ah, the smell of a thousand basements…

I’m here in St. Louis, breathing in molecules of mildew from a thousand basements, the grass fumes from a hundred lawnmowers, and the stale air of religious fundamentalism, but reveling nonetheless in my beautiful family of boys. Bill is magnificent, as usual. Liam turns 17 tomorrow, and I hardly know what to make of that, except to marvel at how levelheaded and easygoing he is. Evan turns 16 later in the month, in fact he shares a birthday with Bryan Ferry on the 26th. Jasper and Wyatt are thriving, Evan’s adorable friend George is over, I found that I DID in fact have a garden party ballgown here to take to LA (Bill and I are going to Caltech, for a festive occasion) and the first leaves are falling from the trees, rustling in a crackly way off of the sweet gum in the soft, newly cool air.

And, of course, at every second of the day, including this moment and every one that has preceded it, someone is lawnmowing or gas leafblowing, or electric trimming. Even our 1400 year old neighbor is chasing single leaves with the loudest gas leafblower you can imagine. Humorously, hopelessly, there is a stiff breeze from the east today, which means that the leaves on our block are renewed at the 100% level constantly. So they could really stand out there all day long with those earfucking machines, and nothing would be different.

It is what it is. Personally, I like a rake, and to work up a bit of a sweat.

Bitsy with the Fucking Blower

This was my view last night as I flew out of Sky Harbor, exhausted from hard work and from too many deeply personal conversations with too many deeply different people.

They were all productive, but exhausting nonetheless. I would never choose to have them on my own (because I would rather do enjoyable things of course) but sometimes there is no other option. I crawled onto the plane, thinking, “Have I ever worked harder in my life?”

Sky Harbour Sunset

It’s one of those moments in time where time is slipping from slow to fast for me, and people from all over the world are attempting to sync with me cosmically, professionally, and practically. It’s exciting, but again, tiring. I think that the reason that I loosen my timesense at these moments is the same sort of reason that my frame loosens at fertility; a more easily sliding system makes for better syncing and flexibility, and gives me space to make magic if needed.

I brought Bill his Lamb Easter Cake/Meatloaf pan, wrapped in a great Recipes From Wales tea towel from the 1970s, and I gave it to him in the dark, with just one low pink light glowing. We had just thrown off all of our clothes, happy of course to see each other, and then I remembered the present, so I fished it out of my suitcase, and he took it, naked, and said, “It feels like a sheep!” and I thought, “What a good Scotsman, to know the feel of a sheep in low light.”

It Feels Like A SheepLife is full and crazed and beautiful and exhausting and today, I have to admit, I didn’t do too much. It’s just so good to see these guys, these boys I love so much.

It makes me feel all tender, like when the Gorn holds Kirk in his lap and a strange little Beaver looks on.

A Tender Scene


5 thoughts on “ah, the smell of a thousand basements…

  1. What a coincidence – I have that pan’s bunny barn-mate (abbatoir-mate?) literally in the middle of my kitchen floor right now, in a pile of “treasures” whose fate is to be decided this weekend. I must admit, I never thought of putting a meatloaf in there – I love your classic ’50s meatloaf, but somehow the idea of eating a meatloaf rabbit seems more than a little grotesque! Perhaps not as grotesque as aspic, though… My mom gave it to me a few years ago (found it on ebay, no doubt) and I’ve yet to use it – mostly because it seems like it would be a pain in the rear and I’m not about to ice that effer when it’s done. What’s the story with yours?

    • Oh, I deliberately acquired it for Bill, who loves sheep, and lambs, and was charmed by the Charles Phoenix Easter Lamb Meatloaf. But Bill wants to make a cake in his.

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