2005-04-26 - 5:51 a.m.

I am officially retired now. And I feel oddly…nothing. I feel weird, yes. I feel really weird. This is the first time since I was sixteen and left one job and didn’t get another one for two days, that I have been unemployed. This is the first time that I have to look at every dollar in my hand and think, “this is the last of my own money.” But I don’t feel sad, or scared, or even happy about leaving work. I just kind of feel weird, a little lost. And also, I feel this overwhelming sense of being dirty. I can’t seem to get clean right now. It’s as though nothing I do will get rid of this deep layer of grease, syrup, smoke smell that permeates every part of me. The moment I got home on Sunday I wanted nothing more than to take a shower, get rid of that restaurant smell, and I just couldn’t sufficiently get rid of it. So I have been obsessively taking baths and scrubbing my skin. It’s funny, really. I guess all these years I didn’t freak out about the restaurant grime/smell because I knew that even if I got it all off it would be right back in place the next day, like a forcefield around me. But now that I am done working there I can safely get rid of it. And yet it just lingers. I threw away the bag I took to work every day because I washed it and washed it and it just wouldn’t smell clean. I threw away my work shirts. Now I guess I need to peel my skin off and start new.

This will probably be my last entry for a while. Eric comes back this afternoon and we have dinners and things to move and organize, we have to go to Chicago and area twice this week, once to say goodbye to my darling brother and to get my visa which was approved yesterday, FINALLY, (which is a HUGE relief, I had already been talking myself into having to come home in June to get it)and again, back to Chicago area on Sunday to bring my darling cats to the pet service that will be flying them to me three days later. I have papers to sign, things to buy, a massage gift certificate to use, gym to go to (since it will be a long time until I will be comfortable going to a gym in Spain, I am in panic mode and would actually like to go to the gym three times a day right now)…I have suitcases to pack, prescriptions to fill, change to cash in, floors to clean, garbage to haul, bills to pay….and then I will leave and when I get to Spain I won’t be able to write since we still don’t have a frickin phone or internet hooked up at the house. HOPEFULLY that will get done that first week I am there. HOPEFULLY. But then again…even if we do, I probably won’t be able to write because I have visa stuff to take care of, cats to settle, me to settle, furniture to move, things to unpack, gardens to plant, a HUGE house to clean….it’s going to be a while…because after all that I have a language to learn. But yeah, I will probably me MIA for a couple weeks at least.

I’ve been finding some humor in the things that I am choosing to express emotion about. A few months ago I loaded up all my plants and started giving them away. And I was SO sad. It made me SO sad and I felt lonely in my house after I got rid of all of them. Then I got sad about throwing my toaster away and I swear I felt lonely after I threw that away. The other day I cried when leaving work. Not because I was leaving that restaurant, but because I was leaving my car behind. I sold it to a busboy and I felt very very sad to leave it there. I hugged the car. I cried on the car. I didn’t want to leave the car…but I was all smiles and happiness when it came to giving the people I worked with all these years goodbye hugs.

