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Lady Gaga brought in the month of February, when comments about her performance at the Grammy's were featured on Yahoo. In the picture, either Gaga herself or her designers painted pink stars around her eyes, and put her in a dress with poofy shoulderpads, sparkling in multi-colored aquamarine glitter. She was in a pose that suggested she was reaching for something behind a transparent barrier. Whenever I think of her, I get judgemental, thinking of a former drinking friend from Florida. He's too young to quit partying occasionally, but too old to be caught behind that Chucke Cheese glass.
I kept my hand on top of my drawer so it wouldn't fall off the stool, waiting for Sue to finish her transaction so I could begin my shift. I glanced politely at her customer as he used the pinpad, but soon realized it wouldn't be long until I was caught impolitely staring. His lips were perfectly shaped, the color of carefree bubble gum. The hazel in his eyes was boyishly effervescent, complementing his cleancut hair and the white cap he wore. What bothers me sometimes is knowing that if he wanted me, he'd have me. There'd be no question.
There was a middle-aged woman at a greek restaurant who I immediately liked. She sat in a corner booth with a companion and was clearly enjoying herself. Her eyes were wide and expressive, and I saw no trace of judgment or apprehension in them when she looked my way. One of the waiters shouted
as a flame sprouted into the air above an entree. I caught my reflection in the wall-length mirror as the plate simmered, critiquing the immutable expression in my own eyes; subsequently wolfing down the rest of my coffee in one gulp.
My guilty pleasure is listening to 80's love songs. Heart, Cher, The Bangles, even Bonnie Rait I enjoy. The retail environment where I work is partly responsible--evident when I began singing along to
Nick of Time
by Bonnie Rait, organizing stacks of tupperware for display. A co-worker asked what I was doing. When I told her, she burst out laughing in that high-pitched squeak of hers, similar to Nicole Kidman's. I was going to paste the entire lyrics to Heart's,
What about Love
, but its more than 100 words and that'd be cheating.
I read the About section of this website again to objectify my commitment to 100words. I want to stick a label on it, like the FDA prints its nutrition facts label on every box of cereal. If I can write about anything, why not just keep a more regular diary? I could slide it under my bed each night, without regard to how much fat each entry contained. There is a window here though, however small, so it's important to me that my entries are lean, indirect and polished. Otherwise, it would be like eating donuts before working out everyday.
I didn't have time to prepare myself. The contractor with the bubble gum lips and effervescent blue eyes was back. I put a little extra effort into ringing up his items accurately, reminding myself that regardless of whether or not I made idle conversation with him, asked him how the installation of his new tub went, how the work is treating him after being unemployed for a month...he would be out the door as soon as I finished, like all the others before him. He paid with cash. My curled fingers rested against his sweaty palm, thanking him graciously.
The Superbowl is blaring on multiple televisions around me. I guess it wouldn't hurt to watch the end of it while I get into another novel. Looking at it from a future standpoint, I'd like to say I was a good sport and watched it instead of locking myself up in my room. I don't feel obligated; I want to watch the commercials. Besides, I think I burned too much incense in here last night. I recently found the bag in my nightstand's lower drawer, full of banana, sandalwood and bits of chocolate mocha candle wax from my old apartment.
A family of three pulled up next to a truck at a gas station. The driver of the truck, in jeans with a waistband, was walking into the store. A woman remained in the passenger seat, blowing on her nails as if she'd just painted them. Two members of the family walked inside to make purchases and left. The driver of the truck was still inside and the woman had adjusted the seat back, out of view. Five minutes later, at the hotel across the street, a family member hears tires squealing, and sees the truck heading for the forest.
The sky was growing dark as I shoveled the front porch. I made a mental note to turn the outside lights on when I was finished. The way the snow obscured the sounds of passing cars seemed to make my thoughts more audible. Why are such decorative porches needed? Whoever takes advantage of them besides postal carriers, door-to-door salesman and that long lost love from high school? Seems it would be less hassle to put a few extra windows in place, include a mail slot/speaker and make the back door larger (for furniture). Portray suburbia more accurately.
