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Upon reading about the possibility of Coke changing its formula, Marvin cowered where he stood in line at Wachovia Bank and had to be prodded by a crone with a way too long fingernail to get a move on. For the duration of the existence of New Coke, he hibernated in his studio apartment on West 98th, living on Pepsi and stale saltines, resurfacing with trepidation when Coke reverted to the original formula. Now, confronted with the rebranding of Duane Reade by way of the new black and purple plastic shopping bag, he knows it's time to go away again.
Sorry I didn't send your kid a birthday card this year, but I'm still waiting for her to acknowledge the gift I sent two years ago. Why did you allow her to say she'd acknowledge it after she was done watching the DVDs? Is a thank-you contingent on her enjoyment? Maybe she's just a kid and probably doesn't know any better, but you, as her parent, should. You should tell her that it takes 30 seconds to call to say "thank you". Or better yet, you should sit with her and help her write a handwritten thank-you note. You're welcome.
I don't know what I noticed first: That she was crying or that she was gorgeous in a way that made me want to cry. Either way, there she was, seated a table in Herald Square, teary, too early for Macy's to be open. And there I was, waiting for who knows what, but now incited to be her knight in shining armor. She tried to smile through her tears, which were romance-related. When Macy's opened, we went inside, although I have no idea what in there could help what was in her heart. I often wonder how she's doing.
Rarely is my breath taken away by how a person looks in any moment. I've seen already pretty friends look beautiful in wedding gowns, not so pretty friends look almost pretty in theirs, and been moved to grin stupidly at the transformation, but never have I gasped. I've seen Keanu Reeves at arm's length, and although he was rather stunning to behold, my breath remained intact. You, however, facing me in my shower, wet, your hands moving to slick your black hair back from your face, and moving in to kiss me, well, even now, at my desk, I gasp.
I don't see how putting a pair of red panties in the "love and relationships" corner of my apartment is going to help attract someone in my life who will want to do more than just get into the panties I'm actually wearing. I want to say fuck you to my friend and her feng shui, even though of course I know she has only my best interests at heart. But really, I don't think she quite gets my heart. She is driven by her head, not her heart, and that is just not the way I operate. Panties shmanties.
A week or so ago, while on the bus, I wondered if Ray Bradbury, one of my favorite writers, were still alive. A Google search at home revealed he was, and was 91, which simultaneously delighted and saddened me. Chances are he wouldn't be around much longer.
He died yesterday.
Oh, Mr. Bradbury. Your "Zen in the Art of Writing" is one of the only books on writing that doesn't make me want to claw the author in the face with an ancient dismembered cat paw unearthed from the purse of a long-dead matriarch.
See you in the veldt, sir.
Every morning as others scurry to offices, he collects gold dust and minuscule diamonds that have somehow escaped the not tight enough grasp or not deep enough pockets of those doing business in the Diamond District, using something akin to a fine-tooth comb along the cracks and the crevices of the sidewalks along East 47th Street. This is not 1849 and this is not sepia-steeped San Francisco. If it were, almost no one would give him a second look. As it is, this is 2012 and it's full-color New York City, so hardly anyone gives him a second look anyway.
Okay, so it's agreed that it takes a greater number of muscles to frown than it does to smile, and as much as I hate to be a Pollyanna, I've gotta say that I have never seen something make anyone look more beautiful than when his or her face lifts from a frown into a smile. Such a simple switch has made even someone I ordinarily wouldn't consider attractive look scads better. This, of course, does not apply to my cat, who, no matter what her facial expression, can't help but be so adorable I can't help but smile automatically.
Your cat is a barely audible whisper on my chest, a rose petal fluttering against my skin, her heartbeat through her fuzzy body like the ticking of a tiny Timex buffered by a sock. She seems to barely fill my hands when I place them around her to let her know she's secure with me, that she can stay as long as she likes, my absolute pleasure. Her delicate, tiger-striped body must weigh less than a small bowl of oatmeal, but is far more delicious and nourishing. I could lie like this, on your bed, for hours, synchronizing our purrs.
I'm glad I have my earphones and iPod handy, because I'm not in the mood to talk to anyone this morning, not even people I like, and from my perch on a stationary bike I see a woman of recent acquaintance who for some reason has glommed onto me more than I had hoped, and if I give her even the slightest bit of encouragement she will approach and yak, doing nothing to improve my mood. I fumble as I arrange the ear parts (official term) around my ears and drum my fingers slightly on the handlebars to phantom music.
