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"They're going to think I'm writing too much about this enormous loss and my tremendous grief," I thought. "I can't write that many more entries about it. It'll be depressing and they won't want to continue."
Fuck that. These 100 Words are not intended for an audience, although of course I'm utterly delighted if someone out there is reading them. (And if you are, well, HELLO!) They've always been for me, as an exercise, as a little soap bubble sent out into the ether, to balance on someone's fingertip if they so choose but perfectly content to just exist, suspended.
It's the NEVER I can't stand. The never-ness, the finality, the cold hard lump of coal fact that I will never hear from him again, never be heard by him again, never see or be seen. Never.
I don't know how people can believe they'll be reunited with loved ones in "Heaven" with a capital H, but I can understand why they'd want to believe. It would make everything so much easier, so much more palatable, so much less hair-pullingly, teeth-gnashingly, gut-wrenchingly horrifying if I knew that one day we'd be face to face again, admiring the fluffiness of clouds.
I don't belong in 2018. In 1977, I felt like I didn't belong in 1977, but now I'd belong there, at my current age. Back then, I longed for 20-plus years earlier, knew I belonged in the '50s even though I'd never experienced the decade. I don't think there will ever come a time when I'll look back at the 2000s and think, yeah, I wish I could return to that. There's nothing nostalgic about this "digital age". I don't want to swipe left or right to make it go away. I want to flip a switch to do so.
Fairway, you have to stop saying you're "The Place for Fooding". You have to stop trying to appeal to the millennials who flock to Trader Joe's two blocks south like it's Mecca. You have to realize that your fanbase or audience or whatever it's called are more old school Upper West Siders who don't use nouns as verbs. When you do it, you're the embarrassing older uncle at a family function sporting a too-dark toupee, pressed dad jeans with a tucked-in polo shirt, and white sneakers, fumbling with his iPhone to show the kids a Snoop Dogg video on Facebook.
Every quirk, idiosyncrasy, and petty preference you have is not "OCD". Washing your hands 140 times a day; taking three hours to leave the house because you don't trust that the stove burners are turned all the way off even though you've checked them three times, three times, three times; having to tap each finger against the desk four times before answering the phone, all could qualify. But having a preference for stapling something a certain way or liking your desk organized doesn't count. I know you're desperate to qualify your quirks, but really, it's nothing special. You're not special.
My oldest "gal pal" (ugh), Mrs. Zucker, whom I've known for literally half my life, and I were overjoyed to learn of our recent obsession with our eyebrows. We practically clasped hands and jumped up and down on a trampoline together before riding on a tandem bike (I can't decide who rides in front) and sharing a milkshake with two straws, such was our excitement, even if just over the phone. Now I'm nervous about seeing her in person for the first time since this revelation, fearing we'll each be staring into the Sharpie'd face of Uncle Leo from Seinfeld.
I open a can of corn and at first sip the water from its edge, then drink it like it's juice, rather than go through the rigorous effort of draining it over the sink. It's tastier than I'd thought it would be, sweeter, and a glance at the ingredients indicates it's just corn and water, no added sugar, as I'd dreaded, because that would mean I would have to reprimand myself for not checking before purchase.
"You could serve this as soup in a restaurant," I think, "and some pretentious fuck would rave about the chilled corn soup on Yelp."
Every time I get a "What's new with Alexa?" email, I quickly scan it for something worthwhile and am usually disappointed. ("Alexa, how often am I disappointed by the contents of the 'What's new with Alexa?' email?") The latest was no exception. This time, at the end, under Most Requested, the most requested conversion was "How many ounces are in a pound?"
I sure hope this is a question asked by people with single-digit ages and that adults haven't become even more fucking stupid. What's next? "Alexa, how many fingers do most people have?" "Alexa, am I a fucking imbecile?"
I finally haul the laundry up the street a block. I'm "proud" of this because it's a task that, even though simple, I dislike. Alas, a sign says they're closed until the 12th, so I return home and resign to several more days of unwashed waiting. Then an old-fashioned cartoon light bulb goes off over my head, I search Yelp, find a highly-rated place about ten blocks away, and make the trek. They do a marvelous job. Since I only do this once a month (I hand wash otherwise), I think I may return to this place for the "adventure".
The sugary aroma of baked goods hits as you enter Protein Bakery on West 19th. You wan to cram cookies and brownies in your maw with both crazed hands before you even make it to the register.
"It smells amazing in here," you say to the handsome fella behind the counter.
He tells you all the stuff is packaged and it's not baked there.
He agrees when you say it's like when real estate agents stage a home, with the aroma of fresh-baked cookies.
You want to say you feel gypped a little but still hand over your credit card.
