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I feel like someone is "gaslighting" me. This is the second time this week that I've lost my Metrocard. Usually I'm so organized, but I find that I can't find the simplest things. Half of my stuff is moved in and it amazes me that it all more or less fits into one closet. Clothes, five pocketbooks, twenty pairs of shoes, a small three drawer dresser, stacks of zines and three brown accordian things with papers in them. Fifteen years in New York and this is what I have to show for it? But wait. I'm not complaining, I'm BRAGGING.
As a kid, when I went to sleep, I'd always make sure that none of my dolls were looking directly at me. It creeped me out when we made eye contact. Instead, I'd place them away from me, in pairs, so they wouldn't get lonely. Did they wake up at night and raid the liquor cabinet or my underwear drawer? Were they the ones responsible for the lost socks in the dryer? I'd awake every day and check their positions. Not a hair out of place. My first night alone in this new home leaves me with that same feeling.
Why is it that whenever I have something important to say my voice gets thin and I want to burst out crying? I was brought up to take it and be then quiet about it. In bed at night, I'd be super-still. Could anyone feel me if I didn't move? As I grew up, everything that had been nailed inside came to the surface. "I'm not a thing to be lent out on an as-needed basis," I said to my boss with a dry throat and tear ducts ready to gush. "No worries," he said, simply. Gosh. This is easy.
Upon unlocking the door, I greeted the apartment with a "hello." Since I've moved in with Doug, I feel like every time I come back here, it feels like cheating. Does it know that I am living somewhere better now? Can it smell the dishwashing detergent on me? I lived in this one room for over ten years. Jacked up on coffee I packed my remaining things. Six boxes of CDs, six books of books and three piles of records. Between bites of a bagel and swigs of caffeine, I accomplished this task in just under an hour. "Bye apartment."
I need pasties. The dress I have chosen to get married in is sheer, and I don't want Doug?s family staring at my nips. I approached the salesgirl in the vanilla scented store and asked her awkwardly while circling my breasts for "those things" for "here." She looked at me half-cocked as I continued to point sadly to my 32-Bs. She went to a drawer and pulled out flesh colored stinky things for "that area." Fourteen dollars later I tried them on under my dress and nope, you can't see nip anymore. But you can see these "diva-dots." Which is worse?
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is on tonight. I'd always loved this movie, although I couldn't remember much of it except for Audrey Hepburn's clothing. She's absolutely mesmerizing (anorexic, sure, but that face!) Doug hadn't seen the movie so it was interesting to watch what I had always thought was light-hearted fare with him. But you know what? She's basically a call girl. And the George Peppard character is basically a gigolo. And can we talk about how Mickey Rooney plays someone of Japanese descent (complete with eyeliner and buckteeth.) Yeah. Watching the movie I realized something else. Mainly that it sucks.
The woman sitting next to Doug looked like Slutty Swiss-Miss. Her costume was low cut (even *I *was checking out "what was going on") with a flared peplum and rick-rack trim. It was weird yet fascinating. Yet weird. The birthday boy just got engaged and The Ring was shown. It's funny to be out with couples when something like that occurs. "Heidi" and her boyfriend (obviously not engaged, nor happy about it) bristled as I got ready to extend my ring as well. But the vapors hit quickly so I got all interested in my salad instead. Socializing is hard!
This hospital is the worst. It's all gray and wheel chair-y. I was early so I went to the bathroom and uh oh, someone was in there. After being yelled at (um, lock the door the next time), some loony old woman started cursing at me. I decided to stand at the entrance to wait for Doug after that. All this was too ominous. New doctor. Same old waiting room (complete with screaming child). I had come to expect the worst, but get this. I'm in remission from this eye disease. Why am I always more surprised by good news?
A friend of mine told me that he feels neglected. But whenever I call him, he rings me back at least four days later. So I invited him to dinner today, at noon. He didn't call back until 6:30. At which time I'd decided that I rather stay in and throw things out (I LOVE purging!) I think that he thinks that I am one of those people that give up on their friends once they get a boyfriend. But I'm not. I'm so not. I should call him now, shouldn't I? Ok, hold on a sec. No answer. See?
There's nothing like writing a nasty letter. I can be patient but when that sentiment runs out, get me away from writing implements. This week's crisis has to do with the fact that none of the three doctors that are supposedly working together (Team Pemphigoid) have bothered to return my calls. Gee. It's only my eyesight that we're talking about. Sure. Take your time. So I started a ferocious email that I read out loud to Doug. "Maybe you want to tone it down a little," he said. Oh, of course. It's not like I was going to send it.
