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.
At the beginning of each new year, at 12:00 AM sharp, I declare psychological warfare on myself. This will be the year of PERFECT ME. NO MISTAKES. NO PISSING OFF, ANNOYING, OR UPSETTING ANYONE IN GOD’S CREATION.
This lasted until January 3rd this time when I missed my appointment at the therapist. I got winded on my new bike about five minutes from leaving my apartment, gave up, tried to catch a ride while annoying my friend in the process due to how late I was, and ended up cancelling. My therapist wasn’t upset because she is part of a place that caters to “special people,” and we miss from time to time. She tried to calm me down because I was in batshit crazy mode by the time I called, the first mistake of the year does that to me. Were my mother able to communicate from beyond, she’d tell you this part of me she doesn’t miss at all. She might even say, “See, sepsis has it’s good points.” Almost every fight my Mom and I had in later years was due to my rage at my lacking perfection. Sigh.
On the 5th was the worst mistake yet of year 2014. An epic fail of motherhood. I’ve had a new kitten since October. My nurse gave her to me because she knew I’d take care of her for life, because my Oscar is still missing, and she needed to pawn the kitten off on someone. Among my kitten’s many bad habits is jumping in the refrigerator every time I open it, and I always see her. I’ve even said to her, “Lil Mooky, I guess you never saw that episode of Punky Brewster when that girl got stuck in a refrigerator, huh?”
This time, though, I didn’t see Lil Mooky jump in the fridge with the salad dressing I put inside. I went to play video games when I heard a small meow that became frantic. “Mooky!” I screamed and opened the fridge and there she was crouching on the second shelf. I tried to get her, but she jumped out herself. Not a second later, she was off chasing Dondee as usual. She seemed not a spec traumatized, unlike myself.
Lil Mooky’s real name is Mirielle, but she’s more of a Lil Mooky than a Parisian miss. I got her Lil Mooky ghetto name from this song:
I’m back home, but along with the clothes I quickly grabbed, I brought back more baggage than an airport in December. It’s getting better than it was when I got here, and I’m starting to feel happy more and uneasy less. But the uneasiness isn’t gone, the feeling that I’m merely a transient or at least a guest doesn’t go away. The day my mother died was the day I became displaced in a world where I belong nowhere. Before my mother left, I knew my place. She needed me from the day she realized she was pregnant as I told you long ago. My mother’s great love broke up with her, her two best friends died, and when her 6 month married life ended there I was. Even a therapist I once had told my mom that he didn’t know what would have happened to her if she hadn’t had me.
So where does that leave me today? Every person has a reason for being alive, but some of us find it harder than others to discover that reason. I suppose there’s a reason for me being here too. I’m not certain of much anymore. I don’t know who loves me or if I’m just one misstep away from finding myself alone in the world again. Yesterday, I went back to my therapist for the first time since I tried to play my swan song, and she was less than happy to see me.
“If they threw you out, what are you doing back there?”
“Soul Bro was able to convince The Partner to let me back,” I replied. She listened to my fears, to everything I could cram into 50 minutes. There’s a lot I just can’t say for fear of losing my Soul Bro, and looking back at my reasoning for trying to kill myself, I don’t ever want to risk losing him. I love him that much and am that terrified of being alone (this blog has gotten 10 shades more creeeeepy with this last paragraph. My bad). I am an orphan, a mental midgety one at that, and I don’t have relatives at all. Well, none that care whether I live or die, they made that more or less clear when I told them my mother was dead. Oh well, they were just cousins. Second cousins. I’ll get into that some other time.
I shouldn’t be admitting this junk, but I told my therapist stuff I’d never venture to say aloud (please don’t hate me, Bro, should you read this). I’m not saying he lies a bit, but he stretches the truth until that bitch screams, to make himself look better occasionally. I think. Maybe it’s me being paranoid.
I think he got mad at me for begging to come home and not being “proactive” enough in trying to be independent, so he did the worst thing anyone could do to me. I think he decided he was done with me until I was back on my feet, so he put most of my stuff in my storage unit (including my mother’s ashes), and took two of my three cats to the pound. I was able to get them out because my home health nurse saved them and they’re living with her for now…Soul Bro says I can ask to bring them home in June if The Partner agrees. My nurse told me the story they told the pound that their owner died in September and they had lived in a barn in a rural county.
