I am not having a very good day. I am on the outer edges of sick, which means I'm not coughing as much or as heavily, but I'm still not overly well. Unable to sleep, I headed to Allston to run some errands. I vaguely remembered getting slightly frustrated at work yesterday, and rearranging the racks so that they were alphabetical, as opposed to "in complete chaos". I also remembered leaving a note that may have sounded meaner than I intended, so I stopped in at the store, just before it opened and talked with my coworker. All was peace and blah.
Since she had to run some errands, I stayed and watched the store for a couple of hours. What I wanted to do when I left, was put on my headphones and listen to relaxing music on my way home, but there's been something wrong with my Zune for the past couple of weeks. I've been too busy to find out exactly what. It runs fine. The computer software runs fine, but the computer stopped being able to recognize the device. I figured there was something wrong with the cable, so I went to Best Buy to buy a new cable. Which, of course, is not sold on its own, but in a pack of adapters, for a total of $40. I bought the package.
I decided to take the bus home, instead of the T, because there's a stop just in front of my house. But. Of course, but. There has been construction in front of our house for several weeks, possibly months at this point. Recently, the construction ebbed away from our house, and down the block. Today, it's flowed back. So the bus had to take a detour, which even the driver seemed surprised by. Fine, it's a nice day for a walk.
Well, as it turns out, the new cable doesn't help things. So I call the Zune people, and the very nice lady at customer service runs me through the same list I went through myself when I checked their support webpage. Everything appears to be in working order. Which means I have to wait for them to send me a box to put the device in to mail to them to have them repair and mail back. Which will take an undisclosed amount of time.
I also got some annoying family phone calls, nothing awful, but little stresses that I will try and help remedy.
So I got off the phone, and decided to take a relaxing hot shower. I joked to myself that the hot water wouldn't be working. That would be funny, and annoying at the same time. But the water was perfect. I stepped in, pre-rinsed, put some shampoo in my hair and...TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP. TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP on the bathroom window. The fuck?
TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP. TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP.
I turned off the water, put on my towel and went to the window. A slightly heavyset guy in a suit and tie, surrounded by four college girls are on the other side of the window. "The keys don't work!"
I shook my head.
Nope, they were still there.
I threw on my pants and t-shirt and went to the side door.
I am pretty much too angry to even type what transpired. The guy was very nice. We were very pleasant to each other. The bottom line being: the landlady is a psycho.
I have the day off tomorrow, and I'm going to see a lawyer about what my rights are, and whether I can withhold rent or sue her for any of her actions, something I never had to do with the previous landlady, because she was just crazy, not a negligent, greedy, lying sociopath. I want to make her life as difficult as she seems to want to make mine, and my roommates'.
A few days ago, I was bored at work, when I remembered there was a porn store on the other side of the building that I'd never been to. I needed to (and this is not a pun) rectify that situation. But I didn't want to be the creepy loser who goes to the porn store alone, walks around the aisle, but doesn't buy anything.
This induced a flashback. A week previous, one of my four current guythings (none of them will commit, so I'm not going to choose just one), Zach had called me, drunk, which is the only time he ever calls me. It was around eleven, and our conversation consisted of "Long time, no talk."
"Wanna fuck me tonight?"
I thought about it for a second. "Yea."
"I'm on my way over."
At 1:30 in the morning, I fell asleep, not having seen him. As he lives down the street from me, and works about a ten minute drive or so, I assumed he'd passed out somewhere. Hopefully, not behind the wheel of his car.
At 3 AM my phone rang again. "I'm outside."
I was still mostly asleep. "Who are you? And what are you outside of?"
"Who were you thinking of fucking tonight?"
Is there ever just one person I think of fucking a night? "Joe?"
Oops. Wrong FWB. "Just kidding. Hey Zach, let me...I'm gonna..." by the time I figured out how to articulate that I was on my way to the door to let him in, I was at the door, having already let him in.
"Who's Joe?" He said, still talking into the phone.
I grabbed his phone from him and hung it up. "Just some guy I've been fucking."