I wrote an entry yesterday about my dad and for whatever reason it never showed up here. So I will reiterate…my dad is a big pile of shit. And I really hate him right now and even though in the past I was able to get by my hatred of him by remembering that for a lot of years he was a really good father and the intensity of my love for the father past that I had was always strong enough to shadow the hatred I felt for father present…I don’t think I am going to get past this one. I am really, really angry at him. I can’t believe how totally fucked up his priorities are. He misses my wedding by a day, he arrives in Michigan a DAY AFTER my wedding and then never calls or anything until the last day they are here in Kalamazoo and says, “maybe you can drive to Pentwater for dinner?” and then I call him and tell him, “maybe you can meet us in Muskegon (and hour away from where he was staying in Pentwater and an hour and a half from where I live)for dinner tonight (it was their last day in Michigan).” And he says, “Well, I don’t think we can do that, we just got videos for the twins and that was what we were going to do tonight.” And I just tried to forget about that. Because maybe my getting married and the whole ceremony thing just wasn’t something that he saw to be important. A few months before I got married his brother died. And I was a little put off by the fact that my dad didn’t come home for that either. Not because of his brother…but because of his mother. He should have come home directly to see his mother. The thing was that they postponed the funeral for my uncle so that my father and his other brother could be there. POSTPONED A FUNERAL. By months. But again, I just let it slide…sometimes people have different priorities. But then, the other day I get this message from him saying he was going to be in town for a funeral and I called my brother to find out whose funeral because no one had died that I knew of and he tells me that one of my dad’s cousins daughters had been killed after falling from a window. And this is horrible…terrible and cool for my dad wanting to be there for his cousin…but the thing is…I didn’t ever remember my dad ever even mentioning a cousin in the past. I never saw any cousins at family dinners. I never spent weekends with my dad’s cousins...I found out which cousin this was and then I remembered that at my uncles funeral she was cooing over me (she is a really nice lady and I liked her but she was COOING over me) and said, “OHHHHHH!!!! YOU GOT THE B----ck red hair!” And so this is how much this cousin of my fathers knows my father. Because he isn’t my biological father so NO, I did NOT get the B----ck red hair, I got the Stouck red hair with a little help from L’Oreal. Anyway, his coming back, at the last minute, for the funeral of his cousins daughter really pisses me off. And I suspect, though I have to confirm this, that my dad’s wife is behind this. I suspect that she somehow became friends with this cousin of my fathers and that is why they are at this funeral. Because they only ever do things when Julie wants to.

So anyway…I am really pissed off.

It is 5:25 in the morning. WHY am I up? I am no longer a flapjack peddler. I should be sleeping like the rest of the retired people.

By the way, I think Blockbuster did a bad thing with this no late fee thing. I think they are going to have to overhaul the system. Because every time I go to Blockbuster to get a movie the shelves are basically empty. NO ONE is bringing back movies. It is really annoying because I have a few movies I need to see before I go.

So the other day Eric met me for drinks after work. It was my last day party. And he walks in and looks at me and says, “is that the sweatshirt that was in the oven this morning?” And I was like, “yeah.” And everyone laughed at me because it was explained that my drier is broken and I have to dry things, if I need them in a hurry, in the oven. And someone said something about me being a hillbilly and Eric says, “it gets worse, then I look outside and she has this bucket of hot water and she is dumping it on her car windows to melt the frost.” Yeah, because my heater doesn’t’ work in the car…how else am I supposed to melt the frost? This world is kind of fucked up. Because my oven drying method works, the result is the same as if I had put the sweatshirt in the drier…and my dumping hot water on the car has the same effect as having a defroster… but because I am doing things out of the norm to get those results I am a hillbilly. I don’t think I am a hillbilly. I think I am simply creatively surviving. The problem with this world is that we have too many gadgets and machines to do things. Things are too complicated these days. Do I really need an ice scraper when a cassette case scrapes ice just as well? Do I really need Windex when soap and water works better? Did I really need voice mail on my cell phone when I have an answering machine on my home phone? And how in the world did we ever survive before caller ID? I like to keep things simple. Because when you keep things simple it is easy to find a different way to do something when something breaks. There are luxuries I cannot live without. I cannot live without my five billion thread count sateen sheets. I cannot live without good lotion. I cannot live without good shampoo. I can’t live without coffee (though I can always find a way to make coffee if something on the machine breaks. For a week or two once I was making it the old fashioned way, boiling water and grounds together in a pan and then straining it through a cheesecloth into a glass…and when I run out of coffee filters there is always paper towels…)…I can’t live without a washing machine. But these things…the sheets, the lotion, the shampoo, the washing machine…the results of these things cannot be duplicated by any other thing. Anyway…I am going to try to keep life simple for myself. But that might be difficult. Living with that Boy requires some luxury. I mean, I am going to have a DISHWASHER in my new house. A MACHINE THAT WASHES DISHES and unfortunately I kind of have to use it because the kitchen sink is too small to do dishes in. But there are some good things about that house too…we have really weak water pressure…which is good because one can get spoiled if one has strong water pressure. After living with really good water pressure no other shower will suffice. And the house is not air conditioned…which is good because one can get really spoiled by that too. I basically want to live my life in a way that doesn’t make me spoiled. Because then if anything ever happens and I am left with nothing but the clothes on my back I will be okay. I will always be able to make do.

I am going to go be productive now. It is 5:45 in the morning. There must be something to do at this hour.


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