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OSD is in town and I'm beside myself with excitement, so much that an additional me spontaneously appears alongside me, regarding me with a mixture of terror, amusement, and a tinge of disgust.
"The zipper in your hip stuck a little," the other me says. "It was kinda tough for me to get out."
"I didn't know I had one! I'm glad it's a zipper, though, instead of something newfangled like Velcro."
"Velcro's not even new," she says. "Should we ask Alexa for details?"
If I'm half as annoying as this other me, OSD will skedaddle back to Cooperstown pronto.
Fresh from the threading salon, strutting home at a good pace, feeling like if not a million bucks then at least 850,000, I don't want my "flow" interrupted and want to be left in peace to enjoy the simple pleasure of wearing a great outfit with snappy shoes in a super city on a sunny day.
A woman calls out from a skincare/salon storefront where she apparently works, "Wow! That suit! Oh wow! Where'd you get it?"
I turn and shout, "1968!' and wish that when I face forward again, I'm strutting uptown in the city as it existed then.
Random things I have stopped trying to convince myself I can learn to like:
Converse sneakers on women old enough to hold full-time employment
Artificially vanilla-scented and coconut-scented anything
Shakespeare in the Park (even though I've never gone)
Olives and capers
Pink hair on teenagers
Men in kilts
Bagpipe music for more than 30 seconds, especially if not at a funeral
Adults riding scooters
Amateurish one-man shows
Parties, unless at least one dog is present who will allow me to hang out with him/her off to the side, sharing Fritos
I talked OSD's ever-patient ear off for about nine hours and not once did he tell me to shut the fork, flock, or fuck up. I admonished myself, silently, but loudly within the silence and cringed internally so hard at my non-stop rat-a-tat claptrap that if you were to cut me open, you'd find all of my organs balled together into the size of a clenched fist, compressed into a mass like damped memory foam, waiting to exhale and expand and burst, gasping and wheezing. I can't even remember a fraction of what I said. My bet's on absolutely gibberish.
"It's an acquired taste."
TRANSLATION: It tastes awful. Not just subjectively awful but quite possibly objectively so. The first time you try it, you wonder why it exists in the realm of something people ingest. The second time, thinking perhaps your tastebuds were being recalcitrant before, you still can't believe others' claims of enjoyment. The third, fourth, and ninth times, you try to convince yourself it's not that bad. The fifteenth, and so on, you're used to the awful taste, but it doesn't make you gag, so you claim you've acquired the taste. But deep down, you know it's repugnant.
I burst out my door into the hallway with all the confidence of a lady who, well, has natural confidence and isn't self-conscious at all about wearing a vintage (Peck & Peck!) dress with perfectly coordinated vintage (Magdesians!) shoes and a vintage (no discernable brand/designer!) shoulder bag, who wishes it truly were 1974 out there instead of 2018, and greet my landlord and his sidekick with somewhat forced cheer.
"Wow! Look at you!" says my landlord. "You must be on your way to something fantastic." (Paraphrased!)
"Thank you!" I say. "Just going out to buy tomatoes!"
Like tomatoes aren't fantastic?
This is not the dream I want to have. The dogwalker calls to tell me that my best friend's German Shephard was involved in a scuffle with a Great Dane and. And. He doesn't complete the sentence whose ending, even as it's coming through the phone, I already know. I shriek into the phone that this is bullshit and hang up on him.
I wake up and realize it was just a dream and get happy. Then I remember, oh yeah, the dog left this world ten years ago anyway, but am slightly mollified because a Great Dane wasn't responsible.
He will never be enough for me and I will always be too much for him. This much I know, even though I don't utter it aloud and he's never said as much. But as I sit here at my desk reading his limp, uninspired, monosyllabic (and not-even-punctuated!) text, and utter an audible, "Ugh," I imagine those same traits carrying over into the rest of his life, and know he'll never be the man for me. These occasional lunches are enough. Indeed, they're more than enough. A pretty dress, light laughs, good food, and sunshine. And that's quite all right.
"Well, I won't be using Elmers Glue-All as a toast topping ever again," Marvin says. He swallows noisily and then sucks on the orange tip of the white plastic squeeze bottle.
I ask him why he'd be using it in the first place and why he just swallowed the last bite of toast.
"I don't know," he says.
I tell him he's a moron, that anyone who's anyone knows that that amber-colored mucilage in the plastic bottle with the weird slanted pencil-eraser-colored top with the slit in it is the way to go.
I think we need to break up.
