I sleep through photo sessions
August 8th, 2012
Never say that Seattle has no traffic
I taught from 9-12 pm at Whidbey, said goodbye to my students, the nine graduates of the Whidbey MFA. I never get to actually watch anyone graduate at Whidbey because I’m a speaker. The faculty come for ten days twice a year, they have mentees, they teach. I speak. And because I “just speak,” I try to speak clearly and distinctly and without the benefit of tattoos to explain who I am really am and what I really mean. But I aspire to professorship. I aspire. Not necessarily at Whidbey. But somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight, someone’s thinking of me, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.
So, I left the Captain Whidbey where I shared communal bathrooms with the faculty and some of the students. This blond chick and I were rocking it in the showers in the morning. We showered almost simultaneously. This was considered a posh hotel. Over a thousand years ago when this island was peopled by persons of cave descent and by dinosaurs. Now the great thing about Whidbey is that you do not have to hose yourself off in the front yard as you did at Fort Casey. Seriously, it’s a cute hotel. Sort of adorable. It’s hard to imagine famous rich people showering in tandem. But back then, nudity was kind of like saddle shoes, knee socks and bad teeth, everyone did it.
People attend the Whidbey MFA program for the scenery and the weather. And they are athletic sporty types. They like to swim and bike and hike. They want to exercise. They avoid fatty foods. Except Jeremiah, who’s skinny and as I recall when we were at some beer/burger joint, he eats what he wants.. He’s this good looking journalist who’s graduating from the program and looks like someone who would come in to your bar late at night, sneak up to the barstool where your girlfriend’s sitting and the two of them would be gone while you were watching the Bears make a pass. A sort of stealthy cool. Subversive if you will. Besides Budda Baby Harper who had the hearts of all the women. There was Jeremiah. Biblical name vs. American classic.
So I left Whidbey. Scrambled. Went off to Hedgebrook to see the place. I want to go there! It’s only for women writers. Oh my god! I’ve never applied to this place but I must! I mean they get about a million applications so I probably have the same chance as a toothbrush does of growing up to be an iPod, but here’s to trying! The place has a garden, the little houses are in a forest, it’s a magical kingdom of flowers and trees and bees, you can feel the good writing cooking there.
They weren’t sure if I would make it because my schedule was so tight, but I told them when I got there that I’d scampered out before lunch, and the director showed me around and I wanted to just sit on this one bench forever, and then she gave me tea with honey and we talked in the warm buzz of sweet air. I want to go back.
Then I left and stopped to get some cherry tomatoes at the grocery store because I was starving. And left Whidbey at 2:30. And turned in my car at 5:30 at Seatac for my 6:30 pm flight. And I thought, what if I had to have a sandwich? Well, in that case, I’d be in Seattle right now instead of being one hour from Los Angeles.
Just like when my son was born. And my ex had to have breakfast. If he had wanted pancakes, Steve would have been born in the car. But, he was okay with eggs and toast. So we still had 20 minutes when we got to the hospital.
Getting on the Whidbey ferry was nothing. Seattle traffic was like LA traffic. Don’t tell me the Northwest is free of traffic. You say that, but you lie.
Last comment. And this is for some of the dudes on this plane. Guys out there—do not wear wigs, toupees and do the bad hair dye. We can tell. If you go bald or you let your hair go grey, you can go with it and be a sexy bald guy or a sexy guy with short grey hair. Ponytails, toupees, dyeing and the comb-overs all make you look not old and sexy but old and pathetic. And you should avoid that.
Sorry ladies. Go to the hairdresser and dye your hair. Let it go grey when you hit 70 or 75 if you want to. And even then—work it! Unless you’re a lesbian with a pizzazz. Or even a hetero who has so much wild that you can carry it. But for most of us mortals–Keep it together. Keep it together. Keep it together.