Why I am Bummed Out that I Lost my Favorite Sewing Needle

A lot of my childhood and some of my adulthood was spent with my eyes to the ground, looking for something I dropped.  An amethyst crystal that was attached to a keyring, a bracelet made of frayed rope that was on my wrist, the pendant around my neck that wore through the pewter and has broken every chain I’ve ever strung it on.  I am hard on the things that I own.  I break things.  I lose things.  They slip past me, through my pockets, away onto the sidewalk.  And my OCD made each lost thing into a trial.   A new knot of anxiety tied in my gut and tightened like a string of prayer beads.  The world is scattered with lost totems of mine, lost bits of myself, pieces of my peace, the things I kept to keep myself calm.

I spend time with my sewing needles.  The same compulsiveness that leads me to wander in the same paths over and over to find the paper crane my friend made me in eleventh grade that I took to New York and promptly lost leads me to work tirelessly on art projects.

I sew until my fingertips go numb from yanking the needle through layers of denim, or leather, or patches on jackets.  I sew for so long and so hard that my thumb and index finger curved my steel needle, thick, with a big eye so that I can see to thread it. 

I guess sewing needles aren’t super special things, but I’ve lost and found this one in the couch half a dozen times, found it in the beige carpet half a dozen more.  You know that scene in Full Metal Jacket where they talk about their rifle… there are many like it, but this one is mine?  This needle was my rifle, as battle-scarred and beaten down as I am.  Not pretty or delicate, but functional, nicked and gouged and mine.  And gone.  

Slowly but surely I’ll ruin a new needle.  But I won’t stop looking for this one. 



My muse is drunk again. It’s his way, though; he stomps and stumbles around my head in combat boots, whispering soured whiskey breath in my ear, “You need to write a space opera. The captain’s name is Nemo, and she paints pictures of cats on canvases the size of matchbooks. The side of her hair is shaved. She has facial piercings. Go.”

Or: “It’s time to write about cyborgs. I need you to look up words that have to do with androids. What does ‘servos’ mean? Go.”

Or: “Tell me about the dragons again, I want to hear about the dragons. Go.”

His hair is shaggy and curly brown, his hands are pale and limp and clammy. He has a birthmark on his face, across his cheek and eye, the shape of Australia if Australia were shaped differently. It is the color of a bruise.

He says, “Maybe her name is Nero. It has an En, Ee, and an Oh in it, anyway. Nero rhymes with Hero. I like that. Go.”

He says, “Write about me. Go.”

He giggles, he weeps, he demands, he throws fits like a child. His eyes are green the way that eyes are green, not the way that plants are green. His lips are chapped. He’s drunk my mind dry. He fills the vodka bottle half with water and thinks I will not notice. He tells me to look one way and then drinks Malibu Rum straight from the bottle.

He wears nineties flannel over a ripped, blueberry jam stained Frankie-Says-Relax shirt, but his shoes are immaculate because he shines them every morning.

My muse is a beautiful bully, but I can’t stay angry at him. He tends my mind the way I tend my garden, which means not at all, he just waters it and lets it grow wild.

He kisses the ground when the world seems to spin around him. He rests his cheek on the cold tile of my heart.

Beautiful Ugly John

This is my disembodied Styrofoam mannequin head, pre-descaryfication. I plan to make him look awesome. Or, at least not like he went to a vampiric showing of Rocky Horror.  I haven’t named him yet.


Today I went to a resale shop, and, shock and glee, I found five anthologies of the comic with Beak in it!  This is in a box of ten, in a tiny shop.  At worst it’s serendipitous.  At best it’s a miracle.  A kid got the sixth– and he didn’t give it to me when I asked nicely.  Alas.  Hopefully, like me, the comic will inspire in him a lifelong love of freaks, ragamuffins, and the downtrodden.   

Reading from the start, I’m finding myself particularly fond of Ugly John (real name Steve).  Look at those gorgeous faces of his.  He might make my top five favorite X-Men.


Making the list:
Ugly John

Unless Deadpool counts, given his occasional X-Manic shenanigans, which would put him between Beak and Ugly John and knock Northstar out of the running.  

A Brief Review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes: the Adventures of Señor Fluffy Butt and his Rowdy Companions

1)  James Franco, you’re a scientist?  Really?  Maybe if the science is smiling huge charming smiles, or growing something illicit in your closet.  But you are truly terrible at your science job, so at least that counts for something.

2)  If they named Caesar Señor Fluffy Butt like I suggested, none of this would have happened.  You can’t go around screaming “Señor Fluffy Butt” and not have it be a joyful moment.

3)  You are all terrible scientists.  The apes deserve to rule.  Because you are all very, very foolish in all of your decisions.  I could name all of the bad things you do, but then this list would span to the mid-hundreds and I would be crying frustrated tears as  my fingers sit bruised and swollen on the keyboard from 14 hours straight typing at high speeds.

4) Why test it on chimps?  A notoriously violent species with excellent musculature?  Bad.  Scientists.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad bad bad.  I better cut this short, I’m starting to dry heave.

5)  Who cast confundus on Draco and dropped him off in a primate shelter? Harry, that’s in very bad form.