Advil or Something Quiet
I clench my eyes as though they were fists, and rub small circles into my temple with my knuckles. I wonder if Elizabeth notices. Our mutual workspace is cut in half by a short, beige wall, which stands almost exactly a foot higher than our white desk. If I roll my chair six inches to the right, we will be staring at one another. I hear her while she eats. She eats all day long: salads, sandwiches, carrots, apples, candiesMike & Ikes, usually. She, on the other hand, is forced to listen to whatever music I have in the office. Lucky for her, I've been in the mood for nothing but quiet songs.
And then I wait patiently while she has her sneezing fits. And she pretends not to notice when I sigh, grunt, and curse. Etcetera. It’s a good thing we’re friends.
In Newark, NJ, where I grew up, my parents rented a small two-bedroom apartment on the second floor of a roach- and mouse-infested building: 45 Richards Street. It was white. My best friendTico Colonlived directly across from us, in the small, second floor apartment of 47 Richards Street. The building was completely identical to ours, except, somehow, there were no roaches or mice. And it was blue.
When we weren’t allowed to go outside and play together, I’d open our living room window wide, and call out: "Tico!" Soon, he’d appear in his living room window. We’d spend hours together like that, me and Tico at our small, second floor windows, playing with Matchbox cars or screaming about baseball.
Luckily, Elizabeth and I don’t need to scream. I place printouts of the latest Table of Contents for our December issue and/or Hershey’s Kisses on the small ledge between us. Elizabeth knows to take them. Screaming would be too much for this headache of mine. I wonder if this headache has something to do with my current taste in music. Or is it simply that I’m not ten years old anymore?
We got paid today. Yes, I get paid for gathering this wool. I’m thinking about going across the street to Duane Reade and buying a bottle of the biggest, strongest Advil I can find.
In the last half-hour, two friends have swooshed in with e-mails, asking if I’ll be at certain rock shows tonight. Andrea will be at Pianos for a band called Beat The Devil. Melissa will be at The Loop Lounge for our friends in Rye Coalition. It’s a bit interesting that a band of Rye’s experiencethey’ve gone on nationwide tours with Queens of the Stone Age and The Mars Voltawould be playing at the small and tucked-away Loop Lounge in Passaic, NJ. But, then again, as Tris McCall pointed out, we don’t have many places to rock in New Jersey. The Loop will have to do. It’s a decent place, in case you’re curious, with red lights and a dance floor and a sound that’s so-so. Better than some. Not bad.
I’m getting around to saying: I’m far too tired to even think about going to a rock show on a Friday night after work. I wouldn’t mind a walk to the record store, however. We did get paid today, after all. I’m thinking of buying something quiet.
Also: A little birdie told me that a cup of soup and a grilled cheese sandwich make for a very comforting meal on a rainy day. I'm willing to bet that's the truth.