26 October 2023

I had meant to write about this the day it happened, and I could go back through my messages to Dawn and pinpoint the day but I can’t be arsed for some reason — but I finally, more than two years after I left, drove past Matt’s old house (“the red house,” Thea used to call it), and from the opposite direction to the one I went in when I left. There was a large gold-colored pickup truck pointed the wrong way on the parking pad and half-parked in the front yard, and the garage was open in the back. First time since 2009 that thing’s actually been empty. It was very strange to see. But good, too.

I don’t know if I mentioned it here but after my initial anger and grief at Matt’s bullshit of pulling up roots and leaving the state with my daughter without telling me (I had to hear it from alternative sources), I thought about it some more, and I realized that my only sadness is at my daughter being gone. Otherwise, it’s basically a huge relief, like lancing a boil. Like there was this great festering sore in the middle of my mind-map of this area because I knew it would hurt to drive past and see them there and that, if she saw me pass, she would probably be upset too — not at missing me, but at being reminded I’m around. That’s gone. I can drive past there now and it’s okay.

This has changed my delivery patterns too, somewhat. I still avoid the University Area (actual name of neighborhood) and the south side like the plague, because the former has no good parking to speak of and the latter is nothing but bad roads and bad drivers. Downtown is Right Out too. But I’ve expanded a little bit and have been a bit more willing to let the app lead me around where it will, to a certain extent. I still don’t want to take ridiculous trips for next to nothing, but thanks to my new approach I made $18 on a pizza run yesterday. Just the one run. Not a twofer. Not even on the weekend. Liked it.

I’m only now realizing I have less rage. Weird. I can’t count on it not coming back, but it was already diminishing and now it’s dropped a whole lot again.

I might actually be okay. At least in that sense. Eventually.

I set up a GoFundMe to maybe help with this last month’s rent. I won’t link to it. If you’re that fucking curious you can go search me there; I’m sure I’ll come up. I realize this is a shitty tone to take when I’m hoping for help, but so far this year most “help” has come from people trying to make themselves look good and you can’t base it on that. You have to base it on meeting the person’s actual needs. I’m lucky I got anywhere at all; even where things were successful it was often because I took alternative steps under my own initiative. I can’t fault that, even if it’s patting myself on the back, but one wonders what all the fucking charities are for. The things I saw. I still need to write about that. In the meantime, if I don’t simper enough for you, pass me on by. I have a plan B if this doesn’t work.

The doctor has flat out told Dad that if he drinks again it will kill him.

I have a feeling he doesn’t give a sweet shit.

I don’t have an opinion about it either way. I can’t see us reconciling at this point. I have resigned myself to being the family asshole that everyone’s going to talk shit about for generations if they even remember I existed at all. They won’t, of course. I mention these possibilities only to show that I am aware of them. Everything that I’ve been through that I could have been spared had people simply stopped kicking me out the door (or, more recently, making me want to leave) and stopped being mean to me and actually started getting to know me, and I’ve lost count now, and I can’t measure, and I’m just tired of thinking about it. I made this mess, but I had no foundation to do anything else. Thanks? So backstab if it makes you feel better. It’s in character for you. Hate to see you start acting abnormally. Dementia’s a bitch.

I’m getting ranty and need to go to bed. The point, with the previous, is that in a lot of these situations I get pulled up for… basically nothing. I keep to myself, I don’t go engage people about anything, I go along my merry little way and the first time an issue comes up and I react to it, suddenly I’m a monster. I mean okay, I kept to myself and you don’t have enough experience with me, but guess who also never approached me to make the first move. Do you not understand what an introvert is? I’m easy, too. Just say hi and start a fucking conversation. I can pick it up from there and we can go back and forth. You know, like normal people? Make that investment. I cannot be the one making the first fucking move all the time and I am tired of people expecting it. If you don’t say hi to me I assume you are not interested. If you are someone who ought to be interested and you are making no moves, I am going to take a little bit of offense at that. I’m human. I am not a mind-reader. Stop making me fucking guess. And don’t expect me to act like you, because I don’t live among you. We should have some of the larger things in common, but that’s about as far as you can take it as far as expectations go. Point is, I ain’t done shit and you’re mad. I could literally tell you my entire life situation and you’d still be mad because something something bad decision something twenty years ago. So? This isn’t twenty years ago. Catch the fuck up.

Nope. Well then. Make your own choices and I’ll make mine.

And if you’re a new person and think I’ll bite your head off? Again, as I said… Treat me like just folks. But if you don’t approach, I assume you don’t care. It beats wasting energy chasing people. You always get those assholes who like the attention and who will accept yours even though they hold you in contempt. I hate that, and I’m not setting myself up for it. Too much time and energy wasted getting back to baseline after the massive disappointment hits me. No thank you.

Okay, bed for real now. GOD. Ni ni. zzzzzzzzz

25 October 2023

Am still around, will catch up soon with whoever the fuck is reading. Couldn’t get my brain into gear after it for some reason.

Briefly: Turns out Dad had another brain bleed that precipitated this latest ambulance ride (see previous post). Doug flew out there early this morning to be with him. Carrie sent me photos. I’ll update this later and add them. Dad’s doctor also told him that if Dad doesn’t stop drinking, he’ll die. So it sounds like they have zeroed in on the drinking causing either the brain bleeds or the falls that cause the brain bleeds, unless it’s the brain bleeds causing the falls. Either way. It’s all of a piece. Just like I thought. I am pretty sure that when I was in ninth grade taking a current-affairs class, we had a segment on drug abuse and were shown a photo of the brain of an alcoholic and let’s just say it was ugly: huge contrast from a healthy brain, mushier and bloodier looking. It is amazing what you will draw on later from your memories in the midst of a crisis.

