A Dreary Sightseer

“Monotony has nothing to do with a place; monotony, either in its sensation or its infliction, is simply the quality of a person. There are no dreary sights; there are only dreary sight seers.” –G.K. Chesterton, Alarms and Discursions

——————–

My last post involved me declaring that I was going to go out and do stuff. And I did. I started to actively pursue my degree in… something. Okay, so I haven’t gotten that far yet, but I’m headed in that direction, and that’s the important thing.

The problem is, doing things leaves very little time for other things. Like sleeping. Which is something I enjoy. Immensely.

No, seriously, it’s like a hobby for me, behind watching things and then complaining about those things over Twitter.

Because doing things eats up sleeping time, other things tend to fall to the wayside. Like blogging and reading and brushing my hair.

But the thing about doing things and sleeping instead of doing other things, it doesn’t give me a lot to talk about. Because monotony, which is the very thing I was trying to avoid, seeps in anyway. I’m in class or at work or asleep. That’s it. Same boring life, just more tired. This is not a formula for excitement. I have experience with that. Extensive experience.

I’m sitting in the school cafeteria, waiting for class to begin, and this is the first time in a while that I’m not sucking down coffee in an effort to remain awake. This is my life now. Coffee work coffee class sleep coffee work coffee class sleep coffee work coffee class sleep. On and on and on.

I’m taking two different English courses, both of which are making me write creatively. I haden’t been doing that as much. And 90% of what I produce for class is crap, but it’s a start. I can work with starts. I can’t work with a blank page sitting in front of me.

So maybe in the monotony there is something redeeming. I am required at least twice a week to write something. I focus on that because around me is the same old boring whatever. There’s a rhythm to my life, and that does help free up some brain space to write stuff.

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

Like a moving train. Steady pace, steady sound, steady journey. Stare out of the window. Watch trees go by. Let the mind wander.

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

Stories come again. Some good, some bad, some wanting to be told, some dragged onto the paper. But all stories, all there, all coming out of my hand.

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

Free mind. Free thought. Free flow.

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

coffee work coffee class sleep

Chugging along.

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Guru

Everyone’s a guru these days: make-up, hair, dieting. I’m one, too.

I’m a procrastination guru.

I am an expert. The majority of my school career was spent waiting until the last minute to do anything. My most impressive one is when I completed a paper–from research to final draft–in eight hours, and received a perfect mark. Not to brag, but, y’know, I’m qualified.

The problem with procrastination is that it only works with a deadline. When you don’t have one, it becomes laziness. Because procrastination implies that it will get done at some point. It has to be. There’s a due date. When there isn’t one, and you just keep putting it off and putting it off because, well, you can, then that’s just apathy.

You cannot be a a guru of laziness. There’s no skill involved with that. You are simply a victim of it. It overtakes any part of you that has the energy to accomplish something and it whispers those five destructive words: “you can do it later.”

And suddenly you’re watching a movie you’ve seen 800 times because it’s there and you don’t have to think about it.

I’m trying to fight my laziness. I want to accomplish things in my life. It’s hard to do that when I suffer from laziness. But I can fight back, the only way you can fight such a demon: actively. Which is why I’m trying to get back into blogging. Because in order to have something to blog about, I have to have accomplished something. You can’t talk about sitting in bed all day. I’ve learned from experience that that particular conversation thread is pretty short.

Don’t expect my accomplishments to be big. They won’t be. My only real rule is that they have to involve doing something that will contribute to my life in a positive way. So as accomplished as it may make me feel, finishing a season of a television series does not count.

Except maybe for Lost. That shit is complicated.

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is a time full of traditions. Some honor the memory of family past, some have evolved with the times, and some are downright bizarre.

This is where I come in.

