Friday, November 18, 2005

Night reader

I am forever beginning new books, setting them down next to bed and starting a new. Most months I'm concurrently reading snippets of at least 3 books for pleasure and 5-7 for work. I read in the mornings before I go to work, on the subway, in my office, on the way home, and every night before bed. Below is a list of the books I've been enjoying the most in recent memory:

Kafka on the Shore by Murikami ::: I got this off the free bookshelf at work over 6 months ago and have been reading it on and off for at least 3 months. I'm currently on page 72. It is the only book I am planning packing for the trip home for Thanksgiving and I am desperately looking forward to having time to read it.

Best American Nonrequired Reading edited by Dave Eggers, Introduction by Beck ::: This is a collection of 24 works assembled by the Egger's supervised critics club of 826 Valencia. The Amiee Bender story was one of the best I've read in ages and I actually recounted to Robert it in a play by play commentary on the subway and got so animated that I had a small audience by 14th St.

NO,UB&SOTTAaS,M,DoHYFALL etc. edited by Ted Thompson ::: If you haven't heard about this, well, then, you don't deserve to know. One of my new all time favorites. I mean really--Nick Hornby, George Saunders, Neil Gaiman, and Lemony Snicket in one collection with a cover by Chip Kidd? Unbelievable. I am savoring every word. Only a few precious pages left.

On Beauty by Zadie Smith ::: Something I started and stopped because I wasn't giving it the attention it deserved. If I didn't have the Murakami waiting for me this would be #1 on the list of things I can't wait to finish.

Stories by T.C. Boyle ::: I borrowed this almost a year ago and am still dipping in and out. I went to see him read at the New Yorker festival this year and was smitten--I spent the entire following Sunday morning reading him in the park with a coffee and fruit from Russ and Daughters. I'm starting to doubt I'll ever return the book, it's become my bedside companion.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A question for the ages

Where do you fall on the question of free will? Up until quite recently, I was firmly entrenched in the camp of choice. I subscribed to the idea that on any given day choices appear before us and we, the individuals, have the opportunity to select an option of that choice and see where it takes us. There was no higher plan, the route was not mapped, no intelligent design had been arranged for our lives. But today I find myself reconsidering. Not that I have any more belief in a god or omnipotent being pulling the strings, but that we can not escape a certain form of destiny that has be laid out for us in the nurturing of our youth. We are all the sons and daughters of our parents, and I wonder how much of our choices, our ways of processing our options really comes from the design and traits of our guardians. The human condition has been laid out in literature for centuries and there are certain themes that all human interaction can be categorized into, everything boiled down into some motif, some pastiche that's been experienced and written about before. Can destiny be defined by the repetition of successes and mistakes that have all been made in the past by someone else somewhere in the world? I suppose the easy answer is to say that our decisions are acts of free will shaded by the information given to us as children. People rise above and fall below everyday, we can not lay blame on the intentions of a god or on the failings of our parents. But if choice defines who we are and all choice is influenced by an understanding of our education, is our will really just a reflection of the past?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Riding home on the W

A girl on the train has the far away look of love in her eyes. She's perched on the edge of the yellow plastic seat, smile barely containable as she closes her eyes and imagines the object of her affection and the moment they might have just shared or the sweet words he might have just whispered...

An older gentleman in a long coat and brightly shined shoes closes his eyes and rests his head on the train wall behind him, briefcase on his lap, exhausted from the week, 5:00 shadow starting to show, sun spots on his hands and cheeks and age creeping through his skin...

Khakis and a black jacket, burberry bag and bleached blonde hair, a perfect picture of conformity. She would make a stunning brunette.

Friday, August 26, 2005

11 things I love

1. Riding my bike over the Brooklyn Bridge at night
2. Singing in the car
3. Watching the sun set while sitting on the dock drinking a glass of wine
4. Gardens
5. Reading the last sentence of a truly great book
6. Swimming in the sea
7. Chocolate covered raspberries
8. The feeling of anticipation and excitement after clicking "purchase" on a travel booking website as my credit card is authorized
9. Laying in the grass and kissing on sunny afternoons
10. Finding the perfect gift to give
11. Baking pies and making crust art (Blueberry Boy Bait is the best)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Electrocution at Central Park

