When Life Gives You Lemons…It’s because it’s about to throw rocks at your head

I’ve had a shitty 2012. I had peripheral neuropathy that plagued me, then in April, my brain did this:

Actual picture of my brain going KABLOOEY!

Dutifully, I’ve done my best to duct-tape my brainz back together (sic (“brainz” sounds like zombie food, and my kablooeyed brainz would sit on a Zombie Buffet like that poor, wilted steam-table tray of beef with broccoli in a Chinese buffet, wherein there’s one or two spoonfuls left, but nobody wants them, and the kitchen crew doesn’t want to make a fresh batch, because it’s nearly closing time, and it would probably go to waste anyway, so it sits, growing more withered and dried out, being passed over for General Tso’s Chicken or Crab Rangoon (or in my case, fresher, less scorched and limp brainz))).

I’ve seen doctors, shrinks, and everything short of mime therapists.

Interesting aside, one therapist had a few puppets in the waiting room, presumably to help with younger patients. While I was kept waiting one day, I happened to have Vlad, my zombie-vampire doll Christina ❤ crocheted for me. Perhaps in manic anger at having to wait too long–probably just being a complete dick–I snapped several pics of Vlad doing horrible things to these “therapuppets.”

Tasty puppet eyeball for pre-brainz appetizer

(I apologize, but the ones where Vlad fisted the raccoon puppet didn’t come out well)

My only real therapy from that day is knowing that every time those counselors use those puppets in sessions, that Vlad has defiled every one of them. (note: defiled the puppets, not the counselors)

I lost the thread. That happens.

Oh, yes. So my brain went kablooey, and I spent most of the summer trying to tape it back together. Slowly–glacially–I improved. I was able to go back to work, and as long as nothing out-of-the-ordinary arises, I can function.

How often does life grant us periods of simple, blissful “ordinary?”

I had two weeks of decentness back at work. Then, I got this thing on my back, and went to my doctor. Great. He drained it and packed it. The next week, I had to go back, and be unpacked and repacked it, like an OCD person’s suitcase. Last Thursday, I went back for one final time, and the doc declared me repaired, applied a band-aid, and sent me happily on my way. From there, I had to drive down to Sarasota to see my therapist. It was hot (gasp! In Florida, three days after Labor Day?), but okay. I got to my parents’ house, did my laundry, talked with them a bit, then headed off to the shrink.

It was a hard session.

Therapy is kind of like playing tennis. When both players are playing well, there are some amazing rallies: swat, bounce, swat, bounce, swat. Other times, there’s no meshing. It’s all unforced errors, missed shots, and double-faults, lacking flow and rhythm. Thursday, the shrink and I were playing well.

Though more therapeutic and interesting, it’s far more draining that way. Like Borg and McEnroe, he’d ask one question, then I’d swat back answer, then he’d delve deeper, and so on, for the entire hour, digging deep toward the Big Bang of my Crayzee. As depleted as I felt going in there, I felt even depleteder walking out.

I got in the USS Nimitz, and headed back for my batcave, where I could relax and watch “The General” or something to battle the sads.

One of the greatest solaces during the past several months was my truck, the USS Nimitz. It carried me thousands of miles, without leaving a three-county area. Back & forth between Sarasota and St Pete. Out to the beach village, where Shell Girl works, or to the 7-Eleven that had all manner of cheesy souvenirs.

Driving down Thursday, I noticed a little shimmy that came and went. By the time I got home, it was more pronounced. I can live with that, sorta. Then, when I parked at my cave, I noticed this huge, horrible noise from the engine. Yikes.

Friday morning, I took the Nimitz to my mechanic. Naturally, the loud noise wasn’t there, but he figured out that the surging could be caused by my air conditioner having limited (actually, ZERO) freon in it. He recharged that, and the noise seemed to abate. Sweet. I had him go ahead and do an oil change while I was there. While the Nimitz was up on the rack, they inspected and lubed the whatever they’re calleds that the wheels connect to, and my front end…it needs a lot of work.

But at least I had cold air and no more noise!

I drove home, took a shower, put on fresh clothes and headed off for work. Once again, my air conditioner wasn’t blowing cold air at all. At least there was no noise, though.

Saturday, I awoke in the afternoon with a panic attack. I took some meds, and managed to relax enough to get back to sleep. My alarm went off for work, and I was too zonked to get out of bed. I called in that I’d be late, and passed back out for an hour. I felt a little better, like I could prop myself up for the night. Shower/brush teeth/clothes, top-off cat fuel and water levels, and it’s downstairs to the Nimitz. I got in, turned the key, and it sounded like screams from hell coming from my engine. I turned off the engine and just sat there, staring at nothing.

Sometimes, when life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade (or lemon cupcakes, if you’re Laurie). Sometimes, life gives you lemons, so that your hands will be full when it starts throwing giant, sharp-edged rocks at your head.

I just came back upstairs, crawled into bed, and watched “The Princess Bride”. My Sunday will be a nothing day. Then, Monday morning, I’ll drag my ailing Nimitz back to the mechanic. I’ll tell  him to go ahead and order the parts so we can do the front-end rebuild Wednesday. He’ll fix the noise and recharge my a/c. I’ll come home and try to duct-tape my brainz together again for another night of work.

Things happen; we cope and, like the moving finger having writ, move on. When you’re still barely limping through, even on the good days, it’s that much more…the adjective doesn’t really exist.

It’s nothing crisis-level. I get that. It’s my purgatorial little corner, and I’m far more fortunate than a lot of people.


Sorry for the dreariness. Happy Sunday from Dismal Whinington, population: me.

