Took a Xanax last night for the first time in my life. Can’t say it was the best experience. It is the new solution my doctor has prescribed to me for my sleeplessness. I felt all tilted, and I kept having the same dream over and over, which was task-oriented. So, I’d compete a task, forget I did it, then dream it again. Loop till dawn. It was pretty fucking awful–too much like real life. Also, I didn’t sleep through the night. The only difference was that when I woke up to wander the house, I kept bumping into doorframes and counters as if I was a drunkard (no fun if I haven’t had the red wine first). I’m not sold on this Xanax, I’ll have to try it a few more times before I’m convinced I can take it in public (eg, flight to & from London) and not end up naked yet unconscious.
Ran this morning. That was pretty terrific. I went five miles, around the south side of Queens Boulevard, which I rarely do (it’s my old neighborhood) but I didn’t feel like running the loop on my side. The first couple of miles I think I was warming up and shaking off the Xanax, but soon enough my legs felt energetic and I enjoyed the predawn. It was warm, there was a crescent moon, and there were no pedestrians to impede my progress. Well, except for the guy smoking a doob.* I wove my way along Queens Blvd and Greenpoint Avenue, then ran a grid along 47th, 48th and 50th Aves** between 36th and 46th Streets. As I pounded my way towards home with less than a mile to go, running north up 46th Street, my toe caught on a crack in the sidewalk and my body jackknifed forward. So violent was this trip I was convinced I was gonna take a digger, lose my front teeth and end up on the DL for the London Marathon. But, miraculously I righted myself and the only harm done was a few moments of irratic heartbeats. This happened to me once before, and it was the same thing: the worst-case scenario flashed before my eyes while my body instinctually saved itself. 5.1 miles ran in 48:34. Average pace 9:31; fastest mile 9:10; slowest mile 9:50.
When I was in high school, I worked as a check-out girl at our local Waldbaum’s supermarket. This was my third job ever, the first being babysitting (I self-educated using the dad’s Playboy magazines) and the second being as a library aide at the local elementary school (left alone after school hours to reshelve books, I napped). As a check-out girl, I thrived on the express lane. My personality is such that the less time spent with people the better, so I got everyone through quickly. I also was a hit wth the stock boys, one of them ultimately giving me my First Kiss (no, not in the meat locker. It was in his car, okay?). Anyway, one day before this First Kiss, I’d shown up to work all dolled up: black miniskirt, little white blouse, hair all teased out (this was Long Island in the late 80’s), my favorite flat loafers. My shift was ending, I was feeling pretty good (Mr. Future First Kiss had come forward from the stock room to bag on my line) so I strutted my way to the break room where I’d punch my time card. Wouldn’t you know, as I wiggled my way along the aisle in the front of the store (you know, the one into which all the register lines empty), I stepped on a piece of wet lettuce and lost my footing. I went flying forward, arms outstretched, bookbag launched to the side. I landed on my face, with my ass up in the air. Oh yes, everyone could see that the girl-who-had-never-been-kissed was wearing white cotton underpants beneath that hot miniskirt. When I scrambled to my feet, my face hot with shame and wet with a few tears, I realized I had a big smear of rotten lettuce that went from temple to chin. I was mortified as my boss gently wiped my face off, mirth in her eyes yet mercifully not in her voice. With teeth and innocence intact (I’d say I was chastened but really–I couldn’t get more chaste than I already was), I gingerly walked out of the supermarket to where Dad waited in the family Buick to bring me home to get some homework done.
Today was the second day of an intense digital marketing seminar my employer had “invited” me to attend, and after a morning of instruction on SEO and PPC, I was ready for some of the gorgeous weather everyone was tweeting about. I sashayed out of the building, my head tilted up towards the glorious sun. Yes, I was feeling pretty. I wore my adorable Crayola-blue 4″ pumps with the bows over the toes, my flattering little black dress, and my big chunky colorful glass bead necklace. Even my hair had complied and dried nicely. Let me try and find some walking-around shoes for London, or some silver heels for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Oh look, there’s an Aldo! I aimed myself across Sixth Avenue. Yes, you know what’s coming. I pitched forward off the pesky, sneaky curb that some city planner had decided to edge in metal thus causing my cute high heels to slide right off. I landed not on my face but on my left knee, then my right palm and right knee in quick succession. As I fell I thought, Not now! Not my knees! Not my teeth! Then, once I was flat-out (in the street, mind you! Thank god I fell between two parked cars!), Oh crap has anyone from the office seen me? Can this man trying to help me see up my dress? At least this time my panties were black. At least–because as soon as I got up, my left knee developed an instant golfball, and too dazed to change plans, I continued on to Aldo, where I bought a pair of silver sandals and a funky green satchel to use as my carry-on when I fly to London. (There’s the story’s, um, silver lining.)
I’ve been icing since 1 PM. Up and down stairs is pretty painful. I know I’ll heal in time for the marathon but I sure as shit ain’t gonna run 10 miles tomorrow to work as I was planning. Maybe Friday. Instead, tonight I am self-medicating with a bottle of Nero D’Avola and some quality time with you all, writing out the memories of my ass-up moments, hoping that will banish any future occurrence.
*There’s something about city running–I catch a whiff of somebody smoking weed as I zoom by all healthy-like, at least twice a week. Am I the only runner who notices? Usually it’s skunk weed but sometimes it is sweet and clean smelling, and reminds me of my younger, plumper days, when I was a pothead’s girlfriend and living in Northern California, working as a waitress.
**Q: where is 49th Avenue in Sunnyside, Queens? A: There is no 49th Avenue in Sunnyside! It only exists in Long Island City–it curves south to blend into 51st Ave, then into Laurel Hill Blvd, at 39th Street.