Friday, October 31, 2008

the things we do for money

i was invited out last night to 'wet underwear night' at a local gay club.

at first, i was too tired, too broke, too 'blah' to attend. i had a drink with friends at a restaurant and went home, politely declining. i got home, relaxed, and realized that i was totally and utterly bored.

i buckled, as you might imagine, and showed up. jovial and content, i sipped a cocktail and admired all the attractive gay men filtering through the place.

not long after we found a great location with which to watch the show, an adorable man with a clipboard came bouncing up to us. he was recruiting wet underwear participants and had only one name on his list.

my companions implored me to participate. and the lure of a $500 prize was indeed tempting. but could i bare myself in all my curvy, voluptuousness to complete strangers? a crowd of them?

after some cajoling, i relented.

as showtime approached, they gathered all of us at the back bar for a bit of liquid courage and a few rules. our name would be called and we would take the stage. we could take our time stripping down to our skivvies and then step into the onstage shower. after that, the crowd would be asked to decide the winner.

if i had thought thoroughly about it before i agreed to do it, i probably wouldn't have done it. granted, gay men don't really care how tan or thin you are or that you aren't a statuesque blonde with huge tits, but they are fairly picky and can be downright mean. but none of this went through my head at the time.

i was third in the lineup. i was one of two women in the competition, the rest of the contestants being young, gay, and toned.

as my name was called, it became a blur. i recall stepping up to the stage and peering through the lights to see a much larger audience than expected - mostly men. i stalked up the stairs to pink's SO WHAT and flirted with the crowd under an array of bright lights and cheering onlookers. piece by piece, my clothes came off until i was left with bra, underwear and skin.

the time came to step under the shower of warm water, and i did so without hesitation. fear and trepidation never entered my mind, and i found that standing there, soaking wet and singing along with pink, i felt oddly serene. it was catharsis erupting in the oddest of circumstances.

i won second to a ripped young kid in tight, white briefs. it was the best loss i could imagine. and it didn't feel like failure for the remainder of the evening as i was approached by strange, gay men who commended my performance as "hot". i had more drinks than i knew what to do with, and a gift bag with a dvd of gay porn, gift certificates, and assorted prizes.

the part of me that was wishing she won a much-needed $500 quieted this morning as my friend karisse, who was there with me all the way, called to check in on me. when asked if she and her friend, an adorable gay boy who i had met an hour before the event, had a good time.

"yeah, it was fun. i took michael home last night and he said, 'this is the most fun i've had since i've been in san diego. that girl made my night.'"

moments like that transcend money. well, almost.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

dog's death, john updike

duplicate post, amazing poem.

Dog's Death

She must have been kicked unseen or brushed by a car.
Too young to know much, she was beginning to learn
To use the newspapers spread on the kitchen floor
And to win, wetting there, the words, "Good dog! Good dog!"

We thought her shy malaise was a shot reaction.
The autopsy disclosed a rupture in her liver.
As we teased her with play, blood was filling her skin
And her heart was learning to lie down forever.

Monday morning, as the children were noisily fed
And sent to school, she crawled beneath the youngest's bed.
We found her twisted and limp but still alive.
In the car to the vet's, on my lap, she tried

To bite my hand and died. I stroked her warm fur
And my wife called in a voice imperious with tears.
Though surrounded by love that would have upheld her,
Nevertheless she sank and, stiffening, disappeared.

Back home, we found that in the night her frame,
Drawing near to dissolution, had endured the shame
Of diarrhea and had dragged across the floor
To a newspaper carelessly left there. Good dog.


d'you know those things you find on eBay and bid for, never really expecting to win them.. particularly if you bid on them before you lose your job and you're not too worried about income?

"my name is.. shake zula, the mic rulah.."

Monday, October 27, 2008


i went to sunset cliffs last night. i sat in the cold and listened to how menacing and deafening the waves sound at night. the ocean seems more of a monster when all you can see are the frothy, white crests of the waves.

today was productive, but not exciting. a few moments ago, i sat and watched lost in translation and had a few fat tires in homage to my hometown. the movie, and the last week of my life, swelled all into a few disjointed thoughts. and i thought back to earlier today when i heard from a previous coworker that i'd be moving out of state. and i remind myself of why i'm solitary. nobody knows what i am, how i feel, or what i'm doing. and it makes me want to shove anyone who gets near me.

i'm angry, and apathetic. everybody seems to know what's in store for me but me. judgment, assumption, idle gossip. and all i really want to do is walk up to a stranger on the street and find out about them, hoping there are people in the world that still have something. and another part of me wants to wade out into the water and float there, falling asleep, dissolving into the water.

i got a nice text message. the air through my open door is crisp and cool. and the alcohol in my bloodstream has my cheeks warm and wet. fighting the urge to do anything else, i'll sit here in the dark and enjoy my own silence.

my first job offer so far

thank you, myspace:

"If you've read my profile you know that I have a thing for seeing beautiful, dominant women like you puffing seductively on a cigar or cigarette, especially while topless. If you are into dominating weak men like me, I would love to do this scene with you in a private modeling session for which I would offer a $500 tribute for the hour. Note that this is for modeling, and there's no contact or any other illegal activity involved, and this would be very discreet."

Friday, October 24, 2008


as dispatchers, we dealt with a lot of emotions. we heard the worst in people, realized there were far too many awful things going on in the world that never made the papers. we walked and talked people through the most awful, scary, terrifying moments that they may only have once in their lives, and we did it over and over, ten or twelve hours at a time.

at first, parts of the job were difficult to get used to. you hear people's children stop breathing, feel the terror in a woman's voice as she whispers for help while her abusive husband sits unaware in the next room. you hear detailed accounts of sex abuse against someone's own child. you, through a phone line, sit in a room with someone who recounts as they are alone and a prowler is trying to get through their front door, or try to talk someone out of suicide knowing that you could say the right, or wrong, thing at any moment and change people's lives in a word.

after a while, each of us learned to cope in our own ways. we used laughter (as odd as that sounds) and each other. we couldn't think too much or dwell on anything, because it would slowly erode us as people. we did our best to keep people safe while they were in our care, often feeling like we were right there with them, experiencing things as they did. and often, when the responders took over and our part of the job was done, we didn't want to know how things turned out. sometimes, it was easier to disconnect emotionally when that phone line did and move on to the next call.

still, there were calls that each of us took occasionally that we couldn't shake, either because we had been there before, or that subconsciously the subject hit a nerve we would never be able to identify. for some, it was unbearable to listen to the sound of a parent's voice as their child clung to life. for others, a friend warning us of a suicide attempt from someone they loved was too emotionally staggering. and during those times for each of us, we turned off our thoughts and pulled out everything in our bag of tricks we could think of to save people, in often unusual and creative ways. and once it was over, we tried not to let the surge of emotion swallow us. because if we did get immersed in every situation, none of us could return to work for hours, days, or years at a time. we became the masters of being emotional people that could turn it off when needed. but it didn't always work.

late one night, a dispatcher of mine, and good friend besides, and i took a medical call. it was nearing the end of our graveyard shift, and we were the only two working until 7am. when a major event happened with two of us there, one would take the call as the other dispatched law, fire, and ambulance (as well as handling any other 911 calls that came in as a result, unrelated radio traffic, and any other 911 calls or holdup/burglary/fire alarms that happened simultaneously - coincidence, and poor timing, reigned at that job more than one might imagine.)

a woman called about her husband. they had been on a 40th anniversary vacation in vail and she woke to find him not breathing. as my friend walked her through giving him CPR, i alerted everyone in the area from police to paramedics and updated them on the caller and the victim's progress as they responded.

continuing to dispatch, i listened closely to the call and read the call-takers notes as she typed to get an idea of what was happening on the other end of the phone. the woman was continuing to administer rescue breaths under the direction of my friend, and excitedly exclaimed, "i think he's breathing - he's making noise!" to which the dispatcher on the phone said, "you're doing great, just keep giving rescue breaths," as she looked at me and shook her head.

there's a sound that a person makes in that situation that sounds like a lot like life, but it's not. it's an indescribable noise, often called a 'rattle' or 'gurgle', and for those who have heard it, know exactly what it means. my friend kept this woman's spirits up and commended her efforts as she continued CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over.

not too long after, one of the officers who met the woman and the ambulance at the hospital came into dispatch to catch up with us, as her shift would be ending as ours did. she looked ragged and tired, and had spent the last hour talking to the 60-something woman on an anniversary trip who had just become a widow.

the woman was as you might imagine. inconsolable, lost, bewildered. she was in a strange town that she had spent the last few days in with the love of, and the only person left in, her life. they had gone out to dinner, seen the summer beauty of vail mountain, spent two days enjoying life as any happily married duo should. and now, this lovely vacation town turned into a city where she was a stranger, knew no one, and felt utterly alien and alone.

i couldn't help but imagine what the next week of this woman's life would be like. she would return to the hotel they shared as she left it, with items belonging to her husband scattered through the bathroom, folded in the drawers, hanging in closets, items set neatly before bed on the nightstand. she would have to pack all of these items up and load them in into the car that belonged to her and her husband (and that most likely he probably drove while she sat in the passenger seat) and drive back to their home. and even there, returning to it as they left it for a wonderful journey away, all items put into their places - books hugging the bookmark at the bedside where he left off reading, sweater draped over a chair, coffee mug still in the sink.

and more than anything, i could imagine the feeling she must have had leaving town to return home, a feeling that many of us get while traveling - the sinking feeling like we had forgotten something or left something behind. and how the feeling she may have had was similar but magnified a thousand times, like she was leaving vacation and leaving the most important thing to her behind but not being able to do anything about it or erase the feeling away.

it's all part of the grief process, i suppose. but it's something you want to save people from, to help them fast forward through. because without those necessary awful moments, people might never make it through - those parts of life that feel unbearable at the time and that never seem to get easier. and through them somehow we hope that on the other side, no matter how far away that seems, things will eventually be okay.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

i hate to say this..

but i miss the cold.

it has been too damn hot here lately. too hot to do anything - take a walk, complain.. i'd go far as to say that it's too hot to think. certainly too hot to type.

this is the first time since i've lived in california that i remember wanting to be cold. to bundle up with a cup of something hot and snuggle in not too far from an icy window pane. to walk outside and feel cold on my nose, to see my breath. granted, i wasn't a fan of the snow - hence my decision to move to sunny southern california. but truly i don't mind seeing it, and i don't mind being in it as long as i don't have to shovel my car out of it daily. vail was a bit of overkill for me. delicate snow is nice. blizzarding over vail pass and having the roads impassible is not.

but i do wish it were cold here. rain would be nice too. anything but this 88 degree in late October crap that is happening. even my desert-dwelling reptile isn't happy. he knows he's supposed to be brumating and can't figure out why his house feels like July.

on a completely different note, i bought a turkey today, complete with stuffing, rice and gravy, and all those other yummy things that used to be on my mom's southern-cookin' thanksgiving table. i figured turkey would feed me for a while, and it sounded like a fun project (i learned how to cook one not too many years ago, so having it turn out well is still a bit of a novelty for me.) i just have to wait to start until later tonight or tomorrow morning so my house won't evaporate.

in the meanwhile, i have to get this laptop off of my lap. i'm already uncomfortable in jeans and having a heat-emitting electronic device on my lap is just not making me happy. i feel like filling up my tub with champagne, aloe and icecubes, though it would be easier and more cost effective to pull my shades, turn on both fans, and pretend i was in a vegas hotel room.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

a few words about sex, and daylight

my blog isn't cohesive at all, i get that. none of it has any underlying theme or purpose, and the only thing that remotely connects them all is because they were all going through my head at the time i wrote them. and while i think that's enough, the rules of being a serious blogger prohibit pretty much anything i do on any of my blogs. what's the harm in the occasional caveat? i'm not getting paid to do this. i'm certainly not gaining fame or accolades. i write in this blog because it's amazingly cathartic for me. regardless of what i write, i feel better. it's therapy. i'm sure, in fact, that if i wrote about something the world cared about, made my blog a little more professional and regular, and made it relevant and grammatically correct, i might get paid for it. that's for another blog and another subject, i suppose. in the meantime, sex..

talking about sex is so interesting to me, mainly because i'm not afraid to ask people about it and enjoy hearing what they have to say. i have some friends that get embarrassed or change the subject, and it's weird to have so many people that are really incapable of being open about it. i should note that, to my knowledge, i didn't engage in sex at all last night, or have any racy dreams. so i could ask myself why this came to mind, but like many things i think of, i have no idea. they just appear.

but for whatever reason i woke up today and started thinking about how the time of day is just as much a factor to sex as location and, this one could be debated, who you're having sex with.

having sex during the day is wholly different than any other time. for one, it's light out. there's more physical exposure, of course. the light ends up changing the level of intimacy - either more so because you're letting more of your flaws out there, or less so.. for oddly that same reason.

but daytime has an altogether different feel too, in that there's usually no alcohol, no dinner, no prelude.

even still, i'd say that having sex first thing in the morning is different than during the day - because of circumstance, past life (is that what they called it in theatre school? the 'what previously happened'? i can't remember.) all those things make such a giant difference. and having sex waking up in the middle of the night adds an even stranger facet to something that would at another time feel completely different.

so many people have this idea that nighttime is appropriate. but why? does it have something to do with some deeply instilled guilt that our parents taught us? would we be more apt to do something at night because it's darker? or 'safer'?

or we feel like we're less likely to get caught. surely crime is higher at night.

maybe it has nothing to do with subconscious guilt. maybe the darkness adds a mystery that we like. maybe it's more convenient, since everyone's shutting down for the day, decompressing. maybe it's something else altogether.

it could have nothing to do with sex. maybe it's just the intimacy. certainly any emotion would be handled differently at midnight as opposed to 3pm, good or bad.

i was in the northwest territories a few years ago at a time when it was daylight 23 hours out of the day. and that last hour wasn't even really dark. but when it's 1am out and you're having a cocktail when the sun might as well be blazing overhead just felt..weird. it's like we expect that light and dark, and are used to expressing feelings accordingly.

i have no idea where this is going. can you imagine what my therapist has to listen to? that woman doesn't have nearly enough paper.

daytime does make me feel more exposed in every way. i'm less reluctant to 'feel' things, i find myself more vulnerable. during the day i keep busy and try to keep the mind occupied on routine things. but somehow the night isn't all that much of a safety blaknet in comparison. i express myself more at night, i allow myself to really consider how i'm feeling. but at night, all bets aren't off. nights end, after all, and more more abruptly than days do - if you've even noticed.

since i have the time and the inclination, i should start doing things at the opposite point of the day they would normally get done in. i'm going to wake up and get a steak, maybe go dancing, sleep while the rest of the world is busy being productive, and then wake up at 4:30am to vacuum and make a bank deposit.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

instruction manual not included

this last week marked my first anniversary hired on at my job. i was a temp at the time. it was my first and only anniversary.

i knew it was coming, despite people's reassurances. i felt it. i didn't know what magnitude, or what the circumstances would be, but i did know.

it's hard to know what to do now. that was the only thing keeping me in this town. all my other ties have slowly unravelled over the course of years, and my job was what felt like the stake in the ground. so once that gets pulled up, what do you do?

i feel empty. directionless. sad. but there are moments i realize that the possibility of good is significant. i just need that feeling to be more prevalent than it currently is.

do i stay here? do i choose a random city on a map and head that way? do i take this opportunity to uproot completely or just make a series of small, beneficial changes?

it's hard to know what to do. and my outlook changes with the positioning of the sun. and i can't get this ridiculous quote from fight club out of my head, about being free to do anything once you've lost everything.

and while it's not everything, it sure felt like it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

fuck the sleep number bed!

word of mouth about the magic comforting properties of my bed is increasing exponentially.

week at a glance

i found out the hard way this week that this new medicine i'm taking, while amazing and life-changing, is not a miracle pill. sure, it keeps me awake enough to have a normal human length day. but as i discovered the last few days, just because i'm alert and awake, does not mean i am capable of doing whatever it is i want all the time. i still have to be careful of over fatiguing my body, and rest sometimes even when i'd rather be doing other things.

every inch of my body hurts today to an unbelievable degree. i feel like a parapalegic on marionette strings. i'm moving, but i shouldn't be.

well, for a while i felt immortal anyway.

i sent my mom an email letting her know when i could come home for xmas. instead of her excitement, she asked, "you can't stay any longer than that?" i thought 5 or 6 days would be sufficient, but evidently not. i tried to explain to her that i wasn't going on summer camp.

i got an email from my favorite politically incorrect law enforcement representative today, and here's an excerpt:

We had a guy kidnap his girlfriend over the weekend. Well, to prove he loved her, he smashed her twice in the face with a small sledge hammer. Apparently she didn't belive him after the love smacks so he stabbed her twice with a carpet knife. After that she realized that she really did love him....until she was able to get away.

i had this weird moment of nostalgia and longed to have dispatched any of that. seems that when i sat down in my chair and faced my wall of flat screens and donned my headset, people started stabbing each other. it was like a gift. i do miss it sometimes. and then i come to my senses.

as hard as it is for my to give myself credit for things, i was a good waitress. but i was a great law dispatcher.

i have a potential date to go on, but i'm rather apathetic about it. not him, specifically, but just the date itself. i will seize an opportunity to be social, but i just don't want to put the energy in.

and speaking of social, there's quite a large party in LA this weekend. it involves a bunch of guys i went to school with, a few of whom i haven't seen in over a decade. the rumblings of said party are exciting, daunting, and frightening. if i know nothing else, it's that these boys know how to make an event legendary. and that's the only reason i'm going to make the 2 1/2 hour trek to participate. well, also dependent on the likelihood of me having a couch to sleep on.

oh, and today is teef-clean day. i love the dentist.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

today's post on my fantasy football league page

Sharon shows Zoot what it's like..

ColdBlooded 117, Zootsuiter 93

The Chinese have a word for limp dicks, that word is Zoot.
Now Scott didn’t set his lineup this week, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway as Sharon rolls over him with strong performances from A. Rodgers, M. Barber and M. Harrison. Both A. Rodgers and M. Barber have been consistent for Sharon, ranking 3rd and 2nd in points at their positions. Sharon now sits on the top of the BC division with a 3-3 record. I posted this week’s picture thinking I could get a few laughs at her expense, but it seems that she has a bigger dick than Scott, Blake or me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

performance art

shortly after i was hired as a 911 dispatcher, i came into work at 5pm. we worked in the heart of Vail, Colorado and our windows faced the ski resort.

upon getting into dispatch, i said hello to everyone and asked what had gone on that day (more than conversation, it was an important dialogue between shifts - to find out if there had been a fatality, domestic in progress, structure fire, etc.. something that happened in their day that would be crucial information for me to know before i started my shift.)

one of the senior dispatchers told me to look out the east window. i did, and saw the normal flow of traffic through the main vail roundabout. expecting to see some sort of accident, i looked back and her and said, "what am i supposed to see?" "keep looking," she said.

i stood and watched, and noticed that while most of the traffic was passing in, though, and then out of the main roundabout, there was a budget rental truck that continued around the circle without exiting. once, twice, three times. it made me think of european vacation, "big ben! parliament!" except this guy wasn't trapped in traffic.

"so, are you talking about the budget van? how long has he been driving around the roundabout?"

"since shortly before 2pm," she said.

to be sure, i checked my watch. had i come into work early?

but no, this guy had been doing constant circles in traffic for close to 3 hours.