Soul Bro told me on the phone that my three cats had been picked up by the pound with some strays and that he had mistaken the feelings he had for my mom with the feelings he had for me. Of course several days later he repented, because he is a good person. Perhaps it was a bipolar thing, but it was obvious whoever that other guy had been was gone.
I never told this to anyone, but if I had the opportunity to do it, I’d have tried to kill myself again. When I first came to Window Licker Hall, Millie, a middle aged perpetual cutter/suicidal woman told me if I really wanted to leave the rest home she had half a bottle of pain pills. I told her then, no thanks. Around the time my Soul Bro said he had cared for my mom, but me not so much, Millie came back from a few weeks vacation at a mental intstitution. I was frantic and asked her if she still had the pills. No, she didn’t. And so I was saved again. Now I know regardless what happens, no matter how low I get, I can’t kill myself. I promised my Soul Brother I wouldn’t ever again and I was never so serious in my life. He’s had enough shit to last ten lifetimes (and at least one day of Lifetime Television programming).
Yes, my therapist ain’t happy, but I am. My Soul Bro is the joy and light of my life. To me he is a gay god, almost perfect. He keeps me laughing, except when I worry I’ll mess up. I imagine him thinking awful things about me. If anything goes missing I imagine him thinking I stole whatever it is. I fear he’ll think I’m on drugs, and I worry that I will never be what everyone expects of me. If I mess up in the slightess way the lack of perfection drives me crazy. One day I messed up and used the bathroom and bathed with his cell phone there. He accused me of taking it and even said that a lot of stuff went missing while I lived there before. I had to swear on my mom’s ashes that I hadn’t touched it. I forgive, but I don’t forget. I could say my theory on who stole stuff, but I will refrain from naming anyone. Soul Bro realized he was wrong and wrote out a note saying I couldn’t be thrown out for any reason, but I think some of the power belongs with The Partner, so who knows? All i can say is I ain’t a thief.
One last confession paragraph before I stop, I now pay about twice what I paid in rent the last time, but I’d pay more to be with my Soul Bro. My therapist thinks I’m being hosed and I don’t care! I think it was The Partner who came up with the sum. The only thing really marring my happiness is not having my cats, which makes me not want to face the plastic box holding my mother. I don’t think I can remove her from the storage unit until I get them back.
If my nurse hadn’t rescued Dondee, the pound would have killed my Mom’s
It’s not been a good 24 hours. I’m anxious and feel as though my life is over, which is stupid …I hope. All I can think of is “What if he doesn’t forgive me?”
My Soul Brother has two Chinese pugs. One is an ‘unaltered’ black male pug. He likes me A LOT. I’ll call him Stan to protect his dog anonymity. My first encounter with Stan after my mother’s death resulted in him trying to make love to me via my arm. His good lady wife, I’ll call her Maude, was in heat and it gave Stan an affection for her and every living thing around her. It was actually a good bit of comic relief from my terror and grief (it was a week after my mom went to the Great Beyond). Thankfully, once Maude ‘cooled’ he stopped. But he always wanted to be with me. At the time I thought it was my award-winning personality.
Later, when I moved in, I was sure I was going to be put back out when Soul Bro told me I shouldn’t be letting his dog sleep with me in case he started marking. But I wasn’t put out.
The other day, Soul Bro approached me again and told me to push Stan away for a couple of weeks and finally admitted why the dog liked me so much.
“It’s your feminine odor, but it’s the same with any female.”
Ugh. Great. So I resolved to rebuff Stan getting near me for exactly two weeks. But that didn’t last too long, because later that day I got upset by something The Partner did. The Partner is Soul Bro’s partner, a man who dislikes me, but the feeling is mutual. Soul Bro, being the dear soul he is, relaxed the rules so I could cry on Stan’s wrinkled shoulder so to speak.
The next day I asked if I should start pushing Stan away. “Nah, he’s OK. He’s a smart dog.”
