Thing One: Superman has powers, right?
Terrible Mother: Yes.
Thing One: Does Batman?
Terrible Mother: (thinking) No.
Thing One: Then why is he a superhero?
Terrible Mother: Because he chooses to be one.
Thing One: So. That doesn't make you super. He can't fly. He can't burn things with his eyes. He's not fast.
Terrible Mother: He has all this advanced technology.
Thing One: Oh.
30 minutes later...
Thing One: It's just money.
Terrible Mother: What?
Thing One: Batman's only a superhero because he has money.
Terrible Mother: But he has technology, Thing One.
Thing One: Who cares. He just bought everything!
Terrible Mother: What about Green Lantern?
Thing One: He just has a stupid ring!
I missed the Poem of the Week this week. WTF? How did I do that?
Financial woes abound, people. Abound. Another long-time, but recently partnered, single mom in my office described going to a financial planner early after her divorce. After a few hours, he threw his hands up in the air and said, "You're fucked." Yes. In the ass even.
Among the financial woes was last week's drama, which included the bank losing my deposit. Like a moron*, I deposited $500 cash into the ATM. When I went to check my balance online the next evening, it wasn't there. As in not even on the system. It was already late, so I couldn't call anyone.
But the stress, the stress of losing $500 was so great that I thew up several times in the middle of the night, cried, couldn't sleep.
The next day was my birthday.
The money was eventually found--the ATM hiccupped and somehow took my deposit and put it into another part of the ATM (who knew it was like a Terry Gilliam set in there?) but the damage was done and I was a train wreck for a little bit after. All that money, I thought.
I don't know how to not worry about money, and this feeling, it reminds me of being married. Always something wrong, something really wrong, that I can't fix.
Friend R: I need to ask you a favor...
Terrible Mother: oh God. Okay, go ahead.
Friend R: I'm a little worried at the moment. I can't access my computer in my apartment, and I'm afraid my apartment's been broken into.
Terrible Mother: So you're asking me to do a looksee?
Friend R: Yes. More than likely, there's just a problem with my DSL, but I'm paranoid, and I was wondering if you would drive by and make sure all the windows and doors are intact.
Terrible Mother: No problem.
Friend R: You rock.
Terrible Mother: Truth be told, I owe you. I'm emotionally needy and you lent me a laser level.
Friend R: Well, do you like lemon meringue pie?
Terrible Mother: Yeah, I love it. Why?
Friend R: Because I've learned how to make them from scratch. and my new mixer mixes the FUCK out of some meringue.
Terrible Mother: I will sooo be your bitch for some meringue.
Terrible Mother: I'm writing a blog entry and I need to ask you something
Fort Awesome: Okay.
Terrible Mother: Do you think the word "midget" is offensive?
Fort Awesome: I think they prefer "little person."
Terrible Mother: Right. I know that. But it's hard to tell the story without saying "midget."
Fort Awesome: Might you say " diminutively statured?
Terrible Mother: No. No that sounds awful. Look, I'll send you the section.
[long pause as Fort Awesome reads]
Fort Awesome: There's too much of the funny, not enough of the sad and poignant.
Terrible Mother: I asked about the word midget!
Fort Awesome: Are you sure he was a midget? There's a difference between a midget and a dwarf, you know.
Terrible Mother: Yeah, I know. He was a midget. But the point is, is it offensive?
Fort Awesome: Well, it's odd right now because, narratively, you noticing him comes too late. It's too delayed. The timing is off.
Terrible Mother: You're right. The timing is off.
Fort Awesome: And I think you could mitigate any offense by saying something about him as a human, some small connection.
Terrible Mother: Yes, yes. This is good. Explain.
Fort Awesome: Like you could look at him and see some common exhaustion, some world weariness. The both of you misplaced, sad, foolish.
Terrible Mother: This is a goddamned blog entry. IT'S NOT A SHORT STORY! IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE ART!
Fort Awesome: Shit.
Terrible Mother: And I was with you for a moment. Fuck, I was totally nodding.
Fort Awesome: Sorry! I'm sorry!
Terrible Mother: You know what I think? I think we miss workshop and it's coming out all sideways on us. Making us wedge-up** fucking blog entries.
Fort Awesome: Where's the pain, TM? Where do you touch upon the deep, unfullfilled need of a midget in Albany?
Terrible Mother: Look what the MFA has done to us, FA. LOOK!
Fort Awesome: Alright, I'll give you that we're fucked up but, seriously, tm, this--midget in jester hat with a balloon while you're getting dumped--could have only happened to you.
*well, like a moron who needed to deposit cash and then high-tail it back to work on her lunch hour
**One of the ways we talked about fiction in Ehud's workshop utilized the concept of The Wedge, as he called it. It basically indicates that the plot moves along on a surface level, while the development of the protagonist must continually move to an ever-deepening level. AKA not for blog entries.