Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Holiday, You Bastard! 2017

Okay, so every year (except for some reason, not last year. I don't know what could have been going on in my life that kept me from doing it), I post a Happy Holiday, You Bastard! blog on Thanksgiving with thirty things that I'm thankful for. This year, however, I'm going to do things a little differently.
Wait...I interrupt this post to tell you that upon reading this, I now know why I didn't write my traditional holiday blog last year. Funnily enough (except it's really not funny. Fittingly? Appropriately? Makes sensingly? (Can you tell I've been drinking?)), the reason I didn't post one is the same reason I'm doing things differently: Every time I acknowledge good, in comes bad. As a result, instead of writing about things I'm thankful for, I'm going to write about thirty things that I'm opposite of thankful for.
In short, I'm going to write about thirty things that suck.
And here they are:
Things That I'm Not Thankful For, 2017
1. The relationship (or lack thereof) between my sons. Out of all the things that I'm the opposite of thankful for, this would have to be number one. Griffin and Keifer can't stand each other, and when I say that, I'm in no way talking the normal type of sibling spat. I used to fight with my sister all the time; eventually, of course, we would make up because, like, that's what siblings do. Griffin and Keifer haven't spoken in six months, and according to Keifer, they'll never speak again.
2. Calories/metabolism/all things related to gaining weight. I think it's stupid--stupid!--that, one, people can't eat whatever they want and not gain weight, and two, some people can eat whatever they want and not gain weight while some people can't. I also think it's totally not fair that if I want a piece of cake and don't eat it, I don't somehow get weight credit for not eating it. Intentions and good behavior should count for something, right?
3. My genius body. My body is so smart and so advanced that it's figured out how to beat virtually every deodorant that exists. It's not that deodorants don't work on me--that would be a different issue entirely--it's that my body is so smart, it knows how to render deodorant ineffective after a few weeks of use. Right now I have four deodorants in my room that I use on a rotating basis in an attempt to trick my body into not being savvy enough to smell, but sadly, my body cannot be tricked.
4. Beets. They're fucking disgusting. Doesn't matter how you cook 'em, or don't, they're positively nauseous. For those of you who believe in God and like to argue that God doesn't make mistakes, I present the beet as evidence that you're wrong.
5. Donald Trump, anyone who voted for Donald Trump, and anyone who voted for/continues to defend Donald Trump. The man is a piece of shit. Don't pretend he's not. (And if you're not pretending and really think that he's not, you're probably a piece of shit, too.)
6. The mistreatment of cows.
7. T-Mobile's horrific signal anywhere in a one-mile radius around my house. Forget using the Internet or streaming music, I can't even talk on the phone.
8. A specific professor I had in 1997 who I'm so the opposite of thankful for, I just wrote a ratemyprofessor (or teacher) review for her last week. She taught Edgar Allan Poe as a transcendentalist and when our test asked why he was a transcendentalist, I wrote why he was not. Not only did I fail the test along with the rest of the class, but during her lecture about everyone failing, she said something about how somebody actually wrote that Poe wasn't a transcendentalist. Well, guess what Johnnie S? I'm an English professor myself now, and Edgar Allan Poe is a dark fucking romantic, and every time I teach him, I think of you and get sick. Poe, a transcendentalist. Lady, please.
9. Waking up early. I have never been, and never will be, a morning person. Call me before ten o'clock on a weekend, and I'll hate you for life.
10. Dog fur. Between Jazzy's wiry fur floating up and settling on everything from my bed to my dresser to the furniture to the dishes and Hudson's big fluffy tumbleweeds rolling around every room, my house is a sight, and I'm sorry to say, not a good one.
11. LGE Auto Sales in Wilton Manors, FL. If I told you all the things that went wrong with Griffin's five-thousand-dollar car that he just got in May, you wouldn't believe me. That company should be fucking ashamed.
12. Rain. I've never really been one to have a problem with rain, but it's the end of November, and it still hasn't stopped pouring all the time. I mean, come the fuck on. I didn't realize I lived in the actual rain forest. However, I did realize I lived in
13. Hell, or what is commonly referred to as South Florida. November 22 and it's ninety fucking degrees. I swear to God, I hate this place and everything about it.
14. Seaway canceling their headlining tour and opening for Neck Deep. They're not even coming to South Florida anymore. Thanks so much for the big fucking fuck you to your fans.
