Settling In

Work is an asshole. Not as big of an asshole as previous work, with Queen Bitch Extraordinaire. But Queen Bitch Lite still makes for an asshole environment. And since we share a cube wall, I have far more asshole contact than a proctologist. Settling in here looks like: scouring the job boards between writing assignments and interviewing managerial candidates as a side thing I’ve been doing for a different department.

Words are hard. It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be: writing for a living. No, the job isn’t particularly difficult. But it’s tough as hell to write well and consistently about businessy stuff, especially while immersed in cubeland with several chicks all on the phone at once. And then, when it’s all said and done…personal words fail me more and more, and I’m left feeling empty and quiet. I need to figure out how to work through that. But so far, I’m still settling in.

Relationships are harder. Though I’ve been “putting myself out there” more, I find myself actually isolating a great deal. I’ve pushed a lot of people away (you here, my WordPress family, were the first…), including people that I know I really hurt in doing so. Depression, anxiety, blahblah, etc. makes us do things that aren’t good for us. Or others. And I’m not even gonna bother saying I’ll try harder. I’ll just take each day as it comes. And dating. I’ve been dating. Some dates have been stellar. Most have been less than. Far less than. Far. Far. Less than. Okay, borderline lock those motherfuckers up less than. And now there’s this nice boy. Really…nice. But there’s no fire. In the belly. In the mind. In the anything. I’ve never been treated so nicely. Or felt less fire. What does it mean? What do I do with that? The fires never stay. They leave, usually with a trail of destruction in their wake. But damn do they keep you warm while they stick around. And damned if I can’t stop thinking about those fires. Longing for them, even. Why can’t there be a nice fire? Anyway. I’m settling in. With myself. My thoughts. My goals, that I still haven’t figured out. But I’m settling in with them, stewing over them, nursing them, weighing them.

Apartment life is sad. I’m so glad I got out of the psychohouse. Those people seriously need some special kinda help. But now I’m in this mostly-empty apartment. A free couch I found on craigslist, and a mattress. It makes me a bit sad and uncomfortable to be there, so I try to stay out as much as I can. At least on the weekends when I’m not working or tutoring. Parks. Gardens. Concerts. Comedy shows. Poetry stuffs. Spoken word. Pubs. Pinball. Markets. Tulip festivals. This one is more of a trying to settle in. But it’s gonna take a while.

This post sounds mostly kinda pathetic. Probably because I’ve been dealing with Queen Bitch Lite all day. She’s totally PMSing or something, and Stephellaneous is ready to cut a bitch.

So..this is me..peeking my head out. Wanting to write, but feeling drained of words from writing all day at work.

I don’t show it…but I miss y’all. And shit is actually a fuckton better than it was in Louisiana. But I’ve still got a lot of settling in to do.

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Bitchass Old Ladies: Yield for Oncoming Rant

I don’t often issue warnings, but this time I will: if you continue reading, you are going to run into flagrant ignorance – including, but not limited to, overt racism and use of racial epithets. This post will also be the closest I’ve come to making any sort of political commentary on this blog.

Stephellaneous House Roles in effect: As always, anyone is welcome to disagree with me at any time. I appreciate and welcome varying perspectives and challenges of opinions and ideas. But anything even approaching blatant racism or hatespeak will be blocked outright. None of the regular traffic here needs that kind of rule…but you never know who may stop by.

~

The Scene: One dimly lit makeshift office, roughly the shape and size of a small, narrow walk-in closet. One long built-in desk along the length of one wall, just enough room for two people, three computers, six monitors and a bigass printer. I’m on the end, far side from the door. Office supplies, plants, and gnomes to my left, bitchass old lady to my right near the door.

The Players: One Stephanie, One Bitchass Old Lady, One Slightly Less Bitchass Middle-aged Lady, Several Garden Gnomes of varying size, a tiny plastic alligator and a tiny white goat named Garry bearing witness. Let’s call Bitchass Old Lady “Archie Bunker.” You know, the bigoted and racist prick from that old TV show. Let’s call Middle-aged Lady “Edith,” who – while softer and sweeter – was like-minded enough with Archie to have married him.

Archie may be the first old lady I’ve ever fantasized about punching in the face. But Edith…I love Edith to pieces, but she’s still…Edith.

I’m angry and stalling. Here goes. Take no prisoners.

~

It’s mid-afternoon, and I’m sitting at my desk. I’m bored out of my skull, head pounding, and I’m alternating between staring at my bank of four monitors, replying to you awesome people here on WordPress and getting lost in Facebook hell (you know, looking up family and shit from your past, an exercise you know good and fucking well will only end in pain and tears).