But Stan’s behavior continued. and the night before last, Stan started to whimper when I wouldn’t pay him mind. I should have known pushing Stan away was back when Soul Bro took him back to his bedroom and shut himself up with the dog. I should have known, but I’m so ignorant.
So yesterday, sigh, Stan was beside me again and Soul Bro called him to go lay down with him (Soul Bro wasn’t feeling well). I quickly pushed the dog down when Stan refused to go with his master. Right back up there, Stan jumped, so I pushed him right back down. But it was too late. Soul Bro was angry at me. “See? This was what I was trying to tell you if you EVER let him sit beside you!” And he slammed his bedroom door.
I was afraid. Soul Bro has told me before that short of me killing him, there was nothing I could do to make him not want to be my friend. But I’m so scared. He’s my only family now and if he stays mad, what will I do? I love him so much, so I always try to please him, but I honestly didn’t mean to do anything. I hate myself. I even hate my vagina. This has made me Chaz Bono!
So like I used to, I went to bed and slept to get away from my problems. I dreamed about my mom giving me a beautiful Christmas Barbie doll. Then my mom died, I went to the Appalachians and was rejected by relatives. But then I look for dolls in a flea market, find out that Dolly Parton is my real mom, and she has the same Barbie that my mom gave me except in a different colored dress. Then I dream I’m peeing blood. The end.
At one point, I heard Soul Bro and The Partner up at midnight. I went and got a hello from both when I spoke, but as soon as the show was over, Soul Bro left without a word. I’m terrified he’s still mad and will want me to move when the lease is up. I don’t want to even imagine life without my Soul Brother.
It is a full day on my usually empty dance ticket. I, Lisa, professional mental health seeker, have the joy of seeing both my therapist and my shrink. Rolling out of bed, nicking my legs shaving, and dressing in my new Family Dollar ensemble, I get to my therapy session at 10 am. As I suck on a starlight mint, we go over my myriad of “issues.”
“I went to see an art house film called The Smurfs in 3-D this past weekend, and went to the library before the film. This was the first film I ever saw in 3-D and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” I say as my therapist inspects the little book she caught me reading while I waited for her. She admits to never having seen a 3-D flick, and I praise the medium, that one can almost catch a bird flying out of the screen. “Though I don’t think The Smurfs would be your cup of tea.” I then bemoan the cruel truth that kids’ movies would be great except that kids actually come too.
“What is your comfort level standing in a line at the movie theater?”
“Well,” I answer,” not bad really. Crowds don’t bother me, individual interaction does. I can even ask for movie tickets, as long as I have the money so the person will have a reason to tolerate me.” I show her my latest acquisitions in my quest to get all the McDonald’s Smurf Happy Meal toys, the Baker and Brainy (I happened to have them stuffed into the labyrinth that is my purse). I then tell her that I’m too childish, too child-like, but the therapist likes who I am because she’s known me since I was 15 and because she gets money to like me -but honestly, I think she likes me anyway.
“It’s normal to be enthused about something you collect. My mom collected a particular pattern of carnival glass and was very excited when she found a piece at a secondhand shop,” my therapist assures me.
“I have to see the psychiatrist today. I’m not looking forward to it.”
At some point in the session, my therapist says, “but you feel comfortable talking to me, right?”
“Yes, but you don’t poke me with a fork.” One therapist thought I was sexually abused and my psychiatrist feels I have the ways of an “abuse victim.” Once my psychiatrist threw out there one time that maybe I had Aspberger’s syndrome since my social anxiety wasn’t getting better and it’s a struggle to look people in the eye (I’m very self-conscious).
“I’d have to research it more,” I remember the psychiatrist saying. “But I have a lot of empathy. I thought they didn’t,” was my defense. I did not show how upset I was to have a new diagnosis until I was outside and started crying and fussing at my mother. (No one thinks I have Aspberger’s, though, and the psychiatrist never mentioned it again, so it must have been a passing fancy for her too. Let’s just face it, Shrink, I’m f****d and you can randomly flip through your DSM IV and diagnose me with whatever is on the page, but there ain’t no fixing me, not really. But with that cheery thought, let’s continue ).
