I am still emerging from what has been an soul-searching week. In other words, I got knocked on my ass by the flu and began an intensive rite of passage involving a couple of bottles of Nyquil my hapless and beautiful friend picked up for me after I finally cracked down and begged - my normal H-to-the-third cure-all of hot tea, hot sauce and hot baths having been abandoned for the more sordid side of the currently available public health care system.
It is really surprising how much has happened in the five days that I have not emerged from my cave. I just garnered the following in a text message exchange with a mate from an hour ago:
Him: Here's to Duke.
Him: Here is what has happened to the world as we know it since your hibernation began .... Duke won. They beat up on NC state pretty bad last night. Oprah ran for president. A healthcare bill has been passed, repealed, passed again, repealed again, passed again, and then shot down by Oprah, our new president. I became the next CEO of Chase only to lose my job and 5 billion of Chase's dollars when I did a now famous "fee reversal" day. I currently run a goat farm and play sitar. Let's get married now, because your eggs are definitely getting stale.
I'm totally gonna call that sucker back one of these days. He's funny, and totally knows how this new world order that has occurred in my absence works. Hopefully he can bring me more of the green stuff, so I can get back to writing. And what should I write about?
I find out I had asthma this morning. That's right, I have been officially asthmatic for 8 whole hours now. I even have an inhaler. The whole thing is really blowing my mind, but places on the x-ray in my doc's office were "indicated" and reluctantly I had to accept that maybe New Orleans has affected my lungs like every other white girl I know. Every other annoying white girl talking about mold, allergies, dust who I secretly think gave me asthma. Sure, I've been having a hard time breathing for a long time, even during stupid light activities like "downward dog." But I just assumed that was because I smoke a lot. In fact, I think this is just my doctor's way to try to get me to quit. She wishes.
Her: So, you're just going to hold the medication in your lungs. Not too long, but until you feel it working. Think you can do it?
Me: Sure. It's like a bong hit, right?
I do not miss living in North Carolina even the smallest bit. I've left behind the disgust I used to feel for my hometown and the peeps in it, which I've come to recognize as just my inability to get my head around how suffocated I felt by the clash of all of my big crazy silly impossible ideas with a culture that mainly revolves around light reality television and lethal amounts of carbs. They're good people in Concord / Mt. Pleasant, they really are. I love my old high school friends. But every once in awhile something flashes up on the facebook feed that is so absolutely panicky insane that I start reaching for SOMETHING to inhale.
Okay Mt. Pleasant, the coyotes are running in packs. Giving everyone a heads up....WATCH YOUR CHILDREN AND HAVE GUNS READY!!!!!!
Okay, fair enough. To give you some context, my friend's dog got attacked by coyotes, and yes, I would've been upset as well. I'm sure it was the way I felt when a friend of mine down here told me he will never hunt with his dogs until a frost is close since he lost one to a gator during a duck hunt. But still, the mounting hysteria freakout kind of reminded me of why I never really fit into North Carolina rural life.
It started with a bloody picture of her dog, with this text:
He's been good at keeping the coyotes away for years, but like I said....they're in packs!
Then accelerated into:
Innocent third party: what coyotes?
Less innocent third party: Yes, They have visited us a few times. After my chickens and turkeys. They are coming out in the daylight. Most wait till night fall. So they are searching for food. Its wise for anyone in Mt Pleasant to watch their babies. They have been known to attack children. Thanks for telling everyone. Keep safe. If you need help. Let me know. Love ya
My friend: He has a drain on the left leg and a good many stitches. He will be remaining inside for the next two weeks...even though he would love to be outside. He has bites over all extremities...there was more than one. I just hope at least one is as he is or worse!
Innocent third party: That is scary!!!!
My friend: It is!!!! I did not enjoy having to take him out last night! We're hunting this weekend....there's just too many of them now!!! We gave to get them!
And then, up to the eerily Palin-like styling of the "keep your children indoors and your guns cocked" message.
Alright, I love my friend. And I honestly have nothing against her hunting coyotes, be they lone or in packs. I just think what got my goose was the absolute anger and indignation that THESE CREATURES - the same that now have to pick their living off of us because we've driven them from every place where they could do it as they were intended - DARED to hurt or take take something of hers. Friend, it's not really that they're trying to be impolite. They're just trying to survive the same way as you, me, the dog, the chickens, your tasty kids. Let's leave it at that and try not to add to yet another reason for the country to get up and to arms.
Which leads me to a tired attempt at political thought in general:
Calm the Fuck Down. Seriously, take a chill pill. This whole country churns on artificial hype and hysteria from all directions, and I for one am goddamn sick of it. And trust me, when the drama vortex of the universe is telling you that you might be overreacting a little bit, you might want to sit down and chew on that one before stirring people toward their weapons for any reason.
So, I let a boy sleep over last weekend - incidentally the night before I was to become flued and five days later tragically diagnosed as asthmatic. And really, I know I am suffering because we were smoking his cigarettes, which are "safety-stopped" (I infer, laced with asbestos) to go out if you don't take a drag in 20 seconds because he is a tugboat captain who spends a week on / week off his boat. Which is how he ended up sleeping over, because he started falling asleep at the bar that was 3 blocks from my house and I was afraid he'd never make it back to Mid-City.
It was a very odd thing having an unrelated male in the place again. In fact, I couldn't get used to it at all, and ended up falling asleep on my sofa because the bed just didn't seem quite big enough yet. About a couple of hours later I was awoken by someone calling out my name. That someone being my hapless sailor whose sock feet had marooned themselves in an island of shit that my dogs had apparently been saving to plant outside my bedroom door in a rare gesture of pontification. The pontifying being, of course: "we like her better single, buddy."
I still don't know if I'm over that one.