You know how sometimes a song lyric will just jump out at you and wrap its little hands around your throat or reach up and slap you silly on the cheek with its relevance to and resonation with your exact situation or state of mind, thus making you feel a sense of unity with not just the artists who wrote and performed the lyric, but with the world, and perhaps universe, at large?
This week that kind of lyrical moment hit me while I listened to Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al." The lightning strike line went a little something like this:
"Why am I so soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard?"
Now, I am a little ashamed to feign that I suffer when I look at the news and see New Orleans and Iraq on the screen. These things make a piddley little joke of my trials and tribulations. But it's like that Seinfeld line that Ms. Bennett once said when people poo-pooed her problems in light of troubles in Eastern Europe.
Elaine: "Can't Bosnia and my situation both suck?!"
Yes, Elaine. They can.
I have felt like I've lived through a Hurricane Nictate this summer with work and activity overload. The eye of the storm hit a couple of weeks ago when local housing authorities decided to prevent my landlord from earning the word "slum" in place of "land" in his title by repairing leaky rooves, moldy spots and rust run amok. That meant that all of my belongings had to be pushed into a pile and covered with plastic while my shower became floorless and could provide no bathing privileges for a week and a half. Adding to the fuss and muss was the everchanging story of the handyman about when it would be done and their ever-growing, careless track of dust and dirt through my place. Then there were the lung-squeezing paint fumes that sent me fleeing to a hotel room one dark night. I'm trying to paint a picture here. Am I using enough black tempura? Add to that hullabaloo twice-a-week improv classes and some (yes, ok, I admit I enjoyed myself at moments) fun social events and you have a wild-eyed, stress-ridden, grinning, but shell-shocked femme on your hands.
BUT. But. My shower door arrives tomorrow. Tomorrow evening, I shall bathe without reproach until the hot water whimpers into a lukewarm drip. I will dust off off the grime and grit and put all my stuff back where it belongs. Where I want it. I will no longer have strange men playing bad music at speaker-wobbling volume while my apartment door gapes open all day long. I will sit on my couch and read. I may even watch a DVD. Quietly. Sweetly. Softly. And I will realize that while I'm still soft in the middle (until I can get out of work at a decent time and get to the gym, for Pete's sake), the rest of my life is not so hard and I shall be content and grateful and sanguine.
Long time, no read, but Andrew is funny. And his finger smell is too.