Also, Aunt Matilda, one of his younger sisters and also my godmother (fat lot of good that did), is on the warpath against me writing about this publicly. I am not sure where she saw me but I am guessing on Facebook. I am not sure she has worked out that I have a homepage. I am not sure it matters. But I got thirdhand-fussed at through Carrie and Doug about it. She can keep fussing. I am so tired of this shit. Welcome to life being acquainted with a writer. I may not be making a living at it, but this is me and you will just have to fucking deal. If you haven’t figured that out by now, it’s time.

I wrote this on Facebook a few days ago when shit first blew up:

Hey if any more family come here looking for shit to gossip and rage about, here’s a 21st-century primer for you:

1. Alcoholism isn’t a secret anymore.

2. It is a thing that actually causes problems for both the drinker and other people.

3. People who have had problems caused for them have a right to talk about that. Including publicly.

4. Men who behave badly or in ill-advised ways (not the same thing) do not have a right to be simped about it. Men will shame women all fucking year long for showing one square inch too much of boobage or having one too many boyfriends before age 30. Excuse the fuck out of me if a woman wants to talk about her dad committing slow self-unaliving. I think that’s rather more significant.

More to the point, where the hell have any of you been most of my life? You think you get editing rights now? Sit the hell down. Thank you.

People who can’t be arsed to stick the fuck up for me when I am being blatantly mistreated can shut the fuck up when I have opinions about things. You already showed me whose side you’re on and I only care about the opinions of people who give a shit about me. And then only just so far. I’m not a fucking windsock, and I’m not gonna wave in whatever direction people blow me, and you can get the fuck over it. Good talk.

This man used to drive intoxicated with me and/or my brother in the car. When we were CHILDREN.

Go fuck yourselves.

23 October 2023

I could go into a ramblyrant like I’ve done the past several entries, or maybe I’m being paranoid and that all hasn’t actually been that ranty, but that bores even me after a while and I’m trying to organize my thoughts and intentions, so we’re going to take this in another direction.

Point the first:

I’ve decided to put my legal proofreading training on long-term hiatus. It is foolish in the extreme to not finish the course as I’ve already paid for it in full, but there’s also the risk of spent-cost fallacy. I’ve barely worked on it at all, and I am pretty sure I bought it in 2020. If I’m wrong, I bought it in 2019. It was that long ago. If I haven’t fucking finished it by now, I’m not sure I will.

I thought about signing up for the general proofreading course instead, from the same company, but they won’t let me trade in one course for the other course and I am not willing to shell out another multiple hundreds of dollars (at fifty percent off, which they recently had a flash sale in that vein, it’s still over three hundred dollars for the lowest-rung basic course) only to not finish. It’s idiotic.

I found out the Chicago Manual of Style costs less than $50, hardcover, latest edition, at Amazon. I know from my participation in the student support group that that’s the style manual used by the graduates of the general course. I may invest in that and then see what I can get up to at Fiverr or Upwork on my own. If I start proofreading at all, that is likely to be how I do it. If I’m “having to succeed by trial and error,” at least I’d be succeeding.

This may not be a permanent decision. It’s too soon to tell. There is too much else going on.

Point the second

One of the reasons I want to put the training on hold is I need quick cash, and I can get $200 out of one of my books related to the course and another $100 out of two other books. They will also wind up being three fewer heavy things I need to shift when I move. So I need to list those in the group shortly. I have a fourth book I can also unload, but that’ll probably be $20 at best. Still, better than nothing. I could hypothetically continue the course without those books, so this isn’t the only reason I’m putting the course on hold, but it’s a big one.

Point the third

I’m going to take some time tonight and work on bits of this site, most notably here. It’s sat idle long enough. If I get bored with that, I may work on Rory’s stuff some more. It’s been a while. Possibly work on something else too; I haven’t decided yet. Let’s burn that bridge once we’ve crossed it.

In other news, Dad’s in the hospital again. His landlady and long-time friend Jodi has been keeping a close eye on him with her daughter’s help, and they saw him fall, but didn’t see the extent of his possible injuries. He certainly wouldn’t ‘fess up — he views such concern as unnecessary fuss — so they called an ambulance to be safe. Whether we get DT festivities with him again will depend greatly on how long the hospital has him under observation. I told Carrie last week that he needs to be in the veterans’ home, and she sort of hemmed and hawed about it, and likely doesn’t have authority to make that decision anyway. But it’s still true. Jodi and her daughter have their own lives, much as I appreciate them helping, and he needs to be near actual medical care, which they would have in a nursing home. I told Doug that the only reason Dad hasn’t gone there yet, even though he arranged things already and has a place there, is because they very likely won’t let him drink. Doug couldn’t find fault in my theory. That is a stupid reason to not ask for help. When I thought years ago that the man might drink himself to death, I never imagined it would be in this fashion.

I don’t know why this hasn’t put me completely off alcohol in any way, shape, or form, but weirdly it hasn’t. I rarely drink, though, so that isn’t saying much.

I never did contact him after he got out of the hospital last time. Haven’t wanted to. I can’t predict how he will behave, and I have no patience left for him acting like everything that ever goes wrong in my life is just me being bad. I simply do not have the energy left to stabilize myself emotionally after yet more setbacks because the people who are supposed to love and support me want to attack me instead, either directly or from the back. I don’t mean that he has to rubberstamp everything that I do or everything that happens to me. He doesn’t have to agree that I always do everything right. What he needs to do if he wants a relationship with me is to stop attacking me. That’s all. I am experiencing the natural consequences of my actions. They suck. I got the universe’s message loud and clear. The universe has not appointed a deputy to administer additional beatings, verbal or otherwise. End of story.

