Tag Archives: stuff that scares me

Disclaimer

I’m going to try to write this before I lose my nerve.

No big confessions… but I am going to publicly announce a goal, which I’m not a big fan of doing.

Why? Because then I will feel like an absolute asshole if I don’t stick with it.

I have made public announcements on resolutions/goals before, with mixed results.

While still in university, I called off eating McDonald’s for a year. Doing that now would be so easy… I don’t even remember the last time I ate it. It’s been ages. But during uni? Easily twice or more a week. It was cheap and it was fast and I swear it is addictive.

So I called it off and announced that I was doing so. And I did it for the entire year. I had nightmares during the year, now and again, about breaking the resolution, but I never actually broke it. I did have a Big Mac on the first of January as soon as the year was up, but I made the year.

But last year I publicly announced that I wasn’t going to drink for the year. And I made it until April before I decided to completely eschew from drinking was ridiculous. Somewhat hilariously, when I started again no one said a word. It was strange that I stopped… no one thought twice when I started again.

But this year… this is a big one (no pun intended) that I’ve tried and failed again and again. I’ve never shared about these struggles… I mean, people can *see* that I struggle with it, but they don’t know how much. Okay. This was the disclaimer post about my fears around sharing this. The next one will be the share.

raR. Here’s hoping being public will help me stick with it this time.

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>Rage and Hope

>Today I decided I wanted to go for a float and a massage, to work out some of the week and especially to work out the knots of the night before. I managed to book an appointment and left work a wee bit early to head over to Floatworks. The float was amazing – I actually slept in the tank of water and really relaxed. The massage was painful, but good painful. I feel like he really worked out some of the stress and tension that I was carrying around. Which I needed.

So I’m walking blissfully out of Floatworks towards London Bridge station, enjoying how relaxed I’m feeling and thinking about looking for my passport so I can get some cash out tomorrow (my bank card went AWOL and needs replacing). Not much else, really.  And then I heard a noise that was a little out of the ordinary, but not hugely. Like someone had hit the brakes, hard.

That is what that noise was. Someone had hit the brakes. Hard.

I’ve seen people get hit by cars before. This didn’t sound like that; when I turned to look – it didn’t look like that.

There was a cab – a licenced blackcab. Stopped. And, to be honest, what looked like a large garbage bag now resting mostly under the front bumper. The cab was not moving.  The bag wasn’t moving. People had turned to look, probably because of the sound of the brakes, but no one was moving towards the cab. It was like everything was perfectly frozen.

And then the dark shape under the front bumper of the cab moved.

As I said – it didn’t sound or look like a person had been hit initially when I turned to look. It sounded more like a near-miss. But obviously someone had. The cab was still not moving. No one (not the driver, not the passengers) was getting out of the vehicle. But the people on the pavement (and from the bus that was now stopped behind the cab) were finally starting to move.

I’m going to confess something at this point that I’m not entirely proud of. At that moment, even though at this point I knew that someone was down on the ground, possibly very hurt, and that I had witnessed (at least in part) what had happened; part of me just wanted to keep walking. To keep walking so that I could get home. To walk away and pretend I had saw nothing so that the rest of my evening would not be ruined. So I could get home early. So I could stay relaxed, go home and get the sleep I so desperately need right now.  And I’m not proud of that. I even rationalised walking away in such a way that it wasn’t until later when I could reflect that I even realised how much I had been rationalising. As I stood there, I was thinking: “There are lots of other people here, and they aren’t making emergency type movements… I’m sure it isn’t as bad as it looks.”   That was the kind of thinking I was doing without even realising what I was thinking. Self-preservation at it’s finest hour: “Get me out of here, and here are a few good reasons why I can go.” Thanks, brain.

But then I saw the most horrific thing. And stayed.

The cab driver (and his passengers) still hadn’t left the cab. But then, and I still can’t believe I saw this, that son of a bitch reversed the cab, drove around the body, and continued to the station doors.

He reversed, drove around the body, and kept going.

That’s when I decided to involve myself. Because that is not right. That’s just not right. Someone was hurt – whether badly or not was yet to be decided. But that driver had done wrong, and wasn’t owning up to it. He wasn’t taking responsibility. He wasn’t going to do anything about it. It was making my insides churn. It still is. What a horrible, horrible man.

I followed the cab, and took a couple of pictures of the licence plates. I wasn’t the only one. This may be the only time I’m honestly grateful for smartphones, for cameraphones. It allows people to record what is happening to ensure human beings don’t get away with being dreadful to other human beings.

