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Small graces

There are more things about yesterday that I wanted to express but that somehow got passed over in my late night post.

I wanted to write yet again about work, and about the ways that people can sometimes be downright wonderful. Fuzzy Wobbly gave me the very last Chimp Mint in the store, and tried to wrestle a chimp from a customer when she got the one and only chimp that I needed to complete my collection (Flo, if anyone's keeping track). Saprina, Lindsay, and Lillara all commiserated with me, and Lillara and I had a great talk about Antioch College and the mold-infested dorms there. And Debbie ... Debbie was great, incredibly, wonderfully great ... talking to me about her daughter and her daughter's choices in men -- a popular subject, to be sure, but I was so cognizant of seeing the errors in her choices, and seeing the ways in which they felt similar to my choices, and yet the ways in which I felt powerless to make a change. At any rate, talk waned and Michael piped in with his astrology talk, and soon enough, Debbie and I realized something that still kind of amazes me: we have the same birthday. Yow.

And then toward the end of my shift, unixd0rk came into the store, which completely took me by surprise and kind of knocked the wind out of me. Funny that everyone seems to know who he is now, because Saprina looked over and said that I was beet red, that I needed to breathe, and that he was probably there because he missed me and wanted to see me. At any rate, he came through my line and told me he had something to give me (a blue glass vase for my table full of cobalt -- when he gave it to me later on in the evening, I was really quite touched, though I fear too nervous to really express it). And he left and I was awkward about hugging him (which I felt really bad about), and then I was out of blue plastic bags and ripped my nail off trying to get more out of the box, and stood up and looked my next customer in the eye and said "I'm sorry. I'm having a nervous breakdown." And damn it, Co-op customers are the best. He just sort of grinned and said "Don't worry about it. Take your time."

By the time that man was gone, Lindsay came over and offered that if I needed to go sit down, she could take over for me. I said no, I was fine, and besides, the next customer was Joni, an Antiochian from the sixties, who knows me and who is just an amazing woman. Lillara and I talked about her later -- about our upcoming alumni/ae party and about how we expect that half of the faces will be familiar simply from The Co-op.

But I have something else on my mind this morning: smoking. I've noticed a lot of things about smoking lately. I've noticed that smoking keeps me from crying. I hadn't planned on smoking on Wednesday, but driving to work, when I felt the tears start flowing again, I dug out that pack, lit one up, and the emotion abated. Last night ... well, last night, I just felt numb. The whole talk had this kind of out-of-body feel for me. True, I was also really high. I know this feeling well. Once an addict, always an addict, right? And that needs to stop too (and I know I've been saying this for weeks).

Pot. I've never been a big pot smoker. Never been a big fan. Sure, there was all that high school smokin' with _aqualung_, but even by the time I got to Antioch, I was pretty over it. Antioch, the giant hippie school, where the bongs runneth over. I remember distinctly that I bought pot once the whole time I was there, and I didn't even smoke it -- I realized I was getting sick and that it would make me sicker, so I sold it to my friend Dave, and that was the end of that.

Once, I remember smoking off of Moose's bong, and smoking waaaaaaaaayy too much -- so much so that I literally felt like I was having a heart attack, like I couldn't breathe (and sitting there in the hallway of Willett, I was pretty much without recourse in terms of letting someone know how very unsafe I felt). This happened to me again last night. I smoked up, and then ... well, and then it's kind of fuzzy. I know I felt unsafe, and I know I needed to be somewhere else, so I left the room, went downstairs, headed for the bathroom, for a drink of water. The next thing I know, I'm kind of bracing myself on the wall by the stairway, then sliding down the wall, and then finally down to the floor with a thunk. The cats seemed to know I was in trouble ... Mew kept running up to me, checking on me, then running up the stairs, then back again. Go, Lassie! Go get help! I lay there on the floor, trying to remind myself of the impossibility of overdosing on weed, and wishing that someone would come downstairs and find me and offer some sort of help. I thought about my cell phone in my pocket but didn't think I could handle that, and remembered all of those near-misses at Bob's house ... the times I would shoot too much cocaine and the room would get all wavy (the effect you get when your brain starts to sizzle?) and Bob would be elsewhere, doing something else, being a self-absorbed dick, and I would call bishopjoey, or n0thingman, and try to assure myself that if I lost consciousness, somehow they would get me some help.

However, I digress. After some time had passed, I pulled myself up and dragged myself up the stairs. Kip & Erica were just leaving (I felt I had been rude, had made them feel they had to leave, but I was in no shape to deal with that in that moment), and Kip asked if I was OK. I tried to express that I wasn't, but he was already heading down the stairs and didn't much care. So I crawled into bed with unixd0rk and tried to show him that my face was burning, that my eye was crossing (something I noticed in my days with H.W.S.R.N. -- that when I get really fucked up, my bum eye goes all haywire), but I couldn't find the words or the means of expression to get anything across aside from "my heart is racing" and "I need more water" (both expressed by means of charades).

So here it is, today. Today I am still smoking (cigarettes, that is). Tomorrow I have the day off from work, and tomorrow I'll give this quitting thing another college try. And, adding to the laundry list of things that I need to remember to do for myself, I really fucking need to add "don't smoke weed," because this is sliding out of control, and I don't want any more nights like last night.

Oh, and on random side note, six years ago today, my cat Maggie died. Big kisses toward the sky. I love you, little girl.

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