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Have I told you before that I’m a bit slow on the uptake? Perhaps I’ve just implied it, but yeah,  sometimes  I’m such a retard that I surprise even myself. So today I did the most retarded of mentally challenged things, and adding insult to injury, I was 75%  sure I was being taken the whole time. In my total ‘tard fashion, I watched myself being screwed sans word of protest. The 25% percent of me, the ‘what if they are telling the truth?’ part of me, kept my mouth shut; that and being timid as hell. But instead of  this long preamble, let me tell you about my day and you’ll see.

I spent the night at my best friend’s house, she feeling as though she needed more company than her cats last night. Returning home, it puts me in a good mood to see neither  the apartment building burned to the ground nor my mother  murdered while I was gone.  My mind always conjures up the worst case scenarios and it’s a relief every time nothing happens. Later I go for my afternoon swim.  A few people  greet me and I say hello in my timid way. I’m glad that I am a visible person one would want to say hello to instead of a ghost of some dead apartment dweller, but at the exact same time I wish I couldn’t be seen.

One of my more bizarre obsessions when I was a little girl, around age 8 or 9,  I imagined I was dead and a ghost, but no one bothered to inform me of my demise. What if it’s true, I thought. What if I AM dead  and invisible and no one can hear me and God hasn’t told me I’m dead yet? I felt so anxious I wanted to say something to prove to myself I’m alive and can be heard.  Ah, but the fun thing about being obsessive-compulsive is somewhere in the jangled nuts and bolts of my brain I was sane and not delusional. I knew I wasn’t dead, but the thought of being dead and unable to be seen or heard sent me into a little panic. I didn’t want to get into trouble by saying something out loud, so I knew to shut up until we were allowed to talk. You can tell how popular a kid is in daycare if she starts believing she is invisible  and not quite real.

Funny how things change. 23 years later and now my fear is that I’m altogether too viewable and I’m being sized up by everyone. I’m living proof you can like people very much and at the same time wish they would leave you alone, because if they aren’t judging me I’m going to mull over what I say and do enough for both of us.

I am at the edge of the pool about  to jump when a couple of girls, probably about 14 or so, talk to me.  “Come on in, the water is warm,” says one.

When I pop up from that peaceful place at the bottom  I say, “It’s as warm as bath water.”  It’s warm as pee-water, I think, but refrain from saying this.  Club Ghetto-Trailer Fabulous: Only 25% percent urine content per gallon of water! Guaranteed.

“I haven’t taken a bath in 2 years, says one girl. I take showers.”

Ok great. So I start swimming my laps, doing my best to  avoid bumping into the passel of kids in the pool. About my third lap,  the girls get  friendly again.

“What’s your name?”

“Lisa,” I answer. They don’t introduce themselves back, but being shy, I don’t ask. I probably should have asked, but one can counter that by pointing out they didn’t have the manners to tell either, so there!

“How old is you?”

“32.” I don’t care, though I do feel this one-sided Inquisition is pretty rude, but that it’s ruder to show that I feel it’s rude.

“Do you live with someone?” I take this to mean, “So who takes care of you, ‘Tard?”

“I live with my mother,” I answer. Girl Scout Nelly here feels it would be unconsciable to lie, but I feel totally embarrassed now.  (Would you like my social security number and my blood type, too?)

“Why don’t your mother come out here,?”

“She doesn’t know how to swim and doesn’t care for the water.” Sigh.

“That bathing suit…..It’s phenomenal. Where did you get it?”

Ok, so  the 75% percent of me is now calling bullshit. I think I detect that subtle “We’re-fucking-with-you” lilt in their voices. Remember, I told you about this bathing suit before? Has a hole in the back like it’s trying to become a two-piece. Motley. The straps stretched so much  that I have to tie them together to keep my breasts from popping out. Looks so worn out that you’d think it was employed everyday  since Esther Williams stopped making  movies. Remember?

But 25% percent of me, Pollyanna on steroids, says that they might still think the floral pattern is pretty.

