Sunday, October 11, 2009

One of the Worst Things I've Ever Done

Oct 11, late PM, 2009
I was going to edit this tonight, because it was overly influenced by emotion, and there are parts that do not parse or make sense because of that. But I couldn't yet. I will soon. If you happen to run across this before I do, please be gentle.

I guess I got some shit wrong. I got the main shit right.

Oct. 11, early AM, 2009
This blog has been dormant for months. I couldn't begin to say why. I thought it would pick back up again when my work life became more normal.

But I'm avoiding the subject.

Tonight, I did one of the worst things I've ever done. Maybe The Worst. I'm not sure. I haven't lived my whole life yet.

And yes. We're stream of consciousness tonight. And yes: I'm still avoiding the subject. And finally . . . it's not tonight. It's tomorrow morning.

Tonight was normal. I went to dinner with the parents-who-can't-abide-each-other and the Boy Who Got His Own Laptop Today. It was nice. I had cocktails. I had sashimi (unusual) and didn't take crap from the parents (also unusual).

And then we came home. And I tried to set up my son's new laptop (unsuccessful, due to NO DOCUMENTATION) and my new MacBook (semi-successful due to NO NEED FOR DOCUMENTATION) and the main thing was I got my son to bed and had a couple of nice conversations with my online friends. Nice, friendly, light conversations. As per usual. As per normal. How I love normal.

I'll cop to playing with my new MacBook a little late. And having one of those nice light online conversations online with my old high school friend. So, it came to pass that it was waaaaay late in the eve, or waaaaay early in the morn to be chatting. And we signed off and went to bed. Well, presumably. I went to get a glass of water.

And that's when I heard the car crash. Not on the street directly in front of my house. I could tell it was on the street in front of the street directly in front of my house. The busy street. The one upon which I've heard so many car crashes before.

And here's where I hate myself the first time: I waited. It was clearly a very hard crash. Just from the sound two rows of houses away, I could tell. That was one hell of a crash. It didn't wake anyone else in my household but the dog. But they are all deep sleepers, and I was awake. I knew from the sound the crash was serious. But, I changed my shoes, got my sweater, found my phone, and then walked out into the fray to make sure someone had called the fucking cops.

Why was I surprised to hear the screams?

As it happened, no one had called the fucking cops. Because the two or three rational witnesses had pulled out the most-mangled bodies and started CP FUCKING R. Which they performed for well over an hour. And which I know, because I fucking watched. So that their wives wouldn't have to.

And that was the horror thing. You'd think the worst is watching someone die. You'd be wrong. Somehow, I, along with some other women I've never seen or heard of before, but who are evidently my very, very awesome neighbors, took charge of the wives who had witnessed their husbands get creamed in their car. Oh, and their mom was on the fucking car-crash-victim list too. The mom they had come to visit.

So, these desperate women, who cannot help but see their husbands prone on the sidewalk, receiving the most critical of care, are alone in the world but for me and a couple of other strange women who do not speak their language. Korean, as it turns out.

At this point, I know for sure emergency teams are on the way. But, it has been more than ten fucking minutes, and how the hell can they take so much goddamn time when the BODIES in question are so clearly fragile. They need more than these fantastic, courageous amateurs who are so willing to stick it out to the end. Or farther.

That's what I ignore. I walk past that drama. I don't want to see it, because I know it's not . . . I just . . . I know. It's bad.

I realize my story has become a little confused, but it's only because this really happened only a couple of hours ago.

I walk over to the two women -- the wives, I find out later, of the men on the ground receiving the endless CPR. And the daughters -- I find out later -- of the grandma they came to visit, and whom I never saw.

I go there because these women are screaming and hysterical. That's all anyone can hear. The screaming of these two women who only know their life-support system just crashed into oblivion. There are other women trying to calm these wives down, but they can't. The Two Wives speak only Korean, and no one conscious at the scene knows that language.

The Two Wives are truly hysterical, and clearly trying to get near to the men they rely on, but the other comforters and I understand that allowing them to do so would be a horrific mistake. We almost literally wrestle the hysterical Two Wives across the street, and down into a sitting/reclining position. This process is so hard. All I want to do is take away their grief. Make it go away. Make them stop screaming and struggling and compulsively looking at their husbands receiving the most dire of treatment. I can't take it all away. I rub their backs, and physically move them toward each other, encouraging them to hold an hug each other, all the while murmuring, "You must stay here and let the professionals do their jobs, there's nothing you can help with over there, they're in good hands, hug each other, you need to be here for each other now."

And they have no fucking clue what I'm saying because they only speak Korean. And the cops have no Korean translators available and can only keep saying, in the weirdest gentle way, "Keep these ladies calm, or we will have to cuff them and put them in the back of the car." I show these hysterical women some sort of sign for handcuffs and try to demonstrate arrest, but they don't get it. And then I wonder what the hell about it would be so horrible for them. They have clearly gone to the worst place they can go. It tears my heart fucking open to see them sprawled on the driveway begging for something I don't truly understand because it's in Korean, but I think very well might mean something like "Make this not be true."

So, now it's been an hour, two hours, who knows? It's been a long fucking time, and this is what I've noticed: The ambulances have left without sirens. The cops have been cordoning off a huge piece of the neighborhood with crime scene tape. I realize I didn't quite see what ambulances left with whom, because I was so busy trying to be the shield in between the Korean ladies and whatever was happening to their loved ones. But . . . none of the emergency crew is moving with urgency. And I don't see the victims on the sidewalk anymore. The Korean ladies are calming down sooooo slightly. But they are noticing their relatives aren't in sight any more too.

