Sunday, June 12, 2005

Give Up Two Runs and Call Me in the Morning

"Disappointment haunted all my dreams"
--The Monkees

She's at it again, coughing like my late '89 Celica trying to chug up a hill. When Allie came down with strep throat last weekend I knew we were in for a hell of a ride. It's almost the end of the school year and I've been working a lot of late nights, and I knew I was susceptible to catching at least part of what she had. I tried to avoid getting sick by spending a couple of nights sleeping on the couch, but it didn't work. By the middle of the week I was hacking like an 80-year-old hooked on filterless Camels. It was the first time Allie and I slept in different rooms in our 12 years together. We decided to stage a fight to amuse ourselves.

Me: (Grabbing a pillow, heading to the couch) Go ahead, cough one more time. I dare you.

Allie: (Coughs) There... (coughs again) you bastard. Sleep tight.

I took my pillow and stormed upstairs to the couch (we live in one of those reverse-o townhouses with the bedrooms downstairs), making a detour in the kitchen to down a fifth of bourbon, you know, complete the Raymond Carver effect.

Now it's Saturday night and Allie's cough is going full tilt. But it's not just our lingering colds keeping me up, part of it's probably the adrenaline rush I got from watching Cliff Floyd pop a three-run shot in the bottom of the 10th against the Angels. That was sweet. I tried to hit the hay early, but wasn't tired enough. When I went upstairs Allie was watching the game which had gone into extra innings. Too bad Kris Benson didn't get the win, though. He looked great. Much like Kaz Ishii did for the first five innings last night. I went to bed around the fifth or sixth inning last night, wiped out by work and the cold, and was stunned to see the Mets wound up on the shortend of a 12-2 final score. Kaz really let me down, though he has inspired me to start a "Countdown to Trachsel's Return" chart on the refrigerator.

It was weird being in bed while it was still daylight, especially on a Friday night, but I was surprised that I was able to stay up that late. Thursday night I was at Jigsaw, a fanzine and comic book store in Manhattan, staying out late (for a school night) to see a triple-header of readings: Sean Carswell, Joe Meno, and Mickey Hess, three great storytellers and talented writers. I had such a great time it put my cold on hold for a few hours. (I swear the couple of beers I had did as much good as did the cold medicine I'd taken.) The only letdown of the evening was the low turnout. It wasn't so much that I felt bad for Sean, Joe, and Mickey, who were coming through town on a reading tour--they seemed to have a great time--as it was severe disappointment in the denizens of New York to come out to such an event. New York beats its chest loud and proud about being a cultural mecca, but I've seen much better turnouts to similar events in smaller cities, like last summer when I was in Portland, Oregon, and attended a similar event at a bookstore called Reading Frenzy.

But who's got time to linger on the lame aspects of the Big Apple? It's just dawned on me that neither Allie nor I have coughed the whole time I've been writing. Time for some shut eye.

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