Intereviewing again for a company I first saw last November. While sifting through the dry, professional jargon on their website I noticed they also have an office in South Tampa. My dad was talking to Vlad, his best friend from Inverness. Visions of Vlad's old beagle named Buster Brown came to mind, staring up at you with a bewildered expression from the confines of the dark laundry room. Similarly, how was I supposed to know that feeling truly at home somewhere would only be temporary? My dad should be back there now; I have a longer road yet to travel.
There was this video on MSN this morning about the science behind kissing. I was surprised to learn that the man injects testosterone immediately into the brain of his significant other through his saliva. Meanwhile, the woman's kiss apparently triggers feelings of commitment. In a brilliant intellectual summarization, the video said kissing is meant for expressing deep emotional attachment to others or for triggering sexual arousal. After a day of solitude and formality, a family friend wrapped me in a bear hug saying he wouldn't hurt my shoulder. I tried to break loose but it was no use, giving in.
If I would have known what a struggle it becomes to maintain your health as you get older, perhaps I would have partied less. Or perhaps I would have partied more. The winter Olympics broadcasted their opening ceremony tonight at the Claddaugh. The smoking section was full, so Rachel gingerly sat down next to me at the bar, still wearing her professional black slacks, but this time complete with a comfy pair of white sneakers. I couldn't believe this was happening to her, neuropathy. The other patrons seemed clueless, smoking one after the other and drinking their expensive victory gin.
The Kings of Conveniece concert I was planning on attending this month was rescheduled for June because one of the lead singers has the flu. I remember listening to them a lot a few years ago--they would help me relax when I was having a difficult time settling down. If there's one thing I know about myself it is that I am impressionable, and am able to see the fruits of what I put my mind to early on, whether it is what book I'm currently reading, or what thought pattern I subscribe to. Just wish it was easier.
Milt stuffed his writing for the day under his laptop in the form of four or five pieces of scrap paper. It would be enough for today. He used the phrase again earlier when he managed to get out again. His heart sank as as the level of his draft beer approached the bottom, thinking about how much better he'd feel in the dusty bar if he just had one more. The place smelled, and the waitresses tired uniforms consisting of maroon polo shirts tucked into black slacks reminded him of his own dead end job. This will be enough.
Tonight's garbage night. The trash in my room is full of plastic, paper and empty packs of cigarettes. Threw a container of CVS-brand drano into the recycling bin after pouring it into my sink, listening carefully for a popping sound or any indication it was working but only hearing the clear liquid bubbling, sluggishly working itself down the drain. Half an hour later, the drain was still clogged. I can't believe how long I've lived with seeing my own mouthfuls of toothpaste, spit into the rising water and dissipating like aquatic snowmen, drying like white tears around the basin.
Catelyn was adorned in multiple mardi gras necklaces today as she moved to unlock the drawer that contained my till. "Oh, it's Mardi Gras!" I commented. "Could never get used to spelling paczki correctly." During break, Dina gave me a string of pink beads even though I asked for green. I watched them shimmer under the lights in the warehouse, recalling sunnier days in Florida. It was always such a celebration down there, especially among other gay men and women. A part of me wanted to show them off more, but I kept my Carrhart on--the drafts were unpredictable.
"Where is the parmesan?" I ranted, walking up the same aisle a third time. A short woman in a blue vest was dropping off a chicken at self-checkout. "Excuse me, where is the Parmesan cheese?" I asked. "Right in the dairy section," she said. I returned to the yogurts and cheeses again and noticed that in contrast to their half a thousand varieties of spaghetti sauce, they had only two expensive containers of Parmesan. Thinking I was being played, I inspected the bagel aisle that lied adjacent also: not realizing my mistake until after...the Prego was HEARTSMART! UGH!
My cold windsheild and thick glasses
refracted the glow from street lamps,
illuminating stretched, yellow landscapes
under dark treetops and roads.
Popping a piece of last November's Melon Mint,
I coughed and ascended stately round steps
into sliding doors and children frolicking.
Striding leisurely through multiple imaginations,
who's to say whose thoughts I should next examine,
whose worlds I will explore, hidden beyond
mediums of color, placement, fame and notoriety?
I don't want to judge books by their covers,
but my own time is limited.
I drove to work and today on my own, grasping that layer of independence again with uncertainty. If I remain seizure free, I will be driving more frequently, but, like the aftermath of a job interview, I don't want to get my hopes up too high. I think I did this today, observing other employees higher up the totem pole as if doing so would give me the code to the combination lock known as my career. I rang someone up for five flourescents instead of four. I need a fresh perspective without losing my job...I need a transfer.