15. Kevin, or I guess maybe myself and my constantly being duped into thinking Kevin is a decent human being. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, right? Like, seriously, why am I so stupid, and what does it have to take?
16. How fast my fingernails grow.
17. An insane curl pattern that equals hair that's way straighter in the front than it is in the back.
18. Lil Peep dying. A lot of stars I've liked for a lot longer have died on me--Tom Petty, for one, John Hughes, for another. God, even fucking Joey Ramone--but none have thrown me for a loop the way that Lil Peep's dying has.
19. People who appear to be afraid to drive on the expressway but do it regardless. If you're on the highway, people, the gas pedal is your friend. Unless something is going on, there's no reason whatsoever you should be driving under 65 miles per hour; if that feels too fast to you, I disrespectfully say you need to take an alternate route.
20. Mass hysteria รก la the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthyism and their modern counterpart, the entertainment industry (this is occurring a lot in Hollywood, yes, but pop punk, I'm really talking to you). You know, the type where one person points a finger, leading to the pointing of lots of other fingers, and a whole lot of crazy people finding things that aren't really there. To quote John Proctor in The Crucible, "Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as holy as God's fingers?"
21. Fear of change. If I'm going to talk about things I'm the opposite of thankful for, I can't not acknowledge the fear of change that's paralyzed me my entire life. If I weren't so afraid, there's just so much more I would do.
22. The condo association that runs the place where I live along with a whole lot of the people in it. I have to tell you, I hate this place. I'm surrounded by people who litter, people who let their dogs poop all over and don't clean it up, and people who are just disgusting in general. On top of that, the condo association has crazily insane rules that make me feel like I'm living in some type of communist regime. I know, you're wondering why I just don't move. See number 21, and you'll understand why I've lived here for sixteen years.
23. The custodial staff at Miramar High School. My school is fucking disgusting. There's been a spot of what I can only assume is period blood on the floor of one of the teacher bathrooms for over a month (and I'm not talking a microscopic spot that only I can see. This spot is the size of a dime or maybe even a penny). We're always out of soap, and when we do have it, we rarely have paper towels, so there's no way for us to dry our hands. I could go on and on, but just trust me when I say my school is gross. At least the upstairs part of it.
24. Social constructs.
25. Aging. I always knew I'd get older (or at least I naively figured I would. I know a lot of people don't get the chance), but I had no idea it would be this hard to accept. Every time I look in the mirror, I see an old person and don't know who she is. I used to look at old women like my Auntie Babe and Tante (both great aunts of mine) and just think that's how they looked. I never thought about the fact that they were once young with smooth, bright skin free of hyperpigmentation, big eyes, rosy cheeks, full hair, and if it fleetingly did in a way that I didn't really acknowledge, I certainly never entertained the idea that they might feel bad about having aged. From what I've learned from just about everybody my age or older that I know, though, this aging process is no fun for anyone.
26. My ex-Glenn. I know a lot of people don't have good relationships with their exes and this is kind of normal, but I feel like I'm safe in saying most people's exes are much better people than mine.
27. People who breed dogs or buy them from pet stores. The deaths and maltreatment of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of dogs are on you.
28. Buffy the Vampire Slayer no longer being on Netflix.
29. My indecisiveness.
30. The state of my life right now. I have to say, I'm kinda sorta floundering. Griffin is gone, Keifer is never around and soon will be in school and out of the house, too. My school year is the pits. I feel like I've lost my purpose and my way, and I'm struggling to find it. I'm thinking maybe a doctorate or writing another book will make me feel better, maybe some type of volunteering, or even a second job that excites me more than the first one. Yesterday, I mentioned fostering kids to Keifer, so maybe I'll look into that. All I know is I have to do something more than I'm doing now because I hate feeling so aimless inside.
Wow, that number thirty is kind of a downer, huh?
Anyway. Despite my long list of things I'm the opposite of thankful for, Readers, I'm thankful for you (especially if you're the person who tells me to die all the time. I really find it very entertaining and wish you would stop by more), and so I bid you a Happy Thanksgiving, and as always, wish you lots of love and peace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

