Thursday, November 17, 2011

If You Have Hope, You Have Everything.

Tomorrow Elizabeth Hirsch is having a Blog Fest to celebrate the release of her book The Golden Sky, which honors her son, Zeke, she lost when he was just a month and a half.  Tomorrow would have been his ninth birthday.

To participate in the blog fest, we're to write a tribute post about someone we have lost.  Originally when I read about it, I thought it would be a great idea.  And now, sitting here in front of my laptop, I don't want to do it.  Thinking about this person, I've realized I'm still very angry and hurt.  This person hasn't died.  But I have lost him.  He's been in my life and I've loved him ever since I can remember.  There have been times I've hated him but still always loved him...if that's even possible.

Earlier this year, in January, E2 and I were on a dinner date.  A friend of mine had just flown back into town and since we were downtown and I'd been wanting E2 to meet him, he joined us for dinner.  I left my phone in the car because I think it's rude to have a phone beeping, blinking and ringing during a meal.  After food, drinks and laughs, E2 and I were headed back to his place when I finally checked my phone.  I had a slew of missed calls (a number I didn't recognize) and a voice mail.  As I was trying to check the message, a call came through from that same number.  It was John's (not really his name but the most generic one I can think of right now) girlfriend.  I'd never even met the girl but she somehow had my number? 

She was calling in a panic asking me to come and get John.  He had just lost his job and she wanted him to move out.  He hadn't slept for a few days now, was drunk and had taken some pills.  She didn't know what kind.  He was threatening to destroy the apartment and she was afraid.  Just as she had given me the address I heard John screaming at her in the background, she shrieked, a thump and a crash and the phone went dead.

My adrenaline started pumping and my hands started shaking as I asked E2 to get me over there, fast.

We arrived to find John shifting between complacent and aggressive.  One minute he's ready to leave with us, the next he's remembered something else he wants to bring with him.  When he demanded a ring that he had given the girlfriend, that she didn't seem to have, he blew up and refused to leave until he had it.  He threatened her and got her backed into the bathroom where he attempted to shut them in.  I stuck my foot in the door and shoved it back open.

John: "Shut the door Dawn!"
Me: "I don't think so".
John: "Shut the damn door.  I just wanna talk to her!!"
Me: "You just threatened her and now you expect me to allow you alone with her with a door that can lock?  Absolutely not."

He became even more irate and stated he would just leave and drive himself into a brick wall.

Um.  Yeah, sounds super.

Naturally, E2 stopped that from happening.  John had not met E2 and so having some random man putting his hands on him, preventing him from taking his dramatic alcohol and drug induced leave, did not go over well.  He went berserk and went at E2 with everything he had.  E2 however, is no slouch.  He basically just held John off while not inflicting any harm on him.

Being the genius I am, I wormed my way in between them, counting on the fact that John was still with it enough to recognize who I was and remember that he had cared about me at one time in his life.  Stupid stupid girl.  Do NOT do this unless you are okay with possibly getting your teeth knocked down your own throat. 

Luckily, this did not happen.  It broke them apart and John headed out to the balcony to cool off.  Or so I thought.  While thanking E2 for his help I look over my shoulder to see John with one leg over the balcony about to pitch himself over from 3 stories up.  I burst out there, grab onto his shirt and he stumbles back onto the balcony where he grabs my arm and wrenches it behind me.  It hurt like hell but I knew he could have broken it easily had he wanted to.  Tears start pouring from my eyes and he lets go of my arm.  I immediately wrap my arms around him in a bear hug to keep him from going anywhere.  E2 is watching and from over John's shoulder I ask him to call the police.  John starts sobbing and says how he just can't do it anymore.  We stand on the balcony hugging each other and crying until the police show up.

They take our statements while evaluating John and quickly call the paramedics to come and get him.  He goes willingly but isn't happy about it.  I told him I'd see him at the hospital and they took him away.

And then there was the time the school bully had targeted him after school.  I was tall for my age and was wearing my snow boots.  I ran up to the bully and kicked him between his legs.  He dropped like a bag of dirt and John and I took off running for our lives.

High school wasn't any better for him.  He would get dumped in the garbage cans and rolled down the hallways.

I thought of the times he stuck up for me.  The times he took the fall for me.  When he shared with me.  We would go to dinner and laugh and laugh and talk about important things.  Things that mattered to us.  Then just a week or two later I'd see him again after a number of sleepless nights and he would be a completely different person.  One I didn't know and one I didn't want to know.

These and many more memories were flooding my mind as I went in and sat down next to him.  I just want him to be happy.  I just want him to be okay.

Another evaluation and it's determined he will be committed in the behavioral health clinic.  I sign the paperwork and he curses me and tells me this is all my fault.  He hates me and will never forgive me.  I just sit there and wonder how much longer I can cry until I'm completely dehydrated. 

They took him away and I was allowed to visit once a week.  They took away his belt and shoelaces.  His pants wouldn't stay up and he had long ago given up on his shoes so he was just wearing socks.  We sat at a table in silence while I picked at my visitor name tag.  He had nothing to say to me and I felt the immense weight of guilt for even putting him there.  We listened to the shrieking and sobbing of the other patients with their visitors.  Time was up.  I gave him a hug and he went through his door back to his room while I headed out the door to freedom.

