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When I was a little kid, a baby around two or three, I used to get so utterly frustrated that I'd bang my head on the floor repeatedly. I'd crouch down in a squat and then put my head between my legs and clunk away. Hard. It's my earliest memory and I can almost still feel it. As I got older and more frustrated I'd hit my fists solidly against my head. I'm at the same place now but it's not socially acceptable to start smashing my cranium on the terra firma. Besides it's carpeted here, so what's the use?
It's difficult when you're a size 32B to find a bra. I don't mean a fancy bra - just A bra. It's demoralizing to go into a lingerie department and realize that your perky ones must go home without some cotton-polyester, silk or even God forbid lace jobbie. But in America people don't want to feel big, so fake sizes are instituted so that big fatties can go buy size 8 jeans that are truly size 14. Fine for them but this directly screws up everything else. And no, I don't hate big people. I just want a fucken bra already.
That movie "Picnic" was on today. Who knew that the heroine of a movie could be called Madge? Protagonist Kim Novak fell in instant love with the shirtless drifter played by William Holden. The younger "less attractive" sister was way cuter than Madge (she even read books and wrote poetry!). But I guess back then (what? 50 years ago?) those were "ugly" qualities in a woman. Wardrobe added eyeglasses to make her appear even more unappealing. She was also skinny and small breasted while Kim Novak was all dyed hair and mama-chest. Gosh. Things haven't really changed much, have they?
"Your uterus is perfect" he told me. Feeling somewhat pious, I began to dress. That wasn't so bad, I thought. Then the nurse came back to tell me about an at-home "stool" test. She gave no directions and when I asked the doctor he said: "it's self-explanatory." It was a cardboard square that opened up for shmears of you-know-what. And it was the most disgusting thing that I've ever done. However, it's not the worst thing I've ever done. That would be what happened today, when I gave it to an in-house messenger for delivery back to the doctor's office.
Sometimes you can do 999 things right and one thing wrong. Invariably some people will only remember the one wrong thing. I'll write a really lovely, poignant paragraph or say a perfectly thought out sentence and feel not only pleased with myself but happy that I've conveyed pure thought to others. Then, someone will say "well, you just used the wrong tense, or did you see that typo there?" But those things are a part of it, a part of me. I'm not perfect. I don't aim to be. Don't you get it? I need for you to get it.
I must have the kind of face that says to the world "tell me your secrets." For years people have been confessing to me about everything from forbidden love to carrying a baby inside them for twelve years (true, that). When it happened today though, I felt this kind of satisfaction. It's not a bad thing; I must emit some kind of force-field for them, some kind of inner safety. I'm glad that I'm here to do this, to make it better for somebody else. Because lately I've been feeling that I don't know what the hell I'm here for.
"Can you close a story this week?" my boss asked. I was fake-busy stuffing zines into mailing envelopes. "It's on that Dell kid," he said. I hate that kid! And I love that kid! "I'll do it!" I answered way too excitedly. Sometimes I get to do interesting stuff here. Not exactly mind bending tasks but still. And it doesn't really matter because tell me, if you were at a party would you want to talk to some venture capitalist about stock prices or would you want to talk to me about what the Dell kid is really like? Exactly.
I have low tolerance for cell phones. Sure, they would be good for emergencies and can be very convenient if you are a person-on-the-go. But the way I see it is if you are out with me already, that is, if we've met up after many intricate emails detailing the where and the when we are to conjoin and we're actually having dinner, food in our mouths and such, and your phone rings numerous times, why do you feel compelled to always answer it and carry on a full-length conversation? The point today was "me." And you kinda missed it.
As usual I have high expectations for today. But some people are going to forget. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on the people that do remember. It's a bright sunny day. Warmish, even. My present awaits me and is wrapped in foil. It's a camera. A small, silver camera. I take it with me as we walk around the city. I want this day to be special and yet regular. I'm smiling a lot today. A drink before dinner gets us immediately drunk. We can hardly eat our food and by 9:45 we're ready for bed. Happy birthday to me.