Bags of popcorn and energy leftover from escapades the night before, followed by shoreline feasts of hippopotamus and lime-flavored Coke. Uncertain gray areas cause me to turn my head, ignoring the unknown or unspoken--content with the imminent scent of passion pear, reading under a black and white blanket of native-american theme. Prematurely off to sleep I'll float, forgetting the images that play within my dreams and waking to a new acronym, a new goal, and an old situation. The sooner I fall asleep the better. I'm waiting for that new beginning, when I can say it's begun.
Another winter storm is supposed to strike the area sometime later tonight and tomorrow evening. I was just getting used to the snow melting, too. For what it's worth, I can't complain, it's definitely been a warmer February than usual.
I'm having trouble finding my center tonight, which is why I'm talking about the weather. I could mention what I see around me, but none of it would fit particularly well with thoughts about the weather. I did get an unseasonable song about fireflies stuck in my head today, with completely nonsensical lyrics. Well, that's about it, ciao.
Still don't know what to write about tonight. I don't know why, but I guess I know when I felt different. I was sitting on the orange bench that Dina painted, using my jacket as a converted tortoise shell, concealing half of my face. Every so often I'd take a drag, and either attempt to nod at someone entering the store or keep my eyes focused in another direction. I willed myself to relax, suddenly stuck with the words of my late grandfater: "Relax, relax, relax. The good life is out there--let it come to you," he once said.
The grocery store I changed for and fussed up my hair for was one of those specialty supermarkets, with additions like miniature palm trees on top of all the coolers in the freezer section. We needed OJ. Pineapple-Banana-Orange, check. A handsome, fit man was approaching in the distance--probably in his mid to late thirties. That's when it occured to me the milk was in the other direction and I wanted a pursuit. He ended up in front of the OJ, and his pronounced knuckles made his hands look as delicious as vienna fingers. I passed him begrudgingly.
The snow was glittering like cracked granite as I shoveled my side of the driveway. I heard distant trains and more snow in the distance, disturbed my passing motorists. Somewhere inside the layer of shoveled snow lining the driveway was also faint memories of Super Mario World and Christopher, who had fully bloomed into shades of black and corporate sophistication. That's who he always was to me at the time, when I was still a student cleaning empty office buildings part-time. Phantoms of those possessing that same leverage over me appeared as the wind blowed. There's lots to learn.
I held onto my bottle of Coke in the passenger seat and occasionally lifted a couple fingers, creating a sticky sound. My hands felt clammy--the way they do when your palms are sweaty but the rest of them is dry. It reminded me of the way my hands felt after school, having touched a countless number of surfaces like desks, bathroom doors, lockers and vinyl seats. It was easy to imagine the germs under a microscope, but that with the mixture of my own pulsating hormones created a sense of fulfillment--showering only for the promise of another day.
In management class, I remember being split into various teams to create a business model. Some models were made with gumdrops and toothpicks; others were made with wood or some other household item. Anyway, the whole point of the project was teamwork. I don't remember my team's model or anything else about the showcase except that the classroom was full, so some of the models had to be in the hallway. Some other things I remember about that class include shaking hands correctly and studying an age-based career level chart. I still had plenty of time then, not anymore.
February 27th. That familiar day responsible for tallying my progress throughout the years. My thoughts go out to those in Chile (pronounced chili) in the aftermath of this morning's quake, as well as the skyline in Hawaii, watching for that inevitable tsunami. Torn between frustration over a lousy CNN broadcast and science over the effects of dropping a stone into any body of water, I close my novel of ancient egypt and set it aside. I feel blessed for having the comfort of those who care about me, and forever vigilant of the fact that every action has its consequences.
I awoke on the couch, shortly after the sun began apprehensively bathing the apartment in its milky white light. The clock above me, surrounded by sixteen photographs of friends and good times, ticked just below the threshold of normal hearing as I tip-toed around Rachel, sleeping in the center of the room. My birthday cake sat half-eaten on the kitchen counter alongside an unopened bottle of wine. I observed my age, candles in the shape of a two and a nine, drying in the dish rack. Mmmm, why does everything always taste so much better the next day?
The Tip Jar