Totally hellacious day. Completely wiped out.
This is the closest I've ever come to keeping a journal or a diary. Am I doing it right?
Sometimes it looks like I'm chewing gum, but I'm really not.
Questions. What if you threw a party and nobody came? If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, will it make a sound? What if you produced a concert and the performer never bothered to plug in his electric guitar?
It's late. I have nothing to wear tomorrow. Gonna do some laundry and get some sleep.
But first, this. You're 24. You're single. You're free. You're happy. It's a pleasant sunny Saturday afternoon in June. You've just taken a shower. You wrap your towel around you. You take your make-up and mirror into the living room of your quaint little apartment on the first floor of a Victorian two-flat. The light is so much more natural there than in the bathroom. The windows are high up off the sidewalk. There's a convent across the street. It's your own little piece of the world and it's totally private. Rarely does anyone enter there, and that's just how you like it. There is a sweet breeze blowing in the open windows mixed with a faint odor of tar. You breathe it all in. You smile. You bask in the glow of life. It's your life and it's everything you've ever wanted and hoped for at this point in life. Suddenly there's a noise outside in the street. Ding, ding, ding. You peek out the window and see it's the Mexican ice cream truck. He's stopping in front of your neighbor's three flat. Then, just as suddenly, a man appears, standing on the sidewalk in front of your window. It's your elderly neighbor. Mario is as good as it gets in a neighbor. He'd do anything for you, including letting you borrow his son's car since you don't have a car of your own. "Hey, Marie! Why don't you come outside and let me buy you an ice cream cone?" You realize that ne notices just the towel you're wearing, but being the gentleman he is, he doesn't mention it. You consider declining, but decide it's best to accept. He's been so nice. So you tell him to wait a second and you'll be right there. You scurry back to your bedroom where you throw on shorts and a t-shirt. As you open the iron gate from your front yard to the sidewalk, Mario is standing there, cone in hand. He's smiling. A smile so endearing. And there's something else in his face. A look. Pride? Mission accomplished? Like he's just ousted Anthony Quinn and taken over the lead in Zorba. And then it happens. That moment in life that changes everything. Of course, at the time, you don't realize it. It's first marked by a sound. Male voices. Several of them. Coming from high above. In perfect unison. "Hello, Marie." Long. Drawn out. You give Mario a sharp quick glance. You wonder what ploy he's up to. And then you tilt your head skyward. Your eyes travel the height of his building. And there on the roof, in all their glory, leaning over the side, five or six workmen. They're taking a quick break from tarring Mario's roof to lean over the side of the building and leer at you. Except for one. He's not leering at all. He's smiling. A warm heart melting smile. You say hi, and wonder if they can even hear you. You quickly thank Mario for the ice creme and hurry back inside before he can say anything else.
That was 21 years ago.
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