Archive for January, 2012

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In which this is stupid, feel free to skip

January 31, 2012

Fuck, you guys. I’m having a really hard time with today, like a crazy emotional wave from the Sea of Crazy Motherfuckers washed over me, washed me out of my apartment, in my pajamas and clutching a stuffed fox, and swirled me around for a while until it finally receded. Then, I guess I walked back home. I haven’t totally worked out the whole story yet. I have a good visual of what the “swirling around” part is like, from personal childhood experience taking too many risks with waves that were a bit too big, but that’s as far as I got: me, soaked in crazy, washed up on Crazy Hill, unsure what comes next.

What’s wrong with me? Don’t really know. I’ve just been weepy and anxiety-riddled all day, about work, about insurance, about everything I can imagine. This may be a function of having a boring, drawn-out illness, I don’t really know. I never had one before, so there’s nothing to compare it to.

The sucky, mind-fuck part of this generally sucky experience is that there are one or two cells hiding deep in my brain who, at the first sign of crazy weepiness, tilt their heads and say in sympathetic girlfriendy voices, “Awwwww… We’re sorry you’re sad! You know what the one, unique, inevitable solution to this problem is? If you talk to the Captain.” And then they look at each other, pursing their lips and nodding knowingly, and mouthing the word “totally.”

I know better than those two brain cells do, those tacky, unhelpful bimbos who, when the Captain does not talk to me, will shrug and, in a totally unsurprising 180, tell me I really need to absorb the idea that he’s just not that into me, so I need to move on, already.

Guess what, brain bimbos — I have moved on. I have moved exactly as far on as is possible. Someday, I will move even farther! That is why I find it so unsettling that there is some element of comfort that part of me believes the Captain, wherever he is, can provide. That was an unwieldy sentence, but since no one is reading this, I don’t really care.

I want someone to put his arm around me, to tell me that things will be all right, and for those things to then actually be all right. I guess my brain fills in the image of the Captain in that role because it’s accustomed to doing so, despite every shred of evidence that this wish will not happen, and all the distraction and moving-on I have actively done to prevent it.

It takes a pretty deep abyss to bring out this level of crazy in me, i.e., that i think that talking to the Captain would help anything, but today, I am in the abyss and can’t find my way out. The reason I know that talking to him would help nothing is this: He knows that I’m going through a frightening time and have wanted to talk to him in the past, and he was unwilling even to pick up the phone. That is not the sign of a comforting person.

I just want answers. When am I going to get well? Or, barring that, when am I going to die? I really need to know. This limbo is literally making me crazy. When is this anxiety going to recede, so I don’t feel like I could burst out screaming at any given moment? When am I going to stop bursting into tears for no reason? I cannot distract myself much longer, and I have dug down deep inside myself for strength, and leaned on friends for support, and everything I’m supposed to be doing, I think, and I’m still going crazy.

Oh, my God, I wish there were some magical distillation of the Captain’s personality that included only the good, reassuring elements, and that that could visit me and tell me everything will be all right. I would make it grilled cheese and tomato soup and welcome it as a valued guest.

I am not wallowing, I am treading water, and I’ve never been a strong swimmer. I just really don’t know what to do.

The Captain used to look at me and throw up his hands and say, with great frustration, “I can’t fix you!” That sounds very similar to the words I think these days when I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror.

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In which beggars would ride

January 31, 2012

I woke up out of a dream heavy as a sodden blanket, in which I was on a big workboat with my friend Handsome Actor Don and his ex-girlfriend. The seas were choppy, and I was supposed to get in a tiny boat and row back to where my family was waiting for me. There were delays after delays, and I was dreading heading out to sea alone in this tiny boat, because I knew that once I arrived at my destination, I’d have to row home again, a distance of many miles.

Upon emerging from this dream, I thought about how lonely this process of being sick is and how lately, I have felt like my doctor, seeing that I haven’t magically recovered, has kind of shrugged her shoulders and transferred her attention to the next patient. Honestly. I haven’t even been able to get her to sign a form saying that I should be excused from work, despite filling out most of the form for her, and repeated phone calls.

I’m just complaining right now, because I’m sad and scared and …sick, I guess. The three S’s, which I just made up. I know: why I never pursued a career on Madison Avenue as the next great ad genius, I’ll never understand.

