… bang bang …

My newest Twitter hashtag: #MyBrainIsLonely

I want to live in a world in which one’s IQ and literary preferences are listed on intellectual hook-up sites rather than one’s genital size and preferred sex acts. Is that too much to ask? Well, yes, yes it is. And I don’t understand why people shorthand “Fuck You” as “Eff U” rather than “F You” or “FU” – it doesn’t make sense to me. And as I troll the sites and see things like “U have the intelect of a nat. I have good education so eff u.” I cannot help but weep. And too, why is it that I have never seduced anyone with the fact that I have read all of Jane and Paul Bowles. In fact, I have yet to even spend time with someone who knows who Jane and Paul Bowles are. Which is why – today – I need Waugh’s “BRIDESHEAD” and I CANNNNNNNOT FIND IT!

See, the thing is, I own at least – AT LEAST – seven copies of Evelyn Waugh’s “BRIDESHEAD REVISITED” and I cannot find ANY OF THEM in this house where I am now living. It defies imagination and logic that I would have put ALL of them in storage. DAMMIT.

bridesheadwaugh bridesheadrevisited

How could I be so stupid? I must be punished.

bang bang

Tied to a stake and shot through the head sort of thing …

Or maybe I should read the Bowles again – some of those books ARE here, unpacked. Will I ever actually have a space in which I can unpack ALL my books and my French two-thousand pound cookware again?

bowles jane and paul

Who am I fooling? No one is ever going to care I love the Bowles . . .  and – too – want to marry me – nor will I find anyone I want to marry who has read the Bowles – I mean – the man I currently want to marry literally almost cannot read – which is – I suppose – the logical and predictable apotheosis of my loving trajectory – what an asshole. SHOOT ME.

shot to the headGIF SHOOT

Or … something with a chainsaw?

bale chainsaw

Whatever. But something fast . . . rather than the drip drip dripping of a slow despairing death by attrition . . . one empathy cell at a time . . . stripped away by yet another disappointment . . .  NO. CHER – TAKE ME AWAY –

… oh no … another bad man … not again … i’m bleeding …

Here’s an archetypal tale from my Thanksgiving day.

I was happily spending the week house and pet sitting, and on the actual feast day, after rising and watching the Macy’s Parade, I made my way to the home of friends where I would be sharing the meal. Early on, it was time to slice and arrange the hors d’oeuvres and ensued a discussion and criticism of the way in which the host and then his mother-in-law were slicing the cheeses and meats, denigration in which I actively, eagerly joined, along with predictions that they would soon wound themselves. We all agreed it would be best if the slicing and arranging were left to me.

Within moments of taking on the chore, I had managed to inflict upon the middle finger of my left hand a deep and impressively blood-gushing knife wound.

I wish this were one of my apocryphal accounts, embellished and tweaked to make a point; alas: No. Again and again I have had this experience of everyone (including me) thinking I ought to be fabulous at something – the task at hand, the chore ahead, the life-duty in line to be attended to – and I segue confidently from advising others (at which I am REMARKABLY good and quite comforting and empathetic) to go at it myself, only to do some ridiculous sort of damage to myself in the process of miserably failing or, sometimes, barely succeeding.

Thanksgiving. Week of. In addition to the finger slicing, I had another goodbye. I don’t really talk in detail in this blog – or in my life – about my family, my past, people with whom I am friends, was friends, or people I am seeing. I don’t talk about these things because to do so would constitute an invasion of the privacy of others and too, would only be MY interpretation – and when it comes to ANY sort of relationship – one interpretation is never the whole story. So, I don’t.

But, here’s the thing. I had been sort of – for me – what counted as “seeing” someone. No one knew anything about it. He wasn’t married. He wasn’t what others would consider too young. He was smart. He was friendly. He was nice. He read. He actually asked questions and listened to the answers. He was employed – very nicely in fact. He was attractive. And he was only in Maryland for a few months, the end date being up in the air, his job being such that he could be – and likely would be – at any moment, re-assigned and sent to the next project.

