The December Project 2005

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

12.01.05
(written 12.03.05--10:15 p.m.)

went to my reading series tonight
the crowd sparse as i thought it would be
skipped the after hangout and cabbed to nyu hospital
my folks said my sister would be out of surgery in 90 minutes

12.02.05
(written 12.03.05--10:24 p.m.)

back from the hospital
my sister recovering
afraid to see me ’cause of my cold
despite my mask
my bell rings at 830 p.m.
and i look to see who it is
because i'm not expecting anyone
and it's the ups man
working too late
with 526 copies of sean's book.

12.03.05--10:30 p.m.

my first day on the cold meds
and my phlegm is still heavy and green
see my sis for four hours or so
before a bus back home
and i turn the heat up
put on oxygen
grab orange powerade
and pistachio nuts
watch a romantic comedy
that isn't so good
but it's saturday night
and it'll all be ok
since my sis ain't gonna die
but i still need my phlegm to go away.

12.04.05--11:37 p.m.

first call at eight
my sis says call when yre awake
next call at nine
followed by 930
that's when i say that i'm not coming to the hospital to visit her
and so she says a quick goodbye and hangs up
before later on i tell a calm her
i wanna keep my cold in
and i'll see her tomorrow
and that's still the plan.

12.05.05
(written 12.06.05--2:31 a.m.)

been slacking on the newspaper
and didn't think that i'd catch up
but brought my powerbook to my sister in the hospital
and as she took a nap read through the all the copy,
and then reflowed the now-read copy
into my template.
tuesday to the printer.

12.06.05
(written 12.07.05--2:26 a.m.)

almost 11 hours
at the kitchen table
working on boog city
and then done
finally, tv.

12.07.05
(written 12.08.05--11:57 a.m.)

my sister in the hospital
want's 2nd avenue deli chicken soup
i tell her i can get from ben's
’cause it's closer to me
and then i think about mass transit routes
and see it's not too evil going downtown
to go back uptown
and so train the c to the l
to 3rd avenue
walk to the 2nd avenue deli at 10th street
and then to first avenue
where i bodega a two-liter fresca
then the bus to 32nd street
nyu hospital
my sis was looking better,
i got ice for my fresca.

12.08.05
(written 12.09.05--12:11 a.m.)

first therapy in three weeks
because i wanted to save money
21 poems to bring in
and to read and take off from
and i talked a bit more
but not so much more
i'm skipping next week too
to save some money again
continuing to go
though i never feel it does anything
but it's what yr supposed to do
when you're manic-d
right

12.09.05
(written 12.10.05--11:31 p.m.)

it's a roswell marathon
on the sci-fi channel today
all episodes i've yet to see
i like today, i like my tv

12.10.05--11:37 p.m.

it's a miami vice marathon
on tv land today
almost all episodes i've yet to see
i like today, i like my tv

12.11.05
(written 12.12.05--1:28 a.m.)

for five or ten minutes this morning
my mom was on a weight loss harangue to me
telling me i'm gonna die
mentioning my diabetes, too.
i wanted off the line
so i said to her
"don't worry mom,
i'll outlive you,
i may not have feet,
but i'll outlive you."

12.12.05
(written 12.14.05--1:47 a.m.)

sean's book party tonight
so nice another step in this trip

12.13.05
(written 12.14.05--1:48 a.m.)

23 years ago today my first concert
Pat Benatar with Saga opening
at Madison Square Garden
seven days shy of my 16th birthday,
when my parents would gift me
Benatar's new LP, Get Nervous,
it nice to know they were attentioning me.

12.14.05
(written 12.15.05--1:53 a.m.)

today my sister's turn to yell at me
this time about looking for a job
she calls early for unemployed me
in the 10 o'clock hour
and for five minutes
rails at me about not having found a job yet
and that job search isn't vigorous enough,
and then i just stop talking when she
asks me questions
which leads her to a huff and
hang up.