Another girl was doing the same as I was. She also tried to get pictures of the driver, which wasn’t making him happy at all. And I stood with her when she was explaining why she was doing it – mainly that we had seen him drag a body under his car, then reverse and drive around it – and that piece of shit denied that anything had happened.

He had reversed, drove around the body, and was now denying that anything had happened.

Here’s the rub: the poor soul that was now lying bleeding and broken in the street had been clearly living hard and recently drinking heavily. People who had actually seen what had happened said that the guy had either passed out in the road, tripped and fell, or lay down in front of that car.

So the driver probably saw him very, very late – explaining the hard braking. And it is entirely possible that the man lay down in front of the car, wanting to be hit. Wanting a warm place to sleep – be it eternally or just for the night in the A&E. It is possible. And I think had the cabbie reacted differently, the sympathies of the witnesses would not have been just with the victim, but for the driver as well. He did brake. He tried to stop and it is possible that he just couldn’t in time. Which would be horrifying – imagine if that was you driving and couldn’t stop in time. You’d have nightmares forever about that.

But you can’t sympathise with someone who is cold enough to reverse and drive around the person they just hit. There is no excuse for that. I’m still shaking my head about it. I cannot believe that driver. Or his fucking passengers. Had I been in that cab, I would have been out of the car to see what had happened in a heartbeat. Those people got their luggage out and caught their fucking train. Everyone in that cab just puts me into a blind rage about mankind.

But I do also have hope. I have hope in the half dozen people who acted. Who took pictures. Who confronted the cab driver. Who comforted the man in the street. Who called emergency services and grabbed the police. Who willingly stuck around and gave their names and their statements to the police.

And I have hope again in myself. Because although I hesitated initially, I was one of those people in the end.

>Significant Nightmares

>I’m not going to go into details because I can’t imagine that what I dreamed early Sunday morning would be frightening to anyone except me.

I’m only mentioning it because it was disturbing enough that I felt nervous about going to bed last night and woke up this morning still thinking about the dream from Sunday.

It’s been a long time since my own brain has turned on me like that.

Calling Dr. Freud

I rarely sleep well on Sunday nights.

I think it may be a throw-back to being a kid… you run around like an idiot all weekend and on Sunday night you didn’t want to go to sleep because you were staring down the long, dark tunnel of another school week. And I liked school.

I’ve always resisted going to bed. There’s a line in a song by Arcade Fire that sums it up for me: ‘Sleeping is giving in, no matter what the time is.’ It’s as though I’m worried I’ll miss something fun if I go to sleep. I felt that way when I was five, I feel that way now.

So I trick myself into go to bed. I know you are supposed to have a bedtime routine, but if I do that I end up throwing a tantrum and asking for glass after glass of water and yet another story so I don’t have to go to sleep (meaning that happens now, my moms wouldn’t let that happen when I was five). Instead, I very quickly turn off the lights, dump all my clothes on the floor and jump into bed before I even know what happened.

Yah, I fall for that. That I’m anywhere near intelligent is mostly a myth. I have to trick myself into going to bed by pretending I’m not going to bed until I’m in it. And it works most of the time. Freaking genius, I am.

So it was last night, but I at least had the good sense of doing my non-routine at about 10:00pm so I’d get a decent sleep. Or at least, that was the plan.

For some reason my sleep last night was plagued by horrible nightmares. And not just nightmares… it was like I was awake (I wasn’t, I was dreaming that I was awake) and thinking about these horrible things and getting progressively more upset with myself because I wasn’t sleeping. Even though I was.

But that’s not why the call for Dr. Freud to analyse my dreams last night. Most of them I don’t even remember this morning, despite being certain that I would last night. But there was one image that persisted – one that actually made me shudder this morning when I recalled it.

Not saying that dreams come true… but I do think what we dream about sometimes expose how we are feeling or what we can’t let go of subconsciously in a metaphorical or symbolic way. Like if you dream that you are being chased by Frankenstein but can’t move your legs, it may mean that you feel paralysed in your job and your boss communicates by grunting (or something like that).

So the most disturbing part of my dream last night? I had a lot (no, a LOT) of nails, needles, pins and other small, sharp things embedded in my skin all over my body. Or I assume they were all over – they were definitely in my arms, legs and face. I was pulling them out of my arms. And although it didn’t hurt to have them in there, it stung to pull them out. It was also kind of satisfying to pull them out (even though it was all stingy) – they came out easily but left small bumps where they had been.

