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It is the book we could have written but didn't. The song we could have composed but didn't. The painting we could have painted but didn't. The dance we didn't choreograph, the recipe we didn't concoct, the photo we didn't take. But we didn't. Someone else beat us to it. That was our idea. We thought of it a long time ago but never did anything with it or about it. So now we stew about it instead and get jealous and kick ourselves for not being the creators we should have been. Ours would have been even better. Definitely.
Martin gently prods a few forks of albacore from the can onto the earthenware plate he fired just two days ago in the kiln. A ten-pound ball of fluff stares at him from the floor.
"Voila!" he says as he sets the plate on the floor.
He grimaces, thinking of his friend Carla's cats. Anyone who names a cat something like Gym Locker Vent or Red 1967 Alfa Romeo or Mr. Rogers' Sneakers is clearly looking for attention, so he never granted it when she told him the names.
"Such nonsense," he says to his cat, "right, P.O. Box 666?"
He tells me his name is Bobo "Alex" Schlatts and I don't believe him. I tell him he's a smart Alex and he tells me he's a smart Alec Baldwin. I tell him he's Billy Baldwin at best and he tells me I'm Billy Bob Thornton and why did I dump Angelina. I tell him I'm Team Jen, if anything, and he says he is too, actually, so at least we agree on that.
I ask if he wants a piece of my salt bagel. He looks up at me and says, "I'm a pigeon. Of course I do. Duh."
Wanda wonders why no one will date her. She's lived with a tri-color tattoo of the 48 contiguous United States on her face for a decade and still doesn't get it. Indeed, she's asking me why she's so undatable as she's having her head shaved in preparation for Hawaii and Alaska.
"Is it because I'm way too thin?" she says.
I tell her no, she's got a slammin' body that even Kelly Ripa would envy.
"Is it because I'm too old?"
I tell her no, she's still a spring chicken.
"Is it because I have Texas on my chin?"
Last spring I met a fellow on the subway during some sort of track problem or system failure or sundry other MTA malady/mishap that had us all deboarding the southbound train at Times Square. He was an architect, nattily dressed in a dark suit tailored perfectly for his very trim body, a blue-eyed "silver fox" from Ireland, complete with the charming lilt. He asked me out as we lumbered downtown, sharing a pole by one of the exits. I accepted, but as luck (of the Irish?) would have it, he was hospitalized mere days before our scheduled date. (Continued 3/6)
(Continued from 3/5)
He didn't tell me was hospitalized, though. He just never got back to me to tell me where to meet him. So I texted him, against my better judgment and a friend's counsel, and although he was apologetic, I had reservations. Subsequent exchanges revealed his staggering lack of a sense of humor in text.
We never did get together, but I felt compelled to reach out again several months later, and again he claimed more hospitalization. He told me he was finally on "soft foods".
If that's not a sexy mating call I don't know what is.
Since my cat came to live with me in July 2015, we haven't been apart a single night. She's a very squishy, lovey, Velcro darling when it comes to that stuff, and I hate to think how lonely she's going to be when I travel. I will miss her like mad, of course, but I don't like that despite my making her "talk" and having full-blown conversations with her, she really won't know where I am and won't know how long I'll be gone or if I'm coming home. I hate the thought of her meowing in the dark, alone.
Since switching gym branches three months ago, I've resumed running on the treadmill, which used to be my " thing" at the old branch before I started hanging out with Mega, who has since become one of my best friends and opting to do the elliptical with her instead so we could gab like the kind of people I can't stand do and who I would shoot death daggers at with my eyes if in my presence. I feel like I'm "back" and can't believe I ever sacrificed such a good workout. (Megan's so much cuter than a treadmill, though.)
Facebook, 2/27/17: You look like that AND you wipe off the treadmill after you're done? Don't think I didn't giggle stupidly when Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" came up on my Spotify playlist moments later.
Today: The handsome fellow who respects the treadmill and doesn't groan and/or grimace just smiled directly at me in the lounge area of the gym. He is wearing a red shirt, as if to say, "Hey, ladies, I respect yesterday's International Women's Day, but I didn't want to tread on your turf!" It's a good thing Equinox is equipped with Victorian fainting sofas.
I've discovered that if I use twice as much water as couscous, with half a bouillon cube, it comes out so deliciously fluffy and (shudder alert) moist and perfect that my gasps are truly warranted. I'd followed the 1:1 instructions several times before and was never that thrilled with the result. But now, by doubling the water, it seems I'm getting twice as much couscous bang for my couscous buck! This thrills me to no end, and I sing aloud with glee as I mound it on my plate, to be topped with roasted vegetables. Fun meter: Off the charts.