Each subsequent visit was a little less awkward but he eventually told me I didn't need to come visit him anymore.  So I didn't.

I don't remember how long he was in there.  I do remember both dreading those visits but looking forward to seeing him.  I still don't know how to process the feelings of guilt and regret.  I'm not sorry I did what I did.  I would do it every time if put in that situation again.  But it doesn't stop the feeling that I somehow failed him. 

I rarely see him anymore.  When I do, I sometimes catch a glimpse of the person I knew from years ago.  I know he's in there somewhere but for now, he's lost to me and the others that love him so much.  I just want him to be happy.  I want him to be okay.

I hope to one day have him as a part of my life again.  E2 has a fortune he got from a cookie that says "If you have hope, you have everything".  I still have some hope.  So I guess for now, that will be enough.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

*Du Bist Mein Liebster.

Growing up in Canada, I had to take French along with all the usual math, science, art type classes.  I love the way French sounds.  It's sophisticated and sexy and just sounds edible.  I don't know what I mean by that.  Go with it.

Then I moved to the states and decided it would be a super great idea to take German instead.  Why?  Because it was less crowded than French, (apparently nazis are still rather unpopular) I thought it might be good to branch out but really, when it came down to it, the German club got an end of the year trip to Daytona Beach.  Only stipulation was you had to actually be taking German.


E2 has spent quite a bit of time off and on in Europe, specifically France, for rock climbing.  It's not uncommon for him to come home at the end of the day and rattle off  *"Ce qui s'est passé aujourd'hui?"

And I'll eloquently reply "Shut yer whore mouth!  I don't know what that means!"  Because I don't remember any of the French I once knew.  Or I'll try to sound smart and confound him with some German.  "Warum sind sie belästigen mich du narr?"

He'll just look at me oddly and comment on how I sound like I'm choking on my own phlegm. 

And that brings us to the German word Liebster.  It literally translates as beloved.  Mrs. Mommy over at Life After Kids was awesome enough to give me the Liebster award.  Her other blog Did I Shave My Legs For This? makes me giggle.  Check her out and show her some love.

And now to share the Liebster love with five of my most beloved bloggers with 200 or less followers.  Not sure why that's a stipulation but whatev's.

1. Amanda over at Appreciating the Fireflies has been blowing me away lately with her writing.  She has a way of really bringing her words to life.  The fact that she's a total doll certainly doesn't hurt either.

2.  Tonya the Hobo Girl from Where Have All The Hobos Gone never fails to make me smile with her sense of humor and her drawings.  Her most recent post features a spot on rendering of the Price is Right showcase showdown.

3.  Then we have Angela at Begging The Answer.  She's sarcastic, a little dark, and a lot twisty.  What's not to love about that?  

4. Jordan, also known as Trailer Gypsy is a new favorite of mine.  She does amazing things with food she actually grows.  Like, from the ground!  And then puts them in jars to eat later.  And doesn't die from Botulism!  I KNOW, right?  And although I don't know her in real life, she seems like one of those genuinely good people you always hope will be on your side. 

5.  And that brings us to Pickleope.  Wow.  Where to even start?  I don't know whether Pickleope is male or female...maybe both?  I know there's more than one writer over there.  And I know for a fact that they're ALL crazy.  I absolutely LOVE the insanity that spews forth from the minds of that blog.  It's upsetting.  But the good kind of upsetting.  If you know what I mean.  Cause I don't.

* You are my beloved. 
** What happened today?
***Why are you bothering me you fool?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How I got tricked on Halloween

Just like reaching puberty, I'm a little behind schedule...again.  I always get there eventually.  It just takes me a little longer than most people.  And thus we have my Halloween report.  Just be warned for those of you who actually read my posts.  This one may be a tad verbose.  This blog has no point, as many have noticed.  It's my online journal that I'm retarded enough to make public.  What I'm trying to say as nicely as possible is that this blog is for me.  I'm thrilled and constantly surprised when people actually take the time to read and comment.  It makes me enormously happy, but ultimately, this blog is for me and my sieve-like memory.  So I can read back and be horrified  thankful for the life I've been lucky enough to lead.

And with that, I give you...

Angry Birds!!!

There was a comment Doug Stephens left on my last post.  "Another angry bird victim.  Will it never end?"  And I couldn't agree with him more.  I was a VICTIM in this whole thing.  My supervisor came up with the idea and I went along at the time, planning on flaking out later, cause sometimes I'm a bad person like that.   However, the more excited about the idea she got, the more I came to realize there was no going back.  Like a virgin on Prom night, I was in it for the duration.  And because I live under a rock, coworkers had to show me what it was all about.  I have to be honest here...I still don't get the fuss.  I think it's effing stupid.  But the cute little monkey in the Rio version gave Candice the perfect opportunity to bring her little monkey to the office.  The same little monkey you've heard screaming in the first vlog.  He's clearly not a fan of dildo drink mixers.  To each their own, I suppose.
Even angry birds need lovin's!  Is an apostrophe appropriate with lovin's?
After work I flew the coop (Hehe get it?  Get it?  See what I did there?) and headed off to Zion's with E2 for the weekend.  Little did I know I was voluntarily heading off to my near demise.

