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My fake egg salad a/k/a "fegg zalad" does not taste like egg and does not want to taste like egg. It will tell you with a chuckle that the reason it's even associated with egg salad is because it likes to go on picnics and fancies itself up with turmeric to give it enough yellowness to resemble egg.
I gave a general recipe to one friend -- alas, not exact measurements, and I may have left one or two out -- but that is the extent of my sharing. Yes, I am *that dick* who refuses to divulge a recipe.
I'm perched on the risers, blissfully not wearing the striped gymsuit I share with Nancy. It's not the gymsuit I dread, even though it could double as a biology experiment since neither of us has taken it home to wash all year. If pressed to defend ourselves, we could offer that Nancy's too prissy to sweat and I barely exert myself. It's not even the fact that my crotch touches the same cotton as hers that I dread; it's the soul-shriveling "steal the bacon", and for that I'm willing to feign "girl cramps" and run the risk of boy leers.
In the dreams, yes, I fly, but I do not soar. I do not wear a shiny cape and peer down upon a purplish metropolis like a superheroine intent on saving the day. I do not zip and dip through an azure sky like a military stunt plane much to the ooh and ahh of a rapt, beaming crowd below. I merely hover, perhaps at a height that would reach my own shoulder if standing, and move slowly, almost as if under water. I'm not necessarily startled to be flying but instead am amused and take it all in stride.
Even the most ungifted seventh grade girl can make a wrap skirt out of cheap cotton corduroy or a ditzy patterned poly blend. But it takes a really innovative preteen, one who has finally realized she will never be able to thread a needle without going blind, to eschew the notion of fabric altogether and to find a way to showcase a sense of style that cannot be bound by tradition. Whereas before she dreaded the end-of-marking-period fashion show, now Marni cannot wait to set the world -- and herself, from the waist down to her knees -- on fire.
In an effort to save on a Con Edison bill that I'm a month behind in paying, I've taken to limiting my non-Energy Star air conditioner use during the day to the very barest of minimums. This often results in my baring my minimums to the maximum, which I suppose some people (Hello, boyfriend! Hello, nosy neighbor! Hello, chatty landlord!) would find so titillating that it would beg for sweet relief via blasting the air conditioner. (Hello, irony?) When clothed, however minimally, the sweat on my clothes often manifests itself as a Rorschach test that I am terrified to interpret.
A friend asked if my cat ever wakes me up in the morning. Rather than shooting back a curt, "Are you fucking kidding me?" or having Shana return a report in triplicate, I responded as follows: " She stares at me until the evil energy pulsing from her fuzzy black head reaches such a feverish pitch that my brain has no choice but to stir itself and obey. This is accomplished from a distance of about six inches from my face, so I have the delightful bonus, when opening my eyes, of her face confronting me in alarming extreme close-up."
He's strolling west on 72nd Street, just past The Dakota, two medium-large dogs ambling alongside, as if beneath his feet and their paws doesn't lie a concrete sidewalk but a dirt lane leading to a cottage where he'll cradle a mango in one hand, peeling it with a large knife, eating chunks off the side of the blade, offering his pulpy palm to whichever dog wants a slobbery taste. He's wiry, wizened, and white-haired and –bearded, shirt unbuttoned to mid-chest, revealing a tan that I suspect isn't borne of a resort vacation overseas but of well-earned retirement in Central Park.
Now that the small cactus monolith has shriveled like a shrunken head, this apartment is home to one plant, another cactus with little fuchsia flowers that looks like a deformed hand riddled with a mysterious skin disorder. The flowers, I'd discovered upon bringing this plant home, were fake, glued onto the plant's fingertips like Lee Press-On Nails. (They have since defected and now rest atop the soil, like adoring fans looking up at their idol.) It's sad to think that those fake little flowers will have the last laugh when this plant eventually, like the others, sputters its final breath.
My landlord's on the sidewalk, walking in the same direction as I, and he's seen me, and seen me see him, so I cannot pretend otherwise.
I ask how his book is progressing. He just so happens to have it with him. He unveils several pages of words in an ant-sized font, crammed so closely together that they make the Times Square subway platform at rush hour look sparse. He asks if he can read aloud, I say of course, and when he's done I say, "That's fantastic!"
This, friends, is how you ensure no rent increases for a half-decade.
If left to my own devices, I'd listen to '80s gayboy dance music until blue in the face and/or balls. Much of the stuff on my iPod I inherited from two of my best friends, so occasionally I choose "shuffle", anticipating a hitherto hidden delight. This morning while doing insane hills on the treadmill, I did so and was treated to a song by Assemblage 23, which led to listening to "Failure" in its entirety. I got so worked up that I'm sure anyone who saw my face thought they were seeing the face of Satan. (And maybe they were.)