When I Die, Bury Me Without the Lights On

Life is such a weird thing. I think about that all the time in connection to bathrooms and cars. When I'm driving, I think about how most people never think about it, but in every single car, a separate story sits. To us, our own world is all that exists, but the woman in The Volkswagen Beetle in front of us, the family in the Ford Focus two lanes to the right, and the old man in the Cadillac (do Cadillacs have model names?) leaving an unnecessary and maddening 27 feet between his car and the car in front of his don't even know our world exists. Buffy in the Beetle is near tears because her boyfriend beat her up last night, and she wants to leave him, but she has nowhere else to go; Dudley, Dominique, Darla, Dudley Junior, and little Dwayne in the Ford Focus are fighting because Dudley, having just gotten fired, is stressed and yelling at everyone in sight; and Eustace in the Cadillac that might not have a model name can't think about anything but his recently deceased wife. Meanwhile, we got into a fight with one of our coworkers and tripped when we were rushing up the stairs to get away from him, breaking the bonding on our front tooth, and are on a mad dash to get to the dentist before five because it's Friday and we don't want to spend the weekend looking like we hang out on wooden porches drinking moonshine all night long. This, like the fact that people sit in public bathrooms mere feet away from each other touching their genitals--men at urinals without even a barrier! With their penises literally in their hands!--is something I think about all the time, and although the bathroom example might not seem similar to the car one, it's really the same thing. In both cases, despite being so close to one another, we are the only thing that exists.

I thought of this same concept today in terms of death. At just about 6:22 this morning, I got horrifically devastating, tragic news: Lil Peep was dead.

Wait. Let's do this again.

At about 6:22 this morning, I got horrifically devastating, tragic news to me: Lil Peep was dead.

It was tragic news to me--tragic enough that I had to turn my music off and ask my son for a hug and sit on my bed and cry and spend all day in a slump scrolling through Twitter as I searched Lil Peep while feeling sick inside--and tragic to my younger son--tragic enough that I either saw or heard him sobbing from roughly 6:25 when he began brushing his teeth until 7:03 when I dropped him off down the street from school and that he text me at 8:45 telling me he couldn't stop crying and later told me he sat in class crying right up until lunch--and tragic to my older son--tragic enough that he told me he'd like to get a switchblade tattoo for Lil Peep--and tragic to Lil Peep's family, friends, and fans--tragic enough for them to cry, feel sick, tweet, and post tributes to him--but it wasn't tragic news to the millions of people who'd either never heard of him or had heard of him and just didn't give a fuck that he was dead.

And this is where things feel weird.

If at some point in the last year Griffin didn't read an article about how Lil Peep was the future of emo and tell Keifer about him and Keifer didn't become completely obsessed with and in love with him and if I were a mom like most moms, well, there would be so many alternatives to the way things are: I would have no idea who Lil Peep even was; if I did know who he was, I wouldn't listen to him; I wouldn't know all about his background and his life; he wouldn't be a daily topic of conversation; he wouldn't have become part of the culture of our house. If any of the ifs, when Lil Peep died, I would either not know about it, not think twice about it other than in the context of, Wow, it's so sad when someone dies so young, or like a great deal of the world, pretty much just not care.

But the ifs
and so
the reality

My reality and thus, someone whose death could mean so little to me means so much.

Other people have their own realities.

Buffy in the Beetle is going to get a call that her mom has cancer tomorrow; Dudley, Dominique, Darla, and little Dwayne in the Ford Focus are going to have to bury Dudley Junior when he gets hit by a drunk driver the day after he turns nineteen; and we already know Eustice just recently lost his wife.

Buffy hurts. Dudley hurts. DominiqueDarlaDwayneEusticeJaredKurtSaraElsieJoeyRickDanTomKimToriSamJanDeanKrisAliGinaJenniferTraceyPaulJohnGeorgeRingoPickANameAnyNameAnyNameWillDo

All the names hurt.

All the names lose someone every single day.

And none of us know, but even if we somehow do--

...

