Journal Entries. (April 1–7, 2012.)

APRIL

Sunday, April 1st--I got up around 12:30pm and puttered, then watched more SEO videos.

If my math is correct, today is the 73rd birthday of my biological father, a bad-tempered, closet bi-sexual, white trash, pedophilic asshole, who quite possibly sexually molested me, causing me to have a series of convulsions, and really kicking off my lifetime of bad mental health in a big way.

Dear Jimmy, I either hope you choke on your birthday cake today, or live long enough to read the book your abused son is writing about you, you ignorant piece of shit.
…………………

Later on I read in Sayers.
…………………….

Monday, April 2nd–This week and the next are, I believe, the last of the morning classes I’ll have to take. I think that after them I’ll be able to take evening courses. The only advantage to morning classes is they last four hours a day with three meetings, while the evening classes last three hours with four meetings. But a loss of one of my days off and another troublesome outing a week may be a small price to pay for decent sleep.

I also have three more solid weeks of courses, after which I get a much-needed three-week break.

I got up okay, with less than five hours of sleep. By the time I got downtown, I needed to piss badly.

The Internet was down at the [Tek Skilz] offices, so I was unable to forward the class notes to my e-mail.

I got confused and very frustrated at one point with the study of Excel, but part of that was due to my skipping ahead, and possibly a printing error in the instructions that caused them not to make any sense. I found out we’re not having a class Friday due to it being Good Friday, so the instructor is going to try to cram material in Wednesday and the left-over stuff in during the Database Design class next week. I have to wonder if that will work out okay.

The upside of all this is I’ll be done with my running around on Wednesday and will have four straight days off!

Our mid-morning break was a little bit late. Then, a little later on, the class (excluding me and another person) voted to just skip lunch and get out of class thirty minutes early. We were still to have a short break. When that didn’t happen I waited about twenty to thirty minutes in agony, needing very badly to shit and piss, before I finally just got up in the middle of the lecture, and went to the bathroom and did my business. Because of the leisurely pace of the instruction, I really didn’t miss anything.

I got home, walked Belle, showered, and napped from around 4:30 to 7pm.

It’s bad enough that I have to waste a day off by going to a doctor for a routine follow-up visit, but I’ve also got to fast (which is always difficult for me) in preparation for blood tests (which are also hard and sometimes cause me to black out and convulse). But I also have lately been displaying the symptoms of getting an enlarged prostate, which might mean the doctor might stick a greased finger up my ass tomorrow.

Happy, happy. Joy, joy.

I read, and retired around 2am.

Tuesday, April 3rd–I don’t think I had much trouble getting to sleep last night. I woke up at 8am, however, immediately aware that I’d not eaten in awhile and would have to go many more hours without food, so I started feeling light-headed.

I walked and fed Belle and soon got on my way. A Capitol Metro bus schedule is fairly useless much of the time if, like me, you’re close to the end of several lines. I have to factor in the break the driver gets at the end of the line, and add that on top of the next departure time and so forth, to try to figure out when I need to be at my stop. It is a very inexact science. So when I got to my stop, I wasn’t sure if I was early or late for the bus, which in this case only comes by once a fucking hour.

Well, I caught it on time, got to the clinic on time, and checked in and paid for this visit and the previous one. They were five or ten minutes late in waiting on me, though. I was weighed (I’d lost a pound since my last visit–and I hadn’t bothered to empty my pockets), and taken to an examining room. It turns out I’d screwed up some instructions–I was supposed to have gotten blood work done before this visit. Oh well, I’d just get it done today. I told the nurse about my problems with frequent urination and history of prostate trouble in the family.

She asked for a urine sample, but I said I’d pissed when I arrived, and so had none to offer.

The nurse then took me to another examining room and abandoned me for thirty to forty minutes. I cleared my throat loudly several times, but no one showed up. I was feeling more and more faint from hunger and getting a headache. I considered sticking my head out of the door and asking the attendants if I’d been forgotten, and I amused myself with the row that would cause. MEDICINE has such an imposing, intimidating reputation that it keeps people well in line. I also considered getting up, and telling the nurses that since I obviously wasn’t going to be served, I’d just toddle over to the lab and get my blood work done, since I couldn’t stand going hungry for much longer.

Finally the doctor arrived. They’d just check my urine first and see what that told them about my prostate, so I’d be spared the old greased finger up the poop chute test today–what she called “the poke and stick.” They’d do the blood work, and then I’d have to come back in another week or so for yet another goddamn follow-up. They could probably give me meds to do something about the pissing. (Not that I can pay for them, though.)

I went to the info desk to set up an appointment. I was waited on by a woman who seemed to take up a huge amount of space, but in a way that seemed a sort of optical illusion. Her clothing also contributed to her size. She looked a bit like a huge, inverted turnip.

