REPORT A PROBLEM
Rex reeks of toothpaste. I notice it first, and then Linda by the microwave, who grimaces as she sets the timer. Ernie, as he straightens up after trying in vain to find his lunch in the refrigerator and turns around, grimaces and says, "Yo, who overdosed on Crest?"
Rex won't admit it, but he smooths it all over his body like lotion every morning after showering so his co-workers think he brushed his teeth. He won't admit he never does that. He also won't admit he's the one who pilfered Ernie's pastrami huge sandwich, salt and vinegar chips, and brownie.
Bonnie's suspicion that the guy with the dingy, elastic-challenged gym socks and threadbare Mickey Mouse T-shirt and perpetually unkempt hair who always seems to be on the verge of cracking up to a podcast she can't hear on his iPhone is observing her have been confirmed. She had tapped out in Morse code, by her right knee, "Stop watching me," and he tapped back, "I will if you will," and is on the verge of cracking up at, she thinks, the exchange. She raises an eyebrow.
So now she's kinda in love with him and may have to switch gyms.
My eyes are burning and wet, and I rub them furiously with the heels of both hands even though I remember either reading something or hearing someone's mom saying something a billion years ago about eye-rubbing not being a good thing to do. But damn it, my eyes are hot and whatever's on my hands now feels slicker and thicker and more searing than ordinary tears. I open my eyes (I didn't go blind!) and expect to see blood or wonton soup (without any actual wontons). I'm relieved it's not the former and vaguely, oddly disappointed it's not the latter.
Do not state in your dating profile that you are attractive, zany, and look ten years younger than your stated age that is probably a lie. Do not include the stuff about how you sometimes do standup and play your guitar at open mics.
I haven't done online dating in six years and won't do it again, but recently came across an old exchange I had with someone, went to the site, and saw he is still there with the same photos and the same tired shtick with minor revisions. Glad to see it's all working out for you, fella.
How many episodes of Mary Tyler Moore can I watch in one day? It's a rhetorical question, yes, but the answer would be about a dozen, and that would be on the low side. Each episode is 22 minutes, so 264 minutes, which is about 4-1/2 hours, time that some (many) would argue could be spent more wisely, like writing 100 Words or making filo dough from scratch (including milling the wheat for the flour) or perhaps leaving the house in a kicky, cute outfit in search of Don Hollinger. But now I'm blending Marlo with Mary. Such a maverick.
Mandy sits in a corner wearing dark glasses, hunched over her phone pretending to text, like every other girl in the place. There are no men, and it's silent except for the occasional "swoosh" of a text followed by a "ping". She wonders if the others are texting themselves too as they wait for huge plates of food they'd never dare eat in front of people they know.
Celiac Cindy, self-diagnosed, indulges gluten gluttony. Vegan Veronica gobbles a pepperoni pizza. Keto Kiera scarfs endless pasta without butter.
"Never again," they silently say to themselve. But they know it's a lie.
"Easier said than done," Marlon says, when his wife tells him she prefers hazelnut creamer to plain as they regard the display at Shop-Rite. He groans as he indicates that the hazelnut carton is just to the left of the regular. "You know I'm right-handed. So now I have to move my arm out of its comfort zone."
"Or take one step to the left," his wife says.
"Excuse me," says a man in a maroon electric scooter. "I'd like to get something."
Marlon and his wife move aside and the man reaches for the hazelnut with an extendable grabber.
I watched "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" after inadvertently seeing a few seconds of a trailer that preceded a Blu-ray rental. As a rule, I don't watch trailers because they spoil the movie. If you haven't seen it, don't read further, since I will be SPOILING IT here independent of the trailer.
The girl does die, despite the narrator/protagonist's two insistences that she doesn't. Although I had a feeling those insistences were bogus, it's still a horrible device. I did get teary a few times in spite of the manipulation. Also: Molly Shannon is always worthwhile.
I bring a new polish to the manicurist. She likes it but suggests a similar color, her favorite, from the salon's lineup. I tell it's great but slightly more purplish than mine. I'll try hers next time, I say.
I mildly dread returning because I don't want her to suggest that polish again, even though it's a perfectly good shade. Maybe I'll just bring my other color, the one she raves over, to maintain "control". What the hell is wrong with me? Am I unwilling to surrender even the tiniest "power" to a peripheral person in my life? Good god.
I would say I'm trying hard not to kind of hate the obviously "arty" people at the art thing on Pier 36, but I'd be lying. Not about the hating, of course, but about the trying not to. I wouldn't care if the one guy with A Haircut had the haircut if it weren't accompanied by an obvious attitude that he is head and shoulders above everyone else because someone kind of skillful with scissors spent a lot of time with and on him. I feel a bit better picturing him home, alone, on a crappy futon with ill-fitting sheets.
