Tag Archives: story-telling

Mondays Aren’t that Bad (and other deeply profound observations)

Mondays are good for things like counting how many bills are past due in your head, or tallying the number of days it’s been since you’ve last moved your body in a way that could be construed as exercise. It’s also ripe with awkward exchanges: You get stuck riding the elevator with the unruly looking man who always answers your mass emails to the office with inappropriately personal tidbits about his life — “It’s Birthday cake day today? That’s funny. When me and my sister were six we also had white cake with strawberries on top. And then we swam in the lake with our grandfather who ended up having an affair with our old nanny!” Cool C-dawg, thanks for letting me know.

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Mondays are certainly not dignified days.

Round One: Monday in the bathroom

Monday morning is where I find myself, hurriedly brushing my teeth in the women’s bathroom at work because I’m late, when all of the sudden I’m listening to the primal grunts of a fellow human struggling to eliminate dead animal remnants from their bowels. Besides the twinge of jealousy I feel toward this person for producing normal bowel movements so early in the morning, I’m generally displeased with what’s happening. In these moments, there is no higher power saving us from the hideous beasts we biologically are deep down inside. Not even a courtesy flush could save me from the guttural moans of a woman thrusting aside gender norms for the chance to maintain her digestive normality— WAIT A HOT SECOND, there’s a fucking guy coming out of that stall. In a construction helmet. He smells of bologna sandwiches that have been heating up on a hot sidewalk mixed with the dirty mop water that used to collect at the end of my driveway from the makeshift car wash service that Di-Di the homeless crack addict started when I lived on “the bad side of town.”

“Uhh…ohhh…this is… Is this the girl’s bathroom?” I wasn’t buying the act. You heard me clack in here, man, all pigeon-toed in my heels like a grown-ass woman.

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I shook my head up and down as my Sonicare toothbrush glided unpleasantly over my half broken fillings. (Sidenote: It’s never worth it to go to the “wholesale” dentist just because you have a chance to win the Free Trip to Hawaii Sweepstakes. Chances are, the contest never existed in the first place.) At this point, I’m fighting the urge to spit my toothpaste all over him repeatedly as if I were filming hilarious outtakes for a show called My Life Monday (The screwball sequel to His Girl Friday).

Round two: Monday at the pump

Later that day, on the way home from work, I decided to finally acknowledge the lit up emergency light on my dashboard, indicating “Your father is not coming to do this for you. Please put air in your tires, you irresponsible brat.” Obviously, like most civilized people, I needed to buy something in the gas station to get cash back and have change for the quarter-operated air pump from 1963. As I walk out of the gas station there is a Mercedes SUV inching uncomfortably closer and closer to my car, which I have intentionally parked an inch away from the pump, until the Mercedes appears to be human centipeding my car.

“She wants your car to buy her a drink first!” I said to the woman now exiting her car and moving toward the air pump. Apparently she was not amused by the personification of my white Chevy Aveo. She was also unaware, like most Mercedes owners I’ve come across, that having a Mercedes doesn’t automatically disqualify you from having to wait in a line or you know, being a decent human being.

“I was actually about to use that,” pointing to my car that was positioned in the only spot allotted for the air pump.

10 out of 10 Mercedes are that asshole that just cut off 100 cars and is now trying to merge into your lane..

10 out of 10 Mercedes are that asshole that just cut off 100 cars and is now trying to merge into your lane..

“Yeah. Well, I’m going to go ahead and use it. And it’ll be a few minutes and then i’ll just pass it on over to you.” I was astounded and exponentially impressed by her ability to make cutting me in line sound like a favor she was doing me. When I regained consciousness as a human being able to stand up for herself, she was already discarding the pump from her hand, there was no “passing it on over” that took place. I imagined giving her an atomic wedgie in her Lulu Lemon yoga pants for most of that night. But not before I met JJ.

Enter JJ

JJ really wanted a Sirloin Sandwich combo from Jack In The Box and I was standing in his way. By standing in his way I mean I was crouching down, pumping air in my tires like a self-sufficient adult woman. That’s when he came rushing to my aid like an unkempt, hungry Prince Charming of the Streets.

“hey-hey-hey, let..let.. let me do that for ya. I got some gloves on — make this real smooth and easy for ya.” Granted it was 41 degrees in Austin, which meant there was a “Severe Weather Alert” already in effect.

“I’m actually pretty okay all by my lonesome. It’s just this tire really—“

“Aww no, ain’t no lady as pretty as you getting her hands dirty on dees tires.” As he grabbed the air pump out of my delicate lady hands I thought about how many people JJ has met at this pump. Obviously, he lived his life with intention and purpose. Instead of wasting time begging for change like others struggling to make a buck, he camped out at the one place that doesn’t take credit cards and went from there. I liked his drive, although I resented the superior demeanor he possessed when claiming my tire was “full enough, mama.”

Despite the fact that JJ’s help was thrust upon me like an unwanted work email at 4:59 p.m., I gave him a dollar. And when he asked me for another dollar because he’d been “dreamin’ ’bout dem Jack fries” I gave him another dollar.  It was a Monday after all, and I was happy to spend the end of it making JJ’s dreams come true. And as I drove home, weaving through the mass of deplorable Southern drivers, honking at the inevitable douchey bro in a hummer and then at the irresponsible douche with a dog loose in his truck bed, I thought, ughh, well, I guess Monday could be worse.

