Notes from the Surf

Turtle and Pigeons
http://newmedia.funnyjunk.com/pictures/murderturtle.gif
Right out of a horror movie.

How to Develop a Personal Alternative to Waving
http://basicinstructions.net/?p=1148
What to do if your wave looks like you're about to smack someone.

When Programmers Get Too Creative
http://www0.us.ioccc.org/2001/williams.c
From someone who may be in the wrong line of work.

10 Drugs You Shouldn't Use While Driving a Car (Subtitled)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCNDeMi2qdA
I would've done the same thing with my windshield wipers.

Jet Lag: How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night
http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight
I wonder if it's more effective if you fast for a longer period.

More Guns, Less Butter
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/07/31/business/20090801_CHARTS_GRAPHIC.html
How to feed a nation... with slaves.

Honduras: Teacher Stabbed to Death Leaving Another Teacher's Wake
http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=47950
"High school teacher Roger Vallejo, who was shot in the head when the police broke up a roadblock... died after two days in intensive care. Another teacher, Martin Florencio Rivera, was stabbed to death after leaving Vallejo's wake Saturday... the authorities say 260 demonstrations, roadblocks and public sector strikes have been held around the country"

Dublin, Ireland: From the Women Occupying Thomas Cook
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/thomas-cook-dublin-sit-in-live
Videos made by the employees during the occupation.

Haiti: 10,000 Employees Occupy Sweatshops and March on Parliament
http://mikeely.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/workers-seize-factory-in-haiti/
"The bosses fled the factory in a panic through the back door."

Venezuela: Local Communities Gaining Control of Mass Media
http://links.org.au/node/1182
"Twenty-seven families controlled more than 32% of the radio and television airwaves... After the failed coup attempt, the government realised how crucial community media is to the people and to the state. It became apparent that the state media cannot be the only alternative to the private media because of its relatively low ratings and its consolidated nature, which make it vulnerable in a coup situation... The coup was defeated with the help of community media stations and activists; they rallied their communities to take to the streets and demand their voices be heard."

Hello, old friend.

It has been a long time since we've spoken. You've grown wiser and hopefully I have as well. I would love to know for sure, so I'll depend on you to listen to me. Around the last time we spoke together I told you about Rachel, spoke about the loss of my job, my financial conditions, my mental instability, my passion for music.

 

I wanted to tell you where I am today, please pardon me for using you as a journal: I have no other, and I enjoy writing in you so that others may read my thoughts; and for just a moment I won't be so alone in the world.

 

Rachel and I had a falling out in October 2008 after I road tripped the 10 hours to her house unannounced (till the last minute); and due to some previous conflict, refused to meet me at the street; a mere 50 feet. In the span of a weekend I wrote the final chapter to a psuedo-friendship and part of me is glad that I had; that it ended the way it had. It took some weeks for me to realize her point of view, and how insane my efforts and communications appeared to be. I will admit that in a fit of emotional exhaustion I spoke words which I regret; but ultimately what has happened made me a better person.

I cut off all my hair, changed my appearance, started working out and in late November 2009 I met Stephanie, a quite beautiful Puerto Rican woman. Along the way in our relationship I discovered she was still married and ultimately our religious differences, her child burden (of which I am not compatible with), and some undiscovered factors lead to the end of our relationship in March; peacefully.

In the midst of Janurary 2009 Stephanie and I went rock climbing and I suffered an internal injury with symptoms not presenting till the following few days; I ended up in surgery the following Friday (approximately 6 days from the event) having a mass of necrotic tissue removed and a $22,000 bill installed. Carry insurance, kids.

I bought a 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon in October 2008, and in August of this year I bought a 1977 Chevrolet Suburban with a towing package culminating with my 24th birthday - a present for myself. I'm using it to tow my 1991 Subaru Legacy (Rally Car) to the rally courses.

I've been dating on and off, I'm currently seeing Becca who is a 23 year old woman from upstate NY. It won't last, but it will be fun in the short term. I am also courting a 21 year old beautiful submissive deviant in the plains of South Carolina, but she is in the midst of a rocky relationship and I'm putting no effort into it - just leaving the door open for her to step into my world.

