Let me take you on a tour of a troubled brain, exhibited in random shreds of scheduled blog posts that I never published, polished to their maddest sheen.
April 10, 2019 [I Can’t Have Beautiful Things]
I can’t have beautiful clothes because I’m careless and they tear.
I can’t have a beautiful marriage because I’m careless and it broke.
Don’t give me beautiful things, because I will destroy them.
April 22, 2019 [How I saved a life, got a medal, stole a pen, and slogged through a month of frigging stress (while dancing)]
My shower drain had an upset stomach; it was belching up disgusting blobs that reeked of sewage. Whatever water got down the kitchen drain only vomited itself right back up in the shower along with black globules and disgusting clumps of slime. The stench permeated the flat, and for about two weeks, without a single functioning drain [as everything flows through the shower], if I wanted to take a shower, I had to bail out the foul-smelling pool from the shower stall and dump it into the toilet.
With the boiler broken, I only took cold showers. I nearly overdosed on iron tablets (“Yeah, I know you’re anemic, but let’s not take three 366% daily dose iron tablets, okay?”), I bled on the floor at the blood-donor center, then found out the components in my blood all matched up to those needed to save the life of a child brought into a nearby medical facility that day (where my blood was apparently delivered immediately). Then I got a medal for having given blood twenty times, and to top it off, I accidentally stole their pen.
My conscience harped on it all the way to work. Maybe out of guilt, I also gave away my fruit kolach to a colleague.
Add to that too much work, lack of sleep, turning in tax forms, a problem at social security, my mom having surgery, my cat licking up some drain cleaner and freaking me out into calling the vet at 10pm at night, and I’ve been a leetle bit on edge.
October 12, 2019
I want to punch my past self in the face.
October 27, 2019 [The Famous Pub I Live Above (and other disasters)]
I live in the building where one of the most famous pubs in Prague is. Every time I name the square near where I live, every single person inquires, “Oh, have you been to [famous pub]?”
And I’m like [sigh], “I live above it.”
The other day, after I ordered a month’s worth of chocolate to be delivered [yeah, you read that right – don’t judge me :-P], the first thing the delivery guy says is, “You live in the best place!” Gesturing to the pub, he waxes eloquent with glowing accolades about the best beer and how he and his friends never fail to visit it when they’re in Prague.
After he hands me my order of chocolate, he smiles and says, “We’ll meet again.”
I blink, trying to figure out how he knows I’m going to order more chocolate in twenty days.
At which he throws back his head, cackles, and says, “In the pub!” He hops into the delivery truck like a sprite.
January 12, 2020 [I am poison and you should stay away from me]
I told you to stay away, but here you are.
I am the girl who closes herself off in a secret depression, hunkered in the dregs of the desolate and the neglected, the lonely and the overworked, the unnoticed, the unloved and those who slit their wrists.
I am the sad-eyed boy who steps off a skyscraper to find a better world.
I am the murderer in the streetlight, my shadow circled with dying moths.
I am the politician married to greed, who shakes hands with magnates selling black gold.
I am the shivering creature saved from a burning wood.
I am the fish, the birds, the creatures that perish with bellies bloated with deadly substance.
I am the air you cannot breathe. The race you cannot win.
The news that bombards you with death.
The bomb that lands on your building while you watch.
I am war. The rape of resources. The arid land that wields no crops. The dead ocean that sustains no life.
I am the hopelessness that paralyzes you. The apathy that permeates you. The inaction that roots you to this path of consumer gluttony.
I am the apathy that spreads poison deeper into your veins every day. The taxing, sluggish toil of laboring in a system grown too voracious.
I am the system that devours human spirit and fortitude and flora, fauna, hope, and leaves in its wake razed lands swathed in plumes of poisonous air, waters aswirl with perilous toxins.
I am purveyor of destruction.
I am the future, and you should stay away from me.
I am the antidote.
I am the step you take now.
The step away from that future. The step toward another way of life that embraces music, art, literature, love, air, nature, flora, fauna, life.
You do not need that purchase.
Turn away from the trap and smile.
July 1, 2020 [My Life, the Badly-Written Chic-Lit Novel]
A partially eaten pizza sits on an unwashed baking sheet amid crumbs accumulated from days of successive pizzas.
One cat, wanting attention, has pulled clean laundry off the drying rack.
The other cat, angry that his favorite food is out, pees on the piles of fallen clothes. He pees on the couch. He even pees on the red pillow on the floor.