So, that was my night. Dreams that I was awake and thinking about stuff like the above. Dreaming that I was awake and thinking these horrible thoughts and chiding myself for not being asleep. Asleep and dreaming that I was awake and reminding myself that I would be tired the next day because I wasn’t asleep.

Well, Freud? What the hell does that mean?

Exercise(n): Self-inflicted torture

>If you read through my blog (go on… I’ll wait for you to get back) you’ll notice a trend whereby every once in a while I make mention of my complete and utter disdain of all physical activity (except drinking, eating and sex).

Sure, sure… every now and then I’ll flirt dangerously close to something that vaguely resembles exercise, but I’m always quick to scurry away from it again, lest it becomes some sort of grotesque habit that I bore people in the pub chatting about.

::SIDE NOTE::

The very idea that I might talk to people in the pub about exercising already goes to show that I’ll ever get freakishly attached to doing it.

::END SIDE NOTE::

It isn’t that I don’t want the benefits that exercise can bring; I do. I want more energy. I want to sleep better. I want to wear a pair of jeans that doesn’t contain so much material that it could be used as a tarpaulin shelter for a nomadic family of twelve. But I want those benefits without earning them. I want them to just magically happen for me.

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to win this one.

So, I’ve been playing with my Wii now and then and calling it ‘exercise’. But after the crotch agony of a week and a half ago, I’ve been terrified of doing anything other than the little balancing games that I know won’t cause me grievous bodily harm.

I’ve toyed with the idea of actually exercising after I get home from work. But the 45 minute bus ride actually zaps my will to live and leaves me with little energy to do anything more physical than lay on the couch with a beer and contemplate life until my flatmate finishes making dinner.

::SIDE NOTE::

Can you even imagine how wonderful it is to go from living with people who manage to get poop on the wall to someone who cooks me freaking dinner?

::END SIDE NOTE::

So after work is out of the equation. And I didn’t even think about exercising before work… I get up early enough as it is. So what’s a girl to do?

Well, I’ve started doing yoga at work on Wednesdays. It is free and I thought it would help me get some of my flexibility back. Which it might. Once I can walk away from a session not bent over from agony and exhaustion, it might. Nah, it’s good. The class is small and the instructor is rad. She’s willing to push us and I’m willing to be pushed. My back and legs are sore but in a good way (although I still plan on complaining about it).

The other thing I’ve started doing is far more mental and even I can’t believe I thought this was a good idea. Because I’m too tired after riding the bus home to do any exercise… I’ve decided to forgo the bus home.

I’ve started walking (with a wee bit of running) home. What’s kinda daunting about it is the distance – 6.7 miles. Yikes. Yikes on a bun.

But I do get to run (walk) through Richmond Park, which is gorgeous. And full of deer. It is vaguely surreal to look past a dozen deer in a grassy field and see the Millennium Eye, The Gherkin and Canary Wharf.

Tonight is the third night I’m gonna do it, and at the moment I’m pretty stinking proud of myself. I’m still tired when I get home, and I probably look like a dork, trying to run (usually in the rain) after having not done so in 100 years and with my wee backpack on. But I guess the good thing is that I’m doing it.

I’ll let you know how long this one lasts. Right now I’m focusing on closing out the week.

The Chronicles of Aurghville: Ah, Shit.

I try to see the positive in every situation. Once again; stop fucking laughing. I do! So even though things here in Aurghville haven’t been necessarily pleasant (to say the very least), I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m getting out of the situation. I find that even the shittiest things that happen in life happen for a reason. Perhaps it is just to give you clarification on how no matter how shite life can get, it can get worse. Perhaps there’s some sort of lesson you can learn (other than how life is a pile of poop sometimes).

Wait a second… what’s with all the fecal talk here? Why is all this poop just slipping (ew) into my writing? Has something happened lately in the septic tank that is my flat that I’m just warming up to?

Oh yah. Something has. And the Denizens of Aurghville sink to a new low! Well done, my turdy little flatmates!

But let me finish warming you up for this. And for me… can’t write stories with cold fingers and a slow mind. I was talking about finding the silver lining in this noxious cloud of a living situation. What have I learned from being here?

Certainly not patience. And not tolerance. I already knew how much I hated people that don’t show respect for other people’s space. I already thought that other people weren’t as clean as I am. What could it be?