I saw a woman get hit by lightening today. I was standing less than 20 feet away from her, taking shelter from a sudden summer storm when the lightening shot down and hit her. She fell to the ground and at first I thought she had just jumped because she was scared, but then she called out to me: "help, help, help..." in this raspy, wavering and completely petrified voice. She had been standing under a tree, right near Strawberry Fields, no doubt on her way to summer stage to see the show as I was. I went over to her and pushed the hair off her face--she was ice cold and the palest I'd ever seen a person, with dark almost black eyes that searched my face for some kind of reassurance that she wasn't going to die. I asked if she was ok, and she told me no, that she couldn't feel herself. I screamed out for help in the direction of the club house down the path and when someone peaked their head out told them to call the paramedics, that a woman had been hit by lightening. That brought out some spectators and within a minute, there were people all around us asking what happened and trying to make sure she was breathing. By this time the smell had become almost over powering--I've never smelled anything as horrible as burning hair and flesh, it was almost worse than watching her fingernails and toenails fill with blood just under the surface. Finally an ambulance came and the paramedics took over and by this time she was more aware of what had happened and asked me to call her aunt Mizuki. I called and listened to her aunt grow more and more hysterical as I relayed the details. It was completely understandable--no one ever expects to get the phone call "excuse me, you don't know me, but I'm sitting here next to your loved one who's just been hit by lightening." The paramedics got her on to a strecher and I hung up the phone and put it as gently as I could in to her front pocket. The whole time it had still been downpouring and I was soaked and shaken to the core. After speaking with police the I walked in the rain to a diner and sat down for a cup of coffee and wondered what the hell had just happened. I've been thinking about her constantly for the past few hours, wondering if she'll be alright and the same person tomorrow that she was before being struck. Eventually I left and went to to see the show, a Japanese ska band opening for Barrington Levy, but I couldn't get the image of those dark eyes out of my mind.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dust yourself off

Well, I'm back on the bike. I road home a few days ago and have gone riding everyday since. Yesterday I rode along the East River as far as I could go, cruising under the Brooklyn bridge; watching families out walking, suits in their running gear trying to get in shape, couples sitting on benches staring at the water and giving each other gentle kisses while holding hands. I ended up at the LES pool at sunset and jumped in, riding home soaking wet 5 minutes later to find CK waiting on my stoop, new music in hand and that familiar smile on her face. "Karma back on the other side of the pendulum yet becca?" she asked. I smiled back and told her that it was certainly starting to feel that way.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Summer breeze

She missed him most on days like this one; when the promise of possibility seemed as real as the warmth of the sun on her shoulders. She dipped her toes in the fountain and thought of his kiss, the gallery of their time together gently blowing across her mind, the profundity of his loss weighing heavily on her heart.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Plastic love dream

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


One of the things that comes from not being able to walk much and feeling depressed about all the things that seem to be going wrong in your life is that you finally start taking advantage of Netflix and watching way more movies than your monthly fee would get you at the rental place. Most recently I've watched: A Street Car Named Desire, starring the enigmatic and ruthlessly attractive Marlon Brando; The Kid Stays in the Picture, a film about the rapid rise and downward spiral of Robert Evans, the genius behind favorite films including Chinatown; Riding Giants, a film that inspired me if not to become a surfer myself, than to fall madly in love with one and move to a beach shack; To Catch a Thief, one of Alfred Hitchcock's most unsatisfying films but an ode to the beauty of the French Rivera; Bus 174, a haunting film that I almost couldn't finish and has stayed in my thoughts for days and made me want to make the world a better place; and From Here to Eternity, with its infamous love scene in the surf and sand. Do note that this was only the most notable in the past 2 weeks, there have been more, many many more, but none worth typing about. Its hard for me to believe that just 13 days ago it was the 4th of July and everything seemed so in place and well...livable, survivable, enjoyable even. Amazing how fast it can change in a day and leave a person feeling like they've lost so much. A word to the wise--don't get too comfortable, next thing you know you might be all alone, laying naked on your couch with your leg propped up smoking pot, eating vicodin, watching old movies, writing blogs with your computer resting on your belly, and trying to figure out where and how it all went wrong.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Behind closed doors

