Get off my lawn!

Getting older doesn’t have to suck. There is acquired wisdom. There are the blessings that accompany age, like seeing your children become amazing adults and then being given the ultimate gift of grandchildren. There is the realization that every day is a present that you get to open. Life is so fleeting; it is over in a flash. When we are young, an hour lasts forever, and both the best times and the worst seem to yawn on endlessly. We anxiously rush through high school, eager to “get on with it” and curse every moment we must wait. Suddenly, we’re in our late 40s and we find it incredible that, as 20-somethings, we thought 50 was ancient.

Let me tell you fuckers, 50 ISN’T old. As a 49 year-old, I can assure you that we were wrong. This body has mileage on it, yes. Three babies, more than a few fractures, surgeries, and arthritis have limited me in minor ways. I don’t spring into action like I used to, and there are days when I want to cry, I hurt so bad. But fuck that. I don’t. I push on, because I’ve acquired a belief that if you stop, you might as well die. I pop the pills and break out the heating pad and try to be safe. Mostly. And sometimes, I forget that 50 looms and I stand on a wobbly stool on an uneven surface and I hang Halloween lights and by the grace of God I don’t fall THIS time and break my ass. When I was 25 I did that shit constantly because I was young and vital and if I fell, so what? I could jump right back up. Time was on my side and recklessness was the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Old people broke their hips. Old people had difficulty grasping things and opening jars and pill bottles. Well, “old” is definitely a point-of-view to me, and while I haven’t broken a hip, I realize that the odds are in favor of that if I keep acting like a 25 year-old. The difficulty grasping is already a daily irritation.

My problem is that I still feel¬†like a 25 year-old. Actually, somewhere in my 30s, with enough mileage on me to make me tough but with enough youth remaining to deem me vital and relevant to the rest of the world. 50 year-olds don’t attract the same attention as younger versions of themselves do. 50 year-olds who act the age they feel are laughed at or called “sad” or desperate or thought to be “having a middle-age crisis”.

Well fuck you, judgers.

I understand…..FINALLY…… why old people say they’ve “earned the right” to say what they want. To act how they want. To have no filter. You know why? Because they HAVE. You don’t need any more reason than that. When you reach the age where you realize this, you’re going to laugh and ruefully admit that you’ve become your mom or your dad. When you mutter tiredly, “I’m old”, it will be with a mixture of revulsion and pride. And when you shout “GET OFF MY LAWN!” you’ll realize it:

Fucking shit, it really is infuriating to work so hard to get the grass just so and then to see some little fucker run through it!

What I find to be bullshit is something much simpler: wear-and-tear on the face. The sagging of once majestically pert tits. And the hair color issue. Burns my ass! I have colored my hair since I was 16. I’ve been virtually every shade of red, brown, black, purple, pink, and green. Every so often, I like to return to my natural shade of darkest brown. I begin with black and let it fade. Autumn is usually when I do it, and it makes me feel good to sport that dark shade.

Until this time.

My natural hair color is no more. It has been replaced almost entirely by that harbinger of all things geriatric: white. White is pretty, and dignified on an 80 year-old. White is not so much on a 49 year-old. I hate white. I can’t wear it. It gets dirty too fast and it washes me out. It’s a vicious thing, age. It robs us of our tight skin, our perky boobies, our elastic bodies, and the melanocytes. Here’s the thing about coloring your hair dark when you have white roots: it’s impossibly high-maintenance. It’s a pain in the ass. And that’s another gift that getting older bestows upon us. We simply haven’t got time for all that maintenance. We’re too busy developing our bucket lists and going to the doctor for more drugs and yelling at those little fuckers on our lawns.

And so, tonight, I am giving the husband what he wants ( No, you dirty minds, not THAT. You’re nasty!) and dying the hair red again, with blonde streaks. It camouflages those white roots better. It’s also a younger version of me, which is who I am inside this 49 year-old shell. And that’s the irony of getting older, too. We’ve earned the right to act as young as we want to, even if we could conceivably break a hip in the process.

