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Fifteen years or so ago, when I lived a bit farther uptown, I heard of a vegan cafeteria-style restaurant called, I think, Roots, that was somewhere on 123rd Street. I mapped it with Google on my computer and decided to take the subway to 125th Street and walk over, not knowing that the train I'd chosen would deposit me far more west than another train would. This was before I had a so-called smart phone. As I headed east, I kept thinking, "Did I miss it? Where the fuck is it?" and knew I had to ask someone for directions.
I was in a mostly residential neighborhood and stopped the next person I saw, a genial gentleman who told me I still had a way to go after I told him I felt like I'd been walking forever. We laughed and I thanked him and was comforted, knowing I wasn't lost. I found the restaurant, and upon entering was greeted by a gorgeous-grinned man in a rastacap behind the counter where the food was behind glass. I wanted everything. I asked him what he'd suggest, and told him, okay, I wanted that, that and oh, yeah, that too.
He loaded up my plate and I took it to one of the window table, gazed at the beautiful bounty, and tasted it. Oh my god. I may have flailed with delight. I called over to him, "Oh my god, this is incredible! I'm so happy!" He laughed and thanked me. I said, "No, thank YOU."
I was already planning to return sometime, this time taking the correct subway, or walking because now I knew how far I had to go, and getting repeats of everything I was eating, if available, and adding on whatever the man had that day.
So the hollowed-out hideous husk who lives in the White House (sometimes) now has had it surrounded by black fencing. What kind of dick-swinging, Bible-grasping jive bullshit "photo op" will he orchestrate next, when everyone rightfully accuses him of being a crybaby imbecile for this poppycock, given what we've seen him do in response to being justifiably mocked for cowering in his big boy bunker for several days? What a total fucking putz. Can't the fence be an electric one, and can't he, like, forget and touches it with one of his Chatty Cathy doll hands and, well, you know?
A young-ish white woman in a big college sweatshirt (even though it was hot outside) entered, looked around the room at everyone else eating, and said to the man behind the counter, "I'm the only white person in here!" and laughed as she surveyed the food. He didn't say anything. I think she got stuff to go.
I was thrilled this flush-faced, beige-haired cretin didn't consider me a white person, because no way in fucking hell did I want her to incorrectly think we had anything in common, even something as undeniable and unchangeable as the color of our skin.
After lunch, I walked along 125th, one of only a few lighter-skinned people around, just like I always am anytime I'm in the neighborhood. No one looked at me like I shouldn't be there, no one said, "What's this white girl doing here?" and no one seemed to give a shit that I was walking along the street, minding my own business.
Did I feel a bit out of place? I did. But I knew my hour-long walk was nothing compared to the life-long one experienced by my non-white friends. I knew even then that this was white fucking privilege.
"G" wants me to take issue with him coming to my office dressed like a chicken. He wants me to tell him he should be dressed as a rooster instead, but I'm not biting. He wants me to express disapproval by staring at him and blinking slowly or to raise an eyebrow, but I won't. I just let him try to perch himself on the edge of a chair without topping over and drone on, as always, about his overbearing mother and awful co-workers and how the sky is falling, and doodle in the margins of my pad as always.
I'm pausing Hulu starting mid-July until at least October. Although that's only a savings of about $13 per month, that's still $13 I can put toward something else. It's also less time mindlessly watching The Golden Girls when there's "nothing" else to do, and finding something else to do that won't be as mindless.
Although there is something to be said for the numbness afforded by just lazing on the sofa and occasionally laughing aloud, more could be said by engaging in some sort of creative/artistic/whatever-other-word-wouldn't-sound-pompous endeavor where I'd be contributing, which in itself is an essential balm of sorts.
Just some haiku about wearing a fucking mask. (No ifs, ands, or buts.)
Wear a fucking mask
Not just over your mouth, though
Are you that stupid?
Mask worn on your chin
You look like an Amish man
Not a good look, ma'am
I reserve the right
To pretend you don't exist
If you shun a mask
"I can't breathe." Bitch, please.
You don't get to use those words
For your selfishness
"But my freedoms!" Please.
"You can't tell me what to do!"
Sure I can. Fuck off.
Masks are not manly!
And a ventilator is?
Save your breath, jackass.
I want to justify an annual membership to Citibike, but will I use it enough to warrant it, especially now when I'm trying to minimize expenses? I can get a 15% discount using my IDNYC card, which would bring the cost down to about $155, but do I want that on my credit card in a lump sum? Then again, I could commit to a year for $14.95 a month, for unlimited 45-minute rides. Or I could just do a 30-minute ride for $3 whenever I use it. I could afford it if I don't eat for a month. Hmmm.
