Showing posts with label Early adult trauma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Early adult trauma. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

But I Didn't Throw the Poop


Walking with three dogs is a slow business thanks to the generally unsynchronized sniffing, and lifting, and squatting. While we were stopped for a squat, a woman messing around in the trunk of her car shined a flashlight in my face. I tried to assume it was an accident, but then she did it again. And again. We had to pass her to get home, although to be completely honest, we would have gone over there anyway, because I was really annoyed, and because it’s everyone’s duty to stand up to inappropriate flashlight behavior when they see it.
And as we approach she shines it in my face again. Now, we are not out in the country. There is the ambient light that one gets in any city, not to mention the actual streetlamps. It is not that damn dark.
Me: “Could you not shine that thing in my face?” I’m thinking: What the fuck is your problem?
Her: “Sorry, Ma’am, I couldn’t see who was there. It looked like you were hiding behind a tree.”  Although she technically said the word “sorry,” it was not in any way an actual apology. And in case you missed it, she called me Ma’am.
Me: “I’m just walking my dogs.” This is a phenomenon she should be familiar with since there are probably almost as many dogs as people in my neighborhood.
Her: “Well, I’m sorry, Ma’am.” (Again not being sorry at all.) “I have bad eyes and I can’t see at night.”
Me: “Well, maybe you shouldn’t be out at night.” Grown women who are afraid of the not-really-dark should stay inside always.
Her: “Do you know how many times my car has been broken into?” Probably never while you were guarding it with that wicked flashlight.
Me: “Well, it wasn’t me any of those times.” Is she implying I’m a car burglar?
Her: “And did you pick up your dog shit?” Not that it’s any of your business but…
Me: “Yeah. Do you want to inspect it?”
Her: “Ugh. No, I don’t think so.”
I’m thinking:  Are you sure? Because I’d be happy to throw it at your head.
Her: “I can tell just by looking at you that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t pick up their dog shit.” That is so judgmental. And so incorrect, since…
Me: “I’m holding a bag of dog shit right now.” Don’t call her a cunt. Don’t.
Me again: “Why don’t you stop being so judgmental and fat?”  Dodged the C-word. Good for you.
Her: “I’m pregnant.”
And now we’re in a bad sitcom.
Her again: “Why are you such a cunt?” It’s called the moral high ground, lady. Come join me.
            Me: “It’s too bad that whoever knocked you up doesn’t care enough to come help you with that box.” There was a box. It was big. She dropped it, which was probably really embarrassing. I may have enjoyed that part.
            Her: “Your dogs are ugly.” Which is ridiculous. My dogs are beautiful. She was projecting.
So that was my night. And I hope she’s still fighting with her husband or whatever about how he didn’t help her with the box. Other than that, I’ve let it go. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Better, Stronger, Chompier


