Parking Lot People

I like to leave the office for my lunch break. I used to have a bad tendency to simply never take a lunch, in jobs past. Now, I make it a point to. I’m not getting paid for that hour, and damnit, I need to be kind to myself. Take the hour. Ingest some fresh air. Get off my ass. De-stress myself as much as possible.

Thing is, my office is in a weird little spot. There are no parks nearby, and it’s not close enough to downtown to go for a stroll. We’re right on a highway, so it’s pretty much either: have lunch at your desk (and continue working, because you won’t be left alone), take your lunch break in your vehicle in the parking lot (weird and awkward), take your lunch to the picnic table out back (and not be left alone), go out to eat (and go broke), or take your lunch to some other random parking lot.

The last option on that list is the one most people in this vicinity seem to gravitate to. I spend nearly every one of my lunch breaks sitting in my vehicle, parked in the parking lot of a local grocery store. And anywhere from five to two dozen other folks are doing the same thing.

All parked in the grocery store parking lot. Eating lunch. Alone. But together. Some listening to music. Some chatting on their phones. Some texting. Some playing games. Some smoking. Some napping. Some exiting their vehicles and sitting on the asphalt, just to be that much closer to fresh air and sunshine.

We exchange occasional nods of acknowledgement when we accidentally make eye contact with fellow Parking Lot People.

Other than that, it’s a solo thing. For many. It’s weird and sad and uplifting all at the same time.

And I dunno why, but I just wanted to mention these Parking Lot People, of whom I’m one.

That is all.

 

Sal

She came over last night. Texted first.

Hey you gonna be home 2night?

Yes, I’ll be there by 7 for damn sure – hopefully sooner. What’s up?

Holler when you get settled we can have a nightcap

Sounds good.

~

I’ve only met her twice. She lives across the street and is a friend of my roommates. We sat outside, laughing and toking and sipping alcoholic beverages, trading stories around a fire. (Well, I mostly listened and laughed as Sal and one of my roommates traded stories and bantered.)

I’d ignored her Thanksgiving text.

Hey this is sal across street. I’m making yummy food & watching football if you wanna come over

I heard the soft alert. Picked up the phone. Discovered my roommate must have given Sal my number. Swiped to read the text. Read the text. Turned the screen back off. Flipped my pillow over for a new, cooler side. Smooshed my face back into said pillow. And went back to sleep.

Though I apologized only a couple hours later and was honest about what my day looked like (this time of year is rough on me, y’all, but she was also alone), she hadn’t spoken to me since. And, of course, I’d read into that, but I shouldn’t have.

So this time, I immediately responded. “Sounds good. :-),” was my reply, even though it didn’t. Sound good, that is. It’s fucking cold out, and I knew she’d wanna hang outside. I was hungry. Grumpy. Sleepy. Itching to read my third book in as many days.

But Sal is lonely…no, starved for attention and affection is more like it. Polite. And harmless, if occasionally flirtatious. The roommate she’s closest to was out of town, and the other roommate hides in his room more often than not. So this would just be me. Me and Sal.

~

I get home from work, tend to the kittyboys, bust out the leaf blower to clear the back patio and pool cover, use the bathroom, wash my hands, pop open a sour, and let Sal know I’m home.

I perch myself on a kitchen stool and try to focus on the words of the book in my hand as I wait. Half an hour. Not really frustrated, but wishing I knew if I had time enough to eat.

I’m out back

As I’m opening the sliding glass door from the dining room to the patio, I see Sal standing there, slightly stooped over and cupping her hands to coax a flame from her lighter to the tip of her cigarette. She’s tall: a good six inches taller than me, at least. Sturdy, but not in the way “creative” authors use “sturdy” as some innovative and less-offensive term for “fat.” No, the woman is sturdy. Strong. I don’t know what hair, if any, she has. It’s winter, and I’ve only ever seen her with a hoodie on, over a beanie. No stragglers peeking out. She’s wearing tan colored overalls. The hoodie she’s donned over that is orange, and her beanie is gray. Fuchsia slippers adorn her feet. That’s right: slippers.

She has some mystery foot ailment, you see. I heard hints at it on the first night I met her, but last night she explained.

