Text from JC today:
Good morning. We left at 0530 this morning. Almost to the harbor where we’ll anchor. Hopefully will have cell service so can text. Love you.
I woke up in a much better mood today. Even though I did not sleep well last night. Seems that with every creak in the darkness, every twerk, every tree branch brushing against a roof shingle, every floorboard heater sparking to life, I wake up. And I don’t just wake up and roll over and fall back to sleep… I wake up and clinch my teeth and try to focus into the night. It is in this moment that the tiny green light from the radio, or the cell phone, or the lone star shining in the dark sky outside my window, seems like a foreign eye blinking back at me or a shadowy outline of some extraterrestrial being hovering about the room. Oh how I long to sleep utterly completely and thoroughly through the night. Any night.
This morning, though: much better than yesterday. For starters, I did not pop a dusty percocet and wash it down with a beer at 8:59am. No, I brewed a fresh pot of coffee and pulled open the curtains and let some sunlight shine into the house. Then I set to work on a long overdue task: personal maintenance.
In the bathroom lives a wicker basket full of colorfully packaged personal care products purchased at random from the local Rite Aid or Walgreen’s or CVS. From the basket’s jumbled contents I selected four items guaranteed to not only make me look and feel better, but more attractive, approachable, non-caveman like. I lined up the items on the bathroom sink. Cutting through the cellophane wrappings, I balanced my bifocals at the end of my nose and read through the instructions for each. I didn’t just glance over the instructions, I studied and read out loud from the start of the first sentence to the last. Step one – remove cap. Step two – place pod into the microwave and heat for one minute but not longer than two…
And so on.
Today was a day of personal maintenance, lots of long overdue personal maintenance. Waxing. Plucking. Exfoliating. Moisturizing. This list of tasks still does not include the removal of old polish, filing, trimming, reapplication of polish on toes and fingers. Also does not include hair cut, color, foils, or even a shower and a shaving.
On another separate day of maintenance there is also the trimming of hedges. (If you know what I mean…) I prefer a neatly cropped, tightly manicured look and feel, although you wouldn’t know it if you saw me at this very moment in my birthday suit. And it would require a private suite guarded by a private security detail in order for me to strip down anywhere close to a birthday suit reveal. Don’t forget, it’s January and I’m unemployed and it has been over 48 hours since I have spoken to another living breathing human being.
There’s a lot of personal maintenance that goes with being a girl, em… a middle-aged woman. And I do not even consider myself to be high maintenance. I have not had plastic surgery. I like to exercise; like, work really ‘fkcn hard and get dirty sweaty. I do not curl excessive ringlets in my hair or adhere fake eyelashes to my lids. Although there’s nothing wrong with any of these accoutrements, it’s just not who I am. Overall, I’m relatively average and yet still require ongoing monthly tuneups in order to feel presentable.
Whether performed at home or at salon where you pay someone that you also tip, or a combination of both, reality is; female maintenance requires a genuine investment of time, money, patience, privacy, and maybe even a magnifying glass.
In the end, I always feel good about myself post-self-maintenance. It’s like going through the car wash after a muddy storm. The end result just feels good.
Text just now from JC:
Tivo the Patriots for me. You’re the best. I miss you already. This might be long.