Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I've Got My BS in Management

I've never been one for managing the following in an acceptable manner:

*any further words along this vein you would care to add, INSERT HERE

It's been a problem of mine since I was a wee young thing.

When I was 17 I briefly dated - and I use this term loosely - a boy named Justin. His last name eludes me, otherwise I would most certainly print it. It's certainly through no respect of another man's privacy. Especially when said male is a giant douche.

Back in the days-o-highschoolhell Justin and I were set up by a mutual friend and began our short-lived romance via AOL.*

*By the way, there are to be no AOL judgments here. This was 1997 and AOL was how The Teens communicated. It was all fun and innocent until the day I learned what it meant when someone asked you to 'cyber.' But I digress.

Justin and I spent three whole entire weeks chatting via the wonder that is Instant Messenger. Finally, we agreed to meet. And not just any ol' meet, either. We were to have a DATE. A real, live DATE. After three more of these aforementioned Real Live Dates, Justin and I were officially GOING OUT. Oh. My. Gaw. *eyes all aflutter.

Well, we were officially going out until his psycho Notsoex-girlfriend decided to repeatedly Instant Messenger me and threaten my very existence.

After 2 weeks of Teenage Harassment Via AOL, and after I caught Justin lying about paying conjugal visits to The Notsoex, I broke things off with Mr. Bloober.*

*I've assigned Justin the last name of Bloober because it is sufficiently stupid and petty.

So what did I do? Well, I wasn't terribly heartbroken, but I was most definitely pissed. So I planned a bit of revenge on Justin and The Notsoex.

After a consultation with my good buddy Matteo we decided The Notsoex needed a lesson learnt her. So, again via the world of Instant Messenger, Matteo sic'ed his wily charms on the unsuspecting Notsoex, flirting with her mercilessly until she finally agreed to meet with him. Whereby he played her like, well, any string instrument you can happen to think of, and led that ugly horse to water.

Now, I know the saying says that though you may LEAD that horse to water, you certainly can't make him DRINK. But THIS HORSE most definitely wanted to take a drink. In fact, the aforementioned horse's arse, or The Notsoex, was all about taking a deep dive into that body of water. Pelvis first.

And while at first glance Matteo had been proffering that body of water for a big ol gulping drink, well, sometimes that body o water is just a wavering mirage.

In short, and because I've been using too many clich├ęs, Matteo dangled his goodies and then YANKED THAT TASTY MORSEL OUT OF HER GRASP.

And laughed.

Or so I thought.*

*Someone was so about to learn me a valuable life lesson.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Oh, Dante... You Old Devil.

In the ten minute breaks I am allotted twice a day in my new position of Ass Wiping Specialist, it's quite hard to churn out any amusing or anecdotal stories that might amuse you, the reader or even me, The Freaking Author.

Because I have officially entered into the fifth circle of hell, the area of hell reserved especially for Ass Wiping Specialists.

Oh, you thought the fifth circle was where the wrathful and sullen were punished?


I am BOTH wrathful and sullen. A combination- and quality, I might add- needed to continue working as an Ass Wiping Specialist. Because one cannot be gay and lighthearted when working as an Ass Wiping Specialist. One cannot be joyous or exuberant while working as an Ass Wiping Specialist.

One can, however, BE GRUMPY AND VENGEFUL when working as, YOU GUESSED IT, an Ass Wiping Specialist.

I have spent the past nine business day attached via a black umbilical cord to the world of the Ass Wiping Specialists. It's been enlightening, to say the least.


Saturday, January 21, 2006

She Can't Send A Text Message But She Can Do This:

Las Wednesday I wore my mother's favorite skirt from 1982. Though I've been told I own more flattering pieces of clothing, I still insist on wearing it because I think it's happy and comfortable and IT HAS POCKETS, BIG DEEP POCKETS and it's all cotton-y and flow-y and shit.

I have to add that I continue to wear it even after my mother paid me $200 to NEVER WEAR IT AGAIN. I once wore it to a family outing, after which a very lengthy conversation ensued where she first tried to get me into a mall for a shopping expedition and second, give me money for a future shopping expedition. All of which I turned down. Because I hate shopping. Especially for clothes. And so it finally came out that she thought I looked LIKE A FUCKING BAG LADY in her old skirt and would give me the aforementioned moola to pitch it in the trash.

I, of course, refused.

