Tuesday, March 07, 2006

My Shitty Monday--a complaint in three parts


I forgot to brush my teeth this morning. Yes, you read that right: I, Kevin-M, forgot to brush my teeth this morning. You might be asking yourself, “What kind of clown forgets to brush his teeth in the morning?” Well, apparently, this clown does. Laugh at me if you must, but I have an excuse. You see, I was getting out the shower when my phone started to ring. I ran to get it, but it was just another recording telling me about an exciting new opportunity to consolidate my debt. Now, I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who get these calls and think, “At last! A canned financial services professional has come along to solve all my money woes!”. I am not one of these people. I thoroughly cursed out the prattling debt-droid, banged down the receiver, and stalked back to into my bathroom to being putting myself together for the day. Unfortunately, my momentum had been broken, my ritual was upset. I began to angrily comb my hair, unaware that the essential preceding step–a thorough and manful tooth scrubbing–had been missed. I didn’t realize my blunder until I was well on my way to the grocery store. I thought, Shit, I totally forgot to brush my teeth! It was a queasy moment, let me assure you.

Luckily for everyone, I had my gum with me. I chewed three pieces and told myself that I’d rectify my lapse in hygiene as soon as I got home.


When I got back to my apartment, my mailbox was stuffed with reject letters from all the graduate schools I had applied to. I was thinking of getting my MFA in Creative Writing, but now I guess I’ll have to change my plans. On one level, it’s disappointing, but on another I feel like I might have dodged a bullet. Because, when you formulate a rudimentary cost benefit analysis, it doesn’t seem like a very good idea. Graduate school, after all, costs thousands and thousands of dollars. Realistically, 99.98% of fiction writers can expect to make, MFA or no, at most dozens and dozens of dollars. Maybe if I did go out and get myself a fancy new degree, I’d start to find it less and less easy to cuss out the pre-recorded debt-relief man.

And, while I’m rationalizing, I should probably say that I don’t believe that creative writing programs–even famous and expensive ones–necessarily produce good authors. In my freelance work as a manuscript evaluator, I’m frequently called upon to compose curt “thanks-but-no-thanks” letters to not only their graduates, but their instructors as well. Despite what I might have said in my application essay, I didn’t want to go to graduate school to become a better writer. I’m too arrogant for that. What I wanted was to have a two-year idyll where my weird hobby would be treated like a sacred duty, I wanted to have an in-ink credential to prove I was a “writer”, not just some eccentric, quasi-employed dude who spends most of his time writing. My motives weren’t very pure, in other words. So a big “Oh well...” on that business, I suppose.

Still, I was bummed enough that I forgot to do my remedial tooth brushing.


When I finally remembered that, oh yeah, my mouth is still a festering filth hole, it was almost time for me to go to work. I work in the evening time, you see. I hurried to the bathroom, but before I got there, I realized that my living room fixture wasn’t emitting any light, even though the positioning of the switch clearly indicated that it should have been. I fiddled with it for awhile and came to the inescapable conclusion that it was dead. The sigh I sighed then was fraught with no small displeasure. This meant, of course, a call to the landlord. Nothing against my landlord, though. He’s a fine gentleman. It’s just that these maintenance calls are always more inconvenient for people who work the second shift. Instead of coming home at six to find a fully-functioning apartment, we get dragged out of bed at ten and have to deal, pantless and sleepy-eyed, with the fix-it guy. I spent so long fretting over the injustice of this, I made myself late for work.

And, you guessed it, I never got around to brushing my teeth.