Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What people survive

Portrait of Bearded Lady and Her Husband

I lowered my needing-to-lose-weight body to the floor this morning, cradling Sophie's head in my lap as she had a seizure and sat there, Indian-style, until it was over. The Husband then carried her to her room, and when she woke up a bit later, I fed her the breakfast interrupted and then dressed her and took her to school. This is a normal morning in our household, and I'm aware, at once, of how fucked-up (apologies to those who hate the cursing) it is and how mundane. A bit later, I read an email from a friend of mine, the beautiful Missy B., who had included an excerpt from a New York Times article about the artist Cindy Sherman and her vintage note-card collection.  Sherman found this particular note-card in a junk store in upstate New York, and it appeared to be nearly one hundred years old. It spoke to me this morning in all its sadness yet utter and hilarious absurdity:

"Fair Deceiver: I did not know until last night that you had a glass eye. Woman you have deceived me and our engagement is off! If I had married you, perhaps I would have found out that you had a cork leg, wore a wig and chewed your gum with false teeth — Anyway, I don’t think you could boil water without burning it. I want a girl that can do several things besides rubbing lip rouge on my cheek. Chase around girlie and get another guy.” 


  1. I have seen women with beards and I always wonder why they just don't shave.

    As for the very nasty note. So deliciously harsh. However, she was likely better off without him. I can't figure out if he us upset about the deception or the glass eye.

  2. sorry about the seizure and the absurdity. It is just too much sometimes, isn't it?

    At first I thought you were saying you lowered you "needs to lose weight concerns" in light of how mundane they are given the rest of your world. (That's my justification and I'm sticking to it.)

    Also am I the first one to say that bearded lady is a tranny?

  3. The absurdity of life is a valid and complex component. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it. And the fact that I can do nothing about it is absurd.

  4. Heh. Life deceives us, doesn't it? We think it's going to be one thing and it turns out to be another entirely. I would like to write life this angry note, then repent and accept it anyway. I think, like the glass-eyed lady, it means well.

  5. I love the comment from "Vesuvius." What an insightful thought!

    It is often surprising to recognize what we persevere through, each in our own way. Thinking about it has often reminded me that nobody has it easy. We all have our ridiculously difficult and simultaneously mundane trials and we all go on whether we want to or not.

  6. Must have been a mighty convincing glass eye.
    "Chase around girlie and get another guy."

  7. Not fucked up at all. I vividly recall my parents sending me to school on heavy duty pain medication. In fact in my metal lunch box was a loaded syringe with demerol. I would inject myself at lunch time. I once got in trouble on a hot day because I filled the empty syringe with water and used it as a squirt gun. Never needed a nurses help or even filled out a form. The point is normal is a relative term.

  8. You do what you have to do. You do the amazing, the stupendous, the saintly that many of us can only imagine.
    As for that postcard, I am laughing and crying.

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  10. It reminds me of applying for jobs right now. Everyone I talk to in the know says, don't disclose, don't disclose, don't disclose; not until you're already hired (i have seizures). But the human in me feels guilty for the omission.

    As for your morning- i can identify with those moments exasperated with the universe. I GET that life's not fair! Quit teaching me that lesson!

  11. I had the same thought as Maggie -- that "Bearded Lady" is a dude.

  12. I clearly remember those times with my sister - her head in my mother's lap or my father's until the seizure was over, and then carrying her to the bedroom so she could sleep. A deep family sadness until her rising later, and then life going on as "normal."
    Once again, my heart goes out to you, Elizabeth.

  13. Your train of thought just takes me everywhere ....
    And I am left with thinking about those things in myself that I cannot fix.



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