Hit snooze button.
Hit snooze button.
Hit snooze button.
Get out of bed. Resolve never to hit the snooze button again.
My mouth hurts. I wonder if it’s because of my enchilada accident.
I show up at Roy’s. The cleaners came last night. It looks better. All the foil balls are gone.
Waiting in the Taco Bell drive thru. Roy hasn’t had anything to eat for over fifteen hours on account of him having to supervise the cleaning ladies. I don’t know what this means. Sorting foil balls I guess. That one. Not that one. Anyhow apparently it was such a big job it left no time for food and now he’s hungry and we’re waiting for his combo meal. Nothing like breaking a fast with Taco Bell right before hockey.
I am now 99% positive that my mouth injury is indeed a burn on the inside of my cheek. Last night I made chicken enchiladas filled with, among other things, sour cream and cheese. I mention these two items because apparently when heated for a sufficient amount of time, it is possible for them to attain the temperature of liquid magma. I put a way-too-big bite of liquid magma in my mouth. And because another person was sitting across the table from me, I held it there next to my cheek while I fanned, panted, sweated, smiled and tried casually to utter the word “hot.” Had it been recorded, it would have sounded more like a greeting from Quasimodo.
Why not just spit it out? Why indeed.
Honestly I didn’t know you could burn your mouth off with sour cream and cheese. But you can. You can burn it off.
I sit in the ice rink stands, warmed by the glowing atomic-orange heaters. While Roy skates, I work on a freelance assignment, writing Facebook wall posts for a large fast food chain. I contemplate the irony that the one person in Southern California who has opted out of Facebook – and for several people I’ve met recently, this has been cause for sincere alarm – is charged with engaging a subset of people who consider lobbing comments at a corporation’s Facebook wall (my favorite are the ones that profess love) to be a fine way to spend an afternoon. I literally shake my head as I write the copy.
We arrive back at Roy’s house. Roy has devised a system whereby I will call lawyers’ offices and explain that I have a “friend” who recently had three speeding tickets in a short amount of time and never bothered to take action on any of them. If I get a good feeling about them, Roy instructs, I’m to set up a consultation appointment. I explain that the only feeling I will be getting (besides the constant urge to reevaluate my life choices) is about the receptionist, not the lawyer, as lawyers generally do not answer their own phones – at least not the kind you get a good feeling about. No problem. Roy is convinced I’ll still get a sense for the office.
Mostly the sense I’m picking up is skepticism. And some sarcasm. Oh, your “friend” got three tickets? And what did your “friend” do about it?
My mouth is infected. It’s going to spread through my body and I’m going to die. I’m going to die because I took a big boy bite of molten cheese.
I set up appointments for Roy all over town. He will have to forgo hockey tomorrow. He’s not happy about this. I get solemn. I know, Roy, I know….
We’re done with lawyer calls. I mean “my friend” is done with lawyer calls. Now we’re apparently shooting the breeze till closing time. I ask him what else needs doing. He tells me why “Three and Half Men” is the Best Show on TV. I look around for a sharp object.
Damn you molten cheese.
The window treatment guy calls. He’s still coming to give an estimate but he’s going to be a bit late.
I check my email. There’s something in my inbox from a major network. My heart skips a beat. If it weren’t for the hole in my cheek, I would momentarily stop receiving oxygen.
Three days ago, I got a voice mail asking me to call someone at a network. I was a semi-finalist for a prestigious writing fellowship. I had a phone interview, which consisted of a person saying, congratulations, you’re a semi-finalist, the next step is a phone interview, so what are you doing right now? I was sitting in my car having just flunked an interview at an automotive museum. What I should have said was, hold on, Alec Baldwin’s trying to ask me something. Alec, be cool. Sorry about that. Go ahead.
I click on the email. I don’t even have to read it. It’s short. I have seen these before. There were many exceptional applicants this year.
My mouth effing hurts.
I want to go home.
I tell Roy I need to go. My mouth is going to fall off. And the chance to get into this writing fellowship, the one thing I was really hoping for, my one prospect for radical, wonderful life-change, has been swept away with one boilerplate email.
Time to go.
Roy is confused. The window treatment guy isn’t here yet.
Now I’m confused. You don’t need me to be here while the guy shows you samples.
Roy is incensed. All this time since I’ve been done lying to receptionists (it was a lie, he’s not my friend) he thinks that’s what I was doing. He thinks I was waiting around because I wanted to be here for the window treatment man.
The window treatment man?!
I just stare at him. I admit, it wasn’t a very nice stare. It may actually have been the kind of stare you give someone who doesn’t work but lets his house fill up with foil balls. Someone who gets three speeding tickets and ignores them. Who drinks vodka in the backseat of his BMW while you drive. Who takes pleasure in teaching you lessons about his integrity. Who thinks “Three and Half Men” is the best. Fucking. Show. On television.
A moment between us. And we both know. This is over.
DING-DONG. Window man is here. I answer the door on my way out. Window man greets me. I’m the one who made the appointment but I just nod to Roy – talk to him. I have to go.
I have to fix my mouth. And my life.