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11 September 2015 @ 02:48 pm
proustian interlude  
a few months ago, i discovered the local drug store sells single-use packets of the same siberian fir-dosed bath salts i bought from jewel osco in the late nineties. since my current insurance only lets me pick up one month of my out-of-synch prescriptions at a time, i’ve been spending a lot of time at the drug store and so have been getting a packet of the salts now and again, when i think conditions might be favorable for a bath. after doing it enough times, i added a two pound jug of the salts to my amazon wishlist, which my parents got me as a component of my birthday present. along with a mighty long reach stapler (maybe for limited release chapbooks!), a twelve-pack of pilots, and a new robe that might be too delightfully plush and warm to comfortably use on the eastern seaboard. hmpfh. at least it’s a new robe. with a satisfying hood. because damn if i don’t want every item of clothing i own with a neck hole to have a hood. a satisfying hood.

yesterday evening, i opened the consolidated box of my presents and was knocked over with a distinct sensory memory of what i assume must have been the last time i had a big jug of the salts. my first months on livejournal, that summer my sister was pregnant, that summer my sister's ex-boyfriend and family were harassing her and, after we convinced her to stop going to public places her unlicensed ex could easily get to, me. they’d just hound us. in the grocery stores, at restaurants, in the strip mall parking lot, with the telephone. they wanted the baby. sister had decided to place the baby with another family. it was a hard and sad decision for her. it was a hard and sad decision for all of us. it still is. ex’s family, they called sister a morally corrupt retard and threatened to put her in prison if they didn’t get their kid, which was bullshit, but it terrorized my sister.

whole thing really brought out the biblical namesake in me. i had the most horrible conversation i’ve ever had with another human being with the guy’s mother, i remember, which, after she hung up on me, made me tear sister’s phone cord out of the wall and shove her phone in her underwear drawer while i begged her to at least let all their calls go to voicemail for a few days since she wouldn’t block their number. then, i went into the bathroom, put on bowery electric, drew as hot a bath as i could for the salts and sat in the water until it was cold. similar reaction to my grandmother’s strokes, the fatal fight with high school bff, and september eleventh. that’s not even all of it. damn, 2001 brought out the very best and the absolute worst in a lot of us.

wow, i thought. this entire box smells like crying. i assume it’s something particular about the big jug, having so much in one space like that. i didn’t have this issue at all with the packets.

what can i say? if any birthday, this one.
music: patti smith - waiting underground
translucentflowerfalls on September 14th, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC)
Okay, not entirely related to this post, but there is a helpful maid/servant holding the candle in all those paintings of Judith. Would that be Judith's maid or is there a symbolism I'm missing?
selva oscura: [Franz Von Stuck] Judithanonymousblack on September 14th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC)
in the actual bible story, her maid stands watch at the front of holofernes' sleeping tent while judith, having gotten the guy pretty wasted at the evening's revelries, goes in, takes his broadsword, and does the job in two strikes. then she puts his head in her traveling sack so they can go pray. later that night, they assemble a crowd and reveal it in the town square. everyone is pretty happy because the dude was an asshole.

i assume bigot does a lot with symbolism and stylistic adaptation. for starts, she's all dressed up like it's the 1600s and appears to be going about her work with more of a sawing motion. i'm not an art history person, though, so all i can tell you is that the word "chiaroscuro" seems appropriate. (yeah, i tried to get that as an LJ handle once.) maybe the maid is represented in order to balance the image. i picked it because it's one i've actually seen, here in baltimore, at the walters. it's pretty impressive. i showed it to my mom once.

i actually like the representation created by von struck in my icon more; i have a print of it by my writing desk (just to make a point.) ;-)

Edited at 2015-09-14 09:42 pm (UTC)
translucentflowerfalls on September 15th, 2015 02:17 am (UTC)
I do so love the serene look on her face in the bigot version. That von Struck one is pretty awesome though. Not often do you get such a image of a naked woman being so fierce and intimidating. Thank you for sharing and explaining!