Small Town Shit

It was the town I grew up in, small town called Comfort. Comfort.  What a load of shit. There’s nothing here for me anymore.  Purposefully forgotten friends, family moved and the only reason I’m back in this piece of shit, is to take care of an old speeding ticket.  My plan was to show up, pay the outstanding bill and scurry back to the snug pocket of Austin, Texas.

Instead, as soon as I gave the unhappy women behind the desk my name, she smirked and asked me to sit down for a moment.  Being the idiot that I am, I did.

Thirty seconds later two fat pigs opened the double doors and threw me on the ground.  My chin smashed the concrete floor.  Not entirely necessary I thought.  My redneck ways have taken a hiatus since I moved.  The day I left, I took a piss on the town football stars face while he was passed out drunk. I can’t even count how many girls I knew that woke up confused next to his repulsive ass.  A fitting goodbye.

I was the moron who thought I could just pay off an outstanding ticket turned warrant.  In Austin, they would have just happily taken the money.  In Comfort, because the cops spend their days jerking off in their cars to high school girls, this was the most action they were gonna get for a while.  Face still smashed on the floor, I ran my tongue across my front teeth and felt a piece crack off.  I spit it from my mouth.

“My fucking tooth you pieces of shit.  I’m a small woman, what the fuck are you thinking?”

“Ma’am don’t resist.  We are just doing our jobs.”

I recognized that voice.  I looked up at the one with his knee against my neck.  Seth Miller.

I guess having to live with the fact that I sucked your tiny dick when I wasn’t even close to legal, ain’t gonna get me outta this one is it Seth?”

He smirked and picked me up off the ground. “Ha, not unless your ready to get suckin’ again Mel.”

Blood was dripping off my chin.  Seth and I were childhood friends.  He was always in love with me.  I completely ignored him after the drunken felacio.  I guess he’s still pissed.

They took me to the back of their shitty jail where a real dike of a woman stripped me naked and checked my ass for drugs.

“You got anything good in there sweetheart?” Her voice was deep and rapey.

“Just my sweet pussy, which is obviously good enough for you Rambo.”

She kicked me from behind and my forehead cracked on the wall.  Stars. A familiar feeling. My sharp tongue has always gotten me into trouble.

I gathered what memories I could.  Just earlier I fed my dog, I swept my hallway.  I picked up an organic green juice for my morning drive.  I listened to Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.  I stopped for gas and yelled at some construction workers for gawking…I felt warmth dripping down my face and when it hit my lip I tasted the blood.  A seemingly normal start to my day and now this pile of shit.

“Wheres my fucking phone call dike?”

“Bend over for me one more time sugar and you’ll get your phone call.”

I’ve played this game before…many times.  I slowly stood up, wiped my bloody hair out of my face, smiled, spread my legs and touched the floor.

She smacked my ass. “I‘m actually married….to a beast of a man honey and I looove dick.”

I laughed wiping the blood on my already soaked t-shirt. “Touche!”

Just because I live in the city doesn’t mean that my small town discriminations don’t blow up in my face at times.  That’s healthy, I thought.  She handed me the phone and I dialed my work.

“Is Jamie around?  Yea I need to talk to her…Hey Jamie, I‘m not going to make the meeting.  I‘m actually in jail in my piece of shit hometown.  Yea know.  I came to pay a ticket and it’s a warrant.  Hey, have we figured out if our insurance plan is going to cover dental?  I got a situation going on over here.  Some fat fucking pigs chipped my tooth.  Yea, thats right you, you fat fucking pig I‘m talking about you.  Okay girly yea I‘ll let you know. See you soon.”

I sat in jail for the weekend.  Seth came for a visit.

I‘m sorry Mel I didn’t realize it was you.”

“It’s cool Seth, sorry for ignoring you after that whole dick sucking situation.”

“It’s okay I was a pathetic boy.  I understand why you did.”

“Well I can see your not pathetic anymore tackling a tiny woman over a speeding ticket and all.” I  smiled sarcastically as wide as I could.

“You still look pretty with a chipped tooth.”

“Thank you Seth.  Stop being such a dick though man, you used to be a sweet kid.”

He looked at the ground. “Yea I know I get it.  I’ve learned my lesson…And you know I can help with the dental expenses if you—“

I interrupted, “Shut the fuck upI know damn well what your salary looks like.  I‘ll take care of it.”

