Monday, January 31, 2005

The Whole World is Pregnant!

Obviously not. That's something someone overheard on the subway in NYC.

It relates to what I'm thinking, though.

My good friend the Poet just had her baby (after two weeks of trying), my cousin got pregnant by accident, a woman I used to work with got pregnant while religiously taking the pill! My boss has been married for two months, she and her new husband are trying. Women are coming into my shop every day, stocking up on shea butter for their stretch marks. Everywhere I turn women are swelling with little people.

Or trying to.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I Pose a Question

For the writers who read this, and anyone you can send my way to help me out here:

What the hell do you do when you have a character that you have created, a life you have given her, a terrible thing you have had happen to her, and then you hit the WALL? I have been working on this for exactly five years. I realized about ten minutes ago that, as of yesterday, it's five years to the fucking* day.

I feel like I'm being haunted by this woman. I feel guilty that I can't finish.

She's not real! It's not like I actually killed someone's actual babies! She and her husband do not exist, and yet I feel like she's always hanging around my house, not angry, not judgmental, just waiting for me to end her story, and I can't!

Other than:

"Then a plane crashed into the house and they all died. The End."

That's not closure, it's just an end. A shitty end. Though Sam would probably think that ending was funny.

Advice, anyone? Pauly? Rick (if you're speaking to me again)?

Oh, and "Novice, seek out extensive therapy" is not the advice I'm looking for. Though I could probably use some more of that, too.

*I think that's the first time I said "fuck" on this blog.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005


An hour ago I was so tired. I was grateful for the couch, left to me by my husband as he went to bed. The lucky bastard can fall asleep five minutes after his head hits the pillow.

Since I was little, I have never been able to sleep like that. I remember staring through the blackness of the open door directly across from my little bed. It would be midnight. I would have kindergarten in nine hours. My big Oscar the Grouch was next to my head, I would be holding him so tightly, and unable sleep. My mother used to tell me that I needed to shut that overactive imagination of mine off. She always said it so fondly though. I think she was equally frustrated and proud of my overactive imagination.

When I was twelve, I didn’t sleep for a week. Nightmares. We started trying everything. From warm milk to therapists to Tylenol PM to Halcion and everything in between. It happened again when I was sixteen. Lavender. Chamomile. Melatonin (the man of the moment).

Trazodone. The first time I took that, I overdosed and slept until 3pm. For the rest of the day, I couldn’t walk in a straight line, and when I talked, I sounded absolutely hammered. From then on, no matter how much I want to, I never take more than one pill.

The one time I have been able to go to sleep without any aid came to me after my first copulation marathon. I was thrilled! Finally, a drug free way to get some shut eye and hot damn is it fun! After a couple nights of that though, we were both rather...sore. And my Beloved was starting to resent me a bit. The lovely state of relaxation that comes with Afterglow cannot be forced, I think. Sex for the sake of sleep really isn’t fair to sex.

So here I am. It is nearly midnight. That’s not very late to most of the people I know (some people's nights are beginning now), but I have to get up in exactly seven hours, do some heavy lifting (to get my car out of the mound of snow) and work for eight hours. Paycheck work, not this. This I can do in my massive turquoise bathrobe and polka dot slippers. Sitting in my apartment. While I wait for sleep.

Wait for sleep.

Hmmm...maybe I’ll wake up my husband...

Monday, January 24, 2005

One resolution down...

I haven't even called a gym yet, but Pauly kindly invited me to submit something to his monthly 'zine.

I am flattered to be in such company.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Big Empty

About two years ago, I joined a toy store company. I love toys like you would not believe. Whenever I had to shop for toys, I would seek out little, independent places where you have people who actually understand customer service and toys. This store was a total blast to work in. This store was really about playing. The store hired people who actually knew about toys. We did puppet shows, arts and crafts. There were certain “experts”. A 20 year old Emerson film student who knows more about Legos than anyone you have ever met. Ever, and he’s hilarious!

When first I wandered into this store, I was so impressed by how things were set up, and by the obvious positive philosophy. I started talking with a guy behind the register who turned out to be the owner. A week or so later, I had a great job offer. More than the paycheck (three times what I had been making) was the excitement of working for someplace young and new. I loved the vision. I loved that it was about the kids, that it was about quality and fun and actually enjoying being there. We were going to Providence to open the second store. We, the employees, hammered in the shelves, and moved the massive boxes of stuff around. It was long (18 hour work days) it was exhausting (MDF...even one shelf weighs a ton) and it was so exciting.

