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This isn't the next month I want. I want August to be done, even as it's just starting, because I need a new season, I need to be done with summer. Even though it's not over until the third week in September, I still feel like the entirety of September is autumn, and it gives me hope that the air will shift, bringing with it a new mood, much improved, and ready to literally step out into the street and go about the business of living. (I hate wishing time away, of course, since my days, like yours, are numbered.)
It pains me that P&G Bar is no longer at the corner of 73rd and Amsterdam and that its once neon-loaded facade is minimal now to the point of being nonexistent, a bland face without even a swipe of lipstick. I don't know if that's because it only recently changed from a "bistro" to a coffee place, but whatever it is, it's just not the same and that spot is as boring and pedestrian as possible.
I detest minimalism and sedate color schemes and things and places that are aggressively "tasteful". Give me bold color and magnificent neon any day.
Marla saves the stray threads she snips off her clothing, the broken buttons, and wayward tags, and every month plants what she's collected in a flower box outside her kitchen window. Every morning she leans over the sink, lifts the sash (and says that aloud) and sprinkles it with water from a large vintage watering can. It's taken six months, but she's finally beginning to see the first signs of a tiny garment pushing through the dirt. She won't know until it starts to unfurl, but she's pretty sure it's going to be an adorable shirt with a butterfly collar.
You're in your fifties now and you're still flatironing your shoulder-length hair within an inch of its life, topping it off with a trucker's cap like it's, what, 1997, still wearing "rocker" T-shirts, your forearms snaked with all manner of wrist wrap/bracelet/whatever-the-fuck. I haven't looked closely enough, but I wouldn't put it past you to have swapped out an old yellow rubber LIVESTRONG band for a red kabala string for whatever bandwagon is fashionable this year.
This look was eyeroll-worthy and already played when we dated or whatever we did 14 years ago, buddy boy. At least ditch the flatiron.
"And how did you spend your weekend, Lawrence?"
He says this is the only way he can "get into" his Monday session.
He spent the bulk of Saturday thinking about turquoise versus aqua, with occasional musing on the periwinkle and cornflower blue crayons from the Crayola 64.
Is he painting a room? Are these swatches?
"No, I just like daydreaming about my favorite colors," he said. "I don't even have them in front of me. Weird, I know."
He doesn't have to know I spent my entire Monday morning lost in though about varying shades of orange, red, and yellow.
Facebook, stop showing me ads for "panties" (NO) that I can pee in if I fancy. Or, if I were still of the age where I had to worry about good ol' Aunt Flo (Has she ever been illustrated? Can someone please do so, updated for 2019, a la Aunt Jemima/Betty Crocker?), I could skip the products associated with that 'cause I could just let the not-so-good times flow. To paraphrase a poolside welcome mat that tickled me pink as a kid, "Welcome to My Anties. You Will Notice There Is No 'P' In Them. Please Keep It That Way."
In a restroom at the gym, the huge roll of toilet paper is almost empty, and in order to secure a piece, I insert my hand into the bottom of the plastic contraption covering it, from which the paper's end normally hangs, find the start of the nearly-depleted roll, and pull it down carefully so it didn't roll up and away. Once successful, I wondered if I would be "nice" and leave a bit hanging out for the next user or if I would make that person work for it the way I had to. In the end, evil won.
She's sitting on the back of some bench or utility vehicle thing with a Golden Retriever whose fur and white muzzle echo her hair. The dog is probably as old in dog years as she is in people years. She's wearing khaki Bermuda shorts, a worn button-down shirt, and sneakers and very encouraging to anyone who wants to chat with her or pet her dog. I can't decide if she's destitute and lives in a rent-controlled tenement or so "old money" that she can afford to not even want to look like a million bucks. Either way, I admire her.
There's no reason to be a rude fuck. The current "climate" may be one of despair, disgust, degradation, and other words that don't align with my alliteration, but that doesn't mean you can ditch being civil. You don't get to push and shove, verbally and physically, to forget that being "nice" is not weakness and being polite doesn't mean you're a pushover.
The behavior of the filthy clot of bilious sputum masquerading as a President doesn't give ANYONE the right to treat others with anything but kindness. Stop acting like it's cool and edgy to be an uncivil, uncouth jackass.
I have no patience for pristine outdoor spaces, raked, swept, clipped, mown, polished to 1950s housewife perfection. Give me dandelions, errant fallen leaves, grass matted down with the imprint of a dog's lounging body.
Other than the hostas on my patio, which were here when I moved in, I think all the other plants are weeds. But they, like the hostas, still enjoy the sunshine and don't want to be uprooted.
Indoors, show me signs of life. I want to see the spot on your sofa that's hosted your Netflix/HBO/Hulu/whatever binges, the soap whose carved-in name has been washed away.
