Follow on Bloglovin
Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
Read Monica Here Too:
Search The Girl Who

Elevators And Stalls

There are two places where I find complete and utter relief while at the news station. They are both small, rectangular areas surrounded by metal. The elevator. The restroom stall.

Schlepping to work, can't take another second, don't wanna be there, contemplated the sick call, turning the phone round and round in my hand, formulating my story. Pink eye! Yes! Perfect. I don't have to sound sick but it's so contagious I simply cannot come in. Sorry, really wanted to work today.. it's just this damn pink eye!.

But the poor girl that dwells inside me, terrified of not being able to pay the bills, forces me out the door and down the dank subway steps. Walking in the Upper West Side building nodding hellos with the doorman. Yes, it is nice weather we're having then the elevator doors slide close with a ding! and a whump! And for 20 blessed seconds I am alone. A guaranteed slice of peace. No chance of running into someone, no worries about eye contact, smiles, small talk. I breathe and slump into the elevator wall. And prepare my 'work face'.. Hello! Good morning everyone! How are you. Ha Ha, good one John.. Blah blah blah

When work is getting me down, when the 9-11 tapes become too much, when the senseless death is overwhelming, I take myself to the bathroom stall. The small one, farthest from the door. It's safe there. I perch on the toilet (pants up) and hold my head in my hands. And just breath. Nobody can bother me. I don't have to paste an amicable expression on the face of my tortured soul.

Why would someone shoot at a family driving to pick up Chinese food? Because they were driving too slow. But that doesn't make sense! Even the family dog was struck by a bullet. How could someone fly a plane loaded with people into a building bustling with life? Nearly five years later and I have not metabolized the events of that day and probably never will.

Every single story of every single person. Last declarations of love left on answering machines. Pleas for help from emergency operators. I can't listen to the recorded voices of ghosts screaming for rescuers that will also perish. "It's hot. It's hot. I'm going to die, aren't I? I have young children. I'm going to die. Please stay on the phone with me."

I can't listen again. I have to listen again. It's my job. Why would someone shoot in the window of a home where people are celebrating a birthday party? WHY? A 14 year old girl, shot in the neck. Died in her little sister's arms. It's all so senseless. The stall makes sense.

The metal walls are thin, but they are as effective as the Military Demarcation Line separating North and South Korea. You see feet under a stall, you don't go there. So I am safe. Safe from small talk, stressed out news managers, phony exchanges, bad news.. It may only be three minutes.. But in the news business, three minutes is a lifetime.

Wanking In The Rain

I tore myself from the couch, episodes of The Surreal Life and an overall successul attempt at redneck living long enough to let Max drag me around the park this weekend. Had I let him shit on the floor of my apartment, I may very well have reached full redneck status, but I caved and took him on a walk before the dog police brought me up on charges. There are dog police. I've seen 'em.. On television of course, but still - they're around, people.

Much to my chagrin, The Wanker was in the park, perched near his usual bench, cranking away at his goodtimes as if he were alone in the bathroom. The Wanker, he has a routine. Pleasant-faced man, strolls into the park and nonchalantly ambles toward his usual perch; he stands on the left side of a bench overlooking the park and props his right leg up on it, jaunty-like... lovely day everyone, I'm just going to stop here and enjoy the fresh air.

He's a left-handed wanker. I know because one time a garbage can had been placed in his spot. Instead of utilizing the other end of the bench, he spent the better part of five minutes wrestling the heavy, metal container out of the way so he could occupy his regular locale.

Throughout the months I've lived here, he's worked out the kinks, if you will, of public wanking. He stands next to the bench, props his right leg on it, pulls his business out of his zipper hole and gets his one man party started.

Mind you, I've never been close enough to see his business, can just make out his hand playing the ol' whorepipe from afar. At a distance, he looks like a nice enough fella, just taking a breather on the park bench, enjoying the outdoor atmosphere.

This time though, on a cold, rainy morning, what struck me was his dedication to his, erm..uh.. his craft. He had an umbrella! There he was, in the rain, umbrella in right hand his goodtimes in his left, wanking in the rain.

I suppose I could call the police.. Have considered it a time or two, but in the end, really I can't be bothered. My first month here, I decided to explore Brooklyn with Max and came upon my inaugural public wanker. Of course I ignored him.. but he followed me from a distrance, tugging away at his little member.

I would have called the authorities that time, but I'd left my phone at home. Also, I felt a bit proud, like I'd just been initiated into becoming a bona fide New Yorker. New Yorkers don't freak and call the police at a little public wanking do they? They ignore it and move on, right? Still, I felt dirty that day. Took extra care in the shower.

The Park Wanker, now that's a different story. I'm so accustomed to him, he's kind of like MY wanker. Part of the neighborhood and such. And unlike our man from before, he's not an agressive wanker, doesn't wank AT me. In fact, I'm generally on the other side of the park and if he's around, that's where I stay. Part of our unspoken agreement, I guess... Wank you very much, my good man.

But I had to laugh this time as I watched him dexterously holding the umbrella in one had, flopping his goodtimes with the other AND skillfully shoving them back in should anyone happen by... "I'm wankin' in the rain... I'm wankin' in the rain..."

Gene Kelly woulda been proud.

Lovely Lady Lumps


"First, she was nice and chunky."
"Right, right."
"But she kept working out, working out, working out!"
"Yeah! Now she too small!"
"Why girls wanna be small like that?"
"I don't know" *shrugs* "some people just wanna be small."
"But it don't look right!"
"Don't I know it, don't I know it."

