16 February 2024

Dad does this thing where he prefers to just shave his head bald, but it’s easier for him to use his shaver if the hair is just stubble as opposed to half an inch long. I guess. I don’t actually know what his logic process is, but that’s my impression. If he keeps up with the shaver, fine, but sometimes he forgets again, and so I get to give him a haircut. Thus again today. He paid me $20. There is room for me to wonder if sometimes he forgets on purpose just for an excuse to hand me some cash. I’m not going to turn down the $20 though. I have a $50 Walmart gift balance and another potential $15 in my Humana account and I’d like to leave them untouched as long as possible.

It’s so weird to see that long scar on his head. If you’re new here, he fell a couple times last autumn (I didn’t want to say “fall,” considering) and the hospital found blood on his brain, which required some surgeon to open his skull. I don’t know if they always put the skull back together afterwards or if they put a metal plate in, though I didn’t see any metal on the CT scan images when we went for his final checkup earlier this month, so they probably put his back together. I’ve read too much Stephen King and King was fascinated by skull plates for a little while, that’s all. But Dad’s scar looks a lot better than it did when he was still in the hospital.

Yesterday we were at Walmart. He suggested I get a chicken lunch at the deli counter, which often is his cover to go grab whiskey; clearly he believes that if it’s already in the cart I won’t say anything, and so far he’s been right. By some miracle, he didn’t do that yesterday. In fact, we went down that aisle because there was soda on the other end and he wanted his Sunkist. He did look down at the Early Times as he passed it, but if there was a war going on in his head, he won it. Hasn’t had any DTs either. I don’t know why he had them back in the hospital, but maybe he hasn’t been drinking hard enough since I got here to bring them on in withdrawal. Yes I am counting my blessings. Or his, more properly.

He is not boasting to me about having quit, either, nor making a big deal out of it otherwise, which is probably also a good sign.

I’m still not getting my hopes up. I’m taking this one day at a time and that’s all I can do.

The other day I got a wooden folding tray table for the porch. I had some cash and some bank balance and they’re around $11 including sales tax. It’s exactly like the two Dad already has out there, only still new and clean and pretty. He used to have three, but all that’s left of one of them is the top. It might have been a good work surface under certain circumstances, but I needed something with legs, and his two other tables are already pressed into service. With warm(er) weather coming, I will probably spend time drawing out there on mine. I have already used it as a photographic backdrop for the stretch beaded bracelets I’ve been making.

And hasn’t that been weird. I’ve been making bracelets like an obsessed mofo. I doubt I’ll sell any more of them. My friend Amy out in North Carolina bought a set when I was running late on my phone bill, but Amy is cool and we go way back. It’s like your mom buying your charity candy bars. It’s awesome, but it’s no indication of what the actual market will bear. I’m doing things I haven’t seen out there, so maybe someone will notice at some point, but I’m not getting my hopes up. It gives my hands something to do and, if I’m totally wrong and they catch on eventually, I’ll make more money from them, cumulative, than I would have made just selling the box of beads.

Carrie took me out to an Asian buffet for brunch yesterday. Dad had paid for Golden Corral when we went to his appointment in Lake Charles, so this was her birthday present to me a month late. That’s not a criticism, just a fact, because my birthday is not in February. Anyway. It was the buffet I’d seen in passing over in Jennings any time Dad and I go to Walmart. I saw the words sushi buffet and thought, “Nope, that doesn’t sound good,” but sushi wasn’t on offer and what food they did have there yesterday was pretty all right. Asian food has come a long way in the South since I was a kid. It’s still not going to be top-notch outside the big cities, and often not even in them, but it’s not remotely what it was.

I may even get brave enough to try the sushi if I go again and it’s there. Fuck it. It’s all for the same buffet price.

I got a whole bunch done with my homepage yesterday too. I feel like I have made a major leap or something. Usually when I’m trying to put together my homepage, it disintegrates into ranting and self-pity. I did include a little snark on the “about” page, but that’s NOTHING compared to what it all used to be. But I told myself going in that I need to do less opposing and more telling the world who and what I am. I think it mostly worked.

