Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Channeling Elvis

Last night I meticulously marked off the to-do items on my checklist so that I could arrive at my interview this morning with the following list completed:

--Steam iron green jacket
--Lint roll black pants
--Iron black pants
--paint nails neutral color
--wash & dry hair into pleasing style
--make copies of resume at kinko's
--find black leather interview folder in trunk of car
--wash car
--find acceptable business-like purse
--wash and dry black trouser socks

Needless to say, the hours between 8pm (when I got off work) and midnight (when I finally collapsed into bed) were filled with all kinds activities; most of which were accomplished with cringe-inducing nervous energy. After the resume, the folder, the purse and the car washing was done but before the lint-rolling, trouser sock washing and black pant ironing had commenced I decided I would model the interview outfit for my neighbor Lilleeeee. And even though Lilleeee had a Male Guest for the evening, she graciously obliged to weigh in her approval of the interview duds.

So I slipped on my black heels, my un-ironed black pants and my steamed green jacket. I located the ridiculously expensive pearl earrings that my aunt gave me as part of my college graduation gift, feeling guilty for only wearing them to the one-two interviews a year in which I participate. I pulled my hair back in a semblance of the style I hoped The Hair would agree to do the next morning. And then I walked out of my door to walk exactly 2 feet to the left and climb the stairs to Lilleeee's apartment, where I'm sure she and her Male Guest waited with bated breath to view my proposed interview garb.

Where I promptly commenced to run my mouth for 30 minutes. About absolutely nothing. And Lilleeee's Male Guest, sensing my female distress much as a deer senses the hunter that's about to shoot a raging hot bullet through it's chest, quickly retreated into the kitchen to get me a beer.

Bless him.

After beer two, the nervous energy that had been threatening to manifest itself by way of vomiting had subsided to a dull roar. I decided it was best for me to leave Lilleeee and Male Guest to whatever it is we girls do with our Male Guests (and if you REALLY have to think about what we females are planning when we invite you over for a movie then you are TRULY SPECIAL) and make my way back down to my apartment and my super-duper list that I'm sure was hopping about the room waiting for me to finish it. I tell Lilleee good night and head down the stairs where Male Guest is already at the bottom of the landing pulling his cell phone out of his pocket, intent on returning a phone call from earlier in the evening. Before I go into my apartment, we make the customary "it was good to see you again" comments and start up idle chit chat about the next day's interview, my nervousness, my general weirdness, etc. I even show him my Christmas tree visible in the foyer where The Demon Cats have managed to tear off EVERY SINGLE ORNAMENT from the very bottom branch to roughly 4 feet off the ground. On a six foot Christmas tree, THAT'S A LOT OF ORNAMENT-LESS SPACE. So we laugh about The Demon Cats, who are trying to escape out of the open door, when he asks me:

"Why don't you have a boyfriend?"

Now, before I proceed, this question was not asked in the manner that one would ask because they're interested in becoming your boyfriend. Just a general, almost naive, curiosity.

Me: "Well, I sent out a memo but I haven't gotten any responses yet."

He stared quizzically at me, my random humor throwing him for a loop.

Me: "Just out of curiosity, why do you ask?"

Male Guest: "Well, it just seems like you'd have one."

Again, he didn't say this in a cruel manner, a joking manner, a leering manner or any other inappropriate manner. It was like being asked by a kid why you don't wear a diaper, too. They genuinely just want to know why. Though I will say I have no idea how he knew that I don't have a Consistent Male Friend of my own or even why he'd bring it up. We'd spent the past 30 minutes talking about nail polish colors, the attributes of wearing hair up or down and why Sonic breakfast burritos are ever so fucking tasty. But nothing about boyfriends.

So I answered as honestly as I could:

"It appears that most people find me weird, which is not something that endears me to men, which would be why no one has responded to the boyfriend memo."

Male Guest: "Oh. I think you just stress too much. Everything will work out, don't you worry 'bout it. And good luck on your interview tomorrow. You'll find something that'll make you happy."

Which is, of course, exactly what I needed to hear.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Turkey Makes You Sleepy and Some People Stupid

Saturday night was a bust.

I didn't go to the party, I didn't see my Old Friend and in the process, I got called CHILDISH.