Spent the morning packing up my vinyl (yes, I kept the Adam Ant "King of the Wild Frontier LP - good to clean to, as well as Wham!'s first album - the perfect record to dye your hair to). The rest of day was circled around moving the last bits of my life into my new apartment. My arms are bruised and sore from carrying the boxes that I had thought were packed lightly. Two trips in the car, up two flights, down two flights, load, unload, load, unload. It's all done now. The apartment looks smaller without anything in it.
He greeted me with a hug and I had to stretch my body all the way up to get my arms around him. I keep forgetting how tall he is. Such a nice face and mild manner. But what is up with the no deodorant credo? Not even the natural kind (not that they work anyway). This is the city. People sweat here. Bad. Not a beautiful stink either. Horrible, putrid odors. Tonight, he was all curry and sleep-smelling. We all had a great time though. But after he left Doug got out the incense and de-scented the room. Bigtime.
It's not like I have to wash my hands ten times, click my heels once and then blink forty-seven times before I walk away from the sink only leading with my left foot or anything. I'm not licking any walls here. But I always did have to have my meat on the flowered portion of the plate, my potato on the right upper corner and my vegetable next to it, but not touching it. Never touching. But that was years ago. Now all I have to do is drink three litres of water a day. Every day. Every single day.
Look. This is the way it is. Unfortunately, everything can't always be fun and happy and good time feelin'. Sometimes it will suck and maybe sometimes you're going to feel panicky. Hey, I feel it too. But. This isn't how it's going to be all the time. People go through different moods. This is life; this is how you get to know someone. I'm not always going to be what you want me to be. But you have to love that. You have to accept that this is who I am. And yes. You have to be happy about it.
"Is that a canasta score-keeper?" he asked. I don't have a door to my "office" so people barge in on me all the time. Mostly when I'm on the telephone and today while reading entries on this very website. He asked for some mailing labels although they were right in front of his face. I tore some off and then got back to reading. "That's hideous," he said. "It's from the 1950s," I replied, face looking straight at my computer screen. "Well, it's just god-awful." He's still talking. Was it rude of me to turn around and start typing this?
When I'm bored at work I can look across the hallway and see Susan. She does high kicks for me usually. Sometimes she does a whole Solid Gold dance routine. Quite impressive (except for when she kicks off her shoe into my cubicle). Today was special though. I got an interpretation of the Charleston, complete with ass patting attitude and singing of "Yes sir she's my baby." I was clapping like a little child who just had eaten ten mounds of cotton candy as our boss walked by. He stopped for a second and kept going. He'd see it before.
The mouth opened today. Disgust does that to me. I can't respect someone who doesn't look me in the eyes when I express myself. He's a nice man, sure. But he's a wimp. He can't manage. How many other people could use this same exact post as theirs, I wonder? Whatever happened to movin' on up in the workplace? Here you have to do your job plus the one you really want to show how capable you are. And when an opportunity finally arises, they hire someone's friend anyway. Time to leave. I'll miss the health insurance. But that's it.
I bought $10.70 worth of food stuff for this sweet potato-orange-rosemary bread I wanted to make. Too many people in the store and the cashier was fachadded. I gave her $21.00. She gave me back .30. "I gave you twenty," I said. "You gave me $11.00." She didn't seem to understand the concept of getting back a ten-dollar bill. The manager came over and told me that he'd settle this at the end of the day. "No, NOW." I said. I didn't move. It was only ten bucks but still. He relented. All his and the bread tastes kinda crummy.
It seems that you can't walk down a street in New York without someone saying fucking this or fucking that or motherfucking goddamn bitch. When I moved to New York almost 15 years ago, I thought I would never leave it. But as I walk around the city I am less and less impressed with all the sirens and dog shit and cursing. It really doesn't help stress levels. Am I going to have to move to (shudder) uptown? I'm even entertaining the thought of, dare I say it, California. Is New York different or am I just getting older?
Two "emergency" calls into an immuno-ophthalmologist did the trick. Yep, that's the way to get an appointment. After two months of being on the doctor go'round, I finally located someone who can actually help me (and who knows what he's doing.) Sure, he wants to put me on immuno-suppressants. And you know what I say? Hell, yeah! Acupuncture and herbs are nice but they ain't workin'. Bring on the medication! Even if that means monthly blood tests. I know. This should be scaring me, but it's not. Because finally someone is doing something. I just hope it's the right something.
