“A chaste housekeeper enamored with clean things—clean homes, bodies, and minds.” That sentence is scrawled in my daily planner’s September 3 pane. I wrote it while I was waiting to interview for a job, and, with nothing but a pen and my date book for company, I had an unrelenting drive to remember the phrase “a chaste housekeeper.” The second part of the sentence was a tad more forced, but the first part is pure. A chaste housekeeper is a stark image, at least as it manifests in my visualization. I picture a slightly overweight woman with bad skin and a white half-moon doily above her skirt standing hopelessly in a dark, empty room. The room has long, sheer curtains over latticed windows, and the view looks out on to a rollicking, green, hilly expanse.
That illustration is sad, inasmuch as we all can identify with solitude and aimlessness, and with feeling extremely small within an inadequately small world. With the Jewish New Year about to announce itself and 9/11 just having passed unremarkably, there is ample sobering imagery about, especially in a time when “sobering” is an ambiguous term. Few entities are categorically sad or jarring anymore, since violence and fatalistic religious rhetoric have saturated our psyche. Nothing fucks us up anymore, which is both adaptive and calloused, simultaneously seasonable and disheartening. Perhaps the image of a compulsively tidy celibate servant is stark not because it’s sad, but because it’s decisive—it makes us feel something specific.
New Year’s wishes lie within that same type of decisiveness. We usually hope for happiness, health, wisdom, and prosperity, and other states and institutions that have specific, aimed emotive character. Happiness, obviously, makes us happy, whereas health, wisdom and all the rest are directly correlated to happiness, as well. We never dream of emotionally unsure phenomena, and rightfully so. Even if we live in a gray world, we still dream in black and white, and that is the most reassuring thing I’ve thought of all day.
And now for some happiness: Timbaland Presents: Shock Value, the solo album from hip-hop’s hottest producer, just landed in my hands. After getting through half the record, here are my five favorite lyrics. No chaste housekeepers here.
1. “Bounce like your ass has the hiccups”
2. “I piss and take a shit on your beat for fun”
3. “Im tired of niggas
niggas is tired
u aint a G
i see bitch in ur eyes
if u close to me
u suposed to be
but most of u rap niggas is hoes to me"
4. "You got me fiending for your body parts"
5. "Come in my cipher put the blunt in the air
Let me seduce you, let me play in your hair"
Happy New Year.
Stay Celibate, Hired Help