Saturday, January 22, 2005

In Which I Pathetically Moan and Sniff

Oh, goddess, this "silly little headcold" that I thought such a nuisance has developed into a surprisingly ass-kicking kind of plague. Probably because I didn't take it seriously, pretty much going about my usual business and heading out to work every day this week as if I didn't have a cold. Well, except Monday, which was a holiday, and Friday, when I spent the whole day suffering either in bed or on the sofa... but otherwise I was out and about, working and getting chilled and running around and not eating very well.

It's been so bad that I haven't even been able to concentrate on doing anything useful at the computer... I surf a little porn, read a couple of blogs, and I'm shot after an hour or two. But last night I seem to have assembled the proper cocktail of over-the-counter drugs (two generous squirts of 4-Way nasal spray, one Sudafed Night-Time, one Melatonin and four Motrin) and I slept like a stone for ten hours, not even waking up to roll over as I usually do. I mean, I slept so soundly that when I woke up this morning I had not been aware of the passing of time and didn't realize until I looked at the clock that I'd even been asleep.

So today I am feeling much better, and I hope I can spend some time today writing, doing laundry, and adding to my beefcake collection, instead of just laying around and moaning. And preparatory to getting Danny out of the bathtub and into some clothes over at Worst Luck, I figured I'd better come in and update you, my beloved reader, on my doings (or lack thereof) this long blogless week.


I swear, every time I start to give up on Gus, I run into him at Blockbuster. In fact, I see him so frequently on Lakeshore Avenue (three times so far, even though he lives all the way at the other end of the Lake) that I have taken to going home that way more frequently, braving infuriating double-parkers and tricky traffic patterns just on the outside chance of glimpsing him.

And then Wednesday evening, not twenty minutes after moaning to Caroline at the gym about how depressed I was that Gus hadn't called back yet (I mean, it'd been twenty-eight hours since I called him) and how stupid I felt about that inane giggle on his answering machine (and Daisy, darling, it wasn't my normal contagious laugh, nor even my usual silly giggle, it was a distinctly chilling Christopher Walken kind of noise), I was scanning along the north side of the street as I drove home, with the pathetic hope of spotting Gus walking along the street; I was so preoccupied with the scanning that I almost rear-ended one of those assholes who think it's perfectly OK to wait for ten minutes during rush hour for a parking space that some other asshole may or may not be vacating but is certainly taking his good sweet time loading his trunk and getting settled into his seat... and just as I checked over my left shoulder to see if I could pass this degenerate-jerk duet, there was Gus jaywalking right in front of me on his way to Blockbuster.

So I waved and (after frantically pushing every button on my door) rolled my window down to say Hi... and he asked if I was parking, so I said Yes and I'd meet him in front of Blockbuster. I zipped around the corner (to the practically unlimited free parking garage, which so many double-parking assholes don't seem to realize is there), cut through Colonial Doughnuts, and was with him in a trice.

He looked really cute in this beautifully-fitted leather patchwork blazer, and I of course looked like shit-on-toast again, having just come from the gym and not bothered with my hair or face for several days. In fact, aside from the t-shirt, I think I was wearing the exact same thing as the last time I ran into him at Blockbuster. So much for my before-need personal upkeep intentions.

He said he'd been planning on calling me later that same night, so it was cool that we ran into each other; and he hadn't quite understood what I'd said on the answering machine (I was even more garbled than I'd feared). So I reissued my invitation, but once again made it sound like a hanging-out kind of thing rather than a date kind of thing. He accepted but couldn't manage Friday night as I'd suggested, and in fact wasn't sure what his next week was going to look like; so he's going to call me when he knows what evening he's free, and we'll go out then.

We chatted for a good while longer, leaning against the front wall of the Blockbuster Video that I shall now and forever consider Gus's Blockbuster, until the bum who panhandles that particular stretch of sidewalk lit up an incredibly foul doobie and forced us to move up the street toward Gus's car. We talked a little while longer, discussing artistic ways of decorating the nasty boo-boo on the hood of his car, until another bum came sidling up and we decided it was time to go.

It occurred to me, later that night and at intervals since, that this whole Gus thing has gotten way out of hand. I have invested more time and energy into this relationship so far than he will ever be able to catch up with, even if we started dating; I have, with my fears and neuroses, managed to turn a casual little date/non-date dinner and movie into a four-act melodrama, and there's no way anything that might come out of that date (or non-date) can be viewed as casually, or even realistically, as it should. But I suppose I have learned things, and have grown stronger in the process (at least I hope so)... and as I keep telling myself, and as others keep telling me, the more I put myself on the line like this, the easier it will become.

All I can say is it had better get easier. If I have to go through all this psychological turmoil every time I like a guy, I am going to end up a permanent resident in the nearest Nut Hut.

On the other hand, I must say it is nice to have the ball firmly in Gus's court right now... he said he'd call me to set up the date/non-date... and so I don't have to think about it anymore. I will think about it more, I will quite likely have a devastating psychic response to every hour that passes without him calling, but at least I won't have to do anything while I'm obsessing about that call. It's the having to do things like make phone calls and leave answering-machine messages while I'm all freaked out that has proved so uncomfortably embarrassing.

But now, I can't control whether or not he is or becomes interested in me, and I can't control when or whether or not he calls me; and this lack of control (like it or not) is a lot more comfortable than trying to control something I can control, but only with great effort (i.e., my calling him). I can still get all obsessive and weird, but quietly and alone, instead of doing it into an answering machine.


Like I said before, I was watching television all day yesterday; and as often seems to happen when I spend a whole day incapable of moving very much or thinking very deeply, VH1 was running a marathon of one nostalgia show's episodes... in this case, I [Heart] the 90s, Part Deux. And since this was their second run through that not-so-distant decade, the pop culture items that they explored were rather more second-tier than the first run, and so I often found myself quite lost as to what they hell they were talking about.

But it helped me relive some of the time I'd rather forgotten in the 90s... my sister joined me in the living room for a little bit while the '91 and '92 episodes were on, which covered the eighteen months that she and I had lived together (with her husband and son and, for the latter part, her daughter). And very little of what they talked about on the show was familiar to either of us... most of the music, all of the TV shows, every news event and consumer item were vaguely familiar, but definitely not part of our lives.

Then later in the day, when we'd progressed all the way to '95, I was talking to Angelique on the phone; and she turned to the same station so we could talk about the TV show as well as whatever else we were talking about... and as we watched the show together from different geographical locations, we talked about our differing experiences of that period... I was just getting sober and just transferring to San Francisco State to complete my Bachelor's, and she was a sophomore in high-school. So of course, being in a more mainstream-oriented environment, Angelique knew a lot more about the music and fads that they were talking about, while my life was rather more muffled in the novelties of sobriety and four-year academe.

Nevertheless, as I watched the whole decade roll by again, I decided that I hadn't really missed much. Pop culture isn't really all that interesting, is it?


Well, I thought I was going to say more, but really not much happened this week. I was going to talk about watching Spiderman and Spiderman 2, but I realize that I haven't quite digested them and so haven't much more to say than that I liked them (and Tobey Maguire is hot). I'm also reading a new book that I'm enjoying very much (Different People by Orland Outland), but I haven't finished it so I don't really have anything conclusive to say about it except that its pace is contagious and its intertwining stories are fascinating.

I suppose talking to Gus had been the highlight of my week, and the cold muffled everything else. So I guess I'll close now and go do a couple of bumps of decongestant, maybe eat some soup, and then come back to the desk to work on my novel. With any luck, I'll have something to post by tonight [UPDATE: I did just post something, so go read].

Smooches (from a politely noncontagious distance)!

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