He smiled. “Hows your mom?”

“Oh you know still pathetically chasing after married men, the usual. Your dad?”

“Still dying of liver failure.  The usual.”

I had almost forgot that I was still in jail.  “Hey when the fuck am I getting out of here?”

“Oh, actually last night you were free to go.  I just wanted to make sure and see you before you disappeared for another 10 years.”

“You savage.  Somethings never change.”

“Hey if it takes throwing you in jail to see your beautiful face and talk to you, you know I‘ll take it.  That hasn’t changed.”  He handed me my chipped tooth.

I went back to work that week with a broken tooth and a busted head and chin.

Seth died in a drunk driving accident about a month later.

I didn’t go to the funeral.

 

House Call

⁣“What the fuck are you doing here?”⁣

I must have blacked out or something. I guess not completely out of character but when I came to I was standing in the middle of a hollowed out tree and it was dark and freezing. I shivered and wrapped my arms around my body feeling bare skin, wondering why I didn’t have a jacket.⁣

“Are you gonna answer me, what the fuck are you doing here?”⁣

Her voice startled me and I squinted my eyes trying to make sense of the dark figure plastered up against the other side of the tree. I felt as though my thoughts were being run through thick glue and when they finally began to thin out, I gasped.⁣

I recognized her voice and my eyes immediately filled with tears and I could feel that familiar stress and tightening in my throat. I hadn’t felt that feeling since I was a teenager. I reached my hand up to my neck and began to massage it lightly.⁣


I shivered again this time not from the cold surrounding me, but from the cold creeping inside of my body.⁣

She laughed sarcastically and shifted her feet against the dirt, creating a cavernous echo. “Just fuckin’ run like you always do.”⁣ Her voice was deep and convincing.⁣

She stepped closer to me and my eyes began to adjust. She had on the same clothes as the last time I saw her. A blue zip up sweater with two stars on the front, baggy jeans that her frail frame was swimming in and converse shoes. My body froze in complete horror and my fingers began to curl inwards tight and painful.⁣

She took another step closer and I could see her familiar face. Her detached, torpid eyes staring straight into mine. Nothing. All signs of life were long gone, her spirit fled and old cigarette burns punctured through where her broken heart used to subsist. ⁣

It felt like every piece of my insides were being strangled and I thought to myself that this must be what it feels like right when you get tased or have a seizure. ⁣
I thought to myself that I’d felt this feeling before. ⁣
WE’VE felt this feeling before. ⁣
Her eyebrows slightly lifted and she nodded at me.⁣

I closed my soaked eyes and began to count my breath, four seconds in and four seconds out. ⁣

Memory. Body shaking.⁣
Memory. Body tightening.⁣
Memory. Throat closing.⁣
Memory. Deep fucking breaths.⁣

Eyes, still closed, I cleared my throat and my voice trembled, “I wasn’t expecting you.”⁣

She grabbed both of my frozen arms tightly and my eyes shot open to meet hers.⁣

“Of course you weren’t expecting me, your usually too busy trying to play with that feral child.”⁣

The swallow of my spit reverberated against the walls of the hollow tree and I began to count my breathe again.⁣
Four seconds in, four seconds out.⁣

Shingles. The Story of My Life.

Shingles.

The story of my life.

Ready to write a different book.

I know ya’ll are used to reading more of my comedic writing but I’ve got some real talk about some physical and mental health issues.

I’ve been getting recurring shingles since I was a young teen. They call it the “Chick Pox Virus” or Herpes Zoster. Apparently when you get chicken pox as a child the virus stays dormant in your body. The virus can then can be reactivated at any moment (usually people over 50) if your immune system gives it an opportunity. They say it’s very rare that people get recurring shingles but it’s very common for me. I get the shingles between 2-4 times a year. It makes it hard to have a regular job, not that I would want one now anyways, but it used to make it really hard. I’ve seen so many types of doctors and healers and found little relief. I’ve logged seasons, food, mental health, habits, etc and just can’t seem to get a head of it.

I’ve noticed that I always get them around the same times of year. Every year, either the week before or the week of Thanksgiving is the most specific I’ve been able to notice with the Fall outbreaks. It makes me wonder what type of deep body memory triggered these in the first place and I’m working on exploring this through more meditation and body work.

