Today is not a holiday but I’ve decided to spend the morning lying in bed, reading a novel as if the 4th of July would go on forever. The venetian blinds on my bay window are mostly closed but I can still perceive the shifting color spectrum as the sun makes it’s way across the sky. If only I could read in a light tight box, immune to the feeling of time slipping away, I could stay here much longer. Anxiety and galloping thoughts get the best of me. As always, the world is going on out there and in my head; endless variations of individual worlds.
Sometime between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m., I dreamt that I woke up in someone else’s bed. The bed belonged to my friend, Krivo, and it was in his new apartment. I have not been in his bed or his apartment since 1995 but I knew where I was because he walked in the room and started talking to me. I got up to look around and admire his art collection. The piece that caught my eye was a painting on silk of a man in a blue and purple suit wearing a fedora and playing a saxophone. The piece was titled The Jazz Musician. I remembered that this had been a gift from me and was touched that he still had it. Upon waking, I know I did not give him that painting but I sent him a text to see if he had something like it.
At 7:30 Carl left to take his mother to the cancer doctor. She has multiple myeloma and her body is wasting away. She weighs less than me now. That can’t be good. I feel for him because I know the devastation I would feel if my mother were sick but it is an empathy more than a personal sadness because I have intentionally never bonded with her. She is not my mother and I am not her daughter. I feel like an impostor, welcomed into her home like a stranger. Trivial small talk and jello salad. Paper plates partitioned so the mashed potatoes don’t touch the meat. Margarine scooped from a tub and presented in a glass bowl. She doesn’t know what to say to me nor I to her. She is a kind soul but she is not my mother.
Ernesto and Carmen sit at the airport waiting to board the plane that will take them home and back to their routines. I try to imagine Carmen’s life, seemingly free from the burden of ambition. She cleans the house and makes dinner; watching talk shows and servicing her husband in accordance with routine. She goes bowling. At forty-something years old she has many things that he has bought for her yet her own efforts have yielded only a shelf full of bowling trophies and romance novels with creased spines; souvenirs from a life-time free of ambition. Not trying equals never having to fail. It is safe. It is air conditioned. It is the lead role in a cage. I guess it’s a cushy gig. I have to wonder though, bringing nothing to the table, what is she to him except a housekeeper that puts out? I don’t understand and I’m not going to try. She fits his definition of “wife” and it is my lack of understanding that relegates me to being what Monique would refer to as “hardly anyone’s type.” It’s ok though, I would rather be what I am.
Dean is at his office, impeccably attired in clothes that clearly did not come from the department store at the mall. He is not a snob but he is a snappy dresser. Those are his words. He is not prideful but his dignity is strong. Those are my words. He sits at his desk; stirring the world, initiating chemical reactions, making something out of nothing. He is beautiful.
I painted my nails this morning; something totally out of character and a likely sign of the apocalypse. You should probably stock up on your food rations. I have an aversion to nails; mine, yours and everyone else’s. They seem like an evolutionary mistake. My typical manicure consists of cutting my nails down to the quick and when they start to grow back cutting them again, ensuring that they will never protrude past the ends of my fingers and, god forbid, bend while I’m washing my hair. The thought of bending finger nails sends me straight to the fetal position, clenched hands covering my face. The fact that some women waste countless hours of their lives sitting in a salon while actually paying someone to make their nails longer is completely beyond my comprehension. I can’t be reasoned with; no nails, no bending, simple as that. Today I decided to add nail polish to my nubs in an attempt to make them look happier. While waiting for the sparkly purple polish to dry I’ve been carrying on a conversation via text message with Dean. He’s been away, I’ve been missing him. In between messages I’m treating myself to some tales of Christmas dementia by David Sedaris. I love that there is a review on the back of Holidays On Ice that reads “not remotely politically correct or heart warming”. See there, we are twinsies.
It is Saturday morning and it’s one of those unusual Saturday’s when I don’t have to work. On days like this I like to sit on my bed drinking coffee and enjoy being left alone in my private little world of books and text messages. Therefore I find it jarring and irritating when I accidentally look at my inbox and see an email from an associate with a subject line that reads “did you get my last email???” Yeah, I think to myself, I fucking got it, I just didn’t read it because the unsolicited advice you hammered me with during our last meeting at your day care center, when you made me sit with your children on miniature plastic chairs and eat fucking tepid cheese pizza from Costco while you and your business partner rambled on like lunatic shut ins, made me think you’ve been blasting the Freedom Rock and getting high in your basement for the last three years. It was a confidence shaker, I gotta say. I know you didn’t mean to insult me by inviting me to lunch and then ambushing me with this daycare charade but suggesting that I should change the name of my business to something “more obvious” is pushing it and assuming that little carrots and a juice box were a fine supplement to the cold pizza entree is really testing the limits of my benefit of the doubt . The crown jewel though was when you got all huffy saying that you were so sick of business owners (such as myself say for instance) complaining that we cannot do your silly little trade shows on Saturdays because we have the audacity to be conducting real business on that particular day of the week. Haughty words from a woman holding a juice box.
There is always a point during my day off when I realize that I’ve drank 5 cups of coffee, eaten nothing and it’s well past noon. The sun is shining on the world and life is happening out there while I am doing nothing in here. Anxiety creeps in, reminding me of all the things I should be doing coupled with a resentment that I can’t even enjoy one day off without this mind fuck coming along and raining on my parade. Can’t I just relax? Aren’t I entitled to not see belligerent subject lines in my inbox, can’t their problems wait till Monday? I’m gonna go re-teach myself to play guitar until I forget that I ought to be doing something more important.