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Anchovies dipped in lard and sprinkled with chopped olives. Sour milk. Two-week-old fat-speckled salami covered in a layer of its own rancid slime. Cottage cheese gone furry and green. Tripe.
These are all more appetizing to Laura than the thought of ever having sex with him again. She can't believe she ever let him see her body, let alone touch any part of it with any part of his. How could she ever have let this person who doesn't floss his teeth, who doesn't wash his face at bedtime, whose feet are so goddamned filthy ... fuck her? Ever?
"Jeffrey Dahmer had earlobes,"I think on my bus ride home. "Hitler had eyelashes. And what's more, serial killers and rapists have pinkies.-
Even the most revolting, despicable, worthless, filthy motherfuckers on the planet have these delicate, innocent-looking body parts. The soft velvet of a curving earlobe. The spray of flirty frilly eyelashes. The shy baby brother pinky.
People who do unspeakable, unforgivable things to other people are born with this incredible softness and delicateness. Somewhere along the line their earlobes, their eyelashes, and their pinkies should have atrophied. Withered away to nothing. That quiet beauty should have been surrendered.
The man she raves about as being the handsomest on Earth, in the universe, in the galaxy, and beyond, is nothing short of a troll. A tall troll, yes, but that's about all this schmuck's got going: height. And who cares about that, anyway, when all it means is that there's more of him to look at. A man so hideous should be two feet tall, so the world only has that much of him to lay eyes on and vomit over.
Please. His raucous bad teeth, greasy long hair, puffy lips, poochy belly, his pathetically-haired, concave chest. How appealing.
TARA GOODMAN'S NO MORE POTATO CHIPS DIARY
Today I feel optimistic! I always do the first day I do this. I haven't been counting, but I think this is at least the 50th time I've given up potato chips FOR GOOD.
This time I meant it, though. NO MORE POTATO CHIPS. Last night I had my Farewell To Potato Chips "last supper"and finished the huge bag I'd started just that morning. There's still another bag (unopened!) waiting there. But it's not for me. Not this time.
This time I'll make it! No. More. Potato. Chips!!!
TARA GOODMAN'S NO MORE POTATO CHIPS DIARY
Well, I made it through two whole days, and I'm feeling REALLY good about it! No potato chips since 11:59 p.m. the day before yesterday. I'm so proud!
To celebrate, I had three scoops of butter pecan ice cream with Hershey's syrup, chocolate Redi-Whip (that stuff is AWESOME!), and a handful of Reese's Pieces. If there's anything I've learned from doing No More Potato Chips, it's that I can get through the first few days with little problem if I eat something sweet.
This is a journey of self-discovery!
TARA GOODMAN'S NO MORE POTATO CHIPS DIARY
Today I gave in to temptation at work. It Sandy's fault for sharing a HUGE bag of my favorites, Lay's RUFFLES, at lunch. She put them in a basket to be passed around the table, and when Marlene handed it to me so I could put some on my napkin, I couldn't help it. I took one and put it in my mouth before I could stop myself!!!
I am a TOTAL WEAKLING. I can't believe I already ruined No More Potato Chips.
I do NOT deserve to live.
TARA GOODMAN'S NO MORE POTATO CHIPS (YEAH RIGHT) DIARY
I lied yesterday when I said I had ONE chip. Just like the Lay's commercials used to say, you can't eat just one. And I didn't.
I figured I already ruined the day, so I filled my napkin with the biggest handful I could grab. Marni Grayson (anorexic skank!) gave me a dirty look, but there was no reason. It was a huge bag and there were PLENTY to go around.
Confession: Later I went back to the kitchen and picked some chips out of the trash.
TARA GOODMAN'S *NO MORE* "NO MORE POTATO CHIPS" DIARY!!!
OK, so I surrender! Like the old saying goes, "If you can't beat Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœem, join Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœem!" I am hereby OFFICIALLY going on record as saying that this is the LAST time I do "No More Potato Chips-, until further notice. I just can't handle the pressure anymore! I love potato chips too much to give them up forever.