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I like the safer bet of sporting red hair, myself.

Anmiversary.

4 years ago on this day, I was lying to myself.

I’ve always been a believer in my gut, because that deep, gnawing awareness of things has never steered me wrong. My heart has always been my gut’s most worthy adversary, and God knows, I’ve let “the heart have what the heart wants” too many times when my gut was fairly screaming inside my head, warning me that my heart is selfish and narcissistic. 4 years ago, my heart was not ready to admit what it had known at the same time as my gut: that 2 days prior, when my brother came upstairs and said, “Mom needs help” and my daughter had flown down the stairs while I threw on some clothes, the 911 call I would make that day was going to be the last of its kind. We’d made so many throughout the years and indeed, my whole life had been framed by 911 calls. As a child, the frantic calls for the ambulance were made for my grandmother, and then as my mother’s health declined decades later, they were for her. With every single one before September 22, 2012, my gut had reassured me that things might have been a little sketchy occasionally, but “pull through” was what my mother always did. This time, my gut was pretty quiet. As I pulled on a pair of jeans and tripped over my own feet while trying to pull my hair into a ponytail, my gut whispered, and that whisper was louder than any scream. This time is different, it said. You know this time is different.

Throughout three days of reassurances and care plans and then alternative efforts to make Mom’s slow southward descent turn around, I kept telling my gut to SHUT the FUCK UP. My heart was not letting go of the promise of the past few months. We’d been working our way back to a healthy mother-daughter relationship, which was something we’d lost back around the time my brother was born when I was 8 and THAT shitstorm had commenced. 37 years I’d been hanging in the wind while she blamed me for all her bad choices. 37 years of my own bad choices made out of loneliness and fear and not belonging anywhere or to anyone. We were working it out. She was feeling better. She was my mom again. Really my mom. Obviously, my gut was a fucking liar, right? Because I had waited all those years to finally have her in my life in a positive way, and my heart wanted that. Needed that.

In the early hours of September 24, 4 years ago, I couldn’t sleep. My gut was whispering again and I needed to silence it. At 4:30am, I called the MICU and had a quiet conversation with the kindest nurse I’ve ever known. I wish that I could remember her name. She was the charge nurse and supervised all the RNs assigned to each individual patient. My mom’s nurse was busy, so this nurse talked to me. I began to realize that she sounded a lot like my gut, and that I needed to let her talk directly to my heart. In that calm and comforting way she had, she quieted my heart’s cries that I needed my mom. I was able to sleep a bit, and then things happened the way they did. I still remember each and every moment of that day, and that in the end, my gut and my heart locked hands and helped me to make the decision that had to be made. When it was over, and my girls and I had held her hands as she left us and the sunset was so breathtaking over Lake Erie that I just KNEW she had gone peacefully, that charge nurse was coming on shift. She asked me, “Can I just hug you? I wanted to so bad when we talked and I would like to if you would let me now.” Of course. Of course.

The last 4 years have been challenging. I have fallen apart in many ways. I have been at war inside, still wondering if she ever truly loved me. In this process of falling apart and slowly trying to make myself whole again, I have come to accept that yes, she did. She did in the only ways she knew how. Maybe it wasn’t what I deserved, but it was what I was given, which is more than so many lost souls get. It has to be enough, and so my gut is telling me to open my heart and let the sadness I feel in, but to not wallow in it. Let it have the relevance it needs, but to then let it go. Embrace the love that surrounds me, and laughter, and live each day feeling gratitude. Remember that sunset when she left us, and bask in its glow of peacefulness every single day.

I will always miss my mother.

Clowns be shifty creatures

You have to hear the title in Captain Barbossa’s voice; that crafty, wily would-be captain of The Black Pearl in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, for this to work. Aye, clowns be shifty creatures. And by clowns, I mean politicians.