I have no intention of buying anything at this flea market. I have no need or use for someone else's grandmother's rhinestone necklace. I need neither knicks nor knacks. I like the thick colored glass bottles unearthed by an "urban archaeologist", but I cannot justify any price. I do, however, have a desire to sample a piece of a Viennese cookie with a speck of jam in its center. The man selling them is so sincere and unassuming that I walk away with a small bag for $4. I devour them in ten minutes, even though they were just okay.
Doesn't anyone propose marriage privately anymore, without an elaborate production that could pass for an episode of Glee, preserved on YouTube for all the world to see? I always imagined me and my boy under "our tree" (I literally cannot find it without him now), having a quiet time, lazing, reading, drinking something cool, smooching, and him pulling back from me ever so slightly mid-kiss, holding my face, his black almond eyes looking directly into mine the way that turns me into pudding, and whispering, "Be my wife. Sometime soon. Okay?" The tree and grass and sky our only audience.
Three of us are huddled around the fourth's cell phone, laughing as she scrolls through scads of photos to find the one of a new guy she's hoping can take her mind off the one she really wants. She's pretending she'll be able to heed the CSN "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with" lyrics, feeding herself all sorts of Oprah-inspired mumbo-jumbo. She finds the photo, one of the girls coos that, oh, he's so handsome, the other agrees with an exclamation point, and I raise an eyebrow, think "Feh" but say, "Yeah!"
It would never cross my mind to not thank someone upon receiving a card or gift in the mail, so it boggles that same mind that other people don't seem to think it's important to acknowledge the gesture at all let alone thank the giver. If someone sends a thank-you note, I let them know I received it and thank them for the thank-you. Maybe that's a bit much, but I firmly believe we can't thank each other enough in this world. I'm vocally grateful for anything anyone does for me. I'm through with people who aren't. No, thank you.
It would be a whole lot easier if only I believed in the so-called Rainbow Bridge, where animals who have left this world are running free and whole again, awaiting the arrival of human companions. It would be easier if I knew that every dog and cat who doesn't make it alive out of a shelter, or who does but loses his or her life due to sickness or whatever abuses they suffered, would find a "forever home" somewhere above the clouds in the greenest of green fields. Can I convince myself to believe it? I often wish I could.
Next month, mayhaps, a return to posting rollicking tidbits about the kaleidoscopic collection of, for lack of a better work, kooks, who pass over the threshold to my comfy home/office for bits of questionable counsel, to bestow upon my shoulders the weight they hope to lift from theirs, tidbits of nagging neurosis, piddling paranoia, and all other manner of non-life-threatening nincompoopery. Perhaps I can take refuge in their strife and their silliness rather than my own, from which there often seems to be no relief or release. I need to unleash them again, for sake of my own sanity. Yes!
All right, so the hemp bagel I inherited from a friend's freezer months ago is probably a skosh frostbitten and would probably benefit from being defrosted before being considered for use at all, but screw it, it's going in the microwave even though bread shouldn't be microwaved no matter what its condition. I haven't eaten anything today except for strawberries and a handful of vegan mini-marshmallows and can't spare the money to order in or go out and get something. After it cools, I roughtly slice it in half, top it with Daiya "cheddar", and act like it's top-draw dining.
Something's lurking out there, ducked and tucked behind a corner beyond the horizon, licking its lips, its chops, salivating as it peers my way, knowing what it knows about what it's going to do, but dropping no hints as to what that may be. The foreboding is almost palpable although not tangible. Because, yes, it's a sense that something is going to boom, something's going to crash, something's going to either hurl itself forward with such momentum that it knocks me to the ground or it's going to appear in front of me without fanfare. Either way, I'm not prepared.
OKCupid-ites, you're too busy roller-derbying and bar-hopping and running around NYC, flying by the seat of your skinny jeans, bouncing off graffiti'd brick walls in colorful low-top Converse sneakers, one hand keeping a jaunty hat atop your head while the other taps frenetically on your phone to broadcast inane Twitter messages, to admit that what you're really doing with your time is sitting at your laptop in the dark in your underwear, downloading a movie to watch with your cat, the only person you really relate to. Meanwhile, I'll freely admit: I just want to watch movies with my cat.
They're speaking of "retail therapy", this gaggle of girls I'm hanging out with for the night, and I want them to lower their voices here in the vegan restaurant because I don't want to be associated with anything so trite and stereotypically girly. It's bad enough I loathe the term "retail therapy", but even more so I cringe that anyone privy to the conversation would connect me with it and think I'm "one of them". I abandoned that sort of "therapy" years ago and never considered it therapeutic anyway. I don't want to have to suffer from inevitable buyer's remorse.
