Category Archives: Thoughts

It’s better to react quickly and look stupid than to not react in time

One of my coworkers just got his hip replaced. I am very fond of him. He is a fellow writer, and he always eats my cooking. Brave, brave man. 😉

Today was one of his first days back. From his cube, I heard a THUNK and then him swearing quietly.

My stomach dropped. I left my chair and rushed into his cube.

He was fine! He had been raising his desk to a standing height when the side got hooked on the printer, raised it, and dropped it. That was the big noise.

Two other concerned coworkers peeked in. After the worried questions and dismissive answers, we went back to our desks. One of them remarked, “Wow, you were in there fast! I sit right next to him and you were still in there before me.”

Having had an ill mother, as well as several very accident-prone family members, all the kids in my family learned to jump when something happened.

I am haunted by an experience I had when I was about 19, in college. I was supposed to spend some time visiting an old lady in a home as part of a community service credit.

In the course of our conversation, she had mentioned to me that a resident next door to her had fallen and was calling for help for hours before she heard her and got staff to help.

Later on, I went to visit her again. As we talked, and I kept hearing an odd, high vocalization every minute or so, from the other room. I didn’t think about it too hard, and politely wrote it off. I must have heard it for at least 30 minutes. Eventually the lady I was with heard it, too.

“What is that sound?” she said.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “I keep hearing it.”

Being wheelchair bound, she pushed the call button, waited for an aide, and asked them to check on the noise. In her wisdom and experience, she was proactive about the situation the minute she noticed something unusual.

Of course, it was the resident in the next room. She had fallen again and was calling from the floor, in her frail weak voice, “Help!…Help!”

It’s amazing how much you forget. In writing this, I realized I don’t know if I ever saw the neighboring resident’s face. I don’t remember what we were talking about. The whole thing is like a hazy dream.

Only one thing keeps its sharp clear edges:  the sounds in the background of our long conversation, sounds which I had written off in the back of my mind, sounds which I was too shy and uncertain to act upon, and so ignored: a pathetic, persistent, exhausted cry for help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

One year checkup

 

I HAVE BEEN OFFICIALLY BLOGGING FOR ONE YEAR. Bloggiversary? Am I allowed to say that word? It feels like a gross portmanteau… like synergy, or mayochup, or chillax, or meatplosion.

What a crazy year. I’ve learned so much. Even in the past week, I’ve learned so much. Can I even begin to quantify the learning I’ve learned in a year?

Ah, no, I can’t. Unfortunately I can’t remember what I learned. But I know it’s a lot.

Here’s some of what I’ve learned in just the past week:

  1. Listen to the red flags in every situation. Don’t do stupid things out of laziness. Cut carefully with knives. Use the pusher with the food processor. Do NOT do stupid things.
  2. Get your chronic cough checked out and fixed. You might get pneumonia and die.
  3. Don’t be a sedentary office worker; move. Or you might get pneumonia and die.
  4. Diet brain is a fucking menace. Eat your fats and proteins along with vegetables. I don’t know, you’ll figure it out. Do not ignore diet brain. You’ll end up chopping off digits.
  5. One cat will always be fat. What weight one loses, the other finds. This is an unassailable fact of life.
  6. Fingers heal like Wolverine. They refill and replace tissue with minimal scarring.
  7. Argue with your sister a little more when you don’t want something to happen. You can be just as stubborn as she is. Do it. Your fingers are your own and being tractable is not worth getting gauze stuck in the wound for days.
  8. People get gauze stuck in their wounds on purpose, then rip it out along with healing new tissue all the time. This called debriding the wound. I don’t understand why nice doctors would make people do this.
  9. David Tennant’s peculiar brand of crazy and rubber face feels like home. Watch more of his stuff. Something has got to fill the Doctor Who void…
  10. Dostoyevsky still blows your mind. Write like him. Except, with more lovable characters. …It could happen.
  11. You have too many sketchbooks. And only six good drawings?
  12. Breathe, relax. If you stress out about things like gauze in your wound, you’ll give yourself a hive.

 

So… thanks for a year of blogging.  You’re all nuts. I love you so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

On Quitting a Bad Coping Mechanism

 

I’m not an expert blah blah blah.