Okay, I  mean Donald Trump.

Look, we’re less than 2 months from election day, when the very fate of this country will be decided. I’ve held my tongue, for the most part, because I’m speechless when it comes to the downward turn this country has taken with regard to decency, respect, and reasonable arguments. But since this is my blog and you read my writing and you know I tend to speak my mind, I figured, awwww, fuck it. Let’s piss some people off. And, might I add, if MY OPINION (guaranteed to me by the motherfucking United States Constitution) pisses you off, then why the hell are you following my blog?¬†Am¬†I being dramatic? I don’t think so. I’m sure there’s some Hillary Hater out there, furiously typing a blog with the same, exact sentiment in mind. She Who Must Not Be Named. Killary. The Banshee Murderess who will take your children and cook their brains and serve them at the next State Dinner. Hillary has more titles given to her than Dr. Seuss. Trump has one. The Donald. How very original! I have a good theory as to why this is. It’s because no one in the history of the world has taken this charlatan, this carnival barker, this con man to end all con men, seriously.

Here’s a true story. When my youngest daughter was about 3, she had a toy telephone that she loved to play with. You moms remember them: Fisher Price made them, they had faces, and kids pulled them around with a string. They made irritating, wonky noises as they were dragged around the house. Sounded a lot like Sarah Palin.

One morning, she drifted into my bedroom and asked casually, “What’s Donald Trump?” in her singsong voice. This was back in the early 90’s, when there were a lot of trash stories about Trump and his mistress and Ivana getting rich off their divorce and Robin Leach’s insufferable crowing about Mar-A-Lago on commercials advertising Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Still, I was a bit taken aback.

“Not ‘what’, Sweetie, but ‘who’. Donald Trump is a rich businessman who has hotels and golf courses and named a huge skyscraper after himself.”

“So he gots lots of money?”

“Yeah, I guess so. But he’s a big jerk and not a nice guy.”

Katie (she used to be Katie before she announced, at age 8, that she was Kat) was silent for a moment, seeming to digest my words and turn them over in her head. Then, I ¬†heard the unmistakable sound of her telephone being dialed, and her singsong voice followed, only it wasn’t sweet sounding anymore. It was a menacing, Ripley-esque “Get away from her, you BITCH” tone.

“DONALD TRUMP. I WANT MY MONEY. You ¬†GIVE it to ME or I will SUE you.”

I was shocked. “I will sue you”? Where does a 3 year-old get the idea to sue someone? Did they say that on Animaniacs or Gem and the Holograms or her brothers’ favorite show, Masters of the Universe? I can just hear ¬†that dialogue :

He-Man: “Alright Skeletor, you’ll regret your plans to rule the universe! By the Power of Grayskull, I will stop your evil ways!”

Skeletor: (cackling) And just howwwww do you think you are going to stop me, He-Man???

He-Man: I’ll….I’ll SUE!

Anyway, this little game of Katie’s went on for a long time. Every few days, she’d be on that telephone, threatening litigation and demanding payment for “all that work” she did for Donald Trump. I laughed about it at the time. Donald Trump was a buffoon. Harmless. And kids need an enemy for their make-believe dramatics.

I’m not laughing now, and neither is Katie, henceforth referred to as Kat. Her make-believe turned out to be prophecy in the form of plenty of stiffed workers not receiving their pay from Trump after failed business transactions; Trump University students not receiving an education they paid for; Atlantic City residents let down by Trump’s failed casino ventures; and let’s not forget all of the charities promised money by Trump who never saw a DIME.

