In Which Halloweening Begins

Oh my goodness guys, I am SO tired. I mean, it would be incredibly out of character if I wasn’t, but I’m telling you, there’s at least a 50-50 chance I won’t get to the end of this blog before I pass out. Why? Well most recently one hell of a yoga class—yeah, we’re talking crunches in prone garuda, it was intense—but also a couple Halloween parties and less than an abundance of sleep. So today has been difficult. I wish I could say I’d handled it gracefully.

If I recall correctly, I was similarly sleep deprived when I left you last. Hence my attempt at recovery in the form of a slow Tuesday. After tutoring, I hauled myself right home to rest, idly study language, and have a relatively early night. It was a nice notion, but one day of rest is inadequate compensation for what Wednesday would bring.

Yes, I did a silly. A seven trips on the train kind of silly, a Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Manhattan kind of silly. In my defence the first flip got me to work, the second to a meeting avec six Quebécois de Fonds de Recherche du Québec, and the corresponding third flop dumped me back into the office, but the rest was just downright ridiculous planning failures. Right after work, I had a chiropractic appointment in the East Village, but then after that, a multi-sensory education training session in Brooklyn followed, inevitably, by dance in Manhattan. I feel almost let down that I didn’t then head back to Brooklyn for dance part 2, but I suppose I really shouldn’t try so hard to swipe the magnetic stripe right off my metro card.

To say that it was a busy day begins to approximate the situation, but by this point, we all know that days like that are where I thrive. I’m never more fulfilled than when life demands such a degree of focus just to make it through the day that I cannot possibly torture myself with any complicated musings or unproductive introspection. So, wiped out as I was by the end of the night, I was also beaming with the satisfaction of having pushed myself to my mental and organizational limits. There’s probably a word for me, but let’s not go there.

Thursday was almost a return to sanity, but somewhere around my lunch break, I started to wonder what had ever happened to a package I’d ordered over a week prior. I’d received notifications when it crossed the border, but nothing further, so I dug out the tracking number and found that it had been sitting in the depot waiting for three whole days! Cue instant panic that they might send it back.

So as soon as I’d filed my report for the week’s literacy progress, I was on a train Port-Authority-Bus-Terminal-bound. It’s not the friendliest of neighbourhoods, which means that the DHL depot fits in beautifully. I bounded through the customer service entrance 10 minutes before closing and found myself in the company of:

  • 1 smiling but lethargic janitor in not-a-DHL-uniform
  • 1 industrious young man working away on packing materials to the immediate right of a giant pile of rolled up t-shirts and who knows what else
  • 1 young woman talking frantically and sometimes tearfully with (presumably) her boyfriend on the phone and
  • 1 content young woman sitting in the waiting area seeming unperturbed by the complete absence of DHL staff.

I did not join the two women sitting complacently in the waiting area but instead marched up to the counter to assert my presence while listening to telephone girl babble on to her fella about how she had no idea what was going on and there was no one there and…

I tried not to eavesdrop, but it’s very difficult, especially when the person doing the talking decides to follow your assertive lead and also move to stand at the counter. Despite her having been there longer, I will admit to a certain degree of irritation when she positioned herself in such a way that it became clear SHE was going first. If you don’t take initiative, you can wait. But hey, there were tears and I wasn’t about to have a cat fight, so when the employee finally appeared bearing a package for content woman who then had to spell out a very challenging and lengthy name for official records, I deferred to Sobs McGee and waited my turn. The worker was alarmingly relaxed about having three people left to serve at 5 to closing and wisely elected to take information from both of us before heading back into the back to hunt for packages.

At exactly 7pm I strolled out of DHL delighted to be back on poorly lit but comparatively quiet streets, and headed for a talk that I’d decided to try to catch the last half of. I was already on the train when I realized I’d misread the times and would be lucky to catch the last five minutes. So I took a detour and headed back south for a quick stop at M&J Trimmings. For the second time in one evening, I was walking into a place of business less than 20 minutes before closing. I hate to be “that person” so I put on my blinders, ignored all the beautiful, colourful, sparkly goodness that lives in M&J Trimmings and made my way directly for the glue. Less than 10 minutes later, I was headed back to the train with a goodie bag full of sequin glueing tools. You see, it was nearly the Halloweekend!

Friday afternoon, a rare day in which I had plans immediately after work, I found myself cornered by an anxious student while my MUST DO list leered at me and the clock giddily ticked by. At my normal leaving time, my boss came by and tried to shoo me out of the office, unaware that 30 precious minutes of my time had just been eaten up by impromptu counselling, while I shamefully explained that I really, honestly was not done the things that had to get done. I don’t mind staying late, but it’s hard not to stress when your boss is telling you to go, and your phone is telling you to go, but your to do list and your integrity are laughing hysterically in your face.