Here’s the thing about the guys who own the stores. They are brilliant visionaries. They are not brilliant businessmen. They actually aren’t very good business men. After six months the store that I had literally invested blood sweat and tears in was not doing all that well. They grew too fast. They planned for a different type of consumer. The downfall of the store was handled really badly. People were told about losing their benefits right before they lost their benefits. Avoidance and procrastination reigned. I would come home crying, with my husband and Sam Costello telling me that I was being too soft, that I was being too meek, that I was investing too much emotionally.

I’m always being told that I invest too much emotionally. Once somebody actually told me that I love too much. I didn’t think that was even possible.

I digress...

That December, I was laid off. Well, that’s not entirely true. My position was dissolved. I was offered a sales clerk position, but it was a gigantic demotion, and I could not afford it.

This past Thursday I was at the mall and I wandered by the massive, empty space that was once the store I helped build. I looked at a spot on the floor and remembered when Heron, Nadia, and I sat on the floor and opened boxes and boxes of stuffed animals. We found the adorable monkeys, and the cats so unbearably ugly we couldn’t believe anyone would buy them.

I saw the place where I set up the "Book of the Week" and storytime. The first storytime was to If You Give A Pig A Pankcake. The kids loved it. They drew pictures of pigs for the artroom door.

I saw the place where we carefully set up the die cast cars and trucks, trying to figure out where they would be visible and not get swiped. The place where I was scared out of my wits because the store was all dark and I thought there was some big dude hiding around the corner. It was a life size Lego statue of some famous basketball player (whose name I have forgotten).

I really believed in it. I really loved what I was doing.

Looking at that giant empty room, I got kind of misty eyed.

My husband did not understand that at all. He didn’t see how I could still have good memories of a company that handled itself so poorly.

I’m not mourning a relationship, I’m mourning a feeling and an ideal.

That’s even more painful, because those things can never be repaired.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Other Shoe

My husband has no immune system. It’s flu season, and there’s a shortage of vaccines. A lot of people who don’t need the flu shot have gotten the flu shot. Heaven forbid they miss three days of work because of a virus. Rather take it from someone whose life could be endangered without one. His disease (Ulcerative Colitis) seems to be getting as better as it can. We are not sure if he will need an additional surgery, but things are actually looking positive, according to his GI doctor.

When I hear “looking positive”, I know to wait for the other shoe. It fell this morning.

I was in the shower. I heard a crash.

I ran out into the kitchen to find my husband slumped against the counters, unconscious, with a whole lot of pills scattered around him. I called the ambulance as my husband came to.

I stood there in my bathrobe and wept while the EMT’s bundled him up. I left a voicemail on his brother’s cell that was little more than incoherent sobbing, and a similar one was babbled to his Director of Operations.

I forgot to bring his coat, or shoes with me. They gave him little booties at the hospital, and a blanket.

He’s home now. The told us at the ER that it's the flu AND strep throat. Though that sucks, it has nothing to do with his UC and won't kill him. He's had a fever that comes and goes, but it's not here now. I went out and got him the Return of The King dvd. He's going to be lying on the couch for the next week or so, I may give him something more entertaining than daytime TV.

You would think I’d be used to this kind of thing now. That something would just click every time I see the EMT’s. No tears, no irrational behavior. You would think that I would be calm. My husband’s medications and doses would roll of my tongue, I would cooly jot down the directions to the hospital, and make clear, informative phone calls to his brother, his employees, and his mother.

You would think.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Intimate Stranger

This is a follow-up to Selfish Anonymity, so if you haven't read that, this will make no sense (scroll down a wee bit).
I think I see the issue. He is an intimate stranger. He knows nothing about me, but, unlike Rick and Pauly, should he learn anything we'll actually have to look each other in the eye the next day. Worse still, if he gets to know anything real about me, he might start to care about me, and then things would get all weird. I might actually have to be "involved" in a "relationship".

My husband thinks I'm not giving the guy enough credit.

Here's the thing, though. Ninety nine percent of the men in my life (Dad, Husband, and Best Friend are the exceptions) have put me on some kind of pedestal. They have used their feelings for the unavailable me as an excuse not to go out and look for a healthy dating relationship OR used me to replace their absent mothers, and therefore expected me to be constantly affirming and nurturing OR indulged their own protective natures and made me their “Baby Sister”, the fragile creature they are sworn to protect from emotional and physical harm at all costs.