With which I was okay. Because, truth time, I am HORRIBLE at relationships. I have horrific taste in people. I trust too easily, too completely, believe almost ANYTHING anyone tells me, and have such horrid self-esteem that the tiniest hint of someone caring about me feels both miraculous and hideously undeserved. I am ALWAYS surprised when anyone likes me, and when it’s someone who I like in return, well, I am in constant panic mode waiting for them to discover that I am not at all someone with whom they wish to be.

So, I played it cool. I didn’t count on this lasting. I knew it was a lark. And so when he called me last week and said, “They’re sending me out – wanted me to go tomorrow but I got it delayed two days.” I should not have been surprised or upset or any of those other things I was. He asked to see me one last time and I said, “Oh that’s okay – you must have a lot to do. No worries.”

He said, “Hey, that’s how you’re going to say goodbye to someone who DOESN’T think your name is Sebastian?” And I started to cry. Of course. Because he knows my real name. I let him in. Not only did I tell him my real name and let him in, but I told him how I usually DON’T tell people my real name or let them in anymore.

And I was pissed. And I was sad. And I saw him. And I confessed that I found him to be very nice, and very warm, and very human, and very real, and I wished he was not going. And he said, “Why didn’t you ever tell me this before?” And I explained – again – my abysmal track record and my sad inability to trust the right people, and he said; “Charlie, I have those same feelings for you. I didn’t tell you because every time we were together you kept reminding me that this was just for fun and … look, I get you’ve been hurt by people you thought you could trust and your family and friends and – I know that every time you open up you take a risk of getting hurt – but, don’t you think that risk is less dangerous than the risk you’re taking by not opening up? By deciding you’re never going to trust anyone again?”

I wish. And he was leaving – one way or another. It’s what he does. It’s why he’s single. He doesn’t stay in one place. And look – for a gay boy like me who grew up on “Funny Girl” and the scene with Fanny and Nick at the train station where she hadn’t seen him for a year and pretended not to care and – LOOK – it was NEVER going to be anything except temporary so WHY WOULD I CARE? Why did this hurt?

So, he left, and I gave in and answered a message from another guy I’d sort of been seeing and sort of liked who turned out to sort of be a hustler – although he never charged me – and not just because I have no money. But, I didn’t think it was good for me to see a hustler. I know me. But, I did. And we made plans. And after weeks of him having asked me to see him again and on and on – he stood me up.

And then, I met someone else. People. Honestly, I have THE WORST TASTE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

He is too young, first place. WAY TOO YOUNG. And he is the MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON I AM EVER LIKELY TO BE ANYWHERE NEAR. Just. Fucking. Gorgeous. I cannot (did not do not) understand why he would have anything to do with me. EXCEPT … he is damaged. Of course. And he wants to be healed. Of course. And that is ALWAYS what I have done. He can barely read – extreme dyslexia. He only graduated from high school because a military recruiter intervened in order to get him as a number he’d enlisted. He is in the service. He is not out to anyone. He grew up in a tiny little shacky thing in Lakeland, Florida – which – some sort of divine joke on me – has its own resonances for me and felt like some sort of sign – and –

He is – well – I am not at liberty to give any more details – but – he wants to see me regularly and he is stationed not that far from me  – and – I want to see him because – well – he’s beautiful – and – he’s so sad – he said that no one had ever in his entire life been as tender and kind to him as I was in the first hour we knew each other – and then he told me he couldn’t really read so the fact I was a writer seemed – and I quote – “like you’re something magic.”

I am, of course, in love. This is, of course, ridiculous. He’s a trained killer. It’s what he does, what he ended up doing by accident so he wouldn’t go to jail. And no one, of course, knows anything about him. Or, ever will. And no one he knows will ever know anything about me. Why? Because he said to me, “I know now, since you happened, that I really belong with guys so, it’s just gonna be really harder to get married now.”

I said, “You mean, to find a guy like me?”

