Monday, May 3, 2010

This is what four States of love tastes like

I am a crabby butt-head today. I am tired. I am behind in every aspect of my work (teaching, research, old papers from former lab) because I have been run down. I spent the weekend with guests. Some of this was lovely, but I'm tired now. Did I mention cranky? I feel like I need a week to get caught up. I need a vacation from being unproductive. I am SO behind at work. I had to cancel my doctor's appointment for this Thursday and it made me want to kick rocks. I'm so sick of waiting for something to be done with lumpolina-the-thyroid-disruptah.

DP was one of my guests and she left this morning. Even in my sleepy stupor, I was sorry to see her go. Sorry, but (when I woke up) completely confused as to what made her want to shove all of my toiletries (the ones I use daily and so keep on the counter) into a drawer. D? You reading this? What's up with that? You had to get the toiletries out of your sight on the morning you left town? That drawer was not arranged randomly, by the way. It was one of the only organized areas of my whole apartment. I still love you anyway. We'll always have D'Angelo's. And Yogorino. And 1993. And the lasagna episode. And raspberries. And the naked mud bath. Plus years and years of conversation. We have a lot actually. I do really love you. But next time leave my toiletries alone?

Crabby-butt-dinky-head. It didn't help that I checked my e-mail first thing to find that I was behind on...EVERYTHING. My fault, I know. Still sucked. Then I get an e-mail from a new Philly friend. We e-mail a lot. This is new to me and I can't seem to stop doing it even though we work in close enough proximity that I could easily walk over and say hello in person. Procrastination or novelty, I'm not sure, but it's wearing me (and likely NPF) out. I had e-mailed yesterday to tell him that I was planning on seeing a movie this evening and that the protagonist shared NPF's name. NPF wrote back today to say he didn't think he could make it, but he'll try. This makes me want to cry when I read it. Not because I'm disappointed that he can't come, but because I hadn't really intended to extend an invitation. I was with people all weekend (well, it was all weekend relative to how little company I keep these days) and I just wanted to have the evening to myself to recharge. Plus, I have a huge zit on my chin (again) and nobody should look at me or even in my vicinity until it's gone. I was stuck between wanting to go to the movie alone and not wanting to go alone since there was a perceived invitation and now maybe going alone meant that I was being rejected. Making connections in a new city is exhausting.

C.R.A.B.B.Y. You figure out what the damn initials stand for. I'm too grumpy to do it.

I worked on the computer for the day. Did not get caught up. Exchanged a few crabby texts with NPF. He was polite (not wanting to seem as if rejecting?), I was terse (why are you making me feel rejected when I only want to be alone anyway?). I almost bail on the movie idea but then buy myself a ticket online so I can't skip it and anyway, it was one-night-only.

Crab face, but then....Things Turn Around*. I go, alone, to the movie. I don't feel lonely. I feel relieved that I'm doing something for me. It's a light movie, but sweet. There is a "conversation with the director" afterwards. He's a light director, but sweet. I walk out of the community center, prepared to take a cab as it is after nine and realize....I LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA! The weather is warm, mid-70's at least and the street is just full of people wandering around, chatting, walking dogs, eating frozen yogurt. I'm totally safe to walk home. This is nice. I put my phone on and find that A~ has called me. This is nice too. I wander to a Chinese restaurant near my house and order "Healthy Vegetarian Szechuan Hunan Special General Tso 'Chicken' " (because nothing says "healthy" like deep fried soy-wheat mash soaked in red dye #5 and high fructose corn syrup) and some veggie dumplings. A~ and I chat about the movie while I stand outside the restaurant, waiting for my food. Some feeling starts to seep into's happy, just your garden-variety-contentment version of happy.

I head home with my"chicken" and we continue to chat. At my front door is a package from LC. This is exciting for me because she keeps bees and I am expecting some of her home-harvested Alabama honey. I open the package and find that it's better than anything ever. One mason jar of Alabama honey harvested from LC's backyard, two mini bottles of Maker's Mark bourbon, a card that says "I miss you, we'll have a drink soon" and five cans of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale. One of the cans is completely crushed and, although the pop-top is still sealed, the can is empty. This probably explains the soaking wet newsprint lining the box. Still, perfection.

For me that is what four States of love tastes like. It tastes like meddlesome Oregon toiletry rearrangement, peppered with some Pennsylvania self-invoked alone time, soaked in fructose and Washington conversation, then washed down with Alabama honey and Buffalo Rock. I've got women in every corner of the USA watching my back and I'm holding my own too. Behind at work or no, I'm doing okay as a human being.

I know, sometimes my writing can be a bit much. Does it sound too sweet for you? The metaphor a bit tender and mushy? Yes? Well....why don't you go suck a sharp dusty rock? I'll do my happy any damn way I please and that includes both cheesy and happy-crabby. Habby? Cheese-Chappy? Screw you. I'm going to bed.

(but I'm going to bed happy)

*I'm not sure, but I think "Things Turn Around" is the title of an ill-fated work by Chinua Achebe, meant to follow his ground-breaking "Things Fall Apart". Unfortunately, nobody wanted to read it. Mostly it just contained detailed passages of yam crops growing, unadulterated by locusts, and people sitting around chatting about what kinds of non-threatening animals had wandered through the village that day.

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