A little more than a year ago, we moved across the street from Pinkeye Beach. Seriously, it’s beautiful, and it’s smells all wonderful salt and wet and thick on my face, and I love driving on the highway next to the water, and there’s red tail hawk that hunts from the tree across from our kitchen window sometimes, so majestic, and the campfires smell so wonderful (until someone starts smoking something that smells more like plastic and tar and 151), but really, that water will get you sick.
Never mind that the ocean is nature’s toilet. Never mind that there is always a dead sea lion on the beach (that’s why the dogs always start running as soon as they are off leash–they’re looking for that sweet rotting sea lion). Never mind that there are a million other dead things there; that’s why Pinkeye Beach is covered in crows and pigeons. Kick the bulb of the bull whip kelp and a million flies pour out of it like it’s a corpse’s eyeball.
Never mind all that: there are floaters in the water. You see them every time you go there. The treatment plant is right at the end of Sloat Boulevard. That’s grody. Don’t go in there. At least get a hep-B series first.
Our apartment is one floor up, over the garages, and goes through the building, but it isn’t a railroad, I don’t think. My desk is by the dunes side (we’d have to be on the upper floor to have a view of the beach proper). My boyfriend has the street side. At night, when we eat and watch our stories (y’all, I am just now learning how fucking great Prison Break is. I can’t understand how I slept on this shit for so long), and at night, that’s when this magic happens. A ghost rolls under the windows.
For months and months, we didn’t see it, just heard it. It went too fast to be walking, and too slow to be driving, and too quiet to be on a skateboard. So it had to either be a) disembodied, or b) on a bike. The weird thing: always blasting 1980s hiphop, like Grandmaster Flash, Sugarhill Gang, Kool Moe Dee, and almost always the same ones, like he had a Time Life collection of Greatest Hits CDs, or an 8-track.
It didn’t help that the ghost was fleet of foot. Every time we heard him, we looked, but ghosts get, well, ghost. He was always gone.
Finally: a man rolled by when we were by the window for no reason on a BMX bike, blasting some LL Cool J. He looked young, but it was from far away. Maybe he got hit by the train? Or a car? Maybe he has a message from the 1980s to share with us? A message of peace and freedom through rapping? I can say that hearing Kool Moe Dee and other old school beats made me happy as hell.
Since we saw him once, we see him often. He very much seems male. He is always alone. He is always with music. We can’t tell if other people can see him or not. I want to know his story, since the ones I write for people and ghosts are certainly wrong.
(This is the song I always want the DJ to play, but I think requesting shit from the DJ is rude. I want the ghost to play it, too, but I think requesting shit from a ghost is pointless and rude.)
My mother is an artist. Her medium is reality. You know how some people work with oils, or clay? She shapes facts, events and time. It’s folk art more than a trained thing.
She’s a liar, is what I’m saying.
The world isn’t what she wants it to be, so she makes it up to be more comfortable for herself. But when she lies about me? Oh no. Fuck that shit.
Here’s the nasty truth of this particular matter: one of her cats is obese. Morbidly so. He’s a nice cat, sure. (He keeps tapping me on the shoulder while I’m typing, asking politely if I haven’t forgotten to give him some extra calories. Oh, he has as much kibble as he wants. But lardito wants gravy.) But he’s gotten too fat to wash his own ass. That’s disgusting. Today, on his normal sleeping blanket, there was cat shit. That is so far from okay I can’t. So I washed his blanket. I told Moms about this, because I will not be giving him treats or extra food. He does not need to weigh seventeen pounds. He needs to wash his own ass. I’d get him a rag on a stick and be done with the matter, but he doesn’t have thumbs and can’t use that, so he needs to shed the three or so pounds.
I found him sleeping on something else today while my mother was talking on the phone. (Mom has weird phone manners. Relevant, as she will talk about me while I’m present.)
Here’s what happened:
- Fat ass cat was sleeping on something.
- I picked him up. He was resistant. He had been asleep. He wasn’t angry, just sleepy and confused. He held onto the pillows he was sleeping on with his claws. (Who wouldn’t be a bit or a bunch upset? I don’t like it when people bother my sleeping body either. Apparently, I just wail, Why? in a sad and small and broken way. Unfortunately for me, my lover thinks this is adorable. Fortunately, he is not a sadist and has impulse control and doesn’t do this on purpose since the first time when he tried to smooth the furrow out of my brow while I slept. “You looked so sad, so upset! I was just trying to help. You sounded like you were channeling the ghost of a wounded bagpipe.”)
- I put fat’n’fur’n’browneye on the floor.
- I put a protective blanket on what gingery bacon had been sleeping on. He hopped up on it and went back to sleep.
Here’s what my mom said to her friend on the phone:
“Oh, Seer’s waking George up. Yes, she doesn’t want him sleeping on the chair. She wants him sleeping on a blanket. She’s waking him up because…because she thinks he’s too fat. Yes, she thinks he’s too fat.”
