In the Evenings, I Really Start to Despair

I’ve noticed the last few nights, my anxiety and depression worsen at night…and don’t forget the paranoia. I think every overheard conversation is about me, that everyone around me dislikes me and are out to get me some way. I haven’t quite hit the delusional train yet, because I’m aware it’s at least partially untrue. All my fears are exacerbated by the knowledge I have no one to turn to now.

I’m afraid every phone call is going to be the death knell, that someone is going to tell me something awful that I won’t be able to bounce back from.

And I desperately want someone to love me, but it’s never going to happen.

Alone

I haven’t spoke with my BFF since the 27th. That is, I haven’t spoken to her where she deigned to reply. One day, I felt particularly desperate to not be alone, so I made small talk in messenger: “Hey, they shot an 18 year-old here the other day by the mailboxes.”

Nothing. Not even her regular, “The people living there are animals.” I guess I really messed up if I don’t get to hear her denigrate my apartment complex, the entire southeastern United States, or virtually everyone she ever knew.

I’m actually worried about her. I check Messenger every day to make sure she’s OK. If she needed something/someone, I’m confident she’d let me know.

I worry I will wind up an unattended death, or evicted, or with a life-threatening disease, and no one will be there for me. It’s an overwhelming fear.

I worry about my impulsiveness when I’m really upset, that I get manipulative the more upset I get. I don’t mean to, but it is an extreme character flaw of mine, and I really need to work on that.

I wish she didn’t think I tried to turn her boyfriend against her. I did no such thing. The one time he threatened to leave, he was fucked up, and she had been nasty to both of us on Christmas 2019. The other times, he cried that he thought she didn’t love him, etc, and I would try to convince him otherwise.

Bringer of Woe

If, dear reader, you were following along last year, you’d recall me freaking out seeing firetrucks everywhere.  I thought my apartment complex might have gone up in flames, because I was coming out of McDonald’s, and couldn’t guage how close the fire was to my home. No worries, though, as it was just some poor soul dying in about the worst way -Drunk, the man kicked over his kerosene heater and incinerated himself in the woods.

Walking home, smelling the remaining smoke, which had a strong plastic/chemical smell I recall thinking maybe 2020 is not gonna be a good year.

That was last New Year’s Eve. This New Year’s Eve, in front of Dollar General, I watched a half-dead woman dragged out of her car onto the asphalt as an ambulance neared. She was barely breathing, and had a big bandage on her forehead. Somehow, she had fallen before piling her 4 children in the car and deciding to head to Dollar General. People seemed to think she was on something. After working on her a long time, the ambulance pulled away going to the hospital for a MRI.

What the hell? Am I particularly bad luck on New Year’s? Now that I think of it, the year before the year before I saw an ambulance rushing into my apartment complex.

Someone kindly reminded me that it was probably not an omen, that I just lived in a shitty part of town.

Hope things look up in 2021!

Tilt-a-Hurl

This ride, man. She basically told me the other day she didn’t want anything to do with me and was only going to have people around who do something for her. Now she’s back, but I almost lost her again when we thought her car was being towed. She told me if her car ever gets towed from my apartment, that’s it.

And I think the fellow who was smitten with me no longer is. Before he ever actually met me in person. I’m trying to not get too upset. I would often wonder what it would be like to hang out at the beach , go to the movies with him, talk at length, and no longer be a virgin. Alas, it was not meant to be. He was likely my last chance too, but he rode off into the sunset while I’m consigned to the glue factory. Thank God it happened before I had a chance to truly fall for him. I can imagine what kind of basket case I’d be had I actually been in love. Considering what I go through every time I think my only friend has cut me off.

I sometimes think her dead boyfriend intercedes for me. I pray to him, or talk to him, and then she shows up. In life, he had tried to protect me. I am truly grateful that he was that fond of me. I think if I got felled by covid or ran over, he’d actually miss me if he wasn’t already dead.

No Use Crying Over Spilt…

I think on holidays I’d rather get obliviously drunk alone than be reminded that I’m a useless burden.

You’d think she’d realize after Oscar, that one holiday someone can be there and dead by the same time the next year. Especially these days.

I’m trying to not fall into a deep depression. I slept most of the last 24 hours trying to forget.

