03 May 2024, part deux

So I got home from the Jennings library and Dad was in bed. I unloaded things and took my glass food-heating dish to the kitchen (I am tired of heating things up in plastic, and it was less than five bucks) and put a few things away that had been out drying, and then heard Dad turn on his bedside lamp. After how nasty he was yesterday, knowing his Asshole Phases can take two or three days sometimes, I went back to my room and closed the door. He seems to understand that that means “leave me alone” even if my lamp’s on. It was the same this time.

After a little while I was really feeling suppertime, so I went out to the kitchen to clean the glass dish and prep the ribeye I had put in the fridge to thaw last night, and while I was working on all that, he called me over.

It was more of the same as the bullshit yesterday, only an angry lecture instead of a passing bitch. The upshot of it is that I am accomplishing absolutely nothing that he wanted me to do and that if I don’t get a job in the next month, he’s kicking me out. Only, given how mercurial he is about basically everything (which is weird, because he’s also a stubborn jackass about other people, but it’s okay if he flits back and forth the fuck around), he started out with something like a four-month ultimatum and then whittled it down to one almost immediately. So I have no faith in the one-month number either.

So originally the Uber Eats thing was fine, and he understood I don’t have a schedule, but if I don’t go do it when he thinks I should do it, I’m “doing nothing.” And it has been months since the one time I asked him for money.


I would be more upset, but sitting there listening to him enumerate all the ways I suck ass was like listening to him talking about someone else.

You need to take a good hard look at reality and see how bad the situation is. Check. Did that two years ago. And again one year ago. Even more so last December. Still doing it now. Already there, Dad.

You know about all the birds and the bees and the flowers and that’s bullshit. Right: you get all those stupid plants that you keep killing or tearing down from a fucking CrackerJack box. Guess that knowledge ain’t so useless after all, huh. Sorry I don’t want to murder everything on earth like you do with your dumbass jokes about running over birds. What was I supposed to know about, Dad? The proper way to scrub a fucking toilet? If you weren’t paying your sister’s friend to clean your fucking house, I’d show you I know that one. I have actually wiped our toilet down between her visits a time or two. You and your shit-splashy ass. You’re fucking welcome.

You don’t know anything about HUMAN stuff. About PROPER HUMAN ways to do things. You think bourbon and Coke is a fucking food group. You think a cruel joke involving too-small lingerie is an appropriate anniversary present for your youngest sister. You think a woman can sAvE uP fOr ReTiReMeNt scrubbing toilets at $70 a week for seventeen years (ain’t no way I’m retiring at 65) with no husband to back her up. Which $70 a week you are not even paying me because some random friend of your sister is more important. Asshole.

You lost your son and you lost your daughter. You never asked me one single fucking thing about either of them. You just sat back and let me struggle except for that time you threw me a thousand bucks right after I got Mike arrested. You have no fucking idea what’s going on, by your choice, so just keep your fucking yap shut. And kindly do consider how YOUR son and daughter turned out. Two different mothers. Both kids equally fucked up. Almost like there’s a common fucking denominator there, DAD.

GET A JOB. You don’t GET jobs, Dad. You are GIVEN a job. NO ONE WILL GIVE ME A JOB NOW. On the RARE occasion someone in Ohio gave me one, I wasn’t fucking suited to it somehow — including, in one memorable case, being let go because I’d had COVID less than a month previously and was still getting aftereffects. Sure. I fucking planned that. Of the things I AM suited for, ACCORDING TO THE JOB LISTING, they will not even give me the fucking time of day. NOT EVEN WHEN I SPEAK WITH THEM IN PERSON OR ON THE PHONE. Half of them are fucking around with their thumbs up their asses. The other half can’t manage their way out of a paper fucking bag, and a state of employment is supposed to be a partnership in the civilian world, DAD. These assholes quit faster than I ever did, and I have been quitter extraordinaire much more often than not. They put me to shame. What do I do with that, DAD? I don’t even know where to begin, DAD.

Shit, my own cousin said she’d email me about a portrait job. That was early LAST MONTH. I even checked my spam folder. Nada. It will not happen. I have a theory about that. More on that in a minute.