So lemme esplain:

I went home for Thanksgiving expecting, at the very least, a good handful of drama. My aunt was to be in town, my dad was threatening to retire, my brother was going to be working at the hospital wiping dirty asses and inserting a plethora of catheters and my grandmother, MY GRANDMOTHER, had scheduled a surprise! surgery in which she was having her knee joint replaced. Now, the woman is 81 years old, has severe diabetes and a myriad other problems. NONE OF WHICH are conducive to an easy surgery or speedy recovery.

So I arrive in town on Thanksgiving morning, my offering of deviled eggs firmly ensconced within my ice chest. My mother is the only one in the house and she's standing in the middle of the kitchen, looking forlornly at the smoked turkey and dressing. My aunt, I am informed, is taking Thanksgiving dinner to their mother. My dad is taking Thanksgiving dinner to his mother. My cousin and his wife are 30 minutes away from town. Everything is ready and no one is here to eat it.

We sit at the beautifully decorated dining room table and sip coffee while we wait for the rest of the family to arrive. At which point my mother decides to brutally update me on the goings-on of the family.*

*My mother has a very bad habit of keeping things "quiet" so as not to disturb other family members. Which basically means someone could be dead in the hospital and she'll tell you over the phone that everything is fine, waiting until you show up in person to break the news. (This has actually happened.)

During the family run-down I learn that my grandmother, my mother's mother, THE ONE HAVING THE STUPID SURGERY, is having a rough time.

"A rough time?" I say.

Oh yes, I'm informed. A very rough time. She had just come out of ICU last night at 11pm.

"Why was she in ICU?" I ask.

Because when her breathing tube came out her goiter constricted her throat and she lost her airway.

"She LOST her airway??"

Yes, she lost her airway. So they kept her in ICU until last night.

"But she had her surgery LAST TUESDAY, mother. THAT'S OVER A WEEK IN ICU."

Yes, but we thought she'd come out of it faster than she did.

"So how is she NOW??"

Well, she had a bad reaction to the medication. Older people can do that, you know. They think some of her dementia may be permanent. We won't know until Saturday when the drugs are supposed to be out of her system.

"She has DEMENTIA??? Are you SERIOUS??"

She just screams and yells at the top of her lungs. They say that their hallucinations are often nightmarish and they can't discern the hallucinations from reality.

"I am aware of what dementia is. Why the HELL didn't you tell me she was having all these problems? You told me she was FINE."

I didn't want to worry you while you were at work and all.


So after a relatively uneventful Thanksgiving meal, the lot of us traipse up to the after-care facilty to see my grandmother. She's in pain, she's making no sense and she is STILL screaming at the top of her lungs. And just if you're wondering YES it will break your heart to hear someone you love screaming at the top of their lungs. Screaming like something is eating them alive, piece by piece.

Friday comes along. The drugs in her system are supposedly at half potency and she should be showing signs of coming out of the dementia. Thankfully, late Friday night she does. My aunt claims she came to in roughly five minutes. She was screaming and babbling and then, THEN- nothing. She looks over at my aunt and asks for some lemonade, her throat is awfully parched. No memory of the 8 days that have passed since she went under the knife. Not a one.

Saturday morning dawns and it's like the screaming, the ICU, the dementia NEVER HAPPENED. She's moved in to the rehab facility and immediately starts therapy. After all, the longer the time between her surgery and when her therapy starts means the longer it will take to give her a fully functioning knee. So we wave her off as the transporter comes to wheel her into the therapy gym, crossing our fingers it won't be as bad as we all know it's going to be. They've taken her off every pain medication, afraid it will trigger another dementia attack. So all she's taking is a regular strength Tylenol every couple of hours. Which does JACK SHIT for the 27 staples that extend from the middle of her thigh to the middle of her calf, holding in the artificial knee joint she's now sporting like a champ.

And so at 3pm she's wheeled back into her room, tears streaming down her face. She's exhausted and tired and she hurts and she's hungry all she wants is to lie down and cry. But she has to keep her knee moving for another two hours, hooked up to a machine that mechanically lifts and moves and stretches her leg in the most ridiculous positions for an 81-year-old woman.

