Here's the time line of events since I last wrote to you. I am way too fucking late to get involved with Napster but I figured, "What the hell, better late than never," and finally downloaded the damned thing. I went to look for songs and started downloading them, I downloaded songs of Ana's that I don't know if I have or not. I looked for The Roaches and there weren't any files, I went to the hot picks area and found some cool things and queued them up for downloading. With seconds ticking on the Napster clock I'm sitting here trying to nab a few things. Hah what a joke.
I needed to go to the bank to try to cover a couple of checks I had to write, a couple of big checks I had to write. I don't want to tell you the details, suffice it to say it's risky and sketchy, and it doesn't feel good. It makes me anxious and frightened. I hate living like this, but I feel so trapped and unable to do anything better about all of it.
I went downstairs and thought, what the hell have these two women been doing all day, I know Noemi's been chatting on the phone, in fact she does that a lot lately, my phone bill was huge. Esther just had the toenail on her big toe removed so she can't do much, but I'm really sweating out how I'm going to continue to find ways to pay them, and they're sitting on the porch laughing and having an all day lunch, and it's four o'clock already and they haven't even cleaned the downstairs yet. Two people, four o'clock, house not clean. It's upsetting, but then I'm a borderline socialist anyway, or at least I like to think I am, when I'm really just a petty, bourgeois, kind-of, landowning, daughter of country club Republican racists.
I asked Noemi to help me carry my things to the car. I have so many hernias at this point I'm not sure if I can count them anymore. I noticed that one of my fountains on the porch is dry and sucking air, it's just minutes away from burning out it's motor, and dying like the others before it. I've asked Noemi and Esther to please pay attention to the fountains, to keep them filled with water and even though they spend vast amounts of time sitting on the porch, I guess I'm the only one who ever hears that suck suck chug sound. Call me cynical but why would they, it isn't theirs.
Before I leave I remind Noemi again that the fountain needs to be filled up when it runs down or it will burn out the motor. "Oh," she says blankly. As I'm about to leave, Beau's bus/van pulls up, and he jumps out and urgently says, "Mom! You'd better talk to Bob!" Well, this can only mean one thing, Bob, Beau's fuck-up jerk, of a lazy-ass, van-driving, ex-cop bastard, must have been yelling and swearing at the kids again. He likes to say shit and fuck a lot, well, so do I, but that's a different matter, and I'm not driving a van full of kids.
"Mom, Bob was yelling at everyone again, and he said shit a whooole bunch of times." So I start across the street with Mom-fire blazing in my eyes. "Bob" I say, "What's with you? You're driving children for God's sake. Can't you restrain yourself from yelling and swearing?" Then everything just descended into this whirling soup of excuses, with Bob blaming the kids, and the kids blaming Bob, and nothing much was accomplished, except that he knew, I knew he was screwing up, and that I believe in and stand by my son.
Then there's the matter of Michael Benevenste, the little shit. Okay I swore again, but I'm not a driver in charge of a van full of kids. I'm not swearing in front of children, slamming on the breaks and scaring them. This guy is actually so poor at controlling things that he grabbed one of those high powered quirt guns, pointed it at the kids and threatened to spray them if they didn't, "Shut the fuck up and sit down." Man that beats the bus drivers of my day. Taibey would get pissed off, and threaten to quit, if you peeled an orange or threw your leftover sandwich crusts at passing cars, but she never said fuck. God, I still remember her so well, after all of these years, in those short, bright, flower printed dresses, with her skinny legs, and knobby knees, short white hair, too dark tan, and that gravely smokers voice, and cough. Man did she hate oranges.
Why do so many nightmarishly inappropriate people, I mean people who truly despise kids, always wind up being teachers, or coaches, or school bus drivers or toy store owners? Why would these people choose to do anything relating to children? Or do you think it's the kids that made them that way? In the case of Michael Benivenste I could see how it would. He is truly a bad seed. Did you see the movie? Then you'll know what I mean. Cute kid, sweet face, but inside beats the heart of a manipulative demon. This is the kid who pulled up Beau's shirt and poked at his belly calling him fat. I hate him. I've complained so many times, but the owner of this company is so not into doing anything about anything, and I don't have any choice, it's the best pick up around.
