Muumuu = muse?

As if I haven’t imposed on her enough already, I’ve asked CAAF, the quick-witted host around here for the last two days,* to Fed Ex me her tangerine muumuu for inspiration. I’m convinced it’ll be the blogger equivalent of touching the hem of Jesus’ garment. Let’s hope the package arrives tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Until then, I’ve got nothing but twenty-five assignments for the day job that all have to be done right this very minute and a new cell phone I don’t know how to work.

This is how I know I’m approaching middle-age: I’ve transformed from a girl versed in all things electronic, from car and home stereos to PCs, into a woman for whom the prospect of programming a phone number into a cell phone induces the DTs three hours earlier than usual. Don’t worry, it’s nothing four or five swigs of Maker’s won’t cure.

For those who’ve asked, the trip to Northampton was great. I slept, for a change, and worked on my novel for the first time in a month and a half. I played with puppies and remembered that there’s a whole world out there that doesn’t revolve around the Internet and doesn’t give a shit about blogging.

I also remembered that there’s a need for cell phone jamming devices on the Northeast Corridor line. Seriously, if anyone wants to do a documentary on the many variations of crass area accents, the train is the perfect research site. The woman in front of me consoled her friend all the way from New Haven to Penn Station about a probable case of pinkeye.

Her “a’s” were so harsh I could feel my neck rattle every time she said the word “overreacting,” which happened approximately 12,000 times.

Upon my return I saw my therapist and filled him in on a dream I’d had about my father. He persuaded me to try to talk to an empty sofa as though my dad were sitting there. I only came up with a stiff sentence or two. I really couldn’t make it feel natural since I didn’t have the right prop — i.e., a concealed weapon.

I guess it’s clear I’m in a bad mood. I’m back in the city and it smells like hell. Last week a woman urinated on the floor next to me in a bodega near West Fourth Street while I was using the ATM.

The cashier ran around the counter. “Which one of you just peed on the floor?” she said.

Process of elimination is a bitch sometimes. Let’s see, was it the woman clad in pants with no discernible evidence of wetness, or the one clutching three bottles of Diet Coke to her chest, wildly pulling at her feces-smeared sweater?

As the heat in the subways intensifies, the smell of urine overpowers everything else, and this morning I thought of the woman and the cashier and wondered if the memory would stay with me all summer.

After the weekend’s festivities, I’ve really worked myself up into a lather about my upcoming 33rd birthday, or as a friend refers to it, “last call.” And, no, I won’t tell you which day. You’ll know because Stephany or CAAF or Pasha will log on to the site and transcribe a farewell postcard sent from a trailer park in Waldo, Florida.

I should be happy. Yesterday Emma called to tell me that I won first prize ($1000) in the short fiction contest at our creative writing program. She saw my name on a list posted outside the graduate English office. I’ve never made a dime from my fiction before, and I’m sure there must be a mistake. But just in case, anybody know of a weeklong writers’ retreat accessible from New York City by train that doesn’t cost more than $1000?

* In case you weren’t paying attention, Carrie A.A. Frye was in charge of this site for the last two days. That’s why it was so entertaining. Stay tuned for the debut of CAAF’s own site, maybe as soon as next week.

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