Folks, just in case you’re not quite paying attention – autumn is upon us. I’ve been harvesting winter squash, the leaves are juuuust beginning to think about changing, and the nights are quickly becoming cold, nearly to the point of frost now and then. Someone flipped the “off” switch on summer’s heat and length of day, and we begin our annual progression into the introspective winter times.
First, though, we will have bestowed upon us the glory of Michigan Autumn. As we round this corner, my garden lies in weedy shambles (but still brings forth great bounty,) and my eyes have been flickering more and more toward the shelves of fabric and the sewing machine. My fingers wonder if they remember how to knit. Indeed, summer is at an end.
Mike Neir has moved his base of operations from a smaller upper-floor bedroom to a larger, basement room better suited to his needs. It’s much more of a man-cave than the previous office. Thus, he has gifted me with My New Office. My current office/sewing/craft room is stuffed pretty much to overflowing, and splitting the computery bits into the smaller room will be of great benefit.
Before I move in the furniture and the fabric and the supplies, I am availing myself this opportunity to obliterate the abomination that is currently the color scheme in that room.
Behold, and witness:
Not content to merely offend our eyes with whatever they were thinking with the colors, they launch an assault upon our sensibilities, as well.
As you can see, there is a wallpaper border along the top of the room. Ordinarily, this is no problem: Removing borders is simple, even somewhat satisfying (those of you who enjoy peeling a good sunburn know where I’m coming from here.) All that is needed is to peel off the top, design-bearing layer, spray the backing/paste with enzymes and proceed to peel the rest off in huge, rewarding swaths.
When is wallpaper border not easy to remove? Why, I’m so glad you asked. I’ll tell you.
When the previous owners painted over it.
I removed the wallpaper border and noticed the paint didn’t look quite right. It didn’t look quite right because it was covering yet another stinking border. Rather than simply remove the old border, our previous owners (in keeping with their general approach to home renovation, it seems) just painted right the hell over it.
Here, you can see the first border removed, and the second one lying in wait under the odious pink paint.
What should have taken me thirty minutes (tops) is going to take considerably more time. Meh.
I was about halfway done when our lawn tractor decided to throw its drive belt, and the chickens needed their night light put up (hard to jump up on perches in total darkness, you know,) so my office shenanigans are done for the day. Alas.
However, mark my words: Those borders are coming down, and a very nice, sagey green is going up – and soon.
For autumn is here, and I’m once again leaning toward the crafty side of things.
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Night before last, I was in the garden setting up the sprinkler. I am somewhat obsessed with sprinkler efficiency – moving it as few times as possible to cover all areas needed. Happily, a former co-worker got me a pretty awesome sprinkler to help with just such an unhealthy obsession. Still, it needs Fiddling With each time I move it.
To get it in just the right spot to hit everywhere I wanted, I needed to move the pea trellis. The peas are all mostly dead, certainly done producing delicious peas, so I went to yank it out. I tugged and pulled and got pretty much nowhere with it; this thing is seriously grown-in. I got my feet into a more steady, under-the-trellis-directly position, and for some reason had most of my weight on my left foot before lifting
When I went to give the trellis The Biggest Lift/Pull I could manage, that’s when I put all of my weight (plus any additional pressure from trying to lift up the entrenched trellis) on both feet and heard this most peculiar rapid-fire pop-POP! It was like the sound I make when I accidentally step on small green tomatoes. Weeks ago, I would avoid stepping on any part of the tomato plants, especially the precious fruit. Now? Heck, that’s one more I won’t have to pick and process.
But back to the pops.
A split-second after the pops, searing pain shot through my right foot, causing a series of very loud and confused “ow ow OUCH OUCH ow ow WTF WAS THAT?! Ouch!!!” type words to spew from my mouth very quickly. I paced a few short steps, having absolutely no idea whatsoever what the hell it could have been. Dead and dried weed stems? Broken plastic? Broken bamboo from the trellis? Scorpions?
After I finished yelling and pacing, I looked at the bottom of my foot and saw two distinct puncture wounds. One was fairly superficial, but the other had (look away if you are squeamish, trust me on this,) sub-dermal fat and flesh hanging out of it a bit. And a considerable amount of blood was starting to gush out. Dammit. The pain was bright, intense and searing. Reaching down into the tall weeds, I fished out the culprit: One of those three-clawed hand tool thingers one uses to rake or cultivate a small patch of soil. In fact, it looks a lot like this:
You’ve seen them before, I’m sure.