Things went relatively smoothly the first couple of days.  We did some easy hikes, saw some wildlife, made fun of tourists.  Then came Sunday night.  The night before Halloween and the night before we were to do the big hike.  The whole reason for the trip.  The hike to the Subway.  That night E2 made a spicy Szechuan stir fry.  It was delicious.  But holy hell it was painful.  We would take a bite.  Chew chew chew, swallow.  Gasp for life giving air as tears rolled down our cheeks.  Gulp some wine and mentally prepare for the next bite.  We managed to choke it down and sat back to wait for the burning in our mouths to cease.

It was around this point my stomach started making incredibly loud, odd, angry sounding noises.  I whistled a show tune into the air while gazing at the stars and enjoying the fire.  La la la I don't hear anything.  E2 on the other hand, wasn't about to just let it go.

E2- Are you gonna shit yourself tonight?
Me- Wow.  You are SUCH the romantic.
E2- I need to know.  I need you to be honest cause I sleep next to you.  You wear a thong.  It's gonna go out both sides.
I never did answer him and I'm happy to report I did not shit myself.  I did, however, pee my pants while trying to stumble into the shrubbery while howling with laughter.  Not cool.  Not cool at all.

The next morning we got a late start because he decided he wanted to shoot some sunrise pictures before we headed out.  He told me I could sleep for another 40 minutes and it was the sweetest thing I had heard all weekend.  However, because of the late start, that meant the other hikers who had also acquired permits had a major head start on us.  I didn't know until later that this was an issue.

We drive to the trail head and see the parking lot with five other vehicles.  We head off down the trail and it's not too bad at all.  He had previously warned me this would not be an easy hike.  It's 4.5 hours in and then 4.5 to get back out.  At this point I'm thinking "Pfft.  What kind of wimp does he think I am?  I've totally got this.  At this rate we'll be there in 2 hours".

After 20 min's of E2's mach 5 pace, I was getting a little winded but it was pretty level so I had no trouble keeping up.  Then we came to the sign mockingly stating "You are now entering Zions back country".  Wait.  WHAT?  The actual hike hasn't even STARTED yet?  No.  That's cool.  I've still got this.

Except I didn't.  We soon started down a very steep, rocky and tiring descent.  Every time I stepped down I'd get sewing machine leg, where your leg starts shaking uncontrollably. 
It finally levels off and my legs feel like jelly.  I'm freaking tired.  I nonchalantly ask "Hey, E2.  (Cause that's what I call him in real life) How far in do you think we are?  Like, how long do you think we've been hiking for now?

His response, "About 30 minutes".

Oh shit.

It only got worse from there.  You have to understand.  This was no ordinary hike along a little well worn path.  No.  Ohhh no.  The entire hike was like the stairmaster climb from hell.  It was never flat.  You were constantly scrambling over rocks, pulling yourself up by the trees.  We crossed the river by jumping from rock to rock about 15 times.

And it's not like we were going at a normal pace.  Oh hell no.  We had to go at E2 pace.  He had to beat everyone there so he could have time to get some good shots before it turned into a tourist cluster.  We'd see some wet sand or some footprints and he'd get excited and say "See that?  We're gaining on them"  I'd simply wheeze in response.
We caught up to the first couple of people and he pointed to them and said, "See that?  Eyes on the prize Dawn.  Eyes on the prize".  I wanted to slap him.

We ended up passing everyone and we made it to the Subway first and he got his freaking pictures.  And it was amazingly spectacular and the most striking place I've ever hiked to.  Okay?  I admit it.  It was phenomenal.

And yeah, don't for a second think I actually took this.
They're all E2's doing.
It was bigger than I expected.  Heh.  Say it with me now...that's what she said.  *sigh*

If you do the hike from the top down, you rappel in and wade through the pools.
A crack in the rock we had to walk over that the water was flowing through.
 Heading back, we ran out of water.  Which may or may not have been because I sucking on that camelbak straw like a...actually, I'm gonna just skip this one.  It's too obvious.  But we ran out of water.  I pulled my arm out of the socket trying to pull myself up a stupid rock by grabbing a tree because my legs were so wasted at this point.  My eyes welled up but I didn't cry dammit!

E2 is chatting away as if my life weren't in any sort of peril whatsoever.  I finally had to tell him "I can't talk to you anymore.  I'm in survival mode.  I need to conserve my energy."

Hiking along in front of me, his response was to slap his ass and say "See this?"

Me- "Yep.  Eyes on the prize Dawn.  Eyes on the prize."

I literally ended up crawling out of that canyon and walking back to the truck.  I was wondering if my legs would ever be the same again while fighting back tears of exhaustion when E2 mentioned coming back the next weekend and doing the hike from the top down.  If I had had the energy, I would have punched him somewhere really mean while screaming Trick or Treat MOFO!