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!
Is it just me, or has 2016 gone down as one of the most awesomely horrendous years in history? Well, post-plague, post-Hitler, post-mom croaking anyway. It was bad. Can it get any worse? Probably.
I’ve been treated for bed bugs three times, the last time was today. They aren’t all dead. I fully expect a bed bug or two to outlive me, enjoying the last flowing drops of my lifeblood on my death-bed. #Optimism.
Philippe, my cat of 15 years, died in the early morning hours after Mother’s Day. A friend kindly offered to allow me to bury him in her yard among her feline deceased. I wrapped Phil’s mortal remains in a sheet, taped him up in a box, placed the box in a vinyl laundry bag, and boarded the bus for her house. No one knew on he bus, but someone was singing Amazing Grace, a funeral favorite in my family. #Icantmakethiscreepynessup.
And well, Donald Trump got elected. I just knew he would. Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe it will just all be a real hoot. Maybe under the narcissistic, sociopathic facade lies a heart of gold. #Seigheil.
Mother’s dead five years today. The ache is dulled, but there. I feel it should be an eternal darkness over my soul as a justice to her and to atone for my flaws. Why did it end this way?
We worried about each other always. My mom fretted if I stayed at the pool after dark lest someone come molest me. The gazebo they built out at the back of our complex, she begged me not to go lest someone molest me. When I’d talk about how I’d like to have a driver’s license to go to things at night, like fireworks at the beach…You shouldn’t go alone.
Don’t go too far from the shore. Don’t even taste alcohol. It’s in your genes!
And the big joke was that I was worse than her. If I couldn’t find her in a store, I panicked. If she went out alone, which was rare, I’d warn her to lock her doors and be careful. I was sure she’d die in a car accident. On the rare occasions I went over to a friend’s house overnight, I’d call twice . If she dropped me off for a day somewhere, I’d call to make sure she got home. My greatest obsession was my mom.
I miss her advice. I miss her always on my side. But I’m also glad to be free. Free from her worries, free from mine over her.
I’d give back my liberty though to be with her again , but it’d be nice if we could’ve been less dependent on each other the next time around.
I just finished checking on my friend’s cats while she was away, and as the bus drove over the expansive bridge, the driver and a passenger began remarking on what was going on below.
“Someone must’ve died. The police have been there so long now, ” said the driver. I seen them there three hours ago.” The driver and passenger speculated on the nature of the wreck that I couldn’t see from my vantage point. Alcohol. Drugs.
“I can’t say nothing,”replied the passenger. “I lost my license going 180 in a 70 mile per hour zone. Just the other day , the cops got a woman going down wrong side of this road.”
The truth of the matter is once you leave the mainland and are on the island, alcoholics are as plentiful as the ocean surrounding the island, or at least it feels like it.
I’m going to see what there is to see, I think. I am obsessed with the morbid in case you might have missed that about me. For the first time in my life, I walked over the bridge instead of riding over it, and it’s scary. It’s about 100 feet to the unfriendly water below, the area where the river meets the sea, swirling and dark. I clung to the railing, afraid I’d be seized by vertigo and fall back into the traffic whizzing by. What a vulture will do to spot death. There it was in the park by the river. An SUV hit a tree by a sharp curve in the road. The SUV’s whole front end up to the cab was crushed in by the tree, and the remains of the vehicle were charred from having been on fire. Police were milling around the taped off area, cop cars and fire trucks blocked the road nearby.
Later, I found out it was a mother and her young children. Miraculously, the mother and one child were saved from the fire by a good Samaritan, who ended up being burned badly himself. The youngest child, a 1 year-old, was killed. The district attorney is treating it as a criminal matter. What a terrible world where such bad things happen. I hope the baby didn’t suffer, and that the district attorney is merciful.
Hauling cast-offs from your neighbors’ trash is kind of like autoerotic asphyxiation: It’s all fun and games until you’re well hung.
Oh yes, I’ve hung myself well. Cimex lectularius, aka the bed bug, has taken hold of my home and lecturously clung to me, tying my noose in a rust colored bow. A creature smaller than a pencil top has wrecked my life emotionally, socially, and reduced me to semi -penury.
There are two things to do when you find you have a bedbug problem. First, tell everybody! Brag to your 1.5 friends that your previous state of having no blood relatives has been remedied by playing host to a growing family of consanguinious creatures. Your 1.5 friends may become .05 friends that are willing to touch you with a 10 ft. pole, but now you will have many bedfellows who find your society delicious.
The second thing is watch how you become as popular as a prostitute with mouth herpes on a Tuesday night. Watch as your friends inspect their domiciles as you wait with bated breath for the horror that your new family might have jumped ship for tastier fare. You will begin to see your bug relatives in every speck of dust, feel them, and itch from them when they aren’t there. You begin to wish for a bolt of lightening to strike your apartment and incenerate your tiny family. Your new relations are about as well esteemed to you as your Appalachian cousins, but unlike your cousins, your bed bug family won’t abandon you. Lucky you.