I make it a serious habit to always put rakes and tools such as these “stabby-side-down,” for just this very goddamn reason. Too, on more than one occasion, I have seen someone step on the tines-up end of a rake and escape foot injury thanks to work boots, but bash themselves in the face when the handle comes flying quickly up to meet them, thanks to Our Friend, Physics.
Apparently, on this occasion, I was either remiss or it got knocked over by the hose or whatever… but the two-inch prongs were most certainly stabby-side-UP. The pops I heard were the “not quite dull, but also not quite sharp” points breaking through the thick, “I always go barefoot” callus on the bottom of my foot.
Ever the sensible girl, I don’t panic when I’m injured. For example, when I ripped the tendon off my finger on the ranch, I finished deworming the herd and worked the remainder of the day. Now granted, I thought I’d only broken my finger – had I realized what was going on, I probably would have gone in to the ER after just finishing the deworming.
So, rather than run up to the house to go to the emergency room, I got the sprinkler situated the way I wanted it to be on top of the straw bale (although I did forgo removing the trellis.) I watched the flow of water for a few minutes to ensure it was going where intended. Then I limped up to the house, leaving a nice blood trail along the way, and grabbed a towel in the sunroom to avoid tracking blood over the white carpeting. Mike Neir was in the basement, the hydrogen peroxide was upstairs and my foot felt like it was on fire. I debated just going up to get to the peroxide myself, but figured I should probably have a better look at my injuries, and that Mike probably wouldn’t mind fetching the stuff I needed.
This is one of those moments when I over-analyze what to say. On the one hand, I need help. On the other, I don’t want him to worry. On a third hand, I don’t want to sound silly. And on a fourth hand, there is only so much I can effectively convey when hollering down the basement stairs. I wasn’t quite sure what to yell… “Hey Mike? I stabbed myself in the foot.” Accurate, but too dramatic. Does not convey what kind of help is needed. “Could you bring me the peroxide, please?” He’d probably wonder why I couldn’t get it myself, does seem to imply injury to myself or someone else. Screw it, I’m going with “calm, generic call for help;” I can explain when he’s in the same room. I tried to sound casual:
“Um, honey? Could you come up and help me for a minute?”
Happily, Mike Neir is not averse to the sight of blood. He did indeed fetch me the peroxide and a small syringe. After poking at the deeper injury for a bit, and thinking things through, I figured I’d better irrigate it; anaerobic bacteria in the wrong place can do nasty things. It looked “pretty deep,” but I couldn’t ascertain just how deep. Now, an important safety tip for those of you at home: Generally, peroxide is not indicated for fresh wounds; it can cause more damage to the tissue. Sterile saline solution is preferred. However, we don’t have any saline solution lying about, and I wasn’t convinced I needed to go to the doctor, so I gave it a shot.
I inserted the tip of the plastic syringe into the wound and flushed an mL or two in. And then I nearly passed out. It felt like the peroxide flowed out the top of my foot, the wound was so deep. I was somewhat convinced I had flushed the puncture with molten lava, and that the hole went to the moon. At that point, I decided to go to the nearby Urgent Care facility.
One never knows what one is getting into, going into an emergent or urgent care situation – it was a Friday night, there could have been dozens of people awaiting treatment. Fortunately, the place was nearly empty – just one guy being discharged, so we had no wait at all. A nurse wheeled me back into the exam room and we got all of my information written down. Another nurse, who was very sweet but looked as though she had been ridden hard and put away wet for a good sixty years, assessed the damage and said, “oh yes – that’ll get stitches.” Not precisely what I wanted to hear.
I have two neurological conditions called “hyperreflexia” and “Restless Leg Syndrome,” which in a nutshell means my nervous system is a little cattywampus and overly-sensitive in places. The places that are ticklish on normal people are ticklish for me, too, but they also set off a very unpleasant series of events, system-wide. Naturally, the soles of my feet are one of those places. Thankfully, the injury is on the less-sensitive side – had it been on the left side, I think I would have had to get up and leave, rather than have them mess with it.
But we’re on the right side, and they’re talking stitches. Stitches on the bottom of my foot. Where I walk. With all this weight. I really hope they have some high-tensile line here, the sort you might use to land a tuna.
