I woke up this morning to a dead house. It had the feel of winter: quiet, clean and white.
I hate that feeling. I was tired and wanted to retreat further inside and stay there.
So I did. Under the comforter, I thought about DG’s birthday party at the bar last night. I hate that area. Always have. It’d been two years ago since I last ventured over there, and that was back in my first New York months when I started dating some idiot who lived there. I liked going to his apartment then because it was cozy and spacious, and it reminded me of home. Plus when he was away at work during the days, I could burrow into his oversized couch and work on my applications in front of his big-screen TV. He himself was fat like his couch, but I saw exactly what he saw in that infamous taco truck around the corner of his apartment.
“Who wants carnitas? Burritos? Tacos?” someone behind me asked as I took another sip of my beer at the bar. “There’s a great taco truck’s just down the street.”
I talked to a girl for a while while the guy went to bring food, but the drone of our voices combined with my fatigue lulled me into a deep inward sleep. Jake, who stood a few feet away, was giving me the silent treatment. He was upset that I made him feel guilty when I complained to him about something offensive he said. Silly boy.
After I finished my beer, I said bye to DG and made my way to the train. I heard it coming as I reached the stairs of the subway, so I ran up fast. By the time I reached the platform, I noticed that the train was on the other side. I looked up — the sign above my head told me I was standing on the wrong side.
I waited another 20 minutes, shivering on the platform across. By the time I got home and lay in bed to write in my blog, I fell asleep with the computer on my lap and my fingers perched in writing position.
This morning, I woke up and sank into the silence. I ate breakfast and read a book, then turned on Enya and rolled back into bed by the window. I had a headache. The gray sinking skies pressed down on my skull. The music seemed to be blaring.
I wished Boy would call and say he’s sorry. I wished Jake would call and say he’s sorry. I wished I’d get up and do all the fun things I had planned for myself for today. But I stayed in bed hoping I’d fall asleep again. At 3, I got up and called Joe. “I’m bringing you pumpkin pie tonight,” I said. He has a party, the last hoorah before his first day as a lawyer Monday.
There was a tango workshop at 6, but I didn’t make it. I went back to the bakery instead for cannoli. I started talking to the girl behind the counter about pies, when we were both interrupted. “I’m NEXT,” someone said by the door. I turned to my right. A woman with blond streaks running down her well-trimmed haircut was glaring at me. Her chin-length strands framed the impatience of her black eyes perfectly. Bitch, I thought. I smiled. “Go ahead,” I said sweetly. As she paid, she glanced back at me. I winked at her. Her eyes were still severe.
In a minute, she was gone, and we were back on the pies again. “Coconut custard,” said the girl. “Sorry about that lady,” she added, glancing at the door.
By the time I reached home five minutes later, the cannolo was gone. “I’ll photograph the next one,” I told myself.
With my schedule freed up, I could do other things now — read, go to a movie, think — I thought to myself. But I wanted to do none. Nothing. Nothing at all. So I sat on the chair and turned on the TV on a random channel. I watched a stupid show about a stupid kid. Then the news came on, which held my interest as much as the commercials. The bell rang. My neighbor. Oh, God, she wants to complain again. She did complain. Said I was too loud last night. But all I’d done was open some drawers. Madonna was almost evicted today from her Central Park apartment because her neighbors complained about her practicing too long and too loud at home. True story — it was on the news. All I did was open drawers. Dam silly. I mean, if you’re going to “get caught” for something, might as well make it glamorous.
Anyway, the highlight of this story is that the neigbor brought dessert — diples, a greek dessert with honey and nuts and fried dough. Perfection. I felt a wave of guilt wash over me as the diples exchanged hands. Was she bribing me so I would stop organizing my dresser at 2 a.m.?
I shrugged as I closed the door, and laid the diples on the counter. Pumpkin pie at Joe’s was going to be my dinner tonight. Not cannoli or other sweets. So what was I doing eyeing the guilt-ridden diples so intensely?
I bit into the dough. It was purely delicious. The neighbor, her age-appropriate crankiness aside, is a wonderful cook. I felt powerful as I ate in the dim kitchen, lit up now and then by the glare of the TV. Nothing could touch me today. And even though Boy called at 3:30, he didn’t leave a message. He couldn’t touch me either.