So after much arguing (me, in defense of the skirt; she, in defense of the eyes of the human race) we agreed to the following transaction:

In exchange for monetary hand-out, I was to only wear the skirt on Wal-Mart trips. Because it's okay to look white trash while in Wal-Mart. But I was to never, repeat NEVER, wear the skirt in an attempt to be "cute," "fashionable," or "hip." And I was certainly never permitted to wear the skirt to work, being as how my mother was concerned my superiors would think I had wondered in off the street.

And so it is a testimony to the powers of motherhood that, though she is 200 miles away, she called me on Wednesday to ask IF I HAD BEEN WEARING HER SKIRT TO WORK.

If Mommyhood gives you these kind of bizarre pychic powers I may have rethink my budding desire for rugrats.

That or I need to get her hookup in the network of Mommy Spies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Those Little Squishy Balls They Give You To Relieve Stress Really Do Nothing For Me.

There are better laundromats in this city. Of that I can promise you.

But I consistently chose the one located in the slightly sketch part of town inhabited by the slightly to very sketch individuals who will unerringly drift into my very large personal space bubble.

And still I go. It's like a badge of honor when people find out that THAT is the place where I wash my clothes, not having a washing/drying facility of my own in either my apartment or building. So I carry my overflowing baskets one by one into my car, only to unload them 2 miles down the road, one by one, and carry them into the Fun Wash* on Markham.

*A very deceptive name, Fun Wash. It not Fun to wash clothes and calling it Fun only succeeds in pissing me off every time I pull into the parking lot and see the generic plastic sign on the roof. FUN WASH it most certainly is not.

The last time I was there, after loading six washers full of my heinously dirty clothes, I was approached by a rather large gentleman who was obviously of the egocentric age or mistaken ego that I would be interested in a) his ginormous TOMMY HILFIGER sweater, emblazoned across his chest in such a bright red it could cure the color blind, b) his fake Polo cologne and c) his inability to read simple sentences, a feat I will explain momentarily.

This young man had the audacity to sidle up and INTO my personal bubble, ACTUALLY TOUCHING ME WITH HIS OVERFLOWING BELLY AS HE LEANED OVER MY SHOULDER, while I was obviously, AND VERY DELIBERATELY I MIGHT ADD, engrossed in my book. You must ALWAYS bring a book to the laundromat, because if your eyes should stray from one of the four TV's placed throughout the room and, God Forbid, make eye contact with a Random, your semi-pleasant washing experience will be INTERRUPTED AT EACH AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY BY SOMEONE MORE FRIGHTENING THAN YOU EVER HOPED TO MEET AND WHO IS PROBABLY MISSING TEETH.

But this Young Man, with his grotesque body part touching my back, had not even required the normal Approach Me Signs. HE HAD APPROACHED ME TOTALLY UNANNOUNCED AND WITHOUT THE PREREQUISITE AND ACCIDENTAL EYE CONTACT. He was breaking from a long standing tradition, this one.


He then proceeded to take his sausage like finger and poke at my book.

"What's that."
"That is my book, which I am reading."

Still no eye contact, thankfully, as he was standing behind my chair. And though his revolting body part was jiggling against my back with every heaving breath I REFUSED TO MOVE. You must NEVER show fear to the native laundromatans. At the first sign of weakness they will converge upon you and rip you limb from limb, feasting upon your innards like normal folk feast upon steak and potatoes.

"De Gal-deen Come-pass." Still poking his fat finger against the top of my book, sounding out the words like a first grader.

"It's called 'The Golden Compass.'" I'm taking a very big risk here. He could become offended by my authoritative stance on the title.

"Whas eet bout." More finger poking. Followed by grasping the edges of the book so he can see the cover.

"Hey, das a white bear."

"It's a polar bear. The book is set in the arctic."


It's taking every ounce of strength I have to not recoil in disgust as he actually PUTS HIS HAND ON TOP OF MY HEAD TO FEEL MY HAIR.

"You gots some pritty hair-ra white gurl."

"You need to remove your paw from my head."

"Diszat bodder yew?"

This is a delicate question. If I say yes he will more than likely continue to paw my head. If I say no, it gives him free reign to paw my head. NO WIN. So I lie.

"I have to finish this book for school tomorrow."

I hope that distracting him from the head pawing and reverting his attention to the book will do the trick.

"Aww, gurrl." His voice sounds like it's been trapped in liquid fat for the last ten years. Hearing it's breathy grossness makes my stomach revolt against the Taco Bell I had for lunch.

With one last poke at my book at heaving belly caress he turns around to go iron his pants at the steam iron press across the room. I breathe a sigh of relief as I avert YET ANOTHER Random attack.


