Ritual Confessions

March 2, 2008

Last day of Jen’s visit

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 6:41 am

Today was the last day of Jen’s visit to Portland and Vancouver. Never has a guest failed so profoundly as a tourist; never has a hostess failed so profoundly as a tour guide. She never saw the Pearl District, or 23rd Avenue NW (the main drag over there), or downtown, or Alberta Arts. She could barely be persuaded to look at the city when we were driving past some scenic overlook. She saw the bagel cafe and Grand Central Bakery a few times each. We drank too much coffee and she smoked too many cigarettes. We talked a blue streak and figured out a few things.

To her dismay, it emerged that her novel-in-progress would work far better as a screenplay. Also that my screenplay-in-progress would work better as a screenplay, rather than as too many pages of exposition in script format, masquerading as dialogue. She knew what its other problems were as well, and best of all, she knew how to fix them. Together we crafted a query letter to a publisher she’s interested in. We went over all the short stories in my would-be new collection and how best to resolve the unfinished ones.

Last night when I came to bed, Nick revealed that he had spent the past couple of days fantasizing about an incident I described to him long ago, where Jen and I were sleeping at the home of Suzanne and Rich, a couple we were friendly with, who had an apartment on the border of Harlem. We were in our early twenties then and somehow we ended up making out on their (campy, ironic — at least to them) red-satin-sheeted bed. It amused me that this had been on his mind. I had forgotten about it. In fifteen or sixteen years of friendship, it happened only once and there wasn’t the slightest strangeness or awkwardness afterward.

Tomorrow she flies home at an ungodly hour. My prince of a husband is planning to drive with us to the airport. Back when we were visiting the city ourselves with a half-baked notion of moving here, we would take the single direct Jet Blue flight from JFK airport, which got in at midnight if we were lucky, closer to one in the morning or even later when we weren’t. Upon our arrival, I was always deeply moved not only that my friend Josie would come to get us at that hour, but that her partner would wake up and come too. I didn’t ask Nick to extend this similar courtly courtesy; it was his idea. But I love him for thinking of it.



  1. I’m so glad that Jen’s visit was productive for both of you.

    On another note, don’t you think it’s an odd double standard that if two women make out, it’s sexy, but if two men were to do that, they and everyone observing them, or everyone who ever heard about it later, would be convinced that they were gay?

    Comment by davidrochester — March 2, 2008 @ 3:42 pm

  2. I know it must make you feel warm and cuddled to know your Prince is going with you to the airport. That shows a lot, at least in my book. You’re a lucky woman!

    Comment by Corina — March 2, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

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