The November Project 2004

Monday, November 01, 2004

11.01.04--11:30 p.m.

bought some soda,
canned pineapple chunks,
potato chips, pretzels,
and sour cream,
got $7 cash back,
leaving me with $17 cash in my wallet
and $1.14 in my bank account,
transferred $34 from my boog account into my account.
pay day is thursday,
meaning $51 for three days,
which is good even by my eating out lunch and dinner daily standards,
very good.

11.03.04--2:38 a.m.
(really 11.02.04)

it's 2:38 in the morning
and no one's been won this presidential election.
it's been a steady diet of dan rather,
with sprinkles of the rest,
hell, rather reported from the jfk assasination,
throwing it back to walter cronkite in new york from dallas,
and that's good enough for me.
it's 2:41 a..m.
and dan rather's interrupted another correspondent to declare a state,
this time hawaii in kerry's favor,
bush-249, kerry-242.
john edwards came out a few minutes ago in boston,
declaring that every vote will be counted
and that we've waited four years,
we can wait another day.
it's 2:43 a.m.
and i'm gonna get into bed,
watch a little more election results,
drink a little more hawaiian punch.

11.03.04--11:20 p.m.

payday's tomorrow
so that means i send out the laundry tonight,
and i put on a shirt destined for the dry cleaner,
a clean pair of shorts,
and a pair of sweat socks i wear as slippers,
order up eggplant parmigiana w/ziti, and some garlic knots,
with money i borrowed from boog city,
and down a two-liter bottle of of caffeine free diet pepsi
mixing it into my plastic mets 24 oz. tumbler,
it coated with a squeezed lemon,
rubbed along the rim and dropped inside.
after it becomes half empty
i pour some more soda in
to extend the lemon flavor.

11.05.04--2:11 a.m.
(really 11.04.04)

nathaniel was back
after spending six days in ohio
going door-to-door to get our the vote
helping people understand what to do on election day to vote,
he related stories from the front
and made a new chapbook of poems and voter info to share.
he said when he went door-to-door to get out the vote
that him and the 11-year-old buy in his charge
skipped the houses with dog signs.
i told nathaniel that he cost kerry the election.

11.06.04--3:26 a.m.
(really 11.05.04)

another issue of the paper to press
i held it up a week
as what was the purpose in printing
with no distributor
but finally decided i'd go to long island
borrow a car from my folks
and hopefully nathaniel would help me distribute
which he said he would.
i got the call five minutes ago from the printer
my electonic files are ok.
it's 3:28 in the morning
and i still wanna unwind,
but i can't for too long,
as i have to train to long island,
then drive to long island city to get the papers
then meet nathaniel in the upper east side around 1p.m.
as risa said when i outlined my saturday to her,
i'm getting tired just reading it.

11.07.04--2:19 a.m.
(really 11.06.04)

woke up
ate a coupla bowls of crunch berries
had some oj
and my 24 oz mets tumble filled with water and lemon
threw yesterday's clothes on
went to penn station
grabbed 10:36 a.m. to baldwin
arrived at 11:17 a.m.
dad there to greet me
go home
kiss mom hello
mapquest trip from here to printer
and printer to nathaniel's
drink orange juice
and diet peach ice tea snapple
grabbing a snapple for the car
drive to printer in long island city to pick up new issue of boog city
pay with debit/credit card
throw issues in passenger side back seat
drive to nathaniel on 66th and york
don't know where york is and think i do
so ignore map
and head too far west
backtrack and pick up nathaniel at 2
we chat and listen to classic rock,
he sings along at times,
and i give him distribution list for paper,
we swing through east village
and then to williamsburg,
where he spends $80 on books in spoonbill and sugartown
and garners an invitation to their warehouse,
we head back to east village to hit a few stops that were closed when we tried them earlier
leave nathaniel on third ave and ninth st. at 6:15
head to my apartment, 28th street and ninth avenue,
grab a spot right next to my building,
ane leave everything in the car
’cause i gotta pee real bad
take mom's little milk crate on wheels w/a handle contraption
and bring knapsack with clothes for weekend down to car
and bring papers up from car
drive through some l.i.e. traffic
realizing, mom's car clock is 15 minutes fast, on purpose,
arrive home at 8:05 to watch cbs baseball drama clubhouse in my boxers.

11.07.04--11:59 p.m.

i'm at my folks house in long island
and they had a lodge meeting to go to
and the plan was movies and dinner when they got back
and i was in charge of movies
so i circled a bunch,
and when they got back
based on the time and my circles
it was basically that ray charles biopic ray
or nothing
and mom wasn't happy at first
as most people wouldn't be happy at first when they thought they were going to the movies
and instead are in for the night
but i went to tvguide.com/listings
found a cute hallmark movie,
cupid and cate, w/mary louise parker,
on the hallmark channel,
and we sat in the den and watched that
and order in baked ziti with eggplant.
it was a nice night.

