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March 24, 2004

Blanket

Unedited selections from my inbox this morning, March 22, 2004:

today is monday. i am already tired and weary from a week that has yet to happen. i feel like i’m planning ahead, getting on the ball by being already so beaten down. i’m no procrastinator!!

> Big Theatre For Little People
> presents:
>
> the works of
> Samuel Beckett,
> Jean-Paul Sartre,
> &
> Augustus Strindberg
>
> as performed with soiled and discarded
> handpuppets and abandoned stuffed animals
>
> “Your security blanket is useless.”
>
> Ticket Prices:
> what does it matter, when the price of
> existence is sorrow, anxiety and
> horror?

Unfortunately nothing solves everything nor makes every situation the right one. Develop that pill and you’d be a zillionaire. And my personal hero.

Stay? Go? Stay? Go? I tore my hair out daily over that one with the Hungarian. For me there was value in staying – for awhile – just for the sake of having stayed. Because, as you know, for me, something that lasts as long as three months is unusual. I wanted it on my record. But also I wanted to practice working on something with someone. Unfortunately, though he very much wanted (and wants) to be together, “working” on it for him meant telling me what I should do to change. Anyway, that’s all neither here nor there relative to why I began this paragraph. But now it’s time for a new one. See below.

Ok. What I’ve been thinking as I’ve been dating these past two weeks and meeting three men, each of whom would be in many ways a vast improvement over the Hungarian, is that I wish I could make myself a composite boyfriend. And I think it is the human condition to want that and one of the sad realities of adult life that we all have to face that it isn’t an option. Actually that’s a brand new thought but I think it’s not a bad one, frankly. So, what are we to do instead? The impossible: choose which things are absolutely essential in a mate and let go of the idea that we can have it all without “settling” to a degree which will make us angry, bitter, lying, cheating, absent, or unbearably ambivalent so-called partners. For me, the Hungarian was that kind of settling. I had someone I loved having sex with, enjoyed cuddling and watching a video with, occasionally had a good laugh with, with whom I could not have a decent conversation, who made no effort to understand me, and who so regularly made me want to kill him that I began to feel like a madwoman. (Ok, I admit, that should have been a fairly obvious “no,” but I’m a sucker (read starving person) for sex and companionship.)

All that to say, in a word, aaaaaaaaaargh. Even if one can let go of the idea that having it all is possible, how the fuck do you know what’s absolutely essential and what you can live without without hating the other person for their failure to be what you want them to be? Another pill I’d like you to invent, please.

March 12, 2004

Atlas

The alarm of my smoke alarm is incredibly annoying. Obviously it was designed to be annoying, but this is something else. It was as though the hatch to hell had burst open, releasing the screech of a million damned souls in eternal agony. I almost leapt out of the shower.

The first thing I did was turn off the burner under the charred and smoking pot of oatmeal. Then I ran around the apartment in search of an implement – something wide and flat – to wave at the smoke alarm. Naturally I was naked, naked and dripping wet, but more to the point I had left my glasses in the bathroom, which meant I couldn’t see. Three times I headed back to get them and three times thought better of it.

In retrospect this scene resembled a compacted, minimalist version of the Keystone cops, with all the cops played by a single actor who for some reason is naked, wet, and severely nearsighted.

Here’s something I learned today: Dynamic HTML by Danny Goodman, while an excellent reference source, comprehensive and well-written, is not the best thing to wave at a smoke alarm. For one thing it’s 1,073 pages, not counting the front and back matter. That’s a lot of pages. Despite using two hands, I couldn’t get any speed going. Worse, the book is just nine by seven inches, so there’s not much surface to generate resistance. A coffee table book would have been far better. That or an atlas. I just now thought of an atlas. I don’t own any coffee table books but I do own an atlas. Two in fact. Fuck.

For a moment I considered looking for the off button on the smoke alarm, only this would have meant getting my glasses from the bathroom and dragging a chair from the kitchen, and I wasn’t even sure that smoke alarms have off buttons. Do they? Probably they do. Which is too bad for me because I must have waved that book for two minutes before the screech finally stopped. When it did, I immediately headed to the bathroom to dry myself, only the screech started again. Four times this happened, and each time the pause between screeches lasted longer. During the pauses I dried myself, put on my glasses, dressed, moved the pot to the sink, opened the windows, and turned on the vent above the stove.

Now it’s a few hours later and I can’t tell if my apartment smells better or if I’m just getting used to it. Probably it’s a combination.

As a kind of joke, I just walked around the apartment trying to figure out where the hatch to hell would go.