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Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolves?

I cannot recall when and where I was when I first read Virginia Woolf's consummately wise words, "A woman must have money and a room of her own [if she is to write fiction]." But, the sentiment of this oft-quoted statement has informed my being ever since.

I know you know how it gets. Creative people need a space to get a little crazy. That's why you have a blog, right?

Last night, we had dinner with Patrick -- perhaps one of the most creative and craziest people in the world. People who are familiar with his art and get the privilege to visit his home quickly come to understand the truth of Ms. Woolf's statement.

Visiting Patrick's apartment is like inhabiting one of his paintings. It's colorful and a little scary, but it's like returning to the womb. Being there is like being in the act of creation. He is proof that a true artist lives in the Artist's Way. Lest we forget what it means to live the Writer's Life, I invite you to see for yourselves how one man has truly committed himself (without getting committed himself).

Click the picture for a sneak peek. . .

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:19 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:19 PM   |


No More Kelly Clarkson Shame

I realized today that there will be a time in the future when I will be living alone. Can you believe I am almost 30 years old and I have never lived alone?

Sure, I had a dorm room to myself, but a dormitory is not exactly singular living. And there were a few times when I lived abroad for months at a time, but then I was just freeloading in foreign countries.

After college, I lived with my two best friends. After that, I lived with my three homosexual life partners. After that, I became half of a live-in couple.

Tonight, I wandered around the 450 square feet of apartment and looked at all the material things we've obtained together. Once we made the decision to move to separate living spaces, I started waxing sentimental about all the things I like about J. and living with him.

But, then I also realized, there are a lot of things that I will not miss. That I will, in fact, celebrate the disappearance of like a munchkin dancing around crushed ruby slippered feet.

Here are a few things I look forward to:

1.) Never cleaning up after a boy's mess and feeling like less of a woman for it. It should be noted that I do not think cleaning up after a man makes a woman less...uh...womanly. I just. You know. Hate picking up after a grown man.

2.) Never having to clarify my foolhearty opinions.

3.) Never having to figure out if I really find kung-fu movies entertaining.

I also look forward to seeing what an apartment filled with only my things will look like.

Will I still buy the same toothpaste?

I've been living as a half a couple for so long that I cannot tell where my opinions end and his begin. Which one of us chose sea foam green for the living room? Do I really love that color or is it just one of the things from the shaded subset of where our tastes overlap?

But most of all, I look forward to not blaming someone else for my life's shortcomings. Too often in a couple, I have found myself longing for the choices I never made because I no longer live for just myself. And resentment, just like joy and fear and content, is an emotion that feels doubled when it is halved.

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 10:17 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 10:17 PM   |



Roof view after rain. NYC - Spring 2005.

I am testing the bounds of my will today. For the better part of an hour, I watch a simple poof of white cloud slowly extend from one side of my window to the other. I am puzzling over a jumble of real and created moments from the reserves of my mind. Time weighs heavily on my heart, tearing me into directions of past and future simultaneously.

I desire equally to make peace with sadness and its injurious claims on my past as well as to woo the future in a delicate seduction of bright linens and austere sailboat rides. At times, it is painful to contemplate, worse when the deliberation affords only handfuls of sand. What I yearn for are the baubles that will buy my bejeweled future. I dig through the wreckage of my past, searching for whatever it is that will be a moment to afford such riches. Unbury the unexamined life. The rabbit hole leading into a future that encompasses all the desires which were poured into the instant of my existence.

And yet, like a fool or a poet, I am moved to just sit with my reverie of a cloud inching imperceptibly across a path of view that encompasses less than two feet.
It is a defense mechanism that children utilize, often without consciousness. They create fantasy lives to escape the reality of the moment. Children have a rough time of it because they have little control over their destinies.

I often wonder why I never just left my family behind and moved to New York earlier, when I was eight or nine. Surely, I could have found an apartment and job with a little bit of patience. It seems realistic to me since that is what I have now, but I know it would have been impossible. Instead, I had my window and my bedroom. I would shut my door and stare out the window as I do now.

Then, my greatest fantasy was to get a cheap clunker car and cover it in raunchy bumper stickers. My plan was to drive to see every state in the country and I would do it in alphabetical order.

From my dark blue encyclopedia, I learned the order of the states by heart. Whenever grief settled in threatening silence over my house, I would plan my escape. I would would lie in my bed and trace the route across the bumpy white expanse of my ceiling.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas
. . . I imagined the breeze through the window and the radio, all mine for the choosing. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware. . . I would hold my hand out and let it surf the crests and waves of air eddying around my car as I followed each alphabetically decided horizon. Waving hello to a present that belonged only to me.

