Turn and Face the Strange

I hate change. I’d rather stay in a bad situation than risk that things are going to be different. Even good changes freak  me out.  If my routine changes even a tiny bit, I forget to do important things like taking my medicine.  It just slides out of my head. I’ve tried alarms on my phone, being mindful, etc, and it all just slips away.

Change is in my top five fears, after zombies and before talking to strangers. My current hierarchy of fears goes: dead birds, dead other things, zombies, change, strangers, embarrassing myself, dying before I accomplish my dreams, butterflies, wild animals, domesticated animals. You know. Pretty standard fears.

My siblings are busy being incredible.  My sister is married with a baby, moving into a bigger house today.  My brother is moving to Orlando for an awesome hotel job today.  It means that growing up is on my mind.  I’m being incredible in my own way, except it’s a quiet way, without much change.

My niece is a great change. It took me a bit to get used to my sister being pregnant, but I’m utterly in love with my niece, so I know that scary change can be good. Every time the Doctor regenerates I think I’ll never love the next Doctor as much, but I do.  When I move, I feel like things will never be the same, but I eventually forget what it felt like to walk old halls. I forget that my friends looked any different than they did before they got haircuts. I acquire a new normal, even though it feels impossible at the time.  I reach equilibrium.

I know that I can’t stay where I am, the way I am, forever.  I’m trying to prepare myself for that, but it isn’t easy.  I want more than what I have.  I want things to be different without the pain of change, and that leaves me in a sort of stasis. Stasis can’t last.  I have to turn and face the strange.


Pokemon Theme Song with Adjusted Expectations

I wanna be kind of okay
like lots of people are.
I’m clumsy and I trip and sway;
I’m lazy and bizarre.

I will travel across the room
searching low and high.
I have to squint against the gloom;
at least I’m gonna try!

Pokemon, gotta catch like twelve!
(It’s you and me!)
I know there’s no guarantee.
Pokemon, oh, we’re sort of chums,
we run away when trouble comes.
Pokemon, gotta catch a few
Vague apathy!
A pinch of tired ennui.

I am such a nobody.
Gotta catch just seven.
Gotta catch just six.

Every battle in the nation
I’ll try and then back out.
I’m really bad at confrontation;
it’s not what I’m about.

Hey, let’s pause, I need a nap,
I’ve got to rest my head.
I’ll be out in a snap
with Snorlax as my bed.

Pokemon, gotta catch like five.
(It’s you and me!)
(And unresolved emotional debris!)
Pokemon, oh, I guess you’re cool,
as long as you don’t drool.
Pokemon, gotta catch just four!
And furthermore–
my back’s a little sore.

I guess that I must make due.
Gotta catch a few.
Gotta catch like three!
Gotta catch like two!
Gotta catch just one!

Pokemon Go

I spent years as a tomboy, desperately trying to fit in.  So I watched a lot of Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Dragon Ball Z (even as a kid, I was like, “Twelve episodes to power up?  What is this even”).

I never got into video games, because I’m basically a computer mouse on a serious tracking delay.  And if I ever played GTA, I’d probably just walk around offering the ladies money and a warm meal, and buying cars at the dealer, and not hitting anyone ever.  My favorite thing when my friends would play GTA would be to just listen to the radio stations in the cars they stole.

But I did learn to draw from Pokemon cards, and this game is bringing back old feelings of being a junior high nerdling in summer school gym so I wouldn’t have to take actual gym.  There was a boy I’d sit with on the bleachers, whenever I had the option to.  We’d draw diligently, copying the Pokemon from cards onto anything papery that we could get our hands on, from those brown paper towels they have in school bathrooms to notebook paper, our drawings made ridged and bumpy from the pebbled textures on the bleachers.  Pokemon cards were perfect for drawing because they could fit in our pockets and they were detailed.  He was encouraging. Kind.  And much, much more talented than me.

It was this, and a boy in elementary school who showed me how to draw 3-D houses and 2-D T-Rexes, that got me into art.  People thought he was weird.  I was also pretty weird.

I don’t remember much from being young.  My brain got rid of that to make room for more nonsense.  But I remember sitting on the bleachers, drawing with my friend. Or sitting in the lunchroom in elementary school, drawing with my  other friend, or sitting against the wall at recess, hunched over paper.  I remember what it was like to have a moment where hours of frustration spent drawing the wrong line distilled into clarity when it finally looked right.

I miss it.  I miss spending time with friends. I miss drawing, and being happy with what I drew.  I especially miss the feeling of Pokemon cards in my pocket.  But for once, I’m getting to go on the adventures I always imagined going on.  And I’m not pretending to like something so people would think I was cool, I actually like it.  And it doesn’t take twelve episodes for the Pokemon to just decide to freaking do something already.  Which helps.

My Patronus is a Sea Turtle

Not because we both eat algae (I don’t), not because we’re both graceful in the water (I’m not), not because I have an extraordinary turtle face (though that does play into it).



Have you ever seen a sea turtle drag itself across the sand?  I have. It’s the most painful, laborious process you’ve ever seen. It brings its front arms up and hauls itself forward an inch. Maybe two. Lugging its heavy body by the strength of two arms that aren’t meant to go on land, but meant to cut through water. Then it has to rest. Then it starts all over again.

Its body doesn’t fit on land. It’s unbelievably heavy in a way that in water doesn’t matter, but on land it’s all that matters.  The same creature that can on occasion outmaneuver a shark is vulnerable.  That’s how I feel in social situations. That’s how I feel in my skin, sometimes. Clumsy. Like I’m crawling across the sand, inch by inch. And then I have to rest. And then I start all over again.

