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I am done, for the time being, with the "sporty" parts of my wardrobe. No more navy blue and red, no more "1970s career girl". It's time to add a punch of paisley, a bit of baroque. I want to wear something that's the equivalent of flocked wall paper with a bit of a metallic sheen, the kind a relative had years ago that I loved to touch my fingertips to gently as if it were moss, and knowing me, probably licked as well. I want brocade, velvet, something with a tassel. I want to look like upholstery and drapes.
It's a gift of sorts to not have any human to tend to other than yourself. No one to check in with, no one to answer to, no one to question. It's "freeing" as some say, I suppose, but also quite daunting. I cook enough for two but it only serves one. Then again, this has always been the case so it doesn't lead to dreadful loneliness. I would not want to have to cook for more than one, to be expected, to have it as a role or chore. This way the only person I can disappoint is myself.
Thanks, thieves who violated my Uber account, for your stellar contributions to the human race. Thank you, No. 1., for taking a ride from Manhattan to Queens for $64.13 and you, No. 2, for trying to take one somewhere in Altoona, Pennsylvania ]that I cancelled for $5.00. Thank you for the anguish and rage I felt at your indiscretions. I hope the first of you was mowed down by a bus upon exiting the car and the second of you spontaneously combusted on the spot, that both of these expirations were excruciating, and that you are reincarnated as Tr*mp's underpants.
In answer to your unasked question, i.e., Jodi, do you think your air fryer was a wise purchase?, the answer is a resounding YES.
In answer to your other question, it too unasked, i.e., Jodi, can you tell me which one among the trillions of air fryers available did you buy, how much did it cost, what color is it, does it snore, does it share your taste in movies, and is it single?, the answer is that is a compound question and I will only share that information with you privately. Let's just say we are VERY happy together.
I'm wearing the vintage purple suede lace-up shoes; sapphire blue snap-front belted jacket; purple shirt whose ruched shoulders are obscured by the jacket, but with ruched cuffs peeking/jutting out; purple, aqua, and other-color paisley scarf; slightly flared jeans; and multi-colored carpet-type shoulder-bag, strutting with all the swagger of John Travolta as Tony Manero and Vinnie Barbarino combined. I need all of this to distract me from the knowledge that in the FedEx envelope I'm carrying is the death certificate of my favorite person in the world, to close out the storage unit he so generously maintained for me for years.
I don't like when writing tries too hard to be poetic and meaningful or "beautiful". It's forced, contrived, and cringe-making. It's like in acting class years ago, when some of the students would be "crying" and it was about as genuine and moving as when a two-year-old trips on the sidewalk and only starts doing the fake-crying thing when someone makes a fuss over him, and all I can think is, "Ew. Gross. Stop that" and want to extend my leg and trip the kid for real, but onto, perhaps, the softness of grass. I mean, I'm not an ogre.
the hash browns that K raved about when we stopped in a Dunkin' Donuts in July were not even close to amazing and delicious as he had raved prior to our ordering and as I lied they were during our eating. I just didn't have it in me at the time to be anything but agreeable. We were on our way to the funeral and I would have agreed that black was white, 2 plus 2 was glockenspiel, and that my greatest joy is derived from listening to Tr*mp wheezing his way up a mountain wearing lederhosen without a shirt.
My body knows it's a Monday before my brain even realizes it, responding in many painful ways that have nothing to do with the typical "Oh no, it's Monday, gee whiz, back to the grind!" Nope. The ache in my chest, the knot in my throat, the churning of my stomach, the complete weariness of my bones are all in concert knowing that this Monday marks yet another since The Worst Day. Every Monday I count how many it's been since June 25th. How many chest aches, throat knots, stomach churns, and bone weariness. As if I need reminding, guys!
Alexa is the sort who thinks she has a good sense of humor, but she does not. Her limericks are bad, her jokes are bad, and she's at a level of dorkiness that does not have me rejoicing in it but thinking, "Good god, you deserve to be locked in the pantry with nothing but cans of anchovies to be opened with an attached key and stale corn flakes." I want to kick sand in her face like in the old Charles Atlas ads and dip her pigtails in the inkwell.
I'm about as hilarious as she is.
Writing and the gym and "composing" vintage outfits to stroll around town in, and of course my cat, are the only things that are going to keep me sane. I may have said this before. And even so, I'll say it again. And again. Anything else is really a distraction, like Netflix and Amazon Prime shows, as marvelous as they are in that capacity. I feel safest and most at home when writing, the most "calm" and myself, even though often it's like pulling teeth out with forceps dipped in oil, wielded by the shaking hands of a seizure-suffering toddler.