“I’m thinking about asking her about Abilify,” I tell my therapist. “She’s talked a couple of times of putting me on an antipsychotic in the hopes it would help with the OCD and everything, but I’ve been afraid of getting tardive dyskinesia. Do you have any patients on it with OCD?”
My therapist is looking far into her memory and comes up with 75% of the folks she saw with OCD who are chomping on the Abilify say it helped them, 25% said no it didn’t, and if she remembers right, 10% got off due to side effects.
I imagine people who’ve been on Haldol for years, the excessive drool foaming from their mouths. I imagine lactating. But have mercy on me, I’m so tired of not being what I yearn for the most: Ideal. Everyday I feel I’m not doing things just right and some days it throws me into a rage. I take three times as long as anyone else to do anything. I’m more depressed than I was and I feel as though I have few redeeming qualities. I begin to hope that my shrink knows that I will dramatically change from my lifetime membership at “Camp Clucky.”
Yes, yes, Lisa. We get you suck, life sucks, everything sucks. Blah, blah, boo-hoo. Get on with the story.
My mother and I are having a spot of lunch and I’m trying to look up Abilify just to make sure I want to try this, but my mobile phone’s battery dies on me. I try to recall the latestAbilify commercial. Cartoon woman literally weighed down by her depression and falling into the “hole” of the depression. Then her kindly looking doctor helps her out of the hole and prescribes her Abilify. Some side effects, what were they? Happy family having a picnic. Happy. “Resulting in coma or death.” What? I don’t remember, must’ve been really rare. Still at happy picnic, even Depression Hole sits nearby. Everyone is at the picnic having such a nice time. I want to be at that picnic, so perfect! “Depression used to define me, then I added Abilify.” Ah, how nice. I’ll just ask my doctor all about it.
When I’m in Dr. Shrink’s office, I have my $3.00 ready to throw at the receptionist before she can ask, because I always get the sense she thinks I’ll run off without paying. It’s the rule of the house, yes, but I can’t help see it as a slight towards all psychiatric cases (power to the people!). I don’t think the receptionist likes my mother and I much. I can imagine her thinking “Sod it all, here comes that rubbish. If I wanted to deal with folks on the dole, I’d have stayed in Merry Old England, wouldn’t I?” Even before Dr. Shrink took Medicaid, though, and I had to somehow hack up $75.00 for my 15 minutes, I don’t believe the receptionist liked us much. It may be in my head, and I don’t seem much different from the others in the waiting room: they mainly look depressed, maybe a couple now and then look mildly apes**t. I’ve been with a friend to Mental Health before and they look worse and more interesting. I remember some young woman, obviously in a manic state, talking on her cell, “Friday night I tried to kill myself but they gave me some lithium and I feelsoo much better now!” I wonder if everyone is still getting help since our genius state thought it was a good idea to close the county mental health and the mental hospital to “privatize it.”
I tell Dr. Shrink my decision. She tells me to avoid grapefruit juice (which I already do since I am on Luvox) and to watch for slowed down movements, that tardive dyskinesiawon’t happen suddenly if it happens at all. Two milligrams, not a big dose at al,l and come back at the end of the month( to see if I’m still alive). Ok, great I can do this!
This might fix me.
Or not. Twenty minutes after taking my first cockroach shaped and colored Abilify stuff starts to happen. I am me but I don’t feel like I’m really here. So I’m not at the picnic yet I guess. My thoughts are my thoughts but I feel strangely like I’m not thinking. OK weird. I rush to look at the guide that comes with my prescription then augment it with the internet. Sometime during all of this I start feeling angry, really angry. Smack myself angry, yay!
Apparently on Abilify, I could develop diabetes, go into a coma, and croak, but hey, I won’t be depressed anymore! Since I’m already fat and haven’t checked my blood sugar in ages, I’m not a happy fat camper.
Stay out of the sun and don’t get overheated…What the frostbite? Am I going to turn into a gremlin?
Weight gain! Do I need to say why I might not like this?
Abilify and Wellbutrin should be used with caution because it might lower one’s seizure threshold. Well that would be a different experience! Might lower my immunity…that should be a hit with someone deathly afraid of going to the doctor.
