In which you've got the money, honey; I've got the time

In her essay Notes Toward a Dreampolitik, Joan Didion describes a type of person to whom, and I'm going to mangle the quote, having a nonexistent tolerance threshold is seen not as a psychosis, but a right. I thought of that quote, or my version of it, this morning, at which moment, at least temporarily, I could count myself among those people.

Which is a convoluted way of saying that it took approximately .001 seconds for my blood pressure to rise after a jackass in a white SUV gratuitously beeped at me as I got into my car. My door was open as I was getting into the car, which nearly caused the other driver to slow down eleven feet before the stop sign at the intersection he approached. Now that my heart rate has returned to normal, I can admit that the kind of inconvenience I caused is unheard of, and that the beeping was warranted. I mean, he almost had to hit the brakes before the four-way stop rendered it legally necessary. At the time, however, my inner Bostonian rushed forth and yelled, "Seriously? You're beeping at me?" and then flipped him off. Since he never actually stopped moving, even through the stop sign, I'm guessing that the driver was less than intimidated. What can I say? It's been a while since I lived in Boston, and I've become just another toothless California lion. Yes, a lion. A lion with no teeth, but who can drive a car. That is obviously the best simile for this situation.

I am going to focus on happier things at the moment, like this great new watch I got for my birthday. (See illustration.)


Watch it

It is what my friend Sue B would call a "very literal watch," which does not necessarily fit in with my generally figurative impression of time, but I like it anyway.

The Keelhauler gave me this surprise watch for my birthday after first tricking me with two absolutely terrible presents, one of which was a watch that he got at a thrift store, and which did not exactly work. The other present was an amplifier in a sort of general state of disrepair. "Try it out!" he said. I expressed doubts about the amp's safety, but the Keelhauler encouraged me to inspect the cord, which I should have realized was a ploy to lead me to my real gift, which was taped thereto. He was so happy about all the lies and subterfuge. He once gave me what was clearly a coffee mug wrapped in paper, just so that I'd be irritated with him. Inside the mug was a pair of beautiful earrings, but he got a lot of joy out of watching my brow furrow as I realized that he was giving me a coffee mug for Christmas. So tricky, that one.

Anyway, I am happy with my new watch, and therefore cannot explain my inclination to test out another watch the other day at Macy's. One second after the saleslady handed it to me, it went flying to the floor, whereupon its face shattered in dismaying concentric rings not unlike a bullet hole. You know, it is possible that at the moment I dropped it, a person or persons unknown, furious over the price of a ruby pinky ring, busted a cap in Fine Jewelry, and the bullet hit the watch. Maybe they shot it right off my wrist. Whatever absolves me of responsibility, because that watch cost several hundred dollars I really did not want to pay.

The saleslady was very nice about the incident, and so the Keelhauler and I stayed for fifteen minutes, listening to her stories of near-drowning in the English Channel at age 18. All in all, it was not the shopping experience I had expected.

And, according to my watch, it is XII:XLV, and time for lunch.

One further note: My job satisfaction is at an all-time high today. I told my boss I wanted to leave early tomorrow because my band is playing. Instead of making me fill out a form, he put his hands in the air, and said, "Do what you need to do. Art before work."

This opens up a whole world of possibilities.

Star of the day. . .Claudine Longet
posted @ 11:36 p.m. on October 22, 2008 before | after


She lay awake all night,