Cavemen

Men have a seriously warped sense of communication. They seldom realize that it’s not what they SAY, but what they DON’T SAY that becomes the source of discord within a relationship.

I understand that every couple has their own unique set of issues, but I believe that they are all rooted in one specific complaint, inequality.

1. Time

When you have a situation where one person is working and the other one isn’t, the way in which time is spent during waking hours becomes a bone of contention. I, for example, while only working between 3-4 days a week, have to spend the bulk of my days off doing homework. Yes, I’ve chosen this path, but only for the betterment of my (our???) future. My free time is extremely limited and I don’t believe that it’s unfair of me to expect that it’s respected. Particularly by those in my life that are fortunate enough to have nothing pressing to do, ever. When one person is always pressed for time and the other has a never-ending supply, arguments are bound to ensue.

Men have no guilt over how they spend their time, which brings up the next few highly related issues.

2. Housework

Trust me guys, it’s not just a woman’s job. You help create the mess, you have just as much responsibility to pick it up. It’s simple: If one person (two in my case spend from 7am to 11pm 7 days a week on a computer only leaving the house when they need to purchase cigarettes or food) has little or nothing to do with their time, and the other person is working semi-full-time and going to college full-time – it would mean a lot to not leave the bulk of the housework for the ‘busy’ person to do on their precious days off.

Let’s add it up:

32 hours of work
+
32 hours of homework
____
64 hours

Compared to…

0 work days
0 homework days
_____
112 waking hours with nothing planned

Wouldn’t it make sense for the person that had absolutely NO time constraints and who was in the house every waking hour to pick up the slack when it comes to housework?

Every couple will have their own equation, but the fact remains that when one person consistently leaves housework for the person who is home the least to do, the relationship starts to feel unstable. What this man is saying is that his time is more important than hers. That it’s her obligation to spend the few hours off she has between work and school doing laundry, dishes, vacuuming, mowing, etc. that he was incapable of getting done in the 16+ hours he was doing nothing.

2. Financial

When you add up the amount of money we both put into household expenses, at least recently, it’s pretty much even. If I go back further than that things get complicated and I start getting agitated. In a relationship such as this, where we each receive approximately the same amount of money on a monthly basis, when one person does what they please with their funds, it’s telling the other person a great deal. For starters, it’s saying: I’m more important than you.

Rectilinear

I was reading though my spectacular textbook for Art History called, “Understanding Art” by Lois Fichner-Rathus and I saw a word that jumped off the page and into my imagination.  Let the following word roll off your tongue a few times and tell me that it’s not entertaining to say.

Rectilinear

Though the author defines it as a type of shape, I immediately conjured up an image of Dyke’s rectal cavity and the 12″ long, black, linear object that Smeggy more than likely uses to penetrate it every night.  And, knowing Smeggy the way I do, I doubt she uses lube.

Damariscotta Parking Nazi’s

Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 freshly written parking tickets
  • 1 Nestle’s Chocolate Bar
  • 1 Small can of corn
  • 1 tube of Super Glue
  • 2000 pennies

Place chocolate bar in a plastic container and melt in the microwave on high for 75 seconds.  Place pennies in a quart Ziploc bag.  Pour melted chocolate over the pennies inside the bag.  Holding the top of the baggy, scrunch the pennies from the bottom, mixing them thoroughly with the chocolate.  Open the bag and drizzle in a few kernels of corn, this will create a certain shitty authenticity.  Mix again.  Open the bottle of Super Glue and squeeze gently over the penny/chocolate/corn mixture.  Scrunch again to ensure proper mixing.  Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

Crumple up parking ticket slips to make them look ‘used’.  Dab some melted chocolate on either your lips or your asshole.  Press the ticket firmly up against it and then drag in a southerly direction to give the appearance of a smudge.  Close Ziploc bag, staple ticket(s) to it.

Present to the Damariscotta Town Office in person with your Blackberry recording the video of the clerk’s expression.  Post response on Facebook.  Feel the frustration leaving your body…

Why am I writing this?

