Tomorrow I have to do laundry and return four or five unopened DVDs to a certain clearinghouse in Brookline because last week we had a most delightful phone conversation. The main point of the conversation was that if they weren't going to actually pay me to review their product then what was the point of me reviewing said product at all, especially if I couldn't be honestly negative about the stuff I hated, and frankly, the stuff I was getting was all crap?  They said fine, I didn't have to be on staff anymore, but if I didn't return the unopened, unreviewed product, they were going to "contact Legal" and that's a laugh and a half to me because I know how they operate and I think the guy who gets to be Legal this week also has to walk the office dog -- and it's not even an office, it's an apartment. Zoning laws in Brookline are crazy. So it goes. At any rate, it's over, and I get to bury another pseudonym until I need the clever name again. Does someone want to accompany me out to Brookline tomorrow evening, if not for food or a good old-fashioned pseudonym wake afterwards, then just a good reason for me to not have to stay in that office for too long? ("Sorry, I gotta go, here's the stuff, can't talk, someone's waiting, take care...")
This week I've also had to deal with my face breaking out after I left some crazy priestly makeup on it during Murder performances, and breakouts are always a joyous time. In a fit of pre-teen nostalgia I actually went out and bought some Oxy pads, because as I recall when the Unfortunate happened back in junior high, I got to swab my face down every morning with an alcohol-scented pad. The things worked then, if sporadically (I mean if they worked perfectly and pimply-faced kids were never to be pimply-faced again after using them, then how come I remember using them a lot?) and I'm rather happy with the job they're doing for me now. The scent brings back a hell of a lot of memories, of course, and there's that odd moment you get every now and then when you turn your head and smell something On You that isn't You. The best time you get that is if you've just been with someone you like, you woke up on their pillow or something, and for the rest of the day, even when you're alone, you just turn your head and you can smell them. And they smell good. And it's not anything obscene, either, it's just them. The scent through whicch one can envision necks and ears and, oddly enough, sweaters.
However, I haven't had that luxury in a very very long time and I daresay it'll happen again any time soon, so I've had to make do with the alternate scent-grabbing, which is the one involving memory. So with this Oxy cleanser pad stuff all over me, instead of smelling Someone Else Who Smells Really Good every time I turn my head, I get the Smell Of Me Nearly 20 Years Ago. When I walked the freshly-waxed halls of Junior High America, with those narrow little steel lockers and Trapper Keepers and Doritos for lunch. While the final years of high school were able to grant me the Outsider & Proud Of It feeling, Junior High was a bit different. On the first day of seventh grade my stepfather, reaching for some kind of paternal advice to impart upon me, told me to "just go with the flow." It took several years to realize the gem hidden in that advice, which tends to go more with the Zen feeling of reeds in wind and water and all that, and not "just do what you're told and don't make waves" -- which I think is what dear old Dad was trying for in the first place.
But hey, if you didn't make waves and you did what you were told, you didn't make a reputation for yourself and thus just sort of floated down the crowded hallway with the other salmonkids. Socially, I was one of the nerd kids, but that wasn't a problem, as I was still able to worked the homeroom circuit between first and second bells like nobody's business. I enjoyed watching kids fight for pennies outside after lunch, safe in the camaraderie around me (we weren't them!) and in 9th grade I finally emboldened myself by dumping a trash can over the head of my nemesis. But that was a long time ago and honestly, the lessons learned then are only remembered now through those rose-tinted nostalgia glasses I keep meaning to sell on Metaphor eBay or something.
God damn. Now I have this random, illogical urge to use hairspray to keep an errant cowlick in line, and I haven't had that cowlick since, like, oh, 1988.
The Oxy scent is a lot like the unease that I get in the winter months, the unease I'm getting now. The one that just sort of hangs around you like an ugly poorly-knit Shawl of Depressing. No, no -- a +4 Shawl of Depressing. There we go. Got my D&D joke in for today. Maybe you don't notice the unease when you're looking right ahead or otherwise preoccupied, but turn your head and oof, it's there. It's not "Holiday Funk" or whatever silly name you wish to use to attribute it to the holidays -- Lord knows they get a lot of attention this time of year -- but it's more of that body-clock problem with the darkening days and the long nights and the cold and the uncertainty and the alone and the biting and n'hey. I "wasted" a lot of last week because my body told me what it wanted to do, and what it wanted to do was sleep. (Of course, when it's Usually Time To Sleep, my body didn't want to, and I spent a lot of 4 AMs with the unease just settling down around me. It's times like these I wish I had cable TV again, because those 24-hour movie channels are so wonderful for insomniacs. You don't even have to choose what to watch, someone's already done that for you. While the film may not have been your first choice, guess what? You didn't have a choice to make in the first place, so settle down and enjoy Cool Hand Luke or whatever. I saw a lot of good movies that way, movies I'd never have decided to see on my own either through lack of knowledge or lack of interest or Something Else Might Be Cooler On Another Channel. But I haven't had cable in almost three years now, so to me that's pretty much something that existed in different lifetime.)
So that's the state of the onion right now. Uneasy. Cold. Sleepy. Disconnected. And smelling like medicated pads. Hey, they can't all be CAT TOWN entries.
0. Not "crap" in the literal sense, thankfully.