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Frosty pause.

I’m Bill Paxton and/or Helen Hunt unrealistically tied to plumbing by leather drive belts in that farm pump house.  The tornado is fabricated!

Other than nearly losing my semi-firm grip on reality here in Austin, things are sensational.

I acquired a job almost immediately which actually surprised the hell out of me.  I must’ve said “Oh, it can’t be that difficult to find a job!” one hundred times while sweating a machine gun magazine full of bullets in every direction while family and friends looked on in secret horror.  

I won’t say much about it other than I did find barefaced joy in naming a file “dog poop letter template” the other day.  I work right on the UT campus with a sunlight and squirrel friendly office overlooking several walks of shame per morning.  I’m only on the second story, so the clip clop of their burnished lady shoes stabbing the concrete mercilessly with every step stops me right in my tracks.  I really can’t help but study them a bit.

Last weekend I was proposed to by a heavyhearted, Bukowski type fella who literally peed in his pants a couple stools down from me.  I’m not used to being in a bar come witching hour and it’s damn near frightening.  From my perspective, women are not unlike the gasoline in Mad Max 2.

It’s been truly spectacular to reconnect with an old friend that doubles as my current roommate.  She gave me the room with the view of the Capitol Building, and that’s just one of those inane things I find myself repeating when someone asks how I like it here. 

“It’s great!  I can see the Capitol Building from my bed.  Seriously, I can lie all the way down and its nipple is still peeping at me.”

As it turns out, not many people are as dazzled by that fact.  It reminds me of the time I moved to an apartment I’d never seen before in Chicago all because it was right next door to a prosthetic leg factory.

I was finally able to bring my cat home, too, and will admit that I pulled a Britney riding a few hours with him in my lap.

I’m okay.

Sharing is caring.

I absolutely couldn’t keep this e-mail from my bio-mom to myself.

“i had a bad dream about u last night. u were about 12 years old and i found you kissing 2 boys. one had blondish brown hair and the other had dark brown hair. one was a bit older than the other too. you were all sitting next to bicycles and u just kept taking turns kissing them. then i swooped in and threatened the oldest one with statutory rape charges cuz he was over 18 and told him i had a gun and i wasnt afraid to use it. then i drug u home by ur ponytail and grounded u for life.”

Famileaving.

Life has been on a peculiar pause here in Dallas while I recover from a depleted savings account and in one week I’ll finally be in Austin.  I’ve spent all of my time with family who’ve helped ease that stubborn cork out of my fermenting bottle of emotions.  Whether they’re all aware of that, who knows, but there’s something about my mom and dad’s respective kitchens that impregnate me with a litter of tear babies.  I’ve (conveniently) lost count of exactly how many I’ve given birth to over the past few months.

One of those evenings we were all gathered around the island at my dad’s, elbows resting while discussing what we’d like to order from the take-out menu and apparently the “I’m going to die alone!?” I was craving wasn’t in season.

I forgot what it feels like to unleash that mammoth of sorrow in front of family members as opposed to strangers in public (because that’s where it inevitably seeps out).  They hug the absolute shit out of you and order you a hefty, soothing styrofoam box full of piping hot monosodium glutamate.  Not once has anyone here made me feel like a total dolt for letting it all hang out.

My dad placed a box of complimentary tissue in the middle of the living room the night we all watched My Sister’s Keeper because I may or may not have residual cancer scare whimpers buried way down deep behind my toenail beds.

My Mormon family didn’t even flinch the night I almost said “fuck” during a heated game of Catch Phrase.  I swiftly changed it to “fuh-art” , but I have a feeling they’d have let it slide because my grandpa (a Priesthood Holder) moments later said “damn” and we all laughed so hard we cried.

My little brother even gave me the permission to share a snippet of our conversation the other night in which he admitted to making love to his giant teddy bear when we were kids.

My older sister called me to apologize for always putting me in the middle of her ongoing battle with our biological mother.  I will call her later this week to atone for not fully appreciating the many nights she let me curl up on her bedroom floor after a nightmare where she and Joe Elliott would sing me back to slumber.

My ex-step mother welcomed me into her home and onto the unlimited family yoga account.  Her boob popped out the other day while she demonstrated a sun salutation and I’ve almost executed bakasana/crow pose properly because she makes me feel less afraid to land on my face.

My current step-mother truly completes my dad and has never once made me feel like an asshole for being a stereotypically terrible teenager.  We’re talking wasted high school football players smashing her sculptures after one too many glasses of Jim Beam and Kool-Aid terrible teenager.  Selling your Badmotorfinger c.d. for ecstasy terrible teenager.

In one week I’ll actually know what it feels like to be homesick because this time I’m not running away.  I’ve chosen to build a new life for myself a few hours away because honestly, any more than that and I’d be making Claire Danes Chin Crinkle Cry Face in every job interview.

Wish me luck, will ya?

Today I am a nine year old.

How did I get here?

There’s a question I ask myself a heap of times a day.  Mostly I ask it in the morning when I’m hosing myself off in the emergency eyewash station we call a shower in our four hundred square foot efficiency.  I guess you could say it’s intimate.  

The apartment sits on top of a photo printing and processing lab where most of my immediate family has worked the majority of their lives.  I’ll be working there until I get to Austin in a couple months, too.  

Sidenote:  I worked there for a day once in the dark room with my now current step mother but only because I was on suicide watch after ingesting all of the Sinutab and Nuprin I could find in our medicine cabinet.  I think my pre-adult whoreanus girlfriends had rubbed Oreos in our window screens the day before and I simply had no choice but to relieve my sinus pressure TO DEATH.  Fifteen was a turbulent year!