I've spent gobs of money on my rally car, and it's running again after being completly stripped of all electrical and interior, rewired, and the engine computer replaced. I hope to be competing on an amateur level in 2010; and a professional level by 2012.

I found a job working for the defunct EDS now an HP Company as a UNIX Systems Administrator; it pays decent, but still underpaid due to my age factor. It allowed me to keep my car, my house and pay my bills.

 

I am still looking for a beautiful woman to spend my time with that really enjoys motorsports and can put up with my sarcastic, abrasive personality and still have gobs of fun. Unfortunately, being overweight works against me in this department, but I am happy with whom I am and I do not seek perfection in anyone - although it is welcomed.

I also have a lovely taste in music.

 

E2, my friend; Somewhere along the way I lost the patience for this and my tone changed. That's what I get for trying to be witty.

 

Till next time,

 

scuzzy

Maybe this should be a blog somewhere, but being that tomorrow is my birthday i wanna talk about the gifts I've received from the people i love and that love me no matter how screwed up I can be. In my mind these thoughts are relevant and I know in my heart they are shared by us all.

Mom (All of our mothers)
The gifts you have given me are countless. Strength to carry on when everything is lost, tenacity to keep plugging against the odds, courage to face the things that i thought i couldn't, compassion to love when i thought there wasn't any love left, love when i didn't deserve it, hope when i thought there wasn't any, trust when i couldn't even count on myself. You have been my light, my truth, my hope, my everything. You have given me all that and for that I thank you. You have given me the foundation to be a great mother, despite my faults, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Jessica (The older sister)
My beautiful sister. You have given me an edge on life. Thank you for your wit and perserverance and honesty even when being honest might not be the prettiest option but it is always the best option. For calling me out on my bullshit. For picking me up by my bootstraps when I couldn't do it for myself. You taught me how to be pretty, how to act gorgeous, how to love myself. Even when i was a funny looking gauky ass 8th grader that everyone made fun of. For sticking up for me, even when i didn't deserve it. You encouraged me to plug on and continue, your strength gave me the strength. For teaching me about "life's" philosophy, to opening my eyes to avenues of thought I never would've gone down but because I did I am a better person for it. That has been your gift to me, even when I didn't deserve it. Even when I threw it back in your face.

Craig (The "big" little brother)
For being a rock. You are the rock of our family. You know how every planet has a moon, well your kinda like the moon of your family planet. Always contributing more than anyone understands. You have given me a backbone. You pull me out of my hippie walk all over me attitude. you a are forgiving and lenient but strong and take no shit kinda guy. You've taught me how to have balls. But at the same time, you've also showed me what it means to take care of someone without expecting anything in return except for their well being. You exhibit selflessness every day, without even realizing it. I think in my mind that is the true definition of humility.

Andrew (The "baby" brother)
I don't even know where to begin with you. You have given me your gentleness and kindness of heart. Your ability to not be hateful, if that makes any sense? You get angry, but not in your heart. You have an old kind soul that is destined for great things, but you don't even know it. I guess your humility is something to be desired. Your lack of conceit and always thinking about the other person. Your wisdom beyond your years. Despite being older than you, you teach me lessons every time I have a heart to heart with you. You have a sense of honor that has been rubbing off on me since the day you were born.

John (The soul mate)
You have given me love. True love. You love me every second of every day despite what a reckless snot I can be some times. You have given me Ben. You pulled me out of a reckless path of disaster or even worse and replaced that with purpose and drive and commitment and everything I could have ever have asked for in a partner. I love you more than anyone could ever love someone. And that is what you have given me, the privilege to do that. Some say that it only happens once, and i never thought that it ever happened at all. But it does, and it happened to me. To us. Thank you. Thank you a hundred times over. Thank you forever.