Monday, November 6, 2017

I've Been Around the World a Million Times, and All You Men Are __________

When I say this is funny, what I really mean is that it's not funny at all; it is, however, coincidental. Two days ago, a blog was brewing in my head. Prompted both by a maddeningly ridiculous Twitter thread on which tons of women answered a tweet asking what they would do if men had a 9:00 curfew and the vast majority of responses said things like go outside, not be afraid, walk on the beach, sleep with my windows open, wear what I want, not carry my keys or pepper spray in my hands, and go for a jog and by a student of mine who insists sexism towards men doesn't exist and repeatedly responded eloquently with I don't understand every time I or someone else made a point to the contrary, I planned to write about the trendy vilification of men and the notion women have that they can't do anything, ever, without fear of being assaulted by them. I planned to write about the sheer idiocy of that claim, to tell you that I'm someone who was molested at nine and again at twelve and raped at thirteen, and yet other than the time that I was raped (read: in immediate danger) and one other time when things got kind of sketchy when I was alone with a certain male friend (read: in actual impending danger), I've never been afraid of anything simply because men exist. I both run and walk outside alone all the time, sometimes as late as one in the morning; I hang out with guys alone; I go to coffeehouses by myself (gasp! I'm alone at one right now. And it’s nighttime!); I drive hundreds of miles with no one else in the car. I do all these things and lots more that I won't go on and on about because I think you get the idea, and other than the one time with my shady friend, I have never felt threatened or in fear. This is what I intended to write about because it's absolutely true, and the assertion that all men are to be feared is simply ridiculous and insulting not only to men but also the mothers of men or boys who will be men one day. 

That, however, is not where this post is going to go. 

Make no mistake: I'm still not afraid of men. I didn't get assaulted on my way to sushi Saturday night nor was I attacked on the treadmill yesterday at the gym. It just so happens, though, that between Friday night and yesterday morning, I realized that men do hurt women, only the damage is much more subtle than that which women accuse them of. Men, in my opinion, don't go around physically hurting women left and right as is the idea du jour; what men are guilty of doing, however, is behaving as if we're theirs. 

You remember, I'm sure, my sort of recent post Party in My Pants and You're Not Invited, in which I told you about the friend who accused me of not being a nice person because I don't want to have sex with him but have sex with other guys as if I owed it to him to hop into his bed (or in my case, the back seat of my car) just because he thought I should. I don't think I ever mentioned this, but about a month after my legal divorce, my ex-Glenn began texting a guy who he didn't want me to see, reminding him he wasn't allowed to talk to me and harassing him to the point that he had to go to the police. This, by the way, was when my ex-Glenn was not only divorced from me but living with another woman. Living with another woman! Living with another woman, I repeat, yet controlling who I could and could not see. Prompting this post, two nights ago I had plans to hang out with a friend but didn't hear from him until yesterday morning when he sent me a text telling me that he "read the room" and could tell someone would make comments if I showed up, so he decided I "didn't need that stress." 

Did you get that? He decided I didn't need that stress. 

He. Fucking. Decided.

Am I the only person who sees a problem with this? 

I mean, I shouldn’t even ask because I know I'm not. When I told a girl, her exact response was, Who is [name withheld in an attempt to avoid drama] to decide what you need and what you don't need? 

And in total reinforcement of my point, when I told a guy, his response? I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it.

Because to the guy, like it would be to the majority of guys as demonstrated by their behavior, this action was perfectly fine. Men seem to think that we're incapable of making our own decisions and unable to take care of ourselves. When I write this, I think not just of myself and the three situations I just wrote about but also the guy I know who plans on beating up a certain guy because he thinks he cheated on a girl that he cares about, like it's his job to protect her and the other guy who found out something bad happened to a girl he used to date and secretly went into her social media accounts to find the guy who did it and avenge the wrong. Maybe the sentiment is nice--maybe--but it comes from a totally misguided idea about what is/what is not someone's right. I'm also thinking of the guy who had sex with his ex-girlfriend for months and when she refused to leave her boyfriend, contacted him on Snapchat to let him know what was going on because she shouldn't be allowed to behave that way. I’m even thinking of the good-natured husband who right this second told his wife she can’t have another beer because even though he means well and is a really good guy, it’s not his decision to make.

It’s not his decision to make 

because

we are not playthings 
we are not possessions 
we are not mindless 
we are not kids

Women do not need saving

but 

if ever we do, we can save ourselves.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

About That

Although summer isn't officially over until the autumn equinox on September 22, with the new school year starting tomorrow, today is pretty much the end of it for me. I won't say I'm happy about going back to work--because that would be insane--but I can't earnestly complain about the summer coming to an end because I can honestly say with one hundred percent certainty that the summer of 2017 was the worst summer of my life. From the day before school ended right up until yesterday, very little of it has been fun, and in the spirit of complaining, I say just like we looked at The Summer of Run when it came to a close, we take a look back at the events that comprised the Summer of Suck as well.


