the road to insanity

has Vincent Gallo for a tour guide

Still here.

Can you believe it? I neither killed nor was killed yesterday. And I think there were a few moments there last night were Eric and I were seriously reconsidering the fact that we only have one couch, and one bed.

Now Eric without cigarettes? There’s a guy who’s edgy. I’m just a little weepy, which is due to the fact that I’m not feeling well and, well, really the PMS… Do you need another excuse for my behavior? I’ll come up with one, don’t dare me.

Anyway, so Eric is like, a crazy man without his cigarettes. He just gets up and walks around the house periodically. He just gets mad about things. He changes the channels even faster. You know what he’s like? It’s like the cats at one in the morning when they just need to be in all of the rooms at once and freak out because they can only run from one to another at top speed.

And Eric cheated. He went out drinking with some friends and had some cigarettes. You know, that’s fine with me. I’ve already received some letters of encouragement from you guys, which I really appreciate, and people have been sending me their quitting tips. Eric seems to be following one that was suggested to me, which involves not really stopping, but slowing down the amount of cigarettes, and slowly phasing them out of your life. I think that I would just eventually phase them right back in, you know?

And I realize that even though I’m saying I’m quitting smoking, I’m sure there will be lapses in times of great stress or emotional strain. I’m trying to be realistic. But you know what? This morning, when I woke up? I didn’t cough. That’s pretty cool.

Now, I still don’t have my voice, so I’m going to the doctor this afternoon to get it looked at, as I’m quite worried, and I’ve never really lost my voice before. I’m worried that I’ve really hurt it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First I should go back and explain how it’s a miracle I’m even here today. I chose to quit smoking on what seemed to be the most inconvenient day of my life.

First of all, I started smoking more once I got this job. Smoke breaks, you know. So, I had to come here and say for the first time, “No, I’ve quit,” prompting the knowing looks of, “Oh, okay. See you next week.”

Since I had hardly a voice at all, talking on the phone to customers was driving me insane. It was an effort with every sentence, and the customers were like, “You sound awful.” I could hear my voice fading with every conversation… So I went into my manager’s office and begged for work to do that involved not talking. She came into my office to show me how to do this assignment, and promptly hosed my machine. So then two more people came into my office to stand over my monitor and stare… the female equivalent to men standing over a Corvette hood and going, “huh. Did you look at the spark plugs?”

Forty-five minutes later the problem is resolved, but I have fallen asleep in the corner of my office. They wake me up and tell me to go home, rest my voice. I get home and decide that I really need to see a doctor about all of this. Like I said, this has never happened to me before. Well, on the first of the year, my insurance changed companies, and with that, I believe I don’t really have a doctor anymore. The doctor that I did have I never met, since I had just changed to him when my original Primary Care Practitioner was unacceptable. Inappropriate.

That sounds like a good story!

Flashback one year. Pamie is meeting her primary care practitioner for the first time so that she can get a referral to the gynecologist, since she can no longer go to the University doctors.

So, you need a referral?

Yes, sir.

You don’t just want to get your annual done here?

Here? You do them here?

Why, yes we do! Right here!

Who would give me my annual?

Why… me! Of course!

Oh. Well, I would really like a female gynecologist.


Yeah, you know, I’d just feel better.

I see. You don’t have any children, do you?


I figured as much. You don’t know.

Excuse me?

You don’t know that men are better.


Men are much better at handling women down there. We know that body part better than you do. WE STUDY IT!

I just need a list of female doctors to choose from, and I’d like to leave your office now.

