Every morning, I go into the bathroom and with my makeup bag write the only fiction possible for me—my face—so when my iphone crashed the other day and in setting everything up again after it came back to life, I had to do another face scan password, I really had to contemplate. At the time, it was morning and I didn’t have my makeup on so I briefly thought that maybe scanning my makeup-less face to use as my password might make it more challenging for my phone to recognize me and use my face as my password once I had gotten the fiction published up there on my freckles (*cough “age spots”) and my eyebrows. But I proceeded with the makeupless scan and realized that I didn’t need to worry; I’m happy to report that my phone scan recognizes me either way—both with makeup and without—and opens right up at the sight of either face. And I think the moral of this story isn’t so much that I don’t look that different without make up as it is that basically anybody’s fucking face could probably open my phone at this point. Use it in good health, Anybody.
This particular picture was taken this morning in honor of the new lip balm I bought at Sprouts the other day. I don’t usually use the stuff—if your lips are dry, you’re dehydrated: drink water—but it’s nice to have so I grabbed some randomly and after applying it to see if I liked the texture (I didn’t) noticed it made my lips do this iridescent pink/white effect. And Back in the ‘80s I had this lip crayon that used to do the exact same thing; the ‘80s were a very iridescent time—chock full of a lot of face fiction plus some non-fiction, no makeup, etc—but I’d forgotten about it until seeing my face with this stuff on. Seeing it was a walk down an old and age-spot covered plus FiveGuysLastNight memory of my face and a surprising one; like who makes and sells iridescent pink/white lip balm at Sprouts? That’s not a thing now. How exactly does the company that makes it justify the hassle and expense of producing something that even the freaks of the free market like myself aren’t sure they can pull off? So I looked at the label. And that’s when I realized that my lip balm was sunscreen.
Twelve years ago, I caught a cold that wouldn’t go away. The runny nose left me dehydrated and exhausted and was accompanied by sneezes so powerful my eyes would explode in volcanos of mascara’ed saltiness sending twin rivers of black gook oozing down my face.
“Are you okay, Miss Amy?” the concerned kindergarten students I worked with would ask, confusing (perhaps) my red, runny eyes and smeared makeup for the tears of emotions. And I would pat their arm, and tell them, “Yes; I’m alright,” even as we both knew I must be lying because all they had to do was look at me.
Things obv weren’t alright.
Then it got worse.
The congestion—in what I initially thought was it’s big finish—clogged up my sinuses to the point that I became unable to hear their 5 and 6 year old voices. They would ask me for help with their math or sounding out a word, and I’d have to turn their head to face me so I could read their lips as they repeated their question. The snot had made me hearing-impaired. My cold was a disability.
One week later, I saw a doctor who was so professional she managed to leave the “omfg you dipshit” off of “You don’t have a cold; you have allergies,” and—within two weeks—I’d beaten back the mucous invasion courtesy of Big Pharma.
For some weird reason, these allergies had gestated for 40 years–never once making an appearance—but now every year hence arrive with a ground swell requiring tsunami sirens.
My mom lived with year-round allergy symptoms courtesy of an exceptionally sensitive nose.
She always had a tissue with her—always; usually near her wrist tucked up inside her sleeve —and in typical humor, classified these tissues according to their level of degradation.
Stage 1: new
Stage 2: used once; no rips, barely crumpled
Stage 3: used more than once; ripped, starting to shred
Stage 4: intact only because of the glue-like properties of snot
Her tissues would often engage my gag reflex, and watching her blow her nose into a Stage 4 was like looking into the shit-abyss of a Port-O-John.
Inevitably, Mom’s intimate experience with allergies led to a desensitization about the etiquette of mucous management, to the point where her public persona often involved honking into her tissue using an uncompromising dual-alternating-nostrils-at-full-force technique akin to trumpeting the arrival of the snot queen. The volume involved in this expulsion indicated base tones of an underlying “fuck this fucking fucking shit” and when she’d reach into her sleeve to pull out a Kleenex, I would restrain the impulse to walk off—loyal as I was—while viscous nasal belongings were gathered up into a decaying tissue right across the table from me at Taco Bell.