A cop walks up to another cop near me and says, "Wanna tell them they're at Scripps?" I hear this, and think, "Oh! I will tell these poor ladies their husbands are at Scripps and they will know where to go, and all will be fine." So . . . I tell the young boy who has been translating as best he can to let the Korean ladies know they should go to Scripps, and he does. The younger, more hysterical lady looks at me and in desperation asks, "All right?" I don't know the answer to the question, but I think if the authorities are willing to send the relatives to a particular facility, it must be not so bad. So, I say, "I hope." And smile.

Everyone seems calmer now, and I witnessed nothing, so I should get out of the way. But I want to make sure I'm not needed anymore and so I explain to a cop who I am and how I came upon the scene. He has no problem dismissing me back to my home. But not before he gestures to the Korean ladies and says to his partner: "Should we tell them now?" His partner looks down and says, "No. Not until the social workers come." And I know I have just reassured a woman I don't know that her dead husband is alive. But I walk back home.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Making My Day

So, I've been posting on a contentious thread at another blog where my handle is linked to my craptacular blog. Thought I'd check in for the first time in over a month. (Yeah. Sorry, all you minions of mine.)

Anyway, the first thing I noticed was the latest posts on my blogroll. Okay -- a buncha stuff I've already read, and then, the greatest post title ever from phibetakitten: ass menagerie.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dear Lord

My son has a portable game device that inexplicably has an alarm one can set. He set it. That's why I'm up at 5:21 on a Saturday morning. What does one do at 5:22 on a Saturday morning when one is slightly hungover and doesn't want to wake anyone? One turns on the East Coast feed of Food Network.

And then one sees the horror that is Sandra Lee. And she's saying, "One package of chocolate cake mix [pours in bowl] and one can of cherry cola [pours in bowl]." And one thinks, "I'm still asleep, and this is my nightmare."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sometimes, It's a Link.

All I can say is this enraged me. And motivated me to do more for women's rights.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Inappropriate Animals

This is a late, cheap birthday present to phibetakitten.

I went to Earth Fair in Balboa Park today with my brother, his two sons, and my son. Before I suffered heat stroke and had to humiliate myself by asking to go home early before we'd been able to do anything for the Earth other than collect a whole bunch of well-meaning pamphlets written on dead trees, I saw these inappropriate animals:

Two black standard poodles with really long fur wearing animal-print visors.
One Pomeranian with 24-square cubic furlongs of fur standing out on end.
Two puppies falling about five feet from a backpack onto the promenade.
One "freaky bug," as so described by my nephew.

When we got back to my house, the following inappropriate animal drama*ensued.

Scene: Youngest nephew and my son play out in the backyard. Oldest nephew gets up to no good in house. Bro and I collapse on family room furniture, making "uuuuunnnngggghhh" noises.

Youngest nephew on patio (YNOP) to my son: Dude! Never ride this bike again!
My son: What?
YNOP: Never ride this bike again! It has a black widow!
Me to Bro: Uh . . .
Bro (already getting up): Yeah. I'm on it.
YNOP to my son: I'll get a cup.
Me: Uhhhh!
Bro to YNOP: Get away! Let me check this out.
Bro: Yep! He's right!
Me: I'll get bug spray! I'll get oven mitts! I'll get you a bulletproof hazmat suit and build a bomb shelter underground for the remains!
Bro (coming in door): What? I got rid of it.
Me (astonished): How?
Bro: I squished it. With my foot.
Me: Weren't you afraid it would run up your leg and KILL YOU?!?
Bro (scoffing): No.
Me: I would have been.
Bro (disgusted): I know.
YNOP to my son: That was a black widow.
My son: We get them all the time.

*Some occurrences embellished for dramatic effect.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Another Letter

Dear Media,

For the record, I too think Michelle Obama is very attractive and well dressed. But that is exactly as much time and energy I need to expend on that thought. And it was probably too much time to actually report on that subject in the news, for heaven's sake.

I know Mrs. Obama is just a girl, but she also has a fabulous education, an interesting and impressive career, thoughts and opinions of her own, and very possibly some ideas about how to make positive change in this country. Perhaps we could hear about that sometime.

People Who Think

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Economy Sucks

Unfortunately, some people I really like and respect were laid off today. And, naturally, to top it off, too many of the idiots got to stay.

For the record, I work for one of the industries that's supposed to be darn near recession-proof. And the layoffs and cost-cutting measures are nowhere near insignificant. This shit is bad, people. And it's brought to you by bad people. Who are getting richer even as we speak.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One More Thing

Dear celebrities (and everyone else),

If you feel the need to start your statement with "I'm not racist/sexist/ableist/homophobic/etc., but . . . " the very next thing you say is whatever you said you're not 99.98 percent of the time.

Where the hell have I been?

Okay. You know how sometimes you're scared of your mail? Because maybe some overdue bills are there, or letters from the lover you don't like anymore, or maybe even some stuff from PETA, and you don't support them anymore? Well, that's how I've been feeling about my blog.

And you know how sometimes you go through some stuff, maybe at work, maybe at home, that might be great comedy if you can look at it through the proper lens, but that good lens isn't working right now, and you can only see it through the unfunny crap spectacles and you don't want to share it, because it's not entertaining?

And maybe you don't want to answer the phone, because you don't know if it's friend or foe, and maybe you're ninety percent sure it's friend, but you just don't know?

Well, that's how I've been feeling about my blog.

But I think I'm ready. Again. To try to be interesting. As if I ever were.