On those days here in New York City where it’s sunny and mild and the birds are singing and the daffodils are blooming, it sure makes it hard to drag one’s ass to work. We have so few nice days here, that it seems a crying shame to waste one on something so lame as employment. Seriously, we get about two weeks of nice weather between blizzards and hot and humid and today is one of them. However, work beckons and I shall answer the call. But more than likely I will be in a bad mood unless I find a way to alter it. The first thought is some type of mood altering drug, but no I don’t do that. A cocktail? No, too early in the day. Call out? Not cool. I am left with one possibility: tricking my mind into believing I am in a good mood.
I heard one time that if you force yourself to smile for at least eight minutes, the muscle memory triggers your brain into thinking that the smile is real and your bad mood will up and vanish. Weirdly, it actually works. Years ago when I was working at Black Eyed Pea on Highway 290 in Houston, I drove to work each morning. I was at the end of my Pea time and it was a real struggle to even pretend that I gave a shit. Then I heard about this little trick on National Public Radio. I listen to NPR because I am real intelligent and shit. So I tried it. I would get into my car for the twenty minute drive and I would plaster this fake ass smile on my face and keep it there. I be looking like The Joker or some lame ass Miss America pageant bitch with Vaseline covered teeth as I drove my ass through Houston. But by the time I got to work, I felt better. I did this every day for several weeks and every time it somehow put me in a better mood. Of course the shitty mood would come right back as soon as some bitch would ask for a second hot tea because she ripped the first tea bag, but at least the good mood was there for a while.
Now that I live in New York City, I don’t employ this technique anymore. Sitting in my car alone with a huge shit eating grin on my face is one thing, but doing that on the 7 train is not going to happen. Here in the city, the only people who are sitting alone on the subway and smiling like demons are the same people who are taking dumps in their pants and swatting imaginary flies. So now I embrace my bad mood. I welcome it. I accept it. And I take it to work with me.