Death/Dry-Humping/ Depression/Dating

I can typically assess the state of my mental health by how I react to hearing New Order. I was just listening to The Clash station on Pandora and “Age of Consent” started playing, so I started crying. I can’t put my finger on what it is about that band, but it triggers something in me.

I have been in such a funk lately, and there are numerous contributing factors. Firstly, I must admit something: I sort of missing having cancer. I know, I know, that sounds crazy, but here’s why: it gave me purpose. I felt really alive when I had cancer. I also felt lethargic and ill, but I knew I was going to beat the disease; I lived in warrior mode. I woke up every day and was all, “Once more unto the breach! You goin’ down, you hormone-fed, malignant, walnut-shaped, parasitic, tumorous bitch!” or something like that. Actually, that statement reveals a lot of anger, and at the time, I was not angry; I was optimistic. Now I’m angry. In the months following chemo and surgery I was so eager to reclaim my life; I was travelling; I was planning my dance party/fundraiser. Now I’m feeling run down.

The funk started about a month and a half ago when my dear friend Brian passed away after having just been diagnosed with a rare blood disorder. His wife Anne is my lifelong best friend. They have three beautiful children. It was a devastating situation. Being at the visitation and funeral reminded me just how much of a role Brian played in my life. Almost every romantic relationship I’ve ever had was either directly or indirectly facilitated through Brian. In the presence of death, so much of my life passed before my eyes, and this spurred a low-grade existential crisis that had me evaluating my life choices and contemplating my future. But this mindset is nothing new for me. I am a chemically imbalanced seeker of meaning who is doomed to perpetual restlessness. That is my tragic flaw, and it drives me to live a life full of adventure and excitement, while at the same time never feeling like I’ve achieved enough and always wondering if I’m headed in the right direction. When I was 18 (in 1998), right after I graduated from high school, I wrote myself a letter. I sealed it and wrote “Do not open until 2008. Beware: you were in a weird mood.” I was in the same mindset as I am now. I asked myself a bunch of questions to the effect of “Are you still anxious all the time? Do you still doubt yourself all the time even though you know you’re capable of great things?” It’s funny that it’s been almost 10 years since opening the letter. Yes, Jenny from 20 years ago, you are still anxious, but not all of the time. Yes, you still doubt yourself even though you’re capable of great things (and you have done some great things).

I was born chemically imbalanced. My extended family can’t get together without someone reminiscing about my choleric infancy and childhood. My tantrums were epic. Right before sixth grade we moved from Denver to St. Louis, and this event coincided with the onset of adolescence. I went from a skinny, pretty, happy child to a swollen, pimply, moody tween. Even at 12 I was thinking, “Woe is me; my good years are behind me. I used to really be someone, but alas, that time is gone.” The good thing is that even though inner Jenny is quite emo, the outer Jenny is not. The best example of this paradox is that in middle school, or as I like to call it, “Dante’s inner-most ring of hell,” I was voted “Most Positive.” Shit, ya’ll, I should have been given an Oscar for my 8th grade performance. But I think this represents how my chemical imbalance manifested itself as I got older. The outward rage I displayed as a three year old dragging my head across the floor while screaming was turned inward in the form of depression. It was never debilitating; I was just occasionally hit by pangs of melancholia that I kept to myself. The only time I was ever clinically depressed (I was never officially diagnosed) was during my senior year of high school. The depression came out of no where. It actually started the summer before 12th grade. I found myself crying deep sobs of sadness for no apparent reason. There was no external catalyst for this behavior. It was as if on some night in July of 1997 my neurotransmitters got together and said, “Ya know what? We should fuck dis bitch up.” And they did. At the beginning of the school year I was babysitting my neighbor every afternoon, and I remember being in their house and feeling like the walls were going to cave in on me. I would come home and cry in my room. I would wake up in the middle of the night and feel panicked and nauseated. I channeled this anxiety into thinking I was pregnant (even though I had never had sex).

