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My books come alive when I'm not home. The cats know this and it makes them nervous. Often a book will be on the floor when I return. I pick it up and it's hot. Or wet. Or smells sweet. Or musty. I know it didn't fall off the shelf by accident. I've always wanted to climb inside my books. Be the characters. See the sights. Taste the flavors. Have different memories. I've yet to create the world I want in my own life. And there is no end in sight. I wonder if my books also yearn for escape.
All she had to do was leave. She watched him chew. He always took a drink with a mouthful of food. It made her sick. He loved her though. He smelled sometimes. He picked his nose. Ate it. But he was good to her. She had nice clothes. Nice house. He didn't demand sex or push her head into his lap. He did like to kiss her though. He slobbered. He was kind of gross she guessed. He did have nice brown eyes. Big. Like a deer. He watched her from the kitchen. All she had to do was leave.
I hate when I feel this way. Uncomfortable in my own skin. I want to scream and punch. And there's no way out. Tension in my body. Relax, they say. But I can't. Nothing helps. Not any of the clichéd bullshit the self-help gurus spew. Not yoga. Not stretching. Not meditation. Be thankful for what you have, they say. People are starving in India. I know, I say. But fuck you! Don't minimize my pain. How dare you? Do you think giving me further proof of how fucked up and evil and unfair our world is will make me happy?
I saw an orange zippered pouch on the sidewalk, bent down, picked it up. It contained cash baby, loads of it, stacks of $100 bills. They were mine, all mine. I thought, "I'll pay off my debt. I'll take a trip. I'll buy new clothes." I thought, "I'll save some. I'll buy some gifts." I counted it. I sniffed my fingers. That money smell. I smelled like money. Not a smell, an aroma. Smells are bad. Aromas are good. Money is good. I counted that money. My life was going to change. This is all I needed. But it wasn't.
There was a knock on the door. Open up, she said. My mother told me to come here, she said. She sounded scary. I didn't believe her. I think she was a killer. And she wanted me to let her in. I wouldn't. I pretended I wasn't home. I stood there in the dark hallway, listening to her breathing heavily just a few feet away. She knocked again. Hello, she said. Anyone home, she said. I knew she wore black gloves and fidgeted her fingers on the handle of a butcher knife. I couldn't move. I wouldn't let her in.
I remember looking up and telling him he was beautiful. He said no one had told him that before. He looked like a monkey but I loved primates. His young, female friends would sleep over his house. In his bed. He held them all night, but insisted they were just friends. I could not get my mind around it. They all fell in love with him. He broke their hearts and feigned innocence. Later on, I found out a French girl had told him he was beautiful, too. But by then I didn't think he was quite so beautiful anymore.
He handed me a plate of cut fruit. It's a van Gogh Fruit Plate, he said. Because you love van Gogh. I looked at the slices of juicy fruit. The round grapes. The green and orange melon. The red apple with its skin still on. Kiwi slices with shiny, tiny black seeds. I wasn't used to this kind of service. He handed it to me over the back of the red velvet couch. He bent to kiss me, one hand at the base of my neck. Mmmm, he said. I'm going to marry you. That was the night we met.
I can't wear high heels. I don't have long hair. I hate bars, clubs, all those scenes. I don't act fake. I'd rather be alone with a book or one friend. I don't care to see and be seen. I'm not impressed by your Seven jeans, pointy toed-shoes, over-priced t-shirt and $100 blowout. I don't want to be part of your ‘in' crowd or known as an ‘it' girl. Superficiality makes me want to vomit. As you probably do right after you eat. Underneath it all, you're as insecure as me. Your costume doesn't hide the tears behind your eyes.
"Dead Dad" Strike that. "Dear Larry" Not bad. "Dear Larry: Are you my father?" Awful…reminds me of that cartoon, was it Bugs Bunny, where the character was looking around…I think it was just hatched…and it said "Are you my mother? Are you my mother?" Or did it say "mommy?" Scratch that. "Dear Larry: My name is Allison." That sucks. "Dear Larry: If you are not my father, please disregard this letter. If you are…" How do you write a letter like this? The man's phone number is unlisted. Obviously he doesn't want to be found. Why am I writing him?
When left alone for the night I turn into a bizarre combination of bachelor, slob and child. I unplug the phone; look at porn on the Internet; drink OJ from the container; bring a bag of nacho chips and a bowl of salsa to bed; read Maxim; check out Christina Aguilera's tits; watch the Powerpuff Girls and South Park; think about fucking Tyson Beckford; take a bubble bath for so long my fingers and toes turn into prunes; contemplate getting dressed in high-heeled boots and deep, red lipstick, going to a bar, climbing up on it and shaking my ass.
I met a girl today who was designing packaging for her fiancé's father's invention. He created a dog food seasoning mix that you add to your dog's food to spice it up. She thought this was a stupid idea and told me everyone agreed. I did, too. First of all, has a dog ever asked for the salt shaker? I've never heard a dog say, "Got any Frank's Red Hot? This Alpo is a bit bland." How do you know exactly how much seasoning mix to sprinkle on his Kibbles 'n Bits? What's next – grass-flavored sorbet to cleanse his palate?