By the end of the two-hour machine festivities, she's still tired but some of the soreness has been worked out and she actually feels marginally better. She's able to have her first fully lucid conversation with the family and I make the decision to stay a while longer. So instead of leaving at 4:30, as I originally planned, I don't leave until after 6pm. Which means I have a nearly three hour drive in Thanksgiving traffic back to Little Rock where I'm supposed to drive an extra 40 minutes to the boondocks of Conway to attend this party where I'm supposed to make nice with Old Friend?

Um, NO.

I have to be at work at 8am on Sunday and I have no intention, THAT WOULD BE ZERO, of staying in the car any longer. I am going home, I decide. I will sleep, I decide. I will curl up on my bed with my cats by my side and sleep in my beautiful and feathery bed.

So I call Meghan and inform her I just can't make it, I'm too tired, I left too late and I'm just physically NOT ABLE to be full of merriment and cheer. She understands and hands the phone to Ruby, the host of the party. She understands, says she's sorry I can't make it and tells me I can make it up to her at their annual Christmas party. I finish my drive home and collapse on my living room chair upon entering my apartment. The kitties are so excited to see me and it's all I can do to lean my head against the back of the chair while they head-butt each other for my attentions. I then check on my neighbor's cat, give her love and attention, returning home to dissolve into my bed and sleep like the wicked for a full nine hours.

After which I hear that Old Friend decided to call me CHILDISH. Because I was obviously AVOIDING her.

Yep, that's exactly what it was. It's all about you, sugar.

Monday, November 28, 2005


1: "With all this restructuring going on I guess this is a good time for me to put in a transfer for a department I could actually do some good in, ya know, actually use my degree and all."

2: "What's your degree in?"

1: "Business Management"

2: Silence. "I'm not sure if I'd even put you as manager of toilet paper disbersement."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

There's A Hole In The Bucket Dear Liza, Dear Liza

All week long I look forward to two television shows:

Nip/Tuck and Gray's Anatomy.

That's it. I don't mix in any Seinfield reruns, I don't watch the news, I don't check out whatever new and special television pilot has managed to make it's way past the idiots that decide what I should be watching and who, therefore, plant it directly in front of me for my viewing pleasure. In fact, the only other time the tv normally comes on for a dose of random television viewing is Saturday night when I try to catch a rerun of CSI. That is, if I'm not partying it up like a total rockstar.

Oh, and that sound you hear? That would be The Powers That Be TOTALLY laughing their asses off. As IF I've got enough rockstar dust saved up to party like a rockstar, get laid like a rockstar, throw down drinks like a rockstar or even (shocker) sport fashionable duds like a rockstar.

So last night I head directly to my friend Amanda's house where the ritual viewing of the Nip/Tuck-ness commences at promptly nine o'clock. There is no talking, no interruptions, no phone calls. Which is why when my phone rang at twenty till nine that I almost left it ringing in my purse. What if it was someone that wanted to chit chat? What if I couldn't get them off the phone fast enough? WHAT IF THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND MY OBSESSION WITH CHRISTIAN TROY, THE HOTTEST FAUX PLASTIC SURGEON EVER TO LIVE.

But I answered it. Only because the area code was jacked up and my curiosity over the random area code won out over my instinctive desire to not talk on the phone.

And who would it be, you ask? Well, it would be Old Friend. The one I wrote about earlier this week. The one who tried to initiate reconciliation and the one which I thought I had effectively shot down. The old Old Friend wouldn't have lived through the honesty of my email. But apparently the new Old Friend not only withstood it-- she had to make a PHONE CALL to express her sincerity.

Apparently she responded to my email "immediately" but found out through a mutual friend that I had never received her response. This mutual friend instigated a phone call that would surely "prove" how sincere she was.

And you know what? It kind of sounded like she was. And so I talked to her for a few minutes, agreed that this coming Saturday I would see her at a friend's bonfire party and then hung up the phone. Where I promptly over-analyzed every. single. detail. She made no effort in our phone conversation to explain WHY she wanted to be friends again, only that she MISSED me, missed all of us, and wanted that back again. And the thing is, I'm just not sure if that's good enough. But I'll be there on Saturday and I suppose we'll go from there.

And hopefully my drama-free friends know how much I love them for remaining STAUNCHLY DRAMA-FREE.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Today's Quote:

Right now, this is a job.

If I advance any higher, this would be my career.

And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train.

