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April showers bring May flowers, right? That's the way it goes, isn't it. Well, April was the suck-assiest, motherfuckingest, cocksuckingest month I've had in who the hell knows how long. Hands down. Bar none. More monsoon than simple showers, so May better not bring just flowers or bouquets, but gardens. Glorious bountiful gardens. Flowers of every color, shape, size, and scent.
April hangs its heads in abject shame and apologizes for its crimes. May just wants a fresh start, a clean slate, and all other similar clichés. May wants to move forward so fast it propels itself clear into June.
Ceiling tiles. Grapes in a bowl. I count everything. If the number is one that could possibly correspond with the number of years that might comprise my lifespan, I count how many years I've already been alive and note how many of the counted item are left.
Two rolls of quarters: $20, 80 coins. Eighty "years", a lifespan I can reasonably expect to achieve, if not exceed, barring a fatal accident (knockwoodknockwood) or terminal disease (knockwoodknockwood). I note with alarm that I am, quite possibly, more than halfway done my life. Of the $20 allotted me, I've already spent eleven.
You can trust me not to snoop through your medicine cabinet. I don't care about your potions and lotions. I'm not interested in your tampons, razorblades, and dental floss. I don't give a fig about your prescriptions.
However, you cannot trust me to not lift your toilet seat to note the cleanliness of both its underside and the rim of the porcelain basin. The presence of splatter, stains, and grime all lay testament to the extent of your housekeeping.
I'll think way worse of you for stray hairs than I would for the discovery of anti-psychotics or Old Spice deodorant.
Week One, and it's going great. Not crazy about the haircut or clothes, but they can be changed eventually. All I want now is fun.
On the way out of my building, somehow he mentions his vasectomy. I'm overjoyed. I'd thought maybe he was one of these childless divorced guys who now wants kids. And I want none. Somehow I express this joy.
"I'm not marrying you," he says.
I've never wanted to be married. To anyone. I certainly didn't even think about him that way. So this assumption that I'd want him? Give me a fucking break.
It's probably not a wise idea to hang yourself in the basement if your child keeps her favorite toys down there. Just today, your five-year-old daughter found you this way, when all she'd wanted to find was the Etch-A-Sketch you'd bought her just two days ago.
I had no idea you were going to do this, of course, because otherwise I would have advised you against it and told you to take pills in a motel room, like a responsible mom.
"My mommy seems to be injured," she said to your next-door neighbor.
She obviously inherited your gift for understatement
If someone -- let's call him "Len", shall we? -- does an "about face, we cannot, dear friends, say, "Wow! Len did a complete 360!"
If Len did a 360, he'd be back where he started. Still doing whatever he used to do. See, 360 degrees is a complete circle -- and here I assume that the people who use this phrase know that it relates to one. The correct and non-stupid thing to say, therefore, is "Wow! Len did a 180!" Or just forego the cliché in the first place. Which, for most people, would be doing a 180.
Oh, that Mr. and Mrs. Disposition. What a pair of funsters. They couldn't offset the silliness of their surname by giving their daughter a tame name like "Patty" or "Margaret"? Course not. They had go with -- sit down, 'cause it's hilarious -- "Sunny".
You can just see 'em winking at each other o'er the bassinette. "Should we?" "Hell, yeah! We'd be fools NOT to!"
So they think they're beating hilarity-seeking bullies to the ha-ha punch? People who, upon hearing the last name, would say, "What's your kid's name? 'Sunny'? Ho ho! Oh, wait, I'm RIGHT? Ho ho HA!"? Right.
Oh my GOD. She didn't. No WAY.
Really? She DID?
Yes! She's so CRAZY! Leave it to Marni do something like this!
They all dash into the staff lunchroom, and there, huddled 'round the fabled masterpiece, is Marni herself and three of the others.
Let me see! Let me see!
GigglegiggleohmyGOD, and there it is. The rumored cake shaped like a -- like a -- well, like a --
This shower's for the girls only! Even the temp'll be tempted by a slice of cake!
"Oh my GURSH," I, the temp, gush. "This thing takes the cock!"
All she wants is to eat her salad, but so far she's only been able to take two bites. On bite three, she set her fork down when her husband said, "We have to talk."
She stares at his mouth as he lectures. She sits on her left hand. Her right hand rests along her outer thigh, and every so often she taps its middle finger against that thigh.
A girl facing her, two tables away, smiles sympathetically at that finger and catches her eye. The finger-tapper wishes she could smile back, dump her husband, and join her new "sister".
Tiny ants have invaded the kitchen, and I can no more kill them than I can the occasional cockroach who decides he wants to be my roommate. In fact, I will always try to SAVE the lives of little bugs who, resting in my bathtub, may have almost drowned once I turned the water on before checking for their presence.
I cannot kill a fly. Literally.
I hate that when I walk outside, I'm crushing countless near-invisible little guys underfoot. So I take special care not to step on those I can actually see. Still, I feel like a murderer.
