A writer should never...
Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 6:19 PM

...begin a story with the weather, or with a character waking up.


When the alarm went off this morning, I rolled over and blinked my eyes at the shades covering the only window in my studio apartment. It was definitely darker than usual. I wondered if it was raining, and if I remembered to put my umbrella back in its place so I could find it again if it was raining and I needed to carry the umbrella.

But no, it wasn't raining. The days are just shorter now, it being fall and all. Pretty soon it'll be almost pitch dark when the alarm goes off.

Then I thought about how I'd really rather just stay in bed, and not get up and shower. Not go to work. So I guess you could say I woke up grumpy today. I didn't like the song playing on the radio, it was gray, and I had a PMS headache. Woo, stand back.

I got up. Drug my feet about it, too. Walked like a crab across the place (all twenty feet of it), popped some aspirin, and took a danged shower. Which I take for granted: being able to shower. Every once in a while I wonder what would happen if Los Angeles had an earthquake and there was no water for a week or more. I'd have to wash with my Sparkletts water. That is, if I survived the earthquake and lived to wash with my water from Sparkletts.

Meanwhile, I'm done showering and wondering what I'm going to wear because I was too lazy to decide on an outfit the night before. It's the hardest decision of my day, followed by what I'm going to cook for dinner and take to lunch.

Oh, life's little trials.


Wait, wait, I'm getting to the plot. I just had to "set the mood," okay? So you're feeling the same way I am about having to get up in the morning, okay? So you get a good feeling about who I really am, okay?


Turns out, I chose a black and red outfit.

Only I can't wear the matching black Mary Jane shoes because they rub my ankles raw. But I pick up one of the shoes, anyway, and study it closely against the pink Mary Jane that doesn't rub my ankles raw. The black shoe's heel is smaller, tighter. I wrap my fingers around both sides and try to stretch it, but end up thinking I might as well have blinked myself I Dream of Jeannie style to work. No shoes required in that scenario.

I ponder what to do. I don't want to have to wear pink Mary Janes with my black and red outfit. This is, after all, Hollywood.

These rub-me-raw shoes kill me. Not because they hurt and kill my ankles, but because I can't wear them. Triple-dog damn! They might as well be five-inch-high stilettos.

I grabbed my foot file. The kind that you use on your feet to rub the callouses off. If it's good for getting rid of dead skin, maybe it'll be good for making a shoe's heel softer.

Now I have a black Mary Jane shoe with a frayed heel.

And I had to wear the pink Mary Janes. But it wasn't raining, no sirreebob. Despite my hodge-podge color coordination, I received a catcall from a young construction worker on my way to work. I think he was sixteen.

2 Did the Unhingey Jiggy Engage in Unhingenosity
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