Slurpee & Taquitos to go

I stopped at 7-11 on my way home tonight, to buy myself a cocktail in a can, as I do sometimes. As I walked out the door I was approached by a young woman.

“Excuse me. . . could you buy me something to eat?” she asked, as she rubbed her belly, presumably so I would notice that she was pregnant. “I don’t want any money, I’m just really hungry.” As a city dweller of 35 years my instinct is to be hard and my antennae go up. Am I being set up for a pickpocketing or a purse-snatching? Is she really pregnant? Thoughts and possible courses of action race through my head in a millisecond, then I say, “Sure.”

“Thank you so much. My baby is so mad at me right now.” My head is reeling at this, the idea of being pregnant and being so alone that you have to ask strangers for food. I know this happens every day, but it’s nothing I will ever get used to.

We go back into the store and I ask her what she wants, heading toward the deli case, thinking probably a sandwich or something, but she heads toward the hot food display and my first thought is “Oh god she wants a pizza.” (like honestly would I have said no if she wanted a pizza? Of course not.) But she asked, “Could I get some taquitos?”

“Sure, of course.” They’re 3 for $3 & something, not much. She asks for four. While they’re bagging them up she asks if she can get a drink. Again I ask, “What do you want?” I’m not sure why I needed to ask, I should have just said go head, get you want you want. “Can I get a Slurpee?” I think for a second, and then say, “Sure.” Because what was I going to say? “You’re pregnant, you shouldn’t be eating this garbage?” My middle-class judgy-ness was rearing up inside me. As though I had any business telling her what to eat or not eat, like she lived in a world where that was a choice she could make.

She told me that she’d been waiting two hours for a friend to pick her up and they hadn’t shown up and she hated having to “be all hobo” and ask for food from strangers. I told her it was no problem, and felt like a giant piece of shit for holding two states of thought in my head at the same time: “I’m a sucker, I’m being played” and “Why is anyone’s life like this?” As though one can be “played” for $6 worth of junk food. I told myself to get the fuck over. I’ve wasted more money on that on stupider things just this week.

She thanked me again after we left the store, and asked me where the nearest Blue Line stop was, so I told her, and then I crossed the street and finished my journey home. Now I’m sitting here drinking my cocktail in a can and hoping she got home (or wherever she was going) okay,

I also realize that you can do a (hopefully) nice thing for someone and still feel like garbage, apparently. It’s not enough, I don’t do enough, I should have done something else for her.



Slurpee & Taquitos to go

anxiety dump.

Time drags so slowly when there’s not much happening at work. (Of course now that I’ve said this, some work-related flaming disaster will rain down on me and I’ll beg for the boredom again.)

But for now, it drags, and there’s a few things I can do: I can go down a Twitter rabbit hole, marinating in election nonsense, finding things to get mad about and despair about (which takes no time at all, let’s be real). I could go into my Flickr account and do some organization. I could go through my inbox and start deleting. (Honestly, are you EVER going to read that article from the NYT from four months ago? Probably not.)  I could go down to the mini mart and get a bag of snack foods and eat my anxiety. (I literally sat here watching the clock from about 12:30 until 1:00 pm when I allowed myself my mid-afternoon snack of a KIND bar. I could’ve eaten it at 12:30 when I first thought about it but then I’d have to make it until 3:00, when I let myself eat lunch. This is my demented relationship with food. (I work from 11:00 am until 7:30 pm, so my food schedule is a little off from the norm.)

Emotional eating has been my primary coping skill for as long as I can remember, and the current state of the world makes it difficult for me to relieve my anxiety while not gaining 20 pounds. Nothing else works quite as well. I’ve been drinking more alcohol now (as opposed to hardly ever), but that’s not a really great strategy either. I don’t smoke. I could probably get a medical marijuana card from my doctor, but I’ve never been a weed person either. Maybe I should start. I don’t know. Then there’s the weed-related munchies, which is what I’m trying to avoid in the first place, so maybe not. I’ve been trying to do more yoga but I’m SOOOOOOO lazy more often than not it results in me flogging myself about not doing it instead of just doing it and then I flog myself about that. How did I ever get this old? It seems like I should’ve just died from inertia by now.

It occurs to me that 75% of my waking time is spent flogging myself about something. I know I’m not supposed to do that, and obviously said flogging is not helping me achieve whatever it is I think I should be achieving. I also flog myself about not knowing what I should be achieving, how meta. The snake eats itself. Better than eating an entire bag of Doritos, I suppose.

It’s almost 2:30 now. I’m going for a walk. Then when I come back I can eat my lunch and then I have to go to a meeting and pretend to care about things.

If you made it through this, congrats, you just experienced five minutes of my brain. Apologies.

anxiety dump.

2016 Reading List Update

Note: In 2016 all the books I read will be written by women, about women (either fictional or non-).

Currently reading:
Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt by Jean Naggar
Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman

Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor (I started reading this before 2015 ended so it’s grandfathered in here. At least the two main characters are women, even if it was written by men.)
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids by Jen Kirkman
Inferno: A Poet’s Novel by Eileen Myles
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott
Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman
Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson
Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart
The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity by Julia Serano

2016 Reading List Update