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cognitive plans in little morocco - The Literary Exhibitionist
cognitive plans in little morocco
What the what? It's hardly unusual for me not to post a regular journal entry on a Saturday, but I didn't even tweet a single thing yesterday! It was almost like I led the normal life of a normal human with no unhealthy attachments.

Well, we must fix that today! (I have already tweeted. But I'm writing this too.)

I've already forgotten when I did on Friday -- a day, by the way, when I tweeted only one thing, and it was a share of Gabriel's first Facebook post in months. He had apparently taken Tess to a trans rights rally, and there was a couple videos of him speaking at it. There was also a spectacular photo of him and Tess together, amongst protest signs. Like seriously, that photo is good enough to print and have framed.

I left work five minutes early on Friday, I remember that. I had essentially run out of things to do, my work load dried up, at around 4:00. I had to make a real effort just to look busy for the next 25 minutes. And then I walked home. Why can't I remember anything else? I have no emails to reference, nothing on my calendar, no transactions in my budget to jog my memory. Oh wait! I finally remembered! That's right -- Shobhit and I spent the evening watching the two DVD discs I had at home, so I could finally get them back in the mail and get whatever's next in my queue (including Singin' in the Rain, which I added right after the death of Debbie Reynolds like everyone else, and only now is it no longer saying "long wait"). Anyway, the first was a very stylized film by an Indian director from 2006 called The Fall. It had probably been in my queue for years, so I have no clue now what compelled me to put it in. It was all right. Shobhit was surprisingly engaged by it. The second was the 2000 documentary, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which I had seen in theatres back then but for some reason at some point wanted to watch again. The context is a little different now, as Tammy Faye was very much alive in 2000 but she's now been dead for ten years. Such are the surreal turns of life.

Anyway, yesterday was much more eventful. Ivan had a guy over on Friday night, which he felt compelled to tell us was "an old friend from high school," and suggested he would just be coming to hang out. By morning it was clearly a hookup, as the guy was still here -- his shoes by the front door. I ended up meeting the guy, very briefly, as he put on his shoes and left at around 11 a.m. Ivan was curiously chatty, though, to my surprise, so I went ahead and said, "Is he really from high school?" Ivan giggled and covered his mouth, saying, "Maybe." Later in the day he told me he's 25, which alone would clearly take him out of contention to being a high school classmate, since Ivan is 31.

I didn't even really believe him about that when he messaged it to me on Friday night, since he had said that about another guy he had over for a little while a couple of weekends ago. So I said, "There are *two* people you went to high school with in Pennsylvania who are in Seattle??" And he just goes, "I know, what a coincidence!!" Uh huh. I don't know why he can't just say he's having a friend over and leave it at that. Sometimes he lies about the weirdest, most meaningless things.

I do think Ivan was self-conscious about it yesterday morning, as he started giggling before I even asked about the high school thing. "I'm feeling a little weird this morning," he said, and then blamed it on having too much to drink the night before. "Did you know he'd be staying all night?" I asked. "No, it kind of just happened," was the reply. I had very mixed feelings about this, especially since I'd already had multiple conversations with Ivan while I lived with Tommy, about when I had to confront Tommy about notifying me beforehand if he would have someone stay all night. This was something I made very clear to both Tommy and Ivan -- in my Craigslist ads themselves, in fact. Ivan seems to be a bit different in that, although he never had anyone over while I was home when he lived with me in 2014, I think it may just be a reflection of how comfortably we've settled into a closer friendship since then that he feels more empowered to do it now. Well, that and he no longer has a monthly weekend to himself, since Shobhit has moved back home.

And then, somewhat to my surprise, I spent pretty much the entire day with Ivan -- and most of it with Shobhit. We already all had dinner plans, but I didn't know that Ivan apparently had no other plans all day either. I mean, he didn't get up until around 11 -- his usual time on weekends -- so that gave Shobhit and me enough time to walk over to drop of dry cleaning and do a little shopping at Trader Joe's. But then somehow the movie Mars Attacks! came up, and I found out Ivan had never seen it, and Shobhit was all about watching it. For some reason I was convinced that I own it -- it's one of my ten favorite movies of all time, after all -- but it turns out, I don't. Neither is it streaming on any platform. But I was all into the idea of watching it now, so I rented it on Amazon or nearly as much as I probably could have bought it for at Everyday Music (assuming they have it in stock, which they very well may not): $4.37 with tax.

I had to go onto my iMac in the bedroom to click the buttons to rent it, and when I came back into the living room I said to Shobhit, "You're going to be angry with me." I then said I rented it on Amazon for $3.99, and Ivan quipped, "Oh, big spender!"

Then Shobhit actually said to Ivan that he'll miss a lot of subtleties if he's looking on his phone the whole time, which is true, but there was no need to put him on the spot about it. "He can do whatever he wants," I said. But then Ivan watched the movie with us, and I don't think he looked at his phone even once. That would literally be the first time he did that -- avoided looking at his phone during a movie. He even looked at it in the theatre when he and I went to a movie later.

And that movie, after I spent a couple of hours somewhat unsuccessfully trying to nap, was Kedi, about the cats of Instanbul, which I had figured Ivan would be interested in because he loves cats. I saw it at SIFF at the end of May last year, so I wrote my solid B review back then -- giving me a day off from review writing yesterday.

Shobhit chose to skip the movie, and just meet us for dinner afterward. It's kind of too bad, because I really think he would have enjoyed it, but I also enjoyed getting some alone time with Ivan, who agreed to walk down to the Uptown theatre, which took us just under an hour. I always have to struggle to keep up with him, as he constantly bounces ahead with his spurts of half-skip, half-runs. I asked him if he does that even when he's out walking by himself, and he said yes. "It's just so fun!"