This current stent has had me in bed for 2 weeks and it’s just getting started. I guess you could say I’m feeling sorry for myself today, so I decided to write about it. I rarely do but I’m fucking tired of this shit.

I’m tired of telling people I can’t make it, I can’t eat that, I can’t drink that, I can’t smoke that. I’m tired of spending so much of my life in bed. What I really want is to drink some tequila, smoke some tobacco, write and eat some fucking pizza. Is that too much for a 33 year old woman healing from trauma to ask? I mean jesus, I see drug addicts bodies withstanding longer! I guess maybe if you never give your body a chance to catch up like I did, your benders can last almost a lifetime. Almost.

No, I know every body is different and it’s not fair to compare myself to others. I’m just having a moment. I know that the body is intelligent and trying to send me messages of self-healing and I’m trying to listen. I’ve changed many unhealthy habits already and there’s obviously more, I just have to stay open.

My hopes from this post is that maybe by putting this out in writing, there will be some type of shift in my body or spirit. Maybe those who read this can energetically heal me or send me strength. Maybe someone who’s reading this is going through the same thing and we can help each other.

Next I will write the phases that I experience in my body before during and in between these outbreaks.

Phase 1: Swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, fatigue, fever, itching/tingling on my nose (this is the nerve line where they usually show up, although I have had them in different spots).

Phase 2: Redness on my nose with intense burning/tingling sensation, fatigue, headache and sore throat worsens, stiff and painful neck/spine, fever, body aches, numbing in legs (similar to when I get my period, it feels like a lack of blood circulation, that’s the only way I know how to explain it).

Phase 3: Painful blistering, burning sores appear along the nerve line (I can’t do anything that causes my body to heat up because they spread so quickly with stress and heat, so I lay still in bed on my back. The area of my nose where they appear sometimes gets so close to my eye that I’m afraid one day I’ll lose my vision), severe fatigue, headache and neck pain, swollen throat flares randomly but sore throat and body aches lessen. This phase is definitely the hardest because I’ve already been in bed for many days, so I’m extremely restless and uncomfortable but can’t do much.

Phase 4: Sores begin to dry out and become less painful as do the other symptoms. Energy returns.

Phase In between Breakouts: Little to no scarring thankfully! Tingling and sensitivity on face, especially in areas where my shingles appeared. Random swelling of lymph nodes and sore throat. Random fatigue. Random spirts of depression I call dips because sometimes they disappear as quickly as they appear, can last between 30 seconds to a week). Fears and anxieties of the next break out but overall psyched to be the fuck out of bed.

The outbreak can take between 5-14 days, sometimes even longer depending on the severity and how much rest I’m able to get. I’m lucky to be living in Mexico and working remotely so that I can rest without feeling tons of pressure financially.

I’ve never met or heard of anyone with recurring shingles like mine. It’s obvious that it’s an underlying condition of some sort whether it be emotional or physical. Not that the two are much different anyway.

Here’s a picture of me a month ago, traveling in Oaxaca, feeling good, next to some graffiti that says “Puta.”

These moments can be seem few and far between, especially right now, so this photo’s a good reminder.

Shingles.

The story of my life.

Ready to write a different book.

Sorry Grandma

The plane trolled into it’s terminal and like always, everyone stood up like seething beasts. I understand why this is so intimidating to an elderly person, it’s intense for me and I’m only 33.

I was grabbing her cane from the overhead bin when I could feel him trying to shove himself past me. His hot, impatient asshole breathe on my back, “Excuse me I’ve gotta plane to catch, can you just let me, can you just, can you just speed it up!?”

I fucking hate it when I can feel someone’s breathe on me, I raised my shoulders to my neck in discomfort. My grandmother worried, patted my hand, “Melly, let them go first, I’m too slow.”

I looked the man in the eyes while addressing my grandmother, “Grandma, we have to get somewhere just as soon as everyone else and if they’re impatient than they need to learn some patience, it’s no problem.”

The man let out an exaggerated sigh and shifted back and forth on each foot, pouting like a toddler. I laughed at the thought of this type of man, so predictable, so very unoriginal. You know the one I’m talking about, the fragile one that doesn’t hear the word “no” very often. The one that throws a hissy fit when you tell him you aren’t interested in having sex with him, yea that’s him.