 


 

When you first stop yourself from doing the bad thing
(Disassociation, denial, self-harm, drinking, addiction, etc.)
You think you’re going to explode and scream and have an aneurysm.
You cry and shake and wonder if this is what it’s like, riding it out
And if so, how the fuck do normal people do it every day?
You’ll go through three months to three years of instability
Where you snap at your friends and perplex them with your choices
As you desperately seek an outlet
Trying every possible vent that might give some release
(Art, talking, exercise, diet, therapy, meds, religion)
It doesn’t happen quickly
Not in most cases.
You have to heal
And healing takes time.
Once your bad coping mechanism is, not gone (never gone),
But under control
You find you need to make some major life changes
(New spouse, new job, new gender, new friends, etc).
As your current situation is intolerable
And was only rendered tolerable by your overwhelming self-distraction.

Slowly

The desperation fades.
The world comes into focus.
The people you once despised
Become people you respect.

Every once in a while
You’ll run into remnants of your old self.
You’ll know them through but they’ll look like strangers
And you’ll see right through their bullshit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Awkward Thrift Store Adventure

 

know I’m supposed to tell you about my trip but ehh. I never do my blog the right way, anyway. Instead I’m going to tell you this:

 

I met an old lady at the Salvation Army thrift store the other day. She was very sad because their house have been flooded out. She told me all about it. When she got to the desk, she was told (after some confusion; the woman at the desk had a thick Russian accent which hindered everyone’s communication efforts) she was in the wrong area and she needed to actually go to the Salvation Army church, not the thrift store. She left with a phone number crumpled in her hand.

Next came my turn at the desk.

I wanted to buy a little decorative glass jar, but all I had was a twenty. The woman looked at me and said that she couldn’t break a twenty, which left me flummoxed. All I had was… another twenty. Was this too much money for them? Did I really not belong here so badly that my money was actually no good?? For some reason, returning the item did not come into my mind. I stared at her, and stared at the money, and stared at her until the customer next to me said, “That’s okay; I’ll pay for it.” And she did. I gave her a hug.

As the other customer, probably poorer than me, paid for my stupid bauble, the cashier said, “All day, people give me fifties, twenties, fifties, I cannot make you the change.” So that kind of explained it.

As I left, I felt embarrassed, but also very grateful. I was looking at my car when the old lady appeared behind me and said, “Will you give me a ride?” I wanted to pay forward what I had just experienced. I gave her a good looking at: she had a limp, overweight, late sixties at least. I figured I could take her, if it came to that. So I said yes, and she labored into the passenger seat of my car.

As I pulled the car out of the spot, she told me, “I hope you’re not offended, but I see the grace of God upon you.”

It was so unexpected and nicely phrased, it went straight to my head. I laughed prettily. Me? The grace of God? “Thank you,” I said. What else could I say in the face of such high-flying, hallucinatory, kindly old lady compliments? I’m not even religious.

We only drove about six feet before her husband pulled into the lot with his car, so I pulled up close and tried ineffectually to help as she painfully trundled out of my car and into hers.

I started to walk away, a little disappointed that I hadn’t been able to pay forward my good deed. Then I remembered the $20. It had been spared for a reason! I ran back and pressed it into her hand. “If this helps,” I said.

“It does, thank you,” the old lady replied.

I got back into my car and headed out. I felt decidedly wall-eyed after the compliment and the good deed (or was I just paying her for the compliment?), and literally drove 30 minutes in the wrong direction.

Maybe what she was detecting was my low blood sugar. I hadn’t yet eaten that day and my mind was loosely hinged. Old people can sometimes confuse the grace of God and low blood sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Still in England

 

Look at how pretty it is here. This is in Canterbury. We saw an eel down there! 

IMG_20190602_144923250.jpg

Funny, most people blog about their travels. Guess I’m backwards. I’ll tell some stories about it when I get back. Until then, I probably won’t blog again until Wednesday or so. Am cheap. Limited Internet access.

It’s 1:30am here so I gotta go to bed but I just wanted to let everyone know I’m still alive!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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