T IS ONE O'CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON. I am stretched out on my couch smoking a joint rolled with Humboldt's finest. Johnny Cash serenades me as I puff. I believe the gods are confused. The air today feels more like New York in August than Los Angeles in June. My window fan does little to air out my living room, so I take off my clothes.
A framed portrait of Frida Kahlo hangs from the wall. I think of Frida as Johnny sings, close my eyes, and melt in the afternoon; the satin sheet draped over my sofa soothes my skin.
Why does the goddamn phone always have to ring just when I feel I'm about to reach Nirvana?
Nakedness is divine. The gods can see me stretched out naked and they wish they had flesh and bone.
The phone rings. I am catapulted back by the simultaneous ring-vibration just inches from my hand. Why does the goddamn phone always have to ring just when I feel I'm about to reach Nirvana? I want very much to ignore the phone's interruption, but if I do, I might be missing out on something very important, so with eyes still shut, I answer it.
"Hello," I say.
"Hi, Monica. It's Adelina," says my ex-girlfriend. The funny thing about Adelina is that she calls me and acts like we're totally cool. She owes me several hundred dollars, and is holding on to several prized possessions of mine.
"Hey, Ade. I was just thinking of you as I approached the horizons of my enlightenment. How are you?" The funny thing about me is that even though I am very bothered by Adelina, I act civil enough for her to believe that we're almost totally cool.
"I'm fine," she says, a shabby attempt to cover up. I can tell she's been crying. That much is obvious, and for some strange reason (like she left me), that brings me great delight. She hesitates before saying, "What are you doing?"
"Meditating," I say, and I guess it's kind of true.
"Are you naked?" she asks me, and she laughs when she asks it, which means she knows the difference between sexy and comical, but got lost somewhere in the awkward in between.
"No, I'm wearing clothes," I lie. I don't want her to think I'm amused by these antics, even though I am.
"Maybe we can make a deal to work off that debt I owe you. What do you think?" I think you want me to come over and fuck your sorry ass, is what I think but don't say.
"Hmmm. What do you have in mind?" I ask, for the sake of torturing us both.
"I could come over...I could clean your house...I could wear a very short skirt with no panties...I could bend over to..." she there begins a very detailed litany of lesbian sex acts that might exonerate her of her debt to me. By the time she finishes her proposition, I confess to be tempted. But I, being a woman of principle (and stoned rather than drunk), refuse to budge.
"You know, Ade, I'm not much interested in a prostitute at this time. But thanks for the offer," is what I tell her.
"Fuck you," she says, then hangs up the phone. Three days later I get a check for $200 and a box containing my rings, my letters, several cds, two pairs of jeans, and some socks. No letter. No message, other than silence, which itself echoes the last thing she said to me.
My new bike weighs no more than eight pounds. It can carry me for miles and miles along the beach path and I cruise past everyone and don't feel any stress in my legs. The people that walk the path are diverse, yet easily categorized: pregnant blondes that wear yoga pants and pastel colored track jackets, elderly couples clad in white striped shirts and white walking shoes, young Mexican couples with at least four kids that look like they were born consecutively, etc. Same folks every day, except not really.
My new bike carries me like the wind. Sometimes I race with my friend Kristin all the way to Huntington Beach and stay the afternoon. Watch the surfers. Read a book. Smoke a joint. Ride back. We go fast, but I think I'm faster. I'm like a bullet. I'm becoming a superhero. Tomorrow I'll tie a cape to my shoulders, and I'll probably take flight.
Turns out I'm invincible. Over the weekend Kristin and I went white-water rafting on the American River. What an animal! Class V rapids the entire seventeen mile stretch. On the thirteenth mile our raft flipped. Kristin and I could have easily drowned. Fortunately, I discovered I have gills and fins for such occasions. I discovered it just in time to save Kristin and myself from tragic early deaths.
Sex, Drugs, and Metaphysics: the Breakup Memoirs continues...