There have been a lot of public bathroom visits since moving to Nashville.
Aaaannnnd I just realized how that sounds.
I mean, we've been eating out at restaurants way more than we did in California so more public bathrooms have been visited as a result.
Yeah, that still sounds like I've got tummy trouble but I'll press on.
Some bathrooms are basic; one color for the walls, metal beat up stalls, somewhat clean cement floors with the drain that looks suspect and a sink area with water all over the counter top and no towels. Some bathrooms have been personalized with flowery curtains around a pedestal sink, needlepoint sayings and a cloying smell of something perfume-like that's more disinfectant than not. And some bathrooms are a combination of the all of the above and you can tell that several dozen people have had an input in the end result and then people who don't give a crap (yeah, I said it) have followed up with the "care" of the bathroom.
Yesterday's bathroom at the bar had the metal stalls with a 'brick' floor, the smell of disinfectant - a literal eau de toilette - and funny sayings on the wall.
When I got back from the bathroom the first time - lots of sweet tea - I mentioned to my tablemates the signage as I got my phone to take pictures for you all. My male friend told me about the one in the men's above the urinal.
ME: Please take a picture!
I begged as he went back in. Again, lots of sweet tea.
HIM: You realize pulling my phone out at the urinal says something different? Something I don't want to say.
ME: Oh, yeah. Don't it then. (We laughed) Or DO do it and tell me what happened!
HIM: I won't have to tell you when I come back out with a black eye!
And into our separate bathrooms we went. Where I snapped these beautiful shots and went back to the table. I know. I should give up my day job and go pro.
I know. I should give up my day job and go pro.
And then my friend came back a minute later, picture on his phone and said -
HIM: I should have taken a picture of the guy's face as he came out of the stall having seen my flash and heard the picture getting taken while I was using the urinal.
ME: Wait! You took this while you were peeing?
HIM: Of course. I'm multi-talented. I can multi-task.
And we all lost it! I mean, I did that quiet laugh that starts with an open mouth and all teeth and just air coming out and ends with an awful snort bark that makes people turn around. Because picturing the guy's face as he came out of the stall was awesome but the fact that this was the sign my friend was taking a picture of -
Yep. You read that right. Monday night, I dreamt about a Chinese woman being told she had gonorrhea.
There was more to the dream but I didn’t write it down because I’m not writing right now. Because I wanting to spend some time breathing.
But because I’m not writing, and I’m dreaming about Chinese women being told they have gonorrhea and I do not know why, the info is just spinning about in my head all day and nothing is getting done. And now, the dream is nothing more than the memory of a beautiful middle-aged Chinese woman in a dark room with warm wooded walls, dappled sunlight creeping across the shadows of the floor, answering the phone and being told - in Chinese - that she has gonorrhea.
And I apparently knew and understood Chinese, which I don’t speak at all. And I could hear both sides of the conversation while I listened from the dark hallway. All that I information knew but I still have no clue why. Why did I know Chinese? I can barely speak English. Why the middle-aged Chinese woman? I live in Nashville. I’m about as ethnic as you can get in my hood. Why the gonorrhea? I don’t have and have never had gonorrhea.
Maybe it’s because my water-on-the-knee is swollen because I’ve been weeding and munching and climbing the hill that is our driveway and it now looks like I’ve got a rather large nose or very small head protruding from my knee. And maybe it’s because my friend, who is a nurse, once told me that she had a patient that had gonorrhea in her knee. And maybe it’s because I was so horrified to learn that because it’s bad enough to get gonorrhea in your hoo hee but in your knee? Like “Where was she putting that knee?” I said. Joking.
But not really. Because I know from watching the British show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ years ago, that gonorrhea gets into in your blood stream because they showed someone who had it in their eye!!! But how funny/weird/awkward would it be to have an STD in your knee and have to explain it to people. Like, “Yeah, I have an STD. in my knee.” And they’d be all “How did you get an STD in your knee?” And you’d be all “Don’t you know that sexual position, the one that requires you use a knee? It feels great – until it doesn’t.”
I feel I should be really, really, clear here and reiterate I do not have an STD, gonorrhea or otherwise.
But apparently I’m dreaming about hearing about someone having gonorrhea and I don’t know why.
Because the Chinese woman didn’t have gonorrhea in her knee. And neither do I.
Not that it was a possibility that I would. I’m just saying… Heck, no idea what I’m saying. No idea what I’m dreaming. No idea what I'm doing...
I do know how to spell gonorrhea by heart now. So there’s that.
Also, miss me?
Husband and I are in constant disagreement about the definition of ‘need.’ He feels that when I use it to describe the dishes that ‘need’ doing I am incorrect. I feel that when he uses it to describe the ‘need’ to buy more crap for his studio, he’s taking license with the meaning. We will never be on the same page about ‘need.’
But both of us can agree that we have issues with the word ‘should’ and the pressure it puts on us to do everything but the thing that ‘should’ be done. Both of us get itchy and prickly when ‘should’ is trotted out. Both of us are brilliant at ignoring the list of ‘should’ and letting it grow. Only dealing with things when the ‘should’ becomes a ‘need to do right now!’ Like, for example, the gutter that was leaking that we ‘should’ have fixed, that now is officially broken and ‘needs’ to be replaced. Or the hole in the wall that was annoying that we ‘should’ have filled that then became an welcome door to chipmunks and five-foot rat snakes. Yeah, that went from a ‘should fill that hole’ to ‘FILL THAT HOLE’ really quickly!