I try to sleep. I can’t, just as I fall asleep, I feel like I can’t swallow and jerk back awake. I sleep an hour to fly awake and feel angry. Repeat this 2 or 3 times in the night. It feels great!
The next 48 hours are interesting. I’m angry at everything and when my best friend annoys me by what I perceive as lectures instead of swallowing it, I tell her off over and over. I can’t help myself! Freedom such as the ability to tell off your best friend over stupid stuff is not a freedom a social phobe like me wants.
Today I returned to my psychiatrist. “I’m doing OK, but I had to stop the Abilify. After one dose I knew I couldn’t take it. If I had done thorough research I wouldn’t have tried it anyway because I’m afraid of getting diabetes.”
“Yes well,”Dr. Shrink replies, “if you look on the internet, getting diabetes from Abilifyseems as common as getting the jitters.”
True, but I feel I should be more concerned due to the fact I’m overweight.”
Later I visit with my professor from college, the one who I named my oldest cat after in tribute. The college is only a couple of blocks from my psychiatrist’s office. We talk various things and then I talk about how awful I sometimes was when on meds that opened my mouth so that I’d say whatever I wanted back when I was in his science classes.
“Don’t ever feel sorry about the things you say unless you hurt someone’s feelings, and I don’t remember you ever being mean to anyone.”
“Well no, but I’d say anything and I cringe at the thought now.”
(Flashback: pointing at a faux skeleton in class and saying, “Look he’s got a boner!” Flashback: among the things I inherited from my grandmother, one was her old lady bright red lipstick. My reply to the comments I got when I wore it, “Hey, this was a really popular color in the 1940s.” I was shy then too, but accepted as the oddity that I was and I’ve always liked making people laugh. In many classes I was near silent anyway, but not my science teacher’s class. It’s a pity he isn’t my real father)
You learn to have patience says my professor at some point in our conversation. ” I guess you have had worse than me as long as you’ve been doing this,” I stammer.
“At least you aren’t an ax murderer. That would be worse.”
“Have you actually had murderers in your classes?”
“Two of them. One the cops chased into the mountains and he was killed.”
So the Abiify didn’t help me become the person I want to be, not close, but, the moral of this story is, no matter what I do, hey, at least I’m not an ax murderer!
PS: Abilify has helped many people, it could help you too. Sometimes the risk is worth the gain. As my pharmacist said, “Line 100 people up, and two would have the same reaction as you did.” Besides, my body’s wired different anyway. I was the 1/10000 of Paxil patients who lost her period on Paxil (happened on Effexor too!). Soon as I stopped, flowed like the red sea. With that, I bid you adieu.
Here is my latest post for http:// jinglepoetry.blogspot.com. This week’s theme is emotions. So I began writing this poem, the emotion: frustration, and before I knew it I wrote an extremely depressing version of this poem, superbly self-loathing and terribly annoying. So I took my literary jujitsu knife and cut, cut. Even I hated the emo trash which had sprung forth from my brain’s murky depths. Hope y’all like this version. My grandma and I didn’t get along so well the last 13 years of her life , which I feel guilty over 9 years later. I was never good enough, and great, I’ve started the violins playing again, but that’s the poem’s back story.
Oh and another thing, I have the final episode of Rumors of My Death finished and just editing and tweaking this masterpiece. Look for it really soon if you’re big into 2500 word tomes on kidney infections in soap opera/melodrama format. Good times!
Is there anything I could do to improve my blog? What are your dislikes with my writing style? Should I be more serious or deep? You’re always very nice, but I really and truly want your criticism.
I finally got up the nerve to ask why a certain gentleman unsubscribed from my blog for fear I had offended him in some awful way, which to my great relief wasn’t the case. I was so relieved that I hadn’t made him upset, then I went into a nice kidney infection and had no need to evaluate his criticism of my writing in’ my feverish mind. Then, when I was fairly certain the Grim Reaper wasn’t going to reap me, I got to thinking about it and re-read the gentleman’s email. Apparently, though I’m not on his list of nasty people, he couldn’t ‘cope’ with my writing style or the format of my blog. I suppose it’s my rapid subject changing à la ADHD, which a therapist and a neurologist said I had as a little girl, but it’s in contention since the whole OCD thing years later. Who knows? Now what was I saying?
