Fifty Far-Fetched Facts about the Unnarrator
1. Epitaph: “She darkened each oval completely, erasing any stray marks.”
2. (But cremated not buried please.)
3. Likes cute pictures of hedgehogs and mice.
4. Is a slut for Doritos, especially the Cool Ranch kind. Also for bhangra, gemelli and rock-climbing slang.
5. The summer between undergrad and grad school, taught herself to play the entirety of Joni Mitchell’s Blue on both piano and guitar.
6. Alternative epitaph: “Here lies one whose name was writ in margarine.”
7. Has written four unpublished books of poetry between 1995 and 2005, selected bits of which have appeared in literary magazines.
8. Including the jezebel elegies (2000) (a.k.a., 100 Songs about Joe), and
9. House. (2003) (deck of 50 playing cards, lives in a cigar box).
10. Would trade ‘em in a heartbeat for 15-21 decent songs.
11. Currently writes abortive fragments of songs and poems about saints, makyo and frontierswomen.
12. At one time legally married (September 1999–December 2005).
13. Recovering Zen student (May 2001–December 2004).
14. Taught remedial English at a tribal college (September 2000–May 2003).
15. Would name a daughter Green Esmé Christabel. Maybe.
16. Is maybe too old already to have a daughter anyway. Is definitely too poor. And then there’s:
17. Major Depressive Disorder, Severe, Recurrent, Without Psychotic Features (DSM-IV 296.33)!
18. (But with some OCD/BPD features.)
19. (Or maybe bipolar II/”cream-puff” bipolar, depending on who you ask.)
20. Takes care of 16 houseplants, three of which are orchids (two phalenopsis, one dendrobium) and all of which are very grumpily lined up against cold winter windows.
21. Two electric pianos (Korg, Yamaha) and one guitar (Alvarez Yairi).
22. And one drummer drumming.
23. Not only carpal tunnel but also radial, medial and ulnar tunnel syndrome!
24. Minor obsession with Tahitian vanilla in its many forms (including but not limited to lip balm, moisturizing lotion and madeleines).
25. Has been known to dab vanilla/almond extract behind ears as perfume.
25. Additional minor obsession with lip balm itself, leading to obscene number of lip balms in handbag (seven at present count, and two glosses) because you never know which kind you’ll want.
26. First real job at 19: house manager for Shakespeare Festival of Dallas.
27. Studied at Dallas Ballet from 16 to 19, with Danish Bournonville dancers and assorted Russians.
28. Spent years mooning over Balanchine biographies and photographs of NYCB, ABT and the Kirov before working up the courage to ask for dance lessons; the day her mother finally bought her a black leotard and slippers, she thought she would faint.
29. Auditioned for junior college drill team (the Showstoppers! red cowboy hats and sequins) wearing similar, now ratty, black leotard with hair in tight Russian bun, as taught.
30. Was not selected for Showstoppers.
31. Was in same semester rejected after first date by Roy Wayne of Edna, TX.
32. Roy Wayne liked Emily better. Also liked Phil Collins; so there. And have had 9 boyfriends (including one husband) and 3 girlfriends since then anyway.
33. In same semester discovered Suzanne Vega, learned to play “Gypsy” on guitar, read Keats, wrote tortured sonnets and truly awful songs.
34. Favorite colors: purple, indigo, blue, turquoise, aquamarine, dear me yes.
35. Favorite flowers: dandelions and honeysuckle.
36. But also deep-seated weakness for tea roses, violets and other such old-fashioned blooms.
37. Mom’s mom, Mildred Williams, was high school English teacher; her college friend, English professor and dean of women, was Retta Scott Garrett; Unnarrator much influenced as child by beautiful formal garden of Ms. Garrett with marble cupids and hedges and roses (in Abilene, TX no less), by her library with its hardback copies of her Sara Teasdalesque book of poetry, Dream Smoke, and by her placid, solitary life.
38. Still has steamer trunk that young Mildred took to Harding College in 1926; painted it blue and took it to St. John’s herself in 1988, after graduating from junior college in math and computer science.
39. (But now uses it as altar for pagan rites.)
40. (Because grandmother’s mother was a witch.)
41. (And also puts geraniums on it in the summer.)
42. Has thought seriously about being a professional finder of lost cats.
43. Daydreams seriously about running her own greenhouse/nursery.
44. Prefers fruit-flavored candy to chocolate. (Mentos! Jelly Bellys! Skittles!)
45. But would rather have miso, tempura, maguro nigiri and Alaska roll. Admittedly followed with green tea ice cream.
46. As worst waitress imaginable, once slipped and poured pitcher of iced Pepsi down woman’s backless dress. Also once angrily snatched metal teapot from hand of customer beating it impatiently against table edge trying to get her attention; was left no tip; later that evening, resigned from job at Chinese-American buffet restaurant.
47. Worked for one day at more than one restaurant.
48. Worked for one day at movie theater sweeping up popcorn.
49. Worked for one day as file clerk for college alumnae association; ate doughnuts engrossedly while finding it way too fascinating to read files listing alumnae wealth in intimate, explicit detail.
50. Have filled 67 journals with more verbiage than you can shake a stick at.