Hello, It’s Me, The Eucalyptus That’s Hanging in Your Shower
Here to help you cosplay as a well-adjusted person.
First of all, I want to thank you for deeming me worthy enough to bring into your home. From the moment you spotted me at the bodega that I have surmised you frequent, judging by your mismatched socks and Crocs, I knew that you needed me, and it wasn’t because you were seeking relief for upper respiratory issues, which, I can now see, don’t take precedence. After laying me on the counter along with the other items in your basket (a family-size bottle of Advil PM, some LUNA Bars), you, while avoiding eye contact with the cashier, demurely asked, and then asked again (they couldn’t hear you the first time), for a pack of Marlboro Lights, a habit you swear you’ll kick again.
Listen, I’m not here to judge. In fact, I am proud of you for taking baby steps towards some semblance of stability. This is what I’m here for, a minty, earthy-scented stepping stone towards sustainable mental health. I might be your incentive to shower more regularly, and for that I happily oblige—no small feat for you some days, I know! One thing at a time, although I would be remiss not to gently insist that you address the small amounts of black mold in your shower before they proliferate. I may have a number of health benefits, but not that many!
While I am more than happy to help you cosplay as a well-adjusted person, I also want to kindly remind you that I am not a substitute for the Wellbutrin your psychiatrist suggested you tack on to your current regimen of medications to help you level out. I know you fear side effects, but Wellbutrin is actually really well-tolerated! If it doesn’t work out, you can always wean off and try something else. Like another antidepressant, or moving to L.A.
Make no mistake, I will never tire of hearing “Alien Superstar” by Beyoncé. A certified bop! And I am impressed with the choreography you are able to perform in a tub that’s not much larger than the shoebox from Adidas you use as a Squatty Potty since chronic constipation often accompanies your depression. Even more impressed am I by the gymnastics you execute to reach your nearby precariously positioned phone to put “Space Song” by Beach House on repeat. It's when you sullenly stare straight ahead for twenty-two minutes straight, during which you shampoo your hair again because you forgot you’d already shampooed it about four repeats ago that concerns me. You don’t have to pay for water, right?
Now, the last thing I want to do is burden you. I am literally in your shower to help reduce your stress, among the other things you think I can miraculously perform just by hanging me in here, like saying “yes” to more things and “being okay.” That’s fine; I’m here for whatever you need me for. But if you have any room to spare in your already-cluttered mind, I would just like to occupy the tiniest amount of space at the back to remind you that I won’t last forever; I will stay fresh for about three weeks or so, at which point it’s recommended that you swap me out with a fresh bundle. Alternatively, you can extend my life by placing me in water, and changing the water frequently.
But let’s be honest; we both know the likelihood of you pursuing either option right now. I’ve seen your toothbrush.
It’s okay, though! To echo your common refrain, ‘no worries if not!’ It’s up to you what you want to do once my leaves brown, once you can no longer smell my crisp, woodsy scent. There are others out there like me. Just remember that they may not be as forgiving as I have been when it comes to getting tied to your shower head with a wad of chewed gum.
Anyway, great talk. Don’t be a stranger!
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Art by: James Jeffers
Editorial assistant: Jesse Adele
You can follow my other unhinged missives by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. My debut memoir, Born to Be Public, is out now.