No one in Rick's family can eat hot sauce, so he's thrilled to learn I love the stuff as much as he does. On Sunday, I buy the vegan breakfast burrito at Erewhon he says he gets every week, and when we get back to the house, I unfurl mine like he does and apply three varieties of hot sauce like he does. I immediately lament the lack of this particular well-stuffed burrito in NYC.
I'm delighted, though, that the crispy chili oil/sauce that he trots out another time is readily available on Amazon and order a six-pack for home.
I have limited funds until my new credit cards and debit card arrive (thanks, odious Uber hacker, for making this necessary) so I'm "making do" however possible. En route to the gym, I realize I can avail myself of their paper towels and squirrel some in my bag for home use. I marvel at my ingenuity, feeling a bit of relief because this means I don't have to stop at Fairway on my way home. So what if the paper towel is as almost as rough as the bark of the trees from which it was made? It's still something.
Marvelous outfits/ensembles don't seem to "go with" Los Angeles like they do with NYC. What's the point of wearing something fabulous and noteworthy if you're just going to sit in car for an hour to arrive at a destination where you won't be transporting yourself by your own power either. Give me a bustling walking city like this one any day, where you can strut your stuff even if you're just going to a store three blocks away, where an outfit can be flounced in and flaunted, where it can enjoy a spirited sashay instead of an interminable stationary ride.
Whenever I'd pass 3 Star Coffee Shop at 86th and Columbus, when the signs were still up (they've recently been removed), I thought if I were a new business there, I'd call *whatever* business it was "3 Star Coffee Shop" just to keep the incredible sign on both sides of its corner space.
It would do my heart good if the new NYC Barber Shop Museum on Columbus Avenue chose not to cover up the old sign for The Last Wound Up, uncovered recently when the museum took up residence and the existing awning from another store was taken down.
I'm not the type of person for whom sadness gets better, for whom devastation improves. I don't shake this sort of thing off easily, I don't toss my head and body to and fro like a dog shaking off rain or a bath. I was going to categorize June 25th onward as a "negative experience" or something like that but there just doesn't seem to be a way to categorize this devastating loss, this tearful shake of the head, immediate knot in the chest, accompanying punch to my throat, and his absence feeling like the presence of a phantom limb.
I haven't seen her in a year. She looks Jennifer Garner fresh 'n' pretty as always but somehow even better. She looks more awake and refreshed, which makes me feel more asleep and depleted. I pinpoint the improvement to a lack of undereye circles, of which we'd mutually complained a year ago. Later, in text, I ask for the name of her concealer, and she tells me, but says the real winner was getting tear duct filler, which I Google immediately, instantly want to get done, flinch at the cost and risk, and tell myself, "You'll just go to Sephora."
I went to Sensuous Bean at 70th and Columbus after years of passing by while living on the UWS, rolling my eyes at its name, and years of seeing it when I'd leave the familiarity of the Flatiron District to trek to the mysterious UWS to visit a friend and rolling my eyes the same way. It gets wonderful Yelp reviews, which makes me roll my eyes as well because can Yelpers be trusted? So anyway, I went, spent $11 on coffee beans, and justify it by saying McNulty's on Christopher Street would cost about the same considering subway fare.
This morning I had an "episode" on the street after the gym, on a corner near home. I saw an older man in an overcoat and hat and cane, carrying a regular briefcase, crossing the wide avenue and then crossing my street toward me, and he/it reminded me so much of Bob that I actually gasped and had to stop and watch him the entire time as I stood there sobbing like a baby. For a moment I entertained the fantasy that he'd been walking for almost four months to get here and I was going to be happy again.
I'm not so insane that I think that while wearing a vintage ensemble I'm sealing myself off from the current hideous age. I'm sane enough to know that it's my personal cocoon, into which I readily retreat, into which I slide my arms and my head and maybe button or snap or zipper, before leaving the warm comfort of home and entering my fantasy version of reality out in the city streets. Dressed this way, I am not invincible or impervious to 2018's intrusion, but oddly protected, somewhat safer, and as such, better able to deal with it. Whatever works.
Think of the things your "loved one" does that make you gnash your teeth. Say, for instance, his using the microwave when a skillet is a better option, or his absent-minded fretting with his fingers that incite you to gently smack his hand and say, "Stop that!" or how every time he sees "udon noodle" on a menu he asks if it's just one very long noodle (and you tell him that's not even funny). When that person leaves this world, those are the things you'd give anything to indulge again. (And you'll find the udon thing hilarious.) Trust me.
I write these out of order at times because sometimes I neglect writing every day and then must play "catch-up" (not to be confused with ketchup, catsup, or Hank Ketchum). So I bring to your attention an error in my post of October 31. The name Elaine Joyce should be Elaine May. As I sit here, I think Elaine Joyce may be the name of a TV personality who appeared on game shows in the '70s, but I'm not sure. I will "research" this via Google after posting. If you care to know the answer, you can do the same!
