Happy Hour

Use Protection
May 9, 2012, 10:22 am
Filed under: On the House | Tags: , , ,

Everyone warns you about having sex. Sex is rife with problems. There are disgusting, communicable diseases; some that last forever, some that kill. There are plan-altering babies; they render you permanently responsible. There are the blinking emotions and the freak occurrences, the Lorena Bobbitts and the lust-sick stalkers. And the more sex you have, the more susceptible you become. The dirtier you will be with your throw-away affairs. To sleep with one person is to have all of their partners; you’ve slept with 32 people in one night.

Yes, sex is risky. This is your body we’re talking about here. Your temple. Don’t ruin it with easy, detached, disposable sex.

Fall in love instead. Find the perfect mate and make love to them. Gaze into their eyes when they are inside you, and then kiss them passionately. Trust them completely with everything you are. Talk about futures and trips, kids and marriage. Fall in love all you want, with any man you choose. Fall in love over and over again. It’s safer than just having sex. It’s clean. It’s pure. It’s recommended.

If it doesn’t work, you just fall out of love. If you’re healthy, it’s no big deal. Some find that it leaves a mark, but that’s only for psychotic bunny boilers. A musician once said ___ _ __ __, but musicians are all drama queens anyway. Every once in a while you’ll hear someone talk about baggage, but those people simply don’t know how to express themselves. Yeah, some of the people you fall in love with will find someone new, and probably get married. That will only bother you if you aren’t a good, selfless person.

There’s no science to show that memories leave stains on your skull like nicotine on your teeth; no statistics about the faces, hands, and phrases that plague you. It’s impossible for people to take parts of you when they go, or to inject things inside of you that can’t somehow be removed. Your heart doesn’t actually break; that’s a dramatization. The pain doesn’t go into remission, waiting for vulnerability to spread.

This is your body we’re talking about here. Your temple. These hazards are imaginary. Love is safe. You can do it over and over again, and never worry about the consequences.


Attempting, with much difficulty, to focus
March 13, 2012, 11:23 am
Filed under: Daily Specials

There is this book–full of pictures, editorials, stories, poems, paragraphs, sentences and words–that, for many reasons, I have to read. None of those reasons matter much now, because they’ve already been settled, and agreed upon.

So, I have to read.

It’s a paperback, and it folds open nicely in that way that book people tell you never to do. But I do it, and I find the beginning of this first, choice story.

“I cannot, for my soul, remember how…”

Black, dull type on that brownish-beige book paper, spilling into order. Lines and lines that, at first, look rough with the varying heights and widths of letters. As I read, the lines look smoother, like my eyes are driving by them quickly. They blur into even, parallel tracks and my other thoughts roll upon them. Critiques on the way I burned the bottom of the cookies, and an unscientific pontification on how the centers remained uncooked. A sudden reminder about something I forgot to do at work. A quick analysis on the effectiveness of the to-do lists on my phone. Reminiscing about how I used to use steno pads for to-do lists at my old job. Flashing back to how much I used to love my work clothes. Imagining the mirror in my old apartment where I tried them on. Remembering the first time you saw that place. Wondering at how long we squeezed into a twin-size bed. Seeing you in the dim light of that antique lamp. Feeding you late at night. Smelling you on my pillow. Hating the way it all went down. Picking apart every mistake. Knowing you’re happier now. Superficially sating…

Like a snap, the sound of a turning page brings me back. I have no idea what I’ve read.

I have to start over.

I have to.

“I cannot, for my soul, remember how…”

View From Here
March 5, 2012, 1:02 pm
Filed under: On the House | Tags: ,

The weather is perfect.

I’m sitting, half in and half out of the sliding glass door, the bones of my pelvis grinding on the wood floor, the sinews of my hamstrings wincing against the bladed pane, the pads of my heels on the concrete patio, inches away from a grey spider carcass.

Something in the almond milk has created a pattern like an oil slick on the surface of my coffee. I’m squinting my eyes against that mysterious glare of an overcast sky. It makes me keep thinking that I’m misspelling words – replacing e’s for a’s – but I’m not.

I haven’t thought this way in a while; in an observant, reflective way, where my mind seems to be keeping pace with time, which usually sprints ahead of me. It permits me to take slow bites, and to digest what I see. Foodies would liken it to savoring each morsel, rolling it on the tongue, detecting it’s salty-savory-sour-sweetness, investigating its texture, then letting it slowly slip into the stomach, so that your body has time to realize there’s food there, and make you more satisfied with less.

