Thursday, October 17, 2019

Karma Is My Bitch

Where I left you.

The minutes turned to hours, the hours to days...

What do you say after you've Batmanned off the cliff and found that he really can't fly?  Life is not a comic book, much as I'd love that.  Comic books kept me company during the long stretches in the hospital as a kid and I still love them today.  But in a nostalgic way, not an "I can be a superhero too and kick ass" kind of way.  My ass got kicked and it still hurts.  And I kind of hate Batman now.

I disappeared because I could not deal with anything beyond what was right in front of me.  My soulmate, life partner and heart of my heart suffered two major brain insults in the span of two years. After the first incident, we lived like two shadows in the semi-darkness and silence. The last, he was dying in my arms like in a bad police procedural drama with me screaming at him"Don't die on me, don't you die on me!! Breathe!!! Breathe!!!"  It was not made for TV, it was us covered in blood and guacamole and smashed bread on the dining room floor. 

He lived and healed.  He has a new normal and I am grateful every day for that, no matter what it entails.

My body was not made to live in panic mode for that long.  My body, already damaged by the stress of traveling to research a book I was in the process of writing, rapidly deteriorated.  After the second incident, I had PTSD so badly I didn't sleep for months.  My nerves started dying faster than they ever had and all the ground I was able to keep level suddenly turned into a crumbling cliff.  And Batman could not fucking fly.  Asshole.

So back to Karma.  It was the ultimate joke - I had to buy a wheelchair for myself and after much research, this was the one that I ended up with:

She's my bitch now

Monday, January 4, 2016

Wandering the Desert

“‎That's when you know you've found somebody really special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence.”  Mia Wallace to Vincent Vega  in Pulp Fiction written by Quentin Tarantino

Because you all are really special to me, I know you will understand.  I am going to shut the fuck up for awhile and comfortably share silence with you.   

When I find the sound of my own heartbeat again and differentiate it from the multitudes of others, I will be back, but right now I'm having too much fun as Batman...

Friday, March 6, 2015

Brains and Assholes

So this week I found myself cooling my heels at the neurologist's office once again for a follow up appointment. There I was, just sitting there minding my own business and trying not to choke on the miasma of mixed perfumes, colognes and room air fresheners in the tiny space.

I was reaching into my purse for a cough lozenge for my insulted breathing passages when the door burst open and a rather large woman with a walker made her way in.  Before she had gotten half way to the glass window that housed the medical assistant, she bellowed her name at full volume.  Then she shouted her doctor's name.  She turned and addressed the room stating loudly "I HAVE MS!!" All of us, who had been quietly not sharing our various diseases and complaints, sat in wide-eyed and shocked silence, staring at her like a group of stuffed owls.  Everyone deployed their best "I'm really embarrassed for you and I have to suddenly look at that amazing art that matches the sofa or hastily rearrange the blanket on my husband's legs" moves.

Just my luck, she worked her way over to the empty chair next to mine and sat down.  She was still loudly addressing the room about her trials with Multiple Sclerosis and so I furiously searched for new meaning in Dave Hickey's paragraph on beauty that I'd already read 50 times while shrinking down in my chair and trying to become invisible.

She was staring at me.  I could feel the hair on my head starting to smolder under the intensity of her gaze.  I looked up at her, bracing myself for another loud blast.

I raised quizzical eyebrows in confusion.


"Oh, no, no it's not.  It's a brain made of glass in a jar.  I wear it to my appointments." (I have an exquisite pink glass brain in a jar I bought from the glassblower Kiva Ford and wear it to every neuro appointment to the delight of the office staff.)

"OH!!" she said.  I tried with desperate politeness to go back to my book, but no dice.  She was not having it.  "DO YOU WORK IN A BEAD STORE??" she yelled into my poor ringing ear.

"No?" I squeaked.  "Oh, you mean my Beads of Courage shirt?" I inquired sotto voce, "No, it's a children's charity."

The silence in the waiting room had become palpable.