I feel a deep kinship with the sea turtle. I always cut plastic soda rings into little pieces to keep them safe. I’ve been to a sea turtle rehabilitation center where I saw a turtle with a prosthetic fin, swimming in a tank.

When I was on vacation, I saw them in person. I walked across sand for what felt like forever.  Sinking in up to my ankles with each step. My bad joints protesting the whole way. Whenever I thought I saw a turtle it was a black volcanic rock, wet from surf spray. Then I saw them, and I was getting closer with each step.  They were resting on the sand after gorging themselves on a special green algae.  I saw the way they moved and had to laugh. That was me!  That was me, ten minutes ago, begging for a rest. That was me struggling across the sand. That’s me, talking to strangers. That’s me, when I walk into a table. That’s me when I take my eye off of the coffee cup in my hand and because I’m not paying strict attention I spill it all over my ballet flats.

I rest. I start over.

A post in which I explore the answer to the question, “Does anyone want to keep me company as I wander the beach forlornly and cry.”

The answer is no. No one does. Not even one person.

Now the reason I went on a morose shoreline stroll is that I did something bad.

Two days ago I found the most perfect, baseball-sized dead sea urchin on the beach. Not a crack! Already missing most of its spines so I didn’t have to fret about whether it was secretly alive. The day I found it was the second best day of my vacation, and the fifth best day of my whole life. I’ve been searching all week, and finally!!! A whole urchin! Not a dime-sized piece, not a spine, but a whole one! Oh, glory! Oh, rapture!

The problem was that, although I put it in a ziplock, it was stinking to high heaven, so I had to clean it. I used a bleach-to-water ratio that was too high and broke it into about thirty-eight tiny pieces.

This is the fifth worst thing I’ve ever done in my life, and the third worst I’ve ever done on accident. The chances of me finding another one are minuscule, and I am bummed hard. Major bummage. The bummiest of all bummers. Bummer II: The Bummening. Bumbelina. Two bums up.

I am feeling about twelve sad emojis in a row, plus a couple angry emojis, plus like eight emojis of that guy crying two vertical lines worth of tears down his face.

Sadness abounds. I am urchinless once more.

How to Resolve Conflicts: Superhero Edition

IRON MAN: Bucky’s a bad guy. Remember all the bad things he did? You can’t be friends.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: Remember all the bad things you did when you didn’t know any better, creepy rich ex-arms dealer?

IRON MAN: You’re right!  People in glass houses shouldn’t call the kettle black!

[They high five and everyone’s best friends!]

BATMAN: I don’t like that you’re an alien.

SUPERMAN: I don’t like that you’re super violent.

BATMAN: I get that. But we should consider that our differences aren’t actually relevant in any way. That there’s a bigger picture here.

SUPERMAN: Like crime, and poverty, and systemic cruelty, and maybe, just maybe we’re being manipulated to make this more about our egos to distract us from what really matters.

BATMAN: Like that jerk Alex Luthor.


BATMAN: Whatever. No one cares. You should throw him into the sun.

SUPERMAN: That’d probably cut down on future worldwide misery, even though that’s immoral. I could throw the Joker into the sun, too, if you want.

[They gaze longingly into each other’s eyes and whisper, “Bro.”]

ALL OF X-MEN, IN THE STYLE OF A GREEK CHORUS: Go away, Wolverine! No one wants you here!  Take the Phoenix and go!

WOLVERINE: Do you spell “snikt” with or without a “c”?

ALL OF X-MEN, IN THE STYLE OF A GREEK CHORUS: You have had your share of the franchise. Now it’s someone else’s turn. Like Beak. He’s better than you. Like, way better. Like, a hundred times better.

WOLVERINE: No, but how do I onomotopoetize my claws?

[The rest of the X-Men team just wail until he gets on his motorcycle and drives away forever, thoughtfully chomping on his cigar as he mouths s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t,  s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t,  s-n-i-k-t or s-n-i-c-k-t.]

Dear Boy Who Said, When his Sister Switched Seats With Him at Great Clips, “Good, Now I Don’t Have to Sit Next to the Adult”

Dear Boy Who Said, When his Sister Switched Seats With Him at Great Clips, “Good, Now I Don’t Have to Sit Next to the Adult,”

I get it. I do. Adult strangers make me nervous, too. If I can help it, I sit on the aisle or sandwiched between people I know so I won’t have to sit next to adult strangers. But I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.

See, I am no adult.

Exhibit A: I can’t drive. Adults can drive. It’s a true fact, proven by science. See, my eyes don’t work very well, and my body is clumsy, and it means that people don’t often treat me like I’m an adult. Think about every time you really, really, really wanted to go to the movies, or get ice cream, and mom and dad wouldn’t let you– even if it was for a very good reason. Now, multiply that feeling by like fifty. (Multiplication is tough, I know. Let’s just imagine this feeling is a big feeling.) I can’t go where I want to go or do what I want to do, like adults can and do. I have to depend on adultier adults to help me. It means that sometimes, even though I’m old, I feel very, very small.

Exhibit B: I say things like “adultier.”

Exhibit C: My job is to make up stories. And sometimes I draw pictures and people give me money for that! And sometimes I play with babies and people give me money for that! So, basically, I get paid for playing pretend. That is not a job for an adult (but I love it!)

Exhibit D: Secretly, in the quietness of my heart, I’m still a little bit scared to cross the street alone.

I don’t blame you for not wanting to sit by me! That’s okay! You should do what makes you feel comfortable. But if it’s just because I’m an adult, you’ve got it all wrong. If I’m an adult, I’m a badult (because I’m bad at being an adult, not because I’m a mean grown-up). Who knows, maybe one day you’ll end up being a badult, too?