Carlotta on Telegraph Ave

THURSDAY — Who comes sexy-sashaying up to my fish stand this afternoon? The lovely Carlotta, who used to work with me and flirt with me at Macy's. She was surprised to see me, and me her, and we talked for ten minutes. She's unemployed — laid off from Macy's a few weeks ago, along with everyone else in my old department, from Babs to Kallie. Which reminds me, I ought to give Kallie a call.

This was the first I'd heard that everyone I knew is gone from Macy's now, but it's not surprising. Always knew that ship was sinking. It's why I jumped overboard.

Lottie is looking for a new job, has her application in all over San Francisco, but her husband makes good money so she says it's not a worry if it takes her months to find a new job.

She asked, "How in the hell did you end up selling fish?" and I explained how I'd done odd jobs, and how that had led to selling fish, but left out any mention of the zine. The zine is always on a need-to-know basis, and nobody in my real life needs to know.

Maybe because I'm so reclusive, a loner who's lonely… a pretty face gets my attention, and a pretty face that smiles at me gets my undivided attention. Just a few months ago, Lottie was the pretty face smiling at me, and I thought she was the most fabulous babe in the universe. Sometimes I had a sore arm from all the whacking off.

You think now I'm moderately obsessed with Sarah-Katherine? Look at the January issue of this zine for some real obsessing.

There was never any possibility of anything with Carlotta, of course. She's married and normal and perfectly accessorized every day. I'm fat, not normal, wearing a thrift store wardrobe. She flirted with me at Macy's, toyed with me and I enjoyed being a toy, and I melted for her like a grilled cheese sammich she'd never eat. And today on Telegraph, she never said a word that could conceivably be misconstrued as inappropriate.

Now I work up the street from a university campus, crowded even in the summertime, and see hundreds of attractive young women every day. I do dearly love the view — it's the only perk of the job.

So today one of the pretty women passing by was someone I once sorta knew, Carlotta, and we talked and laughed about old times, people we'd known. Then we said goodbye, and as always I rather enjoyed watching her walk away.

♦ ♦ ♦

I've wondered whether Sarah-Katherine is just the next pretty face that's got my attention by smiling at me. She has it, for sure… the pretty face, and my attention, and if she's toying with me like Carlotta did, at least she's not just teasing. If we're 'only' friends, we're friends with benefits. And she is a friend — we see the world the same way, as the rotten daily catastrophe it is.

There's no denying that I like Sarah-Katherine, more than she likes me. Probably that'll be a problem, and probably it's all a mistake, and if so, so be it. I've made bigger mistakes, and undoubtedly even bigger mistakes are yet to come.

When she comes to her senses, she'll walk away too, but for as long as she's smiling at me, I'll enjoy it. 

♦ ♦ ♦

FRIDAY — Haven't gone to the movies all month, and tonight there's a Quentin Tarantino double feature at the UC Theater. I'd been hoping to see it, but I'm tired, sweaty and sunburned from selling fish all day, woefully behind on fleshing out these diary entries, and besides, the UC is such a gamble. Something always seems to go wrong there — missing reels, missing subtitles, too-talky customers, stale popcorn.

Whatever goes wrong at the UC tonight, I won't be there to see it, hear it, taste it. I'm skipping tonight's Tarantino, to read zines and eat peanut butter sandwiches instead, and think about things that need to be thought about.

From Pathetic Life #14
Thursday & Friday, July 27-28, 1995

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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