He answered, “No. I can’t marry a guy. You don’t marry guys where I’m from.”

I said, “Just because you’re from there doesn’t mean you have to go back there.”

He said, “You people with college degrees and fancy lives like yours, you don’t understand what the real world is like. You think I want to be a (insert here the branch of service he’s in which I cannot divulge out of resspect for his privacy)? It was all I had. Or end up in jail. I’m not smart like you.”

I was crying by then, of course. Holding his face. I said, “You can’t spend your life trying to be something you think you’re supposed to be, trying to make someone else happy – it just won’t ever work. I’m telling you- you can’t let yourself be defined by the places you’ve come from.”

Yet, there I was, here I am, going, with a man who will never be able to come out, to introduce me to his friends, to admit he cares about me, to be himself. I just can’t seem to stop gashing myself.

When the fuck will I finally bleed the hell out? Oh Charlie, just because you’re from there doesn’t mean you have to go back there . . . so why do I?

… and then later that night … jason robert brown … songs for my damn old broken heart …

I was concentrating on all the good I was having … and I am still having all that good (and I am still also waiting for the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol) but – as so often seems to happen – some promises were broken, some people just don’t show up. And, see, the thing is, I KNOW people are not going to show up sometimes and I have tried to meditate myself into being a person who is okay with that, who accepts rather than expects – because, oh my friends, expecting very nearly ruined me.

And some days, well, the memories of having expected come at me too strong and …

… I get … there’s this place and this point where I need Jason Robert Brown music … his music and his lyrics are proof that there exist people who not only really and truly GET the human experience, but can manage to translate its vagaries and venalities and the sound of its heart both breaking and mending into art. And “I’m Not Afraid of Anything” is one of my favorites of Mr. Brown’s songs. When I – long, long ago – played Sweeney in “Sweeney Todd”, Johanna, Sweeney’s daughter, was played by the beautifully, powerfully voiced Julie Reiber who went on in her career to play Elphaba in New York and Los Angeles. That summer I worked with her, she was also in “Songs for a New World” and sang “Not Afraid” and I saw the show – repeatedly – and pissed her off by sitting in the front rows of the audience, leaning forward, clutching my face and chest and heave-sobbing while she sang this. Little did she know at the time that she had – even then – joined the ranks of those musical theatre divas like Betty Buckley, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Christine Ebersole, Julia Murney, Alice Ripley, Emily Skinner, and others who would ask themselves – “Who the fuck is that crazy man sobbing while I sing?” Yeah It’s me. Songs from the heart, sung with passion and conviction and glorious, gorgeous tone – always get me. I can’t help it. It’s who I am. And tonight, I REALLY wish I had a recording of Julie Reiber singing it – but this will have to do – and, in fact, does quite nicely.

Powerful, isn’t it? But it makes me want to hear Julie again. So, here she is from YouTube. Look her up.

Holy shit – LOOK – her Galinda is Megan Hilty!

Which means I have to post this ONE MORE TIME … because, my friends, again tonight, that line was moved … by someone …

… okay … enough songs for my old broken heart tonight … which these songs have ALREADY helped to mend … ahhhh musical theatre and its singing divas and its writing geniuses, like Mr. Jason Robert Brown; how I thank and worship you all and to all of you and to my friends and to me … goodnight …

… old dog … new tricks …

I have been invited to seven different Thanksgiving dinners. And I woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face and not alone.

It’s the start of the winter holidays and so I am spending time, traveling here and there, caring for the homes and animal-friends of other people. This is how I spend most of the time between late November and late December and, too, the months of June through mid-September.

People who love me know I travel like this for reasons other than money, although money is one of the reasons. It is difficult for people to find someone they consider a mature, trustworthy adult who can be trusted with their animal friends, who will love the animals the way they do. I will. It is also difficult to find someone who will stay in their home without pilfering all of their liquor (though I have been known to make a dent) or have wild parties (though I am not opposed to the occasional bacchanal given the proper circumstance and guest availability) and, more importantly, won’t invade their privacy.

