March 23, 2015

I drove him out!

We are on Hilton Head, the family, and look who is behind the bar. It’s Colleen. And I am stumbling on my words, and I can’t order my drink, and I hate talking to school mommies on principle but now there is this added pressure of me doing kinky things to her husband, and my husband is there, and I am watching myself from the outside, kind of, talking her up with her sparkly dangly earrings, and guess what?? I do a sincerely legit job. And I like her. And I am lulled into thinking it will be ok.

I do see him, with the girls, but I don’t think he sees me. He is guiding them onto the elevator, hands on their shoulders, and they go upstairs. But, still; I am feeling pretty good; I handled her well, I didn’t want to kill her, and I was comfortable and not terribly insecure.

and then I don’t see them anymore. we are here for a week; even in a hotel, there’s only one pool, its one resort, how far away can they be? How do we keep missing each other? And this is now ruining my vacation because I am worrying about running into them and I wish the fucking penny would drop already.

There is a dark wood half-table with those sculpted legs against the wall in the hallway of the hotel. There are lights focused on the table, and potted dried flowers, and formal engraved cards in a pile in the center with a tiny card mounted in a card holder that says, “take one.”

They are printed like wedding invitations. The Something Hotel regrets to announce that Jason L. and Colleen M. and their family have checked out. They may be reached at 999-999-9999 for the duration of their stay.

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In the T station. Or I guess it started by WALKING to the T station, I’m in some kind of custody. Jail, kidnapped, political prisoner, something. We are in a line, walking outside, dark freezing, wet. Climbing the scaffolding to get over the tunnel, into the mezzanine of the stairwell, with the East German overseer telling us to strip and sit down. There is one other fat chick, and she doesn’t care that she is uncovered and her saggy stuff is all hanging out, and no one else is looking at her anyway, so I take my clothes off and pretend to act like her. Down the stairs, into the restroom, and men and women are together, and they assign us a stall. And god help me, I am making out with Nicholas, of all people, and then we get on the train.

We end up in an elegant underground mall, flagstone floor, white firefly lights on the trees, and Sharon is there, and Keith from high school, and about 8 other people from work who are kind of all melding together in my head. we walk up the ramp to the dock and see the Hilton Head Lighthouse, but it is a smokestack on a boat instead, and I think how beautiful it is with the moonlight and the wispy clouds and I want to take a picture, but I figure I will wait until it is in the air where the other boats won’t be in the way.

The show starts, and as the boat begins to ascend, and the music rises, and the lights focus on the ship, all of a sudden there is a flash, and a noise, impossibly reverberating, and screams and the ship is gone, having fallen to the sea gracelessly in a floating sea of debris, and people are screaming everywhere. An icon is gone.

So we go shopping. Walking on the boardwalk, elegant shops again, wandering in and out, and there is a record store/head shop and a stack of magazines with centerfolds of female guitar rockers, and Ava and I are looking through the posters and all of a sudden there is a cover with Robert Downey, Jr. on it and he is handling a plastic male toy with a coy little look in his eyes. So I snatch it away from Ava and of course that makes her interested, and she wrestles it out of my hands, looks at the cover, and says, “Ew. I just don’t get boys.” and tosses it aside and goes back to her posters.

Later, we are at a picnic table at a seaside restaurant, drinking beer and eating crab legs with the steel drum music in the background. I am at a table next to the group, not with them, and there are people I know with me,but I can’t make out who. I am on the edges of the conversation, as usual, looking at keith, WANTING. But I remember Luke, and I remember my awkwardness, and I envy how easy it is for Sharon to be friends with everyone, while I sit quietly on the sidelines wishing it could be me, but absolutely a bull in a china shop when I try.

Bodies and Vini

We are all at Vini’s house, whole family, visiting for the weekend. Overnight bags and everything. And she comes out of his room in the morning crying and saying that they broke up. And Vini is fat.  And we say our goodbyes and start on the road.

We come to a crossroads, a long view-movie style crossroads. It seems like there were 2 people fighting, biker guys, and one (the Jax-looking one, yum) ends up out maneuvering the other (fat old bearded) and stealing his bike. he tears down the road, now coming to woods, fat-guy running behind shaking his fist as Jax (now ‘we’ or ‘I’ more precisely, because the family is gone.) flying down the road, more and more trees, and finally coming to a state park, and a family on the right having a picnic in a wooden pavilion set back off the road on the right. a sparse stand of scrawny trees, leaf-less despite the season, and somehow still providing shade, covers about 50 yards between the road and the family. They are grilling hot dogs and the mom is digging through the cooler, and little Johnny and Janie are playing frisbee and riding bikes in the field.

