santa paws

I regularly frequent a Shaw’s that has two Redboxes.  Yet I always have to wait in line to use either.  One is slightly busted and I realize that my wait time is increased by about 27 minutes unless I step in to assist the customers in front of me.  

The arrow doesn’t actually coordinate with your finger.  It’s about an inch behind.  Meaning you try to rent Moonrise Kingdom and you end up renting The Search for Santa Paws.  There I was, impatiently waiting to return The Search for Santa Paws before I was charged an extra $1.50 and an older gentleman in front of me had three movies to return.  This would calculate a total of 13 minutes if I didn’t show him the trick to returning movies in a busted Redbox.  “You just want to touch in an inch above where you think you should touch it.”  

The eye contact that occurred after this statement was one that probably occurs when you pull your vehicle up next to a stripper on a street corner.  I was just trying to help and here this man was thinking I was offering him a handie.  He called me a lifesaver and tried to give me a dollar.  I’m either a prostitute or he feels bad I frequent this Redbox enough to know how to work it properly.  All of the above.  

I made record time in my Redbox trip only to have the same young man call me “sir” for the third time this week.  I actually responded this time by saying “yes?” in my most feminine voice.  He felt like such a jerk he looked away and I didn’t to deny him his pleas for spare change.

Nothing about my day has been successful, minus the dollar I earned for simply touching something.  Something that makes me consider taking up prostitution as a legitimate career path.   I woke up in a terrible mood for no reason other than having to work on a Sunday when I haven’t really gotten a day off all week.  And everyone I worked with was in an even worse mood.  I had someone have a nervous breakdown in the back room and a grown adult male through a hissy fit because he didn’t like the level of communication occurring in the moment.  Meaning I had to spend half my day communicating how inappropriate it is for a grown adult male to throw a hissy fit and how work is not a place to get upset about how you mistakenly slept with your roommate.

And as the pieces of my life seem to fall away from me, I can’t seem to get myself to run.  I did start walking to work so at least I could do something physically active.  Except on the walk home I dared myself to stop at no crosswalks.  A feat indeed given it’s two miles through the city of Cambridge.  I almost got legitimately impaled by almost four motor vehicles.  And at no point was I the least bit concerned about this because all I could think was at least I’ll finally get a day off!  

 But I won’t.  And I probably won’t find the energy to run.  I’ll have to wipe the tears of people who make the mistake of falling for their roommates and grown adults who throw boxes for no real reason while I give a dollar to a homeless man who thinks I’m a sir that I earned by simply touching something in a sexual way. How exactly did I end up here?

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I just waited in line at the liquor store for 11 minutes.  Let’s keep in mind that I went to the Burlington Starbucks the other day to get a Clover, saw a line of over 7 people, and drove to the Woburn Starbucks to get an americano instead.  Of course the time it took me to drive to Woburn was far longer than any line I’d wait in at the Burlington Starbucks.  Harvard Yard would be a different story but Burlington?  Tops 11 minutes.  My point:  I have zero patience.  

But when you have a serious problem and the contents of your fridge resemble those of sophomore in college (beer and an empty Brita pitcher) sometimes you have to wait in line for 11 minutes to replenish.    

But I feel as though I deserved to drink tonight given I did run today.  Is that the first sign of a problem when you try justifying an action for the completion of another action?  I’m going to go ahead and label it a reward system over a problem. Or an opportunity.  An opportunity to run more in exchange for booze.

My point:  I went running today.  Granted it was broken up with a 3-hour work session but I will take what I can get given I haven’t run since last Saturday.  It has hard to manage squeezing in running with my new schedule of working 80 hours a week and waiting in line at liquor stores.  

To fill my depressing fridge.  I had a friend over the other night and they were looking through my kitchen like there was something to look for.  I told them I could offer then coffee (on a Verismo, french press, pour over, or instant VIA!) or a beer.  If they had a second for me to fill my Brita pitcher, they could have some water.  They then proceeded to ask me if I was 21.  To which I answered, I wish.  

I also don’t have a television and have boxes of work product fronting as furniture.  I do have a wide collection of fake Christmas trees and purple Christmas lights and I spend the majority of my days with employees who are under the age of 20.  Indeed the appearance of a college dorm room. But how do you be an adult when you don’t have time to be an adult?  I actually delivered my laundry to my mom today to do it for me because I simply did not want to find the time.  “Want” and “find” being the operative words there. I’d much rather spend my leisure hours running and drinking beer with people who understand my inability to act my age.  