“I want my money!” indeed. But set that aside for a moment. Set aside the fact that he’s seeking the authority to control the country’s economic future. I know, scary. But look at his other “qualities”: dishonesty, bigotry, racism, ignorance, and his notorious thin skin. Do we want to elect a man who might pick up the red phone and launch a nuclear missile at some leader of another country who put him down in a 2am tweet? Because that’s the fucking reality here, kids. Forget that he’s a ¬†rich, entitled coward who got out of Vietnam because his feet hurt. Forget that he cheated on wife number one with wife number two and then cheated on wife number two with wife number three. Forget that he’s really cash-poor, like many “successful business magnates” are. Forget that he has accepted loans from Russian mafias. Forget that he once said that if his daughter wasn’t his daughter, he’d date her. (Creepy-ass fuck.) Forget that he has really¬†poor taste in decorating and that the Lincoln Bedroom will end up looking like a cheap, Dollar Store-inspired whorehouse if he’s in charge of the redecorating. Red phone, my ass. It will be the jewel-encrusted “gilt” phone. Okay, let’s go back to the creepy-ass dad shit because¬†there’s a picture:

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Yep. That’s the guy who wants to be president.

Right now, he and Hillary are neck-and-neck. Did I ever think that was going to be the harsh reality this close to the election? No! I thought BERNIE would be the candidate and that those of us who “felt the Bern” and who weren’t referring to bladder infections would be spreading the message of a new, improved America to the masses. Look, I’m ¬†fine with the excellent work that President Obama has done. I championed him 8 years ago and I champion him now. Sure, there have been disappointments, but most of them are due to the spoiled, rotten, bratty attitudes of the assholes in Congress who flat-out refused to reach across and shake the hand of a president because his skin is black. Elephant in the room, my ass. It’s the goddamned truth. There’s more blatant racism in this country today than there was 8 years ago, and that is truly unfortunate. People are less afraid to share their racist opinions and they have a tool in the form of Facebook (thanks, Zuckerberg!) with which to spew their ignorance.

No, I ¬†didn’t think I’d be¬†this worried at this point. But I am. We are IN THE SHIT if this orange-complexioned hatebag gets elected. He is what’s wrong with this country. Fuckknuckles like him created the economic mess we found ourselves in over 8 years ago with their greed. No, it wasn’t George W. See? I am capable of a kind word or two about a Republican. I was one once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away.¬†Was he a massive dingleberry on the anus of his father? Probably. But he did not create the mess alone. This is what I think. I think reality ¬†TV needs to be outlawed and that this patron saint of the genre needs to be exiled to his gilded penthouse, along with his Children of the Corn-looking spawn. He can spend his days muttering, “I coulda been a contendah” while Melania looks on with her bored, disapproving Slavic gaze and Douchebag VonFuckface and Thurston Shitbag III drop by to regale him with their latest African safari hunting trips.

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Thanks to Bill Maher for those classic monikers, by the way.

I have thoughts about Mrs. Clinton, too. I am an equal-opportunity critic. She deserves her own blog, though, and she will get it. Right now, I need to go wash my eyes out with purified water because I can’t unsee that pic of Trump and Ivanka. My apologies, friends. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Here’s a kitten:

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Tuck it all away for another day

What do you do with all of the words and thoughts and silly anecdotes that you carry around in your head day after day? If you’re me, you find a place to put them; a catch-all, like a little bowl on your dresser where you keep the jewelry you wear every day. If you’re like me, you find that you’ve added to the collection as time passes, and so you need to decide what stays in the daily line-up and what needs to be archived in the big jewelry box.

This blog is my big jewelry box. When I was a little girl, I would go through my grandma’s jewelry box from time to time, fascinated with the dozens of pieces she kept in there. The box was shaped like a clock and had a music box inside, which was pretty ingenious, because opening it was truly like going back in time and catching glimpses of her life and who she really was. With a soundtrack, albeit a twinkly, tinny version of a song I still don’t know, but can hear in my mind to this day. It was magical, delving into her past and “seeing” her in a different way. I knew a quieter, softer, and more broken-down version of Rhea; a body ravaged by the excesses of her day, before we knew that those excesses could and would kill you. In that jewelry box was a lady, a dazzling, sexy, classy, beautiful lady with impeccable taste. That jewelry box contained the¬†real Rhea. This blog contains the¬†real me. So here I go, archiving things I need to unload, because the weight of them in my mind makes my thinking sluggish, and it’s growing too crowded to move.