It's a "beautiful day" today, but since the virus still exists despite how people are behaving, I'm lounging on the sofa with my cat, having just started Season 5 of "The Golden Girls", quaffing Crystal Light Strawberry Watermelon out of a green faceted glass, poured from a 1960s beige/yellow/white 2-quart Tupperware pitcher within arm's reach. The only thing wrong with this prettiest of pictures is that I'm not wearing vintage loungewear and don't know if I feel like changing into it so "late" in the day (3:39 p.m.), although by the time someone "likes" this (presumptuous!), I probably will have.
The world is such a horrifying place, so why anyone would choose to go out of their way to be a raging fucking cunt to anyone else is beyond me. Now is not the time to stir up shit with someone for any reason, even in "small" and exceedingly petty ways in our individual lives.
Discrimination of any kind is never welcome here, in my online "home" or my offline one. The "equals" sign on my front door is there for a reason. But you're not equal, in my book, if you support Tr*mp. That's where I draw the line.
The resistance to wearing masks seriously boggles my fucking mind. "I won't be controlled!" sputtered by the same dipshits who allow themselves to be controlled by "conspiracy" theories and all manner of poppycock like FOX News and whatever the hell that Q crap is, is laughable. Just as eyeroll-worthy are those who say they refuse to wear a mask because it robs them of their humanity when they can't fucking SMILE at other people. Funny, but in winter, when many wear scarves that obscure their mouths, no one complains about diminished humanity. We're just cold. The argument is jive bullshit.
One of my friends was born 68 years ago today. He's a brilliant journalist and TV producer, husband, dad and dog dad, the epitome of a silver fox, stylish, articulate, funny, generous, and always delighted to receive my homemade cookies.
Tr*mp was born on the same day a few years earlier. I won't include adjectives for this addlepated waste of flesh and breath.
So much for using astrological sign as any sort of basis for characterizing someone's personality. For the beauty I wish nothing but joy today. As for the beast, I hope he asphyxiates while blowing out the candles.
I love that my friends don't even bother asking if we can meet for lunch at a restaurant when we reach whatever phase allows that, because not only do they know my answer but they feel the same way I do, although of course I'm truly eager for them to not only witness how alluring and mysterious I look in one of my many lovely masks but to tell me so (and mean it).
The best part of eventually going out to eat with a friend, though: Not having to even pretend I'm all too happy to share my fries.
Status check/update, 16 June 2020:
1. He's still walking "upright".
2. I substituted aquafaba for some of the vegan mayo in the chickpea salad and am not quite sure if I'm onboard with that.
3. COVID-19 is still out there, doing its horrifying thing, and if you're not wearing a mask, that's just as horrifying because *that* you can control.
4. Since I started leaving the house on 1 June for early morning runs/walks, I've met several dogs, which is infinitely superior to maskless socializing with so-called "to-go" cups.
5. Sophia is still by far my least favorite Golden Girl.
Don't start flocking to New York State in general and NYC in particular just because your states are fucked now. You had the same warnings we had. You saw what was happening here. Stay where you are for the duration of this horror, shelter in place, take the precautions you should've been taking all along, and if you have been, continue doing so. And those of who you fucking fled when the going got rough, don't come tiptoeing back now, especially on a plane, and think those of us who stayed will consider you worthy of calling this place home.
All the fuckers out there spouting nonsense about how wearing a mask is unhealthy because it traps breath close to our faces and recycles it and blahblahbullshitblah (insert sound of any adult from "Peanuts" followed by a huge "raspberry" and my Bubby doing a double-handed "Feh"), what about the women who wear burqas? Regardless of how you feel about the garment and the culture, what about their health? How is it that they've managed to be covered from head to toe except for their eyes for so long yet remain alive? Put that in your poppycock pipe and fuck off.
My "annex pantry", the little dinette table I've had since moving into my first apartment in 1988, is dwindling now, and for some reason it excites me to see more of the vintage tablecloth revealed as yet another item is moved from the table to the two kitchen cabinet shelves dedicated to food. This makes me want to clear another shelf in the cabinets to accommodate the rest of the stuff, but then where would I put the stuff currently on that shelf? Do I dare purloin one of the storage bins that's been languishing in the building's front hall?
