May 192009
 

It was all Alisha’s fault. She tricked us into driving out to Sharon, PA by boasting of this really fucking awesome chocolate kingdom at Daffin’s and some Coney Island restaurant that had like, the best food ever, though she wasn’t sure if there were non-meat options for me but who cares about Erin anyway. I agreed because I thought maybe it would be fun to leave her there, in Sharon.

And so, with Henry driving and Blake sitting comfortably in the passenger seat, Alisha and I squeezed in the back of our modest Ford Focus with Master Chooch, who was thrilled for the human contact. I had him on one side, pulling my hair, and Alisha on the other, jamming her elbow between my ribs. I spent a good portion of the billion-hour road trip wailing, “HEENNNRRRY! They’re hurting me!”

After pulling over in the parking lot of some run down factory where I took pictures of Alisha and Blake lounging on a run-down tetanus-laden car, we arrived at Daffin’s Chocolate. The “kingdom” was really just a wimpy display of a decrepit castle tower with a giant turtle thrown in the center to provide a weak distraction of the fact that it was less kingdom, more trailer park. And it stunk real bad in there too, and not just because Henry’s old and losing control of his faculties.

Chooch ran around the shop like a fucking crack addict, causing old women to gape in horror (some of them still had stroke-face after getting a glimpse of the very-pierced Blake, and that always makes me laugh), so I had to pull him out before I ended up owing Daffin’s my life savings. (But not before grabbing a handful of complimentary postcards; if you want one, holla.)

daffins

Alisha’s much-hyped Coney Island was closed (I thought Henry was going to kill her) but LUCKILY I saved the day when I spotted a diner. Henry and Alisha tried to ruin everything by suggesting, with no basis, that it was closed. Well guess what motherfuckers it was open and it was awesome.

donnasdiner

So awesome, in fact, that it has two names.

dineroutside

A quaint brick and moss courtyard next to the diner. There was a river at the other end and I kept envisioning Chooch falling into it and promptly had Mommy Heart-Flips.

dinerinside

Thank god we were the only people there because Chooch was acting like a poster child for Ritalin. Blake eventually had to take him outside and then I remembered the river and had Mommy Heart-Flips again. I will not feel calm until I get that kid hooked up to a leash.

choochjelly12

Chooch likes to spoon jelly into his loud mouth. It could be worse. It could be shit.

tableThis retro pattern made me feel dizzy, and then I started thinking about my kidneys.  And then boomerangs. And then clown porn. What?

alishablake

Blake ordered every breakfast item on the menu and proceeded to stare longingly at the syrup carafe. For a long time. And Alisha spent the whole time looking like she was trying not to puke and maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to develop a sickening paranoia about that. Do I really make her that nauseated? Probably it’s from all the LAUGHTER I provoke in her.

The women’s room was labeled “Dolls” which I thought was very charming. But then I became worried! Where would ALISHA pee??

Henry ordered wings and ate them like it was his last meal before succumbing to H1N1. The sauce-smear across his moustacioed lips was very attractive, like he had just went down on a barbequed street walker.

And then we left and spent another fifty billion hours driving aimlessly through Amish turf, where I started to write a script for a brand new television drama starring Henry’s eyebrows*, and became arrested by strong desires to relinquish the hold all these material things have upon me and join Team Amish, where I can don a bonnet, write with a quill and ink,  and have sex through a hole in a sheet. And sell my bathroom plaques to tourists from the Big City.

[*A few minutes later, we passed some weird building consisting of two side-by-side domes and Henry goes, “It’s a breast-stop, get it? A breast-stop” because it looked like boobs sort of (but not really) and it was really lame and no one laughed, but then I said, “That will be the first joke your eyebrows tell in their new show” and Alisha was trying so hard not to laugh that her face was all red and Blake was doing that high-pitched snort thing which means he thought it was REALLY FUNNY so fuck you, Henry.]

Edit: Srsly, I have 14 of these lame-o postcards and maybe you’re into collecting lame-o post cards, then you should tell me and I’ll send you one.

Mar 042008
 

There are few things my child could do to make me want to disown him. I was willing to turn the other cheek when he flung a forkful of noodles ala ketchup at me in protest. That’s one of my favorite meals, my signature dish. Nothing beats a bowlful of al dente egg noodles drenched in a sauce of congealed and lukewarm ketchup.

It took some time, I won’t lie, but I healed. I moved on. I continue to enjoy ketchup’d noodles alone.

