Saturday, September 28, 2013

This Is How She Disappeared

My cousin died today. Or last night. Sometime between when my mom talked to her at 8:00 Eastern Time and 2:00 Central Time when her body was found, blue, on the bathroom floor.

Don't give me your condolences. I hated her.

I can't be sure, but I may have written about her before. Paulette and I have always had one of those relationships that, if it were described in a book, would read something like this: Kelly and Paulette could barely stomach the thought of being in the other's presence. They occasionally erected a facade of civility, but to be sure, there was no love lost between those two.

(I didn't say the book was well-written.)

I knew her death was coming. Not that it's so old, but she turned 72 in August, so she was getting up there, and on top of that--and way more relevant--she'd known she's had cancer since right after she turned 70 . Ovarian, I think, but since we hadn't spoken in six or seven years and all the news I knew of her was news from my mom, I can't be sure. But it was serious cancer. That I know.

I repeat: I knew her death was coming. And I also repeat: No love lost. And I won't repeat since I haven't said this yet, but when I found out she had cancer, I didn't feel bad at all. I'm not saying I was cartwheeling around my living room, but I really didn't care. Paulette had done enough bad things to me and many other people in my life for her sickness not to faze me.

It wasn't tragic.

It just



today when I was sitting at my kitchen table and my sister's phone rang and about two seconds later blurted out, Paulette's dead, her death didn't feel expected, and it didn't feel like I didn't care.

It felt like somebody who had been a part of my life for pretty much the entirety of it--albeit not in a very positive way--never would be again. Don't misunderstand me; I hadn't thought she ever would be a part of my life again, and I certainly hadn't wanted her to be a part of my life again, but her dying, well, that made it so that, no matter what, she never could be again.

As much as I didn't like her, it felt like something significant was gone.

After my immediate shock, I thought of Paulette, who has no children and no husband, no one really to call her own except maybe my mother who's been one of her best friends for their entire adult lives, dying alone in her house, and I thought of her possibly lying there, possibly unable to move, possibly knowing she was dying, not possibly, but definitely knowing she was all alone, and I thought of Paulette lying all alone, dead, on her bathroom floor for minutes or hours or half of an entire day, and let me tell you something:

It was pretty fucking tragic.

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm a Jerk, I'm a Punk

"Be thankful for the difficult people in your life, for they have shown you exactly who you do not want to be."

I came across this quote, not for the first time, today. A friend posted it on Facebook. I think I'd be being a little on the paranoid side if I said that she posted it specifically with me in mind--although god knows it's a possibility--but I'd be in total denial if I nodded my head and was like, Yep. I know exactly what you mean.

So the thing that's funny is that I do know exactly what she means, only in a strike-that, reverse kind of way.

You know how some people find so-called difficult people distasteful? Well, that's exactly how I feel about people who aren't difficult at all. You know the type. The person who likes everyone. The person who's all zippitty-do-dah 'round the clock. The person who doesn't have a strong opinion about anything.

That kind of person? That kind of person makes me sick.

I may have told you this already (stop me if I have (um, stop me in your mind. Duh)), but once I got a massage from a masseuse named Jackie who knew my mom. At the time of the massage, I wrote for a newspaper called The Wahoo News, and when she was annoyingly talking to me during the massage (um, bitch, I'm paying for a massage. Shut the fuck up and knead me), I mentioned it. She then asked me to e-mail her something I'd written, so of course I did, and when my mom next went in for a massage, I came up.

She said you're awfully opinionated, my mother told me in that voice that people use when they're saying something negative, and rest assured, I'm sure that when Jackie called me opinionated to my mom, it wasn't supposed to be a good thing.

My response to being called opinionated?

Fuck, yeah.

Who the hell wants to live life a namby-pamby mother fucker?

To just go with the undiscerning flow?

To be all, Today is the best day ever! I woke up in the morning, so I am blessed?

Jesus, can you hear my retching and smell my vomit?

Can you see the little mouse running on the treadmill in my brain as I reformulate the quote, Kelly style?

"Be thankful for the sheep who lack the capacity to think; appreciate the vapid and insipid people in your life; it is they who have not only shown you exactly who you do not want to be, but it is also they whom you can mock."

Now who knows how to make a meme?