...this is one of those times I'm just going to talk about myself. For a while.
I stay in until 5. I work, I research things that interest me, I drink coffee. I do that a lot. I smoke cigarettes. I call Babs around 2:00 and ask if she's a capitalist (no). I ask her what the corrupt flaw in the system is, she suggests embitterment and greed.
No, no that can't be right, I tell her. For I am bitter, and do not find myself corrupt; I am also greedy, and do not find myself rich.
Haven't heard her laugh so loud in forever. Around the time the good people of the world are getting out of the office, I leave my version thereof and go to the bank for a roll of quarters and to cash a performance check. This situation makes me happy. I go next door to the bookstore and surprise my inner 7 year old by being very interested in the politics section. Lizzie meets me there off work and we stop by the Greek deli restaurant. I have to eat now, immediately, because I have a cardio class in an hour and a half and don't want to puke.
I like the Greek restaurant. When it's open and welcoming, it spills out onto the sidewalk under a thick red awning, and the managers of the theater next door read papers and make schedules and phone calls. When it's closed, it draws into itself under a cage door like a hermit crab, and you wouldn't be able to find the door if you looked for it. The woman who owns it recognized me after one visit, and remembers me every time I pass her. She gives me an extra meatball and I pay her in cash for some baklava. She thinks I am funny, I feel I am sincere. I think I must carry around a perpetual state of frank ridiculousness that she thinks is funny. I'm glad.
Walking the 1.5 blocks home with Luna I remark to her that this place is in fact very homey in its downtown city way. The Greek beauty remembers who I am, and see look, there is Christopher sitting in his spot. He has found a new jacket in the street/trash/unlocked car and it is covered in black and white skulls but it really looks like toile. I consider greeting him but today he's chewing something that couldn't possibly benefit from futher mastication, and that's not a good sign for conversation. He looks over 40 but I know he is actually much younger, near my own age. On good days he calls me "pretty girl" and asks if he can give me a kiss. He will never do so. It's a neighborly thing.
I don't eat much for fear of vomiting in cardio but I eat all of my baklava. I ask Luna if she wants half and even though she might she says no cause she knows I want it all. That is one true example of love. I think I am in love with baklava.
I go to cardio at the circus center. It's only an hour. I'm in class with a woman who has had a baby so recently it still has the appearance of a tater, but I'm suffering waaaay more than she is. How can one hour be such agony? I don't think I can make it. I want to die. I keep telling myself I am 26. I am 26. I am a 70 year old 26 year old and I decide I want to quit smoking. Mostly. I poorly decided to have worn second hand velour sleepy pants that are now soaked in sweat. It will be cold on the train ride home. I barely survive the hour and decide that's enough conditioning. I wait til Kerri leaves then I cry inside. No, not really. I stretch my splits and shoulders until the muscles stop boiling.
When I leave, I find myself walking down the stairs instead of upstairs to the train stop. Downstairs in the vegetarian Indian restaurant. I am not a vegetarian, but I love this place and mango lassi to go seems to be the best idea in the world right about now. I end up with bindhi, rice, bread, and mango lassi to go. I should have known better. This is one of my favorite places in the world, and I'm not the only one who feels this way. It is small and red inside, and the owner/server is an older Indian gentleman who makes me feel he is eagerly bringing me into his home.
All the groceries are bought fresh every day. If you don't know what to order, he orders for you. He tacks on four extras which up your bill but it couldn't possibly matter less. It's one of the only restaurants that deserves every penny. If you are visiting for the first time, he happily explains the variety of textures and combinations in his food. He feeds you by hand on a piece of pita bread. I'm waiting for my order (which is much larger than I at first intended) and watching him feed tastes of some kind of dessert to two women who accept it as naturally as a handshake. If I'm supposed to be offended then something is wrong. While I'm waiting he brings me a wine glass of mango nectar, and offers it to me with both hands like ceremonial wine. I accept it the same. It's cold and thick and honest; he asks how I like it on his next trip and waits to hear the answer. When I go he urges me to let him know if I don't like the food. I tell him he knows I will like it, and he laughs at me. The mango lassi is absolutely perfect.