Thursday, November 02, 2006

If I Listen In I Feel My Own Heart Beating

Some battles are not worth fighting. A few years ago, I gave up fighting my hair for Coif Supremacy, when I realized I could just as easily throw $100 a month out my window as move to a slightly better apartment and give it to my landlord. See, ultimately, I'm too selfish to fight anybody or anything for anything they don't want to do freely, and if my hair won't behave, I don't have to tolerate its existential crisis. So now I tint my own hair and Rosanna cuts it every six-eight weeks, depending on how often I look in the mirror and find I look more like Yahoo Serious than "Yoohoo! Gina Lollobrigida!"

When I'm holding a drink, the resemblance is uncanny. To hers. Anyway, I had an appointment Saturday morning Rosanna called on account of weather and the flu. While I was grateful not to be reinfected after last month's miserable pox on my house, I'm not pleased to remain shaggy.

A few weeks ago, a photographer I've known many years asked to photograph me and in a moment of complete idiocy, I agreed to pose. I know how this works. I modeled for artists for ages; my face becomes a medium for the artist and ceases to be itself, and I am not myself. I understand how distressing this is for academic feminists, and we can worry about those complicated issues another time. For the moment, we've got more than we can handle. We're tangling with my rampaging vanity, for crissakes, and I don't trust the photographer. Or this either, now that we mention it:

Section 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States: but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.

Last night, I schemed and plotted my cosmetic itinerary leading up to Monday's appointment with the photographer until a phone call changed my perspective rather sharply. Sharkey called to tell me another member of our tribe had passed away, though I would never say they'd lost battles with cancer. The cliche doesn't feel like a fit. In June, we lost Freddy, who was also called Stinky Sonobuoni, and found ourselves at the only funeral I've ever attended where everyone told stories about leopard print underwear. The subsequent wake in the bar where we all met, drank and fell down a million times was cathartic and wonderful, and the last time I saw Lance Carter. At the wake, I was surprised to see Lance in a wheelchair. While I knew he'd been sick, I had no idea how sick. Our tribe is large enough and loose enough that while I saw Lance and his wife Lisa around for almost twenty years, they were really friends of my friends.

Lance and Lisa documented his illness extensively on Lance's blog, which is both beautifully detailed and painfully honest, an amazing read. I can't say enough about it - and I shouldn't. It is everything.

Next week: another funeral. Then we will throw Lance a glorious, loving wake. While I'm contemplating my vanity and mortality, I should say that Lance was one of those lovely souls who always had a smile on his face. He was vivacious and enjoyed a good laugh. So laugh because life is really, really short, but don't try this at home.

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