Yep, I was cray cray. Let me give you some background on this. In about 1994 or 1995 there was a Q and A in YM magazine (ladies, remember that magazine?) where some girl wrote, “Help! I’m pregnant, but I’ve never had sex!” That shit fucked. me. up. Ya see, my high school boyfriend (I really wish I could have met him when we were about 30) and I used to dry hump the shit out of each other in his parents’ basement. We were such good kids; we were afraid to drink or have sex because that was bad, and we were at our naughtiest when we progressed to dry-humping in our underwear. Anywho, during that time of depression and anxiety I wasn’t having my period (which now of course I know was because of the emotional strife I was experiencing), and this only exacerbated and prolonged the situation because then I thought I was pregnant (from dry-humping). It got so bad that I even told my mom that I thought I was pregnant, but I assured her that I was a virgin. I think her reaction was something to the effect of, “Riiiiiiight,” but she went to a distant drugstore and bought a pregnancy test, and sure enough—> negatory. At some point in the spring of senior year, my neurotransmitters corrected themselves, and life improved.

I am a happy person, and I like my life, but I am prone to bouts of anxiety and depression that I keep fairly well controlled and hidden (for the most part). When I was 23, I decided to do something about my inner demons, and for the past 14 years I’ve taken a light dosage of Lexapro that has staved off depression (and some of my anxiety). Unfortunately, the medication I take to ward off a recurrence of breast cancer manipulates my hormones, and the main side effects, according to my oncologist, are hot flashes, anxiety, and mood swings. I’m thinking that this has something to do with my current mental state. However, just spewing this personal information at the world has lifted my mood, so thank you for being a part of my catharsis. I need to look into strategies for fending off existential dread. I’m too easily affected by my surroundings. I need to stop taking everything so personally. I need to not let an email from an angry student calling me a fucking bitch make me question my professional life choices. I need to not let the rampant apathy of my eleventh-graders suck the life from my soul when I have plenty of students who love learning and appreciate me. Sometimes I think I’ve chosen the wrong career, but then I face the truth that it’s not the job, it’s me. There is work to be done.

During The Great Funk of 2017, I decided that perhaps finding that special someone would help me find some stability. I don’t usually find myself thinking, “Oh, I wish I had a boyfriend” (although I recently did when I had a pimple on my shoulder blade because I couldn’t reach it). I have bad reasons for wanting a mate. If I was being honest,
this is what I would advertise on the dating apps/sites: “ISO of a smart, funny, handsome, successful man to pop my back pimples (a rarity, but it happens), cook for me, rub my feet, and help me work through my periodic existential dread.” Therefore, I prolly should’t date, right? I went on four unsuccessful Tinder dates which quelled my desire to find someone, and I’m back to being content with my spinsterhood. Week of spring break, Tuesday: had coffee in the morning with a hot, swarthy man; I could tell he thought I was nice, but I could also tell he wasn’t into me. When we left, I could tell he felt obligated to say, “Maybe we could do this again,” but I knew he didn’t mean it. That night I went on a dinner date. I liked this dude’s sense of humor. He was smart and funny, and we laughed a lot. We walked down to the pinball/skeeball arcade and had a blast. I thought we totally hit it off. His birthday was a few days later, so I texted him “Happy birthday!” but there was no response. On Saturday I went on a date with a dude who was 10 years older than me, and his old ass had the temerity to have a disappointed look on his face the moment I walked into the bar. He messaged me on Tinder the next morning and said, “Thanks for coming out. I don’t think we’re a match, but good luck to you,” and I was really impressed by that gesture. I was going to remove the Tinder app from my phone when I got a message from a guy who joked about needing a baby in the next year in order to get his inheritance. I thought this was funny and promising, and when he suggested that we have brunch at my favorite bloody mary spot, I was pretty stoked. However, it turned out that he was not funny and that I was approximately 40 pounds heavier than him. Also, he ordered a virgin drink.  At that point, I was all, “Well, that’s enough Tindering for me.”