12.15.05
(written 12.17.05--12:25 a.m.)

too lazy to make dinner
though i'm not sure how lazy i must be
when all the dinners i make are simple
like a turkey sandwich with tomato,
or three slices of toast
with cottage cheese or peanut butter,
but so i guess i was lazy as usual
and i wanted a change
so i looked in the freezer
and saw veggie burgers
i took out the final two
and put them in the preheated toaster oven
and grabbed some bread to toast when they're done
i grabbed the celery
to finish it by tomorrow
when i went home to visit the folks
so it wouldn't be soft when i returned
then i looked for the ketchup
and the mustard, too
i like to mix them now
but there was no ketchup bottle
or packets in the drawer
i wasn't sure just what to do.
so i opened the fridge and looked about
and there i saw a little bit of black bean and corn salsa,
that must be good on a veggie burger.
so after cooking the veggie burgers
and then toasting the whole bread
i put mustard on one burger
salsa on the other,
and i must report of the salsa
that it is good on a veggie burger.

12.16.05
(written 12.17.05--12:32 a.m.)

my mom wasn't feeling too well
she's missed three days of teaching
she's sounded real weak
with slight rebounds
but she's sounded real weak mostly.
and we went to watch that penguin movie,
mom, dad, and me all in their bed,
and though i didn't want to see it
i wanted to be sitting with my mom and dad.
and 20 minutes into the movie
"i have to go to bed" my mom says
so i get up to go
and she speaks loud as she can
"we'll finish it tomorrow."

12.17.05
(written 12.18.05--1:29 a.m.)

my sister wanted me to come to her house
and help my niece michelle with a homework assignment
where she had to pretend she was a journalist
covering parts of the revolutionary war.
i told her i'd continue doing what i did last week,
go over anything she wanted on the phone
and she could email me stuff to edit,
that just because i was in long island
didn't mean i had to go to her house.
my sister said,
"i hope you die,
i hope you get aids,
i hope you get cancer,
i hope your dick falls off."

12.18.05
(written 12.19.05--12:49 a.m.)

reluctantly go with dad
to see youngest niece sing at jewish old age home
and there's a chorus of 10 kids
from my niece michelle's synagogue
assembled to sing chanukah songs,
and their cantor is leading them,
but the problem is that he's singing over them
to where even their mics aren't helping.
afterward i ask michelle if she can sing for her grandpa and me,
since we didn't get a chance to hear her during the recital.

12.19.05
(written 12.20.05--12:13 a.m.)

my folks' fridge is filled
with all sorts of food
but all i eat today
is a bialy with cream cheese
and tunafish i make on crackers
i can only drink so much iced decaf
as the milk is gone,
so i switch to crystal light pink lemonade
and then some caffeine free diet pepsi cans
and i hooked up the new dvd/vcr to the new tv
with an assist from the toll free hitachi operator
dad comes home with some diner food,
broiled salmon and trout almondine
with some small feta cheese salads
and a lot of veggies
then my folks go out for some sorta x-ray
come back a little later
and we all go downstairs
as mom says where she wants the tv cabinet
before dad and i move it there
before we lift the 110-pound television
before we grab the dvd/vcr wires and run them right,
and then i show my dad how to watch a dvd or a videotape
you have to hit the tv/video button
until it gets to video 2.
and we continue to watch
two and a half men
with a hot girl guesting
as jon cryer's obsessive girlfriend,
she was played by josie davis
who was the older sister on charles in charge.

12.20.05
(written 12.22.05--1:04 p.m.)

it was a mellow day
the way i wanted it to be.
saw my psychopharmacologist
got a new lithium scrip
with one renewal, too
picked up some sausalito cookies
and a quart of skim milk
watched a gilmore girls
and took a nap.
then nathaniel came over
we talked some
ordered italian food
and he gave me a rare cleveland book.
it was a mellow day
the way i wanted it to be.

12.21.05
(written 12.22.05--1:09 p.m.)

woke up late
after falling asleep with my glasses on
and the extra prop pillow beneath my head
so it was breakfast at 12:30
after checking my blood
then lunch at 1:30
a kosher turkey sandwich
in the shower at three
ready to leave at four
for the transit strike walk
down to the poetry club.