And that goes for anyone else. If you want to be offended that I try to protect myself, if you want to call me a bigot for telling the truth, if you want to cozy up to my enemies because they tell you what you want to hear even when that’s bullshit, you’ve made your choice but you don’t get to stay in my life too. That is not negotiable. I’ve had enough. I am not an unreasonable person. (The fact that you are now laughing says that you are, however.) If you ever get over yourself and want to make things right, not just bribe me with stuff or bullshit me with more nonsense you don’t mean, hey, I’m here. I’m an easy find. Speak up. But I’m done chasing people who just want to be hateful. Too much energy wasted to accomplish fuck-all.

I said I wasn’t going to rant. I don’t think I am yet, but I’ll leave that there. I’m sure I’ll address that subject again sometime. More than once.

Okay. I feel like I wanted to talk about something else, but now I don’t remember what it was. It probably doesn’t matter. Keep an eye on the other page ’cause stuff will be there soon.

[edit] Oh, yes. Right. This wasn’t what I had been meaning to talk about, if anything (I could just be imagining that I wanted to talk about something else), but I have this new weird thing happening. There are times I change position between standing and sitting that I get this weird pain thing going on, up my back somehow. That sounds weird, but I don’t know how to describe it. It’s a radiating sort of pain, and not severe, but it’s… different… enough that it makes me pause and catch my breath anyway. I think so far it only happens when I go from standing to sitting. It’s like everything’s settling back down, but in an ouchy way.

I should also add there’s this weird lump in my back just to the right of my spine. It is not a big lump, but if I rub the general area back there I can feel it, and there is not a corresponding lump on the other side so this is not me mistaking a body part for an anomaly. That’s been there a while. Months at least. I never thought to mention it in any venue until now and, well, I’m already grousing about my health, so there you go.

The thing that went on previously that I thought could potentially be a kidney stone seems to be done, whatever it was. I did go on magnesium, a formula that contains three different magnesium compounds including citrate, and magnesium citrate is supposed to help kidney stones. So if I had anything in that vein whatsoever, maybe I’ve knocked it down. No idea.

Interestingly, it was on the same side as the lump is. I don’t know if that’s significant. The pain wasn’t in the same place though.

Random other pains in the past few weeks that were likely my stupid fibroids acting up.

Foot thing a while back, right foot hurting when I’d walk around Meijer after a day delivering, but that may just be me pounding too much pavement. I replaced my shoes at the end of last year or beginning of this one but maybe it’s time for a new pair. I used to make one pair last five years or more. I suspect those days are done. I am probably the least shoesy woman you will ever meet, barring women who don’t have feet. I own two pairs at the moment and that has got to be some kind of record. And the other pair are only meant to be step-outside shoes. They’re sandals and too big for my feet and I got them to feed the farm animals while Elizabeth was out of town with Pat months ago. I couldn’t find boots that would go on my stupid derp feet, so opted for beach sandals because both they and feet wash off. I was once accused of being “resourceful” by a case worker. I suppose sometimes I am.

21 October 2023

Pat’s gone. I was out driving yesterday and a text came across from Elizabeth. I glanced and saw the word “beautiful” in the notification and thought, Here we go. He’s gone. I read the full message later and I was right. She seems to imply he saw the sunset, at least, but if he didn’t he still had family and doggos around him and got to die at home. Sounds pretty good to me.

I do not know what’s going to happen from here. I’m assuming that since there’s a little over a month left on the lease, she’ll honor that but the way this year has gone so far, and my life in general really, it seems like keeping one’s word is optional anymore. Probably always was and I was just a bit too trusting.

I didn’t reply. I’ll be surprised if she even remembers she’s got me on that texting group. I might send a sympathy note tomorrow since she said she was going to be out of the loop until Sunday, but probably not. There has been a lot of implied or borderline promising or offering going on that never follows through.

For instance. The mail key which I was given in late June or early July. I had tried it then and couldn’t get into the mailbox for some reason. That was right before I fell on my nose, and that accident was just weird — I sometimes wonder if I had some sort of mental lapse that night — so I’ve waffled between telling her she gave me the wrong key and just going and trying it again because maybe I did something wrong and brain no wurky so I hadn’t realized it at the time. Nope. I tried it again tonight. I didn’t do anything wrong. It won’t go into the keyhole either way up. At all. I had a few somewhat important things sent to me and now I have no idea what happened to them. I can’t believe the mailbox would hold that much mail.

I probably had better say something before the 31st gets here. I’m still at a point of relative leverage. If I end up late on the rent she could start playing games and I’d have no ground to stand on. The only reason I haven’t already is because of the electric bill issue. And she could still play games based on that.

I am quite positive a lot of this was stress around Pat’s illness. Doesn’t matter as much as it should; my needs are not going to wait until she decides to quit holding my life hostage, and this is not the first time she has. I should be more sympathetic and caring than I am, which I am pretty much not at all. In my experience, nobody actually wants me to care about them; they want ego strokes. I don’t give a fuck about egos and I’m no one’s fucking fluffer so that’s just not gonna happen. I’m burnt out. I tried. I got nothing but my efforts ignored or thrown back in my face. And now that I’ve had to deal with crazy people one too many times, the signs are very noticeable to me now so when I start picking that up on the radar I get reeeeeal skittish. It is what it is. Moving on now.

