Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, October 3, 2013

city life

Today was interesting, but that is for later.

Therapy first, which was all over the place.  A lot of the conversation was about my certifications and that I should be ever so proud to have taken the training and getting such high grades on the exams.  Woo.

I shared that I actually did attend last week's wedding, well, at least part of it.  I am still dwelling on I needed the social lubrication of martinis and wine, but at least I went and the chances are somewhere in the range of possible-to-good that I might  honor a future invite.

Group followed, with a weird video about some man, standing on an empty stage, red velvet audience seats empty as well, shouting, murmuring affirmations about being a woman.  You know the stuff, you are beautiful, you are talented, you are smart, you can do anything.  And, if you are not believing those things about yourself, you can be comforted to know that God loves you and thinks that you are all of those things.

So far, so good. 

Then he named Ester and three more women from the Bible and talked about how powerful and important they were in their time(s), and I thought, 'well, how cool, but how is it that except for the Unitarian church down the street, non of the other denominations really allow women to hold any positions of authority'.

As a former Catholic, I am always interested in Popes, especially the current one.  He has said some pretty radical things since his term (wrong word?) began, including the news this week that he is opening up all of the church's financial information.  I am certain that announcement has a whole bunch of people feeling a whole bunch of nervous.

However, and keep in mind that I really do not care if women can be priests, not being all that interested, and yet felt minimized as a member of the female species when he reiterated the traditional Catholic practice of women not allowed to be priests and that would not change under his rule (wrong word?).

Other than that, the four minutes of that little film was not bad, and it led to a nice and meaningful dialogue.

All of that happened right down the street from where I live.  Here.  In the city. Woo.

Next, back home to gather up the hills of dirty laundry and wrangle that mountain of dirty fabrics into the car and the short drive to a new laundromat, which is close enough to reach on the bus for when I have to get rid of the car.  The place is huge and was empty, save for one man.  During the time I was there, lots of people came and went, filling the washing machines, returning to transfer their stuff to the dryers, leaving and I thought, 'how cool this place is, and safe'.

One of the cool things is that they have...yippee...60 pound washing machines, which hold four regular loads for only 3/4 of the cost.  I filled two of those babies.  Woo.

Unfortunately, after I poured in the detergent, the machine would not accept the full measure of quarters and refused to return the $5.50 I had dropped through the slot.  Then began a round of asking if any of the, now, four people who were currently in the place if they had any experience with the machines.  For one woman, it was her second time there and for the rest of us it was our first, so no experiences to share.  The son of the first woman told me that there was a telephone number on the front door.  There were two and it was only after listening to the message at the second number that I was instructed to call a third number, where I finally reached a real person.  He was nice and told me that I was really nice.  Part of that is me, not yelling, arguing with him or crying, as I explained that I was well versed in working with the public.  Part of that is something he does not know, and it is that I never yell or argue or give anyone a hard time.

Crying.  I was able to do that for the first time last month on the last day CoolCat and I said good-bye.  I have not cried in several decades, so weeping that day came as a surprise.  It would have been an enormous disappointment had I not wept, but I did not realize of feel that until much later.  I have had several more opportunities to cry, but the tears are back to not coming when they would make my pain less.  No release.  So be it.

Anyway, the third number guy is meeting me at the laundromat tomorrow morning to return the money from the reluctant machine, who took my cash and then backed out of our new, albeit short relationship.

Not only is all of this possible because I live downtown in a medium-sized city, it is possible because I saved my life last year and have now been living in my own, dear place for a year. 

And, the city aspect is with me all day long, even when I am at work, doing other volunteering, washing my duds, shrinking my head, banking or chewing my nails with stress as I await me meds, and the final total, at the little pharmacy. 

I see people walking their dogs and their children and other adults.  I get to watch the three dogs across the street pointlessly confront people passing by their fence, whilst their own people relax on the porch, drinking, eating and fussing with the people in the next house.  I really like those guys.

When I am in the area of the therapy/group place, I am able to observe and meet so many interesting, one might even say fascinating, people.  Just like I do at my main gig.  I learn so many things when I am in that part of downtown.  The laundromat was the same today.  The hungry and stingy machine aside, it turns out the one of the women from whom I asked for help, one of the first-timers, seems to have waited until everyone else but me left, as everyone there seems to do.  I do not leave.  I like my stuff, do not have much of it, and would be really messed up if any of my clothes came up missing.  Like the king-sized mattress pad and some huge pillows that disappeared when that other woman did.

What a asswipe.  Seriously.  No one goes to a laundromat, spend an insane amount of money to clean their duds, risk picking up someone else's bad dye batch in one of the machines or spend the better part of an afternoon sitting and waiting and watching your duds on the duds rides.  Oh, yeah.  I do all of that.  Still, it really pissed me off that the aforementioned asswipe pulled off her caper right under my nose.  Pissed.  True, I could not see anything from where I was sitting, reading my Pratchett, and the chances are good that she thought she was alone, that I had left just like everyone else usually does (even though I sought help because it was my first time there) and that her assertion that it was also her first time was most likely a lie and my guess is that because I did not notice anything, that this might even be a regular occupation of hers.  It also occurs to me that if everyone was telling the truth, that joint was full of laundromat virgins.  Woo.

This evening was the ordinary life experience of this little city.  Lots of people walking their dogs and their people; no babies seem to come out in the late-late afternoon.  There was an older woman, sort of like me, walking and singing.  Not just softly vocalizing, but singing right out loud, her voice clear and sweet.

This is living in the city.  That other life was mostly spent in the country.  Not the middle of nowhere, but right next to it.  No food deliveries, no special mail service or post office anywhere near.  Neighbors a respectable margin away.  Big lawns and a rough asphalt road.  Frequent water main failures.  Power failures.

Not that none of that happens in this city, but I can walk to a lovely old post office, the library, the pharmacy, therapy.  Not the laundromat, but there is a bus stop on the corner of the block, which will take me to today's laundromat, as well as the market in the next block east of there.

Even better is that this new life is as normal as I am ever going to get, and it most likely would not be possible had I not saved my life last year.



  1. Double woo and I'll add a hoo! I was right with ya there walking down that street. You do have such a good way with words I could imaging all the people you described, like a scene from a movie ♥

  2. The parade of lovely and interesting people is there all the time. I wish that I could walk more comfortably, because I am much less afraid of being caught outside my home, on foot, by someone who is not me.

    I was thinking, one afternoon, that I could ask to walk one of the dogs from the house across the street. Whilst they are great with me, they are largely untrained and their social skills are practically nil. To take them out on the sidewalk would be an exercise in living dangerously, and, frankly, I have had quite enough of that to last me a whole other lifetime.

    Can you even believe that I have an actual, real and true normal life? It still comes on me unaware and I marvel at it every single time. I would not say that I have a completely happy ending, but this is close enough.