Ben (The child)
You have given me....everything. If there were words to describe it, I would say it. But there aren't any, so I can do my best right now which I will but these words, they will never suffice. Beauty. You are the most beautiful creature I have ever layed eyes on. You make my heart swell. It beats faster when you call "Ma Ma, Ma Ma". You give me goosebumps. The joy that I feel when I look at you isn't anything I can even attempt to describe. What comes to mind is the feeling you have when it's been raining nonstop for months. Everyday you wake up its pouring and cloudy and dismal for days and weeks and months. But than all of a sudden it stops and the sky turns this perfect shade of blue, and the sun comes out and it starts to warm you and you look around and it is the most beautiful day you have ever seen, a day you've only seen in your dreams. That's what happens every time I look at you, all over again. You truly are my miracle.

Thanks for reading this. Gifts come in packages and boxes with bows on them, or in the shape of cards with a check in it but I'm starting to come around and see what a gift truly is and I have all these beautiful people in my life and it might as well be my birthday every day. Cause in all honesty right now I feel like it is...

Freedom Isn't Free, Pansies

 

Today, CNN reported on a man in Phoenix who carried an assault rifle to a town hall meeting protesting President Obama's health plan1. Can you fucking imagine anyone doing the same thing during a Bush rally? All throughout the Bush administation, people were harassed and arrested for wearing clothing critical to the president2,3,4. But people at town hall meetings carry weapons5, shout down reasonable people, and rip up Rosa Parks posters6 with impunity.

Openly carrying an assault weapon to a public venue is not about gun rights or freedom; it is an implied threat of violence. This is further evidence of the rule that conservatives will NEVER advocate for your right to anything, if they disagree with you. They will work toward a society that is less equitable and less free, and they will gladly do so with your money. They will continue to bully and to lie, and call Obama a socialist.

The things they are mad about - prayer being taken out of school, abortion rights, gay marriage - are things that offend their religious sensibilities but that don't have anything to to do with them. They will always advocate for less rights for those they disagree with. They are driven batshit crazy by the notion that there is room for opposing viewpoints. Meanwhile, soft, pansy liberals like myself are bending over backwards to make certain that their free speech rights aren't abridged, that we don't enter arguments with lies and half-truths, that we are ingenuous, that we don't quote statistics we know to be false just to muddy the water. Good luck getting the same thing out of these wingnuts.

As the blogger Atrios put it, "Nobody could've predicted that electing a black man president would drive this country completely fucking insane."7

Artman2003 sez: "I just read the whole daylog. Dude. They didn't let them in the building. They weren't in the venue. Trust me. Those guns weren't getting into the actual venue."

 

Sources:

1. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/17/obama.protest.rifle/#cnnSTCText

2. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20980625/ 3. http://www.sptimes.com/2002/11/03/TampaBay/7_protesters_arrested.shtml 4. http://www.progressive.org/mag_mc082007 

5. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/lieberman/detail??blogid=70&entry_id=45684

6. http://wonkette.com/410463/wingnut-grabs-black-ladys-rosa-parks-poster-rips-it-up 

7. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2009/08/deep-thought_11.html

 

Twenty years ago brilliant sunshine illuminated my mother's kitchen as I wondered where the rest of my family was. Historically I haven't gotten along with my mother. My dad was the parent I admired but she was there so I asked her where he was. I was sure I hadn't heard her correctly when she told me that my father had taken the rest of my siblings swimming. Unlike my mother who my father treated poorly I hadn't been left behind before. Two weekends ago I came home to an empty place. Work had been stressful that day but I was looking forward to spending an afternoon with the girls. It was almost nine o'clock at night when they informed me that there had been attending a party at my father-in-law's.

When people ask why I'm pursuing a legal separation it's events like being cut out of dinner and parties that I want to share. My body is separate from my mind when I interact with people I can't connect with. That's my coping mechanism, my oasis in the desert of rejection. As a woman I need love and emotional support. Living here seems like one of the hardest things I've gone through. Just like some of my characters struggle to find meaning in my life while mapping out a life plan I've made plans of my own. My future depends on what I do today therefore I hope, I plan, I write and I keep on dreaming because the only thing standing between me and where I want to be is time and perseverance.

What follows is the bulletin and my response to a band I befriended on meatspace.