Today I'm officially starting my third annual "No More Ice Cream"crusade. It should be easy, since I really only eat it when I'm doing "No More Potato Chips-!
She's always astonished at how unattractive Frank is. She forgets, in the months since their last tryst, that he's her height, that he wears white T-shirts under his dress shirts, that his glasses are so thick they make him look like one of those big-eyed kids from those hideous paintings she remembers from childhood. Plus, he's balding.
So why does she continue to meet him? They haven't ever "hooked up-, and they've only kissed a handful of times. He's kind of funny, true, but not enough to warrant this affair.
Maybe it's the free wine? Yeah. That must be it.
Steve has three T-shirts:
* Red, slightly faded. Stretched-out neck. Short sleeves that come almost to his elbows. This one reveals a rugged touch of chest hair. This one makes her turn her head in disgust.
* Ultra-black, crisp, and fitted to show off the body he obviously spends a lot of time keeping in tiptop shape. This one is just short enough so when he raises his arms, she sees a slice of abdomen. This one makes her sweat even when she's not doing cardio.
* White, threadbare, sweat-stained. "I *heart* Workin' Out"on the front. This one jump-starts her long-dormant bulimia.
It must be Thursday, 'cause Pattycake's eating french fries! You don't even bother carrying your flower-of-the-day wall calendar with you outside the house anymore, because who needs it when you have Pattycake to let you know what day of the week it is, by dint of what she's cramming between her lipstick-smeared lips and into her toothless two-ton gaping maw at the 24-hour Continental. Here's how it goes:
Sunday: Mussels marinara
Monday: Spinach pie
Tuesday: Baked potatoes topped with cheddar
Wednesday: Filet of sole
Thursday: French fries
Friday: Choco-chip silver-dollar-size griddle cakes (short stacks)
Saturday: Plain burger with Jell-O
I've murdered a man, and buried him beside the house underneath the green garden hose coiled on a spool affixed to the siding. I don't know who he is, why I did it, how, or when. I do know, however, that I chopped his body into manageable chunks for ease of burial.
I didn't bury him deep enough, though, and now someone's hot on my trail. I panic, of course, and wonder if I can tell them I have no idea who he is or how he got there.
I always wake up from this dream before they get there.
Imagine Gerta's surprise when she tore open the enormous box wrapped in flocked green velvet paper and discovered that gangrene was not inside. Last year, the box wrapped in glossy ebony paper contained the black plague. And the year before that, she had a marvelous time unwrapping the biggest box she'd ever seen, in which a succession of smaller, polka-dot-wrapped boxes was nestled, the last of which housed smallpox.
That evening, when she shows her mother Grant's gift, her mother says, "Wear it in good health." Gerta bursts into tears. She'll be the only girl in Sigma Nu without tuberculosis!
"How d'ya like THEM apples?"Loretta says to the book club, congregating at her house for the first time since she had the baby ten months ago. Everyone applauds, of course. Even Angelina Fabres, the shy, otherwise silent girl.
"How'd'ja get Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœim to do that?"Marlene says, closing her book and peering over her bifocals at Baby P.J.'s mouth, pried open with an apple almost the size of her fist. Loretta smiles her typical mysterious smile.
"He must be the apple of his Pa's eye!"says Angelina, as Baby P.J.'s face turns apple-red and then a pretty shade of blue.
She's been his girlfriend ever since Columbus Circle, when she started bopping to her music with the finesse of an iPod user even though she's plugged into a no-name portable CD player. He's always liked the rebellious ones.
He pretends to read a discarded
, but the whole ride down to Jay Street he watches her lip-synch. She's talented enough to do it while chewing gum.
She stands to leave, scowls at him, and mouths, "Loser-.
The next day, at Columbus Circle, he hands her an iPod, says, "It's over between us-, and jumps in front of a speeding train.