"SO WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR??" I think I winced visibly at this one.  There is only so much a girl can take.  I leaned over in her direction and said quietly:

"I'm here because my brain is being an asshole."

You could have heard a pin drop.  The lady on my other side snorted surprised laughter through her nose.

And then, like a miracle, the door to the inner sanctum opened with its blessed light streaming out, the angelic nurse called my name and I fled like a chicken-stealing fox from the farmer.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Being a T-rex means never having to say you're sorry.

D'OH!! <whap> <clunk> <thud>

Me: <sigh>Well, there goes another one...

I turn around and look at my husband after dropping a coffee mug in the sink and breaking it.  The look on his face is what I would expect if I had run over his puppy with a monster truck, gunned the engine and driven off cackling with glee while I squealed the tires.

Me: What's wrong?

Him: Well, you should at least show some remorse!

Me: What??  It's a ceramic coffee mug!  It's old, stained and boring.

Now I'm starting to feel weird.  Am I a kitchenware sociopath?  Am I going to start sneaking out of bed in the middle of the night to mutilate and murder the dishes?  Will I stand by entranced and watch stainless steel flatware slowly rust in baths of salt and acid while I rub my hands together in delight? After a dinner party, will I put the crystal and grandma's silver in the dishwasher and stand with my ear to the door listening to the screams of despair?

This is distinctly unsettling.

Then I glance over at the cupboard and see my High Desert Flameworks T-rex Girl glass.  Rashan didn't give it that name, I did, because it was made perfectly for my spastic, fumbly T-rex hands.  When I took it out of the box and placed it in my hand for the first time, my fingers slipped perfectly into the delicate pink bumpy pattern and it was love at first grip.  A glass I could love and trust not to slip out of my hand and crash on the floor like the rest of my treacherous, betraying glassware.

I understood the attachment my husband had to his ugly old plain white ceramic travel mug that had accompanied him for many years like a faithful pet and felt some remorse.

Me: I'm sorry honey bun.  Let's dig it out of the trash and bury it next to Fred Gutierrez (our hamster that died of heart failure in 1997).

Check out the T-rex friendly and other wonderful glass created by Rashan O Jones at High Desert Flameworks

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Surfing the Big Dirt Wave

Our first big dirt wave of the monsoon season arrived like an unwanted relative for a stressful holiday weekend leaving dust, tree parts and shingles everywhere instead of wet bath towels on the floor, used Kleenexes tucked furtively under the couch cushions and various disgusting things in the bathroom.

I went out for a bike ride the next morning, and as usual, the thoughts started buzzing in my head like a hive of Africanized bees who'd just had their nest whapped by an errant baseball from the neighbor's yard.

This is how I write - with angry bee thoughts that eventually form that big cartoon arrow aimed at some hapless passerby.  Which would be you if you are reading this.

The bees settled down and started to form some kind of Shakespearian soliloquy about the leaden gray skies and the indiscretions of my youth weighing heavily upon my body like a sodden woolen mantle. I think I stuck some thorns or nails in there somewhere for extra effect.  And something about the price of that youthful joyride being worth every penny.

And then the hysterical cackling of my inner fifty-something critic ( I think her name is Marge) started. She was laughing so hard she must've peed herself a little.  You know how that sphincter thing goes when you're over 50.  After the last chorus, my chagrined bee thoughts gave up their aspirations for flowery creative writing and gave me this...

"So I am out riding my bike this morning, collecting dust all over my sweaty body like a giant cornmeal crusted slab of pasty white catfish, and it feels like a pack of rabid badgers is using my body for an amusement park."

I don't think there were any sphincters or rabid badgers in Hamlet.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Brain Pajamas

At one point or another in our lives, we've had that 9 to 5 day job that requires some sort of work clothing - be it the head to toe brown uniform of UPS (I've always wondered, do they have brown underwear too?) or the business attire complete with the ugly closed toe pumps that squish your toes or the hideously boring tie that feels like it's going to choke the life out of you any second.

