Yesterday, I scrubbed the only bathroom in our house. I took everything out of the shower, everything off of the vanity, everything out from around the toilet. And I scrubbed. I scrubbed until everything was as white as it could possibly be.
Why? I don’t know. I felt dirty. I felt like because my bathroom was dirty, I was unable to concentrate on anything else. I also think it probably hadn’t been cleaned since early 2009. I think I found hair behind the toilet which dates back to 2007 or 2008. Not pleasent, I know. Imagine my reaction when I found it. So I turned up the music, sprayed the Lysol, and went to town.
When all was said and done, I felt accomplished. A feeling I don’t feel often. This small success, as miniscule as it may be, made a voice inside of me ride up and say, “You can do anything.” I got confused. Why was this voice telling me I could do anything when all I did was clean the bathroom? It’s not like my efforts will be recognized; no one is going to thank me for the job I had just completed - they’re simply going to sit down on the toilet and wash their hands when they’re done (if they even do that). Nasty.
I also went to The Noble. Okay, so it’s actually just Barnes & Noble, but I like to try and be cool. Upon entering, I forgot what that bookstore did to me. There is a certain magic tied to bookstores that really make me want to get hit on the head like McCullay Culkin and go on The Pagemaster adventure. Only I think my Wizard would be William Shakespeare, my Fantasy would be Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings characters, Adventure would be Tom Sawyer, and Horror… Well, we can leave Horror out of this. Let Jason Bourne come along for that ride.
I only went to pick up a book I needed for class: “The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, a Young Slave.” After finding that, I simply explored. In my mind, I only had one section I wanted to be in: Drama and Theater Arts (duh). However, it was the last section I came across, as I started searching for it on the second level. After walking around and looking at books for what seemed like an hour, I realized the Drama section wasn’t up there. I started to panic - did they even have a drama section? I started getting more and more frazzled in my attempt to find two measley bookcases that I began freaking out. Going down the escalator, I almost punched a kid for trying to climb up it. It’s a down escalator, kid. Go down. If you’re gonna pull that shit, at least do it at the top of the escalator, not when you’re already halfway down. That’s just stupid.
After I arrived to my destination, I was disappointed. The bookcase was filled with plays that I a) recognized or b) already read. There was nothing new or exciting filling the shelves - nothing that grabbed my eye and said, “Read me! You know nothing about me!” It was a summer reading list of plays. I managed to find a book that changed my life though - a book about moving to LA. It didn’t really have anything to do with theatre, but they put a couple of books about moving to LA and New York in this section. Maybe they were just in the wrong section and belonged in Travel.
Needless to say, I sat right down on the floor and started reading it. I loved doing that as a kid. I would always find a play in the Drama section, sit in the corner, and read. I was probably the kid that parents would always make an example of: “See Billy, you should never do that. Mommy won’t know where you are and you’ll be stolen, raped, and killed.” My mother always knew where I was, though. I remember right after we first moved to Pennsylvania from Ohio when my mother saw me reading The Tempest by Shakespeare. She picked me up and said, “Come on, we’re going.” I wanted to buy it. She said, “No, you wouldn’t understand it.”
Three months later, at an outlet bookstore in reading, my mother and father bought me my first copies of Macbeth, Othello, and Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2. And I’m supposed to understand these?!
I walked out of the store with Frederick Douglass and a pack of Moleskein journals - another treasure I had forgotten about. I used a Moleskein journal during my time in Brighton Beach Memoirs. Now that I was looking for a journal to start writing in again, I happened upon them right before I went into the checkout line. I sheepishly tried to hide the sleek, swanky, magnetic-closing journal I was insistent on buying (because it looked ‘cool’) and traded it for a 3-pack of the plain brown packaging that smelled mildly of freshly cut tree. Great scent. Rustic. Rugged. Natural.
I’ll never fully understand why I felt so accomplished - I did very little during the day at work. I didn’t work out, I didn’t eat healthy food, I didn’t even clean more than just the bathroom. Alright, I vacuumed my room. I think it’s because I’m starting to see what life can be like.
I’m gonna go back to singing. Auditions for the school musical are in two weeks.