Dear Mom,

In a few minutes, it’ll be 9 years since you’ve been gone. I sometimes wish the cold I had, had taken the same course as it did with you: pneumonia, sepsis, death. But what can you do?

If only you had seen the things that happened since you flew the coop. I can honestly say it’s better I stay away from people. They smell the vulnerability. It’s happened a couple times now. They act like you’re the best thing ever, and then…

I’m happy for my independence, but I don’t feel the same kind of safe as I did with you. I feel like everything and everyone is transient now. I’m afraid of so many things. It’s almost a given that I’m going to die sooner or later alone. Not many, if any, care about me to the degree I care about them. It is what it is.

I’m still so sleepy. Going back to bed. I will try to be a better person this year, but not right now. Now I sleep.




Added to my regrettable poetry, this humble offering. My mother would have been 71 today, I sometimes find myself thinking on her birthday, that it isn’t fair she’s dead. I know, just look in a cemetery at all the young folks who croaked, but one can’t help how you feel sometimes.

Whoever said life’s not fair is right.

Trying to stay above water,

not give up the fight.

But the water is murky,

Try as we might,

some of us slip out of sight.

Left to our fate,

no one sees our plight.

End of a Series That I Started Over a Year Ago…What Happened to My Mom and Me Part IV

In case  you missed it:

I try again on that red phone and this time we are allowed into the ICU. The third time is the charm. My mom is in room 14. The doctor I met in the ER asks me questions, the one with a European accent and wonderful bedside manner. 

“We  can keep the antibiotic drips going, which may let her live for a little while longer, but I’ve rarely seen anyone get better this far along. But it’s your decision.”

“How much difference would there be in time if I take her off the drips?” I ask.

“It’s hard to say. She could last a few hours or a few days.”

“But it’s near impossible for her to get better?”

“Less than a 1% chance, but if you say to keep going, we will keep pumping her with antibiotics and doing all we can.”

“I need to think about it a bit.”

He asks me about taking extraordinary measures to keep my mother alive, but I know my answer already. “No, my mother wouldn’t want that if she would be brain-dead. I’m certain I don’t want you to resuscitate and she’s told me before she wouldn’t want it.” Break my mother’s ribs so that she can be a dead woman breathing? No. NO.                                                           

“I don’t know if in her condition any of her organs could be used, but if they can, I want them to be donated. My mother wouldn’t mind. She had ‘organ donor’ on her driver’s license. It would be nice to know my mom hadn’t died completely in vain.”

They are going to do some other procedures to my mother, so Bestie and I go out to the waiting room again.  Bestie is on the phone with her mom and telling her about my indecision in keeping Mama on the antibiotics. And of course Bestie’s mom wants to give me her sage advice in the matter. I politely listen.

“She’s your mom. You can’t give up on her.”

“Yes, you’re probably right,” I reply. 

“What kind of insurance does your mother have?”

“Just Medicare.”

“Well, you know with people without anything but Medicare, they try to do as little as they can with them and get them out of there.”

I tell the doctor that he should keep the drips going just in case. Afterall, they are also keeping her on pain meds and sedation just in case. I probably would’ve made this decision anyway without the intervention of my bestie’s dear Mama, but…

I have to ask, though. How do you ask such a question without giving offense? “Um, I don’t believe this of course, you’ve all been so wonderful, but…my friend’s mother is a bit of a cynic, and she told me y’all don’t do everything for Medicare patients because of their insurance. Is there any truth in this?”

The doctor’s answer was no. “In fact, this is a teaching hospital, and most of the patients that come here don’t have any insurance at all, so we do everything we can for all our patients.”

Cool deal.

I decide to go home for some sleep. I am assured that the nurse would call me should my mother take a turn in the night. A nurse is attending my mom’s IV and I remark to him, This must be one depressing job.”

“It can be.”

“How much of the people who come in here live?”

“About 50 %.”

It is 10 pm when Bestie and I head home and I collapse into bed. I know no more until about 4 am when the phone rings.

“You might want to come now. She’s taken a turn for the worse,” says the doctor.

“Hearing the phone at this time of the night doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling,” says Bestie. She was sleeping on the couch and we go to the hospital in the quiet of the ear morning. This time I don’t have to  wait when I pick up the red phone. I tell Bestie that I want some time with my mother alone at times, but would check on her in 20 minutes because my friend is an anxious soul too. 

I tell my mother that I would understand if she has to go, that I would be fine, but if she could, please stay.  I make myself not beg her to stay for the sake that if she can hear me, I don’t want her last thoughts to be worry over me not being OK without her.

I see the chaplain when offered. He is a young Episcopalian and we pray together. I like him so much I take his number in case I need someone to preach a funeral (my mom and I hadn’t been to church in a number of years). I even end up asking  him if he thought my mom would be OK if cremated. My grandmother didn’t believe in cremation and I suddenly felt  the need for reassurance from a man of God. “God is bigger than that”, was his answer. My mother felt cremation was fine and to rid myself of the ashes in the sea was what she wanted.

I even saw an old high school friend and he was a nurse there. Small world. The last time I’d seen him he was a server at one of those steakhouses where they think it’s a good idea to use roadkill as decor. I guess the road to the original Texas Roadhouse was fraught with many an animal.

Shortly before 8 am, September 13, 2011 my mother took her last breath. I couldn’t restrain my tears now. She was gone and I held it together as well as I could to not upset her. I tried to calm myself again for the Bestie to not upset her more than she was. Who was that woman that shoved anxiety ridden Lisa into a corner and took her place in my body those two days? It wasn’t the me who had dreaded this day for years and went to extremes to prevent her death. It was the  Lisa that only comes out when I’m drowning and that Lisa swims.




