The Life of a Writer

It has come to my attention that there are people out there who think that writers have a glamorous lifestyle.  And if not glamorous, then at least Serious, and Studious, and full of Deep Thoughts.

I am here to tell you that this is not the case.  Well, let me qualify that.  I am sure that many more worthy and serious writers than I, spend their days thinking Deep Thoughts.  (When I have a Deep Thought, I take an aspirin and lie down until it goes away.)  Too often, my days involve me dropping my bag in the middle of a busy street and stopping traffic while I collect the change on the ground.  Or, quite literally, bumping into poles when I’m walking because I’ve closed my eyes for a minute to block the sun.  (I have ADD.  Things like this will inevitably happen.)

So, to today.  Picture the scene, if you will.

I am at home working, and I become distracted by the state of my cuticles.  This is often a problem of mine.  While I am approximately six light years away from being vain, my messy cuticles are the bane of my existence.  I look at my hands a lot; what can I say?  And, of course, there’s the ADD (see above).  So, as I have nothing pressing on my plate today for a change, I decide to mosey on down to the nail place a few blocks away and get an actual manicure.  (And this is rare; as I cut and colour my own hair and pride myself on self-reliance, I rarely set foot in these places.)

It’s hot as hell out today in Toronto — we’ve having one of our heat waves; it’s gorgeous — so I throw on a loose, filmy top and an old pair of Old Navy capri legging-type things.  I chuck a pair of flip-flops in the bag (in case I decide to get a pedi too; I don’t have the patience to wait long for polish to try) and head out.

Blah, blah, mani-pedi, blah.

As I’m leaving salon, I remember a couple of things I have to pick up at the drug store, which is one block north of the nail place, and just a few blocks from home.

Now, before I continue, you must understand that I have lost a bit of weight in the last year and a half.  I haven’t really been trying, but I’ve got a medical condition that causes pretty extreme weight fluctuations, and I had to have my thyroid totally removed a couple of years ago.  I’d gained a ton of weight around then, and so this is really just that extra weight slowly coming off.  But, when I moved into my current apartment, I went all Simple Living and got rid of anything that didn’t fit me that month.  So I have a closet full of my bigger clothes, and not much that fits me properly now.  I’ve had to get rid of some things, but the kick-around-the-house-slash-neighbourhood summer stuff is still in play.  My clothes are too big, but whatever.  I make an effort when I’m Going Out, but for the most part, I just don’t care.  But more problematically, my underwear is all too big now.  That, ladies and germs, is more of an issue.

So!  On my way to the drugstore, I realize that my underwear has basically fallen off.   It’s sort of being held up/on by the fact that I am wearing the capri-legging things.  (If I’d been wearing a skirt, the situation would have been even more dire, and I would probably be lying in bed with a pillow over my head, still cowering from embarrassment.)  So I’m walking, slowly, and wondering if everybody on the busy street (salon on Bay Street, Toronto people — the sidewalk was bustling) are noticing my funny walk.  But the problem is, the capri-legging things are also too big, and the underwear is now REALLY dragging them down.  So as I’m walking, the pants are being pulled further and further down, and I am trying to hike them up with every step, because seriously, gravity is having its way with them.  They’re riding on my hips now, and they aren’t meant to be low-riders, so there’s nothing to stop their inevitable descent.

Then I realize that I can barely walk in those effing flip-flops.  What am I, a California beach babe, trying to walk up Bay Street in flip-flops?  (I know, I know.  Plenty of you can walk in them just fine.  Here’s a medal.)  So I’m stumbling with the shoes, and trying to hold my pants up.  I go to drug store, get my Kleenex and so forth, and walk home.

But outside my place there is construction, and construction workers enforcing the 4-way stop as there are no stop signs or street lights there.  It’s a dangerous intersection at the best of times.

So I’m walking up to the intersection — and I have to cross it both ways — holding up my pants with both hands, because it’s gotten that bad, and taking these wee, tiny steps so I don’t lose my pants OR my shoes off my feet.  Like a very, very old person.  A very old person with some kind of serious physical and/or mental disorder.  So I stop traffic on both sides as I slowly, slowly creep across the street, holding onto my pants as if my life depends on it, with all of the construction workers staring at me.

I’m never leaving the house again.

That is all.