The Spiritual Side of Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal is my temple. In this busy city, filled with people from all over the world, it is a beautiful, bustling intersection of humanity. Whenever I walk through late at night, I pick out my astrological sign on the ceiling and pray. I pray for success. I pray that one day I’ll be a best-selling author. I pray that one day I’ll live George Plimpton’s life. But mostly I pray that I’ll never have to leave New York.

saaragrandcentral-2

Turning On The Faucet in the Age of Trump

the-history-of-the-faucet

I haven’t been doing too much writing since November 9th.

Instead I’ve been drinking too much gin, reading too many Slate articles, posting on Facebook too much, watching too much MSNBC, scouring Twitter for anti-Trump Agitators to follow, fantasizing about stumbling across a tape in the laundry room marked SLEAZY EVIDENCE AGAINST TRUMP, and collecting bitchy names for Trump: Agent Orange, Hair Twitler, Trumpkin, Cheeto Benito, Trumpssolini, That Orange Asshole.

But actual writing? No. Every time I started a project I’d stop because it didn’t seem to have any meaning. What difference did it make? Why did it matter? Nothing I wrote was going to fix the massive shit storm that was about to hit the White House, so what was the point? I’ve been paralyzed by the idea that none of it had any purpose, so why bother to write it all?

(Admittedly, some of the ideas I’ve come up with recently probably shouldn’t see the light of day. The  Garrison Keillor Porn Parody tentatively called A Hairy Home Cumpanion springs to mind.)

But today, after I actually vomited during the inauguration coverage, I walked to the gym to clear my head. After working out, I went to wash my hands. I held my hands under the faucet but forgot to turn it on first. As I looked down, I thought of a Louis L’amour quote, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

louis_blue_sky

So I grabbed the Agatha Christie paperback I’d brought with me and a pen and headed to the sauna. (We Finns do some of our best thinking in the sauna. No one knows why.) Sweating profusely, I started to write down several ideas on the blank back pages. The ideas came pouring out along with the sweat and I remembered why I love to write. I remembered how much fun it is, and the magic of when your mind is working faster than you can write it all down. But most of all, I remembered why it matters.

I realized that the act of creating has meaning all on its own. The act of creating is the purpose. If you can achieve more than that, if you can affect change, even better. I salute you for it! I will continue to strive for that every day. But we shouldn’t become stifled by the weight of meaning and value. We can’t stop creating just because we’re not solving the world’s problems with what we create. We can’t hinder creation with this expectation. After all, Oscar Wilde once said, “It is always with the best intentions that the worst work is done.” Maybe it’s a good idea to just start creating and see where it takes us.

So consider the faucet turned back on. Hell, I may just inflict that Garrison Keillor porn parody on you after all…

The Plastic Torso Project

torsoReason 1,573 that I love New York. Just got home and had this exchange with the doorman:

“Jesus, you remember that plastic torso I bought off the street for 10 bucks?”

“Yeah. You paid too much for it. I coulda got it for five.”

“I need him sawed in half. You know anyone who can help me?”

“Horizontal or vertical?”

“Horizontal. I want it to open like a trunk.”

“Whaddya mean like a trunk?”

“I’m gonna paint it silver and put stuff inside.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Magazines. Golf balls. Lipstick.”

“You know you’re a very weird woman. But that’s okay. I gotta tool at home. Really sharp disc blade. I’ll be up at your apartment tomorrow at 6 to saw your man in half.”

 

 

 

A 1960’s Christmas Party

When I visited Youngstown, Ohio a couple years back, I popped into a vintage store. There was a pile of old photos for sale. I can never resist opportunities like this. How did these photos get here? Whose memories are these? What stories do they tell? So, I bought a bunch. Here is one of them, and the story I wrote to go with it…

holidayladies

The tinsel twinkles, the air smells like Swedish meatballs mixed with Shalimar and Barb’s bunions are killing her. But it’s the holidays so she’s wearing her red hoochie heels. She says, “Just gimme another Tom Collins and I won’t feel any pain!” Vicky laughs and laughs in that stupid way that means she’s going to start crying about her husband Bob any minute now. I can already hear it: “He’s cheating on me! I just know he’s cheating on me. I found lipstick on his collar. And he took a shower when he came home the other night. Why would he do that?” Patty looks away and takes a sip of her drink. If Vicky had any sense she’d notice that Patty’s shade of lipstick matches the smear on Bob’s collar. I’d bet good money on it. I almost told her the last time she was drunk. But then Barb managed to set fire to her hair with her cigarette and the evening went off the rails. Maybe I should tell her tonight. Vicky deserves to know what a low-down, dirty snake in the grass she’s married to. But no. I don’t have the heart to tell her. At least not tonight. Not on the holidays…

Donna and Herb’s 2016 Holiday News Letter

herbdonna2016-1

Holly Jolly Yuletide Tidings Friends and Neighbors!

What a whirlwind 2016 has been, right? It’s Christmas already! Why, it seems like just last week I was coloring eggs for Sunday school at St. Mary’s Church. But these kids today are so ungrateful! I colored all those eggs and then I found a bunch of them smashed in my mailbox. My Dress Barn catalogue was ruined!

So this year Herb and I felt the entrepreneurial urge once again. They always say, “Figure out what you love and get paid for it.” Well, Herb just loves golf. (He also loves sitting in his big chair in front of the TV with his pants unzipped, but no one’s going to pay for that.) So we decided to open up a mini golf course!

Our theme was Presidential Putt Putt. We got so creative! The putting green was “The Great Democracy”. We had a windmill hole with George Washington chopping the cherry tree. A George Bush hole behind a bush. The Nixon hole was tricky, hidden under a water-logged gate. Beverages were available at the Betty Ford Center. Herb sold hot dogs from a pushcart called “Bill Clinton’s Flame-Broiled Wiener Wagon”. My Herb pushed that cart all around, so Cheryl Pillchuck’s 6-year-old niece called it “The Pushy”. We started calling it that too. After all, “Bill Clinton’s Flame-Broiled Wiener Wagon” is quite a mouthful.

It was all so much fun until one day Todd Thompson said he didn’t feel so good. Then Betty Yarmouth chimed in. Within minutes Todd barfed behind the Bush bush and Betty pooped in Jimmy Carter’s bag of peanuts. Then everyone else got sick too. Let’s just say that Abe Lincoln’s luxurious beard did not remain unscathed. And I don’t even want to discuss the violation of Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat.

People were defecating and retching all over our Great Democracy!

With so much vomit and fecal matter flying, no one noticed that The Pushy had come loose and was rolling down the hill towards the interstate, with Cheryl’s niece on top of it! (Kids are so quick these days! I don’t know how she climbed up there.) Suddenly Herb shouted, Grab her by the pushy! Grab her by the pushy!”

I hot-footed it past Reagan’s Rodeo and rescued both The Pushy and Cheryl’s niece. But Herb’s reputation could not be rescued. I won’t tell you what people thought he said. It’s disgusting and inappropriate for this family Christmas letter.

We traced this intestinal devastation back to the cut-rate wieners Herb had purchased. Although the package boasted that they were “The Greatest Wieners” they were actually full of salmonella, rat hair and toenails. Can you believe it? Is there no truth in advertising anymore? Sad!

Well, Merry Christmas to all. God bless you and God bless America!

-Donna and Herb