Archie is to my right, snoring off and on and listening to Fox News broadcasts at full volume. She’s semi-deaf. Because ancient.

Edith comes in at the Witching Hour. That is to say, at 3:00 all the coffee hounds have a fresh batch. So she came in with her steaming mug of burnt office coffee and leans against the wall, ready for chitchat and scintillating conversation about how slowly time is moving, but TGIF.

First the Bunkers share the ubiquitous gossip about our resident pill-popper (the most notorious of them, anyway). (White guy. Everyone in the fucking building is white. It wouldn’t make me mad if I didn’t know for a fact that it’s intentional.)

They then moved on to another drug topic. Bear in mind, please, that none of this was said with any hint of irony.

Listen in as Archie tells Edith about one of her Fox News reports. When I heard the topic, I turned the music down (I had my earbuds in – my only armor against Bill O’Reilly and cohort).

Archie whispers conspiratorially, “Did you hear about that…that guy the troopers pulled over?

Edith laughs, “Which guy? Guys are pulled over all the time.”

Archie snorts, “Don’t make me hit you, sassy mouth. I mean that…hoodlum they pulled over with all that….that marijuana!

Stephanie stops the music but keeps the earbuds in, still facing her monitors.

Edith shakes her head, “No, but it doesn’t surprise me anymore.”

Archie: “Well, as you can imagine…it was a Mexican.

Stephanie pops her earbuds out, still facing her monitors.

Edith: “Still doesn’t surprise me.” (Note: One of Edith’s sons-in-law is Mexican.)

Archie: “47 pounds! He had 47 pounds of marijuana! He swears it was all his own personal marijuana, but I don’t believe him.”

Stephanie chimes in, still facing her monitors, “He’s trying to shake a distribution charge.”

Both sets of eyes look over, and Stephanie gives a sidelong glance back.

Archie: “Well of COURSE he intended to distribute it.”

Stephanie: “Was it broken down? Or was it in bricks?”

Archie: “Bricks? I’m talking about MARIJUANA, Stephanie!”

Edith looks at Archie’s computer monitor, “Looks like bricks to me.”

Stephanie: “Mhm. Then they can’t prove it’s for distribution. Smart guy; he’s angling for a lighter charge.”

Archie: “SMART GUY?? He’s a MEXICAN with MARIJUANA. I hope they lock him away for good.”

Stephanie: “I don’t see what his ethnicity has to do with it.”

Edith skirts, “After a day like this, I may want to find that guy and go smoke one with him!”

Archie: “Stop making jokes. This is serious! All these…these…WEEDHEADS and and PEDOPHELIA TYPE PEOPLE are RUINING America! These Mexicans and that Islam Nigger President!”

Stephanie: “You cannot compare pot use with rape and molestation of children. Nor do I see how ethnicity has anything to do with any of this….Oh. And pot should be legal.”

Archie clutches her chest and goes pale, “STEPHANIE! You CANNOT be serious. Race has everything to do with it. And that drug has ruined lives and killed people!”

Stephanie (who rarely says anything): “That’s what you’re supposed to believe. Your fear of a literal weed that was supposedly brought here by Mexicans and Natives allows for the existence a multi-billion dollar industry run by our government.”

Edith: “She’s joking, Archie. She’s just trying to get you going.”

Stephanie: “No I’m not.”

Edith glares, Archie looks on the verge of a heart attack and Stephanie pops her earbuds back in but leaves the music off.

Archie: “Anyway. Them..them weedheads and pedophilias [sic] are everywhere. I bet you couldn’t even find a place to live on the moon without having one for a neighbor. It’s not safe anywhere anymore.” If she had pearls on, she’d be clutching them.

Edith: “Sooo…have y’all heard about that movie about assisted suicide?”

~

If blatant, inexcusable ignorance is this rampant in the PNW, I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do. But I’ll tell you one thing: I’ve had it with sitting quietly while the people I’m surrounded by speak in this manner and think they can get away with it because my skin is the same color as theirs. I will no longer lend tacit agreement with my silence. I’ve been the quiet one all my life, especially when it comes to my elders. And I’m fucking ashamed of it.

The whole “respect your elders, Southern Charm” bullshit has overstayed its welcome with me. Just because Archie is 74 doesn’t mean she’s earned the right to spew ignorance and hate as gospel. That “good little Christian woman” is anything but. I’m Fucking Over It.