I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Crying over spilled coffee

She's late. Again. I told her to meet up with me at 1:30 p.m. at our usual coffee shop. Why do I bother being ten minutes early if I have to wait another fifteen for her to arrive?

Instead of wondering where the hell she is, I decide to order something to drink before sitting down. What to get? With the proliferation of grinds, flavours, and toppings, the choices are endless and somewhat irritating. What is the point of having so many variations of the same thing when they can't even get the basics right? There should just be one kind of coffee that suits the palate of every discernable customer. Then again, where would that leave Juan Valdez?

But, I digress.

Scanning the names on the large chalkboard, I choose a regular-size noisette. Why they call it noisette and not hazelnut is beside me. Spelling something in a foreign language doesn't make it taste any different. I seriously doubt the French name their coffee using English words. Can you imagine? I think I hear them laughing across the ocean at this very moment.

Apparently, the dishwasher must be broken since my selection is poured into a styrofoam cup - I prefer a mug since the taste of refined petroleum just doesn't do it for me. I pay and look for the table with the sugar and milk.

After flavouring my coffee with a dash of 18% cream (don't look at me like that) and about three tablespoons of sugar (ok, now you can look at me like that), I turn around and search for a suitable place near the window to sit down.

Taking the thought of spillage as a precaution, I move slowly. Slowly. Every step and every turn is deliberate. My movements resemble the scene in Chariots of Fire, where the runners in white are doing their slo-mo montage on the beach, with the Vangelis score in the background.

Right before I get to the table, I remove my mitchel (mini-satchel) and throw it on the bench. Wrong move. My arm jiggles and a few drops of coffee drip down the side of the cup. And, it's hot. Very, very hot.

"Aaahhh. Hot. Haaawww-ttt..." I mouth the words, minding the sensibilities and sensitivities of the other customers.

As I plop the cup on the table, it spills. The fires of hell burn my hand.

"Fuuuuuhhhhhh-kkk!" This time I don't mouth the words. And, they are loud.

"Fuck. Fucking hot coffee. Fuck. Fuck." I glance sideways and this little old lady is looking at me. I want to ask her, What the fuck are you looking at, grandma? but don't. She's already heard enough from the aspiring sailor.

A tear forms in my eye from the pain. It too burns. Fucking tear.

I grab some napkins and wipe away the mess on the table, on the cup and on my hand. My inside crease of my right hand is red and burns. Why does it always have to happen to the most sensitive of areas? Why do the most stupid of things have to happen to me? Why? After the profanity and the thoughts of suing this establishment dissipate, I settle down on the bench and wait for my friend.

She arrives. Exactly twenty-five minutes late.

"Been waiting long?" she asks.

"No," I lie and smile. What I really want to do is yell out, What the fuck do you think?

"Did you already get something to drink?" She removes her bag from her shoulder, digs inside and pulls out her wallet.

I point to the steaming cup of coffee on the table and the pile of dirty napkins beside it.

She turns around and goes to the counter to place her order.

Whatever she's having, I hope it's hot and I hope it spills... just a little bit.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A wanted man

Walking down a crowded street, you feel them all around you. Their eyes are watching your every move as you near them. Their hands reach out for a moment of closeness. Their mouths glisten with the saliva of their tongues. The energy is palpable. Electric. Time elapses, and before you know it, you've made contact.

You feel as if you're the most wanted man in the city. A sexual current runs though your body. If you extend your hand, a charge shoots from your fingertips. Everyone wants you and like it. It's a rush.

Then, they open their mouths.

"Would you like to...? Have you heard about...? Did you hear that...?" Are you fucking kidding me? Come on.

Turns out, they don't want me. They want my time, money, and patience for their services.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the new whore. True, there may not be any sex involved, but in the end, you'll get screwed over, one way or another.