Jax/I hop off the bike and head in the direction of the family, like we are expected at the party, and as we are jogging through the trees and over the scrawny roots laying across the path.  There are swampy areas scattered on the ground with the wet dead leaves and a grey looking foot laying sideways , a layer of slime floating on the eddies of the water.  A denim clad leg leads to a torso, and ultimately a skeletal face, half buried in the mud, with blonde hair matted in the sticks.

Cops everywhere, and the field turns out to be an organic beef farm, so everyone is antsy about how to maintain the lack-of-contamination required for organic status.  The trees need to be moved, the swamp needs to be drained, and they bring in goats to eat the trees out, and sheep to eat the grass away.  And a backhoe to dig a big hole, now with Jane Doe on a tor in the center, still on her side, with a veritable archaeological dig going on around her.

And she appears to move.  Brown, suntanned, muscled flank, rolling over in the dirt, rolling in the tor.  A man emerges, not muscled, but average, stooped, a little professor like, and the movement was because he was rolling the body. Clamor.  “What the hell are you doing in there?”  and variations of the like from the cops, and the professor tries to show them things they have missed, but they are not having any until the source of the muscle rises from under her, naked and hard, and stands in the open, challenging them wordlessly.  Another, and another, all well defined triceps and trapezius and abs. All naked, each approaching a cop with authority, backing them down, until the cops run away and they dive back in the dirt.

Jersey Shore?

We are traveling to New jersey. We are moving there, and it is clean and beautiful and suburban and we are excited. And we visit Bob as he is ordering crepes and breakfast casserole at this little bakery, and they show us our casserole in the oven and we ‘ooohhh’ and ‘aaaah’ over our bubbly sausage and cheesy eggs. There is some conversation about the crepes taking a long time to make, but this is vague.

We go home to wait and clean out the fridge for the new people, and eventually Bob and Kurt come in and they have a pack of hot dogs and a container of biscuits. No crepes, no casserole. WTF I ask them, and he said they gave the casserole to someone else and that the crepes wouldn’t be ready until tomorrow.

So we clean out the fridge, eat leftovers for breakfast, and hop in the van. Broken down blue minivan with the fading stick figure babies on the back window, but we are also watching the weather as we approach the coast, and there is more and more rain, and more and more VERY high water on railroad tracks and underpasses, and Wolf Blitzer saying to watch out; then we are in the water, racing madly with one set of wheels on the sidewalk, bumping in the potholes and hydroplaning on the left wheels, in the pouring rain trying to get to the new house.

January 31, 2015

At my God-forsaken mother’s house.  with sharon, my mother, my sister, and my son, who happens to still be mad at me for jumping on his sister’s trumpet case.  And we are making breakfast at 11:00 am.  I am trying to make a version of Sharon’s shrimp seviche on a bed of spring greens, with bacon.  And Sharon is complaining that I am taking too long, and that she wants to eat breakfast before noon, thank you very much, and can I knock it the hell off already. And Denise is rolling her eyes at me, Mark is complaining that he doesn’t want this, and my mother is bitching that I am not counting out all the shrimp evenly and that she is being intentionally slighted.  I start to feel like I did when I was a kid;  like I could stop talking in the middle of a sentence and none would notice;  that I could, in fact, leave the room and none would notice that either.

China?

Me and Erin, in the airport.  She is seeing me off to China for something.  But at the same time, I am returning from there, because I have a “memory” of losing Zoe’s jacket on the train in Beijing.  But I do find it, at least the sherpa-esque lining of it, in the airport lost and found.

And a warning from Erin:  “You do know he and his wife are on your flight.”  Which, I somehow already knew.  I roll my eyes.  And its back to work, in the red carpeted hallway, with a changing room on the right hand side, which opens to the barely-larger common area at the end of the hall.  And, I swear it is Scott Cook, is my next patient and he needs a DOT physical, and he is of course chatting and pimping me the whole time, and it IS enjoyable, and he wants a hug on his way out, and for a moment, I forget my place.

But in the corner is a door.  And he comes out, with her, in love, her gazing adoringly into his eyes.  And back into my place I go.  Shoved down in tight by the appearance of a bunch of important people from work I am not good enough to be friends with, all laughing and palling around with him, clapping him on the back as they board the plane.

I anticipate the next 3 weeks.  Same hotel, same VIPs, same dining room, same conferences:  even though I am posing.  Passing, an imposter.  feeling like a stalker-interloper-half breed who doesn’t really belong there.

I try to hide.  But I need a hit, and I look just a moment too long, and he meets my eye.  So fleetingly as I am moving into the shadow, but my stomach lurches, and the flight instinct fires, and the hear, and the breathing, and, my God.  I want to cry.  And I see myself in the changing room mirror and realize that Erin has changed me.  Dark wavy hair, red lips, small, tiny, fashionably dressed. And even though I am beautiful, even though I am like her, even though I know I am caught;  I hide in the the dressing room until Erin comes to get me.

 

 

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.

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.