One day, I realized that I could never make a drive from Georgia to Hawaii, so I decided I would save The Aloha State for last. I would leave Wyoming and head west for the Pacific. When I got there, I would find a boat and sail towards Hawaii, to see the place where the details of my life were first imagined. Wearing stickers on my cheeks and flowers in my hair.
subway look

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 3:17 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 3:17 PM   |


End at the Beginning

Boy meets girl. Girl doesn't like Boy. Later, Girl decides she likes Boy. Girl seduces Boy. Boy and Girl discover sex. Boy and Girl discover love. Girl moves away. Boy desires freedom. Boy breaks Girl's heart. Girl and Boy separate for five years. Boy and Girl never speak. Girl denounces love, though succumbs to one Magician. Boy denounces relationships, but finds Another Love. Boy becomes engaged. Girl falls in love with Gay Male Best Friend. Girl realizes she may have some thinking to do. Girl gets cold. Girl becomes sad. Girl writes to Boy. Boy calls Girl. Boy leaves Fiancee. Boy and Girl move to an island. Boy and Girl become "Roommates." Boy and Girl fall in love again. Boy and Girl move around together for six years.

Boy and Girl try.

Boy and Girl try.

Boy and Girl try and try and try again.

Boy and Girl become sad. Together. Again.

Boy and Girl think of a new plan.

Plan W: (Yes, they've already exhausted Plans A through V)

For the next six to eight months, Boy and Girl will begin the process of separation. Separating finances. Separating living spaces. Separating lives. Because Boy and Girl know that the love will always be there, but the life will not.

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:02 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:02 PM   |


Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?

Before my shift last night, I chatted with the dinner staff about their night. Anyone who is familiar with people in the service industry will know that we spend a lot of time bitching about people's horrible manners and the generally terrible nature of most humans.

However, last night, we discussed a few of the really nice people that we have encountered. We traded anecdotes about customers who, even when they were absolutely within their rights to complain about something (food cooked improperly, cockroach visitations), chose not to threaten with lawsuits. These same people proceeded with their meals and paid their checks and left generous tips.
"Yes, I had ordered my steak rare and it came out well done, but it was delicious anyway." "Yes, I saw a cockroach, but, hey...it's New York. They're everywhere! Oh well!"

We all remarked about how refreshing it is to encounter such easygoing natures. It's touching, really. And, these are the people who get cocktails or dessert or even a whole meal on the house. I said, "People don't get it. If you are nice, you get free stuff. Why be an asshole?" One of my coworkers said, "I don't understand it. It's so easy to just be nice."

I realized that it made me really sad. We are so surprised to encounter good manners and non-combative customers that we feel moved to shower the really kind people with rewards. It's like laying an offering before the gods, hoping it will encourage future visits from equally sympathetic people.

"Oh my goodness...you said 'Please' and 'Thank you'?!?! Please, let me buy you your meal."

Saturday night was full moon night. I'm not sure if it was actually a full moon, but it felt like it by the way people were acting. It was g8s' birthday and I felt particularly protective of him. His patience with the creepiest of lowlifes is boundless. So, when I noticed a man getting in his face and acting threatening, I had to react. I stepped up to the jerk, mustered up all five feet, one and a half inches of myself and told him, "If you don't get the fuck out of here now, you're gonna get hit by a girl."

I understand that alcohol is a big factor in most of my violent encounters with people. But, I have a feeling that a lot of these people would be assholes even when they are sober. I also realize that these same people feel particularly justified in mistreating waiters and other people in service positions. Absent an official caste system, some people adhere to the misconception that servers are the equivalent of servants. These people operate under the unsafe assumption that anyone in a service position must be uneducated.

The buffoon that I threatened screamed at us, "You can't talk to me this way! I have a college education!"

So do I, buddy. However, it wasn't in college where I learned that kindness knows no shame. I learned that one from Stevie Wonder.*

(From the song, "As" by Mr. Wonder. For those of you non-Stevie fans. Do those exist?)

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:36 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:36 AM   |


Matzo Ball Soup.

Tonight she made soup.

This morning, he left in anger after she picked a fight with him. She was feeling suffocated by the predictable conclusions of their every day existence. Rewind one year, two, even five years, and the view seemed just the same. Life had become an old film strip, continuously whirring and flipping around the same reel.

