Categories
R.I.P. Real Life Video...

The Loudest Man I Ever Slept With…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZFxo5yloUQ&hl=en&fs=1&]
Insomnia by Cat

I took this video in May, when Sheikh was still sleeping above my head.

Not very long ago, he was his usual fat and fluffy self, but then became boney and light as air in a few short weeks. He eventually stopped eating altogether. He hid out most of the time, and what kept me awake during that time was not his snoring, but my nerves, while I tried to search him out, hoping not to find him dead under the stairs or the couch.

“He’s old, though,” I thought. “It may soon be time…”

Monday, he stopped drinking water. By 5 am Tuesday morning, he was gone. I wish now that I could say I’d just found him dead, having gone to sleep and stayed that way. The way he did die was hard to watch – he was in pain, a lot of pain, I think, and I have a huge amount of guilt over not getting him to a vet in time to either heal him of whatever caused this, or to save him from a such a hard death.

Sheikh
“Sheikh”
?-July 23, 2009
R.I.P.

He was wonderful company for the last few years. I’m really going to miss him…

We took him out to The Dog-Lady’s farm to bury him. On the way there, I told The Evil Hypnotist that no way were we getting another cat. I don’t want to get attached to any more pets. No. Way.

Ky was upset: The Patchouli-Cat has never been alone… she will miss Sheikh, too… she needs another cat for company….

No. Way.

When we got there, I opened my door to step out, and five large dogs piled into the van. I was trying to get them out when they noticed the box with Sheikh in it. It was really odd to watch them. They obviously realized that whatever was in that box was dead, and I would have expected them to try to get into it, but they didn’t. They got very quiet, sniffed at the box, and one by one (by one, by one, by one) they all filed back out the driver’s door.

By the time I got over to Ky, she was sitting in a lawn-chair, cuddling a teeny-tiny black kitten.

Well, shit.

I said, “No. Way.

She said, “Please…?”

I said, “No. Way.

She said, “Pleeeeeeaaaaaaase?!”

I looked at The Dog-Lady, and said, “Help me, would you?”

And The Dog-Lady looked back at me and replied, “Hey, you owe me. I took your dog.”

Shetbag.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVW1CtJN9J0&hl=en&fs=1&]
For the record, I am not attached to this little monster. Not.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “This is How You Remind Me” – Nickleback

Categories
Blog-Family Real Life

I Think I’m Awake, Now…

Image: Hiding...
Hiding…
© Kyla Becker
Taken March 14, 2009 with Canon PowerShot A550

Okay, so maybe it hasn’t been “hiding”, so much, as that I’ve been “doing”. Maybe, it’s been more like hibernating. I’ve been working and sleeping and getting up long enough to go to work and not much of anything else since the New Year rolled in.

Spring is finally here (maybe). It’s time to wake up.

I am on holiday for the next week. If I hadn’t already booked it a couple of months back, I would have done so anyway. I’m burnt out. And slept out.

I booked the week off to go visit CardioGirl, ‘member that?

Yeah.

Well.

I’ve been throwing money at some of the dreamy little plans I’ve hinted at over the last couple of years… so much so, that I forgot (forgot!) that I might possibly need some cash to get to Detroit.

And back.

And eat while there.

Not to mention sleep somewhere other than in the Prissy-Van, ‘cuz, you know, who can afford to get up every two hours and feed a parking meter?

All of this is supposed to happen sometime this week (This. Week.).

I’m a-skeered to call the betch, for fear she’ll just tell me to shove it.

Forgot.

Sheesh.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Carbon Monoxide” – Regina Spektor

Categories
J.O.B. Zenishness...

Sometimes, Wishing is Enough…

“What Lies Behind…”
“What Lies Behind…”

Taken October 9, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

My boss called me today.

Asked me to come in to work to “have a little talk.”

Scared the shit out of me.

I LOVE my job. I want to keep my job. The only thing I don’t like about my job is my seeming inability to negotiate gracefully between day shifts and night shifts, which I’m beginning to despair of ever getting a handle on.

All I can manage to do is sleep. House is a wreck. The Idiot Child must feed herself or go hungry – not to mention, wash her own laundry (as well as mine), and Sheikh the Cat has begun spending his awake hours sitting next to my head, intermittently placing a paw on my face and sliming kissing me, wondering why my eyes are always closed.