I didn’t think he would find a way to hurt  me more than he did that day. Until this morning. I slaved over slathering the perfect marriage of peanut butter and Marshmallow Fluff onto two slices of bread. I painstakingly cut the sandwich into tiny, bite-sized cubes, perfect for popping while enjoying an A.M. viewing of "Blue’s Clues."

I set the plate down in front of him. He grunted. I pushed it closer and he gave it some consideration. Then he grunted again and pushed the plate back at me. I tried to sneak a tiny morsel past his lips, in between chews of Goldfish. He crinkled his nose and his lips transformed into an iron barrier against unwanted edibles.

My asshole son doesn’t like Fluffernutters. I’ve been stabbed in the heart. Stabbed with a forkful of Fluffernutter hateration. How could he betray me like this? I’m running out of meal options for him, things that I’m capable of preparing and/or assembling, and if he keeps turning his nose up at my creations he’s going to be subsisting on crackers and Pringles every day until Henry comes home.

Maybe I can eventually get over this latest rejection. But if he doesn’t learn how to dance like the Jabbawockeez, I’m returning him to the hospital. Maybe I can exchange him for Lasik or get a voucher for an organ transplant. Or maybe they can just give me an organ if I’m in no immediate need of transplantation, to fashionably display outside of my body. "What? Is it my kidney brooch you’re admiring?"

 

Mar 032008
 

Hello. I’m twenty-eight years old. I have never built a snowman.

We got a good bit of snow on Friday, so I got all ambitious and decided that it was time to change my status as snow architect from "never" to "active."

I concentrated hard on my efforts for an entire, let’s say, three minutes, before walking away and playing with the shovel. Henry spied my attempt and asked what it was. "Uh, that’s not how you make a snowman," he patronized as he continued to sneer at the uneven mound of snow that I formed by scooping and patting, not rolling which is apparently the universal method of birthing snowmen.

"Oh, then show me how," I said, knowing that it was a surefire way to con Henry into doing all the work while I pranced around in a crocheted frog hat and rain boots. (By the way, rain boots make terrible snow boots.)

By the time he was done playing snowman God, I was tired of being outside. It was still snowing hard and Chooch kept trying to sneak past us into the street, no matter how many times I yelled, "Danger danger!" I decided I would implement by carefully planned-out snowman face and accouterments the next day, which turned out to be beneficial because by the next day, it looked like this:

2008 03 02 063

I was pleased with it’s current Leaning Tower state — it would make a more realistic dying snowman. Unfortunately, before I had a chance to slap a piece of salami on its face for a protruding tongue, some asshole kids stole his head and torso.I found the head a few yards up the steet, but the torso is probably in a garage somewhere, being harvested for kidneys.

Snowmen suck. So do kids.

I guess technically I still haven’t built a snowman. It’s the cherry that can’t be popped.

Nov 272007
 

Thursday, 11-15 and Friday, 11-16:

I had slight twinging on my left side. I was fairly certain it could be my kidney, but also considered a strained muscle. The pain was just a dull ache that fades into the background of my day, so I didn’t concern myself too much.

Saturday, 11-17:

When I came home from school, I started to get body aches so I sprawled out on the couch under a blanket and had Henry serve me Tylenol. Henry bitched that I was 5% sick, 95% dramatic, but by that night, I was nearly convulsing and couldn’t get warm no matter what I did. My teeth were chattering so hard that I was afraid they would chip. Henry bitched for me to call my doctor, but I just got new insurance last month and hadn’t had a chance to choose a doctor yet, so his bitching was for naught. Henry is MEAN when I’m sick.

Sunday, 11-18:

I had a fever of 103. I wanted to go to the ER, but Henry bitched again about calling my doctor (which I still didn’t have).

That night, the music wafting from Chooch’s monitor started talking to me. Maynard James Keenan was telling me to pull out my intestines and tie them in bows (A Perfect Circle will never sound the same to me again).

The CD in Chooch’s room also has a Club Ibiza remix of Bush’s “Letting the Cables Sleep,” a song that used to be quite capable of soothing me but under the spell of my fever had suddenly sounded like if vinegar and garlic and bile, straight from Satan’s saliva, solidified into a thorny-armored army of musical notes and began its cavalcade down my temporal lobe. I wanted to reach out and shut off the monitor but I couldn’t muster the energy.

Monday, 11-19:

I was sick. Sick, sick, sick. Fever. Henry bitched. My only meal was a small cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream which made me nauseated. That night, I hallucinated that I retrieved my imaginary $15 flea market shot gun from under my pillow and Frenched the barrel while finger-jobbing its trigger.

