in bed, about to open my Kindle to resume a book I've just starting reading in
an attempt to restore some semblance of literacy. My cat skulks over and stares at me until I
have no choice but to ask what's up.
have a story for you."
tell," I say.
upon a time I was cute."
pauses. I wait.
the next day I was cute," she says.
the next day I was also cute," she says.
it. The end."
the best story. And true!"
Every time I have popcorn after an extended popcorn hiatus, borne
solely of an absent-minded failure to replenish, I marvel at how much fun it is
to make in my Whirley-Pop, how delighted I am turn its crank and listen to the sound
of the popcorn getting even cuter than it was to begin with, how thrilled I am
when I dump the contents into a big bowl and introduce it to salt. But of course not is all fun and games, and I
get sad when I liken the sound of popcorn popping to that of a lobster screaming.
Parker tells Melanie he'd give anything to smell a
freshly-mimeographed social studies quiz again.
Even his near-mint condition poster of Farrah in the red bathing suit that's
been hanging in his study since they moved in together and she told him no way
was she allowing it to be the focal point of the living room? That's a good question, he says, and gets
back to her in an hour with an affirmative response.
So now Melanie's standing at his desk with a
freshly-mimeographed quiz, sealed in Tupperware so he can't smell it. He prays it's just a math quiz.
What kind of grown man
goes around telling people he's a panda with all the matter-of-fact tone of
voice that would accompany, say, telling someone that, yes, that's coffee in
your cup and not tea? And not just that,
but to not act like someone would think a panda would act (tumbling around a
bit clumsily, being generally cute) but acting like, "Yes, pandas eat
toast and pandas waste time on Facebook and pandas wear belts with pants that require
them and pandas also don't know whether it's 'doughnut' or 'donut'"? Carl, the sweater vest guy from accounting,
I won't be talking about the PO(ETU)S here on 100 Words,
because I don't want to sully my entries.
I'd rather write about picking off a scab from my knee, starting at the
edges, and peeling it up a little with a bit of a wince and grimace, revealing a
slightly gooey pink bit of skin, or about a baby's phlegm, or the squish of maggots
that writhed beneath a tombstone my sister lifted in a graveyard next to a
house my parents were looking at as a possible home for us. I would rather write about mold and lint.
"You're the prettiest
girl in all the world," I say.
"Yes, but am I
"Yes, you are. You're the finest feline in all the
"Does that mean pretty?"
"Yes, it does."
"Does that also mean
"So pretty and finest
and attractive are the same thing?"
"Not exactly, but you're
"Which one am I the
"You're all of
them. I can't make a pie chart of
"Am I also pie? Is pie good?"
"Pie is good, but you
are not pie."
"I know, kitten,"
I say. "So am I."
Now that I don't go to the gym downtown anymore, I no longer
have that hour-plus walk home. I know I
can use that time to take a walk elsewhere, at some other point during my day,
but it just doesn't seem the same when it's not a walk whose main purpose is
transportation with a set goal. The gym
I go to now is literally a five-minute walk from home. I suppose I could walk around for an hour or
so when I'm done, but it doesn't seem the same, and that stresses me out in a
At first it was distracting and cumbersome, having a "punky"
trailing him everywhere he went, but after a while he didn't notice and came to
appreciate the services this minuscule monocle man provided. Martin suffered from chronic runonascia
extremis, a condition that inhibited his ability to break his speech into
manageable sentences complete with pauses.
But now with his private punctuation professional (far superior to those
supplied by the state), he is able to communicate with people without fear of seeing
a large Cooper Bold question mark above their heads every time he utters a compound
sentence. Life is good.
"Okay, Lola," I say, inserting myself between
colorful layers of bedding, "it's
time to go to slurp."
She instantly appears by my side and blinks her eye.
"You mean 'sleep'," she says.
"No, I meant 'slurp'," I say.
"But you mean you're going to sleep."
"I mean I'm going to slurp."
"I don't see a drink anywhere," she says,
"let alone a Slurpee."
"That's because I'm going to sleep."
"Did you have a drink or a Slurpee?"
"Earlier I had several drinks."
"Did you slurp them?"
"No, I didn't.
"Is this supposed to be funny?" she says.
After years of presenting as a woman, including wardrobe and
hormones, even going so far as to get professional approval for more drastic
steps, my friend has decided to live again as a man. It is not for me to question but to support,
although of course I'm curious. Now,
however, I don't feel quite right going to England for a visit as we'd been
considering, because I don't want to be traipsing around unfamiliar countryside
with a man I've never met face to face, no matter how platonic. A transgender lady in a statement necklace,
though? That I'd do.
I'm doing nothing for "the holidays". Stop asking me, everyone. It's not that I'm depressed about it or even
marginally sad about it. It's that I
don't care about it. My family hasn't
done "the holidays" in ages, not even Thanksgiving since my dad left
this world in 2012. It doesn't mean
anything to me. These days are just
another day or two, and the best thing about them is that I don't go to the gym
and I stay home with my darling little cat wearing old torn jeans and a
T-shirt. That in itself is enough
Three years have already passed since I spent a weekend in
Philadelphia with two friends from our mutual years of living there and my then-boyfriend. We hopped from place to place, visiting lots
of old haunts, introducing my boyfriend to them and some new ones, and ran
around like crazy kids from a John Hughes '80s movie (which of us was Molly
Ringwald?). Although the giddiness and almost
painful laughter of the nights was incredible, my heart belongs to dashing
around during the day to a bunch of boring historical stuff actually made fun
by sharing it with my fella.