The yellow tinged one? Yeah, that might be me someday. The medicine I started taking today is usually given to people with HIV, malaria and leprosy. Me? I have a rare eye ailment complete with "wayward lashes. (Jealous?) The side effects of the medication are chronic anemia, stomach pains, bluish nails and jaundice!? Blood tests every three weeks should prevent anything like that actually happening though. Weird, isn't it? I thought I just had pinkeye or something. I know I'll be fine, but I like things perfect. Unrealistic, sure. And yeah, I'm gonna hafta to get over that. Real fast.
People need to stop wearing perfume. Doug has a theory that perfume-wearers grow insensitive to their own scent, which is why they have to douse themselves so heavily. I thought the morning-breath on the train was bad! My office has windows that can't be opened so whenever That Woman walks by, she leaves a mist of Halston meets Raspberry funk. Do people think this is attractive? I had to tell my next door neighbor that I was allergic to her so could she please walk away because she was making my eyes tear. Can't you smell yourself? You really stink.
Shortly after I got engaged 2 co-workers took me for a celebration lunch of thai food and champagne. Nothing fancy, but it really made me feel nice and kinda loved. I remember feeling really light for the rest of the day. I think of this now, as I look at a stack of my boss's expenses. Seems the receipt is in there marked with a note that says "lunch with blah and blah" (I'm neither blah nor blah). Damn. If I knew I was going to be a business expense, I would have ordered more and not paid the tip.
When I left work at 3:00 today, I just laughed. Everyone here may be above me in title/power, but lookee! It's me sitting in a late afternoon showing of Stars Wars with my man and a half a turkey sandwich. The movie in fact sucks but it feels exciting to be seeing a film during a weekday. Afterwards we walk around the neighborhood and try on shoes made of astro-turf. Too big for me, too small for Doug. It's getting warm out and it smells like the beginning of summer. We're on the Ice Cube tip. It's a good day.
We're heading to the country house. No, it's not like that. It's not a manor. We don't have stables or P. Diddy as a neighbor. It's a small house with a view of a lake. That kind of country house. It's a quiet place to read or write. Doug plans to write. I plan to read. I always wished I smoked when I visit here. It's that kind of place too. With a back porch, perfect for having that special cigarette. But tobacco gives me a headache so instead I make a cup of tea. It's not the same thing.
I've done nothing today except drink tea, take Advil and nap. I was raised to take it easy. Why run when you can walk? Why stand when you can sit? Stay horizontal. At around 5:00 though we went out to the local eatery here in Nowheresville. I felt numb and a little high from all the sleep. Everything was blurry in that way but I know what I saw. I mean, we're pretty much the only Jews here so when a gaggle of people wearing t-shirts that read www.chosenones.com I thought that I had to be dreaming again. Was I?
Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Writing is work. Real work. Hard work. I am seeing first hand how Doug does it. It's not something that comes in one hour spurts, take a three hour break, talk on the phone, go out and buy some shoes, come back to your page, edit the one paragraph you wrote in the morning. No. That's not it. It's sitting in front of the computer and writing and thinking and researching and re-writing and looking up things and asking experts. Sure, I've written a book. Maybe you have too. But is it any good?
The same pile o'work from this morning is still on my desk. Am I busy? No. I just don't feel like doing it. I wonder what would happen if I didn't do anything at all here. How long would it take for someone to notice? It's not that I'm lazy, or even unmotivated. It's that I have too much to do, too much to think about that I can't get started on anything. Either I get things done too quickly with leftover time or I just languish. Remember when the day seemed so long and never-ending? What happened to that?
You can spot people coming towards you way down the corridor. The hallways are long here which makes things a little tricky. So what do you do? Start waving or doing high-kicks from on yonder? Most people divert their eyes or pretend to be interested on stuff on the floor. Then right when they're about to pass you they say "hey" or "hi" and then get back to being concerned with what's on the walls or ceilings. Other times people see you from down the way and just ignore you when you pass. Which is better depends on your mood.
The highs and lows of this month are slowly killing me. How do people live? It's a balancing act. But I've got weak ankles. (I can't even ice skate.) There must be a middle ground between being happily elated and downwardly immobile. I was feeling fine until Kip the doctor told me that my eyes got worse. How could that happen? I'm doing everything right. But maybe it's not about that. This is life. At home later, Doug asks "How are we going to die?" although we?re just beginning together. "We'll die together," I say. "Terrorists?" he asks. "Probably." Settled.
The F train. One seat available. I sit down and glance at the person next to me. He looks, as my mother used to say, "a little off." Oversized glasses, socks with sandals and what is that smell? Eggplant? This somewhat derailed human is indeed scarfing loads of the stuff in a drippy sauce from a tupperware container. I get up. Of course I do. I spend most of my time watching this guy. I can feel my face going into that P.U. shape. He stares back at me. Sauce all over his face. No on else seems to notice.
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