Getting Tattoo Number Three

Getting Tattoo Number Three

The other day I saw a wonderfully fitting comics, which I can’t be bothered locating again, so I’ll retell it without pictures:

Getting the first tattoo: Oh, it must be something deep and meaningful!
Next tattoos: A unicorn? Sure, I like unicorns!

(I don’t personally like unicorns, as you might remember from my old blog tagline, which said that I’d feed any unicorn in my proximity to my cat or, even better, sell it on eBay.)

Currently on tattoo number three, I didn’t attempt to invent anything deeply meaningful and entirely new because, duh, you can’t do that, everything’s been here already. Also, we’re all going to die anyway (that’s my deep personal motto) and a permanent tattoo is about as permanent as life. Which is, not much. So I just ripped a prefabricated design I liked off the internet. Shrug.

Since I’m a self-declared Buddhist, I picked what’s called the ensō, a hand-drawn circle achieved by a single stroke of the brush. It’s symbolic of Zen or anything you want, really. The image that I brought to the tattoo artist was computer-made, but the guy turned out to be less incompetent than I’d feared and suggested he’d do it for me with an actual brush. Hey, so I ended up with a unique pattern after all!

My appointment for the deed was at 8 AM. What the actual fuck. I don’t normally get up until noon, so this was an act of torture. I walked in the studio zombie-like and proceeded to undress with machine-like movements (not to undress completely, just partially, because I’d freeze to death, duh). As the man prepped his junk (no innuendo intended) and switched on the tattoo machine, the device started to make sounds like the dentist’s drill and I freaked out. (I’m terrified of the dentist.) I may or may have not yelled:

Aw, fuck, I should’ve taken Lexaurin before THIS!

The man made me promise I won’t swear at him dirty, which I did (promise), and I also promised that I’d just cry quietly and that he needn’t mind me. Besides dentists, I’m terrified of pain, which, it turns out, is entirely idiotic and superstitious because during the one-hour tattooing session, I didn’t experience worse than gentle discomfort (only as the needle hit the collar bone—I’m having this circle shit circling my shoulder cap) and it was just nice, wholesome physical pain, which is laughable when compared to the stuff I deal with courtesy of my depression slash anxiety.

I had a lovely chat with the tattoo guy though. What a social occasion for me who doesn’t have a life! The man turned out, surprisingly, to be able to digest my very black and mean humour, which I rarely encounter in people (or in animals, I suppose). So, I seated myself in a comfortable cross-legged meditation seat, ready to go:

He asks: Uh, how long do you think you can sit like this?
Me: Uh, hours on end, I guess?

Please note that I’m a girl and a yogi girl, and hence it’s totally normal for me to sit cross-legged. It’s the best because I don’t topple when I have the extra support of the crossed legs.

On this note, the tattoo man was quite trusting and didn’t seem to mind that I had my knee in his crotch half of the time. No one got hurt though, I mean, except my shoulder, apparently, which didn’t even hurt. Some way into it, I started to doze off. Yawn. I really should be sleeping:

You okay? asks the tattoo guy.
Yeah. Just bored. I retort.

On which he offers me the tattoo machine:

Wanna try it?

I’m considering it. But:

Nah, I’m good. Wake me up when you’re done

In case you’re dozing off reading this, yawn, let me conclude that all seemed to go well, I love the result, and since I had such a good time, I’ll be coming again. As to a picture of the result, I didn’t take a good one when the tattoo was fresh, and now it’s not a good time, since it’s healing and peeling and whatnot. But I assume you can imagine a circle around the shoulder, right? Also, an afterthought: the priceless response of my friend, whom I bragged and who isn’t into tattoos:

But won’t that show too much in summer? 

Hmm. That’s sort of the idea, no?

The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

The Dumbest Things to Tell a Person with Depression

I’m, so far, a depression survivor. It’s a mixture of depressing and hilarious. I’ve started to collect the weirdest, dumbest and most illogical things people tell me when I mention that I have depression. I usually mention it as a disclaimer—and for comic relief because depressed people tend to love black humour. It somehow fits the dark mood.

While I’m risking that I will come across as a smartass (probably because I am that), I’ll share a selection of the most hilarious responses I’ve collected over the years. Sometimes it looks like people have no clue what they’re actually saying. It appears that some people have no sense to see what pearls of nonsense they are dispensing.

Let’s start with the usual:

Get over it.

Think: would you tell this to someone with cancer? I hope not. Let’s establish that there is a difference between manageable and curable. And guess what! Depression is the former, but not the latter. Who would have thought? (That’s not a real question, that’s the tricky rhetorical kind of a question, which is really a statement. Whew!)

My personal favourite:

Cheer up!

OMG, how come it didn’t occur to me before? I’m cured! Kidding. This is too ludicrous to deserve further commentary.

Another of my favourite exchanges:

Look at the bright side!

“Such as?”—”Well, you’re alive…”—”You realise I’m suicidal?”—”Uhuh?”—”That means that being alive isn’t the bright side for me!” Duh.

An inspirational story:

Look at [insert a famous actor’s name]! He functioned just fine with it, he’d just get on the stage and when his act was over, they’d take him straight to the hospital!

I’m not sure how being taken straight to the hospital could mean that someone is fine. Maybe I’m missing something. Or maybe you’re missing something. (Not you as the specific you, but you as the generic you, like someone.)

