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Now more than ever I don't care what you think of me. You, collective, general, universal, and you individually. I don't care if you think my quietly singing to myself on the street is ridiculous. I won't do it when we're in close quarters and you're captive to it. I don't believe in being rude or inconsiderate. I know I'm not the only person in the world. But although I do sometimes annoy myself, I like who I am, as corny as that sounds. And if you don't, I won't even say it's your loss because I truly don't care.
We were not the family that took trips together. We weren't the family that went to the store together. We did not go food shopping together. We didn't even eat together. Our parents sat in the dining area of the two-bedroom apartment that housed the five of us (or six when my stepsister was around) and the kids sat in the kitchen. I don't think any of us spoke. I was too busy trying to device ways to put my creamed vegetables in a hideous butter sauce (frozen) into a napkin and transfer it to a toilet, where it belonged.
So far no one has caught on. I moved to the Los Angeles area last month after living in NYC for 18 years, even though I said I would never move here. Thanks to a wonderful friend with connections, I was able to rent a "bungalow" in West Hollywood at a decent price, and I can actually walk (unheard of!) to stores and restaurants instead of having to get on the 405, which, until I was actually on it, thought was a myth that Los Angeles people created to keep New Yorkers away. My husband will be joining me shortly!
Lemczek Hargitay, the doorman, is proud of the shine of goldtone buttons adorning his uniform. He polishes them with a small soft cloth when no one is around and turns his wrists to and fro to catch the glint of the light in the vestibule where he stands tall, waiting to open the door for the tenants who, for the most part, acknowledge his existence. He wonders if Mr. Richard Westmoreland, of PH2, whose 24-karat gold cufflinks catch the glint of the vestibule light, notices his efforts. He'd like to think he does but is just too shy to comment.
When all else fails, what to do?
Turn to haiku (duh).
Taking the easy way out.
Hello, Upper East Siders.
I come from the West.
Are our customs similar?
"Hi, pup!" I'm greeting your dog.
Eye contact with you?
Good god, I hope not. Agreed?
Veggie burger deluxe, please.
My standing order.
Every diner everywhere.
Popcorn for dinner? Yes, please.
Yes, it was lunch too.
Hello, I'm a single "gal".
Theater ticket for one, please.
I am my own perfect date.
Seventeen words more to go?
One more haiku, then.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven (lame).
I'm in fear of you disappearing except in my memory. Most of the memories I have of you are from our little snow globe, where only you and I and our dogs and cats existed without the need for anyone else's involvement or intrusion. Our nonsensical lexicon, our in-jokes that were barely even funny to us but which made them that much more uproarious, the voices, the silences, the glances that shouted volumes. I won't lose you in my thoughts or heart, ever, and the only person who would truly understand those thoughts would be you. It was always you.
"Do I miss you? What kind of question is that?" I say on my walk home from the gym. "How can you even ask that?"
And then I cry. Or should I say I cry more. "Every single fucking day," I say. "Every fucking minute. And it's more than 'miss'. I can't even explain it."
And then I cry more.
You ask me often, silently in my head. And I cry in frustration because I wish you could be asking for real, that it meant you were only gone on a business trip for two weeks rather than gone forfuckingever.
The dream where I can barely open my mouth because it's filled with a jumble of unanchored teeth, the way, as a kid, I used to fill my mouth with Chiclets and jostle them around in there, amused by the delicate rattling sound the made against each other and my teeth, before corralling them so I could chew them until they lost flavor and then swallow them (probably much to my stomach's consternation). That dream can stop. The other teeth dream, too, the one where my teeth are actively falling out, in shards. That can stop. After decades, enough already.
The moment I saw the Astrohaus Freewrite Traveler online, I was enchanted. I'd seen the original Freewrite several years ago and secretly coveted it even as I convinced myself that only a hipster poseur would use something like that. But today I watched the Indiegogo video with my heart pounding, convinced this time that a doofus poseur would use something like this. For about ten minutes I convinced myself a Microsoft Surface was a more viable option, but its price tag convinced me otherwise and made the $329 Traveler seem like a downright steal even if only does one thing.
I will continue to patronize your charming, fabulously fragrant digs, The Sensuous Bean, even though your name makes me cringe, hurl a little, and blush (internally since I don't actually blush). Although your coffee beans are more expensive than those of my beloved McNulty's, and you say they're not flavored even though they not only taste but smell like they are (but not in the putrid sickly-sweet way of flavored coffee), I will continue to give you my money so I can be proud to "shop local" and because I appreciate your older, lovely, helpful, smiling, and gracious counter people.