Doctors don’t know what ‘n the hell’s wrong with my feet. Open wounds. Blisters-like, but not blisters. They’re hard. Can’t stand them fuckin’ shoes any more’n I have to, so I put on my slippers soon ‘s I get home. Reckon I’ll lose my feet one o’ these days. But for now, these slippers sure are nice.

Sal, would you like to sit down?

Naw. I’m use ta standin’, but thanks.

Sal fires up a joint and puff-puff-passes it right on over to me. Of course, I oblige. And she chats.

And chats.

And chats.

That’s all Sal wanted, really, all she needed: someone to talk to. Not necessarily with, but to. And to know that that someone was listening, actually and actively listening. She’d first arrived under the pretense of borrowing something from one of the sheds.

Promise I have permission. Told her I needed a scale, and she says there’s one on the shelf in her shed.

HOLY shit! Holy SHIT! *Sal emerges from the shed, holding aloft a bulky black scale.* I told her it was for WEED. I could stand on this thing! I mean, I’d break the motherfucker, but point is I could fit both my feet on this som’bitch.

That scale was a source of random jokes over the course of the next hour or so, but her true purpose was to chat. No, to not be alone. If only for a little while.

~

The longer she was there, the happier I became. And not because of the herb. I didn’t let myself partake enough to be too far gone. I just became aware of how special it was to her to not be alone for a while, and I indulged in that feeling a bit myself. Allowed myself to be happy and present, rather than silently willing time to fast-forward to a not-so-distant future point when Sal’d be gone and I’d be alone again.

Sal’s forty-nine years old. Did I tell you that? A forty-nine year old self-described “uber butch” lesbian, who tries really hard not to flirt with me but would “eat [me] from sundown to sunup” if I let her. She’s actually cut it out, so I can relax and enjoy conversing. (First night in her presence was rough, lemme tell ya. She was relentless.)

She filled me in on weighty chunks of her life story last night.

Her father molested her as a child. For ten years. Ten. Fucking Years. The state finally found out when she was twelve. (That’s right. TEN. YEARS. By the time she was TWELVE. Let that shit sink in.) No thanks to her mother, who knew all along and said nothing. Did nothing. She was placed in foster care, group homes, but ran away and struck out on her own at sixteen.

Her relationships have composed of a series of women whom she busts her ass for, remodeling kitchens, constructing retaining walls, designing elaborate landscapes, building furniture to desired specifications, staining and restaining this surface and that. Only to be brushed aside when the last project on the list gets checked off. The last one was so nuts, she locked Sal in their bedroom (with her own children witnessing it all) for twelve hours. Barricaded her there. Then called the police on Sal and had her jailed, making all these wild accusations about her life being endangered. Even the woman’s kids reported on Sal’s behalf that their mother was the crazy one, here.

~

There were tears in Sal’s eyes as she told me of her adoptive parents. She’s going to live with them in Upstate New York, where she’s from. Moving sometime before Christmas.

She just met them a couple of months ago and went to visit them for a couple of weeks.

My dad has cancer. I know this is gonna sound bad but I don’t mean it but I do but I was hoping that som’bitch would die while I was in the area. So I could poke that motherfucker and make damn sure he’s really dead.

Turns out, the woman watched Sal grow up. She was married to Sal’s father before Sal’s mother was. Sal’s father cheated on her with Sal’s mother. This woman never had children and always hated the way Sal was treated. Watched her grow up…from a distance. Even attended her ballgames. But never said a word. Not even when Sal could have used somebody when she went into the system at twelve.

But the woman is there for Sal now. The woman and her husband, both. And they’re – no shit – adopting Sal. Formal, legit, legal papers are being drawn up, so Sal will have the family – the parents – she’s always longed for. She already calls her “mama.”

She was so excited. So fucking excited. Her eyes were filled with it – this giddy, unvarnished excitement that we tend to call “child-like.” But why can’t adults feel that way, too? Yes, there’s a lot to Sal that can be considered “child-like” and under-developed. But she’s also a grownass woman, one that has lived her whole life in search of someone to love her. Need her. Cherish her. Value her. Parent her. Nurture her. And by god, her excitement and relief and hope and regret and optimism and fear were palpable. Palpable. 

