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They must have been on a field trip from the halfway-house or something, these ten or so people waiting by the checkout station in the Associated supermarket on 14th Street. The woman with the missing teeth in the line next to me got all flustered when she realized that she couldn't push her cart through. Her friend, also toothless, was jumping around. "Where's coffee?," she asked, already obviously "caffeinated." The first woman pointed her into the direction of the Taster's Choice and then stood back and started filing her chipped blue polished nails. Life in New York City. So glamorous.
The thin guy with the sandy mane and the pronounced harelip seemed a little edgy. His companion, a man with a pencil thin moustache, dyed black hair and "hey-there" stance was clearly scoping out the room. I don't think the harelip guy liked this, as he kept massaging his knee nervously through his stuck-in-the-grunge-era ripped jeans. Rico suave man would return his gaze from time to time, and then eye the room distractedly again. They both seemed desperate in different ways. I couldn't help staring at them and wondering if they know how lucky they are to have each other.
A famous actor from a hit television series (and his family) lives in our building. He owns half of a floor and is seldom seen. However, once we rode the elevator with him and his giant mountain bike. We even tried to make conversation with him, but he wasn't having any of it. I usually see various nannies wheeling around his son, but today his wife was in the elevator with me. She said hello earnestly, having no idea that it was I that lipstick kissed a piece of her husband's mail that was left outside of his mailbox. Whew.
The theatre was empty –- my worst fear. Would I be the only one watching this film? An old man entered, a friendly granpa type. "Where is everybody?" he said. "It's just you and me," I said back. He asked if he should sit with me. I knew he meant no harm but I automatically lied and said that someone was joining me. "Oh" he said. I just wanted to watch the movie alone –- in a room full of people. I got my wish and more people came. Too bad they were hard-of-hearing-blabbermouths who talked throughout the entire movie.
The lady was hysterically screaming at her kid. As I walked to Avenue B the yelling only got louder. "Don't you ever EVER play dead when it's time to go. Do you hear me? Do you?!" Lady, the whole block hears you – and your frenzied child. Even the guys playing basketball in Tompkins Square Park chimed in. "Shut up, you stupid bitch," they yelled. Walking in the middle of this, I felt like I had on headphones with two different kinds of horrible things coming out of each ear. I need to turn down the volume. Way the fuck down.
We went to the fake genuine Irish bar across the street from Sean's work to have a drink. Sean had some kind of weak cider beer that he was convinced should have come with a straw. In the corner there was a group of disjointed people that I gathered came straight from work. They were "whooping it up," also in a phony manner. Yuck. Who would actively chose to come to this place? We sipped our drinks and left. I went home and Sean went back to work. I think we had more fun than any of those people there.
Sitting in the accountant's office in Long Island made me think how much I like orderly things. His office was anything but that. It was a mess. Piles and piles of papers, some yellowed, some torn, and some invariably, ours. Pictures of his kids lined his shelf – three sons, plus grandchildren. His wife and son also work in the same office. The messy, cluttered office. Papers and piles and harsh track lighting. I zoned out a bit while he worked, looking around at this family business. They all seem so happy working together, but I could never, ever do it.
It was pointed out to me today while my husband was imitating my mother (complete with a NY accent that she doesn't have) that she dresses like a rapper. At first I got mad, because this is my Moms that we're talking about, but then I thought damn, yeah. Her attire is more on the Missy Elliott tip than say, the Lil Kim tip. She wears those tracksuits but in pastel colors. No bling-bling though, these are strictly worn for comfort. No heavy gold chains either just a necklace with charms of her grandchildren on it. How dope is that?
He couldn't smell any worse. What the hell was that? Sweat mixed with onions mixed with polyester mixed with some kind of medicinal toxin smell, like dirty diapers.
(Well hello, nice to meet you too! Excuse me while I talk into my handkerchief. No, I'm fine, really. It's just that it's hard being charming and accommodating when you're silently choking. )
Honestly, I was on the verge of a dry heave the entire time. The thing is, he seemed nice enough but the whole time we were at lunch all I kept thinking was -- can't you smell yourself? Can't you?!
Have you ever seen those RDS messengers? They have green uniforms – hats, pants, shirts, even coats. I've noticed them for a while now and wondered what the deal is. I say this because they all seem, I dunno, a little *off.* I often see them talking to themselves, madly. Like the guy today on the bus. He got on with his bag from McDonalds and stood in back of me, a little too close. So when a seat opened near me, I took it. He then walked to the back and muttered under his breath "bitch." Did he mean me?