Not one girl in the locker room is smiling. Not one girl who, at 4:00 on a Tuesday afternoon, has the time to not only swim in a pool but to do so at one of the best gyms in one of the most fabulous cities in the world, the financial resources to afford it, and a lifestyle that accommodates it. I want to kick their chlorine-soaked asses, along with the asses who worked out at any way here in Columbus Circle without realizing her great fortune. There has be at least ONE who realizes it, yes? There is: Me.
I am an enormous sap and I cannot pretend I'm not anymore. It used to be my "thing" to be hard and untouchable. I'd pride myself in presenting a stony face in the face of anything hurled my way. Years of being lectured to for hours by my dad taught me not to break, not to give in. Alone in the refuge of my room, my comfort was in numbness. Now, having dared open my heart only to have it heart trod upon, having thought I'd battled that old stuff, I wonder if I could find comfort that way again.
Articles and links I want to send you, recipes I want to suggest we try and indulge in the creation on my patio on a warm summer night by candlelight and the twinkly dragonfly string lights, movies I want to watch with you snuggled under a blanket often half-watched at times thanks to smooching, funny things I say to my cat and her reply, a song I want to heart with you while lounging in bed, a flower that wants to say hello to you, a card that clamors to be sent. All must be silenced, ignored, left for dead.
I don't want to go out and "get laid". Sorry, and thanks for the great advice, but apparently you don't know me at all. You must have me mixed up with the girl I was in 1983 when I was desperate to prove that someone wanted me, even if it was only for his own purposes. You must have me mixed up with countless other people out there who can have sex just for fun. I can't do that anymore. I finally found out what it was like to be with someone I actually loved, and I can't go back.
I wanted to like Magnolia. I wanted to think the three-plus hours I spent watching it -- even though it took at least four days to get through for a variety of not so exciting reasons -- were worth it, that I wouldn't come away from it thinking, "I should've spent my time more wisely," but with 'WOWZERS!!!" floating above my head in flashing lime neon. I didn't think a cast like that would do anything but thrill me. Alas, the one person I'm not a complete fan of, Tom Cruise, turned in the only performance that held me spellbound.
Full to bursting with sadness and despair every time I see another animal on Facebook who's unwanted, discarded, or abused or in any has not been given the love and dignity that is their birthright. I don't know why I continue on the site at all, let alone keep looking. I want to take my life offline, except for work, and may do that for a while. Despair, too, that this is a choice that even has to be made. I long for such simpler times. I often think living "off the grid" is the way to go. I'm torn.
I sign in to my long-dormant OKCupid account for the first time since J broke up with me in February. Within minutes, guys come out of not just the woodwork but from behind exposed brick walls and secret passages hidden behind rotating bookcases. They don't know I'm only there to copy and paste J's and my old instant messages into Word documents. And I don't know that J has reactivated his account, as evidenced by the appearance of his photo alongside our listed IMs. I click on his picture and am taken to his profile. My face is a waterfall.
They all want to go out for a "drink". They try to be flirty. They fail. If they're this uncreative in their introductions, this lackluster in their approach, this unoriginal in their propositions, and we haven't even met yet, I can't imagine it being exciting if we ever did. Which we won't. I rarely drink, and when I do it's barely. No amount of alcohol is going to make me want to make out with you. I'd rather drink water from the tap at home with my cat than force myself to endure being in a bar nursing a seltzer.
I can't deny that I feel saner not only when I write but when I write every day, when I let it happen instead of trying to make it happen, coffee off to the side but still in my peripheral vision, lights off, the only sounds in the room the erratic tick of the ancient Moonbeam clock and the clack of the keyboard. I feel saner when words transfer from brain and heart and pancreas to fingertips, and am always amazed that they show up instantly on this screen after having been locked in the skull for so long. Ahoy.
Tomorrow marks my sixth anniversary in my kooky little apartment on the Upper West Side, a room just about the size of the living room and entrance hall of the 2,000 square foot "Woody Allen" apartment I'd called home for a year and a half prior. Oh, sweet studio space, there's often no place I'd rather be than contained within your crazy walls, overseen by your atrocious ceiling fan, or on the Astroturf'd private patio off the "big for New York!" kitchen. You are my oasis. Thank you for sheltering Shana and me so sweetly. The struggle is worth it.
The Tip Jar