cable…hee hee

Stardate 9-22-05 

First of all, a toast to Shane, who made it home last night!

And to my dear

who is so brave these days in more ways than I can expound upon!

And to Lopeti, who shamelessly stood in front of Sofia’s house shouting
her name till we let him in.

And to Jen, who makes the best lentils this side of…the Mississippi?

And to Janine, for noticing that we should toast Citizen
Cope, who has a song from his last album recorded at least a year ago with the
prescient words “I’m building this levee, on the Mississippi, before I die in an unmarked
grave.”  Shiver!

And now a story:

I have cable!

Well. I have basic cable. Like the channels I got with bunny
ears but clearer. Not even like BCAT and MNN.


Yesterday I walked over to have a late lunch with Sofia and
watch the cosby show for a second, and when I walked back up to my house my new
floormate was standing in front of the house like ‘Thank God You’re Here!’

I say floormate very intentionally. I live on the 3rd
floor of a brownstone where I have half the floor, and share the bathroom
{which is only accessible from the hall) with the person across the hall. I am
trying to make this clear to the floormate, who seems to have more the sense
that we are roommates who each have our own kitchen.

When she first moved in she came over to tell me she’d
bought some toilet paper. I told her that was smart! She paused like I was
supposed to offer her some $ but I looked at it was the cheap rough toilet
paper. I smiled and backed away.

Then when I found the gorgeous goldsheet topped coffee table
I now have in my room, she suggested we take it to a furniture store and get it
made into two, since she’d been looking for just such a table. I laughed at her
and said, OH ____, you goof! Holding the smile, I backed away.

So now she was getting cable and did I mind if they had to
come through my room?

No, I don’t mind. (inside: me cable es tu cable?)

I get up to my room and the cutie cable guy follows me. Psst,
psst – the floormate gestures desperately from outside in the hallway for what can
only be called hustle huddle numero uno.

Yo, so ask the dude if we can get a splitter on there if we
give him a big ass tip. Then we can just each pay like $25 for like 200

{Pet peeve, white people who say yo to me, but don’t say yo
to anyone else I hear them speak to. All yo or no yo, dammit!} 

Methinks for a minute….You getting HBO? 

No, but –

Floormate continues talking but I am not hearing it. I am
not paying for 200 non-HBO stations. I’m not even gonna ask for the splitter.
Shee-it – I have bunny ears that work just fine and

Sofia has real, HBO, on-demand cable. I smile
politely and back away, sympathetically.

I am talking with, and probably flirting with, the cable
guy. Not for the splitter but because he is nice and cute and has ties to Detroit, a city about
which I maintain a deep curiosity. When he gets near my TV he installs a
splitter Of His Own Accord with a wink and a smile.

The roommate’s boyfriend, who apparently lives there too for
now, not that I mind but like who’s you?, pokes his head in, gestures me into
the hallway for hustle huddle number 2.

So he put in a splitter eh? That’s cool, I think we should
all split that cheap right down the middle! 

Now here’s my line of reasoning…A. Is there a we that
involves you? B. I didn’t get cable installed. I’m doin a favor letting them
drill through my house. C. The dude just put on a splitter OHOA but at best, there’s
no HBO. I don’t want to pay half for some busted ass regular tv.

Drama starts creeping up near my ankle…I aim Sofia and she says
quickly – “This will lead to bad blood.”

Then I remember! If there’s no box then I can only have the
most basic of cable!

So I tell dude, ‘No, I’ll only get the basic like 10 stations,
not your package. Cause there’s no box, see, so there’s no cable, see.’

Whew, all clear, back to not caring at all! 

I back into my room, smiling, and wink wink at the cable guy,
who I’ve learned hails from Crown Heights originally and
agrees that cable without HBO is just foolishness.

Amazingly, there is a hustle huddle number 3, which occurs
when the floormate comes out her face and walks into the room, picks up my
remote and starts clicking through to see which channels I get.


Now she has tried to keep up a nice façade to this point,
but I have tried even harder, by not shoving her forcefully out of my room.

I mean if you have the basic cable spread, then we can split
it like –

(Passive aggressive tension DRIPPING from each word) _____ –
I’m not going to split anything with you? I am going to tip him for putting a
splitter on, but I am just getting the stations I had a little clearer. I think
that’s a fair exchange for letting you drill and cable through my house. Now I
must work…please, please go.

The floormate then had an internal moment of reckoning which
I could clearly see – am I cheap enough to continue to push this, or is she
bout to beat mah azz? She smiled super sweetly and backed out of the room.

Leaving me to wonder…if I got a cable box…