Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I used to be a cat person

I'm back and I'm drinking a cup of decaf coffee with sweet & low and half & half from the break room. That's all there was, and I guess that's what the day has come to. I couldn't keep this to myself.

Yesterday while sitting here in the office, I smelled out of nowhere the scent of a cat's tongue. My cat Abby, who was psychotic and who is dead ten years now--My dad put her down with some unhealthy gases in a carboard box. It sounds brutal, but I'm glad my dad did it rather than some certified stranger--used to sleep on my head and often licked my hand. Yesterday I smelled what that smelled like as I opened up the bottom drawer of my desk.

I don't know.

While I'm on it, that's a fantastic tactile experience, the cat licking the hand. I will go now and continue this on a fetish site.


I had no idea he had such long arms

Back at the office. Listening to Boards of Canada over the terrible variable chatter going on outside in the hallway. Boards of Canada makes me feel like I'm in water but not wet. Smoooth. I brought in a stick of Nag Champa to perk up the scent of the room, though I may have to light it for a minute in private; it doesn't seem to be dying the scent of people and air conditioning at all. 
Malls are rotten. I am about to leave for four days to go to my cousin's wedding in Illinois, my home state. The stars of the wedding have no idea how much trouble I've gone to to dress for this thing. Malls are rotten. I have been in three several times, seeking wedding gear, countless shoe stores. Next time I will wear a sign: I am not your normal mall-goer; I do not want your help; I know it's your job, but do not ask me any questions or try to sell me anything, for that will only defeat you.

I walked into a shoe store. I was the only customer there. Immediately two salesgirls approached wanting to help me. I rejected them of course. Soon when I found a potential shoe for me I asked for my size. One girl went back to get it and while I waited for her the other one pounced. She ran to a gigantic green bag on the wall and said in enthusiastic bad acting: There's a bag I really want to show you! Yeah, I thought, because we're friends and you know what I like. Even when I sat there, mouth hanging open on my blank face, she ran to get the red version of the bag, then the yellow, throwing at me names of dssigners whose bags apparently these were modeled on, which I told her I'd never heard of. 

As I'm withdrawing and my face is becoming a rock, the girl comes out with shoes. She didn't just return with the shoes I had asked for; she returned with two other pairs of orange shoes, thinking they might work also. Nice try, and I really did appreciate the effort. But really, she didn't know my goal with these shoes and those she brought out fit neither my purpose nor my taste. I tried on the ones I had asked for, which didn't fit right. I played along, thanked them both for their efforts, and quickly left--

--as I passed through the doorway back out into the hallway a girl at a kiosk stopped me. Dammit. My brain was tired and irritated, leave me the fuck alone.

When I lived in Iowa City I sometimes went to the gigantic mall in the next town. In it was a gigantic merry-go-round and a John Deere play section for kids. Iowa, mind you. This was always a masochistic venture. Sometimes, if it was really crowded, I would turn right around and exit out the door I came in, and drive all the way back home. The people in malls in the midwest are different from those in New Jersey. Or maybe not. Maybe it's just the way they talk and dress and the rest is the same. Come to think of it, I probably scorn the midwestern mallgoers in the way that people scorn those who demonstrate traits they don't like in themselves, and scorn Jersey mallgoers in the way that people scorn people that just plain irritate them.

(p.s. I may have pms; I don't really hate everyone. Another time I might weep at the beautiful fact just that we all are alive.)

The title has nothing to do with the rest. My grandmother wrote this in an e-mail she sent me today, about my boy Mark. Naturally, I read it with perverse mind and had a good laugh. I still am.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

No-Color Walls

Ok. I'm in my very own office now. As yet it is bare and chunks of paint have been ripped by tape from the walls. The walls which are the most nondescript color I have seen. I can't even name the tones. Light-brownish, almost with pink but not, but not really brown either. It's no color at all except that I can see it. I'm hoping if I sit here long enough looking at it that I might shift into an alternate state of consciousness, transcend, become enlightened, become the hospital's house buddha.

As of this morning, Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, is on my computer screen: the Hindi god of fortune and prosperity, as I have just learned from the trusty Internet.

I also learned recently: zeitgeber, German for "time-giver". It's my new favorite word. I read it in an article for the s____ m_______ journal. I don't remember it's context but I'm sure it was riveting.

It's cold in here so I don't think I'll take my clothes off as planned. My nose is cold, my fingers are cold, my toes are cold, my eyeballs have frosted over. But I have a CD player. In celebration and necessitation of acquiring my office I went to Best Buy and bought a CD player ( in the BOOM BOX section--something about that term makes me uncomfortable), the new Beta Band and the new Sonic Youth. The new Beta Band inparticular makes me rather ecstatic.

(I've been using words like rather and quite lately, having just listened to the audio version of Through the Looking-Glass, one of my favorite books ever. Am I the Red King? Are you?)

Also ecstasy in this Sunday's episode of Six Feet Under. At last again this one contained what previous episodes had that hooked me. I laughed until I felt embarrassed, I cried, and I got thrown off.

This is what I want: to be thrown off three times a day, at least, so that there is no more sleeping through the sluggish numb world; e.g., all in the same day a doctor moons me in the hallway, water tastes like cabernet-savignon, and out of the vast blue I win a no-strings-attached trip to Rome.