Stay tuned because as soon as my blood pressure is back to normal I will detail the full extent of my disgust for the Town of Damariscotta and its inadequate parking.

Butterscotch Tales Part 1 of 2

***Warning… though animals were hurt during the events described in this blog post, any death or dismemberment was purely accidental.***

My father is a grand story-teller and growing up with him instilled in me the desire to take seemingly innocuous events and turn them into something fabulous.  So, following in his footsteps, I will tell you the sad tale of Butterscotch the dog as it’s the one true story that kids are always asking me to repeat.

Butterscotch was a blonde lab and she was purchased for my perfect little brother Justin when he was just a wee thing.  I wasn’t allowed to have a ‘real’ pet because I wasn’t loved or special enough; instead having to be satisfied with mangy barn cats, tadpoles and skunks.

Several years after Butterscotch became part of the family, I happened to be old enough to watch my brother while our parents took trips up North to remote locations like Shirley Mills, and Mattagammon.  The first weekend they planned to go away they decided that my boyfriend, Mike, should stay over just in case anything happened.  Mike was about seven years older than me; a responsible adult.

Justin was in our parents room on the bed horsing around with the dog and she was getting pretty wound up.  I walked in to watch all the commotion when Justin sort of fell off the bed, dragging the dog – attached to his ear – with him.  They both fell into a heap, him screaming, her play fighting, blood spurting from his wounded lobe.

I don’t like injuries, or blood for that matter.  It freaks me out and I turn into a spaz.  I thought that Justin’s ear had been torn in half and I began to scream bloody murder until Mike came in and put a towel on it.  My biggest fear was having to explain to my parents how just a few hours after they leave, that their prodigal son was mamed by his best friend.

Around the next summer, Justin, Butterscotch and I were out on the front lawn playing.  The game objective was to toss a stick from one person to the other and have Butterscoth chase it or get it before us.  She was pretty fast and during a particularly powerful toss of the smooth pine branch, she beat feet to its landing spot, arriving just before it hit the ground.  The problem was that her mouth and head were directly over the stick and though it hit the soft grass of the lawn, the soil was packed hard enough to induce a good bounce.  So, with mouth wide open the stick rebounded into Butterscotch’s mouth.  Her head came down and the stick lodged deep into her throat.  We stared at her for a few seconds trying to decide if she was hurt or not.  She coughed and slatted her head to and fro.  Lowered her head, extending her neck, she coughed again more violently.  No stick came out.  But blood did.

“Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmm!”

And that’s the story of how Butterscotch had her tonsilectomy.  As it turns out, the stick had ruptured her tonsil as well as lodged side-to-side in her throat.  Minor surgery and a few stitches got her back on her feet quickly.

——————————————————————————

Next summer, Butterscotch went into heat just before the parent’s planned trip.  My mother’s last words were, “Whatever you do, DON”T let this goddamned dog out of this house!”

don’t let the dog out

don’t let the dog out

don’t let the dog out

“Oh, hey Mike! Sure, I’d love to watch a movie tonight!”  I said as I leaned up against the doorframe.   The sensation of fur rubbing across my lower legs didn’t even register as Butterscotch stealthily slipped outside.

About an hour later I thought about my mother.  It might have been guilt or something, who knows – afterall I was on the couch watching a movie making out with my much older boyfriend.  Mike left and the though of Mom lingered.  Oh fuck! Butterscotch!

Grabbing my car keys I dashed out the back door hoping that it wasn’t too late when I found her.  I knew where she’d gone – earlier in the week she’d been determined to get out on the pit road and that’s where I began my search.  The Cross Road, as it’s formally named, is a dirt road that leads to our family gravel pit as well as the back 400 ( I would say forty but I think this figure is more accurate).  The road entrance isn’t even 200 feet from my parent’s driveway so I was able to get on the scent trail fast.  No sooner did I crest the first small knoll did I see her.