Old Blog Exclusive: My Weekend

Cover of "WordPress For Dummies"
Cover of 'WordPress For Dummies', Dummy

Since I want to continue writing here too, here are my thoughts on the weekend.

I am a jumpy sort of lass. I humiliate myself with a screech when my friend suddenly falls against me when sitting next to me. My friend tells me I suffer from “hyper vigilance.” And?

The same day, my mother runs the leftovers home so that the pizza won’t spoil, but she seems to take a while returning to the book store where she deposited my friend and me (Hey, fun quiz! Is the word ‘me’ correct or is it ‘I’? Not like I don’t know or anything, just seeing if y’all are alert!). I begin to assume my mom’s met an unfortunate end, of course, so I call home. Mom’s alive! Yay! Apparently, Philippe had jumped onto the counter and began begging for more canned cat food as he  does several times a day, so that helped delay my mom. My friend lectures me about being independent. Hey, my mom’s more or less my only family member and after she actually gives up the ghost I’ll be alone.  Which means I’ll die a cat lady or a bag lady or something.

Now that I know my mom is still among the living, I grab up the 800 page WordPress for Dummies monstrosity I’d been trying to absorb in 10 minutes or less, plus a dollar bin book on writing fiction and head for the counter. I know my mom wouldn’t approve me buying the $35.00  Wordpress book, on our credit card to boot, better to buy it and ‘fess up later in the evening (I have to confess stuff to my mom, a compulsion). I feel safe buying it now that my mom wasn’t dead, because in the back of my semi-sane mind, I think that had I not known my mom was alive and I bought the book, it would somehow kill off my mom as punishment.  Where are the men in white coats, right?  

My friend continues on the “independence” talk and my mom returns.

The next day my friend and I play Rummy at her house and I win. We watch Real Stories of the ER as we play and some guy has a cockroach stuck in his ear and the little f****r was biting the mans eardrum. This results in me going into labor and giving birth to a new phobia. 

 I help shampoo her computer room’s carpet, a new experience for me. I think a mixture of being tired and the Fabuloso we used on the carpet gave me a headache. We watch some of Gremlins. The channel the movie is on suggests the film may not be suitable for kids under 7. That movie scared me to death when I was the mature age of 7.  I think they edited a bit of the splatter in the blender  and microwave as the mother killed a couple of the gremlins in household appliances. I couldn’t bear killing something in a microwave, even a murderous Gremlin. Funny though, I have had  terrible visuals of putting a cat in the microwave. I have no desire to do such a thing, but the thought of it happening is enough to make me worried. When you have OCD, it’s vital to learn that harm obsessions are just thoughts that pass through the minds of kind people. Luckily for me I worry more about causing emotional harm to people than physical harm. At any given moment I’m afraid someone is mad or have hurt feelings because of me. 

I go to bed on my friend’s futon, the one you have to sit on carefully or one of the armrests falls off. I have a dream that may inspire a poem.

When I get home, Casey Anthony has already gone into hiding. My mom thinks wherever she is now, her attorney is boinking her. I hope not for his sleazy ass’ sake. There’s  a part of me that feels bad for Casey simply because so many people want her to die a horrible death. I believe God will make her pay on this earth. Being so hated will be a prison in itself  because she won’t be partying much. I doubt her sociopathic mind can fathom all the consequences of being notorious. I can’t believe Jesus would want people shouting “Kill her!” or even denying her a table at a restaurant. I smell a Casey Anthony post coming one day to my new site.

Administrative Assist-Me-Not

[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.

Vaguely Interesting Posts from the Short Time I Kept a Blog in 2008

So, I was reading Duncan Roy’s blog today and he posted about Obama, how he realized Obama wasn’t a God

at the time he got elected. So being the silly OCD Blogger Girl that I am, I wrote in the comments,

something like this: “When Obama got elected, I thought he could cure lepers and part the seas. Then I

realized he was just human. A really good human, but a human all the same.” And that’s when I thought about

the little private blog I kept for around 3 months in 2008, a time for me when Hope and Change sprung eternal. I went back, skimmed it, edited it, and decided some of these posts are worth sharing. I should have broke this crap down to more than one post, but I figure, skim it, read the parts not dull to you, and call it a day.

Mind you I’m still a rabid Obama liberal, just not with the passion of a thousand suns like in 2008 -when I

realized Hillary was kind of a bitch and decided to pull for Obama. Anyway, enjoy I guess…

October 23, 2008 - Thursday

Post something; just anything

Current mood: contemplative

Category: Blogging

I’m painfully shy, so much so that I feel dread passing people in situations where I know I must say hi or make eye contact or be considered rude. I like people, but I’m so terrified of saying or doing the wrong thing, of being considered mean. I’m always polite, if not meeting someone’s eyes except once or twice per conversation polite (I’m afraid people will think I’m staring at them, heh). And all at the same time I want to be noticed. For instance, I have rather deep-seated political beliefs and I feel compelled to show my support for Barack Obama. My pins for Obama I wear and are light-hearted, but my feelings are very strong. I wear two. The first looks like a Mccain/Palin button with their faces on it…..except instead of their names, “Geezer/Gidget.” Now, mind, I don’t believe in being an ageist, but I so do want 4 more dark years of Bush-Light. Lordy, and what if he passes away? I’m no great fan of abortion, but who is? I’m pro-choice the first trimester, pro-life the rest unless the mother’s health is at risk. Grrr…to think how McCain dismissed the health of a mother with quotation marks during the final debate. Sarah Palin is against abortion in all cases, ALL cases, even rape and incest, as is McCain since he sold his soul to appease the further right in his party. Palin believes in “praying the gay away” eeps from gay people instead of tolerance for consenting adults in loving relationships. Oh, and the worst thing McCain did in his soul selling to become president was approve of torture after he himself was tortured….he used to be anti-torture until he saw his view wasn’t popular among conservatives……but dear me, I was telling you about my pins.

