The Fiery One Has Left The Building And Some Things May Prove To Be Difficult

The Fiery One left this morning at 5:30 for a week-long work trip. I generally have not done very well all on my own when he has gone on these trips in the past, but this time, I feel confident that I will pull through and possibly even thrive during this particular absence. How is Schmutzie going to pull off this thriving thing while the Fiery One is away for a whole seven days, you ask yourself? You have good reason to ask yourself this, because I have whined during his absences before, I nearly got us evicted due to the squalor I descended into the first time he was away for an extended period, and you truly and deeply care for my well-being. I know you do, because the pixels tell me so.
Firstly, I know I will survive because it is finally Spring. I can barely believe it, but it is finally here. We haven't gotten to the wet part yet, so it is still all dusty and grey-looking, but the sun is up well before noon and I no longer have to weigh myself down with sweaters and scarves and heavy coats and mittens and long johns and thick socks and toques. My winter depression is lifting slowly but surely, and I can feel what it is like to see possibilities in things again. I won't be stuck moping around in the apartment alone feeling locked in by frigid weather. I can take long walks around this city's glorified slough, go second-hand clothes shopping, buy string for my new art project, and drink coffee outside.
Secondly, I know I will survive because of my hair. Now I know that sounds implausible, but it isn't. You see, yesterday I had my hair cut. At 2:45 pm, I decided that I was going to quit the whole just-below-the-ears angled bob thing altogether. I called up my hairdresser and made an appointment for 5:00. Two hours and fifteen minutes later I was in her chair. She grabbed a handful of hair at the crown of my head and chopped it off two inches above my scalp. My face erupted into the great wide grin of giddy glee. There was no going back. I love that no-going-back feeling. It's my form of base jumping. My hair is now less than an inch long on the sides and back and about an inch to an inch-and-a-half on top, which gives me this really stylin' dyke look (which also, thankfully, appeals to the Fiery One). I went out to the pub to meet the Fiery One for a drink after he got off work so we could, of course, celebrate my new hair. I saw several acquaintances there, each of which looked at me like I was someone they might recognize and then looked away like they didn't. For the most part, I didn't bother saying hello, because the anonymity I had while being right out in the open was kind of fun. It's crazy what kind of effect a new hairstyle can have. I feel incredibly aware of my spine and how strong and straight it can be. I want someone to try to rain on my parade so I can shout FUCK at them really loud. I want to buy a knee-length funky skirt and love wearing it even though it makes my calves look thick. This is how my hair will help me to survive the Fiery One's absence. Confidence + hotness = me being happy and creative. It will also help if I do happen to become stupidly depressed in his absence, because it is the kind of hair now that takes no time at all to do and looks good messy, so if I stop bathing, no one will know just by looking at me.
Thirdly, I will survive while the Fiery One is away because I am feeling all crafty. Crafty, craftier, craftiest. I had my first conversation with this really interesting looking woman who lives in my building on the bus this morning. Toulouse is in an interdisciplinary masters of fine arts program at the university. We chatted about making art and crafting, and she told me that she views a lot of what is considered art these days as craft (not in a snobby way but in a she-loves-crafts way), and we talked about stuff we've done and stuff we would like to do. She told me that I was an artist whether I created a lot or not, which of course made me like her even more, but what does she know? We only just started talking. This conversation made me feel even craftier, and I already have a project in mind. It involves a lot of string, tinfoil, stinky chinese ink, acrylic paint (if mine hasn't turned to rock by now), paper, and glue, glue, and more glue. Will it be art? Will it be craft? We'll let Toulouse decide.

Things that may prove to be difficult without the Fiery One around to help me:

  • Gordon. Gordon will definitely prove to be difficult. He doesn't bite (much), and he holds his poop until he goes back in his cage (mostly), and he does his best not to chew on the carpet or the wrong pillows (usually). Generally speaking, he's a pretty good rabbit, at least when the Fiery One is in the room. When I am alone with the rabbit, and especially when the Fiery One is not home, Gordon is the most annoying fucker I've come across. He nips at my waist if I've stopped petting him too soon, he poops on the chair, he pulls up tufts of carpet and nibbles at the corners of the orange cushion, he pokes me repeatedly with his nose and just looks at me blankly when I say WHAT, he drags videotapes across the room, and on one occasion he even tried to run away with my supersize bag of tortilla chips. These things, these are petty, these are nothing in the face of the true difficulty I face: Gordon simply will not willingly go back into his cage for me. Usually, the Fiery One says "come on, Gordon, it's time to go back", and Gordon hops into the bottom of his cage. It all seems so simple when the Fiery One does it. When I do it, nothing happens, except that Gordon stares at me and wiggles his nose and does not hop in my direction at all. It is terribly dangerous to attempt to pick him up and move him yourself, because he still has his wild bunny instincts coupled with powerful hind legs. He usually rakes down the length of the inside of my arm with his sharp claws to try to make it look like a suicide. I still love him, though, and I cannot in all good conscience leave him caged for a whole week straight, so although it may be dangerous, I see myself picking him up on a daily basis in my very near future.
  • I am naturally the biggest slob I've ever known, and when the Fiery One goes away, I let it all hang out, so it will be difficult for me to keep the apartment in decent condition while he's gone. When he's around, I keep my slovenly ways toned down for his benefit, but when he's gone it's half-finished cups of coffee on every table, stacks of dishes on chairs in the office, underwear and socks under the desk, and garbage on the kitchen floor. If you're not me, I can imagine that you would find it quite disgusting. The day before he comes home, I can be found madly shoving things into garbage bags, hiding laundry in the closet (he knows about that one, so I don't know why I bother), wiping up coffee rings, and at least organizing the dirty dishes. (Yes, I organize the dirty dishes rather than wash them. It's my hang-up, so I'll do it if I want to).
  • I find I don't sleep as well when he's not there to reach out and touch in the middle of the night or to push my back up against when I am cold. He calms me somehow. Without him there, I find myself listening for every creak in the walls or bang in the water pipes. The concert of Gordon snuffling in his shavings and Elliott hopping to another perch seems cacophonous. Hey, did I just hit on something? Could three to four hours of sleep a night be to blame for my radical change in behaviour and living style while the Fiery One is away? I've got an old bottle of Xanax hanging around that was prescribed to me when I went to the doctor with tingling fingers (don't ask me what the doctor thought a highly addictive sedative was going to do for numb fingers). I betcha a few Xanax would shuffle me off into sleep rather effectively.

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