New Year, Same Old

How can I feel in any way hopeful for a new year when I’m shredded to pieces a few hours before midnight. The night previous I went with my friend to the emergency room and marinated for 8 hours in God only knows what kind of pathogens during a pandemic. I foolishly believed this alone would give me a pass for whatever near future transgressions I would commit. I was wrong.

The nurse practitioner suggested something was elevated by 300 points, which could indicate congestive heart failure, but people have had readings in the hundreds of thousands. “Follow up with your primary,” said the NP, who was eager to go off duty. My friend wanted a covid test and the RN was pissed, so it seemed she used just a bit more vigor than necessary, as though she wished to hit my friend’s medulla. Some tech practically dug into her veins and didn’t get blood at first. It was a farce, the whole thing. And it didn’t help that my friend’s sunshine disposition was showing itself.

There was an old man with dementia who continuously made noises and she said in a jesting voice ( but not really) “can’t they give him something?”

The intake area was filled with all sorts of people young and old passing through. A psych patient kept asking everyone who passed by if they were a nurse. Some tersely said no, others completely ignored her. One tech took her purse and put it at the nurse station because she was afraid someone would steal her meds. When she finally got a nurse she begged to be put somewhere else because she was afraid to be out here with all these people. My own paranoia whipped up and I was afraid she was scared of me. She had changed seats, but during Covid that’s understandable. Finally someone came for her and they ushered her along as she told them she had talked suicide 30 times. “Tell the nurse,” the escort said.

Another fellow with an injured arm who could barely walk or hablarse íngles almost got served by a cop, but since he couldn’t understand, 5-0 went in search of his family.

A woman, likely a hoarder, had brought a bunch of stuff with her, and an EMT helped her carry it to a sitting area. The last I saw of her, she had commandeered a wheelchair and was arranging everything on it. I surreptitiously snapped a photo.

But to my sin. I asked my friend the next day if she got the results of the covid test. They were negative. We had hoped it would be positive, because the elevated fluid or whatever it is can be brought on by infection.

I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the evening, and I was afraid if I didn’t ask her if she wanted to do something for New Years Eve that she’d be upset. So I asked her if she wanted to do something. I didn’t hear back, so I ordered a pizza.

And then it happened. As though I lit kerosene. ” The proper question would’ve been, how are you?”

The conversation followed a similar trajectory to the other times she’s been mad over me not doing something right. I lack empathy. That I’m missing a chip upstairs. Wait until I’m sick and it won’t be pretty.

I try to apologize, that I thought she only felt bad if she exerted herself. I wish I could convey how upset I was by what she was saying. I kept wishing I was dead intermingled with rage. I risked my health to be with her. Not many would. She knows I’m pretty sure my mom got the pneumonia that killed her in a hospital waiting room.

There were reminders of death as we waited. Two code Sepsis rang out, a protocol not started until almost a year after my mom’s death. I suppose Oscar probably heard his Code Sepsis over the intercom. We also heard two people code blue.

I’ve always hoped I’d be the first to go since I’m huge and not needed much. I don’t want to be alone again. Everyone leaves one way or another.

Mail Call

I wanted to get my mail today. I only check every week or two, because no news is good news, right?

It isn’t just the mail. I feel a certain existential dread when checking my voicemail. I think of all the bad  scenarios that someone could leave on voicemail. Something  with my apartment complex or my social worker.

I’ve taken to  checking my front door twice a day for something from the apartment complex. I know my neighbors must hear me open the door and quickly shut it again. They must either think I’m the nosiest bitch in the world or that I’m totally nuts. Knowing that one of the maintenance guys now lives across the hall exacerbates everything. He tries to be nice when we see each other, and I try to reciprocate to the best of my ability, which ain’t so great. Looking in someone’s eyes is like looking directly at the sun. Smiling makes me self-conscious because I feel like my lips clamp together paralyzed, and knowing my teeth are ground down from years of bruxism, I just can’t. I imagine my neighbors think I’m autistic, slow, and may know I’m a cat lady.

But yes, I went to get my mail…and my mail key wasn’t on my fob. Panic set in. I will have to go to the office on Monday. First, I’ll ask if anyone turned in a key, and then, heaven forbid, ask for another. Logically, I know I shouldn’t feel like the world is about to end when I have to venture there for something, but I see those times as dangerous. Potential questions asked, complaints foisted on me, as though reminding them of my presence is enough to make me homeless. I got a note from my shrink with some shit about my friend needing to park by my building in order to help me about a month ago. I have yet to turn in said note, the wages of playing the tard card so my friend wouldn’t have to walk a long distance from the dark visitors’ parking lot and potentially get her car broke into at night. Maybe I’ll have the courage to give it to the assistant manager to keep that vulture towing guy off her car. Wish me luck!

I’m sorry but how am  I supposed to live this down? He said I was the worst friend he ever had. EVER. HAD.

