Not In Kansas Anymore...

Click your heels, and see if home is where you hang your hat, or somewhere else inside yourself as this simple, postmodern girl takes on L.A.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Let's give this day a do-over, okay?

It started off nicely enough. Really, it did. I awoke at 11am to thunder, and rain on my tin roof. Beautiful sounds, and good sounds for SoCal. It's a sign that, with any luck, our summer will not be dry and hopeless.

I got out of bed, made coffee, and discussed with Annie the plans for the day. She just got some of her EBT money, so a trip to the grocery store was in order. I also needed to go to the library. I figured slogging around in the rain in Los Angeles ( scary when people who live in sunshine 9 months out of the year get behind the wheel in a rainstorm) should be limited to one trip, so we decided when Davy arrived for the day we'd all pile into the car and go.

Except, of course, Davy's dad had to be an asshole- like usual-- and on a whim, this morning, take him to his (Ed's) mom's house. He's been doing this somewhat frequently lately, much to Annie's consternation, since she's available ALL day and there's no reason to go to Grandma's when Mom is right around the corner. ( Add to this that Ed's lawyer hasn't gotten back to Annie's lawyer about a proper visitation schedule, and Annie is chock out of cash to pay her lawyer to get off of her ass to make a fucking phone call. Annie's lawyer is a lazy bitch, who, whenever asked about such delays, would rather file an injunction and collect another $3000 retainer. ) So she called, and Ed gave the usual excuse, "Oh, I went to drink coffee with my mom this morning and he was having so much fun playing and I had to get to work...." Whatever, pal.

And he said he'd call over there, and see what was up, but OF COURSE he delayed. And delayed. Finally it's about 2:30 and now it's MY day he's fucking up, because we can't leave the house since he MIGHT call. This is when I get a little short with Annie and say, "Okay, I know this is a sucky situation, but this man is holding ALL of us hostage. The whole household is now waiting to get food because he's dicking around. I have other things to do. YOU have other things you could be doing, like working if he's going to pull this crap. " I go on to discuss the lawyer situation-- which I did not know all of the details of untill she told me in the midst of this tense talk-- and her options for getting a pay-as-you-go-cell phone, the concept of which eludes her. Finally, she just hands me the EBT card and her pin and says, "You go." And cries.

Shit. This is not what I wanted.

So I sit and talk to her some more, and the whole financial quandry with this lazy bitch of a lawyer comes out, her trying to stroke Ed enough to get him to agree to a custody agreement they can settle out of court and have the judge sign off on, and this and that, and all of it. Of course, I had no idea. Basically, Ed wants to believe they're getting back together, and the judge is crazy, and her lawyer is....yeah, you guessed it, and Ed's got all the power. Legal Aid won't call back, and she's stuck, at this point, trying to work it to her advantage the old-fashioned way: manipulation. Poor girl.

And guess what time Davy came today? 3:30. Screaming his head off, since of course, he'd not had a nap. Hitting and screaming as loud as he can have become his forte, by the way, since when he's with Daddy, he doesn't have a bedtime. Or naptimes. Or any rules. When he's here, he has boundaries and limits, and naptimes and bedtimes. He's also going through a developmental push, growing and learning to talk, which naturally is frustrating to him. So, when he doesn't get what he wants, he tantrums. When he wants something, he whines.

(There is no whining permitted in Miss Julie's House, in case you didn't know, so this is getting extinguished pretty quick. I think Mommy is so glad to see him she's immune to it, but Miss Julie isn't. So when whining comes around--about every 10 minutes-- I make a silly joke. Or make him laugh. Or if he's being truly incorrigible, say in a serious voice that "there's no need to behave this way." Surprisingly, it works. We're down to whining only when we're truly cranky or hungry or thirsty-- in other words, when there's a real need. )

Today he didn't want to take a nap, so he threw a holy rolling fit. Luckily for everyone involved, he passed out rather quickly, and frankly, for the sake of my own sanity, so did I. I just needed a mental break from the maddening situation in my house which I cannot escape.

I woke up 4 hours later- FAR later than I really intended-- and ate some dinner. Davy? Was back with his dad. Annie was PISSED. Understandably so. I was....pissed that my day had been wasted entirely by stress that I have no control over, or so it feels.

So I commit to going to the grocery store. (Earlier in our talk, Annie really did genuinely offer her card, so that today I could just go and get as much as I could and later, we would all go together and stock up. ) Then I realize that my friend Terry, who lives in NYC had texted me. I pick up the phone to call him, and we're chatting and whatnot. Next week we have plans to meet in Seattle- a short, cheap jaunt for me;a more expensive, long haul for him-- for my birthday, and to see our mutual friend, Kat, who lives there. We're all very excited, and so on, and he and I are talking details, and then he starts going on about "this most recent development, I'm just not accepting it. I cannot."

Um, what?

"You know, the breast thing."


"Oh, shit. You haven't read your email today."

I had, but apparently not THAT email....last night my power cord died, and I've been sharing one with Annie til my new one comes, so I've not been online as much as usual....

AND, as it turns out, Kat was diagnosed with a carcinogenic tumor in her breast this morning.

All the details, I do not have. But it has to be removed, Anthony said, and chemo is probably on the roster, too. I was floored.

Kat is barely 36 years old. (Which certainly puts those stupid new guidelines for waiting untill you're 50 to have a mammogram to shame. SHAME.) I've known her since she was about 16, which is to say, at least 20 years. She was my first roommate in my first apartment on my own, and she's one the brightest, most special people I know. She recently lost her job, and had to move, and is trying to rebuild after losing her business because of the recession. I'm not even sure she has insurance. Her mother lives close by, but her mom isn't entirely....functional, so this is something she might be doing, to some degree, on her own.

Which makes me SICK. Sick to think of that girl doing this on her own. Immediately, Terry and I are like, "We must DO something...." and the best we can do is....possibly buy her a new bed ( because she currently sleeps on a mat on the floor!). I can't stand how unfair that is.

I'm currently praying that when they take this thing out of her next Friday, it's small and contained, and she bounces back with all her might. I want her to know, though, while she goes through it, that she's loved. That we're there for her. But how to BE there when I can't BE THERE??

This day really needs to go back another 24 hours and start over, fresh. I need a different outcome.

And yeah, I did finally make it to the store. I cried in the aisles to the maudlin music they play, but at least I can do that. I can shop, I am well enough to shop. I am well enough and my friend is sick. And don't think for a minute I wasn't grateful for my health and cursing whatever stars made this day as fucked up as THAT at the end of it.