December 23, 2012
I’ve been a terrible, lazy blogger as of late. I know. I haven’t even been reading from my favorite bloggies. Truth is, a lot is going on and I do want to share much of it, but I don’t know… Thankfully, I dont have a head full of PLDs (Pretty Little Demons) right now. I still feel better than I was several months ago, despite some terrible days these past two weeks.
I haven’t self-harmed in several weeks, almost two months I think–the last time being a burning incident triggered by booze and thoughts of Monkey Man. So anyway, that’s great that I haven’t! No major suicidal ideations either!
A lot is happening. And well, I want to blog some of it–MUCH of it– but for now, I’m rethinking this whole blog. (yeah, again). And thus, I’ll continue being lazy about it, at least until this White Baby Jesus thing is over with. So here is another one of my very first posts from last year. I was trying to develop my illustration style then (and still am). But here I actually sketched on the computer before it gave up on me in May. Anyway, I think this is a funny one and I hope you think so too.
Hope you all the best!
p.s. I just realized this isn’t the best post to re-blog considering the horror that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. Being a kid is tough and I can’t even imagine… I got severely triggered by that–I’m talking trigger among triggers– it was bad. And I can only hope those kids who survived and their families/loved ones heal one day. It’s… ugh… I’ll shut up… Please don’t take offence. None was meant. This story is meant mostly to be lighthearted, albeit true and somewhat sad. It’s gotta be at least a little melancholic: I’m the MMM.
There’s always that one elementary school teacher you hear about somewhere, the one that murders her students and their wild but fragile imaginations by telling them Santa is a hoax; that his slaved sweatshop elves and reindeer are also a hoax, AND, that they should go home and shame their parents. I read about such story not too long ago. I can’t blame her. Sometimes the scrooge and Grinch in us comes out.
I’m reminded about the time I tried to tell my third-grade classmates about Santa’s non-existence. It didn’t go so well, obviously.
Firstly, I’m Colombian. And Colombians–at least when I was a kid in the late eighties–don’t celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause. People do put him on Christmas trees, little figurines are sold for decoration, you can hear his bells in shopping plazas, but he’s treated more as an uninvited guest, the bawdy drunken relative–distant relative–you let…
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I’m going to therapy Thursdays now. My dad drove me this time and I met up with the immigration law student while I was up there too. I figured we’d get the paperwork all finished that day because all I needed was a disposition letter from the only other county I’ve lived in besides Houston. It’s to prove I don’t have a criminal record, which would disqualify me for deferred action.
My dad keeps pressuring me so much with that immigration application that I get snappy every time he mentions ANYTHING about it. So I told him that all we were going in for was to give her the $10 check and that she and I would send it off that day.
“Just drop me off and I’ll take care of it,” I said. “No, no. I don’t want you to have to wait because I’ll be a while. It’s ok. I have to go to the admissions office to get my transcript. They’re finally releasing it to me despite the debt… Yeah, yes, Bill Collector Mafia… No papi, esta bien. I’ll go back on the bus. Besides, I’m going to run some errands while I’m here. Check on the writing center see if they’re hiring so I’ll be prepared for when I have my work permit. You know, getting ready for when the time comes.”
It was a white lie. But you know white lies turn up more white lies to cover up themselves. The truth is the immigration packet wouldn’t be sent until Monday or Tuesday (meaning yesterday) since that county doesn’t do disposition letters online and we’d have to wait until they got the check which was what the law student and I REALLY mailed off that day. You still with me?
I didn’t lie about the writing center though. I headed over there and ran into a former peer. “Didn’t I have a class with you,” he said.
“Was it Mexican American literature?”
“No, I think…”
“Maybe, but I think it was another literature course,” he said. He mentioned which one and I didn’t remember. I suppose he was right since it’s difficult not to spot a little chick in a wheelchair.
Anyway, he was working there at the new building where the writing center is located. He told me they only hire in the spring. I felt a bit bad because he seems younger than me, yet he’s already in a higher position than he was when we had that “class together”. I know that mentality of “success” as constructed by our societal norms shouldn’t really apply here. I know I’ve done a lot with what I’ve been given. But I had a moment there where I felt like a complete loser, a failure. Then again, I was also excited! haha
I just don’t know what it is like to clock in a nine-to-five.
Oh well. The time I’m getting works though since I’m getting to test the waters on several things, and I probably won’t be hearing back from the Homeland Security Department until five or six weeks form now. Yeah, packet still hasn’t been sent.
I’ve been having “work” dreams a lot lately. It’s building up in my subconscious. I know it. I feel it.
After that, I went off to therapy. It’s in the same campus. I told Brunet Young about what happened Monday night. It was strange to talk about, but I’m glad. I’m supposed to be working on a goal progress list. I’ll see if I can share it.