While this might sound cool, and all, it should be noted that I had Sleepy Voice going on, and it probably sounded more like "jussome guyvebeenfuckn".
"Weirdo." He said.
"Why do you smell like calamine lotion?"
Apparently, just after calling me, Zach had been corralled into going to a club with one of his friends. There, he tried to flirt his way into anyone's pants. Not a particular someone, a general anyone. Apparently, his main target was the DJ, and one of the other dancers took offense to this. Instead of slapping him, hissing, or queering out on him, this guy seductively took off Zach's shirt (which is really unnecessary, you just say the word shirt to him, and he takes it off on his own. It makes it really awkward to compliment his clothes when you're out at a restaurant. Anyhow, the shirt comes off, and the guy leads Zach into the middle of the dancefloor, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a bottle of calamine lotion, which he proceeds to dump over Zach's head.
Why he was carrying around calamine lotion during the middle of winter in Boston is positively beyond me. The whole story stunk of having been made up, but, then, why would Zach deliberately cover his hair and chest with calamine lotion?
"I need a shower." He said. And was correct.
"Pants." I said, and off his pants came. I pushed him, gently, into the bathroom, checked to make sure my roommates were asleep, and began to strip myself.
I hadn't really planned on shower sex. It never goes well for me. I just thought Zach might have been a little too drunk to get all the calamine lotion off on his own. I don't know how he'd managed to drive to my house. Or what god he prayed to that kept him from getting pulled over and having to explain to a police officer why, on a freezing March night, he was driving shirtless and covered in a hard pink shell. I mean, shit, it's been over fifteen years since the FDA said that calamine lotion is nothing more than a placebo.
Once, he'd been depinkified, I started to play with his ass a little. My plan being, I would arose him, then leave the shower, and have him follow me to my room.
"I want you to eat me out." He said. And then he pushed the shower head toward the inside wall.
I figured, why not, and got down and my knees, and began to get my lick on. I knew he was clean down there, I'd watched him soap it out. The thing is, I wasn't at quite the right angle, and I'm no expert at eating ass. There are other appendages I prefer squeezing into them. After about thirty seconds or so, he repositioned his feet. His whole body moved a bit. I assumed I was doing something right, or else he was standing uncomfortably. Then, the water started streaming down his back and into my nose and mouth. Shampooey water.
"What the fuck?" I choked.
"I'm doing my hair." He said.
I spit some water and shampoo at him, and said "I quit. I'm going to go into my room, and wait for you. Jerk."
"I'll let you fuccccccccccccccccccck me." He mocked.
But I knew he was too drunk to get in the right position in the shower. Still, I tried. Still, I was right.
Ten minutes later, I'm in my room, frantically throwing papers, plastic bags, and books around because I can't find any lube. Anywhere.
"S'all good." He said. "I'm sick, anyway."
This led to an unenthusiastic blowjob on my part, a facefucking that nearly drowned the poor boy in sperm, and a few hours of cuddling before I had to go to work.
Which is where I was having this flashback. So I sent Zach a text. Going to porn store for lube. Preference?
Zach: anything non-water based
Me: were you raped by Aquaman?
Zach: yes. jerk.
Flash ahead a few hours, and I'm texting with the semi-famous (you don't know him) closet case that I've been slowly seducing, when I get an I'm on my way message, which I assume to be from the closet case, but is, in fact, Zach.
I actually checked my text messages before I opened the door, just to make sure I wasn't going to end up with two people showing up at my house for sex at the same time. I mean, I wouldn't mind, but they might.
"Shirt." I said when we reached my bedroom. "Pants."
"Underwear?" He asked.
He laid, stomach down, on my bed. I proceeded to massage his shoulders, slowly trailing down his back when "Cough cough cough cough co-ough" I choked a tiny little loogie on his back.
"Hot!" He said. I assume he was kidding.
"Sorry." I coughed. "You must have gotten me sick. Bastard."
He craned his neck around and gave me an eyebrow raise. "You have rectal cancer?"
"Because that's what I've been sick with. I don't know what you've got."
