Wednesday, August 23, 2006

R.E.M.'s 1994 Release: Monster - Critically Acclaimed, Publicly Shunned

The blatant honesty of it is this: We never tell each other the complete truth.
We never speak what's really in our heads. Never.
Anyone that says otherwise is lying.
Possibly to themselves as well as everyone else.

Yesterday morning, to the outside eye, I appeared a picture of patience.
A child on my lap, my arms around her, rubbing her back, soothing her, whispering calming words in her tiny ear, rocking her.
Exteriorly, I was doing everything right.
There was no need for her tears. She was not being harmed, she had just eaten, everything was fine.
But she was crying.

Inside - so was I.
Tears of anger and frustration.
I was mentally screaming: (pardon my language) "Shut up! Just shut up! SHUT. UP! Shut the fuck up! There's nothing to scream about!! No one is hurting you, no one is doing anything to you, you're not hungry, your diaper was just changed, you're a spoiled ass brat with a crackhead mother who gives you whatever you want so you'll shut up, but I'm not doing it! I'm not! You've got to learn that this is life! And you probably don't even need therapy! But you tested so low, I had to take you on the caseload. And you tested low because your crackhead mother sits you in front of a TV all day and gives you candy instead of teaching you something and feeding you healthy food and she tells you to shut up when you talk so you don't talk at all! And I would feel sorry for you, I would, but I can't right now because you've been screaming in my ear for the last 35 minutes for no reason what-so-ever and you have no tears so I know it's not sincere crying and it's not even crying or wailing it's out and out shrill screaming and I've had it, I've had it, I've had it. My head hurts from the endless minutes, which seem like eons, of auditory onslaught. It's pounding in time with your breaths. And I just want you to shut UP. NOW. Oh God, I'm a horrible person. I should never be a mother. Forget bearing children, I shouldn't be allowed to be around them. Who thinks like this? Me, that's who. I think like this. And I think it at least once a week.

Near the end of the session; after 55 minutes of ceaseless screaming, I could take it no longer.
I would never harm a child, regardless of thoughts to the contrary, so I put her down on the red plastic mat with the cream foam poking out of the broken corner.
I grabbed the blue and white gingham pillow from the therapy kit, the one presumably for the cabbage patch kid with the yellow curls and the pink crib with the baby blue bedding.
I put the pillow over my mouth and I screamed for all I was worth.
Just screamed. Something I'm ashamed to admit that I do with some regularity.
Hence the pillow in the therapy kit.

It's a stress release technique.
A psychologist friend told me once that he does something similar.
Though his release is more physical where mine is more vocal.
I think all therapists - speech, occupational, physical, psychological, have to do this.
They have to have a release. Any kind of release. An immediate one.
Because working with other people's problems is enjoyable, rewarding and wonderful.
But it's also grueling and hard and tiresome, at times.
There are times when you're certain you want anything else, anything else, as a job.
There have been moments in my short career that I would have gladly become a contract killer, a fast food drive-through worker, a nurse's aid or even the person who cleans up carnival rides after some small child loses his corn-dog and cotton candy all over the metal seating.
But I never admit these things to anyone but myself.
Because what kind of person would that make me seem to others.
No kind of person at all.
A monster.

"If I were you I'd really run from me, I'd really really wish that I were you, When I get loose I'll climb a tree, and drop a load on your head, This monster in me makes me retch, you messed it, messed it up . . . "

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rationalization Works: At Least, That's What I Tell Myself

I used to try and psych myself out of being sick.

I would sit on the bathroom floor, staring at the horrifying patterns on the wallpaper and think things like "Okay. You've got this. If you can count 43 of the scary country blue flowers on the Home Interiors nightmare on the wall behind the toilet, you won't throw up."

About 5 seconds later - I would, of course, throw up.
Which is, generally, the start of a chain reaction for me.
I hate few things in this world more than throwing up.
And the simple act of doing so for the first time would trigger a reflex action of a second go 'round.

By the third, I would need the placebo effect of rationalization again.
"Alright. So that didn't work so well. Flush the toilet. And if the blue water now muddied with stomach acid doesn't swirl around more than seven times before disappearing into the maze of plumbingness below - you won't throw up again. Please, God, please."