This despair of accommodating the fluctuating schedule got me wishing for a work routine that I’ve only experienced once, Way Back When, remember that? I wasn’t particularly fond of the “job” part of that job, but the schedule was perfect: it was the same. damned. schedule. every. day. With weekends off, to boot.

My house was clean. The cats were happy. The Idiot Child was still a teenager, but I think she preferred the sameness, as well.

I have been wishing I could approach my boss and appeal for a Same-Damned-Shift. Even if it was the night shift. I dreamed of the conversation being short, sweet and successful.

Me: “Hey, how ’bout I work nights? All the time. Just nights. Cuz nobody else seems to like nights.”

Him: “Yeah, great idea! Thanks! I’ll just go ahead and change the schedule right now! How ’bout I give you more shifts with that? You want more shifts? There’s more money in more shifts. How ’bout I give you more shifts, too?”

There are a bzillion reasons why I couldn’t do that. I mean, I could do that, but he would either laugh, thinking I was joking, or take me seriously and still say no. Several reasons for the “no”:

1) I’m still The New Kid on the Dance Floor. Yes, others have come behind me, but I’m still new enough that I can get away with “I’m New Here” to cover a mistake I’ve made. Much longer, I’d have to use “I’m Old” for an excuse. That’s probably more apt. 😉

2) Nobody has a Same-Damned-Shift schedule. Nobody. Why should *I* get that lucky?

3) It’s obvious to all and sundry that I’m having trouble adapting to the shift changes and if they coddled me (cuz I’m old, maybe?), it could possibly cause a revolt.

So, I’ve been schlepping along, loving the job part of the job and hating the schedule part of the job, wishing for the impossible, and for shit’s sake, my boss calls me today for “a little talk”.

I knew I was fired. I wanted to ask if I was fired, but Boss is not the kind of guy that does that over the phone, I’m pretty sure. I settled for asking, oh so casually (yeah, right) “Sure, what’s up? Something wrong?” the whole while repeating the mantra, “don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad…don’t-let-it-be-bad”, which, for the record, has never once worked before. In my experience, if it feels like it might be “bad”, it’s generally much, much worse than “bad”.

So, yeah. I knew I was fired, even when he said, “Oh, no. Nothing to worry about. Just wanna go over something with you.”

Uh oh. What horrible thing have I done? Shit, he read about me finding cocaine on the dance floor! No, wait, I told him that story myself and he laughed really hard. Can’t be that.

Or maybe, I didn’t do something that I should have done? It’s not like I forgot to lock up, or anything (once did that while working for Louie, and nobody even noticed, can you believe that?) – I mean, we’re open 24/7. I’m not even sure there is a set of keys for the place.

Not that it would matter what the “little talk” was about, I still had to have it. So, I pulled on my boots and crossed the street.

And my boss said to me – no word of a lie, here, either, I swear – I’m not even exaggerating in the slightest little bit:

“I’m hoping I can change your schedule. Would you be willing to work straight nights, with weekends off? You’d be guaranteed five shifts that way, (employees who have been there longer, of course normally get more hours, unless they book a shift and hand it to me) and if I need you on the weekends, I’ll call – you’ve never turned down a shift, so you’re the first one I call. Would that work for you?

Well, gee, lemme think on that….

I’m dumbfounded. I agreed immediately, though, and he was all thanking me as if I were doing him a favour. Maybe I am and just don’t realize it, but it’s like he read my mind.

Or my blog….

Hmmmmmm…..

So, he hands me my newly-minted hours, starting Sunday end, or S/M if you read the little date box on the schedule, and I trotted back home to write this post, and marvel over never having to wonder when I’m working “next week”… and there followed shortly a call requesting me to work an extra shift tomorrow. Already, I’m booked for overtime. I love my job.

Now, I have to clean a cat-box. Maybe then, Sheikh will quit sliming kissing me in the middle of my version of night.

~ Just about to hit the publish button when I get another call from work – this time from the assistant manager: apparently some deer-hunter I was joking around with a week or so ago (told him he should bring me some deer parts, since my dad was gone, and nobody ever brings me deer meat anymore), just dropped off a venison roast for me. Can I please come pick it up, as it’s grossing her out? ~

Well, gee, lemme think on that….

Excuse me while I go pick up Free Dead Wild Animal.

(Did I tell you how much I love my job…?)