A few weeks ago I spent over six hours at a gala honoring Bono. I don't even like Bono but it was a paying gig for The RS. I felt a little rusty when I arrived at the journalists' table. That is, until I was asked whom I was "with" and then all- of-a-sudden the men at the table gave me props. So lame. It made me realize that I'm not a journalist -- I'm a writer. I guess I can console myself with that as I looked through the magazine today and saw that the piece didn't even run.
Saw Pizza-Boy today. I met him in French class two years ago. We talked for hours, casually flirted and went out a couple of times, on dates that weren't really dates. When he didn't make the moves on me, my friends told me to be patient because he was probably just shy. I tried. Then one night when we had been in each other's company for five hours – drinking and talking, we decided to call it a night. Instead of walking me home, he wanted to go for pizza --in the opposite direction of my house. Hence, the name.
What's worse –- having nothing to do but one big project, or having too many small things to work on plus the big project? I've always been a minimalist, but I'm missing the trivial stuff. I miss being able to check things off a list. I miss hurrying through tasks I didn't necessarily even like to do because it reminded me that if I did just that, I could move on to what I'd passionately like to do. Or maybe I just miss being able to divert my attention to the small things, instead of focusing on the big picture.
Since Adele left I find that I have more leisure time than I know what to do with. I so miss our talks and nefarious adventures! Especially those afternoons that Adele and I would be in the sitting room, listening to the incessant banging of our paranoid neighbor Agnes Moorehead. Oh, the devious fun we would have with her! Whether it was knocking back on the wall in morse code, or ringing her phone and pretending to be her long dead auntie. What is that you say? I'm in the wrong forum. Barbara who? Oh my, dreadfully sorry…. Never mind.
There was a two-fer crazy sale on the M9 bus. The old woman who pointed to a piece of trash on the floor started by asking if it was mine. When I replied no, she bitterly said "the least you could do is thank me." She talked incessantly about how her fish was defrosting; she "could feel it." Her rambling was only punctuated by the wounded yelps of the retarded teenager at the front of the bus who fitfully hit a small child. The mother freaked and called the retarded girl a bitch. Loudly. After that, my stop came. Thankfully.
Dinner in Manhattan between three intelligent adults consisted of us fucking around with my entrée of spaghetti with calamari. It started when I shunted the creepy testicle looking bit to the empty salad plate and proceeded to "playing" with the carnage by sporting behavior that consisted of aggressive throwing of extra sauce onto the tentacle until it turned over in shame, imaging what kind of voice the limb would have and then speaking in that tongue and then escalated into imagining that the appendage was somebody's asshole (it did bear a remarkable resemblance). What? Like you've never done this before?
The air was thick and heavy today. Warm temperatures have heated up the city but today's 65 degrees felt downright oppressive. Dark clouds hung low with periodic episodes of sun. We were determined to walk around in the city, pre-war. We saw green people, green bagels, green vomit. This holiday is not one of my favorites, and today it seemed to be even yuckier than ever. It's also Purim, but instead of celebrating with friends, we're staying in to watch the President speak. I want to hear it come out of his mouth. Looks like we're going to war. Shit.
I called my mother tonight (twice in one week) because today is my father's birthday. I thought she might be sad. Instead she didn't mention it at all but talked about reality TV shows. It was weird. Weirder than most of our conversations. I didn't want to bring up the whole birthday thing because she sounded happy and I didn't want to bum her out. We've talked before on his birth-day and death-day and lots of tears have flowed. Hers, not mine. I saved my crying for when I hung up the phone. Like tonight. I don't know exactly why.
It's always worse the day after we have a fight. I don't know why. I fled the apartment when I started to get really mad and walked in a big square around the city. I wasn't dressed warmly enough and when I got cold, blamed him for that too. I rushed out without lipstick and crazy hair. I felt like everyone on the street viewed me as a strange person. Muttering under my breath with a scrunched brow. When I got home 45 minutes later (what a rebel!), we worked it out. I know -- next time it'll be easier.
I vaguely remember watching the Vietnam War on television while we were eating dinner (the requisite meat, potato, overcooked green vegetable). Now, things are different – CNN and 24 hour cable makes it so. We went to sleep with the war on and also awoke with it happening. It's like 9/11. As horrible as it was to watch, we just couldn't stop ourselves. Then we became deadened as a defense mechanism or maybe from sheer overload. I'm sure that will hit with this too. Question. So should I feel guilty that I switch to TLC at 4:00 to watch Trading Spaces?
