Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh no Aunty Christ didn't

For some reason, my brain has latched onto the term/TV show title “Tool Academy” as its new favorite thing to talk to itself about. You know, maybe I’m at the store, or driving down the street, or sitting in my interview class listening to some diapersack spouting forth about how awesome he is, and all I can think is: “What is this? Tool Academy?”

Anyway, Rich is gone, leaving me once again to stare helplessly at the stove. It makes food, when Rich is here. But now it sits cold and empty and unproductive. Where’s my dinner, stove? Oh, it’s at Arby’s? Okay, then.

North Saskatoon is filled with fast food drive-thrus, but the closest is Arby’s. Oh, what’s wrong with Arby’s?, I asked myself. I mean, of course it’s disgusting, but a chicken sammy is a chicken sammy, right? I was ready to flip on the turn signal when I looked up at Arby’s giant red penis and said: Oh god. I cannot do this.

Any kitchen that prepares shaved penis on bun is not for Aunty Christ.

Good thing, anyway. Two weeks ago I went to the office for the first time in seven months and ended up talking with a little flibbertigibbet of my acquaintance, who turned the conversation, eventually, toward her dislike of people who don’t take care of themselves. And then she kind of very meaningfully stopped herself and looked at me. “Oh, not you,” she said. “I mean someone like _____,” and proceeded to name two or three really obese people in our office. Finally! Someone who doesn’t consider me morbidly obese—that’s awesome. I guess I can stop wearing my “THIS IS WHAT 400 POUNDS LOOKS LIKE” t-shirt (size medium, but it’s a little snug).

That awesome guy from my interview class? Turns out that when he’s not talking, Pregnant Black Teen is. Pregnant Black Teen kind of stole my instructor’s heart the first couple classes, her being preggers and my instructor being a mother. To introduce one of the film clips we watched (it’s a community college course: we watch a lot of movies), my instructor informed us that in this scene Denzel Washington’s film wife had just had a baby, and the mother next to me looked at the mother behind me and they both said: Aw! A baby! But Pregnant Black Teen killed off any good will her fertility had bought with the unfortunate habit of yelling at the movies we’re watching, and then yelling at our instructor as if she were a movie. The instructor, for example, put on Erin Brockovich and instructed us that although Erin’s interview skills were good, we perhaps should think twice about wearing a short leather vest to talk to clients. “She look good!” shouted Pregnant Black Teen at Julia Roberts’ sassy little figure. “I’d wear that! What’s wrong with the way she look?” Later, when the instructor said that she didn’t really like Julia Roberts but she—“Oh yes you do!” Pregnant Black Teen yelled. Instructor: “Well, no, I just don’t really like—” Pregnant: “Yes you like Julia Roberts!” It went on for perhaps a minute, and the instructor (a seasoned litigator) won, but only barely.

It was a wonderful moment for law, and for community college, and for humanity in general, probably. But there are moments in everyone’s life when you just want to take someone by the shoulders and tell them to stop being a stereotype and, oh, I suppose I just feel like that’s happening more and more frequently lately. That and the Tool Academy thing.

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. Now, stove, make me dinner.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Aunty Christ is the Weepy Grand Canyon of Emptyness

Today is Super Bowl Sunday and, not coincidentally, my favorite day of the year. That’s right: Puppy Bowl V. I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m retarded for dogs, right? I’m a pedophile for dogs. I’m Temple Grandin for dogs. I am not, however, coprophagiac for dogs or necrophiliac for dogs. I for one draw the line there. Some people are disgusting.

So, Rich and I looked at cats the other day, and we found one that’s as close to a thug dog as any cat is going to be. I introduce Rico.

Like my name say, I am Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations. Bitch, I will cut you.

He looks almost exactly like a thug dog, and he is large enough to stand up to the thugs’ mindless antagonism, I think. And provide them an ample meal in his litter box, but that’s another—completely disgusting—issue. (Didn’t I just say I was against that?) Of course, we have not gotten him yet. Will we? Will we soon—or ever?—bring him home in a little cardboard suitcase and introduce him to the Brothers Thug? I don’t know. It seems kind of unlikely at this point. I would like to get a cat, if only because Rich loves cats so much, and to be a cat person in a house of thugs must be hard.

But oh my: another thing that needs to be cared for. For the past six months or so, a blog post that another blogger wrote (in fact, the last blog post she wrote) has been clattering around in my head. Wide Eyed Kid wrote:

“Somewhere in 2008 I ran out of whatever it is that you pull out when you need to 'dig deep' … I've been told by a whole bunch of people that I am 'strong'. My shrink has said it. My counsellor has said it. My father has said it. My partners have said it. And my friends have said it. I think people say 'you're strong' to reassure themselves. Someone else's strength is a comforting alibi. People say 'you're strong' like it's a personality trait... like it can't be used up or beaten out of you.

“I pretty much used up all my strength not committing suicide after the home invasion. And after the first 2 years of that, every tiny amount of regenerated strength was put toward the maintenance of my sanity. I haven't had enough spare to get on top of things since 2003. And now I've been comprehensively drained once more. Strength is a resource that needs to be replenished. What I once had in abundance now needs complete and total regeneration. But I don't know how.”

When I first read that, I thought, “I know exactly what you mean, sister.” Not that anyone’s ever accused me of being overly strong, I don’t think. And not that I am strong. But there are other things, other traits, that after a year of neglect have been worn away by worry. Stress has hollowed my damn self out. I write about myself in cover letters: I am organized, detail-oriented, and meticulous, a good speller, a good writer. But I am none of these things. I may have been at one point, but they have been chiseled away, at first with a tooth scaler, but lately, a jackhammer. Worse yet, I think of myself as a nice person—a nice-ish person, anyway. “You have so much love to give,” an ex once accused me of, stating his case that I should rethink the whole having kids thing. I thought, no, children are not for me, but this love I have—he’s right. I have love, but I will give it to those I meet who deserve it. And I’m living with someone who deserves all my love and more, and I am empty inside, and I have nothing to offer him.

What I do have, in abundance, is anger and criticism and a need to be left alone—or, even more sadly, mindlessly encouraged, like the final Special Olympics sprinter lumbering toward the finish line. I feel specifically wounded by the economic crisis, and by my unstable job, and by the people who don’t realize that everything’s turned to shit, and by the people who know that it’s just going to get worse and insist that you be terrified by their vision of the future. Ah, but there’s nothing more annoying than bloggers endlessly whining about shit, right? So, I don’t blog anymore. Just to open my mouth is to whine unattractively, and no one wants that. Even me. Whoever that is these days.

So this is more just apology, really, for being a bad blogger. I think maybe that going back to school is going to somehow provide the fertilizer I need to regrow some good part of myself. Not in the “school is bullshit” kind of way, either. After every class I feel a little bit more myself, but only a little bit. Then, eight hours of work and I am empty again. But it’s a start. It’s a glimpse of who I would rather be, which is better than this. This shell. This thing.

So there’s my plan of attack, I guess. Feel a little better tomorrow. And build on it. And build on it. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing. I need to say also that I hope Wide Eyed Kid re-found her strength.