My 2:00 patient, Don, tells me of his greatest obsession, without hesitation or embarrassment, and with more enthusiasm than I expected, even though I'd encouraged him to "tell it like it is-. After all, last week he was shy to reveal his favorite food was (pepperoni pizza -- no surprises there).
"Kelly Ripa's legs!"he shouts, throwing back his head in a show of unbridled exultance. "The long, lean muscles of her tan, bare calves!-
"Do you like her legs more than pepperoni pizza?"I ask.
He ducks his head and will not answer. He leaves my office and never returns.
Suzanne's the prettiest girl ever to pick up pizza at the "joint"where every Friday evening at 7:00 Aaron waits for the pizza his wife called in for 20 minutes earlier. In fact, she's the only pretty girl to ever pick up a pizza here. Aaron deduces that pretty girls have it delivered or have boyfriends or husbands pick them up for them. Or just don't eat pizza -- although Aaron can't think of anything more beautiful than a pretty girl opening the flat box, peeling a hot slice of plain cheese from the cardboard, and bringing it toward her mouth.
My patient, Sandro, has a ritual he performs an hour before his housekeeper arrives to tend to his "typical bachelor mess-.
He opens his bedroom blinds fully, opens that day's New York Post to Page Six, and spreads it on his bedroom's hardwood floor. He scowls down on whatever celebrity's face is featured the most prominently, removes his pants, and squats so his ass is hovering a foot above that photo. He closes his eyes, and, silently, shits on the paper. He seals it in a trashbag and disposes of it before Marietta arrives.
"Typical bachelor mess-? I think not!
Carlotta's shy at first, but when I tell her I'm sure I've heard more shocking "confessions"than the one she's about to tell me, she plunges in. Still, she can't look me in the eye.
For two years, she's been vomiting after every meal. I tell her bulimia is not uncommon and she's not my first patient to talk about it.
"Yeah,"she says, "but do they vomit into two-quart saucepans, ladel it into zip-lock baggies, mark each with a Sharpie indicating the date and meal's contents, and store them in subzero freezers in their basements?-
She's got me there.
Note to staff:
The features of the soon-to-be released Eltron SX-4012 are superior to those of the Eltron SX-4011 in the following significant ways:
* The plimshank of the rotator axis moves more smoothly along the cog-rail, especially when operating at temperatures above 120 degrees Celsius.
* The anodynamonogram settings - 150% larger than on the 4011 -- are easier to read on the transporometer (behind the left front plimshank).
* It comes in a wider selection of colors. (Most heavy users, those using the product on at least a daily basis, prefer the periwinkle.)
Please read the product manual thoroughly before use.
Ladies, can you do me a big favor? Can you stop using the word "dude-? It's not even tolerable when a teenaged boy uses it, so what makes you think that you, dickless and far from teenaged, can use it without sounding like complete fucking jackasses?
When you say it, it doesn't make you sound like one of the guys. You don't sound like the kind of girls who can pal around and swill beer and watch the Superbowl or play touch football with the best of Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœem. You do, however, sound ridiculous.
It's not cute.
Stop it. Just stop.
Reasons why I should never go to his house again:
* Little clump of dried-up, soapy hair atop the drain of the guest bathroom tub - although long and brown, not sure if it's mine - evidence he may be fucking someone else not as discouraging as the possibility that he may not have cleaned the tub since I was last there four months ago
* Cat's food dish encrusted with enough old wet slop that it looks like a miniature Fancy Feast fort
* Not once has he put a pillowcase on "my"pillow
* The frightening pillow itself (good fucking god, don't even ask)
Joe thinks he's fingering me. I go along with it because I think this is what the cool 17-year-olds do in dark parked cars.
But I know what he's doing isn't really what's known as fingering. What he's doing is placing his middle finger length-wise between the two folds of skin between my legs and wiggling it like it's going somewhere. I pretend to think it is, but really, we're getting nowhere.
That Monday at school, when he ignores me, I want to give *him* the finger. It'd be a lot more effective than the one he gave me.
