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The indecision kills me. I like a man who knows what he wants, and then, once he decides, does what it takes to get it. Even if it's something as simple as deciding on a restaurant or what dish to order.
And hailing a taxi! By no means should he ever hesitate. He should step off the curb with purpose and confidence and assertively raise his arm in the air high enough so it's clear he's not testing which way the wind blows or stretching for the hell of it.
Take charge, for fuck's sake. Be a man about it.
Men do not whine. Men do not squeal, "Oooohhhh" when something does not go their way. Men do not get flush-faced frustrated like little fluffy girls whose meanie mommies tell them they cannot have pink cotton candy before dinner because it will ruin their appetites or give them tummy-aches. Men do not stomp their feet. Men do not flail their arms.
Men say, "Ahhh, fuck it." Men take things in stride. Men say, "We'll do it this way, then." And then they do it. And if they don't go with the flow, they force the flow to go their way.
The thing is, I didn't even want to do it. I never wanted to, never really planned to, and never thought I'd put myself in a position where I might be expected to do it.
So one day I found myself in a position, literally, where it seemed I had no option. Of course I did have the option and could've just said I didn't want to be between his legs doing this thing in his office. But I didn't.
I didn't even like it. At all.
So why do I continue to tell him I'm down for an encore?
The corduroy jacketed guy from the latest J. Crew catalog takes me for a brisk October drive through the countryside in his slightly battered red BMW 2002. The windows are open and the stereo is on, but not loudly enough to drown out the leaves's rustling all around us on our trip up to his Maine cabin, where later that evening he'll prepare the best Pad Thai I've ever eaten.
He reaches his right arm out for me, and pulls me toward him. We're a blur of wavy brunette hair, suede, corduroy, wool, and root beer.
This is my pornography.
Carla is disgusted. If only she'd known about Frank's lack of oral hygiene before she ever let him perform oral sex, she wouldn't be about ready to vomit into her backpack on the uptown F train.
She'd been joking when she'd asked if he ever flossed. Of course he did. Didn't everyone? So when he told her, in all seriousness, that he hadn't flossed since the last time he went to the dentist (1992!), she just pushed his arm and called him a kidder.
To think! All that time, little bits of chewed-up steak and ham were lodged between his teeth!
Since Betty is the only kid in first grade with a horn growing out of the back of her head, she gets to stand in the corner and be a coatrack. Fortunately the teacher lets her face out into the classroom, though, so she can see what's going on.
At first she wasn't crazy about this arrangement. Why couldn't she just sit in the back, here her horn wouldn't get in anyone's way? Why couldn't the kids use the regular wooden coatrack?
Then she realized she had it made: she'd never be called to the blackboard to demonstrate math problems!
She swears Josh Duhamel is looking directly at her as she crosses the street and approaches Gap. She turns her gaze from his huge two-dimensional likeness and looks at me impatiently.
"Look, Marina. His eyes. Tell me he's not looking at me!"
I look up at the plate glass window. Josh Duhamel is staring at me.
"He's looking at ME now," I say. "Anyone can say he's looking directly their way. What the fuck?"
She tells me to go to hell. She enters the store, smiles into the cardboard eyes of her beloved, and spends $562.58 she does not have.
I'm in my new Glen Plaid "trousers", gold-button cardigan ("heather persimmon"!), crisp striped shirt, brown belt, olive suede boots, and espresso suede trench-style coat. Ready for a two-and-a-half-hour brunch on the Upper West Side with a witty group of professors and literary types. The conversation will flow as thickly and leisurely as the maple syrup Professor Whitcomb pours on his multi-grain waffles.
I turn away from the mirror. Take off the new clothes and replace them on their hangers. Go back to my real life. And miss the Professor, literati, and brunch, even if they only exist in my imagination.
Porkena is sick of people assuming she's a pig. When she was little, it was fun when she'd meet someone new and that person would say, "That's funny, you don't LOOK like a pig!" Then she'd snort. And grunt, "Oink!" But now she's 25, out of grad school, and it's not cute anymore.
So when she enters the office of Mr. Phelps, a prospective employer, and the first thing he says is, "Oh, I was hoping you'd be a pig," she loses patience. She hoists up her skirt, turns around, and says, "I am! Pork me!"
And gets the job!
The acting teacher told us that every day we should say to ourselves, "I am an actor." Saying equals believing. Or being. But I didn't buy it.
I couldn't say those words aloud without wanting to kick myself in the teeth. I couldn't say them even when I was alone. Even though I made them the banner greeting on my cell phone, I cringed when I opened the phone to make a call.
Still, I think my 30-odd "actor" classmates actually bought this shit. I wanted to tell them they should practice saying "I am an office temp" instead.