Sometime later, I was seated on my floor with a syringe full of glue and a small mountain of gold sequins glueing golden nuclear warning symbols onto a tight black dress—two sizes too small. Somewhat later, Mandy arrived and set to adorning her own dress. By 9pm we were done crafting and covered in glue. Less than an hour later, we were Nuclear Bombshells on our way (on foot) to a Halloween party. We dropped by only long enough to say hi and have a drink before hurrying off to dance to rescue the leaders who were blowing up Mandy’s phone with frustration at the absence of followers. I was quickly reminded that tight, short dresses are not exactly conducive to dancing west coast swing but danced in my costume nonetheless.

When I finally made it back to the LES, I was desperate for a slice so I headed to Williamsburg Pizza dreaming of sophia loren. It is the perfect pizza! Garlic, mozzarella, basil, and fresh beautiful slices of tomato all resting luxuriantly on a lovely thin New York crust. I walked into a very busy pizza joint and joined the queue, noting nervously that there was only one slice of sophia left. One person ordered, two people ordered, three people ordered, and then it was time for the girl right before me. “I want one of those, and… one of those” she drawled pointing imprecisely at the tartufo, and my precious sophia. The cashier did not speak pointing fingers and so replied “sorry, which ones did you want?” The girl: “that one…… and THAT one” “which?” “ummm, the tartutifuo and ummmm, the other one, the one right there…” “okay, tartufo, and?” “ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…”

Insert one large, tired, slightly grumpy Canadian in rather serious need of a blood sugar boost, and no little bit annoyed to be watching HER favourite slice go to some drunk woman who didn’t even know what it was called. “She wants the sophia,” said an irritable New York iteration of the tired Canadian in a tone that was anything but patient and friendly. In fairness to the inebriated obstacle to my enjoyment of carby, cheesy, tomato-laden goodness, she did turn around and utter a startled and slightly frightened thanks. Perhaps also affected by my cool (cold?) efficiency, the poor cashier then proceeded to confirm that I wanted my pizza “to go”, only to try to give me the wrong combination of slices “to stay”. I corrected the situation as politely as I could and got my ill tempered arse out of public before I startled any other good natured but incompetent partiers with my lack of patience for delay.

Because my body is SO delightful, Saturday morning saw me awake at 8am. I laid in bed until 10am before giving up and getting to my errands. We’d been promised an enthusiastic Nor’ Easter on Sunday so I knew that I needed to take care of my groceries and laundry on Saturday to avoid having an excuse to indulge my laziness and end hungry and naked until next weekend. I stocked up on cheap mystery veg from Essex Market to be converted into my own particular variety of stone soup. They have these wonderful bags of chopped tropical vegetables for stupidly low prices which I then haul home, dump in a pot, cover in water, herbs, and tomatoes and turn into lazy soup. It’s a delicious and occasionally surprising adventure.

After soup making, I lounged about until I finally managed to bully myself into tackling laundry. While my linens whirled, I made an indulgent detour to Soft Swerve. I wanted Ube and Coconut swirl, but instead of coconut, I found pumpkin spice! Say what you will about pumpkin spice, but it’s the perfect instantiation of autumn desserts, and swirled together with gorgeous purple ube? The word you’re looking for is heaven. Yes, I sat on a bench buffeted by autumn winds and dusted by rogue fallen leaves while I set my spoon to warm pumpkin pie spices and sweet violet delicious.

Having conquered my chores, I then wandered my way over to Mandy’s so that she could borrow my increasingly ghetto installation of MS Excel while I lounged on the couch reading Nabokov. I’m reading Despair just now and I have to say that it’s a whole new level of Nabokovian darkness. I am enjoying it, but not without a small bit of horror directed at my own ambivalent emotions towards it. After the computing adventures concluded, we chatted for a while before attempting another trip to Williamsburg pizza. This time we got fresh gorgeous slices of sophia and soon it was after midnight and time to head home to sleep.

Sunday was, as promised, a wet and windy day which gave me a fantastic excuse to lay about the house all day. I read, I watched documentaries, I drank tea, I watched the storm. It was quite delightful. I strongly considered spending the entire day thus, but decided that I really ought not to bail on a good friend’s Halloween party in Bedstuy. It was a smaller party than initially planned but it was very enjoyable. We ate miscellaneous Mexican food, drank sangria, took ridiculous pictures in our costumes, and played a slightly too drunk to function game of Cards Against Humanity. It was entirely worth how wet I got on the commute.

Today however, I have been suffering. I tried to cure my tired and ill-tempered with some delicious $3 dumplings and my favourite yoga class but I think the real cure might just be sleep, so I shall leave this here and talk to you all again in a week!

Sleepy and spooky,
The Salsa Girl

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