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I need my landlord and his sidekick to get out of the front hall so I can order dinner for delivery and not have to risk it getting here while they're still there, thus making it necessary for me, when dashing to the front door situated between me and them, to exchange forced pleasantries. I'm hoping that my muttering, "Get the fuck out of the hall, get the fuck out of the hall, get the fucking fuck out of the hall" will somehow make its way into their consciousness before I pass out or settle for popcorn, whichever comes first.
Sometime in 1996, University City, Philadelphia, inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Me (silently): Please don't let him say, "Do they even have food In Ethiopia." Please don't let him say, "Do they even have food In Ethiopia." Please don't let him say, "Do they even have food In Ethiopia." Please don't let him say, "Do they even have food In Ethiopia." Please don't let him say, "Do they even have food In Ethiopia." inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Him (aloud): "Do they even have food in Ethiopia?" inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Me: ... inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Him: Heh. inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Me: ... inside an Ethiopian restaurant with a new "beau".
Why I dated him beyond that is beyond me.
Damien still likes to tell people how he met Marla on the street when she was drinking a can of Diet A&W root beer and smiling to herself like people do on a sunny day, only it wasn't sunny, it was overcast with a threat of rain and even a bit of chill in the air.
"I figured anyone who could be that happy something so small on a not so great day would be the kind of person I could spend my whole life with."
One date later and he changed his mind. But he never says why. Never.
You can tell he's not at all comfortable with this baby in his arms. You've seen him cradle a big bag of kitty litter from the back of the bodega to the cashier and a bundle of laundry to the "fluff and fold" with more care and attention then he does this baby, and you wouldn't mind at all if he would own up to it rather than sit there with this baby with this grin that looks like it was slapped onto the lower half of his face by a spastic toddler who just learned what scotch tape is.
A kid across the aisle on the subway keeps saying, "Ping!"
He's kind of absent-minded about it. Not looking around to see if anyone's responding. Doesn't even seem like he wants a response. Maybe he's in his own little world and doesn't realize what he's saying and thus doesn't want a response, or maybe he's a cool kid who doesn't need anyone to pay attention to him and just likes the sound of the word and doesn't even need the affirmation of a "Pong!" in response. Still, I mouth it when I get up to exit. I think he notices.
I have to dust my apartment. I do not want to dust my apartment. I hate dusting my apartment. It doesn't take that long, maybe 20 minutes if I do it without pausing to stop to play Sudoku on my phone or get coffee midstream or smoosh my cat's belly and ask her if she knows how cute she is and join her on the sofa and contemplate a nap.
No. I have to dust and I have to do it now that I'm thinking about it, if for no other reason so that I can stop thinking about it.
Martin tells Randy she looks nothing like her emojis. She says he doesn't know what he's talking about. She totally looks like a cat followed by a red shoe, a pair of lips, a sprouty double leaf, a daisy, a soccer ball, six hearts in an assortment of colors, a slice of pizza, a wine glass, and a sun!
Martin looks at her, down at his phone, and then back at her again. He narrows his eyes and sighs.
"No, no. I just don't see the green heart," he says. "I'm so sorry. But should we have a drink anyway?
My ex-boyfriend's mom died this past summer thanks to that twisted fuck known as cancer. I never had the chance to meet her since he and I broke up before a trip to her house in Virginia for Thanksgiving would've made that happen, but the few times I chatted with her on Facebook and had interactions with her on her and the rest of the family's Facebook pages, I came away from the exchanges thinking she's my kind of "broad". Any mom who would create an entire separate vegan Thanksgiving spread just to accommodate her son, unbidden, is absolute aces.
The other day some dullard on Twitter who I wouldn't know if I leapt over his flailing burning body on my way to get a nice tall glass of cool, refreshing water, tried to insult me by saying I sounded like a "nerd", to wit: "you sound like a freakin nerd lady alright". Imagine my shock when I went to his page for a cursory glance and his profile picture included him sprawled on what looked like a soiled sofa, decked out in a Trump T-shirt and a baseball cap. I resisted the urge to thank him for the compliment.
This morning on my way home from the gym (of course), I got to smoosh Kato, an 18-month old Old English Sheepdog who was at least two-thirds fluff, wearing bright orange nylon booties that were taller than the usual small foot-covering types. I don't know who was more effusive and enthusiastic: him, on the giving side of jumping up on me, all puppy-wiggly, pushing me back gently with his happy flailing impossibly perfect front paws, or me, on the gross-giggly receiving end. My heart exploded, ricocheted off a snowdrift, and Kato caught it in his
.* Good boy.