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Surf Wax America” – Weezer

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Photography

What to Post When You Can’t Keep a Train of Thought on Its Rails…

Image: Trojan Moose
Trojan Moose
Taken July 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Yeah, yeah, I know I said I *hate* these things not two posts ago, but…The Best Memes in Life Are Stolen. Elle said that, so it must be true.

Stole this from Elle, who stole it from Angelika, who stole it from Why Are You Stalking Me?, who stole it from someone else. 😀

1. Do you like blue cheese salad dressing?
— No.

2. Favorite late night snack?
— Mashed potatoes. And beer.

3. Do you own a gun?
— No.

4. What’s your favorite drink at Starbucks or other specialty coffee shop?
— Here in Canuckia, it’s Tim’s, and it’s either a black coffee, or an English Toffee something-or-other.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
— Not anymore.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
— I try not to think of them, or it puts me off them. Have eaten them. Will most likely eat them again.

7. Favorite Christmas song?
— Gramma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
— I wish I had the nerve to say beer. It’s coffee, though.

9. Can you do push-ups?
— I can… but will I? HA!

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?
— It’s a toss-up between my Grandmother’s little silver “broach-watch” thingy, or my father’s wristwatch. I wear neither of them, though. Or any other jewelry of any other kind, for that matter.

11. Favorite hobby?
Digital Photography.

12. Do you have A.D.D.?
— Probably.

13. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself?
— I procrastinate. A lot. I probably stole this meme weeks ago.

14. The last disease you contracted?
— Wrinkles.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment.
— I can’t possibly be expected to untangle THREE of them considering I might have A.D.D.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink?
— Coffee, coffee and beer. Although ‘regular’ on beer has become more ‘few and far between’. And that’s a shame, if ever there was one.

17. Current worry right now?
— None. I refuse.

18. Current hate right now?
— See above.

19. Favorite place to be?
— I haven’t been ANYPLACE, yet. I’ll have to do something about that.

20. How did you ring in the New Year?
— I seriously cannot remember.

21. Like to travel?
— I hope so.

22. Name three people who will complete Sunday Stealing this week:
— No.

23. Do you own slippers?
— Yes, I do.

24. What color shirt are you wearing?
— Black.

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets?
— Haven’t the foggiest. Probably not.

26. Can you whistle?
— Can so.

27. Favorite singer/band?
— Impossible to attempt to decide.

28. Could you ever make it 39 days on the show Survivor?
— I’ll betcha I could. But what the hell for?!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower?
— I don’t. The Idiot Child does though. And in the sauna. And in the “bathroom”. And in her sleep sometimes.

30. Favorite girl’s names?
— Kyla.

31. Favorite boy’s names?
— Hmmmmm…. Matthew for my father, maybe?

32. What’s in your pocket right now?
— Nothing right now, but a few seconds ago there was a hand in there!

33. Last thing that made you laugh?
— How fast “Hand in My Pocket” started playing in my head after I typed the above answer.

34. Like your job?
— I do.

36. Do you love where you live?
— If you mean my apartment – yes. If you mean this town – not like I once did.

37. How many TVs do you have in your house?
— 1

38. Who is your loudest friend?
— “Real Life” friends – The Fly-Girl. “Imaginary Friends”, as my mom calls anybody I know online, I haven’t a clue yet. But it’s probably Suzi, now that Sheikh is gone… 😀 / 🙁

39. Do you drive the speed limit or speed?
— I always drive the speed limit. Unless I think I might have cocaine in my pockets.

40. Does someone have a crush on you?
— If so, I hope it’s a movie producer in need of new scripts…

41. What is your favorite book?
— Can’t say… too many. I like anything by Madeline L’engle. Or Douglas Adams. Or Robert Heinlein.

42. What is your favorite candy?
— Just gimme the candy.

43. Favorite Sports Team?
— At one time, it was the Edmonton Oilers, but then Wayne defected.

44. What were you doing 12 AM last night?
— Dancing in the parking lot.

45. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up today?
— I haven’t yet woken up today.

So, steal it if you want it. 😀

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Gyasi Went Home” – Bedouin Soundclash

Categories
J.O.B. Real Life

Good God, What Day is This?!

Image: Bright Raw
Bright Raw
Taken March 16, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’m not kidding, either. My days are like this: get up, eat, shower, dress, eat again, pack a lunch, cross the street to work, where I suck back 8 to 10 cups of coffee, eat one lunch, buy another, eat everybody else’s leftovers, dance in the parking lot, cross the street to home, check the mail, sit in the sauna, eat, try not to fall asleep whilst checking up on Blog-Family, eat, collapse. Start over.

