I have every Monday off from now until Christmas, and because today I am a fussy and tedious bitch, I am completely ungrateful for this.
It is simply one of those days where everything seems wrong or difficult: the cats are being annoying, my neck is out of place and very painful, it's grey outside, our bathtub is too shallow for a decent soak, my deodorant is empty, no cat fur can be washed out of the bedding because the Palinode has the laundry room key with him at work, there is no bread for toast, there is no cream for my coffee, the muscle relaxants we have make me entertain violent fantasies (seriously, and I don't like it), I'm fighting to get through a novel simply because other people say it's good (after typing that, I am so done with it, for real), and the lack of spinach due to that stupid E. coli outbreak is irritating me. Also, let's not forget religious fundamentalism, because that sucks more than almost anything else out there.
Hokay, so my plan is to kill off my fussy and tedious bitchiness. I am going to take a trip to the nearest Shoppers Drug Mart, the only place on the whole planet that I like to shop (why is unclear, but I am addicted to it; it is the flower to my bee), and I am going to photodocument it, because nothing snaps me out of a ridiculous mood like putting myself at a remove from my reality so that I can get a grip.
The telephone just rang, and my first thought was to kill it. I think it's time to go.
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As soon as I stepped outside, I was greeted with this: wet, drab cement and leafless trees.
I was not holding out much hope to snap out of my mood faced with the grim-looking weather and the fact that my bra straps were already falling down under my shirt inside my coat. There is no decent remedy for that without a major production of shimmying and shaking, and even then, the damned layers nearly always win. There are another four or five months left in which to suffer sub-coat clothing shift and neck itch from constrictive scarves, so I should suck it up, but at this point in my walk to the store, the sight of that tree next to that damp bus shelter just about made me crawl back into bed, except that I couldn't, because I had stripped the bedding, bedding which could not be washed without access to the laundry room, which I did not have, because the Palinode had the key with him at work. Am I harping? I don't mean to harp.
The sight of the Shoppers Drug Mart helped move me forward, though. That bright red façade never fails to give me this weird hope-for-the-future feeling. Truth be told, it's more than a little creepy that a drugstore should have such an effect on me, but the feeling is so good that I don't allow myself to think about it for more than a moment or two. I love the white linoleum, the organized aisles each with a tidy sign hanging above, the bright processed food packaging in the grocery section, and the cheap but modern-looking picture frames next to the photo lab.
(I would have photographs of these wonders, but an undercover security person who was terrible at looking like just another customer trailed me from one end of the store to the other. I nearly suspected myself of pocketing items by the time I arrived at the cash register).
I think it's the attainable desires. I see aloe scented Ivory soap; I want aloe scented Ivory soap; I buy aloe scented Ivory soap. See, desire, achieve. It's simple and fluid. I pick the items from the shelves and drop them into my plastic shopping basket, already envisioning how I will remove them from their various packages, smell their contents, and put them in their places behind the bathroom mirror and in my refrigerator. I want, and as long as I have a dollar-fifty, I can have. It's a low-rent entitlement that can be acquired there, one that does not require me to have the right hair or the cool job or better jeans or any status whatsoever.
Damn, that's depressing. It's depressing to crave the great equalization, low expectation, cheap unnecessary goods to make places smell and look good that don't smell foul or look bad in the first place.
I won't deny, though, that the excess is psychologically intoxicating. It is an animal thing to luxuriate in the power that comes with so much chemical control. I can defy these wrinkles and depilate that moustache and eat a frozen spinach meal because it was processed prior to a deadly E. coli outbreak in North America's spinach stock.
Today's trip fed my addiction well, as you can see, and my top-of-the-food-chain power to consume and consume recklessly has been proven once again, despite the fact that I cannot hunt, build an adequate dwelling, or make my own footwear.
I bellow. I beat my chest. I feel a wee bit of shame.
I eat palak paneer from the frozen food aisle and revel in my E. coli free spinach consumption! I revel in the texture of cubed goat cheese even though I have never personally milked a goat!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I am pleased to report that I no longer want to kill the telephone or my two ridiculous cats, although I now feel like I need to spiritually cleanse myself, beat myself with tree branches, fast on a hilltop, something.
Mental note: DO NOT ANALYZE YOUR SHOPPERS DRUG MART LOVE. It can only sully that which should remain unsullied.
The entry above has been brought to you by (Inter)National Blog Posting Month 2006 and conspicuous consumption.
This is day six of the thirty days of NaBloPoMo.
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