I bought a box of clementines for $10 at the food store. I love clementines. I love their petite cuteness. I love their easy-to-peel skin. I love their fresh, clean scent. I love their sweet, juicy taste. I love that they have no seeds. I love how they come packaged in a red net bag and then inside a miniature crate. They epitomize cute. I can never eat just one. I wish I always had a big bowl piled high with cold clementines. An orange pyramid of glee just waiting for my mouth. Happy little clementines = happy little me.
Don't walk. Stop. No Parking. No Left Turn. One Way. Don't Litter. Use Other Door. Sidewalk Closed. This Elevator Out Of Order. Breakfast Special. Out Of Water. Fire Alarm Testing Today. You're Password Has Expired. Show ID to Attendant. Line Forms Here. Tickets for 10pm Show Sold Out. We Sell Cigarettes. Fresh Hot Coffee. Candy $1. Help the Homeless. Do Not Enter. No Tokens. Lotto Jackpot $14 million. Homeless and HIV Positive. Please Sign in at Reception Desk. Concourse Subway Entrance Temporarily Closed. Any Watches In Case $5. Stickers All Kinds on Sheet $2. Do Not Remove This Tag. Exit.
A man threw up on the subway last night. He wasn't drunk. He was dressed in a business suit and heavy black coat. He had removed his scarf. You could tell he was mortified. No one tried to make him feel badly. Many of us tried very hard not to puke and we succeeded. He apologized and said he had the flu. We all backed a way a bit to get away from the smell, but we smiled nicely and said we understood. I handed him some tissues. Someone else did, too. A bottle of water was offered. Poor guy.
I am sick. Very. I want to go to bed. I cannot breathe. My head is full. I can only hear from my left ear. My eyes are dripping. My nose is, too. The stuff in my head is yellow and green. That is disgusting. My mouth is parched. My lips are cracked. My neck aches. My glands and lymph nodes are swollen. Ouch. My legs hurt. My arms hurt. My stomach is queasy. My throat is sore. It hurts to swallow. I looked inside and saw bright red. I did get a flu shot. Am I dying? Probably not.
I hate…what do I hate? I just hate. A lot of things. Everything lately. I feel bitter and angry. I feel frustrated and insane. I feel dissatisfied and discontent. I feel anxious. I feel ugly. I feel lost. Why? I can't tell you why because I don't know. I hate everyone. I hate everything. Maybe it's hormonal. I don't think this life is anything great. I think it's bullshit. You get happiness and it gets taken away from you. Then you're supposed to move on and then people say, ‘Oh, look how nicely she's moved on.' What's the fucking point?
A Q-tip in your ear feels good. The box says do not put the Q-tip in the ear canal. But I do. And it feels so fine. I like Q-tips. They are good for fixing mascara smears. They are good for craft projects. They are good for cleaning your belly button. Do you clean your belly button? You should. Try Q-tips. My cats' (both of them) favorite toy is a Q-tip. They bounce it and chew on it and carry it about. The pristine, white, fluffy Q-tip turns into a filthy, molested, shredded mess. And then I throw it away.
Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Ted told me I said those three words a lot. I shoulda done this, I woulda done that, I coulda been a contenda. He liked me. I liked him. But I had a boyfriend who I wasn't breaking up with. One day I went for a walk near my house. I passed a green park bench. Carved into the wooden slats was, "Ted Loves Allison". That will forever make me smile. He didn't really love me of course. He's married to someone else. But never knowing what coulda been leaves me free to think he probably woulda.
Ali is sleeping. I am catching up on things. There is much to do and as usual I am not doing what I should be. I don't feel like making dinner tonight. I don't feel like washing the dishes. I don't feel like doing anything. For a little while I got into bed with a book and a box of Wheat Thins. It felt so decadent. Which makes me see I need more decadence in my life. More passion. More happiness. More pure joy. I lost my ability to experience joy a long time ago. Can I get it back?
I like Twinkies. They are fake to the core and I love that they are. Spongy, sticky, weird-tasting cake. Grainy, sugary, fluffy "cream" filling. Oh, what crap and oh so yummy! I love Cheez Doodles. Orange and puffy and salty. I love how they melt on my tongue. I love how my fingers turn orange from the Cheez. I love donuts. Krispy Kreme, Dunkin', Entenmann's…I love them all. My favorite is the pink glazed from Dunkin' Donuts. But only if it doesn't have sprinkles. I like the Krispy Kreme glazed when it's hot, but I love the blueberry cake always.
I don't like to clean. I hate it actually. I'm not good at organizing and straightening up. I get no pleasure from it. Looking at a mess makes me so overwhelmed I could cry. I don't know where to begin cleaning. The mess grows before my eyes. There is never a place for it all. I have difficulty throwing things away. I feel bound down and suffocated by all the scraps of paper that I plan to do something with. That day never seems to come. And I'm sure I couldn't find what I was looking for if it did.