I’m switching back and forth between three to four nights “on”, a day – sometimes two – off (the first of which I generally sleep through entirely, along with the following night), followed by three to four day shifts. Rinse and repeat. If they start throwing afternoons at me, I’m not going to get a chance to eat the million meals it seems to take to keep me conscious. I’m not gaining any weight, but at least I’m not losing any, either.

Fluffy took me out to dinner a few weeks ago, and swears I fell asleep at the table. I did not (there were two whole beers to drink; I’m not one to sleep through beer), but I did fall asleep during the car-ride home. We’re going out to eat on Saturday night coming (how many sleeps away is that?) and I hope to stay awake for three beers, this time.

I am not exaggerating when I ask what day it is – most of the time, I really don’t know. As long as I remember how many of such-and-such shift I have in a row, I’m good.

I have to smarten up. I want to write. I want to record. I want to blog my Dad’s stories. I want to drive the Prissy-Van to Teeny-Tiny Town to visit my mom.

It’s like permanent jet-lag. How do I fix this?! One of these Saturday mornings I’m going to drop the Idiot Child off at a locked and empty school, if I don’t get a handle on my time.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Hey There, Delilah” – Plain White T’s

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Radio Les

Guess What I Found on the “Dance Floor”…?

Is It, or Isn't It...?Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Is It, or Isn’t It…?
Taken November 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
In a Parking Lot, Wellington St West, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Right, so I worked a night shift today (or last night), and have not yet slept, although I’m working through the night again tomorrow (or today [or tonight]).

You’ll have to excuse me; my brains have had a stir. See above.

It’s a lonely vigil, the night shift. There’s nobody else to dance with, for one thing. Not that I mind dancing alone (and I do dance in the parking lot all by myself, through the long night. I do.), but there are fewer 5-minute conversations, because there are fewer people – which is why I’m alone to begin with; fewer people to deal with means no side-kick for Les to dance with – and those few people tend to be tired and grumpy. Especially when it rains.

Myself, I like the rain in the middle of the night. I don’t have to sweep the “dance floor” in the rain, although I kind of like that part of the job. It’s rhythmic and soothing, and sometimes I find cool things. Like money – in 5 cent, 10 cent, 2-bits, and sometimes (gasp!) even whole dollar increments.

And then there’s that thing at the top of the page, stuck up there before the words start. Yes, it does look like that, doesn’t it? Or what I’ve always imagined that that would look like, if ever I encountered it, and up until I came across that ziploc bag while sweeping prior to the rain in the middle of last night, I had never encountered it.

If that’s what it really is, anyway.

And you know I’m not going to tell you that, at least, until the end of the story, right?

Right.

I’m going to interrupt here, one day later, to add some audio. With thanks to Suzi and Dale, I’ve worked up the guts to record the remaining portion of this post, as practice for The Waitress AudioBook project – you know, test the equipment and software, find my public speaking voice again, blah, blah, blah.

I’m pleased to say, that I dropped back into it with very few mishaps, and no tears whatsoever. In fact, I actually enjoyed myself, which I wouldn’t have believed possible, previously. I may just do this again.

Click the link – have a listen – read along. Sorry about the lack of a bouncing ball to follow, but maybe I’ll work that in when I switch the blog over to flash, which should happen sometime next decade with the flash conversion success rate that I boast…

Introducing…

Radio Les!

Guess What I Found in the Parking Lot? – © Les Becker, 2008
Click it! Click it!

(You know you want to…)

So….

I stand there in the parking lot, broom in hand, staring down at this ziploc bag, and nudge it with the very manly steel-toed toe of my very manly steel-toed boot…. and I look around as nonchalantly as is possible when one comes across what might be seriously illegal ziploc baggie-filler in the middle of the night at one’s place of employment, with Han Solo’s voice running through my head: “I don’t know! Fly casual!” Or, in this case, sweep casual….

Eventually, I get up the guts to pick it up. It’s heavier than I would have imagined cocaine would be; packed into a hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

A nasty thought strikes me: Is this some kind of test?!