11/3/2020. They’re back. I haven’t had allergies for several years—don’t know why they’re even back in November of all months—but the volcanoes, mascara rivers, itchy nose, clear snot (eyes that suddenly burst open with tears, along with the continuous urge to sneeze—while not actually sneezing, requiring me to blow my noise just to have some sense of a climax) are all back. How tf can I board the Trump Train looking like this? I can’t. I just can’t. I’m very devastated.
And today is Election Day. And I don’t know who needs to hear this but you’re stronger than you believe and are much much more than the sum of “all this”. Our brains are masterful creators—seamlessly making stories both real and not—but our body/breath can medicate it when it gets too frantic. Thoughts and worries aren’t themselves real; thoughts/worries are “over there” rather than “here,” we just convince ourselves otherwise. I once read that if the sun were to explode none of us would even know for 8 whole minutes because that’s how long it takes for the sun’s light to reach us on the surface of our planet. We’d go on living our lives not knowing anything had happened since everything we see in front of us right this second is actually via the light from the past sun. Over there vs here.
I had a dream about my mom last night. I never dream about my mom but this was something I was supposed to remember and write down. In the dream, I’d been doing some errand and Just finished and came into a large kind of crowded room, making a beeline for my mom, believing she’d be happy to see me. But she wasn’t. She was angry at me, cold—wouldn’t look at or speak to me—and in the dream I knew that there wasn’t any reason for it except for her own pain and trauma yet I knew it was bullshit for me not to say “this is bullshit.” So I spoke up really loudly to this crowd of people I didn’t know and made a speech thanking them for being the America I needed to rise above such redirected aggression and when I finished everyone clapped, some people clapping loudly for a long time.
Anyways, take care, whatever the day/week brings make sure to breathe yourself back to life and thank you for being the America I needed.
(Artistic representation of misery and allergies courtesy of my recent accidental purchase of Prisma).
Go Pool Flamingo Hotel/Porn Hub Auditions during Julia’s 21st birthday trip to Vegas. Those butt cheeks teased him backwards, turned around added some facing him, then clueless to the fact that people were pointing and laughing in shock—communing on our mutual disbelief, shaking our knowing heads at one another over their brazenness—covered themselves up with a towel and finished up. Yes; yes they did. Didn’t think they would but I was wrong and now I can cross “she got off him; she got back on; it escalated; they’re doing it” texting narration to my children (who were up in the room and missed the whole thing) off my bucket list.
Oh and, PornHub, if you’re interested, I got other videos. Message me.
Lady at the Costco eye center counter last week when I was ordering: “Are you sure? They’re too big for your face.”
Me (inner eye roll, like she thinks it’s amateur hour): “No problem. Been wearing broken ones for 15 months; lost two other pairs in one year. I’m not even gonna have these long. It’ll be okay.”
[Sees them on my face; they’re too big; but they’re not broken and I can see and shits imperfectly perfect and it’s gonna be okay].
The rundown on dead glasses are as follows: lost a brand new pair in 2016 by dropping them from the Sundance ski lift during their final fall Full Moon run, lost an almost brand new pair in 2017 (dropped them in a rental truck) during our move to the Logan Avenue house, dropped/stepped on a pair of year-old glasses on New Years Day 2018 which I still wore lopsided as fuck for a year plus, and then these too-big ones which I think brings us all up to speed on why contacts are such a good choice for some people
Sometimes, when it’s 9:30 at night and you realize that you accidentally left your Public Storage unit door wide open and the main gate has been locked, the office is closed/not answering and you’re in the process of moving your kids from their home of 14 years after a year where they both ended up having extreme (and frightening) stress responses to all the previous changes in their lives (but you have to move from the home otherwise your own stress response will lead to crippling depression) and now knowing your storage unit is wide open, you’re hysterically worried that all the stuff/mementos/artifacts from your life in said house will end up being ransacked by some asshole who’d rather take your beloved stuff and shit on it than leave such an opportunity unspoiled…
Sometimes, in these cases, YOU DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO, drive your car up to the closed gate, climb on the car hood, pull yourself over the 8 feet spikes and run your ass down dark Public Storage alleys like a pissed off Mama Bear to shut the damned door. That is what you do.
Next day my muscles were sore and when the storage unit manager called to ask if I’d gotten the situation resolved—I’d left several panicked messages the night before—I said yes, and then he followed up with asking how happy I was with their service, at which point I thought about it and decided I was actually pretty happy. For there is no greater review I can give than my genuine gratitude for not arresting me.