Hopefully you’ll criticize me this way, ” It’s really a great blog and all, but in the end you suck, and I’m better than you.”
As opposed to, “Boy, you suckkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk! I could write better in 3rd grade. Your writing spews chunks!
Our van is out of commission for a while until we absolutely need to go somewhere. The muffler is holding on by the skin of its teeth, so we dare not take it somewhere now. It’s always something isn’t it? This morning, however, we needed a few things.
One of the ways to get me annoyed is talking about money , or lack thereof. It’s my bad and everything to feel that way, but I feel my frustration building. I get the feeling it’s all my fault and Nervous Nelly is telling my head, It’s all your fault for being such a fucking, worthless piece of shit on fucking disability. You never do anything right. You should just fucking die. The Nervous Nelly part of me that lives in my head is not a very nice person, and she curses like she’s got Tourette’s as she serves as my personal ‘life sucks coach and anti-motivational/verbal abuse speaker.’ With thoughts such as these talking over my mom asking me if this and that are showing up on my rinky-dink credit card’s online statement I feel one step from a fit. This is a perfectly reasonable question to ask considering we have a limited amount of funds available and needed to refresh our supplies. What can I say? Sometimes I’m a total mental midget. More fodder for my ‘pile of things that make me feel guilty.’
With the heat index near 100 degrees at 10:30 in the morning, I decide the right thing to do is go myself, then as we sort of bicker over it, she suggests we go together. “No, I’ll go.” After all, I see no reason for both of us being miserable. “Just let me go brush my hair and teeth.” I ran a brush through my hair enough to push it a little down earlier, but not enough to go past my patio and certainly not enough to get all the fuzz from my blanket out of my hair.
“I’ll just go,” she says. That did it. Angry….angry…..ANGRY! It doesn’t take that long for me to brush my hair and teeth…granted I do ritualize it like everything, but it isn’t like it could take more than 10 minutes. It may just be I’m mental, but I interpret her as always trying to run my life and if she would just let me do what I want how I want we would get along better. I don’t think my request was that bad, especially since I was going. Now she’s all “I’ll go” and “I’m going with you” in a voice with a decidedly martyr lilt. We’re out in the hall so we have that added advantage of airing our sundries for whoever wishes to listen just like some of our neighbors scream, when I bellow “I’m going, GOD DAMMIT!”
Great, now I’ve lost my religion too. Though I’m not as religious as in the days of old, I still consider myself a Christian, and still I retain a certain degree of scrupulosity. I remember that, if the Bible is 100 percent true, I will be held accountable for every time I get mad enough to drop the “GD” bomb. I even feel the slightest tinge of apprehension at writing what I said above, but the kind God I generally believe in no doubt understands ‘my art.’ Oh well at least I’m not like I was when I was 13. All sorts of superstitious thoughts and accidental blasphemies were the order of the day in my head, the remnants of my days in Holy Roller Christian Academy, which I left at the age of 9. There is a fear of God and then there is becoming a total dumbass, which I fell into the latter. I didn’t give up my MTV or the fascinating world of 1990s rap music (which in the 2000s sort of went to hell like all music did -no pun intended). So I listened to Yo! MTV Raps and BET’s Rap City, delighting in it in my own WASPy ways, all the while doing nutty junk like making sure I crossed my ‘t’s at least at the midway point lest they look like upside down crosses like devil worshipers favor.
I walked a swift pace, letting the energy of my indignation propel me to Family Dollar, about a couple blocks from my complex. We may live in a somewhat bummy part of town, but hey, it’s convenient to a bit of everything. I was still in a foul humor walking into the blessed air-conditioned store. I see that The Other Lisa is working and I feel a pang of guilt. The last time I spoke to her a few weeks ago I said something I shouldn’t have. The Other Lisa, I’m pretty sure she’s the same person my best friend and I used to hang out with, was describing her Missions in Africa. How some of the men stood around with folded arms looking mad at them. And I said it before I knew I was going to say it and by the time I was back outside with Mom I knew I shouldn’t have. I said shyly to The Other Lisa, “Well, wouldn’t you be angry if someone came to your country and tried to change you?” She had the grace to ignore me (yeah, the puns are intended. Who am I kidding?). Even if I were speaking the gospel truth I should haven’t said it. She saw it as I used to see it as a little girl…saving souls from the eternal fires of hell, perhaps thus saving her own. Faster than you could say infidel, my conscience had started panging me.