Further Proof of My Complete Tardness

Earlier today my boss walked by my cubicle, my actual For Real boss, the boss that could with ONE SMALL BLINK OF AN EYE put me out on the street and into the hands of the freakishly cracked out homeless people who are just waiting, WAITING for me to join their ranks-- and this boss CALLED ME BY NAME.

I spent 20 minutes contemplating a) how he knew my name b) why he knew my name and c) if there was cause for alarm because my Big and Totally For Real Boss knew my name.

And then I realized:

My name is on the cheesy plastic tag at the top of my cubicle. RIGHT AT THE TOP, people.

Damn I'm special.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Can Over-Analyzation Lead To Brain Tumors? Because My Head Hurts.

The thing is, I'm really not that good about letting people back in. Once you're out, you stay out.

This is probably why my cats are Indoor Cats. I fear the diseases, the broken glass and the crack-ho kitties that roam the neighborhood. More importantly, what if the crack-ho kitties were a bad influence on my precious felines? What if my kitties come back home and they don't love me as much as they did, having seen the big wide world with cool trees to climb and birds to chase? What if they come back and love me just the same but I can't bring myself to look at them after they've cavorted with crack-ho kitties and chased poor defenseless birds? The scenarios are ENDLESS. And so I keep them inside, safe from attack birds and syphilis-infested kitty-cat hookers.

So weigh your options carefully. Once you go out, you might have to stay out.

Prompting clarification of my stay-out policy was an email in my inbox this morning, one from a friend that I had effectively written off. Phone number? Deleted. Email address? Erased. She had made a decision to stay out and at the time, I can't say I was even upset. Relieved, actually.

Because friendships are a lot like music. You've got the Milli Vanilli's of the world: very intense, but full of fallacy and short-lived. The New Kids on The Bock friends: Also very intense, slightly longer lived and something you can look back on a few years down the road with a twinge of amusement (though the years in between fascination and amusement are spent denying the fact that you ever really liked them). The Blue Oyster Cult friends: you really only like one or two of their songs and pull them out on long car trips or during tequila-induced table top dances. The Three Doors Down friends: Ones you really, really liked and hoped would develop into True Greatness but came just shy of the mark. And finally, The Cure friends: They integrate seamlessly into every facet of daily life, be it table top dances, road trips, midnight trips for ice cream or sorrow-drowning glass-clinking alcohol-induced pity parties.

And the worst part? Sometimes you have no idea if you've got a Milli Vanilli friend or a Cure friend.

So the email this morning was a mild surprise, to say the least. I haven't responded, not really knowing what to say. She initiated a reconciliation of sorts and I'm not entirely sure I want to participate. There was a reason things happened as they did. I hadn't really liked the person she'd grown into and she may very well say the same about me. I hated the fact that I had to remind myself to call her each week. But not everything was bad about the friendship; I felt comfortable with her presence the majority of the time. I appreciate people with whom I can just sit, no pressure to make idle conversation or chit chat. And there was the advantage of shared history- nothing comes close to being able to reminisce that time when that guy did that thing.

But as time wore on, I became more cognizant of one very simple fact: If I had met her today, I wouldn't be friends with her. She was so ingrained in my circle of friends, however, that deciding to NOT be friends with her wasn't really an option. I didn't hate her and I didn't dislike her. But I did dislike some of her actions. I found them hypocritical and contradictory to everything she preached to me, to friends and to teenagers with whom she worked. And every time I asked myself that question - would I be friends with her if I met her on the street - the answer was no. I wouldn't be able to get past the preachy and judgmental exterior and into the true heart, the good heart, the one that pulled us into friendship in the first place.

And now, two hours after first reading her email, I still don't know what to do. To not respond would be unnecessarily cruel to a person I once considered not only a good person but a good friend. And I still think she's a good person-- just maybe a good person who hasn't managed to reconcile what she WANTS to be with what SHE IS. And what SHE IS is strong-willed, quick-witted, loving and compassionate. These things don't necessarily have to interfere with the life she's chosen and yet somehow they do.