I got a towel to wipe my loogie off his back, and returned to the massage. It wasn't too long before the briefs were off, and he said something in the vicinity of "I want you inside me", but hopefully, not that cliche.
This was when I realized that I'd left the bag of lube and condoms that I'd bought, at work.
"It's like you don't want to get laid or something." He said, my arms having already assumed the just cuddling position. "I mean, when was the last time you got a chance to fuck a hot twenty-two year old?"
"Thursday." I said.
"No. I stopped by on Monday, and you didn't have any... Oh. I guess that would be Joe, then."
And I know I should have said yes, or just kidding, but somehow the words, "Rick, actually." came out of my mouth.
"You whore." He said, in a non-committal, sleepy voice.
And that's the last thing I remembered until I woke up the next morning with Zach's face hovering over my penis, which had definitely been in his mouth in the not so distant past. "Ok." He said. "Joe. Rick. Who the fuck is Sora?"
I was still mostly asleep. "My ex."
"You are such a whore." And then he returned to business at mouth. It wasn't too long before I solidified his tonsils, at which point he smiled at me, and then spit his huge mouthful of my come right in my face.
I almost choked to death, laughing.
I am watching Justice League: New Frontier for, approximately, the three hundredth time. This is not an exaggeration. At the end of January, we got a preview screener of the movie, and watched it three or four times a day until the DVD came out. Since the release of the DVD it's been on pretty much non-stop in every store. I should really hate this stupid movie, but I. can't. stop. watching. it.
It has one of my favorite comic book (and now animated movie lines) of all time, when Batman, having just met Martian Manhunter says: "My instincts tell me you're to be trusted, but make no mistake--- It took a seventy-thousand dollar sliver of meteor to stop the one in Metropolis. With you, all I need is a penny for a book of matches."
There are currently seventeen customers semi-circled around the TV watching this movie. They have been oohing, ahhing, cheering, and owing. It would be almost cute IF I HAVEN'T HAD TO GO THE BATHROOM FOR THIRTY MINUTES. I am staying calm, though.
I appear to be excelling at calm this week. This morning, I got to work a bit early, so I headed down the street to get some breakfast. I was standing in line behind a typical Brookline sneery woman. She ordered an egg and something sandwich, sounded like she said cheeze. I only noticed because she sounded so phony with the way she said cheeeeeeeeeeeeeezuh to the Mexican woman behind the counter. Typical rich, well-to-do- "open minded" person explaining something to a "stupid foreigner".
I ordered my bagel while she and her haggard, preppy looking boyfriend sat down and argued. Well, argument is an overstatement. She berated him for the condition of his jacket, while he nodded and mumbled apologies.
She let out an enormous sigh when her number was announced, and trudged over to the counter. "What's this?" She asked.
"It is an egg and cheese sandwich." The Mexican woman behind the counter said, without a stereotypical accent, or any offensive tone.
"Egg and cheese? No. I said egg and CREAM cheese. This is ridiculous. Where's the manager?"
"Sure." The employee said.
I swear I herd the boyfriend say "Jesus Christ, not again." But I can't be sure. But even if I just imagined it, it was enough to get me giggling.
Of course, the woman turned on me. "What's so funny?"
"You. Why talk to the manager. Clearly, they misunderstood your order. It took two minutes to make, at most. They could probably make you a new one in the time it takes to get the manager out here."
"Well, I'm not paying for..." I stopped listening. Wasn't my argument, and I wasn't finding it funny any more, just annoying and sad. I grabbed my bagel and headed over to the comic book store.
I had just unbagged my bagel, when someone started pounding on the door. Cream Cheese Queen. She'd followed me.
"We open in forty-five minutes." I said through the door.
"I want to talk to you now."
"Sorry. You can come back in forty-five minutes when we open."
She pounded the door one more time, and walked away. I've spent the rest of the day dreading her return. So far, nothing.
But I have had other typical Brookline people. The mid-fortyish father with no control over his son. Not a particularly bratty son. He wasn't loud or obnoxious, but he started watching New Frontier, and after a few minutes, the Dad was ready to go. "Liam, it's time to go."