12.22.05
(written 12.23.05--3:40 p.m.)

it's the first day without my roommate
for five days or maybe 12 or maybe more
so now when i have to pee
i don't need to wait for the commercials
i just crank up the tv's volume
leave the bathroom door open
and i don't miss a thing.

12.23.05--3:33 p.m.

i'm beginning to cry a whole lot
to nfl films on espn
it's the games of the nineties they're showing
and i'm watching the greatest comeback ever engineered
it took place in a wildcard game
in 1995
and though i know the story like i know so many other stories
i begin to cry
the oilers go on top
eventually 35-3
but then the bills behind their backup quarterback frank reich
begin to cut into the lead
so with each touchdown pass to andre reed
i start to cry a little bit more
until one long tear comes down my left cheek
bills 41-oilers 38 in overtime's the final score

12.24.05--10:36 p.m.

this evening on fx
i watched daddy day care
eddie murphy as an adman
who loses his job
and he's looking to place his kid
at the only decent preschool in town
a real strict place
run by a mean angelica huston
and in the park a little later
his friend's wife casually says
that what this neighborhood needs
is a decent day care option to the
real uptight school
so eddie gets the idea
to do just that
enlisting his adman friend who'd been fired, too,
and it moves along predictably
as eddie wars with angelica huston
and then it hits this moment
the one in every movie
good or bad
where they wrap it all up and try to make you cry
and i cried
at daddy day care
i cried
after crying yesterday
at a gilmore girls episode
and then the u.s. version of fever pitch
and then the hugh grant movie about a boy
i cried
at daddy day care.

12.25.05
(written 12.26.05--1:30 p.m.)

i ordered chinese food
fulfilling the jew on christmas day stereotype
but i'm finding for a long time
that chinese food doesn't do it for me anymore
and it costs too much to actually fill me up.
just give me some italian food any night
some ziti and some garlic bread's all i need.
i have chinese food leftovers in the fridge
i'm going to eat them because they're there
because they're the one delivery treat
that this unemployed boy allowed himself this week

12.26.05--10:59 p.m.

i don't know if i could be frank gifford tonight
visiting the booth at halftime
of the last abc monday night football game
eight years after he was forced out of his job there
partly by the guy interviewing him now.
maybe it's his age
or his need for exposure
or his paying tribute to something that once meant so much to him.
hell, i'm not going to the new year's reading at the church
because i wasn't asked to read
and when i got the poster for the reading last week
i ripped it in four and threw it in the trash.

12.27.05
(written 12.28.05--11:58 p.m.)

when they announced the rev. al green
was coming out on stage
to pay tribute to kennedy center honoree tina turner
by performing his song that she covered
"let's stay together"
all i could think about was what i found out the other day
how 30-plus years ago
an ex-girlfriend broke into his apartment
and threw boiling grits upon him
while he was in the shower
before she shot herself dead.
he thought this must have meant
that he was on the wrong path
and soon he'd trade his r&b music in for only gospel
and become a reverend.

12.28.05
(written 12.29.05--12:11 a.m.)

i showered for the doctor
because that is what you do,
maintaining my pattern of
doing for others
before i do for me.
i told my therapist last week
that the static is ok,
that i don't need much,
and i don't have much,
but i'm gonna make some iced tea now,
i'm gonna make some iced tea.

12.29.05--9:42 p.m.

cried tonight while watching
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
those tears that exist in the outer corner of your eyes
and begin to slowly grow
until they fog your glasses and need to be wiped
and you need to blow your nose just a little bit
every few minutes,
the tears never falling past the corners of your eyes
toward your cheeks.
yes, The Lizzie McGuire Movie.

12.30.05
(written 12.31.05--9:13 p.m.)

fax the mets my credit card number
"put fifty dollars toward my sunday plan renewal,
please."
i mean i don't have the money,
my unemployment's tight
but i know i'll be sad if i don't keep my tickets,
so i buy myself another month
to come up with the rest,
i'll sell some tickets to friends,
jordan maybe.

12.31.05--11:56 p.m.

dick clark is my popular steady
again
only this time the stroke has slurred his speech
a bit worse than mets announcer ralph kiner
but i love them still.

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