The mediocrity that is me
"Only In Dreams..."
Rivers Cuomo, you are most certainly my hero at times.
This song rocks my socks off like no other.
I can barely see it with my eyes closed. With my eyes
open, it all but disappears. But with my eyes screwed
shut, blurred and uncertain edges begin to take shape.
The less I concentrate on them, the more they solidify,
until I finally realize what I'm doing, and the whole
fantasy disappears like a dream --- the harder I try to
remember, the more I forget, until it's just a vague
memory that I'm not even sure existed in my subconscious
mind in the first place.
There's a house. It's a small house, and the only person
who lives there permanently is me. It's not in a
particularly upper-class neighborhood, and it is
definitely not in suburbia. There's a park down the
block, a huge park, with a pond in the back left side
where an eccentric-looking old man feeds the ducks every
afternoon, and huge trees, and picnic benches with recycle
bins next to them, and a small playground.
I'm sitting there, under the tree by the pond reading a
book and listening to my new mix CD. The clouds make
random shadows on the grass next to me.
I walk back to the house, and open the front door. I
don't have a key with me because the door is never
locked. A dog --- a black lab --- runs up to great me
with an old tennis ball in his mouth, begging me to throw
it. I clean his dish and fill it with clean water, and
then I pour dog food into his food dish.
The kitchen is by far the best part of the house. The
refridgerator is covered with magnets, including one that
sings "I believe in miracles..." when you push a red
button on the side of it. The magnets are holding up
pictures of people --- tons of different people, all of
them smiling and having fun. The best one is of a group
of us all at a coffee shop in the City, taken right after
we saw the Christmas tree at Rockafeller Center and
finished Christmas shopping.
The kitchen opens up into the living room, and there's a
large window-type opening, just to the right of the
kitchen phone where I can look into the living room. The
carpet in there is slightly worn and a dark brown color.
The couch is an absolutely hideous tannish shade and
clashes horribly, but hey, it was free, and besides, it is
the most comfortable couch you will ever sit on. The
walls are empty for the most part, with the exception of
the wall of music. It's a shelf filled with various CDs
and records that stands on the wall to the left of the
stereo and television, right next to the houseplant that
is surprisingly still green.
I look through the records and the CDs, trying to figure
out which one suits my mood for the day.
Pavement...Rocket From the Crypt...Weezer...Elvis...Bad
Religion. I end up pulling out an old Frank Sinatra
record that I haven't listened to in a while. The record
player was a Christmas gift from an old boyfriend, the
only person I ever could have seen myself actually
marrying, if things had been slightly different. If I was
It's nine at night, but I feel like eating breakfast
anyway, especially since I missed it that morning. I whip
up a batch of blueberry waffles to Sinatra's voice singing
out "New York New York" from the speakers. I grab the
spatula and pretend it's a microphone.
The phone rings. It's an old friend. I invite him over
for my famous meal of breakfast for dinner. He brings
We finish making the waffles, and move on to eggs and then
bacon, and finally, we're finished, and neither one of us
can eat another bite. I put on something else, like Guns
and Roses or Weezer (the Blue album), and we do the dishes
to the blaring music, and I am pretending to be a rock
star once again. We talk and laugh, and then dance
together in the living room, spin, and dip, and for a
second, I'm not laughing, I'm lost in reminiscence. But
it only lasts a second, and then we laugh, and stop and
finish the dishes.
I take out the trash, which is mostly bottles from a party
from the night before and the eggshells from dinner. I
can see my breath. It's so dark outside; billions of
stars are visible. I pick out the Big Dipper, and then I
walk back inside.
I grab a couple of Coronas out of the fridge, and then we
go outside to sit on the couch in the backyard, which is
really nothing special. We look at the stars and talk
until two in the morning, about various insecurites and
beliefs, and random unimportant stuff. Then he leaves and
I grab the leash off the hook and walk the dog around the
It starts raining. Well, barely raining --- misting is
more like it --- but we come back inside anyway. I make
hot chocolate on the stove and give the dog a treat, then
curl up on the couch in my pajamas with my dark blue down
blanket wrapped around me, and fall asleep to the sounds
of "My Fair Lady" on the television.