Thursday, July 31, 2008

The guy at Subway

The last two times I went to the Subway around the corner from where I work, there was a new guy making sandwiches. I'm used to extremely quick turn around time from the people that usually work there, I depend upon it to get back to work quickly. Yes, I'm a bitch, but every minute I'm not at work is a minute I could be building toward time-and-a-half. I'm a single mother - every minute I build toward time-and-a-half goes toward the next utility that is about to be shut off, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum.

Back to the new guy making my sandwich? He had deep purple bags under his eyes, sniffling the whole time (while making my sandwich, eewww! But he kept it sanitary.). He asked me what I wanted, while bantering and flirting with his co-workers, only to ask me again what kind of bread I wanted. Then he had a really hard time cutting the bread. Then asked me 3 more times what I wanted on it. I started losing my patience, but really, is Subway the place to lose my cool? No, I didn't think so. So, the first time he made my sandwich adequately, and was really, extremely friendly about the whole thing. He asked me twice how I was doing with a goofy smile on his face. Kind of like he didn't remember that he had already asked me...

The second time I went, the same thing happened, but with less flirting with his co-workers. Again, being the bitch that I am, I was barely tolerant. I actually thought about calling to let the owner know that he had an active heroin user making sandwiches on the front line. Believes me when I say I know my heroin users. But then, I realized that he had given me double meat without charging. And he had been so friendly. I actually know how very much drugs and alcohol can fuck up your life. If you are willing, you will take any job someone will give you to try to bring home some money while you are trying to raise a child. I'm a partially educated person that worked at as a cashier at a grocery store to try to stop the foreclosure on my home.

I read a recent post from V at Violent Acres that really brought it home:

"There are people no doubt reading right now thinking, “I’m not going to kiss up to people in the service industry. It’s their job to wait on me. It’s their job to be nice. I'm not going to kiss their ass because they are doing their job. Blah, blah, fucking, blah.” To them I say, yeah, but they chose that job. They could have made it their job to rob your fucking house or sell cocaine to your ugly fucking kid, by they didn’t. Instead, they decided to get up at 5 o’clock in the fucking morning to make your coffee and tell you to have a nice day. If don’t respect that, then fuck off right now, you classless piece of shit."

(I worship the ground your bad-ass walks on, V. I bow down at your bitchy feet. Also, my fucking kid isn't that ugly, V. I may be biased but I think he's really quite good looking.)

I went to Subway, today. It has been a week since I was there. It was early for the lunch rush, but there were new guys there, giving a satisfactory sandwich without the double meat or the overt friendliness of my overly friendly, possibly drug addicted, Sandwich Artiste of the week before.

I feel extremely guilty for any nasty thoughts, and hope he is well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Early family history

I have three older sisters. I have to explain their nicknames, because I don't want to use their real names. When they were growing up, they had an imaginary club called the Kit-Kat club. I'm sure my oldest sister was in charge, but cannot say for sure as I was probably not even alive at the time. What I do know for a fact is they gave each other these nicknames, as I will give you in birth order: Kouf, 10/60; Shouf, 1/62, Bouf 12/62. My mother, god love her, had 3 babies in diapers at the same freakin' time.

It was four years after Bouf before another child was born.

According to the story, when my mother was pregnant with the first child, she swore if it was a boy she would call him David. Instead, Kouf was born.

When my mother was pregnant with her second child, she swore if it was a boy she would call him David. Instead, Shouf was born.

When my mother was pregnant with her third child, she swore if it was a boy she would call him David. Instead, Bouf was born.

When my mother was pregnant with her fourth child, she said (in a yiddish accent), "God, I promise if you give me a son, I will not call him David". And so Jimmy was born.

Her fifth child was me, four years after Jimmy. My mother was just lucky as hell that I was even born. She developed prenatal diabetes while carrying me, and she also slipped in dog poop and went down a flight of stairs and almost miscarried me.

Apparently, she had wanted six kids. Unfortunately for her, she had to have an emergency hysterectomy within a year or two after I was born.

