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A pinch and a punch for the first of the month. Ow. She always does that. For once I would like to remember the date first, but try as I might, I have instead begun to accept that she is much more in tune with the passing of time. In the beginning, it was kinda cute (except that part about learning the tradition from her ex-boyfriend, the ‘football' playing, Eton-schooled Brit). She was playful. Only three years later I am grateful for the month my arm has to recover. Maybe I am becoming more aware of the passage of time.
I received a very strange piece of mail today. It feels so appropriate in this climate of menacing mail, but its oddness is something measured on an altogether different scale. A fat, light envelope, it bore a return address of ‘Bloomberg for Mayor'. Inside was a videotape, which promised ‘An inside look at Mike Bloomberg and what he'll do for you.' I am bemused and aghast at my targeting. J. didn't receive one. Will he later? Will everyone in NYC? I ask you, if this is how Bloomberg spends his own money, what will he do if he becomes mayor?
I feel too acutely for other people. Strangers. Fictional characters even. I can't watch ‘I Love Lucy' reruns for all the excruciating embarrassment looming 28 minutes into the program. Sitting at my brother's gig I am drowning in how short and mean life is. Why aren't there more people here? A music reviewer for the Voice once wrote that "in a just world he would immensely popular." Damn November baseball for a sorry turnout. Home, I snap on the game to see what I had missed that they had not. Sixth inning, Arizona 15, Yankees 2. I laugh out loud.
Maybe next year I marathon. What other form of self-abuse earns such admiration? Yesterday D. and I had a marathon of our own, assembling economy-stimulating Ikea furniture in his new place. He tells me about meeting a woman at a party who, when he mentioned he was moving into a 16th floor apartment, responded by asking, ‘Aren't you afraid you'll fall out?' That question would never have occurred to me when faced by the same statement in a conversation, and to be honest I'm jealous. I suspect my world looks much different from hers, landscaped with sweeping grand fatalistic vistas.
Today I stole some eggs. No plan involved. The young woman in low-slung pants in the express line before me had hunted and gathered admirably. Fresh herbs, expensive, specific cuts of meat, non-store brand paper products. Foods not on sale. Everything organic. Far more than 10 items, When she tried to pay with her food stamp card the paper goods and Reynolds Wrap were disallowed. In the ensuing confusion she left her half-dozen organic eggs in a bag still hanging on the bag dispenser. I added my two-for-a-dollar yogurts and sale vermicelli and left wondering what she'd have for breakfast.
You're so vain, you probably think this posting's about you. Told J. October was online, but not the name I posted under. You know me well enough to figure it out, I say.
"I'll look for ones that say ‘my boyfriend did this' ‘my boyfriend is such a jerk'."
I don't protest knowing, if I did, you'd say you were joking. Ha! Good one. Here's a riddle for you:
How many times have you hung up my clothes? Cleaned the bathroom? Washed our sheets? Made me a meal?
Answer: The battles I don't pick, I try hard to forget.
Just got home from the gym where I exercised to CNN. Best crawl "300 million-year-old fossil of cockroach largest ever found at 3.5 inches." (I'm wondering now if I dreamed that.) Second best "Pres. Bush calls Afghanistan strike a long struggle not a ‘Kodak moment'." Begging the question, does the President understand any advertising slogans? In the kitchen a glue trap that had been in front of the mouse hole now in the middle of the floor. Worse, I had put down two traps because they were small, obviously too small. One is missing. No doubt attached to the mouse.
Listen you cum-magnet skank she says all smiles. Don't even try that nice-ta-meecha shit-don't-melt crap with me. I'm not them. I know you've been hanging around him more than the case needs. Let me tell you something. I am the power behind the throne. You want to suck his cock, you'll be sucking mine. Know it. You're young so let me teach you something. You couldn't love him unless you shared some kinda extraordinary experience together and I know you haven't. You need that to truly appreciate him and I'm just letting you know you aren't gonna be sharin' shit.
Amanda suspected that Jeffrey knew why they had gotten such a good deal. The realtor's number was in Jeff's filofax. "I just have a few questions about the house," Amanda had been disappointed the previous owners weren't at the closing, "Actually its about the tornados?"
Silence, like a hand over the mouthpiece. "Have you seen a tornado?"
"Well, there's that one that seems to follow the Rasmussen girl from next door around." Surely the realtor had seen it. "
Oh that," the realtor sighed, "That's not really big enough to be called a tornado, it's more of an eddy isn't it?"