As you already know, my summer started with Keifer being Baker Acted, and that pretty much set the summer's whole tone. Not only was I frustrated from not being able to do anything about his being locked up, misdiagnosed, and wrongly medicated, I was depressed that my son was so depressed and also anxious and frazzled from having to go back and forth from my house to University Pavilion at least once, sometimes two times a day for six days. As if that wasn't bad enough, it was while Keifer was in the hospital that I got into that crazy fight with Griffin, the one that caused him to leave and me to feel more depressed than I've felt in almost my entire adult life, and while certainly not worse but almost as bad, because of my depression over the situations with Griffin and Keifer, I let things happen with a friend I never would have let happen if I'd been in a not so utterly dejected frame of mind, and that friend then took advantage of what I let happen and made something else happen that not only did I absolutely not say could happen but point blank said repeatedly could not happen, and when he left that night, in addition to being depressed over Griffin and Keifer, I had something else to add to my reasons-to-kill-myself list.

Not long after that incident I try to forget happened (which hasn't been as hard as you'd think since right after it happened my super good friend who I talked to and hung out with all the time completely disappeared from my life, and thus, I don't have to be reminded of it on a regular basis), things actually started to look up. Keifer's properly diagnosed medication started kicking in plus he started dating the girl he's had a thing for since starting high school; Griffin and I reconciled bit by bit; and shock of all shocks, I met a guy, and not just any guy, a guy who fit my almost-abandoned criteria for a guy nearly one-hundred percent (in case you're curious: 1. smart 2. tall 3. musical 4. not fat 5. liberal 6. atheist (this is where the nearly comes in. Said guy is agnostic, not atheist, but really. I may be picky, but I'm not insane)) and seemed to be, like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way...for about three weeks, which while admittedly isn't exactly a super long amount of time is definitely, at least for hyper emotional emo me, long enough to fall in love, so yeah, moping and sadness and crying ensued and the summer I thought was looking up needed just the slightest of pushes to be facing down.

I'm a trooper, though, and I tried to see the good with the bad. Yes, I was heartbroken over Alexander, but my relationship with him did do some good things. One, it finally, for fuck's sake, hallelujah, god be the glory, got me completely over C. For the first time in I don't know how many years, he wasn't constantly on my mind, and that, I have to say, is a beautiful thing. It also made me realize that I shouldn't abandon my almost-abandoned criteria because people who fit it really are out there, and I shouldn't settle for someone else, and oh my God, I'm realizing right now that not only did he seem practically perfect like Mary Poppins, but also like Mary was conjured after a list with specific criteria was ripped up and thrown away, Alexander sort of was, too, and holy moly, how crazy is that? But I'm drifting. The point here is that I tried to be positive, but when you're lying around crying, missing someone, and thinking about every good attribute a person possesses, it's not the easiest thing to do. Our relationship was short, though, as you can attest, so as bad as it was for a short period of time, I'm happy to say that with the demise of the summer goes the demise of that particular sad.

But don't worry! A new sad has come along. A sad that usurps the others or at least seems to since it's the sadness of the day. It's a sad I knew was coming, a sad that isn't unique to me, but it's still a sad, and neither of those things makes my having moved Griffin into his dorm in Orlando yesterday any easier for me. Now, I won't sit here and say that when he came over and packed on Thursday night I sobbed against his chest like a crazy person and told him he was the love of my life while he held me or that I cried all over again when I said goodbye to him in his dorm, but if you believe in lies by omission, forget a party in my pants--they'd be in flames.

I know. I'm overreacting. UCF isn't that far. Griffin will be home often. I'll see him when I go to concerts in Orlando. True. Every single one. But still. My love story is gone, and it's going to take a while for me to get past it, just like the whole entire crapfest known from this blog forth as the Summer of Suck.

But I will because as you guys know, that's what I do. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Party in My Pants, and You're Not Invited

What I don't understand is why it is that men seem to think that women owe them something. I have an on-and-off again guy friend who I was talking to last night, and it came up, not for the first time, that he thinks I'm a shitty person. When I told him I try to be good to all people and want what's best for everyone, he told me that wasn't true and that what I want is what's good for Kelly. When pressed for an explanation, it was this: 

We've done this before and the last time you didn't listen to a word I said but then I had to hear about some guy you just met and you're calling him master (which never happened btw) and doing everything he wants (that part may have happened) and all I wanted was for you to listen. Has nothing to do with sex. Been there. Done that. Nothing changed towards me.