And so here I am. I broke up with a guy right before I moved to California, and I’ve always missed him. He clearly hates me (and understandably so since I broke up with him, moved to California, and got engaged to someone else six months later). Every time I try to reconnect with him (which is not often), he blows me off. I got drunk at a restaurant this past summer, and there was an Ernest Trova painting hanging on the wall. My ex was Trova’s protege, and so I thought of him and messaged him on Facebook (even though we’re not friends). I told him that I was looking at a Trova painting and thinking of him, and I asked how he was doing. His response was something to the effect of, “Is it the yellow painting?” and I responded, “yep.” That was it. I had to laugh at how pathetic that exchange was. He probably laughed too. I loved his weird sense of humor. After our second date he dropped me off at my place, and it was obvious he wanted to come in, so I told him, “OK, you can come in, just don’t date rape me,” and he thought that was hysterical, and I loved how he thought that was hysterical. One time we created part of a song to a comedic musical about the Civil War. I think it’ll be hard to find a man like that again.

Just writing this has lifted my mood. It’s time to start being proactive in overcoming my woes. I know I’ll look back on this funky month and laugh. I think that’s why I’m so drawn to dark humor. Life is tragic, but it’s also pretty great. And funny.

Haikus for Low Points

Something’s missing in my life. Maybe it’s that special someone? Last week I felt compelled to try the ol’ dating apps again.

Here are some of the gems I’ve come across while swiping left; I recognize that it’s insensitive to write facetious comments about men I’ve never met and who could potentially be wonderful people, but I had cancer*, so I feel like karma paid it forward and I’m only evening the score with this cruel, creative effort. *I will most likely use this as an excuse for the rest of my life. “Sorry, I can’t attend that meeting; I used to have cancer.” “Oh, you want me to help you move? Sorry, can’t help. Used to have cancer.” “Hey, Mom, remember when I used to have cancer…Can you bring me some ice cream?”

 

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I appreciate

Your unabashed presence,

But we will not date.

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BTK Killer?

I thought you were in prison.

I am scared of you.

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‘Douche’ is what I see.

Your nipples are really small.

Bathroom selfies–>STOP.screenshot_2017-03-06-18-33-30-1.png

I assume that you

Are not the one in the chair.

It’s fun with the fam.

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“Bloody cat man here:

Just weirding my way through life.”

I don’t understand.

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Is that a wet suit?

I want this to be a joke.

I don’t think it is.

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Bad hombre/ombre:

Statement necklace with turtle:

Or it’s a tortoise?

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Man in plaid with dog:

That’s an interesting angle

For a profile pic.


There are actually plenty of attractive and seemingly normal men on these apps, and tomorrow I’m having coffee with one of them. Can’t help but think about this episode from Inside Amy Schumer:

 

Lil Dema

One of the librarians at my school suggested that I double-check my cancer-related expenses to make sure that I was not over-charged (She reads my blog, and at some point I told the world that I spent about $8500 on cancer-related expenses between October and April). I’m glad she suggested this. I contacted my insurance rep and asked her to meet with me and explain #allthebills. She came with a print-out of all of my insurance claims, and she was very kind. I was hoping that our meeting would end this way: “Oh my goodness,” she’d say, “We totally overcharged you. We’ll send you a check for $2000. Our bad.” Instead, the conversation was more like, “Yeah, the bills are right.” Damn it. So you wanna know how much it cost for me to have cancer (before insurance)?

$279,244.38

Cha-ching cha-ching!

I went back and looked at my receipts/bills, and after a few reimbursements (from an ER trip) and some re-organizing (there were some duplicate receipts), the total for my out-of-pocket expenses was $5667.22. I’ve said it before, but here’s my two-cents: only get cancer if you’re wealthy or have generous parents with whom you can live expense-free. The largest bill sent to Cigna Healthcare on my behalf was for the procedure that included my mastectomy and the baseline work for my reconstruction; it was $66,320.49. Because it’s public record AND you could look it up online AND I’m shameless AND I’ve had a few glasses of wine, I’ll tell you that I make $59, 061 a year. So, yeah.

Let’s talk about some more bullshit. I was at Panera the other day and I saw a sign advertising the St. Luke’s mammography van. I took a picture of it. It read, “This service provides 2D and 3D screening mammograms for women 40 years of age and over.” It made me a little angry. I envisioned myself driving to Wildwood Middle School on Tues., Sept. 6 between the hours of 7 -11 (that’s when they’re going to be available, FYI #checkthosetitties) and walking into the van. “Hi, I’m Jenny,” I’d say. “I had five months of chemo and I got my tits chopped off because I had breast cancer, but I was only 35. Do you scan 35-year old titties? Your sign says you don’t. Just curious BECAUSE SOME OF US YOUNGER WOMEN GET BOOB TOOMERS, TOO.” According to the Komen site, fewer than 5% of woman diagnosed with breast cancer are under 40. I wish the universe could have presented these odds to me in a different manner, perhaps in winning the lottery. But nooooo.