She needed to know that it wouldn’t always be like this, that they wouldn’t always live to pay rent and never lose those extra pounds achieved by endless nights of swilling vodka. Although she had followed an exciting and vastly different path, she felt she had come up with the same conclusions reached by those silly girls with poofball bangs who had dictated her life in high school.

She thought by making soup she would fill their apartment with the smell of cooked food and thus inspire comfort to both their souls. She could apologize without actually admitting any responsibility for the situation. The rest of her day had been spent cleaning the wreckage laid waste by the tumult of their early squabble. She called friends and wrote in her journal.

An hour of yoga in the afternoon had not given her any respite, but only reminded her of her inadequacies, her inflexibility.

Earlier, she stood inside Duane Reade looking for Post-It’s when she decided to call him at work.

“I was thinking of making dinner if you’re hungry.”

“Yeah. That sounds good.”

“What do you want?”


She pondered for a moment, wondering how she would cook steak and how many hours she would spend on the elliptical machine burning off steak. He laughed and interrupted her pondering.

“Just kidding. Whatever you make is fine.”


“I gotta finish up here.”

“All right. I’ll see you later.”

It took her half an hour to figure out something to make. She wandered the aisles of the twenty-four hour Gristedes looking for something different to make for dinner. Her cooking skills were fine, but her immediate repertoire was limited.

It was almost eleven o’clock at night, so she didn’t want to make anything too rich that would make her feel worse about herself. The store was in violent disarray, crates of juice boxes sat in piles awaiting unpacking, the shelves were stocked but mismatched. Briefly, she pondered hunks of sad pink meat peering out of the deli case. She wandered down the Pasta-Sauce-Soup aisle hoping for inspiration when she came upon the Jewish food section.

Previously in the day, she found herself desiring matzo ball soup and suddenly she wondered if she could make it herself. She picked up a Manischewitz package for instant soup and fingered the picture of fluffy white dumplings. There was a sticky film on the box that made her recoil. She placed the instant soup box down and stepped back.

As she stared at the gefilte fish and potato pancake mix, she inhaled deeply. The smell of this grocery store reminded her of the musty sweetness of the Associated Supermarket she used to frequent in Bushwick, Brooklyn, when they had moved into their first apartment together in New York.

He found a huge industrial loft space that they couldn’t afford, but also couldn’t afford to turn down. She had asked him to come to New York with her, and having no apartment of her own to offer, they lived for two months in a two bedroom apartment with her three best friends, all gay men. It was not the healthiest living situation for a couple in emotional limbo.

The Bushwick apartment was on the first floor of what used to be a sewing factory. They had to lie to the utility companies and say they were starting a business since the space was leased to them as a commercial loft. The lease was for 1700 square feet of empty room with just a refrigerator and a bathroom.

They had to build walls and rooms and purchase a stove. Before they could afford a stove, they had a toaster oven and a coffee maker. She cooked soup in the coffee pot and roasted vegetables in aluminum foil in the toaster oven.

She would shop in that grocery store that smelled like a basement. The aisles were stocked with every imaginable type of bean canned by Goya Foods: pinto, red kidney, chick peas, black-eyed peas. The music piped into the store was merengue and salsa. The checkout girls called her, "Mami."

There had been a quiet desperation to their life in Brooklyn. They were too old to be casually open about their relationship, but too young to stop hoping to be consumed by passion. For each other or for someone as yet unknown.

When he called to tell her that he was on his way home, she told him that dinner was ready. As he hung up, she sensed that anxiety that signaled the end of her freedom, the end of her solitude.

She valued the time she got to spend alone. She would sit in silence and not listen to his breathing or his movements. It was in those moments that she felt free, her soul pushed lightly out of her body and extended towards an internal horizon. Her mind was not muddled with impertinent questions about whether their love for each other would every be enough. The anxieties taunting her today came from her fear of the solidness of the future.

She sat at their dining room table in their smaller, but more established Manhattan apartment and inhaled the smell of coconut chicken soup. She waited.

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link * Miss Marisol posted at 11:52 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 11:52 AM   |


Grrr. Part Deux.

Associated Press -- WASHINGTON - Chief Justice nominee John Roberts repeatedly refused to answer questions about abortion and other contentious issues at his confirmation hearing Tuesday, telling frustrated Democrats he would not discuss matters that could come before the Supreme Court. More . . .

