Thursday, October 27, 2005

Drama Queen

Last weekend I experienced an irrational, assumption-induced high and the subsequent distressing slam into reality when my brain caught up with my imagination. My nerves are raw and my limbs feel like lead and I am inexplicably disappointed despite having realized there was never anything to expect. I am furious and coiled like a steel spring, wanting to rage but without a suitable target. I can't comprehend how I get myself into these things, but I've been distracted and sullen for five days, restless for five nights, and it took the oldest and best Frank Sinatra in my extensive collection (the cassette Mary made to help me get over Rob ten years ago of Frank's earlier, happier hits at Columbia, as opposed to the luxuriously depressing ballads from the Capitol and Reprise years, most of which I have on CD) and several days' worth of violent and inspired piano playing to dig me out of the emotional trench I crawled into. (It took me an hour to sound out the chords and melody to My Immortal by Evanescence, which I've heard maybe twice, but it was worth it because Kelly will pee his pants when he hears it.) The weekend slumped into an excruciating week that feels like sand in my eyes, but I have an annual party to cohost Saturday and I refuse to let the people I love see just how petty and vain I can be. So I absorbed Frank's take-no-shit attitude through my auditory canals until I could stop traffic with a look and channeled that intensity into being the most delightful and engaging me I can be for the people who care, which always works like a charm. I might crack after the weekend but at least I'll have a good reason: exhaustion.

Besides, I think I know what's wrong with me. Just about the time I started to worry about becoming bipolar or something, I remembered the prescription. I recently switched from the Wal-Mart Pharmacy (Wal-Mart is evil) to the quaint mom-and-pop corner store on Main, City Drug, and of course they have a different generic for my Ortho Tri-Cyclen (gay). So I went from Tri-Nessa (gayer) to Tri-Sprintec (gayest- who names this stuff?), and I’m hoping that the new pill is what’s making me insane. (I could forego it altogether since it's not performing its intended function right now, but then I'd probably get cramps so bad I'd pass out on a regular basis, and I work around lots of deep water so that's not good. I know, I know, TMI.) There’s just no other justification for feeling like the bottom dropped out when my life is simply awesome and getting better every day. I despise the fact that I’m at the whim of my hormones and a small-town pharmacist named Garth.

The week started to look up the minute I realized that I might not be responsible for my crappy attitude, and it looked even better when I discovered that the new store in the old Wal-Mart building (we got a Super Wal three years ago), Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply, carries the Ariat Fatbaby line, indisputably the best thing to happen to women's western fashion since those ass-perfecting Lawman Jeans. Cheri had a pair of the orange (oops, sorry, Cognac) Fatbabies on when she dropped in two weeks ago and I almost wanted a tornado-borne farmhouse to fall on her so I could seize them and click my heels. They look like a pair of Doc Martens knocked up the rodeo queen's pink Justins and they sent the kids to a Manhattan finishing school. There's also Gembaby (spackled with rhinestones) and Dollbaby (taller, slimmer, and flowered). Expect to see them on the painstakingly pedicured feet of the jet set in your local metropolis (don't laugh- they embraced Uggs, didn't they?), but remember: the overprocessed bimbo you see them on has probably never stepped in a fresh cowpie in her life.

Late Tuesday morning I was brooding, slouched at the sunny break room table across from Jeff, who was trying not to fall asleep despite having polished off an 8-cup pot of black coffee all by himself, a daily occurrence. He was sitting sideways with his chin in his hand, and every once in a while he would jerk upright and give me a sideways glance from under the brim of his ball cap with a guilty expression. Finally the Super Looper magazine he was pretending to read slid off his lap and he almost followed it to the floor, so he suggested we drive out to the shop and get the mail. (He's lucky. If he had started snoring or drooling I was going to set off an alarm by switching the hypochlorite pump into manual.) While he drove the big Ford up Evanston’s main drag, Front Street, I started noticing what a glorious day it was. I saw Bud’s truck at his mom’s and Jim carrying a big package into The UPS Store, and Kathy’s husband Glen peering under the hood of a teenager’s car in front of Kallas Auto, and Frankie and Mike arguing in the parking lot at Cazin’s Hardware. At least every other local driver on the road waves to Jeff. He knows everybody. He shoes everybody's horses. By the time we got back into town from the shop and stopped at City Hall, I was nearly myself again. Nancy had a singing, dancing witch with fiberoptic hair and Jo had grandkid Joey stories, and Susan wants to "do lunch" at Michael’s next Tuesday. It's nice to know I'm missed. I briefly bitched with Austin about how hard it is to find a decent guy in this world. Then I told the chief of police that he smelled good, which caused a general uproar, but he did. He was standing too close and he was drenched in some nice clean-smelling cologne, maybe Perry Ellis or Nautica, and that doesn’t mean I don’t still think he’s a skunk. I have one hell of a sense of smell but I’m an even better judge of character, except in rare cases.

As usual, composing this post has had the necessary therapeutic effect on me. I can almost always write myself normal, or something like it. Why I always feel the need to wrap it up with a profound thought I don't know, but I've got nothing in the arsenal but quotes from the thirty-year-old dictionary at the plant, so here goes:

“An Idea, like a ghost (according to the common notion of a ghost) must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself." –Dickens

And while I enjoy that line, I liked this one from Dickens even more: "In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast substantial smile."

Force me into any mold, and just see how I adapt.


Blogger marymuses said...

I'd say it's fair to blame the drama on your pill switch. A friend of mine recently switched brands, and the hormonal upheaval caused her to be both more emotional and more clumsy than usual; in her case she kept spilling things and then crying about it. It took a week or so for her to return to normal. Hang in there.

October 28, 2005 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger A said...

Thank you! Yes I think that's what it was... I'm feeling much more like myself this week. It's so odd when you feel things just slip out of your control, even when you know you have more sense than that.

October 31, 2005 at 5:52 PM  

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