Quarter Life Crisis: Moisture

I lingered around my job at closing time the other day to see if my friend and coworker wanted a ride home. The only thing she has left to do is count the money in the register. She opened the drawer, then stepped away and came back with a small glass of water. As she grabbed a stack of bills, she dipped her fingers in the water.

Ohhhh I get it. I see what she’s doing there! Smart. Hygienic. Must borrow.

Then it hit me…




I remember back in school, my teachers passing back tests and homework assignments to the class. Licking their fingers every third packet and having the nerve to give me the now biohazard with the assumption that all is well.

I was disgusted every time.

And you could always see the saturated spot in the upper left corner.


I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I couldn’t focus on anything but the atrocity committed against my health and well-being. We see these people more often than our own parents, and this is how they feel about us? The disrespect to just indirectly spit in our faces?

Get your saliva drenched clammy hands off of my work, and get your life together! Why do I have to suffer just because you’re oil deficient? How is that my fault? There are so many alternatives to licking my paper.

Ask a student to hand out papers.

Put that mountain of hand sanitizer you bribed all of your students to buy for you to good use.

Have you ever heard of lotion???

Or just get with the times and put everything on PDFs and online.

Something. Anything but licking my papers.

And I never understood what their problem was. I never needed an aid to separate papers or open plastic bags or count freshly printed bills. My skin did this thing called function properly, and therefore produced ample amounts of oils to ensure I went about my day without issue. These finger lickers were just sad, dry beings. I was clearly of another breed. The breed of the sufficiently moisturized, an elevated echelon of human. And I would never comprehend their plight.

I have never been so wrong.

Wait…there was that one time I hug/mauled a stranger thinking it was a friend who actually lived in a whole other state…

There was that other time where I cleaned my bathroom with both ammonia and bleach…

Oh, and when I worked an entire shift at one job just to find out I was scheduled at my other job…

Uh…well I was wrong. An arrogant youth I was. And a humbled…old I am now.

I have hit the next level of old. I’m a withered, un-supple shell of my former self. I cannot count freshly printed bills, separate bags, or file through papers without a synthetic external source of moisture. My goal each Winter is to make it to Spring without transforming into a scale-y, cracked reptillian humanoid creature. And I never thought I would see the day.

Do I apologize to the teachers who left me positively repulsed by their affinity for licking papers? Do I seek repentance for feeling superior?

Perhaps I should, but I won’t. I still, in my newfound lack, would not put myself in such desperate measures as to lick anything to get the job done. There are better ways. And we, albeit rapidly drying out, are the future. And we must advance past such barbaric means. And we will.

2 Replies to “Quarter Life Crisis: Moisture”

  1. Screaming Man…..

    I’d like to begin my saying that I find your newly-coined words quite interesting.
    Have never come across “fluid” space before? I believe you place it
    somewhere between conscious and unconscious, maybe abuting the subconscious.
    This could be a neuro-scientific discovery that you have made.

    I may have some curious images lurking in my “fluid” space. I am sure the
    cranial cavity is spacious enough to house numerous nightmarish thoughts.
    Floating around in the ooze , enough imaginative debris to compose a number
    of Poe-like phantasmagorical works. He invoked specters and spirits of every
    type to populate his best works e,g. ‘The Raven’ and ‘ Ulalume” .
    So continue to create phantoms like …..’Screaming Man…”. And you will
    find yourself in spectacular ghoulish company.

    Overwork, as well as exotic substances, can exert influence on the “fluid’
    Space of an imaginative person as yourself. Poe seems to have chosen the
    later, while our Maya has ‘worked’ herself into a post-job delirium and created
    an essay worthy of the phantasmagorical poets of a past century.

    May your cerebral ooze continue to send surfaceward its wondrous and
    creatuve images.


  2. As a teacher, can readily identify with this foul habit. The very idea of someone transferring
    their mouth bacteria to an unsuspecting and vulnerable student is repugnant.
    The clever and insightful way that you present a seemingly ordinary incident in a literary
    gargantuan manner in the 18th century would be called “mock heroic” ala Alexander Pope.
    But, again, Myra, you have a way with presenting the commonplace in an uncommon manner.

    This is a talent not to be undervalued or shrugged off. It is a highly considered device
    or literary approach that charms., as well as informs. I would hope that you consider
    continuing this slant and refining an obvious talent. It’s often been said that creative artists
    should always ‘write what you know” and you certainly know this particular style.


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