August 28th, 2004

ledbetter tat

Saturday morning

The mirror was cruel to me this morning after a night’s sleep marked by absolute nothingness, rendering a pillow road map against my weathered face. Every single forty seven years stared back at me: a stark and jagged line running diagonally against the settled horizontal crevices lining my forehead, my mid-brow wrinkles of a scowl more pronounced than usual, and an odd little apostrophe had nestled itself on the side of my nose running against the signs of laughter that frame my cheeks. I sighed, wondering if there was enough Clinique moisturizer in the world to fix my face. Injections of botulism would probably be a remedy but then I’d end up looking like Zsa Zsa, and nobody wants that.

I’m laying on the couch, having it all to myself without the encumbrance of a dog so big that I was never able to stretch all the way out, an unwanted luxury for the past nine weeks. Joe is on his way over for a day of verbal volleys and undetermined destinations. I know we’ll watch some TV as I’ve saved the synchronized swimming competitions for our mutual fascination with an inherently silly sport, the only one I can think of born from Esther Williams. What happens for the rest of the time is open for discussion and endlessly discuss we will.

Joe’s had a bad morning already, he told me on the phone, and I’ll try to make a happy afternoon and evening getaway for him but, no doubt, I’ll fall short of that goal, just shy of where he’d like to be. He just called, he’s almost here save for the round robin parking spot hunt, and we’ll have some lunch, probably at Trio, a diner in the heart of the gay district, one that Joe tells me was the place of his first date with Paul.

Maybe it will be a movie, perhaps the National Gallery, which I’ve never seen, or it could be that we’ll just loll around until we bicker. There’s a comfort to our relationship, its lines fuzzy yet warm, and for moments, the brief familiarity makes me want to laugh or cry.

I’ve showered, the hot water plumping back a few years to my skin, the Clinique moisturizer adding some shine, and soon I’ll be on another journey in this strangest of cities with a friend who doesn’t seem to mind my crumpled face, whether from a pillow or tears.