But before I could come to this moment, a lot had to happen. Like the random fireworks shot off a roof a block away that exploded right over my garden. Sparkly, dangerous, and noisy and frightening to felines. I gazed at the greens and pinks- annoyed about the noise, but secretly enjoying the show. Ifrit hid under a blanket on the couch. Ifrit rule# 854: When in doubt, find a linen closet.
And before that, I had to clean the apartment. No matter how hungry or thirsty I am when I get home, I clean. I first change the kitty water and clean the litter box. Then I sweep. A couple of time a week, I vacuum the edges and corners and in the cracks around the litter box. Surfaces are wiped down and then the day’s luggage is unpacked: swimsuit, towel, cap, and goggles to go on the hooks behind the door. Extra pair of shoes into the closet. Yesterday’s clothes, if I’ve been at Dave’s, into the laundry. Coaching stuff back into the filing cabinet. THEN and only then do I make dinner/ eat Ben and Jerry’s/ order out. It’s not a conscious decision of work then eat. It’s just: ewww, my apartment is nasty and dirty and what if Ifrit gets fed up and shits on the floor right in front of me because his litter box is stinky? I’d be pissed. (And it HAS happened before several times..) So I clean first.
But before that, I had to pee. I sat down and noticed a spider on the door, so I kicked out while sitting to smash it, missed, and decorated the door’s white backside with an ugly brown footprint. The spider eased its way to the floor. I was going to have to kick out a little farther. So I kicked. And I smashed the spider, and the toilet seat let out a huge cracking noise and slid way over to one side. Oops.
And before that, well, I still had to pee. I let myself into the building and unlocked the top lock on my door. I went to unlock the second lock and …where’s the key? Wait a sec, I’m probably just holding my key ring funny. Look harder Lisa. No, it’s not here. But it HAS to be. Where the hell would the key go? I panicked. I’d mailed the keys from the old apartment today to the landlord. I scootered through the scenarios: Mr. Schemitsch, uh, I think I might have sent the wrong key… But even more overwhelming was the tremendous pressure of urine on my bladder. And of course when you can’t go, you just have to go all the more. More scenarios: I’ll knock on Jeanie’s door (I hope she’s home!!) and use her toilet and then I’ll have to call the locksmith. Shit! I really have to pee! Where is that fucking key??!! And then the angels sang in the background. Not really, but the 20 watt lightbulb went on in some dusty corner of my brain and someone in power up there cleared her throat, and I noticed that the key ring that holds the new apartment keys was pulled apart slightly. It was so thin and flimsy, but I hadn’t noticed. And, as the light bulb burned brighter, surrounded by an ever-warming glow of hope and bathrooms, I searched desperately in the inner mesh pocket of my bag for the key to salvation. Cellphone…stopwatch…new metrocard still in the plastic…gum wrappers…pen, another pen. And then…that most miraculous sense: the sense of being able to feel an abject and know what it is at the exact moment you touch it. To understand that I’m touching a metal key and not any of the other afore mentioned objects. Truly amazing, if you think about it. I pulled the key from my bag in glory and unlocked the door.
But before that, I walked 23 blocks from the new little Chinese backrub/ footrub place. They can’t be licensed. But the massages are pretty good, so I don’t care. I’ve been there a few times, but all my favorite non-English speaking probably illegal therapists have gone back to China. So, I’m stuck talking with the male owner after my massage. Presumably to pay. However, I made the mistake several visits ago and mentioned that I was an MT. So now, whenever I get done with my massage there, he ropes me into talking for 20 minutes and I end up teaching him some new words on his little pocket translator. Today we learned radiologist. This is significant since the radiologist is my boyfriend. And this radiologist got in the way of Mr. Illegal Massage shop owner’s plans to take me to dinner.
So, if I call you, I call you and we go to dinner. Maybe lunch?
No, you can call me for a massage, but no meals. I have a boyfriend.
You have boyfriend? Oh. What does boyfriend work?
Insert discussion about radiology. Well, more like explanation since English is a little challenging. Also insert the owner running across the room into one of the curtained booths, grabbing his translator, turning it on so everyone could enjoy the noisy electronic music flourish, and thrusting it into my hands for the evening’s English lesson.
You get married?
My thoughts are racing. I hate it when people ask that questions. Because if I say yes, then I jinx myself and well, you know, you just don’t hope too hard for these things. And if you say yes, well, where the hell is the ring? Can’t say yes. But you can’t say no because then everyone asks why the hell you’re still dating the same guy after 2 1/2 years. Can’t win. But I had to answer and I wasn’t thinking about how to defend my answer. I wanted the guy off my back.
Yes, we’re getting married.
Oh, ok. Well, good job. You marry doctor. Good life for you. (another verbal flourish that I LOATHE!!)
And before this, I had a really HARD neck rub. I thought I needed it, but now I can barely move, especially after typing for 1/2 an hour. I’m going to slap on an ice pack, call Dave, and hit the hay.
But before that, let’s finish this extraordinary evening off by admitting that I forgot to call my Dad on his birthday. It’s too late now. He’s online and I won’t be able to get through. Guilt.