I’ve been worried that I’m just finding out that I can’t live with other people. London is far too expensive to live on one’s own. And one day I may want to do the whole matrimony and motherhood thing which I understand involves living with other people

::SIDE NOTE::

Settle, moms. I said “one day” and “may” which is not the same as making a plan. So don’t start picking out baby clothes or anything.

::END SIDE NOTE::

So I would hate to find out that I’m now incapable of living with others. I don’t think that is it though. I will do my best, however, to never ever live with strangers again. That may be the lesson I needed to learn. Don’t jump into things that actually matter… like committing to living with idiotic people you will have to share a bathroom with.

Sigh. It is always the bathroom with these people.

I promise I’ll tell you guys some of the other stuff I tolerate some day: the inside of the microwave is a story worthy of a science publication focused on exploring new territory for emerging ecosystems. ‘Cause there seems to be some freaky-ass shit growing in there.

Or I don’t think I’ve mentioned that there is a moth problem in my room. Oh yah, moths. A moth infestation is all kinds of awesome. There are moth carcasses all over the walls because they don’t squish cleanly. And even if I wipe the wall after I moider them, there is still some sort of moth remnant on the wall to mark the fallen. Moths. Sick.

But once again I’d like to focus on the bathroom. Because we’ve hit a new low. Which is pretty amazing… you know. Considering who we are dealing with.

Sigh.

First, I need to tell you guys that I’m not the only one withholding loo roll these days. The couple that lives here are also keeping paper in their room because they are sick of buying it all the time. As far I can tell, it’s been Captain Tuberculosis’ turn to buy the toilet paper since time immortal. And I don’t think she’s actually bought any; the size of the toilet rolls that do show up occasionally are industrial. I think the little cretin is stealing it from work once in awhile. Class act, that one.

Yesterday when I first got home I noticed there was no TP when I went in to pee, which no longer concerns me because I’m using my own.

::SIDE NOTE::

I just realised a rather terrible side effect of me relaying the Chronicles: Y’all are hearing WAY too much about my toilet habits.

::END SIDE NOTE::

Before bed I went back in to pee one last time (no midnight tinkle trips for me!) and was stunned by what I think I saw.

I say “think” because once again, I didn’t do any close examinations or anything. And I was grossed out enough by this one (yah, after everything else… I’ve even seen another wee puddle that may have been spit again – gahhh!!) that I couldn’t even react.

There was still no TP in the toilet.

But there was poop once again left in the toilet because some stupid son of a bitch doesn’t understand how the fuck the toilet brush works.

Sorry. Sorry! The cursing. But I’m baffled about this. Look: poop happens. It happens to everyone (except me… I perform an act of immaculate excretion – true story). Everyone poops. And sometimes nasty things happen when people poop (I assume, as previously mentioned I personally have no first-hand experience). Toilets clog. Poop doesn’t feel like getting flushed. Poop is sometimes ill-timed. Many, many things can go wrong socially when it comes to pinching a loaf. But the thing is… the thing I don’t understand about these people… is that I believe most people try to cover up their poop tracks a little bit. So if you stink up the toilet, you strike a match. If you clog the toilet, you plunge. If you get poop stuck up all the side of the toilet, you swipe a brush through that mo-fo.

YOU USE THE BRUSH.

Not my flatmates. It’s like they are proud of their sticky, stinky accomplishment and want the world to know what they’ve done. There doesn’t seem to be any other reason for leaving it like that. Because the brush is right. beside. the. fucking. toilet.

Deep breath. Okay, so you get the point. Someone pooped.

Remember I said there was no toilet paper earlier in the evening? There was still no toilet paper later that night, post poop.

That raises some interesting questions right there. Because unless there is some sort of secret, hidden bidet… well, there was no toilet paper. Now, I don’t poop, but I understand you need to clean up somehow when you do. How’d they wipe? Or are they not sure of the entire pooping process? They don’t know you can brush the inside of the toilet clean; perhaps they don’t know that you don’t have to walk around with shit stuck to your ass, either. Who knows? We aren’t dealing with the world’s brightest crayons in the box here.

Now, I can imagine what you are thinking: Okay, the ponderance of whether or not they wiped their ass is pretty gross… but not as gross as Capt. Tuberculosis trying to hock a loogie up from somewhere in the vicinity of her feet, the cup of moldy toothbrushes or the spit on the floor. And you are right. This isn’t number one on the list. Yet. But I’m not done the story. Lord help me, I’m not done the story.

It wasn’t the poop in the toilet or the lack of TP that was the low point, guys. No, no. No no no no no. Oh God, no.