A dog laments his upset about two houses down.

A breeze abets the dimmer switch.

Car alarm.

Sunday, with Bullets
January 17, 2010, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Daily Specials | Tags: , , , ,

This is the wine-stained stream of consciousness from my late afternoon visit to Cafe Bassam.

Today’s drink: AutoMoto Merlot, Climbing Shiraz.

  • It’s Sunday, my favorite day to drink wine, and I’m sitting at Cafe Bassam amongst a lot of people that are more attractive than I. The owner is here, as he almost always is, wearing fashionable turtle-rimmed glasses, a red check shirt and brown corduroy paints. He always reminds me of the descriptions I’d find of French people in the writings of Henry Miller or Anais Nin, but I think he’s Turkish or something more along those lines. But what do I know, except that he has impeccable taste in women; his baristas are always gorgeous.
  • As if to prove it, a guy just walked in and tried to start hitting on one of them. It’s probably a common occurrence here. Like people at the zoo trying to feed the bears.
  • I finished a collection of short stories by Stephen King titled Just After Sunset, and it got me thinking about the difference between good books and bad ones. Jenn would inevitably think rather lowly of the fact that I enjoyed it, and that thought crossed my mind as I closed it in that satisfying, “The End,” sort of way.
  • Is it the writing that makes a book bad? Or the story? I think a good story with bad writing is salvageable, because the concept is left to the imagination anyways. But bad writing is difficult to get around, because it’s sitting there in its tiny obstacle course of black ink. You can’t get to the next word without reading the first one, so that bad writing becomes a series of necessary evils.
  • But anyways.
  • The owner just brought me a small pastry filled with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, I think. He pointed to my wine as if to say that it would go better than the biscotti I had ordered.
  • I’m sucking down my wine the way you’re not supposed to, thinking about the dinner scenes in A Moveable Feast which, in turn, makes me think of Andy King and his sad genius. Withering away in Red Bluff in the Palomino Room. Actually, a bar is the perfect place for a genius writer. You hear and see so much, and then you go home without an extra ounce of responsibility on your conscious, except your own.
  • Mr. Bassam, as I’ve been told his name is, just bought me another glass of wine on the house. To steal from an email I just wrote, “…the attention and the wine both feel good, so I’m drinking them in.”
  • This room has more than 10 fans, although the space itself is perhaps three times the size of my apartment (which only has one). None of them are moving, which gives the illusion of a still photo if you look up and away from the people in the room.
  • A group of people just walked in, and looked at the rest of us as if we were intruding on their plans. I’ve been on both sides of this feeling, and neither are positive.
  • It’s a quarter to 5 p.m., Josh called a bit ago to tell me that he’s still in San Clemente with his friends, and I’m admittedly getting drunk from the excessive free wine at Cafe Bassam. I’m not sure if it was my generous tip or the way my jeans fit, but the owner has made a point to lavish me with free wine, and I’ve made a point to accept it.
  • One of the waitresses here has olive suede flat boots that I love.
  • Whenever I see people on the street, I imagine what their apartments look like. Messy, clean. Eclectic, minimalist. More specifically, I imagine them trying on their clothes in their apartment until they find their current outfit. And I doubt (for no particular reason) that anyone else could clearly imagine what my apartment looks like.
  • I’m dying for karaoke tonight, or any kind of public singing. I could pull out some jazz standards at Red Fox, as long as I turned in early. I wonder what karaoke at Bassam would look like. It would probably be only French songs, like Vie en Rose, which¬† doesn’t work for me.
  • Jenn and Liz are on their way back for wine and who knows what(cough-karaoke-cough)else. Good night.

I Need More 20s
January 16, 2010, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Daily Specials | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Last Night’s Drink: Emergen-c

This morning, I saw a little girl playing outside. Running around in her pink pants and LED tennies, giggling about nothing. Certainly not thinking about the way her joints are absorbing the impact of the sidewalk, or the calories she’s burning, or the number of eggs she has in her ovaries, or what she looks like when her face transforms in laughter.

In many ways, I am far, far gone from the innocence and care-freedom of being a little girl. Seeing as how I’m more than 28 and a half, it’s appropriate for me to be so. I’ve never been too concerned with nearing 30 or getting older in general, but after a conversation I had with the egg donor agency that I will, once again, be visiting this year, I’m starting to realize what age really means.

Age doesn’t necessarily mean wisdom, beauty, class or even maturity. Your mind has nothing to do with your age. In fact, some doctors think that you can actually keep your mind young just with good diet and exercise.

