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The word of the day on my French calendar is Felicitations. It means congratulations. Which if you think about it, is sort of a nice way to start your day. I got all interested in the French language when I went to Paris for the first time almost two years ago (late bloomer). It sounds so phlegmy and yet so lovely. I had to learn its mysterious ways! So I signed up at the Alliance Francais and after six months I can proudly say my name and my occupation. Plus I can ask where the bathroom is. Felicitations to moi!
Walking to my acupuncturist's office today I couldn't get MC Hammer's hit tune "Can't Touch This" out of my head. And I didn't even hear it today even. MC Hammer was the first "famous" person I ever interviewed. He said things like "you can ax me anything." Now many years later, he's still stuck in my head (the pants too). But that's the way it is with songs, isn't it? I think the rule is, you can hear ten great songs in a row, but it's gonna be that Hammer song that sticks in your head for the whole day.
Everyone on the subway this morning looked familiar. Usually I'll see a few people that I've seen before on the platform but arriving there only a minute later or earlier can change all of that. I used to see this really adorable couple going to art school every day. We'd never say hello but always seemed to be searching for each other on the train car. Sometimes when I see someone that I've seen on my particular train, I'll get the bug eyes and start to want to say Hello. But I never do. I think it's better this way.
My mother leaves messages that tell her whole day. They usually start with a guttural "Uhhh" and always end with the words "And now I'm just laying across the bed." One time when Mandy came over I played her the message for that day. I can still remember it. "Uh, it's so hot out. I was laying naked under a sheet. Then a few hours later I got up, and put a nightgown on." I've erased the message (kill me) but if you call me, I can do the whole thing for you. It's not something I'll forget anytime soon.
At my job we're donating childrens' books to the WTC area schools. I packed the hundreds of books today and as I was doing so noticed one with an unfortunate illustration of a plane flying around a building. I quickly tossed it and that's when I saw one that my nephew would love. So I took it out of the pile. I felt sorta guilty but I had been working hard. Who deserved it more than me?, I thought . Then the woman in charge came over and saw it. "Oh, I'll take this for myself," she said, "how cute!"
Sitting in the Century Village clubhouse watching the "Broadway Songs Review" with Doug, his grandmother and her 91 one year old friend should have been a laugh riot. I mean, come on, how corny. But as the five "players" came out and belted everything from "Age of Aquarius" to "Company," the audience hardly reacted at all and I started to get super depressed. When some song came on (that I still can't identify), they all started clapping. Which was good because it took attention away from the fact that I was sobbing openly. Please don't let me end up here.
Grandma walked right into her living room/our makeshift bedroom at 8:00 or so this morning. I'm not used to being awakened by a 95 year old human but when I see her, I smile. Sweet she was, her voice raspy with never ending stories. Sometimes she told the same yarns with different endings, but that too, was sweet. Doug is incredibly patient with her as we walk at 1 mph around the Boca Raton mall. When we come home in the afternoon, I feel more like Grandma than Grandma. She watches TV as I'm sacked out on the floor, unconscious.
Are we bad people because we told Grandma that our plane was three hours earlier than it really was? Awake at 8:00, Doug and I attempt to go swimming at the Century Village pool. It rains as soon as we enter the tepid water though. What else to do in Florida? Well, there's a Loehmann's — and a deli. After that, Grandma hugs us both goodbye, real tight. Doug and I sit in the airport lounge — me reading a zine, and he laying on my lap taking a snooze, my fingers in his hair. Easily the best part of the day.
My program is on tonight. One of those WB shows that caters to women. I'm not ashamed to say that I watch them. Hell, "Felicity "is on tomorrow night so don't even try to call me during that because I won't pick up. Why do I love these programs so much? My friend Andrea, who is also my age (i.e. too old to be watching the WB anyway), says it's because these women depicted are the way we really wanted to be seen, instead of the shy college student types that we really were. Maybe. Now, shush. It's on again.
I'm doing something wrong in yoga cause I keep waking up with That Problem in That Area. You ladies know what I'm talking about. Am I not stretching enough? Is the room too cold? What? Oy, is this uncomfortable. Maybe it's easier for me to focus on this li'l muscle thing rather than to think about how I was in Boca Raton this past weekend. You know, the weekend they found the manufactured anthrax. Before this whole thing, anthrax was just another Gang of Four song to me. One that I'd even sing along to. With a smile on face.