A Little Bit of History

During the six or seven years that this guy and I have been friends, he's let it be known that he's interested in being more than friends with me, and I've let him know that I don't feel the same (part of the time, I was married, so those years are a moot point anyway). We stayed friends regardless because, call me crazy, I don't think friendship should be contingent on whether or not people want to have sex with each other. During our friendship, I did what normal people do when they're friends with someone: I talked about guys I liked and guys I was sleeping with and because we've always been so open, I was pretty detailed with a lot of it. As you can see, this was problematic, not because he was jealous but because, and here's where the problem comes in--both his with me and mine with men in general--my choosing to have some type of intimate relationship with these other guys instead of him makes me shitty and selfish and only interested in what Kelly wants. So this person is basing his opinion of my basic character on the fact that I wanted other guys instead of him, and that's so far from okay, I don't even know how to argue with someone who has a viewpoint like this. 

Another guy friend of mine, this one as close to me as anyone ever has been (except for people I've had sex with because that's a kind of close we've never been), a good person who's not chauvinistic at all, once told me resentfully that he feels like there's a party in my pants and he's not invited. I can't say that he was angry about it or accused me of being a bad person because of it, but he was definitely petulant and felt slighted by my choices.

The thought process of these two men is something I just don't understand. I've listened to plenty of guy friends I've been attracted to over the years go on and on about girls they like, girls they've fucked, and girls they've wanted to fuck, the whole time wishing they were wanting to fuck me, but never in my life has it made me angry or indignant. Envious of the other girls, sure, but the feeling that these guys owed me something just because I wanted it never once crossed my mind. If only I were skinnier and prettier is much more likely the thought that crossed it, and I'm willing to bet that, at least in the case of the first friend I wrote about it, the thought that he was inferior never occurred. To this friend, it was in no way about something wrong with him, only about something being wrong with me.

None of this would matter, it's true, if I didn't care what people think. I do, though. I hate when people think bad things of me--not all people, of course; if I don't care about someone, that person can think anything s/he wants about me; it's why I never address the crazy things my ex-Glenn's told his camp about me; I'm one-hundred percent of the mind that what people I don't care about think of me is none of my concern--or things about me with which I wholeheartedly disagree. The idea that this guy who knows me so well thinks I'm selfish and not a good person makes me...well, it makes me upset enough to justify my actions--or inactions if you want to get technical--in a blog, and I have to say, if I were a guy, I think I'd feel the need to do no such thing. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Day My Music Died


As I was walking my dogs tonight, the friendly neighborhood drug dealer passed me as he often does. Unlike the normal scenario where my dogs bark and he keeps walking in silence, though, after we'd both continued to walk ten to fifteen feet in our respective directions, he called to me. I turned, and he yelled something I could barely hear, something that after about a minute of repeated yelling back and forth, a lot of questioning on my part, and a bit of pantomime on his, I finally understood. After all this time, he said, we both look exactly the same.

The drug dealer, who I've been passing on the streets of my townhouse complex for probably about ten years (save for an absence of a year or so when he mysteriously disappeared), was right. Save for my ever changing hair colors, neither of us really looks any different from how we looked when we first "met."

When we first walked past each other, the drug dealer and me, I was in my early to mid thirties. At the time, Griffin and I were closer than I knew a mother and son could be. Ever Friday we had an after-school coffee date that neither of us would miss for anything. One Friday, Griffin actually got in a fight (semi-fight?) with the singer of his band because he wouldn't miss coffee to go to practice. Those coffee dates lasted for years, maybe five of them, from middle school to early eleventh grade.

Coffee dates, of course, weren't the extent of our relationship; they just typified it. I used to barely get through teaching a class without a text from Griffin: memes, photos, song lyrics, random facts (are you aware a kangaroo has three vaginas, everyone?), trivial conversation. Griffin used to never leave me alone. We did makeovers and took walks and went out to eat. Once we even drove to Savannah on a whim to see the spot where they filmed one of his favorite movies, Forrest Gump. I protected him from his dad (even when, admittedly, he probably didn't need protecting), and he protected me from his dad, too.

I believe I even have a blog post where I write something akin to, Regarding Griffin, can I just say soulmate? Nothing else to see, move it along.

I'm thinking your inference skills are probably good enough to have realized by now that between me and Griffin, something's gone wrong. Two years ago, things started to change. Saying no to hanging out with Alex wasn't as desirable as saying no to practicing with his band, nor was bringing her along like we did in their beginning, and our coffee Friday dates stopped. That was really the start. In that time, our relationship has deteriorated hopefully not to beyond repair, but in truth I'm not so sure.

