an update of the "a day in the life" I did a year ago, my how things have changed. You can read the original "a day in the life . . ." here: LINK
I’m up before my alarm clock, anxious. I grab my first cigarette, the puffs of smoke keeping the fluffy white monster at bay. The natural daylight lamp above my bed, on a timer, clicks on. Especially after the worst winter in Michigan history, I bask in its soothing light. Cigarette out, the fluffy white monster creeps onto my chest and the paw-paw dance begins. He’s completely focused as he purrs and needles the covers over my chest. The alarm clock goes off, a rain forest with birds chirping; I smack it off. His little face so serious, he thinks that if he keeps it up he can keep me here. At the strike of 9:00pm, I leap up, tossing the covers and him aside.
I hobble to the bathroom on achy feet for the three “S”s, shit, shower, and shave. Before I’m completely dry, I grab another three “S”s, socks, shorts, and a shirt and start with a little Bag Balm in my crack. Hey, with all the walking I do, if I don’t, I chaff. I pull on my shorts and sit on the bed, un-pausing an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation on my PC / flat screen TV. Bag Balm on my feet, to rub out the kinks and prevent blisters, I pull on my socks. With my Bag Balmy hand, I moisturize my face, the one-two punch of Bag Balm and moisturizer to stave off more wrinkles. After I pull on my t-shirt, I comb my hair. The guy who cuts my hair only knows one style but he’s cheap. When I leave his salon, I look like a 1960’s Ukrainian businessman. I make the best of it, using the cheap gooey version of the expensive hair product I prefer. I grab my second cigarette.
I feed Frank the fish, a blue beta. Dumb fish, I try to feed him in the clear part of the small globe tank, but he always comes up in the plants. So he winds his way through the plants, managing to gulp a couple stray pellets as I turn off his tank light.
Fluffy the cat is waiting for me at the sink, he’s taken to drinking out of the top of the Britta pitcher. I know, but hey, the water gets filtered. I scrape the dry tuna off his plate, give him a teaspoon of “tuna fresh”, as we call it, and fill his dry food bowl. For myself, I put a cup of orange juice, a cup of mixed berries, a teaspoon of flaxseed, and a scoop of protein powder in the blender.
I un-pause Star Trek and grab my third cigarette, checking facebook, twitter, email, and my goodreads group. Cathy’s ranting about how thankless self-publishing is again. A few friends have posted pictures of themselves out and about, enjoying life; I live vicariously through them. On twitter, weather forecasts and news, Jeffrey’s on a roll again, but now’s not the time for pictures from Fratmen. I delete my email spam. No activity on my goodreads group. We have almost 250 members but only a few actively participate and those only rarely.
Time to go, I put on my ridiculous-looking uniform, khakis and a shirt with vertical, blue stripes, as if I should be serving ice cream. Name badge, check, pocket notebook, check, marker, pen, check, box cutter, check, wallet, phone, keys, check, watch, check. My cigarettes and sunglasses I put in my coat pockets. I pass by a lounging Fluffy on the way to the kitchen and poke his belly with my toe. I put on my custom-fitted orthopedic shoes, grab my smoothie, and head out, making a conscious effort to lock the door. Too often, I get OCD and have to go back and check. It’s late dusk, dark but with a clear sky, a warm, quiet night. In my car, I light up my fourth cigarette and a fifth before I get to work. I drink my smoothie then light up a sixth. A few minutes early, I take a deep breath and then punch in the door code . . .
Ten hours later, I’m home. Fluffy’s waiting for me at the door and meows while I take off my shoes. He runs ahead of me to the bedroom, always stopping in front of me so that I have to nudge his fluffy white butt with my foot. He hops on the bed as I empty my shirt pocket of badge, note book, marker, pen, and box cutter. Turning to him, he reaches up to me with a stretch. I grab him and hold him over my shoulder. My ear to his chest, I enjoy his purr until he squirms away to sit cradled in my arm. As he purrs and drools, he’s a drooler, I take off my watch. I pet his fluffy head and scratch his damp chin until he decides enough is enough and leaps down. Sometimes he wants a second hug, but not today, he’s already heading off to the kitchen. I empty my pockets, separating the quarters from the loose change and dropping them into separate bowls. They dropped the price of the coffee-vending machine to fifty cents, so now I’m no longer short of quarters for laundry, bringing home a load’s worth a day from three cups of coffee.
I turn on the tank light and find Frank waiting for me, already gulping as he shakes his flowing blue tail; I sprinkle in some pellets. I stop by the bathroom to douche my nose and splash water over my face and head; dripping wet and with water up my nose, it feels like I just went swimming. Back in my bedroom, I light a cigarette. I un-pause Star Trek as I moisturize my face and check facebook, twitter, email, and my goodreads group. Cathy “shared a link” to an interesting article that I’ll save for later. No pictures from friends as while I’m working they’re all sleeping. On twitter, weather forecasts and news, Jeffrey’s already on a roll again, but no pictures from Fratmen. Robert Grant posted another affirmation; every time he posts I sigh, he’s the perfect man, (sigh). On my goodreads group, a new member is chatty, making random comments on posts. That’s at least good for exposure, and wouldn’t you know, a new request to join the group is in my inbox.
Fluffy the cat is waiting for me at the sink; the Britta pitcher has drained down / filtered the water so I fill it up for him. I scrape the dry tuna off his plate and give him a teaspoon of “tuna fresh”. For myself, I put a cup of white grape juice, a cup of can spinach, well-rinsed, two pear halves from a can, a half of a single-serve plain Greek yogurt, and a half of an avocado, which I have to cut and peel, in the blender.
I turn on the TV in the living room by the power strip, as the boxy TV’s switch doesn’t work anymore. I fire up the old Xbox and the VCR to play it through. The fitness program starts; I bypass the workout for a yoga routine. I like the combination of downward dog to plank to up dog, to plank, to downward dog as it builds strength in my arms and stomach. The knees to chest and hip openers un-stiffen my back and legs. I through in some head rolls, twists, and side extensions for my neck and shoulders. While the program’s doing the corpse pose, I do crunches on my “bean”, like an exercise ball only bean-shaped for stability. I gulp the rest of my smoothie, rinse the glass and fill it with iced tea.
Back in my bedroom, I light a cigarette. I un-pause Star Trek and check social media again. Fluffy’s playful, and charging back and forth through the apartment. He pounces on the bed, sees the cloud of smoke, and charges off again. After I finish my cigarette, I play with him a bit. His favorite game being grabbing my arm with his claws and biting me while rabbit kicking. This takes place under his tree, the Christmas tree still up, lit but with no ornaments. He’s also into yarn now, so we play with that a bit.
After stopping by the bathroom to treat my wounds with peroxide and Neosporin, I light another cigarette, un-pause Star Trek, and check social media again. I want to write, I want to read, I desperately need to look for a new job, but being so drained and achy from work, I can’t focus. So I lay in bed, smoking and watching Star Trek, maybe grabbing a snack, until I drift off to sleep . . .