You may want to congratulate me on being able to run on the treadmill again after being forced to steer clear for two months thanks to jamming my left foot at the end of August and having to make do with the stationary bike. No offense to the stationary bike, of course, which afforded me the marvelous opportunity to watch The Golden Girls and Mary Tyler Moore while pedaling. But really, the treadmill is the only cardio that quells the crazy, if only temporarily, and makes me feel like I'm actually doing something even though of course I'm running nowhere.
Hey, "Universe". FYI, I'm open to meeting someone groovy to hang out with occasionally as a "companion". I use quotes because I'm rolling my eyes. Sorry, "Universe", but that's just the way it goes.
Since I'm averse to dating sites or apps, the meeting must be organic. It must arise from just traipsing around the city in general, perhaps even while buying knishes and crumb coffee cake from Murray's Sturgeon Shop, which would mean he's probably local. If so, can we be separated by two subway stops but an okay walking distance in the case of service suspension? Thank you!
Stardust Drainpipe Sanchez doesn't have a problem with his name if you don't. He's 35 now and used to it and is happy he didn't decide to change it 15 years ago when a girl he was seeing told him she'd be happier if she could introduce her friends to Carlos or Juan and was willing to go so far as Hector. He's also happy he told that girl to hit the pike. His wife, Filament Crosscut Smythe-Sanchez wins, hands down, over Kathy any day.
But what to name the baby? Is Farenheit Lemonade Sanchez too much for a boy?
I have not been to Manhattan Mini Storage since the good people there transferred all of my stuff from the old unit to the new one last month. I feel sad for the stuff that's been in there for so long, not touched, looked at, or regarded, just hanging out passing the time in the dark. I'm oddly apprehensive about going through it and seeing what's what. I would be better served by treating it as an adventure of sorts, a big "Oh yeah! I forgot all about this!" I need an attitude adjustment stat. But what else is new.
Sorry, but I'm not paying $90 for a rear mezzanine seat for a Broadway show. I'm not buying into that bullshit. I'll save my money for a show in a smaller theater, supporting something up and coming. I wish there was better pricing for those of us who actually dress up for the occasion rather than the slovenly heaps in crappy jeans or shorts and T-shirts and dirty sneakers, those of us who treat the theater as the grand experience it should be and not as if we're home in our living rooms watching it on Netflix while eating takeout.
Cauliflower "rice", you're not pulling the wool over my eyes or my rice. You don't even look like rice. But you're awfully cute all broken down into rice-ish size bits, heaped on a plate, trying your best to look rice-y (ricesque?). And you taste good too, neutral and mild and steamy but not in the same way as rice. Which is fine. I understand people have to call you "rice" so they feel like they're not missing the grain when everyone knows they are. I won't ever call you cauliflower rice. How's "cute-ified cauliflower" sound? Stupid? I know. Never mind.
I hadn't realized I'd even missed her that much until we hung out this afternoon at a new cafe for a bit over an hour, drinking coffee in cups smaller than my usual mug, with steamed milk served separately in small glass milk bottles. As we sank into our seats at a little table in a cozy corner close to the windows, she said, "It's so Annie Hall," and at that moment the two years or so that I pretended I didn't care that we'd drifted apart fell away and I was overjoyed to be reunited with my dear friend.
Michael C. Hall perches on the edge of the stage, stage left, and talks directly to a 30s-ish woman in the front row. He's making a mild play for her, looking directly into her eyes, and she can barely look at him, turning to her companion to her right, appearing embarrassed as if the actor himself is addressing her and she doesn't know what to do, rather than his character.
I'm in the middle of the second row and want to skooch over several seats to my right and smack the back of her head for an opportunity she's squandering.
In "Love, Always", it rankles me that the prime minister comments on how heavy Natalie is when he picks her up. I'm not awfully politically correct, but I wish he said nothing upon picking her up, and she said, because she's accustomed to being harangued about being "fat" (which she isn't even close to being), "Careful, don't hurt yourself," in a preemptive strike, and he'd say something lovely and charming that indicates he doesn't even consider her weight a issue and it's not a bother at all, although for the life of me I can't think what that would be.
I miss my Kodak Instamatic from the early '70s. I miss its rectangular case, the film cartridge that looked like it could double as an infant's telephone receiver, the small indentation on top to which you could apply any of the supplied decals to personalize it (mine was some sort of flower), and the optional flashcubes that would snap on top, rotating after each photo was snapped. I miss the tiny numerical counter on the back, letting me know when the fun would run out. I miss the thrill of getting the prints back and marveling at that space-age technology.
