Jen: How do you define The American Dream?
Me: Like this...
Pronunciation: &-'mer-&-k&n, 'drEmFunction: noun
1. A series of thoughts, images, or emotions occuring during wakefulness and sleep that is colored by the United States of America's ever-changing skies, unending landscapes and the short, shared history of our own making.
2. A strongly desired goal or purpose made attainable in the United States of America by those who've come before and secured by those who stay on.
3. A belief in change, and one's power to effect it.
Jen: Describe your perfect five course meal, and the perfect place to eat it.
Me: I've already had the perfect five course meal, at a French restaurant I remember mostly in white light refected off the glass of chandeliers and wine goblets. I was there to celebrate the 95th birthday of The Partner's grandmother. He wasn't my husband at the time, but grandma never acted like I wasn't family.
It was the perfect five course meal, so I should remember what I ate. I don't. I know I tried foie gras, which I told the table I would hate, and I did. Liver in any of its incarnations was not something I could swallow. I know the meal ended with a dessert soufle. I know there was wine throughout. It was rich and red like the center ruby in a princess's tiara.
I know it snowed outside, which made the warmth within even more charged with toasting energy. We drank to a century of grandma, minus five. Her cheeks were plump, and as deeply colored as the merlot she sipped through a smile. When we sang "Happy Birthday," the eyes of every patron were on her vibrant contradiction of so many years. When we stood to leave, they stood, too, and there were well wishes everywhere. They clasped their hands to her gentle touch. And there were wishes they kept to themselves: that they could someday hope to dream of a night like this.
Jen: You have just been nominated to sit on a focus group on global warming. Your first task is to decide what people need to do to reduce our damage to the planet. What is one of your ideas that the "average" person can do to participate?
Me: I would put it out there that having two children who play soccer does not necessitate the purchase of an oversized sport utility vehicle. The same would hold true at a focus group on road safety.
Jen: New Years Eve 1999. Where were you, and what did you do?
Me: The Partner and I were staying with friends at a chalet-cabin in the Poconos. It was not the year he stole the urn. I wrote him a letter that he read in front of me as Y2K turned. I wonder if he still has it?
Jen: Any rock star. One night only. Who and why?
Me: Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse. Because I'm craaaaaazy like that. And because I doubt I could handle more than one night, anyway.*
*The closest I came to such intimacy with Joe Bruce in real life was when he autographed my ass at a Manhattan in-store.