community service, sk8r style

After a long day, i arrived home after 10 pm last night to find The Boy, The Girl and one of her friends relaxing on the back deck.  Having been on the fly for several weeks, it was a relatively rare opportunity for me to catch up with happenings in their world… and was a nice pre-bedtime break from life.

The Boy offered up the highlight of his day…

The Boy:  I helped a brother out today at the skate park. 

daisyfae:  Have you learned how to set broken bones?

The Boy:  Some kid, maybe about fifteen, had left his cell phone there.  I had picked it up and was trying to figure out who it belonged to when the guy called.  He asked me to hang onto it til he got back.

daisyfae:  Nice of you…

The Boy:  So in the meantime, Sam and I went through his text messages.  He seemed pretty hot and heavy for some chick, “Kaitlyn E”.  But he had no game… I mean seriously, “Do you like movies?”  What kind of lame pick up line is that?  So we decided to help him out.

daisyfae: [turns back, grabs head, starts banging it against wall] Oh, shit… you didn’t?

The Boy:  Sure we did!  Sent her a text that said “Hey, What’s up, girl?” and started texting with her…  Got her to agree to go out with him to a movie.  So the guy shows up, just as we sent the last text.  Handed him his phone and said “Hey, you may have plans for Friday night.  Check your phone…” and left…

daisyfae:  Aw, christ… was that really necessary?

The Boy:  Mom, the kid was LAME.  He’d tried to get her to go out with him before, but she blew him off, saying she had plans with some guy, Dave.  So he writes back “Dave’s cool…. he’s a good guy”.  Seriously.  A guy with game would have written “Dave?  He was hanging with Kaitlyn F. last I heard” or something like that. 

daisyfae: ‘night [wanders inside, goes directly to bed…]

Into the porcelain ether…

There is a unique state occasionally achieved when very drunk.  Knowing that you are incapacitated, feeling poisoned from the alcohol, room spinning slightly.  Not quite so far gone that you are passed out, incoherent and unaware.  The start of the purge… when you are just about to get sick, and the poison is making serious travel arrangements to vacate your body.

Hugging the toilet. 

As the toxins convene in your gut, mixing merrily with all of the poor food choices you’ve made for the last several hours, you know you’re about to get an encore presentation of everything recently consumed.  You wait.  Wanting it to be done.  Knowing that as miserable as it feels to be hoarking up the contents of your digestive tract, that you’ll feel so much better once it’s gone.

You wait for the first wave.  Disgust and relief. 

“Is that it?”

Hardly.  There’s a lot more.  A few quick rounds, then you drop into a zen-like state… the waves come and go.  More relief.  Wanting it to be over, but knowing there’s more.  You amuse yourself with the game of “hey… what was that?  did i eat that today or yesterday?”  Followed by “damn, i need to chew my food better…”. Forensics of the most base kind…

Eventually, you curl up on the floor.  Not quite ready for the comfort of the bed, fearing that there’s more poison still in your gut, fucking with you.  Maybe grabbing a towel off the rack for a pillow and a little warmth on the cold floor.  And you wait.  Maybe you doze… but there’s always another round. 

