27 February 2024

Dad rode in the car today for the first time since the repair. It started on the first go and he cheered. I am still not used to it starting on the first go. I keep expecting it to give me lip. I imagine I won’t get out of that headspace for a while yet. And of course, I’ll be looking out for the next problem.

I already think there is one cooking up. I don’t have any idiot lights about it right now but I may have a damaged head gasket. Am I going to learn from my previous experience and just get it looked at before it gets bad? No. I’m tired of needing money from Dad. Am I still going to have a car in six months? Probably not. I might be okay if I get a job, but who says I’ll get a job. We know how this goes. Waste my time, bullshit me or ignore me and even if they eventually do hire me, dick me around until I freak out and leave. Hopefully I will be less likely to freak out and leave at this point but who knows, really. At any rate, everything is still way up in the air. It’s the fucking story of my fucking life. And Matt wonders why I stayed in that shit situation with him for so long. I know he went through his so-called “salad days,” but that doesn’t mean he knows what this is like. This ain’t my first rodeo in Poverty Hell. I never wanted to be back here.

(Does that make me a user? So fucking what? The alternative is death by some way or means. I’ve only been suicidal twice in my life — what do I mean, “only” — and then I decided the various fuckers who’ve made my life suck over fifty fucking years don’t deserve the satisfaction. If I can’t get to them any other way, this one’s fine. Oh, you hate me? LOOK I’M ALIVE I’M ALIVE I’M ALIVE HAHAHAHAHA FUCK YOU

At any rate, as such, I’ll do what I have to do, up to a point. I draw the line at explicit prostitution — as opposed to the sorta-prostitution of being the woman in the average heterosexual relationship, which I also won’t be doing unless something REALLY AMAZING happens — or drug-dealing, because neither is worth the fucking pain.)

ANYWAY

So we went to Basile to drop off those Knights of Columbus pork dinners for my cousin Kathy, and then we went to Jennings by a different way than I am accustomed to, but I’ll remember it for next time I’m in Basile because it’s so easy. Apparently this way takes me right past where my mom used to live in Jennings as well, but I could not find that house to save my life at this point. For all I know, someone planted some fucking trees around the general area and it would really be unrecognizable.

(I do love trees. They just completely change the landscape, so.)

Dad told Kathy about his fall but put it down to getting “dizzy.” I don’t think he thought that one through very well because if it’d been Carrie and if I hadn’t told Carrie about the fall and what actually caused it already, she’d have immediately demanded he go back to the doctor and not taken No for an answer. But Kathy’s slowed down a bit these days. (She is my first cousin, but her mother was from Dad’s father’s first marriage, so Kathy’s old enough to be my mother. She was born the same year as Dad.) Or maybe he did think it through and already figured that out for himself, but I doubt it because she could still say something to Aunt Matilda next time they talk on the phone, and they do every now and again. Well, I told who I needed to tell without making it a huge gossipfest. One of the reasons I wrote about it here anyway is because no one I know fucking reads this thing even though quite a few people know this is here, unless they’re masking the visit in some way. I figured that it might not be safe as houses but it ought to be fairly safe anyhow. But if Kathy tells Matilda, there went the horse outta the barn. Dad won’t yell at Kathy about it; he’s too fond of her. Dad also won’t yell at me about it. This will be entirely Dad’s fault if it gets around. Fine by me. His fall was his fault in the first place. “Dizzy.” Yeah, okay bruh, I suppose that’s one of the effects of an Early Times overdose. Moving on now.

I love the man, but goddamn.

I feel like Doug’s conversation with him in December had lasting effects, though. He’s gotten a little cranky in a couple spots about my situation since I got here but mostly, he’s chill. Some of it may just be being too fucking tired to pick fights anymore; as many naps as he needs daily, this would not surprise me. That’s fine, because I don’t want to fight either. As many simple everyday things as he has weird takes about, there is no way in hell I am ever going to get him to understand my life and my perspective when they are so different from what he’s been through. The head injury is not helping. Age is not helping. His health is not helping. I would just as soon do what I can to make his life a bit more comfortable, minimize my need for help from him apart from his providing a place to live, and just get on with things without the fucking drama.

