June 9, 2011


Let me begin by saying that if I owe you an email, phone call, visit, book, or anything else, please forgive me. I have been rather under the weather and everything has suffered.

On a related note: I have a lot of shit to do. The list is long and many of the tasks are daunting. But I am working on them.

First and foremost on the list is my mental health. I don't really know what or how much to say at this point. I will say that I have been considering and making phone calls to investigate a variety of options along the continuum, everything from a different psychiatrist to partial hospitalization to *gulp* possible full hospitalization for a period.

It is scary.

It is often overwhelming.

There is so much red tape and bureaucracy to get through, and it is so easy to feel frustrated and discouraged and hopeless.

Since I--for better or worse--am fairly open through this venue, in particular, many issues you may already be aware of: struggles with bipolar disorder (although there is some recent disagreement on this particular label), depression, anxiety, a job loss, a miscarriage, and some significant relationship challenges. There have been other events of which I've never spoken until the last couple of days. Not even to best friends or therapists or physicians.

I know now how fucking stupid my silence has been. And it has cost me a great deal.

I don't know at what point I crossed over from being the girl who took on things that scared her just to prove that she could do it to being this little, fearful person who is terrified of everything and everyone.

But I hate her.

I miss the little girl who was a scrapper. I miss the little girl who had holes in the knees of her jeans that she patched with scotch tape and wore them to school anyway. I miss the little girl who preferred to pee in the snow rather than going inside to use the bathroom so as not to miss a minute of sled-riding. I miss the little girl who chewed on the plastic handle fringes of her Big Wheel as she skidded around corners, dangerously close to traffic, and would race anyone who cared to challenger her.

I am trying to find her again.

By popular request: An update on bow-tie bank boy

A few folks have commented or written to ask for the follow-up story on the sweet man from the bank I mentioned in my last post. It had been nearly a month since my strange interaction with him, and I was pessimistic that he would still be a Wells Fargo employee.

As I took my place in line, I was surprised and pleased to see that he WAS, in fact, working that day. I noticed immediately that he was not sporting a bow-tie, but instead a regular tie. I was lucky enough to have him as a teller.

He never smiled once. He didn't ask me how I was doing. He was lethargic, and quietly took care of my transaction--none of the spunk or charm that had made me notice him before.

I wanted to tell him I understood. I wanted to whisper words of encouragement: "Don't let the man get you down!" But a person who appeared to be his supervisor was only a couple feet away, and I worried that I would cause him further trouble.

Admittedly, I was also afraid he would think I was hitting on him.

I walked away feeling a little sad. They've broken him!

June 6, 2011

Getting worse all the time

Recently, I was at the Wells Fargo at 19th Ave. and Geary Blvd. I stood in line trying to be patient and also to avoid looking at the little television that shows you what you look like standing in line at the goddamned bank. I hate those things.

When it was my turn, the teller who was helping me was a young guy who's been working there for awhile. He has always been friendly and has a penchant for smart little bow ties. On this day, he looked tired and his smile wasn't as big as usual. "How's your day going today?" he asked as he took care of my deposit.

"It's going okay," I responded, "how about yours?"

"Yeah, that's about it. Okay. But getting worse all the time." He smiled ruefully.

This caught me off guard and I wasn't quite sure how to respond. I kind of liked it, though. I have a special fondness for people who don't always give the run-of-the-mill "fine, thank you" answer. I commented on it to Ivan when I returned home.

A couple days later, a voicemail was left on my phone. It was a representative from Wells Fargo wanting to talk to me about my interaction with that particular teller on my visit to the bank.

Poor guy. When I go to the bank today, I have a feeling he won't be there.

June 2, 2011

Made out of loss

...Memory is what people are made out of. After skin and bone, I mean. And if memory is what people are made out of, then people are made out of loss. No wonder we value our possessions so much. And no wonder we crave firm answers, formulae, facts, and figures. All are attempts (feeble in the end) to preserve what's gone.

Bill Roorbach

June 1, 2011

I prefer the kind with traction.

I am so out of sorts, in fact, that the only worthwhile thing I have managed to accomplish today is the creation of this toilet paper tower behind my bathroom door. 20 rolls!

(I hate running out.)

The Big One may come tomorrow. The sewage system may be destroyed. But if I can somehow crawl out of the rubble to my bathroom, so help me god I WILL BE ABLE TO WIPE MY BUM IN COMFORT.

Out of sorts

**Warning: If you are one of those people who finds others' dreams boring, you might want to skip this entry.**

I feel incredibly bizarre today. I didn't sleep much last night and--while that is nothing terribly unique--today I felt like I just couldn't recover. My head is in a fog and I am moving in slow motion. I had all these things to accomplish today but by noon I was so exhausted that I knew nothing would ever get done if I didn't lay down and take a nap.

I dreamed I had invited Nannette, Amber, and Suzie over for dinner. I was making a beef stew, even though 2/3 of that crowd is vegetarian. Bob G. texted me and asked why he wasn't invited, and I texted back, "Come on over!"

As I started to chop vegetables, I was suddenly transported to my mother's kitchen. I looked around in confusion. The clock said they were supposed to arrive in an hour and I was already way behind schedule. I figured I'd just better get going and not worry about why I'd suddenly arrived at my mother's.

I quickly realized I didn't have half the ingredients I needed. Plus, I had no wine and nothing for dessert. What kind of hostess was I? I begged my mother to let me borrow her car to run to the store. She was doubtful. "I'm 34 years old!" I cried. "I can be trusted with the car to go to the grocery store!" She reluctantly handed over my keys and said that I could go if I took my brother Keith with me.

We ran to the car. I gave Keith--in childhood form--my grocery list. We hauled ass to the store, but the car would not park. "You have to leave it somewhere flat," my brother informed me, "or else it will roll away."

"Oh, for fuck's sake!" I snapped. "Why does she have this damn car?" But it was urgent. My friends were coming and I had nothing done. We dashed into the store and raced back home. When I arrived, I realized I'd only bought a potato and nothing else. I moaned in desperation. Everything felt so urgent. And nothing was going right.

Meanwhile my mom, who is not the most tech-oriented person in the world, was marveling at my smart phone and playing around with it. As I looked in the refrigerator for more ingredients, an Atlanta number called my phone. My mother handed it to me. A woman's voice said, "Amie? This is Jack-in-the-Box from Atlanta, Georgia. YOU HAVE JUST WON A $5,000 TRIP FOR TWO TO BAJA, MEXICO!"

I started laughing with glee! Holy hell, I could USE a fucking vacation! Then I realized that I don't even go to Jack-in-the-Box. And I hadn't been to Atlanta for years. I don't even think they have the damn things in Atlanta. Christ on a crutch! I thought. This is a dream! I haven't won anything.

With annoyance I slammed the phone shut and then realized: Everyone is coming to my house for dinner in SAN FRANCISCO. I am in WEST VIRGINIA. This will never work!

I tried to text them all that dinner was cancelled as the pot in which I was cooking my stew broke and everything started running down the stove. But my phone would not work right. My mom had messed it up. Every button I pushed led to the wrong function. I looked at that clock, and it was past time for them to arrive. I knew that Suzie and Amber were always late, but Nannette was probably there, waiting outside my door, wondering where I was. I had forgotten about Bob. (Sorry, Bob.)

I stood forlornly watching the sauce drip to the floor in long streaks down the oven, feeling like a failure and an unreliable friend. A text message from my mom woke me up: "What r u doing?" she asked.

Hell's bells.