The doctor came in, had a look and agreed there will indeed be stitches. He told me I was actually fortunate I wasn’t wearing shoes, as there are so many nasty critters living inside shoes that I’d have ugly bacteria making a nest in there already. Score one for bare feet.
Next came the lid0caine. Lidocaine is a local anesthetic often given when stitches are indicated. It numbs the pain of the injury itself, and of the stitches. Here’s the thing, though, the ironic, stupid thing – lidocaine stings like a bitch. I almost think it works by shorting out the neurons from the sheer pain of its application. Naturally, the injection must go at the site of the injury. So here I am, with a two-inch-deep puncture in the tender arch of my foot, and a guy with a needle full of burning solution about to go at it.
The last time I had stitches whilst conscious, they were on my finger. I opted not to have the lidocaine, because I remembered how much it hurt the time before that. And, indeed, the stitches themselves hurt a heck of a lot less than the lidocaine would have.
But this was a bit more serious an injury, and it was on one of those ridiculously sensitive spots that would leave me twitching at inopportune moments and give the doctor tremendous difficulty getting things done properly. So I sucked it up and off we went. The needle pokes themselves were not at all as bad as I would have expected. He was using a very high-gauge needle, so small it might have slipped between neurons.
“Ok, here comes the stinging,” he warned me, and HOLY HELL was he ever right. My foot wanted to leap off the table. Instead, I made it sit there and sizzle and burn. Lidocaine takes a few minutes to work, so each subsequent injection site hurt just as much as the first, and there were perhaps four or five of them as he made his way around the wound. I’m sure my face was screwed up nearly sideways as I gritted my teeth and tried not to kick the nice man in the face.
And then it was done. Thank goodness.
I could go back to being my affable self instead of a clenched person full of white-hot pain.
He irrigated and irrigated, and chatted about the gardens he used to have himself, and irrigated some more. He trimmed some of the flesh hanging out of the wound and then went about his stitching, which he said he enjoys but is often rushed through. I was glad to have no one waiting behind us, so he could indeed take his time.
Even though the pain was numbed, I could still feel pressure. The sensation of suture thread being pulled through flesh is always very, very creepy. It doesn’t hurt, per se; it just feels odd.
I ended up with five stitches in the deep wound, and none in the more superficial one, although he did clean up the edges around that one, too – and by “clean up,” I mean, he cut away flesh with scissors.
We were in and out in far less than an hour, which is fairly impressive. A small bottle of Keflex to guard against infection for a few days and that was all I needed. No crutches, no admonishments not to walk on it, although we joked about all the household chores I could now get out of.
It was so numb with lidocaine, it wasn’t too hard to hobble around. I used caution as I was limping, simply because I did not want to tear the stitches out, but the pain was entirely manageable. I knew, though, as it healed , things would become pretty uncomfortable. I gimped around as best I could for the remainder of the night and went to bed with it up on a large pillow.
At 3am, it woke me up. It woke me up insistently. Throb, throb, throb, throb, STAB, throb, throb, stab. It felt, strangely enough, as though I had a large hole in the bottom of my foot. Having had great success with the hobbling previously, I tried to get up and go get some ibuprofen. When I put a tiny bit of weight on it this time, however, it shrieked its disapproval. I hopped back to bed, where Mike Neir was awake, too.
As an added plus, it was about 100 degrees in our bedroom – the air conditioner wasn’t working. The thermostat’s batteries had run out, and we didn’t have any AA’s in the house. MARGH!
So there we were, sticky with sweat in the humid heat, and me with my foot on fire. Good times! Fortunately, the ibuprofen took the edge off after awhile, and I got a few fitful hours of sleep in. Next morning, Mike Neir fetched me a pair of crutches out of the garage, and I set about trying to get ready for work at 8am. My head was thick and sludgy; since I hadn’t slept much, the drugs I take to let me sleep had not metabolized very well. I was drugged and woozy, thick in the head and unsteady on the foot.
As I was trying to feed the dogs, I realized one of the huge problems with crutches – I can’t carry anything. Mike helped me get the dogs fed, and then I began to haul my ponderous bulk up the stairs, slowly, on the crutches. About halfway up, I realized I couldn’t drive in this condition. When I finally reached the top of the stairs, I had decided to call in stabbed. I hated calling in during my first week of employ, but there was simply no way this was going to turn out well. My predecessor would be there, and while it would deprive me of 8 hours of his wisdom, things would be handled in my absence.