Again, I unloaded my six loads of laundry out of my car and into the Fun Wash. The Laundromatans were just beginning to congregate as I plunked my first six quarters into the washing machine. I settled down to read the cheesy book purchased at Kroger on my lunch break. I managed to avoid eye contact through the wash cycle and even through the first fifteen minutes of the tumbling dryer.

I felt a cold burst of air against my ankles, the fiftieth or so burst of cold air I'd felt against my ankles in 20 minutes as each and every Laundromatan felt the need to go in and out and in and out and IN AND OUT of the door, letting the frigid air IN and the warm air OUT. Before I could stop myself I glanced up as the last burst of air rushed in, MAKING DIRECT EYE CONTACT WITH A LAUNDROMATAN.

Five minutes later:

"Hey gurrl, smell dis."
"Um. No thank you. I'm allergic."
"Naw gurrl, ees aaaal nat-ur-el. I made eet mysef."
Slight sigh
"Okay, what is it?"
"It's incense I made at de hiz-ouse."
I lean over and take a delicate sniff. It smells like the most rancid and putrid combination of New Car Smell and Fake Cherry Scent I have ever smelled. So strong that the cilia lining my nose and throat WERE SINGED BY THE HEINOUSNESS.
"Uh, smells like fruit."
"Yehyeah. You can buy seben fer a dollah."
"Er, no thanks. I have plenty of incense."
A direct lie, of course. Incense makes my head hurt. I'M PAUSING I'M PAUSING. HE'S SENSING MY WEAKNESS. HOLY CATPOOP.
"Come on gurrl, you knows you wants dis. Four qwuarters and you gots all dis." Makes sweeping motion to the seven disgustingly scented sticks-o-grossness.
Seriously, it was like someone clamped a vise on my vocal chords as some sort of cruel joke. A cruel, cruel joke.
"I know you gots fwar qwuarters. Come on gurrl, buy my incense."

I finally give in, dig through my purse and hand him four quarters, rationalizing that he probably needs four quarters more than I need four quarters, so he is most definitely entitled to the four freaking quarters.

He fake limps over to his buddies and proceeds to gather up more skantified incense to hok to the next unsuspecting victim. I gather up my seven joy sticks and place them in purse while I fold my clothes, neatly, and place them in the baskets.

On my way out of the parking lot I throw the scented sticks out of the window.

This morning, my purse still smells like New Car and Cherry.


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I Got Tagged Again. But I Made No Links. Yo.

I'm only doing this because I got called 'darlin.'

Top 50 Goals, shortened to 10 because I have a short attention span (in no particular order):

10. Create the perfect lip gloss that's never sticky, never transfers, smells like grapefruits and glistens like dew. Oh, and it's cheap.
9. Pay off my credit card bills and my (cross your fingers) soon-to-be student loans.
8. Learn to stop biting my nails and let them grow.
7. Fix Meghan
6. Finish my program in radiology, get on a MRI tech travel program, spend 2 years traveling about the country, meet It (the person, not the clown. SHAME ON YOU for thinking I'd be okay with meeting a man-eating ass-munch of a clown.) elope, throw a ridiculous ass party upon returning, get in the family way, maybe a couple of times, pack lunches, go to dance recitals, maybe even a soccer match, retire, still have It (still the person, not THE CLOWN. God.) hold hands on a beach, rock grandbabies, retire, be the crazy old lady with long hair, still hold hands with It.
5. Float
4. Hire someone to do my laundry. And scoop cat litter. Cat litter smells exactly like what went in it, no matter the crystals or scents or powder or odor dissolvers it may claim to have. IT STILL SMELLS LIKE CAT SHIT.
3. Own a house. NOT JUST ANY HOUSE. And this is not a beach house/hut/condo dream. I want My House. The one with the squeaky wood floors. Two story. With an attic. Finished. Weird cubbie holes. Old gas stove. Claw-foot tub. Small backyard. Full of flowers. Lots of bedrooms. The House Where Nothing Is Perfect.
2. Own a houseboat. For getaways.
1. Be happy. At least most of the time. That way I can really appreciate the truly happy times.

I promise I'll write more later this week. My job is the devil on an LSD trip.

Very tired, she says.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I Got A Bite On My Line. But I Threw That Bitch Back.

Every now and again I'm suffused with the urge to go out and play. With people my own age. In a setting where alcohol and generic fried food are served in quantity, not quality. And where all the single people pretend that they're really and truly there to hang out with their friends. But not to discuss the eye candy. No. They're there to hang out with their friends. Totally.