On what planet does that make sense? There are lots of fat people and creatures in this world. I don’t have an air horn in my hand waking them all the time. NO…SLEEP…FOR FATTIES! All god’s children deserve forty winks. I’ve been a big girl too, you know. I used to weigh about seventy more pounds than I do right now. That’s why my belt has thirteen extra inches on it. Because it used to fit me. Never forget. But why judge the obese? Not my steez. It was hard being fat. And everyone has their own issues with their own weight, good, bad, and indifferent, no matter what they weigh. I have mine, you have yours.
When Moms lies about shit like this, here’s what happens: her friends come over and ask me about these things and will hammer on me for harassing a poor fat cat. I can either put up with their wheedling or I can tell them there was cat shit on the furniture. Either way, I’m a horrible person. Either for being irrational or busting Moms on her disgustingness.
I told her today not to lie about what I’m doing. I told her it wasn’t fair. That it gave me no space to defend myself. She looked blank, as if she didn’t understand what she had done to wrong me. I explained again: I tell them nothing, I’m an asshole who hates him; I say there’s cat shit on your furniture, I’m an asshole and the house is filthy. She said the clipped, “Okay,” the one that really says, Stop picking on me. I am defenseless. I didn’t watch her to see if she started wiping her eyes later. She’ll cry over that. In my experience, those with no boundaries can’t stand having one set.
Later, I realized I got triggered by the whole thing. It happened in the moment, the triggering, but the knowledge didn’t surface until later. Because this has all happened before. More than once.
The worst instance that I can specifically remember was a long time ago. I was having terrible symptoms about twelve years ago before my medications got straight, and I couldn’t stand to go out and harvest the tomatoes in the backyard. Every time I saw a tomato hornworm I felt them crawling on me for hours (I have tactile hallucinations when I’m really ill). She told all her friends I was afraid of insects–they never asked, she would just bring it up, Guess what’s wrong with Seer now, the princess–and they would mention it. So I could either tell them I had psychotic symptoms as a result of my thought disorder or be teased by her friends. (Yes, grown adults in their fifties would tease a grown woman in her twenties who was for some reason now living at home. Some people are assholes.)
She folds my life around hers in ways that makes her feel more comfortable. I understand this behavior is one of her coping mechanisms. I understand this logically. Emotionally, it fucks me up. I feel manipulated. I feel used. I feel angry. I feel things I am not able to process or name or aware of yet because I am not an especially emotionally awake person. I’m learning the language, but I live in my body. I dissociate from my mind and I am not fluent in heartspeak. I’m learning to sit in both without flinching, but I still fidget.
I doubt she’ll ever stop doing it, the lying. And I know it’s not my job to control her.
It is my job to learn to stand up for myself and act appropriately. I’m getting there. Slowly. Fifteen years in almost, and getting there.
But it is hard. I don’t like it, and in no small part because of this: I don’t like remembering the person who gave birth to me does not or cannot or will not take care of me. I don’t like that at all.
Hey, this is nasty. So just brace yourself for nasty. You knew I was inappropriate. I can’t turn this shit off.
I often feel like there’s something wrong with me–PROBABLY BECAUSE THERE IS–and like everyone is staring at me (I’m really not interesting enough on the outside for them to be–or am I?) but I don’t often feel like everyone can smell me. I bathe on the regular. I mean daily. Sometimes three times a day, if the man is over and I’m going to get some. I mean we’re going to have conjugal relations. S in the E-X. I guess that would be E-S-X. Which is how we do, because we are kinky.
So I couldn’t figure why I smelled like a truck stop toilet. Like really bad, and coming from my Netherlands. And right after I took a shower. What the fuck? I guessed I had an infection in the ol’ punani (my punani is old as the hills), which is terrible, horrible, very bad. And away from home! But the thing is: I wasn’t doing anything different, and this was the sickeningest odor ever.
For reals, my ‘nani smelled like a Gateway to Hell. Usually, I can clear up [I am not a doctor and this is so not recommended] a yeast or bacterial infection with a couple of drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and shove that shit up there and I’m good to go. So I went to the store to get my oil and felt ashamed. I hoped they just thought I stepped in shit.
And I did my poor lady cure-all. And it helped a little. But I had just had my period and–OH SWEET JESUS NO. NO PLEASE GOD NO….
OH yes. I had left a plug up there and I didn’t know how long it had been up there. At least 36 to 48 hours. But maybe even longer than that. I didn’t remember when I last put a tampon in, I really didn’t. It was Sunday and the last time I remembered anything tampon-related was Thursday. This has always been a fear of mine. I’ve even been to the doctor before because I thought I had one in (didn’t).
AND it took some doing to get it down. I did it myself, but yeah. Might have to do with the posterior cervix. Don’t know, don’t care, it’s done.
But Seer: how did it smell?
AND it smelled like a demonic abortion. Like I had had an incident with an incubus and then thought better of the whole affair and found a priest to exorcise that shit with a holy coat hanger. Like the soul of all the urinal cakes in all of the Port-a-Potties in all of Coachella. Like the afterbirth of the Echidna, after she pushed Chimera and Cerberus and Hydra and the rest out. (Did you know/remember they were siblings? Yeah.)
