Mostly it has been a succession of scattershot days dragged through a dark & muddied sludge of depression. Due to this, this entry will be a cheap, threadbare little update.
For me, the holiday season brings a lot of memories that hurt like a cast iron bitch. Basically, I run through a gauntlet of abusive recall—from about Thanksgiving till after New Year’s. It’s not that I want to dwell, binge on these feelings that are all sodium…it’s just that there are too many to avoid. I hear my mother’s voice singing her favorite refrain, “Just you wait. You’re going to wake up on Christmas & I’m going to be gone.” When I think of Christmas as a child, this is what I think of. My mom telling us that every day. We would think, “She isn’t going to really leave. She’s just mad & hates her life.” But there was always that small voice whispering from some coiled and tightly wound anxiety within, “But what if she does leave?” I remember her telling an already glass-jawed teenage version of me, “Why don’t you just die?” in front of the family at a dinner…and no one speaking up for me. All the fighting. My parents near divorce that one Christmas. My dad telling me he had feelings for a co-worker and that he knew my mom wasn’t nice to me…but then staying with her anyway. My mom inexplicably giving all of us the silent treatment starting at Thanksgiving, even though we were children & had done nothing to her. Escaping out to my uncle’s trailer, only to have him assault me. My parents leaving me behind at home one year as a young teen, to spend Christmas completely alone. A totality of…fucking damage. I try really hard to be ok for my kids…but it’s like painting the outside of a huge house with only a couple gallons of paint. New color spread thin with the old, battered ugly showing through.
My car is broken at the moment. I am trying to coordinate getting to work and school functions and to get Christmas gifts/foods for parties and to buy a dress for B to wear for a concert. I guess if adulting is a video game, I am playing on expert level…and dying repeatedly. It sucks.
The only bright side is that I am hoping to use not having a car as an excuse not to see J…Dude refuses to leave the scene. Despite the fact that he thinks that I’m a piece of shit & my uterus is for rent, he still continues to try and get me to meet up. Just today, he told me he is coming to my city on Friday. When I gave a lukewarm response without committing, he then texted me a joke about being in a metal band called Anal Invasion…and how their single is going to be Intestinal Disorder Pt. IV. I responded simply, “Not sure that will ever get airplay.” Intestinal disorder, indeed. Sounds like a parasite. My therapist told me that people like J. can go years, harassing women. I told him, “Surely, not years.” “Yes. Years. It’s a game. People with these predatorial aspects to their nature enjoy wearing women down. I’m sorry, but it’s true.” He asked me to walk him through the relationship from the beginning to when things started to turn. I told him about our first date & how I didn’t think I wanted to go on a second but how J. talked me into it…I then had to admit that for the second date, he invited me out to his house which is 2 hours away. Because of the distance, I knew I would be spending the night& that sex was probably expected—even though I didn’t really know him & I wasn’t ready. My therapist put his face in his hands and just yelled, “Nooooo!”at me for 5 minutes when I told him this. Nothing says you’ve made good life choices like your therapist howling “noooo” at you while looking at you from behind splayed fingers, like he’s watching a half dressed virgin run away into the woods during a slasher film. “You know this is how serial killers operate, right? That this is how women get killed? What the fuck!?” I knoooooow. I’m well aware, Dan…I’m already paying on that bill I can’t afford.
Then the other day, a woman that I used to supervise on my team, messaged me to ask if it was “cool” that she was hanging out with M. (Aka: my ex/the father of my children & one of the many reasons I drink.) I told her I didn’t know they were hanging out but that M & I are no longer together. I told her that we only live together to co-parent, so he’s Free Willy. She said she knew, that he had told her alllllll about our situation. Oh, I bet he did. I’m sure he spent your first date just gaslighting the night away. I was at work when this message came through and I did my best to remain composed…but Jesus…fuck. He’s out there dating…people that I know giving what I’m sure is a very creative retelling of events. He’s spending money to take women on dates, while I buy all our kids’ Christmas presents. He’s out there dating, while I’m home with our kids. He didn’t even go with me to take the kids to see Santa. He never does anything with the kids…and this is the father I’ve given them. How do you stay composed in the face of that?
Well, and because I’m fly paper for freaks, this woman messaged me again Friday night. She told me Mike is a nice man, but also a liar. She told me that he refused to tell her why we broke up. I told her that is probably because he probably honestly doesn’t know or understand. She said she could believe that. She asked me why we did break up. I didn’t want to answer because I am cagey and feral enough to sense a trap… I tell her that he disappointed me, but I’m sure the feeling is mutual. Then she tells me, “He still wants to be with you, you know. He told me. He wishes you could get back together. Is that something you want?” I told her that his behavior said otherwise and I doubted that very much. The conversation felt like a test. I’m not sure if I passed. At one point, she told me she was armed and not afraid of the cops. She also told me she planned to disappear. At the end of the conversation, she told me I was strong & would be ok. I still have this uneasy feeling like I’m going to look out on my lawn & she’s going to be there, guns drawn like a character in a Tarantino film. Or maybe I’m just going to come home to a boiled bunny. (That’s a Fatal Attraction reference for you young’uns.) At any rate-if I don’t write again, I’ve probably been “moidered” by homegirl. Thanks & it’s been a real slice.
