I am Jenny G.

15 Oct

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lt is early. But to an International Woman of Mystery, it matters not. The ability to exist and function in varying time zones is crucial – a necessity for survival. The last time Dzsenifer saw 5 a.m. was sometime circa 2009 for a Black Friday sale at Banana Republic.

But today is a new day. And anyway, I’m not Dzsenifer. I am Jenny G.: International Woman of Mystery.

The smooth hiss of the coffee pot echoes off the walls of this still barren kitchen. It’s a new, stainless steel model. Modern and sleek. Mr. Poison – notoriously frugal bastard that he was – had us still using his creaky, college dorm coffee pot. He insisted that it was still perfectly useable, even though it leaked out the bottom and made weird mournful sounds while it brewed. The stained plastic always grossed me out, but I said nothing. My new model however, is pristine, with numerous bells and whistles. A steam nozzle, advanced water filtration system, self-prime feature and accuflavor selector.

By my estimation, an International Woman of Mystery should know how to pull the perfect shot of espresso. But we’ll tackle that another time. Jenny G. just needs enough caffeine to get her ass to 6 a.m. boot camp at the Y downtown. One never knows what obstacles might come to pass while traversing the world at large. Dzsenifer is in pretty okay shape, but an International Woman of Mystery needs to be on another level of strength, endurance and cat-like reflexes. It will not be enough to merely survive the elements in this strange new city. An International Woman of Mystery conquers them.

The machine whir comes to a definitive halt. Coffee is ready. I select one of the two simple black coffee mugs that came with the machine (Coffee for two! The box said. I sighed.) I pour a cup. The steam curls around the rim and I feel a surge of energy already. Dzsenifer likes her coffee with copious amounts of vanilla caramel sugar free creamer, but an International Woman of Mystery doesn’t need such frivolities. Jenny G. will take her espresso straight up.

I take a sip. Burn my tongue and sputter into the sink. It’s hot and harsh. Maybe the creamer is necessary after all. Or perhaps we’ll meet in the middle and buy some milk. Matters for another day. Next order of business: getting dressed.

I switch on a couple of lights in the living room and begin to paw through the third suitcase where I packed the old jogging clothes. The findings are rather disheartening. Lots of ratty, oversized shirts and shorts. A hooded sweatshirt once co-opted from Mr. Poison. “Boston Law” it reads in faded letters across the chest. It still smells like him. I throw it in the garbage.

Jenny G. has no use for all of these ridiculously colored leggings. I prefer the simple elegance of an all-black ensemble. Sure, I might need some flamboyant cocktail dresses for entertaining foreign dignitaries at a later date, but for right now, pared down is the name of the game. I finally unearth a pair of black yoga pants and matching long sleeve tee.

In the bathroom I splash cold water on my face. Pull my hair into a taut, slicked back ponytail. I briefly contemplate chopping it all off, as women do in movies when they are on the run. But I think better of it. Sigh as I pull on a pair of neon pink Nikes. Way too flagrant for an International Woman of Mystery, but they’ll have to do. It’s 5:35 a.m. and I am out the door.

This early there aren’t many people out. The a.m. commuters careen down Colfax Avenue in droves, but the sidewalks are pretty desolate save for a few transients. A mad man sings a song while pushing a baby stroller. The only contents of the stroller are a sleeping bag and an overstuffed duffle – presumably everything he owns – full of treasures that have seen better days. I can almost relate.

It’s still dark and there is a chill in the air. Note to self: acquire trench coat. I barely know this neighborhood but I feel oddly at ease. Emboldened by the electric morning air, the coffee and this makeshift catsuit. I feel awake and alive, and for the first time it hits me that everything is going to be okay. I am going to be okay. I’ve got this. I’m an International Woman of Mystery. I am Jenny G.

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