Now, granted, I have not been interviewed for a job lately. However, refusing to discuss your potential contribution to the work of said job seems like something not to do if one does not want to appear evasive and untrustworthy.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:58 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:58 PM   |


"It was the worst of times. . ."

The calendar tells me it is September 13th, but the thermometer spews "Middle of August." It is 92 degrees out and the city is seething. Everything happens in New York City, and sometimes, everything happens all at once.

This week is the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Bill Clinton's Global Initiative Summit, the local Democratic primaries and the end of Fashion Week. That means a few important people and a lot of people convinced of their own self-importance are coming together all at once within a few blocks of each other.

That also means calvacades of black SUV's. Sirens. Car horns that blare for minutes at a time in a long wailing chorus. Police directing traffic and yelling at pedestrians at every intersection in Midtown. The Police Commissioner described driving this week as "gridlock squared."

I went out to vote and run some errands this morning. My district's voting center is directly across the street at P.S. 58. However, what should have been a short walk turned into an arduous march. Within the span of just a few blocks, I encountered three heavyweight shouting matches between various groups of people and one fender bender.

A husband and wife in front of my apartment building stood nose to nose and screamed at each other while gesturing wildly to the open hood of their car. The engine sizzled and sighed as their eyeballs yellowed and teared with rage.

I thought about going to Central Park and reading today. But, there are times living in this city when you realize it is better not to be near your fellow human being. There are over eight million people living within 300 square miles of land. When the population swells with tourists and businessmen, it is impossible not to feel the prickle of energy that is ignited by such a convergence.

On days like this, the misery is not only palpable, it is contagious.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 2:38 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 2:38 PM   |


Twelve Hours In The Life

The Idea:

Take 13 minutes of every hour to take a few snapshots of what's going on at the moment. At thirteen minutes to the hour every hour from 10:47 p.m. to 10:47 a.m., Mr. g8s and I took photos depicting a night in the life of the Sunday overnight shift at Florent.

The Execution:

We stuck to the plan for the most part. Some photos simply could not wait for their appointed hour. However, we did take the time to capture every hour. So it is in fact a night. In the life.

(And for all you sticklers for details, my clock is set to the wrong date in the first pic. This series began at 10:47 p.m. on September 11, 2005. Sheesh.)

World Trade Center Memorial Light as seen from Florent's front window at approximately 3:47 a.m. Click on the image for slideshow of the night.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 9:54 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 9:54 AM   |


Cave Dwellers

It started with kissing. The mouths she had encountered before his were thin, like slits cut through sheets of white paper. His lips, by contrast, was insurmountable and vast. His mouth, a cave. It turned out, they both had spaces and crevasses. They spelunked.

Their conversations were brief and pointless. They were sixteen. Her life's reach could be measured with one hand stretched across a map of the Northeastern states.

It is fourteen years later and they have no stories that do not somehow include the other. Their kisses are sharp and requisite, like immunizations. They have reached a summit that is neither thrilling or dangerous, but the vista is commodious.

When she closes her eyes to sleep, she knows that some women spend all their lives looking for what she has. In those moments, she curses the sentimental movie makers. She rues the poets and the songwriters for perpetuating the pangs of despised love.

Still, she can't help but long for vertigo.

It is in her nature to yearn.

She looks at him and remembers that she got what she asked for. It was winter when she went looking for him last. Her winter was oppressive. They had been separated for five years, but she still had a map to him. She had been longing for his stalactites.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:30 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:30 PM   |


For One Thing.

I cannot be consumed by love.

I cannot fall in perfect step with you as we dodge pedestrians on the sidewalk. I am disappointed when you are unmoved by perfect prose. I sigh too loudly when you look away.

When we talk of the future, I see myself alone in a room with a typewriter looking at a glass vase on the windowsill as it tries to stem the wilt of a single gerber daisy. You are there, too -- idealized in metaphor. That is how I hope to love you, at least.

Besides, I've always believed that the thrill of sex does not come from yielding to the touch, but in the sting of release.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 7:00 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 7:00 PM   |


Missing: Words == Have You Seen This, Child?

She hovered between thin pages,
Deliciously fingering leaves as thin
As corneas.

Lacking the grasp to
Contain the disparate suffering
Of dusk in the bayou,
She returned to a memory.

The universe progresses forth
Through minute details -- moments
That may or may not be absorbed into language;
A single finger tracing a line
Down the diaphanous length of wrist's flesh;
Unplanned darkness;
The space between the slender curve of question mark
To the barren bloom of period's diameter.