So Saturday night I found myself sitting at a slightly sticky table surrounded by two of my most fabulous friends at, take a deep breath now, THE BOWLING ALLEY. Not just any bowling alley, THE BIG ONE OUTSIDE OF TOWN WHERE THEY HAVE A BAR, YES, A BAR, AT THE BACK OF THE BUILDING.

A bar where, I might add, we were getting free drinks.

Because my friend Meghan had made flirty eyes with the bartender on her last two visits and Renee' was being a dirty rotten player and had been ignoring the phone calls of the door-checker-inner-person.*

*Why she had given her number to the door-checker-inner-person I HAVE NO IDEA. I mean, though slightly attractive, he is a) younger b) country and c) he has a heavy forehead, which makes me think of him as Josh, The Cro-Magnon Man.

So in an effort to win more of Renee's favor and because Meghan has big ol' flirty eyes, we were hand-delivered a veritable plethora of tasty delights. For free.

Just in case you missed that last part:


Between the three of us, we consumed four Long Islands, three Crown-n-Cokes and three Leg Spreaders. Drinks that were served to us in Big Gulp format. Cups the SIZE OF YOUR HEAD, I tell you.

Besides the free drinks we were voraciously throwing back, we were also voraciously decimating the VERY FRIGHTENING PERSONAGES who had decided to spend their evening at the bowling alley bar. This includes the lank-haired woman in the camo jacket, missing portions of all, yes ALL, of her teeth. A poster child for meth if I ever saw one. Along with Camy the Camo-wearer, we had Betty and Sally, The Permed Friends, directly to our left. These girls were prime examples of WHY NOT to listen your friends when they tell you that perms are bitchin and they make your face look thinner. When in fact perms are NOT bitchin and they make your face look like a puffy bowl of ricotta cheese. Again, a prime example of how two moderately attractive women-friends can spin themselves into the Whirlpool of Death By Way Of Bad Fashion Choices. IF YOUR FRIEND LOOKS HEINOUS, TELL HER.

After a bit, and enlivened as we were by copious amounts of alcohol, we decided a turn on the combo karaoke/dance floor was long past over due. So the three of us sashayed to middle of the floor and proceeded to shadow-booty dance for ONE WHOLE ENTIRE SONG. And then we were tired so we sat down.

But apparently, in my sashaying and shadow-booty dancing, I had attracted the attention of a Young Male Thing. One who was, quite honestly, not too terrible looking. In fact, one could even go so far as to give him an 'acceptable' rating.

My friends, being of the mind that I must bag me a hottie at the bowling alley, did what any moderately intoxicated friends would do. THEY WAIVED HIM OVER. Thankfully, he was in the midst of a gaggle of bowling alley bar-goers and missed the scariness, concentrating as he was on making it to the dance floor.


Booty shaking- CHECK
Doesn't look stupid- CHECK
Dances with girls without shoving his bits in their booty- CHECK
Does The Running Man only in fun- CHECK


So at that point I made only the appropriate resisting motions when my friends AGAIN called him over, both of them having noticed his eyes staring me down. Which I might have noticed if I'd been staring at anything other than his booty-shaking ass.

There was flirting. And dancing. Maybe a kiss. Or two. (OVER THE COURSE OF 2 HOURS, I'M NOT A BLAZING HUSSY.) There was also a bit of phone number exchanging.

"Can I have your number?"
"Yes, you may have my number."
"Are you testing me"
"With what, your grammar? No."
"No, I meant are you testing me to see if I'm actually going to call you?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"Because I AM going to call you."
"Okay. Good." <--this was said with a smile. I was not being a curt bitch.
"So when can I call you?"
"Whenever you want."
"So, I could call you five minutes from now?"
"If you want to."
"I'm going to call you in five minutes. Are you going to answer?"
"Good. Keep your phone on."
"I will." <-- more flirtatious smiling. Or what I assume is flirtatious smiling. I could actually look like I'm eating a live animal. I have no idea. But it was my ATTEMPT at flirtatious smiling.


"Hello? Er, no. This is Meghan. Her friend. She's in the ladies right now. I'll tell her you called though. Yes, I will remember. Yes, she has your number. No, she won't forget. 'Bye now."

TWO HOURS LATER: (I have since left the bowling alley bar and am comfortably residing in my bed with my cats and am making every attempt possible to drift into sleep.)

