1. Friday, October 11, 2002

    if i’ve learned one thing from cal ripken jr. it’s suck it up and get to work. 

    y carpal is ridiculous this morning. the xbi has had me at this desk job all week and it does nothing for my recovery, but it looks like theres a light at the end of the tunnel.

    but lets not talk about lights since there were none last night at my beach house. but nothing in this is true, so i’ll continue.

    ashley called in sick and told me that she would be waiting for me when i came home last night.

    i called her from the flower stand to see if she liked baby’s breath with her daisies. the phone just rang and rang. i assumed that she was using her laptop on my land line, so i chose no baby’s breath.

    just one of my dozen wrong decisions yesterday.

    finally made it to the villa and the house was a little dark. ashley appeared from game room, pool cue in hand, fuzzy slippers, flowing see thru robe, sunset showing off behind her, waves crashing, seagulls… “power’s out,” she told me, kissed me on the cheek, strolled back to the table and sank one in the corner pocket.

    i looked at the clear plastic US Mail basket that had arrived the previous afternoon from the post office. i had a vacation hold on my mail when i took my trip two weeks ago. for whatever reason they chose not to give me my mail until i called and alerted them of their error wednesday morning.

    i dug into the basket and saw several copies of the Onion, fan mail, my Quick Chop that someone had generously given me from my amazon wishlist, and, hi, a disconnect notice from the DWP.

    thank God for cell phones, i dialed up the toll free number. waited a good 15 minutes to talk to a surly man who acted as if it was His electricity that had been shut off.

    address please.

    1122 Boogie Woogie Ave.

    your service has been disconnected due to an overdue balance of $68.12.

    you shut me off for not paying sixty eight bucks?

    it’s two months late, sir.

    im sorry i was in aruba when the bill came, then the post office didn’t give me my mail after my vacation hold should have been lifted…

    none of this aroused even a whimper of sympathy from the man on the other end of the phone.

    ashley arranged a new rack of balls, broke, sank two and giggled.

    perhaps your wife should have called us earlier this morning when the power was disconnected.

    that’s not my wife, that’s ashley. shes twenty. she doesn’t have a cell phone.

    lots of twenty year old girls have cell phones.

    well, she doesn’t. shes broke.

    you live on Boogie Woogie Avenue, right on the beach, and your 20 year old girlfriend doesn’t have a cell phone?

    what was this fellow’s name again, i wondered.

    fine, may i please pay my bill. i will pay. heres my credit card number.

    great, it will be an additional $28 to reconnect you. and if you want to use your credit card, that’s an extra $5.75, but we cannot restore your power until tomorrow morning.

    apparently paperwork must be filed before 5pm for the “technicians” to flick my switch that evening. it was 5:25. damn flower shop. damn waiting on hold. damn sunset looking terrific. damn ashley kicking my ass at nine ball.

    so i paid my money. thought about how the DWP punished the working man. thought about how i would miss “survivor”. wondered if there were batteries in the boom box. wondered if ashley would see the loser me for who i was, a loser. cursed my address, my villa, and the fact that my hollywood bungalow was being fumigated for termites.

    so we lit candles. ashley was really cool about it all. she praised me for having so many candles. there was batteries in the boom box. there was food in the fridge that was going to go bad, but we could eat it all before nature did.

    she had been reading “white oleander” all day and was half way done with it, and asked me if i wanted to write while she read.

    writing longhand is for girls, i sniffed. and chose to dig through my stack of magazines: “W,” “Jane,” “Us Weekly.”

    darkness fell. i put in the police, regatta, “walking on the moon”. i thought that would be sexy. turns out ashley hates sting’s voice. put in elvis costello, “all this useless beauty.”

    she just wanted to read.

    i flew over to burrito stand, came back, went to bed early and realized this is exactly the sort of evening that the native americans must of had back in the day.

    set my cell phone alarm to wake me up at six a.m. and fell asleep to the sounds of one fan booing.