No, Ali–A goes *before* B

December 11, 2010

I survived another interval (you would not belive how long it just took me to decide on a noun for the time between three and five pm today) at the dentist.

I was actually feeling pretty smug, a little proud of myself, had a bit of a bounce in the step, when I left. I’d managed to make both the doctor and the assistant crack up even *while* they were working, and squeaked through with only one application of novocaine. In my evil-scheme-of-the-day, this meant that I was NOT too drugged to work out tonight.

I bebopped out of the office and headed home, checking my voicemail, calling my boss, fielding the interim emergencies that two hours *off* the phone had created. I stopped into a drug store and picked up contact solution *before* I was out, and so was generally functioning like a full-on, don’t-mess-with-me, can-handle-going-to-the-dentist adult. Damn, it felt good to be a gangster.

I made it home. Placed my purchases on the counter. And… stopped.

“Hey! Get up!” I urged my self. “Play! Energize! We have Things To Kick!”

The look my self gave me, had I been able to see it, would have been best described as witheringly condescending.

“Lest you forget, madam, I have undergone trauma today.”

“But it wasn’t so bad,”I protested. “You acted like a card-carrying adult all the way home. And remember–the doctor was both cute and funny.”

Y’know, I might not have been able to see the look, but I could certainly feel the scathing disapproval suddenly flooding the room like a sea of angry red pepper flakes.

“That man is a dentist, Alison!”

I shall stop transcribing. Suffice it to say I gently suggested that perhaps my self needed to regain a sense of perspective.

My self suggested, with no gentleness whatsoever, that I needed to remember the reaction that my system has, sans fail, each and every time medication is introduced.

“Nonsense!” I declared. “I just need some food. I *did* skip lunch today.”

At that miraculous moment, the numbing effects of the novocaine wore off. I took a deep breath.

“And some Advil,” I declared a little desperately.

I had *plans*, damn it, and my plans involved me going to the gym.

I heard my self snigger, and tried to ignore it. My self occasionally has a rather unkind sense of humor.

Deeming the contents of fridge and cabinet “too crunchy” (I really should have noticed it then, shouldn’t I?), but suddenly fixated on the idea of eating something, I took up my computer. SeamlessWeb would provide appropriately non-crunchy comestibles with a few clever keystrokes.

SeamlessWeb wanted me to log in. Emminently reasonable–that makes it much easier for them to conjure the food to my doorstep.

I feel like I should mention, before I go further, that the email address I typically use was created for resumes and other “real-life-type” stuff. It consists entirely of my first and last name. No cute alliteratives. No spaces. No underscores. No numbers or dots or dashes or silent fives. Just the same name I’ve carried for the last twenty-nine and eleven-twelveths years.

I began to type the username–nothing more than my email address!–with a minimum of attention. My fingers stumbled after the second letter.

Ya’ll, I was typing *ali.* Rocket science it was not. Heck, it wasn’t even “create a volcano with baking soda and vinegar” science.

Eh, mistakes happen. Must be a side effect of all that being an adult who has gone to the dentist and run errands. I slowed down a bit and chuckled before trying again.

Almost immediately, two large red Xs appeared, hovering in the air over my keyboard and somehow taunting me with my lack of digital dexterity.

In the background, my self continued to snigger.

I considered both of these things a challenge.

Inspiring music welled in union with my concentration.

ali, I managed.

Two syllables down!


Three! Three of five!

And the rest wasn’t pretty.

I stared at the screen, dumbfounded. I’d been doing *so* *well*. I’d bought *contact solution*. BEFORE I’D RUN OUT, damn it!

The sad, inevitable truth, though, was that I suddenly felt all mushy-yellow and squidgy around the edges. I tried to tell myself that it was nothing but my imagination, but then I started to imagine that I could see my toes slowly losing definition and slurping down between the threads of my socks. I watched for a minute, wondering if a Brawny-brand paper towel would be able to soak up all the toes at once the way it did messes in the commercials. Probably, I decided, it would take two paper towels.

My phone was sitting next to my feet, and the next logical step was to pick it up and call the Peanut Gallery. Earlier in the day, J had told me that the gym would not be a good idea.

“Listen,” I said, as soon as he answered,”I don’t want you to think that the fact you were right about this means that you’re not wrong about everything else.”

“What else am I right about?” he responded, which lead me to believe he either doubted the veracity of my statement or the depth of my conviction.

“Nothing” is what I meant to say. My memory is blurry, which I’m kind of counting on, because I’m afraid I said, “Everything.”

I couldn’t stop to dwell on it. At that point, I was being caught up in an epic swell of “IT’S NOT FA-IR! I ONLY HAD NOVOCAAAAAAAINE” and wanted to be off the phone so I could sulk.

The only other thing I remember is that he said “Maybe sleep is the best thing right now.”

Phones were stupid, anyway. I lifted my feet up on to the couch and tucked them under a blanket so they couldn’t get into trouble, then, ENTIRELY BECAUSE I WANTED TO, NOT BECAUSE ANYONE SAID I SHOULD, I fell asleep.

That was at 7.

Four hours later, I woke up and kicked myself for crashing so early. Pleased that my toes had returned to their proper consistency, I tried to immediately go back to sleep before I lost the window of opportunity.

My floor giggled at me and began to thrum with a heavy bass line.

I did some quick math–no way I was still loopy.

Then I remembered that the girl downstairs is having her birthday party tonight.

She has a DJ for this party. Playing nothing but trance. At triple and quadruple decibel levels.

My roommate’s boyfriend is over tonight. He has an early morning tomorrow. I am curiously reassured as to the presence of justice in the universe.

After all, I had a nap.

Edit: As of 1am, the party is still going strong, and the vibrations have started knocking things off shelves. Loving this!


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