August 24, 2012

Diagnosis: Insanity

I haven’t posted in a while because now I have cancer, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis and also for a few days in a row I had several heart attacks each day.  Either I have all that, or I’m finally succumbing to the stress that seems to constantly swirl around me in a bit of a hysterical mocking fashion.  You decide.  Remember the other day when I said that I was just feeling exhausted?  Well the ‘feeling exhausted’ morphed from a mild feeling of being tired to a full on ninja type assault.  My body just started screaming, “Mutha, you ain’t listening to me!”  One morning, I woke up and was convinced that little darling was going to get hit by a car that day, or be in some fatal accident.  Another night, I had visions of big darling bleeding to death in a pool.   Not just fleeting visions or thoughts….but intense panic attack type thoughts that would.not.go.away.   Only those with deceased loved ones will get this last one…but I kept getting what I will coin the “corner of your eye” syndrome.  For those of you lucky bastards who still have all your eggs in one basket, this is the phenomenon in which you repeatedly catch glimpses of something out of your peripheral vision, and you think it’s the deceased person.  So yeah, I’m pretty sure this all means I am indeed going psycho.  No, I am not currently in therapy, because I sort of think I am the head therapist by now.  Just like I’m an internet doctor.  I don’t need to pay somebody to tell me that my stress levels are reaching “We about to shut this bitch down mode.  Ya hurd?”  I can’t even tell you what I’m stressed about, to be honest.  Back to school stuff, big darling’s illness and hallucinations, money, how the hell I’m going to do all this with a full time job, and a few other incidents with the people who must not be named.  I think the stuff with the people who must not be named is probably a large part of it.  But I can’t talk about that, because they are the people who must not be named.  All I can say about the people who must not be named is that they are indeed some fucked up motherfuckers.

So, back to my diagnosis.  I’m so tired and not feeling like myself, so I must have cancer.  I keep getting these small little lumps that hurt when I press them on my knuckles, so I must have rheumatoid arthritis, too.  Lupus, well, everyone has lupus.  For a few days I had lots of heart palpitations and when I got in bed at night I had the sensation of actually feeling blood coursing through my too little veins, so I’m pretty sure those were mild heart attacks and I need stents.  Of course I know I don’t have all this, and I hope the poor souls who actually do will not take offense at my shenanigans.  So now that I am fully diagnosed, thankfully my treatment can begin.  Only it really can’t, because little darling doesn’t start school until after Labor Day.  So I can’t rest, relax and eat twix until then.  I have to just do other things, like drink more beer, I guess.  I don’t know.  This is all just sucky to me, because I normally am a very high stamina person, high energy, good sleeper, good at bossing my body around, etc.  Now I’m none of those things.  Usually, I say to myself, “Self, shut the fuck up.”  And now self shakes her sassy head and says, “No, you shut the fuck up, mutha.  I’m about to hurt yo ass.”

I swear the minute I drop this little darling off at school, I will be headed straight to the R&R camp.  I’m scheduling massages, acupuncture, manicures, haircuts and maybe even naked dancers.  Who knows.  In the meantime, I continue to wake up each morning to see if E Hollywood News is reporting that I’ve been rushed to the hospital apparently suffering from exhaustion.

