Times Are Gruff

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I'm suddenly at a loss for words.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Tough Monday Night

Tonight I am alone, and I am actually quite lonely. Only children are never usually lonely - we are our own best friends. We dance alone, clean apartments alone, watch bad TV and eat ice cream alone. But tonight is different. I pressed play on my CD player, climbed up into my big ol' window with a beer and a cigarette, and indulged myself with this sorry, grey, solitary mood.

It is dark and snowing out, slippery and wet. Cars leave slushy ribbons behind, a wobbly bike trail, shuffly trails of footprints. I see his car drive by, wonder what the other one is doing, and feel my heart grow heavy with memories of The One. The One who gave me this music, which is suddenly sad and meaningful.

I think about why I moved here. What did I accomplish. How stupid my "I came here to pout" story is becoming. What I need to do if I want to move home. Why I can't bring myself to do it. How I went from being in the middle of things to flitting about the periphery.

I am hugging my knees, feeling my heart beat and move me. I can see my reflection in the window and I'm moving to my pulse. I feel my broken tail bone. I feel my head start to ache a little. I rest my head against the frigid glass and look down at the sidewalk 30 feet below.

The CD changes and I get down. It was gratifying painful. But it's time to do something else.

One Thing I Don't Like About Rochester

Here's one thing I don't like about Rochester:

Everytime you go to the laundromat? It snows.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

CSI: South Wedge

On my desk sits a pile of empty CD cases. I longingly restack them, read the covers, re-check to see if the CD Fairy has visited.

A couple months ago, some Fucking Crackhead broke into my car and stole all my CDs. Luckily, it was a nice Fucking Crackhead and he gingerly used that "jimmy" thing to pop the lock instead of smashing the window. I was halfway to work and searching for a CD when I noticed that they were all gone.

Oddly, I noticed the weird red goop all over the inside of the passenger window while I was still in my parking lot. Barbeque sauce, I deduced. Somehow that made enough sense in my early-morning mind and I didn't investigate further. Then I realized that the Barbeque sauce was really blood and that I should go ahead and get into full panic mode.

The police lady expertly calmed me down and helped me put things into a clearer perspective. I think it went like this:

ME: So do you think I should wait to wash my car?

POLICE LADY: *pause* Huh?

ME: Well, I don't want to disturb any of the blood.

POLICE LADY: *pause* Huh?

ME:
You know, for any DNA testing. . .

POLICE LADY:
Psssht. Stolen CDs? Yeah, honey, we have real crimes goin' on in the city. I ain't sendin' no forensics team out to investigate, mmmm'kay?

ME: Oh. Um, OK.

POLICE LADY: *mumbling something under breath - I think I hear the words "watching," "too," "much," and "CSI."*

They sent me a copy of my police report, but I haven't heard of any major sting operations lately. I am beginning to think that maybe the police aren't going to find the guy who did this. Or are even looking. Or even looked, ever.

Seriously? Who did this Fucking Crackhead know that was going to buy a few Chris Isaaks, the soundtrack from "Phenomenon," a Nick Drake, and some copied collections of love songs from an old boyfriend? No joke - this was the third time someone has stolen my copy of "Simon & Garfunkle: Concert in Central Park." Once the sun went up and he looked through his booty, he probably slapped his forehead with frustation and disgust.

I hope it was with his injured, bloody hand.

LESSON LEARNED: One CD at a time & make sure it's really lame - so if anyone does steal it, the joke is on them. HA HA!

Wah.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Oh what a tangled. . .whatever.

Men get to create a harem.

A friend of mine recently described how a guy friend of hers "created a harem" by collecting several girls in a line up. Some were to date, some to bring home to Mom & Pop, some were to. . .well, accept "late night calls".

She decided she would do that too. Sounds great - I mean, who doesn't want to be the center of adoration and attention? Maybe even get a dinner or a special "back-rub" out of it? Ahh . . .my 20s.

But now I'm in my 30s. It doesn't work so well. I tried it, and as Catherine Banning said in The Thomas Crown Affair, "Men make women messy."

Amen, sister.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What is it about Rochester?

I was born in Rochester, NY, but moved to San Diego when I was three years old. Fast forward a few decades and here I am again in Rochester.

You know that phrase, "flip a wig?" I actually saw it happen when I announced to my parents that I was coming here. They left for a long list of reasons, reasons that they are still hanging on to. But here I am.

People still give me twisted lop-sided stares when they find out where I moved from.

STRANGER: *cleaning out ears* Where did you say you were from?

ME: San Diego.

STRANGER: What made you pick Rochester?

ME: I have family here and I've visited a lot.

STRANGER: Oh. Have you lived through a winter yet?

ME: Yes.

STRANGER: And you're still here?

ME: Apparently.

STRANGER: Are you crazy?

ME: No.

STRANGER: What's so great about Rochester?

ME: *proceeds to list five great things*

STRANGER: *doesn't want to hear it, eyes begin to dart around* OK, well, whatever.


Yeah - so I have found that one of the drawbacks of living in Rochester is that NO ONE LIKES LIVING HERE. Truly, I have found about four people that are happy to be here and don't dream of leaving.

COMING UP: Great things about Rochester