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Pizzaglyphs

Busy week. Craziness. I’ve dug out my Franklin Planner again because the ‘things to do’ line items are starting to tumble out of my ears. I forgot about a knee doctor appointment yesterday. Completely spazzed about it. Ah well, it’s not like my knee is going to suddenly get better.

Plans for our big weekend are coming along swimmingly, although, man, the devil is in the details. There are maps and phone numbers and swag and transportation and scheduling and oh yeah, I totally have no idea what to wear. Poor me, with all the friends flying in from around the country. Yeah. I know. Your heart, she bleeds.

Last night, I came home to an empty living room. My mother claimed the World’s Second Ugliest LayZBoy recliner and Mark took our big poofy uncomfortable sectional sofa and with it, apparently the only places to sit in the entire house. When I got home, I realized that if I wanted to watch television, I had to do so in the bedroom, or sit on the floor, which quite frankly, I am too old/broken and the floor needed to be Swiffered. We went out for dinner, since we had taken down the dining room table so that we could stow all the kitchen appliances when we put in the new floor and never really bothered to put it back up (mostly because that’s the next room on the agenda) so even if we made dinner, we would have to eat it in the bedroom. Someday maybe we’ll be actual adults. Until then, we front really well. Maybe someday we’ll actually be able to admit that we live in this house.

But now, there is a pretty new sofa and chaise in the place where all the empty used to be. We now need a second chaise, because Tilly claimed my chaise as her own. Stupid cat.


When Esteban came home during the middle of the day to wait for the furniture delivery guys, he noticed something red sticking out of our mailbox.

My wallet.

The cash is gone, of course, but the credit cards and my id, all there. The wallet is soaking wet and somewhat rusted, so my theory is that it too had been ditched in the road and some good Samaritan found it and brought it back. Of course, the credit cards had all been canceled and the wallet is pretty much ruined, but it’s nice to know that it came home and I don’t have to worry about it being out there in the big city, lost and confused and end up dancing with men for money like poor Tina Turner in the ‘Private Dancer’ video.

I now will keep peeking in my mailbox though for my lip glosses and cute little powder compact. Apparently one never knows.


Ok, damn it, I JUST discovered Ayelet’s journal and literally, two days later, she ends the thing. Was it me, Ayelet? Was it?

Because it’s all about me.


Speaking of fabulous writers, my charming and clever professor just won an O.Henry award. I know. I am in absolute awe. I mean, I buy the O.Henry collection every year and now he’s going to be in it. I feel faint with wonder of it all, that I sit at his left elbow in class and he laughs at my stupid jokes. What is more, that means one of my recommendation letters was written by an O.Henry award winner.

We can’t all be part of a super Wondertwin Power activate duo like Ayelet and her husband Michael Chabon. There has to be some of us left to bow to the deities as they pass by.


Insert segue here, but there’s a guy in my class who is in every single graduate writing program across the country. You know that guy: sort of goofy dazed expression, long shapeless hair, flavor savor beardlet thing, and Birkenstocks. Let me clarify: Birkenstock sandals with otherwise bare feet, even though it is 15 degrees out and snowing in Milwaukee. His feet are white and dry and riddled with dead skin. Someone asked him the first week why he kept wearing sandals sans socks and he explained that he only owns his sandals and a pair of hiking boots. Although it just now occurs to me that this week, he mentioned that he owns a pair of spats, so either he was lying last week to be all hippy, or maybe he was lying this week to be all eclectic, or maybe he forgot about the spats last week and really does only own a pair of sandals, a pair of hiking boots and a pair of spats, in which case, maybe he needs medication.