Finally, it’s out.  Maybe there’s more, but the need to regain normalcy overrides the queasiness.   You stand on wobbly legs to get back in your bed and sleep it off so you can get on with the responsibilities of tomorrow.  This is now more compelling than the need to purge.  So you suck it up, put a trash can by the bed and declare yourself detoxified.  And you try to sleep it off…

~~~~~~~~~~~

Since my weekend with the family, there i am.  Curled up on the floor, waiting for more to come up.  Just three hours on a patio  – conversing with my sister, brother and niece – has dislodged some of the more toxic items in my memory bank.

More to come, but i’ve got to get to rehearsal…

Never pretend to be sleeping

She was an over-achiever from birth.  My sister, T, has incredible intellectual horsepower, combined with quick wit and the ability to use words as weapons.  Even as a child, she would frequently be able to reduce adults to tears.  Parents attempting to intervene in neighborhood scuffles, teachers, merchants… no one was safe from her verbal warfare skills.

Just twenty-two months older, we were closely coupled growing up.  i was a large lumpy child, and she was small and lean.  Despite our age difference, we were frequently mistaken for twins.  Competitive to the core, she never really played, even as a little kid.  Friendly games of “Capture the Flag” in the soybean fields behind our house were combat.  Not content to play flute, she made a successful switch to saxophone in high school and scored a coveted spot in the jazz ensemble.  Academics were no different, as she powered her way through school*.

By the time we were in high school, i was pretty comfortable being in her shadow.  It often worked to my advantage as a new teacher would say “Oh, you’re T’s sister…” and give me the genetic benefit of the doubt before i ever opened a book. 

The only time i ever remember a concession of defeat to “Li’l Dumpy” was on the guitar.  She’d hacked around with it for a few years, but had no great skill.  Rather than go head-to-head with her in competition, i borrowed Dad’s classical guitar when she wasn’t around and taught myself to play.  i was about twelve years old.  i knew i was better, but kept the little secret to myself just to avoid conflict.  Some drama club party we both attended afforded the first opportunity for me to play in public and once she realized i had surpassed her, she never touched the guitar again.  Small victory for the dumpy sister…

She was very active in band and drama, and served as a mentor to many younger students.  It was around this time that she started spending time with one of my good friends, SL.  They became inseparable, and T had apparently taken SL under her wing as a protege.  SL accompanied my family on a visit to Grandma’s in Indiana for a long Easter weekend.  Nothing really out of the ordinary for us to bring along a friend on such a trip.

Grandma’s house had limited space, so i was relegated to a sleeping bag on the floor of the spare bedroom while T and SL camped in the queen size bed, directly above me.  Tired from a day of travel, i was trying my damnedest to get some sleep, and simply ignored them as they made snarky comments about me, obviously trying to get a reaction.  Eventually, T reached over the bed to poke me. 

Rather than play the game, i pretended to be soundly asleep.  Turns out?  This was a supremely bad call on my part…

What i overheard next was the unmistakable sound of my sister and my friend engaging in quiet, but enthusiastic, sex.  Eyes opening “cartoon window shade” style, i was frozen on the floor and at a loss for how to extract myself from this rather unfortunate moment.  At fourteen, this is probably not the best way to find out your older sister is a lesbian.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* She is very smart, but had to work at it.  As testament to her tenacity, she managed to go through her PhD in Business with a nearly perfect academic record.  All “A’s” (highest honors) – except for one lonely “B” – for her Associates Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD.  She escaped The Park after graduation, and has had a rather remarkable career as a professor, and now Dean of Graduate Research, at a major university.

Malaprop du Jour

As if i didn’t have enough going on at the moment, i endured another round with Buzzy McTwatprobe this afternoon*.  In my continued quest to hang onto my girlbits, supplied as OEM** parts, it was off for another ultrasound.  During the pre-procedure preparation, the technician went over my medical history, asking questions about pregnancies, birth control and surgeries.

While listing my hoo hoo-related operations, i told her of the sterilization*** procedure i embraced in 1999.  Having spent enough time with medical professionals over the last decade to earn an honorary MD, i’m pretty clinical in such matters, listing my procedures by title and date (in reverse chronological order). 

daisyfae:  Two C-sections, 1986 and 1988.  Tubal Ligation, 1999….

Twat Tech [interrupting]:  Hold on, that was “Tubal Litigation“?

daisyfae:  Yes.  Exactly…

not the brightest bulb

* Despite rampant urban legends to the contrary, she did not, in fact, find testicles. Large, brass or otherwise…

** “OEM” = “Original Equipment Manufacturer” for the non-motorhead reader.

*** Tubal Ligation, known as ‘having the tubes tied”.  Not willing to leave it to chance, i not only asked for them to be tied, i asked my doc to “cut, tie, clamp, cauterize, staple and superglue the god damned things shut”.

Mid-week roundup

Short ‘scores and highlights’ reel as i head out to rehearsal…