The kid made a meep-meep noise and shook his head.
"Ok, another minute, and then we have to go."
This repeated for over a half an hour. The dad would spend a minute or two looking at the kids' comics and then sternly tell his son it was time to go. His son would refuse, and he would go back to looking at other comics.
Eventually, the dad turned to me and said, "Hey could you turn off the TV for me?"
And I wanted to say "Could you learn how to be a parent, you gigantic pussy of douche?" but I didn't, I paused the DVD, and the kid shook his head, and very politely asked me to turn it back on.
I was getting ready to say "I have to turn it off now so that you can leave." When the dad said "I guess we'll just have to stay to the end, then, eh tiger?"
Tiger? Really? Why not just buy him something to reward his not listening to you. "I'm going to get you this nice Bone comic, too, okay."
Without looking away form the TV (which I still had not unpaused), he said "I want two Bone books."
And I unpaused the DVD, because this kid was clearly Damien or something much more powerful.
There is clearly something wrong with this part of Boston. Zuzu has a prospective tenant to her apartment who has been living in Brookline for the last twenty years. She calls herself Penny Wisdom Snidely. None of those are her actual names, it's just what she likes to call herself. She must have been so jealous to find out that Jethro Q. Bonwackit Bozitstabon Boot Walrus Titty had already been taken.
Penny-Wisdom is a self-called Spiritualist Writer For Children (I've googled her, didn't find any of her work anywhere). In a conversation with Zuzu, she informed Zuzu that the Jews (the religion she embraced a couple of months ago) were called The Chosen People, not because God chose them to be in a covenant with Him, but because someone has to take on all the world's suffering, and they're so good at it. I don't see her being very popular with other Jews, other spiritualists, children, writers, or really anyone, except possibly people with silly names. What do you think, Morris Stegosaurus? She probably has a large group of friends here in Brookline, though.
I'm too congested to ponder this any further. Luckily, one of the nice Brookline people that I've been kvetching about heard me cough, and gave me a couple of Airborne placebo pills to help me feel better.
I love being home, sick, and listening to the landlady out and out lie to prospective tenants.
"It comes with a completely functional dishwasher and disposal" that we never bothered to install, so they're really just here for decoration. "There's a washer and dryer" that have been broken for a month, that we've refused to fix because we are entirely too busy. "I'm pretty sure heat and electricity are included in the rent." What? No. We've been paying those bills ourselves.
Oh, dear. So, a prospective tenant just asked me some direct questions about the apartment, and I appear to have, very nicely, contradicted what she said. I did not, however, say anything negative about them. Which, I think, shows that I'm growing as a person. All I said was "I apologize for the dishes in the sink. My roommates are kind of messy, and the dishwasher hasn't worked since before we moved in. And, for the pile of laundry, but the washing machine broke a month ago, and they haven't got around to fixing it yet."
"Are the landlords nice people?"
Hold back. Hold back. Don't say anything awful. Don't tell the truth. "I think so. I've had limited interaction with them." was as diplomatic as I could be.
"Would the place be cleaned thoroughly before we moved in?"
"God, I hope so, for your sake. I know my room will be taken care of."
"What about the furniture?"
"Would the couch be cleaned and such?"
"Uhhh, this is our furniture. The apartment comes unfurnished. I mean, the refrigerator, the non-working dishwasher, the non-working washer, and the dryer were here when we moved in, but everything else is ours."
"Oh. I thought the ad said it came furnished."
Gnashing of teeth, cracking of knuckles. "You must be thinking of another apartment."
I was supposed to be in Connecticut with Racist grandma today, but at some point during the last 48 hours, a group of Minuits (mini-Inuits) has climbed into my ears and have begun to pack my sinuses with snow and sand. Don't think Racist Grandma won't find some vitriol to spit at you, Minuits! In the congestedwhile, I'm going to pack my body full of medication (which I never do, so that when I do use it, it's generally effective) and extinctuate you.
The Four Most Logical Reasons I could be sick:
1.) Voodoo curse.
