Merrymaking and Losing My Pterodactyl

February 3

Hey Les,

Things have been rather serious and angsty on here lately so I feel like being lighter, goofier tonight. While I admit to being a stony little genderqueer scamp caught up in talk of fire and ice, I’m also just a dork who spends a lot of time giggling, and the handfuls of pretty serious selfies on here don’t actually reflect who I am much of the time; I’ve usually got at least a couple toes dipped in joyful self-deprecation and wonder. I laugh at myself and the world and at the end of the day that humor saves me. During my darker or number spells, one of the few things that softens me is imagining my eighty-something year-old self. I dream of pulling harmless, spirits-lifting pranks in a retirement home and and getting arrested for political disobedience. While wearing a rainbow spinny hat, preferably. Even when I can’t imagine anything else for myself in the preceding sixty years, I can still see that goofy existence and it’s beautiful. When I die, I want my obituary to read “merrymaker.” I hope to earn that name.

As a way to crack myself up and engage my my coworkers smile, I find myself pondering funny and cute antics for the office. Ideas (plans!) thus far include making tiny terrariums with grand names like Herbert the Terror to place in random spots around the office. When I say tiny, I mean less than half the size of a pinky or thumb. A coworker got really excited when I instant messaged him about this idea and asked if I’d give him hints as to where they’d be—he wanted a scavenger hunt! Knowing his enthusiasm, of course I will. I’ve made three so far and they’ve each lasted at least a couple weeks in my windowsill so it may be safe to start naming them and taking them to work. Somehow I also came up with the idea of tiny snowglobes. As I’m still figuring out how to stuff moss and soil in miniscule bottles in a more sophisticated manner, I need more practice before I make snowglobes. If you or anybody else has any ideas on how to make snowpeople no taller than a fingernail or wider than a nail, please hit me up. I don’t know how you’d do that, Les. It’s probably not a priority for you either, but I’ll keep my ears open for your suggestions.

In a toy store called Kids at Heart on Hawthorne Boulevard last Thursday, I found super small squishy rubber animals, again less than 1/2 the size of a pinky, to hide around my office and front part of the warehouse. On Monday morning I double-checked that my pals were in my backpack before leaving the house.  pals? A pterodactyl I planned to prop up in one of the windows, orca, red dragon, lizard, humpback whale, and great white shark. I usually arrive at work 25-30 minutes early so while waiting in the breakroom I attempted to stealthily transfer the animals from their littler paper bag in my backpack to my pocket. I got them in then awkwardly asked a coworker for advice on how to use the H20 dispenser machine. I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been afraid of dying a painful hot water death from those machines; I’m afraid I’ll misjudge the direction/force of the water and it’ll splash out at me. I admitted to my coworker S that it’s one of my life goals to avoid using those machines. He already thinks I’m odd so I don’t think I can become much more awkward in his eyes. He looked at me strangely but obliged. It was the tamest machine ever.

But back to the animals. When I returned to my desk, I reached my hand into my pocket and made a startling discovery: some animals had jumped ship. Despite transferring five to my pocket, only two came out: the humpback and dragon. Maybe they ate the other three. I scoured all of my pockets, rifled through my backpack, and retraced my steps around the front part of the warehouse to no avail; the lizard, orca, and pterodactyl were gone.

I’m confused yet delighted. I brought these toy animals to the office to hide in the open and make people smile, and they got started early by hiding from me.

Life is so damn beautiful.

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