I've been periodically crying in my office all day today. Just can't seem to get it together...too much stress and pain and heart ache. I couldn't sleep last night and just feel over run and hopeless. There's an empty feeling that I've been trying to ignore for a while and it seems to have encompassed me in the night. I suppose that's what getting older means; things and people leave, your dreams and hopes fade in to an unobtainable space, and fear and inadequacy seep in to the place where you once felt invincible and full of promise.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Fairbanks, Alaska

About a month ago I sent a request to the Alaska Tourism Bureau for more information on traveling to and living in Alaska. Here are some interesting facts that I learned from their glossy brochure. All are direct quotes:

1. Duct Tape is a versatile source of repair used by many Alaskans. You can use it to repair a ripped parka or broken fishing rod, repair a hole in your canoe or kayak, hold together a snowmobile cowling, or remove sled dog hair from your clothes. It can be purchased in quantities locally.

2. Children in Fairbanks have outside recess until the temperature drops to -20 degrees. Popular activities include ice skating and building snow forts.

3. Over 1,500 tons of crystal clear ice will be cut and removed from a frozen pond in 3,000-7,500 lbs blocks for winter ice sculpting competitions.

4. Blue Babe is a 36,000 year-old Pleistocene steppe bison mummy on display at the university of Alaska Museum of the North.

5. During June, points on a moose's antlers grow 1cm/day. One pound of antler can be added on a good day of growth to a bull moose's head.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

When the ER feels familiar it might be time to leave NYC

It turns out that by 4:00 yesterday what I thought was just some bad bruising and scrapes was really a concussion and torn muscle. I was in a meeting when all of a sudden I got the most intense headache and started seeing spots and flashes. I thought it might be the beginning of another migrane, but when I stood up to go to my office I was so dizzy I almost fainted. I managed to make it back without bursting into tears but as soon as the door was closed I lost it. I don't think I've ever been in so much pain. I could hardly walk and I really thought I might be having an aneurism. I've never been more scared. I took a cab to the ER (the very same ER that treated me for the last cab accident) and proceeded to have a breakdown once I got there and realized I couldn't stand. They took me in a wheelchair back to a bed and pumped me full of morphine and scared me even more by running around in hushed tones, calling the neurologist and checking on me every 2 minutes. After the tests were done they concluded I had a concussion and soft tissue damage. The doctor said that I should stay the night to be monitored but I really couldn't take it. Babies were screaming, the man next to me was handcuffed to the bed and the woman across the hall had just been raped. It was all so horrifying and terrifying I just wanted to go home. They told me that if there was someone that I could call to spend the night with me and watch me I could go. I lied and said that there was, that there was someone worried and waiting for me, and they told me to set an alarm clock for every hour and make sure I woke up and was able to walk. I thanked them, took the prescription for more painkillers and went home to a dark and lonely apartment. I've never wanted someone to hold me more and tell me that I was going to be ok, but instead I crawled into bed and cried myself to sleep. Obviously since I'm posting this all is well and I'm up and about but the whole thing has really shaken me and made my heart the heaviest it's ever felt. To top everything off I just got an email from the security guard at work letting me know that someone stole my tire last night since I wasn't able to take my bike home. Its been a pretty fucking low day for a bug.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Cab doors can kill you

One would think that after being hit by one cab in the Fall of last year that I would have learned to be wary of those yellow beasts, but low and behold, I've gone and gotten hit again. I should clarify that in this instance I actually hit the cab, not the other way around. I was riding my bike to work at 8AM this morning and was cruising on 8th Ave when some blue suited smug and oblivious business man opened a cab door in front of me. I only had a second to hit the breaks and it wasn't enough--I ran into the open door and flew over the handle bars, landing with quite the dramatic thud and roll into the street. People rushed out to make sure I was alive and as fate would have it an EMT was on the corner and came over to ensure I was able to wiggle my fingers and toes. The business man only stayed around long enough to see that I wasn't going to die and took off, as did the cab. I stood up, dusted myself off, fixed the chain on the bike and got back on and as I rode away a woman yelled after me "Lance would be proud of you, honey!" Maybe he would be, but I was pretty shaken and mortified. Now I'm sitting at my desk at work, my office door closed and my skirt hiked up to my waist, icing the most disgusting bruise I've seen since that time I fell down in the bathtub in Spain. My elbow has a gorgeous little raspberry on it, my ass hurts like hell, I've an almost intolerable headache despite 4 Advil and I can't wait to ride home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Walking by the river in Canton, NY

