Thursday I spent the day pretending to be a man. My name was Byron in honor of Lord Byron because I love his writing and back in the day, he was a hottie. This is for the sake of character building and is based on every behavior I've observed from the males of the species.
The alarm clock went off at 5:50. I needed the early start so I could shave. I sat up in bed, stared at my toes in the hopes that they would say something. When they didn’t utter a sound I hopped out of bed and hurried to let the dogs out. Next, I shot into the bathroom, locked the door, stood in front of the toilet and rubbed the back of my head while resisting the urge to examine my imaginary penis. More than five seconds is too long. (Yes, men do this.) I laughed, couldn't help it. My brain went into overtime. Pause, rewind. Now, now, I am a heterosexual male. Craven (that's my all-too-hot protagonist) would definitely make a teasing remark right about now. I feel him with me suggesting pages of dialogue.
I moved to the front of the sink, spent three whole minutes hacking a pretend hair ball, scrutinized fantasy nose hair. (Men do this.) Hubby knocked on door, asked what I was doing. I ignored him. He asked if I was blogging. (He now associates extensive time in the bathroom with me blogging. It's the only place he can't try to read over my shoulder.) I remained silent and reached for the shaving cream, slathered it on. The dogs started to bark. Damn, the neighbors were going to be pissed. I washed my face. It's just as well. Craven would be scruffy. (Hmm, shaving cream has a drying quality, but it's rather minty. Note to self to use on legs later.) I grabbed the toothbrush, strangled tube, piled on an enormous amount of toothpaste. Dogs barked again. I hurried to let them in, mouth foaming like I was contaminated with rabies.
I hurried back into the bathroom, grabbed hubby‘s deodorant and smoothed it on, aced the makeup, tied my hair back, tiptoed to his side of the bed and borrowed a dab of cologne. (Craven would tell me that natural skin scent is better than anything.) I beg to differ. I like cologne. I dug into hubby's drawers and pulled out a pair of boxers, shook my head. Forget it. I have to draw the line somewhere. No matter. I already know that Craven wears silk boxers. Nice. Slap own head.
"I’m a man," I repeated to myself the now familiar mantra. "I’m a man."
"God, I sure hope not," muffled words came from the bed.
I ignored hubby's comment, Craven would have insisted on proving his point. I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door.
I spent the day at work attempting to speak with deeper voice than normal, and loud. Men talk loud. (Difficult for me. I'm soft spoken, product of my excellent hearing and years of meditation.) Someone asked me if I had allergies or a sore throat. (I'm pretty sure the majority of the world is hard of hearing) I squared my shoulders and kept my hips from swaying. Do the manly walk. For Craven that walk is regal. Someone asked if I had a sore back or hurt myself. I had to laugh. I suck at this. My request to enter the men’s room was vetoed by my fellow men co-workers. Fine, I’d peek in later. (Hmm, urinals...icky.)
I drank black coffee. It‘s the manly thing. (Tastes like crap) After an extensive workout at the gym I discovered that Hubby’s deodorant sucks. There’s a reason Secret is strong enough for a man but made for a woman. While hitting the showers, I shot a longing glance at men’s locker room envisioning brawn encased in towels. Not happening. They’d boot me out of the gym. (Still, Craven looks hot doing bench presses.) I hurried to elevator, established conversation with fellow elevator stalkers. The guys were all in suits. (Hmm, Craven likes leather.) I spoke about the weather and mentioned baseball. Big mistake. Sports talk is like a magic key that winds up men like toys. They began to spew forth insane sports trivia. (All I heard was Charlie Brown's teacher mumbling.) I tried my best to disappear into the crack in the corner. I reached my floor. The door opened, saving me from embarrassing myself. I ran, in a manly fashion of course.
Back at my desk, I grabbed peeping tom co-worker's binoculars and used them to peek outside building window. I stood with legs apart. A woman was sunbathing on the roof of the adjacent building. Who the heck does that? She has to know people are checking her out. Her bikini was hot pink, my favorite color. Oops, thinking like a woman again. Craven would describe her as athletic. He‘d say she has long legs. Then he would move on to illustrate exactly what she could do with those legs. That’s when he’s at his best.
I dropped the binoculars and went back to my desk. I sat like a man, resisted urge to nudge imaginary balls into place. A co-worker commented on my unusual behavior. I told her I was researching, getting in the zone. Her eyes became glassy. I told her I was a writer. That explained all.
I hopped in my car, inserted Twisted Sister CD. It was the closest I could come to manly music while actually liking it. While stopped at light, I nodded my head wildly and made eye contact with other drivers. A couple of teenagers started banging their heads too while signaling thumbs up. Another guy laughed. A lady looked at me like if I’d sprouted a second head. The light changed. I hopped on the interstate and sped home.
Having reached my destination safely, I rushed inside and after tending to the dogs I sat at the dining room table and drank half a beer. (I hate beer.) I opened up a can of no bean chilli. (I hardly ever eat red meat.) Having inhaled the concoction, I produced a manly belch. (Hmm, so this is why men get gas.) Craven would never do this. It wouldn't impress me. I was ready.
I sat at my dog room/office and edited a chapter that succeeded in making me weep. I felt the connection. My villain hurt him to the depth of his core. He cried out for relief. My heroine was there. The story is underway.
I like to play around a lot. I won't deny it. Like my profile says, "life is too short to let it be ordinary."
Do what you have to to make a story work, even if that story is the story of your life.
Hope everyone enjoyed my day as a man. I had a blast. Ladies, don't try this at home, unless you want to. Gentlemen, feel free to get even and spend a day as a woman. Might I suggest you try a pregnancy test?
Have a great weekend!