We were traveling to Spokane to visit her brother who was recently admitted to memory care, which is just a fancy, new-age name for nursing home. She wanted to visit him before he lost his memory completely, so I volunteered to go along with her. As a child, she and my grandfather took us everywhere, so it was an honor to spend the time and take her to visit her brother. Traveling always brought her so much joy and I know its frustrating for her to be limited more and more with age. I wanted this vacation to be all about her. I wanted her to feel confident, comfortable and cared for because unfortunately, those feelings become so fleeting at her age.

I think it’s hard to imagine for those of us who are lucky to still have our physical independence. Independence begins to disappear as you get older, you get slower, you need more help. I hate that they feel like their existence is bothersome to others. I hate that they always feel so rushed just because everyone else doesn’t know how to slow the fuck down.

Not with me though, at least at this moment, I could fight for her basic existence in a society that has no respect for people of a certain age. It’s not everyone though. It’s amazing how many times during this trip I was seen by people my age and even older as a “saint” for traveling with my grandma. Yes, I had a flight attendant call me a “saint.” I guess she was impressed by my patience. Of course, it was appreciated, I’ve always loved throwing people’s shortcomings in their faces in hopes for a lesson learned but this was different. It was different seeing people’s reactions to a young person having patience with an elderly person. You usually see them being dragged around and yelled at by family members or caregivers, sickening.

I wish we were more like Mexicans, where the elderly are respected and cared for by family members and not left to rot in nursing homes, what a fucking concept.

Yes, I was traveling with my grandmother who’s in her 90’s, but that doesn’t mean that she has to take a back seat and risk losing her next flight just because other people are impatient assholes. I hated that this was even a thing she had to think about. I hate that this is a thing most elders feel. 

Inconvenient, obsolete.

I wasn’t about to let her feel as though her needs were lesser than others just because of her age. I didn’t have time for that, we had another plane to catch. And in general, I wasn’t about to have this dickwad validate her prescribed insecurities.

I dramatically swung my backpack over my shoulder causing the impatient man to take a step back.  I smiled at my grandmother and she gave me that familiar smirk of catholic disapproval. It’s a mix of consent with “on the record” disfavor.

He scoffed, “Jesus, can you watch it, you almost hit me with your bag!”

I laughed, “Who do you think you are? You’re the one shoving your body into me because apparently, your needs are the most important ones on this plane. You know, you’re lucky you met me now and not a year ago. You wouldn’t be complaining about the bag that “almost” hit you, you’d have this cane lodged in your fucking jaw. You can call my EDMR therapist Carolyn Poole and thank her for that. Your impatience is unbecoming and frankly just disrespectful to me and my sweet grandmother so back the fuck up.”

He took a step back with his eyes wide and mouth open in perplexity. Not surprising from this shit-stained toddler. The line began to move. I held out my hand for my grandmother, “Alright Grams sorry for the language, let’s blow this popsicle stand.”

My grandma snickering, took my hand, nodded at the excuse for a man and gushed, “How do you blow a popsicle stand?”

 

Capulálpam de Méndez

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Wow, this little mountain town is surreal.

Capulálpam de Méndez was built in the 1600s.

The town seems as though it was set up and ready for tourists but no one ever came.

Empty gift shops, restaurants, streets.

Where is everyone?

I think we are the only travelers here and we rarely even see locals. The tortilla maker had to check us into our hotel (the only hotel) because there is no one ever at reception.

While walking around the town we wondered if the rapture occurred right before our arrival. Seemed fitting.

After some research, I learned that Capulálpam de Mendez is an extremely closed municipality, meaning they govern themselves and don’t allow outside influences decide the fate of their town. Most residents work in government, education, or business. They used to be a mining town but eventually kicked out all the companies for taking advantage of their native people. In order to keep up their economy, they bottle their spring water, sell gravel and shifted into ecotourism.

Ecotourism is a form of small scale tourism that has minimal impact on their environment in order to preserve and respect the people and support conservation efforts. Tourists are watched closely by the locals.

All the money made in this town goes directly back into social services and to the people. No one goes hungry or lacks healthcare. The healthcare is a healing center that employs traditional healers who provide medicinal plant therapy, massages, temazcal and herbal baths.

I set up an appointment at the healing center where we will experience the healing traditions of this area.

