Monday, December 18, 2006

High Fidelity

Last week extremely busy, made more so by two day period in which Jackie needs to stay home to take care of her grandmother who--I come to find out--she lives with. What is wrong with your grandmother, ask, regretting question as soon as it is out of mouth. Her Head, Jackie says darkly and see that ought to change topic to weather. Isn't it warm. Own Grandmother running strong. Arrives in New York last Thursday morning (just off the red-eye) full of ideas about what she wants to do. Number one on her list is to see new musical High Fidelity. Ask her if she read review in the Times. Yes, she says, but Ben Brantley doesn't like anything. How can you trust a person like that? She likes Nick Hornby and she doesn't want to go to the kind of musical that the hoi polloi go to. She jabs at the paper at an ad for Chicago--Huey Lewis is not her idea of a good time. Can see her point and agree strongly. Tickets are easily procured but at enormous cost. Grandmother doesn't seem to mind. Need to go to work and ask if she will be fine with Dave--yes, she and Dave have already had an email conversation and they've planned to bake more cookies together. Am unreasonably hurt that not included in this plan. Musical is on Friday night--am able to get out of work early and we spend very tense hour in Century 21, only time when grandmother looked a bit tired and old. This utterly understandable becuase image of self in mirror looks shockingly aged and gray. Get snack before show. Seats small, and am kicked by pointy toe of heeled foot as am trying to arrange coat (Later, discover that feet have been resting on overcoat for all of show. Coat, on further examination, proves to be unimproved by being stepped on and am very angry.) Find mind wandering far afield in first act. At intermission notice strange kiosk selling candy. During second act, attention sharpened--unfortunately not on show but on noise of people eating Twizzler licorice and peanut M & Ms directly behind us. Grow increasingly furious. Write eloquent letter to owners of the theater, to the Times, and to the producers about incongruence and inadvisablity combining of high-priced tickets with Movieplex type snacks. Just as am wrapping up letter--particularly like beginning of last line--It is the height cynicism for you to-- Hear grandmother turn around and say in chilly voice, Please stop eating. What? Woman of couple asks in reply. Grandmother puts her finger to her mouth in the international mime for be quiet. Fuck That, replies the gentleman of the couple and proceedes to rustle his packaging with increased vigor. Stare straight ahead at stage, but can feel heat coming off of grandmother. Activity on stage uninspiring and spend rest of show imagining grandmother a) punching man b) spritzing him with pepper spray c) giving him a brisk talking-to; then, in turn imagine self a) being punched by man b) self Calling Security d) telling the Police that want to Press Charges. None of this comes to pass--instead when we go outside after show grandmother says mildly, People are so rude. Dinner spent dissecting musical. Grandmother notes that Sometimes more fun to see something bad than it is to see somethign good. (on further thought this thesis does not hold up but at dinner we are full of wine and good cheer and any conversation will do.) Saturday spent organizing closets. Grandmother holds up each item of clothing in manner which suggests striped shirt (say) is vector of deadly disease and asks, Have you worn this in the past year? No? Put it in the give-away pile. Jenny hides under the bed during this process. After see grandmother off in car service this morning, am reminded of feeling after Sigrid's visits and recall saying about apple not falling far from tree. At the same time feel sad to see car turn corner at end of block.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Grandmother says that she doesn't want to inconvenience us, so she is only coming from thursday to monday of next week. She is staying at a hotel in Soho. Ask her if it isn't expensive. Yes, she says, but no more than Times Square. The last time she went to Times Square, a hefty woman's caboose swung around and pushed her (grandmother) into traffic. Tell her that the same is almost as likely to happen in Soho and why not stay with us? She couldn't, it would be an imposition. She must. No, really, a hotel is the only reasonable thing to do. This goes on in ever-escalating tone on both sides until say, rashly, Dave would be insulted if you didn't stay with us. Fine, she says. Fine, say I. Call Dave at home to tell him of plans. There is a long, fraught silence. Where is she going to sleep? Tell him, On the couch. Add, It pulls out. (Dave already in posession of this information.) Firmly change topic. Ask, What have you been up to today? Hear about the View (difficult to believe that it is still on, but Rosie strangely riveting) the grout in the bathroom (shameful) and that Jenny seems to be favoring her right front paw, so he cooked up some chicken for her to make her feel better. When get off phone, feel that ought to tell Dave that it isn't Healthy to be stuck at home all day and that he really needs to Do Something before he gets depressed. Decide to do work as it is Healthy. This theory quickly called into question when receive stern email requesting completed curriculum for the 2007-8 school year before the Holiday break. Break news to Jackie, who shrugs and says, that's what our jobs are, right? Am sorry to say yes, but feel strongly that have never liked her. Go back to office and feel that have also never really liked self all that much either. Clean desk, which has usual, soothing effect but am grimy by the end of it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


