Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Of Gas Masks and Divas

I’m now a member of the “I was here until 11:00 p.m.” asshole club. And now that I have done it, everyone has to be impressed. None of my jaded cynicism can’t-you-set-your-life-priorities bullshit. Now I also know why people who stay at work until 11:00 p.m. tell everyone they can get their hands on—because it SUCKS and you deserve a medal for it. The only good thing is, Jon Stewart is on in real time at 11:30 p.m., when you finally cross the threshold.

Cold leftover homemade French fries for “dinner” then plop down on the couch in sort of a weird haze to watch Jon Stewart be brilliant with the infinitely elegant Fareed Zakaria from Newsweek.

Look in at Ian in the upper bunk. He rustles and sighs and turns, air hugging his stuffed pony that is too low for him to reach. Check on Daisy. At that time of night they have been asleep for so long they are in a deep blue trance, their little faces slack with complete submission to slumber. That is when you are witness to pure innocence. Honestly. Then into bed for a toss turn, when the fatigue is so acute, sleep won’t come.

Morning, more bad goofed up coffee—still haven’t been to the store to replenish supply—exercise on the elliptical, read the Post, then look out above the shutters of the family room and observe a man in a gas mask with light blue HazMat gloves surveying Boo and Hyacinth’s house. He has some sort of sophisticated night goggle camera apparatus. It’s like living next door to John Wayne Gacy for crying out loud. I stand there at the window, partially obscured by the shutters, feeling every inch like Mrs. Cravitz from Bewitched. “Abner!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It’s 7:30 in the morning, but I just have to run this by an eyewitness, so I call Barbara and Marie across the street. Barbara sounds a little sleepy but I know she will want to be alerted to this neighborhood development. She says, in her inimitable, polite, kind-person way, “Is this sort of thing consistent with Boo and Hyacinth?” As in, are they always tied to weird ritualistic freak incidents? I stifle a, “yes,” And mumble something noncommittal.

I call T and she says, “Go out there and ask him what he’s doing! Tell him you need to know if it’s chemicals. You have kids!” Kids! That’s right. So I walk out sheepishly to the front stoop and ask the masked man, as he is about to ascend a step ladder to inspect the roof, what he is doing. He says he is just inspecting the house. I say, “For hazardous materials? Because I have kids!” He laughs and says no, it’s just a regular inspection. Another link in the chain of hope that they’re moving!

I get ready and stop again at Starfuckers for a Bucket Skim Latte—they should look into a “bucket” size because the venti isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Man, Starbucks is quite the scene, ain’t it? Man. I had this mosquito woman in front of me and I was right about to swat her out of my path. She had the pony tail, the flowered nylon running shorts, the racer back running bra with a turquoise tank over it, and she kept pacing back and forth in front of me getting organic chocolate milks and donuts—obviously filling a multiple kid order while still trying to get her caffeine fix. I wanted to tell her to just go to 7-11 and get it over with. Hmm, someone’s grumpy. I WONDER WHY. Then the blaze up the Interstates to the Gooselands only to receive a dramatic message informing me that Sue Who’s 72 has had yet another convoluted dramatic incident that has prevented her from coming to work by noon.

Sue is a diva. No, excuse me, she is a D-I-V-A. Having been raised by a diva and exposed to all her virulently strong diva friends all my life, I am an experienced diva handler. Kind of like the crocodile dude. I am a diva whisperer. But since I’m getting a little cranky and because Sue the Diva’s sloppy work is one of the reasons I was HERE UNTIL 11:00 P.M. LAST NIGHT, my diva handling skills are waning. The diva patience is ebbing.

Since she has worked here—she is an overpaid consultant—she has been to the emergency room to get a contact out, she has been to the eye doctor twice, she had an MRI for another ailment, her electricity in her building went out and the garage door wouldn’t open, her friend was diagnosed with leukemia and she wants Sue to come to Buenos Aires with her, she lost the keys to her house and had to have the keys re-made, the computer ate her document, her home hard drive crashed, and this morning she was back at the eye doctor. You know what? Divas are a pain in the ass. Period.

Then our client, Mr. Potato Head, came up to me this morning, gleeful, because he had found a sentence that was vague!!!!! And he wanted me to take it out. Right on it Tater Head. It’s what I like to call “fiddling while Rome burns.” He is so excited to have a perceived “role” in this mammoth process that he’s giddy.


Onward ho! When this project is over, and when Boo and Hyacinth move out, we’re going to have an all-night champagne bacchanal. You’re invited.


Cynicism is another word for reality

Email me, you derelict wastrel

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