August 18, 2012

Trembling in the Night

I’m quite sure that my body is becoming immune to caffeine, or perhaps it’s just shutting down and crying out for mercy.  I’m like a rag doll the last few days. 
Thursday was our first day of school for the big darlings.  We were all ready to go Wednesday night, with everything set out and alarm clocks checked and quadruple checked.  I noticed big darling was acting a bit odd.  He didn’t eat dinner, even though he was served a special meal that he requested.  I chalked it up to first day of school jitters….until he stood next to my bed at 2 am with a crazy look in his eyes and said, “I’m scared,” followed by “Call the police!” and “Someone’s in here!” 
Let’s just pause and place special emphasis on the fact that a year ago someone was in here holding a gun to my temple and telling me they were going to kill me.  I’m not even quite sure how to adequately describe the wave of terror that washed over my body in that instant.  Exactly how fast can a person’s heart beat until it just explodes? 
It took me a few seconds to come to my senses.  We have a security system.  I am a complete obsessive compulsive disorder freakazoid when it comes to home security.  I check the locks no less than three times every night.  I check the alarm as many times too, as well as other peripheral gadgets like my invisible minefields, which lay waiting for some unsuspecting thug to set them off and blast them to smithereens.  (Wait…what?)  My security was not breached; I knew there was no way in hell someone was in here.   I start explaining that we are safe…but he’s pointing.  He’s trying to show me something.  Sweet Baby Jesus, please don’t let me see an apparition of Dave hovering in the corner of the room.  Knees shaking, hands trembling, eyes squinting and heart pounding, I grab him gently and wrap my arms and legs around him and pray silently that the hair is not standing straight up on the back of my neck because we are in the midst of paranormal activity.  The sudden appearance of zombies would not surprise me at this point.  As soon as I touch him I realize he’s got fever.  SHIT!   Tomorrow is the first day of school.  Of course, children of shit magnets are sick on the first day of school. 
I calmly tell him I’m just going to the kitchen to get medicine.  When I return, he has vanished.  I call to him.  There is no answer.  I call again.  He reluctantly and with wild eyes steps out of my closet, where he was ‘hiding from them.’  This is when I start silently cursing Dave, asking him if he’s happy that the sustained emotional torture is now oozing out of this small boy’s body, perhaps the fever and illness provides the opportunity.  I curse our lives, and feel the full realization that we have not yet recovered from the severe stress and trauma that he left us to just ‘deal with’.  Truly, will we ever fully recover?  “Give these boys a better life,” he said.  Yes, I’ll get right on that once your oldest son stops hallucinating next to our bed. 
 This is not the first time I’ve experienced this with big darling.  Since Dave died, it seems to happen only when he gets a fever, which has been twice now.  The anxiety of what could happen if he had such an episode while away from home sickens me.  The first time it happened, which was months ago, he actually did manage to set the security alarm off.  Deafening sirens in the middle of the night, me, thrust awake in absolute panic and unsure whether an armed intruder was again in our presence.  When the alarm company called to ask if we were safe, I couldn’t even find him.  He was hiding in his closet behind his clothes…invisible to me.  She kept asking me if we were safe.  No bitch, we are not safe.  And I don’t think we’ll ever be truly safe again.

August 15, 2012

Life in the Fish Tank

In a fit of desperate laziness yesterday, I declared that all the boys and I should snuggle up on the couch to watch some tv.  This is after I forbid them from watching tv at least 9 times throughout the day.  The last two weeks of summer has caused them to really start pushing the limits with me.  This, in turn, is causing me to start using creative curse words.  We need to do this 4 way snuggling way more often.  Like way more.  For starters, we need to practice how we can all lay comfortably with everyone still touching the mommy person in some way.  They spent the first 20 minutes squirming themselves into more coveted positions, easing others out of the better positions, all the while elbowing me and pinching me until I was bruised.  I made only silent screams and lost my breath several times, because I didn’t even want them to know they were hurting me, so happy was I to have them all over me.  One on one snuggling is good and we do that often as I make my rounds making sure everyone is fat and happy.  But dog piles are just heavenly.

We settled on a show I’ve never seen called “Tanked.”  It’s the show about these guys who build incredibly awesome custom aquariums.  The guys on the show are ok and entertaining enough, the women were annoying and made me want to punch them.  One of them is way too pointy.  (Pernty.  More yat talk.)  Anyway, we enjoyed snuggle time and last night I had an aquarium dream, which I’m pretty sure just basically sums up my life.

