Looking back upon the 41 years I’ve been on this planet, I generally see it as devoid of much useful to humanity. I imagine Clarence from It’s a Wonderful Life searching hard to find something redemptive about my life and sighing in the end, “Dammit, Georgina, go ahead and jump. I got nothing.”
But not as of last Friday. Last Friday, maybe, I could say I actually did something for someone that really helped her.
I was at my therapist’s office in the waiting room. There was a woman with a child and I get the feeling she isn’t the little girl’s mother. Two women come out into the waiting area and tells the child’s guardian that they want to interview them separately.
“Oh, yes, that’s definitely a good idea,” says the guardian, leaving the little girl without a look back. Flashback: Me. Seven years-old. Knowing when adults are talking negatively about me. I know this little girl knee that she is talked about. It must feel terrible.
The little girl sat on the floor playing with Legos as the other woman of the two who came out, sat down. She didn’t introduce herself, I noticed. Do children not need common courtesy?
“I’m going to ask you some questions, the 50ish woman said.
“OK,” replied the little girl.
I began to feel a certain sense of watching this unfold on a different plain from reality. This can’t really be happening in front of me.
“Does anyone yell or call people names in your household?”
“Yes,” said the little girl.
“Does anyone hit or beat you in your house?”
“Has anyone ever touched you inappropriately, like your private parts?”
“Has either of your parents gone to jail or been in prison?”
“Not that I know of. ”
Then my therapist came out to get me and the spell, my stupor of pure disbelief, was broken. As I walked back to my therapist’s office, the weight of what I heard hit me. I told my therapist everything I witnessed angrily. My therapist jumped up, and asked if I’d be OK if she went and put a stop to it right now.
“Yes, please do!”
There was a bit of apprehension within me knowing that the woman doing that child’s intake would know it was me totally narcing her out. But what could I do? No child would answer those questions with an audience there. What if she was being abused in some way? What if I had been someone with PTSD listening? ‘Triggered’ has become something laughable in our society, but there are people who truly would fall apart if they were unfortunate enough to hear what I did. I had to do something. There’s been times I should have said something to someone and I have to live with that. Luckily, I trusted my therapist, and could tell her what I witnessed.
It turns out that the woman didn’t work for the therapist’s office, but my therapist is going to follow up on her. Someone above that woman is going to hear how she violated that child’s rights. I hope she doesn’t lose her job, though she deserves to.
So, yeah. Maybe I made a difference to a vulnerable child. Maybe I of all people, actually helped someone.
In other news, March 24th was my ninth blogoversary. I’m a different human being than that person who started this blog. Anyway, thanks anyone reading this.
Still here. Though not prolific, I’ve been at this for 7 years now. God willing, I will keep at this blog until incapacity or death takes me out. I was 33 when I started, and will be 40 in December. I sometimes read back on my old posts. Lisa, circa 2010, was such a different person from Lisa 2017. In some ways, I truly feel my writing reached its apex in the first two years here (while my mom was still around, my biggest supporter). I sometimes find myself writing stuff worthy of Lisa 2011, but it is what it is. Had you told me during the course of this novel , that my mom would croak, I’d end up living with a drag queen and a pathological liar, end up in a mental hospital, live in a nursing home for a couple of months, and finally come to living alone in an apartment complex I had lived in when I was 8 years-old… Well, I’d have been horrified to say the least. If you had told me that Donald Trump would be president one day, I’d have believed you were the greatest bullshitter.
I still feel as though I stand on the precipice of disaster at all times, especially now, with Trump and Paul Ryan trying to butcher the dangling safety net. I owe my apartment, medicine, and healthcare to Medicaid. While I doubt Trump’s “fix” to Obamacare will pass, it’s terrifying to think of block grants. What if taking care of people on disability becomes superfluous? What if one day I’m blogging homeless?
Here’s to a new blog year that happens to not be catastrophic. Thanks for hanging in there with me!
Strange fate. Why God, or the universe, or a great nothingness conspires or throws events at random to some and misses others. The Wheel of Fortune keeps spinning. Some folks buy a vowel while others go bankrupt.
There was a blurb on the news yesterday: A fire at my old apartment complex. Then it announced the address. My building. I asked my friend to drive me ‘round the hood. I wanted to see if it was their apartment since their apartment was in the same building as the apartment I shared with my mother. Ye Old Shitville Ghetto Apartment Complex looked the same as ever: dilapidated, half-assed put together, just all that charm of a coastal town sunk into hell. Home sweet home. Roachy, bedbuggy, home. Mom and I lived 9 relatively happy years here. Four Years ago yesterday, March 25, 2010 I started my blog there. In 2011 my mother was taken to the hospital from there never to return again.
It wasn’t their apartment that caught fire, that is, my ex-roommates. Not the man who I miss to this day. My mother’s cook book is still on their shelf, and whatever else I gave them or they kept as theirs did not catch alight in some Waiting to Exhale diva style fashion. I’m glad they’re safe, and I hear they’re moving far away in about a week.