I don’t like people. When I say this, I don’t mean every human on the planet. Obviously, there are humans who I love and want to be around, and humans who I like and enjoy talking to. But….but. I love certain humans, definitely, but don’t want to be in contact with even them on a daily basis. My anxiety disorder hums in the background of my consciousness even when I’m sufficiently benzoed. It’s a part of me, always providing a current of electrical energy that, while distressing, is also familiar. With medication, it doesn’t overtake me and make it impossible for me to connect with others. I do feel the need to control how much I rely on medication to quiet the hum, so days of isolation are essential for me. Days where the hum is loud, but human interaction is limited.FB_IMG_1469198437368

I’m still mystified that I’m doing well at work. This is certainly a much more aloof job in terms of human interaction. My administrative jobs were less personal in that they involved more phone interaction than face-to-face. I’m great at that. My nursing home experience was more interactive, but on an intimate basis, with care giving thrown in. I excel at that. This job, though. I worried at first. I was afraid at first. I really, really don’t like seeing people at their worst. It simply affirms my belief that everyone is capable of shittiness.

People are at their worst when they shop. I am lucky, I suppose, to be more in a support position, behind the scenes, than out on the front lines, having to put on a happy face and be accomodating and pleasant even when being screamed at for something stupid, like not being able to honor a coupon. Seriously, people? You find it necessary to insult and tear down a cashier because the register – which has all the criteria programmed into its system – refuses a .25 off coupon that states that you must purchase a 24 oz ketchup, not the 16 oz you are insisting be honored “because I just don’t¬†need the bigger size.” The cashier is “fucking stupid”, the store is “ignorant”, the manager you demanded to see is “a clueless asshole”, and you’re “calling corporate.” Please. Shop online. And go to hell while you’re at it. Cashiering is a brave job. Don’t ever think less of the person cashing you out. Cashiers are warriors on the front lines of a war we call commercialism. Cashiers deserve hazard pay.

I think that I dislike children. Not my own. Not my grandkids. Okay, not kids who behave. The ones who scream, whine, fall onto the floor and throw fits in public, or who race shopping carts and rip apart merchandise? Not so much. Maybe it isn’t the kids I should dislike. Maybe it’s their parents who need smacked upside their heads for allowing and basically supporting such behaviors. When did ignoring your crying child – no matter how loud or how long he/she screams, “I WANT A¬†TOY!” – become the acceptable way for dealing with such behavior? When your child is hysterical, sweaty, and you’ve made the rounds of the store TWICE while ignoring their screams, are you not only doing a gross disservice to the people around you but also committing a form of child abuse?

These people mystify me. Their kids give me a headache. ¬†It also makes me eye every child with suspicion, much like a Clint Eastwood-esque scenario ( GET OFF MY LAWN.). Is this little shit gonna start howling for something? I don’t advocate spanking. Wait. The fuck I don’t.¬†I don’t advocate child abuse. I do advocate discipline. I was rarely spanked as a child. I can recall three times. And you know what? I deserved every single one. I was being a shit, a brat, and openly defying my mother. And I didn’t like those spankings, and that influenced my behavior in the future. It wasn’t about the pain, because it stung for a while and then faded. It was about the shame. The humiliation. Having disappointed a person I loved and depended on. I knew that I had been acting like an asshole. She called me on it. That was not a good feeling. More kids should experience that. Parents are parents. Not friends. Parenting is not a democracy. Somehow, we’ve allowed kids to think it is, though. Before you know it, the world is going to become overrun with self-centered, entitled brats who are, at best, sociopaths.

