At the risk of this blog seeming to be all about bus rides and donuts, here is another bus ride story. This time it’s one from Boston (Corona-Hating Town) to Northampton, Massachusetts (“Lesbianville”). I was going to stay with my friend, Meg who I met at Betty Dodson’s masturbation class three years ago. Arrival on the East coast proved a bit of a culture shock, although things started well as this bus this time was called “Peter Pan” in stead of “Greyhound”:
Even so, in the Boston Peter Pan bus station things were hardly fantastical. Nobody randomly chit chats to you in Boston, nobody meets your eye or says “Hi! How are you?” like they do in California, even though, to start off with, this West Coast friendliness is annoying. Luckily, there is truth to the thing about judging a book by its cover. On the bus I caught the eye of a young woman with a huge smile and a small, cosmic swirly tattoo on her foot. She was travelling with her daughter. When we got off to change buses in Springfield, Massachusetts, all the Boston people huddled into the freezing cold shade of the bus station, even though the sun had come out. But Gretchen and young Molly came out for the light. Gretchen she said she’d just come back from Bali which reminded her of the energy of California. I said about my worries about the non-smiley thing in Boston and she said, “I think the trouble with people in Boston is that they’re not connected to the earth.” And that struck me as a good point. At any rate, it certainly feels weird to be back on the “civilised’ side of America after two months on the “children’s side,” as the East coasters call it. Here is Molly not wanting to have her picture taken.
And here is when she decided she was ready for her close up in her fancy red dress:
Gretchen and Molly, from Key West in Florida, were on their way to say goodbye to Gretchen’s grandfather who isn’t long for this earth. Gretchen was very close to him as a child so here’s wishing them the best of luck.
On the walk to Meg’s house, I came across some of the good things about a State where people live in their heads and not their bodies: a good second hand book shop:
Planet of the Apes, the Journals of André Gide, and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn seemed a good selection (for $1 each) but in the end I skipped Gone Girl and chose Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder, in honour of Alexis and Jacob of my Greyhound bus ride the other week. The back cover of Gide promised “drawing room gossip and metaphysical speculation,” although it forgot to mention the big French queen’s rampant misogyny. On October 14, 1940, he observes: “There are always certain regards in which the most intelligent of women, in their reasoning, remain below the least intelligent of men…that element of passion and emotivity which almost always, in women, sentimentalises thought.” Little did he know tht in the 21st century, people in California would be making a fortune telling people to plug into their passion and emotivity. I have a piece in the Sunday Times tomorrow about a woman doing just this: Nicole Daedone and her “stroking the upper left hand quadrant of the clitoris” company called One Taste.
Gide woud have been the dunce at the bottom of the class if he ever hung out with my heroine, Annie Sprinkle. On January 24, 1948, he writes, post no-strings-attached hook-up: “No shame as a result of facile sensual pleasures. Sort of vulgar paradise and communion through the basest in man. The important thing is not thinking oneself debased. The mind is in no way involved any more than the soul.” André, you need to get connected to the earth, man. Drivel like this makes me want to break out my Jacqueline Susann collection. I’ll let you know what take Planet of the Apes has on gender…