Monthly Archives: October 2007

In your face, cell bio

What you can’t see – the smile on my face from finishing a much feared cell bio mid-term take home that I’ve been dreading.

And a hidden desire to write “suck it” in big red letters at the top before I hand it in.  Because really, a prof that doesn’t offer much in the way of help deserves it.

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What cell biology does to me

Turns me into Holly Hunter from Broadcast News. 

I have to have that little dramatic breakdown before getting the job done.

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little things i don’t talk about

Certain things happen when no one else is around.  Little things that become significant moments.

The only time I went home for Thanksgiving when I was in college came after a midnight phone call to the nurses’ station at LGMC.  I was fighting off a panic brought on by reflecting about the uncertainty of where I was, where I was going, and where I had been.  So I called to talk to a nurse about my dad.  He was ill and had been in the hospital for a while.

She heard me crying, but what she didn’t know is what I didn’t know.  A few weeks into first semester of senior year and no one had told me my dad had been in a coma for nearly a month.  But I could tell from her tone that someone there had given up, I just wasn’t sure who it was.  We stayed on the phone for a while.  I hadn’t told anyone anything about what I was feeling because it wasn’t anyone’s business.  And I realized I didn’t want to hang up with her, because she was the only one that knew what it was like from my end.

So I went home for Thanksgiving and found my dad about 20 years older than what I remembered from August.  He was on a hospital bed in the living room having his limp legs bent around by a little chirpy cajun lady that I really wanted to smack in the face for acting like the world is full of sunshine and chocolate.  And I stared at my dad confused.

My dad had always been this untouchable force that swept in and out of my life bringing with him a cyclone of emotional chaos.  My sister and I would dodge the winds as best we could by playing outside, staying in our room, or going to a friend’s house, but sometimes we got trapped.  And after the cyclone faded, all that was left behind were dense clouds of cigarette smoke and empty green beer bottles.  I craved the times he came to pick us up in his little red Honda wearing a khaki linen suit with a matching vest and his initials embroidered into the cuff of his shirt to take us out for hamburgers before returning to the office.  But the visits faded and so did the clouds of smoke.  So I took to the occasional visits to his place, sitting in the garage, watching him smoke, and slow, awkward conversation.  And that’s the exact type of visit we had in the August before I left for school.

And that Thanksgiving I came back to an old man that couldn’t get out of bed to even use the bathroom.  This man was the tense knot in my chest for so many years that I couldn’t undo.  And I didn’t know who I was supposed to be striving to impress anymore.  So I just cried and watched that crazy woman bend his flaccid body just to get it to do something other than lay there.

My siblings came and went that Thanksgiving.  I was the last one to leave.  He made it into the recovery hospital and I went to visit late in the evening to say bye.  I was nervous in the usual way I get before seeing my dad, hoping he’ll notice that I’ve grown up and become independent.  But I saw him and was reminded that this wasn’t a man I needed to impress anymore.  He wore these goofy moon boots that hurt his legs.  I helped him with them and rubbed lotion on his dry, cracked feet.  I told him I love him and said bye and tears started and wouldn’t stop so I walked away.  And then I looked back.  He had tears rolling down his face, he looked at the nurse, looked at me, pointed to me and said, “see that?  that’s my little girl.  I’m so proud of her.”  That knot in my chest undid itself. 

I went back to school and didn’t tell anyone about what had happened.  I don’t like talking about that stuff.  It seemed so insignificant of a night because it was so quiet, calm, and no one else was there to share that moment.  It was just me and my dad, and nothing close to insignificant. 

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on breathing

On the phone with a colleague, realizing what I must sound like to everyone in the office, like I’m talking someone through labor pains…

“it’s okay… i’m not worried… we’ll be fine… breathe…”

hanging up, thinking goddamn I need someone to talk me through it.  because all I get is ex-boy laughing and smirking telling me I am entertaining as all shit when I flip out and start laughing and crying at the same time because the benadryl (to calm me down) and coffee (to keep me focused) is wearing off. 

 disclaimer – Ex-boy is not an ass even though this makes him sound like one.

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2 bottles of sake later

“I can’t take it back, but I can regret it.”


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Text Message Intimacy

Looking back on text messages sent to ex-boy and wondering if I’ll ever have that same level of comfort with anyone else.

“I look like asshole.”

“I have the gas of champions.”

“Maybe my bajango did eat a mango.”

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Ex-boy being the perfect friend when things don’t work out with new boy. 

All things considered, he’s got every right to slam the door in my face.  Not let me cry to him over embarrassingly high hopes. 

Misunderstood by everyone as a couple, certainly more misunderstood now as friends.

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Bring it on big, bad, buggy world

When I fist moved into my studio, my first single apartment, I had a very bad encounter with a spider.  I saw it in the bathroom, I rushed for a flip-flop to smush it, danced around from foot to foot nervous.  It jumped, I screamed, I continued to prance around.  And then I gave in.  I sat down and cried because a spider skittered along into my closet and I was scared.

A year later, coming up from the sink after washing my face, a big dark spot on the wall caught my attention.  Bug.  I stayed calm, toweled off my face, moisturized, and watched the dark spot move up the wall.  I calmly reached for some toilet paper and in one swoop – smush and flush!

and flush again for good measure.

Bring it.


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This is what gets me through 3 classes and a full-time job

 Christopher Hitchens on Ayaan Hirsi Ali. 

How can people say that individuals can’t make a difference?

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Being vegetarian has never made me happier

than when I stepped up to a corpse to investigate the open abdominal cavity.  And all I could think about was chicken, it looks like 3 wk old boiled chicken – grey, dried out, falling off the bone.

Because if I ate chicken, I would have passed out onto one of the other body bags in that cramped little room.

But I don’t eat chicken, and I’ve never been more pleased about that…

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