Archive | Ruby Intuition

Dreams of a Metaphysical Detective

As I write this my head hurts, my stomach hurts, my heart hurts. This is because my period is due to arrive this morning like the fusillade of bricks that is menstruation when you are 48 years old.

Rest assured that as rough as PMS can be when you’re 18–and I remember it as a wicked pissah–it’s a billion times worse 30 years later, as if your menstruating self refuses to go out without a bang. This is something women don’t really talk about because there’s so much shame around menopause and getting older in general.

Anyway, the pain is so bad that I can’t work on my book today. But rarely does PMS fabricate anything wholecloth and so the truth is I’ve been feeling stuck for such a long time that part of me thinks I should scrap the entire book endeavor and find a line of work that, you know, actually pays. The problem: What exactly would that be for a woman rounding the corner to 50 who’s only word-played for a living? Not to mention that, even in dark stretches like this one, I remain convinced there’s a reason besides solipsism to share my story.

Also the universe keeps trying to redirect my hazy, lazy self.

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Notes on Pride, Luck, Lasses with Glasses

It will surprise no one who reads me that after finishing a film lecture upstate today I couldn’t bring myself to rush back to the city for Pride. Not because I don’t love my LGBTQ+ community but because I am incapable of abandoning a quiet green place for a crowded concrete one–at least before saying hi to every tree and bird in a two-mile radius.

So I sat by a lake and thought about luck once again. How unlucky we are to be living in the last few years of an environment that can functionally feed and hydrate and shelter us–or maybe how lucky we are to still have it today, given our abuse. How unlucky we are to be living under an administration that so brutally upholds capitalismcolonialismcockocracy–or maybe how lucky we’re finally forced to confront our country’s core of capitalismcolonialismcockocracy. How unlucky we are that so many queer community members–especially the gender-nonconforming–face mortal danger but how lucky that so many young people feel free to claim their sexuality given that when my generation was coming up, teachers were fired just for being gay.

And then there’s the personal stuff. How just yesterday I’d run into that stranger called my life for the first time in years only a few days after we’d messaged for the first time in years. And how a friend of K’s–a guy who helped me this dreadful spring for no reason except his general kindness–took suddenly, gravely ill.

The list goes on and on and woven into each item is our connecting karma, the Indra’s Net cradling each of us in its spidery, silvery arms.

I meditated on this for a while, sending everybody, and I do mean everybody, bright white light. Then, no joke, a gull came along and took a white bright dump on my blanket. It was the classic luck, schmuck conclusion, and I had to laugh.

But upon standing I saw a pair of glasses in the grass alongside me. Technically the abandoned lenses must have been there all along but of course I only noticed as I was feeling like I’d figured itall out. I only noticed the second pair–a half pair, really–on the curb as I returned to my car.

It’s like James Brown had hurdled back onto the planet in big preacherly robes hollering DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT? DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT? while Jake and Ellwood did sloppy somersaults and a very young Chaka Khan squirmed in ecstasy. Because, YES I SEE THE LIGHT AND THANKS FOR THE CORRECTIVE LENSES but also maybe I’M STILL NOT SEEING EVERYTHING I SHOULD!?

Gods and goddesses, send as many visions as you can.

The Patterns You Keep

Norris with her bossy little husband.

Lately I’ve been wearing Norris Church Mailer’s castoffs around town. In the final years of the last Mrs. Mailer’s life, I had a friend who was dating her youngest and most toothsome son. It was no surprise, since the two (three, really) looked an awful lot alike, and when cancer whittled down the former Ford model’s once-impressive figure, I ended up with some of her size 12s.

At the time they drowned me. I was still keeping up with the Joanses and working at a gossip magazine where the median size was 2. But I was loath to throw out Norris’ gorgeous time capsules of late-70s and early-80s swank: padded ultra-violet sweaters, studded oversized belts, striped silk blouses. Fingering the materials, I’d transport to hey-day Studio 54 and Elaine’s, where clear as day I could see her towering like a brick-house over her bossy little husband, shining the good-natured self-enchantment that made her such a gas to be around even when she was suffering.

Then in a rare bright spot of this dreadful spring, I realized her big bolts of glamour finally fit me. Rather than feeling like a paunchy, middle-aged failure, it was as if I’d grown into a woman I revered. Behold the power of the right second-hand piece.

I try not to write about what a terrible clotheshorse I am. It’s not a labels thing. I tend to look down on designer clothing, a residual of coming up in a town where the most flamboyantly wealthy people were also the blandest. What I dig are wildly individualized uniforms–projections of what and who a person is feeling on a given day. Audrey Hepburn on Acid! Space Crone Liberationist! Erma Bombeck Chic! Every outfit is a costume, an opportunity to radiate a unique frequency of light, and this requires an array of options that would appall a certain organizing guru whose surname starts with K and ends with O. As in uh-oh. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy