Saturday, March 29, 2003

I felt as ordinary as a toaster today.

Did nothing spectacular. Ate sushi with mom. Watched The Core with mom, all the while thinking why the hell Hillary Swank wasn't in Wranglers and having earth-shattering, leg-entwining, lesbian love in every scene.

Speaking of suicidal, during abovementioned train wreck of a movie, I received a call from go-go boy. Obviously I couldn't get out of my seat, do a cartwheel in the hallway, and answer my phone with a reserved and nonchalant hello (which was my first impulse) for fear that I might miss a crucial scene in between the part where a crew of scientists enter the earth's crust in a vessel resembling an anal sex toy and the part where they save the world from destruction by jumpstarting the magnetic flow in the earth's core with the aid of nuclear weaponry.

So I let my voicemail get it.

Which, save for the time I was convinced I was the hottest thing since Robert Smith in eyeliner and platforms, was the stupidest thing I could do because the movie was fifty hours long, and by the time it had finished, it was much past midnight, and it was a Friday night, and I did not want to return the phone call at such an hour seeing that my explanation "I was watching The Core with my mother" would make me appear as to not owning a life, and clearly "I have a very mysterious and adventurous life" is the image I should be oozing with.

An "I rappel down the Library Tower during my free time" kind of an image.

But, at this point, it doesn't really matter. I know he's in love with me. Not because he's asked me out on romantic dinners, done as much as accidentally graze my shoulder with his arm, or gazed longingly into my almond-shaped eyes as we playfully threw stones in Lake Merrit.

Rather, instead of introducing himself, as he has usually done in the past, by name on my voicemail, he simply and most elegantly said tonight, "It's me."

It's ... me.

God, he SO wants to hit this booty up, it's mad sick.




Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Diamonds and Frills

Maybe it was my Mexico plans going awry or the past few drab months that left me feeling colorless and as dead as a cold fish, but I excitedly agreed to meet my high school friend Manali for cocktails at the beachside Marriott in Dana Point last Sunday.

And maybe it was the sight of elderly White women laboriously sipping on Blood Mary’s in all white jumpsuits discussing the questionable events of last week’s Senior Citizens for Democracy bingo gala in Laguna—something involving a raffle, a cruise to Miami, and an unconvincingly surprised prize recipient—that made both of us gulp down our martinis and head out to West Hollywood.

It was Oscars night. The place was swirling with limos, velvet ropes, and after-parties that no twenty dollar bill coyly planted in a bouncer’s palm or proposition for oral sex could get you into.

So we did the next best thing: became belligerently drunk and settled for a handsome Swedish model who, though didn’t have the connections to get us to rub elbows with Nicole Kidman, offered to take us to an after-party in the Hollywood Hills.

And maybe it was the sea of International Male t-shirt wearing gay porn stars or the hillside house overlooking Los Angeles, but I found myself disarrayed, in an empty whirlpool, and pretending not to appear alarmed by the cocaine hoisted up by car keys and Swiss Army knives.

Evidently, I had made the mistake of yawning.

Yawning, apparently, at such social functions is signal for a refueling on cocaine or, as I quickly learned, a bump.

Manali, at some point or another I concluded, must have yawned too, because halfway into the night I found her locked away in the bathroom with an incredibly gorgeous man claiming to have starred on Passions.

Being well learned in classical conditioning, I yawned at him, hoping that it would bring about similar outcomes as before, but he, clearing construing my yawn as a sign of boredom, walked away.

This yawn-bump dialectical repeated itself well into the morning, and, after having had one too many over-disclosing conversations about childhood traumas with strangers, Manali and I headed down the steep hill, all the while complaining about our sore teeth but still being able to appreciate the way the wind felt like a thousand shivering feather boas making their way across our numb faces.

As we drove home in Monday morning rush hour traffic, the rain falling as heavy as hammers on our windows, I tried to pluck out the maybes from my mind as if they were weeds infringing on my bed of azaleas.

Maybe it was the chatter from the old ladies, the nautical theme of the Marriot, the unmistakable feeling of getting old and jaded. Maybe it was the muscle queen with the Stair-Mastered ass, the minimalist architecture of the hillside house, the talk of auditions and open-calls as plentiful in the air as carbon.

Maybe it was all of the above, I convinced myself, that made me want to pretend I was River Phoenix with a death wish that night because thinking of the real reason was not something I was willing to admit.

Acknowledging that I was home again, in the city with the memories, with the streets and smells as familiar as a relative, with the ex lurking somewhere in the night, somewhere on that same Hollywood hill, was asking for too much honesty, and the suggestion that, maybe, I wanted it all back, the way a woman might regret an abortion, would have been too unbearably sobering and useless to mention.


Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Isn't Technology the Darndest Thing?

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Saturday, March 22, 2003

Last night I made the terrible mistake of staying in and watching One Hour Photo.

This alone would make one want to swallow gallons of arsenic. However, after having spent the entire day cleaning the apartment, I found myself in dirty jeans, the pant legs rolled up, and in a t-shirt I've been wearing for a couple days, eating a salad in my sparkling yet silent kitchen. And it was in this way that I had the vision of myself spending many Friday nights, alone, in my kitchen, eating a salad, blankly staring at my empty sink.

I felt as if I was in high school, overweight, and forging notes excusing me from participating in the week's water polo activities.

And then I listened to The Supremes, remembering that I was leaving for Mexico tomorrow and that a little bit of sun, fish tacos, and dollar shots of tequila could never do me wrong.

Friday, March 21, 2003

A Quandary

What does it mean when someone tells you, "I bet I could have sex with you right now," but proceeds to not have sex with you?

Call me stupid, but I'm perplexed by this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Like a Tattoo

Against my better judgment and basic carnal needs, I've decided to just be friends with go-go boy, considering that while the possibility of something physical occurring is likely, the possibility of emotional involvement, more so on his part, is as feasible as peace in the middle east.

While having him drive my car on the Bay Bridge on our return home from our third night out, I heard myself urge him to return to his ex-girlfriend, arguing that he was attempting to be single and a pseudo homosexual for all the wrong reasons. Having had experience with such men—the thrill seekers, the suckers for anything novel and untouched—I knew that such a lifestyle would only lead one to a series of cold, empty nights and monthly visits to planned parenthood.

“Going out and having fun all night,” I said, “isn’t all that fun when you’ve got an empty bed waiting for you at home.”

And even though it killed me to hear my own voice admitting to this, we both understood in our own distinct ways, pretended to not notice the obvious gravity in the air, and let Sade fill in the gap of our mutual silence.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Note: For some reason my comments have been both disappearing for a time or altogether deleting themselves. This, in no way, should be construed as an attempt on my part for censorship. Mrs. Gore’s already got that covered for me.

Good Vibrations

I bought my first sex toy yesterday.

It's called the P-Spot Vibro Plug, and, though it came in a variety of colors, I chose a purple one. The choosing process, I might add, was difficult at best. I was stuck between the one I bought and the Ruby Vibro Plug, a more aesthetic looking piece, until the fem-bot at the cash register informed me that if I was in the market for topnotch prostate stimulation, I go for the P-Spot Vibro Plug.

Prostate stimulation, he said, is like heroin: once you have it, the more you want.

I was so thrilled about my purchase that I made the mistake of revealing P-Diddy (the name I've bestowed upon my butt plug) to go-go boy who, after calling me to inform me that his go-going had been cancelled for the night, came over to my apartment. Evidently, he didn't mind much, and so we walked his Dalmatian around my neighborhood at one in the morning in the rain, all the while I was thinking of how gloriously dramatic it would have been if he had seized me from my arm, pulled my body against his in one determined thrust, and planted a kiss on my lips as the rain twirled off our shoulders like ice-skaters on ice.

I wonder if the exact thought crossed his mind, too.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Three-Day Update

Tuesday:

After a grueling day of teaching poetry to children in Oakland, I came home and received a phone call from Go-Go Boy. I was a bit confused, wondering for a moment whether I had left him a drunken voicemail recently and whether he had phoned to deliver me a tele-restraining order. Much to my surprise, however, he invited me to his twenty-seventh birthday party. Being a Texas transplant, he’s coined the night I Miss Texas and instructed me to come bearing cowboy regalia. His invitation, I’m convinced, is either (a) an indication that he truly loves me and, after a month of silence, decided that he can no longer exist without me, (b) a ploy to get me in leather chaps and a Cowgirl Up shirt and, upon entering the party, find myself the only Clint Eastwood inspired guest, or (c), the more plausible hypothesis, a testament to the fact that he just wants to have sex with me.

He must want to have sex with me. Who wouldn’t want to have sex with me? I even want to have sex with me.

Wednesday:

At an abnormally early hour (8am), I awoke and walked down to my dentist’s office. Despite the time, I was actually loving life as I passed eager pedestrians on the streets of Berkeley who were busy with buying stamps, hailing cabs, and brushing the sleep from off their lids. I felt so proud of myself, so productive, so in the world along with the shoe shiners and the street corner florists.

And then my dentist informed me of my five cavities.

The rest of my day was plagued with feelings of failure and images of teeth. All I could think, speak, see were teeth. Each person was a walking tooth. Some sparkling and as white as sea salt. Others more lackluster, obtuse, decay as deep and permanent as canyons. I felt like such a failure, as if I was sixteen again and had failed my driver’s test--twice.

“I brush every day, I do, and floss. I floss, you hear me, I FLOSS,” I confessed to the Croatian receptionist as if my cavities really belonged to somebody else and that a terribly mistake had been made.

“We’ll see you in two weeks,” she said in her thick accent, handing me my appointment card along with a look of disgust.

Thursday (today):

After another grueling day of both teaching elementary children the art of making African masks and, later, instructing high school students about the proper usage of similes, I came home and was informed by John , via his cell phone in West Hollywood, that he had spotted Garrett’s half-naked body on the cover of a gay mag.

I’ve plenty to say of this, but at the moment, all I have the ability and strength to do is take an insanely long shower, prepare by bunk with a dozen body pillows, and fall into my sheets the way the labia folds into itself: fluently, readily, and with ease.

Everything else, Paris included, can burn into a magnificent heap of cinders for all I care.





Monday, March 10, 2003

Family Knots

Coming from a generally backward Greek family, I had always thought that I was somehow condemned to a life of disorganization and inadequacy. Both my parents are chronic smokers, are oblivious to the numerous postcards sent from dentists with animated, taking teeth that pile in our mailbox month after month, and both are equally convinced that garlic can cure any ailment ranging from a sore tooth to colon cancer.

Growing up, I always viewed Anglo Americans as being a sort of special breed which was capable of paying taxes, having flawless white teeth, green lawns, and spending every weekend meticulously removing weeds from their flowerbeds. The image of an American family huddled over a pot roast and sharing stories about Spelling Bees and Little League Baseball over a perspiring cold glass of lemonade never left my mind as a pre-teen.

Our family never drank lemonade. We harvested lemons instead, along with other various fruits and vegetables, in our backyard, for use in our exotic teas and soups, and roasted full-sized lambs on enormous skewers despite the neighbors' complaints.

My father disagreed with my removal of my wisdom teeth, arguing that they were termed wisdom teeth for a reason.

My mother, conjuring up ageless knowledge from her grandmothers, would have me gargle vinegar to deplete toxins from my throat, and she never flossed, let alone urged for proper dental maintanence from any of her children.

So with all this folk psychology working against me, I couldn’t help but think that I would soon die as an adult living on my own. My teeth would inevitably rot and wither away like the marble steps leading to the Parthenon. I would be hunted down by the IRS, would build pyramids from parking tickets, and, in an attempt to rid myself of pneumonia, anorexia, and gingivitis, I’d end up alone, miserable—smelling like a thousand cloves of garlic.

So with that said, in the past month I’ve failed to:
(a) pay for two parking tickets,
(b) pay off the minimum amount due on my credit card,
(c) floss regularly,
(d) water my plants, and
(e) keep up with the eyebrow management (that small but noticeable in-between patch).

And in the past year in a half I’ve failed to:
(f) have a physical
(g) go to the dentist, and
(h) get “tested”.

So I’ve decided that I’m simply not programmed to live a well-adjusted, organized, and healthy life. It’s simply not in my genes. No matter how hard I try, no matter how hard I wrestle with my culturally socialized self and grapple with my mother’s grow-it-in-the-backyard self-made remedies, having my shit together and having fabulous hair, like not being molested at Band Camp, just seems. . .impossible.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

An Experiment:

Enter What is spooning a salad in terms of sex act (no quotation marks) into your google search engine and observe who's ranked number one in terms of relevancy...

God help that bastard who, seeking knowledge on how to spoon a salad, happens to stumble onto me.

After crashing into a parked car in the parking lot of Dennys, Danee, Ani, and I decided to splurge for the two dollar Bay Bridge toll booth in order to find an after-hours club in the city, only to find out, to our dismay, that there are NO after-hours clubs on Tuesdays.

Which leaves me back at the apartment at almost five in the morning, realizing that in five hours I will have to sit through lectures dealing with automaticity and hypnotism and, after sitting through an hour or so of traffic, have to teach underpriveleged children in Oakland poetry.

Sometimes I find that my identities clash. During the day I can be found teaching the art and simplicity of Haikus to children perpetually mouthing the lyrics to the latest B2k song, whereas at night I can be found atop a bar stool somewhere in Berkeley singing, "Hey shorty, it's yo birthday!"

Either way,

I'm tired.

There's a gash the size of Mt. Saint Helens on my Rav 4.

And, frankly, I want to die...

Monday, March 03, 2003

Lean On Me

It all began with Pier 1 Imports guy: someone who had caught my eye one lazy Thursday as I was perusing through the aisles of scented candles and martini glasses but didn’t have the courage to approach but, after a coincidental meeting online, eventually had coffee with. So, after gulping my non-fat iced mocha, exchanging a few rushed goodbyes with Pier 1, and bolting out of café Milano, I became painfully aware of the fact that, in a matter of twenty minutes, I had managed to incorporate the word “bitches” and “assholes” into every single one of my sentences, subsequently becoming painfully aware that I should never expect him, or anyone for that matter, to ever call me again.

And it is with this seemingly mundane event that I began to question my self-worth.

Fast-forward to this weekend in Los Angeles. Imagine me in a bar, hoisting up my martini as if it were this year’s Olympic flame and noticing a man who, after a night of, I’m convinced, being slipped a roofie or two, had sex with in the bathroom of some club. Then imagine me, thinking I was the hottest thing since strapless bras, walk up to said man, plant a finger on his shoulder, and announce, “We’ve had sex in a bathroom,” making sure to add a wink in for emphasis. Now imagine said man’s boyfriend snuff out his cigarette in a nearby ashtray with agitation and storm away as if someone had just announced a Blue-Light special on studded, Boy’s Lie t-shirts at Gaymart.

Imagine that asshole saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

And before this, it was the incident with Jew boy. And even before that, it was that sticky situation with go-go boy, me swearing that I don’t usually obsess over people, that I don’t usually call them at odd hours of the night to remind them that I was still alive and still available for dinner on Friday night or any other night of the week for that matter. Really, I don’t have that kind of a problem—really, I don't.

(Incidentally, go-go boy, according to my roommate Marl who happened to stumble onto him en route to the market the other day, likes to go bicycle riding around my neighborhood and, in their quick interaction, failed to mention me, or even hint to having her relay a friendly hello to me or even have the decency to inquire about ME. But that’s fine. Whatever. He can bicycle ride all he wants. I don’t care. I hatebikes. I hope he falls and breaks a kidney).

I feel like the nine-month-old puppy at the pound that no one wants to adopt. Sure they’ll tug at my ears for a minute or two, commenting on my droopy eyes, but they eventually move on down to the two-month-old lab to my right who, unlike me, is full of life, a healthier coat of fur, and the promise that he, unlike me again, can make them happy.

And so here I am again, a Sage & Citrus candle going to my left, a homemade sour apple martini to my right, and the knowledge that sprinting through a mine field could never compare to this loneliness, that physical pain could never rival the pain that comes with being unwanted.