I've been thinking about my Grandmother a lot lately. Its been weighing on my mind that I never really got to know her, despite us spending so much time together. There was a time when I spent 2 hours with her every day at the nursing home after work. I used to sit with her as she had her dinner and try to bring some vitality and life in the the room she almost never left. I would hang pictures, sing to the birds, and ask her questions about the adventure and good times of her life. But still, looking back now, I never knew her the way I wanted to and now I miss her so much.
When I was young she lived in Canton, NY near my uncle Fred and I only saw her during the summers we spent in the Adirondacks. While we didn't see each other often,we used to have a regular correspondence, me writing to her of school and sports, and she telling me about her garden and other benign things one discusses with a 10 year old girl. I saved her letters, every one of them, even the birthday cards and little notes. Just a few weeks ago while I was at my parents house I found a letter from her dated December 1994. The letter was so bleak and full of sadness that it made my heart heavy to think of how alone she must have felt when she wrote it. In the letter she described a long and hard winter in the mountains, the pain of getting older, the loneliness of losing people around you. Reading it now, after she is gone, makes me miss her so much. It makes me realize the depth of her person and how I never really got to know Zelma, I only saw the grandmother she was to me. I wish that I had more time with her before she became so ill and went to the nursing home. I wish I could call her now and tell her how much she meant to me and how often she is in my thoughts. I wish I could tell her how sorry I am that I wasn't there at the end, that we didn't have a chance to say goodbye. I wish I had been better to her when I had the chance and I hope she wouldn't be disappointed in the life I'm leading now. She was such a strong and independent woman, I hope that she was able to see a little part of herself in me. I hope I can live up to the person she was.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Because that's what single lonely people do

This past Saturday I smoked a ridiculously large joint and spent 4 hours reorganizing my closets. I've always had a penchant for getting stoned and organizing and cleaning--I find that I focus very well on small tasks like bleaching the bath tub, or polishing the wood furniture when I'm stoned. I'm also fond of vacuuming and repotting plants. In fact, when I was living in Florida, my roommate Ryan used to ply me with pot knowing that if I smoked enough the living room was bound to be cleaned by the end of the evening. Anyway, this past Saturday while I was out wandering the neighborhood I saw a poster for a clothing drive and thought about all those old sweaters and jeans I never wear anymore. So after going to the movies and picking up a burrito I went home, put on Jimi Hendrix, smoked a fatty and got to work. I found skirts I forgot I owned, shirts I can't believe I ever wore and more single socks than I knew what to do with. The next thing I knew it was 4 am and I was sitting on the floor looking at scarves that my mother had given me and weighing their sentimental value. I put myself to bed at 5 and then next morning dragged a giant black garbage bag down the corner of first and first, only to find that the clothing drive had taken place the weekend before. I dragged the sack back to my apartment where it now sits like a giant bean bag next to my bed, just waiting for me to reconsider those purple pants I thought I'd never wear again.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Free lunch

You almost never find money on the streets of New York. Maybe a penny lying face down or a nickel on the floor of the burrito bar, but before this week I don't think I've seen more than a dime on the ground. I'd like to think of finding money as some sort of cosmic 25th birthday present or maybe some sort of reflection of good karma, but whatever the reason, I've found $21.00 on the street this week. Two days ago I was walking up First Ave. on my way to Union Square and a crumpled dollar bill blew across the middle of the street, pausing right in front of my feet. I picked it up and looked around, thinking some poor Chinese food delivery man had dropped a tip, but there was no one to be seen besides some dirty hipsters smoking cigarettes outside the coffee bar and I wouldn't have given them a dollar even if it belong to them. So I put it in my pocket and I haven't spent it yet--it's in a special pocket in my purse right now. Then this morning, on the way to work, I was walking through the subway turnstile on 55th street and I happened to look down and see a $20.00 bill peaking out under my left shoe. I picked it up and looked around, but there were only blue and brown suits so I put it in my pocket and kept on walking to work.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Good windows make good neighbors

My neighbor and I saw each other topless this morning. I was wandering around in my underwear and getting ready to iron my work clothes for the day when I paused by the back window to take a look at the courtyard and gauge the day's weather. At that exact moment my neighbor across the way looked out her window into the courtyard and our gazes crossed. She was shorter than me with a heavier build and her hair was a long, wavy, wet mess haloed around her head. She had obviously just gotten out of the shower and may have been completely naked, but I could only see from the waist up. After the initial shock of seeing someone staring back at her she gave me a half smile and raised her hand as if to say "hey, good morning!" I smiled back and moved out of view to start my ironing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


I've been slacking off on writing. I was having a good run there for a while, writing everyday and even keeping up with this blog. But work got a little crazy these past 2 weeks, the homework started piling up, I took a short vacation out to California...Not really excuses, I know, we make the time for the things that are important...I promise I'll be better. From here on out, I'm writing everyday.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Dinner time!