Two years ago, Yolanda's parents started forbidding use of the letter "R". When she asked why, they said it was against something they called their new "eligion".
"What's eligion?" Yolanda asked.
"Don't ask questions. Just accept it," her mom said. Despite her mom's conversion two years ago, it still takes her five minutes to compose simple sentences. One slipped "R" and she'll be in confession for days.
Yolanda is sad, because this means she never gets to enjoy her favorite dish. If one more waiter laughs when he sets a bowl of ice and beans before her, she'll MUDE him!
I'm not interested in purchasing any of the babies on display. Something is wrong with every single one of them! And this isn't some bargain basement bonanza, where cut-throat ladies grab cut-rate babies by the limbs, nearly drawing and quartering them before even handing over their hard-earned money, no! This is one of the finest baby boutiques in town.
But these babies? I won't have any of them! They're all too smooth and too white! And everyone knows the well-heeled ladies in my circle only accept sad-eyed light-brown babies with cureable health problems.
I take my money and go elsewhere.
He keeps a little notebook in the bathroom. I'm tempted to open it, but think he may be testing if he can trust me, so I don't. I suspect he's placed a speck of dust somewhere in the notebook, so if I open it, he'll know I've invaded his privacy.
I decide to ask: "What's with the notebook in the bathroom?"
"Oh, that? That's my Boomer Book," he says. "I keep a daily log, so to speak, of my ... boomers."
I don't know whether to take him seriously or not, so I choose not to. But I can't help wondering.
It is after 9:00 p.m. and some inconsiderate fuck is doing something outside that sounds like slicing through metal with a metal blade. Or a speciality dentist is performing laborious root canal on an enormous robot with particularly bad teeth. Either way, it's grating on my nerves.
I rolled up foam earplugs and inserted them deeply enough into my ear canals, so now I can barely hear even my own keyboard clack. Oddly enough, I also feel numb. Everything outside is numbed. But the ringing in my head, my heartbeat, and everything else within me is amplified.
What a tradeoff.
Every morning when I leave the gym, I pass through the café and take a paper-wrapped straw from the container on the shelf by the door. I don't like to do it when the workers might see, so I try to do it when their backs are turned. But sometimes I can't wait, so I just take one and bolt.
I put one of its ends in my mouth so they'll think, "Oh, she must be an ex-smoker. She needs this as a substitute for the cigarette she's craving! She's forgiven for not buying anything to go with that straw."
He remembers in fluorescent-lit detail everything sexual he and Cheryl did in the two months they dated six years ago. How that first night they were half-watching a stupid TV show because they knew one of them would have to finally just pounce on the other. (Cheryl did it.)
He remembers every position, every location, every expression on her face. "Remember that warm Sunday night behind the old Superfresh? It had rained an hour before, and you scowled after you blew me because you realized you ruined your white pants. Remember?"
She nods and smiles. She can't remember a thing.
I would send my friends a link to his photo, but it doesn't do him justice. They wouldn't see in his frozen face the expression that plays on it in real life. In the photo he looks handsome enough for them to see his appeal, but not enough to see why I can't get his face out of my head.
They should see him in person. The crinkles at the sides of his eyes when he smiles at me. The brilliance of his grin. His breathtaking cheekbones. I want them to see what I see.
But then again ... could they?
Oh! You're artsy! I can tell by your hair. I love the fuchsia streaks blended in with the black!. That's so rebellious! I could never pull that off at work. All the other tellers would laugh, just like they did when I told them to start spelling my name "Becquah". I'm glad I didn't go so far as to paint my fingernails black, the way I'd wanted!
"What's the difference how we spell your name, Becca?" Cyndi wanted to know. "You're still the same person!"
I wish I worked at Urban Outfitters too so I could show my artsy side!
He hands me his drink as he goes to tend to his other guests. I grip it in my left hand as if entrusted with his heart.
I lift my own glass. I raise his alongside, and after my mouth touches the rim of my own glass, I transfer it to his and lick about an inch of his glass's rim. Lightly, to leave no evidence. Quickly, so nobody sees.
I manage to lick the entire perimeter of the rim before he returns. When he takes a sip, I wonder if he tastes me. I swear I feel his lips.
The total cost of the clothing I've bought for fall so far is approximately $2265, before the 8.625% sales tax of about $195. This brings my grand total to $2460 – about half the amount given to the subjects on the American version of "What Not To Wear".
Of course, I am not done with the shopping for the season yet. I am fantasizing about the dark brown, slightly shiny Michael Stars T-shirt I saw in Anthropologie yesterday. Lucky jeans. More silk scarves. And a choker of the sort a Certain Someone said drives him mad with desire.
I'm a bimbo!
My patient "Maureen" tells me of an escapade she enjoyed with an old boyfriend several years ago. They called it "Cavalcade of Insertions", and it involved, as one might guess, the insertion of various household objects into one particular orifice of Maureen's body.