In case you wondered, rationalization - even a second one - accompanied with a heartfelt plea to God Almighty, does not work.

This morning was further proof of that.

"I can do this. If I can sit here until the second chorus of the Goo Goo Dolls - Iris, I won't throw up."

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everythings . . .

Damnit.
Lurch.
Gag.

Well, there's those pills I just swallowed.
Fantabulous.
Does this mean I have to take the pills again?
I mean, surely if you vomit them 20 minutes after digesting them, their job cannot be performed adequately.
I should have known the Goo Goo Dolls are far more likely to induce vomiting than prevent it.

Lurch.
Gag.
Round two.

Sorry, God, I didn't realize you liked the Goo Goo Dolls.
I rescind my last thought.
I really like them, too.
No, I really, really do.
Honestly.

Though I probably wouldn't admit that aloud to anyone else.
But I like them.
Why else would I have thrown this song onto the mix CD.
I think I even have two of their. . . .

Lurch.
Gag.


Please, please, please, make it stop.

Pleading sometimes works better than rationalization.

No sudden movements.
Stay still.
Okay, this is working.
Reach for the bath towel.
Mop my brow.
I'm okay. It's over.

Too soon.

Dry heave.
Lurch.
Dry heave.
Please, please, please.

"Seriously. It's over. Surely it's over. Oh. The White Stripes.
Seven Nation Army. Focus on the lyrics. Remember the lyrics. If you're thinking of the words and not the rolling motion of your stomach, you won't be sick. You're making yourself sick because this is all you can think about. Stop thinking about it. Sing. But don't open your mouth. Don't tempt fate. Sing silently
to yourself. Sing."

I'm going to Wichita
Far from this opera forevermore
I'm gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore


(
these are some weird ass lyrics, what the buddha was Jack thinking?)


And I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding, and I'm bleeding
Right before the Lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will think no more


And the stains comin' from my blood tell me Go back home . . .

"You did it. One whole song. You can move now. Slow motions. Please, slow motions. Careful. Careful. Alright. You're alright."

I'm getting better.
I know it.
My body's acclimating to the medications.
This was an every morning routine.
Every. Morning.

Every. Single. Damn. Morning.

Today is the first time since . . .
Oh, that was just last Monday.
9 days is still better than everyday.
I've gone nine days.

Now I can go ten.
Or more.
How about 12?
We'll go twelve.

And, tomorrow, I'll tell myself, after I swallow two fists full of pills:

"No. We're going to go twelve days. You're not going to be sick this morning. 12 days. You can do it. Today's the first step. 12 days. Please, God, ple . . . ."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Every Morning

Every morning, on the way to work, I pass a business.
This business is still in operation.
I can say that with some certainty.
For when I pass it again on my way out, I see customers, employees and all signs of a bustling business.
The business is a Goodyear Tire Store.

Every morning, on the way to work, I question this business.
Because the front windows are painted with a jaunty display.
Something that obviously cost a great deal of money.
It’s quite impressive.
The block lettering, the faux fireworks, each paint-stroke meticulous.
And still I question, every morning.
Because it says:

Make 2005 a Happy New Year!!!
Giant Tire Sale Occurring Now!

By my calculations, this must have been painted at least 20 months and a few days ago.
20 months.
Because it is now 2006.
And nearing the end of 2006, at that.
And this message was clearly painted in 2004.

What a fantastic way to run a business.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

No Common Thread

New Nickname

I’ve been given a new moniker.
Which to the untrained ear sounds sweet.
G has begun calling me “Sugar.”
Casper heard this last week and said “Awww, how sweet!”
That was until I explained the origin.

Since G will be a Junior in college this Fall, he has no source of income.
Unless you count his moneyed parents.
Therefore, he has begun calling me “Sugar” in anticipation of me taking him under my financial wing.
Sugar is his shortened form of Sugar Momma.

Ummm . . . . nu uh.

Traffic

Since I spend approximately 33% of my day on the interstates, highways and by-ways of Arkansas, I feel this entitles me to make some observations:

Most of you idiots can’t drive.
And by most I mean 95%.