The whole time I was speaking to Bob, this kid was saying, "Come on Bob, I've gotta go! Come on!! Come on!!!" Then Bob would say, "Shut up Michael, you do not have to go," and Michael would answer, "Yes I do I have a doctor's appointment!" He kept saying this, over and over again, until I started wondering why Bob wasn't taking him more seriously, but I hate this kid, he hassles my kid, so I was hardly going to help him out. Then Bob grabbed his cell phone and said, "All right Michael, let's call your Mom and see about this alleged doctor's appointment. Okay, you want me to do that? Hunh? Yeah, that's what I thought." Pure evil this kid. Throughout the scene with Bob, I glared at him with just the hint of a sneer on my upper lip. I couldn't bear the smirk on his face as they were about to leave so I said "Michael, the only thing keeping me from smacking you right now is a law that says I can't, but if you do one more thing to upset my son, you'd better tell your parents what a jerk you've been, because I'll be coming right over to your house to do it myself!"
At the bank I barely found parking and ran into a manicurist I know and didn't want to talk to. She's pretty cool, tall, red hair, and big gorgeous lips, looks a lot like Gina Davis. She always wants to commiserate with me about our rotten exes. Her ex ran off with a stripper and lives with her in a trailer without plumbing. The stripper came over in a rage one night and broke all of her windows. The ex calls her all the time now saying he's about ready to come home. Her story sounds a lot like mine, except my ex lives with his mother now, and doesn't hint about wanting to come home anymore because he knows better.
When I left I gave the parking attendant a twenty and asked for fifteen dollars change. People are so mean at this place that they don't want to pay the parking, let alone tip anyone. One time I saw this couple, who could obviously afford the one dollar the poor guy was trying to get, crumple it up and throw it at the guy. So that's kind of why I tip, to make it up to them for people like that. It makes me happy to make them happy. It was a perfectly happy little circle, until it got screwed up somehow. Now when I drive in they refuse to give me a parking ticket, so I just tip them more, which makes me feel like I'm a part of this funky deal, rather than being a nice gal who pays like everyone else, and then tips. Whatever. So today when I gave the guy the twenty he looked at me like he always does, (there are three or four of these guys and they all react differently) suspiciously, and lifted the bill to the sky, looking to see that it was real. "It's real," I told him, "I just picked it up at the bank." "Okay," he said, "but how come you so nice all the time?" "I don't know, it makes me happy."
After the bank I went to Best Buys and parked in the handicapped parking space and felt guilty about it. I should apply for my own placard, rather than use my father's, but this way I get to remain in denial about my arthritis, my weight, and my fibromyalgia, while at the same time scoring points with my guilty inner Catholic girl, who took over for my Mom, and the nuns, and is always looking for something to feed off of. I went to Best Buys to buy more ink for my printer. I told myself that since I'm in trouble and need to be careful with my money I wouldn't get much. Along with all the big ticket items, the TV's and the computers, Best Buys is filled with little things that add up. It's like shopping at Target, you go in thinking you're going to be good and save money, but you always come out with so much more than you really need. Well, at least that's how it works with people like me. For every one thing I'd take back out of my cart, I'd find two more things I had to put in. I really wanted that Janis Joplin boxed set, it was so cool, and rainbowy, and trippy colored, but I was good and put it back, along with the expensive glossy photo paper and the CD label making program and the labels.
Walking back to my car I saw a cool looking guy in a car waiting for his woman and thought, "Huh, a guy like that would never want a gal like me," and then I saw his girlfriend, she was kind of monstery, with thin lips and shiny red lip gloss, she was whining at him. I don't know what it meant. I put Christine Lavin on in the car, a folk album with lots of funny little wry songs about people fucking up their relationships. I got sad and started crying. Then I thought about how lucky I was to have Scott and how special he is, and paged him a bunch of times.
