It is a most unhappy circumstance that I awoke this morning with a mean little headache. It is the sort of dull ache which never ceases and makes me feel as if my head were stuffed with cotton or steel wool. It is easily excited into a throb. All of me is easily stirred into a storm of confusion. I ran up and down my stairs five or six times unable to decide whether to run out of the garage and off to the bus stop in my sweaty red pajamas or to go back through the front door and change. It took me five or six runs before I finally prevented my self from jogging back down the stairs by shouting.
Then I stayed where any maniac in sweaty red footed pajamas should stay, in their own apartment, and I stripped out of the pjs and went to take a shower. The light switch in the bathroom explained to me that the light bulbs were burned out again because of a problem with the building’s electrical wiring. It was most apologetic with it’s little nose turned down and it’s rectangular face staring blankly into the murk of the bathroom. I forgave it and turned the shower on and walked to the living room to get a candle. I approached the general region where a candle might have been found but stopped a foot short of that destination and went to my computer and opened a word document and attempted to print some labels. They printed on the wrong side of the label sheet so I turned the sheet over and tried again, but they still weren’t right, the text was all crooked and wasn’t aligned with the stickers properly. All the while I listened to the water running in my shower and thought,
"There goes California’s water supply down my drain."
Eventually I returned without the candle (which I never properly looked for) and climbed into the dark shower. First I avoided washing my hair. Then I decided it would be best, you know, to go the whole hog including the postage and quit pussy footing around. I wetted the hair, then scanned the shower for my shampoo. It was then that I recalled seeing it on the bathroom sink this morning. I had seen it and shoved it back out of my way wondering which child had removed it from the shower and for what reason. Now I debated going out after it or using the children’s shampoo. I went with option two and found that it was gooey from careless little hands closing the cap only partially so that all of the shampoo was running out into the cap and had turned rubbery in the night while we slept. It might be important to note that these bottles are the type that stand on their caps so that the shampoo is always ready to be squeezed out. What genius invented these bottles, now so widely used, but nonexistent in my childhood?
Everything from shampoo to ketchup can be found in such bottles so that no one ever has to bang on the bottom of a bottle and wait for anything to come pouring out ever again. It saves a minute at least, and that’s time that a person really needs, especially after they’ve wasted so much of it running back and forth up and down two flights of stairs in their pajamas. The only drawback of course is that you must close the cap properly or all of whatever it is in your bottle will spill out in your absence. Some particularly cheaply manufactured bottles are especially prone to this. At last, my hair was washed and my body cleaned and I came out of the dark shower and looked at the deodorant bottle which I knew was empty. (Since the subject of bottles has become so important, I will mention that this particular bottle holds a liquid deodorant and has a little roller ball on top that rolls into the liquid and then over your pits in the most charming way. A very special bottle that makes a special product accessible.) I used the other weird smelling deodorant that I bought at the Ninety Nine Cents Store and resolved to throw the other empty container away. I suppose that it stayed there empty for so long only because I preferred it so vastly over the other. I dried my hair and applied the various lotions and potions I’ve become accustomed to and dressed myself to look like a sane person, still wandering through a fog of pain.
I faced the stairs again having recovered the memory of the sacred secret; “Whatever you do, do a lot of it, do it all the way, and do it with flare.” I took the stairs with resolve, undaunted by the break from routine that had left me so impaired, defiant of the squeezing brain gone useless under my skull. I made it all of the way down the stairs and out of the garage and to the bus stop. Eventually I arrived in a new place and I sat down with the same numbed mind and idiotic body and put all of these words down for you, so that you can benefit from this strange effort of mine, exercised on a day when my mechanical nature has nearly thrown me into a seizure of repetitive up stair and down stair trips. In the end, I hope that I too have been a very special bottle that made a very special product accessible to someone who could use it.