My friend, Regina (aka "Reginator") has read my blog before, and thought it was ok, but said it lacks the personal flourishing and charming touches of my emails. I can't help it... I avoid most things personal because... well, it's a blog -- on the screaming, stupid, public highway of the internet. But to bend to the will of the Reginating honorary Istanbulian, I'm embellishing an email I sent her yesterday to see if I'm more on track with being the weirdo I really am. Here goes...
So, this is a little bit of old news, but I gave Mika (he's a standard poodle), his "Christmas Eve bath." Somehow, during that 45 minute window every year, he bends space and time, and through cunning doggie use of the theory of relativity, turns his 50 or so pounds of mass into 725. It's like his body turns into lead and darkmatter. A little collapsed neutron star on the black and white tiled floor. I go to lift him in the tub and he hunkers down like Ghandi or a drunken roommate and, through passive resistance, tries to prevent me from getting him into that tub. Then I can't help but laugh because the situation's just so ridiculous. And my laughter is like self-induced Kryptonite -- I turn into even more of a feeb, and he still hasn't budged an inch. So we're both on the bathroom floor, but only one of us finds it amusing.
He gets a couple of baths a year, but somehow, the winter one is just the most comical -- probably because his coat is longer; he deflates from an unidentifiable variety of medium-sized dog to some unidentifiable shivering dog half his original size. But he got his bath. Oh yes he did. And once dried, he fluffed out to the point where it was almost embarrassing -- an embarrassment of riches, if riches were hair. He's softer than a cotton ball and cute as a stuffed animal with little button eyes, but he looks a little odd. I think he feels uncomfortable being that fluffy. Emasculated, perhaps. He hasn't been neutered, so he can't complain.
Do you ever have those awkward moments when you go to greet someone and you both say "hi" or "hello" at the same time and you're so thrown by that weird twin talk that you don't say anything else afterwards? Then there's that void... These moments mostly happen with people you don't know that well, but feel compelled to say "hello" to. Do you know what I mean? It might even be worse than the premature "hello" - the "hello" from a distance, where you then continue to walk towards each other with nothing else to say. Awkward. Like a shoulder-touching/butt-out hug.
Most of my friends and I are firm believers in the go-for-it, balls-to-the-wall, hug-like-you-mean-it-cause-you-better-if-you're-hugging-me hugs. The P-Funk hug. I am a believer in this form of hug.
The other night, I booked my return ticket from Barcelona and my RyanAir flight from Dublin to Bologna (we fly from Boston to Dublin via Aerlingus.) But Rach and I ran into a roadblock - there doesn't seem to be an easy way to get from Florence to Madrid, so I made the suggestion to go to Valencia instead (there are flights from Pisa to Valencia.) I know nothing about Valencia except they apparently invented a superior orange. The Lonely Planet website makes it look pretty cool, so I'm down. Rachel responded to my "Valencia?" email with "You know what I say? Fuck Madrid." So, she's down for Valencia. From there, we can take a train up to Barcelona and after a few days, we can leave for the US from there. We've been planning this trip in segments, so it's been a little fucked up, like jigsaw pieces from a bargain bin puzzle, but it's just impossible to plan the whole thing in advance. I have borderline self-diagnosed OCD. Bear with me.
Something I didn't include in the e-mail was a blurb of conversation from last night while I was talking to Rachel on the phone, preparing to purchase plane tickets. We were chatting about this and that before we got down to business... Here's a fragment of the conversation, when Rachel stopped suddenly, as though a whale of a thought just beached itself on the coastline of her mind (yay metaphors!):
Rachel: You know what I really want to see in person?
A-Town [thinking the Gaudy cathedral in Barcelona or something]: What?
Rachel: That water-skiing squirrel...
I'll be traveling around Europe for two weeks with that girl. And I am souped.