birthday in LA
Friday, February 16 2001
Okay, so it was my birthday again today. A lot has happened since last I came this way, so it's fair to say it was a well-spent year of my life.
But never mind the year, how about this week? There's an intense new AIM buddy I haven't even mentioned, there was all that resolution of issues with Bathtubgirl, there was Julian and Linda meeting Bathtubgirl. And that's on top of the novelty of Bathtubgirl having a new boyfriend named Snow. Then of course there's the completely unexpected opening of the time capsule relationship with Gretchen. If, after this week, there are any big unresolved issues still buried in my subconscious, I don't know what they are.
It's been such an intense week that today I kept going through phases of feeling overwhelmed and deeply moved. I couldn't help myself and sometimes I'd be sitting there in my cubicle with tears streaming down my cheeks, hoping to stifle the feeling before someone showed up and saw me in such an unprofessional state.
And while even the long-abandoned aspirations of my personal life now show signs of possible redemption, my professional life appears to be increasingly bogged in the mud. I'm stuck on yet another high-pressure assignment, this one clearly of inferior status to the one before. To the company, I am nothing but an appliance, and there's been no consideration about my continued happiness. My pay is exactly the same as it was when I began, and it seems now that there will be no bonus after all. So today I decided to do two things: schedule a week of much-needed vacation for the end of March and start honestly looking for a new job. I have a feeling that now there is going to be a massive flight of disillusioned employees from the company, and I should probably be part of that. I feel so strengthened by things taking place in my personal life that I feel emboldened to start fixing my professional life, which has fallen into neglect.
At 4:30pm, it seemed Linda and Julian were heading off to Bathtubgirl Central to do their first actual webcast (weird, I know, but true). So I decided I'd go there too, because the plan was for Bathtubgirl to have some sort of low-key birthday party for me. I went independently, riding my bicycle so my options would be more flexible. Paradoxically, of course, a bicycle also limits available options, since it is usually too big to fit in any car except Bathtubgirl's big white Volvo.
Somehow I managed to show up before anyone else. Aside from the cleaning guy working in the front room, it was just another day at Bathtubgirl Central. Eva was flicking the lights on and off and and Bathtubgirl was whirling around in a puddle of increasingly greyish green water to some sort of dance music. Meanwhile Snow the boyfriend was out getting provisions with which to make margaritas. Eventually Bathtubgirl convinced me to get in the tub and be wished a happy birthday, but mostly all I did the whole time I was at Bathtubgirl Central was sit on the bed wearing a lens-free pair of Buddy Holly glasses, sipping on a margarita.
Eventually Julian and Linda showed up and did their show. Julian was DJ and Linda did some dancing type stuff in front of the camera in her black brassiere. At some point Bathtubgirl and Linda brought out this enormous icecream cake with 33 candles blazing on top of it and I could only blow out 31 of them.
Meanwhile this tantra dude, Yabba Dabba Doo[REDACTED], supposedly a disciple of Timothy Leary, showed up with, Angela, a much younger barefoot jewelry-making goddess from Santa Fe.
Our teeth were soon stained blue from the icing from the frosting on my icecream cake. I could only eat half the piece given me, which, I was told, was something of a bad omen because it meant that the wish I'd made when I'd blown out my candles would not come true. That was an easy problem to remedy; I simply said that I'd wished for world famine and the moon to crash into the earth.
Then all of a sudden the show was over and Bathtubgirl and the others were getting ready to go out for sushi (of all things). Earlier Bathtubgirl had asked me what I wanted and I'd told her burritos, but when the Timothy Leary disciple tantric master says he wants sushi I guess it doesn't much matter what the birthday boy wants. Truth be known, it didn't matter where they were going for dinner, the icecream cake had completely destroyed my appetite. But of all the food in the world, the very last thing I wanted was sushi. As I pointed out to Linda and Julian later on, sushi is different from most other food. It hits you in an entirely different chakra. Unless you're completely at peace with your intestines, there's no way you can eat it. (For her part, Linda says she can't eat it under any circumstances.)
Well, I hated to be a baby about things, but I didn't want to eat sushi and I didn't want to go with Linda and Julian to their astrology class, but I didn't want the party to end so early either. I could have gotten a ride with Linda and Julian, but the bike was a problem. So eventually I decided it didn't matter how drunk and stoned I was, I'd just ride home anyway.
I was sitting there on the bed and Bathtubgirl knew there was no way to convince me to eat sushi; she's knows me well enough by now to know my stubbornness. So instead she gave this monologue to those assembled about how we were lovers for a couple of years and now we're best friends. It was really touching and I feared I'd start crying like I'd been doing all day already.
So then as I was getting ready to cycle off into the night, Bathtubgirl followed me out the door and we had another one of those emotional could've-should've-but-you-never-so-here-we-are sort of confrontations, leaving me with tears streaming down my cheeks as I pedalled eastward down Venice.
It's really fun to bike when you're stoned out of your mind. I was a little paranoid that some busy body cop would stop me for not having a light or something and then search me and find the two hits of ecstasy in my wallet.
My mind was full of all kinds of thoughts, for example, whether certain efforts, when they've finally achieved their desired goal, should be terminated. I thought about Tipper Gore and her Parents' Media Research Center, and about the day (prior to Al Gore's big presidential run) it was dismantled with much fanfare, making as it did so the claim that it had achieved its aim (the labeling of albums with distasteful lyrics) and so it was no longer needed.
Back at my house, Linda and Julian came over after their astrology class was finished. We sat around listening to music, Dead Can Dance at first and then some stuff Julian had brought. He had a CD by this music group or individual known as "µ-ziq" (good luck searching for a Greek letter on Napster). The opening track was an incredible and unexpected synthesis of classical music, hip-hop and Christmas or carnival music. Its lurching melody would have been perfect background music for the marching of gnomes; it was perfect for my mood. I'd started smoking pot again and I was completely, utterly stoned out of my mind for the second time today.
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