"None of them were food," she says. "That's so cliche."
Among other things, "Vincent" fucked her with a ping-pong paddle handle, flashlight, candle (unlit), microphone (unplugged), and tampon applicator. But her favorite was when, from clear across the room, he slid a telescoping lightbulb changer so far inside her she thought she felt it in her mouth.
In the end, we settled for rope. Of all the options, we decided it was the most practical. Joey was up for it, too, which made it a done deal. After all, he was the one who'd be doing the dying.
Guns were too messy. Plus, no one knew how to get one. Pills were considered, but our moms weren't taking them anymore. Knives sounded cool, but nobody wanted to do the stabbing.
So: rope. And we all laughed when we realized Joey could still "hang out" with us even after the noose had long strangled the life from him.
She wound up doing what her mother had done, and what her mother's mother had done before her, and what every other mother's mother's mother's mother's mother's mother in her family apparently did since the invention of mothers. What she did was this: she managed to rustle up quite a potluck dinner with items found in her kitchen.
Well, it turns out the tradition ends here, ‘cause her daughter didn't quite live through the meal. Funny thing, that. After all, who knew a steak knife, smeared with olive tapenade and baked inside a pie crust, could do so much damage?
Conrad Plish is the tallest kid in his class. At 3'6", he towers above everyone, and you'd better believe, he lets them all know it. As if they couldn't see for themselves. Like being "little people" meant they were blind too. Right? I mean, really.
But he's 14, and that's the way boys are. The biggest boys are always the biggest bullies. Someone once dared say to him, "Go pick on someone your own size," and then ducked for cover. So Conrad, to prove his power, went and beat up the nearest four-year-old. He was so cocky about it, too!
He's doing it again. He's making himself a big pancake in the shape of HER face. He's in his robe and boxer shorts, hair rumpled, pouring lumpy Bisquick batter onto the skillet, and he's just gotten to pouring her ears. The batter must be thin, because the pancake earlobes are running toward the pancake chin. It looks like a National Geographic pancake.
He doesn't think you realize what he's doing. If you hovered longer, he'd say, "This pancake is Mickey Mouse!" And you wonder: Would you tell him you know he's lying, because Mickey's ears are atop of his head?
I dug around in the plastic container of mixed nuts to reach the last of the cashews. Someone else had beaten me to most of them, so, understandably, I was in a foul mood.
"Hey, what's the big idea?" someone said.
I froze. My fingers lingered in the container. I thought I was alone tonight. Marisa was with "the girls".
"Get your hand off my ass!"
I snapped my hand away. A perfectly-formed cashew was staring up at me. "Don't ever let me cashew doing that again!"
Question: How do I tell Marisa I've fallen in love with a nut?
Carla tells me she keeps toe- and fingernail clippings in a white ceramic mason jar marked FLOUR and lines it up alongside two similar jars labelled SUGAR and COFFEE on her kitchen counter. She collects the clippings from the salon where she works seven hours a day, five days a week, as a nail technician.
Carla mixes the clippings into cookie dough when she runs out of nuts and sprinkles them atop salads in place of bacon bits.
Her family doesn't complain, though, because it's better than the stuff she brought home when she was employed as a bikini-line waxer.
Everyone's fussing around Aunt CeeCee. It's Aunt CeeCee this, Aunt CeeCee that, and Aunt CeeCee's taking it all in with a scowl on her face because that's the kind of ingrate the straggly-haired, buck-toothed lump of lard is, really.
"She's had a hard life," Margaret whispers to Betsy as they arrange devilled eggs on a dish. This time they're wise enough to use a non-breakable dish. Quite a strong arm-swing Aunt CeeCee has!
Aunt CeeCee doesn't deserve this party to celebrate her 30th birthday. But she does deserve the top-secret filling you've added to her personal platter of devilled eggs.
How I loathe Proud Pill Poppers – people who make a big deal out of taking vitamins or prescription medication or even just plain aspirin, celebrating the procedure as a carefully orchestrated ritual. It's bad enough when they do it in their own homes, separating the various colored pills into little piles to be ingested in a specific sequence. Even worse are those who unload their arsenal in public, and make a big production out of their dedication to their health. What's next? Is some asshole going to insert a suppository at the table as she blithely chats with her friends?
Every September 30, Edward turns to Judy at the breakfast table and says, "I can't believe it's been [number] years since James Dean died. He was so young! He had such great potential."
Even though it only comes around once a year, Judy dreads this ritual from September 27 through 30. Once, she was out of town on September 30, and Edward called her first thing in the morning to say it.
"I wish I could bring James Dean to life so I could kill him for this," she thinks. Instead she has to settle for killing Edward. Oh well.
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