Not a “set up from the Boss” kind of test… I’m thinking more along the lines of God, or the Universe, or Whomever/Whatever really runs things… a kind of like, “Here! Have some of this. Free, even!” kind of test. I mean, if I had found a baggie of pot in the parking lot in the middle of the night, I wouldn’t be blogging this.

And I’m pretty sure I’d be sound asleep right now, too… 😀

But it very obviously isn’t pot… and I’ve no idea if it’s what I think it might be, which is coke, and on top of that, no idea if, assuming I had the opportunity/nerve to open it up, I would be able to tell cocaine from anything else that might resemble cocaine.

All I really know, is that whatever it is or isn’t, it’s illegal, and I’d better “do the right thing”, or risk arrest, and the loss of my groovy-cool new J.O.B.

So, what’s the “right thing to do”?

Do I sneak off to the bathroom and unwrap the thing…? No. I’m not worried about temptation (although wouldn’t that be a bugger – to crawl out from under, find a job I like for a change, and then get hooked on coke in the employee bathroom the first time out because I found somebody’s lost stash and thought, “Ah, what the hell…?”), but opening it up wouldn’t exactly look good on me later, would it?

Do I take it in to the “inside” side of the parking lot, to Pretty Girl who’s working tonight and Show and Tell it to her? I decide against… Pretty Girl is nice (she dances when I tell her to), but I don’t really know her that well. What if she’s a coke-head? It could happen – maybe she dropped it.

I decide to go inside and call the Boss – yes, wake him up out of a sound sleep, and ask him what to do. That’s the ticket.

At which point, a 5-Minute Conversationalist rolls up to park, grumpy as all hell, and I stuff the baggie in my pocket and go conversate.

And then I forget all about it.

I KNOW!!! Can you imagine?!

But that’s what I do… until the sun rises, and I’m suddenly surrounded by 5-Minute Conversationalists and it isn’t until the Boss pulls up and parks that I remember it.

And then shift-change is upon us, and things go nuts, because we have to shut everything down for a whole minute-and-a-half and all the grumpy 5-Minute Conversationalists are freaking because they have to wait for their conversations, and by the time it calms down and I’m free to talk to the Boss about the baggie full of drugs I found in his parking lot, my Idiot Child (now don’t come down on me for renaming my formerly wonderful albeit sometimes stupid kid – she’s a full-blown teenager now, clinically insane and has recently earned the new name, believe me) comes flying into the fray to tell me she missed her bus, and can I please, please drive her all the way to the far edge of town to school?

To which I find myself driving in a downpour, with a minor child, and me with no purse (hence, no driver’s license), with my pockets stuffed full of cocaine.

I’m certain I’m going to be stopped for driving erratically. I am, in point of fact, driving very erratically, being in a panic about my pending arrest and all. The knowledge that I am about to become the much-honoured Family Cup Holder does not please me nearly as much as I’ve always believed it would.

I’m sure that, even if I don’t get stopped by the police, I’m certain to run a red light, plow through twenty-seven other vehicles, roll the Prissy-van, mow down a whole bloody mess of school-children, and eventually wake up from my coma in handcuffs because somebody is going to find cocaine in my pockets, dammit, and, somehow, I don’t think, “I found it in the parking lot,” is gonna fly… Nuh-uhhh.

I decide to drop my Idiot Child off at school, and then drive to the police station with my contraband and turn myself in. I’m pretty sure they’ll believe the parking lot story if I surrender the goods of my own volition, so I concentrate on not killing anyone, and driving safely, and I must be doing alright, because I turn into my driveway having had only two fists shaken in my direction, and three or four fingers, ummm, fingered at me.

Yes. I turn into my driveway… having driven by rote and gone home rather than the police station.

At this point, I decide, to hell with it all, I’m going to flush it and forget it. I get inside, lock the door, lock the bathroom door, you know, to be on the safe side, and unwrap the hard little, perfect little, ultra-thin zippo-lighter-sized rectanglular-shaped brick.

Which turns out to be a dead camera battery wrapped in a tissue and folded into a ziploc bag for recycling.

Lucky for me… because a few minutes later, I discover that my toilet won’t flush.

Some drug dealer I’d make. I’m disgusted with myself. I don’t deserve The Family Cup after all.

And Google is going to send me some wicked-weird visitors because of this post, I know it.

Not-So-Random Song-for-the-Day: “Cocaine” – Eric Clapton

Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Real Life

I *HATE* These Things…

Peaceful
Peaceful
Taken August 11, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

…but Suzi tagged me with a meme, and I’ll do it because she kinda scares me (she drinks MOLD!).

