So that was… well, unfortunately not a personal record. I have had worse hangovers, but not many. Or many, but I can’t remember them. Or some.. whatever. It was a bad hangover.
It came with depression and hallucinations and panic attacks and the tense jaw and the feeling that if I stopped moving I would have a brain haemorrage and die. That is what panic attacks are like for me. When they are not being heart palpitations, that is. Not a pleasant few days. Did I mention it lasted THREE WHOLE DAYS? That’s right, a three day hangover for a three day bender. It seems a little steep, but maybe it’s fair and I should take it as a lesson or something. (That’s a joke, people)
I still had minor panic attack preludes today but I was in the hospital visiting my friend so I managed to force myself to be real and stop freaking over imaginary illness when right in front of me is a really sick person who is actually stuck in hospital and manages to be really cool and calm about it. Well maybe calm is the wrong word. They are giving her sleeping pills but apparently my friend is un-tranquillizable. She’s a feisty little critter… Anyway I brought my own brand of inappropriate humour to visit her and it was fun, she told me no one else wants to laugh about the sign that says “on days of discharge, patient must vacate the room by 11am”. I was like, dude… discharge! It says DISCHARGE. What’s not to laugh about? And she agreed but sighed, apparently other people just tell her she’s being vulgar and crude and weird.
Well that’s just wrong… Other people suck.
I take some moments to congratulate myself on being such a wonderful hospital visitor. I should be like an adults-only clown, going ward to ward making fun of the shameful and awkward to lift the spirits of the ailing… But it’s actually really scary being around sick people. Fleeting visions of a nursing career that will never be… Brrrr…. I don’t like healthy people, I certainly wouldn’t like them with weeping sores and bedpans and having to sponge the smeg out of their comatose fat-folds.
Anyway my friend wasn’t scary looking so it was ok although she did have a load of wires and shit attached to her body. And bruises from I guess scary medical equipment. And they came in and out taking blood and measurements and she coughed a lot. I made jokes about all of it. Some of my jokes fell flat but I just pretended she had misheard me, shook my head and moved on. That’s how you gotta do it.
Anyway the hospital was pretty fun, but it’s not the only reason I am in such blindingly superior form today. (compared at least to the previous 3 days)
So… Yesterday I spent a vigorous hour online checking apartments to rent in Dublin, and calling estate agents. The flat I most liked the look of was actually the only one whose owner called me back and arranged an immediate viewing. So I had hoped to line up a series of potential places to see in one go, but it was not to be. Obviously there would be something glaringly wrong with the apartment I liked. It would be missing a bathroom, or the oven would be gross…. Or it would already be taken by the time I got there… anyway I met the owner and he showed me the flat.
Now, I normally cringe and say, hey, call it a fucking bedsit, that’s what it is… but this is kind of nice enough that I will allow myself to puff up and say “studio apartment.” A studio apartment, anyway… kitchen, living room, bedroom in one… with a little bathroom…. can’t take long to show. It can’t. But it took over an hour. Seriously, the landlord- lovely, friendly guy by the way- literally showed me everything in that room. He showed me how the thermostat works. He showed me where the shared hoover is kept. He showed me how to work the washing machine… he showed me how to work the electric fire. He turned on the shower to show me the shower pressure.
I liked that apartment. I liked it so good… I really, really liked it. It has wooden floors… it has NICE furniture. Normally you rent some shitty little lonesome nest for insignificant low income people and it’s got mouldy grandma chairs that you are not allowed remove, and ass-coloured stains on the counters. You wind up draping blankets on the chairs which just means your living room only ever looks tidy the few minutes before anyone sits down, and then needs tidying again. This place has a nice sofa, a big double bed, a nice armchair, a fireplace albeit with an electric fire… but it is NICE. I fell instantly, madly in love with the place. I forgot all about the depression I have been feeling every morning I wake up in my childhood bed, in my childhood room, but without any of my stuff… You know, I really miss my apartment like crazy. My apartment isn’t all that but it’s MINE. I used to wake up there, ok with a shitty social life and wildly lonely but I woke up peaceful and relaxed. I feel a little heartbroken to be honest, leaving my old apartment. It’s like… when I left my husband. I loved him, but I was unhappy with him. I tore him out of my life while he was still deeply rooted and it hurt like FUCK. Now to a lesser extent I’m tearing myself out of my own apartment that is my home, my first ever real home that is mine… because I’m unhappy in that city. But I still love my home, and I miss it sorely.
I left that almost ridiculously in-depth tour of the tiny apartment feeling like yes… that was it. That was my new apartment. But what to do? It was the first place I had seen. No one takes the first place. What kind of noob takes the first place they see? But I knew it would be gone soon. I had called yesterday about another place in the same building, today it had already gone. I called the landlord and said, you’re gonna think I’m an awful fool going for the first place I looked at but… I’ll take it. If that’s ok….
He laughed. It’s ok by me!
I felt like I needed to explain my childish rushing into the contract… “I just don’t think I’ll find anything better really. I’ve seen some awful photos of places…”
He said something I couldn’t hear down the phone. What?
“Uh I said… you won’t find anything better? You’re just settling for me… Eh never mind…”
Oh wow, an awkward joke! I’m feeling at home already…
So there, I’m signed up, I’ve paid the deposit, I’ve made my bed… it’s a reasonable rent, it’s modern and nice and clean and the walls are thick… I can see myself very happy there. I move in in two weeks so now I just have to head back to Italy, ship my stuff home… and find a MOTHERFUCKIN JOB!