I recently saw a rather unattractive fire hydrant of a chick, probably in her thirties, wearing a T-shirt that said, in all caps, "I'M PRETTY." She wasn't quite unattractive enough for the statement to have been ironic, like when The Elephant Man ran around town in a T-shirt that stated, "CLOONEY'S GOT NOTHIN' ON ME". I kind of hoped the back of her shirt said, "ALSO, I'M DELUSIONAL", but it didn't. I couldn't decide if I admired her moxie and self confidence or if, as usual, I would settle for severely disliking a "statement" T-shirt. I opted for the latter.
Write what you know, draw what you love, blahblahokayokay. I suppose this means I should write a story about spaghetti that sticks together and how it thrills me when I bite through several strands at once when they are at an optimal "al dente" state. Is it possible to get an entire story out of that? In the capable hands of Nicholson Baker, I'm sure. But am I willing to devote 100 words to it or a simple drawing in a sketchbook? Do I have what it takes? My sketchbook awaits, perhaps this evening. I'm chomping at the (clumpy) bit!
My landlord knocks on my door and I don't open it. "Happy International Women's Day!" he shouts through it, and I laugh. This warrants an opening of the door for a face to face eyeroll even though I really don't want to chat, especially when I'm feeling schleppy.
I open the door and exchange verbal eyerolls, and I'm genuinely amused at his comments. So when he segues into telling me he has tickets to an art show downtown for the weekend and invites me, I accept, riding that wave. When I shut the door, I immediately regret accepting. Dread commences.
I cannot wiggle out of the art show outing with my landlord without risking awkwardness, so here he is at my door, 10:30 Saturday morning, enthusiastic, and here I am, locking the door, wishing I were already back home, unlocking it. He compliments my groovy Pendleton cape several times, here and on the subway. Alas, this will be the high point of our time together.
I do not recommend getting lost and wandering around the Lower East Side with your 75-plus-year-old landlord, no matter how spry he is, when your cape isn't as warm as you thought it would be.
I have to stop wasting time looking at "readers" online. I'm never going to find a pair that, as adorable and groovy as it appears, doesn't make me cringe so hard when I look at myself in the mirror that both the glasses and the mirror shatter and perhaps my bones as well. I won't wear them out in public anyway, so what's the point. Meanwhile, the computer glasses I bought aren't much better, but at least I won't be pretending I bought them for use in public. I just wonder if they're even do anything more than the readers.
Lyft gets me to Queens faster than anticipated, and I'm now greeting the hosts of the party, both of whom I haven't seen for perhaps four years. I've happy to see them, but I dread being introduced to the few people who have already arrived, so I readily accept the glass of champagne one of the hosts offers me so I at least have something to hold other than my breath, hoping no one tries to engage in banal witless banter. I just want to sit and look cute in my outfit. But later a dog arrives and I'm saved.
I am stopped in my tracks without warning by the gut-wrenching realization that Scott is gone forever, that my friend of 15 or so years isn't coming back, that my visit to see him in Chicago in July was the last time I'd ever see him and hear his laugh, that he won't be bringing me the eyebrow pencil I'd misplaced in his apartment when he visits here next, that we won't be returning to that fantastic bar in Chicago to listen to that guy play the Hammond organ again and wonder which of us the bartender is flirting with.
I'm trying to convince myself the jeans are long enough. I'm trying to tell myself that with the lower-heeled of my groovy shoes (the ones I insist on calling "Twiggy shoes") they'll be perfect. I'm trying to tell myself the other jeans, my "usual", are too long for the Twiggy shoes and that I should keep this new pair because I dig the slightly wider leg opening. This is the second time I've bought and returned this same brand/style of jeans. I think I suffered returner's remorse the first time. This time it would be buyer's remorse. I need sedation.
The other day I had occasion to engage my new umbrella in a real life practical situation (i.e., it was raining) on a narrow Chinatown sidewalk, and it took several attempts to open it successfully. It's a manual bubble umbrella, full-size, so I don't have the one-handed button-push comfort and dependability of an automatic. I knew this when I purchased the umbrella, and I liked the "romance" of having to physically move my arm to open it. I just didn't realize there would a LEARNING CURVE for such a simple activity. Can I practice indoors, or is that bad luck?
I have two six-packs of Dr. Brown's, one cream and one black cherry. Even though the sale at Fairway ended a day earlier, the signs were still on the shelf indicating the sale price, so I got them at that price. This causes me delight, which is sullied slightly when I notice the charge of 60 cents for can deposit, which would've been there even with the non-sale price. For a few moments, I consider saving the cans to return but then realize that the people who go through trash looking for cans need the money more than I do.
