My Kind of Fear

Here’s a secret few people know about me. I love being scared. I love kept-me-up-all-night-panicking-about-ancient-gods Lovecraftian horror and I love creeping-creeping-creeping-button-eyed-mothers Neil Gaiman horror and I love is-she-the-ghost-I-think-she’s-the-ghost-holy-fuck-is-she-or-is-she-not-the-ghost Nicole Kidman in the Others horror.

It should be noted here that I hate gore, I hate slasher films, and I hate jump out from the dark scariness. I don’t like jumping and screaming.

I like the chill that starts in your brain and creeps down your spine and through your knees until you are curling your toes under yourself and are pressed up against the side of the couch with all the lights on, the kind of scary that makes you look around you every few pages.

Just in case.

Banana Feet

I’ve had terrible blisters on my feet for a week. I tried to break in a pair of Doc Martens, but it was I who was broken and now I’m limping like the little mermaid each time I leave the house in something other than flip-flops. I have this problem where I keep buying shoes in the hopes that my feet will fit in them, and I am constantly disappointed. Then I assuage my discomfort by buying more shoes.

The problem is my feet. They are narrow and long and came complete with scrawny ankles. If you can picture a person walking with bananas in place of their feet, you would probably have an idea of why I am so clumsy. I can’t wear most boots because my feet wiggle around inside them like bunnies in slippers and I can’t wear heels without straps because my ankles slip out and I wobble drunkenly. (And I can do that plenty all on my own.)

I think next time I go to buy another pair of shoes, I’ll just call Liebling and ask him to carry me someplace. It is cheap and will probably make me feel like a real mermaid.

So You Want to Be an Astronaut

Today Ursula’s fiance asked if I could drive him home, because we all work at the same place (I know, I sometimes find myself shrieking IS THIS INCEST on occasion too) and Ursula needed the car. I like Ursula’s fiance, I genuinely do, and he drove me home a few times while my car Charley was in the shop last month so of course I said yes. Ursula’s fiance is an interesting mix of placating and sarcastic, and I think he shall be nicknamed Moray, because like a moray eel he can be fearsome but usually prefers to hide.

So, Moray and I jump into my sports car and I jet out of the parking lot with a delightful vrooming engine noise that fills me with glee. “Sorry,” I said, completely unapologetically. “Doing that just really enhances my ‘just left work’ feeling.” I have a Nicki Minaj CD in my car right now, so our conversation was frequently interrupted by my immature giggles and comments about how outrageous and delightful her tracks are.

We spoke about my move to Arizona as it was finally announced at work, and discussed how he likes the cold weather and I never have. This prompted me to ask him what he wanted to be when he was a kid.

“An astronaut,” he replied after a moment’s pause. His tone was surprisingly wondrous, as if he hadn’t thought about things like this in a long while. As a decidedly whimsical person, I tend to bring this tone out in people.

“Delightful!” I declared. “What did you go to school for?” He dropped out after a year or so, so I couldn’t recall. He answered physics, and I nodded and said that seemed appropriate.

“You know,” he said after another moment of Minaj’s wild lyrics caressing our ears, “I think I might still want to be an astronaut.”

The conversation turned to other things but I couldn’t help but wonder if I had accidentally ruined his life. If he moves to Orlando and leaves Ursula so he can become an astronaut, I am going to take a little bit of credit.

Approaching Burnout

It’s been a rough few weeks at work. Too much to do and not enough hours to do it in. Monday was a new record for me: nine hours and fifteen minutes on the phone (lunch was tuna salad hastily chewed in between asking questions and making explanations as I fervently hoped they couldn’t hear the crunching of celery). I’ve scheduled myself out of every lunch this week and next, and I think I’m starting to snap. I’ve been dreaming about e-mails, and I’ve woken myself up in the middle of the night a few times talking to myself in my sleep because I dreamt I was talking to clients.

Well, scratch that. I know I’ve snapped. Case in point:

Today I yelled at Liebling because they changed the locks on our apartment building and I thought I was locked out (I wasn’t). I called him on Hangouts and he answered on his computer accidentally and couldn’t reply and I thought he did it on purpose. I know he wouldn’t do that. And there wasn’t actually anything wrong. But I had a total meltdown that ended in a five minute hug where I tried to pretend I wasn’t crying.

So I found out what my limit is, and I’m promising myself not to do this anymore. This is my reminder to myself. DON’T KILL YOURSELF OVER WORK, SNOW. YOUR JOB IS NOT AT ALL IMPORTANT IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS.

Something Something Gluttony Something

Today I took Liebling to Grandpa’s Cheese Barn. For those of you not living in Ohio, Grandpa’s Cheese Barn is one of those delightfully midwest staples where you go to buy unhealthy amounts of stock in your own future health problems via cheese popcorn, cheese curds, cheese itself, various jams (some of which, alarmingly, have peppers), and things called beef sticks. Next door is a candy place with Candy Land-worthy amounts of fudge and a constant stream of polka music jetting from the speakers.

Mostly I wanted to practice driving now that winter appears to be over and I can get back to learning to shift smoothly and not panicking over making it out of our icy hellhole parking lot. I spent the trip back eating rock candy.

We finished our trip by acquiring fancy olives and several bottles of red wine to accompany our alarming amount of cheese. What a good way to spend a March Saturday.

A Short Conversation With A Bro

I have a co-worker we call Hong Kong. (I swear to God this isn’t racist, he’s like Italian or something, he just lived in Hong Kong for a year because his now-wife was a fashion buyer.) He’s a pretty typical thirty-something bro-dude who spends most of the workday smoking and talking. Yesterday we had a heart to heart.

He was stressed about hanging out with his friend and his friend’s fiancee. “I hate it because I always have to remember not to call him Anthony.” I raised an eyebrow that asked Do you mean the way I pretend I care that your name is not Hong Kong even when you ask me not to call you Hong Kong? “I call him Anthony when we go out to bars. His name is not Anthony. That’s his cheating name.”

Glory Hallelujah, I thought to myself. This is much more entertaining than answering my e-mails. “That’s incredible,” I replied.

He shook his head morosely. “He also lies to her about golfing. I have to remember to lie about seventy five percent of what we do together. It’s exhausting. I’m going to accidentally fuck up his whole marriage.” He went on to tell me that this guy routinely brings back women to the house he shares with his fiancee and how he would never do that because Hong Kong’s wife would be able to smell another woman in her bed. “Not to mention if she has long hair. That gets everywhere,” I said, indicating the several hairs of mine that had fallen onto the floor during our short conversation.

We shared stories of friends who cheat and commiserated that neither of us would ever do that. “I couldn’t look Liebling in the eyes if I did that to him,” I said. “I feel like you only do that to someone you don’t care about.”

Hong Kong nodded in agreement. “I feel like maybe fifteen percent of the people I know haven’t cheated. But it wouldn’t be worth ruining my marriage and my baby son’s life over six or seven minutes of pleasure.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at that. Bro-dude might have some fucked up friends but at least he’s honest.