****loud and incessant phone ringing noise****
"Hi Jeremy."
"Where am I?"
"Well, honey, I have no idea where you are."
"I fell asleep at the bowling alley."
"You fell asleep at the bowling alley."
"Yeah. Do you know where Mitch is?"
"No, dear, I don't know where Mitch is. And can we go back to how you fell asleep in the bowling alley? You called me five minutes after I watched you LEAVE."
"Well, I was waiting for you in my truck. *pause* I wanted you to follow me home. So we could hang out."
"So is it too late to hang out?"
"Yes, sugar, I'm afraid it's a bit too late to hang out."
"I was trying to stay awake for you but I got tired."
"It was cold out in the truck. *pause* And I got sleepy."
"Yep. We covered that. So, to be clear, you left with your friends only to NOT LEAVE THE PARKING LOT where you subsequently FELL ASLEEP in your TRUCK where you have just now WOKEN UP and are now CALLING ME. To hang out."
"You're such a good dancer. You've got some serious moves."
"Focus for me."
"Oh, yeah, I was waiting for you to come out. I just thought we could hang out some more."
"Honey. I've got to get up in four hours. To go to work. At my second job. I'm tired. It's late. And I'm going to hang up the phone here in just a sec."
"Well, can I call you later?"
"I don't really think that's the best of ideas."

One would assume that such a frightening display of a lack of social ability would be embarrassing for someone. But no. Not this guy. He was QUITE PROUD of the fact that he had WAITED for me to leave the bowling alley bar. In his truck. Where he fell asleep.


And, I might add, he had the giant cojones to call me AGAIN last night. At 11:24pm.


Monday, January 09, 2006

I Got Tagged, Yo. And I made a bunch of links.

as tagged by Trueborn, who wrote about Bloody Memes. Ew.

Two Parts of Your Heritage
1. Native American
2.German? Greek? No idea- my family stops with my Grandparents... they don't know where they came from, other than they both "got some Indian" in 'em. *sigh*

Two Things That Scare You
2. Losing my mother

Two fears you overcame
1. Living alone
2. Cuticle scissors- I used to think they were frightening medieval torture devices. Now, however, I recognize them as the useful and necessary mani/pedi tools they MOST CERTAINLY ARE.

Two of Your Everyday Essentials
1. Clear lipgloss
2. My cell phone- though it is of the generic, non-camera-phone-having nature, it has a DATEBOOK. One that is programmed to BEEP AT ME and remind me of EVERY SINGLE THING that occurs in my day. A sample:
Alarm: 9am
Have you left for work yet?: 10:45am
Take Birth Control Pill You Hussy: 11:20am
Take pill {for acid reflux, my oh my I'm so old}with food: 3:00pm
Take pill again with food: 7:00pm
You have a Doctor's appointment in the morning, SHAVE LEGS: 9:00pm

Two things you are Wearing Right Now
1. Kenneth Cole Reaction shoes, turquoise, kitten heel, size 9.5
2. A pony tail holder on my wrist. (You never know when there will be a pony tail holder emergency.)

Two things you wore too much this year
1. My hot pink, pointy-toed flat shoes. THEY HAVE SEEN BETTER DAYS.
2. My favorite pair of brown pants- which finally gave up the ghost 2 months ago.

This year's Favorite Bands or Musical Artists
1. The Bravery, tracks 1, 6, 7, 8, and 9
2. Theory of a Deadman (not really. I only liked one of their songs and then bought their CD, which sucked, and I became pissed off. Because I only buy, like, one CD every three months and my music-buying was a BUST.)

Two Things You Want in a Relationship
1. Ok. I want him to be smart. Sorry. I don't want to have to read his emails and SPELL CHECK THEM.
2. While I'm being superficial, I'm going to go ahead and get this one out there: I want great sex. Not just great sex, UNBELIEVABLY passionate and fabulous and great and head-banging sex. Break the bedside table sex. Tear down the shower curtain sex. Fog up the car windows sex. Leave the party early sex.

Two of your favorite Movies of the Year
1. Wedding Crashers. Sorry. It was funny.
2. Ugh. I can never think of movies. I rented "Easy" with Margeurite Moreau- which is an indie film from a few years ago. And I watched it three times before returning it.

Best movies of all time
1. Home for the Holidays (Holly Hunter and Dylan McDermott- this is fabulous EVEN WHEN THERE ARE NO HOLIDAYS AROUND.
2. Breakfast at Tiffany's

Two things You hate
1. Manipulators
2. Lip spittle

Two of Your Favorite Hobbies
1. Reading. I'm a dork. I've accepted this.
2. Writing. Further continuation of the dork theory.