Sometimes, in life, you get a broken front tooth. That’s not a metaphor. Last week, a beautiful, sweet dog was overcome with excitement to greet me and rammed my face with his face, resulting in a large chunk of my front tooth going missing.
The result was visually quite unfortunate, but relatively pain free, until I went to the dentist. The procedure itself was ok, since I’d been shot quite full of Novocain, or whatever. In fact, I had a pleasantly rubbery face for quite a while after I left. Turns out, I should have seized that pain free hour, because by the time I stopped dallying around, so had the drugs.
Unfortunately, I still had a stop to make. And it took all of my limited strength of character not to dart in front of the old man who was creeping toward the door as I approached from the parking lot, because I really wanted to get in line before he did. I actually have that urge all the time; so far I’ve managed to suppress it. I could be an amazing douche if I let myself.
Anyway, the door in question was the AAA door, where you can go instead of going to the DMV, and in most ways it is infinitely preferable. However, what I can say for the DMV is this: people don’t go there for directions. Directions. Yeah. It’s called Google maps, old people. Or even regular maps. I know you know about those. Or you could try your luck with your GPS. I’m pretty sure Cadillac has those. Sorry old people, as I write this, I’m still in pain. And I’m not prejudiced. I’m practically one of you.
I’m waiting my turn, counting the number of inane questions per minute (it’s three), and the numbness is really wearing off and this is reflected in my mood. I have to remind myself that these other people are people too, that they matter as much as I do, even if they are ninety and have apparently pilgrimaged to AAA for the sole purpose of insisting that they are excellent drivers (which inherently means that they are not), they deserve their turn. Their long drawn out turn.
There’s a lady who has got to be eighty, who’s  worried that her handicapped license plate is going to, “alert the cops.” She has already extolled her driving skills. I’m rolling my eyes politely to myself and trying not to let my jaw clench because I’m in more pain every minute and I’m not sure why they didn’t send me home with something for that because surely, this could have been predicted by the professionals, but it was not. Or else they wanted me to suffer.
 And I’m cranky and feeling guilty for all the rude thoughts I’m having about everybody else in the waiting room and bad about the fact that I’m reminding myself that they’re people too, because who has to remind themselves that other people are people? In my defense, I don’t have to do this every day. But full disclosure, this wasn’t the first time either.
When it’s my turn I draw the shortest of sticks meaning a trainee who doesn’t know how to do what I need done. He assures me he knows how to do other things, and lists some of them. I heroically refrain from leaping over the counter. A brief wait later, I am rewarded for my patience with a full-fledged employee and we manage to wrap up my errand so I am free to rush home and self medicate with tequila.
Flash forward two weeks, when I go back to have a permanent veneer put on. The doctor tells me that they usually don’t need to use anesthesia for this part. I prove to him that I am a special case by whimpering the minute he touches me with an instrument.
Some tugging, and filing, and flinching, and gluing later I have a brand new pearly white. They have rebuilt me. They have made me better, stronger and chompier. Or at least restored me to a state of dental symmetry. Now everything is fine, except the pain is back. So for the rest of the afternoon, I will be on the couch watching GoT and wondering why no one will step up and (SPOILER ALERT!) murder Joffrey. Although I’m only on the second season, so perhaps by now someone has. Happy thoughts.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

With the Greatest of Ease


Saturday morning I will be flying through the air with the greatest of ease; or else I’ll be dying, probably also with the greatest of ease. Trapeze school is finally upon us, and no, you didn’t miss anything, I haven’t mentioned it. I imagine myself doing flips and catches and whatnot, and in my mind I’m suddenly endowed with the grace and coordination that is noticeably lacking in my usual interactions with the physical world.
 Hopefully that actually happens because apparently (according to the terrifying release I’m supposed to sign) in the world of trapeze there are consequences for physical ineptness, “…could result in physical or emotional injury or death. I understand that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity.” Ok. I get that they can’t guarantee no injuries when they’re letting you swing around like monkeys and the only thing keeping you from falling is the untrained and sweaty hand of another trapeze school newbie, but I have to question the idea of emotional injury being unavoidable. Are they going to make fun of us if we don’t do well? Post photos of us fearful and sprawling on the internet? Surely, some restraint could be shown there. Falling on your ass is bad enough without the professionals making fun of you for it. And if I do fall on my ass it will be because I wasn’t properly instructed, so heal thyself, trapeze guy.
And there’s not just the danger of me falling; there’s the possibility that shit will fall on me. “The risks include…being struck by objects dislodged or dropped from above.” Well, perhaps we don’t need to keep so much clutter on the trapeze platform. Seriously, what the fuck do they keep up there? And dislodged could be accidental, but dropped? Sounds like someone up there is out to get me. 
Then there are the trapeze people. “…employees have difficult jobs to perform. They are not infallible.” Ok, that’s kind of a given, albeit not something I necessarily want emphasized right before I literally put my life in their hands. But even though they’re not perfect, they are surely highly trained and as close to infallible as is humanly possible.
Except for the part where they’re not particularly observant. “They might misjudge the weather or other environmental conditions.” Really? Because the trapezing actually takes place outside. In the weather. What I’m hearing is, “If we don’t kill you by flinging bricks at your head from 100 feet up, the lightening will finish you off because we’re not properly trained to look at the sky.”
And it seems that’s not all they’re not properly trained to do. “They may give incomplete or inaccurate instructions or warnings.”  You’re starting to sound lazy, guys. How about taking a little pride in your work. Consider how nice it would be to go home and say to your wife, husband or cat, “No one died today, and there were only a few close calls, because I had the initiative to tell people to hold on tight.”
“The equipment being used might malfunction.”  How much can a new trapeze cost? It’s essentially a rope and a stick. Maybe I should bring my own. Except I don’t know where to get a trapeze on short notice. But, I might know where I can borrow a sex swing.* Those things are pretty much interchangeable, I believe.
“I certify I have adequate insurance to cover any injury or damage I may cause or suffer while participating...” I wish I could, but I’m sure they won’t check. At least not until after one of the aforementioned unfortunate incidents has occurred.
In spite of the eager specters of death, paralyzation, and embarrassment, I’m excited. I’m a little worried that the trapeze people will see this and not let me on. But I can’t post it after, well, maybe I could, but it’s not certain. And because I’ve gone to the trouble of writing it, I don’t want it to be a wasted effort if I die. Speaking of dying, if I don’t make it back, would someone please feed my dogs?
*I absolutely do not know where I can borrow a sex swing.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Inner Child is an Idiot