And before you think I was the wronged party in all of this, rest assured I am just as guilty of letting the friendship die as anyone. I changed, just like we all do, and no one can ever guarantee that their changes are going to mesh with those around us. And I deliberately goaded her, trying to force her to realize that the part of herself I thought she was trying to hide was nothing, absolutely NOTHING, of which to be ashamed. But I had no right to do that. I thought I was acting with her best interests in mind and all I really did was embarrass her. I felt like she had to squash the real me when I was around her other friends for fear of me offending them and their delicate sensibilities. I could tell my very presence made her tense when we were around certain people and after a time I began to exploit that. Again, I had no right to do things that way. I should have tried to talk to her first but I was terrified of how that would turn out. Afraid it would escalate into something I couldn't control, putting us exactly where we ended up anyway.

So what now? I don't want the fact that we've had months to cool off, wearing down the edges of our dislike and anger to fool us into thinking it's time to hug and be friends. I do miss her, in a strange way. I miss the friends we were before that indefinable moment blew in and we became obligations. And though I'm no longer annoyed at her behavior and she's indicated she's "no longer mad, only sad", I'm scared my thoughts have turned more to apathy than sadness.

And what I'm truly afraid of is seeing her again and feeling nothing more than that. Just apathy. Indifference. And having to force a smile and a hug for the sake of public observance. What if she's still the person whose actions I'd come to dislike? What if I'm still the person whose actions she'd come to dislike?

What if to infinity.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Do you ever feel like something was so close, so very very close, and some small word, some small action pulled The Fates in the other direction?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Who You Calling A Ho.

I'm wearing purple velvet shoes today and I am inordinately excited about them. They have now been added into the rotation of the pink shoes, the blue shoes and the red shoes.

Tomorrow I may have to break out a coat and though I may be experiencing residual excitement bleed-through from the purple velvet shoes, I'm also super excited about the first wearing of the coat. And a scarf! It may be cold enough to wear a scarf! Oh, the things one can do with a scarf!

For the first time in five years I am near giddy about Christmas. I even purchased A TREE. I've been a bit of a bahhumbug as of past years but I can truly say that the MERE THOUGHT of putting up some garland and twinkly lights makes my toes tingle.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Addendum to the previous addendum:

And THIS is the smartest man in the world. And if I knew how to make links then you would be able to click on "this" and go to his website: I was totally pissed off FOR DAYS that my screen was all askew. And he's super powers of deduction TOTALLY FIXED IT.

Though Os's suggestion was just as smart, too. You can read him at

Yay for smart boys! Yay!


And why, WHY is my profile crap on the VERY BOTTOM of the screen?? Why can't I fix it?? WHY??

I thought changing the template might help but NOOOOOOOO.

*I am possibly still suffering from my two weeks of utter crankiness resulting from the Death Virus.

Oh My Darling... Oh My Darling... Oh My DAAAARLING Clementine.

So this whole not having the internet thing is really starting to piss me off.

I cannot read several blogs at work because a) f'ing websense doesn't like them, b) sometimes there are festive pictures and I can't take that chance in my Big Brother-esque environment and c) everyone in their dog reads over my shoulder and it drives me crazy.

So what am I to do? All of the normal people I used to read- carl from la, oswald, yoj, murrye, adam, chairborne, meghan, etc -- well, I NORMALLY CAN'T READ THEM. Do you know what this does to a person of limited intelligence such as myself? IT DRIVES ME CRAZY.

So here's what I'm thinking. I take some money out of my savings account and buy a desktop. I've got a laptop but it might as well be a paperweight as much as I use it. When I bought it, the salesman told me it had a CD-RW/DVD drive. I, of course, took him at his word. Well, for three months I had no need to transfer information from my macketymacmac and so therefore had no need to burn a CD or even play a DVD, having a DVD player attached to my TV which is MUCH more enjoyable than watching a movie on a 14 inch screen. So when I go to burn a CD, well, I discover that THERE'S NO SUCH THING ON MY COMPUTER.

This made me slightly more than mildly cranky.

The computer store wouldn't take it back and so I'm left with a dummass computer with NO WAY of transferring information, barring emailing documents to myself to retrieve later on someone else's computer on someone else's internet, NOT HAVING INTERNET OF MY OWN TO USE.

But back to the desktop buying. I'll buy a cheap desktop, which all come with CD-RW's and DVD players now, and set it up in my foyer. I will then pay the fucking exorbitant prices to set up a fucking phone line for my nonexistent fucking house phone so I can pay more money to have fucking DSL.*

*This situation does not make me happy.