Here is a a conversation between my conscious self and my uterus:

Uterus: I spent 24 years menstruating, and yes, I admit that I didn’t work on a consistent basis, but talk to the old Endocrine System. It’s that bitch’s fault. If she had done her part and regulated your blood sugar levels, then my friends The Ovary Twins could have done their job and put an egg in me every month, but noooooooo #polycysticovariansyndrome. Here I am in your central cavity with nothing to do. I’ll just sit here and atrophy. As a female mammal you had one job: reproduce. But you can’t. Not without the help of science and alotta money. I’ll just sit here until you die and watch your dumb-ass bladder fill up and then drain. Fill up and then drain.

Me: Sorry, Uterus. I don’t know what to tell you. I wish I didn’t have to take Tamoxifen and become infertile. Think of your existence as permanent vacation. You no longer have to host any eggs, fertilized or unfertilized. You just get to chill.

Uterus: Yes, chill. And contemplate all that could have been. Sounds like a real friggin’ blast.

Me: Sorry?

A few months before I got cancer I remember telling my mom, “If I get to be 37 and I’m still not in a committed relationship, I think I’ll pursue non-traditional pregnancy options.” My mom said something to the effect of, “I was talking to your grandma about this, and Grandma said, “Jenny doesn’t want a husband. She just wants a baby,” and I thought, “So true, Grandma. So true.” That’s not a practical option now. I’m infertile. It would cost so much money to fertilize my frozen eggs, and I really don’t want to ask my sister to carry my fetus, and I don’t know how I’d pay a surrogate. Adoption is expensive as hell, too. My sis, her husband, and her two kids (aged 4 and 1) lived with us this summer before they closed on their new house. Living with my niece and nephew provided me with some insight into having children–>That shit’s intense. In a way, I feel a burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I wanted to have kids, but I can’t, and therefore, I don’t have to deal with a toddler who has lost her shit because I won’t take her to McDonalds to get a sundae at 9 AM. I think I just want to be the spinster aunt who misses Thanksgiving dinner because she’s attending a yoga retreat in Big Sur.

There are other pros to being infertile. I no longer feel the pressure to date. When I first started online dating a year and a half after my divorce (six years ago), I viewed it as a sociological experiment, and then it became fodder for some excellent story-telling. Then it just became depressing. Now there’s no pressure to meet a potential sperm-donor during my fertile years. My fertile years are gone. If you’re single, it’s society’s expectation that you seek out a partner, so I sometimes contemplate doing the on-line thing again, and I think of what my profile write-up would be:

Heeeeeeeey boys. Wanna meet up for a drink and see who first comes to the conclusion that it ain’t gonna work? I’m not totally sold on the idea that monogamy for non-breeders is the way to go, AND I’m infertile. 

I remember driving home from family vacation with my sister and her husband a few years ago and thinking, “I can’t wait to go home and be by myself. I can’t believe these two have to go home and be together some more. FOREVER.”  I’m a lone she-wolf. An infertile she-wolf. And I always find myself attracted to grumpy introverts whom I eventually grow to despise, so yeah, I guess it’s best to be on my own.

Speaking of being alone…I’m moving out of my folks’s house this weekend. I’m renting a cute little house in Dogtown, and I’m excited. The Cancer Days are over. But I’ll miss living with Dan and Sherry. My mom’s out of town, but Dad just made hamburgers, and we ate the patties on stale, sliced white bread. While we ate we watched a show about man-eating crocodiles in the Philippines.

