Follow My Sorry Ass

Monday, February 18, 2013

Song: Go and Catch a Chicken Shawarma

Or, More Ways That I am an Asshole

For those who didn't know, my husband is a saint. Here is approximately what we said to each other this evening.

Joe: So, what do you want for dinner?
Me: The Sheik! Chicken shawarma, with a mountain of rice pilaf with little, baked almonds in it.
Joe: Uhh. Isn't that that restaurant in [mid-western state, 2,000 miles away]?
Me: Yes. And their cucumber salad, and only their hummus and tabbouleh, NOT the kind you can buy at a store. And I want ice water out of a glass with a picture of an American flag on it.
Joe: How about a baked potato?

For some reason, this situation reminds me of a stanza of one of my favorite cynical poems:

"If Thou be'st born to strange sights,
Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return'st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
And swear,
No where,
Lives a woman, pregnant and reasonable."

-John Donne (1572-1631)

Okay, maybe that wasn't how it went. But, my VERY-favorite cynical poem contains the most hopeless of all language. It takes mad skills to be this hopeless:

"The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house*"

-Philip Larkin (1922-1985)
*his actual words

Why the cynicism? And why is this, Philip Larkin's Aubade, the best cynical poem ever? I will tell you. To answer the first question, I have been trying for four days, and not necessarily succeeding, to NOT plaster the walls with my vom. As it turns out, Reglan is not the wonder drug I was anticipating, and back to Zofran I've gone. To answer the second question is trickier. Maybe I am bitter that a doctor isn't coming to my house. How cool would that be, if they still did that? In fact, my doctor's partner seemed kind of pissed when I called her for a refill of the anti-vomit pills today ("If you have a problem, call back tomorrow when it's regular business hours and not a holiday!"). There is little question that Larkin is writing about death. But I am not dying, just feeling like death.

In this "intricate, rented world", morning sickness "is no different whined at than withstood" (Larkin, 40). Whoops, I am still whining, though!

How about this:

"Busy old fool! Unruly fetus!" -John Donne


How about this:

"I imagined holding you close,
rocking you,
watching you make faces as you dreamed"

-Anne Bowen ("I Loved You Before You Were Born")

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