Butterscotch was lying flat on the ground.  That part didn’t bother me so much, if it weren’t for the fact that the dirty little whore was in that position because she had chosen to get it on with a dog 1/4 of her size.  Saddled up on her ass end was this grizzly-gray, unkempt Schnauzer type dog, struggling to stand on his hind legs and still keep his dick up high enough to gain entry.  He was hopping and humping and pumping and…

“What the fuck you nasty fucking…God DAMN it!” I exclaimed as I scooped up the still humping male dog, throwing  him into my back seat.  Butterscotch cowered down as I grabbed her by the scruff and tossed her in the front of my car.

My first destination was the Colgan’s house where I deposited their horny, mangy canine as I shouted expletives towards their house.   Luckily they lived just down the road so it wasn’t long before I got Butterscotch back to the house.

“What am I going to do?” I kept asking myself.  Her hind end was slimy with evidence of her whoremongering.  Because I felt like puking every time I looked at her twat, I dragged her out front and started hozing her down.  As I was scrubbing the scum off her I wondered if a good douching would prevent any unwanted pregnancy.  Without hesitation I turned the hose on her cooch. Doggy douching, hahahaha!

Butterscotch never left the house again that weekend, nor did she end up with any little mutts for me to exlain away! Thank god!

Typos Give Me Hives

I wrote this poem in response to a particularly annoying semester where I was forced to take upper level English classes with the illiterate masses.  Yes, I recognize the fact that not everyone excels at English – but let me repeat these words – Upper Level.

Typos Give Me Hives

I know my words seem quite harsh

But reading these forums is a farce

Misspelled words litter the pages

And I think it might be contagious

Do your classmates a great big favor

Use your spell-check, it’s a savior

If you didn’t know, it’s on every page

Click the ABC icon, for heaven’s sake!

When choosing words above your IQ

Look them up first, I beg of you

Don’t try to be something that you’re not

These BB forums have gone to pot

Big words, little words

Spell them Correct!

And use them in the proper context!

Anniversary of a Suicide

Then and Now

It’s hard to believe that as of tomorrow it will have been exactly one year since my step-father shot himself in the right temple with a .22 Ruger pistol. Ironically, this year the anniversary occurs just one day after Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day.

I visited his grave for the first time since we buried him today.  I don’t remember anything about that last trip except for the suffocating heat, the dead weight of his coffin was as I hefted my corner of it, and staring through watering eyes at the fingerprints my brother, mother and I placed on the shiny chrome end of his vault.

Just thinking about driving down that dirt road nearly overwhelmed me with emotion and I felt a panic attack beginning as I backed out of my mother’s driveway.  The Benner Road was heavily washed out and I had to make my way down it ever so slowly.  After parking at the bottom of the original part of the cemetery, I walked up to his head stone, my heels punching down through the soft, wet soil and squatted down.

One thing that I’ve felt I needed to avoid this past year was crying.  Stupid, I know, but a need nonetheless.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I’m terrified that if I start I’ll never stop.  There seems to be an endless well of suffering that is lurking just under the surface of my psyche and tapping it seems akin to the discovery of the atomic bomb.  The sensation of being out of control is terrifying and that is the one thing that I’ve desperately felt the need to be in this past year.  My personal discovery today was that the crying will indeed end and letting it out won’t result in the destruction of life as I know it.

I still entertain that silly hypothesis now and then; the one where it’s entirely impossible that this could have happened.  That in order for me to be living this personal nightmare, the only explanation would be that somehow through the unfathomable mechanics at the quantum level, I had slipped from one reality into another.  Somewhere else he’s still alive and I’m not visiting his grave, but instead having a shot of his famous Ranger Ridge Ripple.  Why doesn’t that make me feel better?

I think November was the turning point for me. It was the first time since June 22 that I’d been able to fall asleep without having to cope with dark visions preventing desperately needed rest. My sense of emotion began to come back as well. The numbness of summer and early fall was welcome at the time, but after nearly six months of emotional anesthesia, I was beginning to feel like I was on the cusp of something that I either needed to put behind me or be forever trapped within. I decided that I wasn’t sharing his grave with him anymore.