Eh. I should just get a P.O. box and get it over with. And what’s held me up on that was not being sure where to rent it. I kind of want to go back to Clintonville and get one there. If the same lady is working there who was there the whole time I lived with Matt, she’d shit to see me again. Haha. But get the box, get my PayPal card re-issued since I’m probably never going to even see the other one, and then the only other thing I really need to worry about is the BMV address-change card and maybe I can go in and get that done directly. I need to re-up my license and registration anyway, and had probably better do those in person. This next little while’s going to be interesting.

(At least I know the registration will be under $100. Thank fuck. Wonder if I can also get it and my license done early.)

The last several days have been interesting with the driving. Solid $100-plus days. Today it was going up by Alum Creek Lake again. Hadn’t done that in a while. The fall colors are absolutely lovely, and I wish I had a decent camera. If I weren’t in a mad rush to solve my immediate housing-related crisis, I’d go up there with my film SLR and take phone photos as backup in case my film’s too old. Oh well. Maybe I’ll still be alive and in Ohio next year and maybe I won’t.

I mean to do more stuff here soon on a couple Pages I’ve left idle. I’m kind of scattered at the moment. Got all sorts of backlog in multiple areas of my life. I should do more of that and less fucking around on social media. There’s too much silence. I need chatter. Not the TV. I don’t know what the fuck happened to television but it’s just gross now.

Okay. Bed.

19 October 2023

Up til now with Uber Eats, I’ve tried doing their CVS shops a time or three but was never very happy with them because at that point the shop and pay functionality in stores was not that great: if I needed to substitute an item, it was worth my life to get hold of the customer and ask them what they wanted. It already took me longer than a restaurant delivery did, so this was very annoying.

So for a long time I would get these offers for shop-and-pays, and other than a couple restaurants where it was order and pay, I’d turn them all down.

Well, this week so far it’s been shit. Today I was feeling kind of desperate so when I got a decent-looking Target call, I thought, eh, fuck it. I’ll go see how this goes and if I like it, I guess I can do more of these.


Okay… what was it. Two Target runs, two Meijer runs? Yeah. That was it. Four different locations, mind you. Three of them I’d been to before. The fourth was in the Westerville-Polaris area and holy shit, that’s the nicest Meijer I’ve ever been to. Out of all four runs, I only had to sub one item. The Graceland Target was absolutely-no-shit out of fresh raspberries of any type or category. I got the customer strawberries instead because she listed that as an acceptable substitution — hallelujah.

It was kind of difficult being in that area of town, but not as difficult as it used to be. But I can’t go to the Graceland Target without seeing those stupid giant red balls out front and thinking, Thea used to yell “Ball!” from her stroller when we’d go there and roll past them.

And then she grew up.

Ball!  12 May 2021

I can’t believe that was from the same year I left. Four months before. So much changed in so little time.

Today I also went past the hospital where she was born and the church where she used to have her belt tests for her martial arts school. Not on purpose. That was just where the app sent me.

Memories everywhere. I told myself, these are all mine now. If everyone else wants to throw them away in the name of pretending to be someone or something they’re not, I guess that is their problem, but this was my life. It still is. I am the memory-keeper when everyone else walks away.

Not the first time I’ve found myself in that position, either.

Probably won’t be the last.

I’ve also been thinking over the whole situation with Dad. I’ve felt guilty about it — shouldn’t I be looking after him? Not that guilty though. Who the fuck was looking after me when my brother was beating the shit out of me and my stepmom was fucking nuts? No one. I was on my own and if I wasn’t perfect I got my ass beat by people who could not be fucking bothered any of the rest of the time. I will admit, Dad’s been a great rescuer when I really, really needed him. The thing is, I’ve tried to make that happen as little as humanly possible, and sooner or later I always left because it’s fucking impossible to make a go of things down there unless you’re oil industry or you got a man. I couldn’t make a go of it with the oil industry, don’t want to anyway, and… well… we know me and men. That’s a dead end. And what’s Dad do when I’m down there? Bitches about everything I do. I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m fucking not: If you cannot have enough respect for me to trust me to figure my own life out at the age of almost half a century, you don’t get my help. Fuck off. I did not tell my father to quit his fucking drinking and neglecting his blood sugar when he was half a century old. I like to think I’ve got more class than that.

I’m probably wrong, but I like to think so, anyway.

Besides, the car wouldn’t make it down there. I suppose I could try, and then I could find myself fucking stranded because it is just not going to fucking happen. Even if it did, it’d die once I was down there. What would I do? Not be able to so much as grocery-shop. Right now, right this minute, if my car were to die I could still go get food until my money runs out, because it’s a bit of a walk but there are two grocery stores about equal distance from this apartment in opposite directions. I’d manage. If it happened at Dad’s, I’d half kill myself getting into Iota — shit you not, there’s a dead man’s curve between the trailer park and the town and no fucking sidewalk and no one knows what the fuck a speed limit is — and we will not even discuss Crowley or Jennings. If I were twenty years younger and an athlete. And had a bicycle. No. It’s not fucking happening.

“Dad could buy you another car” Dad ain’t buying me shit. Dad could have bought me a goddamn car when I was down there with Thea 18 years ago needing to get places with her. Mom almost gave me a van, and then changed her mind without telling me and simply came over to Dad’s and took it back. That’s my parents for you. Wrap themselves up in their own fucking egos, never mind what I need.

When I think how so many of my problems started with my parents not teaching me to fucking drive because I didn’t say the magic words first… It still enrages me.