This afternoon am feeling weepy and hungry--specifically for cinnamon raisin bagel with butter and also a coffee. (Later, the Contessa directs to article on SAD in the Times in which all is explained--the Contessa says that last winter she had a secret stash of mini snickers bars in her desk--am both glad and upset that she kept secret from me--thanks to Jenny and the morning exercise, side and belly fat have finally been reduced to acceptable levels--though as the weatehr gets colder the runs have been a big perfunctory--Jenny also a fan of carbohydrates and being cozy.) On street, get excited about bagel immediately find reason to regret decision to sing song from yoga class from day before--remade version of Billy Jean--when run into Libby. (Note: never again sing, make monkey faces, scratch self, mutter, or laugh.) Libby shakes her head at me. So at least not everythign changes. It appears the city exists only to make her life difficult. Fresh Direct forgot her cottage cheese and replaced it with greek yogurt. Defend Greek yogurt to no avail. Make several attempts to leave, but each time inch away, Libby recalls another slight. One man on train cleared his throat nonstop--here she does a very unsettling impression. Ask if Man had to spit (am afraid that Libby has to and will). No, she says, just blow his nose about fifty times inbetween the throat clearing. Tell her that I've got to get a bagel. She snorts derisivly which strangely makes me more hungry. Ask, How's your pregnancy are you craving anything? She replies briskly, maybe if I ever stop throwing up. Begin to think that will never achieve bagel, and become anxious. Am shocked and impressed with self when squeeze Libby's arm, kiss her on the cheek and say, You look great!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dark Imaginings

Fall right to sleep last night and get right to dreaming. Most dreams apocolyptic in nature, but end of night have decidedly more prosaic, but no less torturous. Have double, hitherto unexperienced difficuly6 of both the teacher dream (have not prepared for class and am, in fact, unsure what class am expected to teach--have to hunt for clues on blackboard--obscene chalk drawing no help--and in notbook--full of strange characters, possibly cyrillic) and also have student dream in which am derelict in duties and attendence. After student dream, am again Secretary and have to go to old office (door to which is protected by Skunk with big teeth--definitely terrifying) to retrieve Important Package. When finally get past skunk with only small bite taken out of calf, find office smoky and the New Man and the Contessa leaning back in chairs. Ask in shock, Have you been smoking? The Contessa is very blase--says yes of course. After this, wake up and see that downstairs neighbor and not the Contessa has been smoking. (Am still, strangely, mad at the Contessa.) Shut windows, which immediately turns apartment into oven and when Coffee finally gets made, feel as though am basting self with coffee--skin getting crackly and insides becoming juicy and stewed. Say so to Dave. He asks me if I'm feeling grumpy this morning. Say tensely, No I am not grumpy, accidentally slam down coffee on kitchen table and take self to bathroom, where door also, mysteriously slams behind self. Blame wind until remember that all windows are closed. Suffer low point.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Off to Work

This morning--Dave's first day that he doesn't have to go to the salon-- Dave says he feels as though he's been set free from prison. Curious picture forms in head of prison made of hair. Actually, curious, not the right word--am revolted and dismayed and tell Dave forcefully that I'm glad he's out of the business. Pause. Ask tentatively, Now what is he going to do? Cookies. What kind of cookies? Lots of kinds. For Christmas. Am not sure why, but this makes me very uneasy despite excitement about eating cookies, know that should keep big yap shut, but ask, And what are you going to do tomorrow? I don't know, Dave says, pulling out cannisters of flour, sugar, getting butter out of fridge. Say, I guess I'll go on in to work. I made you a lunch, Dave says, pointing at kitchen table. Feel sad that I have to go out into the cold. He is still wearing pajama bottoms and Jenny is connected to his right calf, watching his every move. Say forlornly, I'll see you later, but he is too busy excavating the mixer from the cabinet to hear.