Geriatric Camping:  Mom’s doing ok with the pacemaker.  Because there was some risk associated with the pacemaker installation, my niece, DQ, set up a bed in her living room, and brought Mom there after she was released from the hospital.  It was to be for a couple days until Mom was strong enough to go home.  Mom seems to be making herself at home, and is showing no interest in going back to her own trailer next door.  With a blood clot in her leg, DQ is now injecting coumadin into Mom’s gut twice a day.  DQ’s earning every bit of it this week… Sweet Wounded Jesus, i’m glad i live 60 miles away.

Desire To Do Bodily harm:  This week, i’m being subjected to that special torment known as “mandatory training”.  Once again, the powers that own my fucking professional soul have shipped me to unnecessary classes, to learn about things that either:
     a) i’ve been doing competently for decades
     b) i’ll never do for the rest of my career

The class is populated by a smattering of engineers – young and enthusiastic, as well as old and crusty.  A few accounting types are there to make sure that no numerical exercise can be executed in under 10 minutes. The elder-managers, however, have caused the most pain and suffering. By mid-week, one arrogant assjacket has eaten up too many hours telling warstories and sharing useless trivia – none of which is going to be on the test.  On the bright side?  We’re all bonding over our desire to kill him for the greater good.  There’s team building and then there’s Team Building.  Blowhard McFucknugget may go down before the end of class on Friday. If he never returned from the morning cookie break, i don’t think it would be reported…

Desire to Do Bodily Harm, Part 2:  Rehearsals are going pretty well, but managing my anger and stress are my greatest acting achievement.  The Diva continues to annoy.  This week, she took it to a new level.  AU, my little trailer park sister, and i are both enjoying the choreography – even though it’s not easy, it’s a riot!  How often in life do you have an opportunity to dance with a fucking toilet brush? 

The Diva, however, continues to throw mini-tantrums at every choreography session, demanding special treatment, stating that she simply won’t be able to do it, whining like an abandoned puppy about how complicated it is… oh, and the hot flashes?  She is menopausal.  Boo Fucking Hoo!  

Earlier this week, AU borrowed my script to combine my notes with hers.  The Diva, seeing AU working hard between numbers to capture the dance story, said loudly “AU’s going to write down all the dance moves in words I can understand, aren’t you?”  AU dropped her with a 1,000 yard stare and said “I’m going to put this together for myself.  I guess I could print you a copy.”  More choreography tonight.  i may have to remind her “excuses are like assholes… everyone’s got one”…

Deliberate Attempts to Harm Your Own Body:  Results from last weekend’s Demolition Derby.  RJ managed to finish both nights of the Derby, placing 2nd in the final tourney.  The car was a champ, and RJ was able to contain his colon.  He apparently loved the adventure, and will be back next year as an automotive gladiator.  Who knows… maybe if he takes enough hits, it’ll knock the Tourette’s out of him…

Genesis

When did i first realize i lived in a virtual trailer park?  The recent family reunion afforded an opportunity to spend time with two of my siblings and my niece.  On Saturday night, after we’d returned to our rented vacation home, we spent several hours in conversation.  Tossing back a few beers and burning lungs with cigarettes, we stayed on that patio for several hours. 

The Genesis moment materialized in my head when my brother, T, asked me if i had known that his first wife used to beat him…  Something i hadn’t thought about in years.

i was twelve years old, and my sister, T, was fourteen.  We were spending a summer night at the small apartment of my brother and his first wife, D.  Joining us was D’s youngest sister, J, also fourteen.  T and D were twenty year old newlyweds, and were enjoying life on their own.  Bringing the three little sisters over for an evening offered the chance to swagger with independence in front of an awestruck audience.

The five of us got completely obliterated on cheap beer and skunk weed.  The night ended with my brother crying and passing out in the bathtub, feeling sorry for himself. The three girls slept in the living room.  As the youngest, i drew the short straw, and simply bundled on the floor in a pile of old blankets.  i was awakened the next morning to the sounds of angry voices from the kitchen. 

Through my hangover, i was able to discern that T was trying to get ready for work, despite a raging hangover of his own.  D had fixed him a sandwich, and unable to find a suitable lunch bag she had placed his lunch in an empty plastic bread bag.  My brother found this lunch somewhat undignified and slammed the offending baggie against the kitchen wall, causing it to blow out at the seam.

Hearing them arguing in the kitchen, the three of us hunkered down in the small living room – straining to hear what was going on.  Through the argument, D adjusted the bag, sliding the sandwich to the center, and tying off the other end, making the lunch bag resemble a small square head with a pair of plastic ponytails*.  Rather than laugh through this, the argument escalated.

Hearing crashing from the kitchen, i scooted commando-style toward the center of the room and looked in the kitchen from my place on the floor.  i watched D pound my brother with her fists while he ducked and covered to avoid the blows.  He didn’t hit her back, or even raise his arms to stop her, only to block her wild thrashing.