Which brings me to the presidential race. Come on, be honest….I said “sociopath” and some of you immediately thought, “Trump”. Am I right? I hope I am.

Look, I don’t like our choices. In many ways, it’s the lesser of two evils. But one is certainly more experienced and has the ability to run a country. You don’t have to like her. I don’t. I didn’t like my high school principal, either. But he was competent at the job and had all the qualifications. The other choice? Are we fucking¬†serious? Yes, I guess we are. He secured the nomination despite every card-carrying, notable member of his party denouncing him while ¬†simultaneously accepting him. He has incited a riot of citizens who think he “hears” them. He is certainly saying the things they think. Terrible, mysoginistic, racist, hateful things. And there are enough of them to elect him. This terrifies me. It should you, too. I’m not suggesting that we don’t need help in this country. We DO. The help we are in such desperate need of, though, is not to be found in the dealings of a circus-barker like shyster who has never actually read a book in his life. What we need is bipartisanship. Everyone working together for the common good. Addressing the needs of the country and resolving to link hands in solidarity, roll up our sleeves, and get the job done side by side. I’ve urged this since President Obama was elected. I’ve hoped for it. Now, I despair that it’s ever going to happen. A mob mentality has taken root. And I am afraid.

I don’t like admitting fear of anything. Except clowns and balloons. I am terrified of both. And isn’t Trump sort of an orange-hued clown, with his wife and children bobbing along behind him on strings like helium-filled latex? That’s how I see it. And so, I guess that I am feeling like it’s okay to admit my fear. Certainly, plenty of others are, too. But will it be enough to quash the hatred that has overtaken this country? I welcome your views, because I’m out of fresh ones.

Wow. I tied mental illness, Voldemort, and Donald Trump together in this blog. Can you see why I need my jewelry box?

Just you shut your mouth.

I don’t know where I’m going with this.

I’ve had a compulsion to write for a couple of days now, but between physical exhaustion and a world-weary confusion about my own feelings, I thought it best to wait. Wait until the thoughts were more coherant, organized, and civilized. Yes, I meant to say civilized. “Civilized” is fast deteriorating into a thing of the past in this country. I know, people in other countries have their problems, and we read of them, but I can’t comment or offer an opinion because I’m not living their realities. Brexit? I have to admit: I just don’t give a fuck. The constant chaos and suffering in Third World countries? I’m sad for these people, and I will contribute to charity here and there, but it doesn’t impact my life on a daily basis. It’s not that I don’t care, because anyone with empathy certainly does, but I’ve long since given up on thinking of ways to help.

Same thing with the Middle East. I have very concrete ideas there. They’ve been engaged in war with each other since the beginning of time. Maybe, just maybe…..we should have stayed out of it. Their religion. Their resources. Their customs. It’s never been anyone else’s business. But yes, when they asked for help, we gave it, and just like that controlling family member who helps you out in a time of crisis, that’s when we inserted the condition that “If we’re going to help you, we have EVERY RIGHT to dictate how we help and what you do with the help.” So not cool. And so it began, and now a shitload of the oppressed and ideologically insane in those countries have risen up to say, “Hey, we don’t appreciate your meddling. You’re a bunch of assholes, and the world would be a better place without you. We hate your fucking guts, and we’re going to kill each and every one of you however we can.”

We’ve been so focused on putting out the fires in other countries that the little fires in this country¬†have smoldered, unchecked, for a long time now. The flames of racism, entitlement, power given to the wrong people, and oppression of anything or anyone who doesn’t “fit in” with our ideas of “how things should be” are burning, and they’re getting hard to control. . Yeah, we’ve noticed the smoke, a lot of us have. It was far away though, or it was at least far enough away from our daily grind to not necessitate action. We saw it off there in the distance, shrugged, said, “Not really my problem right now”, and moved on.

