…is that they would try to keep me from killing myself.
Am about to jump in the shower. Picked up my faux fur coat from the dry cleaner’s. Have prepared a cheese and cracker plate. A little Bill Maher on the TV in the background. The parrots are back in their cages. My expensive analyst agrees that I have the personality of the Norway Shooter. What could go wrong?
It occurred to me, while painting my toenails: while a boy is in the house, how might he be pressed into emptying the dust buster with the cockroach inside of it? Because you can’t just ASK for something like that. It doesn’t exactly spell “sexytimes.”
I know: I’ll tell him the story before he gets drunk, and if he has the tact that God gave a goat, he’ll offer to do it himself.
Or is that setting him up for failure?
I think this date was a bad idea. I should have just scooped someone new off of Craigslist. But then I would be worried about him killing me and leaving my body under the bed. When you are a woman, you have to think about these things.
P.S. Is there anything–ANYTHING–as humiliating in this world as finding expired condoms in your nightstand?
I decided that I was sick of being bored and sexually frustrated, so I finally got off my ass and scheduled a date for this evening. It took about six seconds. I did it via IM–the guy, Matt, has an iPad and a BlackBerry, so he is always online. Fucking always.
This will be my seventh or eighth date with Matt (we chat via IM on occasion when the mood strikes me, but that doesn’t count) . If I
sleep have sex with him, it will be the third time. At this time, I completely expect to get some action, but with Matt, you never know. As you will see, Matt’s batting average is not very good with me. He has a history of spectacularly blowing it and then being shelved for many months until he charms his way back in to my orbit or I forget about why exactly I chose to shelve him (or both).
I met Matt almost three years ago on the internet. He took me out to lunch at a great spot in Midtown which is currently defunct. I had lamb, he had the salmon. He was charming, appreciative without being obsequious, and handsome–he looked like a cross between Keith Olbermann and Clark Kent. Good looks in a man are not nearly as important to me as they are to some women, but still, it was nice to look at him. Attended a prestigious private university, but I detected no school-snobbishness about him (NYC is full of Ivy-League pricks). And he had a great suit!
There is no reason why Matt should not have had casual dates with me on a semi-regular basis (or, as my good friend and former housemate used to say, “been put into rotation”), except for the fact that he has something wrong with his ‘filter,’ as it were. For the life of me, I don’t understand it. It really is the damnedest thing. The guy is an extrovert. He is very easy to talk to. Charming, really. The popular guy who never used his popularity to be a total asshole. He has plenty of brain cells to rub together, too. And then he will blow it somehow, out of nowhere, for no discernible reason.
Here, gentle reader, I’ll give you a taste of what I’m talking about: on our second date we were canoodling in the back of a dark, romantic bar. This was back when I was still drinking, and we were both kinda toasted, but even still…
Matt said, with all sincerity and enthusiasm: “You’re so beautiful in that dress! You’ve got a great figure. I’ve always liked small breasts!”
I mean, really. And lest you go, “Miss Margo, you are being a heartless bitch, everyone puts their foot in their mouth sometimes!” let me assure you that 1) I agree with you and am generally patient, tolerant, and forgiving–more forgiving, perhaps, than he deserves–I am not a fucking NGO, after all, I’m not obligated to take everyone, and 2) the guy has done or said something like this on multiple occasions. There’s no rhyme or reason to it; there’s no way to anticipate when he’s going to embarrass himself and ruin everything and not even understand how he’s done it. One time he showed up drunk, just absolutely tanked, for example. The first time we had sex, it was a lot of fun, and let me tell you, I went to bat for that man–pulled out the special effects, if you know what I mean. I like sex and I’m good at it. (FYI: Sexually, Matt is a normal regular dude with predictable desires. Which is fine. So that is what we are talking about here) Every other dude in the Tri-State area would think, “Wow, I have something good here, let me do what I can to secure access to it in the future.” Matt has certainly tried to secure access–if he hadn’t spent 467,900 man hours of productivity perusing me relentlessly from the moment of initial contact, we wouldn’t be in touch today. And he apologized for showing up drunk the last time he came to my apartment. But the fact is, he still showed up drunk.