Here's what I had for dinner tonight, in order of ingestion:

1 bottle Stella Artois beer
1 piece eclaire cake, bought from bakery 2 days a go and now stale
3 pieces Havarti cheese with Jalapenos
2 pieces goat cheese
approximately 1 cup broccoli, steamed
1 Clausen pickle


Today's events

I took the day off from work today and slept in until 11:00. I felt a little guilty, I had meant to get up around 9 and do some laundry. Once I got up I drank coffee in my bathrobe and worked on a paper for school. It was nice to actually sit at my breakfast table and eat breakfast (Cheerieos with skim milk and a banana). I think it was the first time I've done that since moving into my apartment. Later in the day I went out wandering, stopping at Color Lab on 17th st. to drop off $128.60 worth of film. They told me I can have my pictures on Wednesday and I'm pretty excited. Later I went to a doctor's appointment where I got poked and prodded and yelled at for smoking cigarettes. After leaving the doctor's office I started walking towards home and bummed a smoke on the way, but don't tell Dr. Rothenberg. I wanted to go CD shopping but I'm broke again and thought it would only depress me to find music I wanted to hear and not be able to buy it. So I went home and finished my paper and got ready for class. I think I should take days off more often.

A rusty knife in my right hand

I'm a little scared to go to sleep tonight because I've been having some pretty awful nightmares lately. Last night's dream was rather apocalyptic and hyper violent--it almost reminded me of the movie 28 Days Later. Without going into the gory details and getting myself worked up again, let's just say it was terrifying and that I woke up in a sweat and had to turn the lights on for a while before I could relax. My mother tells me that when she was my age she had terrifying nightmares all the time, almost every night. She was married to my dad then and she told me that after every nightmare he'd comfort her back to sleep, never once begrudging her for waking him up. Its strange to imagine them so in love, my dad holding my mom and telling her everything's going to be alright, making her feel safe and erasing the bad images from her mind.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Why would you ever want to go home again?

My wrist is starting to hurt from typing so much lately--I don't know what's come over me but in the past 2 weeks or so I've been writing like a mad woman. It comes pouring out and I can't type fast enough so that by the end my fingers feel numb and my right wrist is hurting something horrible. I blame Jim Hondorff for the wrist pain. He's the one who put me in a cast for 6 weeks and according to the orthopedic surgeon "permanently damaged" my wrist rotation. I wonder if he ever thinks about that day. I wonder if he feels badly now for the way he behaved--whether he's grown up some or if he's still the same asshole. I remember that when I finally came back to school after recovering for a week or so he stopped me in the hall and gave me a Mercedes Bendz hood ornament as a way of saying sorry. I still have it in a box I keep in my parents attic.
I got invited to a party at his house the last time I visited my parents and I actually considered going, just to see, just to satisfy some need of facing my fears, facing someone who still haunts me in nightmares. I imagined going to his home, looking him in the eye, making him think about things I'm sure he'd rather deny. In the end I didn't go. Instead I hung out with with the girls, drinking wine and laughing at the way life had changed us.

Sunday, January 30, 2005


I went to my old apartment today to pick up some mail and it made me miss my garden. As I stood outside the front door, waiting for Stephen to give me my mail I wondered what it must look like now. Covered in snow, of course, but I wonder if the new tenant trimmed back the grape vines for the winter, or if she fixed that one stone on the patio that was lose. I wonder if she'll like the bulbs I planted at the end of last summer; whether she'll think of the woman who must have put all those seeds in the ground for her spring garden. I wonder if she'll look at the azalea and marvel at its color the way I did when it first bloomed. It's heart breaking to know I'll never be able to go back.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's the imperfections that make one perfect, right?