“Oh this old thing is so worn out and I need to get a new one, but I may have got it at Wal-Mart.” Groan.

“Can you swim?”

“Yes.” No, I’ve been practicing to be a manatee.

“We can’t swim. Can you teach us?”  I call bullshit again.Y’a’ll are in the deep end.

“Um….well….I guess.”

“You can teach us EVERY day.” What the fuck?

“Um ok, I guess.” Just the thing I wanted to do when I’m trying to just come out here and swim and evade being jumped on, oh the fun. Now, Lisa, said 25% Pollyanna. You should be glad people want to talk to you and that if they need help, you should help. Yeah, but they’re fucking with me and I just want to swim my fucking laps! whined 75% me.

At a bit of a loss, I try to decide what I should show the girls first. Treading water seems most important since they aren’t good n’ fat n’ buoyant like me. I show them. They don’t laugh, but I know they’re getting guffaws in their heads as  I humiliate myself. Their voices retain a saccharine, full of shit quality as they say they’re too scared  to do it in the deep end and they’re going in the shallow to practice, thank God! Now I might be able to continue my laps in peace.

Sometime during my swim, however, they stop me to say the shallow end is too shallow. I think ‘tough,’ but say, “Ok, well sorry.”

I finish my laps, exit the pool thinking “I’m free!”

I’m finishing up reading Prozac Nation when I hear, “Hey, you got any chips you can share with us?”

“No, sorry,” I reply, returning to my book. But they are persistent beggars. “I know you got some snack you could give us,” says one in an indignant tone. The other says woefully, “Please, we haven’t eaten anything in 2 days.”

Once again, bullshit alert! Now what the hell are they doing outside swimming, looking healthy? If one hasn’t ate anything in 2 days wouldn’t you be a tad too weak to want to go swimming? I can remember having bouts of  depression where I barely ate anything for a week and I doubt I felt much like swimming at all. Unless they’re looking for nutrients in the pool water (I liked the taste of pool water as a little kid, that  blissfully clean scent of chlorine), I marvel at them.

St. Pollyanna 25% begins to chastise 75% me. What if it’s true and they really are hungry? You know that family who left that note in the laundry room last year asking for food was really hungry! Besides, Bitch, if someone asks you for something and you can give it, isn’t it wrong to deny  her? Even if she doesn’t need it? Well? Would Jesus like someone who didn’t give when asked? No, Bitch, he wouldn’t, and you’re a bad person for even hesitating.

“I’ll be right back,” I say to the girls and go back to my apartment to fulfill my compulsion. Hurray! My mother is outside messing with her plants so at least I won’t have to explain  why I’m being an idiot yet. So into the fridge goes my hand.  All that’s there of a remotely snackable quality are little plastic cups of peaches and pears. So I get each of them a can of peaches, then a can of pears. All the while fuming, I grab a couple cans of orange soda. I look for plastic spoons, but seeing none I decide the girls aren’t so starved that they cant take their asses home to eat the fruit.

Back I go. Talk about your cheerful giver, but as I’ve said before I’m just a girl who can’t say no. “Oh, you don’t know how much this means to us,” spoken saccharine-sweet.

“No problem,” I mutter. As I watch them perusing their booty, there’s a taste in my mouth that sure isn’t peaches or pears.

Finally, it came time for the girls to leave with their family: A couple women carrying a large thermos and I think a small cooler, a man, and the trifecta…..a toddler  holding a bag of chips about the size of her.

I’m pissed. I knew they were full of shit, but to be so blatantly full of shit?!


Now, before I end this chronicle, started  June 26, I will tell you why I begrudged those bitches so much. It was a week before payday, and due to the whole cat/vet debacle, we had no money left and if my friend hadn’t bought us some groceries we wouldn’t have had any food left. I usually am not so hesitant to give, give, give, but I hated to give those liars my hard gotten food. I’m not a mean person, I just play one on this blog.

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