Recently, there was a big hullabaloo that mostly existed in my head. No, that’s not true. It started in my head, but then it took over my entire day. It started with a text from someone named Jenny.





My first thought was, hmmm, I don’t know a Jenny. And that was that. If only that had remained that. A few hours later, while I was reading comments on another blog, a blog I much admire, it hit me. It had to be her. I had received an invitation from an amazing writer to meet on Skype to talk a bit. Perhaps the missing apostrophe should have been a clue, but when you go from dismissal to euphoria in .3 seconds you tend to overlook the details.
I’ve recently started blogging myself, and I’ve been following her, because I have a lot to learn, also she’s funny, socially conscious, and other good crap. I’ve been reading her posts religiously and I’ve left some comments that may or may not have been witty, and in that instant, it became clear that she was so overcome by my budding efforts that she couldn’t waste a moment in reaching out to me, to discuss my soon to skyrocket writing career. Of course a second later I was equally convinced that this was ridiculous, it was all in my head and it couldn’t possibly be her. That’s the feeling I should have gone with.
But no, I thought. She liked some comment I made. Or else she wants to berate me for writing mean things about my cat. I know she likes cats because she writes about hers sometimes. Only she writes nice things about hers, because apparently they never pee on her stuff; or on her person. So I’ll have to make her understand that although I say mean things about my cat, I never do mean things to my cat, even though she has peed on my head while I slept. Twice. Two times. Yep. And still I feed her. Because I’m stupid.
So, I’m shaking, and I’m running around, and I get my sister on the phone because I just cannot do anything, I can’t even Skype because I don’t have Skype, so there’s the whole business of downloading that to deal with (which was really an effort, and in the process I allowed the download of like twenty random programs or whatever they’re called) so I had to have help. In defense of my stability, the first thing I said to my sister was, “I’m probably imagining this. It couldn’t be real.” But I didn’t feel like I was imagining it. I felt pee-my-pants-happy. Which I did not actually do. So maybe technically I wasn’t. Can you be pee-your-pants-happy if you don’t pee your pants? Yes. If you don’t have to pee.
While I was failing miserably to download Skype, I reverse 411’d the number the text came from, and it was indeed a Texas number which was evidence. The text was sent by Jenny from Texas. There can’t be more than one. I’m not a crazy person at all.
So finally Skype is working. I’ve created a profile, entered Jenny’s contact info, and fumbled with the keyboard until finally, the person who has asked so kindly to speak with me is revealed. But it’s not her. So now I’m crushed and bursting with humiliation, because I’ve dragged my sister into this which makes her a witness. But wait! Maybe the picture was taken when she was a teenager, or on Halloween, or on a day when she just really wanted to show off her boobs. But no. Still not her.
My poor sister is still on the phone, and I imagine her writhing with empathetic embarrassment, because really, how much of a fucking moron can a person be? I’m instantly and severely depressed. I manage to get off the phone so I can cry, and have some xanax and a beer, because somehow I’m out of liquor. It’s a bad day to be out of liquor, but my shame won’t allow me to venture out to the store where I sense the whole world is waiting to mock me for my hope and stupidity. Clearly, I should go to bed before I do anything else humiliating and anyway, it’s almost 3:30 in the afternoon and I can’t take anymore.
I realize that the whole thing is ludicrous. I will never be a writer. No one whose work I admire is ever going to admire mine back. Everyone who has ever complimented my writing either lacks taste or lies, either out of pity or pathology. I will never accomplish anything that I want to accomplish. And all I’m really doing by blogging is rendering myself unemployable.
I finish my beer, the one I cracked open while I was frantically trying to install Skype. I start uninstalling all the useless programs that I had inadvertently piggyback downloaded in my earlier fucking flurry of emotion. I was feeling good about figuring out how to uninstall all this crap by myself, because technology is evil, but that day it was my bitch. Until I accidentally uninstalled something I needed. Now everything on my screen is too big and the stuff on the edges isn’t there; it looks like it would if you pressed your nose directly against a book and tried to read it. FYI, you need your graphics drive.
Of course, I had another beer. I kept going back and forth between wanting to sink forever into misery and feeling a little ok, maybe even slightly amused. My sister posted a cute thing on Facebook about how 90% of kids get all their awesomeness from their aunt. That’s me. And my friend texted to make plans for us to spend the next leap year at Disneyworld. So my day clawed its way a little further out of the toilet.
So much so that I was able to consider the idea that it wasn’t so stupid. I mean, it was really stupid, incredibly stupid, almost brilliantly stupid, but maybe that’s good. Because maybe, even though it didn’t work out this time, it will eventually. Even though it isn’t true right this second, now I know that I believe it could be true someday, even someday soon. And that’s heartening, because as much as I hear that one must believe great things are possible, I am not naturally an optimist. And as stupid as it was, I believed.
And believing? Being that idiotically hopeful? That’s kid shit. It’s awesome. Like when you were little and you just knew you were going to grow up to be an astronaut/rock star/firefighter/veterinarian, before you got to the point where you started ruling things out. Can’t be an astronaut if you get sick on the teacups at Disneyland. Can’t be a vet if the sight of an animal bleeding makes you want to cry. Can’t be a rockstar if you’re tone deaf. Yeah, there’s some wiggle room there. And I could still be a firefighter. As far as I know.
But for those twenty minutes, I was not ruling anything out. In spite of the lingering embarrassment, it was a really good twenty minutes. So good for me. Kind of. In an unfulfilled, humiliating way.
P.S. To Jenny who sends enticing Skype related texts with no regard for the consequences: I’m not that happy with you. Lose my number. 
P.P.S. To Jenny the hilarious and socially conscious Bloggess: I’m not dangerous. I just get excited sometimes.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grab-Ass With the Homies or How Mom-Speak Ruins Everything

