Good evening. It’s been a while…and a massive “eff you” to the band Staind for ruining that phrase for me, much like no one can resist yelling “YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR!!!1!!1!” whenever you say “hey now!” Goddamn shitty bands, I swear.
It’s been so long since I’ve written anything, and I feel bad about that. Writing used to be my go-to outlet for expressing myself, but I haven’t picked up my laptop in many months; since December 2016, to be exact. Damn near five months. Sad!
I felt compelled to dust off my fingers and muddle through a post tonight, though, and once you get to reading, you’ll all collectively nod your heads in understanding. I’m very transparent that way. I can be read like a book! Or blog post, as it were. But I’m going to take my time with this one, as I like to tease before I get straight to the deed.
In general, I have a love/hate relationship with the “On This Day” feature on Facebook. The years 2009 to mid-2012 are just atrocious to read. I was dealing with infidelity, separation, divorce, and exploits in returning to the dating game. My posts during that time are god awful and weird (even for me), as I was obviously going through a bizarre “who the fuck am I now?” phase. Divorce is great. It doesn’t mess with your head at all. My entire body physically goes into a spasm whenever I scroll down to those years. Yes, I know I can hide them, but I’m a) dumb and can’t figure out how to do it, and 2) I am a punishment glutton and make myself read them.
Oddly enough, it’s actually a bit comforting to do so; not because I find solace in them, but rather, Seven Years Ago Erin™ is wildly different than Current Erin™, and that, my friends, is a very good thing. Trust me on this one. 2009-2012 Erin was not dealing with the aforementioned troubles in her life very well and acting out in pretty ridiculous ways. Hey! Let’s get a DUI just for funsies! Let’s be wildly irresponsible with money and take advantage of your roommates! Let’s date total fuckface dickwads! Okay! Yay!
I often joke that I am now the world’s oldest 35-year-old woman, but I’ve done some shit in my younger years that justifies this behavior now. I’m in bed at a reasonable hour, whereas before, I’d be out drinking until all hours of the night–on a school night, to boot! I also don’t drink nearly as much as I used to. I still drink, but not daily and not to dangerous levels of drunkenness. Now, it’s more like a couple times a month, and I can wake up in the morning bright-tailed and bushy-eyed* and not wish for a swift death due to hangovers.
*Intentional mixup of expression for comedic value. I’m appearing on Jimmy Kimmel later next week.
As you can see, time did me some changin’, thank goodness.
That is the hate part of “On This Day.”
The love comes from being shown genuinely good memories. Life seemed to start coming together while I did my time in Texas, and while 2013 to present day has seen its share of “Jesus fucking Christ, Erin…” moments, they’ve mostly been pleasant and I am grateful I have progressed to this point, and in an odd burst of enthusiastic optimism, I hope that trend continues upwards.
Lately, however, Facebook has been bringing up things I would give up everything to never have to repeat in my mind.
Tomorrow is May 4th. To the geek community, people stir in anticipation to post at 12:01am, “May The Fourth Be With You!” My timeline will be inundated with memes from my beloved Star Wars. Normally, I’d delight in this, but the day has taken on a new meaning to me:
It marks the first 365 days without my dad.
I know this is cliché as all fuck, but where did the time go? Why does it sometimes feel like he died only a few weeks ago, and others, like it has been years?
I also didn’t realize how actively I’ve been trying to block all the painful events of late April to early May 2016 out of my head.
Every morning, I go about my daily ritual which is get up at 5am, trudge downstairs to make a pot of coffee, and browse Facebook for the six minutes it takes to brew. I catch up on missed notifications from the night before, scroll through my timeline offering likes or hearts or comments, and when I’m finished with that, I go to “On This Day.” This fucking feature has been a thorn in my side since April 17th. This is when I started reading more posts about Dad’s rapidly declining health, my shenanigans involving his also rapidly changing mental status thanks to doping the poor bastard up with gallons of liquid morphine, and the days and hours leading up to his death.
Yesterday’s memory really got to me, as I had shared about our failed attempt to “snow” Dad. He was becoming increasingly agitated and uncharacteristically aggressive to us, so it was suggested we just sedate the fuck out of him with pain medication and benzodiazepines. Instead of drift off into a controlled substance la-la land, that fucker did the opposite. If anyone has the gall to tell me my father wasn’t a fighter and probably too passive of a man, I would love to pull a time travel trip out of my hat and make you watch how he was towards the end. As I also had shared a year ago, “I have called my dad a motherfucker about 6 times in my life, and all of those times have been today.”
And it isn’t just Facebook that’s bringing up all these things; shocking to no one I’m sure, my own brain is also conspiring against me. Hey, you’re having a pretty decent day today, Erin. Why dontcha think about how blotchy purple Dad’s feet got the day he died? And how the tube from his catheter to the collection bag at the foot of his bed turned red with blood, then to thick pink pus?
I really fucking hate my brain sometimes. Super helpful, brain! Thanks!
Ever have to pretend all is fine and dandy and put on a smile and joke around with your coworkers or friends when in reality, your mind’s eye is replaying scenes from your father’s death? If not, you are an innocent and must be spared these terrible things and protected at all costs.
I’ve been dreading tomorrow for a while now, which is silly if you think about it. I don’t know why it’s silly, but I think I’m trying to be very nonchalant about it in an attempt to try to get through it. I’ll let you all know how well that works out for me later. Spoiler alert: I don’t think that’s going to go well.
May 4, 2017
Good morning. I had to stop writing last night because I was getting emotional, which is dumb because pretty sure the first thing I did this morning–after I made myself some coffee…I think I’m an addict…anyway, the second thing I did was get emotional. Cool.
It’ll be fine. If I burst into tears at any given moment, so be it. If not, that’s fine, too.
I don’t have anything wise or profound to say. Words escape me for once.
I do know that I miss my dad daily, and would give up all the things I have now to have him back. Well, almost all…if I can keep my record player and records and speakers because my god, these speakers…I think even Dad would be all, “yeah, no, totally keep that stuff.”
Thank you for reading, thank you for allowing me to write, and thank you for everything in between.
May the Force be with you.