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Begin by waking up with a racing heart because you have just dreamt that you’ve pushed a nest full of baby birds off your roof and onto the ground, baby birds now dead or nearly dead, screeching and flopping around with broken necks. These are pigeon babies—the dream comes from your ongoing efforts to stop pigeons from raising their families on your house. You would never murder baby birds in real life, not on purpose, so chalk this up to a stress dream.
Calm your broken heart by throwing extra seed to the pigeons you feed in the backyard. Think, You can eat here, guys. You just can’t move in.
Later, head out into the 100 degree heat to run errands, though you will not actually run: you will slog slow-motion through your errands as your scalp sweats and your arms break out in a sun rash. Make your first stop the nail salon for a pedicure. The salon’s air conditioning will not be working and your technician will leave you sitting with your feet in hot swirling water for thirty minutes while he talks on the phone outside. You are a limp noodle. When he returns, ask if you can take a shower in back to freshen up. Pretend to brighten when he scowls and answers you in Vietnamese.
Wonder why, when you ask for flowers to be painted on your toenails, he eagerly agrees but then only paints flowers on your two big toes, not every toe. You are dejected. Is there something wrong with the rest of your toenails? Just because a few of them grow vertically instead of horizontally, is that any reason to shun them? Try not to appear as if you’ve lost all of your possessions in a natural disaster when you are presented with the bill: $15 extra for two tiny flowers. Tip generously in an attempt to redirect karma.
Go to the mall. Walk in like you have poop in your pants because your toenails are still wet—step carefully. Start at the electronics store, which will not have the printer ink cartridges you need because your printer is a dinosaur and they don’t make ink cartridges for it anymore. Fear and loss will wash through you, just as it does every time your favorite lipstick is discontinued.
Feel like you are a dinosaur as you poop-walk down the corridor to the watch repair place with your favorite but broken watch on your wrist: Can they replace your battery? Sure they can! High-step around the mall for half an hour with your toes splayed—you are not going to risk ruining this $50 two-flower pedicure. Return to the watch repair place to discover that your watch doesn’t use a battery because it’s solar-powered, and even though you live in the Valley of the Sun, your solar-powered watch is dead because—since you are on break from work—you haven’t worn it for two weeks.
Your watch is so old, they don’t make parts for it anymore. You have starved your only watch to death.
Poop-walk out to your car and get in: it will be one billion degrees inside because you forgot to put your sunshade up. Drive to the grocery store, where the funny produce manager will ask if that cyst on your face is a boy or a girl. Ha ha. Search up and down the aisles for the items on your list, but fail to find the two items you can’t live without: vegetarian “cheese” slices and Ziploc veggie steamer bags. Try not to perform a one-act tragedy when the check-out girl asks, “Did you find everything you need?”
Drive home, carry your groceries into the house, and note that it takes your electric garage door five attempts of rattling up and down, up and down, before finally agreeing to close. There’s been something wrong with it for a long time. You know how your garage door feels.
Make dinner out of real cheese and raw vegetables. Bloat up. Watch TV and pass such bad gas that your cats refuse to sit with you. Finally, call it a night, and try not to blow yourself out of your own bed.
Vow to start fresh tomorrow.