My other pin says “Cat Lovers for Obama” and has two kittens on it. How many people will take my message too seriously sporting these pins is debatable, but at least this one shy gal has some way of letting people know.

I’m Lisa and I approved of this run on ADHD-style message.

October 24, 2008 – Friday

Evictions and other curiosities

Category: Life

Well, I live in Shitzville Apartment complex. Yes, Shitzville. I actually prefer Shitzville to home ownership. There’s a pool, we have a terrace with lax rules on spreading out around it, and maintenance falls on others. I used to live in a house, but we sold it when we were desperate and eating onions out of the garden and that was about it. The neighborhood, Decentville, was a nice place with slim to no crime, and I could stay out in the large fenced backyard until 1 a.m without being hacked to death (which is always a plus in real estate I’m told). We lived at Villa Going-Down-Fast, inherited from my grandma, with whom we lived since I was nine. Villa Going-Down-Fast was bought in 1987 and was still a very nice home then. It was built in 1972, but time flew by. By the time we left the air and heat barely worked, the wiring tended to spark, the wood around the brick was rotting outside and needed paint, there was water leaking from the bathrooms, the stove gave off a foul odor, and rats were upstairs in the crawl space -and you could hear and smell them. My mother was out of work and I couldn’t get a job (this is before I got disability). So we basically sold everything of worth in our house and when that ran out, heirlooms and bed frames gone) we sold our house to Mr. Schiester for about $20,000 paid in increments of $700.00 a month for 4 years…

So good riddance to that chapter of my life. Au revoir, Villa Going-Down-Fast. Here in Shitzville, the air and heat work very well and if you hear movement upstairs it’s fellow members of the human race. Many of the people are so nice here, many a bit odd and trailer supplants, and everyone is different here.

But alas, apartment renting is a business, whether it is in Ritzville or Shitzville and one wonders at the heartlessness of others.

Walking out into the hall this morning several police persons were leaving the apartment of a woman receiving her final eviction notice after receiving 3. There were at least 5 policepersons. Perhaps the boyfriend of Ms. Misplaced had been giving trouble. Ms. Misplaced has two children under 5 years-old and I’m sure an army of cops would be frightening if they were anywhere to be seen. The final eviction notice was taped up on the front door for all to see (paraphrased):

Missy Misplaced


Shitzville Apartments.

Eviction notice. Returning to the premises will result in arrest, etc.

I had heard that the venerable Mme. Bitchyazz, supreme apartment manager, wondered how she would rid herself of said family…Yep, several officers should do the trick.

Later, however, in an act of extreme magnanimity our patroness must have allowed the Misplaced Family to retrieve their belongings. Some are not so well treated by Mme. Bitchyazz I understand. Don’t get beat up and have your rent stolen because near death experiences won’t save you from that eviction notice, and hopefully they’ll have it in your native tongue, señor.

October 27, 2008 – Monday

Kissing a Bee

Category: Life

So I went to the park today. I walked the nature-ish trail (ain’t so very nature, since one side shows the road). I determined it was safe to walk down because a couple and their dog were walking also, but like I said it isn’t exactly isolated since the road mainly follows by its side. I was listening to Portishead on tape and when side one was finished I determined I was about walked out and found my way back to the van. Got my book, my old yard sale Gameboy Advance in lieu of my SP and DS (both of which are hanging out in the pawn shop, my bottle of orange juice and found my way to a shady spot near the pond. When I finished my orange juice is when I determined I had finished reading and gaming, my gauge if you will, but not before my rendezvous with a thirsty yellow jacket. Now, as you probably know, yellow jackets are not all that aggressive bees and as long as you don’t mess with them they will not mess with you. He/she kept trying to get at my juice and succeeded hanging out on the lid and rim at times. He/she, however, also found my hand for refreshment, and I stayed still as he/she enjoyed the stickiness of my hand. I was relatively serene, so long as (let’s say it’s a he; feminism be damned) he remained on my hand. When he decided to land on my face, I was a tad less at peace. I imagined him getting caught in my glasses and stinging my eyes and hoped God would answer my prayer for me not to be stung. He landed on my nose, but the worst was my lips. He landed in the middle of my closed lips and I made sure my teeth were clamped shut for double protection. Have you ever had a bee suck the orange juice residue on your lips? It’s bizarre, nor do I recommend it. Yes, my lips have seen little action since I was about 21 years-old and got a tiny peck on the lips by a man who wasn’t particular (I’ll save that embarrassing tale for another time) and did not wish to end the dry spell with this diminutive creature and thankfully he finally flew away.

Ugh, but I will tell you one story from my childhood that deals with bees. It still bothers me because I worry the man in this story was dangerous and while he caused no harm to me I wonder what happened to him. I think I was probably 8 . I was at a park with a my daycare and there was only a few of us with the woman who took us, so no real harm could have occurred unless we got separated. God was watching over us, plus I could sense danger. There was a man with long blond hair, thin, perhaps tall, but I was 8 so he might have been short. I noticed the other kids were gathering around him. It was a magic show of sorts, involving a Sundrop can and a yellow jacket. At the age of 8, it was fascinating to watch this friendly guy trap a bee in the can, then let him out….But the red flags were waving in my mind. DANGER. Sometimes you just know. So did the woman watching us and she called us all back and looked disturbed. I think she gave the man that look too, and then he was gone. I think he was a pervert. A part of me wants to say nahhh, but it was all so strange. Wonder what happened to him? I pray he never hurt anyone, that it was all overreaction. I can’t bear the thought. This world is too beautiful to have such evil. What an awful world it is in tiny segments. Ugh, my mind feels too much sometimes. Please let me have been wrong then. Ok Lisa, that was 1986, time to think other stuff. I was happy until that came into my mind. I just thank God my children are cats.