My leg fell asleep in a strange position so long ago I can't even remember the last time I moved it. I marvel that now it's completely numb. Wow, without any feeling, I could probably wrap it around my neck with minimal effort and none of the twinges of pain that would otherwise accompany the event. I refrain, though, and poke at it like it's a beached jellyfish until sensation returns in the form of tingling so intense it's hurts. I call it "ginger ale" without pausing to consider other soda options. Years later I wonder, wouldn't "Tab" have sufficed?
I meet this chick at a party, and of course she's an actor, everyone's an actor in this city, or if not an actor, then a writer, a photographer, or, yeah, a filmmaker. When pressed, they will divulge with hesitance and apology that what pays the rent is a "day job" as an office manager, an administrative assistant, the guy who makes your coffee. These, like the rare part in a play so far off Broadway it may as well be in Iowa, they call "gigs", to lend an air of breezy coolness, to let you know it's definitely temporary.
My mother raves about the supreme comfort provided by the bed in the room that used to be mine but which now serves as the place where she sleeps and where she puts guests when they visit (relegating herself to the living room sofa). The way she goes on, you'd think it was the sensory equivalent of the finest caramel dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with a touch of sea salt. Every time I visit, I want to tell her that an Iron Maiden is more comfortable than that pile of rocks, but instead I suffer and awaken crippled.
The girls stop him on the street only because his dog is so good-looking, he says with a laugh. He doesn't mind, because otherwise they'd never stop, not even to ask the time, because these days he never wears a watch because he doesn't want a reminder of time passing and he doesn't have anywhere to be anyway. As with every other time I've seen him, he smiles at me as I smile at Chip, who also smiles. This time, though, I realize that what I've always thought was spinach stuck in his top front teeth is actually blackened decay.
You can tell by the way she's holding her head that she isn't thrilled with her haircut, that she's self-conscious about the bangs and wishes she still had the curtain of hair to hide behind. (You chortle at the irony and think briefly of O. Henry.) You've never uttered a word to her, but something about her apparent mortification endears her to you, so when you're both considering your reflections in the locker-room mirrors above the sinks, you tell her you love her haircut, exclamation point. She says she hates it, but thanks you with a grin of genuine relief.
I don't know about you, but when a band plays music for the free enjoyment of anyone within earshot -- whether seated on benches expressly for that purpose or passing by and stopping to listen for a few minutes or passing by and realizing, hey, these guys are pretty damned good and taking a seat on a bench -- I tend to think that their desire to make music takes precedence over my need to gab. So why oh why, circle of hens, do you think it's okay to chirp loudly in the same air space? Shut the peck up.
A long time ago, I had a vinyl belt that was reversible, and spent an inordinate amount of time marveling over the ingenuity. However, as groovy as it was, it always seemed like one side was the "right" side and the other, although also technically right, was somehow not quite as right. I always thought of it as "the black belt that can also be brown!" instead of the other way around, and when I wore it with the brown side facing out, I felt as rebellious as when I'd forego the A side of a 45 for the B.
Although my bed is less than a literal hop, skip, and pirouette away from my sofa, I consider it a delicious treat to "go to sofa" instead of to bed. I anticipate it with the same quality of glee I used to experience when my sister and I would create the ultimate fort underneath her trundle bed, where the only thing missing was a refrigerator just big enough to accommodate a couple of cans of Tab, or when, on a car ride home at night, I'd pretend to be dead asleep so my father would carry me inside the house.
A few years ago a reader of my 100 Words wrote to tell me that her mother, who'd died a while back, was a hilarious, brilliant, beautiful force of life who had the ability to make her laugh like no one else. She hadn't laughed like that since her mother's death, she said, until she discovered my writing. That was one of the most amazing and astounding compliments I've ever received.
She and I had a lovely exchange for a while, but I haven't heard from her in quite some time. I wish I knew if she was still laughing.
Although the seat in which you sit on the train is "yours", this does not include the part of it that faces me (its back). When you turn around, squat/stand so you can shout across the aisle to one of your cronies, in a language I swear you're making up, and grip the top of the seat with your grubby hands, the attached fingers are invading my space. I suggest that if you want them to remain attached, you'll get them out of my face, where they're perilously close to teeth that will forego veganism and hygiene for the opportunity.
Despite having declined the invitation to speak on behalf of my graduating class, perhaps while flanked by the department head and Bill Cosby, leaving that honor for the #2 girl, whose speech dutifully mentioned "hopes and dreams, law school decided it would like nothing better than to have me among its ranks. I accepted their acceptance of my application and was signing on the not-so-dotted line when panic overtook me and I realized, wait a sec, at least 95% of the lawyers I've ever worked with are dicks (including the women) (especially the women), and promptly destroyed the signature page.
