This was written exactly one month ago, during the middle of June. At the time, my mind was racing--actually, I'm not sure if it ever sleeps--and so I thought it best to put myself to the keyboard. Type. Type. Type. Call this a stream if consciousness, a journal entry, an inner monologue, a rambling train. Whatever. I just know it was brought on by the macaroons. It's their fault. I should also note that I no longer reside in the "moldy apartment" I allude to toward the end of this post. We moved just a few days after I wrote this. Our new place is smaller, but without the mold and cockroaches. So that's a plus.
I tried macaroons for the first time. I bought them from a food truck in Indianapolis, a truck that specializes in Slow Food. The truck is called “Duos,” but I’m not entirely sure why. I feel stupid for not knowing. And then, since I don’t know and because I feel stupid, I blame the business. It’s their fault for making me feel uneducated and unable to connect the dots between their “Slow Food Fast” slogan and their absolutely delicious, but still-a-bit-too-spicy-for-me ham sandwich with chips and jalapeno dressing and leaves and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT ELSE BECAUSE I JUST WANT TO GO BACK TO THE REFRIDGERATOR HERE AT MY OFFICE AND EAT IT. Stand there, with the door thrown wide, the cool air rushing onto me and sending me shivers, and EAT. Scarf it down. Stuff myself, with dressing smeared across my lips and cheeks, my tongue burning. More.
I want more.
That’s typically how society works nowadays, isn’t it? We’re all consumerists. We consume food. We consume beverages. We purchase clothes and cars. We accessorize ourselves, our cars, our pets, our homes, our phones, and other inanimate objects. Why have a plain-old phone when you can have one with a decorative case or charm? Why wouldn’t you cover your car’s steering wheel with an animal print cover? And who, really, wants to jangle around an unadorned keychain?
My keychain isn’t special. It’s a lanyard that I bought during my first visit to Purdue, back when I was even more pretentious and had nothing but contempt for my hometown. The white “Purdue University” lettering has nearly faded over the years. But, happily, it still holds my keys and my member cards—one to Kroger, one to the Central Library. As for my keys, there are four. One, two, three, four. Four is nearly the number of weeks it has been since my car was stolen. May 24, that was. I just canceled my car insurance yesterday. I still had some hope. Maybe. Not really. I knew it was gone. I was just in denial.
I don’t want a new car. I don’t want a different car. I want my car. My poor, beat-up old car.
I was looking at pictures on my phone last night. I was scrolling through and saw pictures of cats, of comics, of amusing things at work. But I gasped, I honestly gasped, when I stumbled across three photos of my car. I had taken the images in amusement, because I had parked the car out back, under one of the trees. That was the time of year when all the evil crows from the nine circles of hell gathered in a three-block radius. Around our house, up and down Talbott, on Delaware, around the school. CAW CAW CAW.
Anyway, those crows decided to shit on my car. Lots of shit. And I had to laugh, really, because it looked like my car had the pox. And so I drove that rusted-out, pock-marked car to work with PRIDE.
Take that, birds. CAW.
There was even a time when Hans and I left the house to go somewhere, and as we walked down the front steps, we heard a strange rustling. A flap, a fap, a rustle, a flutter. We looked up.
A HUNDRED FUCKING BIRDS. Sitting there. Watching us. Watching and plotting.
I laughed and cackled, bending over to contain my hysteria. It was funny, oh so funny, that these birds were plotting to kill us. Just hovering over us, waiting for the moment that I finally collapse on the ground, rolling with tears of laughter. And then? And then they would dive and peck and kill and mutilate, and no one would tell my screams from the fluttering of wings.
I think that is everyone’s dream, really. To die in the most spectacular of ways. To be remembered for something, even if it is for your own death. Sometimes, when I’m in the car, I imagine being in an accident. I imagine my frail body smashing into the dashboard. My forehead through the window. I imagine whiplash and broken bones and the irreversible and unrecognizable twisting of metal, flesh, bones.
What would it be like, to be an unintentional martyr?
I wrote something about that back when I was in high school. I would share the story here, if I wasn’t ashamed of it. If I wasn’t afraid.
I used to think I could write. Or maybe I was just in denial about that, too. I never really could write. But I still found it easier than talking. I wish I were a better freelancer. A better thinker. A more coherent talker. I wish I lot of things.
But I don’t daydream anymore.
Mostly because I don’t know what to dream of.
And there it is again—my cynicism. The trait that shines through so well these days. I’m just as pessimistic as I was in high school. I doubt myself, I doubt other people. I want to remove myself from everything. Want to huddle and curl and wrap myself up in a cocoon and stay there, sleeping.
It’s hard to get up these days. So very hard.
Especially when you get to wake up to piles of boxes, a moldy floor. A moldy mattress. Gnats in your closet. Mold in your shower. The shower that doesn’t drain and leaks all over the floor. The cockroach you’re too lazy pick up and kick out of the house, even though it has turtled, legs in the air, dying slowly. The smell, the sight, the stress. You can’t wait to be out. You can’t wait to escape. A week, three days, two days. It’s not soon enough. You just want to escape from your lease, from the house, from everything and everyone.
And maybe eat.
Maybe. Even though you’re not hungry.
But you should, anyway.
So I talk to myself, tell myself what I should do. I do this each day, all day. I tell myself, “Okay, Dawn. You have to get out of bed now. You have to get up.” When, half an hour later, that doesn’t work, I say to myself, “Dawn, you have to leave for work in 20 minutes. Push back the covers NOW.” And I do. I shove them off me, greeting the morning with a gruff attitude and a cloud of doubt. “Dawn, put your feet on the floor. Grab your water, your phone, and your ChapStick, and leave the bedroom."
“Brush your teeth, now.”
“Put on your clothes.”
“I know you’re tired, but you can’t sit down. Don’t lie down, either. You can’t fall asleep. You have to go to work, remember?”
“Pack a lunch, even though you may not eat it. Go along with it. Do what you think you have to do.”
“Just do it. I know you don’t want to. Try. Come on.”
So I finish trying to piece words and thoughts together, because nothing is eloquent and cohesive anyway. And I get up, and walk to the fridge. Open it up and steal away the other half of my sandwich, the sandwich that’s just a bit too spicy.
There are no more macaroons, though. I ate those outside, on the steps of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Under the sun. Where people were staring at me, the girl with the camera and the ID badge clipped to her belt. There were two macaroons. Toasted or something. With powdered sugar. They weren’t the fancy kind that everyone is losing their panties over. But they looked okay and tasted fine and I didn’t hate them.