  • The Christmas Eve Shopping Adventure. My father and I inevitably forget to buy something–whether it be a proper gift or stocking stuffers. So we venture out into the scarred warzone that is the local mall and hunt down what we need. We always come back victorious, and with a story to tell. My favorite is when we went out to buy my mother some clothes, because that’s what she wanted for Christmas. Okay, fine. I pick out a lovely pair of brown pants, to which my father says no, because “she doesn’t have anything to wear with it.” This is a man who has paired plaid and polka dot, so I don’t know where the hell that came from. Anyway, he picked out a pair of black pants, because “she already has black pants, so she has stuff to wear with them.” Okay, but if she has black pants, shouldn’t I get her the brown pants, since she doesn’t have those?” We went back and forth on this, with me standing in the middle of the store literally yelling “BROWN PAAANTS” at him.
  • Christmas Eve in the city. My aunt Brenda and uncle Louie host Christmas Eve. This involves making fun of the bubble lights on their tree and being terrified of their motion-activated singing-and-dancing figures that are a million years old and have been dying slowly and painfully for the last decade. Nothing quite like walking past a seemingly innocent snowman and having it demand you “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” at you in a tinny screech full of demonic rage.
  • PRESENT TIME!! Where all of the kids rip into their presents while the adults all trade lottery scratchers and alternatively berate the giver for giving them terrible scratchers or bragging about how much they won. Yes. We turn gift-giving into a competition. This does handily lead into…
  • The Amazing Traveling Christmas Card. My cousin Joseph does this thing where he buys one generic Christmas card, gives it to people, and then asks for it back to give to someone else. He claims it’s because he’s poor. It is actually because he is an asshole.
  • Christmas in the Country. My cousin Nicole lives outside of the city, in a place where deer and foxes are common sightings in her (massive) backyard. As a city-dweller whose idea of nature is pigeons, rats, and the occasional raccoon, this automatically means “country Christmas.” It usually involves us ignoring the nicely-decorated dining room and hanging out around her kitchen island. This displeases her, to say the least. We are not fazed by this, as most things displease her.
  • “What do we make for Christmas dinner?” We can never actually remember. At this point, the tradition is trying to recall what the hell we did last year. Best my mother offers to that conversation is, “Well, there was that year where I brought all those salad dressings. Everyone liked that.”

The connecting tradition, however, is family. Because that’s what Christmas is all about, at least to me. No matter how crazy they drive me (and believe me… they do), I love them. I cherish them.

And I’m stuck with them.

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Holiday Stress Barbie

Man, when did buying Barbie dolls become stressful? I had to go shopping for two of my cousins, five and three, and I decided to get them Barbies. My reasoning behind this was, “Hey. They play with Barbies. I played with Barbies. Easy.”

I was very, very wrong.

There are, rough estimate, about a million different kinds of Barbies. Did you know Tim Gunn has a line of Barbies? Oh yeah. Barbies dressed in Tim Gunn-designed clothes. That’s a thing. She’s also a pop star princess and a hula dancer and Katniss Everdeen and the president and a fairy and gymnast and Hair-tastic and So In Style and she has new friends and I think a new little sister and Skipper’s a brunette now and I may have almost had a panic attack in the middle of Target while shopping. I called my mom, and practically yelled in the middle of the Barbie section, “I don’t know what I’m doing! Barbie doesn’t even look like Barbie anymore!”

Honestly, I was this close to curling in a fetal position around a Tim Gunn Barbie, next to a Dream House, sobbing about how I couldn’t make it work.

I just keep hearing Grandpa Simpson in my head: “I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me. It’ll happen to you.

And sooner than you think.

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Motivational Internal Monologuing

So in my last entry (in… eep, May), I discussed a little bit about my struggle with depression.

The struggle got harder. And then it overtook my life.

My medication stopped working. I turned in on myself more, and outwardly pushed more people away. I became more and more like what I was. Not as bad, luckily, since I knew what I was dealing with, and I recognized the signs of more destructive behavior and could avoid that. But the ever-present exhaustion and the lack of interest in life in general was pretty hard to shake.

I took the easy way out: I embraced it. I allowed myself to just… exist. Float through life without any real emotion attached to anything. It’s not a great way to live, let me tell you. Instead of going out and exploring and creating, I sat. Occasionally I would sit in a movie theater, as that didn’t require me to do anything except sit. Other than that, I converted oxygen into carbon dioxide.

I started hating myself. The hate grew to loathing. I started wearing more black, almost as if I was in mourning for the person I used to be. Because I did miss her. She was fun. She did things. She wrote things and got them published and signed up for a summer class at CCP. She was a lovely person.