Everyone has their own weird behaviors that only the closet people to them know about. Lots of them are embarrassing, some of them funny, most of them things we'd prefer to keep to ourselves. Since I am on a new kick of introspection and personal growth I've decided expose five of my bizarre idiosyncratic behaviors to the public (the 5 or so people who may stumble across this blog) in the hope that with identification I can move towards recovery. Isn't the first step admitting you have a problem?

#1. I make wishes all the time, on just about everything, sometimes hundreds of times a day. I wish on the last drags of cigarettes, I wish on stars (even if I know they're planets), I make a wish when the clasp of my necklace reaches the charm, I wish on eyelashes (I think there might be a relation to this and behavior #3), and when its really something important, something that I truly want, I'll just close my eyes for a second an wish on nothing with all my might

#2. I smell everything--if I can't directly smell it I'll touch it and then smell my fingers. This is probably one of the most pronounced (and uncontrollable) habits I have--just about everyone I know has seen me with my hands by my nose--maybe they didn't realize at the time what I was doing, but spend enough time with me and you'll catch on quickly

#3. I pull out my eyelashes--I have no idea why, it just feels good, like scratching an itch. There is actually a disorder in which people pull out eyelashes and eyebrows called Trichtilomania and my mom has tried on several occasions to get me to go "get help"

#4. I have a thing about rubbing my thumb and pointer finger together. I do it all the time, especially when I'm nervous. Sometimes I combine this habit with behavior # 2

#5. I sing and talk to myself almost constantly. I'd like to think that this is common behavior; that everyone has an inner dialog and songs that they sing, but I'm told that no, the majority of people go through life in blissful silence. The songs change daily, although there are 3 that have been in constant rotation for the past year or so. One thing that I find myself saying to myself all the time that I've never actually said out loud to anyone is "buck up, kid!" I have no idea where I heard it, but I think I'm stuck with it

I feel as though I could go on--there are dozens of other things I do that I'm not sure are normal (do you count your steps when you walk?) but I think that's enough growth for one night.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Ode to Maud Gonne

Why should I blame her that she filled my days
With misery, or that she would of late
Have taught to ignorant men most violent ways,
Or hurled the little streets upon the great,
Had they but courage equal to desire?
What could have made her peaceful with a mind
That nobleness made simple as a fire,
With beauty like a tightened bow, a kind
That is not natural in an age like this,
Being high and solitary and most stern?
Why, what could she have done, being what she is?

Meg Redux

Kim says I should tell you the rest of the Meg Ranous wallet story. She says the funniest part is the part I left out--the part when I actually did try to return the wallet to the Ranous household. What I neglected to mention is that 3 days after swiping it from the closet, I took the wallet out from under the radiator and put it in my lunch box. At the time I was still carrying around my red plastic Star Wars lunch box (it would be another two years before Tony Congilaro and Doug Bell would make fun of me in front of the entire cafeteria for still carrying Luke, Leia and Hans, and I would throw it in the dumpster behind school) and I carried it around with me all day at school, every hour getting more and more nevous about going over to the Ranous' house and trying to figure out some way to return the wallet with out getting caught. I hadn't spent the four dollars, even though at that time in my life I was mildly obsessed with HoHo's but never had any money to buy them at lunch time. When 3:00 finally hit and I met Meg and Molly outside by the swings, I was positively sick with guilt and worry. My hands were clammy and I remember walking with my head down the entire way to their house, feet dragging, racking my brain for a way out of the situation. When we got to their house, we ate some cheetoes and M&Ms and went down to the basement to play Super Mario Brothers. I lost myself in the game and relaxed, forgetting the real reason I had come. As it got close to 6:00 and my designated leaving time for dinner, I remembered the wallet. I tried to think of a way to open the lunch box, get out the wallet, bring it up stairs and put it back in the closet with out Molly or Meg seeing me do it. It seemed impossible and so I decided just to take it back home and put it back under the radiator and there it stayed.