Tuesday, 11-20:

In the early AM, I called Henry and begged him to come home and take me to the hospital. He came home alright, but instead of taking me to the hospital, he found me a stupid doctor on Brookline Boulevard because it would only cost $10 instead of the $100 ER fee, but my appointment wasn’t for another 6 hours. I didn’t care about the extra money it would cost to go to the ER. I just wanted to get better and go back to work. Time is money and either way I was losing out on it.

The doctor’s office was next to a laundromat, and as soon as I walked in, I was barraged by a stench of Beef-a-Roni and vitamins. Some poop, too I think. There were watermarks on the ceiling, wallpaper was ripped from the walls near the floorboards, and the magazines catered only to the elderly patient bracket. The receptionist had a brassy hair helmet with fringed bangs and close-set, beady eyes. I didn’t like how forcefully she grabbed the clipboard from me.

A male nurse came and took my vitals. He had a creepy white handlebar moustache with blonde highlights and wore beige scrubs which made me uncomfortable. The bathroom where I gave my urine sample had tile ripped up from around the commode. I felt like I was in a Nicaraguan clinic and became afraid that Angelina Jolie would come in and try to adopt me.

My doctor was in his forties and very personable. He put me at ease and didn’t patronize me when I told him I was sure I had a kidney infection. He wholeheartedly agreed and, as he took my pulse, said that I was “very sick.” No shit, I felt like I was dying. I told him so, too. He laughed when I said I expected to be able to return  to work the next day.

Later on, I was home alone with Chooch while Henry went to pick up my prescriptions. Chooch kept beating on me and I was so sick and exhausted that I lost it and started wailing. It was a pitiful moment. Not really one to share with Kodak.

Wednesday, 11-21:

I couldn’t find any relief during Tuesday night. I was so tired and wanted to sleep but I had a searing pain in my head and my fever kept spiking. I called Henry into the bedroom (he had been banished to the couch for snoring) and gasped, “Look, I surrender. I cannot manage this pain. I’m dehydrated. I want to go to the fucking hospital.”

He was all, “Well, I don’t know how you’re going to get there….” and I growled, “Work it out!” He of course sat there stupidly, so I yelled at him  to call Janna, who arrived shortly around midnight and took me to St. Clair Hospital, where there was an apparent gnat outbreak.

After I registered (the nurse loudly asked my weight, but then whispered, “And when was your last period?”), Janna, my knotted hair, and I sat in the dingy waiting room on hard teal chairs. Some bitch we went to high school with walked by with her butch-gait and I scowled. Then I panicked that she would fuck with my chart and I would wind up getting chemo or a mastectomy.

When I finally got a room, a nurse came in and asked me what was causing me the most pain. “My head!” I whined. “You have a kidney infection, but your HEAD is giving you the most pain?” she asked in disbelief. Oh lady, if you only knew. It felt like an irate Roman god had stuck tuning rods in hellfire and then pierced both of my temples with them until the formed crosses behind my eyes, at which point seventy-three bolts of lightning were summoned to strike while a Molotov cocktail made from bleach, John Candy’s stomach acid, Black widow venom, BTK’s semen and Flava Flav’s athletes foot exploded in the back of my head, the after effect of which was like being persistently bitten all over my brain by a swarm of fire ants. This would happen over and over, like Groundhog Day. Except it was every hour. So Groundhog Hour, I guess.

It also didn’t help that I was lying on a headful of knots on top of more knots, sucking the dicks of other knots. Janna chose our hospital quiet time to request a story. I’m sorry Janna, but this IV in my arm is kind of distracting me from spinning yarns. Why don’t you pull out that book in your purse? I hear those book thingies have lots of stories.

I was released at 5am, but not before the ER doctor said, “You know, generally when people have kidney infections like yours, they’re admitted.” Tell  that to my boyfriend, doctor. I tried to sleep when I got home, but my headache was still there. In fact, by late morning it was at its peak. Henry called the doctor and had my prescription switched from Cipro, because as it turns out, we’re just not meant to be friends. He also called in a prescription for a pain reliever, so I was ready to get stuffed by dinner time.

My mom never called to see how I was doing.

Nov 242007
 

There I was, scouring the kitchen for the perfect receptable to hold the large amount of orange juice and DiSaronno I was about to pour, when Henry disbanded the party.

"Uh, are you sure you should be drinking? You do have a kidney infection."

"Oh shit, you’re probably right." My shoulders caved a little as I replaced the amaretto on the shelf.

"And did you take your antibiotic today?"

"Oh shit…"