BUT, I am never going to finish my book if I don't have easy access to research information and easy access to SOMETHING, ANYTHING on the computer which can transfer information. And the macketymacmac just isn't covering it.

And yes, I know everyone and their dog is writing a fucking book. Bite me.

Soooo.... anyone willing to sell me a super cheap desktop? With a flat screen, of course :) Because I can't afford a computer desk so it has to fit on a table that's about one foot wide. HA HA HA HA HA HA.

I DO love being poor.

***By the way, I JUST LAST WEEK, after a year and a half of blogging and 2 websites (this being the second, the first one deleted because it made me physically nauseous), figured out that I could EMAIL my posts and NOT HAVE TO OPEN UP THE DREADED WORK INTERNET. I am SUCH a douche.

Friday, November 11, 2005

I feel slightly out of place today.

Mildly out of sync.

Because there are certain rules in the world of the 8-5er's of which I was totally not aware.

1) The alarm going off at 7am is doubly annoying than the alarm going off at 10am.

2) You feel very obtrusive that early in the morning. As in, "I can't bang that cabinet door because it may wake someone up." Or, "I shouldn't turn my stereo on because it might wake my neighbors up." Even the coffee pot dribble echoes strangely through the apartment.

3) The downtown street I live on is SUPER BUSY at 7:40 am. I mean, those people FLY. Not that I'm complaining. Because I'd rather see people intent on getting to a destination than putzing around and holding up traffic. But I did almost get my door knocked off by a passing Jeep. THANKS DOUCHE.

4) Apparently once you get to the interstate, however, THERE'S NOT A SINGLE PERSON THAT HAS ANYWHERE TO BE. NOPE. LET'S JUST CRUISE AND LOOK AT THE PRETTY CONCRETE BRIDGES AND TALK ON OUR CELL PHONES AND HOLD UP EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. BEHIND. YOU. Most mornings I rumble down the fast lane at a brisk 85-95 mph. I have to jigsaw around the occasional nutbag who wants to hang out in the fast lane, but I now realize that IT'S NOT THAT BAD. In comparison to the fuckwads that chicken neck the THREE LANES of interstate at a NOT SO BRISK 55 mph, of course.

5) I almost ran over a dude in the parking lot.

6) Do people take some special medication I don't know about? Because everyone had to make some super chipper comment about me coming to work early today. And they were chipper EVEN WHEN TALKING TO EACH OTHER. By the time I normally get here, everyone is all grumpy and worky and stuff. Upon asking my boss about this, he replied that in the morning you're so grateful to be away from your kids it's like happy hour on a Friday night where the bartender gives you free drinks and you're guar-an-teed a piece of the pie. But by noon you realize you've only got a few more precious hours of blessed separation before you have to go back home again, where you ARE NOT guar-an-teed free drinks OR a piece of the pie.

6) The cafeteria downstairs serves bacon-n-biscuits. THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

7) You have to use the work, er, facilities WAY more than normal because while you would have typically ingested your three cups of coffee BEFORE coming to work, you have to drink your three cups of coffee AT work. So instead of peeing 40 times before you leave the house, in the comfort of your own private and santized bathroom, you have to pee 40 times in the non-comfort and probably-not-santized bathroom in the office.

8) It's 2pm, I'm about to take lunch, and then I'll only have TWO HOURS TO GO.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


What starts with 't', is full of 't' and ends with 't'?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

So I feel slightly better today. Not because my mutant mucus ball has subsided. Nor because my coughing spasms have decreased. No, no. It would be because in the span of 3.2 seconds last night, I had the EVER LOVING BEJESUS SCARED OUT OF ME which COMPLETELY CLEARED MY COBWEBBED AND BEFUDDLED BRAIN and has left me with the added benefit of a less feverish outlook on the world.