One of the trainers at the gym posted an Instagram video of part of his workout and commented in the caption, "Not bad for pushing 32." Please. You're not qualified to be "pushing" an age that's still considered young and to act like a physical accomplishment is a big deal when the age is one where that sort of activity should be expected. Yes, you're a strong young man, but the operative word is "young". Come back in 50 years and say that. I wish you could have seen my almost-81-year-old fella doing his thing. You would have been humbled.
You're not winning anyone to your side, or even furthering your own cause, if all you're doing is alternating between calling the guy you perceive as having wronged your wife as "nigga" and "motherfuckah". Even she's sort of cowering and ducking her head, just trying to get into the seat that's been offered her here on the crowded subway. As you spew vitriol about someone disrespecting your wife, maybe you should be mindful that your flailing elbows are inches from the face of another woman standing behind you, the one who seconds ago had shown your wife the empty seat.
Alaska Airlines sends email advising of a change to my itinerary for October. The flight out will leave 15 minutes later and the flight back, five. Perhaps the former could impact someone's connecting flight, but anyone who would schedule two flights so close to one another without leaving much "wiggle room" probably flies by the seat of his pants anyway, so perhaps this would give that person a soupcon of a thrill. I, on the other hand, thought, "Oh good. Now I won't have to leave the apartment until 4:15 instead of 4:00!" Like I'd really be "sleeping in" anyway.
Shared Lyft ride or shared subway ride? Door-to-door service or walking to the subway from home, transferring, then walking from the subway to the restaurant? Staying relatively cool in the ceiling-fanned comfort of my own home or sweating my ass off on the subway platform? Possibly sharing the private car with another person or two for part of the trip or definitely sharing the public car with other people for the entire trip? Spending just under $8 or spending $2.75? An additional $5 or so is definitely worth it. So why have I been deliberating over this nonsense all afternoon?
I cannot have the obituary changed since I'm not family, so I need to go "on record", as much as this blip on the Internet is a record, as saying Robert A. Hanamirian of Philadelphia and New York, who left this world last month at his home on the Upper West Side, was NOT married at the time. He married twice, and the second divorce was in the early 2000s. He isn't "survived" by that woman. She was out of his life years ago and he wouldn't appreciate the illusion/allusion of that association if he were still here to protest.
When I tell people I talk to my cat, they invariably ask if she talks back, and I'm always taken aback by that question. Those who balk at my answer will never "get" me. They will never get my cat. And they will never get to be my close friend, because, really, if they can't handle a garrulous talking cat, they'll never be able to handle my apologizing to inanimate objects when I bump into them, their assurance that it's okay, or my breaking into bad spontaneous songs whose lyrics I make up on the spot. See ya. Sayonara. Meow.
I've been going to the Equinox near my apartment for a year and eight months now. The early morning crowd doesn't rankle me nearly as much as the one at the "old" branch near the Flatiron, and I haven't given any of them names except for Kewpie Doll, who, between sets, picks her cuticles as if she's getting paid per piece of skin. The guy who wears an orange tank top every day, the intense guy in the too-short shorts, the guy in the red long-sleeve shirt who MUST be the first to enter when the doors are unlocked? Nope!
My capacity for "hating" people I don't know has nearly expired. I have no energy to hate anyone based on petty bullshit or stuff I perceive may not even be true and probably isn't but that I don't care to investigate or even give two breath cycles or blinks to discover. I can't hate someone who was a friend for years, then an ex-friend, and now a sort of peripheral friend/acquaintance, especially when that person sends me the most wonderful email after the biggest loss of my life, when others who are closer to me have been almost deathly silent.
I'm in Barney Greengrass, at the counter, asking for a piece of halvah. I've already ordered a knish. The fella behind the counter holds up a piece and I say, in perhaps an overly Jewy voice a la Mrs. Maisel, "That's a nice piece," and wave my hand toward it like my Bubby would do.
At Murray's Sturgeon Shop, when ordering knishes and coffee cake, I affect the Jewy voice as well. I want to order a
of vegetarian "chopped liver" but don't.
I'm dressed in vintage and feel like a 2018 voice just don't "go with". Oy vey.
Recently, in an attempt to keep an old, damaged earbud from falling out while running, I crammed it into my ear. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that part of it had remained behind when I removed the earbud. Attempts to remove it with tweezers were in vain, so I went to an Urgent Care a few blocks away. I felt like a toddler with a dried bean stuck up her nose (do kids really do that?) and said so to the doctor. "Every day," he said. "We see this every day." My life is so full.
My latest food that I could eat every day like a four-year-old hooked on chicken nuggets: Two slices of Ezekiel bread, toasted to about a 7 out of 10, both sides spread with hot chili sauce/paste (the authentic Asian stuff in the plastic jar with the green lid), a dab of Trader Joe's eggplant spread, 1/4 of a slab of House Brands tofu cutlet, a sprinkling of black pepper, a bunch of mixed greens, and a slice of Follow Your Heart Gouda "cheese", still warm and crisp, off of a small plate while seated on the sofa watching "Ray Donovan".
