Friday, February 11, 2005

At Least I Got Some Rest

At some point yesterday, I got Frank on the phone, and made him come to the Metro Diner with me. Knowing myself and how my stomach shuts down when I'm stressed, I figured I'd better find another person to get me out of my apartment, and my funk, or I'd easily go the entire day without eating. As it was, I didn't eat much. I choked down half of a tuna salad sandwich and a cup of matzoh ball soup, along with 2 or 3 cups of coffee. Talk about comfort food. Bonus entertainment came in the form of Frank attempting to eat an enormous chili burger. (Special of the day!) I just couldn't help myself and laughed mercilessly at his expense. Although, I really hope that orange stain comes out of that adorable bowling shirt. Just so cute.

We talked about how so many people seem to be "going through something" right now. I am only one of many who have stories to relate, some horrifying, some thought-provoking, some involving a possible major life change. Several popular bloggers have gone offline in recent months as well, and others are thinking about it. I imagine the choice to stop blogging may represent (for some) an internal change. Sometimes you need to talk about stuff, and then after a while, you don't. Sometimes the kick just wears off. Often, I think other kicks will take its place. This makes me wonder when I will stop blogging as well. Right now, as I'm "going through something," I certainly have a lot to say, and a need to see my thoughts on (cyber-) paper. But it will be interesting to see what my life is like when blogging becomes passe... or boring... or just too much work. I have a feeling I will never run out of things to say, but I will likely just decide not to say them in this format.


After lunch, and after bitching about how my church is never there for me, my minister called. She was very sweet, apologizing for taking so long to call me back. By this point my internal storm had quieted somewhat, so I was able to summarize. She gave me the phone number of a friend of the congregation's, a lay minister who is also a counselor. I know this woman, and what a brilliant idea. This woman is brilliant, funny, insightful, sensitive, and humble. Just the sort of person I need to talk to. So it looks like I've made the decision to re-enter therapy, after about two years.

I really hate having to keep appointments, but I'm just too freaked out too often these days. Hopefully this will just be a short-term thing. Thank Goddess for Health Insurance.

At this point I decided to get dressed in something relatively hip for Galpal's show. It took me something like three hours. I pampered myself. I fucking deserved it. I even put on makeup - lots of it - which is usually the most outward sign that I'm depressed. Of course I forgot to eat. Or drink anything. nothing but coffee all day.

Coffee dehydrates you.

When I arrived at the theatre, I had a bag full of little gifts for Galpal that I've been hanging on to for months, and my credit card ready to pick up my ticket at the will-call.

"What's the name?" Said the cutie behind the counter
"(my last name)"
"Yeah? What's your first name?"
"I got a (last name) here... but it says David."
Groan... "That's my ex-husband's ticket."
"Oh... really?"
"Yeah. I promise, we'll behave. We won't be anywhere near each other."
"This is the only (last name) in here."
"Oh no."
"I bought these on the internet! Here's my credit card!"
Typing, typing, staring into monitor screen...
"Sorry, there's just no record of your ticket sale."
"Well, isn't that just GREAT."
"I can sell you another one..."
"No. You know, this is the last straw. I'm going home."

With that, I shuffled out to the stage door, feeling numb. The NBA-looking guy guarding the door showed me a table where I could leave the package for Galpal. I scribbled her name on a slip of paper and taped it to the outside of the bag.

"Enjoy the show," said Shaquille.
"I'm not staying."
"Oh - you're not staying?"
"I bought a ticket online, but the box office lost it. I'm screwed."

Shaq marched directly to the phone on his desk, dialed, and mumbled. "What's your name?" He asked me. I told him. More mumbling on the phone.

"Tell you what - you can go up to the third floor, and Galpal will meet you there."
"Oh - she knows I'm here?"
"Yeah - she said to send you to the third floor. That elevator right there."
"Ok..." This wasn't exactly the plan, but I went with it. How often do I get to see the backstage area of a running Broadway show?

Up the elevator I went. I found myself sitting on a couch in a green room sort of area, listening to a bunch of actors being very loud and very silly. Eventually Galpal showed up, in a long brown wig, about 3 inches of pancake makeup, and wearing a set of 19th century underwear. Her eyelashes practically rached to her hairline.

Big hugs. "Nice underwear," I said.

I told her about the mix-up at the box office. She immediately put on the Tweety Bird and started marching through the theatre, trailing me behind her, looking for the theatre manager. "We're going to do something about this!" she said.

At some point I found myself literally running after her as she sprinted around the backstage area, eventually right across the back of the set itself. I froze. I was standing at the edge of the stage of a working Broadway show about 20 minutes before curtain. She disappeared across the stage and up a set of stairs.

I followed. What else could I do? For a few eerie seconds, I was onstage. Something very deep inside me stirred as I felt my feet pressing down on those few feet of floor... and it was over as quick as it began. When I reached the stairs on the other side, I paused, and looked back. The feeling deep inside was gone. I wondered if I would feel it again if I retraced my steps. For a second, I was tempted. Then I pushed the door openand darted into the hallways, in search of the long-vanished Galpal.

That woman went out into the public area of the theatre in her costume underwear and wig with the netting sticking out to find the theatre manager. This guy was a complete sweetheart. He waved his hand like the pope and smoothly assured us that I'd be seated. It wasn't a full house, no big deal. Just like that. Galpal and I hugged, and she said she loved me. I told her to break a leg, and she dashed back behind the scenes.

At the manager's instruction, I took a seat at a small table in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Times Square. I was on the second floor, and the view was... well, it's the view that tourists come here for. I felt as though I should have been mesmerized, but instead I was only mildly diverted by the MTV screen. They were showing Gwen Stefani's new video and the wigs alone are attention getting.