She tried to apologize, and I had to stop her. Express to her how special this all is and how I’m sharing in her excitement and hope.

You’re fun, Stephanie. *smiles genuinely at me* Really fun. This was fun – thank you for talking to me.

No, Sal. Thank you. Really.

~

Sal left me with more jokes about the incongruous scale, hopes that her old beater truck is up to the several-hundred mile journey ahead, and half a joint.

I shall enjoy it this evening, while reflecting on Sal and her journeys past, present, and future. And the little, tiny slice of her life I’ve gotten to share in before she moves on to her next chapter.

Or perhaps I’ll invite her over and actively engage…save the reflecting for days Sal-past.

Part 1: The Reason

Over a year ago now, I wrote about gingers, specifically the abundance of gingers in my foray into the Portland(ish) dating scene. I directly referenced a few, in particular. I ended up taking a chance on one of those gingers; I believe I referred to him as something like the “simple, but wild one.”

Why on earth would I saddle myself up to a “simple, but wild one”? I’ve asked myself that same question, as have some of my most important friends in the world. (Looking at you, Tomas and stupidityhole and Cheeky.)

One of the easiest conclusions that I’ve come to is this: Despite moving across the country, escaping my own personal hell that was Louisiana, to pursue a lifelong dream of the Pacific Northwest…I found myself soon fallen into the same patterns, the same rut: that of work, cheap fast food or no food at all, bingewatching some bullshit show, not being able to focus on reading…on words, and spending most of my time alone and moping, in bed. I knew a physical move wouldn’t fix anything other than the immediate surrounding stimuli that fucked me up on the daily in Louisiana. I knew it would take real effort. But I was failing at it.

So I started dating. I never felt comfortable doing so in Louisiana, partly because my better-part-of-5-year-separation took that long to culminate in a divorce, and partly because I’d have never been comfortable dating there. Running into my ex while out on a date, or even trying to date someone and get serious with someone in a place I knew I couldn’t stay. Couldn’t live. Couldn’t breathe.

So I started dating. Dating sites, of course. How else was a recluse going to meet anyone? I met some terrible people, but I met some damn good people, too. I had some fun. I had some prospects for serious. (I learned quickly that in modern dating, one has to openly profess they are monogamous if they have any hopes of landing someone who isn’t into “ethical non-monogamy.” Y’all. You do you, but that’s just not my jam. I’ve tried to be open to it, but it’s just not me. It’s so far out of my comfort zone that it can only end in misery.)

I also quickly learned that, while I wanted someone whom would date me exclusively while we decided whether or not we were compatible, I also wasn’t ready to plummet straight into some til-death-do-us-part thing. Another thing I learned is that I get bored easily. Very easily. I don’t want to sit on the couch, night after night, bingewatching tv. I don’t want to waste my life away watching other people live theirs. I don’t want to talk about politics, every single day, day in and day out. And no, I don’t want to rush into marriage and move into your parent’s farmhouse, for fuck’s sake.

I wanted…needed…craved…excitement, stimulation, new.

Enter the “simple, but wild one.” I’ll come up with something to call him at some point, but for now, that will do.

He was wild. He was unpredictable. He was untamed. He wasn’t interested in anything serious. He wanted to go out. He wanted to do things. And oh dear god, was he fun. The most fun I’d ever had with a boy I was seeing regularly. There was an edge of danger to it all, and it was fucking thrilling.

And so, I allowed myself to get carried away with it. Sucked into his insane fucking charisma and magnetism. I willfully turned a blind eye to the enormous red flags that anyone who’s ever known him can see (like his extreme levels of narcissism and sociopathy and alcoholism). I willfully entered into a thing that caused everyone I knew – including the few of his friends I was allowed to meet – to seriously inquire, “What the hell are you doing with him?” (That question got more and more searing as time went on, more and more pressing, more and more concerning from the asker, and more and more telling to me of just how obvious it was to absolutely everyone what a brutal fucking mistake I was making.)

But, son of a bitch, I was having fun. I was living life with reckless abandon, something most people get out of their systems in their teens. Something I’d never done.