Or they have been observing my relationship with my husband since it began, and I am an object of pity (because of the illness). I hate that the most.

So what tells me that this guy would be different?

Selfish Anonymity

When I started this blog, the point was for it to be anonymous. To keep my friends away, freeing myself from the role in their lives that I have to fill. Though I mentioned my little...experiment(?) my husband and an old, old friend, I did not tell anyone the address or what I wrote about.

So very selfish.

Last night, however, I did tell a "friend". I use the quotes, because the man knows me very little (so is he a stranger, and therefore my target audience?). He is an invaluable piece of my life. I see him almost every day. Nearly a year ago, he literally saved my husband's life, on a night that I was too weak and sick myself to react properly to the horrible pain my Beloved was going through. I love this not quite friend. He does not love me, because he knows me only as the wife of my husband.

I actually really like that. No, let's be honest, I love that! I love that I can be in a car for nearly an hour with this guy, say nothing, and he doesn't think I'm mad at him or something. My relationship with him is the most selfish relationship I have ever had, but nothing feels wrong about it, because he doesn't care about me, so I can cause him no pain! It's fantastic! He makes me laugh, supplies me with reading material, lets me stare at his divinely perfect posterior and then he goes home and I exit his mind. I have never had a freedom like this.

I also had a brief moment of alarm when I saw a link to my blog on Eat More People, one of the sites I frequent. I really don't know why Rick put it there. Our sites have little in common except the "" at the end of them. I guess since I'm one of his regulars, he thought he'd do me a favor and send people to me. He's a sweetie, that Rick.

So it’s probably good that I told this “friend” the name of it. If I hadn’t, he might have seen the new link, gone there when bored, and figured out within ten seconds that it was me. He said that he wouldn’t read it if I didn’t want him to (but is he a stranger, and therefore my target audience?).

Why is this secret so important to me?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Back to Boston

My husband woke me up at 8 am on Monday. It was a day I had off, and had planned on sleeping until...well, until I woke up. I grumbled at him for a moment, and then he told me

"I have a meeting in Boston today. I was going to come home right after. Do you want to come in with me and hang out in the city?"

Ooh. I love Boston. I went to college in Quincy, and spent most of my free time wandering aimlessly around the city, talking to strangers and writing about them. And eating, of course. I don't know why, but every time I go to Boston, I get this tingle all down my spine, and I smile a lot. Whatever season in Boston it is when I happen to be there, that's my favorite. For some reason, the best writing that I have ever done has been there. When I feel drained of all creativity, I start looking up train schedules, because I know I need to go.

As I always do, I got out several T stops before my desired location, walked until I was cold and hungry, and then hopped into a place that looked warm and sold coffee. I snuggled down with my cup and a croissant. I opened my notebook and looked around, expectantly.

Nothing happened. Maybe I didn't have enough coffee? Nope, that wasn't it.

I looked around at the other people. Two businessmen, and their conversation was technical and boring. Where was my spine tingle? Where was my inspiration?

Panic set in. Possibly the setting was all wrong. I left, with my coffee. I wandered around. I was accosted by a survey lady. I gave some opinions about pictures of soup. I made 5 bucks. I left. Kept wandering.

A distraction perhaps? I wandered to Downtown Crossing,tried to do a little shopping, realized that I have gigantic thighs. Stopped shopping. Wandered around until my husband called. We went to lunch at McCormick and Shmicks in Quincy Market, and the waitress had the kitchen make the sandwich that was on the menu a year and a half ago for me. That was pretty awesome. I left a hefty tip.

The day wasn't a total loss. I made 5 dollars and had a fantastic salmon club sandwich for lunch.

Sadly though...all inspiration.

Unless you count this.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

When I Grow Up...

Professional Organizer:

I can't believe there are people who feel the need to pay for this, but as I am often told, not everyone is organized to an irritating degree as I am. You know how most people have a "junk drawer" in their house? I don't. I have no "junk" anything. Ask me where anything is in my house, and I can tell you. Every pay stub, every bank statement, every photo that I am waiting to frame, is filed away in the cabinet next to my desk. I actually put together a big book of the magazine articles that I wanted to keep, so I could throw away the bulk of the old issues. I purge my material goods seasonally, when I change around the clothes in our closets. I scare people with this gift, sometimes.