Even God has his/her limits on the number of kids you are allowed to fuck up. Or at least a limit for my mother. My father eventually had another child, and fucked him up, as well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The clock

I used to live with this woman. Y. We lived in one half of a duplex of an older house. On one of the walls, Y had hung a brass clock with a pendulum. I do not think this clock was old at all, it was probably a newer clock meant to look like an older one. We came to believe that this clock was haunted. Not creepily haunted, but haunted nevertheless by a spirit living in the house that we were inhabiting. We were young.

When we were planning to have a big party, the clock’s pendulum would stop swinging hours in advance. It kept it’s time just fine, and the pendulum would start swinging, again, around noon the next day. We took it as a given, after a while that this is what would happen. There were times, also, that we heard noises in the kitchen that had nothing to do with the clock. Noises that had nothing to do with anything that we could explain. It was a little bit weird, but we didn’t think anything of it. I was a firm believer in the occult, at the time. Once, when I was sick on the couch and Y had gone out for the evening, it sounded to me like a little old lady was making some tea in her kitchen. I assumed that there were things outside of my understanding. I assumed that I was not smart enough, or sensitive enough to understand all the workings of the universe. This was before “the sixth sense” – I did not believe there were dead people everywhere. I’m sure I would have changed my opinion, had I thought that!

Anyway, I moved out of Y’s house, eventually, but was still close with her. We had just taken a trip to NYC, and met a couple of guys in a dance club. They were nice enough that we invited them a couple of weeks later for dinner at Y’s house, then a night of dancing in Hartford’s hot spots (ha-ha). It obviously was not better than the night in Manhatten when we first met, but maybe the boys from Brooklyn thought differently. While we were eating, Y made a point of catching my eye – and pointing it toward the pendulum clock. I looked at it, but had no comprehension of why it would not only have stopped, but it looked like it was vibrating off the wall. The clock had never stopped before. It was definitely shaking, vibrating, trying to jump off the wall.

We gave it no further thought. We finished dinner, had a great night of dancing, and never saw the guys, again. Again, we were young. We assumed that our ghost had grown used to not having a bunch of people around, and was kind of being a bitch about having a couple of guys that we didn't really know over for dinner. Had I thought about it with my knowledge now as a cynical late 30's woman, I never would have gone out with those men that night. However, I was in my early 20's, and didn't really give a hoot.

I found out the next morning that my brother had died the night before. Not at all at the same time the clock was vibrating, but was it trying to tell me something? My brother and I had spent that day together, looking at motorcycles. We had talked stupid talk about getting our motorcycle licenses together. Cause you know I was a bad-ass when it came to impressing my big brother. I wasn't going to be the bitch on the back of a bike! He had just gotten his driver's license back 3 weeks earlier- I was the one who took him. How was I supposed to know that before the next day, he would be dead?

Friday, July 25, 2008

My mother is crazy

Many people might think their mother is crazy. Many people might blog about it. The whole psychiatric community might depend upon people thinking that their mother is the root of all of their problems. I happen to know for a fact that MY mother drives ME crazy.

Please understand that I'm not saying that my mother is the cause for my extremely unstable mental health history. I know better than to blame a certain person, or certain episode. Although I'd like to thank my DNA for making all this crazy possible...

I also have to thank myself, my choice of friends and lovers, my choice of situations that I put myself in, and also that random bastard, fate.

I used to think that fate was on my side. I used to think a lot of things... Then I got blindsided by a slew of situations that were my own doing, or un-doing. I really hit rock bottom. Anyone who knows what rock bottom feels like will understand this. I did things that I am not proud of. I went to places that I never want to be, again.

Eventually, I crawled out of it. I started making better decisions. I started to make life-altering decisions about a better person that I wanted to be. I stopped being a person that I did not like, any longer.

I hate to say it, but I have to say it - if my parents had not moved down to Florida, around the same time, I probably would never have gotten over it. Distance from my mother helped save me. There were other factors involved. Anyone who knows me really well, knows what they are. That is another story.

Detailing my mother's crazy is another whole post, also. She's staying with me for the summer, and I'm counting the minutes until she leaves. I love her, dearly, especially after her recent health problems - but I've realized just how much she affects my mental health. Small doses are better - familiarity breeds contempt. Is that horrible? Maybe. But it is the truth, as I see it.