Monday, June 04, 2007

Dear Self

There are some days when you would be well-advised to simply accept the warning signs that present themselves to you at the beginning of the day and just stay in bed.

Yes, it may well be the day you are planning for your thesis writing to get back on track, but that is immaterial.

You may have wrangled yourself a new desk, in a much quieter place, with lovely coffee-making facilities, and so intend to start the week as you mean to go on, determined to achieve a level a productivity that will make your supervisor proud (or at least give him something to read).

Ho hum.

You may think that your confident new nail polish, ‘Vixen’, will carry you through the calamity of petty grievances that the day ahead will be.

Think again.

You had plenty of notice that you weren’t functioning at your best . What do you think ‘please make an appointment to discuss thyroid results’ means?

Well, it means that you haven’t been apathetic and unfocussed and irritable and needing to sleep unreasonable and excessive hours for any reason within your control. That’s the good news.

Still you didn’t heed the warnings did you?

First of all you sliced your finger on the ‘very sharp’ ceramic blade of your new mandolin slicer. You did this at around 8am when you were cutting tomato for your breakfast sandwich. You thought you had better hand-eye coordination than the product label warning, to ‘always’ use the slice guard, seemed to suggest.

You went out anyway—probably emboldened by having a single band-aid in the bathroom cabinet.

Really, the day wasn’t too bad. There was a moment of relief when you were leaving your old office. The new space has heaps of natural light. You still felt unaccountably tired, but you managed to read more about Foucault.

It was on the way home, when you decided to drop into the supermarket that things went awry. You really should avoid supermarkets in rush hour; it’s not as if you don’t know that you get unreasonably irritated when people navigate the aisles as if they’re the only ones in the entire shop. I know, you’re convinced you’re invisible sometimes. Or maybe you just look like the kind of person who can be walked over.

You were punished for not heeding the earlier warnings when a very young child pushed a supermarket trolley into the back of your foot. It stung slightly, but you were more shocked and, then, annoyed. Shame on you for pretending it hurt more than it did. His mother was embarrassed and wouldn’t let him push the trolley anymore. You know you ruined his fun. Don’t think reassuring him that you knew it was an accident made up for anything.

He might feel better if he knew you missed your bus and had to catch a cab, because you would have gone completely crazy if you’d had to wait 35 minutes for the next bus—during peak hour!

You wondered if it was a case of karma that you got a surly cab driver who kicked you out of his car when you asked why he was heading for Coronation Drive during peak hour, rather than the more free-flowing route along Milton Road? You may not have wanted to pay for sitting in the car park that forms every evening on Coronation Drive, but surely you weren’t suggesting he didn’t know his job?

Oh, you think he had it in for you from the very beginning when he didn’t register your greeting of ‘Hello’? Then he made you repeat your address after you’d already given it to him, and he proceeded to correct you—or at the very least suggested, via his tone, that you should have just given him your suburb and not your street name at that stage?

Boo. Hoo.

Anyway, let your child-upsetting, transport-thwarted self be a lesson to you next time you think about ignoring letters advising you of plummeting hormone levels; standing abandoned in the street with two bags of groceries and a 5mm slice of skin missing from your middle finger will be the least of your troubles.

Yours smugly,
Higher-Self

6 comments:

Tim said...

Higher selves are such know-it-alls, but where are they when you really need them?

Hope your week improves, Kirsty.

ThirdCat said...

I certainly wouldn't be too worried about the kid - he was going to get his trolley taken away from him by at least the end of the next aisle anyway.

Kirsty said...

Thanks Tim. Yes, where were my higher-self's witticisms when I needed a comeback to the cabbie?

3C, what I especially liked about the kid was his complaint to his mother that I should have been looking where I was going!

Clare said...

This is such great writing! Really engaging and funny. Hope this is some consolation, high-self.

Ariel said...

Hear, hear. You poor thing. It was much more entertaining to read it than live it, I suppose. And I echo TC about the kid. His mother may well have been dying for an excuse to take it from him anyway. What a complete arse of a taxi driver. When they're bad, they're very VERY bad ...

Kirsty said...

Thank you Clare, that's a great compliment coming from you.

I'm thinking of writing a thesis by blog posts. I'm sure it will catch on; it's not that great a stretch from thesis by publication is it?

Yes? Okay, well I'll just have to take Henry Jenkins's (Confessions of an Aca/Fan) advice on writing and start in blog post mode then edit it into thesis mode. Wish me luck.