That’s a sample. It went on longer than that.

I’m kind of proud of myself because I didn’t start raising my voice or blubbering. Part of it was the unreal feeling that he was talking about someone else entirely. Part of it was I haven’t been able to have a proper cry in literal years; the closest I got was when I realized last December that I would be moving back here. That was not a happy cry. That should fucking tell you something. But most of it was realizing the futility of it all. I will say it now, if I’ve never spelled it out before: I have never really liked my dad. He is telling me now that he doesn’t like me, but I beat him to it ages ago in the other direction. Although I may be imagining things and that may not be quite accurate because… he’s NEVER liked me. Always saw me as a weirdo pain in the ass. I sometimes say that he thinks I am slow and stupid. That came out in the lecture too. He all but accused me of being mentally retarded somehow even though I’m intelligent in some way. But intelligent in the wrong way. My father, everybody. My fucking father. And it’s been like this all along. The only time he’s glad to see me is if he hasn’t had to see me in years.

It wears off. Every fucking time.

So anyway, I stayed calm and nodded along and assented and agreed wherever there seemed an opening to do so. I wonder if he expected me to blow up. He’s probably pissed off that I didn’t. The fucking created unnecessary drama is getting fucking tiresome. The thing he doesn’t understand is that he’s shown his true colors again. I cannot be fucked to care about an asshole or about what the asshole thinks of me. It’s a character flaw of mine. I acknowledge that.


It’s not that I think he hasn’t done anything good for me. Of course he’s done good things for me. Any idiot or asshole can do good things for other people. It doesn’t mean they can’t be idiots or assholes. Think about what bribery is. Think about what kickbacks are. Think about what flattery is. People are all too willing to settle for surface glitter. Then they don’t understand why you feel ripped off because you expected gold. Because some people reading this are stupid: I didn’t expect my dad to give me literal gold. I keep hoping, against all evidence, that he will make some effort to understand the situation — like ASKING ME QUESTIONS or THINKING LOGICALLY — and NOT coming down on the side of deciding I’m worthless based on his own random unthinking flailing prejudices. Considering I’m not a drug addict (unless you count caffeine) or a criminal, that is NOT an unreasonable ask.

And yet.

He had told Doug flat-out when Doug negotiated me coming back here that he didn’t care what I did, I could work for a charity if that was what I could get, just as long as I did something. Here I am with something that I can use and AM using to pay my bills and put some money by (haven’t gotten to the latter stage yet, but that was the plan… oh well?) without overly tearing up my car (as long as I don’t do it full-time, which is WHY I am not doing it full-time… does he think I don’t like having money?), and he was all happy about that at first, and now I’m shit for doing it. Sitting there mocking me for how little I get per delivery. What the actual fuck. It is more than I make sitting on my ass at home. And right now I make about eight-ish bucks a month sitting on my ass at home, and once a year I might pull in another almost $100 if my annual subscribers on Substack don’t cancel. Won’t turn it down but… woefully inadequate. Uber Eats is doing me better. I’m no longer begging for help with bills.

But now? Nah. Now I’m shit and “doing nothing.” Right.

The really interesting thing is how happy he was at first when I told him I was doing delivery driving, and how all of a sudden THIS week he’s fucking furious. I have a couple theories about that. And they may both be true.

1. I didn’t go to Lafayette Monday or Tuesday. The reason I didn’t go is that I already don’t make a shit-ton of money there; I’m lucky to break $50. I’m not driving 25-30 miles and then only making $20. It is playing the numbers. I might have a really good Monday once in a while. I can’t predict that.

I did go Wednesday, and did break fifty. I thought I was doing well. I still do, considering. I make twice that much in Columbus on a Wednesday if it’s not a Wednesday in Diet Month. (A big reason I don’t make as much here is because I refuse to drive at night until I get my headlights in better shape and learn the layout of Lafayette a lot better. But even with that it can drag at lunchtime.)

