Excerpts from the private journals of Barbara “Babs” Rathbun
Happy New Year! Could I possibly have a better job? I spent last night counting down to the brand-new year on the upper deck, next to the topless area that, thankfully, was not in use due to the hour. Though I must say I’ve seen plenty of those people only minimally interested in the sun and mostly interested in the parade, if you know what I’m saying. Last night I danced with not one but three doctors, one of whom is recently single and from SPAIN. He showed me how they eat one grape for every chime that sounds at midnight. Muy interesante. Unfortunately, he (Miguel? Manuel? Something like that) had to catch an early flight out of port to get back to saving the world, one surgery at a time. I certainly did not stand in his way. Where would all of us be without professionals like him?!
Having a very difficult time getting a hold of my daughter, who appears to be stuck in the late nineties with regards to her emotional maturity. I’ve already written at length about her similarly troubling FASHION time warp and will not take more time on the subject here. To date: twelve phone calls, ten answering-machine messages, two postcards, all unanswered. Considering taking more drastic measures.
Mia is pregnant by that wretch of a Scandinavian. I’m nearly beside myself with horror and grief. I never should have let her watch that sex ed. video in sixth grade. My work experience has been called upon without pause; there’s something so comforting to people in having a sunny disposition in the face of crisis. Just this morning, as I was picking up Mia’s mail, her neighbor, a very nice black man who might be related to Barack Obama, said I looked like the face of sweetness itself. I smiled a winner smile to show my gratitude but had to wipe away tears on my way back up to Mia’s place. Goes to show: The show must go on but the actress leads a lonely life. Listened to Barbara Streisand the rest of the morning.
Wazzup wazzup wazzup! I’m hip to the hop with urban culture and putting down ROOTS in Chi-town. This is a city that explodes with high adventure and new experiences, not the least of which is soul food. Silas and I have visited three of his favorite restaurants. At Sugar Snap’s, I became fast friends with our waitress, Shanelle, who has invited me to her house to teach me
how to braid hair. She swears it doesn’t matter that my last cut left me with no longer than two inches of length. I was forced to believe her. I mean, remember when Oprah showed up one day—just like that—with long and perfectly coiffed curls? If she can do it in Chicago, so can I! Peace out.
Mia is not far enough along to be acting so miserable. She absolutely wigged today when I surprised her by cleaning out her closet. Apparently waffle-print henleys are still all the rage among tree-huggers. She insisted on keeping ALL NINE.
Chicago has lost its luster. The heat today will reach a scorching 101 degrees, no breeze, 92% humidity. WHY oh WHY did I quit my job?!?!
Sweet Silas brought me a bouquet of baby’s breath today. Told me it reminded him of me, beautiful and delicate but undervalued by those who need my help. That man made me cry, I tell you. August, doesn’t matter the exact day. Hot, hot, hot, miserably miserable. I refuse to take public transportation just on the sweat principle. Even children seem tired out by summer. Were there not Lake Michigan, I think the entire city would go mad. I tried discussing the lunacy of living here with Mia, but she was not particularly receptive. Must be the final trimester. That and the swelling.
Mia’s due date, come and almost gone. I’m so nervous, I’ve taken to giving free manicures to all the women in my building. Warned Silas tonight that when I’m finished with Mrs. Whittinghouse on the second floor (a prospect that gives me the willies, I must admit), he’s next. He threatened to bring Mia over to the hospital himself and have them induce.