June 4, 2001
Sunday Will Never Be The Same


Sunday Morning, Circa June 1998:

It's 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, and I am already parked in front of the computer.

If it's one of the Really Bad Mornings, I'm probably on my second bottle of Lemon-Ice Gatorade, desperately praying for the Imodium A-D to kick in. If, on the other hand, it's one of the Not-Completely-Bad Mornings (read this: if I didn't mix wine and beer the night before, and/or didn't set anything on fire) then I am probably starting to think about breakfast.

Eggs. I have to have eggs: three of them, either fried in margarine, or else scrambled with cheese and topped with a huge dollop of salsa. And toast. And bacon, if I've got it ... or else a few of those little round Jimmy Dean sausage patties I love ... or even a big hunk of fried turkey ham. (I don't like "regular" ham. The pink color reminds me too much of pig. But turkey ham is permissible.) All of this is washed down, of course, by a bazillion gallons of muddy black coffee ... and as much ice water, 7-Up and loperamide hydrochloride as my poor overloaded system can process.

An hour after I eat breakfast, of course, I'll start to feel bloated and horrible. That's when the hangover REALLY starts to kick in.

The morning creeps by in a gassy, headachey blur. I sit in front of the computer, using one of my *auxiliary* screen names, listlessly downloading .wav files and skulking around the Internet. If I manage to make it into the shower by noon, it will be nothing short of a miracle: otherwise, I'm probably going to spend most of the day lounging around in the same stinky Benchmade Knife Company T-shirt and faux leopard skin leggings I was wearing the night before. It's not like I'm expecting Prince Charles for tea, after all. The only person I know in Oregon is The Ex-Boyfiend, and frankly I'm not in the mood for any of his crabby, long-winded Young-Republican-Turned-Old-Republican political commentary (or his snide remarks about my lifestyle). 

Just to be on the safe side ... I unplug my phone.

I spend the bulk of my Sunday wandering back and forth between the computer and the sofa. The computer stuff is mostly damage-control from the night before: apologizing for that crude and inappropriate e-mail I sent ... apologizing for my crude and inappropriate behavior in the chat room ... apologizing for crudely and inappropriately passing out in the middle of another i.m. conversation. ("My computer crashed again.")  Every forty-five minutes or so I crawl across the room and lay face-down on the sofa for a while ... just until the room stops spinning again.

Then it's right back onto the computer.

By the middle of the afternoon I'm feeling marginally better. In fact, I'm beginning to think about how I might procure my Sunday evening supply of alcohol.

I wasn't planning to drink again tonight. Honest. I was going to do my laundry and clean up my messy apartment and get myself ready for another miserable work week. But it seems like such a shame to waste a perfectly good Sunday evening sober.

I have two choices: I can either get dressed, slap on a little Maybelline, run a comb through my hair ... scrounge up $1.25 for bus fare and walk all the way down the little crooked alley to the bus stop ... take the #32 into downtown Oregon City, then walk five long blocks to my bank and extract my pathetic life savings (probably somewhere in the neighborhood of eighteen dollars and seventy-two cents) ... walk another two excruciating blocks to the grocery store ... buy myself a box of wine and/or a half-case of beer (plus a couple of *decoy purchases* -- a can of cream of mushroom soup, maybe, or a fondue set -- just so the snooty clerk won't figure out that I'm only there to buy alcohol again) ... lug my insanely-heavy grocery bags back to the bus stop ... catch the #32 going home ... hobble up the hill from the bus stop and all the way down the little crooked alley to my apartment, where I finally collapse in a quivering heap of sweaty nauseated hungover exhaustion ...

... or else I can use sex to buy a ride to the store.

I plug the phone back into the jack and dial the Ex-Boyfiend's number.

One of these days I'll figure out a way to incorporate a little exercise into my weekend, I swear I will ... but right now I'm having too much "fun" living the life of the swinging, carefree bachelorette.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

Sunday Morning, Circa June 2001:

It's 6 a.m. and I am in the shower already.

Sleeping late has never really been my style. (At least, not since I was a teenager. And certainly not since I became a MOM.)  As an adult, I've always enjoyed getting up early, even on the weekends. In the old Dysfunctional Hungover Secra Days it was because I was still half-drunk when I woke up on Sunday morning, and I wanted to crawl out of bed and immediately start being dysfunctional some more. (Some of the wackiest e-mail/journal entries/AOL profiles I ever composed -- "Hobbies: Bungee-jumping off the hood of my car" -- were written on those hungover Sunday mornings.)

These days, though, I'm out of bed early because it feels so good.

Breakfast is coffee, orange juice and a banana. I'm foregoing the usual can of Slim Fast, in caloric anticipation of a Starbuck's stop, later in the morning.

David and I are both showered and dressed by 7:30 a.m. While I finish blotting my hair dry and applying a little Maybelline -- yes, I'm wearing makeup to go bike-riding: photo opps, don'tyouknow? -- David sits at the computer and writes message board posts.

I'm frankly envious.

Regardless of how great my life may be right now ... and my life is great, no question about it ... I do occasionally miss my Sunday Morning computer time. Weekend mornings used to be my favorite time to sit in front of the computer, with a hot cup of coffee or twelve, and catch up on e-mail ... read through the message boards ... surf the Internet for Tommy Roe CDs ... tinker under the hood of the website a little. Now my Sunday Morning computer time is gradually becoming a thing of the past: as obsolete as Size 16 blouses hanging in my closet.

(Or as obsolete as hangovers.)

it's like riding my bike in a fudking picture postcard

By 8 a.m. we are on our bikes, negotiating the first curve around Crab Cove State Park. The sun is shining, and there is virtually no breeze at all: the water on San Francisco Bay this morning is mirror-smooth, like glass, and as translucent-blue as my fiance's eyes.

By 9 a.m. we are cruising around Bay Farm Island. Sunshine, blue sky, palm trees, wildflowers, rocky beaches, shore birds ... and more of that perfect, pristine water, everywhere you look. Across the Bay, the San Francisco skyline twinkles in the morning sunlight. It's like riding my bike in the middle of a fudking picture postcard.

"People pay good money to come to places like this," I marvel. "And here it is, literally in my own backyard."

By 10 a.m. we are seated at an outdoor table in front of Starbucks, our bikes parked next to us. I have an almond latte and a blueberry scone in front of me: David is sitting cross-legged on the pavement at my feet, vigorously massaging my calves, while the women at the next table glare at me in frank and undisguised hatred.

If this isn't Heaven ... Heaven's got a lot of catching-up to do.

By 10:30 a.m. we are coasting to a stop in front of our apartment building. I've enjoyed our ride -- I always enjoy our rides -- but I'm looking forward to getting off the bike, easing out of my shoes, pouring a cup of coffee ... and sitting down in front of the computer for a little while. I've got a ton of e-mail to answer.

David checks the odometer. "You're a tenth of a mile short of fifteen miles," he announces. Yesterday we did fourteen miles, right on the nose. 

He looks at me. I look at him. 

The next thing I know ... we are on our way to the abandoned Navy Base for another three miles' worth of ride.

One of these days I'll figure out a way to incorporate a little computer-time back into my weekends, I swear I will.

Or  ...  maybe I won't.

one year ago: letter to franz
two years ago: executive assitude

throw a rock