September 28, 2006 by
I have a vacation ritual where I pack my almost-expired condoms with hopes they are deployed. My trip to Hawaii was extra special because I was going with my 71 year-old namesake. The Marna(s) were on a mission to meet the perfect Uncle/Nephew combo. We had seven condoms for the week.
I wasn’t sure if a condom’s spermicide fell under the FAA liquid or gel rule, and I knew the chances of joining the mile high club were slim, so I packed my condoms in my checked luggage. I was dizzy watching the Honolulu baggage conveyer belt when I determined my luggage was MIA. There was trouble in paradise. I had no toothbrush, bathing suit, or condoms.
At the end of day two, still wearing the same clothes, my Aunt and I were bar hopping. I was tired and just wanted my stuff. Instead, I settled for a lot of beer. Aunt Marna turned into Pimp Marna before my eyes. There was no Uncle/Nephew duo in sight, but she did have my back when I didn’t realize a waiter had been flirting with me.
“Give him your card. He thinks you are funny,” she pointed out.
The next night, when the porter delivered my bag, I rolled it into the room and announced, “the condoms have arrived.”
The rest of the week, we saw a lot of Hawaii and very few age-appropriate single men. On our last night, at my Aunt’s suggestion, we got crafty and took Hawaii scenic postcard samples, taped a condom to the backside and wrote a note. Our funny waiter got one with his tip.
My favorite postcard with my last condom, is sitting on my desk. It’s a shot of volcano exploding. Below the condom on the backside I wrote, “May all your vacations be filled with hot explosions. Marna(2)”
At least this year I didn’t fill them with water and launch them from the balcony.
September 11, 2006 by
I remember walking home with smoke and ash following me.
I remember looking back every few paces to try to understand.
I remember communicating by IM because phone service was spotty.
I remember sitting in my Park Slope, Brooklyn backyard drunk, staring at the ash.
I remember the grounding silence and smiling at the fighter jets.
I remember coughing up black soot and sneezing for days.
I remember hugging people – all of us happy to be alive.
I remember the burning pile smell, which didn’t dissipate until Thanksgiving.
I remember serving food to disgusted pile workers.
I remember going to the fence to cry and pray for the victims.
September 02, 2006 by
I had one of those oh-no-you-didn’t experiences today in the bank. I was waiting in line when I realized a classic song from my youth was on the sound system.
Why would this be disturbing? The ‘80s have been “in” for several years now. Well, it was The Clash. It would have been funny, in a bank, if they were playing “Brand new Cadillac.” But no, this was “Rock the Casbah” and it wasn’t the Musak version – it was the true Clash version.
I stood there bobbing my head and humming the lyrics and realized the last time I really, really enjoyed this song was in college. I was at a frat party, dancing in beer puddles and wearing my Converse Chuck Taylor hightops, a pencil skirt, a big white shirt, and a black hip belt. My hair was an asymmetrical mess: the Thompson Twins meets A Flock of Seagulls.
The teller called me as I was finishing my lyrics. “You know, I was a DJ for two colleges. If the ‘80s are helping you sell product here, I can help you with your play list,” I told her.
She smiled and handed me my three rolls of quarters. I realize seeing things come back around is part of getting older. Maybe I should recapture my youth and find my skirt. Time for a trip to The Gap.