Monday, July 5, 2010

Archives. October 2008. Strangers with Candy

This week, I'm fishing old columns out of the tech wreckage and posting them here. This column, Strangers with Candy, October 2008, was slated for the Ambien Walrus Chapter.

Strangers With Candy
So all I’ve been doing is I cook and I clean, and I entertain at my house a lot.
Amy Sedaris

I woke up to a trail of Snicker wrappers leading from my bedroom to my kitchen this morning, and a vague sense ofcuriosity surrounding the realization, “Heyyyy, I don’t eat Snickers.”

But apparently, I do.I eat them after I take Ambien (half ofone, to be precise).
If a gentleman caller drops a bag off for me. As ordered.
Ambien is famous for inducing shortterm memory loss (mine in particular is well documented), so it will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that the entire evening can only be reconstructed via a series of text messages.

I do remember I had company for dinner (a different story entirely), and after that I hopped into the shower, and then into my pajamas. I didn’t dry my hair. I didn’t comb myhair. I was in for the night. Shiny and pink and happy and ready for bed.

Then, if you believe the blackberry log, a text came in at 10:24 from a very, very newguy (a couple sweet dates; no funny business; we barely know each other). It said, “I’m in your neighborhood.”

Now, I should point out, how very very nice he is, because otherwise, that might sound like stalker-text. He’s a fine upstanding corporate attorney (maybe I should reiterate the nice part). He’s a smart guy, not a bad boy. Before our first date, he gave me homework, sending me a NYT Michael Pollan article (48 screens on the blackberry, but it was excellent).

He wasn’t dangerous. He’d had dinner at my place the weekend before (nothing was damaged or taken, and he’d brought along bread, booze, homemade cookies, andpretty pink flowers—making me entirely rethink whatever BRIEF infatuation I’d had for the LAST guy who never brought me so much as a rind of moldy Velveeta; I suspect he thought he was so hot, nice manners were beneath him—something we less-attractive mortals have to fall back on.)
Anyway, all I’m saying is: this wasn’t a booty call.

Probably, he was just checking in and making idle text conversation.

But the message I (inexplicably) sent back was: “What are you doing here? Do you have candy?”

I have no idea know WHY I said that. It doesn’t even make any sense when I read it. I definitely was not inviting a booty call. Though it could’ve been misconstrued as such. And probably would’ve held up in court. And I should probably pay more attention when dating lawyers.

I suspect my pharmaceutically-induced reasoning was: Candy sure sounded good.And if he was in the neighborhood already, he probably wouldn’t mind dropping some by.

Sure enough, he msg’d back that he was at the Starbucks around the corner and asked what kind of candy I’d like. I said he could surprise me.
Then I typed in: “approximately 11 minutes before the coma hits. I will go turn on the porch light for you.”

I can’t remember if he knew at that point that 10pm is Ambien-time, because it’s possible he thought the coma reference was just plain odd.

Within the required 11 minutes, I did manage to turn the porch light on and collapse on the sofa.
I also remember thinking Pajamas are not appropriate third or fourth date attire.
So.... I draped a sofa-throw over my head.
The important thing is: He definitely came through with the candy. It’s Halloween season, so he brought a couple bags, just for variety. (Turned out, he’d already left the Starbucks by the time I msg’d back, so I felt kinda bad I’d made him stop what he was doing and go shopping. That is, I would’ve felt bad. If I’d been conscious.)
From there, things only get blurrier.
Though I can report that no remuneration of any sort was exchanged for the candy. And that my pajamas definitely stayed on.
Another complication of Ambien is that it makes me compulsively, nonsensically chatty (yes, moreso than usual—and yes, I talk EVEN faster). I just don’t remember what I chat about. I have a vague stream-of-consciousness memory that involved, Johnny Cash, vasectomies(pro), high-fructose corn syrup (against), the new Keira Knightley movie, and Haagen Dazs’ new fleur de sel ice cream. (I was really hungry.

I also reminisced fondly about how one of my old colleagues (a drummer) had worked at our favorite neighborhood pub for years and how I would sometimes call him up at 11 at night and tell him I’d give him a hundred bucks if he’d bring me a BLT.(He would never take a hundred bucks; my house was right on his way home.

And that was before (as far as I know), before they even DISCOVERED Ambien.
Apparently, if you have bacon and an iPhone, you have a standing invitation at my house.

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