Okay, so it wasn’t observations so much as observation.

Courage

I have no idea where it went, but the courage afforded me by my self esteem and pride have disappeared.
Possibly because my self esteem and pride have been taking a rather slow, but steady, decline over the past few years.
Funny how a body image can change everything.

Freshman year, I had no fear.
In October of that year, a resident assistant in our dorm arranged a Girl’s Night Out.
We were all to meet in the lobby and then journey out to eat at Tia’s and to a movie: Meet Joe Black.
I hate that movie, but that’s another story.
21 of us attended.
Yes, I was a joiner. I hang my head in shame.

Once seated at Tia’s, we began to notice the plethora of attractive males seated around us.
One in particular caught my eye.
Having no fear . . . and no shame, I wasted no time making my move.

I saw him excuse himself to go to the bathroom and began to get up.
Robin looked up and said “Where are you going??”
My answer?
“I just saw the father of my children. Back in a bit.”
And I followed him into the bathroom.
Something his girlfriend, sitting at their table, didn’t fail to notice.
She was, needless to say, not amused.

Houseguest

Speaking of Robin, she is my houseguest this week.
Due to recent traffic violations (see what I mean about people not being able to drive?), her funds for her vacation were cut short.
Therefore, instead of a plush hotel room in a far away city, she was relegated to the guest room of my home.
Which, while not overly plush, affords her a silence and comfort that her own home can not provide.
Because she has cats.
Demon spawn cats from Hell.
Who are never quiet and constantly a burden.
Yet she loves them???

Hmmm . . . sounds like my brother.
Kidding.
Kind of.

She requires the silence to write.
And informed me last night that I was NOT to show her how to operate the myriad of technologies that allow her to watch TV in my living room.
“If I don’t know how to turn everything on and get it going, then I can’t watch it, and will be forced to write.”
Unfortunately, I believe she’s failing to take into account the bazillion books in my home.
And her love of reading that echos my own.
Here’s hoping she doesn’t locate the Greg Iles, P.J. Parrish and Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book shelves.

I Just Don’t Care

I have ceased drying and styling my hair in the mornings.
I’ve realized that this simple routine costs me another 15 minutes of prep work.
NOT because I concoct some elaborate, artistic hair-do, but because my hair has grown so long and is so thick, that it takes forever to dry.
These are 15 minutes that I could be sleeping.
And let’s face it, I work around women and children all day long, every day.
Who am I trying to impress?
Other than the men I pass on the roads, I have little to no contact with the male species.
What contact I do have is with men I would rather NOT have contact with.

Therefore, instead of my 4:45 AM wake up time, I’ve pushed my alarm back to 5:00.
I rise, shower, wash and condition my hair and then pull it up into a ponytail.
Which is typically the style it would end up in anyway.
To keep small children’s hands from playing in and pulling my hair.

If people find my wet ponytail unattractive, I just don’t care.

The makeup may be the next thing to go.
God help us all, if it does.

They Don’t Care Either

Even in my sopping wet ponytail, I attract the attention of the wrong males.
Lord, save me.

This morning’s example:

P Diddy Wanna Be with his blinged out grill decided I was “tasty” this morning.

“Daummm, girl, you sho look tasty. Lemme have a lick.”
This was accompanied with a lewd gesture and some interesting gesticulations of his tongue.
And by interesting, I mean the sight of them made me throw-up a little in my mouth.

Gosh, I do so love to be hit on.
By a 23 year old father of 4.
Who drives a $5,000 vehicle with $8,000 rims.
And supports himself with welfare checks and drug deals.
Which he brags about.

It’s a mystery why I’m still single, doncha think?
I mean with the prime specimens I attract.

Commenters

I have some anonymous “friends.”
I love them much.
They keep me grounded with their catty comments.
Thanks guys and gals, you’re the tops. :)
Love ya, mean it.

I appreciate people who take the time to tell me how they really feel.
Even when they hate me . . . but for whatever reason, keep returning to the site.

Sounds like a problem to me.
Hate me, but keep reading me.
Interesting, interesting.