I won’t. I made a hard and fast rule from the day I started house and pet sitting: I don’t open cabinets or closet doors or enter rooms unless I have been specifically instructed and/or invited to do so. I bring everything I need with me. And too, I NEVER take a gig unless I have visited the house, had dinner with its owners and animal-friends, and made sure we are all comfortable with the “vibe” – which I know sounds new agey and crazy, but animals are way more sensitive than people and toward the beginning of my doing this line of work, I stayed in a place where the energy was quite bad, and no amount of money in the world is worth staying in an unhappy home.

So, here I am, on the road again, for the money and the other reasons, reasons which have resulted in my having been invited to seven different Thanksgiving dinners. Which is just how blessed and lucky I am that I have that many people who love me, who care about me, and who worry that I am taken care of, seen, loved, embraced, and made to know I am counted as “family” during the holidays.

tovey, russell and doggie 4

I woke up with one of the species in this photo licking my face this morning. Alas, it was not Russell Tovey. But, you know . . . count the blessings you have (and Rocky’s feelings won’t be hurt by this because he can’t read – Rocky, the dog who slept next to me last night – I didn’t want people who know me to confuse the possibility that “Rocky” was yet another poor choice in men I had made.)

I am a lucky man. And this holiday has already started EXTREMELY well – despite the fact that I am still waiting for the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol to arrive. I thought they were showing up to congratulate the winner of the $7000 a week for life prize yesterday but I must be wrong as I have yet to hear from them. I’m sure this nasty winter storm criss-crossing the country has delayed them. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from them at any moment.

That aside; yesterday morning I was still home and got to spend time with some rarely seen and delightful relatives. Then, left the homestead to begin my holiday house-sitting gigs but first I got to see my dear C for lunch. And he’s old enough to legally drink now. So we had lunch and cabernet. That was terribly wonderful and fun. He’s also someone I can say pretty much anything to and he doesn’t judge. That’s even more terribly wonderful and fun than the cabernet.

Evening came and I got to have dinner and delightful conversations and some more cabernet with my G family. And we watched DANCING WITH THE STARS and my boyfriend Derek Hough won AGAIN. Second year in a row and who knows how many times total. This time with Amber Riley from GLEE. I was really REALLY excited by this.

My stalker, Derek Hough - he just will NOT stop writing about me - and his partner, champion Amber Riley! So exciting.

My stalker, Derek Hough – he just will NOT stop writing about me – and his partner, champion Amber Riley! So exciting.

I headed back to my house-pet-sit gig and read for a while. Soon it was 1a.m. and I was not tired. I was wired. The combination of cabernet and really REALLY strong coffee which I had been drinking all evening made it almost impossible for me to unwind and sleep. I tried. I went to bed. This house has THE MOST comfortable mattress EVER. The bed was luxurious but sleep was – well – I fell into it off and on but I woke up at least once every half-hour or so and tossed and turned and tripped to the bathroom. All of which did not disturb in the least my darling Rocky, who had joined me a few minutes after I got into the bed.

Lord but I had forgotten how MUCH I love having a little, lap-sized dog curl into my hip or under my arm, and how amazingly cheering it is to wake in the morning and have the dog realize you are ready to get up and jump on your chest and cuddle and lick and kiss. Even though it was only 6:30a.m. and I was pretty exhausted from lack of sleep, I smiled and laughed and was filled with joy.

publishers-clearing-house-fc3127bf5cb4157c

Yes, this has been a really good holiday so far. Now Publishers Clearing House … FIND ME.