The place stinks. The vents clog. The floor swirls with dust and cat fur and litter.
Laundry piles up. Cake crumbs harden in empty cake forms. Smoothie residue sticks to unwashed dishes.
I don’t get out of my chair for six hours straight. I don’t have time to eat, or I just eat marble cake all day. I don’t realize I’m parched and sore. There’s too much work. One thing after the other.
But a guy from my Swing dance class invited us to a dance party in his empty flat. I agreed to go, but for this 100% introvert, it proved a lil bit of a disaster. First, I got there an hour late because I didn’t want to leave home. Then I spilled someone’s red fizzy drink on the ivory carpet and the wall and kept compulsively wandering over to it every few minutes afterward to make sure it wasn’t staining. I did that so often I ended up making this one dude move out of my way and ram his back on the sharp edge of the open window. It drew blood that was still flowing an hour later. [I can’t believe he still danced with me after that.]
And as the cherry on the cake, when the guy hosting it said he was taking voluntary donations, I made a joke about giving a meal ticket instead and there was this awkward silence after a bad joke when no one knew what to say.
Guess that wasn’t as bad as what I said the next week, though. At dance class, we have disinfectant spray (due to Covid), and one of the guys was spraying it on his hands, so I held my hands out out for him to spray mine, too, only I scrunched my face up as if he were going to spray me in the face instead and he started laughing. “You think I’m going to spray you?”
Deciding to try to be funny (always a mistake when I attempt it), I thought of how someone suggested to my at-the-time husband and me that we spray the cats with water when they were being naughty (like shredding the couch into little itty bitty bits), but we felt it was cruel and ended up spraying the water playfully at each other instead.
So, at dance class, I thought, That’s a funny story. Which means this is what I said to the guy with the spray bottle in dance class: “I had an ex-husband. I’m used to being squirted on.”
And inside my mind, I was like, “That didn’t come out right.”
And the dude’s face! He laughed even harder and was like, “What?”
Sonya tired brain judged the situation like this: Too long a story to elaborate. Leave as is.
So I didn’t explain and let him interpret however he chose.
Fast forward to next dance class. I was late again. They’d already started dancing, and he was sweaty. I’d just washed my hands. I warned him my hands were wet. He said, “My hands are wet, too. In fact, I’m all wet. Are you wet?”
And I’m like, “Er…” while thinking, Did he really say–did he mean–was that a–er…
A little later I nearly slipped on the floor while we were switching partners and I was back at him and almost fell in front of him and he said, “You were nearly on your knees before me.”
Again, I’m intelligently like, “Er…” while thinking, I’ve created a euphemism monster.
Or is it just me?
Fast forward to the next dance class. I’m wearing a pink button-up shirt with sleeves to my elbows, and when we start to dance, he says, “You covered up this week because of my inappropriate comments last week, didn’t you.”
Again, my intelligence is on the rise, and I say, “What inappropriate stuff? You didn’t say anything inappropriate.” By which I meant I hadn’t been offended because I just took his comments as jokes.
But he just looked at me like, Did she really not get a thing I said last week?
Sometimes you just have to let things lie because they’re simply unsalvageable.
I also had a dream about a guy I like [the one my cats almost killed who took his shirt off when we went for a walk during a beautiful day in the park and who, one evening when we went out and he got drunk (and probably said things he’d be mortified if he knew I know), stopped and leaned in to kiss me at the tram just as I turned my head and he missed – in the universe’s nod to either chic-lit or tragedy. I was too embarrassed to mention it and he was probably too mortified to repeat it.]. I had a dream about him last night that he was upset with me or disappointed… yeah, I can’t even get stuff right in my dreams 😀
In another joke of the universe, I went running this evening, and up ahead, on a random street, who should I find smiling and spreading out his hands in the middle of it like, “Fancy meeting you here” but my ex-husband!
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“Running! Why are you here?” [My way of saying this is my turf, boy, not yours, haha :-D]
He was on his way to a company dinner at a restaurant nearby. I told him I did my own taxes this year [he’s been helping me do them every year since our divorce eight years ago] and he said he was proud, and why was I running?
“Because I can’t fit into my jeans!”
He laughed. “No one can. I just started a diet three days ago because I could only zip up and button one pair of shorts.”
“What kind of diet?”
“How can you give up sugar!?” Crazy man, I, the sugar addict, thought.
He had to get to the dinner, so it was a short talk, but I was like, What are the odds of meeting like that? What does it mean?