I also told Thea’s trans story on Substack. And then Dawn gave me crap. She’s been dancing around it for a while, and the weird thing is she comes off as a social conservative for the most part but for whatever reason, she’s embraced the trans thing. I’m guessing she’s got at least one trans client (she may even have said so, not divulging their identity obviously, but I can’t remember) and feels this need to buy in. Anyway, I’ve been saying for ages that it is a right-wing, conservative concept, so I shouldn’t be surprised she buys it. Those fuckers (conservatives) have been telling everyone for literal centuries that there is a proper uniform and mode of behavior and thought for a man, and also for a woman, and if you step outside what you’re supposed to do and look like according to your sex, you aren’t really that sex. This is just that bullshit but on steroids. Literally.

But for the record, Thea’s the same person she was before she overdosed on testosterone and I certainly fucking have not stopped loving her. THAT IS WHY I AM ANGRY ABOUT IT. If you love someone, you do not want them to self-harm. She’s been self-harming. Everyone else has been cheering her on because they are misogynistic fucking lunatics. The fucking end.

As I said in the comments at Facebook, it amazes me that we understood testosterone overdose is dangerous when it was women wanting to be bodybuilders. Now they want to be men, suddenly it’s healthy? Fuck you.

I haven’t told Dawn to fuck off or anything. I was remarkably calm, considering. I guess I have had two years to suffer and now it’s like I’ve callused up just enough. She’ll wise up or she won’t. We were in fucking gifted class together and she started college as a high school senior. I don’t understand, but a lot of smart people got snagged by this bullshit. It’s a matter of finding the trigger to trip to wake them the fuck back up. Might never happen for some people. I’m not going to ditch her. She’s going to have to decide to ditch me, and of course it’ll be for all the wrong reasons because she seems to be refusing to understand where I’m coming from.

Pro tip for you “I don’t do politics” types: If you will not even read your political friends’ writings and make a sincere effort to understand what they are saying, DO NOT tell them what they think or believe. You don’t fucking know. You “don’t do politics.” So “don’t do politics” over fucking there and let’s just stick to talking about kittens and doggos. Thanks.

Another thing she does that bothers me is assumes I’m disabled because I have so much difficulty around the employment thing. I could be. I don’t know. But I don’t know how many times I have to lay out, item by item, the specific obstacles I am dealing with only to have her blame me for it all. Which yes, some of the obstacles I face are completely my fault. I get that. But other issues were imposed on me, and they are like playing life-size Jenga and if I don’t pull the tiles out and put them back juuust right, I’m fucked. I don’t think she knows what it’s like to go through that. She’s had a lot more handed to her than she thinks. Her looks, for starters. Unlike me, she’s actually beautiful. That matters more in a woman’s life than she might imagine.

It’s just one of those places we’ll have to agree to disagree or, more accurately, where I’ll have to just let her talk and then get on with other things. It’s her profession (social worker). It makes her feel like she’s helping. I don’t know what else to do.

One more note but only here because I’m not going to get people riled on Facebook about it: Also while I was at Carrie’s yesterday (post-brunch), I browsed through the recent job listings on Indeed and spied one for a cruise ship housekeeper. I DO NOT BELIEVE FOR ONE FUCKING MINUTE I WILL GET IT, but it’s at least $1000 a week, room and board are free (job perks), training’s paid, free uniforms, and I think they said it’s 28 weeks? Seasonal, in other words. Picture it. $28,000 in seven months. There is so much I could get sorted out with that money even after taxes, and if I did well I would probably be a shoo-in to do it again next year. Oh my god. So I would have been a fucking imbecile not to try.

Which means I won’t get it. But if I did get it, I’d get to travel too. I would be busting my ass twelve hours a day, seven days a week, but I will be very surprised if employees don’t get days off during the cruises too. Or at least some off-hours during their usual work time.

This reminds me of when I thought about signing on with a fair concessions company two years ago. But that one was a bit too weird (they wanted to hold all my pay until the season was over!!!), and I couldn’t figure out the logistics. At least in this scenario I’d be able to get a storage locker and I know people who’d help me deal with my car. And I would need all of that because I’m not leaving my shit in Dad’s house for him to throw away. I’m not saying he would, but he’s the type, and sometimes he forgets things.

But, again, probably won’t happen.

I’m sure I’ll update here either way.