Though most people the age of 21 don’t regularly arise at 4am and work 80 hours.  They probably also don’t cry in dumpster areas and send the majority of their texts while peeing.  But what do I know about 21 year olds?  They probably run more than one day a week and are more responsible with their free time.  Which is precisely why I want to be 21 again.  So I have the energy to do more than wait in line at the liquor store.  

I’m going to run again tomorrow.  Solely as an opportunity to drink again.  A lovely exchange indeed.

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How is it…

That the highlight of my everyday is a person who barely knows I exist?

That I gain more entertainment from reading Craiglist missed connections than I do from real life conversations?

That I find I have more in common with serial-killing Dexter than I do the people who pass through my everyday life?

That people think it’s appropriate to ask if they can ask me something when they can just ask me something without asking if they can ask me something?

That Bon Iver can suck balls but if you’re in a suicidal state of mind he can change your life?

That I’m going to be 29 in two weeks and the only thing I feel I’ve accomplished in life is the ability to work 80 hour work weeks without shedding any tears?

That I can respond to any text with “Yup” and it somehow always seems appropriate?

That I repeatedly respond to text messages with “Yup” and people still text me?

That I think drinking excessive amounts of alcohol four hours before waking up for work at 4 am is totally appropriate?

That no one who works for me realizes I drank excessive amounts of alcohol a mere 4 hours before I arrived?

That I occasionally sleep with my head at the foot of my bed so when I wake up in the morning I have a split second of questioning where I am in an attempt to feel something different than my everyday?

That a priest hugged me today and I kind of enjoyed it?

That I recently deleted a contact from my phone solely for the use of an emoticon?

That I can say the phrase “suck my face” 27 times a day and I never tire of it?

That the only thing in my iCal is my soon-to-be trip to Breaking Dawn 2?

That we always look down when we should look up?

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m!chelle in real life

Oh, were you expecting a blog post about my most recent run?  I’m sorry I gave up running for 16 hour works days and 4 hours of Dexter.  Leaving me 4 hours to divide between sleeping and wondering why I’m single.  I need to go out to meet people?  I’m far too mentally drained for that.  Why can’t they instead just appear at my apartment and invite themselves in to watch Dexter?

Someone asks you out for a drink and suddenly you’re inviting them over to watch television on your 10″ laptop in your unfurnished apartment.  You are mistaken for a slut but in reality you’re really just lonely for some human company and enjoy premium television shows.  Real life, people.  Real Life.

Speaking of real life, let’s talk about Michelle when she’s not attired in her work clothing.  I have been wearing my Ke$sh t-shirt (purchased for a steal at 8 dollars in P-Town) for every hour I’m not physically at work.  I haven’t washed it since last Saturday. But for some reason I don’t think it smells all that bad?  I don’t even like Ke$ha.  I don’t even know how to properly say her name.  Now I can’t sleep without her on my person.  And I’ve stolen the cellphones of six separate individuals to change my contact name from “Michelle” to “M!chelle”.

In a few short weeks time, I went from a range of being uncontrollably upset to irrationally angry to being just Eh.  Eh is how I am.  I’m tired from work.  I’m tired from being uncontrollably upset.  I’m tired from being irrationally angry.  I’m just tired.  So now I’m just here existing in this place of apathy.  And I will catch these brief, fleeting moments where it hits me and it’s terribly depressing.  All of it.  But it is so much better than holding on to this hope that it could all be different when it simply is not.  And I know there is no reason for me to be so terribly angry or so horribly miserable.  For nothing.  So here I am.  Resting in the middle of it all, in a place I’ve spent the majority of my 28 years.  And it’s oddly comforting.  

Of course I also have moments of thinking that maybe I will somehow piece it together and I will run and I will be a productive member of society who socializes with other productive members of of society.  But  mostly, I roll my lifeless body out of bed at 4 a.m., I put one foot in front of the other, and I smile for those who want to be smiled at and I am pleasant to those who expect me to pleasant.  

People love M!chelle in her apathetic glory.  I even had a friend retract their statement on me needing a mental health assessment and prescription drugs.  A friend who is a licensed medical professional.  So I should trust their judgement, no?  No.  No I shouldn’t.  Those in the mental health profession are the most mentally unstable of them all.  When you need a legitimate binder to hold all your mental health history assessments and diagnosis and just straight up crazy scrawl for all the ways and reasons you are messed up, you should probably not be telling me what I need. I’m not the one storing a three-ringed binder of my insanity in my apartment.  I’m also not the one with 3 prescription medications to get me out of bed in the morning.  I do it on willpower and excessive caffeine alone.  

