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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

That Thumb Looks Familiar

I wake up startled, as usual. The surprise reality of 8:00 a.m. scares the shit out of me every time. When will I learn to expect it and not get startled? Haven't I noticed a pattern here yet? Sun goes down, eyes shut, sun comes up, eyes open. Nothing new here, no need to have an anxiety attack every time it happens.

But this is my welcome into each day; the dream world-- my world -- ceases abruptly and somebody else's life begins for the day, a responsible person's life.

This time my surprise wake up is different though, not the usual alarm-from-hell wake up. This time, someone's gigantic swollen hand with brachydactyly type D thumbs I'd recognize anywhere is about to strangle me into my typical day of obligation, characterizing how I'll feel until I fall asleep again that night. I try to push the lifeless foreign arm thing away but what the fuck is happening with my real arms? Why the fuck are they on vacation when you need them? One of them appears to be replaced by this slug of a giant, swollen, clubbed-thumb hand/arm bullshit that isn't reacting at all to my commands.

Where is the obedient arm I remember that could help my docile hand check my nose for crusty boogars right now, that could rub the sleep out of my eyes, that could push myself out of bed, functional with all its submissive digits awaiting instructions from the brain?

For some time now I've had the feeling that I am no longer actively living my life as I once did, rather it is being lived and I'm allowed to watch as if I were watching my own open-heart surgery. I'm a recursive puppet, apparently with an abnormally large maverick arm with a clubbed-thumb hand, controlling its own show, but a puppet nonetheless; no soul, no spark, no ganas, infinitely feeding myself back into my own circularity, leaving myself bewildered by my own uncontrollable control over my own life.

My own abnormally thumbed sadistic hand is holding me down, holding me in place, smacking me in the face to wake up, hurry up, go here, read this document, go there, stop for milk, call the guy to get the dishwasher fixed. The rest of me – the me that hangs from strings controlled by the swollen infidel appendage-- just wants to be left the hell alone with the full use of my capacities, with digits and limbs that mind their master again.

Someone's hand that looks like mine slaps me into the reminder that the laundry situation is no longer bearable. If I controlled my own arm, I might go out and just buy new underwear to avoid responsibility for that giant mountain of dirty clothes that has long since overpopulated the hamper, sprawling out onto the floor, creating a suburb of clothes alongside it now, competing with the hamper itself in size. If I controlled my own arm, it would rest behind my head as I'd watch the pile of clothes grow and mutate, pants giving birth to dirty underwear caught inside their legs. My well-behaved arm would help my hand light a cigarette for me – a much better alternative as an activity for arms compared to sorting laundry.

Then I'm slapped in the face with the tumescent tissue again, as a reminder that dinner must be made -- an event, something acceptable, something balanced, something fit for a proper family with real plates and shit. Popping a frozen bagel into the toaster to calm a single rumbling tummy simply. won't. do. This act would be too utilitarian, giving nutrients to the bloodstream, nothing more, sans the symbolic ritual of it all. If I controlled that traitor of an arm, it might prepare just that and then check off the hunger box on my list of shit I can be bothered to deal with. I'd eat my acceptable nutrient-product while staring at a blank wall without blinking. For dessert, the dutifully complying arm/hand would fetch me a spoonful of peanut butter which I would enjoy perhaps sitting on the kitchen counter, with that same blank stare, my other hand following orders to support my chin and to not dare attempt to mince garlic, wash dishes, or throw away the spoiled chicken in the fridge.

Maybe one of these days, I'll wake up and my arms will become incumbent upon me again, cooperating once again and surrendering to my will and will stop trying to run my life with all their busy activity. The first thing I'll do with my obedient arms is grab the scissors and cut the puppet strings.

Vacation countdown: 26 days.

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The Unbearable Banishment July 9, 2009 at 4:28 AM  

Oh, my God! 8:00 a.m.! Are you serious? Honey, my alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. And, no, that’s not to milk the fucking cows. That’s on account of my murderous commute into the city. Try functioning at that hour!

The best part of a vacation? The anticipation.

I love the layout of your blog, by the way. So clean. If I send you a big bag of cash, can you redo my ugly-ass template-driven mess of a blog?

Xbox4NappyRash July 9, 2009 at 9:37 AM  

I rarely do this, but that first comment was fucking classic.

Gwen July 9, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

This. Is. Amazing.

I am breathless after reading it and my heart is beating rather wildly. I know that sounds like a sexual response, but it is not. I'm just having a visceral response to the beauty of your words.

Blues July 9, 2009 at 12:25 PM  

Xbox, I laughed at that too...milkin the fuckin cows. As I told Unbearable Banishment in my response to him via email: It's all relative, 8:00 a.m. in Spain is the ass crack of dawn (in the sense that everything happens like two hours later here). Regardless, that's no excuse -- it's as hard for me to get out of bed at 8:00 as it would be at 9:00 or 10:00. I hate waking up. Unless of course it's Saturday. 8:00 a.m. sharp my eyes are wide open and there's no going back to sleep, no matter what time I went to bed.

Anonymous July 9, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

I remember one time I woke up after sleeping on my stomach with one hand under the pillow. Naturally, it was completely numb. I reached over with the other hand, felt the numb hand (which had no feeling) and screamed like a banshee because I thought someone else was all up in my bed, under my pillow.

Yo Momma July 9, 2009 at 10:21 PM  

okay now I'm laughing at at hereinfranklin's comment.

Don't we all feel that way about the daily grind? The daily grind is what gets all of us. I feel like all this shit that I HAVE to do but don't give a rat's ass about, is making me forget what it was that I WANTED to do with my life and the stuff I actually care about.

I need a vacation too as you can see.

Ellie July 12, 2009 at 8:52 AM  

Franklin cracks me up.

The Daily Grind, as yo momma says. Ug.

And it has to be worse for you at the moment, because, I imagine you are still new(ish) to the routine. I don't think one gets used to a job for at least 6 months; longer if you've been out of the routine for longer.

By the time you read this comment, it could be 25 or 24 days until vacation!

Rassles July 13, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

I also eat spoonfuls of peanutbutter.

It just can't be stopped.

Gypsy July 20, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

I hope your arm becomes your own again soon. And hooray for vacation!

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