So you crawl home on the freeway during rush hour traffic, sweating, itching, squirming in your uncomfortable and restrictive clothing that reeks of the spent adrenaline and disappointment of the day's struggle.  You pull into the driveway, accidentally drop your coffee mug and have to chase it with the dregs now dribbling down the driveway, grab your briefcase/tote/purse and bolt into the house.  The door slams and you start ripping off your restrictive, stale, chafing work clothes - practically running out of your shoes and draping a bra or a tie over the back of a chair as you head for the bedroom.  You throw on your pajamas, so soft and comfy, a cotton cocoon of pleasure, and step into your plushy slippers and scuff out into the kitchen to grab a beer or a pudding cup and throw yourself onto the couch with a collapsing groan of pleasure.

Pajamas, that universal uniform of "I'm not doing anything but disengaging and slothing about now".

And just like that act of coming home from the daily grind and putting on your pajamas, sometimes, when things get unbearable, your brain puts on its pajamas.  My brain has a ridiculous pair of Hello Kitty pajamas and matching pink plush slippers on right now.  It got tired of dealing with too much pain, disappointment and anxiety and one day just quietly pulled the PJs out of the drawer, relishing the feel of the soft flannel and the way its feet just sank into the foam soles of the slippers, and wandered into the kitchen to mix a martini.  And it has been on the couch watching life go by for quite a few months.

At one point, it actually dozed off and when it awoke with a startled "Wha...?" it realized that it stunk, there was an olive stuck on its cheek and it really needed a shower.  You can't go back to work in stinky Hello Kitty pajamas and fuzzy pink slippers with scary hair and an olive stuck on your face and expect them to take you seriously.

It's time to go back to work....

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dog Days and Possum Juice

My cats want it to be noted that they didn't name this time of year "The Cat Days of Summer" because cats are totally awesome, Yo.  Nope, it's dog. D.O.G. because dogs suck and so does the weather.  (I actually like dogs but don't tell them because I don't want to wake up with a hairball in my shoe.)

It is so hard to get up at 5 a.m. to ride my bike in this miserableness.  My head is a hurty little resentment filled balloon floating on top of my achy, spiteful body and is going to explode any minute - like after I go over that big bump.  My right eye has a big red rash around it and I look like I've been punched by a slightly melty raspberry gummy bear.  Probably because he cut me off while texting in his car and I yelled something really rude at him that had the word douchenozzle in it and also something about who his mother had relations with last night in the alley behind the gummy bear factory.  Yeah, call the Wahmbulance so they can bring a shovel and a hefty bag to scrape my self pitying ass off the bubbling asphalt.

So yesterday I went out and it was eleventy hundred percent humidity, yucky and hot and sticky.  It started raining which actually was kind of nice and I was humming along when I saw a puddle ahead.  It looked like there was something in the puddle - kind of gray and tattered like an old grocery bag.  It was not until I was splashing my wheels through the puddle that I noticed that it was not a nice, old innocent grocery bag.  Nuh Uh, Nossiree Bob, it was a mother humping DEAD POSSUM!!   Sweet Golden Brown Cinnamon Toasted Baby Jesus and all the Assorted Toaster Pastry Saints save us.  I had just splashed dead possum water all over my bike, my legs and in a nice stripe up my back.  I tried not to self destruct with disgust and battled the urge to just stop, lie down in the grass next to Walmart Super Center and die of an aneurism.

So after my stomach did a few somersaults I managed to calm myself a little.  You can wash this off when you get home.  It's really okay.  Then I realized I was thirsty, ten miles from home in the heat and I had dead possum juice splashed all over my water bottles.  I reasoned with myself that the water probably hadn't hit the nipples of the bottles and if I wiped them off on my jersey I be okay.  Um, no, my germophobe brain said.  Right now there are itty bitty dead possum molecules migrating up the sides of your bottles and crawling inside.  Game over.  You'll just have to die of thirst.

I did make it home, drank a gallon of water and had to fight the urge to throw my bike, bike clothes and water bottles onto a flaming funeral pyre and douse my body in a gallon of bleach.  But I'm still twitching like a fly bitten horse's rump at the memory. Ugh.  I am so done with Dog Days.