A loss of modesty, a loss of pride

Its been a interesting few days. On Friday I lost absolutely all of my modesty for an hour and a half and on Monday I lost a good portion of my pride, hopefully not forever. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but it is interesting that these two events happened so closely to one another. Friday I got completely naked and let a stranger rub just about every inch of my body. Don't worry, she was a professional and yes, she did use hot oil. Then on Monday I got turned down for a job that I applied for last month and had convinced myself that I really wanted. The publisher called me around 10 AM and said I wasn't a good fit for the job. He was nice enough, even telling me how much he personally liked me and hoped that another position would open up that I was more suited to, but it was still a wound to the old ego. Now my pride is too wounded to apply for another job so I guess I'm going to have to sick it out here for a while and pretend to do work while I write blog entries.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Don't let the bed bugs bite

I dreamt last night that I was waching myself sleep. I was in a white room, under white covers, my head resting on a white pillow. I watched myself for a little while before turning my back and walking away.

Monday, January 24, 2005

"Some people can only dream of dreaming up books of your nothingness"

My friend Kim wrote that to me today. I sent her a self-pitying email and included the link to my blog so she could check it out. And wouldn't you know it, in typical Kim fashion she wrote back a super sweet and sensitive note and listed some great things that have happened to me that I sometimes forget to think about. She's really the best kind of friend a girl could hope to have.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm sorry, Meg Ranous

When I was seven years old I stole a wallet from Meg Ranous. She was the younger sister of my friend Molly and I used to go over to their house everyday after school. They had Nintendo and were allowed to eat junk food and lived right down the street from me on Sagamore Drive. Meg was two years younger than Molly and I and we used to torment her on a fairly regular basis. On this particular day we had finished our ritual ice cream sundaes and had just started playing blind man's bluff, a marco/polo kind of game favored by upstate New York girls . I was hiding in Meg's closet when this fancy little Care Bears wallet caught my eye. It was bright yellow corduroy and had all the Care Bears stiched on to it--Cheer Bear with his rainbow stomach, Good Luck Bear with his four leaf clover, Harmony Bear in a beautiful shade of lavender...I wanted this wallet of furry friends like I'd never wanted anything before. The fact that there was four dollars inside the wallet only made it more attractive to me and before I knew it my hot little hand had grabbed it from the shelf and shoved it into my sock. I left the closet and ended the game, wanting to get out of the house before anyone notice the awkward bulge around my ankle. When I got to my house I ran upstairs to my room, so excited to examine my new prized possession in the light. I closed the door and pulled the wallet out of my sock and rubbed my fingers across the fuzzy little bears. I think I probably even hugged it to my chest and did a little dance (something I still do today when I get a new prized possession). I counted the money again and thought about the candy I'd be able to get with this small fortune--visions of the bulk food section of Wegmans filled my head. Then unexpectedly, sometime around dinner, I started to feel guilty. I thought of little Meg going to her closet and searching for her wallet and not finding it where she knew she had left it. As the night wore on, I started to get almost panicked thinking about the terrible thing I had done. As I lay in bed with the wallet hidden under my pillow, I resolved to get rid of it. Maybe I would throw it in some bushes on the way to school, maybe I'd bury it in the backyard, maybe I even try to return it the next time I went to the Ranous house. That night I slid the wallet behind the radiator in my room, thinking it was a good hiding spot until I figured out how to get rid of the evidence of my transgression. Eleven years later as I cleaned my room in preparation for leaving for college I found the wallet, still in the same space behind the radiator, still with four dollars in it. I took out the money and threw the wallet into a garbage bag along with hundreds of other trinkets from my childhood that had lost their value to me. I never told anyone about that wallet, but I still think about Meg Ranous often and feel guilty for having stolen from her. I'm sorry, Meg.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Hannibal Lector on my mind

Gnomes live in my basement. Well, I guess technically it's not my basement since I live in an apartment building, but they live down there none the less. I've never actually seen one of them, but they bang on my pipes all day long. I guess in theory it could just be a regular, normal sized person banging on the pipes, but I prefer to think of little mischievous men in red hats and long beards tormenting me late at night. My friends say its just bad alignment of the steam pipes, or that I just need to call the super to let the excess air out of the radiators, but they're wrong. These are no ordinary creaks and rattles from old piping, this is a concerted banging with purpose and intent. There's no way steam can be so malicious. I got scared the other day that maybe it wasn't gnomes, that maybe there was some person trapped in the basement and the only way they had to call out for help was to clang their handcuffs against the piping they were chained to as hard as they could. But then I realized I was thinking crazy--no one was Buffalo Bill's prisoner down there--it was just some gnomes having a little fun as they waited for winter to pass so they could go back out to the garden.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The things you can learn from Law and Order