I knew I was fucked well before I ever got into her car.  “So help me, if you make me wait” was one of her Messenger missives (she had left her turkey in the oven, though).  And “you need to find a way to my house next holiday. It’s unfair to me.”

I got into the car feeling like a sack of shit, wishing I could run back into my home. She bitched about work, trying to poke little jabs at my dead mother in between, or at least that’s how it felt. She talked about how the psychiatric nurses around her weren’t real nurses. “Not talking about your mother, of course.”

“My mother only did psychiatric nursing some. Most of her nursing career was hospital and home health, ” I said flatly.

She also put down her co-workers who took frequent smoking breaks. “Smoking is just another addiction.  Wear a fucking patch.” I didn’t even try to go there on that  subject. Pick my battles, lads.

When we got to her house, she wanted me to do the stuffing from her father’s recipe. My anxiety swelled as I tried to decipher what parts she had already done. “Can you do it or not?” she asked in that  you retard sort of voice.

I somehow did it without fucking up too much, even though I was momentarily stumped at how to measure out a lb. and 3/4 of a lb. of  butter. For some reason, the cylinders in my brain didn’t register that measuring lbs. could be done  with a measuring cup too.

Dinner was uneventful, even pleasant as we talked about the song choices on the 90s Sirius radio station. I began to believe things might go OK.

Later, we started working on the kitchen, she putting food away and I rinsing and washing dishes. Some I loaded in the dishwasher, others I scrubbed by hand. When I had done, I began to walk away. That’s when I  heard her cry, “What is this?!”

There was water on the floor. “I must’ve splashed water out while washing,” I said.

“This is why people get mad,”  she said. “I  worked hard at this meal, trying to make the holidays special, and the least you could do is help clean up. I don’t know what’s wrong with you. I’m never doing this again if you can’t at least help clean up. Now I have  to drive you home too. “

I wiped the spilt water up and cried in the bathroom as I had done virtually every holiday there.

Splashing water on linoleum had never seemed like a big deal to me at my apartment. Invariably, I would splash water out and let it dry on its own. The pitfalls of lacking common sense, I guess.

By the time we got back to my home, she had calmed considerably and we were back on goodish terms. She stayed a couple hours and even helpede throw away my neighbors’ broke furniture. “Are you sure they won’t get mad?” I asked. An old computer chair that could barely stand at all and a chair made from an old recliner that the tarp padding blew away and could no longer be sat on.

This but the tarp blew away.

I fucked up…again

Do you recall my dead friend, and boyfriend to my only friend? Well, then there’s his mother, a drunk to beat all drunks, unfortunately.

Shortly after his passing, Mama O. got the news her brother back in Mexico was dying. What he died of, I don’t know, but knowing that family, I can imagine.

So Mama O. flew to Michoacan, one of the most crime ridden places in Mexico, was with her uncle, prayed novena…and brought back a 9 year-old girl to the states.

Now, on her best days, Mama O. is a fall down drunk, that had two of her children taken away by DSS, and many years ago back in Mexico, had one of her children die from neglect. This woman shouldn’t be taking care of any living thing, let alone a child.

The O family had slipped out of our lives after the death of my friend’s boyfriend, until the other day, one of Dead Boyfriend’s sisters contacted my friend. Surprise! Mama O was being taken to the Emergency Room for drinking herself into diabetic coma and could you find someone to watch a little girl, who by the way, doesn’t speak a word of English.

My friend pressed me to do it, and at first I said OK, but then thinking of a couple things looming before me and my social anxiety, I said no.

Yes, I know I’m a piece of shit, but I was too scared.

My friend was so angry, talking about how I never do anything for anyone, and that I wouldn’t have done anything for Oscar either.

Occasionally, I speak to him when I’m stressed by something. Sometimes I’ll ask him to intercede for me when she’s threatened to cut me from her life. This time, I asked him “Why?”

They patched Mama O. up and sent her home. Once my friend started talking to me again, she told me that the sister told her things about the little girl. Mama O. has been found passed out on the floor by the child, she keeps asking when she can go to school and mama O. always tells her “next week.”

“Maybe you should talk to the sister,” I said to my friend, “that she should intervene or even report her mom.”

“They’ve stopped talking to me again. Don’t tell me what I should do when you wouldn’t help that girl, ” was her reply.

