289: fade to gray

I was at Ikea last Saturday morning, standing behind a woman who ordered a coke and a hot dog for breakfast. I couldn’t see how a woman could have a hot dog for breakfast, and didn’t see how it could be hypocritical of me to frown at her meal when I had eaten Swedish meatballs for breakfast earlier that morning myself. I’d been up since 8:30, so Maria and I could get an early start and get to Ikea long before the marauding hordes of Trixies and nuclear families showed up around lunch time to paw the curtains and fight over the last $100 futon chair with detachable snack tray.

Later that day, I snoozed on my bed and watched crap movies on TBS while I wondered about what to wear to the bowling alley later that night. I wore the monogram sweater to evoke “Laverne & Shirley”, as didn’t Laverne’s dad own The Pizza Bowl? So with sweater on and lip gloss in place, I set out on the bus to bowl my arse off.

I love the bus. I love the crazyass people who take the bus and talk about how they haven’t bathed or had sex or clipped their toenails in years. The ones who throw peanut shells all over the floors and sincerely read those Jewel-Osco circulars like it’s great literature. There were a couple of nuts on the bus, they got off at Damen ranting about the “homersexuals” and called the bus driver a cunt. The bus driver laughed, then slammed the doors on them and drove off.

The people-watching at the bowling alley was better. Crowds of teenage girls in tight jeans loitered near the ball polisher. The prettier of the girls would go over to groups of teenage boys in Roca Wear to flirt and flash their Louis Vuitton handbags. Jeff’s friends were an assortment of gay men, co-workers, and classmates from his massage therapy school. We had three lanes and would switch team members every game. I su-ucked, throwing endless gutter balls and drowning my sorrows in cheap beer. A stranger complimented me on my Hello Kitty wallet, and I think I noticed a cute guy with glasses checking me out while I bowled. But maybe it was just the artificial fog from the fog machines getting in my eyes? I hope not. Oh, and my monogrammed sweater totally clashed with one of Jeff’s friends, who was all cute and wore a black t-shirt with a pink C silkscreened on the front. She looked appropriate adorable while I looked like I should have been demonstrating words starting with the letter ‘j’ on “Sesame Street”.

Sunday was another period of sloth, though I did bake cupcakes to bring to Erin’s apartment for the last. episode. ever. of ‘Sex and The City’. I didn’t dress up, so I didn’t win the door prize for the outfit that best evoked the spirit of the show. That honor went to Jessica (I think that’s her name — Erin, help me out?) who wore the Steve Maddens I’ve been eyeballing since last fall when I first spotted them at Bloomingdale’s (http://tinyurl.com/3x7yh). I totally cried at the ending, then went out and had cigarettes with Stef, Jan, and Sarah (who did not smoke) on Erin’s porch so we could talk some more. Erin’s a great hostess, and there was a lot of good food and the cosmos flowed freely, so maybe I got a little tipsy and a little sad because I wanted to call Kevin and Michael and tell them I loved them and missed them (and Michael’s cosmos) and then I got a bit angry because why did I only have this revelation when I was kinda sorta maybe drunk? I was having one of those Milhouse van Houten-wearing-beer-goggles-at-Duffland moments, mentally slurring “You see this guy? This is the guy!” while images of Kevin and Michael and Jacinda (because she and I used to watch Sex and The City in its first season together with our own pints of Ben & Jerry’s and fresh packs of cigarettes and fried chicken) danced through my head.

Stef and I had a serious heart-to-heart during the drive home, which only left me wishing she still lived here so she could give me her pep talks in person while driving around Chicago or trying on lip gloss at Sephora or eating tapas. Fortunately, I have other willing partners-in-crime to do this with me, like Jacinda and occasionally my boss K.

K. and I went to a double feature of “Un Chien Andalou” and “L’Age d’Or” at the Gene Siskel Film Center and I’d forgotten how much I enjoy obscure and thoroughly silly art films. Especially when there are all sorts of weird little tricks and jokes and leering French men with goofy-looking moustaches.

Last night, Jeff and I went to a screening of “Beah: A Black Woman Speaks” at the Harold Washington library. It’s on HBO tonight, so watch it, because it’s good and I said so and my friend Adrienne works for HBO so you want to support her. Anyway, LisaGay Hamilton, who wrote and directed the film, answered questions about her work but strangely little about her own experience working on the film and about Beah Richards. This one woman asked her how she got her movie “greenlighted” by HBO which struck me as kind of ridiculous but still somewhat useful. At the reception afterwards, when I’d see this woman at the bar or the buffet, I’d lean over to Jeff and snark “Hi, can I green light on some salad?” and then we’d giggle a bit and then go back to looking like important film-goers with something artsy to say.

And for those of you who watch “The Practice” or are familiar with LisaGay Hamilton’s work, let me just say that, in person, she is *tiny* and looks great wearing a red velveteen pantsuit (very Gucci ’97).

Happy Ash Wednesday!

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