I have rosy cheeks tonight from the combined effects of a Sunday night bourbon and a hardcore exfoliating mask. I have a glob of hydrocortisone on a spider bite. (Oh! I have a spider bite. And I have a few little lines drawn around the perimeter of the angry red area to make sure that it's not growing. We'll see tomorrow, we'll see.) I have all my blankets and pillows piled up behind me and I'm reclining against them while I type this, and I feel like a princess, with very rosy cheeks. I've got a book I'm supposed to be reading for book club this week, but instead I saw Allison's post and I felt this rush of affection for her and for rainy November trying so hard to be its own thing instead of being pre-Christmas and for this old dusty blog and I thought, well, hell, if she can do it so can I. That sounds so wrong, as if I think it's easy! If it were easy everyone would do it. If it were easy I would not have thought, every time this bit of internet crossed my mind, oh you should cancel that subscription and let the fucker die.
I have more time, more people, and more to do than I thought I did. I have, small as it is, a notched groove with my name on it, and if you twist me just right, I lock into place where I belong, with a job to do, holding things together. This is not a new feeling. In fact, it's a very old one, but I thought I had put it away like other childish things. Here you are again, old friend feeling. Good to see you.
I have a fresh mascara to replace the one I bought *mumble* ago; I have an eyedropper full of oil-blend that keeps my hands from drying out; I have a stack of white washcloths that still smell like bleach no matter what kind of laundry additives I use. I have more lipsticks and no eye shadows. I know because I threw them all away; I look like a woman from the 1986 Penney's catalog when I wear eye shadow and it's time I accepted this. (You guys.) I have two teeny Tom Ford perfume samples from Sephora and I'm wondering if I love one of them enough to buy a full bottle, or if they don't do it for me. Myron likes them both; he's no help. I have a husband who appreciates fragrance and a mother-in-law who can't bear it and a city that posts reminders in every public place that scent-free is kinder than scented. I want to be kind. It wars against the way I feel ten minutes after a bit of Nirvana Black has started doing its thing with my skin. I have, then, a good excuse to spray anything I want against my wrist when I know I'm spending the day with Supernatural on Netflix, a paint roller and a gallon of warm white, and the black tank top I ruined six years ago when I painted the house in Ottawa. I guess it's not ruined if it still hangs on and does its work.
We could ruin a Penney's catalog, my brothers and me, in the two months before Christmas. My mother kept it in the end table, below the phone. I wrote my initials beside the items that I wanted, as if anyone else in the house would want that pink gingham bedding set with its matching curtains and printed lampshade, that set of Krystle Carrington heels, that Barbie roadster. I would give a lot to look through one of them now and see those initials again, to tally what I thought I needed to have to become Next Phase Kimmy. I have bought a lot this past year and some of it really did change me. It's strange how right I was back then, even if the things I chose didn't do the trick the way I hoped they would.
I have an hour or so left on November first but baby, if I told you everything now there'd be nothing left for tomorrow. Allison wrote "It won't be pretty, and it won't be easy, and there might be no one left here to read it, but it will be done." She's more determined than I am. If you're anything like me, your friends are better at things than you are and you can pull that "sincerest form of flattery" line on them and jump in on a good time. I have an urge to jump.