The requirements I have for men whom I pick to date for recreation are minimal; the rules are simple and straightforward. I don’t play games with this. The Prime Directive is: Don’t Bore Me. I have complete faith in your ability to do this; if I didn’t think that you could manage it, I wouldn’t fucking be here in the first place. It is true that I no longer think that I am capable of being seduced, but I still expect you to TRY. Like many teachers, I give extra points for effort. So show up on time, wearing something nice. Entertain me with conversation for a few hours. I know that you can do it, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. And what’s more, I’ll help you, because I like you, and I’m interested in you, and when I feel like it, I am a fascinating and witty conversationalist. After all of that, I will let you into my apartment. Be considerate of my needs in the sack (again, I’ll help you–sexually, I’m like the Social Security program, in that I pretty much run myself with Prussian efficiency…and oh my God, did I really just write that?), mind your sexual manners (any complaints about condoms and you will be banished forever–a resigned sigh is acceptable and understandable, however), don’t automatically presume that you’re spending the night. If you give me fun and satisfy me, you will probably have the opportunity to do it again in the future. It’s just that simple. It really is.
So for tonight: WILL MATT BE GOOD COMPANY FOR FOUR HOURS AND NOT MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I WAS A JAR OF COOKIES AND HE WAS FIVE YEARS OLD?
This afternoon, I had the good fortune to be hired by a fellow who wanted the services I specialize best in. He wanted them in the worst possible way. This guy was the real deal (like me). There are not too many out there like him.
I landed on him like a ton of bricks.
We made quite a racket. I talked a lot. He made…interesting vocalizations.
After I showed him out (he limped down the stairs, clutching the handrail like a feeble old man), my two African-American coworkers stared at me wide-eyed, perched on the edge of their chairs. They looked at me like I’d grown a second head.
“Oh my God!” one of them said. “I’m surprised that guy walked out of here! It sounded like you were putting him in traction! ‘Confession is good for the soul!’ All that stuff you said! Oh my God, you were hard! I’m going to start calling you Hard Vanilla!”
I started to laugh as I snapped on a fresh pair of surgical gloves and fetched the bleach and mop bucket.
I gained 3 lbs and have retained it.
I hope at least a little of it went to my heart.
You know, after I taught myself how to not eat, I sought the advice of a professional who specialized in dispensing advice to students who don’t eat, or eat too much, or reject what they eat after they’ve eaten it, or otherwise get freaked out about the idea of eating. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, gentle reader.
(One of the things we talked about was the Minnesota Starvation Experiment. Voracious bookworm that I am, I read that baby forward and back, backward and forward. If you can get your hands on it, I recommend it highly.)
Anyway, one of the things this professional told me was that when a person loses weight so quickly, that weight comes from multiple sources in the body–water, fat, muscle, and on and on.
It came to me that my heart is muscle. And I kept thinking: I’ve lost weight off my heart. Some of that weight came from my heart. I kept thinking of it–it’s poetic, you know, like thinking about how we are compositions of carbon, just like trees. How, if a person was burned to ash subjected to the right conditions of heat and pressure, they could become a diamond.
I’m so sick of starving my heart. Literally sick of starving my heart.
It is true that I grew up in hunger, of sorts. But now, I am the one who starves myself. I abandon my friends and isolate myself. I pick men who are incapable of nourishing me. When I find one that could love me, I reject him. I have become my own abuser.
Now that my mind is clear, and I have perspective, and I have my power back, I have a choice. I get to decide. The freedom to accept. The freedom to refuse.
She was very clearly a masochist, but speaking to psychoanalysts, they tell you that sadomasochism is always a circle, so the masochist is always looking for a sadist and will force people into that role, and even become the sadist themselves in order to form that circle. So I thought that was really interesting, the manipulation is strangely powerful. At the same time as she plays the victim, she’s creating these situations and manipulating them. There are these complex things, these opposites at work, which made an interesting dynamic.
Apt, very apt, even if she didn’t come up with any of it herself. And here I always assumed Keira Knightley was vapid or, at minimum, an only nominally talented actress. She sounds quite informed in this interview, so I hope I am wrong about her. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have always been fiercely and sickly jealous of her clavicles.)
I look forward to seeing the film, but am still afraid that it will be howling, unintentional comedy.