There was this one episode of My So-Called Life (sidenote: where are the reruns of that show when I need it?) where the main character remarks how ultimately lovely people are. I always thought that was a little corny, but I'm actually feelin' that today. Even though it's gray and rainy and it's the day after my birthday. Is this what happiness feels like? You know, being able to see the beauty in others? Everything looks good. Even the people on Broadway who bang into me with their bags and the surly girls at the supermarker on 14th Street. Wow.
There wasn't anybody in the store as I entered. If I wasn't such an honest person, I could have ripped him off but good. A minute later he appeared, smelling of meatballs. It looked to me as if he came out of the bathroom. I wouldn't put it past him to be eating in the john. He's known to be kinda gross. Usually he tells really bad Jewish jokes and I put on my ha-ha face long enough to get paid for the zines that have already sold. He didn't do that tonight though. Gosh. He must've been really hungry.
"What about her?" The two girls on the subway were eyeing women and then asking for a comment from their brother. "Her?" he said. "She?d make me fried rice but she don't have no ass." The Asian woman they were talking about cringed into her book. The two girls made eye contact with me and then glanced at the brother. "Where?" he said. I stared hard at the girls before anything more came out of their mouths. They froze until it was my stop. As I got off, I calmly said to them "You're going to be really fat soon."
There's not enough time for me to do my thing. At work I have to actually work. It makes the day pass quickly but when I go home I just want to vege out in front of the television (it's Full Frontal Fashion week!) But I have a new book idea that needs developing. Maybe I'll try and be one of those people that brews a pot of coffee at 7:00pm and stays up all night (in my case, that would be until midnight) and pounds out the words that have been percolating all day. Yeah, right. Wish me luck.
"We don't believe in saints," my dad used to say. "We're Jews." It was no biggie anyway. Even as a kid I could feel the fabrication of the "holiday." Personally I'd rather get flowers any other day than Valentines Day. That shows that my sweetheart is truly thinking about me unprompted by overzealous commercials of women in sparkly spangled bras or overpriced flower salesman. But everyone at work today is wearing red and wondering why I'm in beige. "I don't do Valentine's Day," I say, emitting a response of global gas face. "I'm Jewish." Like they'd even get it. Sigh.
Sometimes it comes down to channeling your inner Kool Moe Dee. He can break it down for you using intelligent vernacular without cursing incessantly. While sure it feels good to say a hearty Fuck You, that's the easy way out. Anyone can do that, and in fact, they do. After all, this is New York. But the real trick is to act on that fury. Fuck the people up with your writing or your verbal skills and serve it to them right in their face. Which feels a million times better than giving them the finger. However, that's good too.
A little champagne makes everything easier. I don't drink, so all I need is a little. I felt like a little kid every time someone I knew came through the door. This isn't my house but it felt like I was hostessing, making sure everyone had a drink or that plates were picked up promptly. It felt good and right. Not like the Stepford wives at all. Just like a home. We were actually having fun in realtime. When was the last time I looked around the room and saw a handful of my friends laughing? Right. That was today.
Last time we came to this restaurant our waitress had an adam's apple. But tonight we just have a plain old boring kid. We're carbing up big time tonight for tomorrow is the day. The day of the afternoon soiree and the all important mixing of the friends. We've come a long way in these past few months though. Past the "your friends are too snobby" and the "your friends talk about fashion too much." I think we just like each other more and _want_ to like each other more. Funny how it all works out when you let go.
He doesn't fake with food. So when he asked for a second slice of my home-baked sweet potato pie, I felt good and proud in a very 1950s Betty Crocker kind of way. It took me all day to make this dinner, although I'll let on to him. By the time he came over, I was freshly showered and in my new obscenely expensive cotton poofy sleeved top. The apartment smelled like home - not an easy feat when you live in New York City. We ate and talked. Really talked. By candlelight and all. I could get used to this.
Underwear and chocolates are best given by women. My female boss just came back from Sydney and brought me such treats. Australia you see, is home of my favorite candy in the world (called Cherry Ripes, which are long bars of dark chocolate over a cherry-coconut concoction) and my favorite underwear (a cheapie brand called Bonds that make thee perfect boy-cut hipster panties). I was thrilled when I got this bag o' bounty. My evening meal consisted of a Cherry Ripe and a Koala bear gooey chocolate. This what an adult means though. Having candy for dinner. In new underwear.