I'm onstage in my snappy vintage super shiny silver mini
dress and matching belted jacket, silvery tights, and white gogo boots, singing
my silvery heart out next to my friends Mark and Ryan, also decked out in silver
and white. Have we strayed a bit from
our harmonies in "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In"? Of course.
Are we flying high, practically dancing, and having an absolute
blast? Even more so. Am I glad I didn't cancel and left the house
and traveled down to Judson Memorial and braved the horrors of the ladies room
being used as a changing room? Yes!
My Etsy acquaintance, X, from whom I bought something a
while ago, is sending me half a dozen hand-knit hats in the same style but with
varying proportions of black and charcoal gray in the patterns, to try on in
anticipation of buying one. She didn't require
payment upfront or a commitment, only that I return the hats I don't choose. The cost of my return shipping will be
reflected in the price of the hat I do choose.
This exchange/transaction is so delightfully trustful and old-fashioned
that it makes me want to wear the hat in a town square.
Next month I'm eligible for a cell phone upgrade and I'm so
excited about it that I have stars in my eyes like Davy Jones in The Monkees.
(Or was it hearts? Either way, I've got
something in my eyes that indicates huge thrills.) I'd been tempted several months ago to do an
early upgrade and pay the $50 fee, and several times almost caved because I'm a
baby keen on instant gratification. But
I persevered like an adult and now the reward is that much sweeter. Apparently it does not take much to make me
happy. Commence moronic flailing.
I'm not saying Patricia played favorites among her grandchildren,
but what was I, as a mere observer of this family's dynamic, to make of the
fact that this year for Christmas she gave the oldest one a check for $20,000,
the middle one a year's worth of weekly gymnastics lessons with an ex-Olympian,
and the youngest a plastic card from Starbucks that, if redeemed by the end of January,
would yield a free mp3 from iTunes, or that when they visited her she served
them chocolate milk in a silver chalice, a crystal goblet, and an old mason
My battery-powered toothbrush ensures that I brush four minutes
daily. This is six hours per year, a
full one-quarter of a day. If I wanted
to do it all at once to get it over with, that'd be quite a test of stamina. Thus, I settle for daily brushing. Often, however, I'm lazy and don't want to
engage my upper body for the duration. Tonight
I laid on my back on the bed, held the brush in place, and moved my head
instead. This was quite taxing, but I
persevered. This is not, I discovered, a
suitable or effective alternative.
Quarterly Report has never found it hilarious that his
parents named him after his late great paternal grandfather, but he supposes
it's better than his mother's first choice, to name him after her father, who's
still kicking and has been stuck with "Humperdump" for 75 years. At least with Quarterly Report he gets to be
a "second", and he's gotta admit that being known as QR2 among his
classmates, especially chicks, is kinda cool and sets him apart from all the humdrum
Jasons and Brians and Marks and stuff.
He could do without the nickname of "Queer Too", though. Ugh.
I have no aspirations of becoming a world-class bread baker. Knowing how to make this one variety, with only
four humble ingredients, by the easiest method, is all I need to delight me
insofar as bread-baking is concerned. It's
my favorite kind of bread: round,
simple, with a nice crust. (I don't dare
denigrate it by using the word "artisanal".) It goes great with homemade tomato sauce and
tofu "ricotta", sweet potato spread, hummus, my famous "fegg"
salad. And it's enormous fun to just
tear apart, especially minutes after done, and eat by the fistful like a carb-craving
In April my ex-boyfriend married his girlfriend of eight
months. They had known each other for
years online but had never met face to face until 2015. He didn't announce it until very recently, on
Facebook, saying he "forgot" to mention it. Many of his fans/friends thought that was
amusing and mock-chastised him in comments.
Not only did I find it completely unamusing, I found it odious. That nonsense would never have flown with me. It was just another ploy for attention,
another way to show the world how zany he is.
Sorry, my ex-love, but it's tacky, not wacky.
We all know that 2016 has been kind of a dick, for reasons
we all know. Because I like to focus on
the positive whenever possible, here are some things that made it not totally
Meeting my favorite 100Wordser, OSD, in the flesh and
getting along with him so well that I wish he would move to NYC, like, pronto
Delivery of Ethiopian food, contrary to being a mess and
"not worth it", was not a mess and a fantastic value
My cat continues to be awfully cute
I am drawing breath on a regular basis
Thank you, 2016!
The delivery guy hands me the bag of Ethiopian food, and because
it's heavier than I anticipated, my excitement is even greater than it had
been. I dash to my apartment, tear it
open like a Christmas gift, and gasp at the sight of injera that could double
for freshly-fluffed pillowcases and enough glorious food to accommodate a normal
person's appetite for three separate occasions.
Half an hour later, I vow that "next time" I won't attack it
with the limb-frenzy of a starved octopus and remind myself that the sight of
leftovers the next day is just as delicious.