2.) I spent a few hours with Zach a few days ago. Zach was sick. As everyone around me has been sick at some point during the last couple of months, I assumed my AISS (Auto-Immune Superiority Syndrome) would protect me from his plague, as it had been protecting me from my friends' versions of the plague. I neglected to take into account that I hadn't put any parts of my other friends' bodies into my mouth.
3.) The weather has been completely bipolar for the last couple of weeks. We'll have a beautiful Springlike morning, and by noon it will be snowing, by two it will be sleeting, and by four it will be shorts weather. Add to this confusion that I've been going in and out of the various stores I work at. Some with their heat jacked up, some with the doors open, and some with the AC on.
4.) Bruce Wayne is upset that I spent several hours yesterday putting up flyers in support of Harvey Dent For District Attorney, and sprayed me with some viral mace from his utility belt.
1. The Nightly News by Jonathan Hickman. The story starts with a group of snipers at a WTO protest. One of them wings a protester, and the media descends. That's when they start killing reporters. This has been my favorite graphic novel for a few months now. Hickman does both the art, and the story, and it works flawlessly. It includes a number of sidebars that you can choose whether or not to read. I was most excited by a list of media controversy. He takes to task writers like Jayson Blair, but points out that you just can't hate on Patricia Smith. Amen, Hickman.
2. Maus by Art Spiegelman. The only graphic novel to ever win The Pulitzer. It's the story of an artist whose parents were put in concentration camps during World War Two. Part Holocaust memoir, part story of a father's relationship with a son, it's an amazing story.
3. Daredevil: Parts Of A Hole by Dave Mack, artwork by Joe Quesada. I'm not a huge Daredevil fan. Dave Mack is not my favorite writer. I would probably punch Joe Quesada in the face for his editorial decisions over the last ten years. But, damn, this is a great title. It's mostly the way the art and the words emerge from the page. Not your standard panels, and right to left reading. The art also takes the cliche off of the Blind Man opens the eyes of a Deaf Woman, who opens his ears idea. It was good enough that I went back and read the preceding volume by Kevin Smith (Guardian Devil), which is nearly as good.
4. Invincible The entire series by Robert Kirkman, art by Ryan Ottley. Imagine if Superman were written by one person, and just had one continual story, not a jillion different appearances in six different titles every month. A Superman whose history you could follow from beginning to end. That's what Invincible is. A teenager finds out he is a superhero, and his father, who's viewed as a superhero by the entire world, is actually bent on destroying the planet. The first trade "Family Matters" is a bit slow, but after that, every volume is amazing.
5. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 Story & art by David Petersen. Cute little mice can also be bloodthirsty tyrants, double crossing bodyguards, and noble adventurers. The art is amazing, the story is consistently good.
6. Origin by Bill Jemas, Paul Jenkins, and Joe Quesada. Marvel's "Greatest Story never Told": the origin of Wolverine. While I find most Wolverine titles poorly written, or confusing, this one is well-crafted. Told from the perspective of a young girl who befriends a little wussy boy names James Howlett, who, upon seeing his father's death, watches bones grow out of his hands. It's not an automatic kid gets powers becomes badass, the layers of suppression, and fierce will, make the character much more than the two-dimensional fighter he's often depicted as in X-Men comics.
7. The Walking Dead, another Robert Kirkman title (this one with art by Tony Moore). This is the story of a world overrun with zombies. But, instead of focusing on the zombies as villains, it focuses on interpersonal relationships, and what happens to American Society in a post-apocalyptic world. With zombies. But, really, the zombies are just window dressing, as in most stories, the most evil characters are the humans.
8. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Covers by David McKean, art by a bunch of people. This is the story that got me back into reading comics/graphic novels. It's mythical, it's adventure, it's moral, it's funny, it's just entertaining. There are eleven volumes under The Sandman Title, two Death books, one book about Destiny, a couple of one-off spin-offs, and a whole related series by Mike Carey called Lucifer, which follows the devil after he gives the keys to Hell to The Sandman.
9. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. Three stories that start out being unrelated, but you know will be woven into each other by the end. A young boy of Chinese descent has to deal with his horrible stereotype of a cousin; the mischievous monkey king grows tired of being the laughing stock of the gods, and must be dealt with; and a boy of Chinese descent tries to fit in in an American school, while interacting with a FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) new student. I had a pretty good idea of how they would be drawn together at the end. I was wrong.
10. Bone by Jeff Smith. Three creatures from Boneville end up in a forest with Stupid Rat Creatures, dragons, and humans. Kid-friendly, and just generally awesome. Also check out his Shazam! and The Monster Society Of Evil
The Maxx by Sam Kieth
Plastic Man: On The Lam by Kyle Baker
Thirty Days Of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
Regifters by Mike Carey
Y The Last Man by Brian K Vaughn
Fables by Bill Willingham
Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Avengers Disassembled by Brian Michael Bendis
Astro City by Kurt Busiek.
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Stephen King/Peter David
Titles that other people swear by that I cant get into:
Goodbye Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
anything by Alan Moore
Preacher by Garth Ennis
The Death of Superman (really? it's so boring)
Powers by Brian Michael Bendis
Current comics not enough people are reading:
The Sword by The Luna Brothers
Pax Romana by Jonathan Hickman
Omega The Unknown by Jonathan Lethern and Farel Dalrymple
Echo by Terry Moore
X-Factor by Peter David
The Dark Tower: The Long Way Home Stephen King/Peter David
Wednesdays are the busiest days of the week for me. Thursdays through Tuesdays, I tend to work alone in the various comic book stores throughout Boston & the suburbs. I sell comics, recommend titles, check my e-mail, and obsessively clean and rearrange the stores. But Wednesdays are New Release days, as well as being the night I wait tables at the poetry venue in town. So I get up three hours earlier than usual, arrive at the stores around nineish, schlepp comics until around 7, hop on a bus, and then wait tables from 7:30 until midnight.
Most of these Wednesdays are busy, but not especially noteworthy.
Last Wednesday was different. Let's forget, for the moment, that there were policemen dressed in riot gear, brandishing semi-automatic weapons across the street from our store (the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, was speaking at Harvard). We won't dwell on the two hour line to get free burritos at the new burrito place that opened up down the street. We will neglect to even let the corner of our eyes rest on the image of semi-automatic armed guards cutting their way through the free burrito line to get their eat on. I ignored all of this.
I was hungry. And I don't like burritos. So, during one of the few calm moments in the store, I ran out the front door, skipped down the concrete steps (not even catching the attention of the policemen or the burritoers), and entered the nearby Dunkin Donuts. On Wednesday, their flatbread sandwiches are ninety-nine cents. They're filling and taste as delicious as something that costs less than a buck usually tastes.
I gave the lady behind the counter my change, and walked over to the pickup line. Behind me, another type of pickup was taking place. A not very attractive thirty something year old guy, the kind you see and immediately think he was a quiet sort of guy...none of his neighbors suspected he had that many bodies hidden in the basement, was leaning forward and making googley eyes at a field-hockey-attractive girl in her early to mid-twenties. They were clearly on a first date. In Dunkin Donuts.
"How liberal are you?" was the first thing I heard him ask. I have no idea what led up to this tantalizing question.
"I'm, uh, pretty open minded I guess. Why?" She did not sound very open minded.
"I have guns." Silence. "Lots of guns." More silence. "And the things is, ok, so, a few months ago, one of my guns went missing. And I got a call last week that it turned up in San Francisco. Someone used it to kill a cop." Somewhere a cricket whistled at a tumbleweed that floated out of a doppler effected truck. "So, I've got to go San Francisco to pick up my gun." Silence. "I'm not a suspect or anything."
"Oh." She said. "Well, that's good."
"I mean, I only got into guns because of my ex-girlfriend, which reminds me, do you do anal?"
I lost it. Surely this was some sort of Improv scene for my benefit. No one else seemed to appreciate the pure hilarity taking place in the home of the Coolatta. I was laughing so hard, I didn't hear her reply.
