Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Few Blocks Down from Godliness

Here, for posterity, is what my living room looks like on those staggeringly rare occasions when it's clean.

Isn't it cute? I don't know why there's that little half-moon in the front door, but I like it. Makes you think of an outhouse; not entirely accurate, as my house does have plumbing:

The kitchen is clean, too, but you've already seen that.

It's been just Eric and me, this Fourth of July weekend, and it's been kind of fun. Tonight we biked over to Zen for dinner. I've never eaten there before, but I did once buy a car from one of the owners. R.I.P., little Grungietta - she met her untimely demise at the tires of a pickup truck making a blind left turn into oncoming traffic; crumpled up like an accordion and left me completely unscathed. I miss her still.

But it's probably just as well that we went out to eat tonight, because last night, I cooked: pasta tossed with sauce from a jar and what was left of the bagged veggies in the freezer - sort of a pasta secunda vera... I do prefer good food to bad; but not strongly enough to bother cooking decently, though I draw the line at Cheez Whiz.

We went shopping yesterday, too - in the car, which, once we put some air in the tire, drove just as well as if it hadn't sat idle in the carport for three months or more. Borders had the most amazing book on treehouses, although if they're large and elaborate enough, with plumbing and wiring and finished interior walls and wood paneling and climate control and everything, you sort of start to wonder what, exactly, is the point? Still, a cool book. We had ice cream at Amy's, and I had an epiphany at Bath and Body Works.

Bath and Body Works is one of those stores where they routinely ask for your phone number while you're checking out. Why do so many stores do this? Is it so that, if it turns out their Warm Vanilla Sugar body spray causes leprosy (which would certainly explain these weird flaky red spots on my neck), they can call you and tell you to load up on health insurance? I kind of doubt it. I think they sell the information to telemarketers. It's always bothered me.

So my turn came at the checkout, and the clerk rang up my purchase, and I paid for it, and she said, "Your phone number starting with the area code, please?" and I did something that amazed me.

I smiled and said, "I'm sorry, I don't give it out." And - get this - she still let me leave with the stuff I bought. She didn't argue with me, or even act the slightest bit chilly, or anything. It was the most incredible experience.

Don't laugh. I have a hard time saying no. Really hard. My stomach was all quivery. I'm serious.

I thought about it while sweeping the living room and listening to Public Enemy. Fight the powers that be - especially when the main person oppressing you is yourself. And further thoughts along those lines just get me down.

But at least I smell good!

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