And I agree! “Jamboree” and “haberdashery” are two wonderfully underutilized words.
I know you’re also probably thinking things like, “Drew, what the hell is this?” and “What ARE those things coming off of Bopfenmuth’s body?” and “Is Puffkyth okay?” Really don’t have clear answers for the first two, but I can honestly say that yes, Puffkyth is doing just fine.
Or maybe he isn’t. It’s hard to tell his “I’m doing just fine” face from his “gazing into the abyss and being overwhelmed by the world’s sorrows into a state of catatonia” face.
Fun fact: I’ve been meaning to give these mini Cthulus names for the longest time. But I was having issues with the last name.
I was going for a theme and naming them after horror authors – so I had Edgar for Edgar Allan Poe, Mary for Mary Shelley, and Bram for Bram Stoker. For the second girl, though, I was stuck. I was considering Daphne for Daphne Du Maurier or Shirley for Shirley Jackson, but I already had a character named Daphne and Shirley is, well, Shirley.
After some more research, I finally settled on Charlotte for Charlotte Riddell, a writer known for her Victorian supernatural ghost stories, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” isn’t technically classified as a horror story, but is still really, really creepy.
So Bram, Mary, Charlotte, and Edgar – teaming up to take down that snitch Elf on a Shelf.
Last week was one of the longest, most excruciating weeks I have had the displeasure of experiencing period.
Like, all of the anxiety I’ve had during 2020 was jammed into the span of a week and heightened to levels that I haven’t felt in years.
All due to a very particular event that pretty much captured everyone’s attention and likewise had them refreshing endlessly whilst fueling their own worried states – Election 2020.
Jesus, give me strength.
Sunday and Monday were fine. Normal even.
Then Tuesday rolled along.
I remember the last Presidential election and what it did to me. How when states started falling to What’s His Face, I immediately had a massive panic/anxiety attack and fell apart. So, I thought I’d be wise and turn my phone off all day, making sure to hide it away in my brother’s room just to be safe.
Didn’t stop me from worrying, but I thought’d that would be fine. I’d manage. Sure, there was anxiety building up, but then I’d go to bed and wake up to some sort of result.
Wednesday – of course, no result. Because nothing can be easy in 2020.
After having some bizarre Election dreams and not sleeping well at all, I wake up to a big old mess. Nothing’s been called. Votes are still being counted. Joe Biden’s behind in several very important states. Another four years of What’s His Face.
Anxiety and stress levels immediately skyrocket. What fun.
Several things happen when I get stressed. One is that my sleep patterns go straight out the window. Two is that I can’t eat. I am not a stress eater. At all. My stomach just won’t let anything in. Of course, if I don’t eat, my stomach immediately goes, “Why haven’t you eaten anything?! Eat something now!” But then if I do get something down, it’s all “Why did you do that?!”
So I’m exhausted, not eating, and chain-worrying. I’m stuck in some weird suspended animation, just constantly refreshing, refreshing, REFRESHING. Not doing anything else – I don’t have enough bandwidth to do so. My attention span shrinks, only able to take in a few minutes at a time.
And I thought I was okay.
I honestly did. I thought I was managing things just fine. This was okay. Totally, totally okay.
Thursday – I am not okay.
I am so far from okay it’s not even funny. Exhaustion is catching up to me big time. I’m probably dehydrated at this point as well. Still can’t do anything else except hit that damn refresh button.
I should also mention that I was home this entire time. Didn’t have to go to work Tuesday through Thursday, which really would’ve been a big help in keeping me distracted. It seemed great weeks ago – until I got stuck in Election Purgatory.
And – a very BIG and – we had people working on the house, replacing the siding. Which turned out to be a noisy process. A very early, noisy process. So sleep ended early. And my psyche slowly cracked further under the constant hammering coming from every which way.
I do manage to make my way to my friend Suzy’s house, which ends up being a much needed respite from the noise/anxiety/screens/refreshing/everything. Honestly, I’m amazed that I make it there, considering how tired I am. But we talk. We sat in her basement room, and just hash it out. The first time that week that I say out loud to someone other than myself that I am not okay. That I am stuck deep in some anxiety hole.