When I was six months away from turning 30, a friend seated behind me in another friend's car alerted me to a lone gray hair occupying the back of my head. Because they were both younger and had had gray for years, I pretended it was no big deal and laughed with them. Secretly, I fretted mildly. About ten years later, my then-boyfriend pointed out the encroachment of gray atop our German Shepherd's head and on his muzzle, and I vehemently denied its existence, insisting it was just one of the many colors in his coat that I'd never noticed.
On Friday, I finally got to see a man drown. At least I think it was a man. I couldn't tell, from where I sat on my side of the lake. I guess no one was reported as having "gone missing", either, because no one visited the lake all weekend, to search for a body or to swim. It's the off-season, after all, so I shouldn't be surprised.
I couldn't tell if the person was shooing an insect away or waving at me just before walking into the water and never resurfacing, but I'd like to think he was waving.
Watching a man drown was not as life-altering as I thought it would be. I was disappointed at how relatively unmoved I was with the whole event. Although there was a certain lyrical and beautiful quality to it, like watching a building implode on TV with the sound off -- one moment there it is and then the next moment it's gone -- I had always hoped that the first time I saw a man drown, he would at least bob to the surface a few times, gasp, flail, and call out for assistance.
Oh well, there's always next time.
Somewhere in one of the little piles of whatever-the-fuck near my desk is a stapled-together bundle of receipts from Banana Republic from two summers ago, detailing the series of transactions involved in the purchase of a trench-style dress I'd coveted at first sight. Back then I delighted in singing the story of how I eventually got the dress for a song. I'm not the sort who necessarily hunts for "bargains", so I was impressed with this success.
I was more taken by that than the dress itself, alas. I wore it only once. The receipts here are the real trophy.
The homeless man on Broadway refuses the bagel I offer. Jesus loves me, he says. I tell him I know and that Jesus wants him to have the bagel. "God is not in there!" he says. I want to ask if that's because there's no cream cheese but instead advise that God AND Jesus want him to take it. He refuses again, so I give it to a homeless guy on Fifth with a "Hungry" sign and a ratty stuffed animal on the sidewalk in front of him, who accepts it with a quiet "God bless" and a gap-toothed smile.
I order the veggie burger "deluxe" because that means "with french fries". Of course the lettuce and tomato are also welcome (I don't want to hurt their feelings), but the fries are the draw.
When the platter arrives, I'm disappointed that the fries are given the shortest shrift of the three "deluxe" items. There is enough lettuce to both nibble and place on the burger and the two tomato slices are sufficient. But the fries? "More than a handful is a waste" should not apply here.
Next time I eliminate the middleman and just order a huge plate of fries.
Happy seven months, my darling! We've had rocky times, we've had rolly times, we've had some rockin' 'n' rollin' times. We've had a lot of times when, if we'd been in a van, we would've had to have notified passersby not to come a-knockin. We're back on track after the frightening threat of derailment, and now it's smooth sailing, nothing but blue sky, and fuck it all to hell and back if that's a mixed metaphor and cliché. Let's not forget who we are and what we are and how we came to be. The best is yet to come.
The concrete isn't too thrilled with its lot in life. Here it had been hoping, when it was getting all mixed up with water in the fun-time spinning thing on the back of the truck, that when it was poured out, it would be used to create a snazzy swimming pool in a suburban backyard, where it would enjoy a few months of leisurely work and have three seasons off, like the reverse of a teacher. But no, here it is, as a sidewalk on a bland block in the very far East 30s in Manhattan. How very, very pedestrian.
For years, when heat and humidity have gotten the better of me, I've resorted to saying, often to my own disgust at the association, "It's hotter than a crotch." Until recently, I never knew it was a Bob Dylan lyric (from the song Hot Mama); a comment on a friend's Facebook page supplied the information. I thought I came up with that gem all by my sickening lonesome. (The word "crotch" in and of itself is enough to induce cringing.) I suppose, instead, that it seeped/oozed/melted into my sweet (sub)consciousness thanks to the Dylan-soaked atmosphere in which I was raised.
It's the first time Eric and I are meeting for our now-traditional Thursday Thrill Ride, and we're not going to let anything stop us from riding until our legs or our chains fall off, not even this threat of rain as evidenced by the slate gray cloud hovering over our heads like impatient employers who don't trust us with a deadline. Within minutes the clouds can't stand it anymore and release themselves onto us, rendering us as soaked as if we had jumped into the Hudson. We laugh raucously and press on. As Queen says, Ain't no stoppin' us now.
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