Before I get to that, though, I would like to point out the peacefulish picture above. That’s how life has been lately, although I’m pretty much either at work, or asleep. That’s right – I said asleep. Insomnia no longer plagues me.

I think it helps that I’m outside a lot, running a lot, eating more…. And I get to dance at work (I don’t dance alone – I make everybody dance). I’m finally working a “Dream Job” again…. This is the one I dreamed of having when I was 4. Guess I’m late with pretty much everything.

I haven’t had any time to write – I only just got my little Basement Loft back in order after three weeks of doing NO housework other than laundry. It took me less than an hour. I moved to the right place, didn’t I? 🙂

Okay, so on to the dreaded meme. I’m supposed to come up with 7 random things about myself that few, if any, people know. I don’t think there’s 7 random things about me that *I* know, truthfully, but I’ll give it a shot (I told you that Suzi scares me, right?).

1) I have one eyebrow. Or I would have one eyebrow, if I didn’t delete the bit between what would make two eyebrows.

2) I’ve lived in 22 different places (abodes, not cities) in my lifetime. That’s equivalent to moving house once every 1.9 years. Pretty bad for someone who doesn’t adapt to change easily, huh?

3) I shaved my head when I was 35. I told everybody I did it for charity (which was true, really – hey, I raised $500!), but really it was because I had always wanted to see what I’d look like, and the charity-thing gave me a good excuse to do so.

4) I’m going to shave my head again when I’m 50. You can hold me to that (…and this time, I might keep it shaved.).

5) After I moved into my first apartment here in the Sault, I lived in my claw-foot bathtub. When I wasn’t at work, I was in a hot bath with a book. I even ate my meals in the bathroom.

6) My first marriage wasn’t supposed to be a marriage. I was asked to have a child, not get married. I only got the “married” part because I wouldn’t have a child out of wedlock at the age of 19. My husband never got the child part, so I guess I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain.

7) My one and only child was born out of wedlock. We didn’t get married until two months after she was born, and then we got married through the mail. I’m a bad, BAD girl, I guess. 😉

Now I’m supposed to tag a bunch of other people. I’m not going to, though.

So there.

Random Song for the Day: “America” – Marcy Playground

Categories
Other People's Stories...

He Saw Dead People…

"Menacing"
“Menacing”
Taken November 26, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

So, after a lovely Tilapia dinner, The Cook – oops – Kitchen Manager – no, make that Soon-To-Be-Revealed Self-Named Story-Teller, told me his earliest memory.

It was a memory that’s haunted him his whole life (and he’s even older than me, so you know that’s a whole lotta life to be haunted), and I really felt kind of sorry for the poor guy. When I think of some of the things that frightened me as a child, I sometimes feel just as afraid as when I was little…

I don’t know if I’ve got his “voice” down properly – hopefully, I’ll get some more stories out of him, so I can practice. When he gets going, he tends to speak loudly, and during several parts of this story, he would start to have an accent. I’ve begun to figure out when he’s a little upset by whether he has an accent or not. Which is kind of cool. Makes me want to piss him off, so I can hear the accent.

Okay, maybe that’s not so cool. Maybe that’s just a little mean. I’m such a little shit-disturber, sometimes. Ahem…*

Him: When I was little – maybe about four or five – we lived in an apartment that was across the parking lot of a funeral home. It didn’t bother me, at first, because I didn’t know what a funeral home was, but I remember I always had weird stuff happen there.

Me: What kind of weird stuff?

Him: In my bedroom. In the middle of the night. Weird stuff, man!

Me: What kind of weird stuff? “Funeral Home” kind of weird stuff?

Him: Yeah! Sort of. People used to come out of my closet.

Me: What kind of people?

Him: Dead people; that’s what kind of people. Geez! I lived across from a funeral home!

[I laughed. Couldn’t help it.]

Him: Why are you laughing?! That’s not funny; it scared the shit outta me! I was just a little kid!

Me: I’m sorry… Okay, so was this nightmare full of, like, zombies, all rotted and gushy or-

Him: NO!! And it wasn’t a nightmare! It was like, almost every night, and they were dead people! Dead. People. Coming out of my closet, and into my room!

