My worklife--and that's pretty much all the life I have right now--has become a a super-saturated solution of Christmas.
And I'm loving it.
Every chance I get, I'm sneaking away from Kitchens & Baths to get up front to Christmas so I can help people pick out the Perfect Wreath or whatever. And while I'm up there, running through my anti-materialist minimalism lovin' head are thoughts of "I want that. And that. And that and that and that."
After all, how many reindeer sculpted from gold wire filled with red and green ornaments (provacatively described on the box they came in as "Deer W/Balls") can you tote home before you have enough?
I have to confess that I did buy a soft-sculpture bear holding a little fir tree in his paw. I couldn't resist him. Just because he looks Hot. That is to say, if I met his human equivalent--bushy black beard, wide shoulders, smouldering eyes, nice guy, flannel shirt--I'd do him!
And I'm paying the price of being Trusted and Reliable at work. This week, I'm opening on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That means that on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I'll be going to bed around 8 p.m. Interestingly, it's sort of the reverse of my schedule my last summer in NYC when I would get home and go to bed about 4:30 a.m. and wake up at 4 p.m.
Ah, those were the days! "Gosh! I'm meeting Diabolique for dinner at six o'clock! I'd better set my alarm!"
But I continue to enjoy myself.
Yesterday I had a blast. For the first time in two weeks, I took an honest to goodness Day Off Work. No Ho(t)me(n) Depot. No Hard Labor Ready.
Since my berber neighbor, my deceased sister's ex-husband's cousin, has been working some mysterious "job" somewhere north of Albany since October, my father hasn't had a haircut in months. My father is sort of looking like Ebenezer Scrooge lately. Make that Ebenezer Scrooge wearing an Eagles sweatshirt. So yesterday morning, I suggested we go to the barber shop. It was cold and gusty here yesterday, but it wasn't raining, so my father wasn't in too much pain. I bundled him into the car, and off we went. The barber shop he usually goes to in Plumsteadville (go ahead and plug that into Google Maps, I dare ya!) was closed, with a handwritten note on the door that only said, "Sorry. Heart Problems." I said a prayer for the Barber of Plumsteadville, but wondered if perhaps he had become smitten with one of those Tadzios that clutter the sidewalks of Doylestown rather than something cardiac.
So we headed off to Doylestown in search of another barber and managed to find one. The Barber of Doylestown had only been open a couple of weeks, so there wasn't much in the way of a crowd. Just an elderly man sitting in the chair getting his haircut and a guy of about fifty leafing through Field & Stream. It turned out that the Field & Stream was the elderly man's son, and I wondered if Giordano's Barber Shop had opened with a mind to cater to elderly men being looked after by their middle aged sons.
My dad got his turned. I did my best to bury myself in Men's Journal to distract myself from the racist patter of the barber ("Yeah movies today are terrible. All you see is black guys with white girls and white guys with black girls.")
But the Barber of Doylestown did a great job cutting my dad's hair! He looks great!
After the barbershop, I needed to get gas (Dad was flabbergasted that it took $48 to fill up my tank), and then I couldn't resist a stop at Starbucks. For patiently waiting in the car, I bought my dad an apple fritter, which he appreciated.
Dad and I had a nice time tooling around together. Often, all we do is snipe at each other. I've gotten pretty used to being greeted at home after a long day of work with "It's about time! Get dinner ready!" But here we were enjoying each other's company, leaving beside our usual What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? exchanges.
Back at home, I plunged in to cleaning my bathroom, spending a good three hours in there till it sparkled. After spending all that time tending to other people's bathrooms at work, it felt good to pay attention to my own. I'm particularly happy with one little assemblage on top of the chest of drawers that holds the towels: a few cock rings that don't quite look like cock rings, some sunglasses that look bad on me and one pair that my stepmother wore after her cataract surgery, and a jar of Dippity-Doo for some color.
And brrrrrrrr! It's pretty chilly out there now. The windstorm we had took all the leaves off the trees, so it's suddenly a wintry landscape out there, all greys and browns. Actually, it's a palette I love. Tomorrow for breakfast, I might fix myself some of my Unbelievably Amazing Cocoa.
Ah, my quiet life.
But guess what?
It's looking like I'll be going to MAL next month.
MAL. Mid-Atlantic Leather. January 18th through the 21st. I've had an offer of a roomshare in the host hotel no less, the Washington Plaza. It will surely strain my finances, but it won't break them.
A lot of my the internet exchanges that pass for a social life with me boil down to this one issue: So are you going to MAL next month? And a great collection of men--many of them old friends and acquaintances but some I'll be meeting for the first time--seem to be heading that way.
But oh jeez! I've grown so used to my own solitary company, and meeting my own sexual needs, how will I act when there are other flesh-and-blood human beings there with me?
Do me a favor. Please? If you see me down there in the lobby or the cigar tent or wherever, just go slow. Treat me like you would a precocious eleven year old. (Albeit a precocious eleven year old who knows how to throw a bullwhip.) Do that reflective questioning thing where you repeat the last phrase I said only putting it in the form of a question. If I do something inappropriate, like maybe doing my The Three Tenors Marketing Overkill Homage Of Kiri Te Kanawa Singing Selections From The Rolling Stones Song Book in the middle of the lobby, please don't let on that the moment is as awkward as it truly is. Just give me an out. Say something like, "Hey Drew! Would you help me pick out a flogger in the vendor mart?"
Oh. That's if I get off work, of course. I'm putting in for it nice and early, and apparently after December 25th the only thing rolling through the aisles of Ho(t)me(n) Depot will be balls of dust. And most importantly, I've fucking earned it.