The weekend brings with it the kind of requirements that are at once difficult to achieve and yet promising. I mean, of course, the combinations of relaxation and accomplishment.
Since my work week rarely, if ever, lets up for anything or anyone, and I often bring work home with me during the week, I generally regard the weekend as a time for a mental recharging of my batteries. I actually planned on going into the office and/or doing work over the weekend, and I intend to occupy Sunday doing so.
So, knowing I had limited resources (ie time) to get everything done that doesn't get addressed during the week, I had a short but full list of other stuff to juggle: I was going with a friend back to Costco to get a few more things; I needed to head over to BestBuy and get a new case for the Palm; I had cleaning and laundry to take in/do, since I was barely able to crack the mountain thereof during the week; and I had some organizing to do to prep for the rapid, impending onset of summer. On top of that, I heard there was going to be a street fair on Saturday stretching across Second Avenue from 86th Street down to 70th. So there was not a lot of time -- Saturday, basically -- to get a lot done.
And all of this is occurring as I spend time with my other half -- raspy, scratchy voice, sniffles, coughs, etc. -- on the phone.
Someone who's never been in a long-distance relationship has no idea of the real inner workings of the dynamic thereof. There are a number of things which are atypical of a normal relationship, many of which are obvious but some which are all but easily-guessed. The number one item on the list of things which are different for geographically-challenged relationships is when one of you is sick. Normally I'd have gone and gotten my other half soup and cold meds while she convalesced in my bed, told her jokes until she started laughing and coughing and begged me to stop; and put on movies and/or music until she fell asleep and then left her alone to get better. So having her across the country and not being able to see her or put my arms around her really left me feeling helpless and detached. And on top of that, the conflict within was should I spend time with her on the phone, or should we confine our interaction to e-mail and instant messaging so she can rest her voice? I'm still torn, because all I want to do is spend time with her -- especially after she was here less than a week ago -- but I know she's got to rest her voice and herself in general.
In either case, last night as we talked I went online and ordered her a multicolored bouquet of roses for delivery today (Saturday) as a get well pick-me-up. It was about all I could do, short of boarding the next flight out of JFK to San Fran, and with all that's on my plate, there was no way I could get out there anytime in the next ten days. So I wanted to make her smile a little in between naps. She fell asleep last night, not knowing the bounty to arrive at her door the day following.
In the meantime, a friend and I planned on hitting Costco early-ish Saturday to avoid the freaks we encountered on our last visit. Also, while the warehouse itself is relatively cool temperature-wise, with the summer heat coming on, the later in the day we went, the more likely it would be that we'd encounter something or someone whose odor would be indescribable but memorable.
So we headed out earlyish and got to Costco. As per usual, I scored good stuff in far too large quantities. Cabot Pepper Jack cheese (enough to keep a Vietnamese village for a week), two cases of 20-oz Diet Coke bottles (one for my sister), a 15-pack of paper towels which I split with my friend, the new David McCullough book for my father (Father's Day is up-and-coming), a huge bag of almonds (again, for my sister), a package of boneless pork chops (two on the grill with veggies rocks), and some other miscellaneous stuff (a multi-pack of Carr's Table Crackers, Gulden's Mustard, a mongo biggie package of Bounce dryer sheets, and more avocado for guacamole). This time the line was palatable and moved pretty quickly, and we escaped within an hour.
While on Roosevelt Island, we headed over to hang out with a friend who'd just gotten back from her cruise: she visited Turkey and Italy and was still tan and high from post-vacation euphoria. We hung out at her place for an hour or so while the cable guy tinkered with her PC and the modem, as she couldn't get online. But since we had perishable stuff in the car we only stayed for about 45 minutes or an hour, and then hopped back into Manhattan, unloaded and she split and I dumped my stuff. We were planning on hitting the Second Avenue Fair, but I wound up chilling out on my couch and watching some TV before I nodded off. Woken up by a ringing phone, I got a quickie invite to swing over to the Fair by my sister to check something out, so I hopped out, met her, her boyfriend and a friend, and then I wound up coming back home. The City was hot -- the first warm summer weekend since August, most likely -- so I wasn't complaining when I came into a relatively cool apartment.
A few hours later, after a Costco organization/put-away fest and another mini-nap, I had some dinner -- briefly -- despite a few offers to go do stuff from a variety of friends. Dinner, movies, pool downtown, a party on the West Side -- all of it sounded appetizing but I was way too tired to deal. I spoke with my other half a bit here n' there before she wound up getting another call, and we played a little phone tag before I nodded off again, this time around 10-ish, and I didn't wake up until late, but when I did, I was sorry...and clutching the cordless phone with a 1-liter bottle of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda digging into my butt.
The first thing I heard upon waking -- at least I think I heard it -- was about a food competition sanctioned by the Interational Federation of Competitive Eating. That was scary enough. On top of that, Iron Chef appeared through my hazy eyes, featuring a new "participant," Dr. Hattori, the Iran Sheik to Iron Chef Michiba's Sergeant Slaughter. It's really too surreal and too scary to discuss, so if you want to know more, go to the Food Network online or just watch it sometime. It's sort of like a typical cooking show -- albeit on acid.
So I was awake, feeling hung over and very much out of it, clutching a warm bottle of Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda and the cordless phone. Once I ascertained the time -- about 3:45 -- I quickly decided not to call my other half as it was too late. So I watched a little Iron Chef before it concluded at 4, when "Pre-Paid Programming" hijacked the channel and, nearly, my head.
Soon I was watching Roger Daltrey of The Who hawking a Time/Life collection known as Legends of Rock. The snippets of old, well-known favorite tunes of mine (in the vein of pure 70's Classic Rock) began pumping out as Mr. Daltrey -- nearly 60 and looking his age -- introduced the collection of something like 20 CD's filled with stuff you hear at 4:37 during a heat-laden commute on a bumper-to-bumper highway. The Doobie Brothers, Guess Who, Billy Joel and Led Zeppelin, like a knife, cut through the dark serenity of early Sunday morning in my apartment as Mr. Daltrey awkwardly interacted with some female "TV personality" that looked a lot like she could have been his daughter. I thought back to Led Zeppelin selling out by giving "Rock and Roll" to Cadillac and recalled with disdain hearing The Who's "I'm Free" and parts of "Pinball Wizard" in the commercials for the new Saab SUV. At first I wondered to myself if Roger Daltrey was so destitute that he needed cash and was willing to be a part of this ridiculous infomercial, and I equated his participating in this pathetic sham to Cher's infomercial while she and some "friends" -- like Cher actually has friends, natch -- talk about some great new skin-care system.
I wondered if I was in the Twilight Zone. And then I turned over.
And smelled my other half's perfume.
Soon I dialed, we whispered at each other, I apologized for waking her but told her I wanted to say goodnight, then we talked briefly -- her sleep-stained voice cracking -- we said goodnight and she went back to sleep. I stopped in at the HoB in case I forgot most of it and opted to follow her to bed.
Now that I'm done here, I'm heading back to bed. I know she's not there, but, as George Wendt -- or perhaps George Costanza -- said, the mind can delay for only so long what the heart craves. And even at 4AM, my mind is in delay mode.