---------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Hed PE - New World Orphans Instores Now!! (33617356)
To: (23741093)
Date: 8/17/2009 11:10:51 AM
Subject: IS COMMUNISM THE NEW "N" WORD!!!


subject: communism? really?

There are some people that are throwing around the words communism and socialism. Is this the new “N” word?

I want to feed the poor. I want to make sure everyone has proper healthcare, the same way other industrialized nations provide for their citizens. Does that make me a communist? Oh hell no!!

Absolutely not. Communism implies that the State/..Government owns EVERY means of production. EVERY industry. Get it right. Stop throwing around words that you have no true understanding of.

Mostly, I see that it is racist, selfish motherfuckers that are all worked up right now. Nigga in the Whitehouse!!! Run for the hills!!! hahahahaha!!!


Fuck Em.

2. Communism: a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-..perpetuating political party.

No self perpetuating political party. The Neocons/Nazis ran the country for 8 years; and on November 4, 2008, The People Took The Power Back.

Now its our turn. Our turn to right the wrongs.

Also, the State is not controlling your social activities, nor are they in control of all industries. This by definition IS NOT COMMUNISM.

We won this election fair and square. Don’t be a sore loser.

You had your chance. All you did was endorse useless wars and provide the Super Wealthy with even more wealth. Tax breaks for the rich indeed. Those days are OVER. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you are not fooling ME!!! I’m not jumping on this anti-Obama bandwagon. I use my heart and the power of my creative logic to see through this mess.

The internet/..conspiracy websites have locked you into limited thinking once again. As for me, my spirit soars!!!!

We won this election fair and square. Don’t be a sore loser. Loser.

Its so obvious that racist motherfuckers are losing their minds right now, and I love it!!!!

the world is changing and they cant take it. The rest of us are having a great time!!! Things are getting better everyday!!! So much better!!!

Believe and embrace the HOPE and LOVE that is flooding into the Earth at this time in our evolutions. 2012 is all about LOVE and HOPE. Embrace these vibrations or be left behind in the wake.

Have a beautiful, blessing filled week. Good luck with everything you do!!!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

END OF TRANSMISSION


---------------- Response to Bulletin Message -----------------

What if the new president is a half bred black cracker? It seems the focus is on this subject alone too much. I don't see how any of this is racist though (calling Obama a Commie). What about the health care debate that sparked all this bullshit, isn't it just a baby step towards an all powerful government in control of everything?

When we start giving up the power to run our own lives, we lose. I personally don't want some stupid mother fucker in Washington D.C. who lied to get there telling me what I can or can not do. And where do you get off telling people the last Administration was Nazi without proving yourself, because it would be easier to call some one a communist today in 2009 than it would to call someone a Nazi. You know, because the definition of Nazi is a socialist party ran by Adolf Hitler in the 1930's and 40's. Most Nazi's are dead or dying. Can you say ooops? Oh and Neocon means neoconservatism, which is kinda opposite of the socialism in the Nazi party.

Lets just face the music, a capitalistic society runs off the hidden communism, all the services we take for granted; sewage, highways, and even some areas of health care system are apart of ever growing web being cast. Once we start giving up control over those little things we are giving up our voice and the democracy dies a little more.

I have been watching Obama act more like a confused socialist than any other president. Let's start with him appealing to the working class. Or, a government controlled health care system all too familiar of the Former Soviet Union. I fully believe in a LIMITED government, and Obama is Not the answer. All I can say, what change? He has lied, back tracked on his word, and it's smoke and mirrors in the white house as usual.



---------------- And of Course, the Responses to my Response -----------------

2009.08.18 at 20:13 RedOmega says re August 18, 2009: Though the Nazi party was the "National Socialist" party, most of their actions lie on right side of the political spectrum rather than the left. Nazism is more closely linked with Fascism than communism or even socialism. What it was was a massively corporate state--kinda like a haywire military industrial complex. And I in gnereal do not agree with your idea of creeping communalization. If the majority of people want these things, haven't they made their democratic decision to give those powers to the government? The healthcare proposal in particular is intended to give insurance choices to the choiceless; I'm curious as to how that curtails freedom? For all my rhetoric though, I'm no fan of Obama. I just think that you're responding to firebranding with firebranding. I would be curious as to the reasons behind your positions.

