Wednesday, June 12, 2002

happy birthday to me (and danny)

Today, I am the big two one. And what a great day it is. When I woke up this morning, I decided to give myself a birthday present. Bonnie had left to go to some interview at ten, and so I gave myself a fun handjob since lots of people think you are supposed to get action on your birthday, and well, I sort of don't see any problem with that line of thinking. And then I gave myself a second present, a wonderful present, the best thing anyone could hope to get it. I decided that I was going to say fuck you to PIRG, that I was not going to show up for my second day and just quit the motherfucking humilating process of begging for money. And so, I did, and thank you for the great present, Charlie.

Bonnie did not like this present. She was a little upset by it, I think, since this meant that she was going to have to go to PIRG by herself. PIRG would be so much fun if you didn't actually have to work. The people there were so fun and energetic. Particularly Danny. Danny is the head of the WISPIRG office and was the one who trained Bonnie and I yesterday. Danny is so cool - this, however, is not a statement that would be accepted by most people - he is kind of dorky, but not in the hip Sam Grindstaffish dorky way - he's dorky in a Bob Saget as kingergarden teacher type way. He just makes the most exaggerated facial expressions and is so enthusiastic about everything, but not in a joking sort of way - he is completely serious all the time in his goofiness. There really is no way to even describe Danny, he just has to be experienced. He was definitly Topic A with Bonnie and I last night after we had gotten off of work and devoured beer and pizza. We went canvassing out in this suburb of Milwaukee, which was nice because we got to drive across the state, and got to see more of Wisconsin. We drove through beautiful fields and farms and grain silos and clouds and long stretches of asphalt and small towns and we talked about custard and cheese curds and about what our favorite type of music is to dance to and heard lots of competely nontangential stories from Danny about puppets, Sarasota, Boulder, and MC Hammer pants. Most of the day, we were both sort of trailing Danny around, watching him canvass, which seemed easy enough, and with somewhat kind people usually answering the door. But then we had to canvass by ourselves for an hour, and of course, we don't get to canvass in a similar neighborhood, we get to canvass on the other side of Lake Shore Drive, in the insanely posh houses/plantations that back up to fucking Lake Michigan for godsakes. It is insane how much wealth there is in this country. I see houses in DC and Alexandria and Sarasota that seem logical because they are in nice locations, and obviosuly rich people have to build their houses somewhere. But, I guess I just assumed that maybe there weren't as many mansions in Wisconsin or something. But dear heavens, the driveways themselves took a few minutes to walk down. Two of the houses had tennis courts (yes, plural usage, meaning more than one) in their front yard. And of course, these people, even though they were insanely rich, were the rudest of the day, they were so aggressive and pissed as hell that I dare come ask them to become a member of PIRG. Bonnie got sent into a similar neighborhood with mansions on what is one of the Great Lakes.

Then we regrouped with Danny and trailed him around for another hour of so, from about eight to nine pm, and oh my god, the sunset - it was something amazing. The sky was streaked where the sun was going down with these beautiful chunky pink lines seperated by a dying blue that was already dark blue on the other side of the horizion. The dying blue went out with a bang - in its fading it wanted to show off its feathers one last time, wanted us to remember its glory, how it could shake that moneymaker. And this blue was the same color blue of the sky in the opening scene of Blue Velvet, it seemed oversaturated. I was mesmerized by the sky, by the scent of the evergreen trees. One of the houses we went to had an evergreen tree in the front lawn that smelled so lovely especially when I looked at the fluid sky melting behind the house we were approaching - I ripped off a piece of the tree and held it to my nose, smelt that wonderful evergreen smell, took it into my body, became that tree, realized that I could never die, that I would just melt like the sky, maybe even into the sky, and I was happy, really happy, and threw the piece of evergreen as high as I could throw it and I watched it fall, tried to catch it, and I think I missed it, and then I told Danny I liked gay house music, because he's so weird and wanted to know what our second favorite type of music to dance to was. He loves questions, and so do I, and so do you - they are just as fun as the anwers.

Really, the only part of the day I didn't like was the part where we actually had to go around and canvass by ourselves, which is what the actual job is, and so I think I would really hate the job, seeing parents playing with their kids, and having to go spoil this pretty image of domesticity to go harrass them about helping the environment, when really they'd be helping me, putting funds in my pocket, but I would tell them about how "the Bush admindistration is allowing oil companies and other powerful corporations to rewrite and even ignore our existing enviromental laws. These changes would allow more pollution into our air and water, and would accelerate the the clearcutting of our national forests. If we're going to stop the White House from destroying our environment, we need public support now, and that's why I'm out here tonight. The best way to support our organization is to become a member. We suggest a $60 dollar contribution. As a member you'll recieve newsletters throughout the year and a membership packet tonight. The best way to become a member is with a check." And then I would have to smile at them and hope they said yes, and when they wavered, I would have to guilt trip them by saying, "Well, do you support us on the issues?" (read: What, don't you care about the environment?) And, I don't want to do that - I'll just be jobless for a little while longer until I find a less offensive job.

Today, when I walked to the library after Bonnie had left for PIRG, I realized what a good decision it was. Bonnie and I spend practically every waking moment together - it's good to have some alone time, some time to think to yourself, to not have to engage in conversation, to be able to walk places by yourself. Walking to the library was so nice without Bonnie. It is such a breezy day, so good for the walking, the thinking, and the living, and so I must return to it.

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