Honestly. So, I got rid of him, and picked a new guy, who I never got to see, since my insurance changed, so I had to call my HMO yesterday and try and get everything squared away. I had to pick a doctor that was associated with my gynecologist, and then I had to call that doctor’s two offices to get an appointment for today, because I have been putting off seeing a doctor for a while about a few things, and now I’m gonna sound like a big freak when I go to the doctor:

“Right. Well, first of all, there’s my voice. If I talk way low like this, you can hear me, right? But if I talk in my normal range or higher, you can’t hear me at all. I mean, I can usually take down ‘I Will Survive,’ but, listen– ‘It took all the strength I had not to fall apart!’– Terrible, right? So, that’s a problem. Also, about three years ago I was diagnosed with asthma and they tried all these inhalers on me, and now the one that was working has run out, but since I don’t go to the University anymore, they won’t refill my inhaler and I don’t want to buy one over the counter because they make my heart go too damn fast. But I mean, I have asthma, just listen to me wheeze when you put feathers near me…whhhheeh….whaaah…. See? Also, I have this rash behind my knee– no idea where it’s from, but it’s swelling up my knee and it itches and hurts as well. I’ve put ice on it, but nothing, you know? Oh, and I’ve been getting these small circular itchy scabs on my arms, like a cigarette burn, but I wasn’t burned. Where are they coming from? Did I give my cat acne? Do I have dandruff?”

I Don’t Want… Your.. Life!

Anyway, then last night Eric went out, like I said, and I spent some time cleaning the house and dancing with the cats, and then I sat down to try to design the posters for my FronteraFest show, but I had zero creativity without the cigarette in my hand, and then Eric came home, we rented some movies, and then came back to the house, vowing that if we actually went to the bar, then we’d be tempted to smoke.

Out of Sight is already Out of Mind. Boring. Slow. I fell asleep.

Then we watched Buffalo 66. And if you don’t know, it’s by Vincent Gallo, who wrote it and directed it and wrote and performed the music and he’s really into you knowing that he’s Vincent Gallo and he did all this stuff. There’s even a three minute scene where you just watch him bowl strike after strike. “Hi. I’m Vincent Gallo. I may not be attractive, but look at all I’ve done. To help you remember, I’m wearing the same outfit as I do in my Calvin Klein ads. Oh yeah, I’m a model. Did you say I’m not attractive? Ask Calvin. He thinks I’m beautiful. Oh yeah, I wrote this little movie. And directed it. That’s me, starring in it. And while you’re watching me bowl beautiful strike after strike? That music I’m dancing to is stuff that I wrote and performed. All this and I bowl. Ladies? Please address all fan mail to “Boy Genius.” Thank you.”

That wasn’t even the annoying part of the film. It was Vincent Gallo’s character. I don’t know if that’s how Vince is in real life or whatever, or if he was playing a character that he carefully crafted for himself, but ohmigod is it annoying:

“Get out of the car. Get out of the car. You! You’re getting out of the car, you’re going to go around the car and get in on the other side, because we are going to go to the mall and have a good time and look like two people in love. So get out of the car, get around to the other side. Then you will drive. You will drive us to the mall. The mall. Where there’s people. Love. Two people. Good time. We are going to the mall to have a good time, look like two people, look like two people in love. Do you understand? Do you understand what I am saying? You are going to go to the other side of the car and drive us to the mall so we can look like two people in god damn love because that is what two people in love do. They go to the mall, you understand? Love. Two people. Mall. You understand? So, I need you to go to the other side of the car, get in the car, put the keys in, and drive us to the mall so we can look like two people in love as quickly as possible. You understand? So, right now, get out of the car, get in the other side of the car and take us to the mall so we can look like two people in love. Two people in love, you understand? That’s where we need to go. The mall. Just as soon as you get out and go around the car and drive us. To the mall. For love. Two people. Two. Mall. Love. Drive. Us.. To… Get…I’m Vincent Gallo.”

Do you understand that I almost ripped my eyebrows out and then kicked the television over?

So annoying. There’s a time where he says the words “We’re spanning time,” about.. oh, I don’t know, thirty times. And I got to where I could say them with him. Eric and I were both just interjecting “spanning time” every few seconds into his monologue, and it matched perfectly.

Really, if he wasn’t so repetitious, the film could have been eighty-five minutes long.

So then I just went to bed, because I couldn’t stop wanting to eat everything in the house, and I wanted a cigarette to calm down my anxiety of watching Vincent Gallo just be.

Quick quiz: Is it cheating if I still smoke when I’m drinking or at the bar? What if I just stop smoking whenever I’m not drinking? No more work, rehearsal, watching television cigarettes. Only when I’m out socializing…. Is that cheating? Your thoughts?

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