On my way back from lunch (matzoh ball soup at the counter of The Edison Coffee Shop — rudest waiters in town), I saw something curious. It was at the corner of Broadway (or 7th Avenue, I always get them confused) and 48th Street. Where the store banner should've been were huge letters that said "FINAL DAYS!!! " Three times. Caps and bold and all. In the window were smaller placards with the same sentiment. And the same exclamation marks. Funny. Before the war I wouldn't even notice this, but now it's a bit of a foreshadowy double entendre. Isn't! it!
I'm feeling better. No, not quite hopeful, but at least the flu-like symptoms and panic have subsided. It's even a sunny day, sorta warmish out. I sit at my desk thinking about how all of next week I will be in the country, relaxing and reading and sleeping. But see. We have TVs at work. And they're on a lot. So ya'll all know by now that they found another case of anthrax at 30 Rockefeller Centre. Which is about a half a block from here. Me? I'd rather a bomb blow me up. No, scratch that. I'd rather live.
Today is the official start to my week long vacation. My head is still in work mode though and strangely enough all I can think about it is cleaning my apartment. I like for it to be tidy when I get back. Anal rententive? You betcha! On the train ride up to the country, I'm out of sorts. Don't want to talk, don't want nothin'. Looking out the window, I turn to Doug and start to pick a fight with him. I now understand when guys say they are "scared" of being in a relationship. It's the three month mark.
The thing about being in a country town is that there are places like the Cracker Barrel. A country eatery, but oh so much more. They also sell fine crap in their waiting area! You know, penny candy that costs a dime. Seated in a giant rec room, I found the meal I wanted, "The Old Timer." Eggs, biscuits and potatoes. Our waitress, a perky blond named Jenn (who could easily beat both Doug and I up) took our orders. And when I told her to "hold the ham and bacon," she looked at me bug eyed. Ah. Country livin'.
It's only been a couple of days here and already I have cabin fever. Relaxing, I've found, is hard work. Did you know that if you sleep too much, it doesn't feel so great? Sure it's nice to be away from the city. It's gorgeous up here, autumnal wherever you turn. Simple drives into the town are breathtaking. The leaves on the trees are purple and red and bright peach colors. It reminds of me of being young and buoyant, that feeling of going back to school all shiny and new. Infinite possibilities. Then why do I feel so hopeless?
Slept way too long this morning. I'm trying to escape too much thinkin' through bed inertia. I sleep curled in a tight ball yet I really want to be hugged. Have we run out of things to say to each other or is it simply a case of cabin fever? It's the latter for sure. Plus I can be pretty bratty if indulged. And indeed I'm indulged. When you're alone you want to be with someone, but then you get that Someone you then want to be alone. You know that the You I'm talking about is Me, right? Brat.
It's fun to eat at diners until you realize that no matter where you are they all have the same menus. Doug always orders the open-faced turkey sandwich. I keep a mental diary of what color the gravy is each time. You'd be amazed, shocked and horrified (ask me about the yellow one sometime). Tonight I order my forbidden kosher teen dream, the pizzaburger. I even deluxe it. The first couple bites are good but halfway through I'm like a little kid and push the plate away. Enough. By the way, Doug's gravy is the color of a cappuccino tonight.
Sixth day into the vacation and I'm antsy. The country is nice but the country is also a little too Children of the Corn for me. So I head back to New York, my small apartment and all of those very things I wanted to get away from in the first place. I'm the kind of person who takes a good week to settle into her vacation. Thing is, I only got a week this time. The other thing? The minute I get home and am indeed in all my desired aloneness, I'll start missing Doug like you wouldn't believe.
Who are these people that like it when other people just decide to drop by unannounced? I am not one of those people. I don't like the "pop-in." You know why? Because most days when I am home alone I am either: pantless (especially in the summer), wearing some kind of "outfit" that I would never wear outside or coated in moisturizer. Seems I'm not that cosmopolitan after all. But today I broke my own rule. I decided to pop in because it was the only thing I could do. (Good call, Mandy). We both felt better. For now anyway.
I haven't been in the city on a Saturday for a long time. Leaving my apartment the stench hit me like a ratchet to the noggin. But it was a nice day and as I wandered around looking for a shower curtain (I needed a chore and pathetically that was it), I felt out of it. Maybe it was from the cocktail I had last night - Advil Cold and Sinus coupled with my prescription migraine medicine. It works but the day after leaves a big melancholy hangover effect. All this and I didn't even find a new shower curtain.