Let’s not go ahead and assume I’m against all mental health treatment.  I’m well aware there are many, many individuals who benefit from licensed medical professionals and prescription medications.  But when the one licensed medical professional I know sends me a text message about how she needed to sign a contract pledging to not commit suicide and immediately terminate her nonstop listening to Taylor Swift I start to get worried.  Why would anyone stop listening to T. Swift???

And thus here I am.  Watching Dexter in my unfurnished apartment by myself.  Sleeping for 4 hours before I spend another 16 hours at work.  All the while thinking about how I should run but instead heading back to my 10″ laptop to watch 4 more hours premium television while I ponder how M!chelle is possibly still single.  It sure is a mystery. 

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what would ke$ha do?

Let me start off by defending my laziness.  I feel like all lazy people have great excuses for why they have lazy behaviors instead of actually admitting their laziness.  As a new member of the lazy society, I have started my story of excuses to defend why I did not run today or yesterday.

Let’s start with yesterday when I posted a blog about how I was going to run then immediately realized no running would take place.  Why?  Because I had a flat tire.  What on earth does that have to do with me running?  You don’t need a car to run, Michelle.  Is what I know you are thinking.  Well, asswipe, on my one day off a week, I do need to do my laundry.  And given I’m too lazy to lug my laundry to the nearest laundry mat, I need to drive to my parent’s luxurious trailer to do laundry while my mom feeds me tofu and Charlie and I cuddle.  

Without my car, I am unable to partake in my normal day-off laundry relaxation.  Devastating because by Saturday I am usually wearing my clothes on repeat.  To go a whole other week without a wash would be surely be a sanitation hazard.  So instead, I impatiently waited for AAA and just told myself I could get through this tire change and then do whatever I damn well felt like.  Screw everything else and all the promises I made.

I should note here that the AAA guy was a strange fellow.  At no point did he use actual words to communicate with me but instead just kind of waved at my trunk as an indication that I should open it.  So I did.  Then he just threw the spare on and peeled off into the distance.  This doesn’t sound that awkward but let’s note that I may be lazy but I am incapable of remaining quiet for any extended period of time when in the company of a new person.  I spent a good seven minutes making conversation with myself while he changed a tire faster than any NASCAR pit member in an attempt to flee the scene of my incessant chitchat.  

When this was finally over, my patience was worn thin.  I stood there in my already-dirty clothes and contemplated skipping laundry and heading back to my apartment to watch Dexter and call it a day.  Given it was only 2 pm at this point, I said I would do laundry then follow with beer and Dexter.  A worthy compromise, also known as a common excuse of a lazy person. 

Two loads of laundry, four beers, and three Dexter episodes later, I found myself in a public park.  Fast forward to the morning, where I awoke with the numbers 1523 written on my hand in Sharpie.  What, exactly, did this mean?  Clearly it was not a telephone number.  Maybe an address?  A hotel room?  The number of people I’ve slept with?  A mystery indeed.  

But let’s rewind to me being awoken.  By a text message at five in the morning, because Michelle is on-call from 4:30am to 8:30pm e.v.e.r.y.d.a.y. of her life.  I may be lazy but I never actually rest.  If you text me between these times I will read it.  If you text me between these times and I don’t respond, take that as a sign I’m ignoring you.  

My text message reads there is a small flood.  Nothing to worry about.  But maybe could use a look from myself.  I see my hand and question what 1523 means.  I wonder if I’m sober enough to drive.  I conclude the answer is yes, and conclude that me sleeping in jeans is a great idea because it’s one less step in the morning I can avoid.  Ten minutes I arrive at the scene of the “small flood” that is “nothing to worry about” which could also have be called an ankle deep wading pool of shit water.  Or sewage.  With the stench of multiple dead bodies.  

Hours of plumbers and drain doctors and sanitation workers and bio hazard clean up and phone calls would be nothing.  I can handle all of that.  What I can’t handle is being held hostage in a unventilated area of sewage water for 13 hours.   13 hours of time for me to ponder what the fuck 1523 means.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN????

Needless to say I didn’t run today.  I spent the entire day being nauseous and was forced to pee behind a bush in the middle of Cambridge.  Don’t ask.  

This is essentially my life now.  The life of a lazy person who awakes with random graffiti on their body and spends their day wading through sewage and stops caring about the dangers of E. coli.  To paint a clearer picture for you:  Yesterday, when debating if I could factor in the time for a run or if I should simply be an irresponsible adult who lives life on the side of lazy for the sake passing time (thank you, Dexter) I legitimately asked myself:  What would Ke$ha do?  