11.08.04--11:31 p.m.

i got taken to court because i fell behind on my rent
because my roommate decided paying it was optional
and i struck a deal with a lawyer for my building
said i'd give them two grand no later than november 10,
$1,900 of it from my roommate,
the other $100 mine to round it up to a nice number,
and so i've gently nudged him,
reminding him that i need his cash in time to pay on the 10th,
and today i placed a call to his work,
because we haven't seen each other in four days,
and got his voicemail,
but didn't leave a message,
and 15 minutes later i was ready to call him
but saw an email from him
"special treat
...under your pillow.
the tooth fairy cometh."
and i didn't call him to ask how much was there,
and when i got home,
there, right under my pillows,
was $1,900 in cash.

11.10.04--12:30 a.m.
(really 11.09.04)

balanced my checkbook tonight
after paying my building two grand toward my past due
and then depositing my roommate's $1,900 he owed toward it.
i saw i still had two checks outstanding--
$100 to my building's credit union,
for a bridge loan when i switched to a one-bedroom apartment two-and-a-half years ago,
and $35.50 for my laundry.
meaning i have due out $2,135.50.
my balance is $2,125.57.
hopefully everything doesn't come in by tomorrow morning,
because i'm $9.93 short
and payday isn't for another eight days.

11.11.04--1:40 a.m.
(really 11.10.04)

yesterday,
on walk home,
my bodega is closed.
they're never closed.
are they instantly out of business,
(wait, it isn't the first of the month),
robbed,
burned out.
today they'e not open on walk in to work.
on walk home they are,
and i debate spending some of my few dollars i have
on soda, chips, pretzels, sour cream for dip,
but relent and do,
feeling a hawaiian punch urge,
the lady behind the counter knows me
because everyday after work i stop her for something
and we've gotten to the chit-chat stage of our relationship,
with the occasional joke tossed in to.
so today she smiles and says hi
and i ask her if everything's ok
figuring this way she can talk about whatever it is if she wants to
she says it is,
and then decides to talk.
"you live in this neighborhood?"
yeah, 28th, between 8th and 9th i tell her.
"you go to community board?"
no, i could, but i haven't
"my lawyer said i have to go to community board and talk,
but i don't talk english so good"
long pause,
where i tell her what she wants to hear,
that i could go with her and talk with her, for her,
at the community board meeting.
"oh, thank you.
someone keeps complaining to the police that there are bums in front of here,
so they shut us down again yesterday.
i own this place,
i do my best."
i know, i tell her, it always looks good when i come by.
lemme know what i can do i tell her,
let me know.

11.12.04--1:50 a.m.
(really 11.11.04)

i wanted to go to the belladonna reading at the last minute yesterday
but i really wanted to watch the west wing
--c.j. was being named chief of staff--
and hadn't programmed my vcr to record it
because i thought i would be home,
and i had no one to go with,
and i wanted to have one person to go with
so i wouldn't be alone

so today i planned ahead
for the possibility of going to the portable press/litmus press party
i scanned the tv listings,
programmed my vcr to tape survivor and er,
brought the copies of boog city for distribution
tried calling nathaniel
forgetting his phone is out of order
went to dinner with folks on eas side,
and bummed a ride from them to teachers and writers,
saw a whole bunch of people i like,
in a pretty calm space,
chatted with a lot of them,
saw stephanie young straight from oakland with dark hair and same cherubic face,
heard some cool poetry
and those poetry project introductions i hate,
"their poetry reminds of a tidal wave going through a volcano at high noon"
and then i said my goodbyes to brenda iijima,
the only reason i came out tonight,
her supporting me and my press so,
and began the busrides home to chelsea.

11.13.04--3:10 a.m.
(really 11.12.04)

stephanie is here from oakland
reading, visiting,
and she asked me to lunch today,
which was nice,
and ’cause she asked
i went
even though i haven't been feeling altogether social of late
and we lunched in the tick tock diner
talked jobs and poetry
gossiped a bit,
and it was easy,
which was nice.

11.14.04--11:20 p.m.
(really 11.13.04)

when i got out of my last depression
almost two years ago
i instantly wanted to restart my small press
but i didn't
gave it a little while,
thought about how my manic work on the press
had cost me my job
and sent me into a 10-month long, housebound depression,
and

note to poets:

when you have a reading
do not tout your brand new publication to the audience with:
"and you can all have free copies of the publication after the reading,"
especially when the publisher is in attendance
and is hoping to make $10
to help carry them the four days until payday.