With coarse desperation, she paused between
The syllables of words that curled her into a palm:




An unseen arm beat her Gatsby boats on
And she smiled guilessly, engorged
With each dispatch possibility.

You have words, she sounded,
For longing.

Sheepsmeadow, Central Park, Labor Day 2005

link * Miss Marisol posted at 8:14 PM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 8:14 PM   |


The Bad News Continues . . .

Chief Justice Rehnquist dies of cancer creating a rare second vacancy on the nation's highest court.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 1:00 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 1:00 AM   |


Inappropos of Everything

I realize that this blog does not always reflect my state of mind. I don't think it could. Life is too unwieldy and imprecise to condense into small blurbs of computer digestibles.

And although, this forum affords me a manner of expression that is fulfilling and challenging all at once, it doesn't always accurately reflect exactly the state of my life. Just random moments.

To this end, I feel I must at least say that although I do not necessarily choose to write about it all, my heart and mind are heavy with the contemplations of world circumstances (and personal happenstances).

link * Miss Marisol posted at 4:36 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 4:36 AM   |

Homo du Mois Deux

It's that time.

Time for a new Homo du Mois. Time to honor yet another of Miss Hag.'s fabulous friends.

This month, I have chosen a man I met when I first moved to New York. Then, he was a waiter at one of my favorite old haunts, a restaurant that turned into Amsterdam late at night. That's right, back when you could smoke in NYC restaurants, this progressive spot also allowed patrons to discreetly smoke the wacky tobacky. You could sit at a table munching on foods from a hemp-based menu, sipping a cocktail and passing a joint to the table next to you. But, those were the 90's. Simpler times.

September's Homo du Mois was easy to notice. Tall with chiseled cheekbones and flawless skin. The first day I met him I told him, "You are bee-yoo-tiful!" He didn't blink an eye when Dennis and I would meet at his restaurant for cocktail and cocaine lunch hours. It was love at first sight.

Now, he is the man who prefers to remain nameless at Mister g8s' blog. The man responsible for this.


(Photo by g8s.)

Recently, I asked George the same questions I ask all my Homo du Mois. Here are his responses . . .

1.) Who would you cast to play you in a movie of your life?

"Who would I cast to play me? Brazilian superstar, Rodrigo Santoro, of course! Most Americans don't know him but he was the sexy man in the Chanel ads with Nicole Kidman. He was also the badboy surfer in Charlies Angels 2."

2.) What is one thing you believed as a child?

"The one thing I believed as a child was that I would be famous by now and that everything would be better as soon as I left home."

3.) What would we find if we looked in your refrigerator right now?

"I don't like the refrigerator question. How about 3 favorite likes and dislikes?"

3.a) All right, Miss Hag. certainly encourages her Homos to be themselves. So, then. Tell me three of your likes and dislikes . . .

"My three likes are:
** Metallic colored shoes.
** Tanning. Have you heard that tanning is addictive in some people?
** The taste of cilantro!

My three dislikes are:
** People who spit in the street
** The smell of rain
** The fact that Helmut Lang is no longer designing his own clothes!"

4.) How would people who knew you in high school describe you? How would people describe you who know you now? How would you describe yourself?

"I don't care what people thought of me in high school. Elementary school was a nightmare. Though the kids didn't have a name for it, they could all sense that I was 'different/special.' That would be a cool logo. I was tormented by them. People I meet now probably take my shyness for snobbiness."

5.)What do you think about the word "love"?
"I think love is hard to define. The feelings you have when you start seeing someone are so GREAT that it's almost worth getting your heart broken just to experience that "high." I wish that feeling would last longer but, there's a definite comfort in being in a long-term relationship only after your both willing to work hard at it. My opinion is that there are a lot of people who have never really truly been in love because they don't know how to be in a relationship. It's really hard work and you're never taught in school or on the job training how to love.

I'm a Scorpio and I say I love intensely but g8s probably thinks I love too rough!"

Yikes! Bonus question for George: Brad or Angelina?

"I would choose Angelina! She would be up for keeping Brad around to satisfy us sexually! Seriously, I think Angelina is an amazing person. Oh, and she has better lips than me!"

Thanks, George. I love any reason to post a picture of Miss Jolie.

So, there you have it. September's Homo du Mois. If you see George out on the town (probably with Mister g8s), buy him/them a drink and tell 'em the Hag. sent you.

link * Miss Marisol posted at 12:01 AM * posted by Miss Marisol @ 12:01 AM   |