Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Walking down by the water today I found an empty bottle of scotch, looking for all the world like it had nearly thrown itself in but lost the motivation at the last moment. I sat down next to it and waited to see if there was anything it wanted to talk about, but it seemed as though the bottle just wanted to be left alone.

I'm holding my cards so close this time that even I can't see them, knowing full well that cards have never been my game but unwilling to believe that I will again be unlucky. Only you're holding yours the same way, and that means you are winning this hand of calculated coolness.

Something came up last night in conversation with Paul, who is back to dating boys with delicate cheekbones and tight jeans, and I feel like it's information that should be widely disseminated. Dear members of the Opposite Sex: I do not know how to be coy; I was skipping class to smoke Marlboro Reds and drink warm Budweiser and give advice about girl problems with the boys the day they covered coy at finishing school or wherever. So when ladyfriends and fashion magazines tell me, "be available, but not too available" I'm thinking, whyever? When we could be pinky swearing and having blanket fort picnics and learning all the lyrics to this band's back catalog? I am not mysterious. Busy? Certainly. Shy? Yeah. Having impure thoughts about your eyelashes and not paying a lick of attention to the conversation? Perhaps. More intoxicated than I look? Likely. But coy and mysterious? Never, and the sooner we all understand that, the better off we'll be.

So here is the deal: let's move to Chile and take on new names. I'll design perfumes and you'll make wooden children's toys and we will have a hermit crab named Herman. On the mantle we'll have a butter sculpture of Elvis, and someday when it's very still and quiet you'll show me those cards.

I've spent a lot of time the last couple of years carousing. I carouse on weeknights because there's only so much time left before waking up with my party shoes still on stops being charming, but also because I have lived by myself for nearly four years now, and being alone with my thoughts is no longer novel. Frequently I will ignore all of the quality books and movies and paintings and ideas I have scattered around my apartment in favor of lying on the floor and planning to take up with a houseboy named Enrique in Fiji who only speaks enough English to make margaritas because, hell, what else am I doing?

Just between you and me, what I am doing is standing here like a china figure in a bull shop. Waiting.

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