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

You can never really know someone. One minute you're happily married, the next you're discovering their secret cross dressing habit.. or their porn addiction.. or maybe they like to pick their nose and eat it, which I personally consider MUCH worse than the first two.. Whatever. Regardless of how solid you think your stance is, the rug could be pulled from beneath your feet at any moment. Happens all the time.

Look at the lady down the street whose husband is having an affair with his secretary. She'll find out in about six months. Divorce. How 'bout the happily married man at work who rapes girls when he isn't dutifully crunching numbers and paying his taxes like a good American. Or, for example, the drug addicted housewife who doesn't know who she is without the uppers anymore. There are things about me no one knows. No I don't have bodies buried in my backyard, but there are thoughts I think that I don't share.. not even with The Surge.

It makes me wonder what we're all hiding. Perhaps your secret would be a dealbreaker in your relationship.. maybe not. Do you have the guts to find out? And it ain't even the secrets.. it's the ugly potential inside us all to misbehave. When push comes to shove, will you fuck up? Will you cheat? If provoked, are you capable of murdering someone? Oh, you might laugh at the notion now.. but things escalate, life happens. The rest of your life, decided in an instant.

I have a friend from Utah.. got behind the wheel after one too many and plowed into a group of girls walking down the sidewalk for a sleepover. One was killed. Snap your fingers. That's how quickly his life changed. From a dorm room to a cell. Well, the difference between a dorm or a cell is negligible, but you know what I mean.

The ugly potential in all of us. Movies like Unfaithful.. Where Diane Lane's character has a good life.. but before you can say 'desperate housewife' she's cheating on her husband in the most rapturous of ways.. and she can't stop. The Surge.. he's on the road all the time. Hot guy in a band. Lots of women around. The potential for shenanigans is high. Yet, I don't worry. Not because I'm one of those gals that say 'not my husband, he's not like that'.. because generally it IS their husband that's engaging in all the nefarious extracurricular activities. I don't worry about The Surge cheating... and I'm not sure why. It wouldn't be a dealbreaker for me. Maybe that's why. Why wouldn't it be a dealbreaker? Hmmmm.. that's maybe a discussion for another time. Suffice it to say, if I found out The Surge had sex with someone else, we would ultimately be okay.. If I found out he was in love with someone else, well, that's a different can of worms altogether. I would be gone.

The ugly potential. What we're each capable of... That's why we'll never really know each other.. and that's why soulmates are bullshit. I hate that word. Soulmate. What does it mean? A hopeful way of saying I was meant to be with this person, I s'pose. But don't call someone your soulmate unless you're over the age of 90 and have been cohabitating with said soulmate for at least 50 years. Then, maybe. Until then quit bandying the word about.

You never really know someone.. Walk in the door to your own home and you immiediately begin a series of small assessments, whether you're aware or not.. Mood: Bad? Okay, is it the kind of bad mood where your significant other wants to play the 'what's wrong' game, or is it the kind of bad mood in which you need to act chipper because they are looking for a fight. How should I act? What should I say? You can pretend like this doesn't happen in your relationship.. but it does.. It's like blinking.. You just don't notice it anymore..

I feel the strain of relating to someone else more because The Surge is gone for long periods so the only person I come home to is Max.. and we all know what dogs are like when you walk in the door. But when The Surge returns from being on the road, the air crackles with his special brand. Passion, love, the smell of stir-fry and manliness linger in the air like cologne. There is a completely different vibe when I come home from work... and the assessment begins. That's not to say it's a bad thing.. It's nice to walk into a loved one's arms after a tough day... when they're welcoming. But the constant mood monitoring can be draining.

If the loved one is ornery.. you have to choose whether to escalate with moodiness of your own or play the opposite card.. Perking yourself up to play the optimist.. That's what couples do. Even "soulmates"

No Passion For Fashion

Wouldn't you know fashion would decide to go ahead and lap itself the month I turn 29? As if knocking on thirty's door ain't enough, I need THAT reminder of just how very old I've become?

Yoohooooo, remember me? C'mon, it's me, your jeans circa 1988. Remember us? We could never be pegged tight enough? Oh god. Noooooo! It's the pants that would slip easily over my then narrow ass but would balk stubbornly when it came to sliding my foot through the ankle..

At the tender age of 14, after perusing polaroids of my mom at the same age, squinting into a 1970 sun, the cuffs of her gargantuan bell bottoms pooling over her chunky clogs, I swore to the fashion demigods that I would never, EVER be caught in such an atrocity as pants that FLARED. Like, hideous.

***cut to me trouncing to my theater arts class at the University of Utah, bell bottoms floating over a pare of platforms nearly identical to the ones my mom wore***

Eventually I stopped ringing the bell, settled into a stylish (I thought) pant of the boot cut variety. See, I have Short Girl Complex and rockin' the bells helps elongate my little frog kicker legs.. I can wear sky-high platforms or stilletos, then, together, the long pants and I look taller.. But now..

Damn you Mischa Barton and your leggy lope in the skinny jean! I condemn you to hell needle thin Nicole Richie with the tight pants! And Sienna Miller with your tapered, pencil cut jeans! You're choosing to bring back the tapered jean? On purpose? But the flair balanced out the hip.. Now my pear shape will be on sad display, hips miles wider than my tightly bound ankles. The only way to take off pants at night will involve pulling the waist down and off first, turning the jean inside out, sitting down and yanking them from my choking ankles.

If they start putting little denim bows above zippered ankles and leg warmers begin making appearances, I don't think I'll make it to the Fall Collection alive.