Two things you learned this year
1. Maybe what I see in the mirror is not what others see when they look at me
2. Savings accounts are useful tools for survival

Two Accomplishments You are Proud of
1. This blog. And not being anonymous. Making myself write everyday, even if I don't want to, even if it sucks, even if [insert other excuse here].
2. Starting a savings account by having my employer draft money out of my paycheck every two weeks. It's amazing what I don't miss.

Two Things You Want Really Badly
1. To pay off my credit card bills
2. For the first time in, I truly think, well, EVER, I want a boy. A boy who wants me just as much as I want him. And I no longer hold stock in the theory that when you stop looking for it, it finds you. BULLSHIT. Because TRUST ME I was not only NOT LOOKING FOR IT, I was actively PUSHING IT FAR FAR AWAY for many a year.

Two places you went this year.
1. Um, well, I was poor this year. I didn't really go anywhere. But I thought a lot about *Maine.
2. And more Maine.

Two Places You Want to go on Vacation
1. Maine
2. Greece

Two Things You Want to Do Before You Die
1. Just like everyone else- write The Great American Novel
2. Braid my child's hair

Two Ways that you are a Stereotypical Example of your Gender
1. I ask my friends "Do I look fat in this?"
2. *sigh* I like shiny objects. BUT. I'm not a fan of the currently en vogue shiny objects. I like old-fashioned shiny objects. Ones that your grandmother wore. This includes rings, brooches, bracelets and necklaces. But mostly rings and bracelets.

Two things that make you stand out.
1. My hair. It's currently quite long and, if I say so myself, a little punkish looking. Some days it's insane and wavy. Others, I smooth it out. But, after all those years of hating, I think I may like it now.
2. My boobs enter a room before I do.

Two Things You Normally Wouldn't Admit
1. I think I want kids. Maybe even more than one.
2. Jon is the only one. Twice. (HOW EMBARRASSING! I may delete that.)

Two Goals for the New Year
1. Meeting my year-long weight loss goal (which gets me back in shape). So far, three pounds.
2. Back to school I go...


ANYONE WHO WANTS TO. :) But please, let me know that you were faux tagged so I can read it.

that is all.

Friday, January 06, 2006

piece one.

My general rule of thumb had always been to keep my eyes firmly planted on the seat in front of me, never to veer to the left or right where I might catch a glimpse of the passing ground beneath me. It was a rule that had served me quite well over previous years of cross-country and cross-Atlantic traveling. If I kept focused on the seat ahead, I could pretend I was just on a very bumpy and very hilly car ride.

But this time was different. This time I needed to see it. I could feel the weather change in my bones as we flew over mountain ranges and farm lands and finally, flat plains. The cartilage between my joints began to finally relax, leaving me cradled in my window seat gazing out over the lush and flat green earth below me.

I was home.

I remember touching the cool glass on my left, feeling that tightness in my chest that always accompanies a need to cry but an unwillingness to sob in public. I could feel my mother's presence getting closer and closer. Being away from her, never getting to see her face, had slowly and inexorably pulled at what was left of those fragile strings that keep all of us from cascading into a million pieces. I hated that I was getting off the plane only to hand her a fractured daughter. But I was home. And home was the one thing that was going to fix me.

I spent the next two months in my parents house, barely managing to change out of my pj's without the heavy prompting of my mother. At night I laid in my mother's bed with my head cradled by her elbow. Sometimes talking, sometimes not. More often I just needed to lie there and absorb her.

At the end of those two months, I decided it was time for me to find a job, make an effort. My savings had been drastically depleted by the move from New York to Texas and though I had little day-to-day expenses, I realized that drawing out my half-life was only another way of staying in limbo. Within two days I had contacted an old friend, interviewed for a job and received an offer. I was to start work in Little Rock in seven days and the anticipation of getting dressed on a regular basis was enough to make my stomach resort to knot-tying. But it was time, I decided. Dwelling and subsequently ignoring the life around me had done little for me and certainly couldn't continue.

The night before I left for Little Rock, I made plans to find an apartment for my old college roommate and myself- she was changing grad schools and needed a roommate. I needed someone to be my friend, calm and undemanding. It worked out perfectly. That same night I wore down Renee' until she agreed to my one and only wish- a kitten. More than I needed a job or an apartment or a new car, I needed a warm furry body to lie curled by my feet at night. A soft, dark nose to press against my hand for attention. And something I could lavish with uncomplicated affection.

I decided I would name it Llama. Because it made me smile every time I thought about it.

The next month passed in a blur. My new job was uneventful and undemanding, I found and moved into an apartment off Broadway and managed to reconnect with friends I had seemingly abandoned for The Big Apple. My biggest accomplishment was realizing I had succeeded in sleeping through an entire week's worth of nights without incident. So the weekend before Renee' was set to move in, I scoured the local paper for pets. My cat, I decided. I needed my cat.

