Sleep brought me absurdist isolation, figuratively, dreamily. I was on a ship somewhere far – couldn’t tell if it was the ocean or space or an island or desert. I shared a bed with a woman, a co-worker. She and I were both married but we both lusted after the ship’s luscious first mate, a guy who looked like a guy from Lost, the television show, and this guy wanted us in return but was respectful of our marital states. He was supposed to look like the guy from Lost, but in reality looked like David Lee Roth of Van Halen. His face morphed through the dream, moving from Lost’s Sawyer to this aging, grey-haired David Lee Roth. The transformation put me off track – the attraction lessened. I simply couldn’t bring myself to lust after DLR. Nevertheless, he tossed a bunch of books to the side from his cart and hopped into our bed. I was concerned about the books, curious to know what books he had brought us. He kissed me, he kissed her. Over his shoulder I spied the Captain’s assistant who reminded me very much of Freddie Prinze, Jr. and it occurred to me that really, he should be the one kissing me as opposed to this Sawyer-wanna-be.
Finally, in my dream, I got up and took a shower. When I emerged from the tiny bathroom, drama had taken place. The reluctant DLR had moved away from the bed and the woman was in tears and another woman who had wanted in on the action was shaking her head. I shooed them away and I got back into bed, happy to have the space back and happy to be rid of the drama, when my cousin walked into the room and asked me, “What happened?”
“Just silly stuff. Nothing. Stupid. Don’t worry about it. Where do you want me to work today? The factory room? The bridge? Kitchen?”
“Doesn’t matter, Adriana, just keep your nose to the grindstone.”
I woke up, knowing I had oodles of papers to grade, Halloween eve to tend to, dinners to plan, exams to write, and no desire to socialize with anybody. Gotta keep to the grindstone. Gotta forget about DLR because he’s just not the same anymore, you know? I don’t think any one of us is the same.
We visited Farmer’s Market yesterday in Los Angeles. The kids were clawing at me, literally, as I sat on the couch Sunday morning, trying to watch Shirley Temple’s “The Bluebird.” My favorite movie next to the Disney’s Aristocats. The movie didn’t interest M. She stretched and made noise and complained and whined and wanted to change the channel to something dumb, something really dumb like Sponge Bob.
“They’re looking for happiness, M, how can you not like that? They go to these lands and see all kinds of things and the cat and dog turn into people and isn’t that dog just like how Sassy would be if she were a person?”
“What do you want to eat, then?”
“Not for breakfast…”
"Spell the words, Mommy, and I'll write them."
"You can't write here on the couch - go to the table."
She was bored, that was all. D said he wanted to shop at Kohl’s, wanted to leave the kids home with J as their babysitter and the thought of it made me want to pull hair out. “We need to go someplace…with the kids.”
He grumbled and fussed and I hopped in the shower. Made it out in ten minutes flat. We hit the road, intending on Chinatown but deciding on Farmer’s Market because it was next to the Grove and that might be fun being we’d never been. We left J at home because he wanted to skateboard with some buddies and eh…it might be better because he tends to aggravate the others.
The weather was crisp, warm, and sky-blue, as if wind had mopped up Los Angeles leaving a bright, shiny floor behind. We parked up high and spied the Hollywood sign on the green hills. The four of us marched down the stairs from the sixth floor and emerged into an outdoor mall, with the brightest, shiniest spot on the floor: the American Girl doll store. M walked through the place, determined to buy something. Anything. I promised her Emily, maybe, for Christmas or her birthday. She sighed and with a shake of her head we left, heading into the noise of Farmer’s Market. We ate hotcakes bathed in butter, Panini, hot dogs, and a slice of greasy pizza. We fantasized about fried alligator and when we got home later, we were sorry we didn’t pick up that alligator for J. Would have been fun.
Our afternoon closed with a tour of the Grove on the Trolley and a milkshake for the ride home through Los Angeles. A had rasberry ice cream - the best ever. We both agreed. We’d hit Little Ethiopia on our way in and exited through Korea and Central America, down Beverly.
For dinner we made our usual, tacos. I didn’t have any salsa, not my salsa, the stuff my mother used to make. I felt its absence, her absence. The kids were down early. Bathed, washed. Halloween is Tuesday and A, this morning, said, “Don’t you wish today was over and it was Tuesday already?”
“Definitely wish the days would move faster…I’m thinking Snickers and Buttercups…I think I’ll be myself, though. No costume.”
“Meow,” M said from the backseat.