No, there was the apartment my mother and I shared gutted by fire. So far they say “cause undetermined,” but I’d bet the house (pun intended) that it was shitty wiring. First that wiring was older than I am, I’m pretty certain, secondly if I remember correctly, sometimes it did act funky. If it was a malfunction in the wiring or appliances, and had my mother lived, I’m certain we would still live there and it would be us left with nothing. Did God deliberately spare us that fate? Why?
In my more philosophical mode, I think, “Did my mother die at 68 to be spared going downhill physically, possibly ending up an oxygen-bound invalid like her mother or near blind from macular degeneration like her father? Did God cut my mother a break, or was he being cruel? My mother’s illness was two weeks total, only one day of which was in the hospital. Also God knew that as long as my mom lived, my OCD would’ve been at her side trying to keep her alive. I’d never have lived alone were she still alive. I’d be too afraid she’d die. And now our apartment is charred. My mother’s essence burned out of the walls it feels like to me. Would we have died in the fire? Did God kill my mother to protect us from a worse fate? Why didn’t He just stop the fire in the first place and spared whoever lived there.? Ugh, I just don’t get it. Maybe my not being there was just the luck of the draw, and numerous calamities are about to befall me. Stay tuned!
I was going to post this on March 25th to commemorate my first year of blogging, but my friend invited me over to hang out, so I guess I’ll do it today. I will list some links and excerpts from the past year that I favored. This is a chance to reminisce or to brush up on my ADHD-style masterpieces. Pay attention. There will be a test!
Here is an excerpt from my very first post, March 25,2010:
I worry about murderers, carjackers, rapists, etc. causing harm to my mother and sometimes to myself, but mainly to my mother when we are apart. Look at the news, awful things happen ALL THE TIME. But when something awful could have actually happened I was calm and I handled it.
Ok, so 3 or 4 years ago we tried out a newly opened Chinese buffet. It was later in the afternoon, just past lunchtime, so there was only a couple other patrons and they were in another section of the restaurant (this was before the state made smokers into lepers and my mom could still smoke inside). We were eating, the food was good too, which makes this all the greater a tragedy . Suddenly, one could hear yelling in the kitchen. It kept up steady and seemed to stay in the kitchen, so I felt confident in my safety at grabbing something else. Oh what to get, what to get. Soup? Or a couple of those slivers of cake?
Oh, the possibilities! Oh…….. oh …….oh shit!
The shit had now officially hit the fan. The argument spilled out near where I happened was, no further than 12 feet. A man was surrounded by 3 guys and 2 women, and boy, was he ever pissed. It was a good thing I don’t speak Chinese, but some things are universal, a psychotic rage is distinguishable from someone mildly miffed that he burned the General Tso’s chicken. Psycho Cook then took a soup bowl and smashed it on the floor, but this must have not been cathartic enough, for he soon lunged at another cook. I remained unnoticed and began to deliberate what to do. I wasn’t panicked I remember, a little nervous and disconcerted, but panicking? No, not really. Would someone else have totally freaked out? I’m not sure . Perhaps they would have the common sense to be scared, not just a little frightened. So I weighed my options, a little list in my brain:
A:) Every woman for herself, haul ass out the door and hope your mother will follow. But I would never leave my mother if if any harm could come to her, so scratch that.
B:) Run past the offending party back to my mother. Run, fat girl, run!!! No, that didn’t seem sensible either. Let the lunging crouching tiger become aware of Hidden Dragon here? Not a good idea in my estimation.
C.) Act normal (or fake it in my case since I ain’t never been normal, just seen the brochure once or twice). Yes this is the best idea. If I ignore whatever the screaming, striking cook is doing and act like an unconcerned customer I might have more of a chance at not attracting the ire of this poor guy. Time to not be too particular, so I grab a bit of orange and start back, walking as far away from Psycho Cook ‘n pals as I dared. One of the waitresses sat at the table with my mom kind of hiding out. The waitress said to us, “I hate Chinese people. All they do is fight.” ( disclaimer: She was Chinese or Malaysian herself, so she could say that I guess). She proceeded to tell us the story of the restaurant. Appears a few guys got the idea of opening a restaurant together. Too bad that among the angry lot, one was totally insane and off his meds. Happens in the best of restaurants.
Meanwhile, the fray moved more towards the kitchen and another waitress came over. “We got to go now! He threatening to kill people.”
Ever the scrupulous idiot that i am I tried to give them money fast, but they said not to worry about it. Fair enough, but I did manage to give the waitress 10 bucks at least and wouldn’t take it back. This all happened really fast. One or two of the men stayed with the wigged out chef and everyone else made for the door. When outside several people got into one car and left. The other patrons had already left before hell broke loose.
Safely away my mother and I were like “well…that was….different.”
The fireworks were beautiful and I think we had the best view we ever had, sitting in our fold-out chairs in clear view of where they were shot off. Then we went to the Chinese take-out for some soup. This joint gave birth to the term “seedy.” There’s always interesting people there. Someone opened the door to yell to a patron that their mutual pal is in jail, but she already knew and was cross but seemed to not view it as being as newsworthy as her friends did.