I realized that I could be that person again. The only person who was standing in the way of that happening was me. I’m my problem. And that is a very hard thing to overcome. Getting out of your own way is difficult. And there’s no real way to do it besides just doing it. I call it the ‘suck it up and deal’ mentality. Which I did actually bring up in therapy. She took it negatively, but I don’t see it like that. It’s motivational. Like a trainer motivating a boxer in the corner of the ring: “He’s on the ropes. Just get through this round.”

“Call a psychiatrist, Anna. I know you hate doing anything that involves human interaction or extraneous movement (which is, according to you, anything that doesn’t involve clicking refresh on Twitter), but if you suck it up and deal with your life, you will be on your way to being Better You. The You you want to be.

And then you can go back to doing nothing. And won’t that be nice?”

See? Motivating. Suck it up and deal. Works in almost any situation. Honest. It’s what’s been getting me back on track with not being a sad little thing in her bed all the time.

I can’t say I’m better. But I’m getting there. Like I said, I’m seeing a therapist. I’ve got an appointment with a new psychiatrist who will (hopelly) help me sort out my problems with my medication. It’s a long road. But I’m starting to walk it again, with every intention of going forward.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Depression and I: An Ongoing Affair

In 2006, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was prescribed medication. I saw a therapist. I got better.

Except there is no “getting better” when it comes to depression. It’s something you learn to live with. The most comparable thing I’ve come across is diabetes. With diabetes, your pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin, so you cannot properly process sugar. With depression, your brain doesn’t produce enough serotonin, so you can’t properly process happy things.

Okay, so it’s kind of a shitty comparison. But it works.

It’s not something that’s going to heal. It’s something that you learn to work with. Some days are going to be better than others. On the good days, you try and enjoy life. On the bad days, you push yourself out of bed because tomorrow is going to get better.

High school was not fun for me at the time. Now, I look back with a lot of fond memories, but regretful ones. I probably would have had a better experience if I didn’t have this Thing hanging over me.

I was all too well aware of its presence. I just chose not to deal with it–or when I did, it was not in the healthiest of ways. But I chalked it up to “teenaged angst” and sat in a corner, writing shitty poems about dying (all the while thinking I was the next Emily Dickinson because I was just so deep) and wearing all black like some weird goth beatnik.

I got to college, and it got worse, because suddenly, everything I knew was gone and I was in this weird place that I didn’t want to be in. Again, I pushed it away. I didn’t deal with it. I blamed it on new surroundings and some version of culture shock.

Then I flunked out.

I stopped going to classes. It wasn’t that I wouldn’t get out of bed, it was that I couldn’t. Every day, it was getting more and more physically impossible for me to leave my little cocoon of sadness, where I could hate myself in peace. I didn’t talk to anyone. I didn’t eat. I slept around 16 hours a day, and I was disappointed every single time I woke up.

It was when I was seriously considering Googling “suicide methods” that I figured enough was enough.

So I Googled “depression” instead.

I read the symptoms on three different websites. Each website had symptoms that described me perfectly: excessive sleeping, no appetite, loss of interest, feelings of sadness. I stared at the screen and cried. I had an answer. And for the first time in years, I had hope.

I went downstairs and found my mom watching TV. And I was clueless as to how to say something.

“What’s up?” Her standard greeting.

“I think I’m depressed.” There. Done. Out in the open. Now the questions and the ‘oh God I’m a terrible mother’ crying and maybe I should have just gone through with the suicide, that would have been easier–

“Okay.” She hit the mute button. “That explains a lot, actually.”

Oh. Okay. This is… good. Right? Good? “Yeah.”

“I’ll look up some therapists, and we can go together. If you want.”

It’s good. “Yeah. Definitely.”

“Okay.”

I went back upstairs and fell asleep.

I have no idea what my mother did after that, besides making me a therapy appointment. Maybe I did make her feel like a terrible mother–that certainly wasn’t my intenton, and her reaction proves that she isn’t. But, if I’m honest, I don’t want to know. Because we aren’t those people anymore. I’m happier. She’s happier. I do things now. I have interests that I’m passionate about. I’m even going back to school, with every intention of showing up to class this time.

Depression, in a word, sucks. It sucks your interests, your joy, your relationships, all into this black pit of nothing, and then in sucks you in. But you don’t have to let it. You can talk to someone. There are helplines. Utilize your resources. Take back your life. It’s the only one you get.

