Mom and I Both Think “Peanut”

So, my mom called just now to hear all the details of my trip to the park, which I have now recited for my dad, my mom, the Professor, and Pith, and gone over in my head eight hundred times. It shook me. I remain shaken. Is it stupid for me to go to parks alone? But do I want to live my life having to always have some other person with me at all times? I’ve been going to parks every weekend for a year and a half and this is the first trouble like this I’ve had. And what if I’d been with the Butcher? Would that dude just have tried the jogger? And how is that a better outcome? He never even touched me and he got in his truck and left. Say I’d been with the Butcher and he just waited for us to leave and got out of his truck after and gone into the park with the jogger? That could have been much worse than what actually happened.

I guess it’s just been a long time since I’ve been face to face with someone I know would hurt me if he had a chance. And I’m still not sure what it is about my behavior, if anything, that changed his mood from reaching for me and asking me to go for a walk with him to him getting back in his truck and driving off. As I was telling the Professor, the only reason I even noticed him sitting in his truck in the first place is that I try to be vigilant about paying attention to who else is in the parks I’m in, not for my own safety (perhaps stupidly), but because I know people are fearful of my dog and I want to be sure that I have time and space to let them by, especially if they also have dogs. If I hadn’t had the dog with me, I might have not noticed him until… I don’t know. I don’t often pay attention to who’s getting out of their vehicles when I’m trying to get in mine.

Really, until I was sitting in my car, just muttering “Jesus Christ,” I didn’t even really register what was going on. I was just thinking mostly about where his dog was. I don’t think he actually had a dog. And then, when I saw him reach for me, over top of my dog, when I understood that he had no fear of her, that’s when I got scared. But I couldn’t think to do anything. I mean, that’s the other part that bothers me. I just went about my getting in the car like a total unafraid badass, but I wasn’t in control of myself really. I was just determined that I was going to get in my car and that’s what happened. I don’t really know how.

Ugh, anyway, apparently I’m still going to tell this story and still feel freaked the fuck out and still worry I’m over-reacting and then still feel like “What? You should have let him take your arm and guide you back into the park?!” Which, of course, is fucking ridiculous.

But, after I told the woman at the community center and told the jogger what had happened, I sat in my car a second and thought, fuck, why don’t I have a word I could say that would make the dog attack? Like ‘peanut’ or something.

And when I told my mom all this, she said, it’s too bad you don’t have a word you could say that would cue the dog to attack. Like ‘peanut’ or something.

Next Week Should Be Gorgeous

I went to Coleman park this morning for my park review and it was not good. A dude… I don’t even know… he tried to force me to go for a walk with him. He wasn’t the least bit afraid of the dog. At all. Not even nervous. I don’t even know what happened to switch me from a likely target to him getting freaked out and getting in his truck and driving off. Fucking fuckers in this world.

But anyway, things in my yard are about to start blooming in earnest.

Shouldn’t I Have It? Shouldn’t I Have All of This and Passionate Kisses?

I have never been an overly ambitious person, so to hit my thirties and discover that there’s just some shit I must do has been a little jarring for me. I do believe the message my parents were trying to teach us when we were growing up is that God will provide whatever it is you need and wanting earthly things misses the point; focus on Godly things.

I think the message we all got was something like “don’t want things and you won’t be disappointed when you don’t get them.”

But, so, here I am, wanting some things, which is weird, but I’m trying to be cool about it. Ha ha ha ha ha. No, seriously, this is me trying to be cool about it. Imagine what it would be like if I were to just give into it.

But I still get sidetracked by “MIINNEEE!” at weird times. Like I saw this morning that Jack White is our first inaugural Music City Ambassador and I was like “Fuck Jack White! I should be a Music City Ambassador.” People. I am not even a musician. But I was all “I’d better be our second inaugural Music City Ambassador or heads are going to roll! God damn it, I will redefine inaugural to make this shit happen!!!”

This is not going to cut it. I’m all for striving and wanting things, but I’m not all for losing all common sense, which appears to be my case at the moment.

Still, it’s odd. And speaking of thoughts that go nowhere good, I wonder, too, how much of it is just finally getting a doctor (or team of doctors) who could fucking help me, you know? My chemical stew was one way that was not good for me and now is another way, which is. Would it have made a difference if all my cells were stewing in this chemical bath back in grad school? In college?

You see what I mean? No good can come of that. I’ve been thinking a lot about my uncle’s willingness to believe that my cousin’s kid has a tumor to send a message to my cousin. And the truth is that I understand that impulse–that people, even I, want to believe that things happen for a reason. Like I’m sitting here wondering if there’s some reason, some purpose, to trying to do these things–like write a book and get it published–that I’ve always wanted to do, my whole life–now instead of in my 20s. Hormones? Mid-life crisis? The gods sending me a message?

But the truth is, and I believe this is the whole truth, some shit just happens. Good and bad. We don’t have as much control over things as we’ve gone to elaborate lengths to make seem like we have. There is no message in most things. Some get lucky, some do not.

Which is not to say that I don’t believe in messages. Shoot, I’m as superstitious as fuck.

I don’t know. I guess what I’m saying is that I recognize my uncle’s impulses in myself–that impulse to put things in order, to understand that there’s a way you do things and, if you do things that way, good things will happen and if you don’t, bad things of course come to you. And he’s kind of trapped by that, in ways I think he sometimes sees. My uncle is like my dad in this regard. They can be viciously mean, but it is almost never, if ever, about the people they are being mean towards. They are almost always reacting to feeling vulnerable in some way by making it so you can’t hurt them (which is not to excuse them, but just to point out how it works).

But, like I said, I feel this tendency in myself and I don’t want to be trapped in it like they are.

But I also want to want things and to figure out how to get them. So… yeah, it’s tricky.