Soup is a rather ritual-oriented meal, especially the robust hot and sour they serve at Seedy China. The soup is spicy hot and would not do for the average Anglo to gulp down, but it is the best I’ve ever tasted. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to know how to eat a pint of soup the proper way, allow me to school you on the perfect and essential way. You can thank me later for this vital skill.
Please recall, gentle reader, we did not grow up in a sty and must actaccordingly. Unfold your napkin and set it in your lap (if you are lucky like me your stomach is one large flap and if utilized properly, can act as a ‘paperweight’ for the napkin in your lap). Take your spoon and begin. Begin from the left and take sips until you’ve taken a sip by dipping your spoon, working vertically until you’re at the right side of the bowl. Then put a few of those crisp noodles, at least 3 of them since you really prefer things in 3′s. Eat the noodles in your soup. Now repeat the entire ritual until you’re done, and if you’re good at it, people won’t even realize you have a ‘strategy’ for eating.
Once upon a time (like yesterday), I took a look in the bathroom mirror and my eyes were red, particularly my right eye. Not like bloodshot-been-opening-my-eyes-too-long-underwater-someone-been-on-a-drunk-red, much weirder. A horizontal line seemed to divide my eye in half in the middle, reddish at the bottom half and normal white on top.
I looked into the eyes of death.
My mind began to conjure up what symptom of my imminent death was this.
I had mostly given up my of several years’ obsession with the idea of contracting AIDS by bizarre means not pertaining to intercourse or needles, so scratch that one for now.
Cancer? Maybe that’s it, I thought. I always swam in outdoor pools without goggles due to my high tolerance for chlorine, and I loved looking at the sun’s rays dancing on the pool’s bottom.
So I ask my mother, a retired nurse, what dread disease is this one?
What malady is about to dispatch me, to nail the lid of my coffin, strike me down in the prime of my life?
Apparently, the good people of Rich White Cemetery in their good sense, believe a decent cemetery should expel all living patrons by 5pm sharp regardless of time of year. But the fun part is locking the gates without a glimpse for suckers who failed to read closing time upon entering. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I had my cell phone, not to say that would be too fun a call to make to the cops. I suggest we walk around, that surely somewhere remained unlocked, especially since I saw a not-so-paranormal-looking couple just a few minutes ago walking.
Two gates locked, we’re padlocked in Perdition. We keep walking until a third gate. This one looks a tad different and I walk up to it, a side entrance and the damn thing opens like the pearly gates to Glory. Mama walks back to our ghetto fabulous classic 1994 Mazda MPV, me waiting so no one locks this gate on us. I look at this gorgeous azalea I remember from last year, a dark red-purple flower about the size of a common magenta azalea but much darker, so awesome. I take a peep at the graves near the gate, all the while keeping my eye on said gate. No one, not St. Peter, not the devil, not a grounds keeper, is gonna lock that damn gate without me at least screaming loud enough to wake the dead.
Safely delivered from captivity, we go downtown to have a look at the teabagger rally, I mean the Tea Party, that has gone on all day. We listen to Sean Hannity on the radio waxing rhapsodic about the noble Tea Party activists nationwide and Reagan this, Reagan that. Every time I listen to Hannity, I tend to think if he could dig up Reagan and marry him he would, anti-gay marriage or no.
So the noble tea folk are down at the federal courthouse at the river. Good for them, I suppose, since the joy of being American is the ability to protest for what you believe. It’s WASP Party 2010 downtown and rather fun to look at as long as you recall everyone is entitled to believe as they like, that is until I see this one woman and I have my What the Flying Fuck?! moment of the day. She has this sign, “Obama, Go Back to Kenya. I Will Buy the Plane Ticket!” Now, I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like some racist saying no more than “Go back to Africa.” Sure, I get the whole Birther rumor popular among some people. But honestly? Honestly. Could Obama be from Kenya and a closet Muslim? Could I be an Ethiopian albino and a closet Hare Krishna? Anything is possible, but probable? Um no. She has a right to her opinion and I have the right to think she’s plumb ignorant with a limited touch on reality.
Unfortunately, it seems I favor quite a few excerpts from my first 2 months. I know these aren’t literary masterpieces, but they were my first efforts. I think I got better at not rambling so much as I went on. I hope those of you who weren’t here from the first like this, and my first dear readers like “Lisa in Review.”
Do y’all like this and should I continue this base self-aggrandizement? Am I just being redundant?
I gotta do a book review on a book I got from bloggingforbooks.org. Hey, I was like, “Eh, what the hell? Free book! (I enjoyed it too, but don’t worry I’m not becoming a book blogger except every now and then).
Retrieve my stupid political post from Rejectionville and post it here. It’s a moot point now anyway, but whatever.
Finish my damn Christmas Post (once I get my netbook back from the pawn shop).
Do more OCD; less tangenty, boringy stuff.
Still want to write more of my memoirs, thrill a minute.
Answer my comments much faster.
I love you all and thank you for everything. Y’all don’t even know how much you mean to me and how you’ve helped me,
PS, If anyone dislikes this color let me know or even the font.