Monday, August 29, 2005

i should have just called in sick

The first sign was when I burned my knee eating eggs.

Then there was the moment when I realized, an explorer in the deepest reaches of Whiteshirtlandia, that I had everything but a clean tux shirt. My closet's full of dress blouses, a chef's jacket, a lab coat to go with all the doctor's office gowns I steal, a few white men's shirts for painting in. But no clean tux shirts. Tux shirts all hiding in the basket under damp dishtowels and socks claiming that it's okay they're single because they're quirkyalones.

Okay, okay, I know this tux shirt thing--whether I have a clean one, whether it's too thin to wear, whether the whole tux-wearing process makes me look sexy in a drag sort of way or just like a premenstrual penguin--is becoming a theme over here at waterbones. But the sort of tux shirt I have available at any given moment is absolutely critical to my sense of catering well-being. Am I clean and starchy, nice and flat and crisp like a Swedish cracker? Or rumpled and feral? Even my hair follows suit, as though it were connected to the shirt through some miracle of quantum physics, connected without appearing so, paired quasars or whatever the hell they are spinning in sympathy. Pressed shirt: smooth professional hair. Wrinkled shirt, and I'm a freakin' hippy from the forehead out, all frizz and Moebius-strip curl and the white hairs choosing their own idiosyncratic paths away from my head.

So--don't tell anyone this--I chose the one that smelled the least like someone had walked countless miles in circles in it, touching things that had been in other people's mouths, and hung it in the bathroom while I showered, and the wrinkles steamed out okay. Close enough for television work.

It was pretty much downhill from there. But the finger's not broken and eventually the rental company will find their equipment, so I'm trying to let it go.