I did not go yesterday. I mentioned elsewhere that I went to Carrie’s instead. The weather was nasty and even today, going out driving, I almost hydroplaned on 98 or 97… can’t even remember now. I don’t know if it is that bad in the city, but I was not going to put myself at risk to find out for MAYBE fifty bucks. If I had an actually reasonable and kind father, I’d have just stayed home, but he’s a dick so I went to the Jennings library and caught up some non-paying things. As you do. No one’s going to give a fuck if I wreck. They are just going to blame me for being stupid enough to drive to Lafayette to work. I say “they.” I mean Dad. You know I’m right.

So those three days he knew I didn’t go may have been the trigger. This is not an unreasonable assumption once you’ve watched how his moods work for a while. The fact I had figured on delivering tomorrow and Sunday wouldn’t have made a lick of difference. He had his brain set on how it should be and I fucked that up.


2. My aunt Matilda has been winding him up. The reason I think this is a possibility is because the day I told him I was delivery-driving, he’d told me she and he had had a phone conversation, while I was gone, about me signing up for assistance. Now why in the world would they have been talking about me. Who started that conversation? Inquiring minds are kinda curious. I can live without knowing, but given everything else I’ve heard of how she approaches the whole issue of her older brother’s impending mortality and her low opinion of Doug, if not also of me… It’s not off the table. If she thinks she will get lots of money when he dies, she’ll take the risk of pissing me off to turn him against me. I mean, what am I going to do? Her daughter Erin will pound me into the Stone Age if I try anything, and we all know it. I’m not scared of Erin, and I’m not saying that out of bravado or stupidity. I have no opinion about Erin either way. I actually think she’s kind of cool. I just know that she has that particular option within her range of capabilities, and clearly she has a good relationship with her mom. (Her mother may have, in fact, talked her out of taking on any creative projects with me. Thanks, Nanny.) So my hands are tied, really. Matilda would know that. Matilda is already angry at me for speaking publicly about Dad’s alcoholism. The motive is definitely there.

Joke’s on her if Dad never updates his insurance paperwork again. Either Carrie will get the money and not fuck me over, or Doug and I will get the money and if for some reason it goes to probate, Matilda still will not be seeing that money because she’s not entitled to inherit from Dad. His grandchildren would see that money before she ever got a fucking dime. I guess she had better just be fucking happy with the $2k a month she’s getting from her ex-husband Michael’s death since neither of them ever remarried. Fucking wah. If I were getting $2k a month, we would not be having this conversation. I would not even fucking BE here.

Joke’s doubly on her because Dad’s already against me, has been my whole life, and doesn’t need any “turning.” All she’s done with this bullshit, if I’m right about her, is put me into danger. (Thanks again, Nanny.)

I would also like to point out for the audience that if Dad had not gone on this tear the last time I was here, I would have been here when he started having serious problems last year. Dad painted himself into his present corner — and added a second coat! — and I am NOT shouldering the blame for that one. I shouldn’t just get my half of the payout, I should get a fucking medal for all the shit he’s put me through over fifty fucking years.

I am saying that from a completely intellectual perspective because I’m not emotionally attached to the insurance outcome. Like as not, he will change it and he’ll fuck me. I can’t hope for something that will probably never come. But if we’re talking about “shoulds.” That’s what I mean.

And just for the record? I never wanted to be at odds with anyone in my family. Whatever bullshit they got up to before I was born, whatever bullshit they got up to during the custody battle between Mom and Dad, whatever bullshit they’ve gotten up to in the years since, I had nothing to do with any of that. FOR SOME STRANGE FUCKING REASON I CANNOT PUT MY FINGER UPON JUST NOW, they decided to forget I was an innocent party in the whole mess. I was supposed to just let everyone destroy me FOR NO FUCKING REASON and eat shit and smile.

No. Uh-uh. Fuck that. All you get is me not screaming in your fucking faces. If you want me to be even better than that, how about you lead by fucking example.

I won’t hold my breath though.