I have my first doctor’s appointment in over a decade tomorrow. In the past month I have finally come to terms that my blood sugar’s going in the wrong direction, so I’m expecting a diabetes diagnosis soon; if not tomorrow, since no one asked me to do fasting labs prior to the appointment, it’ll be within the next couple weeks. I’m not as upset about this as I should be. One, I got myself here as surely as Dad made himself fall. He has his booze, I have my fucking carbs. I’ve also been very poor and sometimes homeless over the past two years and the logistics for eating keto on simple food in that situation are pretty much impossible (it nearly all needs refrigeration if you don’t want to overspend making special orders at fast-food places), but if I had taken care of myself before my life blew up, things would have turned out very differently. So no point crying there. Two, with a diagnosis my insurance will then cover a meter and strips. I’ve been wanting to track things all along but wasn’t earning quite enough to feel comfortable having to buy lancets and strips every month. They practically give you the meter and then fuck you on the supplies. A diagnosis would solve that problem. Also, with the diagnosis, any employer I get on with is going to have to accommodate it because legally, either type of diabetes (and I’d be type 2) is a disability. So at least I won’t have to worry about stupidity there. I might get noped for “other reasons” because I’ve left it too wide open to be rejected for hire but if the diabetes is the reason, they won’t dare tell me what the real problem is. I’d take early retirement at their expense if they did. Retirement from what. I know. But it’s still funny to think about. I love making bullies uncomfortable.

The other thing I need to think about is the uterine fibroid situation. We have absolutely got to get the ball rolling on that one because it’s going to interfere with work if I do by some miracle get hired somewhere. And, frankly, I’m tired of fucking with this. If I have to go on, like, Nuvaring or something temporarily until we sort out the other, fine, but the main thing that distresses me about the fibroids is going through the heavy periods, so at minimum we need to find a way to make that stop. If they won’t do anything else but a hysterectomy, I’ll just stick with the Nuvaring. Or whatever. Even the mini-pill would be fine. I don’t want a hysto unless there is cancer. There is not likely to be any cancer.

Meanwhile I am being the world’s biggest asshole as far as wasps are concerned. They can get onto the screened back porch because someone half-assed the connections to the outside wall of the trailer. So they get in, and then I hit them. Wasp spray is specifically designed to not have to get near the little buzzers. I would rather just let them back out but as I mentioned on Facebook, wasps are terrible at following directions. Also, it would be my fucking luck that I somehow developed a wasp sting allergy over the more than forty years since the one time I was stung by a bee. We don’t have any epi pens. They are prescription only. I don’t even have any Benadryl right now. Let’s not and say we did. Sorry, ladies. You’re outta here.

Besides, if I stuck my face in their nest, they’d sting the shit out of me. This is me stinging them, I guess.

I just hate handling the poison and I hate killing them. It’s not instant. I know they suffer. I’m, like, the diametric opposite of a heroine here. Meh.

Okay. I have other stuff to write. (I do sort of have a job. I think I mentioned that in the previous entry. It’s just not paying well yet, and it never will if I don’t keep doing it.) ‘Later.

26 February 2024

A WHOLE LOT of shit has gone down since I last wrote.

First off, Dad didn’t really quit drinking. I admit I wondered, because usually when he quits he dumps it down the sink. He did not do that this time. I got home Friday and the bottle was back on the counter because, after all, there was still booze in it and it had only been resting at the top of the can. Minimal risk. I think that shit kills germs anyway.

Secondly, before that, I had written that last post in the library and then went out to the car and tried to start it and…

one hour later, give or take, FINALLY, it started. I had even tried to reach Carrie after at least half an hour of that, but she told me later she’d been at the casino with her phone turned off.

This was the second time my car had scared me in less than a week. It was the last time.

Yesterday I meant to take Dad to Knights of Columbus to pick up some pork dinners. We got into the car and apparently, the Jennings-to-home run was its last hurrah.

