I always get water on the counter. Then I rest against it as I shave and I get water lines on my boxer shorts. This also happens when I wash dishes. I dab the “sensitive skin” shaving cream on my face like frosting on the cake: carefully, even though it couldn’t possibly do any harm, except clog a few pores, or a few arteries. I get to a point, I can’t tell you exactly when, but I get to a point when I don’t want to stop spreading it. I want to keep going until I see eyes without a face, like that dreadfully gorgeous film about the car crash victim who wears a white mask.
When I’m ugly on the outside I feel ugly on the inside. When I’m beautiful on the outside I feel ugly on the inside. So much of the time I want to bleach my soul, or at least give it a good spanking. But I can’t, I need someone else to do it.
I thought I’d gotten closer the other day when my boss walked up to me holding a shirt that could be described as purple (if purple was a sad old woman who smoked menthols and didn’t bother with hair dye) with the Cheap Jack’s Vintage Clothing logo on it. “Would you wear this?” He asked insecurely. “Of course,” I smiled. “Now?” “Oh. Why not?” It worked for a few days. For once I wasn’t wearing self-conscious ensembles, wasn’t nervously checking for positive reactions from the intended audience, wasn’t asking every store window and mirror, “yes? Is this me? I mean, not me, but ‘me’?” But then it got dirty, I didn’t want to do laundry. I lapsed.
I’ve got it all figured out, as usual. Satan’s doing it. He attacks me with trivialities until I’m a blind man, on his hands and knees, searching for his contacts. It’s nothing personal for him, it’s all in a day’s work. I’m going to make it a hard day’s night for him, though. He’s going to slave and sweat and suffer, and fail.
“How are you doing?” The men’s group leader asked last night. “I feel like playdough pushed through that plastic spaghetti-making contraption.” “Well,” he said thoughtfully, “who’s doing the pushing?” I paused, impressed. “Satan. And me. We’re both involved. It’s a team effort.”