I found him 24 hours later in a box held by a lady in the parking lot of a grocery store. He was the runt of the litter, his tiny furry head almost too big for him to move. This was Llama, I decided. I would bring him home and feed him and love him until he was bigger than any other cat in that box. I remember holding him, his gray body scrawny and so fragile. But his eyes locked onto mine and I knew he was mine to make whole.

During the drive home I tried making a bed for him in the passenger seat but to no avail. I even attempted to cradle him in my lap. But he continued to make lunging attempts for my heart, finally wearing me down. So I cuddled him in my left hand as his head curled contentedly over my collarbone, purring just loud enough for me to hear.

It was noon by the time I got home, carrying Llama around the apartment. I showed him the tiny shoebox I'd filled with litter, the bowls of softened food and water. The box of toys I'd collected over a month's worth of grocery store trips, always veering into the pet aisle for a catnip toy or bag of treats. Then I laid down with Llama on the mattress I'd placed in my bedroom in the center of the floor, still lacking any other furniture. It had been heavy and warm outside but the air conditioning had been running all morning, giving the apartment that feel of brisk coolness. The plantation blinds across the room-sized window were hinged slightly open, letting just the barest of summer rays filter between their slats. Llama curled his tiny body on my chest, my hand cradling his back. He heaved one giant kitten-sigh and closed paper-thin eyelids over his gloriously shiny eyes. I felt, for the first time in what seemed like eons, the prickle and burn of tears at the corner of my eyes. Before I had time to stop them, they were rushing down the sides of my face, past my ears, landing in my hair spread beneath me. The pressure I had almost unknowingly carried around, daily pressing against my lungs, my heart, constricting my breath and resting heavily against my chest, eased the barest fraction. But even that fraction was a relief more palpable, more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. The effort of carrying around that hurt and pain and failure had been unbearable and I knew, with that ridiculous clarity that comes at moments you know will seem contrived when explained, that I was responsible for putting my pieces back together.

I'd heard the clink as the first one was put back in place.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Blame The Extra Hormones Brought To You Today By Ortho Tricyclin Lo

Sometimes I wonder if, by chance, I got left out of the Whole Gene Packet.

The Whole Gene Packet being the Packet that allows you to absorb the full and total amount of genes your blessed parents bequeathed to you, their blessed offspring.

What I DID receive from this Whole Gene Packet was my father's gimp third toe, the one with a missing joint. It comes in handy when I want to flip you off. With my foot. I also got the family skin. (We age well in our family.) From my mother, I got a propensity to have moles in weird places. Like the one between my 2nd and 3rd toe. And the one between my nose and mouth. (Though I must say, when Cindy Crawford became famous in the early 90's SHE DID WONDERS for my social appeal. Suddenly "the girl with the mole on her face" was "the girl with that hot Cindy Crawford mole on her face.")

I got my father's impatience and temper, my mother's quiet and artistic nature. That grudge I'll hold against you for the rest of your life? Thank my father for that. My bony feet? My mother's sister.

But here's where I got left out:

Everyone in my family- and when I say everyone, I mean mother, father, brother, aunt, uncle, cousins, grandmothers and grandfathers- has a very large propensity for relationships. Long ones. Ones that last, if not a lifetime, then long enough to make you thankful that we've got long-life genes in the family and that nursing-home marriages are on the rise.

My brother, from the time he was thirteen-on, has been in some form of a relationship. He even stays LONGER in the relationship than necessary, dragging it on for years and years when really, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED OFF IN SEASON TWO. My mother met my father at age 17 and married him at age 21. My aunt? Married at 15, divorced and with child at 17 and married again by 24. My cousin, married at 22. My OTHER cousin, married at 23. Grandmother, married at 19. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON.

And, let's note, it's not like these people married the first thing they saw coming off the bus. There were Steadies in that pool, plenty from which to choose.

And then there's me.

I can't hold down a relationship for longer than 2 months. YES THAT IS AN ACCURATE STATEMENT IT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION.

The last time I even DATED someone?


His name was Evan and we broke up because he said humans weren't meant to have feelings and emotions. And that he wasn't a sexual entity. Of course, not three weeks before he had come near begging for a bit of cherry pie. SO PARDON MY CONFUSION WHEN YOU TELL ME YOU'RE NOT A SEXUAL ENTITY.

Not that I'm bitter.