(Hey, no matter how bad it gets, at least I have my own vampire-zombie)

Vlad, enjoying a non-brainz teat. Er, “treat.” (sorry, Ms E. Couldn’t resist)


20 Responses to “When Life Gives You Lemons…It’s because it’s about to throw rocks at your head”

  1. I like this theory of yours. It makes much more sense than the lemonade idea. I mean, it only handed you lemons, not lemons, sugar, water and a lemon juicer.

    If it handed you all that, clearly Life wants some lemonade.

    Sorry about your truck. It’s sad when vehicles get ill.

    • RIGHT! It’s like life giving you flour, and interpreting that you should make chocolate cake. I think it gives you lemons, because it will also give you a metaphysical paper cut, and the lemon juice will sting like a mofo.

      The Nimitz has been so good for so long. I’ll help it get better. Dammit, I’m taking a road-trip in 2013, so I want it as healthy as it can be.

  2. Vlad is awesome. The universe…while on a universal scale is awesome, on a teeny tiny personal scale it sometimes sucks…lemons.
    Throughout what you called the “dreariness” you still have that undertone of “Damn it, I’m still putting one foot in front of the other and you are not stopping me, you buggering universe.”

    So, relax with Vlad today and see about the Nimitz tomorrow. I’m sending good mechanical vibes as best I can!

    • I told Christina ❤ she should make vampire-zombie dolls and sell them. Granted, most people would not have theirs sexually assaulting puppets or being nursed by their ex, but Vlad was very therapeutic. He guards my glasses and car keys and wallet and stuff, so that I have to see him before I leave and when I return. My little perspective monster.

  3. Your front end has always needed a lot of work. I don’t think you should be surprised.

    You have beautiful breasts.

  4. Get well soon, Nimitz!

    Interesting that you struggled with this monstrously raging non-really-Tom side of you this summer, and now you are improved, but you also have Vlad, who gets to do “monstrous” things, but they’re not inside you. I think Vlad is part therapuppet himself. Well, done, Vlad.

    I feel like I’m on the way to a similar “Stop throwing rocks at me, Universe” post before too long.

  5. I’ll see if I can find a zombie-vampire doll for you. (I’ll fill it with Cocoa Puffs) 😉

    The Universe can really be annoying sometimes.

  6. Tom, I’m sorry you’ve had such a terrible time. My brother said to me the other night, “This year really sucks.” I replied, “It fucking sucks! It should be tied up in a bag and thrown off the bridge into the slough!” I don’t normally swear like that, but I figure if the universe is going to throw sharp rocks at me, I can swear at it.

    Lemons can also inflict injury when thrown correctly. I can attest to that from my childhood experience, when my childhood friends and I used to throw fallen lemons from Dad’s tree at each other. So I think we’d be justified in throwing lemons back at Life. Take that, Life!

    • We used to throw kumquats at each other. My neighbor had a tree, and there were always tons of them.

      I can tell you were angry, because you used bad words. (My mom used to wash my mouth out with soap every time I said “slough.” 😉 )

  7. I’d opt for sending them to Laurie for Lemon Cupcakes. Mmmm. Now, when life hands you a bag of rotten, smooshed skunk anuses, that’s when you know you’ve got it bad. I’ll be happy with my rocks and lemons for sure. Of course, I could send a bag of skunk anuses to my ex-boss…

    Sounds to me like Vlad may indeed be channeling energy from Vlad the Defiler the way he’s been molestering things and people. Might be handy to keep him around during those stressful times, especially when he lets you know what sorts of awful things he would do to assholes and douchebags you run across.

    Keep aiming for the Horizon, and remember, you are boldly going where no Tom has gone before. Kind of like being Captain of your own Brainship.

    • Thanks, Kzinti. One thing I noticed the other night, is Vlad has grown dirty from being carried around all summer. It may be time to sponge him off with a damp cloth or something.

      Is it just where I live? Because I can’t seem to find skunk anuses in the stores. Not even Home Depot or Wal-Mart. Although, I think one of the local all-you-can-eat buffets serves them between the mashed potatoes and corn.

  8. can’t say anything that those who came above me hasn’t.
    you are way more than halfway, Tom.
    (this song came up as I started reading your post. seems relevant, http://fuckyeahbluegrass.tumblr.com/post/31122388022)

    (really, really hopes that Tom’s Grand Tour of 2013 comes through or close to Bluegrass land)

    • It could happen, Mariser. I’m still not sure which road out I’ll be using: 75 or 95. I think I can mooch a room in Atlanta, so there’s one point for 75. My brother lives in DC and has a guest room, so if I can get there, I’ll have a base of operations.

      Then again, I could be in the nutbin by then.

      (That is a GREAT song, btw! Thanks for the link. I wish there were a little dark shack of a bar nearby with Joe Pug playing on a sunny afternoon)

  9. I’m still grinning about Vlad defiling the puppets in the doc’s office. Go, Vlad!

  10. I don’t have much to add in a good way but it’s GREAT to see you playing around with puppets and taking photos…I mean, it sounds kind of weird but THAT is play-time. Play-time is GOOD.

    • Plus, better to be playing with a crocheted zombie vampire doll than with my own poo. People gave me odd enough looks carrying around the former.

  11. Here’s to a better end of the year for you, Vlad, the Nimitz and your air-conditioner.

    On the bright side, at least the Republicans have left town!

    • Before they’d picked up the last balloon in Charlotte, POTUS was landing here to clog up traffic. I mean deliver campaign speeches. It’s gonna be a long homestretch here my swing state.

  12. WTF? Stop it, universe! Tom should be the one throwing the rocks.

    I will read some more to find out about your year. It sounds scary and I’m sorry I haven’t kept in touch. My hands are less full now.

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