This was an honest question that occurred in my brain.  What would Ke$ha do?  And I don’t know what Ke$ha would be but I’m pretty sure she spends a lot of her time in stench-ridden areas herself and would be totally accepting of my new lifestyle.  

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i will run today

I will run today.

I will not watch another entire season of Dexter.

I will not drink multiple adult beverages in the company of only myself.

I will not stalk Robin Scherbatskey look-alikes.

I will not cut my hair for the third time in a week.  After consuming multiple adult beverages.

I will not drink 17 shots of espresso in a 4 hour period.

I will not question why I consume so much liquid, none of which is solely water.

I will run today.  

Then I will drink some water and do my laundry and pretend I’m semi-human.  Then I’ll probably watch more Dexter.  Probably while drinking beer and chances are highly likely scissors will be involved. 

But I will run today.

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i’m an asshole. why are you suddenly surprised by this.

Wait for it…I didn’t run today.

Why would I break my streak?  Must of be for some grand reason.  Like I broke my femur or made a real-life friend worthy of my company.

But no.  I’m simply a lazy jerk.  I worked for 13 hours after working for 12 yesterday, and followed that up by eating an entire bag of pita chips.  

I also replaced my perpetual state of grief with wild fits of anger.  And that felt like a workout in itself.  Instead of being overcome with a need to cry and remain in a fetal-like position while trying to stand up (it’s not possible), I unleashed random spurts of rage on my employees for time theft, followed by awkward dance moves and relentless spells of laughter.  I’ve officially been deemed both “hysterical” and “legitimately crazy.”  Both of which I can’t and won’t deny.  My only defense is to hire replacements for all that inevitably will quit in my newfound insanity.  

But to be honest, I feel a little more balanced.  I feel a little bit more like myself.  Even if that self is slightly tilted to the wrong side of humanity.

I had this grand attempt of being civil that I have been scheming for weeks.  I tried to be that better person who can express sincere emotion and honesty.  But I have little emotion worthily of expression and I honestly want to be an asshole.  I thought maybe I was capable of being friends with the same people I simultaneously wanted to stab in the face.  Then I realized you shouldn’t be friends with people you don’t even like as people.  You should stab them in the face.  And if you can’t legally do that, then you should tell them you want to stab them in the face while making them feel just as worthless as you currently feel.

Always bring people down to your level.  I believe I was taught that in kindergarden.  Granted, I went to kindergarden in the projects where we were taught how to spell using poetry.  I also got in trouble for ripping my best friend’s drawing of a bunny into about 13 pieces because I felt like it.  Clearly, I have learned nothing since then.  

Why, yes. Yes, I am an asshole.  From those brief moments where I promise to be kind, I slip.  Sometimes in the same conversation.  I slide right back down to that same spot of destruction.  And I probably have someone on my back coming down with me.  

And so I spent weeks trying to be some better version of myself.  While words were thrown in my face, behind my mask of tears, I was silent.  I have spent weeks in awkward silence.  I would put my head down and walk away.  I would sleep and run and work and say nothing.  I was reserved and quiet and my only words were ones of apologies.  

But I wasn’t being some better version of myself as I wanted to believe.  I was simply accumulating facts.  A collection of material to lash in the face of another when I was finally ready for my response.  You don’t get to break me and try to put me back together.  You can break me but I’ll break you right back.  And I’ll piece my lifeless body back together with the remnants of yours.  

Meticulously I brewed a lashing that would finally break me free from all that had already broken me.  And  yesterday I let it go.  My fine thread of civility was broken.  My true self stepped forward and the asshole that I am came face first with freedom and attacked.   Because maybe I shouldn’t be okay with being an asshole but I shouldn’t be friends with people I don’t even like as people.  You should stab them in the face.  Honestly, I really need to start stabbing people in the face.  I feel like violence could solve a lot of my problems.  

At the end of the day, I truly believe we get exactly what we deserve.  I wake up everyday aware of how truly awful I can be as a person.  I accept this and I live it and I embrace it.  I was broken because I deserved to be broken, because I asked to be broken.  But you don’t get to break someone and wake up and be okay with it.   You need to wake up and feel exactly as I feel.  We are neighbors in a city of assholes and I’m demanding you accept my casserole.  

So yes.  I found balance in being the asshole.  I find balance in you being the victim.  I will own my cruelty and I only ask you own yours.  And eat my casserole. Or I will seriously stab you in the face. 

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