Saturday, July 17, 2010

Midnight in the Chattahoochee Valley…

I couldn’t sleep last night after sleeping for about four hours.  I was wide awake at midnight.  I had two Klonopin to take which usually make me sleepy as they are very sedating, but I knew to save them for the next afternoon – ever mindful of that anxiety that always hits the most late in the day.  I got online and applied for countless fast food jobs just for the hell of it – interested in if I would get some calls.  I also applied for a job opening as a grocery clerk at Kroger -- putting feelers out there.  The assessment tests on these online applications were interesting in what they would ask – only a moron would answer incorrectly the questions were so obvious in their solutions. 

I wandered down to the convenience store well after midnight.  The clerk was leaned against the counter looking bored.  Only one other customer was there pumping gas in the parking lot.  He smiled as I walked in saying good morning.  A stereotypical country music song about love lost was playing on the radio sitting on the counter.  I stepped back to the beer cooler to pull out a .99 cent 16oz Steel Reserve – my favored beer these days for it’s high alcohol content.

“Slow night?” I asked the clerk as I stepped up to pay and show my ID.

“It’s nice,” he said with a another big smile as he rang me up.

The police were out in force last night being the weekend.  I am sure being ever mindful of weekend revelers and drunk drivers.  I walked up through the extremely poor neighborhood beyond the convenience store.  I passed a house where a man and woman were arguing loudly and violently – no doubt fueled by alcohol on a Friday night/Saturday morning.  The lady stormed out onto the porch screaming at the man that she was going to her sister’s house.  I shook my head in concern and continued on.

The park was pitch black dark when I arrived.  The benches were still missing.  “What good is a park without benches?” I mused to myself aggravated.  I plopped down on the warm cement, donned my headphones, and drank my solitary beer.   I was hoping this little ritual would make me sleepy allowing me to go home and sleep a few hours more before work.

Sunrise found me still sitting in that park this morning listening to the radio.  I had made one more trip just down the road for another beer a few hours earlier – the effects of the alcohol had long since worn off.  Coast to Coast bored me this morning with open lines – paranoid talk of jet chem-trails prevailed.  “It is simple condensation,” my mind screamed listening to these conspiracy theorists proselytizing about the government manipulating our weather and the atmosphere. The government can’t even fix the economy and these goobers think they can control the weather?

7:30am found me sitting over in my father’s kitchen taking my very large handful of morning medications.  I fear my father is going deaf.  The television was turned up so loud as to be disturbing.  I wanted peace and quiet after my late night out.   We talked some about my jobs.

“Why don’t you quit?” dad pleaded with me. “You just can’t do all of that.  You are going to get in a mess mentally.”

“I’ve felt better than I have in years!” I protested defiantly.

“You don’t need money, son,” he told me. “People like you shouldn’t be allowed money.”

“People like me?” I asked. “What do you mean?”

“People who are mentally incompetent,” he said bitingly as he ate his strawberry preserves and toast as we sat at the kitchen table.

I sighed as I got up and left when my ten minutes were up without saying another word. We didn’t even say goodbye to each other – him miffed about my working.  I still have a lot of obstacles to overcome was what I thought as I drove to work.  The stigmas of mental illness are so palpable in my family.  I mused this morning that my father was probably much more mentally ill than I. It was like a revelation to me for the first time in years. His need to control things borders on maniacal. 

Magazines for George…

George wrote me today that he could receive magazine subscriptions in jail as long as they weren’t pornography, racially sensitive, or elicit.  He did make a joke about me getting him a subscription to Hustler.  I laughed as I read.  I got online and ordered some gift subscriptions for magazines using my newly acquired debit card.  I got him mainly news magazines such as Time.  I also ordered George a subscription to Model Railroader on a whim hoping he would get interested in the hobby. He will enjoy the photography if nothing else.

I called Mrs. Florene and told her about this and she wants to pay me back for the costs of the magazines.  I graciously accepted as they proved to be expensive.  She was just glad I was able to do this for George so easily with the Internet.  She said she was going to cook my favorite meal next week in compensation.  Ah, fried cubed steak, rice and gravy, steamed broccoli, and biscuits.  I love it!

I have mainly just been mailing George my blog posts, but I wrote a long letter this afternoon with my computer and mailed it out.  I wrote a lot about my fears of failure as far as my jobs are concerned. I am worried any day I will go back to my old mentally ill self when a severe anxiety attack will befall me. I also wrote to George for advice about joining the “social club” that meets in the evenings down at the convenience store.  It will be interesting to hear George’s advice on that in a few days – him being well versed in such interesting fellows. The fringe dwellers as I call them. 

The Christening of my Cellphone…

My very first phone call on my new cellphone was from Kim.  I smiled when it rang as it was sitting on my computer desk after charging. 

“What are you doing tonight?” she asked inquisitively.

“Me and Derrick are watching movies,” I told her. “Would you like to join us for fun, movies, and beer?”

