Wednesday, June 7, 2006

"Page 6"

April 26th and I’m almost feeling good. The Burberry jacket is a step up, I muse. And I certainly feel more at ease in the 6th Avenue milieu of hyper paper pushers, diamond dealers and town car smog this time around. But the building—that god-forsaken white monolith—still makes my tongue twitch and my throat constrict—like someone high on the 17th floor had force-fed me a spoonful of sodium from the non-existent News Corp cafeteria.

Hadn’t they done their research? Didn’t they know who they were interviewing? Didn’t everyone check into “Gawker” on their lunch hour? I am the enemy—the tell-all blogger “Belle” that slaved away at their affiliate news station—and yet my name persists in bold type in their Outlook.


I’d be the “fourth chair,” replacing Jared Paul Stern, Fernando Gil, Lisa Marsh and Christopher Tennant. A few friends were excited by the prospect of my potential day job—elated, really, “Think of the perks! The drinks, the dinners, the PARTIES! We’ll have CARTE BLANCHE!” We? Then there were the few trusted advisors that simply asked, “Why check your baggage onto a sinking ship?”

But, it was PAGE 6.
It was the dapper Richard Johnson.
It was the rag that jumpstarted my mornings, giving me a Gatsby glimpse into how the other half lives.

I had declined Richard’s lunch invitation, instead favoring a trip to company headquarters. We’ll call this my Russian Roulette. I like taking chances. I like that nauseating, sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. More than anything, I relish the thought of running into one of my old producers by the elevator bank. I see this scenario as saying that, in a few short years, I had moved from peon to personage… But, how the hell would I explain my presence back inside the computerized gates?

One limp handshake later and it was too late. The elevator sucked me and Richard up to the high floors, back into the world of Murdoch, madness and shady deals…

City Streets

The streets soothe me.

Today, I've walked and I've paced and I've rounded the city blocks as many times as my heels will allow me...

A martini now and notes tomorrow... xox.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Happy Sadness

Everything happens in the warm months. I get restless and yet I’m forced to be tied down—apartment lease renewal time. I want to play but there is endless work to be done—pages and emails and proposals forgotten in the winter rush of parties. I want the comfort of an old love but the rush and excitement of someone new—a man whose day has not yet begun until he’s sent me a love letter or two.

“Happy sadness”—this feeling is cyclical for me and begins once the spring pollen has settled and the summer heat encroaches on the sidewalks, seeps into the old, downtown apartment buildings, causes the perspiration from my cheeks to bead and slide down the expanse of my back. I long for something more—a thing out of my reach and extraordinary—yet I’m somehow settled and satisfied with the act of wanting. My state of desire and anxiety are palpable, delicious. If my mood were a meal, it would be a plate just short of decadent—fettuccine in a bath of butter, a single sliver of white truffle atop the nest of noodles.

Bill Buford’s masterfully executed book, “Heat,” describes Mario Batali’s journey and ascension to the top of the culinary heap. And, much to my delight, he describes Batali’s solo travels through Europe and his subsequent periods of “happy sadness.” Buford and Batali seem to say that the sentiments feed each other, help each other, allow each other to peacefully co-exist.

“For his part, Mario remembers [Europe] as the last lonely time in his life, a sustained pleasurable period of melancholy, ‘a happy sadness.’ [He was] longing for company but recognized he was better off without it.”

And so here I am in the city, with my hot breezes and stinking garbage and glorious outdoor bars and bistros, both contented and cheerless. I want more but nothing at all. I need someone new but hope for the old. I put on a silk sundress and pray for the relief of autumnal breezes.

Monday, June 5, 2006

Mrs. Child and Her Sieve

If your life were a blurb on the back of a book jacket, how would it read?

Don’t think of this as your high school comp. teacher asking you to write your own obituary. Consider it an exercise in sifting life down to its little moments of ecstasy. What--and who--are you going to remember? The Foreword and book jacket cover of Julia Child’s, “My Life in France,” simply states,

This is a book about some of the things I love most in life—my husband, Paul Child, ‘la belle France’ and the many pleasures of cooking and eating.”
A man. An emotion. The daily joys of life.

Mrs. Child began her book (along with Alex Prud ‘Homme) at the ripe age of 91. I’m sure there were innumerable moments, delights and people to consider. They all beg for a mention in her culinary memoir. The people that she eventually chooses to write about are immortalized in culinary circles. And the others, well…

My “quarter life crisis” (courtesy of the imitable, ingenious singer, John Mayer)—my mid-20’s—have been a sentimental sieve. I’ve cut people out of my life. I’ve added a few new faces. I’ve met men that I adore. I’ve met many more men that I abhor (at least, I detest what they stand for). And, still, there are those people that float in that nebulous world of personal purgatory—do I like them, trust them, really know them? Rather, after reading some of Mrs. Child I can ask, “Will they be part of the book blurb?”

God willing I’ll figure myself (and my needs) out by age 30. Until then, I’m still searching for that one sentence that sums up me, who I love and my life’s ecstasy...

Sunday, June 4, 2006

At the "Gulf"

The gas station was the sexiest—most real—place in town. Puttering up to the “Gulf” gas sign perched above the bayou, Mamma checked her blonde hair in the rear view mirror, dabbed at her lipstick and finally exhaled. The delicate little wrists dropped into her lap (palms facing skyward) and her head— full of recipes, dry-cleaning stubs and “to-do” lists— tilted back, relaxing into the black, pleather head rest.

The air was thick with humidity but, finally, light with worry.

Mamma liked being served—she was quite good at it. Even at age 6, I enjoyed watching the men tend to her, put her at ease, buzz around the car to fill up the tank, wash the windshield, dip into the special cooler and offer us 6 ½ oz bottled Cokes. Peppery and alive—everything tasted and felt better on those afternoons. My favorite attendant at the full-service station was the owner’s son, with eyes as calm and blue as the gulf water just beyond the bayou. I learned how a man could make you feel. I learned about chivalry. I learned that a woman really could do everything on her own, but why would she want to?

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Strong Hope

Strong hope is a much greater stimulant of life than any realized joy could be.
I’ve been bad by not writing this week but I promise that I’m up to something good… As soon as things are more concrete, I’ll let y’all know. Big City Life musings to recommence!