I eat tofu, walnuts, steamed vegetables and quinoa for lunch and dinner. I never take vitamins because doctors have told me that it isn’t necessary as long as you eat the right foods. I was washing my hands after every handshake. I opened doors with the sleeve of my sweater and stood three feet away from sick people. So why should I be sick? I was taking precaution against getting sick while working two jobs – I was trying to help my immune system. It didn’t work.
In my twenties and thirties, I rarely got sick. I had the immune system of an Olympian. Then five years ago I started getting a couple of colds a year, which I think might have been because of my hormones shifting. This last year I didn’t have a cold except now and I’m sure it’s because of the stress of learning a new job and not sleeping, fuck the fact that I was eating very healthily. Now I’m just pissed and I’m in the pity pot.
It’s Halloween and I wasn’t even able to invite anyone over because I’m sick. This is the first Halloween in a couple of years I didn’t do anything special. I have to go to works tomorrow – yes “works” – I’m going to my gallery job, then I have to do two tours at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. My jobs are great and I feel settled in at the cemetery now, but I suppose it is strenuous.
I usually never buy cold medicine, but I have some now – people at work told me to get Airborne. I also have Robitussin and Echinacea. At the cemetery, I have to be hearty to do two 1.5 mile tours, check people in, light kerosene lanterns and direct traffic, so it’s necessary. Because of these two jobs however I wasn’t able to plan to celebrate Halloween except for decorating my apartment and purchasing a new set of purple creature horns which I wore during my tour yesterday. A couple of people complimented me on them and I think I looked sexy but I had no takers, oh well. This year I thought I might be the “Henry: The Portrait of a Serial Killer” character for Halloween and walk in the Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, but I didn’t have time to buy the male wig or the extermination can. Henry had a distinctive walk. It would have been great to walk like that in a parade.
So I’ll just sign off now and prepare to watch Fright Night and eat some of the Halloween candy that I bought for the trick-or-treaters who usually don’t come anyway except those couple of times. I wait for them every year like Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin. And since none of my measures to prevent illness worked, I’m eating Chinese food for dinner, bleh. On the plus side I guess is that I think I lost weight from working in the cemetery — Happy Halloween!
I think of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and the roles we play in tribes. I thought I’d be Simon in the tribe. Simon goes off alone. He’s prophetic and dreamy. I think Simon goes into a cave and when he comes out, the bad tribe thinks he’s a beast, and spears him to death. That’s me, I say. I’m misread, on the periphery, and subjected to being lambasted by people who are afraid of where I’m coming from.
But I looked honestly, and this is not easy, but I believe I would’ve been in the bad tribe.
I acted out as a child. While there was love and encouragement, we were raised by adolescents. My mom was 18 and my dad 22 when I was born. I also became very sick which devastated my school life. My mom taught me to read when I was three and I was in special progress classes but couldn’t concentrate after the illness. My parents might have done more if they knew better. They gave me a wonderful childhood however.
But I became rebellious, destructive and mean. I wanted to be bad, to test limits. I remember rounding up kids to leave school to go to Pathmark to steal candy. Our families had money to give us, but once I got kids together to beg for money in the street. Another time I lied about the teacher collecting money for something and stole from kids in my class. Tyrone found out, popped out from behind a car, punched me in the head and followed me home to tell my mother. This was all at around the age of eight, and there were other things I did. I also did mean things to kids that I’m embarrassed about. If I smoked cigarettes I would have been a bonafide street urchin.
After surgery for my illness when I was 12, I befriended the main stream kids. They put me in check and I became docile and unsure of myself — they were the majority. I couldn’t be the wild little pirate anymore. I knew instinctively that being with these girls was a cocoon of protection, even though I was on the periphery. I later became an alcoholic then recovered which helped me to grow as a person.
As an adult I’ve been sited on my job review for integrity. One manager said she thought that I was a class act. My mom calls me Saint Sandee. While my core personality from childhood exists — my curiosity about death and mystery of life and my blunt approach – those negative traits were mutable and transient, though that mischievous acting out may be manifested in my extreme views and sometimes severe criticism.
I just hope to continue to nurture that part of me that people gravitate to. I want to be tactful, sympathetic, loving, generous and forgiving. I guess now, this is why I relate to being Simon.