I wonder how you train for a job to be a professional organizer? Maybe you show up for some sort of certification test, they throw a bunch of junk on a desk, and if you can clean it up in ten seconds, you're golden!

I could do that.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Brand New Bag

That's what I'm listening to, anyway. Nothing like James Brown to stimulate the ol' creativity.

I am sitting at a desk in my husband's office. He owns a small company, and once a week (or so) I go in to help out with the organizational, "secretarial" type things. Things that every office requires, but that seem to be a waste of time for a guy with a degree from WPI. I really like these days as his employees are really funny and one of them is smokin', smokin' hot. Plus (biggest plus), my husband is there. On the days when he's healthy enough to leave home, it is really fun to see him working. He loves his career, and is very, very good at it.

I am done with the organization and filing for today. All the tax forms have been sorted. The filing cabinets have been re-alphabetized. For an hour, I have nothing to do. Sitting at a desk, looking out at the snow, and the traffic on 290, I start thinking of my own job.

I haven't yet shared what that is, have I? I work in retail. I actually like it. I work in a really great shop that sells products that I actually have knowledge of and enjoy. It's a company that treats its employees well, and the people I work with are women of a similar humor to my own. However, when I think of what I want to be when I "grow up" (says the married lady fast approaching 30) that’s not really it.

In the movie "Office Space", the protagonist mentions a question asked to him by his high school guidance counselor. "What would you do if you had a million dollars and didn't have to work?" The answer you come up with is supposed to be what you should do for a living. Like if you say you would spend all your time drawing, you're supposed to be a cartoonist.

If I had a million dollars and didn't have to work, I would want to stay home, have a whole bunch of kids, and write them stories. Once a week I would hire a sitter, go in to Boston, sit in the train station, and watch people. There are no job descriptions like that.

There are other things that I do like to do, and am good at, and some people pay for. Until Harper Collins is beating my door down for my series of children’s books, or until Miramax calls, frothing at the mouth for my screenplay, I might have some ideas.

I will post them later. This is already quite long.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

A Really Sick Poem

So today I am home, absolutely miserable with some sort of cold/flu thingummy that Thank The Almighty hasn't hit my husband like it's hit me. I am horrendously bored. Husband is watching football, and is (understandably) trying to steer clear of me. He has practically no immune system, so even a cold could land him in the hospital for a week.

The last time I was sick was this past summer, and I wrote a poem. I don't think it's a bad poem. Before this, I hadn't actually written any poetry for a few years (the last ones coming out of a really messy breakup).

Being as bored as I am, and possessing zero degrees of energy or creativity, I shall inflict my old poem on you.

Midsummer Cold 07/23/2004

The air is still
And thick with germs.
A Yellow Something
Covers everything.

My head is full of cotton and molasses
And something raw.

He’s sprawled on our bed, bloated, oily.
I’m on the couch fantasizing about
French Sarcastic Men.

Everything stinks of the Common Cold.
Everything needs to be hosed down with
Mint and ice water.

Everything will be over in twenty four hours time
Aided by Pseudophedrine.

But right now I want a valet
A Jeeves.
Someone to scrub all the ich out of my home and bring
Me Peppermint tea.

Or a Long Island Iced Tea.
Medicine of a different kind.

I want someone to e-mail me something funny
Or dirty
Or French
Or all three.

I want to go swimming.
That’s random!

I want to stop typing.

I’ll go disinfect something.


Yes, I still believe in them.

1. Join a gym. I'm not getting fat, but I am getting squishy and I don't feel as healthy as I did when I was five pounds lighter and more active.

2. Take better care of my husband by not coddling his every whim, allowing him to do some things for himself (but still give him a verbal ass kicking if he wants to work 10 hour days), tell him when he's getting on my nerves, and not feel guilty about it.

3. Have more people over/go out by myself more and not feel guilty about it.

4. Allow people to help me more, and not feel guilty about it.

5. Eat better. Less frozen, more veggies.

6. Send more work out to agents/publishers. I've been so busy lately, I haven't had the time, but if I don't make time, I'll be forty with a bunch of unpublished stuff (some of which is actually good) and a deep sense of regret.

7. Not cry every day. Not by repressing anything, just by finding reasons to be happy.

One is going to be the easiest. If I'm still doing this next year I'll revisit this list and see what I accomplished.