Most of the bad things I’ve done weren’t intentional, and I had really hoped things I’d heard about him being sweet on me were real. Even if I find myself a monstrosity. I wanted them to be my family and in a sense they were. I need to sleep.

My best friend told me if she died life sucks anyway. I tried to tell her things will get better, but I don’t even believe it anymore. Life is bleak and you die alone.

The good news is my friend needs me to a degree, because she was really upset when I didn’t see a text when she needed moral support. The bad news is everyone I loved in this online friend group I had hates each other and I saw those people as my family. I feel completely alone.

Ten Years Later

It was 10 years ago today that my mother died. I only had one purpose in life and that was being her daughter. That morning I lost the only person who actually needed me. From that day on, I switched to survival mode. Ten years without a family and the knowledge that I only exist to take up space. It is what it is.

Everyone leaves or dies, or both. This year, the cousin who let me know I was disowned after Mom’s death, died. He lived to be almost 80. Did his conscience ever get to him? I’ll never know because I’m too much of a coward to contact his sister. I don’t want to be rejected again.

Also, this year, the last person who loved me unconditionally, died. Died in an accident with a drunk driver. I feel so guilty.

I can’t believe I’ve made it 10 years and am relatively independent. My life may have little meaning, but I’m still alive. I keep expecting worse things to happen, but I’ve always felt I was on the precipice of fate. One step forward and I could plummet.

Will I catch covid and die in a similar way to my mother? Will I step in front of a bus or will I just collapse one backday? Would anyone notice or care?

My friend is mad again because I didn’t notice a text. I sometimes wonder if she would miss me if I died or if she’d just find someone else. One thing I’ve learned is never to expect the same amount of compassion you give, and in one way or another, everyone leaves in the end.

The holy rollers at my primary school used to say that God strikes down useless people ( more or less) and that God only gives a few chances. It must not be true because I’m still breathing, useless or not. My mediocrity and lack of intelligence or beauty notwithstanding.

Nap

I took a nap and woke up disoriented. I asked myself where my mother was, where my friend was. I returned to reality. You’re safe. It’s ten years later.

My mother is dead. It’s not ten years ago. You’re not helpless and desperate anymore. Everyone’s dead or living far away.

Covid?

I’m starting to wonder if the bites, rash, whatever is covid, kidney failure, fungal infection, cancer, MRSA, or staph. I doubt it’s cancer, MRSA or staph, but who knows. Isn’t MRSA more of a hospital disease? I think it might be fungal or an allergic reaction. Benadryl helps, but so does lotramin.

Everything is going straight to hell anyway. I feel like I’m about to be taken in front of a firing squad, shot, and no one will bury my carrion eaten body. I can’t stop the feeling of impending doom and being completely abandoned. Everything and everyone will die or go away. It’s inevitable. One moment everything is OK and then some Saudis knock your tower down, or a disease creeps up on you, or you say or do something unforgivable. But that’s just me. How are you?

Paranoid much?

Well, I think I’ve finally done it. Scaled the heights of neurosis and about to go to full blown psychotic. Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration…;But only just slightly. My mind keeps flipping channels to see where my anxiety will land. It’s about time to sign a new lease, and per usual, I’m imagining them saying, “we’ve had complaints…we don’t want you.” Then my social worker tried to do some sort of unannounced visit, and I keep wondering why. Instead of asking her, I imagine she’s trying to take me off the program that allows me to be able to live here. But now my mind is convinced I still have bed bugs (it could be fleas, or hives, or disease…and I’d take all of the above before bed bugs). Every year, I think I see a nymph. Last year, I thought I saw a nymph in some apple cider vinegar I sat out to catch gnats. This year I thought I saw one in some dirty laundry as I was about to load the washing machine, but convinced myself it was a a spider, Something is going on with my skin. My back especially, but everywhere is itchy, and delusional parasitosis has come back. Sometimes it feels so real and nothing there (Bed bugs are so light, you probably wouldn’t feel one crawling on you, but my mind is fucking with me). I saw bubbles in my urine today. Take heart, Lisa, I said to myself. Maybe it’s just your kidneys are failing. Or maybe it’s covid, or maybe it’s both.

Part of me can logically trace back every fear to past trauma. Fear of homelessness, fear of being put in a home, fear of losing everyone and everything. I don’t think it will ever end, If I live to grow old, which I kinda doubt since I’m 235 lbs and covid is popping off fatties left and right, I’ll still be paranoid.

Delta

When the Delta variant takes me in her warm embrace, phlegm filling my lungs;

Don’t pretend any of you really cared. Don’t let them put me on life support.

Let me feel myself drowning. Let me slip into sepsis, so that I know how my mother felt all those years ago.

I’ve wandered this world alone, my friends are transactions. I was not meant for normalcy. Life is meaningless.