October 28, 2008 – Tuesday

Category: Life

I was diagnosed at age 17. Until then, I knew I was different, yes. How different and that it had a name I had no idea. When my doctor at the time told me he thought I had OCD, I was like, “But I don’t repeatedly wash my hands.”

My own mother, who was a nurse, used to council at Mental Health, and she only thought I was an extreme worrier. She even had had an obsessive-compulsive patient or two, a cleaner-type. Go figure.

So how did the doctor know I was one? My obsession that my mother was going to die. I still have this obsession, just to a lesser degree. I still need to know where my mom is most of the time, but in those days I didn’t let her out of my sight for fear that the moment I did she would be killed in a car crash or possibly murdered. So he knew it was an obsession, but he wanted to make sure so he gave me a questionnaire. I answered what I felt I could and lied on the ones I just couldn’t because I thought if I answered yes he would think I was psychotic. Now I know that the ones I answered no on were all garden variety OCD symptoms too. I still scored high though even with the ones I fudged the answer on omitted. I seldom lie, but I just had to I thought. So many bad thoughts that I would tell my mom about and my best friend about, but could not tell a stranger. Awful thoughts that were totally not me but would invade my mind to distress me. The thought of causing pain, physical or mental, to any living creature will plague me to no end. I have to make sure I have not said something cruel over and over. I have to be reassured that folks aren’t mad or hurt all the time at me. If something bad happens I feel responsible that I could not have stopped it. A man fell in the pool one year on the steps. I was layered in sunscreen and had been sitting where he fell on the pool steps. I still think it had to have been because of me, though people say that underwater steps wouldn’t retain sunscreen. Everything that happens I feel guilty over and have to convince myself it wasn’t my fault.

October 30, 2008 – Thursday

Obama Ad

Category: News and Politics

Saw Obama’s 30 minute ad. It was obviously done propaganda-style, with American flags (he was even wearing a flag pin it appeared)and that melodramatic music, but with real struggling people to emphasize his point. He dealt with the important issues such as the economy, ending the war in Iraq “responsibly,” and focusing on terrorism. I was particularly moved by his message that he won’t be a perfect president but he will remember who he is there for (or something to that effect). There is only one thing I noticed that didn’t set too well…He began by saying those making under $250,000 will receive tax cuts. Tonight he said $200,000. Not enough for me to jump the progressive ship, but just saying. I’d say he’s the lesser of two evils, but there is so much about the man to admire. I really think he is sincere, and lets face it, flip-flop McBush ain’t so much.

November 1, 2008 – Saturday


Current mood: melancholy

Category: Life

Hi Ghosts,

So today was Halloween. I also got paid today and so I got Milky Ways, 3 Musketeers, Hershey Bars, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A plethora of chocolate goodness for the multitudes which would surely beat the door down. So when I got my one solitary trick-or-treater, I gave her a big handful. Her father even said, “OOH mucho candy.” They were Honduran neighbors I think. The little girl was dressed as a witch, complete with a black and orange dress that poofed out. Her father was dressed like the grim reaper or something along those lines.

Mama made a point to hide the Milky Ways in a storage can with the extra candy not in the main bowl. She and I both favor them but I would have gladly gave out some. There would’ve been enough for sure.

Shitzville apartments would not be an optimal place to go trick-or-treating. Only a few weeks ago a couple in building 1 dispatched themselves by overdosing. It’s likely that they did it on purpose since they both died. The rumor is that they injected themselves near the heart, then had sex, and were found thus. They say “death be not proud” but if I were going to end it, I certainly would not wish to be found in such a fashion. I would hope I’d be fully dressed, suicide note of apology nearby. So I’m a morbid type, but my mind paints vivid pictures of despair. I made sure I saw them cart the bodies out too. It seems not real even now. They were covered in red body bags as they were carted out in stretchers. The thing that struck me as most bizarre is how they took them away. A Honda Odyssey minivan. I always thought morgue trucks were more obvious. Two men with closely cropped hair that made them almost identical were in the van. They opened the minivan’s back and the difference was that there were no back seats and there was a rubbery thing to let down so that the stretchers would not scratch the van going in. They attach the stretchers with one brace each and put a bag of evidence I suppose in between the bodies.

I remember thinking that it was too pretty a day to be dead and how selfish they were to let their family and friends suffer by offing themselves. But they were druggies with many different drugs found in their home. Hopefully they are in a happier place.

November 6, 2008 – Thursday

Holy shit…He actually did it

Current mood: blessed

Category: News and Politics

Yes we can? Holy shit, we actually did!!!! I hoped and prayed, yet I never allowed myself to truly believe he would actually get elected. I was sure that the scare tactics, lies, and social conservatism that defeated John Kerry in ’04 would in the end win out over Obama’s charisma.

Just look at everything that was against Obama in many voters’ eyes:

A.) He’s black

B.) People said he was a muslim, with a father and name to back the assumption

C.) He’s black

D.) If he wasn’t a Muslim, he’s a proponent of Black Nationalist Theology

E.) He’s black

F.) He was involved with ACORN

G.) He’s black

H.) His friends are slum lords n’ terrorists that got his career a’going

I.) He’s black

J.) He’s not a natural born citizen

K.)He’s black

L.) He’s a Marxist

M.) He’s black

N.)He’s a Socialist

O.) He’s black

P.) His wife hates whitey

Q.) He’s black

R.)They’re elitist/uppity

S.)He’s black

T.)The same hole responsible for Kerry’s Swift Boat vets, wrote a book with the catchy title, “The Obamanation”

U.) He’s black

V.) Is he black enough for African-Americans?