I leave my sister and her gentleman caller in the kitchen, where we've been quaffing coffee and guffawing over my early morning display of lunacy (it's never too early to act like a jackass!), and trip into the living room to see what my boyfriend and mom are doing.
I find them quietly reading sections of the Sunday newspaper. Mom's on the love seat, in her vagabond get-up, and the boyfriend's on the sofa, rumpled in the way I love him most. They're like an old married couple.
I want to kiss him endlessly for just "being" with my mom.
My beautiful boyfriend got me a gorgeous new keyboard. It's one of these deluxe silver and black ergonomic things that looks like it belongs in the cockpit of a jet. Special keys that do everything from open my email program to take my drink order to service me sexually.
Still, I want to strangle and/or bludgeon it. Like with everything else that's new to me, I instantly "hate" it. I don't like having to learn something new when the old version suits me just fine. I feel like this ergonomic nonsense is made specifically for fat Dress Barn secretaries, anyway.
Eighth grade. Toting "Sybil" from class to class. Reading it behind school books while successfully ignoring whatever else is going on in class.
Teacher talking? So? What of it? I've got better things to do. They're not teaching anything I can't learn by myself, in half an hour, on my own time.
How do I rationalize this to the drone in front of the blackboard, though, when he catches me doin' the dirty read?
I don't. I just go out into the hall, like he orders.
Does this imbecile really think it's punishment to not have to endure his blather?
Hasmig's foot is inches from the gravestone that already bears her sister's name and years of birth and death. If she's not careful, she'll step on the side of the stone that bears her own name and year of birth: "1921 -". "I don't like that at all," I say to her brother, who will never "rest" in this cemetery, thanks to his instructions for cremation.
"I don't either, but some people find it comforting," he says.
Yeah. Real comforting to see your name already waiting for its turn to mark where maggots will eat your flesh.
No fucking thanks.
At night, blinds closed, my apartment is black. You'd think that somehow the obnoxious light of Time Square would find a way to invade even though it's about a mile and a half away.
It's also outrageously quiet. You'd think traffic noise would invade, too, but the only horn-blowing heard is that of my talentless neighbor and his bugle/trumpet/trombone, whose windows unfortunately face our shared courtyard.
In the dark, though, tiny red, blue, and green lights pulse or blink. The fire alarm, DVD player, modem, phone, and others like to make their contribution and let me know I'm still alive.
Most three-year-olds I know could give most “trainers” I’ve seen a run for their money insofar as knowing anything about how the body functions. All it seems to take to be a trainer at Equinox is an ability to count aloud to 15 and a hand to place on a client’s upper back as the he or she performs a series of strength-training exercises with otherwise bad form. It comes as no surprise that 9.82 out of 10 people who "train" with these dolts has a body that will remain looking like the "Before" shot in a diet pill ad.
It's dark, it's late, and all is fine on the Upper West Side front, when, out of nowhere, someone sounds like they're being tortured somewhere in one the buildings behind mine. A quick yet stealthy dash onto my patio reveals a wildly gesticulating male figure half-concealed behind semi-louvered blinds, raving at two heads whose features are facing him and from whose unseen mouths female voices respond. Perhaps the fight is over which of these two ladies wins the prize of sharing a bed with this virile lout. Each woman is trying to plead her case for NOT sharing his bed.
Still, after all these almost-nine months, one of my favorite things about you is the way you hug me at my front door mere moments after getting here. None of this cursory, half-assed, half-bodied, half-engaged nonsense that passes for hugs among the younger set these days. Nope. Your hugs are full and rich and textured. Hardback books among paperbacks. Hugs with spine and substance. Real page-turners, they are. But even though I can't wait to see what's coming on that next page and all others beyond, for now I'm overjoyed to savor this one. For once I'm in no rush.
I don't care what Stacy and Clinton say, damn it. If I want to spend my entire spring and summer in a variety of cargo and cropped pants and tanks and halter tops with built-in "bralettes", then, by gum, it's my right to do so! I don't need a twirly sundress or six with coordinating strappy sandals and flirty shawl coverups for those chilly evenings down by the Boat Basin. My work doesn't require me to dress at all, so I have no need for a collection of four or five "pieces" that, when mixed-n-matched, will yield 452 dazzling outfits.
I hardly think it's fair of me to consider getting mad at my neighbors for playing their TV loudly for about half an hour during the day, when I'm the one making all sorts of non-media-related noise for several hours some nights. Nowhere in my lease does it say I cannot have amazing sex in my apartment, and nowhere does it say that any resultant noise is a breach. If my landlord didn't want me doing this, he should've included such language in a lease rider at signing.
Will a judge be sympathetic to my case when I face eviction?
In my very glamorous line of work, I frequently encounter the term "bradykinetic". And even though I know its definition (look it up for yourself, please -- you can't expect me to do everything for you!), every time I see it I envision one of the Brady kids (usually smug-faced Marcia) (because as we all know [yes, Jan, we know] it's always about Marcia Marcia Marcia) as an old-fashioned wooden doll with hinged joints, flailing its maple (?) arms and legs every which way, as it stumbles and flips really fast across the too-green Astroturf of the Brady back yard.