The extended fam will talk shit about me for not fucking bothering. What the fuck ever. They’ve been talking shit about me my entire life, and before they talked shit about me they talked shit about my mom, and all that ruined my life. All well and good to get me away from Mom if even half of what I’ve heard is true, but they also got me away from my entire extended family, both sides, and I was stuck out there in strange lands with no one I knew. And I never got to know my family. And I’ve never belonged anywhere. It’s as if I died. I have been this little lost ghost all my life. Keep talking. I stopped caring a long damn time ago. God… I sent out holiday cards in the 1994 season? I think I heard back from one person. Aunt Diane. My aunt by marriage. And then she DIED. “Why don’t you write? Is your hand broken?” my actual blood relatives say, but when I did write, they couldn’t be arsed. Message fucking received.

Well, Mom bothers, but I can’t even read her writing anymore, and when I could, half the time I couldn’t make sense of it.

Getting back to the delivery thing. Had a good run today. Have grave doubts I’ll have the full $1000 by the end of the month. There are three things I can sell with a pretty good shot at the sales happening quickly. That’ll help. Other than that? If I keep having dead days like I’ve been doing, I really don’t know.

Either I’ll have enough for the last month’s rent or I’ll have enough for a storage locker and a room. (The storage locker is to hopefully keep bed bugs out of my stuff should I encounter that little problem again.) One way or the other I’ll have a roof over me. We’ll see.

P.S. That temp place I mentioned earlier this week, I never heard back about the background check. I have apparently been added to their “talent community,” which I am pretty sure means “you ain’t shit, but we’ll keep you dangling in case we get desperate.” I have a few other tires to kick. Gotta do that quickly so I’m getting paid by the time I’m in a room, if that’s the direction we’re headed. I’m so tired.

17 October 2023

Yesterday Carrie messaged me to let me know Dad had been released home. No word on whether he’s considering going to the veterans’ retirement home but really, he should. Even if I were there, if we had another emergency like he had in Carrie’s SUV, it would take a while for the ambulance to get there. He isn’t safe. I can’t tell him that, of course, because he’s a jackass. Has always been, will always be, alleluia, amen. I can’t do anything about it. So he’s there in that little trailer and who knows what the fuck’s going to happen next.

This season of my life seems to be all about learning to let go of things I can’t change. I don’t know if this is normal for middle-aged people, but it’s a bit annoying. But also, I don’t have the “juice” I had thirty years ago and cannot be arsed working up a rage about it. I think I used all that up navigating the situation when Matt went loony on me two years ago*. Or most of it; I’ve had rage episodes since but they’ve been much weaker and shorter, thank fuck. That isn’t any more fun for me than it is for the people who have to hear it. I would just as soon have never experienced it at all. And I hate that my daughter remembers me like that. But it seems to be spent, too. Hopefully it never comes back.

I’ve been having a bad time with the delivery stuff the past few days when I’ve bothered at all, so now I’m in a mode of not wanting to go out and try. I don’t like this about myself, but Tuesdays are not busy anyway. I’ll try tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to start early. My brain got all screwed up after yesterday and not having had adequate sleep Sunday night.

I went in to that temp agency yesterday and did all the onboarding stuff. We’re waiting on my background check now, supposedly. Usually they’re pretty quick in my experience but if they have a lot of people to process, who knows how long it’ll take. I didn’t ask. I probably should have. There are three shifts available: weekday days, weekday evenings, and weekend evenings. I was hoping for 40 hours a week and it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to have three days off (I would — these are ten-hour shifts), but if they give me weekends I won’t be totally sorry. Starting in a distribution center is a huge adjustment. My feet will be killing me for probably the first couple weeks. I could still deliver during the week, too. We’ll see.

It was weird being in that area of town again, too. It was familiar, because I used to go there all the time for pickups and deliveries when I lived in Whitehall, but it also kind of messed with my head how I started out being in southeast Columbus, and then I wound up in far north Columbus and in Delaware, and then I was in Marysville, and then I wound up in Dublin. All in less than a year. It’s been surreal. If I told most people I’ve known in this town the name of the road I am living on right now, they wouldn’t believe me. It’s special circumstances, but I barely believe it myself. This’ll never happen again. I should make sure to get photos before I leave.

I finally heard back from Molly, my Salvation Army veteran-rehousing caseworker, yesterday. Took her five fucking days to answer me and this is the first I’ve heard from her since July. Yes, I’ve been discharged from the program. No one told me it would happen nor under what circumstances. I remember signing a document saying I could be exited for not participating, but no one told me what participation meant, either. It’s POSSIBLE Elizabeth told her I’d quit my job, but she didn’t say and I won’t ask (and I think it rather unlikely, considering getting Elizabeth to sign documents in the beginning was like pulling teeth and now we’re going through the same song and dance with the electric bill). I will say Molly’s a fucking ditz and I don’t know who’s running that office — well, okay, I sort of do, I met her — but I say it’s mismanaged top to bottom. Shit communication. Shit followup. The only reason I even have this apartment was I set up an ad on craigslist. It’s a whole long story I won’t get into here, but it wasn’t a fun experience and I hope I never have to ask for that sort of “help” again. So I’m not going to go complaining to her boss, because what would be the point. It isn’t going to actually change anything.

You’re going “but it was a rehousing program and you’re housed now.” That wasn’t the only element. They’re supposed to be there to help for a little while afterwards in case you are at risk of losing your housing again. Like, if I were still in, I could explain the job situation to her and see if I could get a little help with the last month’s rent. That door’s closed now. I am not going to try to reopen it. I’m in the wrong county now, anyway.