How to Not Die When Hiking

foodcomaYou know when you wake up before your stomach isn’t fully done digesting the entire box of macaroons junk food you ruthlessly shoved down your gullet the night before? You feel like a mix of the Michelin Man and seven-year-old you the morning after Halloween — that’s me any morning I wake up before ten.

Yesterday, as a means to rid myself of this feeling, and the entire container of almond and dark chocolate chip cookies I heroically consumed in a day’s time, (without having t0 resort to a suppository), I did a brave thing: I went on a hike. Normally, throw some coffee in my volcano stomach and bing, eruption results (As my mom would say, in the middle of the checkout line at the grocery store, “aww Al, I gotta go poops,” because she’s apparently a five-year-old boy) but my innards are vindictive — they hold my feasts against me. (FINE, I guess I did also eat the entire container of macaroons but Matti had some too…. okay, okay, he only had two.)

new yorker

Aww, New Yorker, you’re so clever!

I felt excited about the idea of going on a hike, I felt like Caesar Milan would really appreciate my pack-leader sensibility and the last time Matti and I went on this trail it barely felt like exercise (except for maybe at the end when I was huddled over a sharp rock holding back vomit). But hiking has a way of hiding its misery better than other forms of exercise like say, running on a treadmill; I feel like the same people that invented hamster wheels also invented treadmills. I did used to run on them when I worked as a swim instructor at Boston Sports Club, but that was because the gym membership was free, and you know what, hiking in the woods is always free! (Unless it costs money!)

My experience hiking can be summed up by my choice of foot wear: my powder blue Chuck Taylor’s from 7th grade that are a mysterious size 6 yet still fit. (Because my aim is to look like a hiker who doesn’t give a fuck.) Fast forward an hour to me attempting to sprint in an empty riverbed, dodging rocks and baby plants as Tengo chases me, then crookedly stepping on a stone and almost breaking myself due to the Chuck’s lack of ankle support — I imagine I looked like one of those models on the runway with toothpick legs and 20 inch heels that looses her balance and looks like a baby deer trying to get up and walk for the first time — ugh, so painfully delightful to watch.

Halfway down the trail is when I realized, however, this could be where I die. I clearly had not thought out this whole hiking thing: I never go anywhere by myself I could likely be killed. Don’t get me wrong, Tengo’s a good protector, but he takes after me — throw him something edible and he’s all are you my mommy now? I mean, I get scared just lying in my own bed at night, fearing tiny dangerous people will pop out of the AC unit, so how did I not properly anticipate the danger before positioning myself as serial killer bait deep, deep in the wooded trail behind my apartment. Matti even texted me “Be safe!” (More about my irrational fear of serial killers).

This is not me but it is the best depiction of the type of area I would've been killed in.

This is not me but it is the best depiction of the type of area I would’ve been killed in.

There was also the fact that I had some misplaced confidence from the first half of the hike, which was the going down part. I used all my energy prancing and maneuvering around wooded obstacles that I forgot I wasn’t sixteen and in shape. You would’ve thought I was trying to invent my own brand of woodland Parkour (key word: trying). Looking around, I thought, yeah well, this would be an awfully good place to murder someone: a skinny trail leading to an empty riverbed in the middle of the woods to which I have no alternative way to get out besides the mountainous way I came. But that’s when I realized, Aly, you’re way to ordinary to get killed by a lurking serial killer in the woods behind your apartment — this is the logic that usually helps me to calm down in unfoundedly fearful situations. Also, if you predict something awful is going to happen, it’s less likely to occur, because then we’d all be psychic — it’s just science.

Matti and I on the same trail a few weeks ago, notice my side forehead sweat

Matti and I on the same trail a few weeks ago, notice my side forehead sweat

So Tengo and I ventured back up where we came from, and needless to say, we didn’t get murdered, which leads me to believe my previous assertion about tragedies is correct. Also, I believe I sweat out all of the leftover cookie fat from the previous nights, because that’s possible. I wish I had pictures to show you of my cranberry sauce colored face on the way up but I was too fearful that showing I was distracted by taking a picture would entice the hiding killer.

I did learn some lessons from my hike: Don’t assume you will want or be able to carry anything on your way back from the hike. Yes, this includes water. Get a damn fanny pack or some shit. Better yet, strap it to your dog’s back — he’ll appreciate the workout (I say he because all dogs are boys). There’s always going to be something that looks like a snake hole that you must jump over. Don’t waste your energy on the way down, you idiot. And finally, find an alternate route of evacuation incase of serial killers. Happy hiking!

What have you done lately that scared you?

Waking Up Late to Poetry

I was up last night till 4:00 a.m. watching Orange is the New Black on Netflix and fully intended on writing ya’ll a mini review on Jenji Kohan’s (the creator of Weeds) colorful take on the prison system. Instead, I woke up at 11:45 — just in time to still call it the morning — with way too much to do, by which I mean way too many places to go wearing my new engagement ring. Instead, I’m gonna take some advice from fellow blogger, Jennie and share a poem I recently revised:

When I Was Six:

When I was six

me and my brother

spilt our sea monkeys out

of their glass home.

My brother grappled and thought

“what bad luck”

sea monkeysI cried and got a spoon.

There on childish knees

scraped from rocky driveways

and swinging too high

I scooped up my best friends

like I was building a house

with the wrong side of a hammer.

I didn’t watch television

that night, survivor guilt

absorbed me and nights were

dreamless for a while

just haunted by tiny dancing

friends. Until one day

I got a dog, named her Casey,

and fighting boredom,

I washed her sandy coat

with dishwashing detergent.