W.)He’s black

X)Will he be able to transcend color for white comfort?

Y.)He’s black

Z.)He’s the Antichrist

Haven’t you heard these things more or less ever since he became a candidate? Some of it’s blatent racism, xenophobia, and to be truthful, lack of experience of the candidate. It is my belief, however, many people who are spreading the slanderous rumors regarding Obama are doing so out of latent racism, and aren’t even aware it’s because he’s African-American. “It’s not ’cause he’s black,” many would say and believe it as they told you, but let’s face it, no matter how progressive a person is, he/she hasn’t reached the ability to 100% judge someone strictly on character.

Ok. now that I’ve pontificated for over an hour, let me actually tell you about my election day. Good deed of the day besides voting -rescued a 6 inch earthworm out of the parking lot of Taco Bell, yucky and slimy thing. Oh, and I retired my “Geezer & Gidget” pin out of respect for other voters, plus I didn’t want my ass kicked.

Yes, I did pray Obama would win, but I tried to be wise as a mere mortal doing so. I said to Jesus, “Please let Obama win if he is the best man.” You know, just in case the republicans were right, and their ideas aren’t as dumb as I tend to think of them. Was it divine intervention or that Bush sent the country careening off a cliff and a yellow dog would be better than a republican? I think both, though heaven knows, Obama is a wonderful person who will usher in a new era for America….he is not merely the candidate for the yellow dog democrat.

When I voted , I carefully read the ballot and instructions, wanting to be certain of perfection, plus out of curiosity too. Carefully I blacked out the circle by Obama, and my straight Democrat ticket. On to non-partisan. Secretary of soil. Gee, who has a better sounding name? Oh look it, this guy has no challenger. Eh, what the hell and blacked the spot in. This one’s a gal, so what the hell too. Sandra C. Hmm, I like her ad. The cops like her, she’s respectful, and been in there before, so what the hell too, Judge….Yeah, prolly should leave those I don’t know alone, but I’ll worry about soil and water guy when I get sick. Yeah, that’s bad. Bond referendum. That I was concerned about and voted yes for the community college to expand so they wouldn’t have to turn students wanting a career each semester.

Everyone I voted for (that I gave a damn ) got in.

So I began watching election coverage around 7pm. State after state marked blue or red. The battlegrounds fell to Obama…and then 11pm. Brian Williams suddenly comes on and says, “The White House will have young children in it again. Barack Obama has been elected president.” I startled my mom who had fallen asleep with my loud waking of her. It was so amazing, so wonderful. All those people in Illinois gathered together crying. I teared up too. I haven’t known that kind of happiness in a very long time, nor have I ever been so proud to be an American.

I did feel sorry for McCain though, that poor soul among his cookie-cutter looking supporters. I hope Obama offers him a cabinet position. I even felt bad for Palin and I despise the woman, go figure….But imagine the disappointment even if you were prepared for it. Oh well, maybe she won’t force Bristol to get married now.

I am worried about the future though, all the hatred. I hope God will protect Obama. Those dear children need their father and so does America.

November 9, 2008 – Sunday

Current mood: okay

Category: Life

We took to the yard sales, which is one of my favorite pastimes. I buy stuff for eBay, find the occasional thing for myself, and it feeds my hoarding compulsion. Today I bought $2.00 in a fill a box book sale. I also bought some dolls for resale and one for myself, a Kelly doll in box, plus a portable cd player because mine broke. My mom found an Electrolux vacuums.

Our last sale was at a church. Ok, I consider myself a Methodist (though God knows I haven’t seen the inside of a church in a long time), but this particular church I have no love for even if it is of my preferred denomination. Being at this particular church brought back a memory I’d about as soon forget.

Once upon a time, before I got on disability, we reached dire straights as I’ve alluded to before. Social services, in addition to food stamps, gave us a voucher to go to a food bank at this particular church. Now it would probably still be an unpleasant memory even if it had not gone as it had, but since it went a certain way, all the worse.

You may think, “Fatass, you oughta be grateful,” and don’t think I’m not, but….

The lady in charge was a certain type of character, “The Christian Duty Martyr.” The martyr obviously was there as her duty, but her heart was not in the work as she stuck up her nose at the lot of us unfortunates. Rudely, tersely, she checked the vouchers of us Social Services trash. One older woman didn’t have her papers and they nearly turned her away. They gave an English application to a Mexican, then it was found he couldn’t read at all when they gave him one in Spanish. It was only her who was being the martyr, while a certain gentleman gave us a box that contained those delicious Girl Scout mint cookies because I think he heard me remark how much I liked them -that is what I should focus on, the good, not the martyr. Ugh, but it was all a bad business those days. I was always a giving person, but now I try even more because I don’t wish to be like Ms. Christian Duty Martyr. I hope you don’t think too badly of me, or think of me the way I do. Too much is wrong with me to stand in judgement of others.

Later on we went down to the auction house and I bought some glassware and crap. Our friends, L. and B., were selling there tonight along with other sellers. We hadn’t been in a long while to the auction and it was enjoyable for me. The bad part was on our way home a guy was standing in the road. He’d ran over a deer and if we hadn’t seen him the carcass  might have caused us to wreck or kill the man there. Yikes! I’m terrified of killing folks and hope my mom would’ve seen the guy before it was too late. Probably would since his car was by the road with the emergency lights flashing. Thank you God nothing bad happened, ’cause my mom doesn’t see as well as she once did.

Obama is the talk of the county, toasted or maligned depending on where you are. I was in a predominately black neighborhood yard sale and they talked with such a beautiful joy and I shared their pleasure.

This evening, though, I saw the opposite side. The auction I went to is a very white place, with seldom a black person there. I heard the apprehension in a couple people and snide remarks from others as a carved rhino made in Kenya came up.