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I Can’t Do Mornings

I’m not a morning person. Which is funny because, as I have mentioned, I work nights. The problem most non-morning people have with mornings is having to actually wake up. Considering I spent most of the night awake, you would think this wouldn’t be a problem for me. I would be able to greet the morning, awake, alert, and aware.

Oh, you would think.

I don’t know what it is about mornings. The sun rising, birds singing, people bustling to work–I can’t handle it. I start freaking out. I think I can sense the impending productivity of the day, and I know I will never be (nor was ever) a part of that. I was the slacker in the back of the class who put in the barest minimum of effort in the things she was disinterested in–and work, I am definitely disinterested in.

Currently I’m at Starbucks, and I’m enjoying a latte. It was an arduous road to get to the actual enjoyment, because I, like the genius I am, spilled it. I created quite a spash zone, too, if I may say. It’s about a head shorter than I am, and I’m 5’5″ (okay, 5’4.5″… shut up).

I heard the cup hit. I heard the liquid splash. I sat at my table, mortified. And then I looked around, unsure of what to do. Do I leave my computer at the table to get someone? Do I pack everything up? What if they see me packing up? Will they think that I’m running away from my mess? Because I’m not. I jst really don’t trust the 45-year-old in the jorts he cut too short and sideways baseball cap around my belongings.

I compromised. I left my water and my croissant at the table (and, unbeknownst to me, my phone, which proves how panicky I was, because that thing is my baby) and went to the cashier.

The very cute cashier, who must have just come in, because he totally wasn’t there before. Of course. I had a good night. I was happy about this fact. And then God laughed. “IT’S MORNING NOW. AHAHAHAHA.”

Thanks, God.

I went with my usual approach towards any reasonably attractive human: self-deprication. “Hi! I was a genius, and I spilled my coffee, so if there’s, like, a rag or something I can have…” He send out someone to clean up my mess. I sat at the table, more and more feeling five years old. There’s something about watching someone cleaning up a mess you made that will do that to you.

(I think my favorite part of this entire ordeal is the old man that watched this entire thing go down, glower at me in disgust, and then stalked out of the place. My spillage disgusted him so much that he had to leave. I feel strangely accomplished by that.)

I am almost entirely certain this would not have happened at night. There are less people around. Less productivity. My fingers would actually work properly (this is another common morning problem for me). The night is calmer. It’s more casual. The night is a time to be relaxed and unburdened by the day. I much prefer the night.

But the morning, as hectic and frantic as they are, does have some perks.

Starbucks. 10th & Chestnut, Philadelphia, PA. Go out of your way for these people, because they will go out of their way for you. I’m sitting here, sipping a brand new latte, trying to avoid their amused gazes, because, as the girl who interrupted my litany of embarrassed apologies as she mopped up told me, “It happens every day.”

But hey. At least my corner smells really, really good now.

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Utilisez Logique

Reading directions is an important skill one must learn. I haven’t quite mastered it yet. I’m the type of person who gets a new piece of technology and starts hitting buttons immediately. Oftentimes I forget there’s a manual at all. Which has led me, on more than one occasion, to sit there, cursing at an object for 20 minutes and accomplishing nothing except getting more and more frustrated, instead of being productive and actually finding a solution to my problem in the book provided for just such an incident.

I don’t know why I do it. I should have learned my lesson by now: always read the instructions. But still, I throw caution and good sense to the wind and go in blind.

My favorite example of why I shouldn’t do this takes place in French class in my senior year of high school. It wasn’t a particularly special day. I couldn’t tell you the weather, and the only reason I could tell you what I wore is because I attended a Catholic school and thus had to wear a uniform. It was an everyday.

We were doing exercises to learn new vocabulary. The teacher spoke the words every student loves to hear: “You can work with a partner.” Luckily (or perhaps unluckily for us) my best friend, Cait, sat in front of me. We situated our desks, and began scribbling away, more focused on our conversation about God only remembers what than the actual assignment.

All of our answers were in the affirmative, because it was easier. “Oui, je donne un os au chien. Oui, je donne un poisson au chat.” We went on our merry little way. Class wound down, we finished up our assignment, and I started thinking about what I was going to have for lunch. Then something in the directions caught my eye. “Oh, shit.”