This one should always wear a suit and tie. Even on his days away from the office, he should be required to dress as if he were meeting with a VIP. His body lends itself well to suits, and his demeanor while wearing them is so much more attractive than when he's not.
But really, he should always wear a suit because the alternative is just dreadful. He wears the same style jeans he wore in the early Ãƒâ€šÃ¢â‚¬Ëœ90s, hiked above his hips so high that I can see sock below. With a tucked-in shirt. And all of this ... belted.
His mouth's been doing all the work, and it's time for his fingers to relieve it so he'll be able to order breakfast tomorrow morning at the horrid diner he takes me to whenever I visit.
His finger glides in, and ... jesusfuckingchrist ... is that a HANGNAIL??? With each successive stroke, the tiny skin-flange seems to increase in size so that eventually he may as well be jamming a rough-barked twig in there instead of his poorly-groomed finger.
I dig my own expertly manicured fingers into his shoulder, my moans of discomfort disguised as pleasure.
Still, it's better than the diner.
My 1:00 appointment, Mrs. Carlston, is late as always. Any minute now (1:08 on the dot), she'll come rushing in, pastel chiffon scarf floating behind her skeletal shoulder, hair as delicate as cotton candy and just as pink, white gloves fluttering in her hands like dove. As always, only her pale lipstick, smudged faintly outside the lipline, gives her away.
Because she wants me to think she is just an ever-tardy socialitite, I never tell her how impressed I am by her composure. Or how I can smell the jizz on her breath as soon as she enters the office.
Estimate of the cost of my portion of the weekend:
Two merlots - $12
Theater ticket - $50
Espresso - $3
Hashed browns and tea - $5
Coffee - $3
Bad Chinese food - $12
Good movie - $10
Two merlots - $12
Coffee - $4
Train ticket upgrade, so I could leave several hours early, because to stay any longer would be pointless - $20
Total cost: $121
Yep, he sure got off easily, in more ways than one. This sum is not nearly enough for the quality of "action"I supplied. Next time, more merlot. A real breakfast. And better (and more) Chinese food.
Margarita, a very fashionable executive at Ralph Lauren on Madison Avenue, spends her entire session talking about the success of her diet. She's down four sizes in as many months! She wants to give me something special to express her appreciation for my support.
Although I generally do not accept gifts from patients, I cannot turn her down when she tells me she the gift is handmade and one-of-a-kind. She hands me a large totebag made completely of the chicken skin she'd left off her nightly dinners. A tiny tag near the zipper says "Ralph Lauren Pollo-. A genuine knockoff!
Even though it's August, my sister and I wish we'd worn pants to our father's mother's house instead of shorts. We'd rather our legs sweated against cotton or even wool than against the slick, seamed plastic covering the sofa and chairs. But as it is, the backs of our thighs are sliding against the plastic. Drowning. We'd rather be in school than in this mothball-stinking hell.
We're only there for the black and white copybooks our school secretary grandmother gives us. But she makes us wait until the end of the visit to present them to us, the fucking sadist.
A disembodied word lurks around the back of her head, rumpling her hair as it announces itself - "fondle"- in a matter-of-fact voice she knows to be her stepfather's. An image joins - a calloused hand hovering over her young bared bottom, the sting of the open-palm slap, his accompanying grunt, and her silent, tearless cry. She tries to tell herself his hand didn't wander anywhere else. But she can't forget that the door was shut and that her pajama bottoms were pulled down a little too low to accommodate only a spanking. And where was her mother during all of this?
Barney plays connect-the-dots with the bruises on his body. He's got enough on his left thigh to to trace a outline of Texas. And enough on his right leg to create a map of New England so detailed that it would impress professional cartographers. Once, in second grade, he proudly showed his teacher his masterpiece - a topographical map of Peru down the entire left side of his body. That night, after the teacher called his home, his father gave him all the raw material he needed to recreate the entire United States on his back. Only he couldn't reach it.
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