Now I'll be honest. For a very, very long time I don't think I was physically capable of a relationship. Sometimes things happen. And sometimes you dwell on it for far too long and you end up becoming a person you don't really like. And then you spend a lot of time trying to FIX the person you've become and whom you don't really like until one day BAM! You realize, hey, I don't mind being touched anymore. I don't mind touching other people. NO SKIN CREEPY CRAWLIES! YAY!

But how do you go about telling everyone else you feel okay now? How do you correct years of standoffishness and untouchability? HOW DO I MAKE IT CLEAR THAT I'M NOT SCARED ANYMORE? Commitment, with the right person and at the right time, doesn't skeeve me out anymore. Little babies and wee kids- they don't make the hives come out in full force or the bile rise in my throat.


But here's where I'm freaked out.

Everyone else out there ("everyone" being a very broad generalization) has had those 'practice' runs. Things in high school. Things in college. Things after college.


Nada. I'm ten years behind schedule.

I haven't had anyone express outright, full-on interest in, well, years. Yes, there are the freaks of the world. The creepy guy at the bar missing teeth and sporting a Hawaiian shirt. The friend's friend with the Star Trek obsession and pasty skin to prove it. But no one that has pursued, or even attempted to pursue, well, me.

And today, for some reason, that makes me sad.

But I am a girl and I'm allowed to have these days without judgment. SO BITE ME.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Bell's Done Rung, Maw

I had every intention of spending my New Year's Eve in full-on Boycott Mode.

This Mode goes into effect more often than I would care to admit. It involves me, anti-social-ness and lots of time spent in the company of Demon-spawn Cats. More to the point, it involves me Not Spending Time With The General Fuckwads Of The World.

It is commonly known as a very low bullshit tolerance.

So I stocked up on orange and cranberry juices (all the better to mix my vodka with) and made plans to sit- yes, SIT, at my friend Renee's house. And if things got a little crazy... well, we might even bring out the Sex and the City DVD's.

So at 8:30 I arrived sharply and promptly and on-timely at Renee's door. I had made a moderate effort on my appearance, knowing that no matter my mood it is vastly inappropriate to ring in the new year clothed in yesterday's pajama's.*

*It is, however, appropriate to ring in the new year in your birthday suit. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming:

My appearance could never be described as stunning or New-Year's-Eve-Club-Worthy; I had managed to put on a clean pair of black slacks and top and wore my standard flat hot-pink shoes. I had done well with the makeup, applying more than the usual amount because, again, it is also inappropriate to ring in the new year in yesterday's mascara. I had straightened and smoothed my not-so-luscious, though abominably long, locks. In short, I looked only slightly better than a normal work day.

But no matter.

I was spending the celebration of the New Year on my friend's couch. And I used to live with Renee'. AND, let's note, she has seen me rising from the depths of the porcelain goddess after a night of tequila. So impressing her is not that high on my list of priorities. But I have an ounce of superstition in my bones and the thought of ringing in the new year un-bathed, un-coifed and un-adorned IS JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE.

My efforts had been mirrored by Renee's with a complimenting pair of dark jeans, knit top and silver shoes. WE ARE STUNNING EXAMPLES OF FASHION-ISM, PEOPLE. BOW TO OUR FASHION SENSE.

And in our vast cuteness, we sat on Renee's couch and ate delicious homemade chicken enchiladas.

Until 10pm.

When we decided that, yes, we would most definitely be needing to get the hell out of dodge.

So we rang up our friend Meghan and confirmed a meet-up at Disco, a club in town famous for it's truly indescribably bad drag queen shows and weird techno room. By 10:45 we had applied excessive amounts of lipgloss and were sitting with Meghan (thinkingsilentlyaloud.blogspot.com) and Beachgirl (lostbeachgirl.blogspot.com) as well as our friends Al and Mi.

Wherein the following commenced:

1) I spilled a full leg spreader ON MYSELF.
2) We saw the worst drag show EVER to be performed. EVER.
3) I spilled a glass of ice ON MYSELF.
4) We danced.
5) I spilled a wee bottle of champagne ON MYSELF.
6) I ate at Waffle House
8) I showered and scrubbed and showered and scrubbed and, oh, showered some more before finally crawling into bed at 3:30am. Quite the evening for an old bird like myself.

And finally, NUMBER NINE:

I got a text message from the boy, THE BOY I WROTE MY VERY FIRST POST ABOUT, the boy I removed and subsequently reconciled with 10 months later but never wrote about because it was weird and strange and sometimes I like to keep things for ME, and this text message said:

You should have been my New Year's kiss.