Cait looked up. “What?”

Utilisez logique.”

“Use logic,” she translated hollowly.

“Yeah.”

“That means there will be negative answers.”

“Yeah.”

“Damn it.”

We both looked up at the first question. “Would you give allumettes to children?” I read, unsure of the new vocab word.

My friend then uttered what has become an immortal sentence to us: “What are allumettes, and do you give them to children?”

I flipped to the glossary. “Allumettesallumettes… matches.” I looked up. “Would you give matches to children?”

We indeed would, apparently. I believe we also said we’d give meat to a vegetarian and chocolate to a diabetic. Because we are fine, upstanding members of society who could give less of a damn about their French assignment.

We looked at each other, and we couldn’t help but be amused. Because the entire ordeal was just so us. Yes, of course we would give matches to children! They’re the perfect plaything for young minds! Sesame Street and matches! That’s what a kid needs to engage his brain! We giggled at ourselves, and went back to change our answers.

The bell rang. Class dismissed. “Okay, class, on your way out, if you could just hand in what you’ve been working on?”

Cait and I looked at each other, gathered our books, and shoved our papers at the teacher in gleeful shame before rushing out the door. Because fuck if we were going to be around while she read the first sentence.

By not reading the instructions, you tend to learn things the hard way. Like how not reading instructions will result in you giving hypothetical matches to hypothetical children. Or how hitting the B button will prevent a Pokémon from evolving, which would have been great to know six levels ago when my adorable Charmander was evolving, but now I’m stuck with an ugly Charmeleon until I level him up to a badass Charizard. And for everyone’s sake, let’s not discuss the summer after my period started and I had to figure out tampons for the first time.

What I’m saying is that instructions are good. Instructions are something I should learn to pay attention to. But then there will be no more sense of discovery. No more eureka moments. Some things aren’t as much fun when they are just handed to you. It feels a bit like cheating. And I’ve never been a big fan of cheating. It just makes everything seem cheap.

Unless it’s for video games. Then it’s a festival.

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UR So Dumb

You know what’s fun? Having to explain why I’m not particularly enthused by Katy Perry.

I have to admit, right here and now, that I do like some of her music. Yes, enough to put them on my iPod. They’re a guilty pleasure, like potato chips and Angry Birds. But I don’t really understand her existence. You know, fame-wise.

I don’t understand how she can sing a song called “UR So Gay” on one album (all the while insisting that it’s not gay-gay but stupid-gay, which makes it totally better) and then she dons a blue wig and starts singing about how one should celebrate their uniqueness and suddenly she’s The Next Gay Anthemist. I don’t understand how you can go from one end of the spectrum to the other without any transitory period whatsoever. Using that logic, Mel Gibson is one decent Lethal Weapon sequel away from being totally forgiven.

Or maybe not, because it’s universally bad to hate on Jews, but still socially acceptable to use one’s sexuality as an insult. Which I also find interesting. Because who decides that? Who goes, “Well, it’s not, y’know, nice, but it’s not something for everyone to get their panties in a wad over. Chill out, man! Just try not to do it again.”

I guess, ultimately, I find it fascinating that there is a facet of society that is allowed to function with a complete lack of accountability as long as they do something moderately entertaining. Maybe one day this blog will give me enough fame to finally come out of the shadows and have the world embrace my penchant for day drinking and loudly telling dead baby jokes.

Don’t judge. ‘Cause baby, I’m a firework.

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The Phantom of the Elementary School

When I was in fifth grade, I got into a fight with a wall and lost. Badly.

It wasn’t intentional, of course. We were playing tag, like you do in fifth grade, and the wall next to the girls’ bathroom was base. Basic enough, really. So I was hauling ass back to base, because I was not being It, when a second-grader came out of the bathroom. I went to sidestep her, but this isn’t exactly easy to do when running at full speed. I managed to miss her, but in doing this, I had lost the ability to stop. So I crashed into the wall.

I staggered backwards, slightly dazed. The right part of my jaw was completely numb. The second-grader tore back to her friends, I assume fearing retribution. I blinked, shook my head, and turned around. My friends gasped.

