My garbage disposal was broken, which is not necessarily a necessary thing, but we called for weeks about it. Then I called for weeks about it. People existed without disposals. So I did. Finally the landlord called me back. Barb. Barb was a massively obese woman who would never actually come in the building but would sit in her car. A 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee that looked like my mothers. Barb would drop off her 'boyfriend' Carl, who would then do the repairs, and sit in the car and wait. Not set foot in the apartments she owned. I had lots of questions about Barb, and why she sat in the car, could she leave the car and why a woman that large would wear a rainbow colored dress? I did not know how i felt about Barb, but I admired her commitment to fashion. Carl came in with a flashlight, it was 3pm. A flashlight and a large stick. He apologized for being 3 hours late, I must have work to do. Garbage disposals are very important, but he was in the hospital you see. He fished around in the disposal, oh wait there was that light in the bathroom they were supposed to get done could he take a look at that? Sure. 'Wait wait kid turn off the light don't want me or you getting shocked, don't need that. Least I don't'. Carl assured me before becoming 'Barb's boyfriend he was an actual electrician, for actual people'. I wondered if I were an actual person. The dog barked at him and he assured me he spoke dog, he apoke dog to the dogs they had at the house you see 'eeeweee oooee lapa lapa' the dog just continued barking.
So I took him out. Around the block, said hello to Barb in the jeep who was wearing a silk rainbow blouse, perhaps a pantsuit but I was unsure if she had a lower body hidden in the jeep grand cherokee. We were gone for about a half hour. Upon our return Carl was on a ladder, checking all the sockets, all the screens that were broken, all the broken things I had asked that be fixed in the last four years. 'I was in the hospital you know'. I was sorry to hear that. 'My liver gave out. Not processing things. Been sober 10 years, just wanted a drink. So no more of that' He came down off the ladder. 'I asked about the disposal. 'You see the fridge probably blew your socket cause these old buildings aren't cut out for all these appliances. That's the one thing I can do, that gives me joy, keeps me from drinking, fixing a problem'. He smelled like beer. 'So let's get back to that disposal' He ran it, it clinked, the dog barked. It never clinked like that before, just whirred. He reached inside it with the stick, he flashlight, reached his hand in and bulled out a Stella Artois bottle cap. The empty beer sat on the counter. 'Well problem solved kid, I'll be back tomorrow to fix the tub' and he left.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
written on my iphone while with teenagers, teenagers who were ever so much cooler than me.
if ever I have a daughter please give her the common sense to wear shorts that cover her ass and not sit in stairwells late at night with Argentinian film/writer/actor boys. Even if they do quote Salinger. Or any film/writer/actor boys who are emotionally aware but not emotionally available, ok, no film/writer/actor boys, ever, fine, in stairwells at least. No stairwells. Even if they claim to be Southern or Midwestern or Southwestern.. Or Jewish or from unassuming central Pennsylvania. Please let her understand that New York and Paris are places for more than shopping. Please don't have her wear liquid eyeliner she's too fair for it, it disguises her eyes, she'll have time to do that. Please let her have convictions in the music she loves, that she not swallow all notes placed in her ears. Please allow her to take compliments and give them freely, genuinely. Please let her not need to always raise her hand and be ok with just knowing for herself, please let her speak when moved to clearly. Please let her know how to use a plunger and a vaccuum and reset our VCR clock or DVD clock or whatever space media clock we'll have then if we use one. Please let her not wear heels that look like transvestite shoes while at summer camp.
Please let her never utter the phrases 'lame' 'total' 'omg' or 'kewl' unless ironically. Please let her not confuse sensitivity with weakness or intelligence with uncoolness. And let her know that her mother was once one of those eager girls who raised her hand and was late to heartbreak from writer/actor/ film boys on stairwells but quickly moved to stoops, and rooftops, rivers and reservoirs. And hoped one day she'd be lucky enough to have a daughter even a fictitious one.
And if you can't do all these things God, can you at least let her be tall?