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    Wednesday, September 12, 2012

    by Helene "Coffee Is For Closers" Gresser



    It's 5:31 a.m., and I should be in the shower right now. My building will be without hot water for a few hours today as they work (once again) on the ancient boiler, and I very much need to have clean hair today. I have to start showing up at my real estate office more often, as working from home means I am out of sight out of mind too much of the time. This means I must dress in my best "Hey, I just happen to be super-polished" professional look and wear lady-heels. And wearing lady-heels almost always leads to gross-blisters, no matter what I do to try and prevent them, and lady-heels also make my wobbly left knee hurt.

    I don't earn a salary, I earn commission from each sale or rental I transact to completion. I don't have health insurance. I am responsible for my own taxes, and I don't have an accountant. I am starting to think that a full-time office job may have to be in my future, and I got my real estate license to avoid being stuck in an office doing filing and wishing I was dead. But being a grown-up means making these types of decisions because the rent must eventually be paid or I'll be evicted. And I owe friends money. This weighs so heavily on my conscience -  along with my cluttered apartment, my bills, my future in NYC - that I am wide awake until the wee hours. It is now 5:45 a.m.

    Often, when I cannot sleep, I walk around my neighborhood, stop in my corner deli, get coffee, sit on the bench outside my building, and watch the morning unfold. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff amble to Mount Sinai, just a block up Madison Avenue from my apartment. Shirtless garbage men fling heavy, wet bags of leaking garbage into the crunching maw of the garbage truck. Coffee carts are parked on corners and set up for the morning rush. Bakery trucks deliver boxes of hard rolls and doughnuts to the cafes, or set the boxes just outside the cafe doors, and strangely, no one ever seems to steal these baked goods. The boxes are left alone, unmolested. I am also left alone, sitting outside my apartment, while the early-morning people head to work or wheel their hand trucks. Few seem to notice the lady in the pink sweater sipping coffee, munching her bagel, checking her cell sporadically, in vain hope of a text from some other early bird/insomniac.

    It's 6:17 a.m. now. I took a brief Facebook break. I am delaying my shower as long as possible, which is risky, to be sure. I just so hate blow-drying my hair. It takes forever.

    The teevee keeps showing these horrific new anti-smoking ads with hacking, wheezing, dying people. But I am still sneakily smoking to spite them. I know. I KNOW. I disgust myself. That is part of the charm - the defiant self-loathing. God I don't want to have to get another crappy office job, or move into a rented room, or move out of Manhattan. I am determined to make this real estate gig work. I am good at it. It just takes time to get rolling, and I don't have time on my side right now. And if you think I have any delusions of grandeur regarding a comedy career, then HA HA HA HA VERY FUNNY. There, that made me chuckle, that right there. Ah, life.

    Both my cats are snoring as I sit here on my couch typing this. At least they can sleep. I need a cigarette. I need some magical elves to come do my dishes and organize my shelves. That rhymed. I am giddy.

    6:44 a.m: I went for another walk. The sun is rising and the moon is still high in the sky. Dudes with those funny "feet" shoes are heading for their run by the Central Park reservoir. Dog-walking is in full force. More coffee carts are setting up. Now the hospital people are scurrying, not ambling. Custodians are spraying dog pee and garbage juice off their fancy-building sidewalks with garden hoses on Fifth Avenue. I actually looked for fallen cigarettes on the street, I was that desperate for a smoke. No luck. I got chilly (yay, fall is coming!) and had to come back inside to mull my to-do list. I guess the first thing should be a shower. Then sleep a couple hours, then head to the office and get busy.

    Being a grown-up is hard. My neighbor across the way just kissed her boyfriend goodbye as she heads to the subway. It's 7 a.m. Time to shower. The lottery is now at 110 million. My next-door neighbor is rattling my dish cupboards with his exercise routine. I want to sleep. I want to live in a hotel with room service and housekeeping and no jumping neighbors. I want someone else to take care of me.

    7:05 a.m. Time to grow up.

    -HG
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  2. 3 comments:

    1. She So Funny said...

      The feet sneakers creep me out. I feel every ounce of this post... believe it or not. ~Samantha

    2. I can relate to much too much of the life you describe. I truly hope for you that you make a sale which will allow you to begin getting your nose above water. Glad you were blessed with good friends who have helped you stay afloat, and I know how great it feels to give those good people back the money. From my cluttered apartment to yours, I wish you a good day.

    3. Rhonda said...

      I was just fantasizing about smoking cigarettes & the resulting 10lb weight loss due to lack of appetite & no one wanting to have dinner with a person who smokes. It' great being able to breathe but I miss those ciggies...

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