I won't go into all the details, not for the sake of privacy or propriety because we all know I care for neither of those things but for the sake of space. There are just so many details, and in the end, do they matter at all? We're both to blame in different ways (in addition to quite a bit of help from some outside forces, and far be it for me to be one to name names, but if yours either starts and ends with an A and has an X in the middle and you used to have pink hair but now maybe sport a faded shade of blue or you're someone who runs a couple thousands miles a year or at least you used to, I happen to be talking about you).

Tonight when I pulled up a few hours and one day after a fight during which, among other things, shampoo was squirted all over the bathroom and the hallway; posters were taken off of communal walls; toiletries were hidden in a car; someone was forcefully chest bumped, grabbed by the wrist, and thrown into the hallway in addition to being called one of two emotionally abusive and horrible parents, a fucking idiot, and insane; and another person was called trash and his ex-girlfriend called a whore, I saw a box peeking over the wall in front of my house. Upon walking up, I saw a crate full of records, a guitar, a record player, and other things that escape me now.

Even though I knew, I had to ask when I opened the door. What's going on? 

I'm gonna go stay at my Dad's house.

I was afraid of the answer, so afraid of the answer, I didn't want to ask, didn't want to know:

Forever? 

He didn't know.

***

That friendly neighborhood drug dealer thinks I look the same because he can only see me on the outside. If he could see me on the inside, he'd know I don't look the same at all.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mess

Summer's started, and like the past two summers before this one, I should be settling into my hotel, getting ready for a week of reading AP exams along with thousands of other teachers, college professors, and instructors. I'm not, though. Despite having a hotel reservation, a roommate who requested me, numerous confirmation e-mails, and I'm sure a name badge that annoyingly says Miramar High School AND Miami Dade College on it because when I applied to be a reader, I didn't realize the submitted text would be transcribed verbatim and no matter how many times I've tried to change it because it makes me feel like an ass, be assigned to me for the rest of my AP reader life, I'm not there. Instead, I'm sitting at my sticker-covered table writing this blog, losing over $1300, and waiting for a phone call that apparently I'm not going to get tonight from a nurse at a  psychiatric hospital saying that I can come get my son.

In what seems to have become a matrilineal tradition now being transferred to the males of what I guess would properly be referred to as the Weinstein line, Keifer, like me, my sister, my mother, and my aunt, was Baker Acted. On Wednesday afternoon, I sat with him in a psychiatrist's office while he talked about his suicidal ideations and his willingness to act on them and then watched while despite his not having a plan, which is supposed to be a factor in being involuntarily committed, an officer frisked him against a police car, sat him in the back, and drove him to the nearest mental institution where he now resides with, among other people, a little boy who hears voices and stupid teenage girls who think cutting themselves is the thing to do. And now I can't seem to bring him home.

As if that's not bad enough, Kei being in a mental institution where he definitely doesn't belong because I promise you, that kid was not about to commit suicide this weekend, he's definitely been misdiagnosed, and instead of being treated for the depression he should be being treated for, he's being forced to pop Adderall two times a day for the ADHD he doesn't have even though Adderall, a drug that's banned in many countries because it's so dangerous, is one of the most addictive drugs around and people with drug issues aren't supposed to take it, and I keep telling his doctor and the doctor's PA and anybody I see in scrubs that Keifer has a drug problem and nobody will listen to me even though right now, right this very second, there's a text on the lock screen of Keifer's phone that says, keifer do you have OC, nobody at this godforsaken hospital will listen to me because Keifer says it isn't true and because he has absolutely no fat cells and a metabolism that enables him to be 5'10" and weigh 117 pounds his drug test came up negative (it's a thing, I promise), and what the fuck kind of psychiatric personnel listens to a fifteen-year-old who's in a fucking mental institution and gives him more drugs to add to his motherfucking potential-addiction list?

The word disaster is so overused that people don't realize the severity of one, but this whole experience has been a disaster in the most severe way. Not only is Keifer practically in prison being turned into a drug addict as we speak, but now he's completely distrustful of the entire mental health process and wants nothing to do with it. Whereas he previously wanted to see a therapist and get help because he was so tired of feeling hopeless, he's now afraid to ever again tell a mental health professional how he really feels, something that for someone with deep depression and anxiety could lead to the worst outcome possible.

At this point, I'm impotent. There's absolutely nothing I could do but wait for these people to let Keifer out of the hospital and complain (and what better way to do that than via this blog?), and I have to tell you, as a mother, it's plaguing me that I can't do more.