I sure hope all the clomping up and down the stairs in this building, with the wide-open two sets of front doors beyond which a U-Haul is parked in the street, means that the all-too-vocal, nonstop yammering tramplers, who sound like at least three chicks young enough to be my daughters, sometimes punctuated by a young man's voice, who I can tell aren't wearing masks by dint of their clear-as-a-bell, non-muffled voices on *this* side of my closed door, are moving the fuck OUT and not in. (I am, of course, peeking through my Magic Eye peephole like Gladys Kravitz.)
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there who aren't dicks. And if you're a dick dad, like, knock it the fuck off. Your kids, although they may be little bratty jerkoffs from time to time, they're are probably learning the behavior from you, so it behooves you to be the adult so they grow up in better fatherly footsteps.
P.S. This goes for dads of all types: Human dads to human kids, fellas who have friends who look up to them like a parent, guys whose kids are dogs or cats or birds some other kind of animal.
ENOUGH with taking those fucking Facebook quizzes. I will be defriending anyone who still does them. "Sorry." I would link to an article or ten about why you should not be taking them, but it's up to you to educate yourself. If you have the time to click on a bunch of shit to discover what city you should live in, what breed of dog you'd be if you were lucky enough to be born one, or, for the 140th time, to determine whether you're an introvert or not, you have time to find a few words of common sense.
Today I'm doing NYT puzzles, making kale chips in the dehydrator, watching a smattering of Golden Girls and the last season of Dick Van Dyke so I can pause Hulu for a while starting mid-July, doing something "artistic" with paint/crayons/pens/whatever, making scrambled tofu and some sort of "breakfast" potatoes regardless of what time they're devoured, hanging on the patio, some workout-y stuff, and regular ol' working, and having endless nonsensical conversations with Lola. In other words, the virus is still fucking out there despite Phase II of NYC's reopening, so I'm staying safe, home, and am 100% fine with that.
Two years ago today I had no idea that the next day would be the last. Or officially the last. In my heart, though, I know that two years ago today was the day, sometime in perhaps the late afternoon or early evening. I keep thinking, even now, I should have known something was up when I didn't hear from you. But really, it seemed like an ordinary Sunday, on the verge of yet another dreaded Monday, and I had no idea. I wonder if you did. I wonder if you knew and didn't tell me because you didn't want to worry me.
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For the first time in almost-14 years of living in this apartment, I brushed my teeth on the patio. I'd never considered it before, but now, having indulged, I wonder what took me so long. I also wonder what else I could've been doing out there all these years that I'd never considered. There was a time when I was obsessed with "camping out" out there and spent an inordinate amount of time researching sleeping bags, but that never happened because even that's too much "camping" for me. However, I have dozed off in my zero-gravity chair. So there's that.
My early morning walks have become rather tedious. Without even realizing I was doing it, I've been placing restrictions on where I would go, what boundaries I wouldn't cross. For the most part, I've been adhering to the "no athleisure east of Broadway" rule I imposed on myself for my more leisurely peacock-y parading strolls pre-COVID. But now, for these early morning walks, whose purpose is exercise and not "catwalk", I will walk wherever I want so I can avoid boredom and resentment. I will just envision all of Manhattan as a mobile treadmill and see where it takes me.
After watching five full seasons of "The Golden Girls" and several episodes of the sixth (I've never seen the entire series!), I'm proud to announce that Rose is my favorite and not just because I'm a huge Betty White fan. I used to think it was Dorothy, sometimes tiptoed into Blanche territory, and often flipflopped between the two of them, never choosing Sophia, who I'd just as soon relegate to rattan-purse-clutching silence at Shady Pines, but now I'm firmly in Camp Rose, and not just because I detested when the other two hit her over the head with a newspaper.
I've been to Fairway less than a handful of times since I started leaving the house on 1 June. The first time, I was thrilled that the organic produce fella upstairs recognized me through my mask. I hope he could see my smile behind mine the way I could see his through his. Another time I chatted outside, from an appropriate distance, with Charles, the overnight manager, also masked, who answered in the effusive affirmative, that yes, he'd still love those blueberry scones I'd told him several months ago I'd make for him sometime. These tiny exchanges keep me going.
Status check/update, 1 July 2020:
1. I haven't made (or eaten) cookies in a month.
2. I logged 108 miles of walking and/or running in June. I'd confined myself to home for 10 weeks before that.
3. Today marks the 14th anniversary of moving into this apartment.
4. I finished The Dick Van Dyke Show on Monday night. The next morning I learned Carl Reiner had died that same night.
5. I am now not in a hurry to complete the remaining two and a half seasons of The Golden Girls, in an effort of protecting national treasure Betty White.
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