Written September 3, 2009: Less Than Three Months After Graduating From UC Santa Cruz

I do not have a mirror in my bedroom. I do NOT. This is not because I don’t want one; my apartment simply didn’t come with one. Could I go purchase one to hang on my door? Sure, I could. But then, where would I hang my hanging laundry-hamper-bag-thing? It’s hanging on my door just fine right now — hell, it’s a great space saver, and trading it in for a MIRROR, well, crap. I mean, let’s be honest for a second — sometimes, even if a person is in perfect shape, wearing the perfect outfit with all the perfect colors and all the perfect accents, he or she will STILL find a way to feel unattractive. Why? Cause it’s all about CONFIDENCE. Yes. And sometimes, perhaps more often than “sometimes,” a person’s CONFIDENCE level depends on his or her MOOD. And MOOD depends on, well, EVERYTHING. I remember during my senior year of high school after I had finished getting ready for the Homecoming Dance, my mom burst into my room, took one look at me, and said, rather, she shrieked, “YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL!” What did I do? I started to cry. This, of course, freaked her out. When I calmed down, I was able to say to her, “I suddenly really just don’t want to go.” She laughed at me. I love Mom.

I guess what I’m trying to express is that I don’t miss having a full length mirror in my bedroom. Truth be told, I haven’t had a full length bedroom mirror since my sophomore year of college. (Why do so many random things date back to my sophomore year? Like, “I haven’t seen her since sophomore year,” or, “I haven’t eaten in the dining hall since sophomore year,” or, “I haven’t subjected myself to Sutter Home Pinot Grigio since sophomore year.” Hmmm.) And ya know what? I wasted way too much damn time staring in that mirror looking for imperfections. Not worth it. Made me late for class.

Anyway, ya know where there IS a rather large mirror in my apartment? My kitchen. Yes. It’s right above the kitchen sink. Yes. This means that I can WATCH MYSELF reluctantly do the dishes. I can WATCH MYSELF struggle to stay awake while I make my morning coffee. I can WATCH MYSELF throw a clump of frozen Lean Cuisine spaghetti on a plate and then throw it in the microwave. In other words, I get to see myself perform the most menial, domestic, boring freaking tasks ever. And it’s all so..so in FOCUS.

Like I said, I can see myself while I make my coffee. This means I see myself first thing in the morning…when my eyes are red and puffy and my hair is greasy and my complexion is a pale yellow-gray disaster and the dark circles under my eyes could win first prize at a bizarre county fair in Hell. Yes. A face that could sink 1,000 ships. Live. In my own kitchen. Performing every single morning Till The Money Runs Out. (Shameless Tom Waits Reference.)

And it gets worse. Aside from the fact that I look like a total beast in the morning and that I’m forced to LOOK at myself looking like a total beast, there’s also the fact that I live with a male blow up doll. His name is Peter Pecker. He has a twelve-inch-long inflatable penis and he sits around all day doing nothing and he’s always wearing the same green moose-print pajama pants. Back at Marine Parade he used to sit next to me on the couch while we watched VH1 and The Food Network and The Travel Channel…but now, at this particular moment, I can’t afford cable. So, there ya have it. My companion in life, the MAN in my life, is, again, an inflatable love-doll named Peter Pecker. He has a twelve-inch-long inflatable penis that I, personally, want nothing to do with. Furthermore, he doesn’t even help with the rent.

While I’m at it, let me add that I woke up at 7am today. Well, ok, I woke up at 7am, then immediately hit “Snooze,” then woke up again and again until it was finally 7:24am and I got up and out of bed and in to the shower. Why? Because I had to be in Monterey by 10am looking clean, pretty, and professional, so I could enroll at — Yes! — a TEMP AGENCY. That’s right. I suck at finding good jobs, and I refuse to take on total SHIT jobs, and that leaves me with Temp Work. Nice. I’ve done it before, I can do it now, too. Now that I have a DEGREE, and everything. A degree that doesn’t really mean SHIT, while simultaneously meaning EVERYTHING. (Isn’t that such a wonderful paradox?) The young woman who looked over my resume was very impressed with the amount of Volunteer Work I’ve done for miscellaneous Miserable Bastards. Really. She just LOVED my resume. I should have offered to have it framed for her. (In all seriousness, this girl was lovely. I wish nothing but the best for her. Especially when it comes to HER finding ME a JOB.)

Now, ya know what’s great? All right, I’ll tell you. Despite EVERYTHING, ok? Despite the fact that I live with an inflatable man I’m not in the least bit attracted to, and despite the fact that I don’t have cable, and despite the fact that I just finished Twenty Years of Schooling and they won’t even put me on the freaking Day Shift (Shameless Bob Dylan Reference)…it gets worse. There’s STILL that freaking mirror in my KITCHEN that STARES at me EVERY MORNING when I’m at my most vulnerable.

HOWEVER!!!

For as beastly as I look in the morning, I don’t really mind. To be honest, the first thing I do in the morning, when I stumble in to the kitchen to make my coffee, and I look in the HUGE MIRROR that I just CANNOT IGNORE…I laugh. I laugh OUT LOUD. At MYSELF. I laugh at the bizarre veins in my face. I laugh at my greasy, yet dry and damaged hair. I laugh at my BULL FROG eyes. And yes, I then laugh even more because I don’t have anywhere to be in the morning. And why? Because I’m an unemployed, dime-a-dozen UCSC graduate who should probably just go to grad school somewhere to bide my time even more, and yet WON’T, because I’m bored outta my mind with school.

And as I laugh at my dorky-dorky, yet not uncommon situation during this most sinister time of great political, economical, and social unrest, I pause to make a Shameless Lou Reed Reference: I’m So Free.

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