I have even been asked by an online friend not to even mention his name. Some such about Obama wanting to change the American flag and not allow people to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I knew it was useless to argue, and since I’m very fond of her and would not wish to upset her at all I will acquiesce. My pitcher of Obama Kool-aide will be placed in the back of the refrigerator for blander potables.

December 8, 2008 – Monday

My 31st Birthday

Category: Life

31 years ago today, December 8, 1977, I came into this world at 8:03pm. So I’m here. What now?Surely this isn’t what I was put here for, to write stupid blog entries every few days and go through the motions of life yearning for something.

I blew out the candles, neon curly ones left over from my mom’s birthday, and made a wish I’m sure won’t come true this year. I can’t tell my wish lest it not come true, but I know it won’t come true.

And yet today was a very nice birthday. My cake was from Baskin-Robbins. When my mother ordered it, the decorator asked if it was for an adult or a child. Mother told her it was for an adult, and then proceeded to ask for a cat on the cake. The end result was an adorable tabby made to resemble my black tabby, Oscar, peeping out of grass and roses, with a layer of strawberry ice cream, vanilla ice cream, and a bottom layer of chocolate cake. It was both darling and delicious! I got a beautiful Christmas Carol Barbie doll to add to my collection and some My Little Pony mini-ornaments. I collect stuff like that because it brings back childhood memories. Almost any character, modern incantatations included, that originally existed in the 1980s I collect. Besides it’s cheaper than my mondo wish for the laptop my mom can’t afford.

We went to lunch at KFC with my elderly friends, L and B. B’s 77th birthday is today too. We gave B one of the medium-hot pepper plants my mom grows. He loves hot peppers, but L. suffers from acid reflux and she doesn’t suffer in silence at our get togethers, often going into graphic descriptions of vomiting in the bathroom at the table, which often cuts my meal short, heh.

I love them very much, like our family. They don’t have too much money (neither do we) and it’s always fascinating to open a gift bag from them. You remember, Tom and Barry, etc., those mooning men that pulled their pants down when you squeezed a nozzle -they came out around 1990, well I got a tiny keychain version, prolly found somewhere in their house, very cute. A little puppy peeping out of a gift bag. Some cookies made a few days ago. Some candy corn and tiny candy pumpkins -Halloween candy doesn’t spoil, plus a nice card. It meant all the more though because I know they love me too and cared enough to put it together for me.

In the evening, Mom and I went looking at Christmas lights and had pizza. It was a good time time though I feel sad when I think of that very dear man who didn’t wish me a happy day. Silly me, but at least I’m loved beyond this screen.

Nice Inaugaration

Current mood: anxious

Category: News and Politics

Hurray for Barrack! Call him “the Messiah,” Rush and Sean, but we won over your narrow-minded politics. I listened to virtually all of Limbaugh today because I find him amusing and I wanted to see what a miserablely sore loser he is. Also heard some of Hannity, who basically vomits out the selfsame emesis that Rush (his latent crush) does, just not as interestingly. I really don’t think Obama can mess up the country any worse than Dubya did.

It snowed here yesterday a bit. A rare thing . I’m fascinated by how lovely each individual snowflake is.

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer-Fabulous…The First Swim

Ah, the Gates of Paradise have opened for yet another summer of clean, wholesome fun. Sure, it took until a week into June to open because the Health Department said “You need this, that, and some of those parts  too,” but better late than never. I’m pretty sure last year they replaced the old drain as per new federal law with the kind that won’t disembowel you when it drowns you. Plus the water ain’t green and is no doubt only 25% urine at the end of each day. So open the damn thing already, Health Inspector!

Being more than slightly socially anxious,  I find a lounge chair sort of away from other people . I must hurry about this business anyway, as it is nearly 11am and if I don’t hurry my pasty self along, I’m going to  get burned and shrivel up like a California Raisin.  A large man in his 50s is already in the deep end clinging to a ladder and I am careful to find a place to jump where I won’t splash him. The apartment pool was built around 1972 when they still made pools good n’ deep, so the water ranges from 3 to 8 ft. I choose somewhere between 5 and 6 ft, a respectful distance from the portly man at the ladder. Once I pop up, I bob in the water. I can tread water without ever treading, my head can stay above the water like I’m standing, but my arms sort of  are away in front of me, kind of like a frog or turtle with its head above water.

And so the man says something along the  lines of, “Wow! You sure can stay afloat well without doing anything.”

I don’t really look at him because I’m floating the other way, and have I mentioned before that I’m shy? Just checking. I say in as cheery  a voice as I can, “That’s because I’m chubby!”  He says “Naw! I sure can’t do that.” But whatever, my good man. It is what it is.

I commence to my laps.  I could just leave it at that like a normal person would, but Gentle Reader,  then you wouldn’t get all the subtle nuances of the obsessive-compulsive experience.

I have little rituals for everything.


Yes everything.  I will share the swimming only since I don’t feel like writing a post as long as War and Peace tonight.

Once I jump into the water I feel it is a necessity to acclimate my body to the water temperature no matter how warm, hence the stand up floating.

One, one-thousand. Two, one-thousand. Three, one-thousand. Okay.

After saying this in my head, if I haven’t hit the side of the pool, good for me, because that means I don’t have to repeat. If yes, do it again, unless the pool is just too crowded or you really gotta be somewhere soon. If the pool isn’t overcrowded,  and I am at risk of bumping into someone, propel away, preferably 3 strokes away because I tend  to favor the number 3 (since, it has a religious significance in Christianity, I took it sometime as my ‘lucky number,’ everything else I prefer evened out. If you don’t hit the wall where you can start swimming the length of the pool, breast stroke, head above water until you reach the furthermost part of the deep end.