We stumbled into this beautiful mountain town looking for a bridge that’s actually somewhere else and now it’s all starting to make perfect sense! .

Sweet Stranger

DSC07945Sweet Stranger outside of Oaxaca City.

———————

Our trip to Oaxaca has come to an end and out of all of the photos I took, this was one of my favorites.

I will remember this little lady forever.  Everyone on the bus looked at me like I was crazy for sitting on the ground and petting her.

It’s amazing how resilient animals can be when they’re simply surviving.  It’s even more amazing when they’re still so sweet and loving despite the circumstances.  A quality I find admirable and will strive to improve in my own life.

We can learn so much from everything surrounding us, if we just look close enough.

One day I’ll own a rescue farm packed full of Mexican street dogs and I’ll die a happy old lady.

Old Friend

I hadn’t seen her in a long time, so we made a date to catch up at a new bar in north Austin.

We grew up together raising hell, but we both settled down after her rehab, and my new admittance to university.  Not that she was worse off,  I had spent my time in rehab as well,  just not as recent.  I think because we had started at such an early age, we were both already exhausted of the shit colors drugs had brought to our lives.  Like I said, it had been a long time since we had seen each other, about 3 years to be exact.

It was early around 5:30 p.m. when we met at the bar.

She was sitting there just as beautiful as always, grinning at me with that familiar, mischievous grin when I walked through the door.  I noticed two guys in suits next to her that gave me the kind of look that warranted us moving further from their area.

Giving her a big hug, I whispered , “You want to sit down here?”

I suggested the seats furthest down the bar from the covetous men.  She agreed, while glancing at them salaciously. She was always a sucker for the worst types of men, way more than myself. I shook my head at them.

I once pulled her out of a bathroom with a needle sticking out of her foot while getting groped by two junkies, but thats another story.  I guess track marks are easier to hide when they are on your feet.  I wouldn’t know.

She looked good in her newfound sobriety plumpness, with her freshly cut blond hair and clear blue eyes.

I spun her around on my finger tips, “You look good, I missed you.”

She smiled, bowed, and adjusted herself in her seat, “Why thank you!”

She swirled her straw around with her tongue and took a sip of her drink, “Mel, I’m getting married.”

Not a suprise to me, I rolled my eyes, “To who?”

“A guy I met in rehab from California.”

“Jesus Evie.  That sounds like a brilliant fucking idea.”

She laughed, “I know, I know.  Fuck it, he asked me, and I said yes.  You know me, I love love, and I’m terrible at saying no.”  She laughed and crossed her legs, flashing another smile at the men across the bar.  They ate it up and when they shifted their eyes to me, I said ‘fuck you’ with my mine.

“Evie, A good sober fuck isn’t always love honey, or even marriage worthy.”

Evie was always textbook manic, rash in her decisions.  Her highs were as high as highs get, and lows as low as you can pretend to imagine.

Breaking the men’s stares at Evie with another ‘fuck you’ look, I indulged, “Well then tell me all about this lucky guy.” I knew she would never listen to any objections. She rarely did, in fact, she enjoyed doing the opposite of what others wanted, especially those she loved.

I don’t know which one us had the most sense growing up, but she was definitely more risky than I was, ready for death if she was having a good enough time.  I was usually the one that stopped things from getting completely out of control, which was a high threshold for me to face during those days.

She smirked, enjoying me humoring her latest endeavor, “He’s sweet and good enough.  Ex-heroin addict.”

“Sounds like a match made in hell.  How are your parents?”

Not that they would be too thrilled of our rendezvous.  Especially, after we drained her dad’s business bank account by forging checks to an elderly teller in a small town, but again, that’s another story.

“My parents are good, excited about the wedding and my sobriety.  Moving into a smaller place.  What about you?  How’s your mom?”

The men across the bar laughed, sending chills down my entire being, and spouted,  “Sobriety eh? Looks like that is working out for you.”

I wanted to smash a bottle over their heads and instead, I ignored their comment, ‘like a lady,’ and continued, “My mom is doing better, she just recently had a hysterectomy, so I was down in McAllen taking care of her for a couple of weeks.”

Evie looked confused, “What’s a hysterectomy?”

“Well, it’s when they remove the uterus due to fibroids causing heaving bleeding.  She was bleeding for months without telling anyone, she could’ve died if she’d continued to bleed much longer.”