As with any fire that’s allowed to move beyond the boundaries in which it has been contained, the smoldering embers in this country have become angry brush fires consuming great swaths of land. Some are reaching the dense stands of trees, and soon, we will have forest fires furiously rolling along, destroying everything in their path. Racism. Religious intolerance. Bigotry. Disrespect of and indifference to anyone or anything who doesn’t follow ¬†your¬†set of rules. That’s a big problem these days. Everyone has their own set of rules. When we don’t like what we hear, we parade out the Constitution and say, “This. This is the law of the land.” ¬†Yes, it was written by the architects of this country in a time when those points were at the forefront of an ideology very much in its infancy. Things were much, much simpler then. Problem is, we’re a complicated, critically thinking population now, and some think the Constitution, well….needs some work. Some revisions that are reflective of a more modern age. And we can’t agree on that. Hell, we can’t agree on anything anymore.

When did we become so intolerant and hateful? When did we decide that it was okay to pass judgment and to ridicule others for their ideas and ways of life? When did it become okay to simply throw out ALL of the rules and adopt our own? The yawning gap between the rich and “the rest of us” has never been as wide as it is today. Has that fueled this fury? The lack of decorum and respect amongst our government officials has deteriorated to such a new low that the current presidential campaigns resemble reality shows and not the actual political process that they claim to represent and uphold.

When everything you read is more tabloid than fact.

When everything you see is bright, plastic, disposable, tacky.

When all the rules are allowed to be thrown into the trash and lit on fire because “We are Americans and it’s our right, goddammit”.

When our looks, how we dress, talk, decorate our homes, drive, think, are fodder for someone else’s intolerance and disdain and the assumed “right” to tell us just what they don’t like about these things.
When skin color, religion, sexual orientation, and gender issues are still being debated and criticized.



Jesus Christ, people. Who the fuck are we and what have we become? Certainly not evolved. There was respect and decency in “the old days”. Sit down and have a chat with an elder. Not everything was better, certainly, but we were on the road to improving. Somewhere along the way, we stopped. Some of us stopped. And when we did, that undercurrent of hate that exists everywhere and has certainly existed in this country since its foundation was allowed to rise to the surface. The events of the past week have certainly proven that. The reactions of many continue to bear this out. Instead of stopping in their tracks and listening to¬†what’s¬†being said, they raise their voices to the cacophony of cries¬†and now we can’t hear a single thing in the noisy din. Everyone is intent on being heard, but nobody is listening.

It is a black thing. It is a white thing. It is a problem with the way people are “seen”. Until we find the solutions to that, until we all accept and realize that we are all human beings who bleed red blood, ¬†and until we respect each other and quit with the fucking judgment, people will continue to hurt each other and people will continue to die.

“Land of the free and home of the brave” has never been more open to interpretation than it is now.

Shit’s getting real.

Wow.

I’ve been away for a while. I’m sorry about that, both because I have had so many things that I wanted to say, but also because this place is a dusty mess! Even when you aren’t “using a room” it becomes dusty. And I see this as a room, so to speak; my safe room, where I can say things I need to say, act like an ass, and even break down occasionally. That’s what writing is to me. Hell, writing IS me. The¬†real me – uncensored, with even less filter than I possess in my everyday life. Everyone needs that kind of safety, I think. If everyone had an outlet in which they could feel free to “be”, I think the world would be much less fucked up and chaotic. Someone alert Donald Trump’s advisors, please. Tell him that the WORLD is not his “safe place”. Seriously.

Well, let me brush aside the dust and just say that the last three months have been hard. When you take a borderline agoraphobic person with depression and anxiety and thrust her into a phenomenon known as RETAIL, well….prepare for things to be unpredictable. For her, for you, for everyone who comes into contact. I will admit, the first week was a blur, and the second week was when I asked myself, “Do you really think this is doable?” I was doubling my ¬†Xanax intake and coming home so exhausted that even crying took too much effort. Between the physicality of my job – dairy products are fucking heavy and people buy so¬†much of it – and the mental jungle gym that is the psyche of a person working in retail, I wasn’t sure if I could deal.