I made it into my office, where I decided I had better immediately lie down, lest I pass out or worse, barf all over. After spending a few minutes curled up on the floor, I composed a hastily-written “I’m sorry for being dumb and I can’t make it in today” email to the key players, took a bunch more ibuprofen and crawled back to bed – where I slept for a good 6 more hours, thankfully.
The following day wasn’t too bad, and today, Sunday, is about the same. My arms and pectorals are sore from all the crutching around, but I am at least somewhat mobile. I’ll be going back to work tomorrow, and, since I work on the second floor, I am very happy we have an elevator. Stairs and crutches are fairly scary. As shown in the diagram below, if you do it wrong, your face can vanish!
It is seriously inconvenient, but in a couple of weeks, I expect to be right as rain. In the meanwhile, Mike Neir is being incredibly helpful.
And now, I have to figure out how to bring in stuff from the garden before it goes bad. Too, there is grocery shopping to be done – I guess I get to figure out what it’s like to ride in one of those electric scooters. >.<
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This was a difficult post to write and to share, yet as ashamed as I am at its content, I need to confess – apparently in a long and disjointed fashion.
I could write books on why I’m not a good person. Let’s just start with one chapter for now, though, shall we?
Let me tell you why I am the world’s worst daughter.
On April 16th of this year, my mother’s car was struck by another car in a low-speed accident. Her airbags deployed, and she sustained a severe concussion, which resulted in traumatic brain injury. In a nutshell, my mother now has dementia induced by physical trauma and cannot remember anything short-term, cannot speak well and cannot read.
Needless to say, she needs a lot of assistance. She cannot drive safely, she cannot work. She hasn’t seen any money from her lost income, and she is at risk of losing her house. She has already lost her job as a psychologist. She is awash in debt and drowning.
Here’s the punch line, though, why I am just an awful excuse for a person: I resent every single second I have to spend helping my mother.
I’m frequently utterly unable to contain my impatience with her. She senses this, and we talk about it sometimes. I apologize for being impatient or for snapping, for for a facial expression I know she interprets, correctly, as frustrated or angry.
A dozen times per day, she offers to pay me “for everything I am doing” for her, and then in the next breath insinuates I am not working hard enough to get the money she needs. Each time, I refuse payment. I tell her I will not be taking money from her now, or ever, regardless of the outcome, regardless of any settlement.
I do not want the strings that come attached to the money.
I am driving her car, because we are both afraid she’ll forget not to drive and try to take herself someplace, become lost or hurt or hurt someone else. It’s a nice car, but not one I would choose myself. She will insist that I drive it as a reward for helping her, and then imply I am putting her out somehow by driving it. I try to give it back, she refuses. I relent.
In truth, I’m really not doing much, certainly not enough. As I tell her I’m not taking any money, that no she should not give me her car to keep, that I just want her to get better, what I don’t add, at least not aloud, is that I want her to get better so she can get back out of my life.
Without Mom’s insistent, intrusive presence in my days, I was so much happier. The drama level went down radically. I felt more peaceful. The nearly two years we went barely speaking to each other were, in truth, fantastic.
We talk about this, too.
She told me she had expected, had wanted, a girlie-girl and she didn’t know what to do with “someone like me,” who was a tomboy, who was adventurous and who wanted nothing whatsoever to do with the little pink frilly shirts, with the sweater vests that had ducks on them, and who instead wanted to play with Tonka trucks and climb trees and go on Adventures.
She said, “I’m sorry it took me so long to accept you for who you are, instead of who I wanted you to be.”
I apologized too, and acknowledged that she is far better at accepting me for who I am now than I am at accepting her for who she is. She is far less harshly judgmental of me than I am of her.
“It’s okay,” she said; “I understand because I’m your mother, and mothers love their children unconditionally. Nothing will ever change that.”
In that moment, briefly, we communicated. She was clear and found the words she needed. She held a train of thought, showed no sign of dementia. We spoke honestly, without reservation, and it was … nice.
My mother is not a bad person. I don’t like her, but I understand her. We have our issues, but it seems all mothers and daughters do. I wish I could be a better daughter for her, but it exceeds my capacities for the time being. I’m doing the best I can, and it frustrates both of us that I’m not doing a better job.