So Dad gets out of the car and… toddles over to Brandon’s next door.

Turns out Brandon is an auto mechanic.

I have been struggling with this fucking car since winter fucking solstice.

It worked out. Brandon found there was a mechanical issue with the starter, which is why it tested OK at Advance Auto because they were only checking the electrical side. I had been really starting to wonder. A whole lot of other things could have been going wrong, but the electrical still seemed so solid. Even with the battery being old, Brandon noted that it holds a charge okay, but advised me that at some point in the near future I should think about replacing it. Not a big deal now. He even knew some guys who would transport my car to his shop for $75(!), because the starter had given up the ghost. I literally drained the battery down trying to start it that last time. As in the clock lost its setting and reverted to 1:00.

Along with replacing the starter, Brandon also got the bad brake light working. We will want to replace both “lenses” (the light fixtures) and probably wiring harnesses because the lenses are warped, the right far worse than the left, but he enlarged the bulb holes for now and it turns out the socket for the right (passenger) brake light still works even if it’s a little crumbly around the edges. We’ll get to that when we can get to that.

I don’t think Brandon charged for labor. I think he just charged for parts and the tow. I know Dad’s done a lot of nice things for him over the years and maybe that’s why. I am not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I am just going to give him more work, including labor if he’ll let me, as I need it. I’m sure he won’t object.

Best part? I have now fully passed inspection. So my car is FULLY FUCKING LEGAL. WOOHOO!

Have applied for work again. Carrie’s granddaughter Chloe works at this place and we’ll see how that goes. I never count on these things happening. I have no idea how it will go even if it does happen. All I know is it’ll be a while, if ever, before I’m earning under my own power without dicking up my car. I need something until then.

Carrie says Dad’s giving me $500 soon. He’s said nothing, so I’m not counting on that either. I’ve got enough for my phone bill tomorrow but if this site goes dark in a few days, Dad didn’t give me the money. We’ll just have to see how that goes.

Ironically? I AM earning. It’s not enough to cover my baseline expenses yet. But I am. No one around here knows that because I don’t feel like explaining it. I cannot get simple concepts across verbally without confusing people, so how the hell are they going to get any of this? And with Dad’s hearing problems too. So I just pretend to be a complete bum and get on with things.

(I had that approach with Elizabeth too, which was probably what soured her on me. I don’t feel like having someone tell me all my ideas are shit, okay? It’s not like everyone says it to me, or even most people, but to have the people closest to you shooting you down over EVERYTHING is a real buzzkill. I’m supposed to be supportive of and unquestioning of everyone I know but no one has to back me up. Fuck that. If you’re just gonna shit on me, I’m shutting you out.)

For the record, I need 50 paying subscribers on my Substack to cover my baseline expenses. 75 paying subscribers and I’d have gas and the occasional domain name also covered. It’s going to take time, of course. 150 paying subscribers if I want to transition this into more than a hobby that sometimes pays because I have to account for taxes. I feel very mercenary talking about it this way. It’s more to me than an earning thing. But right now I have to think about money. The only time in my adult life I didn’t think about money a whole lot, I was wasting years on Matt. That ended badly. I have to think about money. You’ll just have to understand.

Okay. I need to git. I wonder if Dad will ask me to take those Knights of Columbus dinners to Kathy. I really should have offered when I took off but I had no idea how this day was going to turn out. Tomorrow for sure if I don’t do it today.

23 February 2024

HI COLUMBUS

At least I know that’s not me. No, I get tagged with IP addresses that are nowhere near me. Today it’s New Iberia. I’m in fucking Jennings.

I finally got a library card. The Jennings library has much better hours than the Iota library does. I will probably get an Iota card too, though. I just won’t count on using it very often.