Margie automatically gravitated toward the seat next to the man with the dwarf's face. It was the only empty one in the car. Odd there was dwarf standing on the seats and no one was looking at him, but up close Margie realized he was actually a full-sized seated man who happened to have iconic dwarf facial features. Relieved he wouldn't fall on her if the train stopped fast Margie settled in, only to become aware that he was slowly dissecting twix bars with sharp, even teeth, First chocolate, then bisquit, then oozing caramel, finally licking his stumpy, Japanese-maple-leaf-like hands.
I dyed and cut J.'s hair for his upcoming job. I missed a spot right up front with the dye, driving me crazy every time I look at him. He'll wash it a couple times before I fix it because I'm not sure how the color will fade anyway, it's so stripped from the last time I bleached it. The cut came out well, though. J. is very pleased. He says it really makes him feel "in character." Unfortunately, the character he'll be playing is a creepy, insecure megalomaniac, who until he feels less "in character", I'll be living with.
Mouse-dini has struck again. After getting up the courage to swing a flashlight beam under the major appliances to no avail the missing glue trap finally appeared under J.'s desk with no mouse attached. Then, this morning while fixing breakfast, I look down to see the giganto-trap placed next to the stove is now missing. This is no rinky-dink puddle o' glue, but a top of the line model weighing as much as a pulp novel. If it's under the oven it's stuck there pretty good. I don't want to look. I don't want to go back into the kitchen.
"Wouldn't it be great if clothes folded themselves? If kids got ready for school on their own? And if you could have fresh-cooked sausage in under a minute?" Wow, what a vivid fantasy life! Fresh cooked sausage in under a minute? That's crazy talk. It makes me think this inspired piece of advertising was written by the same L.A. acquaintance who made up the strip mall game, which goes like this, "Gee I wonder were I could get some sushi, change my cell-phone plan, pick up a couple skeins of yarn and get a lap dance. Look, I'm in luck!"
The hooks are out. I'm waiting. The whole thing has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to gain, yet I'm the person who will be put out in the attempt to make everyone else happy. I know J. knows how little I want to do this, but I'm making a good show of being game. If they say yes to his proposal I will drive him to the location, nine hours while he sleeps, in order to arrive by the six a.m. call time. One moment I think I'm actually excited, but then I realize I'm scared.
Last night I dreamed of storms again. The dream apartment, mine but not mine, was on a lower floor than my reality apartment and had large windows you might imagine in a rooftop painter's garret. A stranger was there with me, safe as we crouched below the window when airborne café tables, dismounted neon signs and scrawny city trees whipped in our direction. I was worried about somebody, not myself, but was upset that I couldn't remember exactly who it was who might be out there in the storm. I tried to remember and waited for the window to break.
Ah, The world is so much warmer when your drunk, I mean when I'm drunk. I think about going places I've been invited and places I haven't. The walk home goes fast because a couple drinks have make my hips liquid. Things need to be thrown into a suitcase, so I count out underwear and socks while J. decides on books to bring. I try to pick his shirts, but only get half right. He swaps em out then asks me to sew a button on one he wants to take. SO I do. I guess I'm not drunk enough.
He is too big! It's right there. Anyone with eyes can see. But, what, she doesn't? When he deigns to use the footrest (which is only when his mother is pushing) his knees are brushing his chin. A chin which I expect will need shaving any day now. He lolls his head back because the back of the stroller is no longer high enough to offer any support for a child of his advanced stature. Surely strangers must think he is mentally deficient, a child that big in a stroller. Looking that content and listless. Lording my servitude over me.
Technically, what I said was true. You think that will matter to the school board? If I apologize for losing my temper in front of the class. I mean, who hasn't? We have mice in the classroom. Not in the cages. Because of that food in his desk. Can't go four hours without eating. So I say to him when he isn't paying attention again because his head is in his desk shoveling in god-knows-what I'm yet to confiscate, "With all that fat you are like a food camel, you can wait one hour." Do you think they'll fire me?
As a choreographer, she seems drawn to crumpling bodies, as opposed to the spinning or leaping kinds. Her dancers ooze and melt in heaps. I didn't know what to expect having met A. recently while we were all vacationing in London, only to find out that she lives in the apartment building across the street from mine. Literally. I liked her piece, but found the most compelling moment occurred before it started, A. crawling across the stage, sectioning off part with masking tape, which shrieked plaintively. Her absorption in the task, oblivious to the chattering, waiting audience was pure dance.
If I have to, I can do anything. I've been haunted and troubled by my mother's Helen Reddy eight-track in these intervening decades, although granted, only sporadically. But geez, what kind of empowerment is this? If I have to I can do anything? Like what? What awful manly thing might she be considering? Cannibalizing fellow passengers of an ill-fated wreck? Sexually harassing for profit on a reality t.v. show? And don't get me started on "I'm still an embryo, with a long, long way to go." Still, if I'm ever forced to karaoke, I'll have to choose "I am Woman."