At any rate, I set up an appointment for two weeks hence, but said I wanted to also meet with the counselor. She said I couldn’t do that without a referral from the doctor. I said she’d told me to see him. She said there was no reference to it. I said she’d told me to do so last visit, but I’d had a scheduling problem, since the counselor is only there Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, which is when I’m in class. That seemed to pacify the bureaucratic bitch.

I said I needed to get the counselor to diagnose–or actually re-diagnose–me as being Bi-Polar. Did he do that? No, she said, that was what the psychiatrist did, but I had to meet with and get a referral from the goddamn counselor before I could meet with the fucking psychiatrist. So I set a date.

So, then I went down the hall to the lab. There was a tiny waiting room which opened onto a small lab. Some young woman arrived the same time I did, and I was polite enough to let her get served first. Once I was served I explained my history of blacking-out and having convulsions during blood withdrawals, and of my rolling veins. The lab gal decided it would be best for me to be laying down for the withdrawal, and I agreed.

She gave me a little cup and had me go into the adjoining toilet to fill it as best I could. To my surprise, I produced more than enough urine to fill it. But there was no lid, so, with some difficulty, I extracted a length of paper toweling from one of those damnable motion-activated paper towel dispensers, and placed this over the top and sides of the cup, so neither the nurse nor I would get piss on the hands.

She had me set the cup in the sink. She put on gloves, extracted a tiny bit of piss with a dropper, squirted that into a vial, tossed the dropper into a closed trash can for medical waste, poured the rest of the piss down the sink, ran water for quite awhile, cleaned up, tossed my piss cup, her gloves, and the paper toweling into an open trash can that was located about one foot below a tray of blood vials and other materials (was this safe and hygienic?), then washed her hands in a different sink.

She gathered a great many materials for the blood test–she didn’t want to run out–and then she told the three or four people who had now gathered in the waiting room that she’d be right back, and trusting in the awesome power of institutional MEDICINE, she left them alone in the lab.

We went back to the Internal Medicine portion of the building, she asked a friendly older lady for an open examining room, and the latter suggested the room right next door. The door of the room next door was slightly ajar, so we walked in, surprising a rather sheepish looking pair of Indian men–one middle-aged, and one older. We made our way down the hall and finally found an open room, and I climbed up on the table.

Predictably, the lab gal had a great deal of trouble finding a decent vein to use. The first puncture, which hurt a bit, produced no blood. She was afraid it would take several different punctures from several different sources, to fill the four or more vials she had. The second puncture was more painful, but it slowly and surely produced blood.

The lab gal was worried I’d black out, and kept me talking. I said if worst came to worst and I freak out and needed food, I had a Power Bar in the main compartment of my back pack; lab techs had in the past had to give me orange juice to hydrate me.

She finally got all the blood she needed, but was concerned I might not be able to sit up or stand up right away. I said I’d probably be fine. Then she discovered she was out of bandages. The cabinets were empty, and she went off in search of a bandage for my puncture in another room. The friendly older lady poked her head in, asked how I was doing, and I said fine. I just lay there holding a square of cotton to my puncture wound.

Later a young doctor looked around the corner, followed by the lab girl. He tapped out the combination on a locked cabinet door and eventually produced a single bandage. Not too long after that I was on my way out of the building, grabbing furiously into my bag for that Power Bar.

I thought I saw the bus heading eastwards to the end of its route, and thought it would soon turn around and head my way–westwards–but I was wrong. I had a long wait. When the bus did finally come by heading eastwards, I ran over to the nearby convenience store and bought some little chocolate doughnuts and a fried peach pie to supplement my meager lunch.

The bus finally arrived, but it was very slow. The driver hit all the red lights. I finally got back to my neighborhood, bought stamps and mailed off my bills, went to Randall’s and bought eggs for Belle, and headed home, arriving at 1:25pm. 1:25!!! When my appointment was for 10:10am!!!

I forgot to mention that while I was trying to check out at Randall’s the girl asked me if I had a Randall’s card. I said I did, and began to rattle off my phone number:

–512-527-9347.

–What’s that again?

(Since I always enunciate my words and speak, if not loudly, then at least loud enough that I am always heard, this pissed me off.)

–I said, 512-5…2…7-9…3…4…7.

–52-what?

–(Loudly now, with annoyance.) I SAID, 5…1…2…-5…2…7…–9…3…4…6!!!

(I was tempted to add that if they possibly cut down that blaring goddamn store sound system maybe people could hear one another speak in there.)

I got home and greeted an overly-excited Belle, walked her, then showered. I napped from about 4pm to 7pm, walked Belle again, and got the mail, which included a confirmation that my Food Stamps have been renewed for six months.

Wednesday, April 4th–I had a very bittersweet dream this morning. My friend Max and I were spies, but not the glamourous, gadget-wielding, James Bond sort of spy. We were was quite ordinary. Our specialty was getting past check-points and into high-security facilities by a mixture of sleight-of-hand, clever props, thinking on our feet, and looking like we belonged in a given place (quite unlike the way I am in real life).

