“I wanna be jealous like you”


It’s only Monday, December 13, 2004. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks I’ve yet to accomplish before the end of the beginning of this week. 

I have to cut my hair. I’ll think about coloring it next year. God is telling me to leave it alone, I am better than the lilies of the valley, blah blah. 

I have to go through another round of who’s my doctor and where’s the paperwork to get a refill of Flonase picked up at my nearby Wal-Green’s. 

I have to buy a whole chicken (and touch it raw, a task Eddie would pay $100 for a stranger to do) for dinner tonight to go with the Greek style roasted potatoes (leftover from Thanksgiving I need to use up), and a bag of all-purpose flour to make the chocolate chip cookies I settled for in bringing to the potluck brunch in between church services next Sunday (where I join the choir in singing Christmas carols). 

I have to do the laundry, probably three loads—all of which will be done, sitting there in the dryer piling up, turning cold, right in the middle of my having to do my other chores until I’m left after midnight (like last night) sorting socks and underwear in the middle of my living room with infomercials for haircare products (I will color my hair next year, maybe red highlights) softly blathering on TV. 

Eddie and James need their hairs cut.

I need to check out the Aloette site, see if I can reorder the Nutri-C moisturizer to be delivered here before we have to leave for our cross-country trip to Florida in less than two weeks (we head off the day after Christmas, right after tossing the undressed tree on the sidewalk in front). 

Let’s see... Flonase, Aloette, comb, Depend, Flintstone’s, print out e-mail addys, put in my purse, make a list of things to pack. 

I could’ve finished this column an hour ago, but Mr. Procrastination tackled me from behind—take a digital, it doesn’t happen very often. I felt his shadow looming the Sunday prior after we walked through a model house up in Mt. Vernon, built by Cozy Homes, and drove over an hour back to our cozier (read: cramped) home in Lynnwood. Ah, to drop on my bed and sleep until Monday afternoon. But I stayed up, listening to the Christmas carols (the choir has to memorize) on cassette over and over until I grew tired of getting out of my chair over here, to walk 12 feet there, hit STOP, then REWIND, then stand around or finish washing exactly two coffee cups and four plates, go back into the computer room, hit STOP, then PLAY... while I worked on “channeling” for EYE ON SOAPS. 

  Mommy, after this picture, can you please eat something!? 

Eddie and James indulged in sleep upstairs. This cramped house I fell in love with at first sight (the color of blue-grey will do it to me every time) four years ago, humming contentedly. Me in another zone, fingers flying (I can type 105 wpm, y’know), words pouring out, every other line pre-written by someone up there in my head, sometimes I swear it’s not me. When it’s really late and quiet everywhere, I can almost hear muted conversations, as if sitting on a couch, laying back with my glass of Coke and my plate of cheese on crackers, letting the talk of friends and families fill the room with the carols of the everyday. 

Today, I just hear my late father, “Carol, you should’ve woken up at 9 a.m. Now almost two hours have been wasted with you web-surfing for details on the 2005 Golden Globe nominations. But then you shouldn’t even have gone to bed after 1 a.m. in the first place. Get off your lazy butt and make those calls. Get the refill, haircut appointment, oh and you might as well write that letter to your son’s pediatrician to transfer his records over to his new doctor before the new year starts because James won’t be able to...” 

I should call my best friend Jon, who lives in the city, and pester him for the words – line by line – to his newest song, which he wrote after seeing a guy dressed in a Superman costume ride by in a moped. He’d been waiting at a bus stop with a bunch of other commuters when this happened. He’d been the only one to notice, immediately calling attention to Superman Moped Guy with a shout. An excited ruckus ensued. A young woman standing next to Jon called out, “I wanna be just like you!” 

Jon grabbed his notepad, started writing lyrics down, all the way to his next destination and the 12 blocks back home. He played his unplugged Strat while I pretended to pore over an old issue of “The Stranger,” Jon hates it when people make a fuss about his musicianship, and sang aloud the tune he’d come up with, sounding strangely like Scott Clifton (Dillon, GH) after a few too many all-nighters on the set, breathing in “Towering Inferno” fumes. 

If Jon had put the lyrics down electronically, I could share them for you here. But alas, they’re still scribbled chicken scratch in one of his 57 notepads, the black and white cow exterior-looking one the children used in the ‘50s-‘70s. 

“I Wanna Be Just Like You” is basically about Superman joining the work force, yet unable to lay down his cape entirely. Lois ran off with a Wall Street tycoon. Most of the members of this work force make fun of him in his tights. And he himself wonders deep down if he settled for nothing, if he is, in fact, nothing but an ordinary rank and file dweeb on the verge of insanity, his earth-bound Kryptonite. 

Only... when Jon sang the chorus line, the title of his song, I kept hearing, “I wanna be jealous like you.” 

That figures. That could fit too. Superman would like the fire back to feel anything, much less jealousy, a kind of ambition that rises above the petty “rank and file” pick up your paycheck at the end of every two weeks to blow half of it on a nightclub out. 

I really should call Jon about those lyrics. But he doesn’t get home from his Virginia Mason job until 3:30 p.m. 

... Maybe Google can find me another site about the Golden Globe noms, and Eva Longoria’s reaction to being left out while the rest of her “Desperate Housewives” cast received nods...




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