Personally, I have no problem with these individuals (contrary to what I have already written). These people are out there, promoting a certain product, service, or whatever, for us plebians to buy, know, or think about. They get off their ass every day, work from 9-5, hover around in inclement weather conditions, carry an idiotic clipboard/binder, wear uncomfortable clothes, and (always) stand in a pair of fugly shoes.

God bless 'em.

And, to answer your questions, I gave some last week, I have two at home which I don't use, and your brand of over-the-counter medication is clearing up the the rash, nicely. Thank you for asking.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Jumping off a bridge

Back in the day, mothers would always ask you this same question whenever you were (or did) something stupid. It sent chills up many a spine...

"If they jumped off a bridge, would you jump off, too?"

You'd flinch because your mother's voice would rise two octaves as she shreiked. Just the sound of her tone would make you want to stop you dead in your tracks. And, if you didn't get in trouble with your momma, oh boy, you were so gonna get it when your daddy got home.

I was fortunate enough that never really happened to me. It wasn't that I was a saint (God forbid). That phrase was never directed my way for two reasons: first, my mother didn't know it; second, she didn't have to wait for my father to get home to hit me.

As children, we couldn't help it. We always felt like we had to do whatever our friends had to do. Normally, it was as simple as liking/hating the same things they did. Look at me. Do like me. Follow the leader.

Eventually, monkey-see-monkey-doo would lead to a game of topping the leader. During a competition, you are no longer friends. You would hear, "Well, my father has... My mother... My sister... My brother..." over and over again. Everyone wants to one up the other. What's sad is that these comparisons were never about one's accomplishments, but about the ones of others. Gotta love the vicariousness of childhood.

But, the more things change, the more they stay the same. No matter who you are - or how old you are - you're always trying to follow the antics of someone else. The cycle is unstoppable.

Why do we have to do this? What does it prove? Is it to please others, or ourselves? Do we still do certain things for others to like us? Inevitably, is it all about approval?

Sadly, I can't come up with one answer, I just have a lot of questions. More so since an opportunity arose (recently) about topping someone. Strangely enough, there was no competition. It came out of the blue. Now, I have to beat it.

I'm not even sure if I want to jump. But if I do, I'll make sure to pack a parachute.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Green-eyed monster

There's an e-mail in my inbox from a friend who I haven't heard from in a while. I wonder what's going on. She hasn't written in quite some time, although I send her a short e-mail at least once every two months. She's probably really busy. Should I bother to open it? My eager mind tells me to.

Great news! She's been promoted for the second time in two years. How lovely.

Don't get me wrong. She works her ass off (I've worked with, and for her) and she's very good at what she does. It's not as if she's lying in front of the TV in a bathrobe and her hair in curlers, inhaling a box of bonbons, comparing the twisted and ridiculous storylines of Days of Our Lives and The Young and the Restless.

People will be telling her it's about time, and it couldn't happen to a more deserving person. Messages will come pouring out of her inbox, like an digital monsoon.

Yet, here is my problem: I can't write back. There's a physical and mental paralysis. It's not as if I don't have the time to write a short note, or call with a congratulatory message. That's not it. My problem with this situation is that there are too many conflicting emotions.

Part of me wants to take her out to a bar, fill her with enough booze, and pry the secrets of her success from her head. Another part of me wants to take her to the tallest skyscraper, show her the amazing view, and pray that a nasty crosswind takes care of the rest (like hell I'm pushing her off the ledge - there's no way I'm going to prison for first-degree murder).

Does that sound wrong? Why does this green-eyed monster come out of the woodwork whenever something good happens to someone else? Could it be because something good is happening to someone else but me?

In all realities, I'm happy for her and all my friends. No, really. Although we all graduated at the same time, our lives have taken different trajectories. Their lives are expensive cars, speeding past at 150 mph down the highway. My car is old and rusty, and can't get out of neutral. Fuck 150 mph, and try getting the stupid piece of shit to move.

No one wants to be envious of others, but it happens. Unavoidable. Oprahisms can't deprogram your mind. When you're happy, you're happy. When you're sad, you're sad. When you want to find all your competition, place them in a sound-proof room, pull out your automatic rifle and go all Scarface on their asses, well... then you've got a problem.