I was friends with mostly boys at the time. So it wasn’t a gasp of horror, really. It was the gasp of utter fascination. Never in my life have I had so many boys staring openly at my face. Luckily, my one girl friend had the good sense to go and get an adult. We explained the situation (well, they did, I was having a hard time forming words for some reason) and I was sent to the main office.

I was fairly well-known around campus as my mother had served on the PTA, first as the treasurer, and then as the president. She also volunteered at the school library. In elementary school, I couldn’t get away with anything. Not that I would try. I’m serious. I was a pretty boring child. I spent most of my time reading books, playing Super Mario, and generally avoiding being outside. So I was fine with being well-known around campus, because I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to get into trouble rereading Matilda.

Unfortunately, what I did not expect was for the secretaries to start freaking out when I went to the main office.

I walked in, the yard duty volunteer being very lovely to me, and was greeted by four women who gasped in horror and started to cry. I’m not kidding. There were legit tears. Cue me freaking out.

I don’t like people fussing over me. It makes me uncomfortable. And psychoanalyze that all you want. It’s just a part of who I am, and one I don’t really feel I need to work on. I like to just be left on my own, with the occasional recognition for a job well done. No, this was four ladies full-on crying over what a terrible state I was in.

Was I in a terrible state? I hadn’t seen the damage yet. My mouth was starting to sting, but not majorly, so I thought I had just scraped it a bit. I wasn’t too concerned. But now there were grown women crying over me. And I was scared.

I was told to go wait in the nurse’s office, which I did. I looked around desperately for a reflective surface of some sort so I could see just what had happened to my face. But there was nothing. I touched my lip, and my fingers came away red. I kept my hands in my lap after that, only occasionally looking at my fingers and staring at the blood.

I watched one of the secretaries call my mother. She kept looking at me through the open door and then would look away again. The more she did this, the more I was convinced it was because I was horribly disfigured. The damage was irreversible. I imagined that I would have to have part of my jaw removed. That I would have to wear a mask. I would live in the bowels of the school’s multi-purpose room, disturbing wiring, learning to play the crappy Casio they broke out at the occasional assembly, and just generally freaking out the school staff. I would be legend. Future students would talk about me in hushed tones. They would fear me.

Just as I was trying to cheer myself up with thoughts of, “Well, the cape could be pretty cool,” one of the secretaries came in and, trying to sound calm (but failing), said, “We’ve called your mother. She’ll be here soon.” I nodded solemnly. At least I would get to say good-bye to her before taking up my post as the Ghost of John Reith Elementary.

I thought about what I would say to my mother. I would tell her that I loved her, of course, and my father. And how I didn’t hold it against them that I never got the pony I so desperately wanted (even though it totally could have fit in the garage). And if she could bring me my Pooh bear and my GameBoy, that would be fantastic. I was going to be adult about this–as adult as a fifth grader could be, in such dire circumstances.

My mother arrived only a few minutes later, which was remarkable considering we lived half a mile away from school and she didn’t drive. She flew into the nurse’s office, and stared at me. Her eyes were wide, her hair was wild. I lost it. I cried openly then, not wanting to say good-bye but knowing I would have to. “Mom, I–”

“You’ve got a fat lip.”

“I–what?” I was so confused. Fat lips were… fat lips were fine. People survived fat lips, and they got to keep their face intact.  The way the secretaries were reacting, I thought for sure I would be deformed and labeled unfit to be seen by people. Men would cower! Women would shriek! Children would cry! But a fat lip… “That’s it?”

My mother nodded, looking calmer and steadier–much more like herself. “Yeah. Fat lip. That’s it.” She hugged me. “How’d it happen?”

“I ran into a wall.”

“Okay, well, you’re going to have to elaborate when we get you cleaned up.”

“I’m okay?”

“Yeah, you’re fine. You uncle’s had more fat lips in his life, and he’s okay. You’re good. Come on. Let’s clean you up and get you home.”

The relief I felt was all-encompassing. I all but melted off the table, following my mother out of the office and into the bathroom. She took a damp paper towel to my face, and then walked me home. We went to the doctor the next day, just to make sure I didn’t need any stitches. I got some extra-strength antibacterial cream, I got some candy, I got sent home. The swelling went down after a few days, and I could articulate properly again. All that’s left of the entirely ordeal is a small scar on the inside of my lip.

Still, though. I would have made a pretty badass Phantom.

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