Wherein I act emo

tomorrow a needle will numb the spot where infection brews under my skin. i will lay back. i will close my eyes. a scalpel will cut my skin and dig into my flesh and remove what is not wanted.

what is not right.

it's invasive. it's violent. it's happened to me six times before. i know it.

tomorrow i will feel it, right now i fear it.

i will embrace this fear-not because i am brave, but because i have no choice.

because self-pitying doesn't heal.

i can't just quit gluten, take my medicines, take vitamins, walk a couple of miles to and from work every day and be better.

i can't be better. i can't stop this from happening.

it happens again and again and again.

and i am tired. i am tired of venting.

i'm not sure if i want to hit publish. if i want to keep reliving it. if i want to remember.

if the internet is erased, maybe i will forget. i will forget and only remember when the knife touches my skin. sense memory will flood over me, as it does now. as i picture it now, as i feel it now. it's happening now and tomorrow and forever.

usually i end this by saying: it's okay, i have so many other wonderful things in my life.
and i do.

but right now i shake and i cry and i wish, for once, that it was fine.

that i was fine.



It's been quite some time since I've been in a relationship. Like a year. Or more. Whatever. A year and five months and twenty eight days. NOT THAT I'M COUNTING. 

Since I've been single for awhile, I'm not used to sharing a bed with others (not that I ever did, Grandma! Or ever do now after a night of drinking! Never!!). I have my special and very important sleepy time habits. I sleep with my computer (Computie, as I call him--others have blankets, I have a Mac.) My iPhone rests next to my head (hello brain cancer! Welcome to my dome). I spread my legs out far and wide, inviting to no one; just comfort. I have three pillows and the AC on and a down blanket covering half my body.

I stay up late, reading inane US Weekly articles and watching shows about death. I listen to my playlist entitled "Sad, Sleep, Die."

It's great. It was great.

Until it was broken.


*   *   *  

Earlier this evening, my red-headed sister and I went to the ER so that I could get the zit/Staph infection/now cyst on my face checked out. All is mostly well--I just have to get it removed by a plastic surgeon next week. (I'm hoping he can also Botox my armpits so I can wear pastels again.) 

We came back to my lair a short while ago, and I fake pretended to volunteer to sleep on the couch, since Kristie sat with me at the ER and everything.

Much to my dismay, she took me up on the offer. 

Hiding my shock, I threw down the gauntlet and said "Fine, we can share the bed. It's too hot out here."

I was praying to her God that she'd change her mind, given my pus-filled face, FEVER, and general lack of hygiene.  But tonight, my sheets and I were both clean. I was out of luck.

I looked at the tiny bed before me and remembered my cardinal room against sleeping with Big Red.

I never, ever sleep with her for many reasons: mostly, it's because she's a mouth-breather and eats beans. (Damn her service/immersion trip to Ecuador!) She also makes weird grunting noises and occasionally snores. 

Plus, since Kristie's religious and has a close relationship with God, I have this fear that He is going to call on her in the middle of the night and appear in my window. This fear stems from this children's Bible that was read to me as a youth; in it, God straight up SHOWS UP in some dude's house to call him to part a Sea or something. No invite, nothing. He just comes. This scares the shit out of me. I mean, I'm all for G-O-D choosing Kristie as a Chosen Person, but not in my apartment! Can you imagine if God did come here? He'd probably tell me to clean my room and then render me infertile.

Anyway, on that fear alone, I would almost rather sleep in the street. But it's 90 degrees. Too hot to sleep in the un-air-conditioned living room. Too hot to sleep in the greenhouse in the front of our building, which I briefly considered. (Hey, it's nature.) And the hospital is too miserable to go back. They considered admitting me, but I had my blank, EMPTY bed at home to think of...which is now filled with Kristie's rapidly thinning frame. (DAMN HER DIET!!)

*   *   *  
I just crawled into bed.

She's asleep now. 

I've only heard a few weird noises. It doesn't smell of beans.

I'll be fine. 

