Saturday evening, I left my house with an iCarly messenger bag—-containing two bottles of wine—-slung across my torso, and proceeded to walk to my friends Gina and Elissa’s house. They live in the same awesome Pittsburgh neighborhood as me, only about a mile away, and walking there was how I justified the fact that I was going to be drinking copious amounts of wine and eating snacks while on Weight Watchers.
I AM ALWAYS THINKING AHEAD.
A few blocks up from my house is this creepy old white house surrounded by a wrought iron fence and a front yard perpetually-laded with trash bags. I still can’t figure out if the middle-aged couple who live in this house are spouses or siblings. Either way, they have a distinct Grey Gardens-vibe going on. The first time Andrea was here visiting from California, she was on my porch smoking when the sister-lady approached her about a Barbershop Quartet that was playing at some church.
Because Andrea looks like the type who hangs out at churches being sung to by moustachioed assholes in hats.
This is a photo of their house I took in 2008 with one of my plastic cameras.
Here is a picture of sister-lady from over the summer, after she SCREAMED into my open window, “DO YOU HAVE ANY PLASTIC BAGS I CAN BORROW!?!?” which gave me a fucking heart attack because any time someone SCREAMS into my open window like that, it’s either the SWAT team looking for my neighbors or Henry looking for his lost masculinity between my legs.
Anyway, I distinctly remember this moment because Chooch and I were ironically (and LOUDLY) watching “Annie” in order to annoy Henry, and I had to pause that shit to get this weirdo a plastic bag, which I later learnt was for dog shit.
My first encounter with her was the day before Thanksgiving, 2006. Chooch was still a baby and I was carrying around the church parking lot across the street, because it was a nice day. She approached me and started telling me about all of these FREE THANKSGIVING DINNERS at the church (and not even THAT church, but a different one in Brookline) and how they also offered PROGRAMS AND ASSISTANCE for MOMS LIKE ME. I think she thought I was a teen mom or homeless or both.
This is all relevant to my story because I noticed last week that the Sibling Spouses were discarding an old television set. The small square kind from the 80s, I would say. Right away I knew I needed it, for a photo shoot maybe, or to turn into a helmet or a cock-clamp for Henry. But mostly because it’s from inside THAT HOUSE.
However, the first time I saw it, I was walking Chooch to school and there were unlimited people walking on the sidewalk on my way back and I didn’t want to be seen garbage-picking. I have standards, sort of. (As if I’ve never been seen doing anything worse or weirder than that around town.)
As I was lugging my iCarly messenger bag down the streets of Brookline, like some common traveling wino, I noticed that TV was still there. I called Henry.
“That TV is still there. Pick it up on your way home.”
I arrived at Gina and Elissa’s looking like a runaway, where I was served cheese that Gina DID NOT make herself, so that was pretty underwhelming. I guess she doesn’t entertain much. They made sure my wine glass never ran empty and fed me all of the things I do not eat anymore, like carbs and sugar. And then we talked about things that the Internet does not need to know. (Sike. We talked about Brookline and porn.)
It was a really nice night, and much-needed! (Even though the cheese was store-bought.) But that is not to say I didn’t think about that TV several times and wondered occassionally if Henry had fulfilled his duty.
I guess I didn’t realize how much I actually drank until I somehow safely walked down their front steps and embarked on my journey back to Pioneer Avenue, which isn’t necessarily BAD on a Saturday night, but…you know. It was a Saturday night in the city and there were hoodlums out and about. So I called Henry and slurred, “Hi. Talk to me while I walk home in case I get kidnapped and fed crack.”
And then, “Oh hey, did you pick up that TV?”
“FUCK YOU!” I spat out on waves of alcoholic hiccups. And then I HUNG UP.
This is acceptable late night Brookline behavior, so it’s OK.
This was around the time I was realizing that holy shit I might be a little drunk and then I became paranoid and swore that every single person who was walking toward me was going to take advantage of my public intoxication and ravage me atop a bed of urban pine cones and empty Skoal cans.
So I did a lot of zig-zagging, crossing and re-crossing Pioneer Avenue, from one sidewalk back to the other, over and over, every time I saw a shadow looming ahead.
One time it ended up being an older woman letting her dog out to pee but WOMEN CAN RAPE WOMEN TOO.
I can’t believe Gina and Elissa made me WALK to their house, and then back home again, with all of these sexual obstacles out there! Pioneer Avenue is practically a rape land mine!
They could have at least let me ride their cow home, but OH WAIT they don’t make their own cheese!
Anyway, thank god that fucking TV was still lounging in the Sibling-Spouses’ front yard.
And that is how passers-by got to watch some drunk bitch shamble down Pioneer Avenue on a Saturday night with an iCarly messenger bag twisted around her body and an old school TV in her arms. Because that looked way better than if I had done it sober and in broad daylight.
Fuck you, Henry.