I began suspecting when I killed a tiny blood red critter walking its merry way across my pillow. It’s a baby bed bug, I inwardly squealed. No, came my angry reply to the voice within, it’s a spider mite tracked in by one of my cats. I told my psych nurse about the sighting and she agreed with my surmise.
A few nights later, I saw another insect, chubby and waddling. That’s an odd looking cucarocha.
And then December 26. D Day. I saw a bug close enough for me to grab and I captured it alive in a pill bottle. Oh dear God, that sure looks like an unfed bed bug. The poor little thing couldn’t keep itself right side up and flailed about so pitifully I had to stop looking at it.
I drew a bath and stripped off, afterward using jackets to keep me warm on the couch and benzos to lull me to sleep. It’s going to be a great new year.
Much of the next day I stayed on the couch, deep in the depression only suspecting bed bugs can do to you. You know no one will want to be around you anymore, that your life is over until your home is napalmed. I looked online for stories of losing friends due to bed bugs. Of course there’s stories of lost friends and one Yahoo Answers contributor answered to the fearful friend of a bed bug sufferer, “just get new friends, eww.”
I took my prisoner, who had croaked on its own accord to a nearby exterminator. I caught one of the guys towards quitting time, and he turned up the bottle, made a face, and replied, “yeah” when I asked if it was a bed bug. I promptly went to McDonald’s and ate two Big Macs.
What is worse than a bed bug problem, you might ask. OCD, bed bugs, and mingling your worst fears into that mix. I feared telling my landlady for fear of being evicted, because around this time last year I was threatened with eviction. I feared telling my social worker for fear of losing the assistance I get on my rent.
Both scenarios led to the same conclusion in my mind,the trifecta of my worst fears, a game show called Rest Home, Homeless, or Dead.Continue reading →
September 13th will mark the fourth anniversary of my mother’s death. The other day I was at one of the hallowed shrines to my mother and a mecca to my obesity: Wendy’s. We used to go there at least once a week with an elderly couple I’ve since lost touch with. It’s strange to go somewhere that hasn’t changed any since 2011 (except for the price ). Were today September 9th, 2011, my mother would be at home barely able to walk, slowly painfully succumbing to her fate. Had she gone to the hospital the 9th instead of the 12th would she be alive today?
Death and misfortune are everywhere. Saturday I was returning from the beach and happened to look out the window of the bus and a man was having chest compressions started by first responders. He must have had a heart attack on the way to the beach on Labor Day weekend. How cruel. It’s strange to see someone dying when you already experience foreboding in September. September: the death of summer, the death of unconditional love when my mother died, September 11th anniversary, my estrangement from the rest of my family, and the end of my friendship with my gay lying friend.
Even when the sun is shining, the world seems dark. I may have gained my independence September 24, 2015 when I moved into my own apartment for the first time, but I am still bound to what the world outside thinks of me. There are very few people you can truly trust when the world thinks you’re dense. I’m tired of my many failures. My mind is drowning in my inability to be what everyone wants me to be, even with what I want me to be.
I wonder when it will be my turn with the CPR. Hamburgers and red meat are my drug of choice. I don’t want to die, but 2 for $5.00 Big Macs at McDonald’s are crack to me, and you got to take whatever small pleasures you can in this life. God, what do they put in that special sauce?
The day was agonizingly beautiful. The sky was an endless robin’s egg and the bright sun bade me release t
he bonds of my apartment walls for the worthier pastures of mass transit and dumpster treasure. What is 87 F (31 C) for those of us seeking adventure, the Holy Grail, and something besides potato chips in our cupboards? Apparently, 87 F is a lot, as I felt all 220 pounds of my glorious body begin to broil medium well in the afternoon sun. Three huge bottles of dish washing liquid, Lisa Frank magnets, and a squished bottle of generic fruit punch and I began to feel the ill effects of heat exhaustion setting in . Outrageous fortune beset me yet again when I realized the bus I boarded was air conditioning free. Once I got home, the effects of my romp, plus the thoughts in my head erupted. And I vomited. In the trash can by my bed. In the commode. In a bucket of Pinesol by my commode. In the bathtub trying to calm down.
“Either I got heat exhaustion or that tooth that had that mild abcess is going septic,” I told my friend.
But back to vomiting. In the yard waiting for my friend to come get me. Desecrating a Walmat plastic bag in the car on the way to the hospital. And once in a nifty vomit bag as the wheel chair I was in made too many jerking movements -but I apologized to the waiting room as any genteel southerner would. I vocalized that I wanted my mom, never mind that this section of the waiting room was where I finally was away enough from my mom to shed a tear at her impending demise back in 2011. Now, four years later, Lisa the Stoic, is replaced by OCD Lisa chanting a mantra of “I’m so scared.”