(Note to Jesus: I'm watching you. Oh wait, no--you're watching me. PLEASE DON'T COME HERE. PLEASE DON'T SEND SANTA! "He sees you when you're sleeping"! AAHHH!)


It's Either Sadness or Insomnia


i don't sleep.


okay. fine. sometimes i do. but usually--

this is how things go:

i work. i come home. i eat chips and guac for dinner. i stifle yawns while sitting through a viewing of the real housewives of a new york city i don't live in. i say "i'm tired. i'm going to bed." i take off most of my clothes and get into bed. (IT IS HOT OUTSIDE.) i watch a scarring episode of six feet under and then i soothe my disturbed mind with a friends episode. i get halfway through a chandler joke before i hit the space bar, close my computer and try to fall asleep.

then i toss. oh, how i toss. i toss and i turn and i get cold and hot from the air conditioning. my mouth hurts. breathing hurts.

i say fuck it. i watch another episode of friends.

i fall asleep! yes. a dreamless, dull sleep.

three hours later, i wake up to use the bathroom. i curse my small bladder and my insane water consumption.

(side note: why am i always thirsty? if i remember correctly, this is how stacy from the BSC got diabetes! DIABEETUSSS!)

i stare into the bathroom mirror. i grimace or practice faces for an upcoming facebook profile pic change.

i get back into bed. my toes scratch my legs. i rub my eyes. i don't get anything done.

i stay awake for five more hours. i think about weird things. like if jurassic park could really happen, and tetris, and what would happen if you smoked a joint dipped in embalming fluid (thanks, six feet under. THANKS A LOT.) sometimes i think about death or hang gliding. it all depends on the night.

usually i refresh people.com and twitter until my eyelids burn from the screen.

i fall asleep at 6 am. 

my alarm rings at 8. i hit snooze. a long time later, i wake up for work. it feels like swimming to the surface, only with weights tied to my ankles and bags underneath my eyes.

i go to work. i am a zombie until i chug coffee and yell at taylor to bring me water.

i'm tired.

i need sleep.



Latchkey Kids

We were bored and shackled. Our afternoons were long and dreary, no matter the weather. When the bell rang at 2:30, our days did not end happily. There was no joy in dismissal because the day had just begun. The buses were called. The kids who were picked up by their mothers in SUVs left, grabbing their Jansports and running down the hall. We looked at them, envious and spiteful. We listened for our cue and headed to the cafeteria. Latchkey had begun.
            We were the kids who had two parents working. Some of our parents were divorced. We didn’t go to Brownies or Cub Scouts. We didn’t have nannies, or play after-school soccer. We went to Latchkey nine months out of the year because our parents had nowhere else to put us. We went to Latchkey because the school brochure had made it seem like fun. Activities! Snacks! Movies! Homework Helpers®! This stuff existed, sure—but it was a version of fun so watered down, we found it unrecognizable.
            We fancied ourselves abandoned when it was a particularly awful day. It was an awful day when the same generic-brand snack was served three days in a row. It was an awful day when they played the same movie two days in a row. We liked some of the movies they had. No one could resist the charm of Peter Pan or the thrill of Mufasa’s death in the Lion King. But we hated Neverending Story, and we hated that it was so long that they’d split it into two days. They usually did that in the middle of the week, the awful, long week. We didn’t realize then what the word awful could really mean. We didn’t know then what it means to be truly and utterly abandoned.
            Tommy used to say that the best days were when his mom came early. The door would swing open and we’d all look up, only to be disappointed when it was someone else’s mother. Three, four, five years in The Program, that disappointment would still sting. Tommy never wanted to be the last one left, but he usually was. We’d all trickle out, around 5, 5:15, and wave guiltily as he sat in his chair and re-copied the day’s notes. Latchkey should have driven us all to genius but only Tommy and Sarah took advantage of the long, languorous afternoons. They’d study and study while the rest of us drew circles and smudged chocolate cookie stains on our books.
            When it was warm out, we’d get to play on the playground. We’d hatch plans, Tommy the main conspirator. “How about,” he’d start. “How about I fall off the monkey bars? Then I can sue Latchkey, and we’ll split the money and they’ll never make us come here again!” We’d cheer him on, but he never fell hard enough to crack a bone, to break something, to finally, finally set us free.