With my emancipation looming, I’ve decided to cut my mother and stepdad a little slack. They have been drilling into my brain with their bickering and snapping at each other, but I am watching it today from a seat further back. It’s horrible and it maddens me still, but I can handle it a few days more. It makes me sad for my mum, but I can usually keep myself above despair about it… She’s a grown up… and she’s too wrapped up in her own version of our family, she wouldn’t even want help. She just wants sympathy and to keep going as usual. It does break my heart, my mum.. I used to want to take her with me when I left this house, but I guess it’s her home.
She comes to visit me sometimes, wherever I’m building my life at the time, and brings her own reality, and sometimes I visit theirs and revert back to my teenage self. I am so glad I’m leaving here. Just thinking about how my mum used to be… I think, before him… but I don’t know… makes me sad and lonely. I was too little, I was four or five. My mum was the greatest, happiest kindest person in the world, but I was little…. She’s a lovely person but she’s also kind of trampled and impotent now, to a point I don’t know how to respect.
My mum reaches out to me constantly across a chasm. I DO try… our relationship has good moments and bad.
She offers me advice of what jobs I could do. She’s so damned naive about some things, it would be funny to me if I wasn’t so sad about it right now.
Here are some career suggestions from my mother.
“Well you like playing computers, you could… design the games, or something.”
“Mum, those jobs go to people who have studied computer game design. I don’t know how to do that. I don’t want to do that with the rest of my life, so I don’t want to study years to learn how…”
“Well I’m sure you would need to study for the hard bits, but you probably could come up with all sorts of ideas for games.”
“Yes mother but that isn’t a job you can go out and apply for. If I knew how to make games, or if I had a great idea for a game, I could maybe go to someone with that… but I have neither knowledge of how to make computer games, nor a great idea for one.” (apart from: game where you get to actually see the boneing)
“Well you could come up with the names for characters.”
“That is not a job.”
“They must need somebody to come up with those funny names for the characters, or the countries in the games… You were always very good at that.”
“Mother seriously, that isn’t a job I would get paid for. The people who are capable of building massive 3d environments and designing the game in general, would probably be able to stretch to coming up with some fantasy character names.”
“I don’t think so, I think they would get someone to do the names.”
“MOTHER! I know very little about the computer game development process, but I know they don’t pay people to come in and think of a couple of names and then go home”
“Well whatever, it’s just a suggestion.”
“There’s no need to be mean.”
“I’m not… I’m not… Urgh I don’t mean to be. Just… I know that’s not a job, ok?”
“It’s just your tone, I’m sensitive to how people talk to me….”
“MOTHER SERIOUSLY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH MY TONE. It’s not a tone. It’s just… I just don’t… urgh just leave it.”
“Well what about correcting spelling for a newspaper or something?”
“That’s… they have computers for that.”
“Well you’re very good at spelling.”
“I know mom….” (I really am very good at spelling. It’s one of my special skills I have. I’m so good at spelling, when I lived in South America for six months, South Americans would ask me for help spelling their shit… in Spanish.)
“I always thought you were great at spelling. You’re a little wizz!” (STOP PATRONISING ME MOTHER I AM NEITHER LITTLE NOR AM I A… well actually yeah I am a wizz. But I’m not little. Unless of course you mean skinny…)
“Urgh. There are computer programs for that mum, there… like you can a red squiggle appear under words as you type. I don’t use those things obviously because then I would probably lose my awesome typing just like I lost my mad maths skillz when I started relying on the calculator.”
“You’re very good at spelling. You could proofread for a big newspaper.”
“No one is going to give me a proof reading job, I’m like… I got a C2 in English in my Leaving Cert exams.” (I should have studied for those exams but I felt like… I really just didn’t want to study.)
“Well I just think you’re being very negative. I think about it this way, if you like doing it, you’re good at doing it… and you normally do it for free, you should start doing it for money. That’s what should happen.”
“Mother, that’s the kind of thing a hooker’s mother would say”
“WHAT? I DON’T THINK YOU SHOULD BE A HOOKER! You’re twisting my words now!” my mother looks at me in disgust and hurt. “I didn’t say that AT ALL!”
Anyway me and my mum are having all kinds of unwanted conversations about my career. Sometimes I try to be nice so I bullshit, because to say nothing at all or give a noncommital answer is not an option. She weasels an answer out of me. So I say things like, yeah, that’s a great attitude, you know I used to love playing with LEGO, I wonder will they give me a job as an engineer, or an architect? But she gets hurt when I am sarcastic because I’m twisting her words and being nasty. I don’t mean to be, it’s just…. to me, things are either hugely impressive, or wonderfully funny. Or just sick.
The wonderfully funny section of life and the universe is the biggest. But I don’t mean any harm by my attitude, I just like laughing at things. It’s my favorite.
Also I like sex. Sex I take seriously. I don’t like to laugh in sex…. but maybe I am doing it wrong? It’s possible. I have two weeks before the venn diagrams of “living in a country where I can get laid drunk” and “have my own double bed and my parents aren’t one room away” intersect in my kick ass new apartment.
So you know my goal.. apart from obviously the finding a job soon thing… is to get some serious laid.
Despite my mother’s best intentions, I will not be combining business and pleasure.
A whore charges…
my love don’t cost a thing.