I’ve been feeling rather dizzy lately, albeit “stable”. When I say life’s been better these days, I’m talking about stability–emotional and mental stability. I’ve cried a few times in the last three/four weeks, but it hasn’t been a gut wrenching, shake inducing phenomenon followed by an all-encompassing emptiness and urge to die. In other words, I’m not laughing and jumping ups and down and then wanting to jab a knife into my neck. I want to live! I want life!
A few good things are happening too. Good is such a relative word. But anyway, other than having blogger’s block, I’m keeping busy. Therapy, swimmin’, washing dishes, cleaning up, reading, immigration paperwork, rolling around with Luna, trying to keep her from rolling around on her own poo and then licking me. Shit like that.
This past week was really nice. I mean nice. Just “happy days” where I don’t give a damn about the bullshit in my life, in life. I wasn’t particularly happy about one thing, except for maybe the fact that the immigration situation, the work permit, is becoming a reality despite the hold-ups. (Yeah, I’ll mention those later as I always say I’ll do).
All I have to say is this and you can stop reading the rest of my nonsense:
Fool, I’m feelin’ fresh like fuckin’ Fonzie here! On the plus size, I also feel aaaaaliiiiiive. I’m mostly high on life; not just merely existing.
I’ve had one of those weeks where I can laugh at humanity and not be too cynical about it. “Child,” I tell myself, “these are happy days aren’t they?” Yes, yes yes. the Mouse nods in agreement. I have to. This year has been hell–like much of my other twenty-six years– and I’ve finally driven out of hell, or so it seems. I’m always a bit suspicious though. I suppose what matters is that I am presently feeling pleasant, feeling calm. I’m ok.
My mood has just been too good to be true. And I’m not even on drugs… wait, I kinda am. But anyway.
And we all have our quirks, our little weird secrets (though some more than others). Don’t we?
What the hell do I mean? People are strange. That’s what I’m sayin’.
A strange week with (MOSTLY) good feeling. Let me start with Monday–this is last Monday, October first.
The Monday Mentals
Monday began, and as usual, I went to the gym where my mom works to do my daily swim. I’ve been keeping track of how many laps I do. I told the therapist this and she said it’s a great idea to look back on my progress. Chronic pain gets in the way of this sometimes, but anyway. I’d planned on doing some blogging after my swim only I had the bloggin’ block going on in my head. And like Sara Draws says, I think I’m getting the “brain rot”. (Back on Lamotrigine after a week off of it).
I just can’t seem to sketch or play the ukulele or write, except for now. I’m writing now, ain’t I? I don’t know.
My brother and I are building our relationship again, after a major fight involving him saying he wanted me out of his life because of something impulsive I did. I’m glad we’re talking again. And we’re not just talking; we’re “friends” again. He’s been calling me up every couple of days or so and asking if I want him to pick me up to go over his apartment.
Ever since Monkey Man’s death, he’s been there for me, more or less. That’s what I love about my family. Things get crazy between us sometime, like when mama busted my brother’s nose throwing a phone at him (not a cellphone) and then he…or when I… ugh.. I’ll leave the rest for a private post. But what I’m saying is my family is here for me. And I realize that now. I always have, it’s just the depression gets in the way of these things–of FEELING the good things around you. Of feeling the love of those in your life. Of truly absorbing life, takin’ each breath and feeling the oxygen fill your lungs, pumping through your cells, in your blood, in your veins and fueling the engine that is your heart.
My brother called me Monday and asked if I’d come over. I said sure, since I’m working on being a little more open. Once we settled in his apartment, we started watching Alien, the original 1979 version. All was good until he asked me to try some wine he’d bought. Well, I said to myself “P, you don’t get a chance to drink fine wine often. You’re doing well. Just half a glass.”
“Only half a glass,” the Mouse whispered. But…Half a glass turned into nearly three-fourths of the bottle and I got drunk. Really drunk. I was still fine though, just enjoying myself. It was a surprise, actually, to feel “happy drunk” because usually I become a somewhat psychotic and “angry drunk” or a very depressed drunk.
My bro went off to bed because he had to work early in the morning and I sat there on the floor with my wine, clicking around Netflix until I saw MAD MAX 2: THE ROAD WARRIOR! Mel Gibson was still a young, sexy actor who wasn’t as misogynistic as he is now. But then again, I don’t know for sure. Shit, I digress.
So I was watching Mad Max: Road Warrior with Mel Gibson, getting drunker, lickin’ every last drop. Then I got heavy-eyed and figured I’d go to bed. By then it was probably midnight and my brother was asleep. I went over to my brother’s spare room and then to the restroom to brush my teeth, and that’s when I decide to start reading some blogs instead of curling up on the futon. Around this time is when the mentals hit me like a spear to the spine.
