When I misbehaved, my father threatened, "Keep it up, Stephanie. Keep it up. You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin.’" Then he’d smack his fist against his hand implying I was going to get punished if I didn’t stop whatever I was doing immediately. He never once hit me, so I was never actually scared of being hit. Punishment involved chores or forbade me from watching television. I like to imagine it involved taking my dessert away too, but my parents never used food to punish or reward us. So I’m afraid I can’t attribute my obsession with food to their parenting. Darn.
I have a mirror in my shower. The package it came in claimed, “fogless.” I haven’t the foggiest idea how that claim pushed its way through the legal department. Still, I keep it there because I’m too lazy to get a new one. To deal with having to try to make those suction cups work, again. It does still serve a purpose; it has a groove to house my razor, and when I remove eye makeup, I can wipe the steam and water off the mirror to ensure the black makeup remnants get removed from my leaky eyes.
“I don’t go to clubs” isn’t really accurate. I would never choose to go to a club, but I’ll show up if it’s where my friends want to go. I hate the smoke, hate that it’s all the same music, hate the pushing and spilling of drinks, hate that I have to scream conversations. Hate that every single guy there is all about his watch and shirt. I have no concept of time in clubs (or anywhere else actually), so I end up staying way later than I think it is. It’s like hanging out in a casino. Everything is so lively; it can’t be time to sleep. Then you leave at 4am and spend your weekend days in bed, hung over, smelling like an ashtray, watching porn.
At 2pm, I hit the shower to rid myself of smoke hair and mascara. That’s when it happened. I leaned in closer, squinting at the mirror. Had Linus scratched me? Wait, what the… no, it can’t… Jesus. Was it just my skin reacting to the hot water? No. I’m 29 years old, and I have a hickey on my neck.
Hickeys are so middle school. Back then, it was something you wanted, to show everyone you were getting some action, to show everyone that someone of the opposite seex actually liked you. It was as cool as a six pack. Then you’d fret and ask your friend for a comb. But a hickey at 29 is lameass. A hickey at 29 in the summer is retarded. In the winter is one thing. There are yummy cream turtlenecks and scarves to aid in concealment. What the hell can you do in the summer? Then, upon further inspection, I realized I had bruises everywhere. My forearm, hip flexor, calves. Clubs don’t do a body good, at least not mine. You’re out there cruisin’ the club for something resembling a new exciting story and all you end up to show for it is a bruisin.’ Keep it up, Stephanie. Keep it up.