the sound of one hand clapping

Saturday, mar. 15, 2008   |   0 comments
I used to fantasize about living alone. Finally surrounded by all my stuff, organized just so, I'd become one of those humming, motivated people who leap out of bed at six and trot to yoga or pilates or whatever (the laundry done, the house spotless, my sleek halterbra and exer-leggings would be clean and cat-hair free). After stretching, toning, and elevating that heart rate, I'd return for a well-balanced breakfast of fruit, yogurt, bran products, and perfect-person coffee. My evenings would be spent whipping up dinner parties or garreting myself away for hours of prolific writing/sketching/organizing receipts for next year's taxes. Christmas cards would be made by hand and sent out before the holidays. My posture would be excellent, my clothing flattering.

That, or I'd spend every waking hour watching TV. Certainly that's exactly what I did with my one and only bout of adult unemployment. Presented with the tremendous gift of endless free time, I simply supined away the hours, eating pudding and gazing at the magic, glowing happy box. Granted, that was the summer of '96 and the Olympics were raging. But even my long-standing love of floor routines and tight, perfect-entry (!) dives wasn't strong enough to explain away the dawn-to-dawn couchiness, the hand frozen into a remote-shaped claw.

So yeah, I was a little worried about what I'd actually end up doing with my new-found freedom. Without roommates and loved ones around to guilt and embarrass away my bad eating habits, slovenly work style, and dirty ways, do I flourish or go to seed?

As it turns out, I don't really do either. Solo Evany is disturbingly similar to the old Evany, with only a few quirks to tell us apart. For one, I'm clean to the extreme: Either it's Martha Stewart living -- carpets vacuumed, pillows fluffed, towels aligned, CDs cornered, dishes stacked, bathtub squeaked clean -- or the apartment is just crazy-disgusting, with coffee cups rotting in the sink, kitty litter speckling the floor, towels swamping on the bathroom tiles, bills laying around unpaid and covered with Teena bites and tears, underwear, pants, and socks telescoped into little fireman piles all over the house. The change is never gradual -- things just go from just-so to total-life-vomit in a matter of hours.

Other than Sunday TV night, when Jill, Liz, Richard, Amy, and Leah come over with ice cream, pies, pizza, and ginger ale for a night of squealing through Ed, The Practice, and tapes (I don't have cable!) of Sex and the City, I hardly watch any television at all. The only thing: Infomercials, without someone around to mock them with me, have become impossible to deny. That acne one, with the lady (not Tony Danza) from Who's the Boss? Now I don't have a huge acne problem per se, but surely any breakout whatsoever on someone who's thirty-fuck years old is a disaster, right? And don't I deserve to be happy like all those amazingly thrilled "after" people? Yes I surely do, especially at two am, post a night of drinking and a half-hour of their tropical sets, chirping birds, and scientific proof. I actually went so far as to call their 800 number, but the lady couldn't find the answers to my questions ("You guarantee 100% satisfaction ... could you define 'satisfied' for me? Because I don't think I've truly experienced that sensation before.") in the scant binder they'd given her. And they still haven't answered any of my email.

Another thing I'm experiencing is a teen-age level of tolerance for repetition. My CD player is permanently set on "repeat," and I can happily listen to the same album ten, fifteen times. Right now, it's Cheap Trick -- this is the eighth time tonight that I've heard Robin Zander tell me and the Budokanians, "I want YOU to want ME!" And god, it still sounds so good. Again, again, again! And when I'm not eating the same thing for dinner -- pasta and tomato sauce (garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, one can chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper) -- I'm eating a bowl of Raisin Bran. Post Raisin Bran. Two bowls. (On a recent audio tour of Graceland, Pricilla told me that Elvis once spent six months eating nothing but meatloaf. Does this mean I'm headed for a life of fireworks, shiny cars, and roaring crowds? Or a shitty shitty death death on the toilet? Maybe both!) Also like a teenager, I can spend entire evenings trying on clothes. Dancing in front of mirrors, too.

Oh and I spend a lot of time wandering around the house naked. Not for the usual burningmanly reasons, but because I now keep the heat up to one million degrees, because I can! Tonight, however, I caught myself nude, on all fours, playing "you go left, I go left, you go right, I go right!" hideandseek with Teena around the circular layout of my apartment, saying things like "your tail! so puffy!" and I realized it was maybe time to turn down the heat, put on some jammies. Which is what I'm doing now.


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