The one bright side is work…I am lucky that I work on a team full of characters who are just as loving and generous, as they are kooky. I look forward to going to work…where, at the very least, I’m functional & at the very best, I’m the fucking tits. I started this thing where we listen to various playlists at lunch. We have done a 100 best songs of the 90s playlist & a 100 best one-hit wonders playlist. We recently started a best of the 00s playlist. Each day we sample 10 tracks at lunch. It is stupid, but it gives us something to look forward to and it’s fun to reminisce about memories attached to various songs. Today we united in our hatred of Nickleback, tried to remember a time when Chris Brown was known as something more than the piece of shit that beat up Rhianna, & wondered where Enrique Iglesias’ facial mole went.
We also have been busy with Christmas mayhem. Our departmental Christmas card game is strong. We usually take a humorous picture of our admin team & send them out. Other departments look forward to seeing what we are going to do each year. This year, we are doing a Brady Bunch card. All of our admin team members are in various squares & our department head is Alice, aka: the center square that we’re all looking at. My friend, Christie, and I had to share a square. For our photo shoot, she kept doing silly things like putting her head on my shoulder or cracking me up…so all my pictures I am laughing like a fucking hyena, albeit a festive looking one, as I’m looking in the direction of my department head… Loverly. Can’t wait for the CEO to see that one.
One of my favorite co-workers is Hope. She is this adorable 22 year old with a morbid sense of humor that compliments my own. The two of us joke that we are going to have a podcast called Negative Self Talk with Roxy & Hope, where we discuss our intense self-loathing and all the ways we disappoint our parents. Of course, we also want to have a second podcast called Big Dick Energy. We are less sure of the scope of this podcast—but I imagine it to be a perfect vehicle for us to make up cringey catchphrases. Mine would probably be something like, “I’m a size queen…for donuts”—a phrase I once uttered at lunch that delighted Hope so much that she announced she wanted to have that tattooed on her body. Posthaste. We also recently decided that we wanted to be writers for Kidz Bop. Especially when we saw their version of the Lizzo song Truth Hurts. (“You could have had a bad bitch” becomes “You could have had a good friend.” Yet, they inexplicably left the following lyrics intact & unneutered, “You’re supposed to hold me down, but you’re holding me back.” Uhhhh….) For some reason, Hope & I think this is a job where we could really achieve success. I told her my goal would be for us to rewrite the Lil John song “Get Low” as a Kidz Bop tune. Skeet skeet skeet…ball…Gotta love a challenge. A filthy, filthy challenge.
Another thing about Hope? She loves her hedgehog…nay, is OBSESSED with her hedgehog Zelda. We have been known to yell Zelda’s name in the office like Cardi B yells her son Kulture’s name at the end of Money. Hope tortures us with hedgehog song parodies on the daily…We have heard such lovely ditties as “This Hog is on FIIIIIIRE” a la Alicia Keys…and a parody of Greedy by Ariana that goes: “Nastyyyy, you know that she’s nasty for fooood.” Aside from that, she finds the most revolting ways to talk about her hedgehog to purposely keep us in a state of bubbleguts. Like, “Look at her velveteen tum, it’s so supple.” The only time you should use supple to describe something is if you’re a serial killer planning to make a suit out of human skin. Otherwise, no. She also talks about how she kisses her pet, which is essentially a stupid, prickly potato on legs. I’ve got a dry heave with her & her fucking hoglet’s name all over it.
Anyway, in retaliation to the amount of hedgehog content we are forced to endure, I began to mention the movie All Dogs Go to Heaven any time she brings up Zelda. It’s totally random, that movie choice…I just really liked that movie as a kid & can still channel enough of my childhood enthusiasm for it to be uber-annoying…we’re talking exhibiting a boner-springing level of excited about this movie. Every time she talks about Zelda, I start talking about Charlie B Barkin, the main character of All Dogs Go To Heaven. Sometimes I sing songs from the movie or act it out in an overly dramatic fashion. Sometimes I just retell it like the depressive redemption story it is, while lying in repose on the floor of her cubicle. It’s highly effective. She hates every minute of it. For every picture of the soulless-eyed Zelda, she sends to us—I send a similar picture back of Charlie.
Recently, Hope brought in a Christmas card for the mantel where we keep our Christmas cards from various staff/departments. It was a picture of her little spiny bastard and the card said “Baby’s First Christmas.” She even went so far as to tell our co-worker, Christie, who actually BORE A CROTCHGOBLIN FROM HER WOMB earlier this year, that she could not have a card made of her baby with the phrase “Baby’s First Christmas” because it would be plagiarism. She was just joking—but, of course, the first thing my co-worker, Christie, and I decided when we saw the Christmas card was that we had to prank Hope. We took Zelda down & put a picture of Charlie up that we had added the phrase “Baby’s First Christmas” to. We then taped her Christmas card to the top of the tree where she can’t reach it. Hope thought it was great that Baby Zelds was the focal point of the tree-which means we had to take her down & find new places in the office to hide her on the daily. Everyday, we laugh at Hope as her will to live shrivels like a dick in the cold & she rocks herself in the corner, whispering, “velveteen tum.” (Kidding.)
So there’s your salt & pepper, I guess. Tune in next time for more Negative Self Talk…And yes, I know this deserves a better rap up, but in the immortal words of the Kidz Bop version of Lizzo–I just took a DNA test turns out I’m 100% that kid.