Do not tell anyone I am wearing more summer-weight pajama/lounge pants with the top from a set of winter-weight flannel pajamas and that I made a conscious choice to pair these two. Do not tell anyone I have added to this whimsical ensemble a pair of ped-style gray workout/gym socks and the can't-live-without computer glasses and remarkably unbrushed hair but thankfully brushed teeth. Do not tell anyone I am slouching at my desk like a jellyfish who knows she should be grateful for the gift of bones someone anonymously donated but thinks maybe it was a poor choice of gift.
I want to be at the coffee table with the kids. I want an adult to give me an iPad like they have or maybe just plop down on the sofa near the kids with my own phone and play an intense game or 30 of sudoku while the others are standing by the stools by the kitchen with the gorgeous tile that's probably been imported from Morocco, talking about current events that include names that mean nothing to me but which I pretend not only recognize but know well by nodding my head in silent agreement. I'm a fraud.
At lunch, one person talks about her Brooklyn art exhibit. I'm not even quite clear what her art is. Another talks about an art project she's contemplating. Another spouts off in an accent so charming that I don't hear a word he says, just the way he says it. Another tells of a novel he wants to write with the encouragement of an established agent. I gaze longingly over the shoulder of the 6-year-old to my right, hoping no one asks me about what I want to do, knowing they won't understand when my response is, "Trying not to die."
"Are you Monroe?" he says with a Russian accent. He's stopped his vehicle among others arriving at passenger pickup.
I say no. My name, the car service told me, would appear in the vehicle's window along with the car number. I see neither. Move on, sir, with your awful late '70s hairstyle and dour expression.
Ten minutes or so later, my cell rings. A Russian-accented man asks if I see his vehicle, hazard lights flashing. At first I don't, but then look to my right several yards away, where a man stands outside a vehicle, cell to his ear.
Our eyes meet. I approach him and the vehicle. He lowers his phone and glares at me beneath the sweeping bangs of his '70s mop.
"I asked you 15 minutes ago if you were waiting for Carmel," he says, "and you said no."
"Oh. I thought you asked if my name is Monroe. Which it's not. I didn't hear 'Carmel'. Sorry."
"Unbelievable," he says, several times, reiterating a mumbled accented scolding.
I'll bet he's a magnificent father.
Any time he takes a dark, desolate road on the way to Manhattan, I think he's planning my murder. I'm only half-kidding.
Today, 4 November (I often write these out of order and usually take advantage of the five-day grace period for posting), the last of the four siblings, the older of the two sisters, at 97, has left this world. On the .000000000000000000000000001% (that's 26 zeroes, so you don't have to count) chance there may be some kind of afterlife, I hope they have all found each other, not as young versions of themselves untouched and unscathed by the long lives they held but at the advanced age they attained, only free of ailment/malady/pain. What good that would do my heart.
The younger of the boys is experiencing what his parents call "flooding" and is essentially throwing a fit he's not equipped to handle and that the parents are trying to deal with, but everyone's pretty much just flailing in a hurricane. Even though they're my friends, I still don't want to look directly at anyone. A few seconds of peripheral glances will suffice. I want to tell the kid that I may be 49 years older than he is but I get this way too and that it's okay to be so overwhelmed you feel like you have no choice.
I have three seats to myself on the plane. I figure this is about the equivalent, price-wise, of one first-class seat. I've got more room to spread out than those extravagant bastards, at least side to side! Although I can lie along the length of the three seats, they're not deep enough and I'm in jeopardy of rolling onto the floor. I realize I look like one of those slobs who thinks the plane is her own living room if I do that anyway, so I sit upright, at least happy no one is next to me, snoring or munching.
Los Angeles, you have nothing to worry about. I will not be moving to you in the future, either near or distant. You can't hold even an unlit vanilla-scented Yankee Candle Company candle with a tiny wick embedded in its top, unable to be carved out with a paperclip, butter knife, or fingernail, to New York. You and your vast horizontal sprawl that makes it impossible to get anywhere quick, nowhere to walk, nowhere to just pop out to on a moment's notice for as much as a Tab? No thanks. Living in you would drive me, quite literally, crazy.
I'm taking myself to plays three Saturday nights in a row next month. This means I get to be in the same room as Elaine Joyce, Tyne and Tim Daly, and Michael C. Hall while decked out in vintage finery, feeling impossibly sophisticated and adult and oh so New York City-y, instead of lounging in floppy pajamas on my sofa with my cat (no offense to either the sofa [unnamed!] or Lola), watching Ray Donovan or Will & Grace and feeling like I should be doing something New York City-y to justify living here and not in a remote cabin.
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