I don’t like the breast stroke. I will leave that to Michael Phelps and let you know how I swim laps. Besides, it is somewhat impractical in the Ghetto/Trailer pool, since a) the rope that divides the deep end from the shallow will intercept you

and b.) lots of times you got to focus on not running into bunches of kids. So I swim like a frog just under the surface of the water. What I do is fill my lungs almost to capacity but not quite and swim the length of the pool, which is perhaps 25 to 30 feet long without coming up for air. About halfway, I suck the rest of the air in my mouth through my lungs and that sustains me to the other side (not like it’s the English Channel anyway). I’m not sure that is something for everyone to try at home. Perhaps some people would end up sucking water in through the nose. Perhaps it may be that since my muscles never quite relax, I have a bit more control in my breathing, or perhaps my nose just clogs up. Or perhaps, if evolution is true, I didn’t quite evolve from my amphibious ancestors.  Most likely, though,  it is unremarkable and the folks who seem surprised that I can get to the other side without coming up just ain’t tried it right yet. I usually can’t make it in a typical size lap lane without coming up, so there you go.

Once I get to the other side, I must rest at least 10 seconds  before I complete the lap by returning to the starting side. At one point a man says, “There sure is a lot of chlorine in this water.” I’m not sure if he is talking to me, but once he repeated his assertion I said,  Ohhh, I didn’t realize you were talking to me…….Yes, but my eyes have a high tolerance for chlorine.” I worry that the man might think  I didn’t answer at first because  he is African-American.  (I really could have used a ‘White Guilt Day’ greeting card right then preferably a waterproof one:  I’d hate for someone to think I was hesitant talking to him because of race, when in all actuality, my painful shyness is very much an equal opportunity pathology).

Ahh, but this year Club Ghetto/ Trailer pool must have decided to put more chlorine than they used to do, because Ms. Blue-Eyes Invinsible here starts feeling pain on her sixth lap, and by the time she finished, she could barely open her eyes on dry land. Whoops! She will later use the lid off her mouth wash as an eyewash because her eyes bulged and looked like she  was on an 8 day drunk.

At another point Club Ghetto/Trailer-Fab’s monitor comes out checking pool passes and while there she informs me I can’t wear a shirt in the pool over my bathing suit. Stupid, but I have promised myself to take it all in stride this year and only gripe when truly merited.  I saw 10 shades of red when they wanted to ban beads and hair weaves in the pool. Supposedly beads from kids’ hair were getting stuck in the filters, but I imagine if you dangled one of those young’ins over a balcony, just grabbing the child by one beaded strand, her beads would remain in her hair. It might not have meant to be a racist thing but it ‘felt’ racist, and it was a rule picking on little kids.

So off goes my shirt and I throw it over towards my chair. Now, I felt I had two pretty decent reasons for not wishing to relinquish my shirt. A.) I didn’t want my back turning fire engine red and B.) My bathing suit is old and severely worn out. In fact, it’s in such shit condition you would think it had been in constant service since the time Esther Williams did movies. For one, it has a rip in the side and then it’s all motley. But it wasn’t just aesthetics. It was that my suit for while has been stretching southward, a victim of gravity that dared me to have a wardrobe malfunction. But since the straps have elongated so much, I tie the straps together at my nape every now and then to prevent my stretch marked bosom from making a special appearance. Wish I could find my damn good bathing suit or buy a new one at the moment

Once I finish my 12 laps, 12 because I want to make sure I at least get 10 in case I miscount , I either float on my back  if no one is in the deep end, or  the stand up float if there are people. All that 1,2,3 jazz like I mentioned earlier. Hit one end of the pool like earlier after the 1,2,3 crap is done in my head. If there are people on both ends of the pool, I may exit. If not, I get to float at whatever jets are at that side of the pool, so it will propel me, which is amusing, If I am on the opposite side iof the jet, breast stroke over there I go. Then once I do that, I do one more floating session just pushing off the side. One and a Two and a three with an “okay.” Now I can exit.

I dry off, rest in a lounge chair, count to 300 in my head to relax me and give me time to adjust  to the temperature on land. Then I can return home. So soothing. Was my pool rituals as tedious to read as it was to write them down?

Visit a Vet and Your Therapist.

Just when you think things are going ok and that you might be able to stay out of the pawn shop just one month, someone goes and kicks your cat.

Granted it wasn’t on purpose, but the cat was kicked all the same.  You see, Mama was in a hurry  to use the can and there are two doors to said can; one being the entry from the hallway, the other opens into the master closet.  As I stated before in one way or another, I am not about to be on the cover of Martha Stewart Living. So when I throw dirty clothes into the master closet for later washing, theoretically, the clothes are supposed to go into a hamper.  Said hamper in said closet is usually overflowing with dirty clothing, however, so I tend to aim, throw, and let my discarded clothing  fall where it may. And this is how the tragedy began.

My mother, in her haste to close the closet door, kicked a pair of black shorts that were obstructing the door. Unfortunately, Babee Dondee was curled up on that pair of shorts. Babee Dondee is small and black except for the occasional white hair here and there, so he was perfectly hid on that  black  background. My mom’s swift kick made hard contact with shorts and cat.

Mama felt terrible, placing the blame on herself, though I think if it is anyone’s fault, it’s mine since I’m a total slob and it was my shorts left there by me. She apologized repeatedly to Dondee and I think he realized Mom didn’t mean to do it to him.

But whoever’s fault it was, it became obvious Dondee needed medical attention, because he still limped this morning and wouldn’t emerge from the closet.  I hate taking my cats to the vet, Dondee especially, since he is absolutely terrified of riding in the van in his carrier. He cries the five minutes it takes to get there, and is an awful thing to hear, especially when you can’t  tell him what is happening in a language he understands.