Max and I entered this one older-looking office building, got past the check-points, and soon realized it was one of the headquarters of the enemy. We quickly got separated and lost.

I found myself in a sort of maze that consisted of doors and panels made of light-weight, perforated aluminum. Some of these doors pushed inwards and others opened outwards, using a small paperclip as a doorknob. Some doors opened onto blank walls, others into corridors, closets, lounges, and minor offices. some opened into the most important offices in the building. The set-up was designed to confuse intruders–if you belonged there, you knew which door to use.

After getting completely lost, yet oddly, not caught, I found myself in a narrow corridor, at the end of which was a solid wooden door, upon which was a metal plate bearing the name of one of the most prominent scientists in Europe. So he must be working with the enemy!

I then heard Max’s voice and followed it through more doors and panels until I entered a large sort of employee lounge. It was full of people and Max was giving an impromptu speech. He seemed to know what he was doing.

A few dowdy women from the secretarial pool motioned for me to come over. They acted as if I belonged in the building and as if I’d been working with them for years. One said, “Did you hear about so-and-so? The police actually came into the building just a little while ago and took him away!” I just made a sympathetic clucking noise with my tongue and shook my head as if stunned.

Max finished talking, but as I didn’t know what cover story he’d used, with the other people in this room, I didn’t approach him, and we went our separate ways.

I was leaving this facility when I saw a large, older male Basset Hound wandering the halls. I knew he didn’t belong in such an evil place–one of the headquarters of the enemy–and that he was probably being abused and maybe even subjected to animal experimentation. I also had a hunch where he did belong.

With some difficulty, I picked him up, carried him down a corridor, out a side door, down an alley, made a left, and a few doors down stopped at a run-down old house with a front porch. The porch floor came up to about my stomach. I leaned across  the porch and slowly and quietly opened the front door without even stepping onto the porch. Then I nudged the dog inside.

In the front room was a skinny old man, confined largely to the house and his easy chair. He didn’t see me. But he did notice the dog come in. There was another dog in the house, out of view; I could tell by the clinking of her tags.

In a weak, reedy voice, yet filled with joy and on the verge of cracking, the old man said to the other dog, “Well, hey….Look…it’s Kenny.” (Kenny being the dog.) Sad, sentimental music played on the dream soundtrack. I wondered how long Kenny had been missing, and thought about what the old man and Kenny were feeling right then.
…………………..

And I woke up. I was quite shaken by the dream, and began to cry, first a little, and then a great deal. I cried a solid ten minutes thinking about that story, and I got my stack of bedside handkerchiefs all sopping wet. My clock said it was still an hour before my alarm was to ring. I eventually got back to sleep, but I had that post-crying exhaustion for half the morning.

I got to class okay, though I was in dire need of the toilet by the time I got there. We completed our study of Excel, for the time being, but it felt incomplete (probably because it was). Still, I’m looking forward to having four days off in a row.

I got home, greeted Belle, walked and calmed her down, showered, and napped for three, four, or five hours, got up, watched some tutorials, read, and went back to bed.

Thursday, April 5th–I woke a little after 2pm. I really needed a sleep that long. I worked on my tutorials and read.

Friday, April 6th–I slept late, and worked on my Excel tutorials. I finished Dorothy Sayers’s “Hangman’s Holiday” and began Gail Scott’s “My Paris.”

I took Belle outside at one point and directly in front of my building encountered an awkward and strange-acting young man who tried to engage me in conversation, though I clearly wasn’t interested. He indicated he’d just moved into the building, and seemed to be fishing for me to make the next comment. I did not ask for his name or offer mine. The best I would do was say, very stiffly, “Well, um, welcome,” and go on my way. It was about as formal, distant, and impersonal as I would imagine the remarks of Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip in a receiving line would be.

Saturday, April 7th–I woke around 3pm, attended to Belle, then confirmed that my Food Stamps money had been deposited. I left the house, checked my mail, and found the check for Belle had not yet arrived. That is a problem. I sure hope it arrives by Monday.

I went to Sprouts and got surprisingly little for $79, then went to HEB and spent $42, leaving me with $79 for the rest of the month. I had hell carrying everything back home, and really fucked up my back.

I forgot to mention that in the afternoon while walking Belle I encountered a woman lugging a lot of garbage. She said she wanted to toss it into the recycling bins, then come back and pet Belle. After she did this we got into a conversation and it turned out she works at [Discount Book City], the Central location, and is a supervisor of my buddy D__. I explained how he and I used to work together at the Bryan/College Station store, etc. She said if I needed a job they were hiring. I felt the hair on my neck go up. I didn’t tell her I considered [Discount Book City] my worst-ever job, and that I’ve been having recurring nightmares for some time about having to go back to work there.

I did seven Excel tutorials and read in Scott.

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