2009.08.20 at 05:29 OldMiner says re August 18, 2009: I explicate my downvotes. The bulletin message as well as your response contain a fair amount of hate, tangents, half-truths, and a lack of factual discussion. I'm rather confused what makes Obama a "confused socialist", and, moreover, what would make him moreso than, say, FDR. But, regardless, this whole thing seems pie in the sky idealogy with a healthy side of bitter.


I expanded onto these ideas in my next daylog, but not really.

August 3, 2009 | August 22, 2009

I was running late for work this morning. Very late. As I arrived at the station I was reminded why I prefer to be in work for 8 a.m. rather than 9 a.m. The platform was thronging with people and it seemed unlikely that I would be able to get on the next train, let alone find a seat. Following a sleepless night and a queasy breakfast my journey into work was resembling more a test of endurance than its usual ten minutes checking emails and twenty minutes reading The Economist. There was an instant, I admit, when I contemplated turning on my heel, walking back to my flat, and cocooning myself in my duvet. But I didn't. I waited three minutes for the next train.

To my surprise, and doubtless that of every other person waiting, the next train that rolled in was half empty. I sat down, tried to ignore the unpleasant amalgamation of stale sweat and last night's alcohol emanating from the gentleman sitting next to me, deleted a writeup, and replied to my brother's email reminding me to book tickets for a concert in September. And then it went dark. Not the-sun-has-disappeared-behind-a-cloud dark, not my-eyes-must-adjust-to-being-in-the-tunnel dark, but we've-just-entered-a-tunnel-and-nobody-has-switched-on-the-lights dark.

Not one light was burning in the train.

No one groaned, no one sighed, no one muttered. There was no jostling, no fidgeting, no pushing. The train was in a state of perfect calm. A few people did attempt to read by the backlights of their mobile phones, or to illuminate the small area of the train where they were sitting or standing, but soon stopped. Maybe they sensed it was futile, or maybe they realised that there was a rare moment of peace to be enjoyed on the London Underground. Then, the only light came from the streaks thrust into the blackness by the occasional train passing in the opposite direction.

At Liverpool Street the driver was notified that he had forgotten to illuminate his carriages. The lights flickered on, ushering us back into our over-crowded, overheated, over-irritated normality. But those of us who had enjoyed the darkness retained a precious filament of tranquility. It didn't matter that I was late, or that I was tired, or that I dislike the new office; I'd experienced something unusual and my day was brighter for the black.

Today is my last night in Virginia. I've only been here for a week, but I feel like I will return to New York an entirely different person. I've been staying with my boyfriend Josh, his dad, his stepmom, and their two children: boys ages six and ten. It's a nice old farm house in the middle of nowhere and I've loved my stay. I've learned so many things that I will attempt to list some of the more interesting ones.