My nipple-making-and-attaching surgery is scheduled for Dec. 16, but I think I’m going to switch it so that I don’t have to take all of those sick days (the 16th is the Friday before finals week. My plastic surgeon will be out of town on the 23rd, which would be the ideal surgery date). Right now I’m thinking of switching my surgery to the Friday before spring break, which is St. Patrick’s Day. HOWEVER, my new place is on the St. Patrick’s Day parade route in Dogtown, THE Irish neighborhood in St. Louis, and I really want to host a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day party. Is it wrong to postpone surgery so that I can host a party? (yes)

My implants seem to be fine. They look real, but they don’t feel real. I’m a little swollen on the left side, but that’s because I had some lymph nodes removed on that side (The Tumor Side) to assess the stage and progression of my cancer. I saw a Lymphadema specialist about a month ago, and she told me that I’ll have to wear a compression sleeve whenever I fly or drive through elevated regions #thatdemalife. I can totally see my brother-in-law giving me shit about my compression sleeve: “Whaddup, Dema?”

That’s my rapper name: Lil Dema

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s What It Sounds Like When I Pray

When I hear about people who are sick or who are struggling in some way, I feel like saying, “Thinking about you” is not enough, but I’m not confident in my prayer. What is prayer?

Consider these types of Facebook posts:

  • someone shares their uncle’s obituary
  • someone announces that he or she has a serious illness
  • someone posts a vague declaration about how he or she is struggling and needs prayer

And then all these people respond with, “Praying for you.” “Prayers going up.” And then if I write, “Thinking of you,” that seems less supportive. Some times I feel obligated to write, “praying for you,” and then at night, I think, “Well, you have to pray for him. You said you would.” So I guess prayer (as opposed to thought) is a proactive means of sending out waves of cosmic positivity. *But how can you be proactive if it’s just in your head? This is how my prayer sounds:

“God, whoever/whatever you are, (person’s name) needs to get better.” *But then I think, “Well, this is pointless. Isn’t God omniscient? Shouldn’t he already know this? And isn’t he supposed to be the definition of ‘benevolent’? I guess not if I actually have to ask him to make this person healthy again. And why am I referring to him as ‘him’? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the almighty life force to be female? Also, if prayer really does help, then what about people who don’t have friends and family? Are they screwed just because they’re socially inept? *Then I’m frustrated because I think that my prayer is worthless and I feel guilty that I “prayed” out of a sense of obligation rather than a sincere desire to support a suffering fellow human being.

Here are my thoughts:

  • I think it’s arrogant to assume that one’s god is superior over another or to deny the validity of another religion.
  • I think that the universe is under no obligation to make sense to any of us. #neiltyson
  • I think it’s arrogant/futile to attempt to understand the universe.
  • I think there is something greater than me, but I don’t know what that is, and that’s OK.
  • The last time I saw my grandpa, he had this look in his eye: a brightness/ an alertness; he was staring intently at me, and I thought, “That’s the last time I’ll see him.” And then one night a week or so later, I kept having strange dreams, so I’d wake up, and then in my conscious state I’d have these strange sensations, and then early in the morning the phone rang, and I knew it was because my grandpa had died. I think there are cosmic forces that send us messages.
    • But I don’t buy into a lot of the mediums that serve to connect us to those forces. I like The Fortune Teller bar on Cherokee. You should go (the decor includes taxidermied animals and a painting of Rasputin). Sometimes they have Tarot readers there, so one night I decided to try it. I’d always been curious, but I refrained because, even though I didn’t believe in it, I didn’t want to risk hearing something like, “You’re gonna die a terrible death,” and then have it turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Anywho, the tarot reader said something to the effect of, “You are timid and afraid to express yourself.” This experience proved to me that Tarot cards are bullshit. I think it was that morning that I had gotten a call from an ex who asked if he could take pictures of my butt, and I was all, “Sure.” Timid my ass. Also, one time when I was struggling with my life’s purpose I went to see a Reiki master/medium, and she told me that she saw me living in Europe and having servants. This could still come to fruition, so fingers crossed (I’d be nice to my servants).

 

Ten Years Gone

Ten years ago on this day, I arrived in San Diego to begin a new chapter in my life. I didn’t necessarily see it as a start to a new life; it was just a new adventure. When I left my parents’ house Memorial Day weekend 2006, my mom told me, “I hope you find what you’re looking for.” I didn’t. I still haven’t. But I know I’m getting closer to it.