Dear God. Luckily, I don’t know exact locations, or I’d have to ask my therapist to call on them. Or maybe I wouldn’t. I’m the biggest piece of shit on earth. What if someone called and the child was deported to a far worse situation. Her parents must’ve had a reason to pay to get their child over here. Dear God.

Voting

That day, the bus line was not my friend. Oh, it started out well enough. I hit the 205, debated whether I wanted to try to figure out where at the college was early voting, or go to an easier spot. I set my mind on going to a public library on the 104 line. Not only could I do my civic duty, but there was the ‘Rich People’s’ Dollar Tree near it. It is next to the wealthiest gated community in town, and unlike any other Dollar Tree I’ve been to, there is no frozen food section, which makes it have more different things sometimes. (Unlike any other store with ‘Dollar’ in it, Dollar Trees don’t pop up on every corner in poorer neighborhoods, and wealthy people seem to like them as much as us poors. YouTube is filled with housewives in well appointed homes raving about their Dollar Tree finds as though it was from Pier 21. I digress. Dollar stores now are my raison d’être, and I could pontificate on them for quite awhile).

Only 2 more buses to go. 101, which goes through the worst part of town and the 104, which goes through the best. Two men, no masks to be seen, got in front of me. I decided perhaps it wouldn’t be rude to change seats. The driver of the 101 is kind of a douche anyway, and he’s ensconced in Plexiglass, so why would he care if the fellows weren’t following the mandate?

I settled behind a masked woman reading a pocket Gideon New Testament, her braids piled into an elaborate, impressive bun above her head.

When I got on the 104, the driver waited until every other bus had left the station before announcing that the bus was having trouble and we would have to wait until Maintenance arrived. A bus that usually goes to the university, swung us around. I went to the Board of Elections instead. The wait was about 15 minutes. The pen was brand new. A sign warned constituents not to dare even use any electronic device or take photos. Under penalty of law. Fascists. I sized up the people around me and felt “democrat” vibes. Here’s hoping.

Felons for Biden

When I got out, I realized I needed to walk up to a far away bus stop to get home. I made it with time to spare, but the 107 NEVER CAME!

I called the station and got the hateful shit who sometimes answers there. “The bus is supposed to be at the station now. Satellite tracking for this bus isn’t working. And this is the last bus,” he said in his best “fuck off” tone.

I contacted my friend and begged for Lyft fare (she owed me her half of our shared Sling TV subscription. She was still mad at me for being annoying or alive or something, but she acquiesced.

As now there was no particular hurry, I sauntered over to yet another Dollar Tree. All’s well that ends well.

Blame

My therapist was visibly angry when I told her what happened Monday. I haven’t been able to function much since my friend let me have it.

Sunday night, we went to trap cats to spay/neuter. She used carriers instead of traps because she felt it was more humane since they’re friendly strays.

My friend left the cats there overnight at the nursing home where the cats lived because she felt that would be kinder than taking them back to her house .

When she returned Monday morning, one cat had got out, so she took the remaining one to the clinic along with one of her cats.

I should have known I was in trouble when I didn’t hear from her and no answer to calls or messages.

At the clinic, my friend had to wait outside with the cats. The stray saw a German Shepherd and tried so hard to get out of the carrier that somehow she succeeded and was gone, never to be seen again. 

I didn’t think I could be blamed for this one. I was wrong.

I was with my worker that Monday morning and my worker knows both the cats and their mentally challenged caretaker, so I told her of the nice thing my friend was doing.  When I heard what happened, I accidentally said I wish I hadn’t told my worker about it.

My friend’s reaction was instant. “Instead of flapping your mouth to her, you should have wished you had been there to help me. If I had extra hands this wouldn’t have happened. “

If I had known she wanted/ needed me, I would have told my worker not to come, and I didn’t offer because my worker was coming at 10 am!

I could feel myself actually becoming angry. “It’s not my fault,” I messaged.

“Nothing’s ever your fault,” was her reply. Then she said she would try to never go to a southern run place if she could help it.

And that’s the last I heard from my friend. I spend so much time trying to avoid her anger, and yet I never can. I’m sure Oscar felt the same way, and the only way he escaped was death.

She’s my only friend. I honestly don’t even know if I got mowed down tomorrow if she’d care beyond finding someone to feed the strays I feed for her. Forty-two years on this planet and this is all I have to show for it.