Along with an end to the insomnia, my panic attacks subsided in both frequency and magnitude. Previously, I had been very vulnerable to them during three main times. When I thought about what had happened, when I was at my mother’s house and when I drove by the road that leads to the cemetery. It’s funny how I spent countless hours playing and exploring in the Week’s Cemetery as a child, but can hardly bring myself to even approach it now.

The hardest part of this entire ordeal has been the complete lack of compassion that people have displayed toward me. I realize that when you know someone whose father commits suicide it must be difficult to come up with anything of value to say to them but sometimes you just have to try. During the past year, I have developed a distinct loathing for anyone bringing up the subject because one of two things always happens. Either they walk up to me, their eyes brimming with tears or concern or both and say, “Your poor mother”. Or, they walk up to me, their eyes brimming with tears or concern or both and say, “Poor Justin”. This is always followed by “How is your mother/brother doing?” My initial reaction is to put on my most incredulous expression and say, “Oh! They’re fabulous! Forgotten all about it in fact.” It’s never been, “How are YOU doing?” and this is why I hate.

Suicide teaches you to hate.  Hate the person, hate the act, hate the people who refuse to acknowledge it.

During the weeks that my brother and I were staying at mom’s house and my step-dad was still alive, we’d arrive home from the hospital to dozens of phone messages. Family friends that I’d grown up with and spent countless weekends with somehow forgot that I was in all senses of the word his daughter too. After all, I had lived with him from the time I was 3 or 4 until my mid to early 20’s. I had actually just moved out of his and my mother’s house the previous spring as I’d lived there during my divorce. Yet message after message would say, “This message is for Mindy and John Jr….”, “Mindy and John Jr., I’m so sorry. If there’s anything I can do…” Mary, a friend of the family’s since the mid 80’s called one night and left a message. I had grown up with her, spending almost every weekend at her house for most of my pre-teen and early teenage years. Her message was no different, Mindy and John Jr. Evidently they were the only two affected by my step dad’s suicide. Recognizing the fact that according to the rest of the world I have no right to grieve or feel affected by his death has been an enormous part, and perhaps detriment to my healing process.

A year out and now most of my time is consumed with thoughts of what I would have done differently. I would have gone left instead of right for starters. I would have gone to the hospital that day that I chose to mope around at the house. But most importantly I wouldn’t have allowed anyone else to affect my opinion of whether his breathing tube should have been removed.

I was afraid that everyone who was in the room that morning, would be pissed at me for being the only one protesting his ‘termination’. I desperately wish now that I’d pushed the issue of allowing him another 24-48 hours. There was no cruelty involved. He was in no pain.  He should have been given the chance to let his own spirit go. At least that way he would have died with dignity and not have left yet another scar in the minds of those that loved him.

Time flows in one direction and we humans are forever trapped in its current.  There is no escape and though we can look back from whence we came, can never get back to that spot except for in our minds.  Imagination isn’t bound to the laws of physics and in it we can soothe the wounds of our spirits.

Today, and in his memory, I’m going back and doing things differently.

When we asked the doctor what his reasons were for suggesting the breathing tube be removed, he stated that “he was blind”.

Me:  “So, what you’re saying is that if your father lost his sight that you’d recommend euthanization?”

That felt better.

When our mother looked at us and said that we needed to make a decision in the next hour.

“I don’t give a shit how much everyone wants him dead.  I want him to have the chance to either pull through or die naturally.  I refuse to murder him and I refuse to take this one last thing away from him.  What is one more day going to matter?”

When asked if we would authorize an autopsy.

“Yes, we need to know what happened.  I don’t think I can live the rest of my life without having some sort of explanation of what happened tonight.  And possibly, what happened on June 22.”

When answering the phone for my mother and brother’s well-wishers.

“I’m hanging up now. Call back when you have a fucking clue and realize how insanely insensitive you’ve just been.”

When sitting at the foot of Spruce Meadow Road deciding whether to turn left or right.

“Let’s head over to Mum’s.  We can order pizza or something later but I haven’t seen them since I got home and really need to give them both a big hug.”

And finally, the night I left for California.

“Bye dad, I love you.”