That. Is the reason. Well. That is the surface reason. More reasons will be expressed in future chapters. Like the whole, I lived so much of my life in fear of winding up with a replica of my father. And I did. Not only did I “wind up” with him, I dove headlong into it.

This isn’t a tale I can tell in one sitting, hence the parsing of it into chapters. I don’t have the energy for it, nor do I have the desire to give it that much time and attention in one sitting.

But that. That is my version of a beginning for this. That is my reason for what came to pass.

Holy epiphany, Batman.

I just figured it out. Hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks. Why I’m craving to be social. Why I refuse to hide myself away anymore. Why it’s like a breath of fresh air, even in the otherwise oppressive city fumes.

It was him. That gingerfuck. I was cloistered, sequestered, denied, hidden for over a year.

And now that I’m free, motherfucker I’m free. And I’ll be damned if I hide anymore (corners, notwithstanding). And damnit, I’m loving every. fucking. minute. of it.

Don’t ya just love a good epiphany?

More to come.

Dichotomellaneous

It occurs to me that I’m living a plethora of dichotomies, all at once. And as I sit here, my mind is racing with unformed thoughts. So brace yourselves for a rambling mishmash of assorted mumbojumbo. Let’s start with a song to enjoy while you read this bullshit, mkay? Mkay.

With the music sorted, let’s start with… Oh. I know. Music. Duh.

Musichotomy

As I was listening to a song earlier, on the way back to work from the post office, it struck me as how different it was to my usual proclivities. I was listening to Jake Bugg’s Lightning Bolt. Now, here’s the thing, y’all. This Louisiana-born-and-raised chick loathes country music. Loathes. I’ve refused to date country-music-fan dudes, because music is too important to me to compromise that harshly. (Yeah. I said harshly.) I mean, super recently, too. Within the last couple months, I let a good dude pass me on by, because – while he shared my lust for live music – he was all and only about country. Major. Serious. Country. Everything else about him was cool as shit, but we just couldn’t hang, because he was always listening to some ear-bludgeoning nightmare – and proved equally unwilling to listen to my jams.

And yet. There I was. Jamming out to Lightning Bolt. Singing along, for fuck’s sake. Alarm bells went off in my head, and then I just said fuck it and went with it. Granted, dude is hardly country in the traditional sense (or even in the modern sense), but there’s a palpable country vibe to it. I tried to forgive myself because of his obviously overwhelming influence by Bob Dylan, one of my all-time favorites.

But yeah. One day, I’m listening to Fugazi’s brief discography. The next, I’m going all out on some Trombone Shorty and Keb Mo. Following that with Wax Taylor and Portishead. Then, I’m all up in some Pharcyde and Mos Def. Let’s not forget my love of the Peppers. How about Leon Bridges or Band of Horses? Fucking hell, if I could only stop listening to Clint Mansell and Damien Rice. Then, there’s my new little occasional metalbar haunt, and Church of the Cosmic Skull, for fuck’s sake! So, should I really be surprised by yet another style of music? No. And yet I am.

Lifestyle stuff and stuff

I’m also contemplating my sudden love of Downtown. The whole downtown scene appeals to me, on a visceral level, really. I love the sites and sounds, the absurd snippets of dialogue as random passersby, well, pass you by. I love the snatches of music, the invisible notes and melodies losing the chase as you stroll on down the sidewalk. The various aromas, at once arresting and enticing, alluring and repulsing. Thai spices and incense. Rose petals and cat food. Greek salad and craft beer. Gasoline and perfume. Sex and vomit.

But it’s so fucking weird to me. To like it, nay love it, the way I do. It pulls me, draws me, keeps me locked in when I give in to the call. And it makes no sense, because I’m a trees girl. I’m a sky girl. I’m a mountains and rivers and stars girl. I’m a birdsong and wind girl. I’m a bubble over with giggles and laughter at the sight of a tiny woodland creature girl.

I’m a fuck society girl.