Wedged in the denim beanbag* chair in my "studio apartment" of a bedroom in my parents' house, stereo on, enormous headphones flattening the feathered sides of my sophomore head (or what passed for feathers on wavy Jewess hair), hoping for Color My World, any song by Bread, or something/anything else to enhance my baseline melancholy, and "Just When I Needed You Most" (Randy VanWarmer) would come on the radio and fit the bill to perfection. I daresay it still works. Forty years has not beaten the sap outta me.
*I'm willing to bet at some point I called it "jeanbag".
If I can stop one person from making the enormous mistake of flipping through Amazon Prime's offerings, seeing the 2009 remake of "Fame", and thinking, "Oh! Kelsey Grammar, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally? I loved the original so much that I've watched it about 2,400 times since 1980! It'll be fun to compare this to that! Even though it rates 5.0 on IMDb, how bad can it be? Sign me up!" I'll feel that I've done my good deed for the year. This, coming from someone who recently watched Tracy Gold's "For the Love of Nancy" starring Tracey Gold on YouTube.
If I can keep one person from making the enormous mistake of flipping through Amazon Prime's offerings, seeing the 2009 remake of "Fame", and thinking, "Oh! Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Megan Mullally? I loved the original so much that I've watched it about 2,400 times since 1980! It'll be fun to compare this to that! Even though it rates 5.0 on IMDb, how bad can it be? Sign me up!" I'll feel that I've done my good deed for the year. This, coming from someone who recently endured "For the Love of Nancy" (1994) starring Tracey Gold on YouTube.
I'm slightly late returning to the office and have kept Martin waiting. He tells me it's okay, he knows he's the last appointment and it won't impact anyone else's session. I make a mental note of his remarkable progress in the Patience department.
"I have a book, so I didn't mind." He taps its cover with a finger.
"Marvelous," I say. "What are you reading?"
"It's my boo-boo book," he says, "chronicling my injuries, with accompanying Band-Aids, like a scrapbook."
I want to say, "Oh, so you mean a boo-boo(k)?" but refrain. I make a mental note just saying, "Ew."
Ronald presses up on his left molars with his thumb, like a codger with slipping dentures. I tell him to stop it, that I can't understand what he's saying with his hand in his mouth.
"But my teef hurt," he says.
I raise my eyebrow. He puts his hand in his lap, wiping the thumb on his jeans, thankfully, and not the chair.
"But my teef hurt," he says.
And here I'd thought "teef" was because of his finger being in the way.
I doodle "TEEF???!?!?" on my pad for the next 50 minutes. I haven't heard anything beyond that.
Phil offers me a cigarette. I tell him I gave them up for Passover, and he says, "Oh, I didn't know you did a Lent thing for Passover." I tell him I don't, we don't, and that I don't even smoke.
"I don't get it then. What did you mean?"
I want to tell him there's really nothing to "get" but that this means he doesn't "get" me and certainly won't get me in any way.
If I smoked, this would be where I'd take a long drag and exhale long and slow and gaze off into the far distance.
I have never not gone outside as much as I have this summer. This, of course, is discounting gym jaunts at least six times a week, and the on-the-way-home stops in Fairway. Hibernation is usually associated with the winter, when people want to be all cozy in their homes with hot chocolate and blankets, and I like that too, but at least in winter I can assemble a marvelous outfit and not feel like it's going to melt off my body. All I want to wear in the summer is a lovely caftan, like a fabulous old Palm Springs queen.
I could do without the intercostal strain on my left side that feels like I've been kicked in the ribs by a donkey who didn't want to transport me down the Grand Canyon Brady-Bunch-style or the right elbow stress that feels like a door that, no matter how hard it's pushed or pulled, refuses to close all the way. I could do without the lifelong charley horses in my calves, which awaken me in agony but which fortunately haven't visited in quite some time. If this is the price I pay for the privilege of being alive, c'est la vie.
Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. Happy birthday, my sweet man. I'm so glad you were born but not about the other end of the spectrum.
I don't know what went wrong with the "quiche" cups this time, but they took way too long to bake and were relatively flat, not the usual small muffin-esque delights they have been in the past. I didn't forget the baking powder, so that can't be it. I keep replaying the ingredients in my mind, like reliving the events of the night of a crime, so I can pinpoint when it all went wrong. Maybe I didn't use enough chickpea flour? Could that be the culprit? Oh, if only I had a surveillance camera in the kitchen. (Note to self.)
No other problems cause me more hair-pulling frustration and teeth-gnashing despair than those involving technology. A sloth-slow connection is enough to make me scream as if giving birth without an epidural (not that I would know what that's like, of course, having grown all 25 of my children in a petri dish, planted them in the ground, and plucked them when ripe) and a halt in connection that takes forever to return is even worse, which I suppose is just giving birth at all.