In the dream, we had a fish tank.  It didn’t appear incredibly beautiful and breathtaking like on the show, but I knew it was all those things, and more.  I was proud of the tank.  I didn’t care what anyone thought.  Didn’t care if anyone else thought the tank was beautiful.  The boys knew the tank was awesome too.  They loved it.  We all cared for the tank together.  One day I walked in to find that all the fish were floating and gasping for breath, with eyes popping out of their heads.  I realized immediately this had been going on a long time, and I might be too late to save them.  Panic ensued.  We were running out of time.  The fish were dying.  What the fuck was wrong?  I frantically started trying to do all these different things, to no avail.  Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I heroically drug the tank to another electrical outlet.  I was superwoman.  I did it with ease, without even thinking about it.  The weight was not an issue.  I plugged the tank into the socket, and realized there was a problem with the prongs.  They weren’t normal.  They were too short.  They weren’t coming into contact with the electricity.  It was then that I noticed there was a reset button on the plug, which would correct the problem and somehow lengthen the prongs.  I quickly pressed the button, the prongs shot out to normal length, and the tank started bubbling and providing oxygen.  Within minutes all the fish were alive, except one.  I couldn’t believe the rest had held on; they were going to make it.  I worried that they might live for a few hours or even days, and then die.  I knew they had probably sustained way too much damage to heal completely.  But that wasn’t the case.  They all survived.  The tank was awesome again, and I was amazed and so thankful.

I woke up this morning to the two little darlings fighting in my bed.  It’s housekeeper day, and I’m feeling like I’ve won the lottery because school starts for the two big darlings tomorrow.  So we’ll be all neat and tidy and OCD all day….and will hopefully end the day snuggled up again just in time for those dreams about being naked in the hall of your high school, unable to remember the combination to your locker, without the books that you need to take your final that started 5 minutes ago.

August 13, 2012

Spittin' on Fire

It’s so weird to be 43 years old and single again.  I so never expected this, or wanted this.  Yuck. Suddenly, even normal things seem confusing.  Like getting dressed.  I was dressing for a fun night out with another mutha the other night.  I put on a cute new top.  It had giant holes cut out of the shoulders.  I loved it.  My shoulders are thin and tan, the blouse was white and the fabric thin and drape-y.  I had lucked out and found it 60% off, yet it was still ridiculously expensive.  No problem convincing myself I deserved it.  I decided I wanted to be a little casual, so I wore it with a pair of dressy shorts.  Satin-y fabric, pretty grey color.  I own not a single pair of flat shoes, so I wore it with a pair of cute, strappy wedges, way high.  Like, hooker high.  I don’t want to be a hooker.  This is just what these dicks sell at the store.  (See High Heeled Muses.)  It was a great look.  Until I remembered that I’m single.  I looked in the mirror and suddenly had body dysmorphic syndrome…only in reverse.  My regular, innocent reflection now said ‘crack ho’.

I went to the mutha and said, “I’m alarmed over my outfit.  I think it says “I’m a desperate whore bag?”

She laughed and said, “You look fabulous.  If you take that top off, I’m wearing it!”

I felt confused as to the panic....

“You look hot.  What are you going to do?  Dress frumpy?”

“Well, obviously not.  But I don’t want a bunch of assholes gettin’ all over me," I say in jest.

“Then don’t leave the house,” is her answer.  We laughed hysterically.

See, here is the thing.  I would have easily and very comfortably worn that outfit on a date with Dave, or a date with any man.  I wouldn’t have given it another thought.  But going out with a girlfriend, the outfit becomes questionable.  I ultimately decided that I didn’t really care what anyone thought; I’m me, this is how I dress, it’s hip, modern and sexy, so deal with it.

Inevitably, a bunch of guys did try to get all over us.   I realize now this had nothing to do with what I wore.  This happens no matter what you wear.  I’m not bothered by this and I’m really not an asshole.  I know this is to be expected when in a bar.  Drinks are flowing, people are partying…and people are trying to meet people.  A typical bar scene, I guess.   Only I’m not really trying to meet anyone.  Unless a Greek Adonis millionaire is present and he happens to also run a fabulous daycare, I’m out.  Judge me. It’s just where I am right now. 
About 30 minutes into general conversation involving nearby bar patrons, I leaned over to her and said, “Uhhh…el problemo, this dude’s going to give me major zits.”  She snorted and laughed and asked me to explain.  “He’s a spitty talker.  It’s getting on me.  I might throw up.”  So we casually tried to move away.  He followed us.  I started thinking about the bacteria in his mouth, the spit actually landing on my face.  Mild anxiety ensued.  I was thinking of those scientific photos where they show what flies out of your mouth every time you sneeze and stuff.  The mild anxiety turned to panic.  We tried a few more ‘lose ‘em’ tactics to no avail.  Finally, I was forced to resort to the tried and true madwoman original.  I lit a cigarette.  I don’t really smoke much anymore, but this tactic requires a weapon.  When I’m being crowded and I can’t stand it a second longer, I will start waving that fire around like it’s a blow torch.  A cigarette is a weapon in a crowded bar.  For added emphasis, you can act a lot drunker than you really are.  People back the fuck up.  Period.  They don’t want to have their clothes burned, or worse yet, be disfigured.  They just think you are drunk and using your hands for emphasis.  Many people do this anyway, so it’s actually rather sly.  It works every time.  Every single time. 