So, no, I don’t get it. This sudden fascination, even obsession, with downtown. Or do I? I think it’s part of me coming into my own. My self. One of the many parts of me that I denied for all of my life: being social. Not hiding myself away from people and society and the sorts of experiences only exposure to a place like “downtown” can bring. And damnit, I’m loving every second of it. Even the ridiculous, frustrating, maddening, and absurd. I’m fucking loving it.

My favorite bar is a jazz club. They have live music all the time. All. The. Time. Jazz, funk, blues, soul. And I’m in fucking heaven, every single time. I sit at the bar, smiling, and clasping my hands in joy, and groovin’ to the music. I stand outside, on the sidewalk, and laugh and dance in the rain. It is so…freeing…and perfect.

I also strangely enjoy the metalbar. It doesn’t have live music, and it doesn’t necessarily have the kind of music I dig (generally speaking). But I appreciate it for precisely those reasons…it’s different; it’s new; it takes me out of my comfort zone (but not to an extreme level). It’s great for culture-learning/people-watching. And I really fucking like their pineapple cider.

Another little spot is a wine bar; a friend of a friend plays his trombone and keys, while we drink wine, snack on an appetizer, and talk about meaning and purpose and music and books and life and whatthefuckever. People meander on down the sidewalk, occasionally stopping to drop money into the tip bucket or chat with us or peruse a menu.

This amorphous entity that is downtown has me in its grip, and I love it.

It doesn’t stop me from going kayaking, checking out nature trails, spending an entire afternoon reading beside the lake. But there is less of that than I would have expected of myself. Not because I’m holed up, depressed in bed, but because I’d rather be downtown. (Then, there are those brewery crawls. A whole ‘nutha story!)

Fucking weird.

~

I’ve suddenly talked myself out. So I’m calling an abrupt end to this particular post.

But I’ll be back.

I will.

 

 

B is for What a Fucking Bitch

My boss is an epic bitch. I don’t mean like one of those passive aggressive bitches. I mean a full on, in your face, self-proclaimed bitch bitch.

For the most part, I’ve been fortunate enough to not be on the receiving end of her first-class bitchery. I usually witness it from the sidelines, as an anecdote, or just watching her lambast some poor fuck.

Today, that poor fuck was me. And I almost let her have it, right in front of her precious little committee. Fucking committees. I’m a fucking committee person now. Why couldn’t I be a gangsta? Huh?

I digress.

The skinny little cunt insulted me in front of her favorite little pet committee. Repeatedly. Had I done anything wrong? Au contraire. She’s pissed off because someone else is leaving the company, so she’s taking it out on those closest to her. And as her rightfuckinghand, I’m the closest one at work to take it out on.

If she keeps the shit up, I’m gonna volley Little Miss Former DA’s shitstorm right back at her. She thinks I’m sweet and quiet. She has no idea what simmers beneath the surface (and boils on days like today).

I can hang with her on most days. And at least I didn’t take it personally – like getting upset or crying or thinking I was a fuck-up. I just got pissed. I’m mostly calm now. Mostly.

Good thing the weekend cometh. There’s a cider or three with my name on it.

Gingers and Math Professors and Bhagavad Gita, Oh My.

Y’all. Something is up with Oregon. I mean aside from triple-decker man buns, obsessions with microbrews and whiskey, and wannabe hipster bro-boys. I’m talking about the ridiculously high ratio of gingers to the rest of the population. At least, I mean that’s at least a thing in the dating pool. Not that I’m complaining; some of these gingers are smokin’ fuckin’ hot. (Uhm. Maybe most of them. Which is weird, because as an aesthetic, I was never interested in gingers. I mean, I’ve always been a fan of ginger flavor – ginger beer, ginger snaps. But ginger boys? Too…pale. Oregon is changing my mind.)

If you stacked all of my dates up on a weirdass live human bar chart, the tallest bar would be gingers, by far. (This is not intentional.) At one point, I may or may not have been casually dating three gingers at once. One of them was pretty simple, but funny and wild as hell. Another of them was a super country libertarian boy (yeah, I passed pretty hard and fast on that one). The third was fucking brilliant – this weird dichotomy of former military and current anarcho-philosopher turned psychotherapist with a fucking PhD. Oh…was he yummy. Lemme tell ya… Too bad he was emotionally inaccessible and a bit of a sociopath.

