Tuesday, May 18 2021

the fat five, the bathroom closet, and the slime lifestyle

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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Tuesday. I think we should just quit while we're ahead. I've had a good morning so far. I brewed a delicious pot of coffee, fed the dogs, read a bit, and showered. And now finally sitting at my computer being that much closer to the long list of things I have to do today, I can't help but peer into the alternate world where I just go AWOL and spend the rest of the day at a Starbucks. Or maybe I would just take a nap, then stare at my super worms until lunch time.

But I'm here, right where I'm supposed to be. I might as well just do what I'm supposed to do. Work. Chores. Groceries. Exercise. Beer.

Sip. I was staring at the super worms again this morning. Outwardly, it may just be a transparent box of oats, worms, and a single withered carrot, but I feel spiritually connected them. It turns out if you stare into a box of worms for long enough, they start to feel relatable. What is your house if not a habitat? How is your bed that much different from a soft, warm bed of oats? We even eat the same food - that single withering carrot came from my own fridge after all.

Some interesting developments are happening in the worm tank. A small group of worms have seemed to take charge. They spend most of their time conspiring on the surface. I call them the fat five. This morning they were all piled in the corner, using each other as a boost to stretch high up the wall of the enclosure. They were trying to be secretive about it, but there's not a lot of privacy to go around when you live in a transparent plastic box.

It makes me wonder what the other members of the fat five told the worm on the bottom. Of course we'll come back for you. This is just reconnaissance. Bro's before Ho's.


I promise to write you from the outside. Now stop moving your head so much.

Jokes on them. Even if all five of them expertly stood on top of each other like a tiny worm cirque du soleil, they would still need to clear another four inches. And as the ultimate fail safe, the heavy plastic lid is sealed shut with a magnet. Frankly, if they figure out how magnets work then maybe they deserve to escape. I won't stop them. I'll help them find their own apartment and pay for their first semester of community college.

Last night, I saw a sixth worm on the surface. He didn't look like he belonged with the likes of the fat five. This worm was half the size. He was pale. He didn't even have any visible striations. He was motionless, and after some deliberation I reached for the tongs so I could give him a swift but respectful send-off. Just as the tip of my tongs grazed his cold skin, the worm bucked. He curled his back and extended all of his legs out. It was worm speak for what the heck, bro?

Moments later, Google would tell me that super worms molt their skin as they grow. And like other invertebrates that molt, in the moments after they can be vulnerable, insecure, and testy. It was clear that this punk teenager was overcompensating for how awkward he felt in his new body.

In other news, we're redoing our bathroom. While it's not the only place to pee and poop in the house (Minnie recommends the living room rug for its ambience and soft traction), it's our only bathroom and it is desperately in need of some home improvement love.

We all know that Marissa is the one doing all the work. I didn't help plaster the cracks. I didn't cut and stain new shelves. I didn't apply a new coat of paint. But rest assured that I'm still critical to the process. Marissa may have all the skills and know-how, but I see the big picture. Let's be honest, she would be lost without my vision. As she obsesses with trivial details like paint and dry wall, I'm behind the scenes attacking the big picture. Where's the shaver? Do we need to use the downstairs broom once, or should we move it upstairs temporarily? Do we consolidate these Bandaids into a single box or leave them in the original packaging?

When Marissa had finished the paint, I tried to commemorate her work for a picture. Huddled in our cramped bathroom, I waved my phone around trying to find the perfect Kubrick shot to blow everyone away on next morning's journal. But it's hard to make a white painted bathroom closet exciting.


In other news, Rodney has become fascinated with slime. That little capsule of orange slime Marissa bought for him in the Target dollar aisle was like a gateway drug that flung open the doorway to the slime lifestyle. Rodney has begun to collect slime. Most recently, he returned from the his and Marissa's craft store errand with a bucket of the stuff. It was compartmentalized by color - neon pink, lime green, and alien purple. He clawed it out of the bucket onto the dining room table before I had even cleaned up his mess from dinner.

After a single play session, his slime is one color - just a faded purple mass sitting in a plastic bag, and there are little specs of paella buried in it too. But that's all part of the slime lifestyle. The slime is never as perfect as it is the moment you open the container. It loses its luster. It picks up crumbs and dog hair. But if you can get past that, it still feels cool when it slips through your fingers.

"Dude, are you like - a slime guy?" I asked Rodney.

Rodney's eyes left the TV. With his plate of slime on his lap, he looked in my direction and smiled. "Yeah, I'm a slime guy." He gave the orange goop on his plate a single poke, like a final punctuation mark to his thought.

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great Tuesday everyone.