During the first two classes, he sat next to me. The barefeet and Birkenstocks guy. Despite how squicky I get over feet, this wouldn’t have been too bad. I mean, they were on the floor, hidden by the table, so it shouldn’t have been a problem. And it wasn’t, for the first class, or maybe I wasn’t paying attention. But the second time he sat next to me, once he got comfortable, he slipped those dry calloused hooves up onto the chair, which was, by the way, inches away from my person. But could he keep still? No. No he could not. He then had to readjust several times, flexing his hobbit toes around, cracking them occasionally. And then? And then! And then he started feeling his feet with his hands, rubbing their arches, probably trying to massage some circulation back in. And then he’d put his hands back on the table. And then he asked to borrow my copy of the short story we were supposed to bring (one of my favorite stories, incidentally, this one) and then held it with his feety hands and then after class was through, he handed it back to me as though it did not harbor the essence of his hippy eclectic man feet within the very fiber of the paper.

Shudder.

This week, I switched to the other side of the table. I couldn’t handle it another week. I can’t imagine anyone would blame me. I hope he doesn’t follow me next week.


But wait, there’s one more kooky writer hook.

I met Esteban at his parents’ house (they are in Cancun and he must watch their dogs) for dinner and a movie. I had had fresh fruit for lunch, so by 6 pm when I got over there, I was going to absolutely die from hunger (do not let the ginormous ass fool you, I could very well have fallen dead from starvation, you don’t even know) and Esteban was doing his patented ‘Well, I don’t know, I don’t care, what do YOU want to do?’ which is Esteban-ese for ‘I don’t care, as long as you somehow make food appear in front of my face.’ I suggested that he order pizza from the only pizza place in the snooty suburb. He grimaced and said ‘Do you REALLY want that?’ I explained that of course I didn’t want that, but since he was supposedly hosting and didn’t have even a suggestion of what to do, and I didn’t want to cook, I was taking charge and ordering subpar pizza was the best plan of action.
‘Do you have moneeeeeey?’ he countered. ‘No? Well then I guess we can’t&AO8AvwC9AO8AvwC9-
‘Give them your credit card number over the phone.’ I was unwilling to let him be passive-aggressive. I was hungry and totally not in the mood.
So he ordered, and then didn’t have any money for a tip and didn’t want to get up and turn on the porch light for them and didn’t want to let the dogs out and then wanted to pout because he was in a bad mood and why did I love him anyway when he was such a poopyhead? (Answer: because obviously I’m attracted to all the self-deprecation bullshit.) And then while he was watching a repeat of CSI because he didn’t want to get up to put in the DVD, I made brownies, cleaned up his week’s worth of mess, took out the dogs, gave them water, and got money for the delivery guy’s tip. Lest you think I’m a martyred saint, I was rolling my eyes so hard that it was practically an aerobic workout.

And then the pizza guy rang the doorbell, so I went to open the door and it was Bob.

He looked even more like Kyan from Queer Eye. He did a doubletake when I opened the door and then quickly bowed his head, as though he wanted to pretend he didn’t know me, but I had already done the Big Eyebrows of Recognition and the ‘Hiiiiiii!’ with my voice turning the one syllable into a rollercoaster loop. He smiled and said ‘Hi Weet’, not even pausing for a moment to connect my name to my face, and then started mumbling about forgetting the credit card slip. Ah hah, so he must have seen Esteban’s last name on the slip, although Esteban and Ward actually have the same name. I called out for Esteban, thinking that Bob needed the credit card number again, and Bob blushed. ‘Oh, hey Esteban! How have you guys been? In three words or less?’ And I got that it was Bob’s way to make a joke about what an inane question that was after not seeing someone in eight years. I smacked back, weirded out by the whole thing, ‘Pretty good’ um’ you?’ which fit in the three words or less.

Bob handed us our pizza and then I thrust at his chest the wad of singles I had brought to the door for a tip, which made me feel even more stupid. The whole thing was just uncomfortable. I fled back into the house with the pizza, leaving Esteban to say good-bye and then get the breadsticks Bob had forgotten in his car. And then I spent the rest of the night replaying the weird look on his face when I had opened the door, and the weird nervous edge to his voice, as though he were about to break into an inappropriate laugh. So not the old Zen Bob. It was all very strange. I can’t decide now if it just seemed normal then or if something really was afoot at the Circle K. But it doesn’t matter.

And also, the pizza was cold.

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