Well, the shock and awe started and I'm not even talking about the war. I'm talking about a woman named Mitzi who is running an after-school-program for super-smart kids who want to create a magazine. So I went in on Tuesday and met with the girls and Mitzi told me that she would call me today to let me know if I got the job (after mispronouncing "zine" repeatedly). At 6:18PM the phone rang and it was an assistant who told me to start on Monday "co-teaching" with someone named Abby. Huh? Who dat? Should I be shocked and awed?
We were on our way to Coxsackie when the cop-car pulled us over. He put on the siren light but we continued driving to see if there was a shoulder to pull onto. After fifteen seconds, we pulled over. The cop, a good fifteen years younger than us, started yelling at D. like he was his redheaded stepchild or something. "Did you not see the siren? Do you not understand what to do," he scolded belligerently . "Do you not have a life?, Can you not see that you're an asshole?" was what I thought -- but we just sat there, stupefied.
Do you think it's weird that someone smokes four joints in two hours? All by himself? In between courses at dinner? In front of the fireplace? The one that blows black smoke into the room? Do you think I'm a baby for retiring early? Was it rude of me to choke alone upstairs, rather than be a good sport and suffocate with our hosts? Do you have any idea how not fun it is to breathe in pot smoke and wood chips all night long? Can you imagine the headache? Do you know how fast we left? Can you guess?
We walked into the room, which was set up like a fashion-show with chairs in L shapes and nametags on the seats. There was even a delayed start time to set the tense mood. When the dancers came out, they walked in their interpretation of runway models. Some had on silly outfits that made us laugh and others looked way too intense in clothes that were nondescript. Ten minutes later, it was all over --this makeshift fashion-show where the dancers walked like models. Is this really considered dance? The choreographer says it is, but I'm still mulling it over.
In between watching the war on TV we've been watching other mindless television shows (it helps). Today we saw the Thunderbirds, a children's TV show from the 60s whose cast is entirely made of marionette puppets. It's weird and creepy, like H.R. Puffinstuff in a way. Big headed/big-eyed people have always freaked me out. The story lines are shaky at best but there are really artful explosions to make up for it The best part is that in every episode you can see the strings holding up the puppets. They're not even trying to hide them either. I love that.
I hate it how when he talks to me about something important he doesn't look at me straight on. Instead he fixes his gaze on a distant object. I know I could tell him to look me in the eyes, but I've done that before, and it doesn't really help things along. I wonder if he's feeling better now. Me, I feel like shit. I can't even go into specifics here, it's just that feeling of not being enough for someone else. I can't help how I am. And why should I? Actually, "how I am" is pretty fucken great.
I sat patiently while she told me the story of her boyfriend. I'd known all-along that they were a couple, but for reasons that folks at big companies have, they kept it to themselves. I found it funny but sweet that she was shocked that I knew all along. I didn't tell her that I use to see him in her office many times with the door closed, or that when he first started at work he cockily stated that she was the only attractive woman at worth meeting. I also didn't tell her that I never liked the guy.
A writer-friend once told me that it's ok to write about family or friends, but to do so with love. Another writer told me that in order to write well you should pretend that you're an orphan. I try to mix these philosophies but every time I use the word fuck unnecessarily or go off randomly on someone (who me?), I get this mental picture of my mother looking at me with hurt Bambi-eyes (albeit with a cawfee-talk voice). So, word to ya'll: don't write about anybody here unless you're 100% percent ok with them reading your words. Trust me.
Jenny ordered a bagel with salmon and tomato, no onion. The flustered waitress told us that she wasn't "sure" about the tomato and that the onion had to stay or else she'd get in trouble. Jenny, on the other hand, was damn "sure" about the tomato AND the onion or else her stomach would be in trouble. When I ordered the omelet, I was told that I could only have it as brunch option, which meant I'd have to order a drink that I didn't want. We really just wanted to eat. When did brunch become like a Bunuel film?
The 30-degree drop in the weather has gone straight to my head. I write these words now coated in tiger balm to alleviate my neck tension. Yeah, feelin' sexy and smellin' sexy. Nothing like a sinus headache to bring out the woman in me. So yeah, this month is almost over and I'm pondering whether to bother next month. I have a book to finish and eBaying to get back to. I'm busy! But I do enjoy this diversion. And it's not like it takes a lot of time. I generally knock out these entries in ten minutes or so.
New York City, I think I have to leave you. It's just not working out for me anymore. It's not you, it's ME. I just can't handle our relationship anymore. Yes, I still think you're sexy and fun but it's been getting harder for me to get turned on by you. Yes, I will miss your magical springs and surreal autumns, but I will not miss your icy winters and steamy-stinky summers. Call me a traitor if you that makes you feel better, I'll never speak an ill word against you. I love ya, baby. But I'm leaving you nonetheless.
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