From the Desk of Madame Zuchini

Acceptable Answer

I contacted an old friend from  High School recently, and asked him how he was doing; what was going on in his life.   Instead of a warm thank you and this is what I am, have done, been married to, procreated, and so forth, he told me his story in two words. “Google me”. It turns out he’s some hot shot schmuckity schmuk in Hollywood. I’m not sure as what, that seemed negligible, especially since I didn’t read it all, so disapointed was I in his answer. I told him if I had wanted his CuriculumVitae I would’ve asked for it. I hope he took it tongue in cheek.  His cheek, not mine.

And then I paused in mid air, (another story), was his answer the equivalent of a moral imperative of his gender? Or is the guy just an ass? He was in middle school, so why stop now, I suppose. Then I wondered if I was not perhaps being too harsh with  him. After all, he is proud of his success and he can’t help it if he is the male peacock of  the human world.  What else was he to say to a presently total stranger? Does my questioning of  his life command him to answer in the way that I wanted? Is  he required to vomit up his life story to any stranger who asks?  Is it egotistical of me to expect nothing less than the response I deemed appropriate?  If, “google me” was all he wanted to say, who am I to be offended?  Yet, does not the fond memories of being the only Jews in 7th grade drama class not  compel in him some desire to say, I traveled  here and there, I’ve loved so and so and on and somewhat on? Madame does not know, she only knows there are two sides to every story, sometimes 3 sides, depending on what dimension you are in.

What if a former friend now currently a stranger were to contact me and ask, “so what have you been up to?” Would I be under the thumb of some universal etiquette to respond with a lengthy display of my accomplishments, failures, lovers, favorite flowers? Or could I simply say, “google me”. If indeed Madame could be googled. I believe I would not be accountable to another’s perception of what is or is not an acceptable answer. Therefore, I beg your pardon my former friend for answering your “google me” with a tongue in cheek yet catty answer. Shall I draw up my own curiculum vitae and make copies to be scattered to the four winds of friendship?

But for any of you who want to share and be shared with me, my resume is as follows:  I have fought in wars, if only of attrition and won and lost, (the losing being the most tasty of delicacies and the winning faintly anthropomorphic).  I have defied reality, albeit only in the color yellow, and  have flown on the tail wind of adversity, (flown in its face and kissed its nose too!). I have been plastered with despair and soaked in the brine of self imposed indifference. Traveling to Asia, I have walked the streets of Japan with a cape wearing  eccentric male  ballet dancer .  While under the influence (of conformity) I have knelt at the foot of the time clock and washed the feet of the working class with my hair.

Tears of extremes have poured from my eyes, sometimes only due to allergies, to what is anybody’s guess, (milk, pollen, incompetence, slow drivers, white bread, popsicle sticks and possibly but not probably old people in the grocery store).  With awe and wonder I have studied the mundane and seen through its facade to the golden coin beneath, to the contary I have seen the mystical and the magical, along with the illogical and felt not a throb of wonder, or a peach pit of life.  I have been stretched to the limits of delusion, while carrying inside,(yes inside), my own body the tiny form of a new life, that would one day go on to separate from me and make a new life full of friends and activities and opinions and shoes, as if out of whole cloth. But not whole cloth, for weren’t we once inextricably joined together by a pulsing throbbing cord of blood and nourishment, without which she would never have graced this planet?

Miraculous yet mundane. The loss is the tasty delicacy of which I spoke above.  I have shared my sins with those who did not/do not deserve it, and protected those who did/do.  To what end have I yearned in the wake of some great yacht of destiny, only to be wet and cold alone on the beach at night. And yet, look!  Look, to the beauty of a night spent drenched in solidarity with the life of the sea on a beach in the starlight, alone with my thoughts and random whims. What could be more beautiful? I suppose a glass of brandy and a tent would add a little creature comfort to this “beauty”.  (Madame is not really one who enjoys the “outdoors”).

Oh life, I have spawned you and dealt disapointment to you, and for what?  I am not a big shot Hollywood schmuck, of course I have never endeavered to be one, so that’s one point in the win column. I have desired a life full of diversity and laughter, and I have had it, though often through experiences not of my own choosing or design. I have fallen into a river and flowed with it, how cliche, but isn’t being cliche an experience in itself? Yes, and so is the ability to draw and withdraw from reality, for which I have a natural affinity.

And yet after all this some would say, Madame, you can’t cook without food, to which I would respond, “google me”. And be within my rights to say so. So long my bluebells, have a brandy and look at the stars, then go inside and call a good friend. Madame out.