11.14.04--11:42 p.m.

i haven't done dishes in months
washing the same bowl and a spoon
everytime i want to have a bowl of crunch berries,
so even though i have eight dollars to last me until payday in three days
i'm not cooking,
because the sink dishes have grown fungus
and i'm going to leave that for my too infrequent cleaning lady.
i'm fresh out of canned pineapple chunks, though,
and i'm wanting to have desert bad,
but then i remember that i had a box of jell-o in with my dishes,
it leftover from a writing project i'd given a bunch of my peers a while back.
so i searched for a big enough dish that was clean,
and remember i had some faux tupperware
in the cabinets underneath.
tomorrow night i'll be having strawberry jello.

11.16.04--1:15 a.m.
(really 11.15.04)

down to $17
i call dad to cover the $8.56 i'm overdrawn
one, because i need the money
and two, because i know i'm not going to walk to the bank to cover the $8.56 i'm overdrawn,
and so after therapy i go to the gristede's
buy a box of crunch berries, a box of jell-o
a bagel and a bialy,
and a large container of nonfat, plain yogurt.
tomorrow a new employee, abby, starts at my job,
and one of my bosses, riva, buys welcome to the job donuts.
one meal gone,
five to go until payday.

11.18.04--12:33 a.m.
(really 11.16.04)

a girl at the bowery poetry club was cool to me
in the way a girl hasn't been cool to me in a while,
it was cool.

11.18.04--12:42 a.m.
(really 11.17.04)

my roommate came home tonight for the first time in almost a week,
told me he can move out for january 1
that i should send out to find a roommate,
it's a weird thing when you live with someone you've known for years
though not well,
and who you genuinely like,
but whose situation isn't stable,
so each month i'd wonder where the rent was,
but now that he has a stable gig,
and can easily afford his rent,
he's moving to connecticut,
because that's where the stable gig is,
and so i need a new roommate
just when everything was finally working out with the old one.

11.19.04--12:52 a.m.
(really 11.18.04)

nathaniel called
i was eating
i called back
we talked for a while
"i hope it's ok that i tell you this," he said
"but i'm not happy about your heavy breathing."
"i'ts because i'm attracted to you," i said.
"no it's not," he said.
"it's ok, i've lived a good 38 years," i told him.
"i don't like hearing that kind of talk," he said.
"i'm going to go. good night."
"night," i said.

11.20.04--1:24 a.m.
(really 11.19.04)

my dad picked me up from the railroad station this afternoon
and a little later my mom returned home,
and she kept talking about all sorts of dishes to make for dinner
and i saw how tired she looked
and how tired i felt
and said why don't we take it easy and just have tunafish?
she said how about egg salad,
and i put up 10 eggs to hard boil
and half an hour later
the three of us were gathered on their bed,
making egg salad sandwiches, with lettuce and tomato,
on oversized english muffins,
while mom laid back in bed,
watching that day's as the world turn on her soap opera tape.

11.22.04--12:07 a.m.
(really 11.20.04)

went to see my youngest niece Michelle in Oliver
she's 11-and-a-half
and was in the chorus,
which meant she was an orphan eating gruel in the beginning,
and transitioned into a member of Fagin's gang picking a pocket or two of Londoners
my parents friends Bernice and Larry came,
which was strange as it isn't their grandkid,
but my mom said that Oliver was Larry's favorite show.
he and i chatted a bit before the show,
but he's one of those guys who don't want to emasculate themselves with a hearing aid,
so i stopped talking after the third sentence i repeated,
the trumpet player passed out in the orchestra,
maybe 20 feet from where I sat,
turned stiff like instant death,
they called for a doctor,
and one came running
(my sister told me later he's a chiropractor)
the trumpet player woke up a while later
--we were told later it seemed that he'd be fine and he was with ems--
and the show began again.
after the show we went to friendly's,
and my dad and i got lost in the rain,
eventually heading south to reach jericho turnpike,
and then i asked the waitress if the sodas were unlimited,
she said yes, i ordered a root beer.

11.22.04--12:15 a.m.
(really 11.21.04)

i was watching the the last 20 laps of the final race of the NASCAR season,
of the Chase for the Nextel Cup,
with my mom,
her sitting up in bed,
dad taking a nap aside her,
mom and i having just finished bialies with butter and a gala apple,
and i told them how the Kurt Busch's 97 car has two chief sponsors,
Sharpie markers and Irwin auto parts,
and that he came into this race with the lead for the season
and could win the championship.
Irwin is my dad's name,
which made this even more fun than usual.
i answered all my mom's questions--
why are they driving so slow and in a straight line?
that's a restart, it means they were told to slow down and line up because of an accident or some debris impeding the track.
how come that guy won the race but you said 97 won the championship?
because each race is part of the championship. the 97 car had the most points of the other drivers during the season, so it won the championship.
afterward mom heated up the meatloaf my dad took out of the freezer to thaw,
and we went down to the den,
our food on trays and snack tables,
to watch jim carrey in bruce almighty,
which we all thought was just ok.

