At long last!

Well, I finally broke down and did it. Yesterday, after my jaunt to the Pierpont Morgan Library, I took the “6” down to 23rd Street. Now, that action, in itself, is certainly noteworthy, given that I ordinarily scoff at the notion of tranporting myself via a mode other than my own very able legs, when the trip is so short … but that is not the “it” to which I refer. That “it” is this: I bought soap. Ivory soap. Four pristine “bath” size bars of the stuff.
I’d managed to coast (no reference to the soap of the same brand name intended) for what seemed like an eternity on the last dime-thin silver of soap that perched on my “shower caddy”. When it became so attenuated that it broke in half, I relegated one of the newly broken halves to the soap dish by the sink and left the other one in the shower. Then, when the half that remained in the shower finally wasted away, the piece in the soap dish took its place. And that’s when it really got down to the wire.
I don’t know why I was so averse to just buying another package of soap. I did know, however, that I didn’t want to dip into the special “stash” I know I have around here somewhere — the cute ‘n’ cuddly, diminutive bars of hotel soap that I like to save (for what purpose, I don’t know). But I was about as reluctant to use the saved stash as so many people are reluctant to dip into their big jars of loose change even when they’re starving and don’t have enough “real” money to buy even a loaf of day-old bread.
Had I not bought the soap yesterday, this morning I would have found myself paring the dirt from my skin with a paring knife, in the manner of my cousin Gundarva (né Neil G—-) in the late ’70s. However, even Gundarva — he of the primal scream therapy (yeah, that’s worth giving up your successful singing/songwriting career for, kid) and lack of material possessions, he of the strange union with a bizarre woman named Shee-ra or Shee-la (like it makes a difference?) who would monitor their food intake so as to ensure that nothing but the purest of food passed their scrawny lips — eventually broke down and wound up crouched in a corner of my parents’ kitchen, frantically tossing doses of M&Ms and Oreos down his gullet in a wild-eyed frenzy.
My breakdown, however, was perhaps no match for that of “Chinless-and-Spineless” (see my entry of December 23 to refresh your memory — it’s a very tender love note to a gym patron) this morning. I was on the elliptical thing, grooving to either Scandal’s “Goodbye to You” or The Weathergirls’ “It’s Raining Men”, and as C-and-S passed in front of me, perhaps 12 feet away, he offered a rather shy smile. I offered a glimpse of a smile and a very delicate “hi” (I tried to modulate my voice, because I had my CD player’s volume turned way up and couldn’t hear myself think let alone speak … for all I know, I may have shouted). I saw his mouth form the word “hi” back at me. On my way out of the gym, I passed him on the first floor, and he looked directly at me again. I raised my eyebrows in a way that I hoped was indifference (ooh yeah, I am way too cool to let him know I remembered his earlier greeting), but probably, damn it, came across as flirtation.
I’m willing to guess that he made a New Year’s resolution to say hello to me. (Yes, that’s right, I am that egocentric and narcissistic.) Before our beautiful communication, I saw him looking at me in the long wall mirror as he sat mildly pedalling the exercise bike. I’m willing to bet (any takers?) that he said to himself, heart pounding a mile a minute — or at least at a pace faster than he was pedalling, I’m goin’ in. Yeah. Today’s the day. You can do it, buddy. You can do it. Just take it easy. If she doesn’t acknowledge you, just walk on by … cough, as if the smile were the beginning of a coughing grimace. It’ll be OK. O … K …”
Ahhhh … so both of our pursuits finally came to fruition, within hours of each other. Me and my soap. He and his greeting. Life is good!