If tonight is any indication of what living with me is like, my future husband really has something to look forward to. See, I came home with a sinus headache, so I took a bath and then coated my back and neck in Tiger Balm. I cooked some spinach and brought it to my bed to eat in front of the TV (Roseanne is on. Yay!). My hair is pinned up in a way that makes my head hurt less but looks terrible. I have on my favorite flannel pajamas too. I know exactly what you're thinking right now. SEXY.
Why is it that no one wants to sit next to me on the subway? I'm a cute girl in a nice outfit. And I wear a walk-man so there's no danger that I'm going to talk either. But every time I get a seat on the subway, it usually remains open. That is until the smelliest guy, stickiest child or person with the most cumbersome packages decides that the empty seat beside me is the perfect place for them. I know. It's a subway in New York. This is the way it is. But I still don't like it.
"Are you two the cucumbers?" The guy who asked this question was a shaggy sort with blackened teeth. "Yeah, " I said, laughing. "Oh my god, I'm Richard something-something and I love you guys." He was very excited. I thought he was insane at first and that's why I said I was a cucumber in a good natured way. But when he started to follow us, I came clean "Nah, we're not cucumbers." He seemed really bummed out. I almost voiced how much I liked to eat cucumbers but Doug said it was best to say nothing in these situations.
The place looks like an old age home or a nuthouse. We find out that this yoga retreat used to be a sex cult, complete with wide doors and sunrooms and what, a chapel? Our package weekend is pretty expensive and I bet our private room has experienced more death than sex. We end up in a dance-yoga session and I can't stop laughing (AT the people, good karma, eh?) The Lion King theme is put on and we're asked to dance like lions. Am I on Romper Room for middle aged women? And oh look, great. Live chanting tonight!
Yoga at 6:45 AM two days in a row loses its thrill very, very fast. Our teacher looks like a Columbine kid. You know, nerdy and fake-gentle, like he has a machinegun under his MC Hammer pants. The room is ice cold and I'm quickly bored with the poses he picks for us (Fireplug? Did they have fireplugs in India way back when?). I confront the teacher about the iciness of the room and he tells me that this is "interesting feedback." I have a pounding headache from all of this. "Fill out a form," he says. Instead, we leave.
Last week I squeezed toothpaste from the tube with my front teeth. Not only did the paste not come out, but my front tooth chipped in the process. The whole thing made me cry. I can still hear that crunch. Teeth are scary! So today I went to the dentist after not going for awhile. I had no cavities, but I don't quite trust this guy. Besides the fact that he tried to sell me a water-pick when my mouth was full of junk, but when he filed my teeth he actually made them look worse. Just call me "fangs."
What does life feel like without a headache, I wonder. My head's been bangin' since last week. I'm prone to headaches - I know that. But this is something else. My father was prone to headaches and he died of a brain tumor. I know I don't have a tumor but I'm beginning to think this whole holistic route is for the birds (do they get headaches?). I need me some real medicine. Fuck side effects. Acupuncture session tonight where Scott will yell at me for taking medication. But what can I do? I'm losing days of my life here.
My mother just called with one of her patented telecommunications. The one where she calls me to see that I'm fine. These communiqués generally take about thirty seconds or so. She means well but doesn't want to have an actual conversation. When she asks me how I am, I say that I have a banging headache. "Oh, ok," she says, with no comment. Is she even listening? Either she doesn't want to deal with reality when I tell her that I am going to a neurologist or the TV is on in the background with a really good Oprah on.
"Don't Jews sort of own this town?" someone asked me this morning. (Well good morning to you too!) Jews owning New York City? Well, there are more Jews here than say, in Boulder, Colorado, but as a Jew myself there's not much that I actually own other than a computer, a bunch of shoes and a collection of lady head vases that are mostly chipped. We start talking about anti-Semitism and it gets kinda heavy. How we got here, I don't know. I had entered her office to discuss the Grammy awards and to simply inquire about Christina Aguilera's breasts.
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