"has anyone pulled him over?"

evidently, he had been. one of the officers had noticed him and pulled him over after watching him for 5 or 10 minutes. he had no warrants, a valid license, and current registration. technically, he wasn't impeding the flow of traffic or breaking any traffic laws. so the officer couldn't really make him stop driving in circles and had to let him go about his business.

probably the most interesting thing about this guy were the details that we, as dispatchers, would never know about until the officer came back to the police department and into dispatch to divulge the rest of the story - a cherished moment in our stationary, ten to twelve hour shifts.

this driver had rented a budget van and then rigged up, incredibly poorly and primitively, a camcorder over the passenger seat facing the dash board. the camcorder was pointed at a fishbowl there, complete with water and goldfish.

the driver's explanation for this strange centrifical fish videotaping was performance art. and at three plus hours and the price of gas, it must have been something he was completely passionate about. and it makes me wish i had a hobby that took that much forethought and planning.

poor fishy, though. son of a bitch was probably seasick as hell. or would that be carsick?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the big empty

i've been sitting in front of an empty screen for about about 20 minutes. my head is so full right now, it should be easy to write about something. anything. but some things are too good to write about. sometimes putting things into tangible sentences wears the shine off of them.

i slept for a lot of the day, which was much needed - i haven't been sleeping well lately, and find myself up at 4:30 every morning, and then again at 6 and 6:30. Makes a too-early start to a saturday.

i am trying to come back to colorado for xmas. it's been a few years since i've seen my family all in one place, so i think it's overdue. all of you know i'm not a giant fan of the holidays, but i'm oddly looking forward to finding a jacket in the depths of my closet that is warm enough to get me through 5 days on the front range. it's not set in stone yet, but a good possibility..

in the meantime, i'm trying to value myself more, overthink things less, and just enjoy what comes at me without asking the whys or the what-ifs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

my inbox got sad

google has a new feature they will implement late at night called 'mail goggles' in an attempt for people to avoid sending drunk emails to people they otherwise shouldn't. if a user has it active on their google account, they must answer a series of math questions that if answered incorrectly will prevent emails from being sent. which means the mathematically illiterate will never be able to late night mail anyone.

in my opinion, they could have made it easier on everyone and just skipped the math problems and stuck to the plain ol' captcha, which i can't do at the height of sobriety.

so you know i'm not completely making this up, read about it here.

i'm going to have to start getting my friends drunk earlier in the day, or my mailbox is going to get boring. at least i'll still get drunk voicemails. though it's only a matter of time before they rig up cell phones with breathalyzers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


it's disheartening to discover that, when push comes to shove, the people you have given too much of yourself to over the years are unwilling, or unable, to give back to you when you need it.

to be fair, the blame gets transferred at some point - and no longer is it their problem that they give too little or not at all that it becomes your problem for allowing it to continuously happen.

i try to remember that i'm not losing time, but losing only what i got in return. and it calms me in a way to know that from that perspective, i'm not losing much.

still, there's a decent amount of disbelief that occurs when you sit down with someone you've known for too long to ask for their help and they don't even give you the decency of an honest "no". you sit through a few lies and an excuse and wonder why you're even still sitting there. how can you ever trust anyone that can't look you in the eye?

i think overall i'm learning to let go of things that don't bring me joy or value. still have a journey ahead in that regard, but i'm heading in the right direction, one overdue goodbye at a time.

Monday, October 6, 2008


if you devalue yourself enough, the people you surround yourself with will appear much more worthwhile than they are. like looking into a stuffed-full closet only to realize everything is moth eaten. costumey garments that look dazzling under bright stage lights, but are cheap, tacky, and poorly made when you pull them off their hanger.

my closet is full of the self-serving. i was foolish enough to think i could lead by example - at a much greater cost.

if you prove to someone that you can do anything, you will end up doing everything.

Friday, October 3, 2008

for nutritional information, call 800.242.6200

i just ate a slim jim. the small size. and i have some stuck in my teeth. so i decided to eat another slim jim to assist in removing the meat sliver from my teeth. you know, kinda like using an iron and a sheet of wax paper to remove candle wax out of carpet? same idea. like sticks to like.

it didn't work. and now i'm on my fourth slim jim cause i brought a few backups to my desk in case. i didn't really think you could eat too many at a time, but it seems four is too many. the sodium is eroding my salivary glands. my tummy is mad too. let's see how mad he gets when 3 and 4 make it down there.

i've ceased working for the day. don't get me wrong, i'm still here. at my desk. acting as though i'm working. i type a little, i read slim jim ingredients. i type some more, i get a corona. wait, let me get a corona..