I made gingerbread cookies to take to the meeting tomorrow and I’d just pulled them out of the oven when I turned around to see an ENORMOUS COCKROACH on the floor next to Parrot’s cage. The monster must have been larger than a quarter–maybe silver-dollar sized. I’d never see one anywhere near that big in the apartment–or the building, for that matter (though there was a big dead one in the hallway last summer, which is a story in and of itself–but anyway). It was disgusting! ARGH I HATE most insects!
It seemed to be eating a piece of Parrot’s debris (don’t get the wrong idea–there isn’t much debris–I have a dust buster and vacuum around the cages constantly), so its back was so me. It seemed to be unaware of my presence. I have read many many books about the great military strategies of history, and so I knew immediately that I had to take advantage of the filthy cockroach’s state of distraction.
I had to kill the ugly motherfucker. But how? Smashing him would be the obvious answer, but in order to do that, I would have to get close to him. I wasn’t about to do that! So I got out the bottle of bleach cleaner from under the kitchen sink and turned the nozzle to “stream” and squirted the roach with bleach from across the room. He started to run around, but I kept spraying. He was drenched, but somehow kept fleeing. He ran over to the garbage can by the book-case and I was scared that he would run behind it. I grabbed the dust buster, averted my eyes, and vacuumed him up.
This presented me with a problem: he wasn’t dead yet, so if I stopped the vacuum mechanism, he could possibly CRAWL BACK OUT. So I kept the dust buster on and vacuumed lots of the floor in the living room area, intentionally blurring my vision so that I didn’t see inside the dust buster chamber. Gross! Gross gross gross!
What to do then? The obvious answer was so empty the dust buster into the toilet or the garbage can, but that would require that I get too close to the insect, especially if he wasn’t dead. I wanted to leave the vacuum outside of the door the of the apartment, but someone would steal it. So I did the next rational thing and put it in a cardboard box behind the TV set.
It really made me wish that I had a boy around. Boys can be very very useful. Two of their great uses are opening jars and killing insects. If I had a boyfriend, he would have killed the roach and I would not be going through this absurd theater. How am I going to use the vacuum again? Somehow, it must be emptied and hanged back on the charger. Or I could just throw it out and buy a new one, but that seems like a silly thing to do just because I’m afraid to look at a roach for a few seconds. I mean, a new dust buster costs almost $25 on Amazon and the only I have still has quite a bit of power left in it.
This is making me want to drink scotch really really badly. But I have hardly any money and I don’t want to wreck my sobriety (God I hate that word) over a roach in a dust buster.
I looked around to see if I had any pills of any sort that could be helpful in my time of need, but all I have are my two “End of the World” emergency Valium in my jewelry box. I can’t eat one of them; if I do, I’ll only have one left, and in the event of the world ending, one Valium will not be enough to get me properly stoned. So, so much for that idea.
I can’t relax in the living room. Roach! Roach! Roach!
What am I going to do about this? Why isn’t there a boy here to kill the roach? I guess I could call one over. Never a man around when you need one! I was working at my secret job all day today, and in the immortal words of Leonard Cohen, it was dead as heaven on a Saturday night. I did’t turn a dime. No dudes to part with their hard-earned cash (slackers!), no dudes for roach disposal, and I haven’t gotten laid for two weeks, which is just so unacceptable (I guess that last is my fault, though. I could’ve arranged it if I’d made time to. I’ve just been so busy trying to generate income…and the Surgeon has been such a jerk…well, it’s the weekend, maybe I’ll go out tomorrow).
Thank you, men, for killing insects, especially roaches and spiders in bathtubs. This service you provide is absolutely invaluable.
Memo to the Dress Barn (Ascena Group, Inc.):
I will never set foot in a Dress Barn because “Dress Barn” is the worst name for a women’s clothing store that I can think of. In comparison, “Frederick’s of Hollywood” is an infinitely classier moniker for a fashion house. “Wet Seal” is idiotic, but I would rather tell someone that I bought my clothes at Wet Seal than at Dress Barn. “Forever 21” is wince-inducing in its own way (and I realize you are marketing to different demographics), but the same goes there.