So I decided today I would do my best to be friendly and hope to ease the wrong I committed. We say hello and I’m off on the hunt for what I was told to get before and a couple other gluttonous things. Toilet paper. 3 boxes of dollar dry cat food that we keep out all the time because we only feed the cats cans in the evening -I get 3, Mama usually gets 2, but I have a bit of a preference for things in 3’s and we do have 3 cats, so it’s all fair and balanced, right? 6 pack of Hershey Bars -if I’m going to that part for gluttons as described in Dante’s Inferno, might as well enjoy the trip (feel a bit nervous writing that one). 12 pack of Cokes (you know,to wash the Hershey bars down). Done. I balance my treasures in my arms and head for the counter with the intention not to be counted as that heathen bitch from the other day. Living on a Prayer by Bon Jovi comes on the radio and she sings along. God likes irony apparently. Pleasedon’tthinkbadofme.Pleasedon’tthinkbadofme.
Amazingly enough, I think I hold it in the road. Sure my naturally child-like voice is probably more child-like now because I’m nervous and I’m a bit stuttering, but we exchange pleasantries. As I leave , walk past the side of Family Dollar and notice a man in a jeep just sitting there. I’m immediately suspicious. The window is up, though it’s 90 degrees and I don’t hear the engine. I don’t dare glance too much just in case he’s one of those real-life ‘Evil Ones,’ entailing someone who’s a perv or mugger or something. He doesn’t look dead from my peripheral vision and I walk on, stealing a slight glance once. At the road, I realize I forgot something. Mama’s coffee! Back I go.
The Other Lisa is out at her car getting a pair of sneakers to replace the uncomfortable ones she was wearing. She asks me if something’s wrong.
“I forgot the coffee,” I say cheerfully, all the while thinking, please don’t think I want to steal something. One of my neuroses is the fear someone will think I want to steal, which I never would do, but my mind keeps telling me people think I’m about to snatch something. So when I get inside I set everything down except for my little wallet with the tabby kitten on it. Tres chic, non?
I come back to the counter and say, “This was my main mission coming here.” Then I think to myself, Oh no, I said mission. She’ll think I’m making fun of her.
But if she thought I was making fun of her, she didn’t show it. She said,”In third world countries where they don’t got a lot to eat, they still be drinking coffee. Like when we were in Africa, they be drinking like Starbucks.”
“Really?” I say, hoping to make it sound like that was the most interesting thing I’d heard in years…Well, it was interesting, but I felt it necessary to show approbation. “I’m glad I remembered before I walked halfway home.”
“You live at Shitzville?” she asks (I’m using an assumed, but pretty apropos name for my apartment complex).
“Yes.” Before I leave I confess that I don’t even like coffee.
Something happens when you’re walking home in 90 degree weather with a big bag of groceries and a 12 pack of coke balanced in your arms. Anger melts, almost in a literal sense. I trudge past the weirdo in a jeep and the shopping center that at separate times housed an illegal gambling spot and a doctor who sold prescription drug subscriptions of the patient’s choice for $100.00 until they got shut down. Past the house I think is suspicious, the one with no windows in the front…People are outside talking, but pay me no mind. Past a couple of women waiting for a bus. I force a “Morning” out of my throat at them and hurry away. Past the apartment where those folks killed themselves in a sexually explicit way. And I’m home.
PS, I’d be an epic fail as a missionary unless the “Secular Humanists” are evangelical. I posted this on a young woman’s blog once who was afraid to admit she’s an atheist. I think somehow though, Jesus might approve:
Great post. I believe in God and Jesus and all that, but I believe the Bible was mostly the product of the men who wrote it and the era. Jesus wasn’t a hater, so I still believe in Jesus. And I believe that if you go around hating people, you generally got the wrong idea about the whole being a Christian thing.
