Black of the Blackest Ocean

There is what is real and there is what we do to make it seem real. This distinction is especially important in matters of love and car repairs. I’ve made an appointment to replace one of my tires this weekend. Let’s hope my long-time mechanic doesn’t take one look at the car’s first-aid-tape bumper repair job by its previous mechanic and hurt himself laughing.

Tata: Oh. My. God. Have you seen Stouffer’s is selling sandwiches?
Daria: I have seen that commercial and had the same reaction you’re having now: How lazy do you have to be not to slap meat on some bread yourself?

Today, I had a vacation day because I was going to have a nervous breakdown if I didn’t get to be alone in my house for a few days but I went to the studio for that little radio show. From the first moment we were on the air, all hell broke loose in the studio. I know some women see the word HOMEWRECKER written across my forehead but I’ve never seen a gay man take one look at me and make like Greg Louganis for his lover’s tonsils. And at no time have I seen men in their forties Greco-Roman wrestle over a doorbell, so when I think of the few things I remember blurting, I wouldn’t be surprised if I hadn’t strung together nouns and verbs in any conventional sense. I do remember saying the American Family Association was silly for supporting a Constitutional marriage amendment but other than that I might’ve sounded like Charlie Brown’s mother.

This evening, I went out walking after dinner and as I walked down the road into the park, I saw Lupe from a distance, walking toward me.

Tata: You’re going the wrong way!
Lupe: I could walk around again.
Tata: Then you’re definitely going the wrong way.

We walked around the park and I pointed out birds and we walked up the road past Gianna’s house and I pointed out trees, and we walked up a dirt path, up the avenues and down the streets, and I pointed out rosebuds. Lupe’s divorce is still fresh, and she has a new love. All this feels very familiar to me. As we walk up and down the streets, I point here and there: here was the house my great-grandfather built, there is the house my psychotic ex-boyfriend tried to burn down one night while his housemates slept. This house is where I went when I left the Fabulous Ex-Husband(tm) and where I lived with grad students so poorly versed in the ordinary business of home life that before I moved in they’d called Sears to fix a dryer that needed its lint tray emptied. In Lupe’s apartment, she cuts up a pineapple while talking about her small children. I watch, unnerved by her claustrophobic kitchen, the sharp knife and the possibility that if she slices off her hand I might have to call 911 and say I don’t know the address. I tell her I’ve recently seen Alton Brown cut fresh pineapples by slicing off the bottom, slicing off the top, then the sides. A person then slices the barrel-shaped innards in quarters and removes the central points and since this is all geometry, I suppose I could do it. Or it’s the kind of thing where I’d call Dad, describe my injuries and he’d say, “You are surely adopted.”

Such is love. I can’t maintain tire pressure, either.

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