I noticed a look of disgust in one of the guys faces as I spoke of my mom’s uterus and bleeding, he shook his head, “Come on ladies this isn’t exactly the type of bar talk we want to hear.  What are y’all doing later?”

I swallowed the heat rising through my throat to my head and snapped my head around, “And what the fuck makes you think I give a shit about what you think of our private conversation?  Mind your own fucking business!”

He began to walk closer towards us, “No!  Stay in your little area.  Leave us alone, we aren’t interested in fucking either of you, so back the fuck off.”

Evie, poised, let me talk and continued to finish her drink, tilting it at the bartender for another.  I could tell she was feeling my heat and waiting for her moment to do something, possibly worse, than what I resisted in my mind.  Old habits die hard.  I waved my hand over her face to break her thoughts, “Just chill, you don’t need anything else on your record at this point.”  She nodded at me gripping her drink so tightly the ice began to melt.

The man stopped and walked back to his seat, “What makes you think either of us would want to fuck some up tight bitches like you anyways?”

Evie, got up, walked over to the man, hiked her leg on his stool, slipped a knife out of her boot and slid it right between his legs, while licking his ear.  It took him a minute for him to look past the ear licking, and once he noticed the blade grazing his balls, he froze and his friend sheepishly took a couple steps to the side.  Smart move mother fucker.

I shifted my attention to the bartender, “You make it a habit of letting men harass women like this in your bar?”

The bartender shrugged and laughed it off, while pretending to clean a glass.  This piece of shit.

I walked over to Evie and pinched her under the bar signaling her to get up.  She didn’t, and whispered in his ear loud enough so I could hear, “No Mel, I want to feel him piss himself first and then we may go.”

She was in it, so I shrugged and faced the bartender, “Well I can tell you,  we will never come back to your shit bar.  You don’t even have the balls to protect your own female customers from assholes like these…Actually, it seems my friend here is preoccupying one of your precious patron’s balls at this very moment. Due to your lacking, she might give them to you if you ask nice enough. Although, they certainly don’t seem worth much, but you know, beggars cant be fucking choosers.”

Knife still tucked under the poor saps sac, I slid Evie’s drink to her, which she slammed, while making close eye contact with me.  The bartender still said nothing.  I grabbed an empty beer bottle from the bar and looked at Evie while squeezing her hand.  She nodded and I immediately threw the bottle against the back mirror of the bar, shattering it to pieces.  I laughed and finished my drink while the bartender yelled something I didn’t give a shit to hear.

Evie, knife tightly wedged in the scrotum, threw her head against the man’s nose, his blood immediately spewing over the two of them.  She wiped the blood from her arm with her tongue and lapped it all over his face.  She spit blood on his friend with accuracy and spewed out, “’The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts. While the stupid ones are full of confidence.'”

I whispered, “Run,” as we walked calmly, hand in hand towards the door.

Sliding Scale Therapy

“I wasn’t sure you were coming today,”  she was startled at the site of me when she rushed past with a bowl full of chili.  Smelt good.

“Margaret, just ring me when she’s done paying and we can get started,” she winked at me.

I missed my last appointment and I don’t blame her for being surprised to see me.  I thought about not showing up.

I appreciated the cheap sessions and her fresh university face.  The truth is, I need a bad, old heinous bitch to put me in my fucked up place, not some sympathetic college student.  And that’s exactly what she was, Rachel.

She was too young, too inexperienced.  She seemed to feel too much for me, the exact opposite of what I needed from a therapist, which is why I won’t be signing up with her again.  When I explained my life to her at times the only thing that would run through my head was, “Jesus, get a hold of yourself,” as she would fight back her own tears.  She was too fresh, too sympathetic, like I said, she felt too much for me.

Margaret, oh Margaret, front desk woman with way too many sweets on her desk for just broken hearted fucks like me.  I knew they were mainly for her.

Margaret swiveled around in her overly comfortable chair, “Did she say she’d come get you sweetheart?”

“No, she told you to ring her once I was done paying.”

She reached for my credit card while shoving a mini snickers in her mouth.

The credit card machine beeped and I knew she didn’t hear a word I had said or the beep.

