Monday, I had my very first bad day in New York.
Everyone told me it was coming.
“About every six weeks,” Smyres told me. “I want to pack it up and move to Tennessee.”
I couldn’t find my metrocard in the morning, and I’d overslept. I had got heat exhaustion on Saturday going to the hardware store. (To buy a plunger, my least favorite new apartment purchase. Everyone looks at you like “I know what’s in your toilet!”) I still felt sick. I had my period and felt like eating large slabs of bloody meat and crying. There were dark circles under my eyes and wrinkles in the circles. I could see what I’d look like when I was an elderly person. It was horrifying.
I came home from work and wanted only a shower and some cheese. I was out of towels, and out of food. I called a couple people and no one was home. I sat down to do some writing, and discovered that I had no talent. I sat down on my bed to have a cry, and discovered that I sound stupid crying. I actually say: “Boo hoo hoo. Boo hoo hoo.” Who says that? What an asshole. I thought about beating myself with an extension cord, but decided that would be hard to explain when the cops arrived.
I got out of bed. I decided to finish setting up my apartment. I would hang pictures. I had no nails. Tons of screws, but no nails. I screwed a picture to the wall, was horrified at how … mental institution it looked, securely fixed to the wall. I decided to set up my stereo instead.
I set up my stereo, with very few problems, and put on Nina Simone. She sounded tinny. I switched some shit around. I got out my vaccuum and several scrub brushes and cleaned the place within an inch, as the saying goes. (The inch is under my bed, and I can’t reach it.)
I thought about my old landlord in Rozzie, who used to say, in her excellent Irish accent, “Watch yerself, Jennifer. I’ve got the PMS, and if it iddn’t bolted down, I’m going to scrub it.”
I felt better.