Slurping Towards Malibu


So I bought a bottle of Malibu and a bottle of Diet Coke and I’m gonna get through one before this night is done.

A note. I don’t have internet to distract me and hurry me to post this and get on to other things so it might go a bit long.

Today, the boss focused her wrath or her exhaustion on me. It was not the end of the world and I stood up for myself when she said she was frustrated with me and I explained exactly what I said and there was nothing in it to be irritated at. This meant that she had whipped herself into a frenzy over what I casually said to another employee and via text and email and phone message had been misconstrued and rather than just say, hey, did you say…it’s this accusation that I’m being an asshole. Then, she flips into this whole thing where she’s rude about everybody being inept and it’s clearly out of…yeah, no. No.

But, as soon as I deflated it, she apologized and apologized again when she got in the office. I backtracked and told her it was fine, fine, I understood the pressures she was under and didn’t take it personally. Then, she was totally nice, perhaps excessively so, for the rest of the day. This migt have been enough to rattle me as I try to always avoid any sort of negative energy being aimed or directed specifically my way, but then I had to take a call from a frustrated vendor who also vented her spleen at me about how shitty we all are.

Day 3 of…why the fuck do I do this? Sigh.

Then the little sister eventually arrived and we went for pizza and I explained the whole basic job not going well thing and the getting a part-time job and she took such news relatively well. She isn’t going to talk with my parents. She bought my pizza which I didn’t need her to do. It was helpful to just have someone on my side who isn’t there and doesn’t have a dog in the fight.

After all of that calmed itself down, it was time to go see the author I so admire and get my books signed. I hesitate to give the name here, for reasons, but I totally enjoyed the talk. The reading a little less so as they also had a female voice who treated the piece as rather like regional community theatre monologue and not the mysterious echoing feminine communication emanating from everywhere and no where at once. Which is how I always understood it.

Then, we get in line, we chat. My sister talked generally about wanting to read more, said encouraging things about how there were so many books, it couldn’t be so very hard to get something published. I realize I have no idea what to say to this author. No way to express all of my feelings. I haven’t even begun to process it to the point where I could elevator speech my emotional response to these books, but I’m not far back in line and it has to happen. I sort of forgot that I had any role to play in this transaction. Something has to be said about how I am a writer because of these books, they’re my favorite in the world, they’ve been a comfort and an inspiration and they’ve brought me back from brinks time and again. They’ve made me commune with the creative and made me trust myself as someone who can claim that title.

Finally, I decided I would just say that I didn’t know what to say, but these books have meant a lot to me for a long time.

My delight was, I am afraid, inevitably quashed when the author looked up, amazed and amused at how my little sister looked precisely like a girlfriend he used to have, twenty years ago. He told us her name and she sounded like some sort of Nordic muse, with slightly redder hair than the straw colored shocks my sister claimed. This startled us both. She laughed. I froze, but even in freezing marveled at how expected it was that she, who had never read these books at all, who I just handed a copy to glance at while we were listening, is the one who is remarked upon. For my part, (though I recognized I could have found a way to hold steady and assert my intended statement) I said nothing but smiled and nodded and said thank you as he signed the books and off I went.

Yeah, it matters, no, it doesn’t. Both at once. I was upset and I understood how unfair being upset at just not being in sync with strangers is.  Still.

I think about how I was too stressed to put on makeup this morning and maybe somehow that mattered. But that’s not what this author is about at all, and it was just a silly moment, and nothing was happening in some conspiracy to cause me pain.   Then I drove to the liquor store and whapped myself hard in the face with the power cord for my phone.  These are all coincidences, unconnected, but it’s in the nature of this beast to connect these dots.

Sometimes it just feels like you try to be as good and as kind and as positive as you can be and life just pushes you into the snowbank, laughing, thoughtlessly as it rolls by.

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