Our Voldemort ¬†(remember kids, we have special names for the sake of anonymity mmkay?) is a “superstore” and nearly 300 people work there. Imagine every kind of personality underneath one roof, and then inject Voldemort’s “company line” into it. The daily rituals. The rules. The koolaid that he forces down your throat. Grape koolaid. I really¬†hate grape koolaid. Then mix all that and add the special ingredient: customers. This is not a recipe built for just anyone. Many treat it the way they see it; it pays the bills. Some come in with a rosy vision of happiness and kittens and promotions and family atmosphere and rainbows. Yeah. Voldemort isn’t into that stuff. On the surface, it gives you what you think ¬†you need. Just below that surface is where we are, his Death Eaters, doing his bidding. That’s where the reality is, and it’s a dark, shadowy place with fake politeness and an undercurrent of sarcasm and barely-contained fury. I don’t mind it. When you get to my age and have enough experience with¬†really bad people and places to work, this is not a bad situation to be in. It is what you make of it. Some continue to care long after they’ve realized that caring isn’t really necessary, and some figure it out quickly and move on.

I suffered through those first few weeks. Everything that could be thrown at me to derail my engine was thrown. Prince died. My doctor told me I needed to see a neurosurgeon for my neck. I had my first real, all-over-my-body flare-up of osteo. All while needing to work, lifting, pulling, reaching, walking, climbing. It was so painful that I cried. And I don’t cry. Pain has been with me since birth. I’m a tough bitch who wears fucking suspenders, yo. But this was bad. Despite my misery, I began to see that I was working in an area where I might be a warm body to Voldemort, but to my fellow Death Eaters, I was a welcome comrade. And then it happened.

Son of a bitch. I began to care.

Me? I’m a sucker for a lost cause. Always have been. Got a problem? Lay it on me. I’m here to help. The reality is this: you’re a warm, physical body with the ability to do the job, which is provide people with the things they want to buy. That’s it. It isn’t rocket science. You do it with a smile, and no matter what stupid question a customer asks you ( “Can you help me find the cream cheese?” “Why certainly! Turn around and look to your left!” “Oh my, I’m so silly!” “Oh, no big deal. People miss it¬†allllll the time!” Der der der. Kill me now. ) you act like you were placed in that exact location solely to help them. It’s not a difficult concept to grasp. It’s when Voldemort finds out that you have a functioning brain that you could be in trouble. That’s when the opportunities open up, if you’re game. More responsibility. But with that comes the possibility that if you fuck up, Voldemort is going to punish you. If you’re me, punishment mostly comes from¬†within. I have yet to be in trouble for anything since I took initiative and offered my brain power. I have made a few mistakes. Butcropped-halloweenscare.png Voldemort is wise, you see. He knows that the worst punishment for a fuck up that I could ever receive is my own brain beating me up.

This is where I always make that error of thinking I might be able to make a positive difference in things. This is where I jump in with both feet and open myself up to everything. This is where I make the mistake of thinking that I might actually belong here. Someone needs to throw their arms around my chest and stop me from stepping off the cliff. I¬†know where I am, you see. But I don’t know if I can resist.

Trying to get a life.

The title says it all. I have  SO MUCH TO SAY.

But alas….I’m too tired to form a coherant sentence. Wait,¬†that¬†was coherant, wasn’t it? See? I’m so tired that I can’t tell whether or not I’m telling you the truth.

The last few weeks have ramped up and I have (ahem)¬†stories to tell. Stories that might shock and amaze, make you fear for humanity, or just laugh at how stupid our daily realities are. I promise you that I will bequeath upon you the wisdom I have acquired as a faithful Death Eater. If you’re following this blog, you understand that carefully masked sentence.

For now, there is only this:

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All you need is just a little patience. Or is it dirty deeds?