I slept until I felt like getting up. I woke with a blank mind. The cat purred on the bed next to my feet. I yawned and stretched, and she meowed. The blinds were open, and the early morning sun shone in. It was about 8AM.
I stepped into my slippers, shuffled into the kitchen, and made coffee. G was just leaving for work. We smooched goodbye, and I locked the door behind him.
I washed my face and put on workout clothes. I had coffee and multi-grain toast with peanut butter for breakfast. I did a 40-minute workout – a half-hour TV show and 10 minutes of yoga poses and some weight exercises for my pathetically weak girly arms. I drank a 16-ounce glass of watered-down grapefruit juice, sip by sip, during the commercial breaks. When I was finished, I ate a chewable Centrum vitamin, rolled up and put away my yoga mat, and thought for the 800th time how much more fun this would be if I had a personal trainer. I imagined a spiky-haired blonde guy named Sven. PLEASE please please let me get a job soon, I prayed.
I took a long, wonderful shower. I practically have the entire product line of Bath and Body Works’ Coconut Lime Verbena – shower gel, salt scrub, various lotions, body spray. I even have Suave Coconut shampoo and conditioner. Coconut just makes me feel fresh and free – kind of like I imagined I might feel if I ever got to spend any time on one of those secluded tropical resorts, where you’re miles away from everything. I scrubbed my head and dreamed of piña coladas and hors d'oeuvres at a tiki bar, listening to the surf, feeling the fringe of a pareo blowing around my ankles, wondering what I’d have for dinner. Pork in a pineapple sauce? Fish? Coconut chicken and shrimp? Maybe just a salad with yogurt dressing and bread?
As I exited the shower, I mentally started my grocery list. I’m not in Hawaii, I reminded myself with a laugh. Spaghetti and salad will suffice. I squoze the excess water out of my hair, slathered and spritzed myself in coconut-lime goodness, and threw a sundress over myself. I stepped into my slippers and made the bed. I wear a pair of cheap thong sandals around the house as slippers. G bought them for me in Cancun last February, and while they are great for the beach, they aren’t tough enough for the street. G loves my coconut-lime, I thought with a smile. Somewhat absent mindedly, I changed out of the sundress and put on a pair of jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt. I hung the dress back up, opened and raised the blinds, and shut off the lamp.
In the living room, I booted up the computer and turned on the TV almost simultaneously. While I checked my emails, I watched reruns of ER on TNT and ate a carton of Dannon Fat-Free White Chocolate Raspberry yogurt. I checked in on some of my favorite blogs, and followed some cool links. My head started to ache slightly (I’d forgotten to put my glasses on), so I shut off the modem and grabbed pen and paper.
In the kitchen, I checked the cabinets. I had a few recipes and meals in mind for the coming week, so I wrote down what I needed to buy. I had leftovers for lunch – tuna noodle casserole I’d made the previous evening, with a diet coke.
I watched my soap. During the commercial breaks, I put my dishes into the dishwasher, wiped down the counter, threw out the few bits of cat food in Marge’s dish, washed and dried the fish-motifed ceramic bowl, and refilled it with cat food. I refreshed her water and threw a few ice cubes in just to spoil her. I dustbustered the bits of kitty litter she had tracked in the kitchen, and made a mental note to clean the floors later. When my soap was over, I used the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and clipped my hair off my face. I grabbed my Burt's Bees Pore Cleansing Mask and headed for the kitchen.
As I passed through the living room, I flipped the channel over to TNT and listened to Law & Order reruns. The Pore Cleansing mask carton says if you have oily/troubled skin, you should add tomato juice instead of water to the green minty powder. All I had was low-sodium V-8 juice, which I bought by mistake. It tastes like shit. Good enough for a face mask. I mixed up a dark green paste, carried it to the bathroom, and listened to Jerry Orbach interrogate a disgruntled black youth while I spread the goop on my face.
30 minutes later the disgruntled black youth was testifying in court, and I was washing the mask off my tingly face. I followed the mask with a light sweep of astringent, then two drops of Origins White Tea Skin Guardian. I switched off the bathroom light, petted the cat, tried to think of any reason why I couldn't make it to the grocery store, failed to do so, turned off the TV, and headed out to the car.
As I walked down the stairs of my apartment building, I did an about-face and went back to the apartment to retrieve the grocery list. I really am my father’s daughter, I thought to myself.
I drove to the grocery store, listening to Bob Seeger in my car, singing along to “We’ve Got Tonight,” wishing I had the Sheena Easton/Kenny Rogers version. There was virtually no traffic. I parked at Stop-n-Shop right next to the cart return. I bought everything on my list, plus some Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby. I thought of MAK and Zenchick. I thought of Adam, and how happy he was when Ben and Jerry brought back his favorite flavor, Rum Raisin. I think that was Adam who wrote that. I think it was Rum Raisin. I thought wistfully of my favorite which was discontinued, From Russia With Buzz.
I drove home, singing along to Bob Seeger again, this time “Her Strut.” I wondered whatever happened to Sheena Easton. She had that awful song about strutting, strut, pout, put it out, that’s what you want from women, and then disappeared. She had an awesome voice, but what was that song about? Some kind of feminism thing? Salt-n-Pepa did a better job at that with “Let’s Talk About Sex.”
I parked crookedly in my spot in front of the building, shifted the steering wheel back up, turned off the ignition, turned off the tape player, undid my seat belt, got out, and slammed the door shut. I locked the doors and opened the trunk via remote control, and briefly missed my Mom. I carried four bags of groceries up the stairs and into the apartment in one trip.
The cat yowled repeatedly while I put the groceries away. I put the plastic grocery bags in the Big Bag G keeps in the bottom of the closet. I poured myself a diet coke, sliced a lime in half, and squoze the juice into my soda. I rinsed off my hand, dried it with a paper towel, threw the paper towel away, put the remaining half-lime into the fridge, carried my drink over to the couch, set it down on the floor, picked up the still-yowling Marge in my right hand, picked up the TV remote with my left hand, and settled onto the couch, my now-quiet cat snuggling into my lap. I channel-surfed. Spike TV was showing reruns of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Spike TV rocks.
G came home to find me there a couple of hours later. I’d never gotten around to cleaning the floor. We chatted about his day, and he asked if I’d like to go out for dinner. I changed back into the sundress, and we rode in his convertible, top down, to our favorite pizza joint, listening to a CD of 80’s music on the way. We made fun of Billy Ocean (beep beep, yeah) and laughed our asses off.
When we arrived at the pizza joint, it was jam-packed with families – mostly elementary-school aged kids. We turned around, got back in the car and drove home. We closed up the car and walked two blocks to an Italian place in our neighborhood.
He had a chicken Caesar salad. I had linguine frutta di mare. We both had a glass of the house red, and lots of focaccia dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We walked home with our arms around each others’ waists.
When we got home, we ate ice cream and snuggled on the couch watching TV. I fell asleep, tipsy from the wine. The cat snoozed on top of us, nestled into the crack in between our two bodies. At some point, G picked me up and carried me into the bedroom. I woke up enough to change into my pajamas, brush my teeth and climb into the sheets. I fell asleep with my ankle hooked around his.