11.23.04--2:05 a.m.
(really 11.22.04)

walked home from work at 12:30 p.m.
so i could be there by 1
and let Allah, my cleaning lady,
in to get apartment looking good to show for prospective roommates.
return at 4:30 to new home
$60 lighter.
(i gave her $20 more than usual
since the mess was more than usual.)

11.24.04--12:50 a.m.
(really 11.23.04)

i've only masturbated to the thoughts of a co-worker once
ok, more than once,
but only once that made an imprint.
i was in portland,
where she used to live,
wanting to masturbate in a new state
and to visit the Portland Art Museum,
so i went to a restroom stall
and rubbed a travel advice note she'd penned for me in my left hand.

11.24.04--11:24 p.m.

my body has been aching lately,
today my shoulders and biceps feel like they were in the gym all day,
throwing jabs,
and i've been tired, too,
that tired that has me thinking all night what time to go to sleep,
but still sleeping past that time
to where i'm deep breathing,
a little bit from the weight but from the tired.
all of this may be caused by my lithium,
which is managing my manic-d
but may be skewing my body chemistry to where the doctors have been mentioning alternatives to the lithium.
right now i watch the bloodwork alongside them,
sticking with the lithium
because some weakness and a lack of sleep
don't outweigh my fear of the mania leading another shut-in depression.

*

watched "from justin to kelly" tonight,
the movie starring the first american idol and her runner-up
on one of my parents' hbos
it was a simple film
in the tradition of the frankie and annette beach movies of the sixties.
and they broke into song in the middle of dialogue
and then segued right back to speech,
but it was a bit endearing,
and i did finally get to see justin and kelly kiss.

11.26.04--3:07 a.m.
(really 11.25.04)

my brother cooked the family's turkey in a deep fryer
it's something i've long associated with white trash and causing household fires,
but he is not white trash and the house is still standing,
though the turkey wasn't as moist as we'd hoped
and the wings and drumsticks came out burned.

11.28.04--4:29 a.m.
(really 11.26.04)

my parents wanted me to go to the movies with them today
well, with them and two of my nieces,
to see the animated movie The Incredibles,
now i have nothing against animated movies,
it's just i'm here this thanksgiving weekend four-plus days,
and i don't need to do everything with them,
but there was also the possibility of seeing my sister's husband
when they picked up the girls,
and it's been two months since he said he was going to kill my mom and dad and me in our sleep if stayed in his and my sister's home and slept over,
i wasn't scared, he's an all-talk pretend bully,
but i cut myself off from contact with him that day
and i try to stick to the things i say,
especially when they make my life a whole lot calmer.

11.28.04--4:34 a.m.
(really 11.27.04)

took the sunrise highway to ian's mom's house,
that sounds strange,
ian's mom's house,
his dad's been dead now, what, only two-and-a-half years,
and while ian and i sat to watch a video there,
he sat in his dad's high-back, deep red and black, lounge chair.

11.29.04--12:06 a.m.
(really 11.28.04)

asleep at 530 am
wake up at 12:30 p.m.
and then it's french toast and oatmeal with fresh fruit with folks
(and some of that iced decaf my dad saves for when i come home every few weeks)
and then a cbs movie of the week my mom taped last sunday
followed by me scanning tvguide.com/listings for our next viewing,
and it's a hallmark channel movie,
and then dad goes to pickup chinese food when it's done
and i grab drinks and plates from upstairs
(and some clementines for dessert, too)
and we eat it while watching 60 minutes
(dad heard the first half on the radio before we saw the first half on tv--on the radio it always starts at 7, but tv's start time often changes due to football)
and then cold case
and then another cbs movie of the week,
us all chatting to each other all the time,
though not so we'll miss too much in the shows.

11.30.04--1:26 a.m.
(really 11.29.04)

i fell asleep in therapy,
"just for two minutes," my therapist said when i asked her.
the nap i'd hoped for before my session didn't happen
but i did pretty good,
two minutes out of 50,
only 4% of the session,
asleep,
not bad.

11.30.04--11:07 p.m.

i'm gearing up to sleep at a normal hour,
midnight for me,
that's two-and-a-half hours earlier than yesterday,
then i can catch up on sleep,
maybe get a solid eight hours,
hell, even do a little boog city work before i leave in a.m.
i'm gearing up to sleep at a normal hour,
tomorrow's swell already.

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