Have you ever seen the movie Harold and Maude*? Happiest sad movie ever, maybe. I think. I'm not sure I really got it, but I do like Cat Stevens.
It must happen all the time; the official population of New York City is 8,175,133.
Ted and I were waiting to take the elevator up to Julianna and Ed's for a Saturday catch-up party. Summer night, circle skirt, bottle of wine. We were waiting there with a lady and a puppy and when the elevator on the left finally came, there was chaos and doors closing on people and when the practical-looking nurse lady and the neat, older gentleman with the round glasses finally got out and decided which way to turn (toward the service entrance, not the main door), we had to flatten ourselves into the notch of the elevator on the right so they could wheel the stretcher away. And, pressed against that elevator door, we widened our eyes as we realized the sheet was pulled all the way up.
The lady and the puppy were still processing, but we got in the elevator. By the time we got to the sixteenth floor we were in fits of nervous giggles because sometimes big emotions come out all wrong at first.
And we had a party. We ate and laughed and celebrated and played with the puppy and forgot about it for a while.
*Harold and Maude was made in 1971 and is full of awesome. It's only 90 minutes long and it's streaming on Netflix, so I suggest you just watch it for yourself.
i started writing a story with heavy, morbid themes, but then i got distracted because i was hungry and also wanted to see if any wedding invitations came in the mail. (some microwaved, frozen veg mix and a cherry yogurt; and yes, one for september 24.)
and then i got further distracted by the general internet and started thinking about writing a satirical piece entitled, "date a girl who refuses to drink non-dairy creamer". As a work in progress, it only has a few lines:
Understand that she prefers electronic books to real books because real books are heavy and new books to used books because used books make her itch. Never mess up. Everyone knows that sequels suck because they are always trying too hard. Never propose to me over Skype. Well you can. Because I collect proposals. But I will ignore you.
It's summer and about 135 degrees. Fahrenheit. That's 57-ish if you live in Canada. A girl from Canada stayed with us for a few days, and she was like, "Is it always like this, eh? I can't dry my hair." and I was like, "Dude, it is always like this in the summer, and think about it. You are only in the very top part of this country. When I lived in the bottom part of the country, I used to have nightmares about drying my hair."
Well, anyway, I've been spending a lot a lot of time eating Italian ice. Actually, I've been spending a lot of time eating Italian ice (in heels on a corner in the East Village, on a walk through Fort Greene, at a Carrol Gardens street fair, etc.) and some time trying to figure out if I have one dollar (or two dollars if the boy wants Italian ice, too) and if not, where I can get some cash, because mostly you can't charge Italian ice.
I have a sandal tan line. I think the last time I had a sandal tan, I was in high school. It is actually a tan line, not just dirt. Sometimes it is partly dirt. The rest of my tan lines I've been changing up: scoop-neck tank top from going to Target, slightly askew oxford-shirt V from going to Trader Joe's. Currently, the most distinct print is one spaghetti straps and one extra wide handbag strap.
He met a girl and she told him she worked in television. He told her he didn't watch television because his real life was so much better.
There's intrigue, girls with boyfriends, boys with anger issues, love triangles-- and more complicated geometry, the addict friend with the girlfriend he might love. It's always left to be continued. It never gets simpler, just more convoluted and harder to follow.
On the way home from a concert with his pretty friend, he stops the car and they get out to stand in the street because millions of magazine pages are raining from the sky. You want that to mean something.
He might be dating the girl from the magazine night. He's probably dating her. But it's complicated. It's always complicated.
She wanted a late-night snack. She's drunk but he's sober. You get a few months of sober when you throw up massive amounts of blood and end up spending a few days in a Bahamian hospital.*
She points out a couple a few booths away, saying they don't match because the girl's hotter than the boy. He asks if she's looked at the two of them.
He drops her off but doesn't stay. When you aren't drinking, you have to make decisions.
I'm captivated, but I want it to work out this time. I want it to work out every time.
*You also get very close to figuring out how quickly your parents' friends can arrange for private international flights.
I don't like scary movies. I don't like ghosts or murderers, and I really hate invisible people. But I think the absolute most terrifying thing on television is I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I hate it, and sometimes I watch it. I think I'm equally intrigued by the bizarre plot lines and the reenactment format. It's like some really boring improv exercise where one person describes eating a lot of green apples and throwing up while someone who looks kind of like her acts it out.
So, it's scary because you can be pregnant and not know it until a baby comes ripping out of you even if you are skinny and have your period and never want to eat pickles and ice cream together. (But, seriously, if you've been having a lot of back pain and have been wanting to eat a lot of tacos, you should probably see your doctor before you reach down to find a person coming out of your crotch. That is what I learned from The Learning Channel.)
But the scariest part would be the explaining. Like, what if you were at brunch with your friend and you just thought you had to poop but then you had a baby in a public restroom and had to explain to your friend where you got that gross naked baby. And then you'd have to call your parents, who might be upset but would probably just be confused. And then you'd have to pretend that everything was normal and put some pictures on facebook and pretend that, oh, everyone just wasn't paying attention, you were pregnant all along, and of course you didn't have a baby at brunch and think it was a poop.
TLC, I did not need another thing to worry about. I should put a lock on that show, except I don't know how to work my television. (Three remotes!)
I had insisted. It was the solstice, meant to be enjoyed outdoors. He brought his glass of wine and I'd brought my bowl of blueberries, feeding him every third or fourth one in what probably should have been an embarrassing way. If I wasn't over that by now.
Little kids were running around on the roof, babbling nonsense, and someone somewhere was smoking pot. How do you know when kids get a contact high if they act like this all the time?
The sun went down on the longest day of the year, the day's heat coming from below now, oozing back out from the concrete and metal. He kissed me. Then he kissed me for real.
And. . . fireworks. Big, literal, professional fireworks. Directly in front of us, perfectly timed.
Writing is hard, these days. We both feel it now that we're in the part of the romantic comedy that happens after the credits roll. But fireworks? The sequel to our first movie is straight to video.
"I'm actually afraid if they aren't, we won't be able to connect with them. I feel like if we had a baby, we should hang an embroidered sampler over it's crib -- 'Don't worry. I'm pretty sure you'll grow out of it.'"
"Or 'There's still time. No one wants to peak in high school.'"
I love him, but if you'd seen our third grade school photos, you'd be worried about our hypothetical children, too.