I feel so stupid about the inspection sticker. It was so easy. I still failed it, but the only bit I failed was the brake lights. TWO of them were out today. No idea why. I was expecting to be dinged for the passenger-side one. Having two out was scary though. So after I got out of there, I stopped by Walmart and shopped for a bulb, realized the bulb number I needed was the same one I had a bulb for in my glovebox, bought a few other things, and went back to my car. So there’s a new bulb on the driver side now (I can see where the old one burned out). I’m hoping it’s working, since I couldn’t see any way to check. I need a mechanic appointment for the other plus the starting issue anyway. I’ll get there. I guess. If I get back to the inspection station within that 30 days they’ll have my sticker waiting in the desk. They have a record and there’s even a note on the Failed sticker. It’s okay. I’m legal for thirty days either way.

Dad decided to quit drinking again. I mentioned he took up drinking this week, right? Okay. Today when I got up I saw the whiskey bottle in the trash and it still had Early Times in it. I don’t know what that’s about. For all I know he fished it out of the fucking trash after he got up today. I’m not going to obsess about it. I am just going to avoid having conversations about my fucking employment status as much as humanly possible. I’m tired, okay? I swear I do not think I am too good to work. I know that’s been some people’s impression. What you think is snobbery is my anxiety. My whole life, and my dad has been THE biggest offender, it’s been “you’re too slow” and “you’re too stupid.” Not those exact words but those exact sentiments. Often coming from the same people claiming I was intelligent. It was a major mindfuck. And then I’d have problems at work. Too slow. Too stupid. Over and over again.

The problem with the shit I don’t want to do for a living now is that those are the exact employment situations where people will say I’m too slow and too stupid and then they will fire me. THERE IS NO POINT GETTING HIRED IF THEY ARE JUST GOING TO FIRE ME. NONE. ZIP. ZILCH. NADA.

So that’s why. It isn’t thinking I’m too good. It’s what’s the fucking point when I’ll just be back at square one within a month.

So that’s a big reason I got the library card. Dad usually can’t be arsed about what I do on the weekends but I think it would be better for both of us if I were not home on weekdays most of the time. And having the library card will mean I don’t have to be in Stanford’s (Carrie’s husband’s) hair either. I’m not 100% sure he doesn’t like me being there, but he bitches about everyone else so it’s a fair bet he bitches about me too. And PLUS, it ALSO means I can do worky stuff at a proper table in a proper chair. Although it’s not that proper a chair. It SQUEAKS if I sit down in it too fast. It’s like a built-in whoopie cushion. It’s awesome. One of these days I might try to get video of it.

I could draw here, too. Easily.

Well, we’ll see. And I’ll also be able to check out books, OBVIOUSLY. And possibly also DVDs. I saw they had some kid ones. You never know.

Did I mention here that I have a doctor’s appointment coming up on Wednesday? I’m a little bit excited because at least this will get the ball rolling to figuring out the uterine fibroid problem, and possibly also get me a free glucose meter and a prescription for strips. Those are positive steps forward.

Shit, I should get a dental appointment Monday too. Might as well.

Don’t get too excited. It’s always the most optimistic before shit goes to shit.

I’m so fucking eloquent today. (Do not even get me started about MY mental lapses lately. They haven’t been major yet, but they’re pissing me off.)

22 February 2024

Who the hell’s in Fostoria, Ohio? I’m also getting visitors from Arizona and New Mexico. Weird. But Fostoria has got me particularly curious. It’s nowhere near where I used to live. It’s closer to Akron. Closest thing I can think is someone I knew at the shelter, but no one had my last name there. Could just be a random.

I won’t get an answer, so consider that rhetorical questioning.

I cannot quite say that Dad’s on the warpath, but like that, about me getting the car inspected. I’ve been putting it off out of fear. I just knew that if I went to get it done, they’d fail me. It’s not rational, just one of my anxiety things, because even if they do fail me I will get a Failed Inspection sticker, so I’ll have a sticker and wouldn’t get ticketed for missing one. I’ll also have thirty days to fix whatever the deficiency is, and of course they will tell me what it is. I won’t have to guess. So me worrying was silly. Didn’t stop me, of course.