What could have scared me, you ask? I mean, I'm a grownasswoman. Grownasswomen don't jump out of their skin at a moments notice. No sir. We keep that skin firmly attached under penalty of death or extreme maiming to the person or persons responsible for making us jump out of it. And so here is a relation of last night's events which forced me OUT of my skin:

At ten o'clock last night I snuggled down under my covers and flicked on my bedside lamp, intent on finishing the last 100 pages of my book. My face had been scrubbed, my teeth brushed and my hair pulled back in it's customary bedtime ponytail. I'd spritzed my sheets with lavender spray and taken a fairly large swallow of my codeine-laced cough medicine. My cats, normally wont to parade around the house chasing imaginary monsters, had snuggled up by my feet, the Fat One stretching to his full length with front paws resting on my duvet covered knee and the Deceptively Cute One curled between my feet in a tight round ball with neither face nor paw nor tail visible.

I read steadily until slightly before eleven when both cats simultaneously roused themselves from slumber, ears twitching and alert. After several minutes of what I figured was normal Unexplainable Cat Behavior, they both took flying leaps off the edge of the bed and raced into the living room, where I heard them stop at the front of the room where the hardwood ends and the rug begins. I half expected them to start their usual war over who gets the One Super Important Cat Toy, even though there exists a whole plethora from which to choose. That day's special toy had been a tattered black faux-rat, eyes long chewed off and tail a ragged mess of clumped fur and bare faux-rat-skin.
I read on, having long become accustomed to the strange nightly forays the cats make without regard to my need for sleep or quiet. It was then that I heard a strange sound emanating from the living room area.
At first I discounted the noise, assuming the cats were scratching against the window or that they'd found something amusing to bat across the skiddable hardwood floors. But the noise continued, growing louder with each passing second.

When I heard the window screen start to rattle in earnest I immediately slipped off the side of my bed, sliding my feet into my shoes. Crouched beside the bed, hidden from all windows, I grabbed the knife I keep between my box spring and mattress. Though I know I'm more likely to be injured while brandishing the knife in front of an intruder, it gives me some measure of peace that I have a weapon within reach. The knife has been in my family for over 50 years, it's handle wooden and smooth with a strong steel blade imbedded in the base. The blade has little give and is long enough to do damage but short enough for me to easily maneuver.

I duck into the hallway and crouch again, peering around the opening into the kitchen and listening for the persistent rattling that grows louder with each step I take. It isn't coming from the kitchen window I decide and creep further down the hallway and into the foyer, pressing myself against the wall, arm by my side and the knife gripped in my hand. The apartment is deceptively silent, the cats stationed on either side of the living room entrance with eyes glowing green in their motionless bodies.

The screen continues to rattle and I can feel my hearing becoming more acute, my eyes adjusting to the dark. I can just make out a shape on the other side of the curtains, can hear his breath as he continues to struggle with the screen. He manages to free a corner and the breath leaves my body in a near silent exhalation. I had so desperately wanted my fears to remain unconfirmed, for the rattle to be just another gust of wind, just another creaky sound old buildings are so prone to emit. In the span of two seconds I presented to myself every foreseeable option. I could remain motionless against the wall and become paralyzed by my own fear. I could take the emergency key I have hidden by the door and race out the front door, letting the intruder continue his struggle with the window. These will not work.

And so I opened my mouth and screamed as loud as I could, my voice breaking over my abused throat, sounding ragged and wild. I flicked on the living room light, keeping the majority of my body hidden behind the foyer wall while still peering cautiously around the corner, ready for the breaking of glass and my sprint through the front door.

Instead, I heard the rapid staccato of dried leaves yielding under heavy footsteps.

I moved back into the hallway, knife still in hand, listening for any further disturbance. I quietly moved into each room, turning on the overhead lights. I became conscious of weight in my pocket. My cell phone, I thought.

I debated what I should do. I'd scared the intruder away but I wasn't comfortable that he wouldn't come back. I'm a girl. I'm alone. And all I've got to protect me are two cats and a bloody knife.

So back pressed against the wall I called Lilleeeee, hoping she was home, home being the apartment directly above mine. She answered, but she was 30 minutes away from town, visiting a friend. So I hung up and called the police, actually looking forward to sturdy men in uniforms, equipped with guns and flashlights and cars with flashing blue lights.

And you know what?


I noticed the first three cops while peering out of the blinds of my front window. The next two showed up less than a minute later, walking the perimeter of the building no less than four times before retiring to sit in their patrol car for an entire hour, giving me the strength to finally make my way back to bed. They found only a half-torn screen pulled from my window and a collection of beer bottles. The group of three had all shaken my hand before leaving, wishing me a good night.