There is a simple cure for this. Chin up. A silent mantra whispers in my head: I have to be strong, I have to be confident, I have to be like my mother who is an amazing hypocrite (in the diplomatic sense of the word) and always smiles even when she's crumbling inside. Only then will the green-eyed monster disappears when I send her a quick note, congratulating her on her recent appointment.

Thank God I have brown eyes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quick funk

Something is going around and no one has any idea what it is. There is definitely something in the air. A virus is seeping into the ether and sucks the life out of people. Don’t bother taking anything for it because it won’t work - at least, not now. There is no cure. It’s like that Britney Spears song…

Contagious, when I move my body
Contagious, when I’m at a party…

Wait. The song is called Outrageous. Shit. I may have caught it. But, what is it?

To put it simply, this outbreak is a quick funk. Yes, funk. Nothing and everything seems to be the cause. Several reasons could be the culprits, but who is to blame? The weather is rainy and overcast, making people wet and frizzy. The economy fluctuates on an hourly basis, leaving capitalists scratching their heads. The person you fell in love with this week tells you they found someone else, crushing you and you feel like you can't go on... another date.

You’re feeling low. Nothing can bring you out of this funk. You have no idea what to do. Drown in drink? Pop a pill? Slash your… tires.

Maybe it’s something much deeper and psychologically troubling. Or, it’s as shallow as a wading pool. I dunno. I’m not a doctor, researcher, or a crackpot with a blog. Wait. Scratch the last item.

Part of me wants to re-enact the scene in Moonstruck where Cher slaps Nicholas Cage across the face to make him realize that he doesn't (or isn't supposed to) fall in love with her.

“Snap out of it!”

Maybe the cure is as simple as that.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Coming attractions

There are times in your life where you’d rather know when something happens than have it happen without your knowledge. It isn’t as if you don’t want them to happen. They're unavoidable. They’re natural disasters that affect you personally. They don’t need to RSVP, but a simple memo would suffice.

This is one of those times.

He leans across the table at the coffee shop and squints. Little lines form around his eyes. His expression is of someone that is trying to mentally calculate a quadratic equation, or decipher one of those nonsensical X-Files episodes. He leans in even closer. The focus is maddening.

"I wasn't sure when I was far away. I thought it was the sun in my eyes," he says, leaning closer.

What is he talking about? Do I have something in my teeth? Is there a There’s Something About Mary, man-gel situation going on? Because I swear I took care of that before I left the house.

"Look!" he says loud enough for the people sitting on either side of us to listen. His finger and points to a spot on my chin, “Right here.”

Where is he going with this? If he tells me I have a pimple, or a Mary secretion on my face, I am picking up my shit and leaving.

“You have a white hair in your stubble."

Are you fucking kidding me? There is no white hair anywhere on my face. It must’ve come from his head. His own pigment-deprived, white follicle-harvested, receding-hairline head.

“It’s not a white hair. The sun’s glare is hitting you in the eyes.” What I really want to say is, Shut up, and drink your fucking coffee.

“No, no. It’s a white hair,” he says adamantly. He should know what he’s talking about since his own head has seen the ravages of time, while driving warp-speed in his old-man car.

“They’re highlights,” I reply. God, he can be so stubborn. “You know how some hairs on your head are lighter than others? Well, that also happens on your face.” I make a good point, even though I am not entirely convinced of my own reasoning.

“Uh, yeah,” he smirks as he goes back to his cruller.

Idiot. He has no idea what he’s talking about. White hair, my ass. Isn’t that what your 70’s are for? God knows your physical attractiveness is long gone, so it only makes sense that your hair is shot for shit, too.

Later on, while prepping for my shower, I take a glance into the mirror. Anything need to be cleansed, exfoliated, or moisturized? Wait. What’s that? What is that little thing on my chin? It looks like a flake of something. I try to flick it off with my nail. It’s not coming off. It’s stuck. No way. It can’t be.