Age isn’t there to tell you that you should be at a certain point in your career, or to tell you who your friends, or even your lovers, should be. Age doesn’t define the clothes you wear, the drinks you drink, the music you like or the car you drive. Age is there for one reason alone: to give you an expiration date.

Milk has an expiration date because its contents are constantly changing. It doesn’t just flip a switch and turn sour on the 12th day. From the moment it hits the bottle to its clumpy, cheesy form, things are happening in that plastic quart. Molecules are shifting, sugars are breaking down, things are changing in ways that neither you nor I can see.

Your body is the same way, but at a much slower rate. As you age, DNA is breaking down, tissues are wearing thin, and organs are peaking. Most people in the U.S. will live to see their 70’s, provided that they don’t get hit by a truck or some terrible ailment. By that time, your mind may be your greatest asset, but your body has turned. And not into a fine brie.

All of this sort of hit me yesterday as I sat and talked to Allison, the nurse at Pacific Fertility Center. In the process of donating a second cycle of about 30 eggs to an infertile couple, I asked her (once again) exactly what impact giving away these eggs would have on my own fertility.

“You have enough eggs to go through 10 cycles if you wanted to,” she said. “What you need to worry about more is your age.”

“Once you start to hit your 30s, the quality of your eggs starts to go. That’s when women start to see the most trouble. They could have a ton of eggs, but none of them are of very high quality. That’s why they turn to women like you, in your 20s.”

Never before had I seen age as anything but a number. But, now, I see it as a date stamp on my ovaries.

Still, in my mind, I feel like that little girl playing in the backyard. A little girl that isn’t ready to chug all that milk.

In Yours
August 31, 2009, 6:43 am
Filed under: Daily Specials | Tags: , , , ,

This morning’s drink: chamomile tea.

I don’t recall ever asking for journals, but I do know that I’ve always received them. Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day — family and friends alike have gifted me with journals since I can remember. And I’ve loved it — I’ve always loved it. I have stacks of ravaged journals and almost equal numbers that are dying to be filled.

One journal in particular came to me a few years ago with a matching photo album. Printed all over them in cursive and gold script are the words “Dream Journal.”

I don’t use this journal as my dream journal — or maybe I do. My confusion comes from the way people use the word ‘dreams’ to describe both the crazy things that go through their head at night, and the hopeful ambitions they cling to throughout the day.

Who ever made that connection? I’ve never had a night dream that encapsulated a fantastic job or a perfect mate. In fact, when I’m not dreaming about totally benign things like rearranging furniture or working, I’m fleeing from murderers in impossible alleyways or finding illogical solutions to riddles that don’t make sense.

Even when I’ve taken my dreams and tried to “read” them for their symbolism, they “tell” me things that a drunk person could probably elucidate with more elegance.

For this reason, I can’t think of the things I actually want to do in life as ‘dreams.’ Dreams are uncomfortable and confusing. Ambitions are optimistic and encouraging.

Which is why I get a slight feeling of uneasiness when I read Anais Nin’s quote, also scrawled on my journal’s hardcover:

Dreams are necessary to life.”

Either I’m missing something in life, or I’m missing something in my dreams.

August 27, 2009, 7:18 am
Filed under: On the House | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This morning’s drink: chamomile tea.

I should not be writing this right now. It’s almost 7 a.m. and writing for pleasure should be strictly relegated to pre-dawn and post-sunset hours. The sunrise knows this and it’s hunting me down. Creeping into alleys, spotlighting certain buildings and gradually making it’s way to my southern-facing windows.

I should also not be writing because I’ve been reading young Hemmingway. Like Henry Miller and Anais Nin, Hemmingway puts me in this crazy, liquid writing state where every color is saturated and every emotion more dense. I like writing this way, but it’s made up of pieces that I’ve already digested. Which, in turn, makes it rather unappetizing to anyone else.

Still, I am writing this, and I’m mentally reclined in thoughts of Sedona. I took my one and only trip to Sedona about four years ago, and I’ve never been able to reclaim the part of myself I left there. The red rocks of sandstone cut so much against the sky that it seemed like a movie set, and in the back of my mind it was a scene that had been cut from Willy Wonka. I imagined I could swipe my hand along the side of those bluffs and return with cinnamon-spiced chocolate. I would imagine all the things the indigenous folks used to use it for.

But I’m not in Sedona — not even a little bit. My neighbors are audibly showering and I’m running out of tea. When the sun reaches my window it will already be hot, and the spider in my pane will have caught another fly.

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