emma b. says

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

SNAFU or Fuck You 2009

I remember after Princess Diana died and the Queen gave that speech about her Annus Horriblus and the masses with no latin chortled into their television sets, this was in the days before internet domination, and Beavis and Butthead were still on MTV (she said anus). I remember where I was when she died, I had just taken a hit of ecstasy after a dinner at Moose's (gone now) and I think we were having drinks at the Washbag (also gone now) as the drugs were coming on. I remember thinking then how fast the world was.
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Annus Horriblus. Yes. And then again....

I suppose I gave up for certain on 2009 when I elected to be a good steward and save some money by taking the bus this morning where it was a penny bright and shiny eighteen degrees, and my pants legs froze on the way to the bus stop and some asshole lifted my wallet on the bus as I was thawing the lobes of my ears out that were not covered by the all the fucking gear I had on.

I went for a warming bagel and had that moment of sheer panic when you realize that your lifeline has been stripped from you, every card, insurance, credit, bank, identification, all that massively inconvenient bullshit that requires that you shield your identity from this asshole and that asshole and that other asshole. So I retreated to the bathroom to cry it out discreetly. And my cube farm mate lent me lunch money and I thought that maybe all was not lost.

Fuck December and fuck Christmas.

I worked my ass off to get my co-workers to donate to the Oregon Food Bank, and I managed to get those stingy fuckers to give up 1,100 pounds of food, and I came home to find my water had been turned off.

I have been cooking for families with newborns, and as a group we have elected to support a family for the Salvation Army, and these are things that I passionately, passionately believe in yet, somewhere in the back of my head there is a witchy, witchy nag who is begging for some kind of parity or some kind of break, if not karma, how about kismet. I'd like to round-house her to the head and explain that it doesn't work that way. But gottdam if I am not a little bit tired of clinging to that happy, righteous buoy of good deeds and it's brother, selflessness. Gottdam if I am not a little bit tired of draping myself in the purple cloak of good fortune when it is, but it isn't, but it is, that's all well and good as my credit score gets decimated and I look forward to another year of trading this for that and more of this for that and travel and pets and home improvement are a standard of some bygone gilded golden age. Let's not even discuss shoes.

This is my third December in Portland, it's been dry and very, very cold. Another Arctic Blast, I wish it would snow.

In the spirit of SNAFU, because I am poor now and trade this for that, I parsed out the oil in my furnace for a very long, long while, got all ritualistic and shit about when I was going to run the heat. And then the temperature dropped dramatically. Last Thursday, I had my review, and it was glowing despite the two crappy work days I had just come out of, it was band night, and my brother said it was cold in the house, and it was. I was trying not to run the heat but for an hour after six. I had just discovered that I wasn't going to get any sort of raise, and I was wilting.

And it just got colder. And it got colder still.

I hit bottom on Sunday. It was glacially cold and bright and the wind was ripping through the veins of this very old house, I had committed myself to making a fruit salad for a brunch, and in the morning my brother invited me for dinner that evening. I dared not waste the last precious drops of heating oil until night fell. Also, fruit is expensive. I prepared the fruit salad in my parka, in lieu of champagne I used soda water whipped with a little evoo, in lieu of fresh mint I used the dried I had on hand, I forsook berries. It was still good (honey crisp apples, satsuma tangerines, mango, salt, pepper, dried mint, squeeze of tangerine, lime juice, olive oil and soda water). It was a lot of ladies and a lot of food and a lot of champagne, and then I went to my brother's and had a nice dinner until I dropped my nephew, I dropped my baby nephew, a head bonk, but I was horrified, but the look that shot out of my brother and sister-in-law eyes shamed me to my very core. And I lost it. All the rage at myself and all that shame and all of that anger and all of that hopelessness and all of that ugliness, and how the very thought of causing any harm to that lovely boy, in whom I see all of my family tree, is an anathema, even a head bonk, and all that I don't have, and might possibly never have, came pouring out, to my embarassment, in great rivers and in unstoppable gouts, and since then I can't stop crying.

Great rivers and unstoppable gouts.

It's the first time in a year, maybe even more, maybe since I was driving up the coast from San Francisco that I am swept in great rivers and unstoppable gouts, at least in this there is movement.