December 15, 2014

I went to Erin’s house after work.  Unannounced.  She lives in the same neighborhood as Lisa, one of those convoluted suburban rat mazes with cookie cutter mini mansions that have built up over time as an extension of older, more modest houses.  I go the long way, and I have dreamt about this neighborhood before, down the hill to the circle, which is still under development.  There is a community center under construction, with a playground and swimming pool and party cabana, but it is not open yet.  the surrounding 3 or 4 lots at the bottom are still dirt, and I wonder if they are going to be part of the park they are building or if they are going to be houses built.  Erin’s house is one of the older ones, brick, with a tiny yard gorgeously landscaped, and an inside all hardwood and red persian rugs, slate and stainless in the kitchen, and a living room with old dirty mushroom colored carpet and a dusty dirty white entertainment center holding the game console and big screen TV.  I walk in like I live there, jeans and a white t-shirt, dogs all happy to see me, Erin happy to see me, Josh playing his video game.  He grunts ‘hi’ like guys do, going back to his game.  Erin and I sit down talking, having a beer on the weathered deck.  I walk back the hall to the bedroom, and my hubby is there, packing to go, and when we are all ready, I make one last trip to the bathroom.  I can overhear Josh complaining, angry, about me just showing up, being disrespectful, how he doesn’t like me and my bad influence on his wife, and when I come out of the bathroom, he is waiting by the door to kick me out.  Dogs follow me out, Erin follows me out, and she walks me to my care, apologizing  But my car is parked on the street outside the entry to the neighborhood, way back at the entrance to the rat maze at the top of the hill.  And we talk about work, and our husbands, all the way to the top of the hill.

The second one, I don’t remember very well.

I do recall a jungle base camp, Mark is there, and we are zip-lining to a hunting grounds deep in the forest (deciduous, go figure.)  It is a group activity of some kind, a paintball-type equivalent, and there is a little fat kid there with his mommy, and of course he has allergies, and there is some type of arm injury, so she brings him to me to evaluate.  But it only looks like eczema to me, and it is one of those patients where even when they point to their rashes, I can’t see what the hell they are talking about.  And Helicopter Mom is getting angry with me because I think she’s crazy, and she is telling me the name of some medicine their usual doctor gives them, and I have never heard of it because it is some kind of specialty compound.  But I agree to call it in, when she throws another wrinkle.  It has to be a specific pharmacy, it has to be under her name, it must be billed under Work Comp, and every concession I make, I end up getting taken advantage of more and more.


Oh, I’m Sorry, I was wrong….

She had 7800 texts for November.  seven. thousand. eight hundred. forty two.

Did you get my text?

According to Verizon, the Teenager had 3900 texts last month.  THREE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED texts.  Allowing 6 hours a night for sleep, 3900/30 days/18 hours a day is approximately 7 texts per hour, or one text every 8 minutes while awake.  So….that phone is out of her hands for no more than 8 minutes at a time.  But when her parents text her?  Why do we hear crickets?

Dec 9, 2014

So the family is out for a run (??? right there is problem #1, lol) and we are in our single file line like little ducklings, running up Brownsville road in south park.  And here come a line of girls running the other way, and they are naked.  SO I am trying to get Mark to avert his eyes, and trying to run with his eyes closed isn’t working, and when the girls get close, I see that they are not naked but dressed in multi-layered flesh colored spanx and have 70’s blond big curl hair, and they are giggling and waving ‘hi’ as they run past us.

SO we run to the top of the hill, and a bunch of teenage guys are playing lacrosse with a snitch, and teenage Kurt is one of them, and the snitch is flying over our heads, barely missing us, so close we can feel the wind in our hair.  And I pick him up to keep him safe, and he has turned little again.  But he is watching so intently, I can tell he wants to get down and play, so I have to let him down.  And he is big again, and happy.

Eating dinner at a booth in a restaurant.  Everyone is eating out of the serving dish.  Mark with a big skillet of Miss Chery’ls meatballs, Zoe with a pot of Hawaiian chicken.  Ava has ribs, and And Kurt is sitting beside me with nothing in front of him yet.  Then he gets up and crawls across the table and slips so that his hand and arm land in the pot of BBQ ribs, and he is a mess.  So I carry him into the kitchen where his dad is doing dishes in the industrial sink with the restaurant sprayer.   And I hold him under the sprayer so he gets all the BBQ sauce sprayed off, then I dunk him in the sink of dirty dishwater, to clean him off.  And then my hubby is there with the yellow Johnson’s baby soap and I am washing his hair, which he hates, hand rinsing him with the sprayer again.

Under the junk on the girls floor, I find the  most beautiful yellow flowered and brown wood set of Laura Ashley bedding, and dust ruffle and curtains, and wallpaper, and Ava says it is hers, received from Lacey as a birthday present.  Don’t I remember?  Well, of course I don’t, and I pull it out of the box and realize it is just cardboard, hung from yellow yarn and a clothes hanger.

Dec 6, 2014

We pull into the parking lot of the ME to meet Luke for a movie.  Me and Zoe and another girl, but I don’t remember who.  And of course he has ignored the invitation, but I gotta be there just in case, and he never shows so I just send the girls to the theatre without me, since its in the same mall.  And while they are over there, I decide to go into work since I have 2 hours to kill anyway.

The place is a circus.  there are no patients, thank god.  but everyone is dressed in carnival clothes, and is celebrating something, and there is a infomercial being filmed in one corner, for a huge exercise ball that looks like a pre-historic wooden wheel with glyphs carved on the edge.  And the big carnival muscle man is running on the edge of the wheel and the workout part is that he pushes it along this track;  the glyphs interlock like gears on the round track.  And he is trying to sell this as an exercise machine, but it keeps slipping off and he is covering the mistake by pushing it back on, so I decide to move along.

In the other corner is a skater-looking guy who is doing a comedy act, with a movie of a half-pipe demo running in the background.  He has this tarantula in his hat that he keeps covering with his hand so it doesn’t get out.  There is someone I know sitting on the floor a few rows behind me, some teenage kid, and next thing, I am driving a beat up something and I don’t notice the school bus jackknifed in front of me and I slam on the brakes and slide under the bus with barely enough clearance, and all the kids on the bus are screaming in victory that i made it.

So demo over, i am back in the building, and the girls are coming back in from the movie so it is time to go.  And as we are walking to the car, I notice this young mom with 2 little kids sitting in a grocery cart and one is climbing out, the other is screaming, she is trying to wrestle them back into the cart so she can get the groceries to the car.  I also notice a little flat faced grandma riding in the cart too, but she is not helping with the kids.  So I overcome my ‘freeze then run’ instinct and go over and catch the kid and help her push the cart, but she keeps leading me to the very very end of the lot, where there are like 1 or 2 cars, and I wonder why the hell she parked so far away with all this stuff to haul, and she finally says, “thanks, I got it from here,” and she walks away toward the edge,  no cars in sight, then up over the curb, across the little patch of grass, and holy shit, she is going to walk this down the cliff with the kids trying to climb out and everything, but no.  Instead she just shoves it down the cliff, slaps her hands together in a ‘wash her hands of it’ gesture, gives me a look of disdain and walks back into the store.


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