I take 10 steps every morning as I struggle to open my eyes. I stumble into my bathroom to hunch over the sink, collecting myself; I forced my way out of the clutches of the lumpy, grandmother’s hand-me down (and down again) stationary murphy bed in my “mid-size” and “shabby chic” studio apartment.
I grudgingly stare myself down; wondering who will blink first…
I always lose.
I can’t stand the way my breath tastes. I wince at the thought of anyone ever kissing such a mouth so early in the afternoon.
Sticking to my routine, adhering to some idea of normalcy.
- I brush my teeth (twice for good measure)
- Splash my face with warm then cold water
- Pat dry before harshly rubbing my face in the towel until I feel my skin begin to turn red.
I wouldn’t call it OCD as much as I would call it "annoying habitual self-inflicted suffering
live on the rooftop patio across the street. You probably wouldn’t have guessed but all of them have a different “cooing” sound. 9 different voices, all squawking for attention, never to be heard. I wonder if they’re jealous of the “wild pigeons” that live on the bustling street below...
Those poor birds.
Unbeknownst to them, I avoid that very same street as much as I can manage to while still being considered a “functioning adult”. I would trade them all, 9 times a day, to walk in my shoes and experience that tiny section of pavement I imagine they crave. Our brain function seems about the same, anyway.
8 creaking floor boards
from my front door to the bottom of the stairwell. There are only about 18 stairs to my front door.
I am sure glad I don’t live on the fourth floor.
The first one, for some reason, always startles me. It’s like I don’t expect it to squeak, but as sure as the Liberty Bell, it too still makes its appropriate sound. This sound, just so happens to be the most spine tingling, nerve racking, loudly obnoxious SQUEAK there ever was. Maybe, it’s louder because I hate it.
I hate that it gets me every time.
I remember when I first moved in to my apartment - I thought to myself
“Oh, I’ll get used to it, at least the
place has charm!”. -
What a hopeful, foolish idiot I was, last year.
-“LOOK WHAT THE CAT DRUG OUT TODAY!”
– my neighbor screeched, in a cheery but what I assume is a condescending and sarcastic tone.
7 days a week
he waits to say the same mundane phrase every single day…
At least they're consistent; I don’t even have a cat. It would make sense if I did and maybe evem make me chuckle at the thought of this small furry creature I chose to adopt,
named something like Snowball, dragging me out of the house and forcing me to take on the day, so that I may bring him home some milk, or whatever.
7 days a week, with this guy… can you believe
it? That’s 7 days, every week, for the past year, he can’t come up with anything else to say. Another day he falls short of the new catchphrase that would engage a neighbor he knows nothing about and at most begrudgingly gets a nod or an eye roll as they walk the other way.
6 o’ clock on the dot
The metro is (to my dismay) never late.
I miss it by 6 minutes every day. I could say I would try to “hop to it” any faster, but I would be lying to you. I have my routine; (as lazy as it may be) as self-inflicting the tragedy of my minor inconveniences are, I remain the same. I have managed to make it this far without thinking too far into what would happen if I actually showed up on time to the 6 o’ clock schedule.
Why ruin a mediocre thing?
I am a functioning adult.
5 blocks down
to Forest Bend and Green Trail.
Could you imagine more boring and uninspired names for two intesecting streets in the middle of a crowded Northeastern downtown “city”.
I suppose I could walk, but that would take me more than the 15 minutes it does to take the bus, even when they make every single stop.
5 blocks walking, is much too far for me. My legs can only carry sobmuch weight in a day and my mind is heavy enough on me. Knowing I can drift off into some abyss of thought until I hear the driver yelling at me “HEY, time to get off”
4 times a month
I’ve come to this deli; I get the same jar of pickles, jar of Dijon mustard, and sourdough bread.
4 times a month and this guy never remembers my name.
He always calls me Mista’.
“Hey Mista’ why the long face?!”
“Hey Mista’ you gotta stop hangin’ around them horses so long”
“Hey Mista’ I think I saw your jockey headed the other way!”
I just want the delicious, medicinal, charcutier options for my pantry. I do not want your opinion on whether I smile enough or if I seem “under the weather.” 3 out of the 4 times I can usually muster up a sneering grimace to emulate a smile to satiate this “wise guy’s” charade…
today was not that day.
This was my 4th time in here this month and today just didn’t feel like my kind of day.
he snapped his fat sausage fingers in my face before I realized it was my turn to order.
3 times these greasy, salami stained, gout riddled, knuckles were a bit too close to my face…
His snapping sausages were what me snap that day.
I picked up my delicious goods, stuck a pepperoni in between the fingers on my fist, raised it
high in the air, and yelled
“TO HELL WITH YA’”
I threw that miniature pizza topping at that Mister’s face.
I stormed right out the door.
No one stopped me; I think they were stunned (impressed, rather, more than appalled) by the theatrical disaster I just displayed. At least, my 3 pantry essential staples were secured; ready to cure my obviously hangry mental break.
the thought crossed my mind
- “you’re getting exciting, you need to calm
down.” “you’re ego leaves too much room for mistakes”. -
“TO HELL WITH YA’ “ - I’d chuckle myself.
2 times I’d tell myself to not give in to gross, satisfaction. 2 times the thought crossed my mind. “you better rein it in before those horses actually trample you flat” 2 times I got a kick from the thought of that Mister’s damn horses. I couldn’t even remember the last time, I had seen a horse.
I glanced up to see if it was one of the roof pigeons.
Squinting my eyes because today was one of the days the sun decided to show up.
“Wow” I thought to myself
Maybe they made a break for it, just like I did.
Maybe the sun was shining for me today; Maybe that pigeon finally fought for his right to bird as
a bird should.
1 semi-truck delivering pianos to the pub down the alley.
1 dropped cigarette in the lap of the driver.
1 slight look to my left before my face hit the hood
I smiled through the shock.
It didn’t last long enough to even react.
In fact there were ZERO times I thought I’d die happy, especially in spite of being hit by a truck.