    Sometimes (read usually) when we are hanging out and there is alcohol involved (read usually) my sister and I regress to the age of seven. We stick our tongues out at each other, throw food, and run around like maniacs smacking each other on the ass. There are also tickle fights and sometimes wet willies.
                My nephew is our minion. Each of us tempts him to harass the other. Of course since he’s three he’s always more on his mother’s side, but just you wait Henry Higgins until he turns into a teenager. You’ll be sorry. Of course by then I’m sure he’d rather be flayed than tickle his mother, but whatever.
                Our mother, when she’s there, is usually the odd one out, not because we purposely exclude her, but because she doesn’t know how to play. Also, the grown up is strong in that one, so she’s always somewhat appalled by the antics which is not the way to be. And she’s sober, which is really not the way to be. But mostly it’s because she doesn’t know how to play.
                At our second Christmas this year (because not everybody we love can be in the same house at the same time because that would be Against Christmas) my sister and I were drinking and smacking asses and having as jolly a time as you can have smacking asses outside of a locker room without it being weird, when our mother said, “You never let me play with your bottoms. I want to play with your bottoms.”
                Awkwardness immediately ensued, and of course we stopped because it was ruined.
                Words matter. They can hurt. And more importantly they can cause uncomfortable mental images of your mother playing with your bottom. Which I guess is its own special kind of hurt. For the proverbial record, I know she didn’t mean it in the horrifying-bad-touch-creepy way it came out. She just wanted to join in the madcap moment. But it’s like a guy who you wanted to kiss you asking if he can. It kind of destroys the moment. Even if he doesn’t actually say he wants to play with your bottom. Although of course he does.
                The moral of the story (as if you needed one) is if you see an ass that needs smacking just do it. No discussion needed. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

If You Can Read This...