The night went quick and I crawled into bed at 3 am.  I remember when that used to be standard fare.  But now, unless you have a ‘next day’ baby sitter, it causes you to be really sorry that you even made the effort.  My kids ran wild the next day while I nursed my hangover in the penalty box, and then one of them got sick and threw up.  It was actually a good excuse to stay in bed with him.  When I got up I found that all 400,000 Legos were scattered across three rooms, and forts were made with every facking sheet and chair we own. 

August 8, 2012

Choosing the Truth

I’m seriously ready for school and my boys are excited too.  I haven’t a clue what the heck I’m going to do to keep busy while I pretend to look for a job, but I’m good at making lists, even though I never scratch a fucking thing off of them.  I mean seriously, how many years can “do taxes” be on your list.  I need to quit being a loser.  I will crank the music up so loud and eat twix for lunch.  I will take hour long baths without getting out soaking wet to wipe someone’s ass.  I will float in the pool and go to the store by myself.  I will just be in amazement at the silence for a full two weeks.   I think during the entire summer I was home alone 2 times by myself.  Two facking times.  Does anyone even get how insane that is?

I would love to paint everything.  I hate painting and have to try very hard to be good at it because I’m impatient and messy.  But I shouldn’t be paying people to do something I can do.  I would love a pretty yellow to brighten up my kitchen.  I saw a pretty comforter in the mall the other day….maybe I should get some new bedding.  It would be sheets and comforters that Dave never slept on.  Not sure how I feel about that, except right now I feel insanely bored with everything and need to shake it up hard.  Plus one day I might invite someone to the love shack and it’ll be all weird and ruined if it’s on these same sheets.

One of Dave’s friends emailed me today and mentioned how he wants to talk to the boys about Dave, telling them all the things he loved about their dad.  Instead of getting a warm and fuzzy feeling over this, all I could think is that it’s not especially helpful to hear about how great Dave used to be.  What good does that do us now?  All my kids know is the Dave we had since they were born, and in the end the memories just seem worse and worse.  I turn into more and more of an asshole.  I hate him more and more.  I can’t help it.  The shit is unforgivable.  Maybe I’m just not that great of a person.  I’m not Jesus.  I’m doing the best I can.  If you are coherent enough to write a suicide note, then you are alert and present enough to know you are about to do the unthinkable.  This asshole knew what he was doing.  He chose not to care about us.  We’d all like to think he was out of his mind.  He wasn’t.  Just like the freaky, piece of shit Colorado batman killer wasn’t out of his mind either.  He knew what the fuck he was doing.  He chose to kill people, just like Dave chose to kill himself.  Honestly, I wish he would fade into a memory so fuzzy that I can’t even remember why I’m crying.  Hardass?  I guess so.  It’s the best coping mechanism I have right now.  I’m raising three boys without a daddy.  What is unfathomable to so many people is my real life.  I don’t talk about him that much to them.  It makes us all miserable and what is the point?  He’s dead.  I’m not about to glorify him in death, undeservedly.  I find myself emphasizing the drug use a lot…because I want them to know drugs kill you.  Addicts die.  Families are destroyed.  This is what we’ve got.  Right here.  The truth of what I’m saying probably makes a lot of people uncomfortable.  But in the end, it is what it is.  The truth.  He wasn’t this great man for the last many years.  He had the potential for greatness.  He chose to be an addict instead.  He chose it again and again and again, with every pill he took.  And again and again and again with every lie he told.  And again and again and again when he denied it every time I asked him.  His death wasn’t honorable.  Neither was his life.  Am I horrible for seeing it for what it was?