I pull out my tweezers and yank the fucker out before anyone else can say anything. Destroy the evidence. Don’t put a dead body in your trunk when it’s 103 degrees outside. Bury it before it starts to decompose so people can’t ask questions about the strange smell emanating from your car (if that happens, the answer is always, I have to change the A/C’s air filters).

Is there supposed to be a specific age for white hairs to appear on your face? Your 20’s are measured in youthful moments, not yearly mole checks. How long before they spread, like a cancer, to other parts of your body? Pull a hair on your head, and instead of two coming back, four appear on your chest and arms. What if they started on other parts of your body (God forbid) and your face is the final frontier? Not on my watch.

As a child, I had a white hair, or two, on my head. Supposedly, a white hair is a sign of luck (according to my mother, a majority shareholder in L’Oreal's colour-enhancing products). Maybe she was being nice. Maybe she really meant to say that I was not going to grow old gracefully, and aging was waiting to pounce on me the minute I walked out of the house, like a hungry lion that hasn’t seen a fresh piece of meat in months.

Just as I keep an eye out for lotions and creams with high SPF, AHA and Retinol, I’ll remind myself there are plenty of products with vibrant hues and colour-stay technology - because I'm worth it. And a good set of tweezers is always good to have on hand, too.

Nothing will deface me before it’s time. Maybe a memo isn’t sufficient notice. Next time, RSVP.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


After two-and-a-half weeks of waiting for the call, I finally get to hear his voice on the line. It took a rather friendly, non-psycho phone call and a non-threatening e-mail for him to reciprocate.

"Hi, Steven. Sorry it took so long to get back to you." I'm sure he's sorry - sorry that he messed with a man with a really good memory. "Things have been really busy and I just completely forgot."

"Oh, no prob. I realize these things happen." I never knew I was forgettable. Apparently, I am.

"Well, I got your messages, and..."

Let me finish the rest of the conversation in a few sentences. He said he liked me, that I was full of energy and enthusiasm... but he saw someone else (a better fit was his choice of words). He said that if I were to change anything about myself (I asked him because I'm a masochist), it would be to speak less (to quote him - be more concise). He said since he now knows me and can put a face to a name, I'll be memorable and would think of me if he would ever need me.

That was gracious. Lovely. Just lovely.

Will you remember to call me when you want me?

Doesn't matter. I've already forgotten you.

Monday, May 02, 2005


The waiting for the call is killing me.

Wasting time becomes a priority. Wanting to forget the promise of the phone ringing becomes an obsession. My mind and body must consume itself with some other kinds of activities. Yet, there are only so many things I can read, places I can clean, people I can talk to (not on the phone, because, you know), and things I can eat.

When all is said and done, my mind goes back to the call. The phone may not be anywhere near me, but as far as I'm concerned, it's always within listening distance.

You start to think they're not going to call. But, they have to. They said they would. As each minute passes, a little bit of me dies. Actually, a part of me sickens. My head throbs, my insides twist, and I feel woozy. It's like nausea.

Come on! It's a phone, not a nuclear reactor! You don't need to be Stephen Hawking to know how to dial a series of numbers. Even a monkey can dial a series of numbers! Just pick up the receiver, and...

Breathe. Calm down. Reset.

Strangely enough, the meeting went smoothly. Two people, one purpose. I wanted what he was offering. I wanted it bad. He may not have gotten the hint considering I was relapsing from a head and chest cold. Sometimes signals can get a little blurred, like my vision (damn that head cold).

What did he want me to do? Jump on top of the table and show what I could do for him? Oh yeah. You'd like that, wouldn't you?

So, why won't you fucking call me? You said you would. You know my number. I even called you back and left a (friendly) message to say that I was still interested (as one of several final acts of desperation). Why are you doing this? To tease me, to prove you have the power? If so, than you're pathetic.

Call me.