When I stopped convulsing, they were both quiet. But not as uncomfortably quiet as they had been. They seemed to just be enjoying their coffee and munchkins. She looked out the window, probably imagining running screaming through the glass to somewhere, anywhere more sane and comfortable. While he stared off into space, imagining tossing the glazed munchkins into the air, and shooting them with the same gun he used to kill that cop in San Francisco. All while doing this girl in the ass.
I like to think one of the officers in line for coffee overheard their conversation, placed his quarters on the counter and asked to see Mr. Cop Killer's ID, all the while clutching his semi-automatic burrito in his hands, dreaming of his impending promotion.
A room is a good indicator of how well your life is going. TV shows and inexperienced writers would let you believe that when someone's life is in the throes of depression, when they believe there is nothing left to live for, there will be towels strewn over lamps, weeks worth of wet newspapers left open and collecting mold. This is not true. If there are newspapers, they will be stacked, and in some sort of order. All towels, clean or not, will be put in one particular area.
When I get depressed, I clean.
Lately, the only time I clean my room is when I'm about to get laid. And even then, clean is a subjective term. Usually, I just throw everything in the closet.
Last night I dreamed that Paris Hilton was helping my clean my room. She was excited, because I'd decided to use her as the basis for one of the characters in my book. "I'm using you," I told her, "instead of Brittney, because her crazy selfishness is affecting the lives of her kids, and her family. All your bad decisions only affect you. I think that makes you a better person."
She agreed, and thanked me. "You've been so nice. Ever since your friend died, you seem to have really gotten a good grip on yourself again." Then we started throwing hundred dollar bills out of my bedroom window.
I didn't even really try and evaluate the dream when I woke up. Paris Hilton? I don't remember ever having celebrity cameos in dreams before. Cleaning my room? what for, I'm busy, and I'm the only one that's using it. Hundred dollar bills? I'm doing well, and all, but I haven't been spreading my money around too much. Dead friend? Been a while since that happened.
I was at work when Zuzu called. Our good friend, Gina died last night.
She's had cancer for a while. Not just the degenerative disease, but a parasitic husband. He was younger than her. Cute, possibly. But chronically unemployable, and a control freak.
Last year, Gina and her husand had no place to go, so they moved back in with Zuzu, rent free. When Zuzu's ex failed to send his alimony, meaning Zuzu couldn't afford the heating oil, she politely asked Gina's husband for some money to help with bills. Then she went to work. When she came back, all of Gina's stuff was gone. All of her husband's stuff was gone, and a bunch of random things that belonged to Zuzu were gone, as well.
Since then, he changed his and Gina's cell phone numbers, and refused to let her stay in touch with her friends. When occasional Gina-related news would get out, we would track her down at various hospitals and see how she was doing. Zuzu and I offered to do a collection of her poems, and sell the books as fundraisers for her medical bills. We were to meet her tomorrow night to find out where the poems were stored.
This morning, her parasitic widower sent out an e-mail. "Gina died last night. There will be no funeral, and no memorial service. I have no regrets. You will never hear from me again."
We assume he means to skip town with the insurance money he's getting, and go find someone else to mooch off of for a while.
I spent most of the afternoon reorganizing the comic book store. Moving things, alphabetizing; things I normally do, anyway, but I did them a tad more obsessively than usual. And when I got off work, I headed to the pet store.
Cycle of life, cliche, what-have-you. I've been meaning to get a pet for a while. And while I really do want to get a kitten, I was, more practically, thinking of something along the lines of a fish. Minimal care, minimal expense.
I left the store with a ten gallon terrarium, a rock wall, a cave, a water well, ten pounds of sand, three thermometers, a black light, a reptiglo light, and three baby leopard geckos. Also, some crickets.
I haven't named them yet, as I like to let pets earn their names by personality. They have already had their first stalk and eat in their new homes, munching on a good chunk of the crickets. And they are already doing their Peter Parkering up the rock wall, and each has found their own private hiding place.
They only came out when I started playing Jenny Owen Young's cover of Nelly's "Hot In Here". They did a little tail twitching and cricket eating to the music.
Which reminds me, I should order food.