Wednesday, April 21, 2004

chris and i were playing a video game called 'thunder and lightning' that stars a japanese looking pig-man and his super gorgeous, way-taller-than-him girlfriend. the premise: a dark demon-thing flies down to the beach where this couple is walking and kidnaps the non-mutant lady from her porcine-esque boyfriend. then the pig-man has to bounce ping-pong balls off of what appears to be a snack tray that he holds above his head in order to break down magical walls piece by piece so that he can follow the winged bad guy and rescue the super model. only the first level of this is played on land. then he has to do the same thing underwater. and of course then octopussies attack him and sit on his snack tray, keeping him from going as fast as he normally could, and sometimes he will wander in the path of a magic tidbit that will give him special powers, like, say, make his snack tray sticky enough to hold onto the ping pong balls when he catches them or split his pin-pong ball into three or more so as to better assault the magic walls. i only made it to level 2 after playing the equivalent of 12 quarters(i'm talking old-school here, too, like when a video game at the rollerskating rink only cost 25 cents) chris was blasting through the levels as if he had been born a pig-man and was somehow transported to this world and into a human body so that he could do things like play thunder and lightning really well without having put in too many practice hours. i am, of course, notoriously bad at playing video games. the only one i've ever been any good at was 'stampede' on my atari 2600. rope them doggies! yee ha! i guess i did alright at 'frogger' too, although i never made it past level 3.

Monday, April 19, 2004

last night my estranged father called me.

"i have to ask you something. do you hate me?"

he, the man who dug graves for twenty-odd years, taught me to shoot a gun, and told my mother that if he hadn't left her by just disappearing one day, he would have killed himself, was asking me if i hated him.

what to say...

"okay, how bout this: how do you feel about me?"he revised.

"um...i don't know. i feel fine about you. i mean, what do you want me to say?"

our conversation lurched through yet another vague explanation for his sudden departure and his weird philosphies of life rewritten with four letter words, and ended when he stated that my sister and i were living in times that were complicated and implied that we just didn't see where he was coming from. the other unspoken implication here was that we would never understand anything, really, because we weren't men. we were women. and not just any women, but my mother's flesh and blood, and that gave us an unhealthy disadvantage.

and yet still here he was, lonely and cracked, awkwardly asking his oldest daughter if she felt anything so strong for him that could be considered hate. christ! i started to need a drink. my father, the man from whom i could count on having heard about 500 words out of his mouth my entire life, sounded like he had had a tough session with his therapist that day.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

we had left the keys for the apartment in the mailbox for the guys from the appliance store, so they could bring in our new stove while we were at work.

chris was called out of town suddenly to go to a funeral in utah.

i was alone, at night, in our sort of spooky victorian apartment.

i decided to take a bath. i also left the phone in the bedroom, all the way across the house. i got in, started reading my book of vampire stories, and scared myself wondering if all the creaking i heard was caused by members of the undead. then i started thinking about the keys. i have heard innumerable stories about women giving their keys to the mechanic, only to have their houses broken into later, their vcrs stolen, their privates defiled. i started to seriously freak out. for real, not the fun kind of freak out i had been subjecting myself to previously. the creaking of the house settling became quite ominous. every sound i heard felt like a door opening, a crazed gas stove appliance installer creeping in with a glint of nutball in his slightly crossed eyes.

i realized that i didn't have a weapon, not even a phone. i stood up as quietly as i could and fumbled for the linen closet. i grabbed a pair of scissors with a blunt end and a metal pair of tweezers. brilliant. i got back in the tub and put my weapons on the edge. then i thought i would have a better chance of stabbing someone in the throat if they didn't know i was armed. so i eased them under my butt and sort of sat on them. for the remainder of my bath. of course no one broke in. my vcr remained where it was. my private parts were untouched by the criminal i had imagined so vividly while naked and wet.

still, i called up my ex-husband the next morning and got a loan on the dog for the rest of the weekend.
chris is sitting and chewing comtemplatively in his room when i join him.

"what are you eating?" i ask him. he looks down, then back at me, sheepishly.

"i don't want to tell you. you'll get upset."

"what do you mean?"

he opens his mouth to reveal a large, purple, rubber cockroach sitting on his tongue. most people don't like cockroaches, but i spend almost 20% of the time i am at home scanning the cracks and corners for them as i hate the little fuckers worse than anything else in the world. i never find any, but, you know, better safe than sorry.

anyway, back to chris, sticking his tongue out at me loaded with bug, and i scream, like a girl i am ashamed to say, and then i call him by his full first name. "CHRISTOPHER!" i leave the room, disgusted, mostly at myself, for turning into the type of person who would get upset about something like that.

later, as i am soaking in the tub and reading my trashy vampire romance novel, he comes in and sits near me and puts the rubber roach on on the lip of the tub.

"get that thing out of here. i'm serious."

"what would you do if i put it in the water with you? would you be mad?"

"you don't even know how mad. don't do it."

"but would you be really mad or just sort of joke mad."

"you're not respecting my boundaries."

