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18:50 - Saturday, Jan. 10, 2004
(but really written at 2 p.m. or some such, on the plane)

SkyMall magazine has got to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. For real this time, I’m stealing it off the plane, putting it in my bag, and then eventually up on the wall of my apartment for downtime thrills. Unless they meant it for entertainment purposes, I’m not sure what kind of people would have to be behind such a production. I wonder if they get any real business. Everything sold in it is marketed to people who would rather take bundles of money and burn it in the fireplace than have to lift a finger to, say, brush their own teeth. Examples are forthcoming:

‘Whimsical ‘Gutter Creatures’ Move Water Away From Your Foundation!’ – and then there is a picture of a little dragon guy, made of steel or something, fastened over the downspout of gutters. He also could be an alligator. They put ‘lovable’ in parentheses in the description, as if even they know that calling something you put over your downspout lovable is bordering on insane.

‘Stop! Don’t Hit The Garage Wall!’ This is a little foam-rubber mat you put in your garage that alerts you when your car is sufficiently into the garage so the door won’t hit it on the way down, as if people can’t see in front of their car to know where the garage wall is and as if they haven’t driven into their own garage enough times to know if their car fits in it.

‘Peaceful Progression Wake-Up Clock.’ This thing wakes you up by emanating light and ‘pleasant aromas’ over the space of a half hour. What the fuck.

‘Feline Stay Fresh Drinking Fountain.’ Basically recirculates cat water and keeps it cool. (And takes up a lot more room than a cat bowl.) Like any cat will come near a contraption like this.

‘Tropical Escapes.’ No amount of words can describe what this monstrosity looks like. Think plastic palm tree with a clear plastic tube trunk with neon pink bubbles floating around in it like a deranged new age lava lamp. Mounted on a large black square shiny base.

‘Personal Christian Library’ – downloads 8 versions of the Bible plus commentaries, etc., onto your Palm Pilot. Uh....

Anyway, flying has never been this much fun. In this frame of mind I’m totally ridiculous and can’t make sense out of my surroundings. I keep thinking that when the plane lands I’m going to step out into a strange L.A./Mars morph and have my magical electronic spider summon my conveyance to my flying bubble of a home (complete with pink palm fronds) where I will sit in a ‘human touch’ calf massage chair and have water recirculated from mouth to bladder and back by means of ‘hot new technology’.

23:29 - Friday, Jan. 09, 2004
on the upswing
leaving tomorrow morning for boulder again. if i were more to the extremes of the spectrum of feelings lately, i'd be bouncing off the walls.
i'm on the upswing though; i can tell.

00:47 - Thursday, Jan. 08, 2004
blonde moment
leaving nora's tonight, i tried to go down the stairs instead of using the elevator, and when i got to floor 1, i opened the door that said 'exit' and it opened out into a white-wallpapered endless-cornered hallway, not at all the front lobby i'd seen when i came in. i tried all the other doors leading from the stairwell, and they all opened up into other hallways. what. the. fuck. i ran back up to 2, where i'd come from, and tried to retrace my steps to her apartment so i could just take the elevator, but the door i opened led out to a hallway without her room number on it. by then, i was feeling panicky and low on air, like i was in a maze novel, a maze film, like the lightbulbs all around me should be about to blow out any minute, like swirling music should be beginning to play. i went back in the door, tried another one. someone's back porch. i went back in, tried the last door, finally found where her apartment had been. then i got on the elevator and pressed '1'. the elevator opened into that same puzzling hallway...
anyway, the short of it is that i finally figured out the lobby was at 'G', not '1'.

13:55 - Tuesday, Jan. 06, 2004
same sort of mindscape
i’m in the same sort of mindscape that i was in last year ‘round this time when i was writing all those introspective carefree entries .... but somehow without the ability to write those kind of entries, just think like that but dulled, rounded at the edges because i know, this year, that i DO belong somewhere, several somewheres as a matter of fact, and the only reason i’m dragging is because i don’t happen to be anywhere i belong right at this very moment. i’d feel annoying complaining about it, so i don’t.
besides, i have a fever. damn, i’m profound. (kidding.) writing when i have the flu is not unlike writing when i’m blasted out of my gourd. i don’t think before i spew this mottled splatter of words all over the page, and don’t care if they don’t make any sense. i welcome nonsense at times like these. it is better than the alternative.
the flu is odd in that it makes you not care about anything else except silly feverish nightmares where – from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., after throwing up twice – i was convinced in my sleep that i had to catalogue every feeling i had, horizontal/vertical, every shiver, every nauseous twinge, logged in a book or my brain, ready to turn into the boss. when i woke up i was exhausted. i couldn’t just let it alone. i was seriously convinced i had to have this sickness log book, that it was blasphemous to forget the tiniest quiver, that i would get lower pay, that i would get fired. fired from what, you ask? life, i guess. and then later i bolted upright directly off the couch at 9:59, totally committed to having a celebration for the clock turning to 10. don’t know where i was going, but the sudden movements caused me to throw up every piece of delicious fruit i had just eaten – luckily, i had apparently thought the celebration should take place in the bathroom. still so wrapped up in my dream, i didn’t even notice that much, or care. the phone rang and i picked it up, laughing. ‘house of leaves,’ i slurred, and banged it down, hard.
it rang again and i let the machine get it. ‘healing touch massage therapy,’ it said. ‘just confirming your appointment for tomorrow at two.’ i laughed even harder. the thought of anyone touching my back right now is completely ridiculous. my dad gave me a hug goodbye this morning and it made me convulse, gag over his shoulder. nothing came out, but he shot out the front door like a rabbit, terrified. he’s even more scared of vomit than i am, and that’s saying something. once, a few years ago, i was getting blood taken, and they couldn’t push the needle past the piano-callouses on my fingers. they poked me so many times i was getting faint, and dangerously nauseous. they handed the kidney shaped puke-catching bucket to my dad. ‘hold this in front of her mouth,’ they told him. his face turned to ash, pure white, his green eyes to the colour of a sickly sea.. his spinal column nearly collapsed. he would have fallen off the doctors stretcher had i not caught him. i didn’t even throw up. but he was not himself for at least an hour.
it’s funny, but he’s not what i remember, which is when i was little and my parents were still together, my mom stayed home from work and would sponge my forehead with a cool cloth, and give me sinus – temple massages for hours on end. the last time she did that was when i was 12 and realized that i could never be so good and selfless a mother. my dad would peek around the doorjamb, making retching noises which would occasionally make me laugh but more often just irritate me. my mom, though. how do mothers do it? i knew it even when i was sick, the enormous burden it must be, and apologized every time i made her get up in the middle of the night to empty puke buckets or to get me more water or kleenex of to re-wet my washcloth. i would never have traded it, though.
today, i stumbled downstairs and asked my dad if he would go to the store and get me some fruit. ‘no,’ he said. ‘i have to go to work.’
‘can you be a little late to work?’ i asked. ‘there’s nothing here except frozen dinners, potato chips, and mike’s hard lemonade.....’
‘that’s ridiculous,’ he said. ‘i’m not going to the store. you go to the store.’
but when i called my mom, she put all the fruit in her house into a paper bag and drove over with it and hot tea mix and ibuprofen. when i called martha, she drove over with south park seasons 1, 2, 3 on dvd. what is it about mothers? even when they’re not your mother? what makes them so giving? would i be like that?
i fear i wouldn’t, which is why i swore i wouldn’t have children, but who knows. maybe i’d surprise myself.


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