Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I was just waking up from a really long nap on my friend’s giant plum bed where I had a dream that I married a giddy blonde woman who had rosacea all across her chest. A friend passed through the reception, asked if I was happy and I replied, “Everything’s fine, but there’s nowhere to put my head.” The bride was bony. Well, she was wide-bony. Like thin but big-boned and kinda rectangular.
And then my friend's cable man knocked. Not an aggressive knock at all. More like he was hoping I wouldn’t answer and he could go back and tell his boss, “They weren’t home.” And then he'd hand his belt over to his doubtful boss, who would shake his head and say, "You know you still have ten houses left to fill your month." And the cable man would have just been so happy that his belt was off, even though it left residual moisture around his waistline, and now he could go home and fill himself with carbohydrates and grape soda.
When I opened the door he was panting with a glistening forehead, and barely able to compose a greeting.
I could hardly watch him as he lowered himself to his knees, one hand grasping the edge of the bureau in an effort to balance his weight, and simultaneously trying to mute the loud creak of each kneecap pressing on the hardwood floor. He had this panicked look in his eyes after his first descent, where he remained silent for about ten seconds before he turned my way and apologetically asked, “Do you know where a store is? I need to get, uh, batteries?”
“Yeeeah...I have this device? That helps me figure out where to put the modem? Do you have any large square batteries?”
“I...don’t live here. But there is a store up on Beverly, if you go West a little. It’s called Rexall, and they have that kind of stuff.”
I had to dig to find my jeans under the covers, which I had peeled off at some point in a heat-fit. Once I answered the door I realized that because the jeans were low-cut the underwear was pulled much higher and now he could see my underwear coming out the top but who cares, I’m a person, leave me alone.
“Okay,” he said, pulling himself off the floor with twice the effort, “I’ll run out to the store now. I’ll leave my stuff here so you know I’m coming back.”
“Do you promise you’ll come back?” I rose to my feet, tears orbitting the soft pink parts right under my eyeballs where sometimes I accidentally get eyeliner. I took his hands in mine, pleading up into his Shrek-ish eyes.
Not true. More like I was swerving half-asleep between the remnants of my dream and a question about batteries and on top of it I was feeling lightheadedly hypoglycemic, my tongue was dry, I wished I could get on all fours and have someone pet me, nothing romantic, just another friend who would come and take over my position as the friend who waits for the cable guy.
He closed the door behind him and I kept myself awake reading the same page over and over, which is what I’ve been doing for a week and a half with To Kill A Mockingbird.
When the cable guy came back the protagonist was giving the backstory on Finch’s Landing, all I saw was the word Maycomb over and over, I still didn’t know the speaker’s gender, and I wondered if I would be a better reader if I could have the words projected on the ceiling.
He was lowering himself again onto the floor and I wished I could help him but without making contact. Like maybe I could have a cable connecting him to the ceiling (but not covering the words of Mockingbird) through a loop and I would hold the rope on the other end and just bring him down gradually by giving more and more rope.
He was there for another half hour before he said, “I put the modem? On that table? But she can move it anywhere.”