"wait," chuck interupts. "cory or zach?"
"uh. i can't remember which is which," i continue. "anyway, so zach or cory is in a parking ramp and he kills a guy with a nail gun! and i see it. and he sees me see it. so he is chasing after ME with the nail gun!"
"that would make a really good movie," chuck says, then thinks. "you just had a lifetime original movie dream!"
i eat a cheese omelet, wheat toast and hashbrowns at the sunshine cafe.
"i don't think i can finish this," i tell chuck.
"don't be a hero," he agrees.
we go to the italian village for red sauce, spicy italian sausage, fresh parmeasan cheese. we're going to make some sort of pasta meal, inspired by a recent viewing of "goodfellas." except in goodfellas, they make the meal in prison and they slice the garlic with razor blades and they're in the mafia and we're just going to make it in chuck's kitchen with regular utensils and we're in ... da luthia.
i have reason to believe that chuck got me a key-tar for my birthday, and that he is hiding it in his trunk. at first i just thought it was a casio keyboard, but then he gave me some clues:
1. it can be bought on the internet and
2. it was heavier than he expected
3. it is not a casio keyboard, but it may be a key-tar
that sounds like a key-tar to me. the misunderstood lyrics " ... play the key-tar on the mtv" have been stuck in my head for the past 24 hours. the next 20 days can not go fast enough. helllloooo, 32!
cars and trucks are playing at rock the block. within one song, they are my new favorite duluth band. i hope they aren't flattered: i used to be a big fan of average sun. amy abts, of course, remains my favorite solo artist.
we decide to drink ourselves back to the pasta party. there is an art show at luce, which means they are paying people two free glasses of wine to look at art. i have a red. so does chuck. we look at the art -- there seems to be a gnome theme -- and wander into the bar, where we get the best seats in town.
about a half hour later, a man comes in, gets everyone's attention and says the art show winner is about to be announced. 75 percent of the people in the bar clear out, toward the restaurant staging area.
a woman pokes her head into my corner and says: "the suspense is killing me."
a few seconds later i'll overhear a man say:
"yeah, when i voted, i crossed out 'best' and wrote in 'least worst.'"
we stop at carmody and sit on a back couch facing a highway. when chuck goes to the bathroom, a woman approaches me and tries to save me from my lonliness. "come to the front of the bar!" she coaxes me.
"i'm waiting for my boyfriend. he's in the bathroom," i say.
it sounds like a lie.
i'm relieved when he returns and i can say to the girl "see?"
we stop at the brewhouse, but don't stay.
we stop at super one for garlic and pasta. standing in front of a magazine display, i have chuck guess which magazine i'd buy if i had to buy a magazine.
"women's health?" he guesses.
"i can't talk to you right now," i say, walking away.
back at chucks, he teaches me how to crush the garlic with the side of a knife and rip the skin away. i could do this all day. i'd like to be a professional garlic smasher, skin ripper. he puts the naked cloves in his garlic press. sausages are cooking, noodles are boiling, garlic is browning ... i'm fading.
i lay on the couch, suddenly exhausted.
i fall asleep and begin to have a dream that it is a sunday night. i'm in high school. my mom is cooking. murder she wrote is on in the background.
i wake when the meal is done. but i'm too tired to eat it.
chuck gives me a bite, and it wakes me right out of my coma. i dash into the kitchen and pour a bowl down my throat.
then i go to bed. and it's just midnight. this is the earliest i've gone to bed since i was seven. i sleep 12 hours, first waking at six a.m. and having a cigarette. in the neighborhood, i hear someone ignoring their alarm clock. this is reason enough to go back to bed until noon.