"yes i am."

"not if you put that thing in here with me, you're not."

so here i am trying to have a psychobabble conversation with my boyfriend about why he should not but a big purple cockroach in the tub with me. as if i needed a reason. but i'm also feeling conflicted. because situations like these are exactly the reason i love him. i mean, he's 30 years old and spends his time chewing on toy bugs. woo hoo!

Monday, April 12, 2004

chris' grandpa had a dog named glueface. aptly named because it was one of those long-haired show dogs that no one ever groomed and so it would get eye slime build-up sort of smeared across it's flat little face, looking like boogers, and if anyone tried to clean it off, it would bite them.

my aunt had an african gray parrot who used to fall over if someone sneezed. one time he was perched on the edge of the counter when it happened and he fell all the way to the floor without even opening his wings. it was like he was drugged or hypnotised or something.

my dog jake peed like a girl dog until he was almost three years old. we're not sure why.

my sister's last cat would walk until it bumped up against the wall and then it would just stand there, head pressed to the sheetrock, not even trying to turn around. for hours.

i once tried to make a white mouse and a hamster cohabitate. the hamster, named pooky, practically eviscerated the mouse. she eventually recovered and gave birth to 11 baby mice, and they all lived happily in a laundry basket in the basement of my parent's house until my mom found out.

my friend brendan had two chamelions, one twice the size of the other. one day he came home from school to find the smaller one had choked to death in an attempt to eat the bigger one, legs and tail jutting out of it's mouth. there were no more chamelions after that.

when my sister and i were very young, probably too young for the responsibility to keep something alive, we had a few rabbits that we kept out in an old chicken coup. a week went by and we realized that we hadn't fed or watered them in a really long time. they had died, of course. our mother was seriously pissed off. we felt so bad that we never played out in that old building ever again.

my mother named her cats 'skittles' and 'boots.' these were the replacement animals that took over for my sister and me when we moved out. am i 'skittles?' am i 'boots?' hopefully i will never know.
my whole athsma story gets shittier:
i now have to use a peak meter to gauge the flow of my breathing capacity three times a day and record the data in a little graph book for months so we can see if there's a pattern. when i'm feeling unable to breathe, that is. i was also strongly encouraged to keep a diary of the things i do everyday like exercise, how much, what kind, work, exposure to cold air, rain, dust, bugs, whatever so we can check the activities against the graph info, AND keep a little tabulature somewhere of how many times i use my different inhalers so i can have an idea of how empty the canisters are so that i can get my prescriptions refilled before they run out. whoa nelly! i'm suddenly feeling really frail. my doctor assigned me these tasks and i guess i just sort of google eyed him because he then explained that plenty of people my age still die from not taking athsma seriously. now everytime i feel a rattle in my chest i feel like i'm about to go into a victorian swoon, like my dress is cinched up too tightly. I have to admit though, after a couple of days of recording my breathing strength, it is interesting to see how different times of the day are the same everyday, and yet so different from other times, AND YET I DON'T FEEL ANY DIFFERENT! oh, and if anyone knows how to get around the albuterol shakes, please please please let me know:

Monday, April 05, 2004

i once lost my engagement ring at the airport.
sometimes i buy too many tomatoes.
i watch myself in store windows as i am walking past them. i have also been known to adjust my clothing or fool around with my hair but try to act like i'm not.
i drink decaf. all the time.
sometimes when i smoke, i think i look cool.
i am more afraid, for some reason, of the next ice age swooping in on civilization than i am of losing my job at the library, which is certainly more plausible.
i like stephan king.
and david duchovny.
i don't see my dog anymore, even though i have been encouraged to by my exhusband, because the thought of picking him up from the house that i used to own and seeing it redone in the new girlfriend style etc. is way more than my petty mind can handle. plus i just plain don't want to deal with the stress of the weird triangle that is formed there. i guess if you add the dog into the equation, it'd be more of a parallelagram.
i think i ate someone else's yogurt in the employee fridge a few weeks ago. not on purpose or anything, but still. i didn't leave a note.
after a near collision with a parked van, i drove away with my heart pounding and adreneline making my teeth buzz thinking, "man, if i would have hit that guy, i would have probably just sped away! i am a horse's ass!"
i judge my mother's lifestyle and yet expect her to just roll with the punches when it comes to mine.
i have cried in frustration when i couldn't open a jar.
the thought has crossed my mind, in all sincerity, that i am out of some people's league, romantically speaking(as in: "look at that nutjob! if he asked me out i'd have to try not to laugh in his face...")
i have looked at fat people and thought, "whoa!"
a girl with a black eye and bad posture looked at me once, the kind of look that is really a silent plea for help, and i didn't ask her if she was okay.
allegedly, i once told my sister that girls with mustaches don't get jobs.
at seven years old, my passive-agressive nature germinated when i put my friend melissa's apple in the freezer because she wasn't letting me wear the cooler pair of fake vampire teeth, the ones that didn't make you drool all over, and then i got angry when she threw it away after one bite saying it was 'too cold to eat.'