There are rats outside my apartment. I think they live in the abandoned parking lot next door, but they come around to the front of my building every night. Sometimes when I'm in bed I can hear them squealing and screaming--it's really one of the most disturbing sounds I've ever heard. Two nights ago I went outside around midnight and there were three rats on the sidewalk in front of the stairs poking around the garbage. They didn't run as I approached them and to be honest, for a minute there I thought they might jump on me. I thought about something I saw on law and order special victims unit a few weeks--Ice-T was searching a bodega for a missing Asian child prostitute and said that there are eight rats for every person in New York City. It freaked me out that somewhere close there were five more rats with my name on them. I started getting really paranoid that they were all sitting in the shadows, waiting for me to come down the stairs so they could eat me, so I turned around and went back inside and decided I really didn't want those petridge farm cookies anyway.

It's a nice night to drown in

I had a dream last night that I was drowning. I wasn't in pain and I wasn't scared, I was just deep in the sea and knew that I wasn't ever going to see the surface again. It was dark all around me and I was weightless in the water. I opened my mouth and tasted salt water and closed my eyes as I started to sink. When I reached the bottom my feet hit soft sand and I woke up alone and cold in my bed.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Where were you hit?

So I've been thinking, I don't think it was really very fair of me to say nothing ever happens to me--I got hit by a taxi once--that was something. I was walking to meet Joshua after work, minding my own business and singing to myself under my breath and telling myself to be sure not to move my mouth too much because people would think (know!) I was crazy. This was before I got my ipod, so I was singing to myself pretty much all the time. So there I was, on a crosswalk, the little white walking man clearly illuminated on the sign when I saw this cab make a very quick left turn into the crosswalk. I distinctly remember thinking fuck, he's not going to stop... and the having the bumper ram into my shins and flying across the hood and falling into the street. I laid there dazed for a bit and the guy got out of his cab--actually he didn't really get out, he just kind of opened the door and leaned to see if I was moving. I sat up and starting yelling at him and slowly stood, dusting myself off and inspecting the damage. Out of nowhere this guy on the street ran over and gave me a pen. "Get his license number," he said. I took the pen and wrote down his license plate number on the back of a manuscript I had in my bad, my hand bleeding and shaking uncontrollably as I tried to focus. I looked up and the man was gone, probably scared off by the cab driver who by this time was out of the cab and yelling at me to get in the back of his cab, saying that I needed to go to the hospital. All I could think about as he approached me was an image of him driving me to the east river, murdering me in the back seat and dumping my strangled body into the water so he could avoid reporting the accident to the cops. I declined his invitation and took off, not knowing which direction I was headed, but moving as fast as I could to get to a well lit area. About 20 minutes later I showed up at Josh's work, wide eyed and disheveled. I must have said something like "I just got hit by a car!" because the next thing I knew he had called the cops and was taking me to an ambulance down stairs. After getting a clean bill of health from the hospital and a prescription for some pretty intense pain killers, Josh called a cab and took me home. It was something, alright.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Nothing ever happens to me

I've decided to start a blog--I figure everyone else is doing it, why not me? Of course, nothing ever really happens to me, so I suppose I'll either have to invent things to write about or become shamelessly self absorbed and write about my everyday boring, inured life. This, however, is a true story: When I was walking to work this morning I saw a man with a voice box (you know, one of those things that people with no vocal chords press against their throat and it makes that weird, scary computerized voice?) yelling at this pretty young thing. She was probably my age, maybe a bit younger. She had on a skirt and some black stockings and a black puffy coat. He was this middle aged, skinny Latino guy with baggy jeans and a dirty backwards Buffalo Bills hat, the kind of guy who if he leered at you on the subway, you wouldn't hesitate to change cars at the next stop. He was walking next to her, getting in her face and yelling at her in Spanish. She kept her eyes straight ahead, but it was obvious that they knew each other, that they had some kind of relationship and she was sick of it. I wondered if she was walking out on him; if she had finally gotten sick of listening to someone call her a puta in a voice that wasn't even human. Now my Spanish is far from fluent, but he was saying some pretty fucked up and mean, nasty shit to her but she kept right on walking down the street, head high and eventually he backed off, still yelling with the voice box up against his throat. It was the strangest thing.