Here's to office life.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Conquering the Ferryphobia That Never Was

Friday night was my debut performance as an actress. Friday night I drove to Cape May to take the ferry to Delaware where my friend is vacationing with her parents. I'd figured I'd have to take the last ferry at 8pm after work, but I got to the place two minutes before the earlier one took off. I parked my car, got my bags, bought tickets and boarded. When I got on the ferry, as planned, I took out my phone to call my friend to let her know I was on my way. That was when I found that I'd left her phone number in my car. I'd remembered to take everything else out of the bag I didn't bring: wallet, notebook, little bag with compact tampons just in case, cell phone. But no number. Nobody knows this number. She's a new friend so there is no previous record of this number. The only record of this number is in my car parked in the ferry lot in Cape May. I hadn't talked to her in a few days so she had no idea when I was coming (or what if I wasn't coming at all?). I had to get off that ferry.

I stood quickly and began running through the ferry in search of an employee. I knew that getting off was chancy since I'd barely made it on. At last I saw a guy dressed in the tan uniform, trying to get himself a fountain soda before the ferry took off. I stopped that short! "I have to get off this ferry," I told him. I explained in fluttering disjunctive speech. It must have been that and my worried eyes. He left to see what he could do. I was so mad at myself for leaving the number in the car.

Background info: When I get mad tears come into my eyes. It's just the way. I'm rarely as upset as I look, though most people who see me mad become tragically concerned. It must look a lot different from the outside than it feels on the inside. It's always seemed weird to me.

Shortly, my fella came back and told me to follow him. I took off after him, leaving my return ticket on the counter as I later discovered. I followed him down some stairs and into where all the cars were parked on the ferry. Cacophonous BELLS began going off as the door lifted. He said, "We can only do this in case of emergency. Ok, I said.

Just then a shiny black policeman walked to toward me and took my by my hand, cradling my arm as if I were an old lady. Weird, I thought, but I'll play along: they can only do this in case of emergency.  I thought I'd better look more upset, so I contorted my face  and tried to get more tears to come into my eyes. He looked at me.

"Are you ok," he asked.

"Yeah, I'm ok."

"Does this happen often?" he asked.

Weird, I thought. I had no idea what he was talking about but I didn't want to blow my cover. I tried to look traumatized and confused. "Uh..."

"These panic attacks," he clarified.

"Um, well, some...uh," I returned.

The ticket guy came sprinting toward us with my ticket. I thanked him and he left.

"Well, you go on inside and I'll be in in a few minutes to check on you," the policeman told me.

Oh my god, I thought. This is a real episode. And yet there's more.

I told him thanks, got my phone number from my car and went in. I went to the bathroom, and while I was in there I heard a voice over the intercom, which I thought said it was time to board the next ferry. So I left the bathroom, went on upstairs to the boarding area. The same ticket guy was there.

Of course, I misheard the voice over the intercom and I was way too early to board the ferry. The ticket guy explained and said, "Don't worry, you'll make this one." Oh god, I thought. "Thanks."

When the time came I gave him my ticket, and instead of being able to just get on, he escorted me on, told me again that it was going to be ok: "Don't worry, just sit in the middle and take deep breaths."

Oh my god. I told him thanks. I sat at the front of the ferry the whole time, to avoid encountering any other employees who might try and make sure I wasn't about to break down. I sat alone there, for the next hour and 20 minutes of the trip, erupting in tourettes of laughter at the thought of the policeman asking me about these panic attacks of which I supposedly have a condition.

I had deceived the whole crew. I had delayed operations. By being the odd misunderstood girl turned actress.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The Fires in All the Holes

This title:

The first time I heard this phrase I was in college and had only guys for friends. There was a designated guys' night out (aka guys, meaning hot cracked alcholic drug connoiseurs who like good music), on Tuesdays, to which no girls but I was in invited. For whatever reason. One night when I didn't join in, two of them encountered some crazed redhead and one of them partook in some illicit sexual activities with her, which either I don't remember or never knew. (Chances are I don't remember and I'm probably mixing up the story anyway. I noticed when I turned 25 that my memory really started to oscillate, blur, fade.) Anyway, after said sexual activities with the redhead, who was psychotic and thereafter became a sort of stalker, my friends referred to her as Fire in the Hole. I knew it had some other meaning but I rarely seem to be privy to such information. A few years later I wrote a highly disjunctive poem called Fire in the Hole. I have since looked up what most people might think of when they hear the phrase, rather than some young redhead's vagina.

Which is: a phrase used to warn of the immenient detonation of an explosive device. The phrase may have been originated by miners, who made extensive use of explosives while working underground.

(I do my research when called for.)

Apropos, I figure, for life among the humans. People should be calling out this phrase at random according to their psychological, emotional, social, paranormal, etc. states. To warn people.

In that poem I wrote I use a verb I learned in Latin class: ardeo. It means I am on fire. I imagine the infinitive or the third person was used more often, as in "Holy shit! It is on fire!" I thought it was incredibly funny to think of people in togas shouting in Latin "I am on fire!" Nobody else in the class seemed to think so.

Oh well.