Tuesday, October 21, 2003

What if it Were Your Wife, Jeb?

Florida Gov. Bush Signs Feeding Tube Law

A severly brain-damaged Florida woman has been in a vegetative coma for the past thirteen years. Her parents want to keep her alive. Her husband petitioned a Florida Circuit Court, requesting that her feeding tube be removed. Last week, his request was granted. For the past six days, the woman has received no food or water. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear the case and the U.S. District Court has declined to hear it citing lack of jurisdiction.

Today, the Florida Legislature passed a bill ordering that the woman's feeding tube be re-inserted. Immediately, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed the bill into law. The woman will be kept alive.

When I first read this article, I was scathingly angry. Now I just feel achingly sad : for the woman, for her husband, for all of us.

When I was five years old, my grandmother had a massive heart attack. She was dead when the paramedics arrived, but they were able to revive her. She spent the next two years in a coma. She lost roughly a third of her body weight and developed bed sores. Her muscles atrophied, her hands gnarled, and she became almost, but not entirely, blind. My mom says that my grandmother seemed to perceive shapes: her eyes sometimes tracked whomever was in the room. On the two occasions my brother and I were allowed to see her briefly, her eyes welled with tears.

However, she was able to breathe on her own, without a respirator. My grandfather had no option: there was no plug to pull. He watched his beloved, intelligent, boisterously creative wife become slowly and nightmarishly unrecognizable.

My mother visited her nearly everday, telling her stories of my brother and me. Massaging her hands. My brother and I would plan the party we would throw when "Yiayia" woke up: I don't remember the details, but I know that we insisted there should be cake and balloons.

In September 1974, my grandmother had a second heart attack. Mercifully, she died.

Jeb, you can't know the horror you've just inflicted on this woman and her husband.

I have to stop now.

Monday, October 20, 2003

JT LeRoy, Bono, and Why I Want a Wife:

I'm now a regular contributor to Bookslut and I'm trying to set up an interview w/ the searingly talented JT LeRoy ("The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things", "Sarah"):
This Is JTLeroy.com

His publicist at Viking Press thinks it's a great idea, and she forwarded my interview request to him. I read his books two years ago and now I'm pounding down his essays and sifting through the reams of press he's accrued.

In the midst of my JT Fest, I remembered that somewhere I'd saved an interview w/ Bono in which he discussed his admiration for "The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things". (Yes, I'm a Bono-phile. Shut the fuck up.)

I found the quote I was looking for, buried in an early 2001 interview. In the same piece, the writer mentions that Bono and his family have recently moved into their Central Park West apartment. Bono hasn't slept the night before and he apologizes to said writer because he can't find the coffee and he has nothing on hand with which to feed the guy, so he nicely asks the building's doorman to go buy some bagels. However, he can't remember what bagels are called and has to describe them to the writer and the doorman, to which they both reply, astonished, "Um, bagels?"

Bono sheepishly laughs and admits that his wife set up their new kitchen and he's still trying to find his way around. I don't see this as particularly anachronistic: it makes sense that the spouse who is on tour and testifying before the U.S. Senate re increasing African AIDS relief is not the spouse who's going to decide in which drawer to put the butter knives. Also, to the degree that you can ever know what goes on in another's relationship, Bono and Ali seem like equals.

That being said (and obviously, a lot of women feel this way) I want a wife, too, damn it. Not sexually--like my mom said recently, "I know not you're not gay b/c if you were, we'd have to march in *all* the parades"--but in the sense that I'd like someone else to care about the domestic stuff in my life. Because I simply don't.

By any estimation, I'm a good cook: whenever I actually make food for others, it's devoured right away. I just can't see the fucking point. When I'm invited to someone's house, I'll bring something scrumptious, but odds are good it came from DeLaurenti's or Dilettante. I much prefer restaurants to dinner parties, anyway. Isn't that the point of financial solvency?

I haven't been in love in awhile, and maybe that's the source of this hausfrau ennui. I have a fine sense of story, and there's something inherently dramatic in preparing a meal for a new love. On the other hand, I always enjoy the meaning and the gesture behind the food infinitely more than cooking it, and the novelty inevitably runs out.

Of course, I'm a total clothes whore (whore, horse: whatever) and I rarely leave the house w/out lipstick, usually red. So, this isn't a gender thing. (Well, sort of. But anyway.) Maybe I haven't met the right guy yet.

Or maybe I just haven't found my wife.

Monday, October 13, 2003

My new arts column for Digittante is here. First installment: an interview with Nabil Ayers...

...of Alien Crime Syndicate. Rock 'n' roll!

| d i g i t t a n t e | get right by art |

Excerpt: It’s early Monday morning and Nabil Ayers hasn’t slept: his band, Alien Crime Syndicate, is recording a new disc with acclaimed producer, Gil Norton; Sonic Boom Records (the thriving Seattle chain Ayers co-founded and co-manages) marked its sixth birthday with a raucous party the night before; and The Control Group, (the record label he owns and operates), is about to release Vendetta Red’s new disc on vinyl. Ayers has been an integral part of Seattle’s music scene for almost a decade, however, and he’s a pro. Armed with a goofy wit and a Pelegrino, he amiably dives into this interview.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

My Bookslut interview with Augusten Burroughs ("Dry", "Running With Scissors"):

Bookslut: Interview with Augusten Burroughs

Excerpt: Burroughs has forgotten our interview is today, and I'm pretty sure my call wakes him from a nap. In spite of this, he is genuinely warm, reflexively articulate, and funnier than hell. We discuss his unexpected success, the controversies surrounding the memoir genre, how literary fame is "fourth tier", his devotion to Elizabeth Berg, his affinity for Greek families, his overlooked similarities to JT LeRoy, and his Thanksgiving with Bret Easton Ellis.

Thursday, October 02, 2003


"West Wing" continues to be one of the best shows on television.

Is it weird that I want to have sex with Martin Sheen?