#372: NEEDINESS, BLUE BLANKETS, AND SOUR TUNA

You may or may not be wondering where I was all weekend. Likely you are not, because you were out in the walking and talking and breathing world eating food and watching movies and living with your families and walking and talking somewhere. Maybe you did think of me once or twice, though. Remember that moment when you were cleaning your front entry. and you thought of me and my self-proclaimed slovenliness, and then you didn't feel so bad about the hair you found in the corner that obviously belonged to a guest you had over three months ago? No?

Too bad. I'm pretending that you did (think of me, rather, not hair in your front entry part).

I know that Dave did. Well, he didn't exactly think of me while cleaning out a boot tray, but he did stop by and leave a comment on some entry from early August that made me feel pretty decent for 7:00 am on this Monday morning. I don't know him, but he wrote something nice, and I am a sucker for compliments. What Dave did not do is leave his e-mail address with his comment, which is why you all have to read this rambling diatribe so that I can thank him. Thanks, Dave!

Oh, right, I am pretending that my not posting an entry here for two whole days had you missing me. My self-indulgence has boundary issues. Thank you for humouring me this far.

I spent a good portion of it feeling needy. I didn't know right away that that was what I was feeling. I thought I was feeling serious, or thoughtful, or perhaps some kind of poetic ennui. I even reverted to being fifteen again and wrote a poem about the dismal state of October. That was too much, even for me, so I got up to play with the cat.

The Fiery One and I teased Oskar with a piece of blue cloth for while. We draped it over his head, and he clawed at and bit it, and then I put him down on the floor with it. He looked at it for a moment, picked up one end with his mouth, and tried to walk away. The cloth got underfoot, and he tripped, falling in a forward curl onto his left ear. Aw, look, he has a boo binky, I said. Then I thought of my blue blanket from when I was a little kid, and I spontaneously thought to myself, I wish I had that blanket, in a I-could-really-use-a-cuddle-with-that-thing kind of way and not a keepsake kind of way, which was followed a second or two later by, holy fuck, I must be feeling needy.

I don't know about you, but when I finally acknowledge whatever the hell it is that's bugging me, I seem to be able to deal with it quickly. I sat down, finished the crap poem I had started, wrote a couple of depressing lists, verbally established that the Fiery One does indeed like me still, and then I got on with remembering my blue blanket, because, believe it or not, blue blankets are far more interesting than Sunday afternoon nihilism.

Actually, I had a succession of three blue blankets of increasingly decreasing quality during my childhood. My first blue blanket was actually a patchwork of light blue and white flannel squares. Each of the white squares had an embroidered picture representing an object starting with a letter of the alphabet. The four corners each had a member of royalty on them: a princess, a prince, a queen, and a king. The prince corner had a hole worked through it that I would jab my pudgy fingers into for easy dragging action, and I dragged it anywhere my mother would allow. I remember being one-and-a-half and turning and turning and turning that blanket, trying my damnedest to find that prince corner amongst the confusion of what seemed to be altogether too many corners. Its having too many corners was not surprising, though, because it was always transmogrifying into tents, people, a lake, and then back into its sweet blankety self. It was the most compliant friend I have ever had, and when it disappeared, a part of me went with it.*

* Many years later I found out from my mother that the blanket had been hand-embroidered by my maternal grandmother. My mother felt guilty still for having ever thrown it away. Ha! My four-year-old, heartbroken self feels gratified.

The second blue blanket was not up to snuff, and I knew it from the get go, but I eventually grew quite attached to it in spite of myself. It was made of soft cotton patterned with blue flowers, which was no equal to the flannel of Blue Blanket the First, and it was fat with thick, heavy stuffing as opposed to the original's thin and well-worn texture. This one lasted a few years, but eventually its stuffing fell heavily from one end to the other, and my insistence on wearing it as a toga with a huge knitting pin as a fastener dotted its edges with fraying holes that could not be repaired. I was not terribly upset when this one disappeared, because even I knew how disgusting Blue Blanket the Second had become. It had begun to smell like an old dusty cupboard with decades-old mildewy wallpaper in it, and at the time, I was secretly becoming paranoid that a colony of beetles was growing within its clumpy innards.

Blue Blanket the Third was made by my paternal grandmother. It was the flannel I craved on the outside, but the inside was stuffed with some kind of cheap polyester fill, leaving it too inflexible to mould to me in the clinging, comfortable way I craved. It was also somewhat of an embarrassment. I was not quite at puberty, but I was beyond the true child stage, and so I was conflicted about this latest instalment. In some ways, I was becoming more insecure than I ever had been before, but I didn't want anyone seeing me as being childish. For the most part, Blue Blanket the Third stayed folded at the foot of my bed or tossed into a corner on the floor. If it did ever creep up to the head of my bed, it was late at night when I was sure no one would catch me at it. It got its second wind after I moved out of my parents' house and my mother employed it in the daycare she ran at home. The kids she helped to raise slept with it and dragged it around and built things with it until it met its eventual demise.

Anyways, as I was saying, I got over the needy feeling from the weekend, but again, that part was pure boring. Looking back, though, the blue blankets bit was not particularly electric, either. I know, tell me about your curious attachments. Yes, that's it. You tell me about your curious attachments, and I will compile a list of them.

Thanks for playing. Come again.

SUBJECT CHANGE, BECAUSE I CAN, AND WE'RE ALL READY FOR IT, BY G0D...

All day, I have been walking around trying to find out what the hell it is that smells like sour tuna. I have smelled it just about everywhere I have been, and it's driving me nuts. Now, just now, mind you, it occurred to me that it might actually be me, which only makes sense, since I am sure that there has not been something aside from me smelling like sour tuna in every single room I have been in today. If I do smell like sour tuna, it is the Fiery One's fault, because he is the one who did the laundry this weekend, or it is the cat's fault, because he fell asleep in the laundry basket and is prone to smelling like sour tuna himself at either end. Ew.



Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward
Under the towers of your seminary,
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary
Without believing a word.
- excerpt from "Blue Girls" by John Crowe Ransom

Elan Morgan3 Comments