September 7, 2000
The Good Stuff


I ran out of the good stuff last night.

I thought I still had a little bit of it, stuck away somewhere ... but when I checked my *emergency stash* at bedtime, the bottle was empty. So was the auxiliary bottle in the kitchen cupboard.

A quick and frantic search of the bathroom medicine cabinet ... the bottom of my purse ... the old Whitman's Sampler box, where I keep my jewelry ...  my pantyhose drawer ... turned up nothing.

I was tapped, man.

Even though it was late, David offered to drive me around the corner to buy some more. He doesn't really approve of me using the stuff, but he understands how important it has become to me over the past seven months. He knows that as long as *I* think it's helping ... it probably IS helping, at least a little bit.

He realizes that no one can make me quit using it until *I'm* ready to quit.

"No," I said. I didn't want to go around the corner. Somebody might recognize me there. Besides ... they don't carry my brand. The cheap stuff gives me a headache, and the expensive stuff just makes me feel like I'm swallowing money.

It has to be the good stuff or nothing at all.

So we drove to the other side of the island, under cover of darkness. David went around the corner and withdrew some money from his ATM. ("Will this be enough?" he asked, handing me two neatly-folded bills. I nodded. Thank god tomorrow is my payday.)  And then, while I ducked into the store and bought my bottle, he stood at the magazine rack, pretending to read "Scientic American" ... but actually keeping one protective, wary eye on me and one eye on the vaguely shady-looking characters hanging around the side entrance of the store.

As soon as I got home, I ripped the plastic seal off the bottle, pulled a clean glass out of the kitchen cupboard ... and took a big, satisfying hit of the good stuff.

St. John's Wort: Herb of the Gods. Purveyor of easy sleep. 

Best friend of the chronically-beleaguered Executive Ass.

Ironically, this is probably the one week I could have gotten along just fine without the St. John's Wort, if it had come down to that.

It's an abbreviated work week, for one thing  ... book-ended by the Labor Day holiday on Monday, and by a CareerTrack seminar ("Self Discipline and Emotional Control in the Workplace") all day tomorrow. That means just three actual *on-site* Totem Pole days for me, this week.

And for another thing: this week has been 100%, completely, totally, absolutely, blissfully, orgasmically Franz-free.

It's been like a little slice of heaven.

A whole week with no orange peels left in my *In* box. No cranky, constipated Post-It notes stuck to my coffee mug ("Where is my 'People Skills' questionnaire?????"). No four-year-old restaurant receipts stapled, without explanation, to blank expense report forms. No Sharpie Fine Points jammed into pencil sharpeners. No doors slamming, or people calling each other "moron" in the hallway outside my door, or receptionists sitting at the front desk, soundlessly weeping.

No corporate turmoil of any sort.

Just me, and soft soothing KFOG-FM on my office boombox, and endless cups of Peet's French Roast. I've accomplished more in the past three days than I have in the past three months put together. And the very best part? When one is backpacking in the rugged Yosemite wilderness for six days, apparently, one does not have access to a cell phone.

Nor to a phone booth.

Nor to a phone of ANY kind.

I've received exactly one voicemail message this week, and it was from my daughter. I don't even remember what my phone sounds like, ringing. The quiet has been like psychic balm on my frazzled nerves.

I'm feeling SO calm, in fact ... so relaxed, so caught-up on stuff, so back-in-the-saddle-again, personally and professionally  ... I could probably walk into that "Self Discipline and Emotional Control" seminar tomorrow and TEACH the damn thing.

Still, I think it's probably a good idea if I stay on the good stuff, just a little bit longer. At least until Franz comes back from his camping trip on Monday and discovers that the stoopid fudking orange peels are now sitting in HIS *In* box.

Stay tuned.

two years ago: maybelline & playtex optional

throw a rock