That evening, I end up getting so overwhelmed that I break down into my Chinese food. I’m tired. I’m hurting. Why can’t I break out of this cycle? Why am I here in this pit? Why can’t they just call the stupid race already my GOD.
Friday. The workers are gone. The house looks nice and fresh. I get to wake up naturally. I get to go to work. I’m still a mess, but at least I’m functioning kind of. And things are starting to look up Electionwise.
Which is where more what ifs show up. What if there is 4 more years of What’s His Face? What if Pennsylvania doesn’t flip? What if, what if, what if.
And yet, for the first time in days, I’m hopeful. It’s just a spark, but it’s something.
Still can’t eat properly, by the by. And starting to feel a depressive front moving in. Just what I need at this time.
Glorious, glorious Saturday.
They start calling the Election. Biden’s in the lead – and he’s won.
I’ll get further into the story Wednesday but holy crap. Like, holiest of craps. What is happening.
What am I feeling? Relief. Disbelief. Shock. This isn’t real. But it is real.
And the anxiety fog starts to lift a bit.
I’m actually able to eat a full plate of dinner. I manage to sleep through the night. And Sunday, I can take a nap without struggle. It’s amazing.
So, here we are in this week. I’m still feeling the after effects, honestly. And I still need to be careful of what I’m checking on my phone because anxiety is a beast and I don’t want to set it off again.
But I’m so much better. Each day I feel more and more alive again. I’m drawing. I’ve started a new book. I’m turned on my Switch. All the coping mechanisms I should’ve been using all of last week, according to my therapist.
I’m glad to be out of suspended animation. I’m glad to be moving around and feeling human again.
And I’m feeling very, very good about the next four years. But again, that’s for Wednesday.
We’ve gone from the brink of WWIII (January) and Australia being on fire (February) to being in the midst of a pandemic (March), dealing with killer hornets (April) and now, the United States is on fire (May-June).
It has been…a lot.
Like, 2020 has been pulling no punches and just keeps dishing stuff out. It’s crazy, man. I am all up for joining Anemone under the sea at this point.
On a more serious note, I have already posted my thoughts about everything that’s going on over on Facebook, but to sum it up here:
Now is NOT the time for all lives matter. Now is the time for Black Lives Matter. Now is the time to give Black people the microphone. Period.
I really, really hope something good comes out of all this, and that everyone participating in the protests stay safe.
Derek Chauvin and his fellow cops can rot.
Donald Trump needs to take an exit. Or least have his Twitter taken away.
George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Tony McDade. Say their names.
It would feel a bit remiss to not at least mention something here about it. Now is the time to learn and listen. Believe me, I’m doing both.
I should’ve known what a handful you were going to be the moment that blasted clicking noise started.
It wasn’t too long after I’d gotten you – according to the blog, it was June of 2015. Just driving along – don’t remember where to – and suddenly, I heard this little click popping up every so often. At first I thought it was just the song on the radio. So I turned it off. And surprise, surprise, it was still there. Turns out it was the signal for the high beams flickering, even though they weren’t even on. Weird, but whatever.
Then everything started going wrong.
The radio started fritzing, to the point where it wasn’t even worth turning on anymore. Whenever I did turn my headlights, they would indeed flicker, making driving at night embarassing and me hoping and praying that I wouldn’t get pulled over. And of course, the stuttering. The worst part of all. You would pause, then go. Pause, then go. I was terrified I was going to get into some kind of accident.
And let’s not forget that one incident driving home from my friend Chelsea’s house. It was late, Panic! at the Disco was playing, I’m cruising along – and BOOM. All the lights go off. No sound. No nothing. And then everything just turns back on. It was short, granted, but good Lord. Apparently, you wanted to give me a heart attack.
We tried to figure out what was wrong. I’d drop you off at our friendly neighborhood car shop, the one that takes care of all our cars, and they’d find nothing. I felt like I was going crazy, like I was driving the Michigan J. Frog of cars, acting up just for me.