Me: How do you know they were dead people? For that matter, how do you know they weren’t nightmares? You know, like the same scary dream when you’re a kid, because you’re stressing out, but you’re a kid, so you don’t know what stress is, and it comes out in repetitive dreams?

Him: What are you, a shrink?! Are you telling me I’m nuts?

Me (laughing again – see? Shit-disturber.): NO! I’m just saying maybe they were dreams.

Him: One: I was not sleeping; I was awake. Therefore, I was not dreaming. Two: I know they were dead, because I could see through them.

Me: Oh.

Him: Yeah. If you can see through them, they’re spirits, and they’re dead.

Me: Ghosts.

Him: Ghosts. Yeah.

Me: And you stopped seeing the ghosts after you moved away?

Him: Whose story is this, Girl?

Me: Sorry. I’ll shut up.

Him: Thank you. So, every night, almost, these ghost-people would come out of my closet and scare the shit out of me. They didn’t jump out and yell, “Boo!” or anything, but they’d look at me. And they’d wander around the room, and after awhile they’d sort of just…. go away. Fade away, or just disappear or something.

But it was always different people. It’s not like I had one ghost or the same couple ghosts haunting my room every night. Every night, it was different dead people, and they were always dressed up like they were going to a dance. The women were always in fancy dresses, with their jewelry on, and the men were always in nice suits and ties, but it was always different people. Different dead people. Brrrr!

I think I coulda got used to it, if it was the same people all the time, but different people made it worse. Damn!

[Very, very, very, long pause….]

Me: And…?

Him: And, what?

Me: And, then what? Need an ending, here. Do you still have dead people coming out of your closet, or what?!

Him: No! That stopped after we moved.

Me: Like I said…

Him: Yeah, yeah. But, I started dreaming about that a few years ago, and every now and again I dream about those dead people wandering around my room, and looking at me, and I’m like, four or five years old again, but not really, and it still scares me. Kind of gives me a creepy feeling for a few hours every morning after I have that dream.

Me: Yeah, that is a little creepy.

Him: But then, worse, a few nights ago, I had that dream, and you know how you wake up after a bad dream, and it kind of sticks with you while you get up, and you’re trying to wake up and get ready for the day? Well, I was in the shower, thinking about that dream, when I realized, looking back on that room I slept in, that those dead people weren’t coming out of the closet at all! The closet was on a different wall! They were coming through the window!

[Pause… as if he’s expecting a reaction from me.]

Me: And that’s… worse…?

Him: Yes, it’s worse! They were coming out of that funeral home! And right through the window-glass, into my room! Geez!

Me: Why is that worse?

Him: ‘Why is that worse?! ‘Why’?! Are you serious?!

Me: I don’t understand why it’s worse that they were coming through the window-glass than if they were coming through the closet door. What’s the difference?

Him: What do you mean ‘what’s the difference’?! The difference is that I could deal with them coming through the closet door and just hanging out in my room! Every little kid that ever lived has monsters in their closet! It scared me, but I could deal with it. Once I figured out they were coming out of the damn funeral home, walking all the way across the parking lot and then coming into my room, I knew they were after me! I’m lucky I survived! ‘What’s the difference?’ Damn, I don’t believe you said that.

[Okay, so then I laughed again. I shouldn’t have laughed, because I’m pretty sure he was seriously freaked out about the whole thing, and laughing was just mean. I couldn’t help it; it was funny as hell.]

Me: Okay… Ahem…* What do you want to call yourself?

Him: What? Call myself? What?

Me: On the blog? When I write your story… how do you want me to refer to you?

Him, with no hesitation whatsoever: As The Victim! I want you to refer to me as The Victim! Geez!

And, so, “The Victim” he shall be called, at least in this space, now and forever more.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Hayfield Crooning” – The Wild Turkeys

Categories
Real Life

Where Did the Time Go?

Image: Where Did the Time Go?
Where Did the Time Go?
Taken March 1, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Whew! That was a hiatus I would rather not have taken. The Real World sucks compared to this one, it really does.

That said, it could be added that my time “away” basically consisted of two types of events: losses and gains. These are some of them.

Lost: My hatred for cooking… sort of.

I’ve had to get into some tight routines during the last month, and since I already had the problem of rarely thinking of what’s for dinner, the idea of not having time to rush around anymore when I finally did realize we hadn’t eaten didn’t appeal. Starvation just doesn’t suit me. So, I smartened up (only took me a quarter of a century – not bad, huh?), and sat down and wrote a list of every meal ever known to man… er…. woman-kind, and wrote them on the calendar. Voila! Dinner is served. I’ve since discovered that it isn’t cooking that I hate, it’s not knowing what to cook. Problem solved.