I guess my dream just represents my feeling of setting off alone on the journey of being sick. Which is bull, because I’m definitely not alone. What the significance of Don and his ex-girlfriend is, I’m not sure, except that I guess I see him as capable and kind of good-natured, and yeah, I don’t know why his ex-girlfriend would have been there.

In other news, people have been finding this blog by searching some really amusing terms lately. “La Leche league c*nts,” for example, or a particularly long search term inquiring about a rumor that Angela Lansbury was known for being a swinger. I have to apologize to those searchers — there is no such information in these pages.

And in other, other news, just a reminder of how much it can suck to be friends with your mother on FB: Recently, my cousin wrote on my wall, using a nickname that only she uses for me. The nickname was inconsequential to the rest of the message, but my mother wrote, “Ok, you two, what’s this [nickname] business all about?” So fucking annoying. I recognize that FB is a public forum, I just don’t appreciate her monitoring me and commenting on innocuous things as if I’m a child doing something secret and possibly naughty.

Whatever. I’m just grouchy and sad and annoyed today. And suddenly, oranges, which I love, taste horrible to me. As does coffee. Yesterday, I took a couple of Xanax and slept through my anxiety. I can’t do that every day, or I’ll be asleep the rest of my life.

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This is me.

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In which I feel the weight

January 30, 2012

I’m trying to calm myself down right now. I’m trying to calm the fuck down and get some perspective, because I feel an anxiety attack hovering at the edges and I don’t really want that adventure right now.

This is why I have Xanax. I’m still waiting for it to kick in, but in the meantime, I will briefly explain the reason behind this panic: I just had a conversation with the Benefits department at work, and calculated the numbers of how much I will be making on long-term disability. Essentially, my pay goes down 25%, and I add in the cost of my health insurance — $500 a month. I am not really sure how to do this, and my first reaction was tears and lying prone so that the tears ran into my ears.

I guess I can cut my expenses to the bone, and sell everything of value I own. I’m not sure how to go about it. I’ll figure it out — I always do — but today was a rough reality check that reminded me that I am not only not well enough to work, but that I need to change my entire lifestyle.

It is really a blow to think that as little budget as I have now for entertainment, that will have to be cut. I feel trapped, like I can’t go anywhere, I can’t do anything, and I will be stuck here in this apartment, staring at the walls and slowly going crazy. Maybe rapidly going crazy. Who can say? We can start a betting pool to guess the specific date I lose my shit.

Lately, I’ve been feeling fine about not having a partner. When I started this blog, I was preoccupied with having a boyfriend, but that feeling has passed. At the same time, I recognize that big changes like the one I’m facing can, with a partner, be adjusted for. There’s a little more wiggle room with two incomes. On my own, I’m just that: on my own. Although it will pass, I am currently feeling terrified at the prospect of making this new budget work.

I want to thank all my friends for their kindness and generosity over the last year. You bolster me and help me pull through the darkest of nights. I will pull through this one, too.

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I may be broke, but I’ve still got attitude.

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In which I wish it would rain

January 29, 2012

It’s been unseasonably warm of late — something I should be glad for, but am not. There’s so little indication of seasons changing here, and I am craving something to mark the difference. Sunny and 75 probably sounds ideal to those of you living with icicles dripping from the eaves, but it puts me in kind of a perverse funk.

Part of this funk comes from spending too much time indoors, for sure. And part of that is just due to my ridiculous dearth of energy and can’t really be helped.

Today, my brother and I are taking a ride down to Westlake (the fancy district) to meet a guy who has a computer I want to buy. I found it on Craigslist. My current computer tries hard, but dates from about 1934 and as such is lacking many features. The new-used computer I’ll be looking at is significantly newer, and I’m bringing my brother the IT wizard along to prevent a situation in which I am dazzled by the shiny and forget to ask important questions like, “So, does this computer actually work?”

A newish computer means I’ll be able to Skype and do modern things like stream Netflix and join the world of 2008. Ahhh, the future! I’ll see you there!

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In which the world tastes good

January 27, 2012

A couple of days ago, I got a note from UPS on my front door, which is always exciting. In this case, I couldn’t tell what the intended message was. Make the “check, please!” motion with your hand, and that essentially replicates the squiggly line drawn on the form, this supposedly informational form.

