18 March 2024

I have spent the day joking about having to drink Evil Potion. Said Evil Potion didn’t taste as bad as I was afraid it would. Even the slight saltiness to the flavor disappeared after my first couple of doses. The bad part was the having to drink eight ounces every ten minutes, which of course built it up in my GI tract, which was very uncomfortable. Otherwise it was like a bland lemonade. As in, it was sweet and you could taste the lemon, but it wasn’t tangy at all. After a while the slight saltiness got replaced with a note of Slight Plastic, too, which was weird. That’s the Miralax in the mix. This crap is basically Miralax with some electrolytes added.

The other actually bad thing about prep is that eventually your ass hurts. It’s all the wiping. I use flushable wet wipes, despite everyone from the Pope on down assuring me that I’m evil for so doing (I’ve developed some tricks for minimizing use without leaving myself dirty or raw under normal conditions), so the irritation wasn’t as bad as it would (not might) have been otherwise, but even with that my surface protections, so to speak, eventually wore out. Had I really thought about it I might have bought some Preparation H along with my liquid-diet supplies to calm things down. Well, I’ll probably be around long enough to have another one. I’ll have to keep that in mind next time.

Had to keep the phone in the front window so as not to miss the hospital’s call and they still called when I was on the john. These days hospital schedulers will also text you, though, so that was cool. My appointment’s at 10am.

The other night Guy Fieri did his Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show in Columbus, Ohio. I don’t know if it was the latest episode, but I think that was Friday night so possibly. He went to two different places I used to pass in my car all the fucking time when I was in the Old North, which is basically the zone between the University District and Clintonville. I sat there watching him chat with this barbecue guy who sets up shop at Ace of Cups, High Street busy behind them. I could have pointed to exactly where it was had I been there. The episode that came on after that one included Gus visiting Sweet Carrot in Grandview, too. I have also passed that restaurant several times when out on deliveries.

And tonight it’s Andrew Zimmer and he visited Cincinnati and this is the first I’ve learned that Graeter’s Ice Cream is based in Cinci. He specifically wanted to highlight their black raspberry and chocolate chip flavor, and I’ve had that at least a few times.

It’s like TV Land is taunting me.

I told Carrie I intended to stay here and, my luck, I probably will, but if I can work out some way to move back to Columbus after a decent interval, I’m fucking doing it. I adore Carrie and I wish I had a friend like her up there, but this place is fundamentally unlivable. There’s a reason people here are always so fucking grumpy (oh sure, they have manners, but get a few beers in ’em and then you’ll find out) and want to vote for assholes like Trump. Happy people aren’t like that. And it just gets too fucking hot. And oh my god the fucking bugs. I can’t. I just can’t.

My family had half a century to act like they wanted a relationship with me and all it’s ever actually been is out of sight, out of mind. I’m no better, but back in winter ’94-’95 I sent a whole bunch of relatives holiday and New Year cards. I think I heard back from Aunt Diane. She was only an aunt by marriage. She died the following year of lung cancer. Leaving me with all the people who didn’t reply.

Aunt Nickie used to lecture me about my hands not being broken. The implication being that if I wrote, I’d hear back. That’s not how it actually works, apparently, so I can’t see keeping up the effort.

Mom did write. I keep forgetting that because it wasn’t regular anyway. She’d go through these phases where she’d write frequently, but it wasn’t all the time. I think she got the most active with it after Chaise died and Chan basically fucked off (he had good reasons). Like I was her last chance to be in touch with any of her kids. Thanks, Mom.

Additional note: It’s just as well my family doesn’t have anything to do with me unless I’m actually here and they have pretext (and it’s usually holidays). If any of you ever wondered where I got the tendency to nuke relationships from space, I didn’t steal it. There is always someone in the family tree with an active grudge against someone else, and everyone else takes sides. I do not want to be caught up in that shit any more than I probably am. I’m pretty sure Aunt Matilda stays mad at me, for instance. Yeah, y’all go ahead and entertain yourselves. I’ll be over here, like, reading books and shit. And leaving, when I can make it possible.