And another thing. I cannot be the only sometime-homeless person who has noticed that when people label you Homeless, they treat you like some weird kind of zoo animal. This turns up in all sorts of interactions. I don’t mind talking about my experience and I wouldn’t mind telling people in my face-to-face life that I’ve been through it but I don’t trust them to be rational and just treat me like an adult human being who went through an unfortunate experience. I don’t think most of them know how. So it isn’t shame, because this shit could happen to anyone and certainly isn’t a mark of merit or the lack thereof. It’s not wanting to deal with the prejudicial bullshit. I only have so many psychological spoons and I can’t spare them for nonsense anymore.

The remarks I see on social media about homeless people, alone. I’ve had to pull up some people on my Facebook friends list like, “ahem, I never acted like that, thank you.” The absolute fucking cheek.

I’ve been making jewelry. I need to then take the next step and list it on Etsy, and I need to figure out shipping in the unlikely event any of it sells, and I’m about to run out of elastic for stretch bracelets, but I’ve gotten off to a decent start. I am trying to do more using up what I already have than adding in more beads. I was going to just sell the beads as supplies, but if I can get more for finished items, that would make more sense from a fiscal point of view. Also, I just need to do things with my hands again. I spend too much time on here ruminating and it’s not good for me.

Though it’s a catch-22 because I also write, shitty as it is, and I need to organize my photos, which have been 99% digital since 2004, and I need to organize other things so that when I need certain information or certain files I can actually find them. Could stand to empty out most of my Gmail, too. It’s gotten ridiculous. But I maybe need to schedule all this shit so I don’t get sucked into time-wasters. I dunno.

Would you believe I have a flat-screen TV in this apartment and I’ve never once turned it on? Jesus, I could be Making Things and also binging Game of Thrones again. I’m so fucking lame. Oh well.

It’s not my television. Or I don’t think it is. It was left here, and I got sort of an idea Elizabeth was willing to just give it to me but… nah. I’m not going to be taking anything out of here that I didn’t bring in here except possibly the Brita pitcher. I’m still debating that one. If I go into Goodwill soon and find one, I’ll leave this one here. I can’t see paying full price for one right now. Of course, it’ll all depend on whether I have a place to move into. I am entirely prepared to go the extended-stay route again if I have to. As long as when I leave here it is to go somewhere with a fridge, fine, I’ll get the pitcher. If it’s back into the car, that’ll be different.

I’m half tempted to call Dad just to see if he invites me back home. If I trusted my car to make the trip again, I’d be leaning more in that direction. But, here we are. Oh well.

*He didn’t really, in my opinion. There were signs all along that he wasn’t where he wanted to be but was making the best of the situation. The thing that fucked with my head was he continued telling me it was what he wanted and where he wanted to be. But it was all bullshit, as usual with him. Two years ago was him showing his true colors at last. It just was such a major change from what he told me was going on that it looked like he’d gone wacko.

Quincy Jones – “Soul Bossa Nova”

I was today years old when I found out the theme for the Austin Powers films was written by Quincy Jones.

I thought, “This needs a flash mob,” and YouTube obligingly served one up for me but unfortunately it wasn’t dancers, it was just musicians. It was still incredibly fucking cool, but they took a while gathering all the musicians together, starting with a single drummer and then adding more musicians pretty much one at a time but not really starting the song for several minutes, just the drumming and a horn or two, and it felt a lot like having sex with a new guy who doesn’t know what he’s doing at your controls yet and you take a whole fucking hour for something that shouldn’t have taken longer than ten minutes and you JUST KNOW he’s gonna get you there ANY SECOND NOW but… NO. ARGH. So I won’t share that here. You can go find it if you want to see it.

But seriously, someone should do a combo band and dancer flash mob of this. In costume, if possible. Screaming ladies an’ all. That would be incredible. Just about as good as doing a “Thriller” zombie dance.

Bonus if they can find a cop who’ll do cartwheels.

15 October 2023

Dad’s been moved off ICU and has his own room. I’ve got the room number in a message from Carrie. I still don’t know for sure if I will call before he’s discharged, but I’m leaning hard towards “no.” Doug seems willing to give me updates and once in a while, Carrie does too. I’m good. If Dad had a track record of not being a dick about my shortcomings, it would be one thing, but nah. He doesn’t get to lecture me about anything after scaring me like that. Besides, I’m such a bad kid I might drive him straight back to drinking…

…And that’s another thing. There’s a strong possibility he’ll go home soon. He will go straight back to the bottle, and to lying to everyone about it. Bet me.

It’s weird, because in general I don’t mind people drinking. I suppose it depends on the person and what sort of drunk they are, and if they drink too much then I might worry about their health but in this particular case, his drinking and Reba’s drinking were instrumental in my childhood misery. So while I don’t give him shit about it, yeah, I realize I’m judgmental. I also understand how hard it is to quit something like that (I mean, look at me and carbs), but it being difficult for him to quit doesn’t make it any easier for me to deal with it.

Although, come to think of it, he’s meaner when he hasn’t been.

And come to think of that, my choosing not to call him is probably wise, then.

Moving on now.

Okay. Tomorrow. 10am. We’ll see what we will see. I need to check the trip duration so I know what to set my alarm for, but at least I showered already. OMG! An evening shower! I can’t remember the last time I did that. I’d been avoiding them here because the idea of taking a shower in that dark bathroom gives me the creeps. Lost count of how many times I’ve found spiders in there. AND YET, no light from outside gets in there when I’ve got the door closed, so it’s exactly as dark in the daytime as it is at night. Make it make sense. If my brain could make it make sense, though, I wouldn’t be in this mess.

I think I might finally be moving in the direction of going back more website-based. Kind of like it.