Surely this subject has been discussed in your Marketing Department many times. Would it really be so hard to change names? What’s wrong with “Dress Studio?” “Dress Shop?” “Dress Bazaar?” Shit, even “Dress Tent” would be an improvement. “Dress Warehouse.” Anything.
Honestly, your name is a serious liability. Your window displays are not all hideous–mostly too old for me, but I’ve seen a few pretty things–I might’ve gone in and taken a look, but for the name Dress Barn. You might have some great stuff in there, but I will never know, and I’m neither a broke Strawberry trendoid (well, I am broke, but you know what I mean) or a brand-conscious fashionista. Bebe (I plead guilty) is the most embarrassing shopping experience I can put myself through. And that includes perv retailers. I would seriously rather be caught and photographed shopping at The Leather Man NYC than a Dress Barn.
Just trying to be helpful.
Update November 9, 2011: FINALLY saw this film last night. It was preposterous in the extreme, but if you accepted that going in, it was very well done and entertaining. The use of nonlinear timeline as a plot device usually strikes me as a gimmick, but it served its purpose well here. I also forgot that Antonio Banderas was Antonio Banderas (try that with Robert De Niro or half the leading men in movies today and see how that works out for you). He was great! Especially when hosing down captives in the basement. Hubba hubba!
|I am jealous of her. Sort of. Note the way she sits on his lap like a Ventriloquist dummy in this shot. I have no doubt that this was intentional (to the director/producer). But God, the intensity of his scrutiny.
* * * *
Look at the sweet manna the heavens (or Director Pedro Almodovar) have rained down upon me:
I just found out about the film and I watched the trailer four times! Then I went to its Wikipedia page , read the full plot, and watched the trailer three more times! It’s late at night and I should be getting to bed, but I decided it was best to write while still in a frenzy of…well….a frenzy!
I ask you, gentle reader, could the subject matter be any more perfect? If you were too lazy (or grossed out) to read the teaser from Rotten Tomatoes, I’ll cut-and-paste it here:
Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed a further three things: no scruples, an accomplice and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was
A mad scientist film with an uber-hot leading actor, chock-full of themes of violence, obsession, imprisonment, transformation, collusion, and mental illness! Oh my God! Did you see that scene in the trailer where Antonio Banderas was hosing down that captive, frightened guy with the metal chain around his neck? With a lamp turned on him? And then tying him down to an operating table? And the woman with the masked face and nude-colored leotard being observed on video-camera? And in black, fighting the man toward the end? And all those guns! And the CLOTHES Mr. Banderas was wearing! That catchy, hypnotic score! The mind reels! It absolutely reels!
See this quote from SF Chronicle reviewer Mick LaSalle: “The Skin I Live In” is like a David Cronenberg horror film as made by a director who doesn’t fear the body but revels in it, who is too sensual and amoral by nature to find anything truly disgusting or foreign.
And I thought Taken had it all!
It is imperative that I see this movie as soon as possible. A matinee, a theater as empty and private as possible…I want to be alone with the film and my gleeful depravity. Alone, all alone!
Love is a very slippery concept for me, but when I think about it, I think it must be like obsession. At least a little bit like obsession. I am familiar with obsession, for better or for worse.
You know, one of the things that I think of sometimes is that my psychoanalyst seems surprised, and rather interested, in the fact that I am completely and utterly unconflicted with my sexual leanings (that is not to say that she thinks I can probably practice them and live a truly fulfilled life). I embrace it, love it, pursue it, the way pyromaniacs rhapsodize fire and arson.
With the same predictable consequences.
I’m downtown around Wall Street today, all day. Between the march, my student, and whomever else I see today, I expect to kick a lot of ass.
Occupation out of principle, staying for profit.
Click any photo to enlarge.
|Brooklyn Bridge, obviously.|
|Set up in Liberty Park|
|Don’t let anyone tell you OWS is a “rabble”–they’re not–it’s clean and organized, not a hobo camp.|
|This dude was very popular. Amen, brother.|
|MOST WANTED List–Call the Sheriff…|
|Sweep out zombie politicians|
|10 years is long enough–and Iraq was predicated on a fucking fraud|
|Take it. It belongs to us; it always did.|
|Not going anywhere.|