————————

Every week the same thing.  I walk in, tell Margaret my name and my therapist as loud and slow as possible.  She fumbles looks through the files, pulls out the wrong file, and begins to scribble on it as I interrupt, telling her I’m not Melissa Moravitz.

I wonder if Melissa Moravitz has to deal with the same shit.  I also wonder if she knows that I am as “clinically depressed” as much as I know she is “anorexic.”

Margaret finally finds my file, reaches for the credit card I’ve already given her and complains about how slow the machine is being today…Everyday.

Then, I stand there like an idiot with my hand out, while the machine continuously beeps, until she finally notices me with a squeal and hands me back my credit card.

I sit down and watch her forget to call Rachel.  Ten minutes later either Rachel comes out wondering what’s taking so long or some other sappy therapist notices me and sends me back.  Meanwhile, Margaret continues stuffing her face with chocolate and absolutely no recollection of me or our painfully recent interaction.  I wonder if she gets free therapy, I think.  She should.

————————

Same thing happens today. Rachel comes out ten minutes later while I’m still waiting patiently, or so it seems.

“Come on back Melissa.  Sorry Margaret didn’t let me know you were ready.”

“She never does,” I responded.

Her room smelt of chili and all I could think of was her slamming her food right before our session. I snickered a little.

“Usually when people skip a session they never come back, that’s why I wasn’t expecting you.”

Girl you don’t have to explain lunch to me, I thought.

“Well I tried calling (lie), but the phone is always busy (truth) and there’s no answering machine (truth).”

“I’m just glad to see you here now Melissa.  How are things? It’s been a couple of weeks since we last met.”

“I’m ok.  Just working a lot.” Jesus, it’s like talking to a complete stranger.

“Have you been in contact with your ex?”

“No (truth).  I have been just focusing on working and getting used to being alone.”

“How are you feeling about being alone?”

“Um, I guess how everyone feels about being alone…Bored.  Seeking attention in all the wrong types of men, or boys, I don’t know.”

She put her pen in her mouth, “What do you mean by the wrong types of men?”

“Oh, you know, the kinds with girlfriends, or wives, or emotional problems.”

She seemed excited, “What types of emotional problems?”  Fucking therapists.

“Not entirely sure what kind of emotional problems, but the kind that wrap their palms around your throat while orgasming and finally let go once they see your turning blue and begin to cry in your groin…Those types.”

She looked uncomfortable and stayed silent, so I continued, “I think I’m over that though, I was just lonely.”

She shifted in her seat gathering courage, “M-Melissa, that’s extremely aggressive behavior, I’m glad you are okay.  Did you report him? He could have hurt you.”

“Since when do cops give a shit about protecting women?  So no,  I didn’t report him,  I didn’t even get his name.”  She continued to stare at me in horror, so I continued again, “Don’t worry I won’t be seeing him again.”

She finally took a breath, relieved of my loose epiphany, “Well it sounds like you won’t do that again.  How is everything else?”

I rolled my eyes, “Ok I guess, I laugh still so that’s good.  I’m lonely, like I said, but I think I’m just processing.  It’ll go away or I’ll just become accustomed to the loneliness.”

When I think about it, I’m pretty sure I’m already accustomed to loneliness.  Me and lonely have been friends for a long time, too long.  An old childhood friend that I’ve never been able to shake.  The friend that you clean up bleeding outside the bar because of their own stupidity.  An old childhood friend that you know, if you had met as an adult, you would have never given the time.  But because lonely and I have been friends for so long and know each other like the back of our own hands, we keep each other around.  Bad choice as an early childhood friend, lonely.  I wonder why I still get shocked with being alone, I guess there’s different levels.

“Have you been having any thoughts about hurting yourself lately?

Annoyed, I snapped back into our session,”I told you before, I’ve always had thoughts of suicide but I’m not going to do it, pretty sure those days are over.”

I’m too numb to kill myself.  I actually prefer feeling it.  I can feel comfort in loneliness sometimes, it is just more in gray scale rather than color.  Like I’ve accepted this destiny, like the calm right before drowning after all the pathetic flailing.

“Have you been wanting to contact your ex?”

