Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In the end I wanna be standing

Part IV.


* Key to success, my friends? Fake-it-til-you-make it. Step one: dress for success. (Now I'm just breaking out all my favorite cliché buzzwords) So I'm stepping out this week in all high-heel boots.  Because when you wear high heels you clip-clop down a hallway or a street in a manner that signals to the entire world: I am important. I don't have time for nonsense. Please move out of my way. The sound of high-heels is naturally intimidating. Power-walking across a crosswalk with six seconds left until the red light feels more adventurous when wearing high heels.
Also, when you're just this side of twenty-one and scared witless of leading a group of peers around D.C., wearing high-heels helps you feel (at least exteriorly) like you're large and in-charge.

*Most Chilling Moment of the Day award goes to the casual line that the lady leading our information session at the Death Penalty Info Center dropped at the beginning of our meeting: We asked how many executions had taken place so far this year. "31. Oh, actually 32, there was one last night."
I felt my stomach drop, and even though we were crowded into a warm little office, my skin felt cold. Nonchalant death. It was shudder-inducing

*There were two women today who are emblazoned in my mind: Elizabeth the put-upon office intern. Elizabeth was beckoned into the meeting every few minutes to take phone calls, or make copies of pamphlets for us we didn't want. Dear Elizabeth. She was never unhappy, never looked upset or discontent. She just trudged around the office with a bright blue dress and cute wedge heels, with perfect but lifeless short blonde hair, and a wan smile on her face. I think she was aware that this position was beneath her. I liked Elizabeth. She's getting a play written about her. And Karina as well. Oh Karina. 
Karina was the head honcho of that meeting. She reminded me distinctly of Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire. If there were ever a Tennessee Williams heroine incarnate, it was Karina. She was the most fascinating woman, delicate, nervous, fragile, sharp. And she had the most mesmerizing mannerisms: the borderline theatrical way she gesticulated, the fragile, apologetic way she clasped her hands together, and the characteristic nervous tic she had of stroking her mouth with her long red nails were all heartbreakingly endearing.

*Georgetown Cupcake last night was the best thing that had ever happened to me (culinarily speaking) since the Nutella cannoli in Roma. Despite my overweening love of cupcakes, and my previous explorations into the microcosm of DC's cupcake world, I had never been to Georgetown Cupcake. I approaching the mecca of the cupcake universe with fear and trembling. I glimpsed salted caramel cupcakes on the display shelf amid the myriad other varieties. 
Not even a glimmer of interior indecision over which to order. 
That salted caramel cupcake was going to be mine. 
I took one bite, and I nearly cried. 
The cake was rich and moist. The icing was smooth and creamy. The caramel and salt blended so wickedly perfectly. I shoved the cupcake into my friend's hand, telling him to share in the joy of the cupcake. When my mono-ridden friend ate a bite (conscientiously taking a bite last, to avoid giving us all mono. So considerate.) she said: "this isn't real." 
It wasn't. 
That sort of gustatory experience is a something you have to share: it's so transcendent that you want to have to bring others into the experience, to share in the otherworldly experience of joy.

*I fell asleep during the presidential debate. I think that was the right choice, especially since I already voted (holla at your absentee ballot). My dear Fr. Andrew likes to talk about the eternal significance of moments. My catnap will have much more eternal significance in my life than Romney and Obama going head-to-head and toe-to-toe.
And that's how Renée does politics.

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