  • Planes are terrifying. I had never been on a plane prior to last Wednesday. I am glad that I was making the trip with someone I trust deeply or I would be a wreck. The first plane, from our small local airport to New York City, was a breeze. We barely ever got off the ground, and I absolutely loved it. Between the smooth flight and the beautiful patchwork-quilt view just like they show in the movies, I got off the plane considering signing up for NASA. Then, after a slight mishap in which we missed the plane we were supposed to catch, we got on another plane. THIS plane was an entirely different story. We flew much higher than before. I spent the first fifteen minutes convinced I was going to vomit, so I leaned back and closed my eyes and tried to focus on my music. The next time I opened my eyes, I realized that my mouth was hanging open; that Josh had reached over me to cover the window; and that we were about to land. I am not looking forward to the return trip.
  • It doesn't matter what my hair looks like. I just took a shower and I am not planning on doing anything with my hair and it is very freeing. Tomorrow I will most likely have a huge unruly afro.
  • Organic food is actually really, really good. Josh's stepmom makes or grows what she can (yogurt, bread, vegetables, salsa, jam, cheese) and buys almost everything else from people that live in the area. The only store-bought thing I had there was Falafel Chips (I recommend them) and white flour in the pizza Josh made for us. I am not looking forward to returning to TV dinners and frozen ham.
  • Josh is a keeper. I am not planning on having children (ever), but watching Josh play with his little brothers (and discipline them for that matter) made me realize that he has the potential to be a great father. If it comes to it, I might oblige him in such an endeavor. Of course, I'd be the one that had to push them out, so it's still up in the air. Also, after spending a week straight with him, I am still not sick of him. The only time I wanted to punch him was today when he was telling stupid jokes for the express purpose of making me want to punch him. Other than that, I believe that as far as teenage relationships go, that's a mark of a good one. 
  • The only way to make money gambling is to own a Casino.
  • I am much more self-sufficient than I ever believed I was. Our afore-mentioned airport disaster (which will remain merely mentioned) was enough to make me believe that I can, in fact, deal with the unpredictable.
  • I love the country. I love the quiet, I love the animals, I love the food, I love the people. I hate the thirty-minute car rides to get anywhere interesting. But other than that, I love the country.
  • Men have a complex about being able to whoop their daddies in a fight. Despite being my tomboyish self, this is not something I understand.
  • The smell of my daddy's cigarettes is a comfort-smell. He smokes three packs a day, and he and everything he touches reeks of tobacco. For some really strange reason, I miss that. When the family and I went out to eat and someone at the restaurant smelled like cigarettes and I sat as close to him as possible. I never thought that that would be what I would miss most about home.
  • I was an absolute terror to my parents. Seeing the behavior of children from the perspective of someone older who hasn't ever dealt closely with small children, it was really enlightening. I felt like I was at a middle point, where I could sympathize with both the kids and the parents. I am going to apologize to my mother when I get home for being so strong-willed.
  • I will survive when I go off to college. I will not get terminally homesick, especially if I am . This is majorly comforting.

The only interesting thing about today was that I rode my bike into town to buy some gum (typically the only means of transportation available to me).

For some reason I couldn't resist chewing on things the whole day. I just had to, it was like restless mouth syndrome or something, I knew if I could just get some gum it'd be a whole lot better but I kept putting it off. I wasn't even entirely aware of it but I kept chewing on items within reach, sometimes a pen but mostly a little dime bag (that actually has a coin in it). When it started to fall apart and was in general disgusting I decided enough was enough.

I kept putting it off because it was hot out and humid as well as the round trip takes an entire hour, which is a bit much for a pack of gum. Along the way (most of my route is along a bike path) there were a score of girls from the high school jogging along and several small groups of people standing along the side of the trail. I've no clue what they were doing but they made me feel lazy cruising along on my bike.

I wish there were some kind of point to this whole story but it just kind of ends with 'and then I got home'. That's kind of how real life is, most of the time it doesn't have much point to it and doesn't really make for a good story.

August, 2009

The library's lobby was as chillingly air-conditioned as most buildings in Florida, but it barely cooled me off. Odd, since I'm the sort of person who gets cold when the temperature dips below seventy-four degrees, but perhaps not surprising, as I'd been having hot flashes during the entire drive over. In retrospect, I should have recognized this as a bad sign. At the time, though, I simply chalked it up to a case of nerves. Everyone gets nervous when they start a new job, I reasoned, and today was my first day at the library. No one feels comfortable dealing with newness.

Still, my nerves seemed a little suspicious. I hadn't felt anxious about starting my new job before – I'd had a nearly identical position at the previous library I worked at, so I knew what to expect. I had decided that it was most likely the idea of meeting people and being in an unfamiliar environment that was making me anxious when the first wave of nausea hit me, hard, and I made a beeline for the fortunately close public restrooms. I raced into a stall and tossed my handbag onto the ground, not even bothering to hang it from the hook on the back of the stall door. I made it just in time; throwing up my partially-digested breakfast did not seem like the best first impression to make in front of my new colleagues and supervisor.

I felt a little better after sitting on the cold, hard tile floor for a few minutes. After rinsing my mouth out at the sink, I looked myself over in the mirror. Was I sick? Should I leave? How could I possibly call in sick before I'd even started working at this place? I decided that I needed to pull myself together and just get through my first day. I would look like a complete flake otherwise. Somehow, I managed to suppress the uneasiness I felt and find my new supervisor.

