It hasn't always been this way. I'm an introvert and have historically enjoyed my time alone when Al has traveled for work. But now something's changed; instead of being a happy cozy blanket-wrapped slipper-wearing hermit, I become a crazed anxious wall-climbing hair-pulling needy social vampire tornado bomb. I blame Paris for this but I'm not sure why.
I go to bed way too late when I'm on my own. I think it's because when Alex is home, we have this conversation every night --
Al: I'm going to bed.
MJ: OK, I'll be up in a bit.
Al: You have to go to bed now, too.
Al: Because if you don't go to bed now, you'll wake me up whenever you do go to bed.
MJ: I'll be super quiet.
Al: But the bathroom light will wake me up.
MJ: I will wash my face and brush my teeth in pitch black darkness.
Al: I'll hear the water.
MJ: I will wash my face and brush my teeth with air.
Al: I'll wake up when you get into the bed.
MJ: I'll sleep on the floor.
Al: Go to bed now.
Al: Go to bed.
Al: You are not a good person.
MJ: I am never going to bed.
With Al away, I become drunk on my bedtime freedom, staying up later than I ever dreamed possible! Unfortunately, because Al's not around to help with the kids in the morning, I also have to get up earlier than usual. This phenomenon is known as "burning the candle at both ends for absolutely no good reason."
I went out several times during his most recent China trip. One of those nights began when Supermodel Neighbor texted me "The Babies play the early show at Barboza." It sounded like a top secret spy message to me so I reported him immediately to Homeland Security.
Supermodel Neighbor has another friend with the same name as me. We call her "The Other MJ." The three of us went to see The Babies at Barboza that night. I arrived quite a bit earlier than they did so had to sit through the opening bands by myself.
The first act was an abomination. The lead singer -- and I use the term loosely -- screamed a lot. When he did "sing" it was so flat I tried to catch his eye, pointing up towards the ceiling with the message, "Come on, buddy, lift that note way the hell up so it's mildly bearable." Twice he stopped, apologized, and asked to start the song over. That's when I knew all hope was lost.
The singing was bad but the lyrics were worse. The words in all caps were yelled, so you get the proper effect --
"It's a sunny day in Seattle.
I better not sleep all day.
Because it's going to RAIN TOMORROW
RAIN TOMORROW RAIN TOMORROW
RAIN TOMORROW RAIN TOMORROW"
Good grief. I distracted myself by putting my hands over my ears and looking around the room. I noticed many people were not only drinking PBR in cans, they were drinking PBR in cans held in beer cozies. That's really taking hipster to a whole new level.
After their set, the band sat at a table right next to me, where their supportive friends patted their arms and said things like, "No, really, the vocals were really good this time!" and "It was seriously your best show yet." They're talentless as a band but I'm happy for them because they have really good friends.
The second band was fronted by a woman who screamed "I FEEL DEAD" and seemed to take pride in the fact she couldn't play a saxophone because she wasn't embarrassed at all as it squeaked into the microphone. By the time Supermodel Neighbor and The Other MJ arrived, I'd begun plotting my escape, drawing intricate plans on the back of cocktail napkins.
The Babies saved the night. The music finally got good, the instruments finally properly played.
The Other MJ pulled me towards the front of the stage where we engaged in the appropriate level of dancing for a Seattle show. There are stringent limits regarding what's acceptable. You can stand, preferably arms crossed, hands in your pockets if you must, and bounce up and down a little. Swaying left to right is also permitted, as is nodding your head up and down in time to the music.
If you do more than that, people will assume you're on drugs. At least that's what I assumed of the spaz next to me, a dude with long hair who seemed to be experiencing some kind of music-induced seizure.
We're here for the holidays. No travel, which is both a bummer and a relief. It would be great to see family but we really wanted to spend Christmas here at Banister Abbey. Stockings are hung, Christmas tree is up, Santa is somehow magically going to come through our ancient bricked-up fireplace (Lucien is not convinced, "Santa can get through bricks?" to which we reply, "Yes, absolutely, hush now, child.")
I'm not quite ready for the holiday so am doing the usual last minute holiday rushing. I've been ignoring Contractor God as he works like crazy on The Goddamn House, trying to ready it for rental in the New Year. He calls and says things like, "Go buy the refrigerator" or "You have to make an important decision right now" and I'm like, "Leave me alone, I have to go buy cookies and pretend I baked them myself when our friends come over tonight."
Finally, this is the side of my car up until about fifteen minutes ago --
Lucien has fessed up, said he and his friends wrote "poop" on my admittedly dirty car while waiting at the bus stop. At least it's an improvement from The Cockmobile?
Happy Holidays from us in The Poopmobile,