I was reading one of my favorite poet-bloggies and she had a link to this music duo. I dug it, so I looked ’em up on YouTube. I found THIS. It’s the duo singing a cover of Elliott Smith’s “Between the Bars”. This here–this song, Between the Bars— is a song that has an intense affect on me. I was learning how to play it on the uke back in December before I headed to Florida; before I got facial paralysis; before I became increasingly depressed; before I broke my arm; but most importantly, before Monkey Man died. And if you guys have read about what happened to Monkey Man, all those depressing posts I wrote about him… yeah. It’s been six months already!
A song that was once dedicated to Monkey Man–that now rings truer than it did in December–turned on the PLDs and maybe some of the borderline in me came out. I immediately snapped and picked a paperclip from my brother’s desk. You can imagine what happened next. But the paperclip wasn’t good enough, so I ended up in the kitchen with a bloody knife and a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey. I don’t remember much after cleaning up the sink except I wrapped my arm in toilet paper and went to bed (the futon) crying.
Here’s the strange part. The next day, I was fine again. I had to keep my arm from sight when my dad picked me up, but otherwise, I was back to my cheery self.
I found a sketch of a monkey with a guitar that I drewcbefore running into the song and it’s terribly cute. Just above the crooked ears I must’ve drunkenly scribbled. It reads: T.H.L 1984-2012
Tuesday. I’m not gonna bother recapping Tuesday since it was just a chill day, apart from swimming fourteen laps and hiding a still-bleeding gash on my T-Rex-Duck arm.
Wednesday… Wednesday was wonderful. There’s a happy day.
My friend Sandy came over with her little three-year old boy. I hadn’t seen them in months. I had finished ten laps earlier that day and was feeling like things really are turning up. So Sandy came by with sushi which we ate. We then watched a kiddie movie and talked. I think we were more into the movie than her boy. She’s very different from me, Sandy, but despite that, we get along pretty well.
Sometimes I can only get so much of her though, but I’ve been pretty social lately, so my anxiety about people is subdued a bit and my patience has grown a bit. I’m still a very anxious person; I’m still having lots of anxiety, but as long as I’m not having panic attacks, as long as it’s not crippling I think it’s manageable. I’m good to go.
After she left, B came by and we talked. Here’s where Sandy and B differ. B and I can have very deep conversations: we’re like-minded. He’s a very intelligent fella and he gets my sick sense of humor which is always a plus in a friendship (for me at least).
That was Wednesday. Nice, peaceful and full of camaraderie.
September 5, 2012
Last Thursday I meant to write about my trip to therapy but I got distracted by the insanity of Le Clown’s blogroll contest. I now have to go to rehab for WP addiction. (It was fun though Le Clown, it really was.)
Anywho, I did take pictures of my trip to therapy last week. Again, it was with my crappy Nokia 5230 (it’s not THAT crappy). I had a lovely ride. It was a gorgeous day–one of those days where you feel the Houston heat and humidity suffocating you. “Asphyxiate on this, suckas!” says the southern Sun. You know, like the living in a sweaty armpit metaphor I used a while back? Yeah, it was one of those armpit living days.
I was all ready for therapy, ready to bitch and moan. But I ended up taking the bus late. I arrived at Wheeler station (near downtown) and realized, I wasn’t going to make it on time.
Some people carry umbrellas ’cause it’s so damn hot. Someone should’ve told him it’s a stupid idea to carry a BLACK umbrella since black absorbs more heat, but I wasn’t the asshole to do it.
Once I got to Wheeler Station, I arrived at the MetroRail train heading downtown towards the downtown transit center. I hopped in the northbound train.
The lady in the striped dress helped me out when I nearly got crushed by the sliding doors. Had I not been in my wheelchair, I could’ve been sawed in half (not really, but the image is striking, isn’t it?).
Once I arrived at the downtown transit center and REALLY did get hit by the sliding door, I ran into the lady with the dress again. I also ran into another lady with a baby in a stroller. I wanted to take a picture but was too shy. I also didn’t want attitude; lady looked like she had attitude and might of said something like, “Da hell ya takin’ a pict-sha of my babey fo’?!”
So I just let his sleeping, curly-haired cuteness be.
I had to cross Main Street to get to the transit center and as I did that, I noticed there were cops arresting this dude off on the right parking lot. So I quickly took out my phone and thought to myself, “this is blog material, must take photo now before the cops see”. I think they still noticed I was taking a picture of them.
But get this, lady in the striped dress runs next to me saying, “Girl, you can’t be tweetin’ and crossin’ the street at the same time! Come on now!” I was about to say that I was actually takin’ a picture of the cops and that I don’t even have a Twitter account or internet on my phone to begin with. But I just nodded at her. She did save my life earlier.
As I waited for my last bus (yes, I take a bus, a train and another bus), I called the university psychology research and services clinic to tell them I’d be running “about fifteen minutes late”. Ha! They should know I’m terrible and guesstimating time.