At some point, my cell buzzed. If was, of all people, David.
"Are you still near the theatre?" He asked. "I'm at the box office, and the ticket guy here told me what happened."
"I'm in the theatre," I said.
"Oh - you got in?"
"Well, Galpal arranged for the manager to seat me... but maybe you shouldn't tell the ticket guy that."
"Ok - great."

I hung up and looked at my phone. That's the first time he's called me for any reason since last June. I wondered what he would have said if I hadn't told him I was already in the theatre. I turned my phone off and put it away.

The show was... different. No, it's not that it wasn't like the original. I'm all for re-interpreting shows, as long as the interpretations have merit. But I completely disagreed with every choice the directors made with this show. And this is a show that I happen to know intimately well. I can't say I didn't enjoy the performance... but I hated the concept. I could say more, but I'm too tired for this rant right now.

I should have eaten something. Or had a glass of water.

After the show, I didn't waste any time. I beat the fast path to the street and whipped out the cell phone. I knew this was Glamgirl's last night in town, before she heads back to Korea. If Galpal can't hang with me, Glamgirl will. Sure enough, Glamgirl was out and about. She instructed me to join her and two friends at Pomodoro on 71st and Columbus. Great - food! Up the 2 train I go.

Alas, no food. The place had pretty much already closed - the waiters were letting the table full of gorgeous asian chicks hang out and drink wine. I joined them, and was instantly handed a glass, on the house. I should have insisted on eating something, but there I was. I sat with them for a few minutes, and drank what I was given. Eventually, the two other girls left Glammy and I alone, and we headed out to another local bar.

So here I am sitting in this dive of a bar with my best friend who's about to leave the country AGAIN and I won't see her for another year, and the show was frustrating, and Galpal's hanging with David and not me, and my job hassles are waiting in the wings for me to deal with on Monday, and I have an apartment that's still not packed and now there's another glass of wine in front of me, and I can't get any of my so-called friends to come over and help me pack, and I feel totally abandoned, and I get scared everytime I go through transitions, and this is a really fucking BIG transition, and I'm drinking the wine, and when I staggered to the bathroom, I had to sit on the floor after I washed my hands. I was so tired and dizzy, and I'd only had a glass and a half of wine. Red wine. On an empty stomach. After about 5 cups of coffee and no water.

I woke up in the emergency room. Apparently I passed out somewhere on Columbus avenue. Glammy was frightened, as I hadn't been drunk, but I explained that I hadn't been taking care of myself. I was completely dehydrated. My skin was white as the sheets and my lips are so chapped I'm going through Burt's Bees like there's no tomorrow.

Thank GODDESS I have HEALTH INSURANCE. I got home at some wee hour of this morning. Glammy and I said our goodbyes. It turns out she won't be gone so long this time, so we are already planning our activities for when she returns in June. Something to look forward to.

I cut off the wrist ID, drank several glasses of water, stripped to my skvvies, got into bed, called in sick to work, and slept until 1 in the afternoon. At some point thereafter, I ate a veggie wrap. I felt like someone had beat me up. I haven't been this exhausted in a long time. I fucking dehydrated myself. How stupid IS that. I beat myself up for being really fucking stupid and careless for an hour or so while I munched the sandwich and idly watched Days of Our Lives. (Bring back Kristin Storms! Pay her whatever she asks! The new Belle is HORRIBLE!!)

I managed to get more packing done... but man did I suffer, trying to do it. I kept coming back to half-finished jobs. This box half-full, that one half-full...

At about 6:30, the boyfriend arrived. He sat me down on the couch, put his arm around me, and listened. I told him everything. He just listened and held me. How could I have ever doubted I'd be anything less than happy living with this man? Whenever he puts his arm around my shoulders, I'm home. No matter where we are.

He took a few boxes and a suitcase overstuffed with my clothes out to his car. Then he took me for a nice chicken dinner at the Key West Diner. By the time he left, it was around 7:45. I managed to pack efficiently - filled a box, taped a couple more back together, collected a bunch of stuff to be donated. I drank more water. By the time ER came on, I genuinely felt better. I put the work aside and watched Dr. Pratt make an ass of himself.

So now I'm getting ready for bed, and everything feels somewhat normal. I'm in the eye of the hurricane. I have a PHENOMENAL amount of work to do tomorrow.

But.. and I'm a little afraid to say this, but I'm going to anyway... I feel like maybe I can handle it.

Got an email from this chick a few minutes ago. "Don't forget to breathe!"

*drinking more water*

Thanks, ZC.

And thanks to all of you who sent me such kind, supportive emails and left such lovely comments. Nuttin' but love for ya babes.

2 more days.


Dr. Zoom said...

Wow. Can you EVER tell a story.

Hang in there. Keep breathing. Keep hydrating.

Frank said...

Let me put to rest what must be, by far, the overriding concern expressed in your post.

The orange stain did come out. Glad I could amuse you. (There is still, however, the burn mark I made on the black sleeve with the iron, leaving a patch of the synthetic fabric looking kind of white and faded, in some semblance of a semen stain.)

Sounds like an eventful evening. Too bad you didn't have the opportunity to call me from the hospital. I could have sat by your bed and made balloon animals.

Orange ones.

Take care of yourself, for fuck's sake. Don't make me drag an IV pole onto the Metro North. I will do it.

Zeitzeuge said...

You had better take care of yourself. Glad you're feeling better. Keep drinking water....

Can't wait to see you in May.

Hot Toddy said...

When I first started reading this post, I was going to comment how jealous I was of your life. Then I changed my mind. Then I read about the boyfriend and changed my mind again. Your life is good. I'm glad the BF is good to you :)