I had an embarrassing freakout this past weekend. I’m fairly confident I’m going to get laid off in the next few weeks, and feel silly even using “laid off” to describe “losing a temp job you’ve had for six weeks because there’s not enough work to justify keeping Dawn Davenport around.” Wacky Wanda started a fire Thursday night. Let me paint you the picture: I’m lying in “bed” (the pile of blankets on the floor I sleep in because we didn’t have enough money for a mattress when we moved to Philadelphia and sleeping on the floor, like, fixed my back). I’m playing everyone’s favorite game, I Might Have To Vomit, But Maybe If I Fall Asleep I’ll Be Fine In the Morning. I hear a loud buzzer, and my first thought is “Dammit, I thought I turned off my phone ringer.” My second thought is “Well, she’s burned down the building.” I checked the hall, and lo and behold, it’s full of smoke, with Wacky Wanda standing in the doorway of her apartment trying to air the smoke into the hall, where it belongs. I had the presence of mind to wet a bathrobe and jam it into the crack between the door and the floor. That’s where my presence of mind left me. I managed to leave the house with my iPod, but not with:
- My keys
- The framed photograph of my late grandfather holding a Boston terrier
- My passport
I then proceeded to announce, to the assembled tenants, that “that crazy fucking bitch I hate and ruins everyone’s life” started a fire. I discovered a new emotion, “too angry to vomit.”
My Stomach: I’ve decided that English muffin did have a little mold on it. I’d like to be rid of it.
The Valve That Connects My Stomach to My Esophagus: FUCK YOU, GIRLY-GIRL. THE REST OF US ARE DEALING WITH MADENESS AND FIRE. YOU CAN DIGEST BREAD MOLD.
So, it turns out she made a fire smoky enough to evacuate an entire building in the microwave. I don’t have the words. Especially in this building, with built-in ex-Soviet microwaves that make food “as warm as a Latvian autumn.” Her excuse was “I fell asleep.”
Hey, we all do it. Staying up for a whole day – hell, for the five minutes it takes to make a Healthy Choice meal – is for pussies. Remember the Spanish Armada? “Pssst. Liz. Your Majesty. A storm destroyed our enemy’s fleet. Go back to sleep.” Remember Appomattox? Lee gently placing his sword on the table so as not to wake Grant, who was “at Nappy’s house?”
After the firemen gave the all clear, I calmed down by watching “Death Becomes Her,” drinking red wine spritzers (I didn’t want to push it re: vomiting) and playing a computer game where you get to fight wars in medieval Europe.
SO, with that kind of a Thursday, I spent Friday having stress-induced costochondritis , eating banana bread, and playing the same computer game (the fucking queen of Castile wouldn’t marry me no matter what I did.)
So, Saturday… we’ve had this conversation ad nauseam. Cover letters. Stupid. No one reads. Useless. Depressing.
So I called Dad, and he helped. He was very polite about it: “Yeah, it sucks, but you’ll probably have a career eventually. Everyone on the Keith and the Girl comment boards seemed to like the show you were on. I didn’t listen to all of it because I’m tired of hearing about you getting hand jobs, but other people seem to like it.” This is so much more reassuring than “God has a plan,” which was Giant Camel’s contribution, and to which the obvious reply is “Yes, but it might be for me to eventually stand between a scientist and a gunman, and that doesn’t help with March’s rent.”
Dad also helped me plan a post I’m working on for later this week, gossiped with me about Texas Instruments, and generally soothed me. So, in gratitude, I’m going to tell you something funny he did.
About ten minutes before the Saints/49ers game, which after I tell this story will NEVER BE DISCUSSED AGAIN, Dad called me:
“I just wanted to tell you good luck, and tell you about a disturbing dream I had. I dreamt I was a stand-up comic, basically a Rodney Dangerfield knockoff. I fiddled with my tie and everything. My whole act was this single joke: ‘So, my wife asks me what I want for our anniversary, and I said “Honey, after all these years, I really just want a blow job.” So gives me fifty dollars and says “There, go get one,” and I was really touched because it was enough to afford a hooker who still had teeth.’ I thought you could use that on Keith and the Girl if you got stuck.”