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Thursday, Dec. 08, 2022 - 08:17

Life has been handing me a lot of lemons. A lot of lemons.

The guy who was half-heartedly dating me over the summer finally had the nerve to break it off. He's a smoker and alcoholic and has some kinks he was just trying out with me. He's a pathological liar. He'd say one thing one night and then tell the truth a few days later. I got to assume all his words were white, play time, an arm and hand to push me into the dark, keep me outside the gate of his playground. The truth was always in the silence. The action or lack of, the crappy hugs, the sudden ass grabs that felt old man dirty. I've attempted to remain friends, because he was kinda sweet, in a way. Which is why I kept dating him for 2 months and still wanted to, even when I knew it was all wrong. It went downhill after 30 days (classic), when I noticed he was following a bunch of 18 year olds on IG and TikTok. You know, the ones barely wearing clothing. I pointed it out, because the lack of communication after I'd just seen him was driving me up the wall. I let myself fall off the edge. So the next 4 weeks played out, vague and tortuous, an inevitable end looming.

My dog Salem died, that was an awful couple of months. She couldn't walk, and she was over 70 pounds. Watching her try to get around in pain and quickly break down was exhausting. It was hard asking Angela to pay for medicines and checkups and bloodwork and whatever else for a dog she no longer owns. But that was the deal when I adopted that sweet giant. Still owes Utopia about $300 or so, but thank god they aren't pushing it. They know I took Salem when she just needed a home where she's loved. We loved her. Jasper called her Daisy. She was the alpha, and it would send Batman and Sunny into a fit of anger with each other, because they're boys, confused why they weren't in charge. Imagining one or the other was better and ripping each other to shreds to prove it. Salem would just stand by and watch and then walk away. Queen.

I got a letter in the mail saying I had to clear the brush behind the house. That same day, before I actually saw the citation, I heard a bunch of mowing and such going on in the alley. Someone else had already sorta taken care of it for everyone, because that's what angels and saints do. That's my neighbor, one of them. But I still saw brush and didn't know how much I needed to get it done. I was stressed, because I was going to be housesitting in Collierville and needed to get this done within a day or 2. Bonnie's boyfriend, JJ, happened to come over and volunteer, as long as I paid him. He asked for $100, and I gave him $60, because I helped. He ended up going way too far with it and tearing down every possible green leaf on the fence, when I had just wanted the ground brush to be chopped up with the weed eater. Because of his thoroughness, I was grabbing bushes and bushes of poison ivy. I'm terribly allergic to it, and within days I was breaking out in a rash. It would have been as bad as I had it in 4th grade, but I immediately got a Prednisone pack. That pack was insufficient and I continued to break out. Got a steroid shot. Kept breaking out. Went to urgent care one last time and got more Prednisone which would last 2 weeks. Finally nipped it. My skin is still itching in spots where the rash was trying to become severe, faded purple spots, dry spots, spotty spot spot. The itching was god awful and so unnecessary if Dude had just done what I'd asked him to do initially. I'm still annoyed.

I went to a Halloween party for work and saw my long time crush, Chris. He had recently become engaged to some lady he's been dating for like a year, but no one knows who the hell she is. I had a couple of strong margaritas in me and went up to chat and experience him, experience us together. It'd been years, thanks to COVID. I'd only seen him skateboarding by my house and downtown this year, a gas station in 2020. I asked him "You're engaged?!" and got no answer. Instead, he asked about me and Carl to which I replied, "We broke up last year!" He was shocked. That's what ya get for not stalking me on FB. Anyways. I could tell I was making him nervous. I always suspected the crush was mutual, because the first time we met, he couldn't stop talking to me. We clicked. His girlfriend at the time glared at me, and I felt sorta awful. He sat next me at the bar later, and while I talked to my friend Sallie, his hand laid against me for quite a while. I was flattered, and while I was single, he obviously wasn't. He should have done something about it then and there, but he was too shy. I was also a bit turned off that he was willing to flirt with me while he had a girlfriend who was sitting right there. It was more him giving me a sign that he wasn't happy, but that wasn't my place to interpret. It was his job to do something about it. He knew I liked him. Yet did nothing. I met Carl a few months later and the rest is history, I guess. I felt a connection with Chris, but the timing was always off.