NO, SONYA, THE UNIVERSE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO GET BACK TOGETHER WITH HIM JUST BECAUSE IT RANDOMLY BROUGHT YOU TOGETHER ON A RANDOM STREET AT A RANDOM TIME!
Nice to know, Universe, thank you. I was just thinking that (liar).
October 5, 2020 [I’m Sleeping in Cat Pee]
I am going crazy. It looks like I got ringworm. I’m not sure from where, but I’ve been reduced to this: losing 8 hours a day disinfecting the flat and putting creams on my body because it appears to have spread to other places. I paid over $300 to have the cats vaccinated. I’ve paid who knows how much for cleaning products. I haven’t touched the cats in a month, haven’t picked up Zulejka or Sep and Zulejka hardly purrs and I’m going freaking mad. I wipe down every surface: the cabinets, doorjambs, doorframes, bookshelves, counters, fridge, cat litter boxes, my phone, iPad, computer, keys, door handles, washing machine. I vaccum every corner, disinfect the vacuum, take out the trash, take out the recycling, mop all the floors, disinfect the mop, disinfect the bucket, disinfect the toilet, the shower, I shower with a special gel, do the laundry every day, strip the bed, make it…
Not to mention in the space of a week, I thought my tooth had chipped when I was eating a carrot (turned out it was only the glue for the retaining wire on the back of my teeth after braces), my washing machine was leaking (which stopped when I quit overloading it), and I accidentally left the freezer door open overnight, so when I shut it, the fridge started growling and vibrating like a mutant lawnmower (I had to defrost it for 24 hours, because leaving it open all night meant the fan blades froze, which meant I ended up having to throw out all my frozen goods).
And add to that, the universe is gaslighting me, because neither dermatologist I went to will admit its ringworm, and the cultures the vet took to test the cats for it both came back negative. So what’s up with that?
I’m exhausted, and when after 6 hours of cleaning I go to put on the sheets, I noticed Sep peed on the bed.
I lacked the energy to clean it up, so I just slept in it.
I’m going mad. I can’t take this. I don’t know what to do.
October 10, 2020
Still no life outside of cleaning and barely getting any writing done or work done.
Sep is stressed from the vacuum and I can’t get him to stop peeing on the bed because the smell of his pee is on it now, so it’s his peeing spot. I just have no energy. I’m constantly dragging, worn down, hardly eating. I’ve lost weight. I fit into jeans that wouldn’t fit a month ago.
But last night, while taking out the recycling, a drunk dude was reeling past and asked me, philosophically, “Why don’t people sing on the street?”
I said, “I don’t know. They really should.”
At which he proceeded to serenade me with a deep bass while he sauntered past, with impromptu lyrics such as “She’s doing her duty, sorting out the recycling…”
It made me smile, the first time in a loooong time.
October 28, 2020
Answer me something.
If two dermatologists (one who saw you four times) say you don’t have ringworm, and the cultures that the vet took said they don’t have ringworm and the antifungal is taking forever to work and you wake up three nights in a row scratching, sleep-deprived, with absolutely no improvement, is it the universe gaslighting you, or are you simply WRONG and you should have fucking put on some moisturizing lotion SIX WEEKS AGO rather than tyrannizing yourself and the cats?
I’m pretty sure I don’t have ringworm. Last night, when my hands were itching like crazy, I spent 2.5 hours researching possible conditions that could be confused with it, and what I have looks more like discoid eczema / nummular dermatitis than ringworm, besides which the eczema is known to keep people awake at night scratching.
So I finally convinced my paranoia to risk letting me putting on moisturizer (which, if it were ringworm, would make it grow and was the reason I wouldn’t use the dermatologist’s recommendations earlier).
Within minutes, the skin looked better.
This is what paranoia does to you: it makes you behave irrationally. And when you’re living alone, there’s no one to stop the madness but your own crazy brain.
If no one ever stops you, where will the spiral take you?
Postscript: I did learn things from this experience. I learned that I eat like shit, so I completely changed my diet (no sugar–I, the sugar addict! And no grains–aaah, pasta and pizza, au revoir!) and have been losing weight. I learned that I no longer want to live alone, I want a partner, and I’ve taken up the search for love again—for real this time! I learned how to clean and disinfect my flat in 2.5 hours. I learned how to get rid of cat-urine smell (bought an enzyme cleaner) and Sep is no longer peeing on the bed. I learned, most of all, that I need to check my paranoia, because otherwise it will roar out of control, and there’s no one else here holding the reins.