Sunday Brunch column for Modern Creative Life. An essay on the flames we light in winter.
And yet, these winter holidays all have something in common as well – aside from the tendency to celebrate with incredibly delicious, albeit unhealthy foods. They all bring light to the longest nights of the year.
In which the Bathtub Mermaid reads a short-short story, Simmering, which is a sequel to Steeping, which she read on this podcast in 2013.
“The original recipe calls for a cup of blood.” He saw the face she made and smiled sympathetically. “Yeah… not my thing either. But anyway, the secret’s in the simmering.” He said the last word softly, with a hint of innuendo.
“Simmering, huh?” She matched his tone, reaching for the glass that had long since supplanted her mug of tea, and swirled the red wine that remained in it for a moment. Red wine with chicken had been a new concept for her, but the Beaujolais David had served complimented the dish nicely. “Simmering,” she repeated thoughtfully. “Interesting word. Sometimes I feel like that’s what we’ve been doing.”
In which the Bathtub Mermaid compares her marriage to the relationship between a kite and string.
If there are times when his somewhat introverted, often pedantic, stoic, engineer self makes me feel like I’m actually married to the android Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’m certain that my tendency to bounce from topic to topic, change my accent on a whim, and wander around the house talking to myself as I work out lines of dialogue for an audio drama I’m in, or a story I’m writing, makes him feel like he’s married to Sibyl.
Written for Modern Creative Life, a letter to my six-year-old self.
You ride out to Mrs. Godoy’s house some weekends with your friend Siobhan, and sometimes you spook yourself when you stay later than you’re supposed to and the shadows have descended through the trees on that one stretch of road right before the dirt transitions back to asphalt and you see the lion heads on the old hotel, and the awning of the ice cream store.
I know the shadows are scary, and we both know the Headless Horseman isn’t really following you, but it’s fun to be a little bit scared when you know it’s not real, so enjoy it.
With the flip of a calendar page (or a swipe of finger on a smartphone) July is gone for another year, and it is August, my month. The first summer month when, even though the sun is still reluctant to set, the days are discernably shorter, and the nights incrementally longer.
I’ve always been attuned to the night. While some people are morning people, happy and chirpy at first light, the only time I typically see dawn is when I haven’t yet been to bed. I have never been afraid of darkness; rather I crave it.
I come by it naturally.
The night before I was born, there was a full moon and an eclipse. If that doesn’t lock you into a special relationship with nighttime, I don’t know what does. (Recently, I asked my mother if she remembered any of that, and she reminded me that she’d been a little preoccupied with being in labor.)