I think it is probably a foregone conclusion I’m still going to be unemployed (Uber Eats is a contract position… not sure if it counts) in a month and he’s going to tell me to get lost. I’ve had two trailer-park neighbors (one of them Jodi, the landlady) and two different aunts tell me they are so glad I’m here for him, so I wonder how he will spin it once I’m gone. It could be he’ll just tell them the truth and then blow it off if they fuss at him. But given how he behaves about his drinking, he clearly has no compunctions about lying and even if he tells the truth, the cultural situation down here is such that they might sympathize instead, especially if they only hear his side and never try to follow up with me, which experience tells me people in this kind of situation will do regardless of where in this benighted country they live. People, after all, are generally assholes. My curiosity about this is more of the bug-in-a-bottle variety, though. We’re talking about people for whom I am out of sight, out of mind. I suppose it works that way in the other direction too. I also suppose it’s a good thing he doesn’t want a funeral. So I don’t have to worry about awkwardness there. Though someone might yet throw some sort of remembrance party. I’m sure I won’t be invited.

If he actually lets me be here the whole month, a certain nursing home in the area has a job fair coming up in mid-month and I will probably go. That will likely be my Hail Mary. I will also see about the application to a certain local grocery-store chain I’ve been putting off for weeks. I’m not going to put too many more eggs into this basket, though. They’re all going to turn me down anyhow.

I know of another thing I can probably do instead. When I last applied with them, it was an instant hire, but I backed out because I was worried about my periods. They allow you to withdraw your application before your first shift without penalty as long as you follow a certain procedure. I did. I’m good on that count. Well, these days my periods seem to have given up on me. If that holds, a whole new vista of potential jobs opens up even if this particular one isn’t a go. The pay is decent too. If I wound up in weekly-rates again, I’d be able to afford them. Got kicked out for bed bugs again? Oh, I’ll just go stay in another weekly-rate. Though this time, I’ve learned some tricks. I may acquire a bug-baker. I probably will.

You read that right. If I fail here — WHEN I fail here — I’m going back to Ohio. And chances are very good I will stay.

I don’t have any people anymore, but if you have a place you love and can live in, that’s you half sorted.

And now for something completely different.

I don’t know how much longer I will try the diabetes program, even if a miracle happens and I get to stay.

(What do I mean “get to”? The only good thing about that is I won’t suddenly be struggling to survive a month from now.)

It’s a good idea in theory, but there are some gaps in how it’s administered. I could probably find a way to deal with all that — had Dad not just dropped this bombshell into my lap, I was going to ask Brandon next door (the guy who replaced my car’s starter) about paying him to use his internet service — but the meter itself is weird. I tested it with its control solution first thing, and it came out at the absolute bottom number of normal range. That might have been okay but when it tells me my sugar is in the 100s, I feel like I’m going hypo. That’s not an encouraging sign, and then when I follow up immediately with the meter I was already using, that’s good for being forty points lower more often than not. Ish. Something like that. I have no idea what’s going on and I am not amused.

I am in the process of trying to get into ketosis. I’m hoping that if I can get my fasting and pre-meal numbers into the low 100s, maybe I won’t get 200s after eating steak and broccoli and cauliflower JESUS CHRIST. I did put salad dressing on the veggies, but it was ranch, not French or fruit vinaigrette and it wasn’t like I sprinkled sugar all over everything. I don’t get it. So keto it is. If I can get my sugar even enough to not feel weird anymore, that would be great.

I will say this: I don’t have that ill feeling anymore that I used to get after Dad’s junk meals. I’ll buy that for a dollar.

And even with the ridiculous post-steak number, I don’t think my numbers ranged more than 40 points all day, contrasted with yesterday when I went up more than 100 points after supper. Ouch.

Speaking of money. I finally sold that fucking Samsung phone. It’s a lower-number A series so I was expecting maybe two bucks. Or nothing. I was okay with nothing because I wanted the phone recycled, but it still wasn’t a completely happy thought.

I got ten bucks.

Still small potatoes, but I believe that’s more than I’ve ever made at an EcoATM. It’s definitely more than I made the last time I sold a phone there.

Hope they’re not mad when they see the battery.

Not my problem.

It’s midnight and I’m now fading, and I want to get out of here early tomorrow if I can, so I need to get my ass to bed. Probably will be doing delivery. If something weird happens, the library system in Lafayette is open 9am to 5pm tomorrow and I’ll just camp out again. I am so done with the fucking drama. DONE.

I’m gonna be home Sunday though. I need to do laundry. He can fucking cope.

Wish me luck. I WILL need it.