 

… just a few minutes … please … someone to fall back on …

It would be SO nice to be carried for a while, just, even, a few minutes, instead of being the one doing the lifting and propping up. I could really, REALLY use a real embrace. I know. Whiner. Even, I think, if I could just find someone who gets that “I am no prince, I am no saint” but who still feels with their heart that the little bit of Light & Love I am is what they want and need. “And I’ll be that, I’ll take your side; If I’m the only one – I’m used to that. I’ve been alone. I’d rather be the half of us; the least of you; the best of me. And I’ll be your prince; I’ll be your saint; I will go crashing through fences in your name. I will. I swear. I’ll be someone to fall back on. I’ll be the one who waits and for as long as you let me, I will be the one you need. I’ll be someone to fall back on. Your prince. Your saint. The one you believe you need. I’ll be … I’ll be … someone to fall back on.” Please. Please. Please.

momma and charlie cropped Mommy & Charlie 1 001

I’m just kind of exhausted. As in, decades worth.

C PURPLE4C PURPLE3C PURPLE2C PURPLE1

Every time someone asks me for a picture … I don’t know what to send … who am I?

April 2013 5sa david horchbaby foot charlie_edited-1 (2)C BLOG 6sissie 2no smoking2Charlie attitudesue and charliecharlie at 3ny chris kyle

I have no fucking idea anymore.

cody charliec blog 3C BLOG 2

And, can a picture capture anything? I mean, what are they looking for? Who are they looking for?

brideshead love scenecheyenne jacksonlange paulsonlibertytown coverPatti-LuPone-2Greeks & Greek Love

Because no one EVER really knows you – the connections and synaptic leaps that make you –

allenAlison and CharlieApril 2013 4charlie upside downcl shot 8ny st patrick's masscharlie algonquincollage

charlie smith not famous and google never heard of him not living in new york not published and no guggenheims

charlie smith not famous and google never heard of him not living in new york not published and no guggenheims

may 20 ghostcharlie and luckyAlison and Charlie 2jesus

Late teens...vowed to be like no one else but me. Yeah, right.

Late teens…vowed to be like no one else but me. Yeah, right.

April 2013happy charlieCWS and CSWCHARLIE COLLAGEbaby foot charlieA SINGLE MAN GIF

You don’t know me. You’ll never know me. And if you did …

Look … just, please, hold me up. A little while. I just want my back rubbed and to be carried ONCE. I want someone else to do the cleaning and the cooking and the bending.

ONCE. I am exhausted. And I have won nothing. There are no prizes. Okay, Great, Just, HOLD ME UP FOR A WHILE. Pretend you love me. One. Fucking. Day. As is often the case, Jason Robert Brown says it ..

… i don’t believe in much … but sometimes there’s diva so quickly … (sorry Mr. Williams)

In the words of Mr. Tennessee Williams – sort of – “Sometimes there’s Diva so quickly.”  Yes, just when you feel you are at the bottom, a musical theatre diva rushes in to save the day and make you believe again.

Sundays.

When I was a child, the family would gather at my grandfather’s house in Libertytown,  the house run and kept up by my aunt, Sissie, who gave me musical theatre and books and taught me early and lasting lessons about the meaning and cost of faith and unconditional love.

My sister died last month.

libertytown coverSundays. They’re terribly difficult for my Mom, especially since my sister, Peggy, died. So, today, I picked my Mom up and we drove through our old neighborhoods, through Libertytown and the now decaying, declining, decrepit Libertytown house, and on and on, to Oak Orchard Road past the house where I spent my first eleven years, and a million (it seemed) other places she – my wonderful Mom who has of late taught me later lessons about faith and unconditional love – once lived or where people she knew lived; we toured the landmarks of our lives.

Then we went to the country restaurant at which she said she wanted to eat today. While sitting there, she pointed to her sweatshirt and said, “Do you know where this came from?”

Sundays. You don’t know my Mom, but that sentence – since Peggy died – is the introduction to a Peggy story and tears. Peggy had bought my Mom the sweatshirt she was wearing, in fact, Peggy bought her two of them because my Mom couldn’t decide what color she wanted.

“She always did things like that.” My Mom said. And cried. And told me that last night as she had been heading for bed she broke down again. It happens a lot at bedtime.

