Yesterday was… all the feelings. At once, on top of each other, fighting to be felt. Which made me nauseous and sad and dizzy and … well, feel all the feelings.
But yesterday I was with two of the people I love. And Brother called and made Mom and I laugh. And Husband and Mom and I went out to lunch. And the sun was shining and the sky was blue and the birds were singing. And I have a new Jack Reacher book and a warm house and comfy couch and time to read it.
AND it was five months to the day since I Broke Ankle and I spent time in the garden moving mulch and Broken Ankle hurt but ache/sore/muscle/swollen hurt not stabbing/must inhale lots of drugs broken pain.
And then there was Joseph.
Joseph has a peculated mass on his elbow that keeps catching on things and bleeding - usually all over the white couch or rug. Earlier in the week I tried one of my butchered socks but he kept licking it down his leg, getting it caught on his foot and doing this wonky walk to get it off. So I tried the vet’s suggestion of a t-shirt. I went with one of Husband’s long sleeved one because of where the mass is on the elbow. It was not the best choice.
Because, as you can see, Joseph was not in the least impressed with my ingenuity.
Even after I rolled up the sleeves a bit, he shot me that look of disappointment that makes you want to hug him, even when he is covered in drool and smells like poop.
And while I was trying to take this picture of Joseph, I spotted a Coyote in the backyard which Tigger the Dog also spotted. So, I took this picture and sent it to Husband. The Coyote is at the back of the cement pad trying to win a starring contest with a doesn't know any better dog.
And while I was sending the picture of TTD threatening the Coyote through the window, Joseph suddenly decided the t-shirt was some sort of creature attacking him and FREAKED OUT.
Like did this massive hop-shimmy-wriggle-jump thing, with eyes bulging and weird groan-moan noises freak-out thing all over the den to get the evil t-shirt beast off. In the process knocking over a large plant pot, slamming into the TV and causing Mom and I to laugh so hard that we cried.
My quick solution to keep the blood off the carpet resulted in dirt ground into the carpet, a slimy TV, a traumatized dog and a reality check. Life keeps on going. And life can still be funny. All you need is a batshit crazy dog and a t-shirt.
Get on that. It really makes the pukey dizzy feelings go away.
Ooooh wee have I been quiet on here. Not that I haven't had lots to say. On the contrary, I've had too much to say. I've started several dozens posts - some lie dormant on my computer, some still spinning around my head - but none of the words have been perfect. None of the brilliance that spews from my angst has been able to perfectly express my feelings. My raw, painful, angry, frustrated feelings.
And there is so much sh*t on the Internet, in the news, in the air, what is my part in that? Do I really need to add my voice, my raw, painful, angry, frustrated feelings, to the masses of negative blurts? What sort of contribution am I making to the world if I do? There is so much that is icky out there, why fill that bucket with more?
So I've been quiet here and verbally volcanic at home. My jaw is clenched at night I dream of monsters and toothless attackers and crying babies and thunder – though that last might be the popcorn I ate just before bedtime fighting with my stomach to stay...
The random blurts about my life with Husband, does that further the human race or hold it back? I mean, really do you really need to know about the current disaster going on in our house right now? Is your life incomplete until you find out about how utterly horrible it is that the folks that make Husband’s toiletries have discontinued the line he uses and we had to spend an hour in Target last week testing all possible replacements.
Change is not good when it means listening to the pros and cons of a smell – for. an. hour. Even if it is in my happy place.
And the possible replacement ‘smell’ - which is something called Island - has a coconut spice bouquet that is blending in the most horrible way with the smell of death that the dogs are tooting after eating whatever was in the yard.
And speaking of dogs, Tigger the Dog fended off a coyote the other day. Barked the sucker off the property to the other side of the crick to stand staring, threatening to come back when she wasn’t looking. And then it did come back this morning while TTD was asleep on the dog bed in the sun. Is that really news that will make your morning move?
Is it necessary for you know, for me to share that the surgeon has said Broken Ankle is 100% healed. (Or heeled if you’re me trying to be funny.) And how totally disappointed I was with his lack of celebration for all I’ve accomplished. Learning to walk again is hard, ya’ll. Where was my blue ribbon for that race? How about a certificate for a free dance class or a list of places to hike in Nashville or a discount for a tattoo that will cover the Halloween scars that line my ankle? He could have at least given me a lollypop. I mean, Broken Ankle paid for his summer vacation and braces for his kids.
Also, Doc, if I’m healed, how come the sucker still hurts when I walk or when I drive or when the weather changes to thunder and lightening or when I’m just sitting about and the freaking Pain Tourette’s kicks in for no damn reason? How come I can’t walk down stairs unless I turnaround and go down backwards, reassuring myself the whole way that I can do it? How come the stupid Right thing is still swollen and a whole different color from Left thing and the only thing that makes it feel better is a freakin’ leg warmer thing that I’ve cobbled together? And when oh when will my tippy toe come back on that side? Screw doing Ballet, I want to be able to reach things on the top shelf again.
Yeah, Doc, healed, my ass.
As you can see, just lightness and joy over here… So, until I figure out how I’m contributing to the positive, I’m going to keep my negatives to myself and just be present in my very small world for a while. The mom is coming into town tomorrow and I’ve got stories to listen to more than once, tippy toes to practice, nature to stare at and candles to light to try and combat the smell of Hawaiian death… It’s the little things, apparently, that smell the worst.
