IV. I Will Show Another Me


I don’t know why some people are so keen on having families and talking about families and how much they love their families and that they protect their families. What the hell. In the last five years, adults forgot how much they hated being inmates in their parents’ penal colonies but can’t wait to become brutal jailors themselves. Geez. You can tell Auntie InExcelsisDeo sent out elaborate invitations to that bridal shower I can’t skip without risking my life, can’t you? Though I have a couple of months to start drinking, at least now I don’t have to show any imagination of knowledge of the bride-to-be now that shower gifts are strictly regulated by Bed, Bath & Beyond.

On Friday, the family celebrates Anya’s and Corinne’s birthdays in an Irish pub in Somerville. We’re going to throw money at dancing children and sing songs we learned in the womb and suffer predictably when bagpipes play in small, enclosed places. Anya’s and Corinne’s birthdays are the holiday we celebrate with green beer and hearing loss. Here’s the thing: today’s Tuesday and I don’t know what to get them yet. Besides earplugs.

So I dragged into the apartment bag after bag of vegetables, gardening supplies and problem-solving doohickeys and after four trips there was nothing to do but march myself back out to the car and try carrying the box. When I was able to slide the box out of the back seat, lean it against my thighs and walk it into the house I almost dropped it in surprise. But now that I’d carried the giant, heavy thing I didn’t think I could there was – officially – nothing I couldn’t do. I cut open the box and lay the pieces out on my living room floor. The directions were mostly pictures and on several pages, poorly descriptive. I was overjoyed. A good puzzle!

Hours later, the hardest assembly step was the one that should have been effortless: four screws, two hinges. After staring at the picture that made no sense I put the hinges on backwards, then slapped my forehead and took them apart. Currently, the door sits on my bathroom floor where I can’t break the glass. Probably. I may not be done staring at it with joy and despair. Last night, I started pulling bath and shower stuff out of the hall closet and putting things away in the cabinet. I folded towels and put them into drawers. It dawned on me that although I need another cabinet, and will buy one down the road, I can take other steps to get my house in order.

They will certainly involve cat toys.

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