Not getting the reaction she was looking for, D took a heavy curtain rod from the kitchen window, and broke it over his head.  Finally reaching his limit, T stood up and deliberately slammed his fist through two windows, and the scene exploded in a torrent of blood and glass.

Faced with a serious problem, D calmed down and the fight was over.  She grabbed a towel from the sink and wrapped T’s bleeding hand and arm.  The young peanut gallery was now fully awake and terrified.  Taking my sister with them, D and T mobilized and headed quickly out the door to the emergency room.

J and i stayed at the apartment for what seemed like decades.  We rooted through overflowing ashtrays, and smoked half-finished cigarettes as we attempted to sweep up the glass and mop the blood in the kitchen.  We retrieved the pony-tailed lunch bag lying abandoned in a corner of the room, and placed it in the refrigerator.

As i recounted this tale to my siblings on the patio of the lovely rental home, my brother was apologetic.  He has mastered the art of strategic amnesia as a survival technique, and simply didn’t recall the presence of the three young sisters at his apartment that morning, about thirty five years ago. 

He still has the scars on his knuckles.

teach me...

teach me...

* My sister, T, and i later referred to this event as “The Ponytail Lunch Bag Incident”.

Demolition

Last year my niece’s husband BJ built and entered a car in the local  demolition derby, earning second place from a pool of over 100 entrants.  After breaking his back in a construction accident last year, he was told by his doctor that his days of demolition therapy are over.

Not one to give up so easily, this summer he worked with his brother, RJ, to build a demolition derby car for the county fair.  RJ has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, with a side of Tourette’s Syndrome for good measure.  i’ve only met RJ twice, and both times he’s been happily medicated, and content to work quietly in the kitchen on creative appetizers and pastries, pursuing his dream of becoming a chef.

DQ and BJ also told me that RJ is a repressed homosexual, apparently afraid to come out of the closet because his hardcore blue-collar family would tease him mercilessly.

daisyfae:  C’mon, just because the guy likes to cook you think he’s gay?

DQ:  He lives with two gay men and was just arrested for solicitation at the men’s restroom of the county park.

daisyfae:  Well… there’s your clue….

As for the Tourette’s?  They generally know when he’s off his medication because he launches rude and inappropriate text messages.  The last time it happened, DQ felt compelled to go on the offensive.

DQ:  I’m at the store and I got a text from him that just says “Pig”.  So I wrote back “Queer”.  He wrote “Whore” and I replied “Peter puffer”.  That shut him up!

daisyfae:  Holy shit!  He doesn’t have Tourette’s Syndrome!   He’s got Tourette’s Text Syndrome!

While awaiting the installation of Mom’s pacemaker last week, DQ and BJ were telling me tales of their adventure with RJ and the demolition derby preparations.  Preferring the kitchen to the garage, he’s obviously not the demolition derby type, and has been extremely nervous since the beginning of the project.  To the point of developing explosive diarrhea.  When he called in response to an ad in the paper to buy the car?  He got the shits.  When he went to pick it up?  Massive Hershey Squirts.  In order to work on the car, he had to buy an industrial bottle of anti-diarrhea meds just to keep it under control.

At this point?  We’re all giggling our asses off in the cardiac cath lab, awaiting Mom’s procedure.  Last year for the demolition derby, BJ was sponsored by a local welding shop, so they had t-shirts made up for the 30-plus folks who went to cheer him on.  My suggestion for this year?  Get sponsorship from “Depends” and make the shirts white with a brown stripe up the back.*  Name the car “RJ’s Choco-rocket”**…

As always, there’s a dark side to every tale from The Park, and the story of RJ and the Demolition Derby is no different.  When we were done laughing ourselves silly, DQ went on to tell me more about RJ.  He  lives with two men, and one of them is abusive.  They’ve seen RJ with bruises and bites on the back of his neck, and recently had to have substantial rectal reconstruction surgery due to even worse treatment.  RJ is not particularly bright, and it seems that at least one of the room mates is into the rough trades.

RJ also has a bit of a violent streak, which has come out when he’s taken a holiday from his medication.  Three years ago, he hit BJ in the side of the head with a hammer – full swing into the skull.  Walked up to him, hammer behind his back and popped BJ upside the head.  No warning.  Apparently BJ, who has led the RJ teasing brigade, is the first target whenever the violence emerges. 

daisyfae:  BJ, don’t you think you might wanna stop teasing him?  i mean seriously, he hit you in the head with a fucking hammer!

BJ: Oh, i can handle it.  He’s pretty slow.  I was just caught off guard that time.

daisyfae:  Well, i ain’t eating any more of RJ’s appetizers at the next fucking picnic…

~~~~~~~~~~~

* Yeah, i know.  Real mature.  Sue me…

** DQ was certain that RJ would bail out, and that BJ would defy doctors orders and drive anyway. Never mind the fact that he’s currently laid off and has no medical insurance coverage.  On the day Mom came home from the hospital, DQ was freaking out because BJ had taken off with his back brace and driver’s license.  The good news tonight?  RJ drove successfully last night, after eating enough Imodium to plug him up for a month.   Round two is tonight.  i wished them luck.  But poor RJ is going to be shitting soup cans for the rest of the summer…