Last week, while I was still in California, Husband listened to a Podcast while he was painting the hallway with the author of this book; The Chimp Paradox: The Mind Management Program to Help You Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness by Prof. Steve Peters.
He has not stopped talking about it since. According to Prof. Steve, (and now Husband), we have three parts of our brain: The Human, the Chimp and the Computer. The Human part operates by thinking through all consequences before acting while the Chimp acts impulsively and uses totally emotional thinking. Either the Human or the Chimp programs the Computer and follows either agenda depending on how it is programmed.
The bottom line is: when your Chimp and Human agree on what to do ‘no problem’, but disagree and Chimp wins as the most powerful and therefore ruler of thought and action.
Apparently - and I’m paraphrasing what I heard Husband say - the reason everything I do is wrong and irritating and emotionally is because of my inner Chimp and I need to get my Chimp under control.
Since I’ve been back, Husband is constantly telling me that my Chimp is the reason I did that or said this or ate whatever. My Chimp is why we ordered that damn fried ice cream at his Fifteen Years in America celebration dinner the other night when we were both already full. My Chimp is why I yelled at the dogs yesterday when Tigger The Dog wouldn’t get her nose out of the chipmunk hole and Pepper the Wannabe Cat got too close to the edge of the yard where I’m sure the Coywolf is lurking and Joe Boxer smeared his drooly face all over my butt. And that damn Chimp is why I’m having a hard time believing I can do what I want to do and what he thinks I can do and should do but I’m not doing.
He brings that damn Chimp up in every single conversation. Every. Single. One. Which resulted in this, um… discussion yesterday that was, according to Mr. Expert, 100% Chimp driven.
ME: I’m feeling fragile right now. I just want you to leave me alone.
HUSBAND: That’s just your Chimp telling you to say that. You need to be in control of your Chimp.
ME: Leave my Monkey out of this!
HUSBAND: It’s not a Monkey. It’s a Chimp. That’s your Chimp getting angry.
ME: My Chimp is a Monkey and my Monkey is telling you to shut up!
HUSBAND: But if you let the Monkey’s anger control you –
ME: My Monkey is getting very angry at your Monkey trying to fix me and wants your Monkey to get the fuck away from me and leave me alone.
HUSBAND: (While attempting a hug) You’re in control of your Monkey. Tell it what to do.
ME: AAAAH! I TOLD YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE! I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU CAN’T JUST LISTEN TO MY MONKEY? MY MONKEY NEEDS SOME TIME TO JUST DO WHAT IT’S DOING AND I TOLD YOU THAT AND YOU DIDN’T LISTEN AND THAT’S MAKING MY MONKEY SADDER AND STRESSED OUT AND MY MONKEY DOESN’T LIKE YOU RIGHT NOW BECAUSE YOU WON’T LISTEN WHEN IT TOLD YOU TO LEAVE ME ALONE SO LEAVE ME ALONE!!!
ME: My Monkey says to GO AWAY RIGHT NOW OR IT'S GOING TO START CRYING...
Husband left me with the three dogs, my damn Monkey and Broken Ankle to sit on the couch with and finish our pity party.
It’s good to be home.
This post is a mess of unfinished thoughts and feelings because I go home today. Home to Nashville and Husband and three crazy chipmunk murdering, dog bed eating, totally smelly dogs. I’m feeling the whole gamut of feeling that go along with being old in the place I was once young. Of being a parent to a parent that used to parent me. Of being mortal in a place I was invincible and unaware of my mortality.
My sweet small town has changed to a cold selfish place where every other vehicle is a tesla or a Google self-driving car and people push past each other without acknowledging each other. My stern and solid mother is shaky and slow and fragile. My dreams of what would be, what I would be, are been found dusty and unused in corners of the house. It has been a very emotional few weeks and I’m sure to feel the repercussions, the earth quaking for months to come.
This place that I grew up in is unrecognizable. Like that girl at the high school reunion whom you know only by nametag but with her new breasts and nose, hair extensions and fake tan, in a tight spandex dress showing off her newly enhanced ass, you can no longer see the person she was. The Palo Alto of my childhood is gone, hidden behind new construction, stupid wealth and new residents that do not acknowledge the past or and choose not to know each other.
I’ve been here almost three weeks and walked with the Mom to get a paper every morning and do you know how many times we’ve had someone say “Thank you” to us for moving out of their way on the sidewalk? Twice. Only TWICE in three weeks. And how people passing us walking have responded to our morning “Hello”? Only one lovely ten-year-old boy.
The rudeness and indifference that folks show each other here has been shocking and painful. It has been as gut wrenching as watching the Mom count out her dimes as the check out lady does her best to not patronize her as the line behind us grows.
And yet, there have been moments of joy. The crossing guards know Mom’s name and cheerfully greet her each morning as she walks to get her paper. The ten-year-old boy who runs past us each morning chirps his hello with a smile that often overshadows the indifference of the others. The sun has been shining in the bright blue sky most every day. And my friends, my lovely friends have not changed. They are as charming and fascinating and as loyal as they were when I was younger and saw them more often.
So there’s that.
If this world is to continue without imploding, it is necessary we see each person as a human being that matters. To spend time getting to know our neighbors and care about their well-being. To actively reach out into the community and grow as one. I hope the blowback of the Asshat spouting hate is a return to basic caring for all. Blah, blah, blah…
In the meantime, there is ice cream and sun and cheerful ten-year-old boys to pin the hope of the future on. And tonight, there will be hugs from Husband and furry, chipmunk murdering, drooling dog love to lick away my tears until the next time I come ‘home.’
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