There is no 'getting over' certain things that happen in your life. They say forgiveness is the key to feeling better, that it will free you. I think that's crap. I wish there was a proven list of step-by-step things you could do, like: Step 1. Put your right index finger into your left ear; Step 2. Say Meeka Looka Heeka Maaka seven times fast...and so on. After you did this specified list of 'Forgiveness Instructions' you'd be cured of the burden of feeling like shit. You would forgive whomever or whatever had wronged you, even if it was yourself.
I saw a gorgeous round mirror on a heavy silver stand. I want it. For years, I've purchased cheap little mirrors from the drug store. I sit at the kitchen table putting on my mascara or lip gloss. I take the mirror into the bathroom to check the back of my hair, make sure it's not sticking out funny. My cat has broken 3 of these cheapo mirrors in the past 3 months. I think he is trying to tell me something. I deserve to look at my face in something that is as gorgeous as I wish I was.
It's supposed to rain tomorrow. Torrentially. I hope it does. I want to do nothing but stay inside and read and nap and eat. I do not want to feel guilty for missing daylight, so if there isn't any, I can enjoy my sluggishness unencumbered. Of course, I'll be thinking I should go to the gym. It's Christmas Day though. I imagine the gym will be closed. That's that. I probably should do something productive. But why? Why not just sleep and relax? Why must I be doing something? Don't I deserve to do nothing? Can one actually do nothing?
I always had milk in my tea. My grandfather told me it would eat a hole in my stomach. I never believed him. In Turkey I was served strong, hot tea in small hour-glass shaped glasses, with a tiny spoon, cubes of sugar and no milk. My first sip of it, as I sat alone in a cold restaurant in the middle of a snow storm, tasted medicinal. I took another sip. That one tasted magical. I sat many nights in this same restaurant, savoring lentil soup and rice pilaf and way too many glasses of hot tea. Without milk.
When Jade was alive I used to nibble on his furry ears. He loved that. Jade had his own song – Jadey with the booty in the air, Jadey with the booty and no cares, Jadey's got gray hair, Jadey's always running scared. He's sit with his ass in the air and it looked funny. Rotten children had put him in a washing machine and I rescued him when he was three months old. He barely weighed a pound. I love him so much. When they put him to sleep, I nibbled on his ear. We both cried. I still cry.
Could I be happy? One of those who smiles a lot. People would say, 'She's always so happy!' I'd love to be that person at heart. But how can I be that when I'm aware of how horrible this world can be? The awful things that go on. The pain, the suffering, the agony. There are good spots, of course, here and there...sometimes... But mostly, this is one awful, tortuous existence. I want to be a happy person. I try. I don't succeed. I pretend. I succeed at that. They think I'm happy. I fool them. Can I fool me?
Is it as easy as deciding to change? Not worrying so much. Acting as if. All that psycho-babble bullshit the books and gurus preach. Could it be that easy? Is happiness a conscious decision? Is it possible to not live in fear? Can I put the baggage down? Am I attached to suffering? Can I be who I pretend to be? Can I be here now? Would I be less jealous if I felt more secure? Could I be like that guy who told me I only have right now? Or is right now going to keep passing me by?
I want to be taken care of the way I take care of others. Make me tea. Cook me breakfast. Surprise me. Write me love notes. Listen to me. Think of me. I've never received as much as I've given. I realize the scale is unbalanced because I give too much. Why do I do that? Maybe I feel discontent because I am not getting enough from myself. Maybe what I'm waiting to get from someone else is something only I can give me. How can I be so good at giving away and so bad at giving to me?
Learn French. Have a great body. Be happy. Feel secure. Be outgoing. Don't be a hermit. Be brave. Travel widely. Have fun. Explore. Be spontaneous. Pay off debt. Learn to dance. Be here now. Don't worry. Act as if. A better friend. Less serious. More organized. Stay in touch. Take chances. More passion. Less neurotic. Truly love. Learn new things. Relax. Be truthful. Go for what I want. Give up what I don't. Hold on loosely. Give up false sense of control. Let them be them. Be who I am. Accept who I am. Love who I am. Can I?
Things that disgust me. That little blob of dried mustard on the tip of the squeeze bottle. Rude people. Jerry Springer guests. Globs of spit on the street. Fake. Abuse. Violence. Hypocrites. Cilantro. Lies. Cheaters. Things that are overpriced. The rents in NYC. Ass kissers. My own lack of confidence. Bossy people. Braggarts. Waste. Acquiring for the sake of acquiring. Racism. Ignorance. Stupidity. Foods with slimy textures. That beauty can get you farther than brains. Commercialism. Clichéd sentimentality. Hate. Unfairness. People who pee on the toilet seat. Smoking. Sloppy drunks. Meanness. How quickly everything can get fucked up. No hope.
The Tip Jar