So because I could tell Chris was feeling nervous and because he was engaged and not talking about it, that meant it was safe to tell him the weird nervous feelings were reciprocated (because he was both unavailable yet open, specifically to me). I messaged him on FB that I should have snagged him, about 20 minutes after he left the party. "On the down low." He responded the next morning that I totally could've, because he's had a slight crush on me since we met. So, the past month has been a bit of suffering in wondering what could have been. He's been very responsive to my posts on FB, emailing me at work, trying to interact with me. Maybe maintain a friendship to avoid awkwardness at work? Why bother? A part of me thinks the marriage is arranged as a favor to the woman. She looks beautiful and sweet and smart but maybe a bit sickly. I imagine he agreed to marry her so when she dies, he can take care of her kids. Why doesn't he feel proud to talk about her? It's something strange. He keeps a thread connected to me for after she passes away. Right? That's it. He emailed me on my birthday this past Saturday, a non work day, to wish me a happy birthday. I did what one does and responded with a gif of hearts and heart shapes and thanked him for thinking of me. I feel his anxiety over it. But he still liked my "shout out to the plants growing out of concrete" post this morning. He fades but never disappears. He never disappears but fades.

Mere minutes after confessing my feelings, I fell on my face. The location was concrete stairs leading to the walkway of my friend Meredith's house, who insisted I come over to touch base about housesitting for her the following day or so. It was dark. I had on weird gold, sparkly, tall, wedged sneakers for my unicorn constume. The leaves hid the cracks on the old sidewalk. I fell and don't remember falling. The shock took a while to wear off, I didn't feel pain for quite some time. Blood fell on fake white fur and my shiny jacket. "Take off your jacket," Meredith said. No, I responded. "You have to." I looked down. Yes, I had to. It was a gory Halloween mess. How appropriate. Brokenness everywhere. The blow to my face was so hard, my bottom permanent retainer flew out of my mouth. It took me going to the dentist 2 weeks later to even find that out. "Can you check my retainer, the concrete that holds it in feels roughed up." The dental hygienist replied, "You don't have a retainer." So I have an appointment in an hour to get that replaced for $225. The exact amount Jasper gave me for medical bills. I'll get to that later.
My face had a gnarly gash in it when this first happened. It's healing great. The scar tissue is still a little thick, but the wound is a faded purple. I hope it fades to white soon. I'm using scar gel. Make up is a lifesaver, not that I always try to cover it. Just most of the time. Thank goodness for face fat. Thank goodness for gaining weight and not being able to lose it FOR NOTHIN, because that fat saved my teeth, my jaw, my brain, all kinds of things. Hail Fat.

A couple of weeks after all this, I had to get a 3D mammogram, because the first one didn't show much, due to "dense breast tissue." They immediately called me to get an ultrasound. The doctor was pretty sure she saw precancerous cells, so I got a biopsy done, a week later. She was right. So last month, I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer, a ductal carcinoma. I have been trying to figure out how to deal with my obvious mortality. I have a lot a lot a lot to say about this past month. How family is family, but damn, how friends are family, too. I toyed with the DMX but the doctor convinced me to just get the lumpectomy, since my MRI came back suggesting true noninvasiveness. I'll need 4 weeks of radiation and then I'll have to take hormone blockers for 3-5 years. I need to get back on my anti-depressants, because this is all too much. I need a therapist, stat. I need to exercise. Eat organic and whole foods, which I'm trying to do. I need to do yoga. I need to treat all this like the first few months of COVID. With excitement that tragedy can bring hope. Stay busy and you'll hardly notice anything bad. My mom didn't say shit to me, so I reached out to her to see how she was handling it and her response was, "I just think people shouldn't put things in their bodies that don't belong there." Then something along the lines of wishing she could use magic to remove it, that it runs on both sides of the family. She victim blamed me for the DV I went through 9-10 years ago and now I'm the reason I have cancer. I cut her off, but she never leaves it alone. Sent gifts along with Bonnie to give me and Rowan. I'll eventually forgive her, I always do.

I have a lot to say about this. I will probably finish later. Lemons are good for if you have cancer, so I'm squeezing it into water and drinking lemon water. That's what you do with lemons, right?


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