My step dad’s suicide has made me realize how tenacious life is.  Sometimes I believe that it’s to my benefit, and others, like when I obsess about the inescapable, it’s not helpful in the least.  His act has made me question every human interaction that I ever have.  To me, everything seems like a big lie and possibly always will.

It’s also taught me that we are always alone and anything that seems to contradict that is merely an illusion.  We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone.  Love and friendship are chemical reactions within our brain, more often than not they’re delusions.  Our existence is meaningless and the dents we leave on others are temporary at best.

This is just dark talk caused by the darkest and dreariest of days.  Trust me, tomorrow I’ll be bright and sunny and bitching about some insignificant aspect of my daily life in Maine.  Until then, I’m going to watch the Science Channel and suffer through this sobbing induced headache.

I Heart Chickens

My porch is completely covered in gooey, green chicken poo, but I haven’t had a tick on me in a month. To some, this may seem like bad news, but to me it’s like six pounds of miracle all wrapped up in black and white striped feathers.

About a month ago I smuggled some chickens off my dad’s farm (he didn’t miss them) and brought them to Jefferson to live with me. I had my doubts about how effective they would be at tick control but literally within a day or two I noticed a difference.

Throughout the month of May I had pretty much given up on doing anything outside for each time I’d venture farther than my porch, I’d come back in the house crawling with the eight-legged menaces. One weekend in particular I think I pulled almost a dozen off myself. After a two-week stretch of lyme hypochondria I decided that I had to get tough.

We went to our local hardware store and purchased mass quantities of the foulest poisons available without a permit. I dumped gallons of this stuff all over my yard. The ticks were supposed to die, ironically, however, they seemed to multiply.

I was telling my dad about how horrible it had gotten up here and he suggested that I grab some of his chickens. At first I was reluctant because I worry about being able to take care of farm animals. I’ve had chickens on two other occasions and let’s just say that between coyotes and stray dogs, I wasn’t too successful.

Daddy alleviated my worries by assuring me that he really didn’t care whether they lived or died, so putting my premonitory guilt aside, I took six of them. Two roosters and four hens. I removed everything that wasn’t in use from my garden shed and burned it in my fire pit (one thing in two things out rule – I’ll explain in another blog post!). We spread around some hay that my mother gave me and locked them in for a day until they were good and hungry.

The next morning we unleashed them on the yard. At first they seemed unsure of what to do; instead of eating bugs they followed us around like two-legged, feathered dogs. I grabbed a handful of pellets and led them over to the back yard (which I believe was our main area of infestation), sowing food where I wanted them to peck. Within a half hour they were completely absorbed in their task, furiously scratching up the oak leaves and scoffing up anything their little beaks could grab.

Believe it or not, that was the last day we had what I’d call a major tick problem. Since that time we’ve only been able to find three ticks and two of them actually came from my roof. Since the chickens don’t get up there, I’m assuming they fell from the trees above.

I love my chickens. I can’t say it enough! I will say, however, that there are two distinct downfalls to owning them. First, they are hell on flower gardens. Once my ticks were under control I thought that I could get out in the yard and do some gardening. I did get some beds weeded and plants moved, but the chickens soon decimated all new plantings. Oh, and they love Hosta. I don’t mean they cuddle with it and chirp sweet nothing to its leaves, I mean they are absolutely ravenous for it. I had about five giant clumps of this plant growing in the garden in front of my porch and within a matter of days they had reduced these decade old plants to a shredded mass of oozing chlorophyll. Needless to say, I can deal with having no Hosta so long as the ticks are a thing of the past. Some plants that I haven’t noticed them touching are my Astilbe, Day Lily’s and Sedum.

The second thing about the chickens that I could do without is their incessant need to follow us around. We took the dogs for a walk yesterday and as funny as this sounds, all five chickens followed us nearly out to the main road. We live about 900 feet from it… I’m just glad they turned around before we got into traffic because it would have been a tad bit embarassing to say the least.

Speaking of my amazing little pest control devices, they need to be ticked (typo! hahaha) in for the night.