That being said, look at all the positive things about being an atheist (think if I was an atheist I’d prefer ‘humanist’ too):
You know you’re a good person because you’re a good person, not from a fear of some divine punishment. You are able to decide who you are as a person without the constraints of religion, you can look at spirituality, politics, and science objectively and take what you want from it. You may be in the minority of people, but I see atheism just as another ‘religion,’ something to tolerate and accept, not condemn.
Also, that being said, I’m not saying don’t ever think about there being a God either, because spirituality definitely has its blessings and gifts too.
Anywho, what I mean to say is “Being an atheist doesn’t make you a lesser person, just a free-thinker. And your dad isn’t in Hell, for Heaven’s sakes. But the person who said that should go to Hell -figuratively, of course.
[tweetmeme source=”lisaexclaimed”] It is 9:15 in the morning when I decide to get up. Just as I’m about to launch myself from a mattress that is older than I am (hey it works, even if you can see the springs it’s a quality item), the phone rings. The phone by my bed has a cord so twisted, so impossible to untangle, that it takes about three seconds after I pick it up to actually get the damn thing to my ear (note to self, you might oughta get a new phone, maybe…). It’s my therapist’s office. 1:30 pm Wednesday is my next appointment. Good thing they call a couple days beforehand, or -might as well not lie- I’d have forgot it this week since it’s a week earlier than my usual appointment because my therapist is going on vacation…..Funny though, didn’t Mama say she found a card saying my next appointment was September 20th, and I explained, “Oh, that’s probably ‘cause she is going away.” But I also remember thinking, Don’t remember it being that far in the future. Eh, Mom probably was mistaken. Anyway, hurry up and get up now…you still have time.
But time is slipping away before cut off time I realize and scurry to the bathtub. Hmm, clothes drying over the tub, best bathe instead of shower. I do it according to prescribed formula. Since today has nothing on my plate in the outside world, it is a gold Dial bar soap day. Aren’t you glad you use Dial? Don’t you wish everyone did? Sure I do, but only on certain days. Other days are reserved for Dove body wash. By the same token, today is not a hair washing day, just a struggle with your finger-in-the-light-socket curls with a wet brush day. Ouch and sigh. I look at my watch. Still have 5 minutes.
I grab a cookie to stuff down my gullet, when I make my dire mistake… telling Mama who called. The September 20th controversy begins. “You probably just got it mixed up,” I say.
“You should call them.”
“I’ll call ‘em later” I still have time. The big hand isn’t touching the 12 at all, it still isn’t 10 am.
“No, you should call them now. It may be someone else’s appointment.”
Whatever, Mommie Dearest. You may still get there by 10, I console myself. Good people listen to their mothers. Good people LISTEN to their mothers.
I don’t particularly like being the initiator of conversations on the phone except with my closest friends. The receiving end is great, I feel in control and that person wants to talk to me for certain, but I can handle one call. I hang up. Still time. Still…..
“1:30 pm. Wednesday. No appointment on September 20th.”
There that’s settled, then. Um, no.
“But I thought you said 1pm earlier.”
“No, Mother, I’m sure I said 1:30.”
“I coulda swore you said 1:00.”
Fuck. An. A.
“I’m not calling them again. You can call them if you want ‘em called!”
And heaven help us, call she did. I could hear her on the phone. “So 1:30 pm on 7/21….Oh August 4th.”
That’s what I get for not remembering to throw out old appointment cards! Turned out it’s my psychiatrist that’s on September 20th too. I look at my watch, the long hand is touching the 12 just barely. 10 am. Game over.
Dammit! Dammit! DAMN IT!
It is a rule inviolate that if I don’t get outside by 10 am, I will not allow myself to sit outside until after 3:30 pm lest I get a sunburn. If I’m out and about I don’t care, I’m rather tanned, but I feel that I must have this rule. Otherwise I might get a carcinoma, melanoma; or, almost as bad to me, more hideous brown spots on my face.