Father's Day

I slog off to meet dad with a hangover, its father's day and I've asked him to lunch. Dad. I spot him immediately in Union Square in his white jacket, navy polka dot tie, talking away on his celly. For a while his phone continues to ring nonstop and he tells people he must get off because he's with his daughter. All the calls are social, mind you, and require back stories which he gladly goes into explaining in between calls. Finally, he turns his phone off so they will all leave him alone. Some of the calls are from silly women who love to get caught up in dad's drama. Its amazing how easily one can piss my dad off, but then of course, he always wants to talk to them about it endlessly and apparently, so do they. What they did wrong and why he was upset, etc. One of his latest arguments involved a female friend who was livid that my father wouldn't even try to read her future because she's heard he's clairvoyant and has done this for other women. He insisted this wasn't true, but she didn't believe him and they got in a terrible row about it.

We sit down at a restaurant to eat. We have to move at least three times because dad doesn't like it when people sit too close to him. If someone's chair accidentally touches his when they move I really believe he dies a bit inside. He also believes this always happens to him because people are so drawn to him, that even when the restaurant is empty everyone wants to sit near him.

Dad always gives me some sort of semi-precious stone to attract all kinds of fortune whenever I see him. This time he tells me to pick a hand. In one hand he holds the stone meant for luck, and in the other hand he holds the stone that brings love. I choose luck so dad gives me both. A malachite owl for luck and a rose quartz heart for love.

The clouds look very dark and we're sitting outside but dad says it won't rain for a while because he doesn't want it to. This man has a great deal of faith in the power of his thoughts. His, not anyone else's mind you. He's tried to teach me this mastery of mind-control, but so far, nobody he's tried to teach has been able to reach his level of god-like powers. He feels sorry for everyone for lacking his powers.

Its because of these powers that most people who call him want advice on everything from their marriages to legal matters. He sighs and tells me how hard it is for the entire community of Astoria, Queens to count on him for everything. They all wanted him to run for local councilman for a while but he declined. Instead, he has meetings at the local cafes where he gives his advice for free. A formal position would taint it all and possibly interfere with his powers. His latest meeting with some of the locals involved sending letters to a man they've decided they collectively hate. A feud between the man and my father that he has now involved all of Astoria in. Dad has convinced them all to tell this man what a despicable character he is in writing. The man moved to Colombia three months ago, but that doesn't stop dad, because he feels the man should know how many angry Astorians he's left behind. One woman says this man lifted her skirt once in the street for kicks. This is not funny stuff, and dad wants each person to tell him so in writing.

Then dad tells me if he wanted to he could make our waitress fall in love with him, but he's not going to bother because he doesn't have the energy for women that young anymore. Most of lunch is spent with each one of us not really listening to the other because we are too focused on what we will be saying next. Its a game of who gets the attention and in the end I always win by getting teary-eyed and dramatic about something going on in my life. He gets very sympathetic here, dad hates to see me upset. I think it hurts him more than it does me. Sometimes this tactic really backfires because I then have to console him about it endlessly. I say, "See this is why I don't tell you when I'm upset anymore, because it just makes you too upset!" This undermines dad's powers so he pulls himself together quickly and insists that those were the old day-ways, and he's just fine and knows I will be too.

Then we go to the Buddhist center where I practice at dad's suggestion. I chant for a while. Dad claims to be meditating, but really I think he's just napping. Outside the center he charms everyone with his stories about all the various guru's he's followed since the sixties. They seem to think he's great and one woman even compliments his white jacket. He looks at me with a smile as if to say, "didn't I tell you this jacket was great?" It is. And so is dad.

Ode to Pebbles

My dog laps up the water that leaks from the fridge and as I watch him I think its absolutely brilliant. He's not ashamed, he's just thirsty and that's as good a water as any. I think that's what I love most about dogs. They do things that would be considered degrading if they weren't dogs, and make us grapple with the how insecure we are about our basic needs to eat, sleep, fuck, and be loved. Its unabashed and so endearing because there is no inner monologue or social rules to stop them from being exactly who they are and acting exactly how they feel. Even a well-trained dog is only doing so to get your love and treats, and they're not trying to hide this fact in any way. Isn't this why we have pets, so we can live vicariously through them?

Then, there are cat people. Cat people are strange, because cats play all sorts of mind games and withhold love and affection and that sort of thing. I never understood the joy in owning one when life is already filled with dealings of this kind, and I really feel we could use a break from it all. I think that if you derive a great deal of satisfaction from having to work hard to win the love and approval of your pet, you're so fucked. I really do. I apologize in advance because I realize this is judgmental, but I don't see the fun in coming home to a hard day of work and trying to coax your cat into affection. A dog is always happy to see you and that's true love as far as I am concerned. Cat people be damned, you're weird.

I'll end by saying that I do love one cat. She lives in LA. She's a chub and she has google-eyes and she's quite the diva. She's not into games and she tells you like it is. Her name is Pebbles. I do love me some Pebbles...

Always a Lady

A friend's mother in Colombia once pulled my friend and I aside to give us an important life lesson on how to behave like a lady. Forget that this woman looked nothing like a "lady" to me because what she told us made a great deal of sense. Anyway, she said "Girls, when you go out to a party or anywhere you will be consuming alcohol, make sure to stay away from any mixed drinks or sugary cocktails. If you drink those you will drink too much too fast, and before you know it, you will be acting foolish. What you must do is get something really strong, like scotch on the rocks, which you will sip slowly. Just nurse one of those all night long, and you will always behave like a lady."

Well after years of foolish behavior, I decided to take her up on this advice. So, the other night while I was out- where was I? Oh yes, Chinatown, I ordered myself a scotch. Neat, fuck the ice, I am a goddamned princess. The Asian bartender looked at me kind of funny, served my drink and asked if I was a lesbian. I just laughed and said, "No silly. I'm a lady." And boy, did that work out well! I swear, everything that came out of my mouth that night was pure, lady-like talk. I mean, I didn't completely follow the advice, because I didn't stop at just one. I snuck some sugar packets into it and it really improved the taste, but a lady is always resourceful. So, thank you Mrs. Bustamante, you have changed my life. I'm pretty sure if I could remember that night well enough to tell you about it, you would be very proud of me.

You could sponsor this woman-child

My friend told me you can get an advertising sponsor through these things. So, here it goes:

I love Jaguars. They make me hot. I wish I could have sex in a Jaguar. Then again, BMW's are good too. So are Ford's, domestic is hot.

This isn't going very well.

Did I mention how much I love Diet Coke? This one's for real. Seriously, I don't even care about cars, but Diet Coke is my shit. Ask anyone.

Uh... yeah... so Jaguars...