"And I will toss in an extra banana and whatever cookie you want, because you're one of our best and prettiest customers!' he says.
I laugh and thank him, and choose a black and white cookie to give to a friend who loves them.
"Is it okay if I give the cookie to a friend, though?" I say.
"Is she as pretty as you are?"
"He. And he's prettier."
He laughs and says, "In that case, take two!"
"And everybody's happy!" I say.
I'm sure there's a "feminist" who would take offense at this, but thank god it's not me.
One of the perks of going to the gym in my neighborhood rather than downtown is that within mere minutes of leaving, I can be at Westside Market and pretty much have the place all to myself. I can linger in the back aisles near the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and the canned goods without invasion, I can loiter in the snack nook, I can hang in one of the many crannies that can only accommodate one cart. Because this is not a market truly meant for carts. And that's one of the many reasons why I love it.
E and I spent another few hours sprawled on her sofa in her West Village apartment, watching another old movie with another big bowl of popcorn enhanced by the special salt from The Meadow, the specialty salt (and chocolate!) store not too far from her place. This time I supplied the movie, thanks to Netflix, so I didn't feel like a freeloader, even though I still felt vaguely guilty noshing on tons of pretzels from one of the many bags in her kitchen. To my credit, though at least the bag I chose was already open. Such a considerate guest.
"Happy Valentine's Day or something!" someone texts.
"Who is this?" I text back.
"David Duchovny? President Jimmy Carter? Minnie Driver? Mom?"
"Yes! All of the above, PLUS me."
"This better not be my brother," I text. "This better be a guy and it better not be one related to me."
"It's your date from the other night."
"Which one?" I text.
"Oh, you're horrible," he texts. "In the best possible way."
"Are you the one I had AMAZING sex with or HORRIFYING sex with?"
"The latter obviously," he texts.
"WRONG," I text. "I'm not that easy, buddy boy."
This morning, despite considering foregoing the gym, I went anyway, did more weights than I'd planned and ran faster on the treadmill than I'd planned even though I'd considered just leaving after the weights. On my way home, I got coffee at a place I'd never tried and the counter guy was exceedingly nice in a non-cloying way. After that, I heard a woman gently explaining to her dog, as she considered going into a bakery, "You can't come in here, because this isn't France." That, more than anything else, will keep me going for the rest of the day.
He tells me he digs my ice skates in my profile picture. I tell him they're gogo boots, groovy vintage gogo boots, not skates.
"I love ice skating, though. Do you skate?" he writes.
"Nope!" I write. Because I'm witty.
"Do you gogo?" he writes.
"Hey, this is Twitter, not Tinder! And no, I never gogo skating."
"You're a smart Alec. Or Alice. I don't 'LOL' but I'm laughing aloud."
I tell him I'm chortling stupidly.
"Tinder is bullshit," he writes, "even though I've never used it."
"But you're killin' it on Twitter."
And, grandchildren, that's how I met Poppop.
This morning while in the shower, squishing my fingers through the lush suds in my hair, I thought, "I'm sure this shampoo wouldn't taste as good as it smells. I'm old enough to know better than to think it would be a citrusy delight." Still, I wonder now, this afternoon at my desk, if it would be possible to drink a cup of the shampoo without suffering horrible consequences. But I suppose that, like my wondering of the other day, i.e. "What would happen if I ate a teaspoon of the yeast used to bake bread?" I won't find out.
We've just ordered dinner, but he's told the server we want to hold onto the menu because "you never know". He's reciting some of the appetizers we didn't order and I'm "ooohing" and "aaahing" accordingly.
"Maybe next time," he says.
"Or maybe before dessert," I say.
"Or maybe both," he says.
"Wait. What's this 'next time' business?" I say.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I already know I want to see you again," he says.
"We only met face to face 15 minutes ago," I say.
"And it's already the best date I've ever had," he says.
"So your Boston Terriers are named Porgie and Bess?" I say.
"Yes," he says. "I mean no. I have one dog. A girl."
"So which is it? Porgie? Or Bess?"
"So your one dog is named Porgie and Bess?"
"Bingo!" he says. "And before you try to get all Weisenheimer with me, don't say, 'Wait. Is your dog named Bingo?'"