Someone is pressing all the buzzers on the building, trying in vain to get a response. It's sounded in my apartment several times during the rounds, and I'm saying, aloud, "Nope, not gonna happen. I'm not opening the door to someone doing that." If it's someone claiming to be from ConEd, I don't want to have to ask for identification. Meanwhile, I hope the mail lady doesn't arrive at the same time and buzz me (packages are arriving today!) because I won't be able to resist running out for a GREET 'N' GRAB even though it's not required for delivery.
I shudder at the thought of walking to the gym in the predawn dark through yesterday's snow, having to tote my running shoes in a bag and change into them once I get there so I don't slip on the treadmill and "break my neck" (a childhood admonition!) and thus have to be rushed to a hospital in the back of an ambulance that probably won't be heated well enough for my taste and comfort, disappointed that I'm not wearing a cute outfit so the paramedic won't see how stylish I am. So I stay home and drink coffee instead.
It's reached the point where my huge colorful salads are not just something I eat when I can't think of anything else but the actual GOAL food. (And I don't mean "goals" in the way the Internet-y millennial kidz mean it.) It's what I daydream about (food-wise, at least) when it's mid-morning and my mind starts thinking about what my mouth's going to be doing in a few hours (food-wise, at least) (ew). Today I started using a very large blue and white "peasant" type bowl I've had for over 25 years, and that adds to the earthy, delicious charm.
If I leave for the gym a few minutes "late", there's a chance I'll run into Cooper, a six-year-old Irish Setter, and his dad, either rounding the corner or on the avenue from which they'll be rounding the corner, and I know my morning will be made before I've done more than drink coffee and leave the house. Cooper will lean his rumpled-furred body against me and look up with a smile, and when I leave, he will do a dance and bark with delight. And when I turn around to look at him again, he'll still be watching me.
He asks me if I'm going to the show on Sunday. I tell him I am, with my lady K, and I'll see him there. I arrive first, wait in front for her, and he enters. We chat for a few minutes, I'm already wishing it would end, and K arrives. I introduce them, he looks flustered and uncomfortable, K greets others around us, and he takes refuge in a friend of his he's just spotted a few feet away. He didn't even have time to scrutinize us to determine if we're a couple or not. (Of course we're not.)
A bag of bread is lying in the aisle at Whole Foods. I place it back on the shelf from which it appeared to have fallen. A worker calls out, indicating that I shouldn't do that. I suppose it was in the aisle on purpose, perhaps put there by him, but his attitude is one of impatient reprimand. Because of course rather than thank someone who obviously thought she was being of assistance, putting something back in its place that maybe an errant toddler had displaced or a rude adult had ignored, the default is admonishment. Great customer relations, jackasses.
I don't even necessarily like the vegetarian dim sum place on Pell but I go every once in a while with a friend because she loves it. I truly like maybe two of the items we order but everything else makes me queasy within seconds of putting it in my mouth, and the next day I feel like I've been drugged and not in a good way. Add to this the surliness of the servers (if you can even call what they do "serving") and the crappy atmosphere, and you have me not wanting to go back, friend be damned.
Even as the words drop out of my mouth, i.e. "We should get together for lunch or something!" I'm already dreading actually getting together for lunch or something. The mere possibility of spending more time than the few minutes I've just spent with this acquaintance is enough to make me want to change whatever contact information I'm going to supply to the person in a few moments. And I can often tell it's mutual. I don't resent the other person for that. I don't even resent myself for it. I just wish I could fucking zip it from the get-go.
I don't want to go with you to your friend's one-woman show downtown. I barely want to go to my own friends' shows, one-person or otherwise, downtown, uptown, out of town. It's not that I don't like my friends (although there's a possibility I won't like yours), it's that I don't want to be forced to grin afterward and "congratulate" the person on a show I probably wanted to end within minutes of its starting for any number of reasons (e.g. it's bad). I don't want to have to "go out for drinks" or "grab a bite to eat". No.
I text him a simple happy birthday greeting and now he wants to talk on the phone. I haven't really had any words for him in the seven-plus months since we stopped seeing each other and don't want to "catch up" with him. I just want to see his dog. Would it be in poor form if I called and simply said, "Listen, bring the dog to that restaurant we took him to the last time we went out to dinner, so I can smoosh his beautiful face, which was all I ever wanted to do on our dates anyway"?
I just looked up a hotel in Los Angeles that I'd stayed in ten years ago when in town for a friend's wedding and am disgusted and saddened to see that it's been completely renovated to the point of non-recognition. When I was there, it was incredibly colorful, funky, offbeat and Moroccan, each room unique, like nothing I'd ever seen in a hotel, and so "me" that I wanted to book a room forever and live in it. Photos online now show a quasi-Mediterranean revamp, upscale, in a sedate color palate to appeal to the yawnfully posh and uninspired. Feh.
The Tip Jar