I went to Shoppers Drug Mart after work to pick up my brain meds and cat food and whatnot. It was a difficult trip for me, because PMS, spring allergies, and an otherwise emotionally trying afternoon had left me a little twitchy. For example, my opening conversation with the pharmacist went a little like this:
Schmutzie: I'm here to pick up my prescription.
Pharmacist: [looks at me blankly]
Schmutzie: Well, I'm not, obviously, because this is the counter where you drop off prescriptions. The pick-up counter is over there. [I indicate the pick-up counter with a limp hand] I mean, you've got mine in your computer, obviously, since I haven't handed you a paper prescription. [I itch the back of my left leg with my right foot and sigh overly dramatically] Wow, what a day.
Pharmacist: Uh-huh. Your name please?
Schmutzie: That would be Pickles, with a P. First name, Schmutzie. Hey, can I have one of those beeper devices? I always forget how long I've been in this place. [the allergies have me squinting my bloodshot eyes at her. I itch the back of my leg again] When it buzzes, it always makes me jump. Can I pay for my groceries at this counter when I pick up my drugs?
Pharmacist: We do prefer that you order your prescription twenty-four hours before pick-up. [she does her best impression of a humourless dickwad]
Schmutzie: Uh-huh, I know, but I couldn't, obviously, but I normally would. I tend to be more considerate than this usually.
Pharmacist: [she delivers her most wearied look to convey how very tiresome it is to be a humourless dickwad]
"Obviously" is obviously the word of the day today. Obviously.
I was all kneejerk talkety-talk, which happens to me after an onslaught of stressors. I turn all freakish and develop weird ticks like repeatedly scratching the back of my leg or looking left at regular intervals. One particularly stressful summer, my mouth grimaced off and on all on its own for over a week. I looked like a heavily medicated out-patient.
While I was waiting for my beeper to tell me that my prescription was ready, I went shopping through the grocery aisles. It only took about three minutes for me to find out that I was not the only one having a psychologically interesting day. A man in his fifties passed by me while saying over and over Hell and redemption, folks. That's what it's all about, hell and redemption. He looked at me slyly out of the corners of his eyes while he wagged his head back and forth, as though we shared a secret. I wondered if that was like the nod of acknowledgment I sometimes get in pubs from lesbians. Could he see my crazy on me? I could certainly see his.
Later, as I was leaving the store, he passed me again and said That's all, folks. Thanks, and good night. Then he tipped an imaginary hat at me.
By this point in my day, I just wanted to eat nachos and salsa and hide under a blanket until morning, because although crazy can be interesting, today it just wasn't. Today, I felt like I had more in common with the wall-eyed guy who claims that if I could see the air's molecules I, too, would know God, which makes crazy less of the provocative study it can be and more of a thing to cram back down hard and fast with an onslaught of processed food and "Law & Order" reruns.
Oh, but the world wasn't quite done with me yet. The world never is when it gets a good roll going. I was just about through the parking lot to cross the intersection when a large man of at least six-and-a-half feet and four hundred pounds eyed me brightly. He brought two slabs of hands up to his mouth in paw-like curls and said I am the Easter Bunny! Have a great day!
Oh. Fuck. Me. Now I have the image of a massive, greasy man with a chemical imbalance leering at me from inside a bunny costume. It's a little too "Donnie Darko" for me right now.
So, here I am, eating nachos and salsa and wearing a comforter bound around me as tight as it will go. I'm wondering what my theme should be. The first guy had the hellfire and brimstone bit down, and the second one was a small step away from waxing his moustache into bunny whiskers and donning cardboard ears. Hey, that lady who used to always ask for money for maxi pads hasn't been around in a while. Maybe I can fill her
(This is the "Donnie Darko" version of the video. Watch the original video for "Mad World" by Gary Jules on YouTube.)