The low point of my week is having to cut through the boardroom on the way out of the apartment in order to get to the office.  I tip toe and dress as tawny as possible in order to blend in with the walls, but they turn around every time.  Occasionally I’ll get a side-splitting, “HEY APRIL, I HOPE YOU DON’T GET CAUGHT IN TRAFFIC!”  Then I’m beaten with the uncontrollable urge to raise my middle finger.  I have to hide it behind a composition notebook like a middle school boner.

My birth control is no longer in pill form because I have to look at a ton of newborn baby photos closely resembling a bald, asphyxiated Archie Bunker.  

Don’t get me wrong, there are upsides.  It’s been incredible to live so close to my family for a change.  

We were even able to visit my aunt at a nursing home in Minneola, Texas where she’s recovering from a stroke like a god damned soldier.  We all played a game of Farkle (yeah, my dad and I couldn’t leave that one alone for long) that day so she could practice using her frankenhand and I saw my very Mormon grandparents drink two cans of miscreant, caffeinated soda.  

My hands were visibly vibrating as I scooted them across the table.  I wasn’t sure what would happen when the Diet Coke hit their lips.  Surely nothing short of what we all know happens when you feed a mogwai after midnight.  I imagined my grandpa’s white hair swooping up from both sides into the center to form a mohawk like the bad Gremlin leader, Stripe.  

I’m just super thankful that my grandmother was too jacked up on the pop to hear one of the residents approach me in the hallway with the following pick up line,

“Why don’t you follow me to my room?!  I’ll show you where I beat myself up!”

I got my braces off this afternoon and the moment I opened wide in the mirror I saw that guy on the left staring back at me (minus a flaxen miss on my arm).  My teeth look and feel super-colossal to me right now.  Don’t worry, I’m chalking it up to a first world problem.

Soon I’ll be used to seeing all that white when my lips part, but for now I feel like I’m forcing those around me to survey ghastly, exposed bone.  If I made you laugh and you lifted up your shirt to show me your naked rib I might black out or wail, “PUT THAT AWAY!”  Thankfully, no one has had that reaction.

It felt amazing to strut into their office knowing I’d soon prance out a woman who can finally brush and floss in under half an hour.  The removal was a snap, literally, but the impressions that followed were not.  That was more like a crackle and a pop.  Ouch. 

I guess you could say I have a bit of a freakishly runty mouth, and the impression tray is seriously just the heel end of a men’s shoe size 18 insole.  I’m convinced.  Oh, with a giant wad of wet, grape flavored plaster smeared on top of it.  Mmm, open sesame! 

The first technician’s technique was questionable.  She put me in a headlock, shoved it into my mouth, and held my head against her boob until the plaster hardened.  It didn’t take the first or second time, and by the third I was losing focus.  That focus being:  DO NOT LAUGH, APRIL!  I’m sorry, but by the third time she had me in that breast-y sleeper hold I could not hold it in any longer.  I spit plaster and gave myself a pretty sensational, violet beard.

She called for backup and it just so happened to be my favorite orthodontic technician of all time, Deb.  We bonded before my surgery over a love of pizza and fear of skin grafts.  She even sent me a post card once to make sure I was recovering well.  I read it to myself in her pack a day Selma/Patty Bouvier voice and cried the day I received it.

It took Deb two tries, but we finally nailed it.  I was out the door with a “CONGRATS!” balloon trailing behind me and a smiley face bag loaded with candy from the FORBIDDEN FOOD list they gave me two years ago.

I brought an apple with my lunch in hopes that I’d have the guts to bite into it, but I chickened out and sliced it up instead.  Snore. 

It reminded me of the time I had a cast removed from my healed, formerly broken wrist.  I refused to use that arm for days because I harbored irrational fears about it breaking again.  My mom forced me to open and close the sliding side door of our family mini-van with it while I grimaced and whined.

If she were here now I imagine she’d make me open my own car door with my teeth.

I’ve been avoiding this topic for quite some time.  For the most part, I didn’t want to be dooced before I put in my notice.  I also didn’t want to tell anyone about the morning I wept in my boss’ office while giving said notice. 

Hello, awkward.  Please, grab yourself some real estate in my life (lots of it).  The only thing worse than crying at work is crying while eating.  Bonus points are awarded if you’re crying while eating a dessert

I kept waiting and waiting for the right moment, one where I was feeling less decrepit.  It was just one more thing I had to part with.  Blergh.    

I can’t say I’ll miss the white noise generators because I’m convinced that if I removed the grates I’d expose alien nests brimming with cocooned corpses, but I will miss some of the actual humans in the building.  Especially my old buddy, J, on our Janitorial staff. 

I crave his brief, yet conclusive film reviews on our daily walks toward his bus stop and my stupid gym.

Re:  Jumper (2008)     

“HE JUST JUMPS EVERYWHERE!”

He was on the money.  That’s all he did!  I watched it and he just jumped everywhere.

It should also come as no surprise that a week after I get my braces off I’ll be moving back in with one of my moms for a while.  You’re a woman!  No, you’re not.  But you’re very close!  I’ll be living in her closet, working, and saving to move again to my final destination, Austin, Texas.

I joked with someone recently that I’m relocating because I landed a sweet Assistant Manager position at the Taco Cabana.  I’m pretty sure they took me seriously.  What I really want to do in Austin sounds just as ridiculous to some of my family members. 

Special effects make-up!  *crickets*

I guess some of them expect me to drone out now that I’m almost 27, unwed, and not planning on enrolling in any more college courses that don’t involve coloring. 

I’m girded and ready to field their questions.  There will be many since no one ever left Texas.

Now I’m no clairvoyant, but I believe these will be the first three:

1.  Are you a lesbian?

2.  Why aren’t you pregnant?

3.  Do you want fries with that?