August 5, 2012

The Princess Who Had a Penis

We are just returning from an adventure with some of the muthas and their boys.  It was the perfect end to our fun summer.  My fingers have not touched a laptop in a week.  I wrote nothing and drank a lot, so I probably forgot most of the funny stuff.  I’m certain when the muthas are gathered that we are indeed television worthy.  Part of the reason Archie Bunker was funny was because even though he was such an asshole, he had a funny dialect.  It doesn’t take much for me to fall into the absolute yattiest New Orleans dialect ever, just because I think it’s hysterical and a fun way to speak, especially when I’m intoxicated.  It’s a pure shame that most of the world doesn’t know what a yat is, or worse, what one sounds like.   

I must say, a good way to judge your relationship with your friends is to live with them, if only for a short time.  You are in awesome company if no one has to pull anyone else's hair!  These muthas are fabulous and I am certain if we all had to quickly evacuate for a hurricane together or stay and be stuck without power for a week, we’d survive intact, even under stressful circumstances.  When you live on the coast, this is important stuff to know.  It’s even more important to know in the month of August, as we all cautiously eye the swirling blobs of energy approaching the Gulf of Mexico.  It’s minor panic time.

The other muthas have one boy each, so we only had 5 boys total and three of them were 10 years old.  That’s pretty easy.  They had a blast swimming, fishing, crabbing, playing hide and seek, board games, and whatever other crazy games they made up.  The whole week was boy heaven!  It’s so great to love your friends’ kids too.  I have other friends who don’t exactly parent like I do, and honestly their kids make me insane.  After a few days, I want to lock them in a closet.  These boys were all precious and despite some of the age differences with my little darlings, they did pretty darned good.

I was a little worried at first that we were in a fishing/crabbing haven with no daddy people present.  We quickly established that the madwoman does indeed have a faux penis, even though my nickname is Princess.  The faux penis works just fine in a pinch, and it enables me to do some manly stuff involving fish heads and fixing things, even though I do it with lipstick on and in platform sparkly flip flops. 

The faux penis was a perfect match for the faux beach in Mississippi, which bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina.  I immediately felt guilty upon arrival that all the focus has always been on New Orleans going 12 feet under water, because this place was actually flattened and deleted from the map.  It’s been 7 years.  I was blown away to hear they just got real streets last year.  The houses that have been rebuilt along the beach are gorgeous, and the sand trucked in from Florida creates a most beautiful albeit deceiving beach.  The Gulf of Mexico is really more like a bay here due to some of Louisiana’s islands, and the close proximity to the mouth of the Mississippi River means the water is brown, not crystal clear.  The boys couldn’t have cared less.  Princess Beach Snob was the only one to declare that it was like swimming “in da Vetrans canal.”  I can’t help it.  I used to live on the real beach.  The house has a beautiful pool in the front yard, with an awesome view of the ocean.  Something equally fabulous about Mississippi is that it looks a lot like New Orleans, because there are huge oak trees everywhere.  There’s something really charming about an ocean breeze being jacked up as it whips through the oak trees.  It’s heavenly.  The homeowners are bar none the most organized people I have ever encountered.  I will now be forced to organize all my belongings into labeled baskets, because it looks really cool and makes you feel like you’re living in a magazine.

I feel like summer is truly over now, and it’s time for me to focus on school and start frantically gathering school supplies.  Middle darling is going to real school this year, and I can’t believe he’s old enough.  I may need some Prozac.  I love him so much, and I’m so proud of what he’s overcome in a year’s time.  I just want a good life for him, a normal life, and I swear I’m starting to be convinced that we might even be normal.  
We caved and let little darling watch Caillou on the way home.  As the little whiney butt Caillou droned on and on about his dad, little darling sang along but changed the word “daddy” to “mommy” in the song.  He gave me a shy smile when I turned back to look at him.  My heart melted at once.  I am the daddy too.  The Princess does have a penis.