Jimmie’s No Good Very Bad Day

One of my former roommates left a really nice drill at my house when she moved to New Orleans after she heard “God” tell her she was supposed to move there. She was in a voodoo house when it happened, so I doubt seriously the booming voice on the other end of that command was our Lord and Savior, but I got a drill out of it.  There was no battery mind you, so it sat in my tool basket for years making it appear that I had some handyperson skills. I really don’t as you should have guessed ever since I told you I kept my tools in a basket.  It’s nice, in my defense.  Has a linen liner, a pretty bow, and sits on the high shelf in my laundry room.

Somewhere along the years I acquired a battery for that drill, some drill bits too, and not really any knowledge of how it worked nor the strength to cram a screw into a place it didn’t want to go. I persevered and did install, mostly by myself, some blinds.  I used holes that already existed and stripped a screw or two, but I got most of the blinds in my house changed from the wrong color to the right one.  The front living room window was the lone exception but just last week I made the purchase of the correct blinds. I removed the wrong blinds, screwed everything into place, and discovered that the blinds didn’t fit within the parameters of the brackets.  I measured everything.  All of it.  More than once, yet the blinds were too long for the brackets that I had placed in the exact same spot and of which were the exact same measurements.

Already I was fired up but already I wanted to persevere. I removed the right bracket, scooted it over a half inch, and then somehow stripped all the plaster from the corner where the blinds were supposed to attach.  Chunks of drywall and mud fell off in swaths leaving me not a single inch of space into which I could drill my screw.  That sounds so mechanical, like it’s just a problem I needed to figure out, but I had already broken the lid of my toilet back by simply removing the towel bar, and broken my ceiling fan by simply cleaning the ceiling with one of those long caterpillars on a stick.

I snapped. I screamed over and over and over and considered drilling holes all over my walls with my drill that had just seriously pissed me off, to show the wall what for, I guess, and to let every man in the world know that I hated them all.  Every man who ever lied to me, dumped me, left me, promised me something which he did not deliver – my father, Pee-Tah, two very specific ex-lovers, my ex-husband who was a dirtbag in his own right, all roommates who ever tracked a single grain of mud onto my already junk carpet, every man at work who ever left a coffee mug in the sink expecting someone else to wash it, my adorable and kind brother-in-law who has never done anything wrong, every man who talked to my boobs and not to my eyes, my current roomie who offered to help with the blinds but then got on the phone for three hours.  The cowboy who offered to sleep with me because his wife got “fat” and “boring.”  All of them.  I hated them all, and I’ll be honest, the feeling is still there deep inside of my diaphragm and probably in my liver as well.  I suspect this because I had some tests a couple of years ago that indicated my liver enzymes were a bit off.

Right after that happened I had to go to the ER, the dentist, and make an appointment to get my breasts squashed between two plates – a test which surely a man designed – and at all three places I had to indicate that I was SINGLE. “What is your marital status?” they’d ask, and I’d answer, “Why is that relevant to this conversation, what possible place does that have in your questionnaire about my medical history, is that really even any of your business you miserable married cow?”

That is barely an exaggeration.

Sigh.

I think it is obvious to both you and me that I am carrying around some deep-rooted hurt.  I rock along and think I’m fine but when something goes awry, that ugly hurt head rears itself from my guts and roars at me, reminding me that I have not yet been able to count on any man to keep a promise or stick around or be there when I need him to screw in a motherfucking screw because my arms are noodles despite all the efforts I have made to make them steel ropes instead.  No, I am not always the paragon of rationality and grace that you have come to expect from me.

Look, I know I am not alone in this. I don’t carry the patent on it. Every person in the world has carried, does carry, or will carry a deep hurt.  Not one of us escapes it.  Sometimes I see people around me, my friends or my family, hurting in terrible ways and it breaks my heart.  Sometimes I am that person hurting in terrible ways and it breaks my spirit which is the only thing left because my heart is a mess. Sometimes I marvel at people who have experienced that deep hurt and recovered, stronger for it, or been broken by it in poignant and beautiful ways.

Often I look at my own hurt with critical eyes and try to find a path around it, to get to the beautiful and the strong. More often I take what I’ve learned over the years about making it stop, stuffing it down to fester and curdle, and just let that ride until I break the plaster in my windows and it all comes rolling out in venom and spit and fury.  I’m Harry Burns who famously and endearingly said, “. . . .when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” Except when I hurt I want the hurt to stop as soon as possible so instead of figuring it out, I shove it away so that I can, apparently, revisit it for years to come.

I’m not sure that is the best answer for me anymore. I want to be one of those people who have fully recovered, to look back and see how it made me tougher and stronger because I excised the demon, but who also looks ahead and sees a life full of possibilities of me as a beautiful, strong person.  An instrument of peace.  It looks like relief. I don’t know how to do that just yet.  If I figure it out, I’ll report back.  I’ll need some years to grow, still.  I don’t think livers heal that fast.

My current roommate did make it home early the next night to help me with the blinds. He assessed the situation (me and the window) and in less than three minutes had the bracket in place and the new blinds installed.  Then he went to his room and called his girlfriend to talk for three hours on the phone which was the exact right thing to do.

It’s Good Friday. Easter is around the corner.  My brokenness is nothing in comparison to the brokenness Jesus experienced on that ugly, beautiful day.  May I remember that and the glorious hope that is soon to come.  It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anne Shaver
    Apr 20, 2019 @ 13:09:49

    I’m glad your bad day ended well. May your life do likewise.❤️

    Reply

  2. Felix
    Apr 22, 2019 @ 08:33:21

    I second Anne’s wishes for you, Jimmie! You are a kind soul, always giving to others and should definitely reap what you sow. Miss you!

    Reply

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