Like Jacob and the Man in Black...

Imagine you are young, married and decide to have a child. A wonderful symbol of your love. A delight!

Instead, you birth the antichrist.

You name her Kelly Patricia and you pray she will blossom into a selfless, caring individual who doesn't Google herself daily.

She does not change so you decide to have another child (and then one more, but we'll get to Greg another time), one to make up for the evil your loins sprung into the world.

Her name is Kristie Ann. She is a redheaded, freckle-faced delight, attracting the stares of strangers and evoking a jealously in Kelly that will take 24 years to overcome.

She's special from the start. Her grandmother remarks to Kelly, age 7: "Kristie would give you the shirt off her back." Kelly does not know what this means so she literally runs outside in the cold and asks Kristie for her jacket, which Kristie gives kindly. Kelly becomes angry and throws it on the ground.

To compensate, Kelly nicknames her Big Red, a name that will haunt little Kristie for the rest of her life.

Kristie blossoms into a teenager who loves God and does charity work for fun.

She is accepted to Cabrini College on scholarship where she leads service trips and rarely gets drunk. Unlike her sister, she does not spend college nearly failing math and partying in condemned apartment buildings in the Bronx. Not once does she punch a fence and break her knuckles in a drunken rage or make out with a man older than forty five. She is Kelly's opposite.

In May, Big Red graduates from college at the top of her class. She plans to move to North Dakota for a year to help the Native Americans. (Kelly's reaction to her move was the following: "Don't go. Oh wait, go and then fly and meet us in Miami for Thanksgiving. That would be awesome. Free vaycayyyyyy!")

She moves home for the summer, and that is where our story begins.

One day, Kelly demands that Kristie drive her for ice cream, claiming it's gluten-free (lie) and NECESSARY.

Kelly is still in her pajamas and braless, even though it is 2pm on a Saturday. Her hair is matted to her head with grease because she is of the belief that there is no need to shower when she doesn't have work.

They drive through two fast food places, searching for McDonald's new Reeses' McFlurry. Kelly becomes angrier with each Reeses-less place, screaming obscenities at the drive through window when told there are none left. Kristie, her face as red as her hair, begs Kelly to shut up and drives away as fast as she can (30 MPH. Kristie does not speed.)

Finally, they give up and drive the twenty minutes to the Dairy Queen in Belmar, New Jersey. Kelly demands that Kristie get her a small swirl with M&Ms.

Kristie, unfailingly good, goes in alone, as Kelly is not to be seen in public.

She returns to the car, with a Blizzard in one hand and a small cup of ice cream and M&Ms in the other.

She sits down. Kelly looks at the ice cream and becomes enraged. The following conversation takes place:


Kristie: No, you didn't! You said small cup!

Kelly: OMG. We have been driving all over for a Blizzard-like creation! I WANT A BLIZZARD. WHAT IS THIS?

Kristie: It's what you asked for!

Kelly: OH. MY. GOD. Why would I want this? Seriously am I on candid camera or something? IS THIS AN EFFING JOKE?

Kristie: Just eat it! Mix it around! Make your own Blizzard!

Kristie begins to close the door.

Kelly: Wait!

Suddenly, Kelly throws the ice cream at her sister in a fit of rage. The ice cream falls to a quick death upon the hot, sun-drenched pavement.

Kristie: You are such a psycho!

Kelly: Now go in there and get me what I asked for!

Kristie: No way in Heck (Kristie does not curse) am I going in there.

Kelly, feeling confused and sad, rips a five dollar bill out of Kristie's hands and runs into the store, alone and without a bra on.

She returns to the car, triumphant. They collapse in a fit of laughter and Kristie says again, pointedly: You are SUCH a psycho. It's a wonder we're from the same parents.

Kelly, trying to relate to Kristie's religion, says: Like Cain and Abel, right?

Kristie shakes her head and says: Not yet, Kelly. Not yet.

The End.