Thursday, August 23, 2007

My friend is okay!

Breath easier everyone.

I am.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Broke, desperate, scared

On Friday my friend, who moved away a few months back, called me and told me she was coming through town and could she sleep on my couch. I was so excited, and not only because I wouldn't have to mail her her shawl that I borrowed and my shoes that I never wear (they are high-heeled) that she loves.

My to-do list is stuck at filing papers. I don't want to do this much needed task, and so I ignore all tasks below it on the list as well. The papers are over a year's worth and are stacked neatly in my closet, well they were neat until my cat decided to make a nest of them. But, her things were a victim of my ignoring the fact that I had anything to-do, as I didn't want to do the next thing on the list. Now, though, now she could just pick them up! Thereby completing a task without having to surface from my denial of having anything to do.

She was driving into town from a few states over on her way to pick up her son from his father's house, which was still a state away. He goes there three times a year for 2.5 weeks. When she arrived she used my internet to check her bank account, as she needed to ensure that her child support payments came in. Guess what? They didn't. Her babydaddy is such a scum face, that any time he knows that she has large expenses he decides to not pay, or pay late. The last time this happened was when he served her with papers, during her finals, which necessitated that she drop out of school to spend her financial aid on lawyers. Yes! She eventually had to move back home (to live in a family members vacant house) because she could not afford both lawyers and rent.

He eventually didn't really get much from the process, but probably spent over $10,000, so he is upset. He decides to take this out on her by withholding money, and fucking with his kids mind. What a dad!

Anyway, she had to make it to there the next day, or be in contempt of court, but had no money for gas. I have no money, none, let alone the couple hundred dollars in gas money she would need. Do you know, internet, the hopelessness, the powerlessness that comes along with being so broke and so desperate? Powerlessness is part of what makes me so angry, internet. It's the injustice that wants to burst from my body and make some impact, but can't.

She decided to hitchhike there, leaving at night without a cell phone, without a weapon, alone. I was trying to get her stay and figure something out, but she only had a 17 hours to make a 10 hour trip to use some bus tickets she had. She knew the longer she waited the less likely that she made it, and she knew that I couldn’t really raise the funds.

I was bicycling home from a fundraiser I was helping with, with the TT in tow in her trailer, thinking that I had to trust the world. I had to trust that the world would be safe for this small, determined, beautiful, desperate woman, and I really couldn't. I was hoping, and wishing, but not trusting.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A picture of the Tiny Artist Working in Soap and Mirrors

How am I going to pay my rent?

So this is a game any poor mother has probably played: wrangling rent (and other bills). I will be bringing in about $450 for my last paycheck, and my rent is over $600. This does not include power, internet, student loans, credit line, food, or y dry cleaning bill for my comforter that my cat peed on.

This is by no means new territory, but damn I hate it here. But why the credit line? Granted it's less than $300, but I hate, hate, hate "credit cards" (indentured servitude). I needed it to float a couple items.

First item, two new bras. Did you know, world wide web, that I have a bra size that necessitates I buy bras in specialty stores? Did you know that this is expensive. Sad, but true. After creating the Tiny Tyrant with my body, my breasts grew disproportionally to the rest of my body (except my enormous abdomen , which has mostly, though not entirely, gone down). This is not something I desired, as men tend to sexualize breasts, and I don't like that kind of slimy attention. Also! I am an action/adventure person, and wish that I had small action/adventure breasts to compliment my lifestyle, but I take what I got. And what I got demands expensive/expansive bras.

Second item, food. It is a fact that when you make less money than you pay in bills any savings from tax refunds and old financial aid is eaten through very quickly. I hate this fact. If I were a middle-class person, instead of an impoverished one, I would have savings bonds, a money market account, and conservative investments. This is because I am cautious with money. I would love to have a healthy savings for lean times, but the times have always been lean.

Do not say, why dear poor woman do you choose to bicycle across the state, and go on camping excursions with your loved ones? Do not continue, if you scrimped and ate beans and rice you would not be in such a bad shape. Furthermore never say, it's because your irresponsible that you're poor; if you would be responsible like me, you would have money like me. You don't want to say these things to me, because I will throw things at you. I will be forced to do this because I have been poor my entire life. And, when I was a preschooler and went without dinner it was not due to my own (or even my mother's) fault. It was due to an uncaring society that thinks that poor people should pull themselves up from their bootstraps (even if they don't own any boots).

Furthermore, poor people do deserve some nice experiences in life. We deserve to go on vacations, to eat well, and even to have choices in child care. Some of us choose to have internet, some of us choose to have pets, and some of us choose to eat organic foods. This is beacause without some of these things, life is dreary and dull. Probably some of you do too; our society thinks that you deserve it, though, for all of your hard work. This, of course, ignores the fact that many poor people work hard (any poor mother), and that scrambling for rent is more than a full-time job.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

About the bicycle ride

I have a running list of things I want to do at some point in my life. Bicycling to the beach was one of them. So the next chance I got I decided I would ride to the beach. But negotiating things, when I have the Tiny Tyrant proves difficult sometimes. What ended up working out was that I would ride with a friend with the TT in his van with my bike and my lovers bike on his bike rack.

Then, I would camp out with the friend, and the lover, and two other friends would come meet up with us. The lover would hop a train (because he loves to), into the beach town, and the TT would go back with the other two friends to her dad. The train never came, so the lover hitch-hiked back and rode in the van with us.