I had dinner at Sepis and listened to my cute Asian friend, who owns this famous old sub restaurant in Westwood, talk about how jealous she was that one of her customers, who owns three houses, was going to Machu Pichu on a trip with a bunch of retired Microsoft guys. She said, "He's forty, he has years ahead of him, and he can just do whatever he wants with his life. He doesn't ever have to work again and here I am behind this counter making sandwiches." I told her that I understood how she felt but reminded her that there were people like Esther and Noemi who would give anything to be in her place, to be women who owned their own business, who didn't need to depend on anyone else. Then I thought about how lucky I am and how my problems with money are all my own doing and what a whiner I am. I ate half a veggie sub and tried to read the latest LA magazine, The Actor Issue, the one with Ed Harris and Joan Allen on the cover and started to feel sorry for myself again. I managed to ignore the really loud Mariachi music and read an article about the horrors of casting, while three drunk Mexican guys sat across from me, drinking and lining up their beers, and staring at my legs. Weird.
I went to see The Mexican. The 7:15 showing. Westwood. The theatre was packed. I loved the movie, despite the reviews. I loved everyone, the whole cast, and the dog. Is there any point to telling you how great James Gandolfini was? You knew he would be. I'm so happy for him. It gives hope to aging character actors. That would me, and well, my partner, unless we both lose some weight and get some plastic surgery pronto.
I kept trying to get a good look at Julia Roberts necklace. It looked like big Tahitian pearls and Catholic religious medals on beads or ropes. The theatre was packed, people laughed all the way through, so much for the tepid reviews, dumb asses. I so hope it succeeds. I know it was a commercial movie, masquerading as an indie, and you know what, I don't care. I liked it so much I waited through the credits.
When I got home and walked up to the porch there was that sucking sound again. The little water fountain was still dry. Noemi couldn't even remember to do something I told her moments before. Sigh. I felt so angry I asked Beau if he'd get a glass of water and fill it for me, because I knew if I did it I might hurt someone's feelings.
Esther came out and told me that Noemi had left. I noticed that the cats had been spraying my antique mirror, the really cool carved wood one, the one that Robby never liked. There are plenty of things that Robby never liked. I had to pee really badly and Esther followed me upstairs, she told me that my mother hadn't brought my weekly check, my allowance that pays the housekeepers, she always, always, screws with me over it. It's some kind of game to her. She uses it to manipulate me. She withholds it or forgets it and goes out of town. It may be subconscious but I really doubt it. Last week, when I was sick and stuck in the desert, I called her and asked her to please bring the check by for Noemi who leaves on Friday, so she could have her money for the weekend. Instead she waited till Noemi left and called Esther, who works on the weekends, and told her to come and get it. Esther doesn't have a car, but when it comes to money she figures out how to get places. Noemi had told me that Esther picked up the check and promised to give it to her. Well, she never came by all week, cashed it herself, and kept the money. "Oh well, you are going to owe me for this weekend, and you owed me a little bit for last week, so I just kept it all, and now I owe you." I was so mad, mad at my mother for always screwing things up, and never making this any easier for me, and mad at Esther for just thinking of herself and doing whatever she wanted without any thought for Noemi or me. Noemi left for the second week in a row without anything. That isn't fair. I lost it. Losing it for me involves being angry and shutting a door a little harder than usual and bursting into tears.
Writing this calmed me down, and took long enough that I can't call my Mom and tell her how angry I am at her. I'm not allowed to be angry at her. No matter what she does, I am never allowed to be angry, because that means I am ungrateful, and if I am anything I must be grateful. I'm lucky to have been adopted after all.
Okay, well, thanks for reading this and helping me get through another frustrating day. Luckily I'm always able to find something to be grateful for.
Love you guys,