You spared us the excruciating goodbyes that would have left me even more devastated than I am now. You saved us the horror of knowing you were, facing each other, uttering and sputtering words that couldn't possibly express what we mean to each other. The mere thought of seeing your soft eyes, your tears, witnessing your last breath, your last word, your last smile or grimace, the last grasp of your hand is more painful than the reality of your having slipped away quietly, peacefully, the way you lived your life. Did you somehow "know" and do this on purpose?
I refuse to say goodbye. I refuse to acknowledge that is you in that purplish marble box by the gravestones, incense next to it, that people are going up to, teary-eyed, and crossing themselves over. I approach with even more tears in my eyes and touch the box several times and say silent words to you and I know "you" are there but that that's not the you that's "out there" now. I hate this day with every fiber of my being. I imagine you by my left side, rolling your eyes at its absurdity. I need you back. Now.
Saying "I miss you" just doesn't cut it. It's like saying, "Ouch" when someone removes your arm with a rusty saw without anesthesia and forces you to watch.
At times I feel like I've been kicked in the gut, breathless and gasping, when I realize, anew, that he's gone and there's nothing anyone can do to get him back. This isn't like when a boyfriend breaks up with you and you leave sputtering, fumbling, tear-choked messages on his voicemail or bolt to his house and pound on his door, begging for him to talk.
I wish this were that simple.
Oh, Eve apple. I wanted to believe the glowing description of you on the Fairway sign above your part of the display, that you were sweet and crisp and juicy. I hoped you'd be the answer to my apple prayers since the other variety whose name I couldn't remember but would have recognized had I seen it wasn't available. Alas, when I bit into you, you offered no resistance. I felt as if I could rend you apart with my fingers with no effort. I ate you anyway because it's not your fault you weren't what I thought you'd be.
Big thrill of the day: My landlord and his adorable sidekick have come by to see what needs to be done with my kitchen faucet that's been leaking, the new toilet mechanism is arriving today and will be installed, and the toilet tank lid will be here mid-August. My landlord thanked me for my patience, the sidekick smiled and twinkled and chimed in, and the landlord asked me how Monday went, which made me silently take back the "mean" things I'd thought about him on Sunday when calling him on the phone about a ceiling leak and he'd acted obtuse.
There's not really a good answer when the checkout person at Trader Joe's asks, "Paper or plastic?" Although I don't like hurting trees, I prefer paper because it's more old-fashioned, classic, and elegant, but plastic can be reused for litterbox scooping, which although old-fashioned and classic in its own right is certainly not elegant. So today I went with paper, and it was double-bagged, and as I walked home in my "lady dress" and T-strap pumps, a paper bag in each hand, I felt as elegant as you can while toting toilet paper, frozen mango, and $33 worth of whatever-else.
I opened this Word document as my bread was toasting in my adorable red toaster and told myself I'd write (HERE SHE IS, BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL!) while that was happening, and no sooner did I open the document than the bread popped up (magic!), now toast, and I started to dash toward the kitchen to "build" a sandwich, and then said, "No! You have to write the entry now!" So that's what this is, an entry written really fast so my toast doesn't have a chance to cool off and become, essentially, just bread again, and thus figurative "toast".
I nix the idea of outside plans for today. I have plans with friends for two afternoons at the end of this week, so I tell myself that's enough. I also tell myself I "need" to be home when my air fryer (!!!) arrives from Amazon. Although it's going to be a so-called beautiful day today, I'm staying inside, watching "Ray Donovan" and working. I don't like being out and about on weekends. A 6:15 a.m. trip up the street to Fairway for coffee and two russet potatoes (to make fries in the air fryer!!!) is enough for the day.
New frivolous obsession: My air fryer arrived on Sunday afternoon, and I literally gasped when I took it out of the box and saw how absolutely adorable it is. I'd flirted with the idea of getting one a while ago, but a recent Instagram post by a vegan follower, raving about the tofu she'd made, reignited it, and I instantly set about obsessing over which one to buy. This one is aqua/mint green, has analog settings, and "compact" even though it's the size of a coffee maker. I keep sneaking peeks at it like a toddler with a new toy.
So much I want to tell you. So much of so little. Stupid stuff, "nothing" stuff, but the kind that fed my day, enriched it, made it feel complete. A video of a dog, especially a German Shepherd, the ultimate "good boy". My feeling like a "fatzu" for not skipping the gym. A cookie I tried. Meeting a new dog on the street, greeting a familiar one. A general, all-around, all-encompassing "Ugh" about everything or anything. Something cute the cat did (like blinked).
I miss every little thing about you and the uniqueness of us. Every second of every day.
The Tip Jar