And so I slipped my wood-handled knife back into it's spot between the mattresses, picked both cats up and sat down on the bed with their warm furry bodies pressed against my chest. I sat them down, grabbing the codeine cough syrup that I had left sitting on the night stand. I took my second dose of the night, less than an hour from my first. And for the second- and what I hoped was the last- time that evening, I snuggled under the covers while my newly dubbed Attack Cats resumed their pre-disturbance poses, the Fat One rubbing his head against my knee before drifting off into kitty cat slumber.

Monday, November 07, 2005

so. tired.

From Thursday afternoon until Monday morning I did AB SO FUCKING LUTE LY NOTHING but languish in my bed, occasionally venturing into the kitchen to eat a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Sometimes I even worked up the energy to stare at the bathtub longingly, knowing that the energy required to strip and stand for 10 minutes under the water, raising my hands above my head to wash my 47 pounds of hair WOULD JUST PLAIN KILL ME. (Though I did breakdown and shower on Saturday night once I rationalized that though I could not smell myself, my NEIGHBORS could probably smell me and that, my friend, is no good.) I dutifully took my antibiotics, sipped my codeine-laden cough syrup and drank cup after cup of water. And you know what?


I've decided I have some mutant strain of sinusitis/bronchitis that has taken up residence in my nasal/chest cavity and has found it RIGHT NICE and plans to raise little mutant babies and host little mutant baby showers and then, years from now, GIANT MUTUANT CELEBRATIONS announcing the baby mutants success at Mutantville High where he studied long and hard at mutant-ology, mutant history and, most importantly, THE THROWING OF FUCKING MUTANT PARTIES WITHIN THE CONFINES OF STUPID AND DELICATE HUMAN BODIES, DESTROYING THE ABILITY FOR COGNITIVE THOUGHT AND INNER PEACE.
I won't even pretend to be an adult. I AM MISERABLE. My head hurts, my chest hurts, my eyes burn, my brain has been knocked loose from my coughing, my eyes are carrying around jumbo-size YOU MOST CERTAINLY CAN'T CHECK THAT-size luggage and my whole body, MY WHOLE BODY, is so tired and exhausted you'd think I'd done something truly productive, something truly worthwile, something like building a 4,000 sq. ft. house with my BARE HANDS for poor starving children in the heat of Zimbabwe.


It's seven o'clock and the thought of having to drive home just seems obnoxious and terribly silly. I'll be back here (work) in such a short time. Might I just stay here? I have some mini-mouthwash stashed in my desk. And a brush. I could just wear my big jacket all day tomorrow and NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Stupid Thoughts From Today, Mostly Influenced By Heavy Sedation Due To Over-Medicating Myself With Total Crap Cold Medicine THAT IS SO NOT WORKING.

1) Ok. So I understand the placing of signs in the elevator informing THE ENTIRE COMPANY that LORDY LORDY *some chick's name here*'s FORTY!! Super. Whatever. You're excited because your friend turned forty. But placing these same sheets inside BOTH THE MALE AND FEMALE RESTROOMS?? ON THE INSIDE OF THE STALLS??? SERIOUSLY???
2) It might be beneficial to read the backs of medicine boxes before actually ingesting said medicine. For instance, do not use the nifty vapo inhaler 15 times in a row and then follow it with 3 shots of nose spray because THAT SHIT BURNS, AND BURNS HARD. I suppose this is how people who snort coke feel. I'd bet my leftover candy that I've got a hole in my septum the size of a lemon.
3) Why do people in my office grow bamboo at their desks? Does this look like a fucking jungle? Does it? NO. When the bamboo grows 3 feet ABOVE your cubicle, perhaps it is time to start thinking about CUTTING BACK THE BAMBOO.
4) No one is fooled by that faux bun on the back of your head. We all know you don't have hair down to your ass and that there's NO WAY in THIS LIFETIME that you'll have luxurious locks. Only black ladies can do that and get away with it. WHITE GIRLS CAN'T DO FAUX HAIR. Unless your name is Britney Spears, of course. Then by all means, have at it.
5) I just sneezed and used a total of four, count 'em FOUR tissues. And I even bought the non-ghetto kind with the lotion.


Want. To. Shove. Q. Tip. In. Ear. Oh, THE PRESSURE.