I figured that UPS would turn up to clear up the matter at some point — a baseless and naive hope — but nothing happened until today, when I got a little post-it on my door, stating that the law office upstairs had my UPS package. Apparently, in UPS-speak, an indecipherable squiggle = “Your package is at the law office. Get it from them.”

No harm done. I went to the office and introduced myself, wearing my craziest cat lady hoodie for maximum credibility. There, the nice lady gave me a big box addressed to me, which I ripped open as soon as I got inside my apartment.

It was like my dreams came true times one million — the box was filled with CANDY, delicious candy! Mint juleps, all sorts, salt-water taffy and the rarest of all: Mexican Hats!

Oh, Mexican Hats, how I love you. That is what I said as I opened the bag. I can’t remember the last time I had one, but as soon as I bit into a Hat (green), the specific, slightly odd mix of flavors flooded back: spearmint, clove, cinnamon, licorice. That is, the green is spearmint, the red is cinnamon, etc., not that those flavors are mixed in each Hat.

Thank you, candy-sender! You have brightened my world. And my cat’s world (see illustration).

ILLUSTRATION

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In which there is pie

January 26, 2012

What’s today, Thursday? I’ve slept through this whole week and while I’m not thrilled about that, there’s nothing I can do to change it.

I’m due for a CT scan soon, which will show how the chemo has been working. Or not working. We shall see. My fondest wish is just not to feel poisoned all the time.

That’s about all I have to report, except that I was really craving lemon meringue pie, and my brother was kind enough to bring one home.

Oh! And it’s Angela Lansbury month on Turner Classic Movies. I think we know how I feel about that. Last night, I watched her in a stage production of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street!!! which I recommend highly.

Back to sleep.

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In which it is a perfect day

January 23, 2012

Rainwater is pouring out of the gutters of the house next door, making the rain sound more intense than it is. I’m back in my pajamas, under the covers, watching Murder, She Wrote and dozing.

My big plans for becoming a shut-in were foiled this weekend by the visit of three good friends from San Francisco, two of whom I probably hadn’t seen in close to 15 years. They picked me up and took me to a restaurant, and we laughed and reminisced and remembered things long-forgotten from our days doing production work for a stuffy management consulting firm. I was so happy to see them, and happy to revisit those days.

I was glad to be out in the world! Two weeks in bed is conspiracy-theory-level crazy-making. Next thing, I was going to scribble nonsense warning messages to my neighbors, using the time-honored medium of Sharpie on cardboard, and post the signs in my windows. KEEP YOUR HEAT MIND RAY OFF MY HOUSE JESSICA FLETCHER BEETS FOR THE INTERSPACE!!!

Like that.

Do any of you San Franciscans remember Frank, the Asian guy who’d walk around downtown in a suit and sunglasses, carrying a sign that read, 12 GALAXIES GUILTIED TO A ZEGNATRONIC ROCKET SOCIETY? Sometimes, his sign would change, or refer to Bill Clinton, but he was very dedicated in his cause. I was crossing the street downtown one time, and here comes Frank the other way, carrying his sign. Spotting an Asian woman just ahead of me, he started, raised both arms over his head in some kind of zegnatronic salute, and walked straight toward her. Apparently, she was from a different galaxy, because she made a wide horse-shoe path around him and kept going. Better luck next time, Frank!

That’s the thing about living in a big city: you can totally get away with being the 12 Galaxies guy, and people will just deal. They even named a nightclub after it (12 Galaxies, natch). If you think about it, that’s pretty cool, to be able to distinguish yourself in a city the size of San Francisco.

It probably wouldn’t be that hard here, in this town of maybe 100,000 people, to become the crazy Jessica Fletcher Beet Lady, or whatever. “Jessica Fletcher came down from Cabot Cove to heal with the power of beets!” Maybe I should work on it. Make a sign covered with photos of JB Fletcher and nutritional diagrams of beets. Maybe some religious and/or Hello Kitty stickers. Walk around downtown — it’s only a couple of blocks, so it’s less of a commitment than say, the financial district of San Francisco.

I’d get some exercise, make some new friends, and best of all: avoid being a shut-in. Win-win-win.