I don’t cry when she does this. I want to be strong for her. I want her to know she can cry as often and as much as she needs to when she is with me. But, it is – sometimes – very difficult to hold it together – for lots of reasons and today I was having a horrible, horrible time because I found out that someone I really liked, really thought – well – in any event – they are returning to Texas, were leaving today, and, anyway – I was sad about that too and …

My phone buzzed. It was a Tweet notice. And here it was:

  1. thank you again, lovely Charlie. xo

Yes, Miss Betty Buckley, genius actress of theatre, especially musical theatre, brilliant cabaret artist and loving gift to the universe, somehow chose that moment to AGAIN thank me for my blog about her from November 9 (CLICK HERE TO READ). How amazing is that? I must have called out to the universe and Miss Betty Buckley felt it and responded with kindness.

I believe in almost NOTHING anymore. I don’t believe in god. I don’t really believe in love (or, I am trying not to) and I certainly don’t believe in ever after or happy endings. I don’t believe my friends will always be my friends. I don’t believe I can be trusted to choose who to love. I don’t believe I deserve love. I don’t believe it all works out in the end. I don’t believe in karma. I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. I don’t believe in anything . . .

. . . except, MUSICAL THEATRE and its DIVAS. Because – despite my MiracleCharlie sobriquet, I have experienced damned few miracles, damned few even good moments of late, but there, today, when I thought I might just collapse into sorrow, my phone vibrated with the brilliant loving Light and Kindness of Miss Betty Buckley.  And, as fate would have it, I had explained previously to my Mom how much Miss Buckley’s Tweet originally had meant to me – and how kind she had been to me in New York after “Sunset Boulevard” and how much Peggy had loved “Eight is Enough” (she named one of her sons Nicholas because of it) and so – Miss Buckley’s Tweet gave me an interruption to distract my Mom from her sadness.

So, I believe in Musical Theatre. And its DIVAS. Its goddesses. And, once again, I am grateful to the inimitable and amazing Miss Buckley for rescuing me from my sadness.

… zeit-bites saturday … bad movies my ass BuzzFeed …

So, BuzzFeed has listed 28 Bad Movies To Watch With Your Gay Friends (click it to read) and I am totally fucking offended and appalled.

BAD? BAD MOVIES? You DARE to call “Valley of the Dolls” and “Burlesque” BAD?

SPARKLE NEELY SPARKLE

Fuck you, BuzzFeed. Patty Duke should have won an Oscar for her portrayal of Neely O’Hara. She has been my role model throughout my entire life. I have emulated the faux Garland-esque style of Miss Duke/O’Hara, ever since I was a youngster and saw this work of cinematic genius adapted from an equally BRILLIANT literary tour de force by the Proust of our times – Miss Jacqueline Susann – which I also read before the age of ten. This explains a great deal I think – that I read Miss Jacqueline Susann’s oeuvre prior to puberty – and too, “Diary of a Mad Housewife” and “Portnoy’s Complaint” the reading of which coincided with my first episode of chafed penis but that’s a story for another time. Where was I? Oh, right, “Valley of the Dolls” – IT IS NOT A BAD MOVIE. It is genius. And in addition to Patty, there is Miss Barbara Parkins – of “Peyton Place” and endless ABC Movies of the Week fame. And Sharon Tate. I mean – SHARON FUCKING TATE! And Lee Grant. AND IF THAT ISN’T ENOUGH: SUSAN HAYWARD. Okay? Susan “I’m A Lesbian but Will Never Come Out Just Like Barbara Stanwyck” Hayward – doing an Ethel Merman impersonation?  THIS MOVIE IS BRILL! Look!

AND THIS?

The number of times I have played this scene. Please. BAD MOVIE? I think not.

And, while not in the same class as the classic “Dolls” – you, BuzzFeed, dare to denigrate “Burlesque”? Uhm: CHER? ALAN CUMMING? STANLEY PLEASE LET ME SUCK EVERY INCH OF YOUR PERFECTION TUCCI? And DEREK PLEASE STOP STALKING ME (more on that later) HOUGH’s sister (her name escapes me – she matters not except that she is HIS sister) Are you freaking crazy? Look!

