Friday, August 03, 2007

These are the times that try my well-being

"Ah, shit. Here we go again." I thought, one foot in the land of the living and another in the land of the dead as I distinctly heard the far away racket rudely demanding that I wake my ass up.

For some inexplicable reason, the person that lived in my apartment before me had a length of mirror perched atop the doorjam of my bedroom, precariously held in place with thumbtacks. A neighbor who helped me install my shades the second week after I had moved in there noticed this and said, "You know, that's kind of dangerous."

I shrugged knowingly as if to say, "Well, what can you do."

I don't know what kept me from going up there and getting rid of it. The impractical and unsafe placing of it always gave it a slightly ominous vibe; the haphazard nature of its location actually gave it a weird air of purpose. Like, "OK, come on. No one would just put a mirror up there for no reason." A million silly thoughts ran into my head about the reason of its being there. Maybe the previous tenant was kind of a freak and liked to watch himself get it on. But you honestly couldn't see the bed from that angle so that couldn't have been it. Maybe he thought he had wanted a mirror, but after getting one, wasn't quite sure what to do with it and didn't want it underfoot? Considering the small space of the place and lack of storage areas, maybe figured "Why not?" and just chucked it up there in a fit of weird ingenuity. Sometimes I'd wonder if there was a camera behind that mirror. And in my more Ito Junji or Edogawa Rampo-esque moments think that maybe the mirror was actually a two-way mirror that was covering a small nook into which a man had contorted himself. (And one day I'd, I don't know, run into former tenant to give him some mail or something and ask, "Hey dude, what's the deal with that mirror up there in the bedroom?" And he'll look at me in that fantastically contorted look of surprise and dawning horror you always see in the last panel of a horror comic or in a horror movie and say, "Mirror? What mirror? I never even bought a mirror while I lived there.")

Either way, whatever previous tenant had been thinking to place the mirror there had put a series of conditions and events into motion that lead to the mirror dropping from its high barely there ledge and crashing down onto the ground.

The sound was weirdly musical. Like a chaos of strings. Like if a harp's heart were to break, that's what it'd sound like, or in a lowbrow and more accurate sense, like the cacophony of chords used in the sound effect when Quick Draw McGraw's alter-ego El Kabong would hit an enemy over the head with his guitar. I intially thought that it was my bass guitar that had fallen over on itself, but it was way too loud and had way more chords going on than my bass could've been able to produce.

Luckily, clean up wasn't too hard. I remember as a little kid hearing that the glass used for car windshields actually had a coating on them that kept them from shattering like glass normally would, keeping the pieces more in place rather than breaking up easily. The reflective backing that made a piece of glass actually a mirror seemed to act the same way in this case. It reminded me of my oil colors palette in college. Our color theory professor suggested that we instead purchase a piece of glass from the hardware store and tape it for comfort and use that as our palette instead. It made for ease of cleaning and the colors seemed to appear more vibrantly. I remember taping the edge of my glass palette, and taping a diagonals underneath and to be thorough, taped it once more vertically and horizontally. When I had to get rid of it after I graduated, I decided to break it before tossing it in the trash so that it wouldn't break or hurt someone while being transported. The result was what seemed like a clear, crunchy, sharp piece of paper.

Yes, there were pieces of mirror, but they were harmless and actually seemed reluctant and a bit embarassed to have been a party to the breaking and managed to all stay in one place.

"I didn't break it, so not my seven years of bad luck," I muttered as I cleaned up. It wasn't to assure myself or anything, but more or less as a warning to the universe in case it wanted to extend my clumsy streak to years.

For as long as I could remember, I'd always been clumsy, but worst of all I'd hit clumsy jags where I'd have one or three days of total butterfingerness and two left feet that would culminate into a minor injury. I don't know if it's because my body doesn't run at 100% clumsiness capacity in order to preserve my life and needs to freak out at certain intervals to regain equilibrium or something.

Last night I contemplated that maybe another one was coming on as I lay on the ground sandwiched uncomfortably, and nakedly, between my bathtub and my bathroom wall with my legs still on the inside of the tub, draped over the side and water splashing down on the floor where I'd created an open gap between the tub and shower curtains. I'd managed to slip while taking a shower and had fallen on my ass outside the tub. The only thing that had saved my life was the fact that my bathroom was awkwardly-designed and too small to allow me to fall flailing and unhindered to the inevitable crack of my skull. Instead, I more or less just pinballed into a sitting position.

How embarassing a death would that have been? Nevermind always having clean underwear on in case you get in a car accident, since I also remember hearing that people shit their pants when they die from loss of bowel control anyway; as a self-conscious girl I think I'll always make sure to shave my legs and armpits pretty early on to make sure I don't die with my brains spilling out onto the tiled floor with bristly legs and pits. Though the last time I had a shower fall of this nature, it was during a legs shaving session and I stood back up only to find my pink lady razor hanging from the palm of my left hand from a foothold it managed to carve in.

It's weird though, because whenever you have this kind of fall, which is the kind where it is pretty equally divided between the choices of you will: a) be perfectly OK, b) walk away with some bruising, c) be seriously injured, or d) die, it's like you time travel. Trust me, because I speak from years of experience in the art of falling. Time has no goddamn meaning because in exactly the same moment all of these things happen: one minute you're falling, the next minute you're in the minute directly previous to the first thinking, "Gee, I bet I'm going to fall," and the minute after that you've basically fast forwarded to 3 minutes after all this has happened sitting in the aftermath of your fall wondering, "What the hell? Did I just fall?"

I've decided to call this type of fall "The Kiss of the Norns," which is just a real poetic way of saying "It's like the fucking past, present and future come down at once to kick you in the ass, give you a brief glimpse of your mortality, and laugh at what a dumbass you are."

Either way, considering the past two mishaps have been pretty serious, I'm nervous about what the finale will be. I sure as hell know I'm staying away from the stove. It's too hot for any kind of cooking anyway, but the last time one of these jags hit me, I burned a sizeable part of my stomach with hot pasta water, so fuck that noise.


Anonymous kelly said...

OMG, and now you're internet is gone! and cable! breathe, breathe. there needs to be a shelter for people who loose their internet and cable

11:04 PM  

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