"Friends" is featuring a special, surprise guest star for their Thanksgiving episode. They're being very cagey, but I have a very strong feeling the guest is none other than Brad Pitt. Okay, sure, he's married to Jennifer Anniston, but that's the brilliant part. See, when I was growing up. "The Wizard of Oz" was traditional Thanksgiving night t.v. viewing. Now if Ms. Anniston would choose to hyphenate her married name it would be "Jennifer Anniston-Pitt" which scans exactly the same as "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (especially when chanted by the munchkins). Go ahead, try it. Now try to stop.
Out of the cabinet and into the glue. You should have heard that mouse scream. It woke J. who had just returned from the airport and was taking a nap. Since the cabinets were resealed and re-steel-wooled I've heard a creature working so loudly he might have had power tools. I could hear him from my bedroom as he diligently tried to gain access to my bleach-wiped kitchen. Half-stuck, he had backed the trap from under the fridge. I dropped the whole thing into a bag and dropped the bag down the trash chute. He squeaked the whole way down.
When I opened my mailbox there was an odor. I took out my mail and shuffled through it as is my ritual. Two envelopes bore brown stains. One was quite large, the one on the adjacent envelope smaller. I put them to my nose and inhaled. As soon as I did I thought, what a strange time to start smelling my mail. I have no fear of anthrax being sent to me or mingling with my mail. I have not sought out antibiotics. I'm not an alarmist, although I am certain every plane I board will crash. I smelled coffee.
People ask me if I like my job. They ask in this way that says that they don't think I should. I say, sure, I'm a people person. I like working with the public. There are those that will tell you that working with the dead is not really working with people per se especially after they have been in the ground for a little while, But I tell you, these planted folks they are every bit as interesting as anyone I might meet at a reception. And some day, when I open the coffin, someone will open their eyes.
When we walk down the street side by side he doesn't register obstacles in my path and adjust his course in order to enable me to continue walking abreast with him. He just peels me off, walking ahead, never noticing that I am now behind him unless I stay there for several paces. My desire to be escorted around a tree, as opposed to walked into it, to hear him tell it, is a problem that exists only in my head. Not because he actually makes room, but because I desire it. I'm trying not to want this pedestrian courtesy.
First I washed my hair in the shower, pulling loose strands out and sticking them to the wet tile. No risk they'll clog the pipes. The tub is far too shallow, but I fill it anyway, Hot enough to make me soup. I am aware of tickling hairs brushing my skin. I fish them out like cobwebs and whisk then across the tile, Again. And Again. And again. My fingers are pruned. I am tempted to leave the fantastical display of tangled strawberry blonde and navy blue hair to fuse with resilient soap scum. Why am I losing hair again?
I say to her, "Let me guess—your food has been very, very bad." Because I've dated plenty of girls, which means plenty of psycho dieters but this one was the first to padlock her refrigerator and cabinets ya know. And she says to me, she says "I sleep-eat." She gets up in the middle of the night and eats whatever's around. I guess she can't remember combinations in her sleep. Or order delivery, So I don't know what to do. Part of me says, whoa, there's some major problem there. But another part says, hey this could be entertaining.
A building I work in has started renting office space to a nearby university. This means that university students are thrown into the mix of daily-grinders. The contrast is subtle and strange. Their energy is too bright and yet movements slow and purposeless having no compunction against leaning out of an elevator at a floor to look around while others wait for them to return to the little room and push another button. They speak loudly and slackly in a way that says they are glad you are there to be their audience even if they aren't speaking to you.
The she-male ads in the free weeklies just keep expanding, financing still more editorials. Despite all the careful coiffing, cosmetic plying and hormone injecting you can still see the boy children they renounced hiding in their faces. Which misses the point, I know, who looks at their faces? And there again I am transfixed because it occurs to me that these are the same bodies seen in Playboy (wearing similar thongs and lingerie). The long hair, thin hips and disproportionate breasts that are sold to heterosexuals have been bought also by the trannies. Perhaps all love really is perverted narcissism.
The world seems full of news today, but all I can think about is the weather. It's enough to make you want to hide under a desk this weather, if you weren't so busy catching Frisbees in the freakish sunshine. It has been in the sixties all week, but today, the last day of November, that little box in the upper right corner of the
New York Times
calmly stated a high of 68. I'll look tomorrow, knowing that tomorrow's box will make a liar of today's because it is definately warmer. I love that the
prints yesterday's weather.
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