“I would love that,” she said. “But I hate beer.  I will be the designated driver. I might have one glass of wine.”

I smiled and told her how excited I was for her to be coming.  We talked a long time about work – a common subject between us.  She still makes jabs about me having the easiest job at Wal-Mart. She says I get paid for hanging out in electronics. 

“But it is a very hot job!” I protested as I laughed jovially. 

“Oh, you work mornings when it isn’t that hot,” she said goodheartedly. “Quit your bitching!”

I told her all about my best friend, George, this afternoon who is in jail for a DUI I said.  I told her about what an interesting and good guy he was and about him possibly coming home on parole in October.  She said she couldn’t wait to meet him.  I explained to her about him being a fringe dweller and what fringe dwellers are. 

“He can be crass at times,” I warned her. “George’s strong suit is not social etiquette.”

She laughed and then we got off the phone after finalizing our plans for the night.  I am just going to pick her up at her house and she will ride with me to Derrick’s apartment.  I hope Derrick doesn’t mind me bringing a friend.  The more the merrier is what I always say.  They both knew each other from work already so they have a rapport.  

The Mountain Bike Rides Again…

Do you think I will be able to do it?  To bike the three miles to work every morning and home at lunch?  I will probably get lazy and quit, but I am going to give it a good try.  I mainly want to save the wear and tear on my car.  It seems my car is going to have to last me many more years – dad having decided to hold off on buying new Hondas for a while yet.  I will not be getting my mother’s Honda Civic for the foreseeable future.  Charlie keeps pushing dad to do this, but dad doesn’t want more car payments.  The payment on his BMW is exorbitant. 

I got the tires on my mountain bike fixed this afternoon adding new tubes.  I pumped them up with my fingers crossed and everything seems fine.  I did a little maiden voyage around the block and it felt good to be back on a bike.  I need a new larger seat, though, as the current seat hurts my boney ass. It is a really nice Schwinn bike and I hope to put it to good use in the next few months.  It is much more economical than a scooter and it is paid for lock. stock and barrel. 


glittermom said...

It disturbs me how cruel your father can be with his words.He may not have mental illness but he does have some mental problems.

This IS The Fun Part! said...

Good afternoon my sweet friend!

All I can see are good things coming your way!

The debit card is working.
The cell phone is up and running.
Your lawn service is doing really well.
Decisions are being well thought out.
WalMart is turning out to be great at getting you back into the work routine and letting you also get more social at your own pace.
Your zest for life has returned!

There are so many positive things going on here that what few negatives there might be don't even count. Even the most perfect lives have some negative here and there. Just let them roll on by and keep on working with all the great things that are happening - and remember that the only reason they are happening is because YOU are making them happen!

I'm so proud that you're my friend!

Love ya,

Mary K said...

Your father makes me angry. Grrrr.

Other than that sounds like everything is going along swimmingly including a Saturday night hanging out with friends. Hope y'all have fun.

kristi said...

I got an old fashioned bike and it came with a large seat for my BIG ass! LOL.

Tee said...

There are several seats you can purchase for your bike.

Sounds like dad has a control issue.

Enjoy your evening with your new friends. Just don't drink and drive. Just look at George.

Berryvox said...

Yeesh, most people would be delighted at somebody returning to work.

You might need to break in your biking legs if you haven't bicycled in awhile. Just go for a mile or so the first few times. When you feel ready to make the trip to work, don't fret if you can't do it everyday. Every other day will save a lot of wear on your car.

As for the bicycle seat, Brooks supposedly makes great ones. Nearly everybody on bicycle touring forums recommends that brand. BUT, they're kinda expensive at around $100. I don't know what Walmart's return policy is. But, if they'll let you try a few out, do that. Also, you might just need to break it in. I'm a little sore every spring but it fades as I get used to it.

Golden To Silver Val said...

Whatever you do....don't forget to get a good lock...maybe two. In this economy, it will be stolen in a heartbeat! Keep up the good work.

justLacey said...

Your fathers words are hurtful. I think he is worried that IF you can't handle the 2 jobs and things go poorly, you will need your disability and medicaid. His way of explaining this is beyond cruel and I assume that is because he does have some control issues and is angry. Hopefully the more you succeed, the less controlling and angry he will be. Maybe if you told him after he says them, that his words are too cutting, he might become more aware of how he speaks. All we can do is hope so. I hope the beer is just a fad because it's new. You really don't need it. You are doing just fine.

C.A. said...

I'm sitting here smiling at the thought of you picking up a girl and going to a friends house to watch a movie. How cool is that! :)

Keep up the good work, friend!



forsythia said...

Three miles might be a bit far for you to attempt in this heat, esp. since you say you haven't ridden for awhile. But then, you're young, so maybe you can do it. Be sure to carry a water bottle.

Syd said...

Good for you to pick up Kim. A real date. Cool.

Marsha said...

I've been saying it for years...your father is a prick.

I'm glad to see things working out for you.