Before our second date he told me that he wants to get his grandmother's engagement ring to give to the girl he marries with a wink, wink in his voice. He starts calling me every day, many times and it feels not only comfortable but right. Like, the rightest ever. On our first phone conversation he lets me know that I inspire him and that there's nothing sexier than wanting a girl (i.e. me) to be your friend as well as your lover. I swoon. So tell me. How does it go from someplace like there to someplace like this?
By 12:30 last night I knew it was going to be bad today. First fights leave me tumbly in the stomach with that feeling of butterflies and wanting to throw my guts up through my eyeballs. I tried to go to sleep but kept waking up in a hot sweat and a cold panic. Our first fight. The kind where I cried in hiccups and my whole body shook (guys love that). The kind where I am writing this entry with 7 more hours in the day left. Because I know that nothing more important is going to happen today.
I finally slept last night but still awoke needing about another twelve hours worth of slumber. Crying is exhausting and I spent a better part of the weekend exploring dehydration through my eye sockets. But that's how I am. I gotta get it out. It's good to tell your heartaches to your friends. I usually exhaust myself in the process, which is kinda the whole point. But then I ran into two people today that I never see and when they asked me how I was, I actually told them. I keep forgetting that people really don't want to know.
I've been talking to my mother a lot about having relationship troubles. We usually don't talk of such things, but who knows me better? She gave me surprisingly good advice about compromise and told me a story. Seems two days before her wedding to my father she they got in a fight with him in the car. She "had it up to here" so she took the bride and groom off of their wedding cake (I guess they were transporting it) and threw it on Roosevelt Boulevard, where it was smashed. Funny though. They were married for over 30 years.
My acupuncturist says that I'm "a mess." Not a medical term, but I like that he has the balls to say it. I didn't believe in all of this needle business at first, but he has a way of knowing exactly what's wrong with me by taking my pulse. So I ignore the fact that he blushes when he sees me or tells me how "cute" I look in the pink paper top I wear for the visit. I also pay no mind when he examines my tongue and remarks "I should give you a spanking instead of a treatment."
If you see someone with a walkman on whether it be early morning or after work and said person seems to be lost in thought, eyes glazed over, maybe mumbling, do not keep calling their name so loudly that they hear you over the music they have on, that they have turned up on purpose in order not to hear you, because yes, they did see you in fact, they saw you from a block away and whether you want to know or not, they do not, I repeat do not want to converse with you. Just leave them alone.
It's hard when you go to a wedding not to imagine that it's your nuptials. I was never the big fairy tale kinda girl but there is something about being in a beautifully decorated place with people who love you around, wishing you the best that life has to offer — and meaning it. And when else are you gonna get the chance to wear that fancy dress? I hardly know the people getting married and while the floor was creaky and I couldn't hear well, I understood the sentiment completely. We held hands thoughout the entire ceremony. It was nice.
You know when you just can't comfort someone you love? He awoke from a bad nightmare this morning and I think it scared me more than him — because I couldn't make him feel better. I tried to tell him it was ok, that I was here as I brushed his hair back. All those things that are supposed to make it fine. He got out of bed and I tried to go back to sleep. What I should have done was said that it was only a dream. A dream that it doesn't necessarily mean anything. And certainly not everything.
I spent most of my day today trying to locate an old TV show called "Insight." It was one of those Sunday morning programs that ran right after "Davey & Goliath." I used to dash home from Hebrew School and flick on the set before the Jewish lesson I had learned that day had dried into place. "Insight" was like a Christian version of "The Twilight Zone" and featured stars such as William Shatner grappling with everyday Jesus types. It was really disturbing — and thus, great. Tapes containing three episodes are $29 each. I think I'll start with "Christ Incognito."
I'm no good at houseguests. A good friend is staying with me and while it's great to have her here, I realize that my studio apartment is too small for a visitor. See. Last night we went to dinner and met up with another friend. I left soon after (I'm an old lady) while A. goes out with said friend. I am half-awake the whole night awaiting that key in the lock noise. So when she never comes home and calls me this morning at work I get all Whitney on her ass. Like I said. "No good at houseguests."
Today, like this entire month, has been up and down. It's amazing how much my face changes when I'm happy and how totally gloomy I look when I'm sad. My mother tells me that as a child I always "made faces." That is, I openly showed emotion. What's the alternative to crying at your desk or sobbing to friends during late night phone calls? — never feeling anything at all? As much as I'd like a shield to protect me from the hurt that life has to offer, I also want to feel every little thing. Hard to remember that sometimes.
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