The vet who saw us is a man in his 50s, whom I distinctly get the feeling likes animals more than humanity, or maybe he thought we meant to do it, and I feel horrified and guilty in his presence. But I think (hope) he knew we didn’t mean to, because I doubt the average person who abuses animals takes them to the vet afterword. I tried not to avert my eyes as much as usual, lest the doctor  think we meant to do it and mistake my social anxiety as guilt.

In the end, nothing was broken, but his nerves in his shoulder were inflamed. He received steroids for that and antibiotics just in case he was bit by something instead of my mom’s kick because his temperature was up.

My mother gave me the joyous task of settling up with the receptionist since I had the money, but I knew it was going to be more than I have. And so it was. I’m too chicken shit to say I don’t have $195.00, so I beckoned my mom over and show her the invoice.  Mama explained the situation and that we’ll be back as soon as possible.  $96.00 down, $99.00 to go. So we take Dondee home, grab up some pawnable merchandise, and back out we go.  Meanwhile, one of the maintenance guys told us the pool passed inspection and will probably open today. Great, figures the damn thing would finally open and I’d be on the……nevermind.

I think the receptionist was pleased we came back as soon as we did, and hopefully, since we brought the money back so fast, that will give us a gold star in character and somehow show them we don’t abuse animals. Lord.

Then, this afternoon was a trip to my therapist. Now my last trip to see her, she kinda sorta almost yelled at me, or was very firm.  Well, at least it worked. Plus my mom, my best friend, virtually everyone on earth, also wanted me to do what I did. So I did and I feel the better for it. Guilt and elation, anger, guilt, then elation again. Some things that are easy  for other people are much harder for me. I meant well, though.

My therapist was glad I went out with Green and that I had no real problem with talking to him or the Hippies, that I didn’t freeze up. She wants me to contact him again.

She isn’t so happy I’m so nervous-acting, I don’t think, because she asked me when I last saw my shrink. It was a couple months ago and she couldn’t up my meds, but thank God, my depression lifted a lot since.  I went from life-sucks-just-let-me-die-or- something  to life-sucks-less. Good enough, man. Party!

She seems to think my little perfectionist  bent  is a tad maladaptive. I can’t stand my inability to do everything just right. If I feel I haven’t done things perfectly, I will go into a rage at myself and go take a nap. One thing goes wrong, EVERYTHING is wrong. If I raise my voice at my mother, I will get angry at myself, feel I’m a failure at life in general….and go to sleep.  Every morning I wake up and promise myself  today I will not make a mistake. Doomed to failure, but I can’t stop. I’ve done this off and on in some form or another since I was a small girl. Nothing I would expect of another person, but I  can’t stand  my lack of measuring up to normalcy.  Oh well.

952 words, I’m shutting up now.

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown

(Started Apr 12, bothered to finish today. Yay, I’m caught up!)

I intended on going to the parade Saturday morning, but awoke flustered and despairing of getting there on time, so I fell back on the couch and watched the thing on TV.  I was angry at myself for not going…I always go. It was so cool that our local hero was the parade marshal. Such a small, normal looking woman and God only knows how many people she saved when she took that guy down. She once was a police officer at a local beach where nothing happens and now look at her…people around the world know what she did. I bet she wishes it never happened though since she can only walk a bit now. I will reiterate though she is mega cool.

Saturday evening my mother and I went downtown to see the fireworks. We walked 6 blocks to the river, but it was a lovely evening and a pleasant walk in the historic district.  At night sometimes one can see inside their lovely homes, the painted or wallpapered rooms with their  pretentious chandeliers and antique furnishings. The other joy is all the people observing one can  get in, like the actively hallucinating guy who walked past us giving consolation to someone we couldn’t see. With the advent of bluetooth technology it can be difficult to tell if someone is nuts, but this guy’s jerky movements made insanity  a certainty. “He wouldn’t give us any money,” he told his invisible friend, then said, “Don’t worry about him though, man.”

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 act accordingly. 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.

Downtown’s most prevalent establishments open at night are bars, bars, and then bars.  You have to be careful down there because girls have got into trouble, but if you aren’t alone you’re pretty safe, especially if it isn’t really late at night.  So when the drunk chaps rolled up to the red light, two cars of them, I wasn’t worried for my physical safety.


Oh. How. Original. I’m sensible enough not to reply or look at them. As they drive away, to preserve my dignity, I mutter, “Fucking assholes.” But I seriously felt very little. I wasn’t aware of being angry or sad. But then I had one of my bad thoughts, the kind that are very disturbing to someone with OCD. My mind conjured an image of  those guys in an awful car crash, the kind with glass everywhere  and the cars crushed like soda cans. Which immediately upset me because I didn’t want the little bastards to die or be injured and I hoped they got home okay. Then I started to worry. A thought is just a thought, but I don’t like the thought at all. I started worrying as though the thought of them being killed would come true, though I knew I was being stupid.

What if the thought means you want them to crash?  I asked myself. No, and you know you don’t want any harm worse than a hangover tomorrow to happen to them, Lisa, I replied in my mind. But the awful thought of those guys dying lodged into my mind, and I sought reassurance from my mom.

“I wish you could worry about something. No, you don’t want them to crash or die,” Mom said. I really exasperate her sometimes, but I eventually realized she was right. If I really wanted something to happen to them, I would not be worried about it or if I wished it I would know I wished it. Fair enough.

And far as I know, the two cars of  drunken idiots made it home safe and sound that night. All’s well that ends well.

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?”

(This short post  was started March 31, then set aside , only to be finished today. Besides, I could not bear to not finish it when I liked the title so much).

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.

Or something…

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?

“Pollen,” said Mother.