Last night, I had a date with yet another ginger. A math professor. Yep. Another weilder of a PhD. (No, stop picturing a 65 year old in a tweed blazer with elbow patches. Fuck, I just planted that image, didn’t I? Stop picturing it!) Shy and awkward over text. Funny, witty, and deep in person. In between covertly checking him out (holy shit – since when do nerdy geek boys lift??) and getting coached on how to play pool, I was alternately laughing my ass off and diving off into deep conversations about math, the universe, string theory, self, other, the Bhagavad Gita, and Eastern Philosophy. With wild fucking abandon. Yeah, that’s the kind of thing that rocks my socks.

We did a bar crawl – my first ever, I think – and drank. A lot. Well, my a lot is just a little compared to seasoned drinkers. I don’t drink often. So, the two jumbo-sized ciders and the sangria had me in orbit. (Oregon makes sangria with wine AND tequila, y’all, at least at rooftop bars in college towns. My name is Stephanie, and I approve this message. (That fucker also came in an oversized, don’t think you can call that a pint glass anymore, pint glass.)) I wasn’t wasted – those three drinks were spread over about three hours – but boy, I got spirited and (only slightly) wobbly.

We walked it off, then looked at the stars. Man, there’s so much less light pollution in that little town than where I live. It was glorious. We listened to Irish folk music and Ravi Shankar and had the deepest conversation I’ve had in ages, punctuated with sass and smartassery, crude jokes, and ribald laughter.

It was incredible.

That charming, brilliant, Irish bastard.

And it’s almost a 100% certainty that I’ll never see him again.

Why? Because out of this abundance of gingers, only one of them has been interested in more than a single date (see simple but wild boy – and he’s not in it to win it, either). And it seems the smarter and more philosophically inclined they are – ginger or not, but especially the gingers – the less likely they are to be interested in anything even remotely serious.

Unfortunately, what dating is teaching me is that my interests border on the fucking unattainable. If the guy isn’t a deep thinker, I’m not interested. If the guy can’t banter, I’m not interested. If we can’t talk until 4 in the morning (yep, last night was a late one) about anything and everything, with no filter, I’m not interested. If we can’t enjoy comfortable silences, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about him, I’m not interested. If all conversation is all about me, I’m not interested. If conversations are about things or people, I’m not interested. If conversations aren’t about ideas and thoughts and philosophies and weird little eccentricities of self and universe, I’m not interested. If I’m not laughing until I’m doubled over in pain, I’m not interested. If he isn’t a little….wild, rough around the edges, I’m not interested. And every. Single. Motherfucker. That I’ve met that has those qualities – the ones I AM interested in, are “ethically non-monogamous” or “polyamorous” (welcome to fucking Oregon) or strictly interested in an “FWB” or “NSA” situation (yeah, I’m learning a lot of fucking acronyms lately).

And it feels strangely like the longer this carries on, the less interested *I* am in something long-term and serious. Sometimes I think I’m *too* fucking adaptable, because I don’t want to compromise my personal convictions, the ones I have just for me. But at the same time, I don’t want to go back to being a complete and utter hermit, either, afraid of the opposite sex and what they do or don’t want from me.

Dating is nice. But it’s also terrible and unpredictable and scary. And I’m fucking sick of it. And also wish I had one tonight. (Oh wait, I did. But after the stellar night with the Jacked and Ginger Buddha, there’s no way I could meet this other guy. It would have been a soul-sucking exercise in tedium. So I canceled.)

See. If I don’t even know what the fuck I want, how can I expect others to know what they want? I mean. Every time someone does want something serious with me, I’m the one that’s not interested. I “don’t feel a connection,” or something on that laundry list of elusive but critical qualities is missing. I’ve totally ditched boys for lack of banter. And I just ditched one for lack of depth/connection. I don’t wanna talk about tv shows and YouTube political commentators all the damn time. I wanna talk about Plato and Buddhism and Experiencers/Enlightenment. Fuck those fucking gingers for dangling that fucking carrot and running off because they wanna be deep…with a shallow girl.