It seems like in this day and age, the fucking kinks should have been eliminated entirely.
In the 13 years I've lived here, I hadn't cleaned the tops of the kitchen cabinets. I knew from having stashed stuff there that they were filthy but did nothing about it except fret and tell myself that eventually I'd get around to it. I'm pretty sure no previous tenant ever got around to it either.
An hour and a half (?) and three scrub sponges later, and not as much Method cleaner (grapefruit scent!) as I'd thought, and the thick brown greasy mess is gone. You could eat off of them! Does this mean I have an eat-in kitchen?
It's barely afternoon and already three TaB cans have collected on the left side of my desk, awaiting transport to the recycling bins in the front hall. This is not a deterrent to drinking more throughout the day.
"That stuff kills rats" I remember hearing many years ago, when it still contained saccharine. I'm sure someone would tell me the same thing now with the aspartame. But yeah, how much was given to the rats, who weigh a few pounds less than I do, and over what period of time?
TaB won't kill me. I just feel bad for them.
Sorry, everyone, but I won't be cancelling my Equinox membership because the parent company threw a fundraiser for the sack of shit so-called President's reelection campaign. I don't have to justify my remaining a member to anyone whose hair-trigger response to the revelation was OH MY GOD BOYCOTT IMMEDIATELY!!!
One harridan raised hell, demanding to know what the front desk kids (as I call them) were going to do about it. She harangued and dug in, yet I've learned that she's still a member and never even requested her own cancellation.
If you're gonna bark, bitch, you'd better fucking bite.
If you're going to "manspread" on the subway or take up several seats with your backpack and 3,000 bullshit bags and whatever the hell else you haul onto public transportation, you'd better believe that even if I really don't feel like sitting and would rather stand by one of the doors and glare at you and your rude ass, I'm going to sit in the space you're trying to deny anyone/everyone else and take up every inch allotted to that seat even if I'm not even big enough to fill it. You're not the only person in the world, motherfucker.
Gotta love people who post memes on social media with, say, art of a woman doing something yoga-y with flowers, rainbows, and sunbeams comprising her body and text about love, respect, forgiveness, but in the next post, they're still joyfully climbing up Tr*mp's ample rump. I'll never post that kind of eye-roll fodder because I don't believe anyone who makes it his life's business to destroy the planet is worthy or deserving of love, respect, and forgiveness. He doesn't respect the office of President so I don't have to respect him. Shove that sort of sentiment up your own ass.
You ask me out in June for July and here it is almost September and nothing. Nada. Zilch. I'm sorry, but follow-through is important, sir. I trust you tend better to your business relationships than you do your romantic ones, or whatever you'd call it when you chat someone up for months, finally ask if she's married, get all gung-ho when you find out she's not, and then take another few weeks to ask her out, and keep grinning happily after she accepts. But this? Nope, not acceptable.
P.S. I know you're not dead. I Googled your name plus "obituary".
I just took out some paper and paints and two paintbrushes watercolor pencils and crayons and a jar of water in an attempt to be all "free" and "creative". I asked Alexa to play my "House of Mame" Spotify playlist, the same one that gets me going at the gym, in an attempt to inspire me to "run" with it, and for about three minutes pretended I was. It quickly became a chore, and I felt like I was trying to make something from absolutely nothing. Am I really fucking dead inside? How utterly gutting. I should try again, though.
If you ever feel the need to harm an animal -- to punch, kick, douse with acid or gasoline, set afire, stab, shoot, cut off his ears or tail, sexually abuse, tape his muzzle shut, starve him -- to do anything but keep him safe, warm, fed, loved, free from as much harm as humanly possible -- turn the abuse on yourself. Stab yourself repeatedly in the neck, stick a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger, pummel yourself to a pulp. I truly don't care. I don't want to reason with or rehabilitate you. Die, please. Thank you.
Hey, if you're not going to stop with the vaping nonsense because you still think it makes you look edgy and cool, and you're not going to stop even though it's deadly and you think the risk makes you edgier and cooler because you're poking death in the chest with your forefinger and saying, "Oh, yeah? I dare you, motherfucker," then at least stop because if a dog gets into that crap you're bound to leave lying around, his/her life ends because you're too cool for fuckin' school. (And if you don't care about dogs, you're already dead to me.)
A few mornings when I've left for the gym, the air has felt decidedly cusp-of-autumn-ish, and I've said aloud, to the sidewalk and trees and garbage bins and sky and of course the air itself, "Oh, this is delicious," and instantly my mood improved as I daydreamed about my Fall Collection, the sturdiness of jeans, jackets with groovy shirts underneath, scarves, boots, and a snappy stroll to match the excitement of the changed season. I want to stroll in the West Village with my gayhusband, sipping cider and eating doughnuts, smooshing dogs, without our hair poofing out like '70s afros.
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