Here’s 26 year old me: I’m going to write her a letter.

jenny in sedona

Dear 26 year old Jenny,

I know you’re enjoying your trip out West, seeing a new and exotic landscape, so different from the green, deciduous forests of your home in Missouri. There you are in Sedona taking in all of the glory of the red rocks and the dry heat. You’ll soon see that most majestic hole in the ground, the Grand Canyon (or maybe you already have? the memory of this trip is all bunched into one amorphous, earth tone blob, like a melted Georgia O’Keefe painting). You left home because you wanted a big adventure; you wanted to not only see new sights, but to live among them. You are definitely going to get your adventure.

About a month after your arrival in sunny So Cal, an attractive, soft-spoken, Lebanese math teacher who works next door to you during summer school is going to ask you out on a date. You’re going to go to Oggi’s and drink too much beer. You’re going to talk about your favorite t.v. show, Arrested Development, and that’s his favorite show, too. You’re going to ask him about his favorite line, and he’s going to repeat Buster’s infamous words about Lucillle: “like anyone would want to R her,” and then you’re going to think you’re in love. This man will swoop you off of your feet, tell you he loves you, ask you to meet his family, and you’re going to meet his family and fall in love with them. His mother will make the most delicious kibbe and tabouli and all sorts of fresh and delicious Middle Eastern foods. His family members will party with vigor and laugh robustly. They’ll make you feel at home when your family is 1800 miles away. Soon after meeting, you’ll take his sister’s RV to Pismo Beach, and on the way home, you’ll call Mom and Dad and tell them you and this man are thinking about getting married one day.

You’ll move in with this man right away. Six months later, he’ll take you to a cabin in the Laguna Mountains, and on the first night, he’ll drive you to the top of Mount Laguna and show you the Milky Way and the Little Dipper, and you’ll actually see them. You won’t have to pretend to see them. And you’ll see a shooting star, and this man will propose to you, and you’ll say yes. And you’ll enjoy the excitement of engagement, and you’ll buy a house with this man, and you’ll establish a life in the pleasant community of Poway, CA.

However, as your wedding date gets closer, you’ll start to have some doubts about the impending nuptials. You’ll contemplate calling it off, but you’ll rationalize your decision to commit to ‘I do’ by envisioning this man’s good qualities bullet-pointed on a piece of paper. During the wedding ceremony, your father-in-law will show up late, dressed in dirty clothes, and walk down the aisle during your vows. Your guests will think he is a groundskeeper. He will sit next to your parents since he doesn’t like his wife.

Your husband will seem a bit distant during the reception and wedding night, and this will worsen on your honeymoon as you drive up the California coast. You won’t have sex, and conversation will be limited. When it’s time to leave San Francisco, you guys won’t feel like coming back home, so you’ll head east to Reno to stay with your sister-in-law. You’ll see fliers for the Mustang Ranch Brothel, and you’ll want to go, not to engage in any salacious activity, but because how often does one have the opportunity to visit a legal brothel in the middle of the desert? Your husband will become a bit nervous before you go inside, and you’ll tell him to stop acting like a little girl, and he will get really pissed. A woman (who was probably born with a Y chromosome) with a cold sore will lead your group tour of the facilities, and you’ll think, ‘What the hell do the other broads look like if a tranny with herpes is leading the tour?’ Later, back in Reno, after dinner, your husband will be drunk and passively angry, and he’ll volunteer to go to Walmart to buy you both some underwear since neither of you feel like doing laundry. He’ll be gone for a long time, and when he returns, he’ll bring back a package of floral print cotton Hanes, the ones that come a solid inch above the belly button and cover well beyond the butt cheek. And you’ll know you’ve made a mistake.

On your drive home, you’ll take the 390, which runs between the Sierra Nevadas and the White Mountains, and in the White Mountains you’ll take a detour to see the Bristlecone Pines, which are the oldest trees in the world. Although it’s not marked, THE oldest tree in the world, the Methuselah Tree, will be in this forest, and as you look around, you’ll think, “MY GOD, that could be the oldest tree in the world, and MY GOD, what have I gotten myself into?” You’ll decide to give the marriage a year.