(time passes)

i had some cocktails last night, and evidently i'm drinking a beer right now. that makes alcohol two days in a row. i never do that. i always take a day off. usually several, but at the very least one. been drinking more lately. bad influences, i guess. internal and external.

i still have slim jim in my teeth. i have dental floss at my desk, but mint floss goes neither with fake meat nor beer. you know, they should make beef jerky flavored dental floss. mashed potato toothpaste. red wine mouthwash.

i feel like if i'm not productive at work, everyone else shouldn't be either. so i bother them. and i try to rally them away from their tasks at hand. sometimes it works. today? not so much.

i could take the leftover falafels from lunch. and the slim jims. and make an edible tinker toy sculpture.

no, better.

the air show is right across the interstate. perfectly visible from the third floor office. i'm taking my beer and going to watch the blue angels.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


late yesterday evening, i made a trip to fashion valley mall and found myself overwhelmed with thirst.

perhaps it was because san diego was about the same temperature as the epicenter of towering inferno yesterday.

regardless, i considered what i might be needing to drink as i neared the food court on the way to the parking garage. diet coke crossed my mind, as rubios has the most delicious lemons at their soda fountain that, when mixed with diet coke, create an amazing taste sensation that my tongue really, really likes. and just when i had almost made up my mind, i saw it:

hot dog on a stick.

oh dear jesus, yes! i thought. that amazingly tempting plastic vat of lemonade with it's delectable floating lemon wedges just whispering my name on a crisp, velvet wind of citrus.

i walked up to the counter with undeniable excitement. but wait - would i order regular lemonade? or cherry? or limeade?

no. regular. just look at that beaming, yellow solution that would be made only more delightful with a cup full of ice. best not to confuse it with more flavors. regular.

NO. sugar free. hooray! all the deliciousness and none of the calories. how great! i won't be too amped up on sugar to go to sleep. man, what a brilliant idea. i'm diabolical!

"large sugar free lemonade," and in his striped shirt and ridiculous hat, he began creating what would become a beverage i would savor for a half hour - maybe more!

i couldn't help but notice that behind the counter were a row of mirrors, making it possible to watch my lemonade trickling from it's magical spout, as though i were standing in both places at once - in front of the counter and behind.

but he didn't head towards the dispenser with my giant, soon-to-be-not-empty cup.

he walked to the far counter from me, almost out of sight if not for my mirror discovery. and i watched. while he pulled a measuring cup from beneath the counter filled with pale yellow powder, and poured the entire contents into my cup.

of course! artificial sweetener.

but no. the splenda came next. and then my cup was filled not from any dispenser, but with regular water. from the sink.

stunned to silence, i watched as he stirred it, placed the lid on, and walked back to where i was. he placed it on the counter with a wrapped straw, and with a smile, handed me my receipt.

i didn't bother to look behind him at my face in the mirror, but from what i could feel, i imagine i had the same expression i would have had if he pissed in the cup and handed it to me. utter. complete. sadness.

i shuffled to my car in the dark, the sad charlie brown song echoing far away in my head. honestly, i think i took it harder than finding out about santa claus.

i can't bring myself to look at the cup. it's still in its holder in my car, ice long since melted. i halfway expect it to be leaking from the seams when i get back into my car this afternoon, mocking me with its lukewarm, artificial sweetness.

when life gives you lemons, go to rubios.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

a few things, all unrelated

the good: this day is starting off better than any of the last five days. while this is good news, it isn't that much of a feat considering..

the bad: i am slowly learning that you can destroy nearly anything if you think about it too much.

the awful: phish is reuniting.

the encouraging: a friend was having a business meeting with an older, wealthy man discussing planning for his estate. this man's explanation for the longevity of his wonderful marriage was that he and his wife love to talk to one another.

the reality: i am in control of nothing. and if everyone comes to me when they need something, who the hell am i supposed to go to?