Then the nurse, while taking my medical specifics gave me a pill, Zofran. Zofran, named for the ancient Greek god of Emesis and Refusing to Suffer in Silence. I was fine in 15 minutes. Not sepsis. Not this time, Mom. I felt like an idiot as my panic subsided. I’ve vomited many times alone without alerting the media, but the heat exhaustion, sepsis in the tooth scenario weighed deeply in my mind along with other anxieties. I asked the triage nurse if it would be OK for me to go since I felt so much better. “Absolutely!” She said with a trifle more enthusiasm than necessary. But here I am a month later alive and well, and I see they’ve moved the entrance to the emergency department, probably they’re hiding from me.
If it’s snowing at WordPress and winter is nigh, Jesus and I are having birthdays. I share my birthday with Ann Coulter, December 8th, and my birthday is also the day that guy shot John Lennon. While Ann Coulter is biting the head off of a chicken at her fete, my birthday is more subdued. I wait at a bus terminal attempting to go to my favorite place to dumpster dive. I like hitting the craft store and Dollar Tree, because everyone knows Dollar Tree is so damn expensive these days. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll even meet up with my would-be lover again. One day I headed for the Beyond part of Bed, Bath, and Beyond to scavenge through their brightly spray painted trash when a chunky transient made his suite by asking if he could touch my boob. I declined his romantic gesture and hurried away, but at least at about 37 I still attracted homeless Don Juans.
It is dusk by the time I make it to the craft store and I fumble through the garbage using my tablet for light. In the end I find a few ornaments, one a clay snowman. My mother would have loved this, I think, with a slight pain that vaguely reaches above my subconscious before it’s gone. The memories of that other Lisa.
When inside Dollar Tree, some stocking woman asks if I paid for the stuff peeking out of my book bag. I sigh, hating her, opening my bag and telling her I got the stuff from the craft store. I added, “In their dumpster, actually” in an icy tone. Did she apologize? Hell no.
Later that evening, I’m in a bar drinking Sundrop and listening to trivia. It’s too cold outside to wait a half hour for the bus. The bar has “hell” in the title, so of course it’s warm. On the muted TV, John Lennon is being canonized on ESPN, the sports channel.
The bartender must have thought , ” poor cat lady,” my dollar bag of cat litter sitting by my seat like a the badge of my permanent virgin state. One of my cards is declined, and before I can pull another, she gives me my soda on the house. Happy birthday, indeed.
Perhaps “Filling the Hole” is not a wise choice of name preceding my last post, but what the hell.
I am fine physically, in spite of my lifelong belief otherwise. Now I need to know why I’m alive. After my mother’s death, my life’s purpose croaked too. My organs were supposed to shut down, one after the other, in solidarity with my mother. Until the age of 33, I had one identity: daughter. My identity died September 13, 2011. My family was dead except for a few distant relatives. I called my mother’s first cousin, Charles, but he was still angry at my mother for distancing herself from the family after my grandmother died. Cold in the morgue or not, them there mountain grudges die hard. He was nice in that he never said he was mad at my mom, but it was a “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” scenario. I wonder if sometimes he and his sister wonder whatever happened to me. Now I was no one’s daughter, no one’s family member. I didn’t belong anywhere. It made me even more certain that God overlooked me the day my mother died.
Now look at me. Almost 37, and once again reminded that for no particular reason, I’m still alive. I played the hand dealt, and I’m the only one holding my cards now. I did pretty well for myself considering all the blows that came that first year. My mother died and I gained the love of my life. Then the love of my life, gay man that he was, used my love for him against me. I’m still in love with the illusion he painted. The one person in the world who understood me, who saw me as brilliant, who shared the same interests as me, and the same ideals. He told me I got him on a level no one else did, that we would be friends forever. He’d hold me in bed at night, nothing overtly sexual, but he must have known the feelings he sparked within me. His abused past, how he got his disease, made him all the more mesmerizing to me. The one thing I’m certain we both shared, was low self-esteem. I only saw it once in a restaurant when he teared up because he thought the restaurant manager was staring him down. The rest of the puzzle came in the stories he told. Men who were also in love with him, friends he had that never materialized, stories I knew were lies.The stories may have been true in his past, but not now. One guy he spoke of was in a foreign country when he spoke of going to give him a hand job. Another guy was a cop. In fact he used the pretense of writing an email to Cop, but it went to me instead, and I think I was the target anyway. The email was titled, “Pig in a Blanket.” The email told his lover that I was the pig who never did anything and freeloaded on them. It’s true I wasn’t good at chores (or doing them at all) and I did eat them out of house and home for just 250.00 in rent/ later 475.00 their pain and suffering rate after my botched suicide attempt. My bad.
But the point is, I do what I got to do now. I live alone and it’s such a blessing to have no one to tell me what to do, to not be fearful of being thrown out by one wrong step, to just be. I tend to my cats, I help out a friend, and I have my hobbies. I have internet friends. I read, occasionally write, I’m a gamer, I swim in season, and I go places, and I eat a lot of burgers. La dolce vita. And I dumpster dive. But that deserves a post of its own.
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!