I Have a Problem

Book buying addiction.
Not weight, though thanks to the anon commenter (AKA Captain Obvious) for pointing that blight out.

This week’s purchases, thus far:

Greenland Expedition: Where Ice is Born by Lonnie Dupre
Bono: in conversation with Michka Assayas
Dear Scott, Dearest Zelda - the love letters of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald
Ash Wednesday
by Ethan Hawke
J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets by Curt Gentry
Blood Memory by Greg Iles

This combined with my shoe addiction (thanks go out to Gianni Bini, BCBG, Cole Hahn, Antonio Melani and Kenneth Cole for this week’s debts) makes sure that I keep working 10 to 12 hour days at least 3 times a week.

That's all, folks.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Complete Randomness That is Me

I have a couple of amazing "blogging friends."
And though my blog has been slowly dying for months, the friendships haven’t.
I can’t tell you how much that means to me.

It’s not that I can’t write.
I write constantly.
All kinds of things: rambling disconnected prose to funny stories about my regular irregularities to depressing monologues about hospitals and illness.
I just don’t post them.

I have no real excuses or reasons for this.
Just kind of tired of watching myself whine or opine about my days.

Because on some level, I realize, I must do these things to myself.

On the phone with a blogger the other night, I was telling one of the three CRAZY insane things that happened to me that day.
All he could keep saying was: "You have to blog that! I can never think of anything to blog and you’ve got all these stories and you never blog."

(Side note to him - I slightly paraphrased you, but I think you’ll agree that is the EXACT idea you were getting across)

It’s just downright depressing to keep seeing these insane things that happen to me:

The Tom Petty voice-mails.

The white trash guy with no shirt in a Ford Probe circa 1993 playing interstate tag with me, following me off my exit and parking directly behind me, blocking me into my spot and waiting for me to exit my vehicle - - which I didn’t do until he left.
Which prompted him to leave a lovely note full of misspellings and colorful words about what a hag I am for not talking to him when he obviously wanted a word or four.

The fraternity brother who lost his finger a few weeks ago (remember the post?) getting arrested for DWI in an apartment parking lot because his ex-girlfriend reported him for stalking.

The stalker I’ve had for almost 10 years that the police can do nothing about because he is not threatening harm.

The marriage proposal I received via snail mail letter from a man I haven’t seen since I was 16.

And the list continues.
These all have to have something to do with me, right?

But I will share this story:

Casper and I have switched up our routine.
Instead of nightly laps in the cool, refreshing pool, we’re now alternating with walking the nature trail for 3 miles.
In the 98 degree heat at 9 PM.
Yes, we’re stupid.

My brother jogs this track at the same time we walk.
He walks with us for the last mile as his cool down.

Monday night, we’re walking and let me tell you we were HAWT.
As in sweaty, nasty, 97 degrees with 100% humidity HAWT.
If I had stopped mid-stride, stripped off my T-shirt and twisted it, I assure you a gallon of water would have rained upon my feet.
Nasty.

As we’re approaching the half mile mark of our cool down, my brother says:
"Hold the MP3 player and my keys. I’m gonna sprint this next quarter mile and then walk the last quarter."
Freak.

As he starts his sprint, I look to Casper and say:
"So, yeah, I could run this. But I would hate for one of you to have to carry me back to the vehicle."
A rather attractive jogger is passing us at this point.
He looks over his shoulder and says "I’ll carry you back."
I laugh nervously and then roll my eyes at Casper.

My brother has finished his sprint and is strolling back to us, so we tell him what happened.
I then say: "I guess it’s darker than I thought. Because OBVIOUSLY if that man had seen how much weight he would be carrying back to the vehicle, he would have kept his mouth shut."
Those of you who KNOW me, know that my voice is rarely low. Even when I’m just talking with friends, my voice carries. Apparently it did so this time as well.

I’m oblivious to the fact that the man is jogging towards us.
He gets even with us, looks me in the eyes and says: "I saw. I’m still offering."

Good grief.

See what I mean about things happening to me?
But, as you can tell from the story, I evidently bring them upon myself.