Oh no you di’n’t!

Christina isn’t bad either. But she’s not YET a Gaycon. Pretty fucking close though.

So, reading this article made me think of all the times I have watched these movies and all the people I have forced to watch them with me. I went to see “Burlesque” six times with six different people. That’s a lie. I went with four different people. I went alone twice. So what? And I own the DVDs of both. And how many evenings have I spent forcing – I mean – SHARING “Valley of the Dolls” with gays in training? You do NOT want to know. BUT EVERYONE WHO I HAVE MADE WATCH THESE MOVIES SHOULD BE THANKING ME FOR CHANGING THEIR DULL BORING MISERABLE YOU WERE CLEARLY MISSING SOMETHING LIVES. Even the gays in training who turned out to be not. Or, rather, especially those who turned out to be – not quite gay – but definitely DICKS.

I am a good gay. No doubt. I just look bad from the outside. Sort of. That’s not exactly what I meant. ALTHOUGH, speaking of – any aspiring authors out there who think getting rejected by Literary Agents (I capitalize so if one is reading she will understand just how much I HONOR and FEAR the breed) is rough – you should try being a gay over 40 – I MEAN – 30 – and trying to hook up with people – I MEAN – meet people via social media forums. FUCKING BRUTAL. Or, rather, more like – brutal NON-FUCKING.

HOWEVER – on a positive note – and I am definitely Pollyanna – yesterday I came out of the place where I get my hair cut and there’s a note on my windshield. In a delightful change of pace from the written communications I usually receive (see above lengthy aside comparing Lit Agents to social media gay-ups) which are along the lines of “YOU ARE NOT FOR ME” – referring either to my prose or my penis – THIS NOTE SAID: “Your left rear tire is dangerously low on air and you should do something about it right away. Love, a friend who cares about you.”

Wow. Obviously a friend I don’t know. Because NONE of my friends would notice a tire low on air. I just put air in my tires a week ago. And this one was dangerously low. I need new tires. Which I cannot under any circumstances afford. I haven’t even been able to pay my parking ticket. BUT – Tuesday November 26 this will all change when the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol shows up at my door. Well, not my door, cause I’ll be house/pet sitting – HOLY SHIT – WHAT IF THEY CAN’T FIND ME? How will I ever pay off my now shut-down credit cards and auto insurance and buy all the office supplies and ink I need from Office Depot and start buying from AMAZON again (they sent me a “we miss you” card last week) and . . .

hough derek runShit – hold on – GPS. If I can find the tricks  – I MEAN – places I’ve found with my GPS, surely PCH PRIZE PATROL can find me? Right? RIGHT? I mean, Derek Hough doesn’t seem to have any trouble keeping up with me – and really, Derek, this is getting embarrassing – I’m old enough to be your – well, DADDY!

Gotta run. Amber and Derek’s finale dance isn’t gonna choreograph itself.

… my life … really? … it’s come to THIS? … but NO …. swing down chariot . . .

SOMEBODY GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE …

He writes:

“Hey I’m 21 white 5.9 145 average slim build 7cut no pix but good looking brown hair blue eyes… live in spring ridge. What do u look like?  How old any pix?”

I answer that I am not Brad Pitt but not repugnant. I do not offer my genital dimensions. I do not send pictures.

“Do u wanna hook up  somewhere private or something? I have roommate so somewhere safe like the Weis in spring Ridge is open 24 hrs a day and dead at night so bathroom there maybe??”

I don’t answer at all. I am, instead, reading a book and wondering JUST HOW this got to be my life. A bathroom? In a grocery store? What the actual fuck?

I cry. I listen to a song. Swing down chariot and get me the fuck out of here . . .  Chaka makes EVERYTHING better. I sang this like a madman in my youth in my room … I didn’t just do musical theatre.