Despite the fact that I was still queasy, I noted that he was completely nondescript apart from his thick, caterpillar-esque eyebrows. As we toured the library, I had to force myself to stop seeing images of fuzzy insects creeping across his forehead. I tried to keep a serious, thoughtful expression on my face as he outlined what I would be working on. When the tour was over, he left me alone to complete my first task, and I wasn't even thinking about the strange incident from earlier in the day. The calm before the storm is always so deceptive.

The job that Eyebrows had given me to do was simple enough. All I had to do was go through the section which contained the new books and ensure that they looked presentable. It was something I could have done blindfolded at the first library I worked at, where day after day, I shelved books and made sure they looked neat and orderly. But strangely enough, I was having a little bit of trouble. The room seemed to be swaying a little, and I thought the air conditioning must be malfunctioning, because I suddenly felt stiflingly hot. Things started to seem a little hazy. Although I didn't know it yet, the worst was about to hit me.

The tiny job to which I had been assigned quickly went from doable to impossible. It sounded like my heart was beating inside my eardrums. A razor-sharp tightness had formed in my chest, and I was nearly gasping for air. In the midst of the incoherent jumble of thoughts that were lurching around my brain, I wondered, what the hell is happening to me? Was I dying? I had never experienced such an onslaught of fear in my life. The combination of the dreadful sensations finally overpowered me and I collapsed in front of several copies of the latest James Patterson release. Eyebrows must have seen all this, for he came rushing over.

“Mary! What's wrong? Are you all right? Do you need me to call an ambulance?”

I couldn't believe this was happening. And the fact that I didn't even know what “this” was made the situation even more terrifying. My brain was racing, mentally processing the dozens of episodes of House, M.D. I'd watched. Obviously, I had some sort of rare neurological condition that decided to present itself on my first day at my new job.

N-n-n-o, I d-d-d-on't n-need an a-a-mbulance,” I managed to stutter. I had never stuttered before in my life, but my teeth were chattering and my body was trembling so badly by this point that the fact that I got any words out at all was an accomplishment. The violent storm that had just raged through my body had abated as suddenly as it had began, and all I could do now was try not to faint.

Eyebrows looked skeptical and a little harried. He's probably regretting hiring me, I thought. I hadn't even been officially working there for an hour and yet here I was, splayed out on the floor in the midst of an aisle, shuddering uncontrollably and sweating like a criminal about to be apprehended by the police. It's not as though causing a huge public scene was something I'd never done before, but usually I had done it intentionally. Whatever was happening to me seemed entirely out of my grasp.

Let's get you to the break room,” he offered kindly.

He escorted me through the book sorting room and the back offices to the empty break room, where I sat down in one of the modern-looking plastic chairs. I was no longer shaking, and the flushed, overheated feeling began to recede. Exhaustion set in. My bizarre little episode had depleted me of any energy I had, and I felt like I needed a hundred-year nap. I looked at my supervisor forlornly.

“I think I probably need to go home,” I said weakly. He nodded in agreement.

I gathered my things and gingerly walked towards the hallway that led to the parking lot, aware that several members of the staff were watching me with interest. I suppose they were wondering why the new girl was leaving early on her first day. I didn't blame them. I felt ridiculous going home sick on my first day of work.

Once I got in my car, I closed my eyes and sighed. Goddamnit, I thought miserably. I had just about made an utter fool of myself in front of the people I was going to spend nearly every day with. What a great first impression. Sitting in the car, I realized that besides some residual tiredness, I now felt fine, though minutes before, I was sure I was about to exit this mortal plane. It baffled me. I didn't know what to do, so I just sat there in my car, stupefied, thinking, What just happened?

Though it took several months and doctors to determine that what had occurred was actually a panic attack, I didn't understand what had really happened until much later. My life as a semi-normal person had ended. Sometimes storms cause minimal damage that can be repaired, and some cause destruction so extensive that recovery is not possible.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.