To the man standing behind me in the checkout line at Ralphs, I wasn’t moving up to give you room to move up, I was trying to get away from you. If my ponytail is swinging in the wind of your breath, you are way too close. Please develop a sense of personal space, if not for yourself then for me. I’ve always thought of you and others of your ilk (because it is so super fun to use the word ilk), as evil, inconsiderate, serial killers, but it finally occurred to me that you just don’t get it. You have no idea that you’re making me (and others, lots of others, I can’t be the only one), crazy.
To the people who like to come up behind me in the bread aisle, please don’t hover. I glance back and you’re pretending to look at bread, but you are so abnormally close that I know something else is going on. There’s just no legitimate reason to peruse groceries over someone else’s shoulder. And you’re breathing all over me and my potential bread. And now my insides are screaming and my own breathing is a little off kilter, but at least I’m keeping it to myself, and part of me is sure you’re back there arranging your garrote, so of course, I can’t even focus enough to decide what kind of bread to get, which shouldn’t be that hard because I have three bucks, so I’m getting the bread that costs less than that. But I’m kind of panicking, so I leave without the bread and have to go back when you’re gone, or I grab the bread that I don’t want (the four dollar bread), and have to take it back when you’re gone.
To the guy who touched the seat of my bike when you were making room for yours, it was like being felt up by a stranger, and not in a good way, and yes, I know the difference. Not really, of course I don’t, that would be so slutty. Unless I was drunk.  Or on the subway. I wonder if you ever think of me.
To the person who once sat next to me in a movie theater during a matinee when there were like five people in the entire place, what the fuck were you thinking? Why would you even want to share an armrest with a complete stranger when there are thousands of unoccupied armrests for the taking? What sick joy do you take in struggling to maintain your fair share of armrest, while avoiding that other person’s arm, always aware that the two are a tiny shift away from shameful contact? And contact can’t happen. Because then there’s the waiting, arm touching arm, until someone can move away casually, because if anyone yanks their arm away, they might as well stand up and scream that the other person is repulsive, which is what I want to do, not because it’s true, but because I’m totally freaked out by random contact with strangers, especially when I’ve been obsessing about it through seven previews. On top of that, I’m holding in all my anguish because I’m worried it would be hurtful. There’s just no way to concentrate on a movie with all that going on. This is why I still don’t understand the Matrix. Never sit next to a stranger if there is some other option. Obviously. Because that happened like twenty years ago and I still think of you whenever I go to a matinee, so thanks for the trauma.
I get that this is me. (And lots of other nice people.) In my head I understand that we all have a right to be in the bread aisle at the same time, even though there’s really not room, and I was there first. And guy from Ralphs? Maybe someone was standing too close to you, and you were just trying to split the difference, so I forgive you. This time. See how rational? I get that other people can stand shoulder to shoulder, side by side, top to bottom, front to back, and now I’m thinking of a particularly uncomfortable family photo. Not mine. It’s in one of those books. It’s not that I don’t love my fellow humans. It’s not. IT’S NOT. I’d just prefer to love them from afar, with no touching. Unless I’m drunk.
Also, the family photo thing reminded me of the family at Disneyland who were all wearing the same shirt, the only similarity being that these behaviors are equally incomprehensible to me. Their shirt was bright yellow and had their last name printed on the back, at least I assume it was their last name, but you can’t really ask because it would be rude and uncomfortable, and if I was going to talk to a strange family at Disneyland wearing matching shirts it wouldn’t be to ask if that was their last name printed on the shirts, it would be to ask, “WTF is up with the matching shirts?” Is it a form of bonding, that you may love each other all the more? Is it in case you don’t recognize your family, like if someone gets amnesia in the middle of the park? If that’s the case I don’t think a lot of people would have the presence of mind to check the back of their shirt for a last name, and I’m including myself. Is it to label themselves as a group to the rest of us, so no one bitches when the stragglers come blundering through the 45 minute line to catch up with the others? Actually, that one makes sense, so I’m quitting here. I didn’t mean to go on so much about the ugly family shirts. Oh yeah, they were spectacularly ugly. Not one of them is going to look good in the vacation pictures. But in their defense, not one of them stood inappropriately close to me.