Gained: Several pounds that have stayed with me.

Finally. No, it’s not from cooking – I was doing that anyway, I just wasn’t liking it, remember? It’s all muscle-mass, from the regular work-outs. Yes, Suzi, I’m working out! Every. Freaking. Day. My arms and legs hurt like hell, but I now have an ass again. Boobs can’t be far behind… 😀

Lost: One of my Ortho lenses.

This totally sucks, because now I’m back to glasses, which are heavy and hurt my already bumpy nose (bumpy because of the F-ing glasses, I might add). I’ve decided not to replace the lens, for several reasons: they cost an unreal amount of money – it took me so long to pay for them, in fact, that I’m too embarrassed to call my optometrist and make an appointment. And I’ll probably just lose one again. And, since they wear out and cost so much, I let them go too long and they cause a freaky sensitivity in one eye that makes it hard to sit in front of the computer for long. Or watch a movie. Or blink. I’m going to go to some eyesight mill and pick up a new prescription instead, and then get lasik surgery in another year or so. Take that blindness. Ha.

Gained:  A new desk.
Gained: A new desk.

It was Ruby’s. She didn’t know she even owned a desk. Now it’s mine. 😀 I will have to post about it, because it’s so cool.

Lost: My love for The Patch.

Freaky-Deaky dreams aside, the thing itches, and half the time I forget to put one on anyway. I’m only still using them at all because I still have some left and my mother says I “shouldn’t waste them.”

Gained: A new couch.

And a chair to go with it. To be delivered Wednesday. How cool is that?! I made sure to get a colour that will match the sheddiest cat.

Lost: One of four “I Want” lines between my eyes. I’m told they’re from stress (not from old age – who’da thunk?!), so I guess that’s a good sign. Who says wishes don’t come true? I’m going to erase my entire face with wishes, you just see if I don’t.

Gained: A sleep routine that works.

That might be why the “I Want” line disappeared, come to think of it. Mind you, all the sleeping, nice as it is, messes with my blogging. I wonder if “Remote Posting” is a possibility… It’s not like I make a lot of sense while awake, so what’s the difference, really?

Lost: The “Slow It All Down” button.

Or I’d have posted long before this.

Gained: A ton of new stories from both Ruby and my parents.

So, I’d better find that button, huh…?

Lost: David Letterman and Craig Ferguson.

The sleep routine just doesn’t allow for them anymore. The worst thing I’ve discovered out of this particular loss is that I can’t discuss U.S. politics with Ruby anymore (it’s pretty bad when everything you know about U.S. politics comes from David Letterman). We now watch movies after the crossword instead.

Gained: A new address.

Eventually. Maybe. I haven’t decided on this one. I hate moving even more than I thought I hated cooking. It’s a bigger place, though, and The Turkey wants to go. She may win this one. I have time yet to mull it over, though, and mull I shall.

Lost: The Hummingbird.

Well, I didn’t lose her, exactly (although, I couldn’t tell you for certain where she is, either), but she’s not here. I’m both heart-broken and greatly relieved. And up to my neck in “Oops, I take it back” government forms.

Gained: Hot water.

Gallons and gallons and gallons of it, now that I’m minus one teenager.

Random Song for the Day: “You Never Can Tell” – Chuck Berry

Categories
Gift Shop Short Fiction Stories

The Waitress, the Whiskey, and the Handcuffs – Part III

The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs
Part 1 of The Ruby Chronicles

Ruby Daniel is a 30-something widow trying to get by in a small backwoods Northern town in the 1950’s. Her chicken farm is failing, and she takes a weekend job as a barmaid at an illegal drinking establishment run by a crooked police officer, hoping the extra income will allow her to keep her farm and raise her kids.

When her crude and offensive employer plays an embarrassing prank on her, Ruby gets revenge with the help of her mother, whose devious tactics and unrestrained glee in the details of retaliation leave Ruby in awe, and a little fearful of the woman who raised her.

This comedic short story will leave you laughing out loud and cheering Ruby on, as she learns that standing up for herself can sometimes backfire, but revenge really does taste sweet – and an indignant mother is a surprisingly fierce force to be reckoned with…

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