Thursday, November 29, 2007

On Rome Time

It’s 4 am.

“You awake?”
“Me, too.”

We talk until the skies lighten to a steel gray.

We take Betty to Central Park before work, stopping along the way to pick up huge, steaming cups of American coffee.

The leaves have finally fallen from the trees, and Betty zips through them, tail wagging. We stroll through the park, reliving moments from the trip. Finally, spiceboy asks, “What time is it?”

We have both forgotten our cell phones, our watches.
We are still on Rome time.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Rome is like a good dream I want to keep having.

The sun shines through the trees along the Tiber, lighting them a brilliant gold.

I buy an arancia from the woman at the market, and carefully count out my coins. It feels like small miracle to have accomplished this simple act.

At Volpetti in the Testaccio, I practice my Italian by naming the fillings in the chocolates, and the clerk hands me a stick of zuccine fritti as a reward.

We hold hands and follow the river home all the way home.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


My bad luck streak from last week continues.

I had to have a tooth extracted this week. As I sat in the cold chair somewhere high above Madison Avenue, waiting for the massive amounts of Novocain that my oral surgeon pumped into my face to take effect, I noticed an ipod and speakers in the room.

"What kind of music would you like to listen to?" Dr. Gray asked.

I've never been a person who listens to music to relax, so the thought of choosing a soundtrack to go along with the act of prying my tooth from its happy home in my jaw was beyond my comprehension. There's no music that goes along with "abject fear".

"Most people don't object to the Beatles," said the chipper doctor.

And so he leaned over me, and I trembled as he reached into my mouth with a big pair of tooth pliers. He sang along with the CD as he worked:

Get back, get back.

Get back, get back.

Back to where you once belonged

Get back Jo.

There was a loud pop! and I jumped.

"Sorry about the noise," said Dr. Gray, then resumed his singing and prying.

When it was over, Dr. Gray explained what he had done, gesturing with his rubber gloves, which were glistening with bright, horrible blood. John, Paul, George, and Ringo sang on in the background.

"Can I see it?" I asked. Why did I ask that?

The assistant held out the tooth on a metal tray. It was gruesome-looking and much bigger than I thought--who knew molars were so large?

I was suddenly energized by the blood and the Beatles and the fact that I was free of my problem tooth. I practically skipped to the front desk, where the nurse handed me an ice pack and told me to eat soft foods and not to exercise strenuously for several days (not a problem, as I can't actually remember the last time I exercised at all, let alone strenuously).

Then she handed me a prescription for Percocet. "In case you need it," she said.

I was full of Novocain courage. "I don't think I'll need it," I slurred from the un-numb side of my face. "I feel pretty good."

The nurse smiled.

The Novocain wore off about 5 hours later.

I needed the Percocet.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The stress level at work has now been at Code Red for as long as I can remember, culminating last week in a string of mini frustrations and major catastrophes.

Several projects were on the verge of falling apart.

Authors were calling and crying.

Agents were calling and yelling.

Every time I tried to use an office machine, be it photocopier, printer, or fax, it would jam or break, prompting many dirty looks from my coworkers. Repairmen were called. Numerous times.

Everything I was working on was super late.

And just to make things consistent, my period followed suit, leaving me a stressed, bloated, hormonal mess.

But I finally got my period this morning.

And the projects that were falling apart last week are slowly but surely getting resolved.

I even managed to use both the printer and the photocopier today without breaking them.

Finally, my coworker just informed me she can get me a 40% discount on anything I want from Anthropologie.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!