That probably won’t be til after Dad passes, unless he decides to move into the veterans’ home. He probably will not decide to move into the veterans’ home. They wouldn’t let him drink.

I’m leaving in that probably because if I figured out a way to do it I would probably follow through. I am homesick. This place stopped being home when Mom sold her parents’ house. What can you do. It can hurt to be reminded of Thea everywhere I go, but that’s all I’ve got left of her. I doubt that will change. I have one place like that here. One. Dad’s old trailer across the street, where she took her first steps. That family could decide to relocate tomorrow and then that would be gone too.

Well, a while back I realized that what I really want to do is figure out making a living through art/making and writing. Not long after that I shared that portrait of Rory as Sandor Clegane and someone on my friends list scolded me for fannying about and not making more art. And then today I saw a comment to the effect that I’m a good writer, which is not the first time I’ve seen that sentiment expressed in the past six months. I never hear compliments like this about anything else I do. Wait, that’s not 100% accurate. I did get some compliments from our customers (“plan members”) when I worked at Quantum. The compliments made me feel good, but being angry is a better motivator for talking to an employee’s manager than being happy with the employee is. The CEO had a habit of emailing everyone whenever she got word of a customer compliment, praising the employee. She never sent out an email about me. I was active on the phones for a good three months. People who’d been in my training class got several of those emails. I always fell through the cracks. I don’t do things for praise but when no one can seem to find anything right, in a way that would actually help me, with whatever I’m doing then I start questioning what the point is. I can’t be very good at it. Why bother?

One reason I get so prickly about this is I have dealt with too many shitbirds who will just sit there saving up and saving up every little toe I put out of line and then one day, just when I think everything’s going well, let me have it with both barrels. It doesn’t even have to be special fanfare, but I NEED to know I am doing okay or I’m going to spend all my time worrying when the other shoe’s going to drop. That’s no good for me and it’s certainly no good for any organization I might be working for.

I suppose it’s one reason being self-employed appeals to me. Nothing says “you did a good job” like someone paying you and then not asking for a refund.

The funny thing is I am getting paid for writing. It’s pocket change right now, but at four dollars and change after fees, I just need seventy-five paying subscribers to cover my most necessary bills. A hundred and fifty if I do things properly and pay taxes. Which I want to do, but with my income so low right now I don’t even want to think about that. I mean, thanks for the Medicaid, but it’s only marginally better than the first time I was on it twenty years ago. I drive on shitty roads, I am not at all protected from madmen in my government, and I have almost zero safety net except the occasional concession from some random charity that most assuredly does not have its shit together. So when I ask what the fuck I am getting out of paying taxes I am quite serious.

(Except veteran services in Ohio but, considering I can thank the Army that my life blew up in 1999 in the first place AFTER I saved them money and grief, they fucking owed me.)

I should get my ass to bed. I should also shower, but I want to make absolutely sure I am done shitting before I bother with that. I even got some of that fucking Lume deodorant because Walmart sells sample tubes. One of the problems with being fat is you need odor control in more places than just your pits. I can’t imagine a colonoscopy is any more pleasant for the doctor than it is for the patient. So I’m being nice. It also ends up being less embarrassing for me so, two birds with one stone. Anyway, all of that will do more good in the morning than it will now.

Besides, at least I won’t get the munchies if I stay up longer. Weirdly I haven’t had hunger pangs so I guess there’s something to the “you’re not hungry, you’re thirsty” argument BUT, I suspect someone got their wires crossed. Because killing your hunger pangs doesn’t mean you don’t need food. I couldn’t do this every day, even without the Evil Potion. I’d die of some kind of malnutrition. And yet, I’m not hungry. Go figure.

Okay. Off we go. ‘Later.