Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood."*

   I had class at 8 a.m. this morning.
   I planned my school clothes the night before, so it was supposed to be easy: wake up, put on clothes, leave apartment and walk to class. I had intended to wear a pair of shoes (flats, mind you) that I know to be uncomfortable (from a terrible night spent waiting tables in them), so I packed a spare pair of comfies in my school bag.
   Thing is, I’m basically a moron before 11 a.m.
   Thing is, I'm basically a moron.
   I forgot sunscreen, I didn’t eat anything, and my coffee mug was dirty and I wasn’t sure I could take coffee to class anyway (nothing like getting reprimanded on your first day with a new professor).
   But Professor E was holding a hot cup of Starbucks throughout his lecture and between staring at it, rubbing my eyes, and sucking in my stomach every time I felt a huge, orchestral rumble come on, I felt very ill-prepared for my second day of graduate school. Ill-prepared, jealous, stupid, and my feet already hurt.
   After class, some of my new friends and I walked over to a local café for breakfast. Apparently, they’d all eaten because while they ordered coffee and toast or "just a latte," I had an omelet with a side of bacon and a side of black beans and about four cups of coffee.
   Then we went to class number two. By this time there was a decided hitch in my giddy-up because left foot was threatening to kick that shoe in the garbage (left foot is definitely the bigger/dominant foot). But we made it to the lecture, and I even made it to the bathroom during the lecture (to relieve myself from what had indeed been, upon close calculation during the lecture and while holding my pee, four cups of coffee)—a bathroom that is either three miles from the lecture hall or which there was an easier way to find that I don’t know about (probably the latter).
   After second class, I decided to be pro-active and get my student ID. Fast-forward to me standing in line for 40 minutes, one shoe off, playing Sudoku on my phone and praying that my left foot wouldn’t get all comfortable outside of the shoe and then refuse to go back in it.
  (Side note: in my student ID photo I look like a fucking hipposaurus.)
   So I started walking home, finding some lovely, shaded paths behind the main drags of campus, and attempting to take in the scenery and pretend that I didn’t feel the need to limp. I’d gone about a quarter mile before I realized that I’d been walking south instead of east, effectively making my trip a good half-mile longer than it had to be. I no longer pretended not to limp. I had to make a conscious effort not to crawl. Or take my damn shoes off all together. But hell, it was over 100 degrees, so I knew the sidewalk wasn’t going to do me any favors. At that point I didn’t even mind looking like a hillbilly, I just didn’t want my feet to suffer any worse pain than the current moment.
   I kept up a brave front. I used all my old acting skills and acted like I didn’t want to lay down on the ground and scream (yay, Theatre degree!). I saw some neat parts of campus and cool kids in groovy clothes and people with booths promoting their yachting clubs, crew clubs and weird Asian nerd frats. But I couldn’t enjoy a moment of it. It felt like my left pinky toe was being slowly sawed off my foot.
   Things went on like that for about a mile before I realized, “Holy shit. I have a spare pair of shoes in my bag!”
   I immediately sat down on a curb and took my shoes off. My left foot was bloody in several places and I had brand-new, bright-red blisters. (I’d pre-bandaged my toes, but that didn’t help either—the blood was dripping into my shoes.)
Blood spilling out of my unassuming flat. Ubiquitous Texan insects running for their lives.

   New shoes on, I felt moronic again. Who in god’s name intentionally packs a spare pair of comfy shoes and then completely forgets about them after walking for 3 miles in shoes full of bloody blisters?
   I’ll tell you who: the same gal who didn’t put sunscreen on her paper-white ass before spending multiple hours in the midday Texas sunshine. The same girl who eats string cheese for dinner because she doesn’t bother to plan or cook a meal…ever. The same girl who will probably die of a combination of skin cancer, malnutrition and gangrene in the next 3-to-6 months if she doesn’t get her act together.
   Maybe most importantly: the same gal who wears heinously painful shoes to school in the first place. Sigh out loud.
   I’m guessing that I won’t be able to move around much tomorrow. But look forward to butt-loads of future complaining.

*Romy and Michele's Highschool Reunion (David Mirkin, 1997).

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