Tomorrow, Thanksgiving. Me with a heavy Bundt cake in vintage carrier, along with vintage stand, in a vintage hostess gown. Trudge on the subway or spring for a Lyft? The former would probably actually take less time, but with much more hassle. Iíll see how much it costs as the time approaches, and if I can get to Park Slope for under $40, will consider it. I hope that works, because the thought of being on the subway with the cake, worrying about it jostling, and transferring at Atlantic Avenue, is daunting. That transfer alone is enough of a deterrent.
I knock on the door and it takes longer than I think it should to be opened after I hear rustling behind it indicating that my knock was heard. What's taking so long? Come on. Open up. I've got two bags of cake and cake-related stuff here, my friend! The door opens a crack and out peeks the tiny fawn-colored face of the Chiweenie darling my friends have recently adopted, at my eye level, her little body held in the hands of one of my hosts. The cuteness is overwhelming, especially when he makes her talk and greet me warmly.
I've fallen out of wanting to ensure I reach 10,000 steps a day, and I feel like I "should" want to do it. But I resented feeling compelled to walk (in a circle!) around my apartment when it would be ten minutes before the hour and I hadn't achieved that hour's 250 steps because I was working or something else that matters. Still, even as I type this, I'm thinking, man oh man, how hard is it to get 250 steps in an hour, even on days when I've already done 10,000 by the time I'm home from the gym?
I'm probably drinking too much Crystal Light pink lemonade, especially for the end of autumn, when you'd think I'd switch over to, what, sparkling apple cider or something aligned with chilly air and warm scarves? I'm also popping open a can of Tab around 9:00 a.m., so you know what kind of maverick you're dealing with. Don't say you weren't warned. I'll also gnash on an apple in the middle of the night, standing in front of the refrigerator as if sleepwalking but well aware of what I'm doing, even as I wonder, "Why the hell am I doing this?"
Five months ago today I lost my favorite person in the world. I will never think of Mondays or the number 25 the same. I will never not count the months and then the years. At first it was the weeks, but I'm beyond that. The never-ness stomps on my throat, kicks me in the stomach, and leaves me gobsmacked without a moment's notice, even when I'm out in public. I wonder if anyone catches the expression on my face that I know is there, the one I don't dare check in any reflective surface, and wonders why it's there.
The 92nd Street Equinox suffered a gas explosion, necessitating an immediate evacuation. It has been closed since then and its members have been rerouted to the 68th and Columbus location (not part of the all-access membership, so extra-
) or "mine" at 76th and Amsterdam. The first day or so, the gym was a madhouse. I wonder if those people felt like the invaders I considered them, even though it's not their fault. I wonder if any of them thought, like I did, that they should have to cede the treadmill to us "regulars" who were feeling snooty and put out.
I'm at a holiday party way uptown. I'm debuting a vintage Saks 5th Avenue below-the-knee, zip-front dress that's red, green, and navy plaid with box pleats and white collar and cuffs with gold buttons that are actually functional, and the dress' matching gold-buckled belt; high-heeled dark green vintage T-strap pumps; neutral fishnet stockings, and a Sarah Coventry necklace. I feel like a WASP who should be a-wassailin', even though I'm not quite sure what that is.
People are swooning over the outfit just as I'd hoped. At some point a woman calls out, "You win!"
My work here is done.
In "Klute", we're treated to city girl Bree Daniels, Jane Fonda, with a groovy shag haircut, pencil-thin eyebrows, and buoyant bralessness, in a nifty loft-ish apartment that I think is supposed to be a dump but which strikes me as a bohemian bounty. We're also treated to small town John Klute, Donald Sutherland, in a dark suit, with sandy hair just long enough to not be completely nerdy, and a gaze so intent on Jane Fonda that it makes me long to be her, even if she's an imperiled call girl on the verge of being murdered (spoiler: she's not).
My sister and her boyfriend take the train up. They know nothing about the city's layout so I meet them at Penn Station and we take the subway to CPW near the Dakota. On the way back, I accompany them on the subway back to the station and get them to where they need to board their train, even though I still suck at navigating that place, and even as I type this, don't remember. I remember how lost I used to feel here too, and I'm a "city person", so I can't get mad because they're "bumpkins" (her word).
I lost one of my vintage navy mesh gloves, probably by the MetroCard machine at the 207th Street A-train station, while trying in haste to refill my card, having the machine give me grief about the credit and debit card I alternately tried to use, and struggling to keep my umbrella on my wrist and my handbag from dumping its contents onto the ground. So sometime during that frustrating jumble, I lost track of the glove. I was already on the train when I noticed but got off, went back uptown, and searched for it. I would have hated myself had I not done so.
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