Fuck those fuckers for making me think it’s possible, because there’s no way in fuck I can settle now. I know what’s out there. I’ve known it for a long time, and I’m just getting it reinforced now and then. (Don’t get me wrong, most of the people I’ve been on dates with are horrible. I have some horror stories to share with you people! But sometimes…the veil is parted, and I get a glimpse of what could be. And I know…fucking. I know, I’m not digging too deep or searching for something imfuckingpossible.) So fuck those guys…and thank those guys.

Fucking gingers.

Total Eclipse of the Sanity

People are going batshit fucking crazy over the impending apocalypse solar eclipse. Freeways are backing up like a motherfucker. Stores are already selling out of staples like water, toilet paper, and marij…yeah, just the water and toilet paper. This is Oregon; nobody’s selling out of pot or potsnacks any time soon.

Traffic here is already unpredictable. Some days, it takes 15 minutes to get to and from the office. Other days, it takes 45. (I’m not necessarily bitching about the commute time – I have a damn short one for the area. But what would be nice is some modicum of predictability. First world problem, I know. Shhhhh. I need a rant. Err. A rantlet, because this is definitely weak compared to my usually rantypants nature.)

But now? NOW? Pfft. It’s either 15 minutes or 2 hours. As we crawl further into the week, the big number gets bigger. More people come in to claim their $300 primitive campsites (not even an exaggeration). And why the fuck are the eclipse chasers clogging up the roads during rush hour?! Do they LIKE IT? Is it a big fat fuck you to Oregonians for price gouging the shit out of private and public properties alike to profit off of these eclipse wankers? GRRR.

I think I’ll carry my fussygrumps ass to the grocery store after work. Wait any longer, and I legit won’t be able to find any potsnacks water.

Oh. Oh! I’m thinking of following one of those writing prompt idea thingamajigs in an attempt to get myself back into it…. if anyone’s still lingering around here (first off FUCKING HI)…any suggestions?

P.S. It’s fucking sweater weather. In August. Fuckyeah.

If I Were Bipolar

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d be a rapid cycler.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d exit a two-month depression and launch right into an extended mixed episode.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d make some dangerous decisions that would, ya know, put me in danger.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d justify said dangerous decisions with shit like, “this is just what it looks like to live after stifling yourself for the better part of thirty-seven years.”

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d recover from heartbreak by meeting up with a never-ending string of dudes who give less than a shit about me.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d only find pleasure in the kind of job that makes me pull my hair out.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d leave that job on some random Tuesday night, meet up with some stranger, and stay up until 4 AM.

If I were bipolar, I bet I’d return to work the next day and alternate between bouncing off the walls and wanting to shoot myself in the face.

It’s a good thing I’m not bipolar.

The Horse is (Not) Alright

Exiting the roundabout, I crane my neck.
I have to see the horse, traffic be damned.

He stands there in his meadow-like pasture, outwardly indifferent to the traffic.
Selectively nibbling on the verdant grasses and sweet-smelling flowers, he’s alive.

The horse is alright.

How do I know the horse is a he?
He’s strong, muscular, virile, powerful, secure in his solitude.
Those are masculine traits.
Aren’t they?

Another long day, another fretful drive “home.”
Please let him be there.
I only need to see that

The horse is alright.

Exiting the roundabout, I hold  my breath.
Craning my neck, I scan the field.

Nothing.

I risk another look.
Fuck it; if he’s not alright, I’m not alright.

The horse is not alright.

I can’t find him.
Has he given up?

Frustrated and empty from his solitary jaunts,
Today, he doesn’t leave his stall.

His handlers cajole and prod, first sweet talking, now scolding.
You need to get outside, horse. It isn’t good for you us to see you holed up inside all day.
Keeping to yourself.
Why don’t you go outside, seek new grasses and flowers.
And pretend you aren’t still keeping to yourself.

The horse is not alright.

I enter the roundabout with trepidation.
If he’s not there today…
If the horse is not alright…

Exiting the roundabout, my arms tremble on the steering wheel as I turn to look.
He’s there. He’s there.
I exhale a breath I didn’t realize I’d been holding,
Dash away tears I didn’t realize I’d been shedding.

And I breathe a sigh of relief,
Of grateful reassurance, because

The horse is alright.