It gets a little deep at the end, so up front: Here are pictures!
Dawg and I got up Saturday morning to make the trip. Of course we’d packed nothing whatsoever the night before, so we packed all we had to pack then loaded up my car and headed to the gas station then to 7-11 for snacks.
We drove and drove and drove and then we saw three Cracker Barrels in a row and waved to them and thought, “well, it’s too early to eat, we’ll wait until the next one” then 46 miles later we realized that we were in VT and there would be no more. We tried a Bickford’s but it was closed so we settled on a Circle K stop in Springfield, VT where we got Subway sandwiches.
We finally arrived to Break Boy and Knitting Girl’s home and I promptly got the car stuck in their driveway. I iz uh geenyus. We unloaded all of our stuff and then we nested. Or, whatever it is when it’s negative degrees outside and you just stay inside and snuggle with your friends’ children and eat yummy tofu wraps and laugh a lot.
The next day we got up and had breakfast then we got the car shoved out of the spot it was in and went to my brother’s home. He has Legos! And Star Wars! And my niece! And Kung Fu Panda! My brother wondered what I would say about him here. I love my brother to tiny little pieces, reconstituted back into his whole self, and then tinied again. What would I say here? I am so glad he and Dawg get along famously. I am so glad they can so easily talk to each other about any subject. I am so glad two people I care about that much don’t hate each other. And my brother gives the awesomest Christmas presents:
I gave him one roll of Booberry fruit roll-up and a box of Frankenstein fruit roll-up. Oh, and a long time ago I sent him a mash-up poster of photos from his birthday party this past summer. I guess that counts as something.
And then we went with Sonja and Lucian (I’ve known them since preschool!!!!, *cough*) to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Remember when Kate Beckinsale is told in the second Underworld movie that her dad killed her family, not the Lycans? Yah, I don’t think we needed a whole movie about it, but that’s what we got. As we well know, even premiere weekends of movies in Vermont are dead, dead, deadski, so there were perhaps 20 more people in the theater besides us. And, for whatever reason, during the previews the sound was turned down. During the movie the sound was still turned down. I went out and mentioned it. Five minutes later another person went out and mentioned it. Apparently the person in control of the sound was being an asshat and turned it up so high that every S-sound out of the mouths of the characters stung our ears. Sooo, I went back out and said, “a few of us complained that the sound was too low. Now it’s too high and is hurting our ears. Somewhere in the middle would be perfect, thanks” then walked away. A minute later the volume was as it should have been. Yup, there’s New Yorker in me. Anyway, back to the movie: meh. But I did spend the entire movie wondering if Kevin Grevioux also did the voice of the evil overlord in 300 but he did not.
We then went to visit my dad and stepmom. We had a grand old time getting to their home with no four-wheel drive or snow tires during a surprise white-out blizzard (gaaah) and then when we got there they were very happy to see us!!!!, but then my stepmom dropped the bomb questions to which I had to just answer “we have no current plans” because what the hell else are you supposed to say when your stepmom point blank says “they don’t count” when you point out that she’s already a grandmother by my brother and that I have three furry children.
When we got back to home base Knitting Girl was reknitting a hat for the third time, but this time she was making that hat into mittens. She had built a fire and it felt so toasty warm so I was ready for bed 10 minutes after getting home.
In the morning we packed up the car then went to get Dawg a coffee and gas for the car then we went to the grocery store to buy maple bacon, among other things. Then I got a soda from McDonald’s to prepare for what came next…
We went to my old place of employment and had a very surreal time. We found Break Boy’s office open but no one in his seat, in fact no one in their seats in his entire group. And then we went downstairs to see if da Bomb or PiC were down there, which they weren’t but I knew what that meant. And then we went to the cafe and Dawg got chewed out for stealing me away. And then we went to the location where da Bomb was, who I was looking very much forward to seeing and catching up with, but who happened to be there but the one client I could have gone the rest of my life without seeing. It was, apparently, my fault that when I left 6 months ago I didn’t force my employer to make a plan for my replacement and carry through with it so that’s why 6 months later he ironically had just lost all the data on his computer because he couldn’t be bothered to back up his own data which is the very last thing I showed him how to do. Guess what, asshat? I wasn’t there for you today. I was there to see my friends, my family, people who love and care about me. You need to grow the fuck up, shut up, own up, take responsibility for your own actions, and if you ever speak to me again it better be something about how I am and how my life is and gee isn’t it pretty outside even though it’s cold. Or else I’m dragging your ass to neutral ground and I’m kicking it. Fucker. And then we tried to go see PiC but he was very ill so was in hiding blowing his nose with tree splinters and then we tried 4 times to park at my old building so that I could visit the woman who gave me Georgie, but parking at my employer sucks urinal cakes so that never worked out. And then we went to see my brother to give him the key I’d forgotten to bring with me the day before.
And then we went to a convenience store at which Dawg had a very horrible conversation with a nasty woman who insulted and assaulted him verbally, but then gave him as much change back as was the total of his purchases because Vermont Barbie says: “Math Is hard!”
And then we finally went to Cracker Barrel!!!! I really love their country lotta meat salad with blue cheese dressing. Yummy… But I didn’t care for their bathroom. It forced me to touch everything in it and there was bluegrass music playing that I knew but it sounded like someone recorded stomping their foot to the beat over it and it was very unsettling while I tried to pee. I mean, c’mon, I’m not in the bathroom to listen to someone stomp through the ceiling. But I had a good dinner.
And then we went and got Chinese food (Happy New Year!) and 7-11 soda and went home.
When I got home I cried because it is hard to build a new life for yourself. It is hard to start over at 34. It is hard to realize that all you built where you grew up has to be rebuilt by you and you alone in a much more concentrated amount of time than 34 years. It’s hard to not worry that showing your vulnerability won’t backfire on you. It’s hard to feel worthy of this new life. It’s hard to think you are worth the trouble, especially after being told for so many years in the past that your worth and the amount of trouble you caused were polarly opposite in the very wrong directions. It’s not insurmountable to get past these thoughts and make a new life, but sometimes it pushes me over my edge and tears are necessary. And Dawg is always there to hug me and be there for me and cuddle me and tell me he loves me. And I should be there for me too. So I will be.