But I looked at a website about vehicle inspections in this state and I have a feeling I might be okay. I was worried they would fail me over the brake lights because one is out, but the other two work last I looked, and brake lights weren’t even in the list on the web page. Headlights yes, brake lights no. Last I looked both my headlight bulbs work but I have that cockeyed one because I changed it myself. Worst case, they fuss at me over that but that fix should be less than fifty bucks if it’s an issue.

So I’m probably okay. Dad already gave me the cash so it’s be fussed at one more evening because I didn’t go today (they close at 4 and it’s after 2; I’d rather go earlier in the day when most people will definitely be at work) and then tomorrow I will go to Eunice and get that done. I will pay for a two-year sticker. No more bullshit til I have to renew the registration anyway.

AND THEN, apparently a legislator at the statehouse is introducing a new bill to eliminate the inspection sticker requirement. Scuttlebutt is that it has a better chance of passing now because the state introduced some kind of vaping tax that would replace the funding this sticker requires. Ah, state politics. I’ll be a bit annoyed if it passes and I’ve paid for a two-year sticker, but it’s only $20 and it saves me any related tickets until July, which is when this thing’s expected to pass if at all, so I’ll just count my blessings.

(Assuming I’m not caught and ticketed on the way to Eunice. AVERT.)

Carrie wants to ask Dad about getting her off his checking account and putting me on it. Confidentially, I’m against the idea. The only reason I am even entertaining it is Carrie doesn’t feel safe staying on it because she feels it puts a target on her back with Aunt Matilda. What Carrie doesn’t seem to realize is that changing the account will actually paint a target on me. The fact that if anything happens to him I’ll be fucked never seems to cross anyone’s mind in this sad equation. I might be able to stay with Doug for a while but I am under no illusions. It’s likely to go wrong and then my ass would be stuck in Oregon. I might have a couple more escape hatches if that happens but I can’t guarantee it. So it’s in my best interests if that man stays healthy, or as close as he ever gets anyway, for at least the next five years. I don’t know what I did to deserve living in this dilemma, but here we are. Will anyone care? No.

He seems about as reluctant as I am because Carrie was all fired up to go make the account change today, but she texted him and he read it and he never replied. I can’t tell whether he’s already gotten through that bottle of Early Times or if he did his usual hide it from me like it makes any difference, and I didn’t hear him walking the way he does when he’s well into his cups (which is why he falls), but whatever, he was definitely in grumpy mode if I know my father at all. So this is likely to be stalled if it ever happens. I’m fine with “never.” This wasn’t my idea.

Updated bracelet photos today here. I have more pics and I need to take pics I missed. At least everything will pretty much match.

I need to do more mini drawings.

Okay. My train of thought derailed a while back. ‘Later.

21 February 2024

Insurance paid. Got that done yesterday.

I had to ask Dad for sixty bucks because I had some money but I was mainly tapped. But I had enough to cover $52 of the $112 bill. Hence requesting the $60. I know you were about to go “WTF, insurance is never that cheap” and you’d be right. Sorry. Haha

I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but we went out and ran errands after that and Dad got whiskey again. Doug says I shouldn’t blame myself and honestly, he drank like a fish before I ever got here, which is how he fucked himself up last fall. But it always does my head in a bit.

Now I’m at Carrie’s catching up with stuff and Stanford got home first. He’s complaining about Brenda, who visits every day, so I’m betting he complains about me when he gets the chance. Brenda at least contributes to the electric bill. If I even had the money to try that, Carrie would probably tell me not to, but still. I don’t get what she sees in Lala (his nickname… why, I have no fucking idea). They had split two years ago, though not divorced. Whatever. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Let me upload my other shit because I should probably leave soon.

A note: I started filling out an application for a grocery store in Crowley and then… just stopped. Because you know what? This is all bullshit. If I had recent work history worth speaking of besides deliveries, it’d be one thing but most of what I put on applications is old and it’s a long list. I already know they’re going to say no. I’m working for nothing. I make more money writing the damn Substack. And even that’s not a lot, but it’s more than I do applying for employment.

I don’t know if that means I am on the right track or what. It probably doesn’t actually have any inherent meaning.

Lots of that going around anymore.