As to the other thing I vagueblogged about yesterday… Nah. I’ll keep going with it, and him. He can just be a pleasant distraction. I know it’ll never be anything else. At least in this case I know and I don’t have to wonder. Dawn wasn’t exactly right about that. Nor was I, with my original assumption about my motivation. I’m not being like this because it’s “safer,” or not only because of that. I’m being like this because for once I know what’s going on. No one’s lying to me; the man’s not even speaking to me. (He could. But he won’t.) Even with the not knowing his marital status, that’s in the public interest to know but it doesn’t mean you have to know in every single circumstance. He might be said to actually owe me that information if we knew one another in person and there were any chance whatsoever of dating — or, hell, just fucking. Other than that? Doesn’t matter. So I knew exactly the amount of info I needed to know about him. That’s nice, for a change. I wonder what that’s like with a man I actually know, but I doubt I’ll find out at this late date.

In other news, I think my brain is threatening creativity at me now. It is not unwelcome.

Okay. Bed. Big day tomorrow. Potentially.

14 October 2023

Dad was sitting up in bed and eating breakfast this morning. Carrie got to call the ICU while he was still there, and whoever answered the phone acted as go-between. Carrie asked how he was, and he said he was fine. So he’s talking too.

Later in the day he got moved to a regular room. I’ve got the room number but don’t know if I will contact him. I’m not feeling particularly conflicted about it but I’m also not quite jaded enough yet to not worry at all about how other people will respond to whatever decisions I make in that regard. I’m MOSTLY not worried, but I’m not all the way there, if that makes any sense. But I also know that once my parents are gone my last ties to that area of the world will be utterly gone. I even, as much as I like her, get the sense that Carrie only tolerates me to be polite. I was telling her that with my daughter gone I’m really alone here now and she was like “get out there and meet people!” like I’d just said I’d run out of ice cream and all I have to do is go buy some more. A Canadian political activist who is a Facebook friend pointed out the other day, addressing his own personal situation, that you cannot make new old friends. That’s what I actually need, my old friends, but apparently my taste in friends over the course of my life has been rivaled only by my taste in men. I’m surprised none of this has ever occurred to Carrie, that my situation might be undesirable for particular reasons which cannot now be repaired. But I also get the sense she doesn’t care. I’m not going to ask. Once the parents are gone that’ll be it. I don’t even have my grandparents’ house to go take refuge in anymore. Mom sold that and I will not now be inheriting it.

Probably just as well. The only thing that appealed to me about the place was my people, and my people have got no use for me. The ones who liked me are now all dead.

Rain today. Patchy-to-drizzly, mainly. It’s been a dry year but frankly, I could do with it being dry a bit longer so I can see if I can get this month sorted without having to fear for my life after sunset; rain after dark with everyone’s bright-ass headlights means I lose visibility for seconds at a time. But either I will get the $1000 sorted or I will get a room sorted. I’m good either way. I still have not heard from Molly, my Salvation Army caseworker, so if Elizabeth ends up calling her or emailing her to ask about things, I guess that will light a fire under Molly’s ass, won’t it. (And all I asked was whether I am still in the program. I think that is a reasonable question to ask, wouldn’t you agree? That is what was not answered. Nice.) But I would like to get the rent if at all possible. That way if Elizabeth persists in not giving me documentation of what I owe on electricity, she’s got the full $1000 from the deposit to make up for it. If she has to use it to cover the last month’s rent instead, that’s not good for her. It won’t matter to me either way, after the way this summer has gone. I want to do right by her, but if I can’t, I can’t. She’s either dragged her feet with or outright neglected my things she needed to get done. She’s over-promised and under-delivered. I think I’ve done pretty damned well by comparison, considering.

I was mistaken when I thought they took Pat out of here to go to a hospice center. I knew a lot of times hospice is at home, and turns out his is too. I can’t say I’m surprised. He and Elizabeth built their own little paradise here and I could see him not wanting to leave it. I know that’s taking up a lot of Elizabeth’s mental real estate. It doesn’t change the way things are on my end. Must make a mental note to never try to rescue anybody when I am in the middle of a crisis. It’s not fair to them or to me.

In a distantly related vein, I am feeling a sea change (oh, here we go being corny) in regards to certain other things. Sort of where I’m not quite ready to let go yet but am seriously questioning what the point is. I’m not unsafe or anything — don’t get the wrong idea. This isn’t about me, this is about, erm, a certain object of focus. (By “object” I mean as in subject-verb-object, not that he is actually a thing.) For four years now I have had this sort of secret hope ongoing where I wanted to make certain things happen in order to put myself in the way of other things being more likely to happen. I think the only reason I still hang on to that is it’s a nice harmless little form of escapism that makes life more tolerable. But maybe it is also siphoning away mental energy I need to get my shit sorted. Also, for all the self-deprecating humor I indulge in, I really have a higher opinion of myself than was ever warranted. I’m afraid my perspective was skewed by living through a time in which there were too many men available per population of women and so the men would take nearly any pussy offered, available, or just randomly walking past minding its own business. It made me think I was more attractive or interesting than I actually was. Then there was Matt and his bullshit and that only extended the delusion. He didn’t mean it, of course. I was his consolation prize since his own wife wasn’t interested enough in him. (Wait til Crys finds out she is a hybrid consolation prize and escape hatch. Again. This is not the first time.) I started cluing in to just how little I had to offer as I navigated Men Trying To Date Through Social Media over a span of a decade or so. It’s pretty much a done deal now. So what I thought I was doing trying to put myself in the way of getting someone else’s attention, I really do not know. It’s pointless.

I can’t really go into much more detail than that, or more accurately won’t because I’m embarrassed enough already. Or whatever passes for “embarrassed” when one is almost constantly emotionally numb except for occasional bouts of rage, anyway. But yeah. Thinky-thoughts.