"What's 'IONY'?" I ask my sister. It's the mid '70s. We're both hip 'n' swingin' teenagers. One of us is probably drinking a can of Tab and the other is probably smoking a purloined parental Kool.
It takes me way too long to realize the "O" is a heart symbol in the groovy new "I Love New York" logo. My sister mocks me (with love).
I remind her that several years earlier, when assessing our Irish Setters body parts against handbook guidelines for the breed and I called out "forelegs", she counted, "One, two, three, four. Yep!" in all seriousness.
I've been carrying the same crossbody bag for the past seven years. My then-boyfriend bought it for me in "upstate" New York, one of the last things he ever gave me. I love the bag, but finally decided to give it a much-needed break. Now I'm in possession of four new crossbody bags and two more are on their jolly way. If I buy one more, I can tell myself I bought one for every year I used the other bag. I don't know if even I'm nuts enough to go that far with a rationalization. But you never know.
The United States Postal Service, years ago: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
The USPS, nowadays: "Bitch, please. Check the status of your package online, where it will tell you that it was supposed to arrive yesterday but we kind of forgot and then today they're saying it might snow a little. And if you don't see an update yet, check back later, where it's sure to say we don't have any information at the time about when the fuck you can expect your shit."
Everyone's up in arms about Kellyanne Conway's ridiculous recent claim that surveillance can be done through many devices, including, say, a microwave oven. But this is nothing new, guys. In 1971, my beloved Poppop, a Polish socialist, was dragged from my parents' unassuming suburban home immediately upon the complete delightful expansion of the aluminum foil of the Jiffy Pop he had been gently shaking atop the avocado green range in giddy anticipation of an evening of The Dean Martin Show featuring The Golddiggers. Until the day he left this world, he never spoke of what happened. DON'T BE DISTRACTED, GUYS.
Several years ago on the crosstown 72, I saw this guy "V" I hung out with twice a few years before that. He saw me see him, and he saw me look at him a beat longer than someone would look at a stranger, just long enough for him to register that, oh, this person knows me and wants me to know but doesn't give enough fucks to want to express anything on her face to indicate what she thinks of me. I was delighted that his face seemed to be melting into his neck like cheap coffee ice cream.
An Facebook friend asks how well I know a certain guy. I tell her we went out a few times a few years ago. Why does she want to know? Turns they were Tinder matches, or whatever it's called when you both swipe right or left or I don't know. (I've never used it and never will.) I supply details I hope she's smart enough to heed. I'd tell her he makes excellent salsa, but I don't want to sway her in the wrong direction, especially since the warnings I've already given don't alarm her as much as they should.
Nineteen years ago on St. Patrick's Day, an ex-beau of mine, one of my favorite people ever, died of exposure in Vermont. We weren't together at the time, but I'm pretty sure we would've been together again had he survived, and I'd be typing this from a cute and cozy little cabin in the woods somewhere right now instead of a cute and cozy little apartment in the city. So please, make sure to get drunk somewhere warm today. Pass out in a fluffy bed rather than a bank of snow. I don't need that kind of history repeating itself.
I can't wait for my trip to Chicago in a few months. I need to "reclaim" the city from a horrible trip seven years ago, so I can see the city through the eyes of someone who didn't need eyes in the back of her head in 2010 to know that her then-boyfriend was texting someone else literally behind her back. I need to chow down in Chicago Diner with my friends without having to tend to anyone else. (Of course I'm already fretting about all the TSA bullshit and traffic en route to LaGuardia, but that's beside the point.)
You'd think by now I'd have the West Village figured out. I've lived here for 17 years, am down there often, yet every time I exit the Christopher Street station, I have to look around to orient myself and even then am not sure I've got it right. The other day I went east to Sixth to Lifethyme, and then when heading west again to get to the station, thought I was returning on the same street I'd used before but wound up quite a few blocks north instead, and wondering, "How is this even possible?" Thank god for GPS.
I enter the little park just off Christopher Street. A guy shouts from a bench across the way, "You're BEAUTIFUL! You walk in here like a DIVA!" I don't want this mush-mouth to think I'm rude so I grimace-smile.
He comes over and says a bunch of stuff I can't decipher. I'm too riveted by what looks like one big bench of a tooth rather than individual seats of teeth in his mouth.
He asks my name.
He keeps talking and using that name every other word. He must have read a book on salesmanship, but I'm not buyin'.
I'm trying hard to love this Stephen King book, but I'm only 25% through and feel like I've been reading way too long to have accomplished so little. I'm not reading slowly. It's just that this book is apparently so damned long. On the Kindle I can't see the physical bulk of the remaining pages, and I can't decide if that's a plus or a minus. The book is intriguing enough, but when I'm finally done, I think, "That's it?" Had the book been half as long (and it could've used major paring down), I wouldn't have felt so cheated.
