Fatal Friday–Nueve

Despite twenty-some years of observing others, on Friday I discovered that my judgments are still too hasty. People’s character is infinitely more complex than society’s roles would suggest. And perhaps still more complex than one mind can understand alone.

No doubt you are rolling your eyes now……Hey, get to the good part! What DID you two do last Friday night?

For starters, we witnessed Gloria Steinem give a lecture. Who is she, you ask? Gloria is a writer, lecturer, editor, and the feminist activist. She was speaking at Haverford, to a full house of women and men.

In the course of the hour, she expanded on her theory of the interconnected nature of current social justice movements. She stressed that as long as the construct of racism exists, sexism will never go away, and vice versa. With her particular humor, she made it current by addressing the looming presidential election. She noted that rhetoric over the years has tried to make us believe our vote doesn’t count or is somehow meaningless. She also made it very plain that she considers Romney/Ryan’s proposed policies about women’s bodies dangerous and multi-faceted. One of the best moments of the night was when she asked “Why are ultra conservatives against both birth control and lesbians?” Food for thought. Her answer was because both allow women to have sex for pleasure not procreation. What I loved most about her (besides her wit) was her understanding of everything affecting everything else. She used the circle in her explanation; an idea world is modeled on a endless circle, not an inverted triangle of hierarchy.

Darragh geeked basically the entire time, and after the talk Gloria was signing autographs in the lobby. After waiting in the line, Darragh presented her book to be signed. Not a book written by Gloria, no. This was a vintage book of erotica, a real nightmare of pasty boobs and butts. Gloria looked at the book and made this face:

But being the wonderful person she is, she finally signed the cover “A Terrible Book–Gloria Steinem.” It’s true, I swear.

Flushed with these events, we got our picture snapped by this lovely organization:

(And spoke to its organizer. Keep an eye out for future collaborations.) What could get better than meeting Gloria Steinem in the flesh? While waiting for the train back to Temple, we engaged a neighbor in friendly chat. Her name escapes me, but she listened with good humor and recognized Gloria’s name as a famous feminist. After she got off at her stop, Darragh and I kept chatting pretty much continuously from the train station to the center of Temple campus. We met up with her gentleman there, and then things got a little funky.

A kid was urinating on the bellower. Now bear in mind this was 11:30 on a Friday night. North Philly has seen much odder in its time. But it bothered our guy friend, and he went over and slapped the kid around a bit, as you might discipline a bad, drunk puppy. Naturally, this kid had a group of garden-variety assholes around him, five or so. They started yelling and oooing and ahhhing. In the confusion, Darragh thought one of them told her to “get over here and suck my dick” or some variation of the usual crap. Long story short, she dropped her bag and punched the offending drunk in the face.

Wait, WHAT? Yes. Trust me, if I was making this up, it would be more believable.

For the record, I have never seen her get physically violent before. It was about thirty seconds of what appeared to be total disregard of consequences, pure emotional response. This is very out of character for my partner; she is someone who plans ahead, who has the future firmly in front of her eyes. Before Friday, I would have said it was impossible for her to do that. I guess the old cliche proves true again…..as it turns out, nothing’s impossible.

–Nicole Beck (nikolbolt@gmail.com)

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Fatal Friday Cinco

The gods must have willed it, or the stars were in the proper arrangement, because this Friday Darragh and I finally had our painting session! For awhile I was afraid it wouldn’t happen, but when Darragh showed up she explained that she had been detained by a conversation with one of our professors. He had asked if she was on her way to a “Freidal Friday”? That was a euphoric moment for us.

Once at home, we fortified ourselves with chips, salsa, and fresh waffles (provided by my lovely housemate. Merci!) While listening to the comforting scream of Prince music, we unleashed our week’s stress on whatever unsuspecting paper came our way. As we loosened up throughout the evening, we tried more and more experiments. “I’ve given up my need for lines.” Darragh used mainly watercolor and graphite, often splattering the surface with a brush. At one point as Prince was walling, I heard a slap. Out of my peripherals I saw her simply hitting the canvas with her hand. (It became the penis drawing, don’t you know.)

 Meanwhile, I was incising an apple and using it to apply paint like a stamp. Overall, I used graphite, acrylic, watercolors, inks, apple pieces, and my teeth. At one point, Darragh looked up with a flash of joy and exclaimed, “I just learned how to paint tears!”

The night’s revelations only gained momentum from there. We had been invited to see the debut of drag queen Miss Scarlett Bleu at 11 pm that night. So we showed up, fashionably late, at The Venture Inn. We were in the heart of the Philly Gayborhood. What can I say if you weren’t there? Miss Bleu knows how to work it!

The Femmes ended the night dancing in our own little squares of the universe, at a nightclub recommended by Miss Bleu. Darragh had the supreme pleasure of meeting Mirror Man, a guy who ran his hands through her hair and then pushed her aside to look at his reflection with come-hither eyes. From my first drag show to Darragh’s first experience of really ill drunk ladies, this fatal friday was truly a night of firsts!

Fatal Friday Cuatro

9.21.12

Earlier in the week, Nicole and I planned on having an art therapy session for this week’s Fatal Friday. Although she dug out a lot of art supplies, all neatly set up in her room, we never once touched a single bit of it. Instead our night was filled with catch-up conversations, LOTS of shared food and much love to go around. Although I think we were both a little disappointed that the painting never happened, it is so important to be in the moment and appreciate the beauty of that second in time. Overall, I’d say the evening was just perfect.

Here’s a quick run-down:

  • While still at work, we found a giant box and used it as a fort, a canvas and a cave. Nicole fell asleep inside and after we drew faces on it.
  • We danced to beautiful music, courtesy of the best band I have discovered in the past three days, Electric Guest. “Troubleman” gets your grove on, baby.
  • We went grocery shopping. And by that I mean that we spent a good 10 minutes in the gourmet cheese section smelling the blocks and another 10 minutes picking out ice cream flavors. In the end, a wedge of brie, a pound of grapes, two liters of seltzer, two tubs of ice cream, a bag of clementines, mushroom pasta, and four sleeves of crackers were purchased (and eaten with the help of a room-mate and two boyfriends. This was all chased with cheesecake and brownies and apples.)
  • We cuddled. This a standard, an art and one of the many ways Nicole and I communicate.
  • We now say the same things at the same time. Uh oh.
  • I Googled Suzy Sutton, the “funny feminist,” and found out that Fatal Femmes is the first thing that pops up.  :O
  • There was a violent multi-person foam sword fight had at 10:30p in the back streets of North Philadelphia accompanied by live accordion music. I still have foam-burns to prove it.
  • And last, but not least, I proposed to Nicole, for several reasons. She is amazing, beautiful and I just can’t describe how fantastic she is. I think our boyfriends are going to cater the event.

Perhaps next week we’ll actually paint, instead of just look at the material laid out on the floor. But, if we don’t, I’m sure we won’t get too bored…

It truly was a beautiful box…

And a truly beautiful man…