On Bad Days and Getting Dressed for Work

On Bad Days and Getting Dressed for Work

I’ve just managed to cycle home after leaving work with the whispery white noise I hear before a panic attack murmuring in my ears. I’m running low on funds but decide to pick up some bananas and (not sure what possessed me) a Red Bull. It’s a sugar free one, but still… the hyper-high level of caffeine will do nothing good for my racing heart. I know this, but I buy it and I’m drinking it before I’m even out of the store, wallet and phone resting in my bike helmet that’s held to my chest, wedged in the crook of my arm attached to the hand with the Red Bull. My other hand is holding the bunch of fairly ripe bananas by the stem that connects them.

I’ll tell you now it’s been hot in Toronto lately, gross hot; the kind of sticky heat that warrants a change of clothes for halfway through the morning and another for after lunch. I do not do well in heat and envy those who relish in it. I actually feel like relish when it’s that hot. Have you ever felt like relish? Dejected… slimy… unwelcome at the party…

I’m walking back to my apartment when I hear an “Oh no” escape languidly from a woman walking opposite me. In this heat everything slows down and so it’s as if when I look down I see what’s happening at half-speed.

One by one my bananas are shedding their peels like no-longer-needed cocoons. They boldly escape their yellow coats with the earnestness of a 16-year-old me insisting, “I’M NOT COLD” on a frigid evening when boys are about. Yet, out of the mold too soon, these sad moon-shaped fruits plop to the sidewalk and promptly die. All of them. About… seven I’d say.

I recently started a new job that’s had me up before I’d like to be and at home on the weekends catching up on work-related duties. It’s an opportunity and a half but my poor anxious heart is struggling. It’s not exactly what I want to be doing (lounging on a beach being fed grapes paid for by my fat book advance) but… it’s cool and I’m working on it.

The whole 9-to-5 thing isn’t new to me; I’ve done it before over the summer at the local circus school I coach at here in Toronto and twice for extended periods of time while I lived in Winnipeg (the second being while I was also living in a van in my ex-boyfriend’s driveway… more on that another time?).

I think, honestly, the biggest stress is getting dressed.

You see… at circus I wear black leggings or shorts and a circus t-shirt, of which I have about one hundred. When throwing watermelons and putting fresh herbs in Ziplock bags at the fruit market, I wore black leggings, a baggy white t-shirt and an apron (with an against-uniform-code quirky button on it because you gotta stick it to the man somehow, am I right?).

Here, at my new job, I have to… brace yourselves… brush my hair. My socks have to match and I have to ask my roommate to borrow oddities like blouses and blazers (what ARE these things?!). I’m the queen of cas (as in casual, that’s how cas I am. It’s pronounced caj with the sound at the beginning the French word je) and I don’t like getting dressed because it’s stressful for me. Boohoo, am I right?

Meanwhile… there are more important things going on, I know. Athletes are competing at the Olympics and winning medals and breaking bones and someone out there is freaking out about starting high school or university and maybe someone else got a flat tire or their bike stolen and I’m sitting in my room at eight in the morning pouting over dress pants.

So anyways… I’m standing on the sidewalk about a thirty-second-walk from my apartment and I have seven smushed bananas around my ankles. One of them has mushed on one of the new white Nikes by mom sent me in the mail when she saw how ratty my Keds had got. The white noise of panic is still murmuring away and my heart rate has been boosted to alien level thanks to Red Bull. I’m wearing dress pants and matching socks and my hair was brushed in the morning, though it’s now matted to my head with sweet summer sweat… and I want to make a grandiose connection to greater meaning but I think sometimes your bananas just die.

And it’s okay.

[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]


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