I don't know how she roped me into conversation, but this trainer with the impossibly square face is now yakking my ear off about who knows what, and I don't want to be rude so I'm responding with who knows what. It all sounds like the adults on the "Peanuts" cartoons, even my own side. Somehow age comes up and it turns out I'm her mom's age, except, as she says, her mom doesn't have the ROCKIN' BOD I have. So from that point on, all I hear as she gabs are those two words on loop. Gab away, grasshopper.
"Is he impeached yet? Is he impeached yet? Is he impeached yet?" (Said to the "tune" of "Are we there yet?") How is it that this seeping garbage bag crammed to capacity with offal and putrid ooze , bearing a "Hello My Name is PRESIDENT" nametag hasn't literally been kicked to the curb and then hoisted into the back of a ravenous trash truck to be devoured by its ravenous jaws? How is it still sitting in the middle of the room, covered in flies and reeking to high fucking hell? Take it out already. Take it the fuck out.
When I need an inspirational push on the treadmill and even Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out for a Hero" isn't enough, I turn to my imagination. Full-scale Broadway-style stagings of musical numbers featuring me and Eric work well, but more often I create revenge-style scenarios. I used to see myself in pursuit of, and finally capturing, an animal abuser and torturing him/her in ways I won't detail here. More ofteh now, the object of my pursuit and torture is none other than "45". This is how you know I fucking despise him like no one else: He takes priority over a dog-killer.
In 2013, I bought a paper shredder and it malfunctioned on the first night. I returned it, feeling sad for the poor thing, and knowing me, I apologized to it in all seriousness as I packed it in the box for the trip back to Amazon. I bought a new one the other day, a different model, and couldn't wait to use it, so that night I fed it part of the credit card and utility statements I'd amassed in the 3-1/2 years between shredder purchases with all the odd heart-pumping excitement of an embezzler destroying a literal paper trail.
I'm giggling at the cute little red booties worn by the fawn-colored King Charles Cavalier Spaniel in front of me on the sidewalk. He and his mom make a right into an apartment building. No sooner do they disappear than, on the other side of the street, to my left, another fawn-colored King Charles Cavalier Spaniel wearing cute little red booties exits a building with his mom. What is this? The Keystone Pups? Rehearsal for a production of "Noises Off"? Or are they the same pup who's mastered the skill of instantaneous teleportation? Whatever it was, cute booties, sweet fuzzface.
The food from Nanoosh delights me. What does not delight me, however, is that, with delivery, they only include one piece of pita with the fantastically generous hummus entrees and offer no option for requesting more. Thus, I stopped ordering from them.
Recently I perused their menu on delivery.com and discovered that, OH MY GOD, this option now exists. I didn't take advantage of it, though, but ordered something else and a side of hummus, which came with one pita, and even that side was generous enough to accommodate more.
Nanoosh, you've now become my go-to Friday ngiht delivery BFF!
All I want to do every day is order in a week's worth of lunches (Indian and Thai to start) (and at least one of which includes fries) and movies and eat and watch them all in one day, under a big blanket with this crazy upside-down one-eyed cat by my shoulder or on my lap or by my side, until the weather gets a skosh more amenable to wandering and I feel like joining the rest of the world again, or at least what passes for joining for a peripatetic "lone wolf" like me. I don't ask for much.
Ugh, lingerie ladies, quit "following" me on Instagram. If you knew me at all, you'd know I don't find that stuff appealing in the least. Switch out the lacy, racy, trying-too-hard crap for cozy pajamas bottoms with a cute little drawstring and a T-shirt or "cami", and then we'll talk. And while you're at it, scrub your face, defleek your eyebrows, uncontour your checks, unpout your lips, and instead of turning your perfectly lit bountiful booty to the camera, show me a couple of fists full of golden steak-cut french fries that aren't just a pretty prop. There you go.
Okay, so I slipped and let "45" creep into my entries. I suppose it was inevitable, since he and his horrors are among the first things to creep into my consciousness upon awakening each morning. I never cared that much about this stuff before, didn't read much about anything political, indeed even sometimes seemed to pointedly not care because it didn't seem like it made much difference. These days, though, I am compelled to know some things because I feel like *not* knowing is dangerous. But I can't know it all, because if I do, I fear I'll never sleep.
This April Fool's Day I have even less patience for the hilarity on social media. Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because the White House is populated by a phalanx of fools who wouldn't know the truth if it climbed up their asses, crawled through their clogged intestines, slithered up their esophagi, and then regurgitated from their filthy mouths? I've never liked pranks or that "punking" poppycock, but now, when every day brings a new round of bullshit that makes even the most straightlaced people say, "What the FUCK???" in disbelief, it's just overkill. Happy April Tool's Day, fuckers.
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