Saturday I hit the apex of exhaustion. Had an awkward exchange with the mailman when I met him on the front porch in the morning and he helped me pick up the newspaper that was scattered all over the yard.
"Little chilly for bare feet," he said to me, never mentioning my polka dot robe or how my hair looked like a Halloween helmet. I think I grunted. I went back to bed for six more hours. When I woke, Chuck was knee-deep in "Freaky Friday," the Lohan vehicle.
"I've already watched 'The Matrix' and 'Jurassic Park,'" he said. And when he conceded to sit through "Sweet Home Alabama," I knew we had reached a certain state of zen. "There are some holes in this movie," was his only critique.
The commercials were making me woozy. To watch the Oxygen Network is to be made aware of the myriad of ways that a woman's body can ache and ooze and itch. The message: The vagina is a complicated organ. Alternately, there are commercials for food. A Sonic Burger. Baskin Robbins' ice cream. These tiny cookies in interesting shapes.
"Mmmm," I said.
That one turned out to be dog food.
Chuck ordered us a pizza.
He was out cold by the time we started our second episode of "The Killing." I held a mirror under his nose, then stole back out into the Homegrown festivities meeting JCrew and Sea Dawg for a bit of performance art at RT Quinlan's. Local artist rubs raw meat on his face, fires up the power saw, bangs on metal garbage can while behind him the band plays dance-able industrial music and a video plays commercials for Hormel chili. My mouth hung open the whole time. Even JCrew gets into it. "I love the macabre," she said.
"Do you like this?" A guy asked me.
"Yes," I said.
"It's weird," he said. "I'm a businessman. This is not for me."
"Just watch it. You won't see anything like it," I tell him.
Closed out the night at a house party with hundreds of my closest friends and, oddly, a taco bar. Sea Dawg was a hard sell. "Sometimes you have to say Yes to life," I told him. I drank a Coke.
"How fast do you think you could make a taco?" Cork asked.
"Three minutes," I said.
"I don't believe that for a second," he said.
"Oh yeah?" I asked. "If only I could make one for you and prove it!"
Some stranger dumped a bunch of chicken guts on the floor and just left it. I stood against a wall for awhile and decided I'd said enough Yes to life for the night. I dragged my zombie limbs home around 3:45 a.m. and found Chuck still sleeping, but at least he had moved to the bed.
Today I was at the bookstore and it was weird to not say to the bookseller: "Happy Homegrown."