We walked the mile or so from the theatre after the movie to the Marrakesh, a Moroccan restaurant Ivan has been asking me to eat at with him for several weeks now. The first time he suggested it, I had too many other plans the upcoming weekend (because of Ivan's swing shift, we can really only get together on weekends, unless he's taking a "mental health day") and couldn't make it happen. We very nearly did all go last weekend, only to discover there was a two-hour wait, which was why we wound up at Il Fornaio instead -- and I made the reservations for last night while we were waiting to be seated there.

So this, time, finally, we had reservations. But first I want to mention something that came up during that particular walk: Ivan's plans for next year. It seems clear he intends to stay here living with us through the end of 2017, which he has already said, and actually well into next year as well. His intention is to take a long trip to Eastern Europe to visit several countries, spending two or three months, and then when that trip is over, move directly to Vancouver, B.C. I finally got clarification for certain that he does not intend to come back to the U.S. after that trip, which means no intention of wanting to come live with us again. He then mentioned he's saving up for this trip, and doesn't really plan on leaving even for that until the fall of next year. That pretty much means an expectation of his being with us for at least the next year and a half.

"Well, that makes me kind of happy," I said. And he replied with something along the lines of, "Well of course, you get to keep your wonderful roommate until then!" (And that basically really is what I was getting at.) Now, Ivan's plans change almost monthly, but he also seems to have settled into a kind of stability now that he's moved in with me that he didn't quite have for the six months or so prior, between his leaving Olympia to return for Seattle last year and when he finally moved back in here again. So I feel about 65% confident this is actually how things will play out over the next couple of years.

Now, Shobhit would really love to have his mother come and visit again, but for that to happen, she needs our guest room. I am in no hurry for this to happen, myself, and Shobhit is totally on board with never pushing Ivan out. So maybe we should just consider 2019 our soonest viable option for that to happen. Maybe late 2018, depending on when Ivan actually moves. I'll miss Ivan dearly -- as I did after he moved the last time, although this time won't be as intense -- but one thing I'll really look forward to is having him as someone to visit whenever I come to Vancouver. That's always been his long-range plan, to move to Vancouver, which he can do easier than most because one of his parents is Canadian and that affords him dual citizenship.

Ivan asked if we'd have another roommate after him, and he seemed genuinely shocked when I said no. I explained to him that the only reason we have him now is because he wanted to move back in -- if he hadn't, since Shobhit moved back, we wouldn't look for another. "There will be no roommates after you," I said. The whole process is such a fucking pain in the ass anyway; I certainly won't miss it. And it was a huge relief having Ivan as the latest, since I already lived with him once and he was the best of them all. I think Ivan sort of forgot that we never had roommates before Shobhit moved to New York.

We got to Marrakesh a bit earlier than I expected, and waited nearly ten minutes before Shobhit arrived. So they seated Ivan and me first. While we waited, Ivan showed me a funny photo someone had shared on Facebook: a cake with writing in the icing that read, "we can't all be neurotypical KAREN." Given that Ivan has Asperger's and is clearly not nuerotypical himself, it was especially apropos, which I mentioned. And then Ivan said something that surprised me: "I don't think you are, either."

This was . . . new. And an unprecedented window into how Ivan thinks about me. I've always been different, as is everyone, but I never thought of myself is "not neurotypical." Maybe I'm not. I have often wondered if I would have been diagnosed with some kind of cognitive anomaly had I been born later. On the other hand, I suspect I'm actually more neurotypical than not, and I just come across as different to Ivan because there's no question I am different with him than he experiences most other people, who often have difficulties with his idiosyncrasies. But then, what the fuck do I know? I only live in my own head, and have never been in anyone else's, as I said to Ivan. I did ask him what kind of mental aberrations he thinks I might have, and the most specific he could get was, "Well, you're . . . a little different." Touché, I guess.

So then I declared, "We're neuro-superior!" This was a semi-callback to our conversation during the walk to the movie, when I even then mentioned that "We are both not like other people." And without missing a beat he said, "No, we're better!" Oh my god, that made me laugh so hard. He made me laugh nearly as hard again near the end of that walk but now I can't remember why. He doesn't often make me laugh, and certainly not like that.

Shobhit can sometimes have a hard time making me laugh too, and he managed it yesterday as well. (Of course, narcissist that I am, the one example I can remember had to do with me being better than other people.) Shobhit was pretty proud of himself when it happened, though: "I made you laugh!"

Shobhit arrived soon enough, and all three of us had a very new experience, with Moroccan food. It was roughly $20 per person and was a five-course meal -- quite reasonably priced for the massive amount of food we got, most of which we had to eat with our hands. We had to sip the lentil soup, and tear apart the dish that was like a baked pastry with spiced scrambled eggs inside and powdered sugar on top. The salad with baba ganoush we all had to eat using torn pieces of bread. Only the main entrees, which we all shared, and the desserts came with utensils, which was a relief -- in spite of the water basin the waiter brought us to rinse our hands with between courses. The waiter was also very busy and took a while to bring Shobhit his extra napkin and refresh all of our waters.

But, on the whole, it was totally worth it. They even had a belly dancer. I wanted to take a picture but wasn't sure if it would be bad form to; to my surprise no one else had their phones out to take photos. I probably could have gotten away with it (and thus had at least that to tweet yesterday) but I never did it.

We then all walked back home together, a bit more slowly this time because Shobhit has this new thing where he walks slower after stuffing himself with food -- and boy did he do that at dinner last night. I was stuffed to the point that I couldn't even eat it all at the end. And Shobhit at nearly everything I didn't.

Once home, Ivan just sat on the love seat in the living room while Shobhit and I got through about half of this week's Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle. But I zonked out soon after 10:00 and had to go to bed.
positive energy please