no one told her, so she was at a complete disadvantage. She thought she was in the real world where people are obliged to be polite to each other. Apparently she picked up a newspaper, one of only two copies of the Sunday Times that are set aside for the members, *more sighs,* and a waitress approached her and told her that she wasn't allowed to be reading the paper because it was reserved for members. You know, who knows, maybe when the men come back from a good game of golf they freak out when they can't read the paper right off, but Martha couldn't have known that. So, being Martha, ever fiery and sensitive to social slights and injustices, she simply told the woman to leave her alone and went on reading the paper. When the same woman returned Martha told her that she wasn't about to put the paper down and that if she had a problem with it she could, "See Mrs. Hyland about it." When the same waitress returned with another waitress in tow Martha blew up, told her essentially that she "wasn't the boss of her," and huffed off, with the paper of course, looking for the manager.
Oh God! You don't want to involve the manager in these kinds of things, that would be like volunteering for the part of the duck in the middle of a duck shoot, but of course she did. She marched straight into the office of this man who makes around 200k a year -- a man whose primary job is to enforce arcane rules, and see to the comforts of the members -- threw the paper down on his desk and ended up by saying a hearty, "Fuck You!" to him. *Cough, splutter, cough.* I won't really know what transpired until Martha comes back from her trip to El Salvador, but knowing Martha, this doesn't sound too far from the truth. The manager, who went all pale, weak in the knees, and shaking, over such an affront to his vanity and status, went looking for my Mother and told her that, "In all my years of working here, I have never been treated so poorly, and with such disrespect, as this woman treated me today! Why, do you know she actually said, 'Fuck You' to me?" Poor Martha, poor Mom, poor everyone.
I was going to tell you about my annual ordeal to get my tenant, (This is the nude bar in Palm Springs that my very Catholic Grandmother -- who by now would probably be doing end over endless cartwheels in her grave, if she had enough room -- left to me when she passed away, it was a lunch counter then, but by the time my Mom got through with it, they were dancing on tables and snatching up rolled up bills with their, well, you get the picture, snatch is the operative word,) to catch up on all of the rent he always gets behind in paying me. It comes in handy this time of year. If you look back through my journal, I'm sure there'll be an annual entry describing another one of our glorious conversations. One year I had to deal with his wife, girlfriend, or whatever she is -- this woman who hates me like a cobra must hate the lid to it's basket -- and I just sat there in so much shock over what she was saying that I finally shook it off, grabbed a pen, and started writing it down -- it was that shocking. It's always colorful, I'll say that for it.
This year Art was in a pretty good mood. He called me sweetheart a couple of times and since money talks in pretty much anyone's world, once I offered to knock off two hundred dollars if he'd just pay me the money he'd been owing me for over a year, he promptly agreed. But don't think you're going to get off that easy, you have to hear this, "Did I tell you I bought myself a new car, a Bentley? Listen kid, this isn't just any car, this mother-fucker's more expensive than a Rolls Royce." Lovely, and there was this, "Oh that broad, that bitch, cost me fifty grand cash just to get rid of her, and that was after the four hundred grand of mine she spent in the casinos. Say, how's that Mother of yours?" Oh the fun of it, my whopping good time of a life. It could be worse, it could be a lot worse.
Okay, well, back to the preparing-for-our-trip-to-Burning-Man grind.
And for those of you who may not have seen this and who made it this far, a gift link from GlitchMusic -- text manipulating programs.