I spent a good chunk of time this weekend (that I should have been using for school work) coding my website from scratch, and now I finally understand the difference between CSS and HTML! Welcome to the cutting edge of computer technology. In the next few weeks, I plan to flesh the whole thing out. I'm particularly excited to build a page for my projects various and sundry - a scrapbook for my workshop of oddities. But for now, a home for Shoulder Ash & Balderdash is enough to make me happy and more than a little proud.
Last weekend, the power went out on our block, something to do a transformer. My partner and I were heading home from a day out of town visiting family - a pleasant task, but overwhelming on already overwhelmed days. We were hungry and threadbare and decided to stop for a drink and a snack at our favorite dive bar, three blocks from the apartment. Red string lights and a fire pit illuminate the uneven cobblestone patio where retired lawyers wearing tiki shirts smoke cigars and drink whiskey in every weather. The servers know our names, drinks of choice and make pleasantly teasing comments when we ask for something different. They pour strong. We tip well.
Walking up, there was something eerie about the bar, and it took half a minute to realize it was because, while the fire pit was crackling, the red lights weren't twinkling. We shuffled in cautiously and saw candles burning at intervals down the long bar top, back of the tall-ceilinged room obscured in dark. "We're open, but no food," one of our favorite bartenders announced unceremoniously. "Close the door, you'll let the warm out," a patron drawled. We sat at the bar, next to a young Irish fellow holding court to a gaggle of tipsy middle aged women.
Typically lively with chatter, clacking pool balls, and strains of 80's rock, our bar felt like church. Every drink being poured made a racket and conversations were held in down octave whispers. Maybe church isn't right - it was more like a sleepover, after all the kids are heavy breathing in their sleeping bags except for you a your two best friends, having your own synecdoche sleepover in the backyard, wrapped in blankets on the trampoline. The feeling of privacy, closeness that the half light lends.
Our conversation that night was confessional and cleansing. We left when the lights came on.
My tattoo artist, Allegra, sent me this illustration inspired by a Charles Baudelaire poem (1909), as it reminded her of a conversation we had about gender aesthetics and taking up space in the world. What lovely imagery, this! A woman both soft and imposing, a man resting on her bosom!
Thank you for sharing with me the most value able asset we each posses, your time. I hope you have a lovely week.