Thursday, March 19, 2009

Monologues and Asides

My roommate Jes is gone for the week, leaving me alone in my apartment for the first time since I moved in. She’s even taken the dog with her and in his absence I’ve learned that, for weighing a scant eight pounds, he looms large in our household when he’s around. Not that I’ve exactly been alone the whole time. I had a dinner on Monday for a couple of people and a coworker who’s just moved here from abroad. It felt like a very adult thing to do but, despite pageantry involving flowers and side dishes and coats on beds , I think I came off like a kid having a tea party. I still haven’t done the dishes. Point proven.

I’m wondering how the internet knows what my insecurities are. Before I started losing weight, the ads on all of my social networking pages were all “25 AND OVERWEIGHT?” Now that I’m not either of those things, they all say “THIN LIPS ARE JUST PLAIN UGLY.” I’m waiting for the day when the internet can aggregate and psychoanalyze the stupidly large amount of content I’ve written on its back to spit out really targeted and creepy ones, like “YOUR HAIR LOOKS WEIRD FROM THE BACK,” or “EVERYONE KNOWS YOU WORE THOSE PANTS FOUR TIMES THIS WEEK,” or “REALLY, YOU’RE NOT FUNNY. THOSE WERE POLITE CHUCKLES.”

I used a flesh and blood dictionary a few times in the past two days, and now I’m looking up words I don’t even really need to know how to spell just because I like the paper, and sticking my finger in the notches for the alphabet tabs, and, best of all, the tiny illustrations. I forgot about them. Flip to Q and you get an etching of a quail, a quarter horse, quetzal (look it up, in a dictionary) and a quince. Every letter’s platinum card members are rendered in such a way that I want them all tattooed on me somewhere. K: king cobra, kiwi (bird, not fruit), and a diagram of 20 knots. P: prie-dieu, Prince Albert (the coat, not the genital mangling jewelry), proofreader’s marks, protea. But as much as I love the dictionary again, it just makes me miss everything from my grade school library—encyclopedias, particularly, and the card catalog. Anyone else care to get in on my pitch to PBS for America’s Next Top Library Luddite? Or go on a microfiche-centered date?

Last night after watching Lost at Brad’s house (for which I made desserts from fruit found on tropical islands and Brad covered Bud Light cans in Dharma logos) I ran into an acquaintance with several friends who I’d never met. I nearly walked right by them because I had my headphones on, loud, and when I can’t hear anything I also kind of can’t see anything (ditto for the opposite—if I take my glasses off I swear I can’t hear you). When I realized the tinny screams were for me I turned around and acted awkward and put-upon until I figured out I actually knew someone in the bunch. They were very drunk, I suspect, and the ones I didn’t know were weird in a way that would make them a great bar band in the Muppet movie. One of them grabbed my headphones to “totally rock out to what you’re listening to.” Which was a repeat of the mortgage crisis episode of This American Life. It is times like this that highlight how little I’m actually joking about microfiche-centered dates.

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