I wish I could be better for her, be the sort of daughter who can come gladly and willingly to help her, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because I want to help her, because I love her, because it’s important, because she needs me, because I know in my heart she would do everything in her power to help me if the situation were reversed.
And yet, I seethe internally. I am so angry at this unscheduled intrusion into my life – the life that’s newly unfolding with Mike.
I loathe her manipulations, her button-pushing, her insistence that she is fully independent – provided she can pay someone to do all of her work for her. When the going gets tough, my mother hires someone. Strength of character is not one of her strong points.
Even though I am not doing a vast amount of work for her, everything feels like extreme effort. It’s difficult to take her to shopping at Meijer’s, a local superstore chain, and watch her doddle and fret about the store. She is only 61, yet she moves and acts as if she were eighty. This isn’t new. My mother is a fretful, anxious woman – I come by it honestly – and it drives me absolutely bonkers.
As she limps down the aisles, she complains about the pain in her foot, yet refuses to get into one of the motorized carts. “No, I need to walk, ouch, it’s good for me.” No, no it isn’t.
My mother’s thought processes have long flied in the face of logic. All she knows, all she can focus on (especially now) is whatever has fixed her OCD attention for the moment. Everything else pales by comparison. Everything else can be rationalized away to fit into This Moment’s Obsession. It is… infuriating.
Last week, she told me her dog’s nails needed to be cut. A few moments later, I knelt by Kavi to do just that, and she said, “no no no, don’t do that! I just cut them two days ago! You’re only supposed to do it once a week.” So I stopped.
Ten minutes later, she asked me if I was going to cut his nails.
“No, you said you just did it two days ago.”
“I don’t remember saying that, I don’t think I did!”
I told her I would cut them next time, because I had reached my limit – how much of my mother I could take in one day. I had to escape, to get away.
It had only been three hours.
I had to go, I needed to storm out. But before I stormed out, I realized I needed to leave with some measure of grace, some kindness and compassion, because even though I do not like my mother, I do feel deep compassion for her. I don’t want her to know how infuriated I am at this entire situation.
No one, of course, chooses to have her parents become elderly and infirm and demented. I thought I would have another fifteen years before I was confronted with becoming a primary caretaker for one of my parents. I’m not ready for this, not in the slightest. I suppose no one ever really is ready for those awful things life throws at us sometimes.
My friend Travis recently lost his father very unexpectedly, very young. One moment, his dad was here and present and loving him and an important part of Travis’ life, and the next, he was in a hospital with a very poor outlook. A few days later… he was gone.
Travis is handling this tragedy remarkably well, or so it seems from my perspective. It’s difficult to know what lurks in his dark hours, what haunts him, what regrets he might have if he does have them, but it’s so clear he and his dad loved each other very much and that Travis misses him.
It forces me to wonder how I would feel if Mom had been killed or if she died even now. Would I have regrets? Very likely. But I know there would also be relief.
There are many people who are so much better than I am, who willingly and gladly step up to help the old and the infirm and the demented – while I make blog posts about how angry I am at my poor mother.
I’m a bad daughter.
But it’s all I can do right now. I only have as much patience as I have, even though I work at it (every day, every minute I am with her.) I resent this happening just as I was starting to get some energy back, starting to have my mental and physical well-being reassert themselves, starting to feel like myself again.
Then this happened and she landed back in my life with a resounding impact.
And I hate it.
Here is a glimpse of the scope of my selfishness and general, overall badness, as if the previous text hasn’t been damning enough.
Sometimes, I envision what it might be like if she couldn’t speak at all – if the accident had left her utterly incapable of forming words. And then I am overcome by a wave of horror that I would even, for a fleeting moment, think of something like that. I ponder to what depths of selfishness I can possibly sink to even partially wish for that in a moment of weakness.
I am appalled at myself. I picture my mom, suffering, and unable to tell us where it hurts, or why she’s confused, or how much she loves her dog, or what she wants to do in her garden, and it brings me to tears – not just the image of her suffering in enforced silence, but that I would be so unkind. And in that moment, I realize more compassion for her than before – but it is still not enough.
Because she begins to speak and I want her to stop talking.