And then a friend of mine sent me an article about ‘must’ vs. ‘should’ - which is much like ‘should’ vs. ‘need’ in our house minus the arguments - and life got more confusing.
This above babble is why I’m putting myself on a blog break. I’m no longer in a ‘must’ write phase or a ‘need’ to write phase. Most days, I am firmly in a ‘should’ write phase. And 'should' is not fun.
'Should' is achy pressure and disappointments – both for you and for me.
'Should' is filled with someone else’s pictures or stories or opinions
'Should' hides impulses and dampens down delusions - and I need delusions to write.
I 'need' impulse and vision and choice and life.
Really, I just need to know if ‘must’ is a word I can use for things other than eating chocolate or napping when it’s raining or ordering French fries even when I’m not hungry because, well, they’re French fries.
One of my favorite books is Shel Sliverstein’s ‘The Missing Piece Meets the Big O’ which is a ‘companion book to ‘The Missing Piece.” If you’ve not read either, I highly recommend them. Here’s a link if you want to try before you buy. It’s a great children's book really written to speak to adults about being able to roll on your own. And it has nothing to do with what I’m babbling about and everything to do with what I’m babbling about.
“You cannot roll with me,” said the Big O,
“but perhaps you can roll by yourself.”
“By myself? A missing piece cannot roll by itself”
“Have you ever tried?”
asked the Big O.
I’m off to find my ‘must.’ I’m going to try ignoring the ‘should’ and just try rolling by myself in no particular direction and with no particular goal. I promise I’ll be checking in here periodically - because really I can't not share my angst - but with I'm not planning on following any specific schedule because, well, because of all of the above.
Here I go....
I have things to do today that I don't want to do but I will do because I said I would do them but the little child in my head is throwing a tantrum and screaming, "I don't wanna!"
And the side effect of all this "have to" has resulted in my not wanting to write this post or clean the house or water the thirst plants or really do anything ever again because, "I DON'T WANNA!!!"
I think, "I have to..." is worse than "I should..." - or at least it is today.
Not even ice cream for breakfast is going to make this better.
I dreamt about Kenya last night.
It's been a while since I've dreamt about Kenya and even longer since I’ve had a stress dream about being there. I think it's related to my blind friend-date from last week. I've been trying to come up with an angle to write about it and figured writing about my first friend in Kenya would be a good way to start.
But this dream wasn't about friends.
Like all my stress dreams, I was trying to get somewhere and couldn’t because of some stupid reason. Usually, I get on the wrong train or on the wrong freeway and can’t turn around until I’m miles away from where I need to be. And usually I am always wearing something that I need to change, which I decide to do on the train or in the car without taking my off shoes. And then I’m late, going in the wrong direction and stuck half in and half out of my clothes.
However, in this dream, I was in Kenya - a Kenya that for some reason had a subway system like New York. And I was trying to find my way back home but I couldn't read the language on any of the signs and I couldn’t figure out the coins I needed to get on the train. In my hand I had a mixture of American bills and bright green Kenyan coins and I stood on a very busy street corner trying to figure out what I needed while people pushed past me. Suddenly, my friend Rach - whom in my dream I knew as my cousin - came running by and asked me what I was doing. I told her and before she could tell me what coins I needed, she heard the subway and ran, yelling at me to follow. As I trailed behind her, I got a phone call from my father’s third wife who was very upset that I'd not told her I was in Kenya. There I was, running for the train, while trying to explain why I hadn’t called. Several twists and turns down endless stairs and dark smelly tunnels, and I finally reached the right platform. But, because I couldn't figure out which of the bright green coins in my hand was the 10-cent coin I needed to enter the gate, I couldn't get through. From behind me a bearded white guy in his forties spoke to me in English, offering to help me figure things out but when I held out my hand, he took all my money. Everyone on the platform yelled at him in Swahili – or what I know in my dream was Swahili - but he just laughed. Frustrated and on the verge of tears, I kicked him in the chest, grabbed my money back, found the 10-cent coin, slid it into the slot, ran through the gate and made it on the train…
And woke up. Out of breath, shoulders in my ears and hard as a rock and more than a little stressed out. And now I’m going to spend the rest of the day trying to figure it out, what each moment meant, where it links up to my real life and why I’m having Kenya dreams again.
My memories of Kenya are always tempered with a bit of fear and anxiety... Ah, who am I kidding? My memories of Kenya are a few cool animal encounter stories and a whole mess of dark icky fears and anxieties. I was white in a black world when I was outside of school and black in a white world when I was within the walls of school. And both worlds were cruel. I knew I didn’t fit in because they told me and because they showed me. I’m sure that the fact that I’m almost always the only “black” person in a room here that isn’t on staff, that I’m looked at like a novelty from both sides of race here, I'm sure that is figuring into a panic dream on a Kenyan subway and....
Yeah, this is leading to a dark deep place that I don’t want to particularly write about on this very beautiful morning. And all because of a blind friend-date I had a week ago that didn’t lead to an instant friend connection. Yet. So I’m pulling out of this post, and shaking off my stress dream and going out to chase the rabbit I can see eating my plants.
Because that I can pretend to control… well, at least temporarily.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me