Admittedly, I spent most of my time trying to figure out what I just heard; sitting still in a dark place with the fur along my spine all fluffed up to warn any would-be intruders that I will scratch your fucking eyes out if you come any closer.
I don’t know if it’s cheating to write a couple essays at a time and then schedule them to publish so I continue to hit my goal of making a blog post every day in November, but the first rule of NanoPoblano is there are no rules, so I’m a-schedulin’. There’s a few things I need to get done before now and Thanksgvin’, and I’m’ll need a coupl’a days to tend to them.
Wait, was I just in the Old West?
Yeah, so having a 30-second attention span is fun.
Just like awkward transitions…
I moved to the high desert of California while I was still a young 20-something. My first husband was (similar to my current husband is) a substance-abusing father-figure, 13-years my senior. I say was because my first husband, who I divorced in 1997, is now dead. (I was struggling with the opioid crisis before struggling with the opioid crisis was all the rage. Oh California, you trendsetter. ) I discovered his obituary in September 2015, just a couple months after he’d died. I don’t know how it happened. What I read said he went peacefully at home.
When I moved in with him in 1990, I was 23 and he was 36. He worked for the phone company. (My Dad worked for the phone company.) His name was Harry. (My Dad’s name was Harry.)
HolyJesusFuck, 23-year-olds are stupid. (As a former stupid 23-year old, I know whereof I speak.)
Living in the desert for the span of my 20’s was quite a culture shock after growing up in the block-parties & chats over the hedges in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. Especially noticeable was how I no longer had neighbors. Like at all. Anywhere. We were i s o – l a t e d.
This did not come without bouts of devastatingly uncontrollable lunacy.
I definitely do not miss the Tasmanian Devil of hormonal destruction that used to spin me out of control every month during my fertile years. On a good day, I was Regan from The Exorcist. Praise be to menopause. My glorious savior. The precious death of all the fucks I ever had to give.
After a while though, I grew unusually fond of not having neighbors. Or maybe I just became accustomed to it, which is practically like being fond. The desert keeps things quiet. No matter how loud one screams. No matter how naked one gets. No matter whose husband one beds. (Well… I should say, the desert keeps things quiet until your estranged husband taps your phones… yeah, my first marriage was a very bad one.)
When my second husband and I moved east, we landed in the mecca of redneck relaxation when we found a house to rent on the Delmarva Peninsula. Nine months out of the year it’s a quiet, neighbor-less promised land. And roughly the other hundred days of the year it’s the 4th ring of Hell. (Quirk No. 11,042,017: I live at the beach and hate summertime.) I like my privacy (she typed on to a public blog on the w o r l d w i d e web). I don’t like traffic, I don’t like crowds. I don’t like outside noise. I don’t like litter. I don’t like careless disregard or willful destruction of property and surrounding environment & wildlife. I hate small talk. I don’t want to come home after a 12-hour shift and have to stand in the driveway making chit-chat with the pervy creep from across the street who won’t stop ogling my lovely lady lumps. And when the zombie apocalypse comes, I don’t want to have to worry about being surround by a bunch of neighbors who are going to want my stuff.
Plus, thanks to horror movies, and Investigation Discovery, I’ve had more than enough interaction with the general public to know that I’ve had more than enough interaction with the general public.
In my 35 years of working among them, people haven’t changed. No matter the time zone, no matter the accent, once you’ve spent any significant time in the restaurant business you’ve come to understand people are all the same. Living in a seasonal beach town is as Groundhog Day as you can get. Year after year. Holiday weekend after holiday weekend. Every morning it’s Sunny & Cher, every night it’s hoping something will change by tomorrow.
Neighbors go against almost everything I hold dear… and I mean that figuratively AND literally. They literally wreck stuff. They ruin everything. They make me use blanket statements. I hate all blanket statements!
A-a-a-and I’m back to being marshmallow fluff because I’m lamenting something I have that’s pretty good; something I willfully choose on a daily basis. Whatevs. Perspective is everything. I know that. I regret that I am unwilling to go to Africa to see what real suffering is like, but I’ve busted my ass my whole life and I’m still living paycheck to paycheck, knowing I’m going to have to work til I drop dead, so… just because one thing is worse doesn’t mean something else isn’t also bad. It’s not a fucking contest – it’s commentary. So gfy & stfu, imaginary person in my head giving me shit and calling me a snowflake when you don’t even know me. Oh, and snowflake is, like, THE most ridiculously meaningless insult ever. Only a real apple-seed would say something like that.
If it’s any consolation, all I want to do is make a comfortable living doing something I love as I grow old, so I can help people who need it, and encourage creativity and reading in my community and where ever I can. (While still managing to watch 100 horror movies a month and blog about nothing. And clean. And cook. And workout. And maybe go outside… s o m e t i m e s . . . And play with my cats.)
Empathy is a real steel-toe to the O’Keeffe lily, I’ll tell ya. I can certainly understand why Trump-supporters choose not to display any. This must be what it feels like to ride 3,000 miles on a bicycle; a satin coin-purse so sore my teeth ache.
So I guess my audience would be those who appreciate vulgarity. Oh good.
“Dear Diary, Adding to my misery, none of my neighbors think I’m funny.”