"snow waffle" by christa pista
* woke up at 1. let's be honest, 1:20 p.m.
* drank coffee.
* read internet.
[99 percent is about how much people hate valentine's day; 1 person writes about how she likes it.]
* i write a post and realize i've not even acknowledged the holiday. ooops.
[i love you. all of you. except the creepy yous. you're gross.]
* "i've run out of internet, but i want to keep reading it!" chuck panics.
* "this is why i read julia allison," i tell him. "you'll never run out."
* i pick up a book.
* for the next four hours we will not talk. he will make another pot of coffee. each time the other shifts on the couch, the nonshifter will look at the shifter expectantly, as if to say: "are we doing something now?" depending on the circumstances within our own heads, this "are we doing something now?" will be thought with excited anticipation or a reluctant "why NOW! why midchapter!"
* i'm hungry.
* chuck is, too.
* i know what i want. i want an everything bagal with a scrambled egg inside of it. maybe two. maybe some cheddar cheese.
* so does chuck.
* somehow i convince him that we should eat this, and that he should make it so i don't have to stand up.
[above all else, this is why you get into a relationship: so you don't starve to death just because you're lazy.]
* this is the best food i've ever eaten in my entire life. seriously.
* we both go mute again.
* for another four hours.
* i formulate a plan.
* chuck is agreeable:
* to the brewhouse for dinner, then walk to carmody for the anti valentine's day party slash anniversary party for the transistor.
* he cheers.
* it's good to hear his voice.
* i shower and perfume myself. it's a special occasion, so i wear a bra.
* while waiting for a table, we sink into a two-person chair.
* we fit perfectly.
* "we should get one of these," chuck suggests.
* "definitely," i say. "an ottoman and [that green blanket] ..."
* "i'll go get the car and back it up to the doors," chuck says.
* "one time jcrew and bubbles stole a christmas tree from this lobby," i say.
* "there are security cameras," he points to a sign. "they can never come back here again."
* there are two women sitting by a wall.
* a man approaches them and says "what're you doing?"
* they say "gettin' drunk" and cackle."
* it reminds me of yesterday when i was at the bank and a woman said i hope cupid freezes to death i don't have time for that shit.
* over dinner we make a bingo card. carmody bingo.
[it includes who we know we will see when we get there, and under what circumstances. we have also played homegrown music fest bingo, pizza luce bingo and rock the block bingo.]
* on this night, carmody sucks. it's the wrong shape or something.
* some dude traps me in a corner and tells me a long story. i can't hear his words. i'm distracted by the fact that every sentence he says includes a gust of beer breath.
[believe me, i'm not afraid of beer breath. but this is stale beer breath. like the stuff he's drinking tonight isn't even registering on his tongue yet. i'm smelling something from yesterday, at least. maybe last week. i develop a pavlovian response to his words. cringing when i know he has to exhale.]
* we walk to pizza luce.
* on the way we see one of chuck's exgirlfriends.
[this was totally on the bingo card, but outside of carmody it doesn't count. on the other hand, had i known she was going to carmody, it would have upped the fun level exponentially, as she is quite likeable.]
* it is so cold that i can feel my glasses freezing against my face.
* it is so cold that my kneecaps may shatter.
* it is so cold that i want to order a hot-buttered rum, but i think that is a drink my mom invented in 1982 to make us fall asleep.
* another night, another compulsive wilco fan in the house.
* seriously. something in the world has aligned to make wilco always play in any room i'm in.
* this is fine, i like wilco.
* but its a little creepy, too.
* a woman and a man come into the bar. i recognize her from outside of carmody, when she called the bus company from her cell phone to say that she had left her wallet on the bus. "i feel stupid," she said to the man. "don't," he said.
* they order drinks and sit in the restaurant.
* we dissect their relationship. in. great. detail. favorable, however. while we don't know the woman, we feel her pain. we watch her loosen up over a beer and decide this will make a fun valentine's day date story in the future.
* we want to play cribbage.
* the cribbage board is on another table.
* but sorry is available.
* meh, not so much.
* a fight breaks out during the wild game.
* more wilco.
* i go to the bathroom and find a drivers lisense on the floor next to the can.
* the part of me that still thinks i'm underaged cheers.
* a valid ID!
* i pick it up.
* it's a man: matthew. he's from a town i never heard of. he's 23.
* why is matthew's ID on the floor of the women's bathroom?
* i set it on the tampon wrapper garbage can, where he'll find it?
* later, when i specifically return to this stall again, it is gone.
* the waitress brings us two free chocolate covered strawberries.
* she probably saw us making out in the booth and thought it was the least she could do.
* de. lish.
* we take a cab home.
* second most boring cab ride home ever.
* he doesn't even hint that he wants to play guitar hero. i tell him to tell teddy bear hello. he snorts.
* chuck makes us annie's mac and cheese.
* and accidentally burns his foot.
"not so easy mac" by christa pista