I see R's friend and his dog at a sidewalk table at a sandwich shop on Columbus. I stop to say hello because the dog is irresistible (he's a dog, after all), I'm wearing an adorable dress with perfectly coordinated shoes, my hair looks good, and I'm feeling upbeat on a sunny day, on my way to Zingone Bros. several steps away to buy cherry tomatoes. I stop because I know the friend will tell R he saw me and I was super-groovy, and R will be forced to think about me and know he missed and lost his chance.
God is bullshit. God in a white robe with a long-ass beard, sitting on a cloud and looking down at us is utter fucking bullshit. If you believe in a God who does these things, I'm sorry to break the news to you but you are a moron. If you believe this motherfucker created the world in six days and then rested on the seventh and now has all the time in the world to sit back and watch those of his so-called creation kill each other and do a little merciless killing himself, then we have nothing to say.
How many episodes of Bob's Burgers can I watch in one day? This is, of course, a rhetorical question. The answer, if I were to supply one, would be this: As many as it takes to exhaust me so I don't lie in bed awake for too long, where I'm left alone with my ping-ponging, ding-donging, fling-flonging thoughts. Long enough so I'm as numb as possible when I get into bed, too brainless to do much of anything but drift into sleep. But then there's the problem of waking up the next day and reliving this hell all over again.
He wants to get together for coffee or "a bite" and I could not be less interested if I tried. I have no patience for news of his latest shoulder surgery or tales of his quest to find an agent for his crappy, crappy writing. The only reason to see him at all is to be in the company of his adorable dog (redundant), so I may agree to that bite with the stipulation that we eat al fresco and only if the dog accompanies. When he speaks I'll hear the muffled Peanuts' adults' voice and think, "Woof, puppy, woof."
I cannot breathe. At times I cannot fucking breathe. I would gladly trade you being alive and living in a foreign country, never to communicate with me again, reviling me, than this hideous, horrifying, terrifying new reality. I can't stand the term "the new normal", but this is it for me? This? This life without you? This life without my best friend, my advisor, the best human being I've ever known outside of my grandfather? How do I do this? How the FUCK do I do this? Please come back to life and hate me. It's far preferable to this.
Fuck that "circle of life" bullshit. We need a revolution in the world of life and death. This crap about "Only the good die young" needs to go the way of the dodo (who, by the way, needs to be resurrected, which means I'd have to find another way to say "become extinct"). Sorry, Billy Joel, but fuck that. We need a barter system. We need to be able to, say, exchange the life of a vile vulgarian associated with the number 45, and everyone of his ilk, for those of truly beloved people who wouldn't dream of harming anyone.
You tell me someone de-friended you on Facebook, and I just can't bring myself to care. I want you not to care too, because if someone doesn't want to be friends anymore, Facebook or otherwise, don't waste your time on that person, don't reach out to ask why, don't question it, because, really, if that person doesn't want you in his or her life, do you really want to be in his or hers? Focus on those who not only want you around but who you also want around.
"Easier said than done," you might say.
Not really, I say.
One week and one day after the Worst Day (I often write entries out of order), and my cat asks me, upon my return home from the gym, "Are you sad and angry today?"
I tell her, yup, of course I am.
She looks up from where she's pressed herself against my leg on the bed. I bend to cover her with my body, which she always allows, like a dog.
"I'm gonna be sad and angry every day," I tell her. "Forever."
"That's okay, right?" she says.
Yup, it is. I tell her.
"Whatever works," as he taught me.
My brother is in town for a few days to do something eye doctor-related. Although he hasn't lived here for two years, he still uses this doctor because he likes her and it gives him an opportunity to hang out with me a bit too because, I assume, he likes me as well. It just so happens that I like him too, so everybody's happy. We haven't spent this much time alone in years, and after about two minutes of odd awkwardness of having someone, ANYONE, in my very private personal space, we're acting like idiotic 11-year-olds all over again.
If anything saves me from completely drowning in utter despair, it will be writing, followed quickly, or as fast as my Jewish-so-please-I'm-no-natural-athlete legs can take me, by running (on the treadmill, where I have control). Writing my own words occupies a part of my mind in a way that reading other people's words cannot. Writing my own requires me to do the work, whereas other people's gives my mind great opportunity to wander and go places I don't want it to go. I feel like I'm quite literally writing to save my sanity now and am grateful for the gift.