I should just cobble together a life plan, and then go for it. It doesn’t matter anymore what it is, as long as I go with something. If I keep hemming and hawing trying to get it Just Right, I’ll be ninety and dead and it’ll be too late. And life goes ever faster the older I get. Och, ye’re a long time deid.

13 October 2023

It is testimony to the fact my father has been drinking for literally all of my life and so it’s a bit “fish not being able to see the water it’s in” when I got the latest news from Doug today and it seems Dad is going into involuntary alcohol detox and I was actually not expecting that. Hadn’t even thought about it.

The way my brother prefaced it was “well, I know now Dad was lying to me” because apparently Dad told him he wasn’t drinking more than a bottle’s worth of whiskey (he favors Early Times Kentucky bourbon… mixed with Coca-Cola, and it is nasty that way) in a month. I suppose it depends on how one defines “bottle,” and I just looked it up and I’m pretty sure the sizes I saw available at the stores we frequented when I stayed with him two years ago were the 750 mL and the 1 L, and of course 750 mL is three-quarters of a liter. It’s not half. So even if he had been getting the 750 every fucking week when we’d shop — even if he’d been getting it every other week — if he’d meant the one-liter when he told Doug “one bottle,” the amounts I saw added up to THREE liters if bought weekly, and 1.5 if every other week. So, yeah. Lying through his fucking teeth.

He’s lied about it for years. I even caught him lying to Carrie, and he adores Carrie. The woman has just enough class that she probably knew he was lying but elected to be diplomatic about it. But it’s south Louisiana. Between her and me we probably know enough alcoholics down there to start a new Acadia Parish branch of Alcoholics Anonymous. We both know how it goes. I will be stunned if I’m wrong about her. Anyway, the lying was bad enough when it was just about drinking. Then he kept drinking and kept lying when he went diabetic and then kept right on going when he began his kidney failure process (it will progress if you can’t stop whatever’s causing the failure, until one day you need transplant or dialysis), and by that point it was is there something you want to tell us, Mister Doug (my brother’s named after my dad), because that sure looks like slow suicide to us.

I was probably the only one he never tried to bullshit about his drinking because I was one of very few who never gave him shit about it. (Or questioned him or admonished him in general. I wouldn’t say Carrie gave him shit about it, but she said things from time to time.) I do not say that out of pride. I’m not ashamed of it, either. He knows he drinks too much. He has known he drinks too much since he was seventeen. If telling him he drinks too much would have helped, the man’s going to be seventy-two next month if he lives that long. Either he’s stupid or he doesn’t care. He got all the way to senior chief petty officer in the Navy. Man’s not stupid. Can’t cure lack of caring. That’s on him. All you do with someone in a bind like that when you fuss at them is activate their persecution complex and then they dig in their heels, no matter how stupid it looks because they know that you’re right and that they’re hurting themselves.

Well, actually, he might have lied to me, come to think of it. I don’t know, I can’t remember anything specific, but I know at one point it was not out where people could see it, and the problem with lying to someone who cleans your house is eventually they’re going to find the stash. But I want to say he’s only done the big production number of “I have quit drinking” maybe once or twice to me in my near-half-century of life. Because again, I don’t make a big deal out of it.

Only experience is going to teach people like my father, if anything will at all. Shame he wasn’t conscious for this object lesson. They had to restrain him when he went into DTs.

I actually kind of wonder if his setback yesterday was an early warning sign of it. Would actually be good news if I’m right, because if he can get all that out of his system without up and dying, he might actually wake up afterwards.

He won’t like himself when he does, and he’ll feel like shit. But we’ll see.

(I don’t actually think he will come out of this, but nothing ever seems to go the way I think it will go. In this case, I’ll be very happy to be wrong.)

The day wasn’t as good as I’d have liked. That was mostly on me. After making about sixty bucks, I had to pee, and I was close to home and it was either pee at home or go to Meijer, and Meijer’s restroom is usually disgusting. Okay, that’s a strong word — Unpleasant. It’s an old store, it needs renovation, it’s not run well, no one’s paid enough (I think their starting rate is UP TO $13 an hour — department-store retail is usually part-time when you’re starting, too), and it shows. I thought, fuck it. It’s nice that I can just run home. So on the way there, I thought, you know what? I’m tired of this shit, and so I decided to just call it a day. But hey, sixty-something wasn’t terrible. I’d feel better about it if (1) I had done more this month already and (2) I weren’t pretty sure I’ll be starting work next week, and I’m not sure when I’ll get paid. It’s supposed to be weekly, but being a new employee will mean pay will be delayed at least a week. I didn’t see whether they have same-day pay, either. But Quantum didn’t advertise having it, so that’s no metric. But hey. Could be that whole thing will fall through. I don’t know.

I need to start rebuilding my life and it’s hard to know where to begin when you’re stressed out, just surviving, and every possible route to get out of your situation looks like descending into hell. And when you don’t trust anyone anymore. That too. I try to think about what I want my life to look like and every time I contemplate things I realize that several of the elements involved require that other people notice I exist, are not unhappy that I exist, are willing to engage with me and whatever I’m offering or wanting to do, and so on. Tall order, I suppose.

I will not even go near the dating-again thing. Dead end. To be fair, fucking would likely be very painful at this point. I just have a feeling. And that’s one more thing I need to address and can’t. But I’d want more than that anyway and when do I ever get it? I don’t. I get idiots who would rather spend money than talk with me. Or listen to me. Or actually hear what I have to say. I’m over it.

Maybe I’ll just start a plant collection. I already have three.