Camping was nice; the TT loves the beach. She was pretty much constant motion, and wore herself out heartily. There was also a lot of music for the TT to listen to and play along with. There was a little stream for her to play in and children to play in it with.

The bike ride was about 80 miles and over a mountain range. We went about 55 miles the first day, which included the mountain range. It was exhausting, and took about 5 hours (maybe 6). At one point during an especially steep point I was starting to lose it. I felt defeated, and very sad. I pulled over and almost started crying. The lover gave me a power bar and an orange, and I felt happy and ready to start back up. I guess I was just burning through sugar too quickly.

When we reached the summit, I felt euphoric and triumphant. Then I just sped down the mountain, towards the lodge we were staying at. There were a couple more hills, which normally would feel small, but my body was fatigued and the last few miles were very difficult.

Finally we made it into the town, we ate, bathed, and then slept. The next day we rode on a highway by ugly car lots and fast food restaurants. In the final leg, coming into my city, there are large hills to climb. As we were climbing them some guy rode up and was talking to the lover for awhile. The lover said that the guy knew of a different route that was less steep, and did I want to go that way? Well, yes. So we went that way, but then the trail left off at this very busy highway, that we did not want to go down. We were somewhat confused how to get home. We then had to go back up some of the hills we had just come down. I was frustrated, frustrated with the lover for not finding out how to get home, frustrated with some random guy for telling us how to go a way that he didn't know, frustrated with the patriarchy for socializing men to give advise regardless of knowledge, and mostly frustrated that I had to go back up the goddamned hill I just came down. I expressed this frustration to the lover, which led into an argument.

Anyway, we finally caught up again with each other (separated by me telling him to just go), and coasted down a hill through a beautiful park. We stopped downtown for lunch from a food cart, and then I went to my home and he to his. We met up at a spa (!) and got massages. Then we went to Chi Kung and afterwards to sushi.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I got the job and rode my bike from the beach home!

Hey! I got the job, and I'm so excited. I start at the end of August, so that I can give two weeks at my current job, and then take a week vacation! I'm feeling great! And the promise of not being incredibly impoverished is great! Lower-middle class here I come. I think I'll be lower middle-class - I should look that up. I hope suburbans aren't required.

My new boss lady called me on my way to the beach and offered me the job. I'm replacing a woman who hasn't left yet, so I won't be a permanent worker for a couple of months. In the meantime, they'll pay me like $5 more an hour to make up for my benefits not starting yet!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tips for a Male Doctor Practicing on Women

Hello Male Doctor Who "Cared" for me today,

I know it's not your fault. Nobody taught you how to be caring in med school (this is a guess from how all the male doctors I have had have been). Based on my experiences today I shall take it upon myself to educate you in performing your profession on my most sensitive of body parts. First of all, listen to me. Yes, yes, I know you've spent a term, or whatever, learning about vaginas and the female reproductive system, but chances are I have been in an extensive field study of my vagina since I was born (27 years). When I say my perineum and labia majora are itchy, I probably know what I am talking about. Especially if I am using your science words.

So listen. Next, look at the areas I am complaining about. I don't know why, male doctor, you would assume a woman has a yeast infection in her vagina if she says 1) what she is experiencing feels nothing like a yeast infection (and she has had several, in fact if she thought it was a yeast infection she'd wrap some garlic in cotton and shove it up there) and 2) she says her vagina feels normal.

Next up, for the love of god, if you are using a speculum use lube. Use lot of lube. Warm up the speculum. Now, when you feel my vagina tense while you are cranking the torture device open, pause for a moment. It will only take a moment, but don't keep cranking. Also, if you ask me to tell you if it hurts (and you should) and I speak up, don't dismiss me. Seriously, there's an art to pap smears. Midwives have mastered it, see if one will teach you how. Are you taking a pain survey? Do you just want to know when the torture has begun? I hope not, so ask how you can help.

After swabbing, before finishing the slide and slide cover. Take the god forsaken thing out of my vagina; do not leave it in as you talk to the nurse. And thank god for nurses! My nurse today said, uh I think you can take that out. I didn't know it was time, because unlike every woman doctor I've had, he didn't give me a rundown of what he was doing while he was doing it. Jerk! I'm so glad I don't have to date this asshole.

Also when you ask me if I am having sex with someone new, and I say no the first time, quit asking. Shit I was asked 4 times. I know I'm a single mom (floozy), but guess what, I care about my cooter and will tell you any important cooter information. That's why I'm goddamned there. Also, when you ask where the itching is and I say perineum a number of times, that's probably what I mean. Don't ask, "the area between your vagina and anus?" This makes you look like an idiot. Yes, idiot, my perineum. Surely this was covered in anatomy class.

Finally, when after you tell me that her vagina looks fine, that there's no sign of yeast infection or bacterial infection, and she asks about her perineum. Please, please don't say that you didn't really look at it. Somebody should take you license, because you are an idiot. It was right there. You had a light shining at it.

Can you imagine having sex with this man? It's like you'd be all rub my clit, my clit, my clit. RUB MY CLIT! And there he'd be confused about why pressing your g-spot isn't doing anything. Truly, this was a horrible experience.

My diagnoses? Bubblebath.