It's true that I think God is hogwash. It's also true that I thing feng shui is foolish and that Reiki is ridiculous. It's further true that I sneer at New Age hocus pocus, and although I think your crystals are pretty, especially with sunlight streaming through, I don't ascribe any power to them except the possibility of jazzing up your white linen outfit as you paint the Santa Fe mountains at dusk on your veranda. So what to make of me thinking everything is a sign or a symbol, even if I'm not quite sure to what they're pointing?
The treadmill closest to the huge picture window, not facing a TV so I can avoid news unless I shift my gaze; no one to my left, and today no one on my right; Bluetooth turned on with disjointed female voice announcing "Battery high, connected"; The Sex Pistols bashing, crashing, colliding, and ricocheting directly into my brain, stomping on sentiment I cannot indulge; water bottle at the ready; two small towels; a view of people doing their thing, some of it stupid, but really, what do I care, live and let fucking live unless it hurts someone or something else.
The vintage Johansen shoes arrive, and even though they look just like their photos on eBay, they're even more fabulous in person. Maybe because they're in my hand, in three dimensions, and if I wanted to smell them I could (but of course I won't, because they're used/vintage and that would be gross, even though they're very clean). Alas, getting my feet into them is a painful challenge, and for the next several days I wear thick socks while wearing them around the house. Eventually my feet slide in with ease. I am both Cinderella and my own Prince Charming.
It's pouring cats, dogs, and catdogs and dogcats. It's the kind you just want to lie in bed and listen to like no other music, like your heartbeat, like the sound of your hair growing, like blood tingling in your fingertips and your lips. I'm at my desk, bawling, because you would love this. Because I love you. I go to the kitchen, fling open the door to the patio, look up to the wet white sky, and shout, "I LOVE YOU, BLOBBY!!!" Did you hear me? Did you chuckle your little chuckle? Do I need to shout more loudly?
It's pouring and thundering on Thursday, Thor's Day, and if you were still of this life, you would be rejoicing over it with me in our always-open Google Hangout. It would be just another glorious rainy, thundery, Thor-y day that we'd always treasured and preferred over any other type of weather, the kind I announced with all caps and/or exclamation points. My tears are as fast and furious and drowning as the rainfall pounding on my patio's umbrella. This is not the universe crying for you. This is you laughing with me. This will always be your laughter to me. (written 6/28)
Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Officially the worst day of my life. Cut and paste, cut and paste forever. And ever.
I pause typing, and click on the Gmail tab, as if by reflex or instinct, and of course don't see any email from him. There's no way I'll be receiving email from him ever again. I won't be getting the daily email he sent every morning for the past 20 years. I won't be seeing his name in my inbox. I won't be getting a Googles Hangout greeting throughout the day, just silliness that only the two of us would understand. I keep clicking anyway, like touching a painful tooth, not forgetting that it's painful but not necessarily remembering either.
The parent in me just told the little kid in me that my best friend is on a very long vacation and won't be coming back but that he's fine and loves us and no, we can't visit him. The parent in me knows I'm lying, and the parent in me cries for the little kid in me who, although sad she can't visit and won't be seeing the friend again, is glad the friend is happy wherever he's vacationing, probably somewhere with rainbows and tons of romping smiling dogs and cats. Meanwhile, both parent and kid's hearts are broken.
He was non-negotiable, when and if anyone else came into my life. If anyone had balked at his unwavering presence in my life, that person would not be a part of it.
I don't know what to do without him. "Live your life" and "Make him proud" and other sundry clichés dangle n front of my facing like cheap clothing in a discount store, and I grasp at them with a grimace and eyeroll and think "This isn't good enough." Because it's not.
My world is shattered, I am gutted, and to say I'm forever changed is a grand understatement.
On the .000000001% chance that there's anything to the notion of a spirit world or a sort of life after death or energy with a kind of conscience that can "see" us poor souls trapped on Earth and visit and perhaps hover by our shoulders as we eat salads at our desks while bawling our eyes out, I'm talking to you. I'm telling you I love you beyond measure, I miss you already, will miss you forever, and that I wish with every goddamned fiber of my earthly being that this was all the most hideous and monstrous of dreams.
Yesterday was the first time I went out since Monday. I took a Lyft to Playwrights Horizons and walked home. As I approached the last corner before home, I did a double take, not sure it was the right block. The scaffolding that had surrounded the building on the corner for three years was gone on this side of the street! I'd just asked my landlord if it was ever coming down, and voila! I can't wait to send Bob a message on Google Chats! And then it hits me. All over again. This is how it's gonna go forever.
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