Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Visit to Versailles

What is the point of visiting this place?

I would see the point of visiting this place if we could actually visit the way it was, “back in the day”. If I could wear a corset and a giant hoop skirt and put my fingers gently on a gentleman’s wrist and be escorted to the center of the palace to the king’s bedroom where my gentlemanly escort would scratch the king’s door with his long pinkie nail to indicate our presence.

But instead I’m sitting in the garden with my high school boyfriend. No one is around, not a single other tourist, so I can scan the area and almost convince myself that we are there (“back in the day”). It looks exactly like it would have then, I say to myself. But I can’t ignore the fact that we are wearing t-shirts and have the polartec tied around our waists and that the feeling that exists between us is boring. We are smaller than ants. And a lot less capable and a lot more boring. We could never build a place like this. We’re stuck in our boring contemporary moment where nothing gets built like this. Everything that gets built today also gets knocked down, as quickly as possible. That’s a big component of our boredom.

On the steps of Versailles there is a hot-dog vendor and someone challenges my boyfriend to a hot-dog eating contest. Everyone gets a big kick out of saying “hot-dog” in French (“le hot-dog”).

We leave and I never look back. It was just a visit to a place they built “back in the day”.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I heard this song when I was on hold with a student loan company the other day. I’ll be honest, the last thing I felt like doing was dancing. (A more appropriate song for my mood might have been “I hope you’re checks don’t BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUNCE!”). But then, I have to admit, I got kind of into it. I decided to stop resisting and just live in the moment and listen to the song. I closed my eyes. Here is a list of images inspired by “I hope you dance,” by Lee Ann Womack: some straw placemats I saw at pier one imports this one time. Water gliding over blue, glass pebbles. An overweight woman walking along the beach in a brightly colored wrap. A little girl dressed as a ballerina kicking her legs out of a beat-up convertible. This conspiratorial, girl-talk look my gynecologist gives me sometimes. Sand dunes. A soaring, aerial view of a water-logged post-Katrina new orleans. A woman holding out the waist-band of her khakis to show how much weight she's lost.