who dat? contest.

(yo stee. i know
who dat?)

last game:

actor rhys ifans
notting hill.

first correct answer:


left column try make macaroni & cheese tonight but can no reach sink for water. oh, poor left column need pretty lady to turn on water. poor poor no candy or macaroni left column.

drinks with your ex

It's been a while since the two of you called it quits. Your love. The Love Of Your Life. It wasn't working. She became less interested, perhaps. He, too clingly. Or the other way around. Or things just came apart. Slowly. Over years. Or quickly. Sometimes it all happens stunningly quickly. Like a lightning strike, or a motorcycle slipping under the tires of your car on a dark and rainy afternoon.

And you broke up outside a party. He got too drunk and touched a girl a few too many times and the conversation spun out from there. Or you just stopped calling her back. Or you had a "talk" at a cafe - decided to end your relationship over chamomile tea (you know you can never drink chamomile ever again, right?) Like grown-ups. Calmly, if sadly, deciding that you can no longer kiss each other. That she will not be showering at your house anymore. That he will not take you to your favorite jazz club and spoil you with carefully selected presents on your 30th birthday. That she will no longer be allowed to sleep with her head on your chest and her hand, a tiny fist at your shoulder, her leg draped over yours. That he will no longer be able to enter your body. Those are closed avenues now, you decide, while taking a walk together or sitting with your sunglasses on inside, while the chamomile tea goes cold and you shred a napkin as deliberately and calmly as you are ending love.

And time has gone by. Whether you did anything about it or not. Time Goes By. And the pain became acute. Became overwhelming. Floored you with its violence and persistence. And then it got better. Slowly. Or maybe not. Maybe it got worse. Or maybe it was never that bad. Perhaps you distracted yourself with work, with friends, with new lovers. Maybe you concentrated on the hate, on the memory of him at that party coming up behind Julie Fucking Anderson and slipping his arms around her body, his forearm pushing her breast up just a bit. Maybe that eased the pain a little, realizing what a clingy bitch she was and how glad am I that she's out of my life. Or maybe not. And you avoid going to the places you went together. The places you think she might be. The bar he likes to hang out in. The flea market she goes to every weekend to look for bookends, which she collects. Or maybe not. Maybe you go there deliberately. People do that too.

And one day you receive a phone call or an email from him. And you talk. Hello, how are you? And he tells you how he is. Wonderful. Wonderful? He's doing great. Great... She's meeting fabulous new people. Fantastic. And maybe you put down the phone so as not to cry. Or maybe you kick your bed or call-waiting mercifully clicks in and you get a hold of yourself. It's OK. It's going to be OK...

And you decide to meet for a drink.

You choose a bar you never went to much. A bar nearby, but not so nearby. For a brief moment you worry that the person you're currently sort of dating might happen to be there. That could be awkward. Or maybe it would be a good thing. You never know. You show up. He's there, waiting. He looks good. He's been working out. She's wearing those leather pants you love so much on her. And you hug. And she is in your arms again. Your bodies fit together like the bookends she might collect. She smells of her perfume and her body and maybe, yes, maybe even chamomile. Or maybe you don't hug. Maybe he awkwardly touches your shoulder as you sit down, and you don't get a chance to hug. Maybe you don't want to hug him. Maybe you're afraid you'll dig your nails into his neck if he touches you. Maybe you think you'll sink your teeth into his shoulder just to make him bleed. Just to taste his blood and to see him wince in pain - the way you winced when you saw him at that party slide his arms around another woman in front of you.

And there you are. The two of you, together again. But not. But different. Totally different. But also not. You order drinks. The same two drinks you have ordered 974 times in the past. But she doesn't drink that anymore. The two of you are totally different and not at the same time. The same. But different. This is hard.

And you talk. And as you talk, you are aware of the numerous currents running underneath the easy but also not easy conversation about your job and her mom and what happened - like two characters in a Chekhov play talking about the deforestation of Russia. You are talking about the trees, but also not talking about the trees really very much at all. There is anger. There's that. There's hurt. There's that. There's desire. There's still that. Coloring everything. That's still there, but different. But also not different.

And put this out there: you both want to fuck each other's brains out right here on the table. Just put that out there. Maybe that will help prevent that from happening.

And questions: does your stomach clench when she mentions how much fun she's having these days? Do you look away when he talks of how odd it is to touch another person after all these years? How does it feel when you discover she's seeing someone with an expense account and a secretary, when you are a secretary? How does it feel when he mentions a redhead and you knew he always secretly liked redheads? Brief images: of you together. Of his fingers inside you. Of her mouth opening for you. Of that time on that empty bus to Vegas. And also images of him with someone else. Of his fingers inside someone else. Someone who doesn't care that that was once you.

And you talk of that night at the party with what's her name. Or why exactly she stopped returning your phone calls. And the air is dangerous. There are scars barely healed over, in danger of being ripped open spilling blood all over the cigarette-stained carpet. You must be careful. You must not scream "why!!!". He doesn't know. She doesn't know. No one knows, maybe. Maybe It Just Came Apart. That happens.

You avoid talk of The Others, and instead you talk of the raise you got at work, which incidentally, she points out, might have allowed you to go on the vacation you wanted, were you still together. She tells you of a movie she saw recently - that was you up there, she says, except for the ending... when he gets her back. And there is aggravation in all that. And in him now doing things you'd encouraged, nay begged him to do for years. He got a tattoo. You always wanted him to get one but he'd refused. She got a dog like you always wanted. He threw away that ugly futon and got a King Sized Bed (one in which he will make love to others... a bed in which you'll never have the chance to be made love to). She started wearing thong underwear every day, though she'd always claimed they were too uncomfortable in the past. He moved into a house with a backyard in which you could have drank wine and looked at the 7 stars in the city sky. These are regrets.

And you make some more small talk and maybe even hold hands a little bit. And maybe you both laugh. Maybe you laugh at what's become of the two of you. How you got here, which in effect is a mystery to you both, despite him putting his arms around that girl and her not returning your phone calls and all the rest of the tangled story too long and circuitous to be recounted, explained, or dissected. Maybe you laugh at the desire suppressed. Maybe you laugh at the pure sadness of it all.

Maybe you hug outside, and press yourself against him just a little. Just to see how you fit. Just to feel that, because you don't know when you'll next feel that with some else. And neither does he. And you laugh at that. Together. Holding each other as the cars pass.

And in that, perhaps you discover that you might be OK, the both of you. Maybe you will be friends. Maybe you will really both be OK.

Maybe that is what happens next.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Ate some cereal. I like cereal sometimes.

The Larry King Happy Song Corner

One last thing before I quit I never wanted any more than I could fit into my head I still remember every single word you said and all the shit that somehow came along with it still there's one thing that comforts me since I was always caged and now I'm free. Don't want to be your monkey wrench. One more indecent accident. I'd rather leave than suffer this. I'll never be your monkey wrench... speaking of which. I needed a monkey wrench the other day when the shower started dripping and I didn't want to be one of those guys who has to call a plumber. But we didn't have one, so I had my assistant call someone to come over and fix it.
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