Wow. Hey. You there in the business suit, sitting spread-leggedly on the subway seat across the aisle. You must really care about Lance Armstrong and/or this cancer thing! You're still wearing the yellow rubber LIVESTRONG bracelet that was all the rage lo so many years ago.
Whereas I would have sneered at you back then for buying into such a stupid trend, for having the need to boldly show the world that you paid a dollar to support a cause, I now commend you for still wearing the thing now that the style is not only passé but even outré!
Of course, Ms. I Always Put Things In The Same Spot So I Don't Lose Them found herself in a bit of a snit when she discovered her cell phone was nowhere to be found. (It, alone, has no assigned location!)
FACT, however: It was woefully misplaced somewhere in l'apartment.
This is not an acceptable scenario to present to the police for the insurance claim. You must concoct a detailed lie about how you lost it while gaily traipsing through Central Park ("near Strawberry Fields! Y'know, the John Lennon thing!"). And then go home and find it 'neath the bed.
We're in the car, heading back into the city. He tells me that his shorts-wearing is a rebellion against his not living and working in Los Angeles anymore.
"I used to wear them every day," he says. "It was awesome."
"But you live here now," I say. "And that was almost 20 years ago."
I want to punch his profile.
"Well, I'm making a statement by wearing them year-round here."
And that statement is what, exactly? I know he wants me to think he's quirky and fun. A maverick. A non-conformist. A hellraiser.
Instead I think he's a total schmuck.
In the two years she's been my patient, I've found that most of Marina's fears are unfounded. But I've gotta say, the scenario she presented today makes me think that, at long last, she may be on to something.
For her 50th birthday, "the girls" got together and bought her a package of five personal trainer sessions. "I guess that's all the poor things could afford on their salaries," she says.
I am convinced that, as she suspects, they instructed the trainer to put her through a series of humiliating exercises guaranteed to make her the laughing-stock of the gym.
It's a good thing I don't eat TV dinners anymore, because I know the trays would disappoint me. Oh, how I loved the tin tray, always threatening to bend in half when removed from the oven. Was there anything more delightful than sucking out the burnt gravy or tomato sauce trapped in its crimped tin edges?
And oh, the food itself! Hungry Man portions fit for a pre-teen girl hellbent on indulging in the finest veal parmigiana, Salisbury steak, or fish-n-chips! And apple cobbler, still delicious even if besmudged with stewed tomatoes or an errant kernel of baked-in corn.
After replacing my iPod for the fifth time in two years due to some sort of malfunction -- the latest one occurring about a week after they gave it to me -- the good people at Apple offered me an upgrade to the latest model.
"Would that be okay?" the manager asked.
"FUCK yeah! Yeeow! I mean, SHIT, motherfucker!" I thought. Which almost passed through my lips, filtered, as , "Sure! WoohooyeahyeahyeahYEAH shit, mother!" And then quickly processed itself into, "Sure! Yeah!"
So now I have an iPod with video and thus have the potential to become a complete iPutz.
He buys her pencils and paints and brushes and a large, thick-paged Moleskine within which to keep her practices and trials and progresses protected (and, if she'd only admit it to herself, privately admired).
She hesitates to show him, her boyfriend, what she creates. The last time she'd let him see, he'd said, "You're getting so good so fast!" -- words tinged more with bleak envy than encouragement.
Drawing and painting are HIS thing, see. She can't outshine him. If so, he'll have to walk into the ocean. Fredric March, James Mason, and Kris Kristofferson have nothing on this guy.
Second day I've seen him. First date.
On my bed. I'm face down.
He's semi-atop me, sort of alongside. My shirt's off. Nothing's exposed.
"Tell me what you want," he growl-murmurs in my left ear.
THIS is what I want. THIS is so motherfucking perfect. This is the hottest damned situation I've been in in who the hell knows how long. Your asking what I want is enough.
He finds out, later that night, more about what I want. Which only keeps me wanting more.
Nine months later, those five words, still asked, still shake me.
It wasn't the brothers' fault they had tiny puds. Short of stretching those inconsequential nubs on medieval torture devices for 12 hours daily over the course of a year, there was nothing they could do. They just had to grin and bear it, and hope that eventually a lady would grin when they bared it. Sad to say, even the sweetest of dames won't be happy when presented with a forefinger-sized stick after a nice night at Sizzler.
Still, the brothers managed to father twins. Thankfully they were girls, so there was no chance of their offspring inheriting this defect.
Way to impress a gal, guy. Pull a half-off coupon outta your wallet when the bill is presented, and flip it toward her so she can appreciate your charming frugality. Makes her feel special!
Also: Push the bill toward her a little, then take it back with a flourish. Hahaha! You're just kidding! Why's she look so disgusted?
Say, "It's like you ate for free!" Wait a beat, and say, semi-winking, "But then again … you did!"
Oh yeah! You're smooth, Daddy-O. Reeeeeal smooth.
But hey, she's your wife. You don't have to worry about making her feel unworthy. Right?
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