Like a Bergman (almost), Ammo Grrrll offers SCENES FROM A MEDITATION ON MARRIAGE (A mostly-true Spoof and a Parody wrapped in a Satire, some parts made up!). She writes:
If you ever had the notion to apply to run an NIH grant experiment in which two cranky, eccentric, married Geezer-American writers were trapped for weeks on end in a 2400 square foot house located in a desert where the morning “low” is 93 — save the paperwork! The results are IN! And they aren’t pretty.
Perhaps it would have gone better had ONE of the two Geezers not been what could be called “high-strung.” Another term might be “lunatic,” but that is just so darn “judgey”. “High-strung” or even “neuro-divergent” is considered less hurtful and less likely to get you arrested in Canada. Okay, Spoiler Alert: to paraphrase Louis the XIV, la lunatique, c’est moi.
I have no idea why – perhaps because I was evicted untimely from the womb after barely six months to relax — but I was born with a low tolerance for noise and an inordinate capacity for hysterics. Luckily, the hysterics include both the laughing kind and also the less popular shrieking kind.
Lord knows, I have tried to work on it over the years and sometimes it almost seems to have succeeded. And then, like many addicts, criminals, and other unfortunates in the grip of something beyond their control, I will relapse. No One Year Lunacy Sobriety Pin for me!
I do not apologize for the laughing hysterics. Quite often, I and my long-time husband, the famous novelist Max Cossack, can start out laughing at something – a memory, a line from a favorite standup, a well-placed quip – and by the end, we are laughing more at our laughing than at the original source of amusement! Happy times! Back when I was running the Open Stage at the Dudley Riggs Theatre in Minneapolis, the new comics would beg me to be in the audience to “lead” the audience with my laughter, for I am a one-woman laugh track.
The OTHER kind of hysterics is somewhat less fun to be around, but Max has trained himself to just go to His Happy Place – Tucson — and wait till the storm passes. No, really, he just psychologically rolls with it, Bless his heart. Thank God I can cook.
Nowadays, instead of my being forced to feel like an immature jerk, “Society,” especially in institutions of higher learning, tells me that I am, like, totally entitled to freak-outs because I am special, oppressed, sensitive, and triggered. All of which is never MY problem, but often becomes someone else’s with alacrity.
Let me state my case for my recent meltdown and see if reactions break down by gender.
Okay, to circle back just a bit, last Spring my blood pressure went on a little stroke-level romp into the stratosphere. No need to cite actual numbers except to mention that the Systolic one, if converted to Fahrenheit, could boil water. There had been a lot of stress in my life and I also was tired of the dizziness and fatigue from my meds and decided kind of willy-nilly to cut them in half. This turned out to be less of a zany madcap idea and more of a really bad decision, so now I am on some entirely different meds and my numbers are back in the normal range.
Luckily, I still have the dizziness and fatigue, plus the four page single-spaced warning sheets tell me the pills “may” cause my cholesterol and blood sugar to be elevated. Oh, well. Embrace the “may”! It doesn’t say “will.” I also did a lot of research in such authoritative journals as Women’s World and The Internet and am working on diet, exercise, and stress-reduction. And here is where our story gets relevant to the topic at hand.
Although I have done Yoga pretty consistently throughout my life, I have always been really terrible at meditating. They call that a “monkey mind” and my mind swings from bars one-handed and chatters incessantly. But I have been trying to give meditation a go again.
So I put on a very relaxing, virtually soporific YouTube video of birds and flowers with accompanying repetitive violin or piano music. I pay attention to my breathing as instructed. I do a mantra in which I slowly repeat: “I am healthy and calm at all times and this music is in no way annoying.” My eyes are closed and I am at peace.
Then Max clomped into the kitchen behind me, to fill what was obviously a five-gallon pail with ice. CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG etc. went the ice into what he later claimed was just a tall glass and not a bucket. I changed my mantra to “This does not disturb me as I am impervious to distraction. I am calm and healthy and a big girl who does not freak out over nothing.” Surely, he will now take his stock tank of water back to his office…but no. Guess what he got next and took to the table a few feet behind where I was meditating?
Did you say a brand new bag of Cheetos? If so, give yourself a prize. First it took him a long time to open the bag in the manner of a frustrated raccoon which had lost one paw in a dreadful accident. His efforts involved a lot of CRINKLING, but at some point he evidently succeeded.
I thought perhaps he would take a nice handful and put it on a paper plate and then the CRINKLING would mercifully end. But no, again. He kept reaching into the bag, which had a CRINKLE amplifier inside of it for one Cheeto at a time. CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE CRINKLE went the bag. I changed my mantra to “I love my husband. I am not bothered by clanking or crinkling because my mind is like a cool, motionless pond, like a @#$&**((& ARRRRRGGGGGHHH!
And then I did something that some people would call “inappropriate.” I shot him. Well, I was aiming just for the Cheetos bag but I haven’t been to the range in quite a while and I am not the crack shot I used to be. Who knew that a Cheetos bag could not stop a .45 personal defense hollow-point round? It went through the bag, the microwave, the wall, and next door into the Paranoid Texan’s kitchen cabinets, destroying a set of collectible ceramic Santas. It just barely grazed Max’s left arm which he hardly even uses, but which he found upsetting for some reason.
What a baby!
So now I am in a very quiet place I think they call “solitary confinement.” Which feels amazingly peaceful, or maybe it’s just the Thorazine. I used my one phone call to call Scott and get him this column. I have never missed a week in 10 years and didn’t want to ruin my spotless record.
I have read that people can go insane in solitary, but it’s been well over an hour and I am still fine. My attorney, “Tough-As-Nails, but Pretty As A Picture” Kathy (Mrs. TonyP173) is representing me and we are pleading down to “accidental discharge of a firearm within the city limits.” She is sneaking in a codicil in 6- point type that forgives all my past and future wrongdoing as well as my Visa balance and my nephew’s student loan. And Yom Kippur is coming soon when Max is obligated to forgive me if I ask nice and buy a new microwave.
The PT said he doesn’t care about the Santas, which he hated in any event, but he would like a new set of bespoke Duluth Trading Company underwear and Levi shorts. Fair enough. He believes he can probably salvage the socks. Oh, he also suggests FMJ rounds are better than hollow points for Cheetos bags.