During that year, you’ll become more convinced of your mistake in getting married. Highlights of that year will include getting pumpkin pies from Von’s on Saturday nights, splitting them in two, and each eating half. You’ll gain weight and be put on blood pressure medication. Like every year in the beautiful shit-show that is California, you’ll get a pink slip stating that your job is in jeopardy. However, unlike the past two years, the school will actually lose 10% or more of its staff because the district will have to cut millions from its budget. You’ll be fortunate enough to get another teaching position. However, the job transition will happen right when you’ve decided that the past 12 months have proven that you made a mistake in getting married, and you need to rip off the Band-Aid and get divorced. You’ll find an apartment, and start your new job. You won’t like the curriculum at the new school, you’ll feel professionally unsatisfied, and you’ll get a bad review at work. You’ve never received a bad review in your life. You’ll come home to your bland, stale apartment, lie on the floor, and sob big, sad tears that’ll dampen the dirty brown carpet, and you’ll cry so hard and so long that your head will ache and your eyes will swell and you’ll think, “What have I done? Where am I? I need to go home.”

You’ll have to take off days from work to attend the How To Get Divorced in California For Free workshops at the East County Courthouse. You’ll be joined by many living on the fringes of society, including a handful of folks from a nearby halfway house dealing with overcoming their meth addiction and/or trying to divorce a person they haven’t seen in years because they just wanted to get married to gain citizenship. There will be pounds of paperwork to sign, and it’ll be returned twice in the mail since you will have forgotten to initial page 800 column B, row A. Then, one day you’ll get a letter in the mail stating that you’re divorced, and it’ll be such a strange experience. Here’s this paper. Now it’s over. It’ll be the end of the school year, as well as your California adventure. You’ll soon be headed home.

At some point, you’ll decide to date again, and you’ll try the online thing. You’ll experience rejection for the first time. It’ll sting. You’re going to continue to make poor relationship choices. You’re going to make out with a very attractive Colombian neurologist who comes out of the bathroom at Brennan’s and starts kissing you at the bar. You’ve met him before, so you trust him to drive you home, but you don’t realize how drunk he is until he starts driving through red lights. Then, once you get close to your place, he’s going to actually stop at the light, but once it turns green, he won’t press on the gas. Why? Because he fell asleep at the wheel. You’re going to wake him up and tell him to pull into the Arby’s parking lot near your apartment. You’re going to tell him, “Look, you have to stay right here in this parking lot. Sleep here in your car.” Then, you’ll walk home, and the next morning you’ll message this doctor-of-the-brain and make sure he made it home alive. A bit later, he’ll message you back, so happy that you know his name because he doesn’t remember yours, and he’ll ask if you know where he left his car. You’ll respond with, “At Arby’s?” and he’ll write back, “What Arby’s?” and then you’ll walk down the street to Arby’s to see if his car is there, but it’s not, and you’ll relay this information to the man with the medical degree who doesn’t know where he left his car. The next morning this man will contact you again, letting you know that he found a note in the pocket of his jeans. He had, “Memento style,” written himself a reminder that he’d left his car at the Quick Trip at Gravois and Chippewa because he’d stopped there to call a cab, recognizing he was too drunk to drive himself home. Shortly after this event, he’ll leave for a fellowship at Stanford. Because he’s smart. And you’ll have to remember that you gave up the security of marriage for a life much more complicated…and exciting.

And then you’ll rack up credit card debt travelling the world and seeing all of its wonders and eventually move back in with your folks AGAIN so that you can eliminate your debt and attempt to begin a life of fiscal responsibility. Then, you’ll get cancer and that’ll be shitty, although not all the time, and you’ll get your tits chopped off and get new ones made, and you’ll be sitting in your dad’s office chair in the basement of your folks’ house, tipsy on Prosecco, crying while you reflect on the past ten years, wondering why the hell you share this information with the world, and thinking,

GOD DAMN IT. I LOVE ME. I LOVE MY MISTAKES. WHAT ELSE YOU GOT, UNIVERSE? IMMA HANDLE IT.

 

 

Praise Be!

…just a fatty liver and some arthritis on my sternum (WTF?)

Takin’ out some lymph nodes tomorrow and puttin’ in a port. The only other time I’ve been anesthetized, I flipped off my family and the doctor, so the only thing I’m worried about is what I’ll do when I’m on drugs.