AND I don’t feel sick. Doubt that I have toxic shock syndrome. It’s really systemic sepsis–a full-on staph infection. Ladies usually get it from dirty hands touching their coochies when they put in a tampon (of course, toilets are straight up ill) and then you get pregnant–with staph. Congratulations! It’s sepsis!
SO, that happened. What did you do today? Oh.
I’m not sure when my friends and I became the cliché of new Berkeley. But we did.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
I had breakfast with Sparrow and Miss DeLoop the other day. Brunch, I guess, since they got eggs and I got carnitas. It was noon. We had planned on eleven, but then Benjamin Franklin et al. got all up in our shit and messed up our morning with some Daylight Savings bullshit. And then we couldn’t reach Zorro Smitty. (Yes, these are my noms de guerre for my friends.) He was off the grid. This shit doesn’t happen in the Age of the Cell; it used to happen all the time when we first met. Remember? When your friend wasn’t home and wasn’t at the spot and for all you knew they were being probed by the Alien Head from 1995? But these days it’s disconcerting. Someone could be trapped under something heavy. Someone could be having a stroke.
Anyways, it turned out that Zorro Smitty had a callback for an audition, so hooray for him–for us all, really! He got the part, too, but we didn’t find that out until later. Zorro Smitty is a star! And I am a star fucker, so I’m keeping my wagon platonically hitched to that boy. I would anyways, but star fucker is so fun to say.
Sparrow is the one with a real job, a real grown up job that had sent her to Europe recently. She’d even gotten to go to a fancy tech party with bands and shit. It turns out traveling to other continents on business isn’t glamorous–this is what everyone has told me–because the time difference fucks your shit up so badly you can’t get right in a day or so for meetings. You don’t have fun. You just try and get your sleep right and feel out of it.
I am the old ass obligatory graduate student of the bunch. I’ve had three real, grown-up jobs in the past. But now, I am the one who regales them with tales out of school. I have two professors who I think might be sorceresses. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw a magic throwdown between them one day. I think the one would have a raven as a familiar, the other an iguana. No clear winners as far as I can tell.
(Also, students take note: red light + theremin + animal costume = bad performance art. I’m just saying. That’s right up there with yarn in a tree. That’s art school 101. What, are you going to write “whore” all over yourself with red lipstick and jump up and down in a cheerleader outfit next? Step up your game, people. Maybe then people will want to attend your “happenings” instead of walking by your forlorn sad little venue.)
I got to the restaurant first, then saw Miss DeLoop. She was still covered in body glitter. Her back is doing better, so she was able to do a show for the first time in a long time last night. She’s a trapeze and aerial artist, not a stripper. [Do folks ask you that, Miss DeLoop?] The show was for a birthday party that must have cost as much as a really, really, really fancy wedding. As much as a really, really nice car. With options. I still think spending that much money at one time is like a potlatch, but not the productive kind, the kind where all this shit is amassed and destroyed. You could feed a bunch of little kids. Find someone in anxiety over their cancer payments or something. But I guess you gotta spend money to light money on fire or something.
And then Miss DeLoop dropped a bomb on us.
“And I got humped by a lemur!”
Pics or it didn’t happen.
–She showed me the motherfucking pics. Of a lemur on her shoulders with his little gleaming demon eyes. Sexual demon eyes.
“He crawled up my back, and he liked my fuzzy coat. And his trainer was all, ‘Uh, no Taj. Stop, Taj. Taj. Bad, Taj. No. Taj.”
She said it was scary. I can’t stop laughing even now.
Miss DeLoop, please send me the pic. I think we’d all like to see it.
I imagine it went a lot like this:
I got rid of a lot of stuff this weekend. You know what it felt like, watching my perfectly good yarn get into a car and drive away, and my brown tank tops get into garbage bags to be given to the Salvation Army, and my sofa bed hauled down the stairs to be sold into upholstered slavery? It felt like a bout of diarrhea that makes you cramp up and shiver. I feel better, but damn, that was a traumatic experience. Actually, shedding my hoarded goods was very, very close to taking a painful, hellish shit, the kind that burns like fire and smells like brimstone. I’m having the same mixed feelings, three days later.
Yes, let’s talk about toilet matters.
So. Seer is a hypochondriac, okay? For the last few weeks, I’ve been convinced I’ve been having blood clots again. Not that I’ve had blood clots before. I just periodically think I’m having them. I have imaginary attacks of the clots. I called the advice nurse and mentioned something about having pain in my groin and they sent me to the OB/GYN, but not my regular awesome one whose name is really like “Dr. Douchebag” (I’m not fooling), but some dude I don’t know. I said to the advice nurse that I would be happy to go to the regular doctor, but it was too late: I’m a lady, and I said “groin,” so I’m at the OB/GYN. To the vagina doctor with ye! Be gone, wench!
Warning: this mailbag is rough, rugged and raw. It’s really, really nasty. It will make you have the willies. You can bail now. You really can. I’ll make it really long here and will put something that will buffer you from the ill content. Just remember: I warned you, and what is seen cannot be unseen. I mean, compiling it icked me out. Medicalish of nature.
The next one won’t be like this. I promise. I couldn’t take it if it were.