I’m a murderer, you guys. A vicious killer. This city has turned me into a hard woman.
Let me start by telling you that because this is a really challenging place to live sometimes, I am working on mental toughness. You know, adding a mile to a run (which I did one time), or not complaining at work about how I’m at work (disguise it behind a funny joke!). I’d like to grumble less. I’m a grumbler. And frowning doesn’t look good on me because it adds this puffiness to the skin around my upper lip that I’m sure casts a shadow that looks like a mustache in unfortunate lighting. Although, I think everybody secretly has a mustache.
So anyway, mental toughness is really hard for me. I also lack focus sometimes because my brain lives on a cloud. However, it’s something I am practicing and it’s been getting a lot better.
Until I hit the 50 hour mark at work and the last of my patience flutters off like inadvertent litter on a windy day. I’d try to catch it, but I just can’t summon that tiny bit of extra exertion.
“Oops.” I say, dutifully, as I watch my hamburger wrapper/ability to smile scurry away from me.
Last week after a 13 hour shift, the train ride home turned into a 2 hour, 100 degree pilgrimage, and as I paced and fumed around the Jay Street stop waiting for my third transfer, I wanted nothing more than to go crazy and punch some stuff. I was so. angry.
As luck would have it, I came home to find a cockroach the size of a business card trekking through my dirty laundry, probably laying all sorts of eggs and pooping little cockroach poops in my pockets. Cockroaches don’t normally freak me out, but I often wear clothes directly from that dirty pile of laundry, thus, I was grossed out. And then it FLEW at me and I lost all control of myself, grabbed one of Cole’s boots and hunted that motherfucker down. I beat it to death, and then when it was dead I continued beating it, grunting and yelping everytime the boot made contact.
And it was exactly what I needed.
Then I went and laid in the shower and made those suction fart noises with my back against the curb of the tub, which always calms me down. And I thought about how in a perfect fictional story, my neighbor, ear pressed against the wall, hearing the screams and thuds erupting from next door followed by a deafening silence, would call the police. The police would knock on the door and I would answer, and without a word I would lead him or her to the scene of the crime. Clothes scattered recklessly, boot prints stamped on the walls and closet door, and there, the victim, on its back, next to a pair of dirty underwear. (That part is true, it really did die next to some undies). (Also, there are boot prints all over the walls). And the policeman or woman would simply nod, and I would escort them back to the door and as I closed the door s/he would look at me and say, “New York City.” Or something really profound and literary like that.
But our neighbor is not the type to enter vigilante mode. Also, I don’t think she likes us very much.
The other day I noticed a foot long scuff mark running down the wall in the living room.
“Did you kill a bug right there?” I ask Cole.
“Yeah, one of those thousand leggers.”
And as I type this, Cole is celebrating a victory about catching one fruit fly in his homemade fruit fly trap, and I realize, I am not alone in this.