Monday, August 17, 2009

Friday, I discovered that tomatoes and cottage cheese go amazingly well together.

Sitting at Denny's, edging on midnight, a few blondes in cowboy hats with boobjobs decorating various booths with their tanned skin, having left their country-line dancing club early.

Leaning on my best friend's shoulder, running on fumes. Pushing it too hard as I try to fit everything in, running by the house to do laundry, to work on school registration issues, to get refunds and adjust classes, talk with parents as they watch TV downstairs, the one thing that my mother hoped would cheer my father up: football season.

Tumble into bed at 2AM, tossing on a strange mattress, cat-sitting for a friend who went out to Texas for a wedding that was called off due to a problem with the pre-nup. Neighbors outside talking, talking too much. Three windows above the bed open a three inches each. Up on my knees, I slide two of them closed, but the third, the far left, refuses to budge.

I give up and go back to bed. Restless sleep, every hour I roll awake.

The sun finds me at 10AM.

Showering, the cat sitting by the tub, watching and waiting for me to come out so he can play in the puddles left behind. Orange and white, missing the tip of an ear, giant eyes, even for a cat. He's the kind of cat who likes to be knocked over, knocked around, loves to wrestle.

I walk to the nearest coffee shop. I'm there from 11AM to 930PM, writing, organizing, going through old emails, going through diaries, trying to remember it all. Who helped make me, and how they did it. Faces flooding my mind, events, feelings, sights. No sounds. I don't remember sounds. Lighting, the feeling of a windowpane digging into my shin as I climb out into 4AM streets.

I fill pages.

I write.

A Filipino woman interrupts me for an hour, talking as the muscles in my right forearm relax and untangle, pain subsiding. She buys me dinner as the evening wears on. A comedy troupe comes in, my phone goes off, two texts from two friends, one requesting my opinion on something as the only sane and healthy highly sexually active female he knows.

Surprises me.

I step out, make a call, make another call, and I'm in the fading light, wind from the beach threading up the street as I pace and talk, people passing by with dogs. Street lights turn on and I get off the phone.

I sit down for thirty minutes, then realize I'm late, and I rush back to the apartment, changing my clothes, tossing on make-up, taking my hair down for the first time that day. The cat watches me, I smile and turn the faucet on, leaving him hypnotized, one paw darting out to smack the offending liquid.

Up the freeway, dancing between 80 and 90, my usual range, my comfort zone. Through traffic, street lights, and finally I'm waving at the valet and parking myself. The security guard at the door tries to card me, he's new. I look at the valet, look at him, and sigh. I take two steps towards my car and he lets me in.

I find friends in the low light, hugs and greetings, and I hit the dance floor. The lights above me, the hardwood below me, this is all I want, balls of my feet pivoting as I go through the motions and styles that I have spent so many years watching and learning.

At the end of the evening, clothes are a damp second skin. I try to warn people off me when they come to wrap their arms around me and bid me goodbye, but they don't listen. They never listen.

3AM and I'm in the parking lot, talking with a one night stand from last year. We start talking about pick-up, and he's totally unattracted to the idea. Poor guy. I picked him up last November, spun him for a loop, and then set him back down when he turned out to be such a bad lay. He's still trying for round two, but even I'm not that nice. He starts again, trying to convince me to go home with him. I wave goodbye and bolt.

315AM, I'm at Fred 62's, scenster watching with a friend. Cottage cheese and tomatoes, he laughs at me. His engagement ring is hammered flat and strung on a chain around his neck, a constant reminder to never be that stupid again.

5AM, I'm in the shower, scrubbing sweat and make-up off. Yellow trim, beige walls, white tile, orange cat. I flick water at him over the shower door, but he's completely unfazed.

10AM, I'm up, I'm groaning as the top of my thighs rebel against movement. I twist and turn in bed and try to relieve the feeling of having rocks in my legs. The cat eyes me, I scratch along his jaw. I dig the most comfortable clothes I have out of my duffle bag and hobble down to the coffee shop.

150PM, I'm running out of the coffee shop, my laptop flapping behind me. I'm late, keyboard and screen sucked me in and I toss my bags to one side of the living room before bolting back out to my car.

215PM, my friend is late. Standing out in the sun and the beach breeze, I don't care.

220PM, my friend arrives. We settle in and the organist begins to play, the pipes painted in blacklight paint, a weird 60s dream missing black velvet.

515PM, we're at a restaurant near the beach, both of us flirting with the waitress.

700PM, we're buried in stacks of used books in Santa Monica. I adopt two, the dust from the book jackets embedded in my fingerprints, the guys at the counter eyeing me oddly.

910PM, we're at The Bridge, buying tickets for District 9. Surrounded by the youth of America, I weave through unaware crowds and settle into the comfy black armchairs in the Director's Hall.

12PM, I'm driving down the 405, listening to Fourtet, letting the feeling of wheels on asphalt rock me.

1230AM, I'm in bed, a sleeping bag on a living room floor, my legs still so tense that the hard surface hurts. I adjust to take the pressure off of the muscles, the sleeping bag I occupy one I've had since elementary school, a worn green and black plaid on the inside without padding. I might as well be sleeping on the floor, but I don't mind. A pillow, a sheet, I'm set.

1235, the hum of the refrigerator in his near empty apartment, the sound of the waterbowl the cat drinks from, the cars that pass... the noises, my lullaby of city rhythms, I'm asleep.

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