It was what was on the wall.

Or what I think was on the wall. Because I hope it wasn’t what it looked like. Please, no. No no no no no. Oh God, no.

Let me outline what I think happened. I think one of the wee dumb-dumbs (I’m voting for Capt. TB, that seems most likely to me) sat and pooped without looking to see if we had toilet paper. Then they didn’t know what to do when they realised that there wasn’t any TP (and judging by the state of the toilet it was a big, sticky ‘un). Now, this is where I hope I’m wrong, but I can’t figure out how else one of those idiots managed to get shit on the wall.

I think whoever it was… they tried wiping with their own hand. And as they stood up they lost their balance a wee bit and touched the wall – maybe with the palm of their hand – as they stood up. And managed to get some poop on the wall before going to (I freaking hope) wash their hand.

Poop. On the wall. Why is that infinitely more disturbing than (potentially) poop beside a puddle of (suspected) spit on the floor?

I would have left it there, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t go in the bathroom and not stare at it. I couldn’t use the toilet and risk rubbing my shoulder against that wall (the toilet is really close to the wall). So that was one win for Team Denizen: I washed the poop. Off the wall.

Oh yah. I’ve definitely learned not to live with strangers anymore. Strangers = danger. It was true when I was four. It is true now. They can’t be trusted.

Poop. On the wall. I hate these fucking people.

The Chronicles of Aurghville: Dental "Hygiene"

You know how they have “sensitive” toothpaste? I need that. Not because my teeth hurt, but because I’m squeamish. I have an overactive imagination and seeing something gross while I’m brushing my teeth makes me gag a little. Heck, I can just think of something gross (like someone else’s hair in my toothbrush – EW) and it makes me gag a little.

In order to avoid feeling Harfy Bunger while brushing my teeth, every so often I just give into my own brain and brush with my eyes closed so nothing can trigger that gag reflex. Of course, I still have to think of pleasant things or this trick doesn’t work either… but at least nothing can accidently gross me out if I have my eyes closed.

Here in the House o’ Aurghness, I close them every time I brush.

Gagtastic Harf-Inducer #1: The Crusty Tube of Evilness and Wrong

Really? Really people? The only way this could be worse is if the cap had been left off and rolled behind the toilet. And the only reason it hasn’t done that is because the poor thing can’t escape. If I was that cap, I’d sure as hell be trying to escape. I can’t help but imagine one of the citizens of Aurghville squeezing some pound shop toothpaste that was packaged in Taiwan and is actually made of ground-up crickets and discontinued mint-flavouring that was snuck in through customs past that crusty sickness and onto their brush before putting it in their mouth. Gross.

Gag level: 4/10
Gagtastic Harf-Inducer #2: The Multiple Brushes of Sickness and Disease

First, I would like to point out that NONE of these are mine. I keep mine in my room. I keep it safe. It is hidden away from the other citizens, whom I would definitely NOT trust with something as intimate as my toothbrush. I put that in my mouth, for crying out loud. Other than me, there are three “people” in Aurghville. So WHY THE FUCK are there eight toothbrushes in the bathroom, citizens? WHY WHY WHY?

This hurts me in so many ways:

1. Why are there so many brushes?
2. How could you store them in such a way that the bristles touch each other?
3. How do you know which one is yours?
4. See that yellow one? Would you put anything that colour in your mouth?
5. Why are there so many freaking brushes already?
6. WHY IS THERE AN INCH OF SLIMY WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE CUP?

But it gets worse… oh, so much worse. I didn’t think the grossest possible thing in a bathroom so full of grossest possible things could be so gross. And it is so gross. So, so gross. In fact, so gross that I was worried that it wouldn’t show up in the picture above so I took a close-up.

click the pic to enlarge… if you dare

Do you see it? Can you see the FREAKING MOLD on that brush? AURGH! SOMEONE IS PUTTING THAT MOLDY ASS TOOTHBRUSH IN THEIR FREAKING MOUTH. MOLD! ACK!

Gag level: 16.35/10
Gagtastic Harf-Inducer #3: The Aftermath


Your teeth are in your mouth. One would think that is where the toothpaste would also go. Now, I get that you have to spit it out at some point. But I normally spit it out into the sink, don’t you?

Gag level: 3/10 (got a bonus point for me thinking about stepping in it in my *shudder* bare feet)
Anger level: 11/10 (What the fuck are you, citizen? 6 years old?)

I think I’m just going to start brushing my teeth at work. Seriously.