I'm feeling very peaceful right now, because I actually did spend the weekend doing what I said I was going to do, which is unpack boxes, stare at the contents, walk around in circles, put the contents of the box into a drawer, figure I'll sort it all out later and then break down the empty box with a feeling of achievement. Apparently, as I said to my friend C who called to ask me to go hiking, which I declined due to the guilt I would have then felt, I'll be doing this every day for the rest of my life. That's okay. I found a bunch of pictures I'd forgotten about and even though the spare room looks worse, it's actually better. I swear. I didn't get to the QOB's kitchenette yet, though, and that was supposed to happen this weekend. Oh well. There's stew simmering on the stove and I'm drinking a little bourbon and curling up in one of my Mom's big huge comfy chairs and rereading China Mieville, looking up occasionally to make comments to the dogs.
"No. There is no way I'm letting you outside with that bone. You're just going to lose it in the yard. You know you are."
And he does know it, but Django has some kind of genetic imperative going on that compels him to take all his toys out to the yard and lose them. He doesn't bury them - he's not organized enough for that - he just loses them. Then eventually when he finds them again it's like a new toy all over again. I know how he feels - I opened a box today that had been sitting unopened in my former garage for over a year and hey, you know, there's a remote chance that someday I will need those weird sized manila envelopes or possibly Polaroid will come back from the grave and begin again to manufacture film for the several funky, failed Polaroid cameras of the nineties that were lurking about in the bottom. Or I'll get around to developing the film in the PlaySkool camera that I think was young M's in about 1997 or so. Every couple years it resurfaces and every couple years I plan to do just that and then it goes back underground, and, you know, that's that.
Meanwhile, Pebble has been forbidden to go outdoors. I had a conversation with my very cool new neighbor A who gave me some sobering statistics on cat fatality rates on our road and that was all I needed to inform Pebble that she was now an indoor cat for her own good. Pebble scoffs at safety, though, and thinks that she's been condemned to life in hell and so she's been sitting by the various doors for two days screaming her head off. This has condemned us to life in hell, where cats wailing by unopened doors is a known trope. But there's nothing to be done and anyway, she relieves the tedium of the wailing by chasing Theo's tail in the best Kitten Kung Fu style, which always makes me say, "His tail is no match for the power of your Kitten Kung Fu!" in my best bad Kung Fu movie accent. I like Kung Fu movies and I have seen many, many, many of them, beginning with the distant days when I and my late teen/early 20something cohorts would spend Saturday afternoons smoking ridiculous amounts of pot that tasted faintly of shrimp (all the pot in 1980s Charleston tasted like shrimpboats, go figure) and watching Kung Fu Theatre on some UHF channel I no longer remember.
My fondness for Kung Fu ended up being a fondness for Jackie Chan, which is what led to a conversation I had with young M some 11 or so years ago. (I tell this story a lot. If I've told it here before, oh well. It's still fucking incredibly cute!)
"Mom," he said solemnly, "It would be okay with me if Jackie Chan was my stepfather."
"Really?" I said, "Oh."
"Yes," he said, "I think you should marry Jackie Chan. I think that would be good."
Unfortunately, I couldn't, somehow, work out the logistics but you know, he was right. I should totally have married Jackie Chan. I'm still available, by the way, Jackie, if you're reading this, although, hey, for the sake of the happiness of our marriage, I will not mention The Forbidden Kingdom and just say, look, if you're going to reprise Drunken Master again, do it cleanly. It was terrible. But that's sort of the point, I know, so, whatever. Still, the importing of bad American actors into Kung Fu movies bothers me on some level. I don't need to see some pimply white American teenager in a Kung Fu movie to love it; actually, it detracts, because it's like, WTF is he doing here? Take him away and let me watch Asians in improbable hats fly past limestone karsts, please.
It doesn't matter, though, because, fickle creature that I am, I've at least temporarily transferred my love for Jackie Chan to Genghis Khan, who I never knew was such an amazingly enlightened being. I mean, really, he just turns around after his wife (and that's the method of marriage that I think works; y'all just pick each other out in a yurt when you're ten, which means, hey, John Tower? We need to get married now, because I totally wanted to marry you when I was ten, despite the terrible lack of yurt) presents him with a kid of uncertain fathering due to either her being snatched away by guys in masks or being forced to become a prostitute to free him from a cage which was making his skin look sort of like the permafrost in crisis and says, "I am your father now." to the kid in question. Awesome. Also, the scenery rocks. Mongol is an awesome movie and everyone should go watch it right now. Okay? Okay.