"Because then you'll pretend to be exasperated by my nonsense and I'll have to hope you're just pretending?"
Amazing. We're already getting each other's stupid shtick and the appetizers haven't even arrived.
let him have good table manners.
"Was SNL even funny last night?" Marvin types into Google on his laptop.
"Do I really have to add that much salt to the tomato sauce or will the natural flavor of the tomatoes provide enough zing on its own?"
"Sophia Loren still alive?"
"Why do men's bikes have a bar and not women's? It seems rather counterintuitive."
Maria suspects he knows she's been watching him out of the corner of her eye. She hopes he eventually types, "Maria, will you marry me?"
He doesn't. But he asks Google is better than tea and if milk affects the caffeine absorption.
"Her paws are so ROUND," he says, touching the notch of black on one of them with his fingertip.
"My paws are rounded!" my cat says.
"Her paws are rounded!" I say.
"Rounded. I see," he says. "Yes. Rounded."
My cat looks at him as if to challenge him to ask what the difference is between "round" and "rounded", but fortunately he doesn't ask either her or me, and we can go about the business of watching the movie we had paused for a few moments to make more popcorn.
That my cat talks didn't faze him at all. Meow!
Ahhh, the persistent hiss of the radiator on a day whose outside temperature gives me even less of a desire to go outside than usual and encourages me to not even consider it. It's a reassuring, good-natured co-conspirator, throwing its arm across my shoulders with a gentle laugh, pulling me in a bit closer, saying, "Stick with me."
Occasionally the heating pipes join in with a clang in solidarity, a reminder that they too support my desire to stay inside with them, reveling in the soft chorus of their hisses and whistles and sputters and clangs.
Bravo, my friends. Bravo.
"You only like me because you think I look somewhat like David Duchovny," he says.
"It's true," I say. "You don't mind if I call you Mulder, do you?"
"As long as you don't call me late for dinner," he says.
"What about breakfast?"
"Don't mind if I do," he says, opening the menu and wiggling his fingers over the laminated pages, even as he announces he's going to get "the usual".
I remind him this is the first time we've been to this diner together, so should I assume it's moussaka and a side of onion rings for breakfast?
The last time I bought workout clothes was maybe ten years ago, and that was one top from the Equinox shop near my apartment. Before that, it was pants from Macy's probably 15 years ago. And before that, the late '90s, at the Nike store when visiting NYC.
Until now. I spent an inordinate amount of time online finding stuff I wanted, returned the stuff that doesn't "work" via UPS, obsessed to the point of head-spinning. And now I have the gym "wardrobe" I have definitely earned and the pep in my running step certainly reflects it.
Yea, I'm lame.
I used to live every day with a low-level buzz of anxiety simmering somewhere on a back burner of my brain and wonder, "What the fuck is it that's making me so anxious? This makes no sense." These days the buzz is more than low-level, the bubbles are furiously breaking the surface, and the goddamned knobs on the stove have been removed, and although I don't know what the minor anxiety was all about, still, I can thank you, 45, you gurgling, putrid cauldron of shit, for replacing that annoying but manageable buzz with an out and out motherfucking roar.
Two gems from my Facebook page, since I think 0% of my "readers" here are friends with me on Facebook, and that doesn't mean you don't get to be privy to the hilarity they enjoy.
Just because I can't remember their names after 40+ years doesn't mean I don't miss my sea monkeys.
Oh, that moment when you first wake up, think, "Oh good, I'm still alive!" and then two seconds later realize, "Fuck. That motherfucker is the motherfucking President. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck." Fuck.
The second one was about "45", even though I said I'd keep him out of this.
My best friend's husband and our friend M are meeting us for dinner at Modern Love Brooklyn. It's too damned cold to keep walking around outside before our reservation, so we go to the restaurant about half an hour early. Fortunately the hostess seats us. My friend asks if we should order chocolate egg creams and an appetizer to split before the others arrive. I ask him if he's met me. Indeed, I want to order an entire dinner to eat now, and would have no qualms admitting it to them as I ordered a second one in their company.
Once it's a bit warmer, I'm taking a day trip to Philadelphia just for the hell of it. I haven't been back by myself in so long that I can't even remember when it was. Have I even done so since moving here in 2000? The last time I was there at all was in late 2013, and so much had changed that I literally didn't recognize it. I wish I could buzz my old apartment and ask politely if could come in just to have a look around, to see if my own ghost lingers and wants me back.
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