As it turns out, after some detective work, it was the key. The spare we’d give to the car shop worked find. The main key, the one I had, was warped, causing some kind of disconnect in the electrical system. So, we swapped it out. And suddenly, everything was fine. Perfect even. You kept driving along like this would never happen again.
Until it did.
Over and over and over and over and OVER again, for the next 4 years. The same things every single time. Flickering lights, malfunctioning radio, stuttering – and the damn clicking noise. And let’s not forget those nice moments where you wouldn’t even want to turn on. Always at the most inconvinient times, when I had to get somewhere or had to go home, you would decide, “Nah. Don’t feel like it. Sorry.” And then suddenly, you’d turn on. Like magic. Of course, everything had reset itself. Again.
Just – ARGH.
We tried. We really did. We replaced your battery so many times, and it would do the trick – for a few WEEKS, a few months if I was lucky. Then everything would start up again. Like clockwork.
And these past couple of months have officially been the final straw.
You were no longer reliable. You were some kind of demon car, hellbent on stranding me places, including my own house. I would cross my fingers and hope and pray that I could get to one place and back without something going wrong, which is something no one should have to do. Your air conditioning had decided to conk out. The CD player was making some god awful noise on a near consistent basis.
That Thursday, though. That Thursday when you left me high and dry in the Chipotle parking lot – that was it. That was the moment where I couldn’t drive you anymore. That was the moment I threw up my hands and said, “I give up. I need a new car.” You were just too far gone.
And so, I did.
Get a new car, that is.
He’s truly a beauty. A 2016 Ford Focus. Silver. Perfect condition. Everything works, from the AC to the CD player.
Does he have heated seats? No. A sunroof? Not really. But do I need those things. No. I need a car that get me from Point A to Point B without giving me a migraine.
So with that, I can say, I’m done with you.
I’m done with the CD player that hasn’t worked in months, that would keep CDs trapped until it decided to spring back to life. I’m done with the air conditioning that no longer functions, forcing me to roll down my windows so I don’t show up looking like a drowned, sweaty rat. I’m done with the stuttering that probably made me look like an incompetent boob behind the wheel. I’m done with all the lights going on and off, with that stupid, awful clicking noise that will probably haunt my dreams and has caused me to jump at any single noise my new car makes.
And most of all, I’m done with you not wanting to do what you were made to do: turn on, and get me places. That’s it. I know I don’t go to a lot of places, but I still need to get there. And you can’t do that anymore.
So. Here you are. Sitting like a lump at the end of the driveway. All my stuff is cleaned out. The license plates have been removed. And I am more than ready for you to go.
I swear, poor Spring is going to have a nervous breakdown by the time this season’s over.
So, judging from the comic, you can probably guess what we spent our Sunday evening doing after the discovery of our basement flooding yet again.
Because nothing says fun quite like:
Trying to figure out where the hell the water came from – we’re still not entirely sure; our best guess is the sealant beneath the door leading to the outside got loosened, the drain got clogged, and with the non-stop rain we’ve been having…
Trying to desperately save multiple boxes of stuff/books from being damaged.
Attempting to at least mop up a little of the quarter inch of water that ended up soaking two-thirds of our basement.
Thankfully, it’s all mostly dry down there now – smells a little musty, but whatever. And the weather has decided to cooperate and has been super nice as of late, helping us to dry out a few things.
Hopefully, it’ll decide to stick around at least a little bit longer. Of course, I said that last time and, well, look what happened. Mrph.
Dryer decided to start making terrifying noises last week, pretty much signalling the end. No one wants to turn it one and risk the life of their laundry, so it’s time to find a new one. Whee.
As I still needed to do my own laundry, though, I had one of two choices: either wait for the new dryer and run out of socks, or wash it all and figure out the drying situation as it arose.
Needless to say, I went with the second option. And, well, it has involved a bit of ingenuity – and taking over of certain spaces (guest room, older brother’s vacated bedroom) – but hey, I’ve gotten it all done! So I now have clean, and most importantly dry, clothes. A little stiff. But clean.