Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Sun is Bright Enough

by Shel Silverstein

I've done it! I've done it!
Guess what I've done!
Invented a light that plugs into the sun.
The sun is bright enough,
The bulb is strong enough,
But oh, there's only one thing wrong...

The cord ain't long enough.

There it is, the new one. Meet the big, fun, exciting thing I did with the money I found a while ago in the mall, the $781.00 in an envelope labeled "Jean," dutifully turned in to the police, and collected again (in an evidence bag and everything!) around two years later when it was far more appreciated than it would've been had I just pocketed it when I found it. The rest went to my credit card, financing some new necklaces and an airbrushed pony t-shirt from Beacon's Closet, and buying everyone a lot of food. It's mostly gone. I'm mostly okay with that.

There's this Sleepy's mattress store commercial that has played in New York since I was a kid. I'm not sure if it's a national chain. Anyway, the tagline is: "Trust Sleepy's...for the rest of your life." Nearly every time the ad plays Brad points out how ominous a motto that really is. Trust Sleepy's...UNTIL YOU'RE DEAD. Trust Sleepy's, because our mattress will be the last mattress you ever pick out, because we guarantee our product for at least as long as your finite little life, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it, or at least dwell on it every time you lay down to sleep, on your mattress, a convenient reminder of how you're going to bite it.

(I'm trying so hard not to make a "mortal coil" joke.)

Anyway, what got me thinking about Sleepy's was how getting a tattoo is sort of like that. You know going in that you're going to have this thing with you forever, but really, it doesn't dawn on you until you look down at it the next morning, and the morning after that, and the morning after that, that you're never going to see your naked arm again. Forever! I will forever be the kind of person who has a Shel Silverstein illustration on her arm.

You're not just committing to an image. You're committing to a whole identity. Can you imagine if every personality you've ever inhabited had a lifelong physical manifestation? Okay, so, once I was a twelve-year-old who felt strongly enough about Bon Jovi to write them a fan letter. ("Always" got to me, okay?) What if that was written on my arm, plain as day? Right on top of "NKOTB," and next to an artistic representation of my membership card to the Cool Club, which was both created and disbanded on the third day of first grade by a girl named Jody and myself.

Anyway. I really like my tattoo.


The other day, Brad and Robynn and I ordered some food from this diner. The delivery guy is dependably strange. The first time he ever dropped off our order, I opened the door and he said it was good to see me again and asked if I'd changed my hair. I had, that was true. But also, he'd never seen me before in my life. The other night he showed up as usual and questioned me about my new airbrushed pony shirt, complimenting the detail in the pony's eye specifically and lamenting the lack of good airbrush shops around today. While I was signing the receipt, he asked me if I wanted the PC Richards electronics catalog someone had dropped on my stoop. No, I told him, that's okay.

"You're not into electronics?"

"Nope, not really," I answered.

"Oh. I'm electronic," he responded.


Anonymous anonymous mom said...

love it!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Jessie GK said...

Ah, I've missed your writing... you make me laugh. I love your new tatt.

10:24 PM  
Blogger DMo said...

Wow. That's amazing. Seriously.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So this is weird: An impromptu visit to Junkmag, a quick glance of an unspeakably amawesomazing s.s. tatt, and one link to your blog later, and I'm reading about $700-odd dollars recovered from a mall two years ago. By an Obie grad. Living in NYC. Are you the same Obie grad to whom I attempted to sell Arcade Fire tickets in 2005? If so, that would be very strange...stranger still, I'm back in New York (Brooklyn). Glad to hear you got that cash after all this time!

4:51 PM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Hey, yeah, that was me! And apparently I'm a pro at not having Arcade Fire tickets...I managed to do it again just this past month.

3:05 PM  

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