And here’s where I make my social commentary. The majority of the people that take the bus in the area where I live are 1) latino, 2) black, 3) asian. I wonder why? *cough*
When you get to the university, you only see black folks on the bus because the university is near a historically black part of town called Third Ward (my dad thought it was Third World; he can’t understand English that well). It’s a poor area. But I love it in many ways.
I live in the far southwest side though, so I don’t get much of Third Ward anymore. I did when I was living at the university, but now that I’m back with my old folks, I don’t. Well, I do when I go to therapy now. And downtown, near the oil towers, it is a little different. You see a lot of nurses and businessmen–mainly white–and a grand ethic mix is only off to the side.
It’s funny how little certain things have changed. Third Ward is still poor and black. Downtown oil towers are still run by old, rich men.
This is the part where half a dozen pigeons begged me to feed them. I was ready to take AMAZING, head-exploding photos (because that’s what I do), but my damn phone ran out of battery juice. So I was left picture-less and the pigeons where left hungry.
Turns out I got to therapy 40 minutes late! Forty minutes for a fifty minute session! That’s nearly an hour-and-a-half bus ride. Needless to say, we had to reschedule for tomorrow. I won’t be late this time! I’ll tell you though, I used up those ten minutes like never before. It’s a good thing I’ve been hyped, ’cause I was able to bitch and moan a mile a minute.
I didn’t completely loose my trip to the uni though. I went to the student center and signed up in line at the academic records to get my transcript for the DACA application (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) I’m filling out for immigration. They withheld it because I still owe the Debt Collector Mafia two thousand dollars. 😦 Fuck you bill collectors! Let me get my transcripts!
So I zipped my little ass over to the law clinic–where I’m getting free legal advice (YEAH! YEAH!)–and I asked about the lawyer. I schedule for today. So after this, I shall be getting ready to go see the lawyer. Wish me luck.
Ooooh, and who’s the lovely lady you ask? It’s none other than the magnificent Ringmistress (aka Sara Draws) over at Laments and Lullabies. It’s her birthday today and I dedicate these photos to her. 😉
These less-than-mediocre photos are for you lovely lady! Happy barfday! (don’t barf too much now)
August 23, 2012
I’ve been filling out the applications for immigration (USCIS)– well, as much as I can get done on my own–before I see the lawyer at the university next week.
Last night, my dad gave me a folder of some of my old elementary and high school grades/teacher reports since I’ll need proof of records that I studied in the U.S. for many years. It’s required for the DACA (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) application which would give me a work permit. No legal residence, just a work permit (aka SSI#) valid for only two years. So much for citizenship. Twenty-two years in this country and I’ll only have a work permit to show for. Ain’t that a motha–?
Well, somethin’s better than nothin’.
There were some funny comments from old teachers. How I had potential and needed to apply myself more.
“P has potential. She does good work when she applies herself!” and “P is receiving an hour tutoring from —-” and “P, remember to finish your homework!” and “P has improved this quarter. She is in ESL Level II [that’s English as a second language]” and “P does really well when she’s able to concentrate” and “P, keep reading every night! Good job [smiley sticker]” are just a few of teacher’s notes from third grade.
What’s funny is my dad kept them but he never really read them due to his limited understanding of English at the time. I’m guessing he saw the smiley stickers and thought, “Ok, she’s good”. I could’ve easily sneaked by with failing grades in high school because my parents never knew when progress reports came out. Good thing I was a damn good student, despite the depression. I could see when I was depressed because my straight As would fall to all As, two or three Bs and an F. Id go from being on the honor roll to being in academic probation. Every time.
This got me to snooping around some of my old notebooks I have hidden in my room. ha. And I found this from when I was 16 years old.
God, that was a depressing year.
On the page next to it, I have a sort of poem. It says:
written when high…
These are my snow-covered dreams.
I’d take back all that shit I said to make you feel like that.
I’d give it all to have the thought of me in you again.
These are my snow covered tears.
I try… but I fall apart…
Thwarted tattered imbecile.
I don’t think I was in a very coherent state of mind then, obviously.
Note: I think, if I remember correctly, this was written the first time I tried weed. (It would be a while until I’d try it again.) I was out in the backyard all by my lonesome self, freezing my little ass off. I lit a match and accidentally burned a few eyelashes since the wind was howling. When I drove the wheelchair back inside, I ate a whole bag of pretzels and wrote that “poem” and then crashed. I also used to have an eyebrow piercing at the time. I guess that’s what that is on the sketch’s eyebrow.
August 12, 2012
I decided to start taking pictures on my way to therapy. These are a few I’ve taken in the last two weeks. I’ll have to take my actual, semi-pro camera out next time instead of using my old phone.
Click to see the gallery.
As I waited for the bus to the university, I read this passage from Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros:
“Because those who suffer have a special power don’t they? The power of understanding someone else’s pain. And understanding is the beginning of healing.”