Again, I snapped back to our session, “No (lie).  I just know that I can’t (truth).  It has been years of us torturing each other.  These two and a half months are the longest we’ve gone without speaking.  I’m okay with it, I understand that our relationship will never work and I forgive myself (truth).  Being lonely is worth it, if it means I don’t have to be with him.  I know what I need out of a lover and I know he’s not it and so does he.  There’s no point for us to be in contact, when in the past I didn’t think that.  I always thought there was a reason we should stay in contact.”

She looked proud, “Well you certainly seem more confident about this than the last time I saw you.  You were still upset with the outcome and with yourself.”

“Oh, I’m still upset with the outcome but not with myself.  I know neither of us did anything wrong, we just aren’t right for each other.”

“This is a very healthy realization and step for you Melissa. This is our last session, so what now for you?

She thinks she’s accomplished something, this simple bitch, “Hmm, well I guess just keep going as usual, trusting myself and my intuition.  Not letting relationships dictate my happiness. I feel stronger, lonely but strong.  I don’t regret my decisions and my progress in the last three months.”

She smiled, “Well I think you will do just fine in life Melissa.”

I fake smiled at her, “Well I think you will do just fine in your life as well Rachel.”

She stood up, “I have a survey that I’d love for you to fill out and you can begin sessions with me again in January if you like.”

I gathered my things, “For sure I will check it out after the holidays (lie), good luck in your career (truth).

I walked out of my last session feeling relieved and lonely, yet confident in my decisions to move forward in my new life.

When I got back in my car I turned my phone back on.

A text from my ex…”This might sound crazy, but I really want to have sex with you.”

“Come over,” I replied.

Tarot Bully

It was New Year’s Eve.

“Mom, just pick a card!”

She looked terrified.

“It’s just tarot, you can make whatever you want of it.”

She looked away from me, nose high, “I don’t want to, it’s just not my thing.”

“Well it’s kinda my thing. Don’t you want to step out of your box for a moment and try something different?”

“Mel, I don’t know why you stopped coming to mass, you know you can be forgiven.”

I sighed, ” I don’t need to be forgiven.”

“I’m just saying with all the men and the drinking, it’s not healthy for a girl your age. You should be finding a good husband, planning children. You don’t have as much time as you might think.”

“What about me screams husband and children? Besides, I’m a lesbian!”

Her mouth dropped, “Are you a lesbian?”

“Mom, no, I’m not! But what if I was? You could have really offended me.  That was fucked up how far your mouth just hit the floor.”

She relaxed a bit in her seat, “You know I would love you no matter what, right?”

“I know. Now just pick a damn card.”

“I told you I don’t like to play with this dark stuff.”

“It’s not dark. You do realize there are different forms and avenues for spirituality don’t you? Now, you spent my whole life shoving yours down my throat. It’s time for you to take a crack at mine.”

She hesitated and pulled a card. The devil. God damnit of course. The absolute worst card a god fearing woman could pull. She gasped and I began laughing hysterically. I couldn’t help it.

“I told you I didn’t want to pick a card Mel! Why did you have to push me so hard? This does not align with my faith!”

She stormed out and I still couldn’t stop laughing as I reached my hand for hers.

“Mom, you really think your god is that petty? Let me explain the card!”

The bedroom door slammed and I heard a muffled, “Fuck off!”

“Well that certainly didn’t go as I planned,” I mumbled to myself while pouring us two glasses of wine. Still giggling, I sheepishly snuck into her room.

She accepted the wine and we both shared a good laugh. Nothing more satisfying than hearing your mom awkwardly say “fuck.”

Bitter Ass Bitch

She was the friend that I’d never expected to ask me this fucking vanilla question.

“Mel, when are you gonna have kids? You would make such a great mom.”

Misery likes company eh? A thought.  A quick thought.  A long thought.   I almost had the nerve to ask, “So when are you gonna get a divorce?”

I didn’t.  I feel like it’s just as inappropriate to ask a lady when she’s going to bear children as it is to when she’s going to leave her lame ass husband or drown her whiny ass kid.

To be truthful.  I don’t support killing your children, but I guess as annoyed and anxious as you are about me having a child, I’m equally as ready for you to make your kid shut the fuck up.

I get it. Both ridiculous. Both uncalled for.

But seriously, can you get your kid to shut the fuck up?

I’m trying to have a conversation with my once sexy ass vibrant friend.

Is this just age?  You watch your once colorful friends fold into a bland ass manila envelope.

I’ll do without.  Khaki always looked like shit on me.