Have you hugged a Latvian today?
I made the best mixtape ever “ever” for the Largehearted Boy Book Notes feature, inspired by this poem from my new book:
HAVE YOU HUGGED A LATVIAN TODAY?
Miss Nicaragua was born in a village you’ve never
even heard of, and she reads Michael Crichton
paperbacks aloud to impoverished young women
to improve their English so that they, too,
may some day enter the Miss Universe Pageant.
I couldn’t find any socks that matched this morning.
Miss Japan is 5’8”. Miss Japan loves horses. She
says she wants to be a spokeswoman for pediatric
AIDS, or toxic shock syndrome, or aphasia
or something, but it gets lost in translation, and
I’m like, I wish, right? I wish there was
a spokeswoman for aphasia who
was also internationally recognized for her
beauty, intellect, and equestrian panache.
During the commercial break, my boyfriend
tells me about this girl who makes the best
mix tapes “ever,” and I’m like, What’s her name?
What does she look like? But all he’ll say
is that I’m sitting too close to him on the couch again.
Not even her eye color or anything. Then he starts
to ask how much an MRI is because he believes
he has all the symptoms indicative of a brain
tumor, but when the show comes back on
I’m like, Shh. Watch. Do you think Miss Nairobi
had her teeth done? Do you think Miss Slovenia
comes from a broken home? My parents
put me in ballet when I was a child, but still—
I’m nervous about moving to Albuquerque
so I practice by sitting on the balcony
of our apartment in the sun and reading
The Unbearable Lightness of Being while
keeping in mind the humidity factor, and
how, in the desert, it will be a dry heat. Everybody
says that. Everybody specifies. Even Miss Mexico
would if you asked her. I had hoped Miss
United Arab Emirates would make it
to the top five, but of course they gave it
to Miss Nepal. The judges are: Michelle Kwan,
David Hasselhoff, and the ghost of Virginia Woolf.
Once again, I wish. As Miss South Africa put it,
It wasn’t nails that held Jesus to the cross. It
was love. And you know what? I am going to
make my boyfriend the best mix tape ever ever.
It will have a song by Joy Division, followed
by “How Deep Is the Ocean,” followed
by an acoustic cover of “Hey Ya,”
followed by a Bach cello suite, and I
will call the mix, “Let’s Leave the State
Together.” Should we tell our parents?
What would Miss Korea do? Now she’s
walking, floating, across the stage, like
it’s the length of a desert in a country
she’s never seen, and when she makes
it to the end they ask her what she sees
in her future, but we never get to hear
her answer because the moment she
starts to speak the heel of her shoe breaks off
and she falls into her translator’s arms.
9 Notes/ Hide
- f-ai likes this
- word-tree reblogged this from leighstein
- bodyhouse reblogged this from leighstein and added:
- glansmauve reblogged this from leighstein
- iamyourdarkestnightmaretoo reblogged this from leighstein
- iamyourdarkestnightmaretoo likes this
- whollybabel likes this
- serandori likes this
- leighstein posted this