Putting myself in her place, of course she has to talk about it. She is so frustrated, confused and helpless. She is miserable and depressed. In an instant, the carelessness of one individual ruined her life. Tonight, she sent me this, after I emailed an apology for leaving on a bad note earlier. It probably took her 20 minutes to type.
“I’m sorry too. It’s so hard to lose my life. I loved my job and I lost it so fast. I hate being in the house and not being able to do anything. I know you’re doing alot for me, but you don’t keep me in what’s going on. I can’t just act dumb – but I love you and appriate you alot.
Mom has a PhD – she doesn’t make spelling errors, and yet you see them there. She often has to ask me how to spell her last name as she signs documents. Her brain is unraveling.
My mother was a reader of Olympic proportion. She was always reading several books at once, and it was her primary passion in life, second only, perhaps, to gardening.
She can’t read at all now – looking at words on a page nauseates her. She cannot follow a plot, even, so audio books are not an option. One of the things she loves most in life has been ripped away from her in a time when she desperately needs a way to pass the hours.
She’s going crazy, trapped in her house with the tiny yard, with nothing to do but worry and look at bills piling up.
I wish I had infinite gentleness and patience for her, because she needs it and I cannot access it, no matter how hard I might try.
Even though she is infuriating, and confounding, and frustrating, and manipulative, and obsessive, and histrionic… she is still a human being, a person deserving of compassion and kindness in her time of suffering.
My mom wanted a baby because she was lonely. Because she wanted the unconditional love a child brings. Sometimes, I think that was not sufficient reason to have dragged me, kicking and screaming, into this world. But for years, I gave her that unconditional love.
And then… I ran out. I ran out of love for my mother. I have none left, or at least none that I can feel currently.
For those two years we were not on speaking terms, she would still end her emails or voice mails with “I love you.” I never did. I couldn’t bring myself to say it, to lie, even though I know she desperately wanted to hear it. I suppose, perhaps, it was a form of punishment I was inflicting upon her for decades of her various punishments upon me.
After the accident, I began saying it back, began hugging her when I left. It was still a lie, but I thought it might help her. A few days ago, as I was leaving her house:
Mom: “Drive carefully, love you.”
Me: “Love you, too.”
Mom: “Do you really?”
My heart sank. Why did she have to ask, to nail me down on this?
Me: “Well, sometimes.”
She laughed, with surprising genuineness. “But not today, huh?”
Me: “No, today wasn’t too bad really. We did ok today, right?”
I do wonder what it’s like to know your child doesn’t love you.
While I don’t hate her, I do not love her, I do not even like her. We’ve acknowledged on several occasions how we do not get along, we are Very Different Sorts of People who would not choose each other’s company, we damage and twist each other.
Sadly, we are stuck with each other. I am an only child, she has no romantic partner. Her only good friend is dying of stage four breast cancer. Her business partner will do what he has to do as he watches their practice crumble around him. A few other casual friends don’t come by often. She has alienated her neighbors and estranged her sisters.
Tonight after work, I stopped by to drop off the tiny amount of money I got for selling some of her hardcover books and to look at some hornets’ nests she was worried about. I’d hoped it would be a mercifully brief visit.
As I was getting ready to leave, she fixated on some paperwork she wanted to give me, and set about searching high and low for it. Slowly. After ten minutes or so, I made my first attempt at departure, saying the dogs needed to go out – which they absolutely did.
“You never spend any time with me! You’re always in such a rush to leave!”
This, she remembers.
“Mom, I’m sorry I don’t have all the time in the world for you.”
“I don’t even know what’s going on or when I’ll get any money or how I’m going to live or even feed my dog!”
“I promise, I’m not going to let you starve.”
“But you have to keep me informed, you have to tell me what’s going on!”
I have, at many turns, kept her informed. This, she forgets.
“Mom, you’re forgetting things and that’s ok, but you just have to trust me that I’m doing whatever I can to get the money coming in, I promise.”
This is Truth. I talk to doctors, lawyers, accountants and insurance companies on her behalf almost every day.
All she knows, though, is that she is miserable and broke and alone and has no brain left. And that her daughter wants nothing to do with her.
I cannot bring myself to fake enthusiasm. I cannot even summon up simple grace and gentleness.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Surely there will be some karmic comeuppance for this.
And I will deserve every little bit of it.
There is so much more I want to get out, to confess, but I would imagine no one has read down this far and I’m out of the ability to express anything meaningful.
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