A piece of undeniable logic:

But you smile in photos!

Of course I smile in photos. I’m not a moron. (Okay, I am a moron, but not in this respect.) Please be aware that I didn’t have a stroke, hence my ability to lift the corners of my mouth remains unaffected. My exercising this ability doesn’t necessarily reflect the state of my mind.

A case of stating the obvious:

It’s just in your head.

I wholeheartedly agree that mental afflictions affect the mind, which resides in the brain, which resides in the head, so it is indeed all in my head. But, uh, how is this piece of information helpful? *shrug*

The list goes on, but I think you got the idea. The point is: let’s all mind what we’re saying and whether what we’re saying even makes any sense. Here’s an inspiration for a new year’s resolution!

Zombies’ Night Out

Zombies’ Night Out

People swarm and swell
And form a dumb mass
Of bodies to fill the train

Their vital signs are sound
Except—they are dead
And there are too many of them
In this hell hole of a train

Don’t they have somewhere else
To be—or un-be—these undead?

Like, I don’t know—
Home, for instance?

I’m open to
Tolerate
Respect
Embrace
And all this crap

It’s just that
I’d rather for zombies
To have their night out
In elsewhere.

Intimacy with Strangers

Intimacy with Strangers

Elbow to elbow | Thigh to thigh
The guy on a packed bus | Sitting next to me
No | On top of me

He’s in my personal space | I’m in his
Hardly humans, more pigs | In slaughterhouse no. five

Thrown together by chance | Forced to intimacy
With strangers | We are

He’s on the phone | So am I
He doesn’t know | I’m watching
With a keen eye | and writing about
Him and me being here | now

Tenement Rules

Tenement Rules

I was on community service this week. I call it community service but it’s in fact a chore wheel where the six flats in the tenement take turns in cleaning the common areas. I hate doing it more than I reasonably should.

There’s no logic in my thinking, still, I can’t help telling myself, as I swing the mop, Damn, I have a PhD degree and here I am, cleaning after other people. Not so much after myself, as I’m not the one who drops chewing gums and corn at the stairs.

IMG_20171105_134820-01
The doctor as a charwoman

As I was scraping the flattened chewing gum stuck on one of the stone steps, I composed a poem in my head. After all, I’m still a doctor of English Literature. I’m also the concierge, which gives me the privilege to stick signs on the board. Like this.

WIPE YOUR BOOTS
KEEP THE COMMON AREAS CLEAN
KEEP THE DOOR LOCKED AFTER 8 PM

NO SHOUTING
NO SMOKING
NO LITTERING
NO LOITERING

NO CHILDREN
NO PETS

DON’T BE A PIG, BE A PERSON
OR JUST KEEP OUT

That’s it, that’s my poem. I’m proud of myself, how well I’ve cleaned everything. You could eat from the floor (if you don’t much mind getting hepatitis). If I catch anyone dropping food or fags on the stairs, I’ll beat them up with my mop.

The C-Word Strikes Again

The C-Word Strikes Again

Some time ago, when I was in the supermarket, I noticed there were Christmas sweets conspicuously blocking the centre of the main aisle. I thought it strange, wondering if that was last year’s stock that they forgot to put down. Then, as I was leaving the place, I overheard some people discussing the C-word. Christmas. I considered them insane because it’s clearly too soon for that shit.

Then I went to have my hair cut to my usual hairdresser. She remembers me well enough to know what I want when I ask for my usual, but she keeps on forgetting that I’m the weird moron who doesn’t talk. Her first question, after making sure that I really wanted half my hair shaved off again, was, So have you already got your C-presents? I froze at the irrelevancy of such an inquiry. Then I replied, I’m Buddhist.

On which it was the hairdresser’s turn to freeze, not knowing what the fuck was going on. Well, nothing is going on, which is precisely the idea. I’m not Christian, so I don’t celebrate Christmas. See, Christian–Christmas, it’s sort of obvious that these two concepts are related, no? I don’t celebrate anything for the matter. Except the New Year. As long as celebrating means feeling awkward and wishing everything went back to normal asap. Celebrating is a social construct anyway. That’s a nice way to say it’s humbug.

I’ll Be a TV Star (No, Seriously)

I’ll Be a TV Star (No, Seriously)

Yesterday I was at a career fair. I didn’t go looking for a career, I’m currently looking for a will to live, and I don’t want to be looking for too many things at once. I was actually hired to help hopeful job hunters with their CVs. Everyone needs help with their CV because no one knows how to do this mysterious genre properly. Except me, obviously.

At the venue, I got a name tag and a booth of my own. I brought along a book and was hoping to spend the day pleasantly occupied reading my book, wandering around the premises and taking selfies. Unfortunately, people were so keen on having a CV consultation that I only had time for one bathroom break, one coffee break and several smoke breaks, which I masqueraded as pee breaks.

When I had a minute of peace, I couldn’t get my peace either because a camera person jumped on me and informed me that I was going to tell him on the camera what I was doing here and what it was good for. I meekly protested, saying I’d prefer not to discuss metaphysical questions. Also, I’m not even here, and if I am here, then it’s to crush people’s spirits and get paid for it.

The cameraman insisted. Serve him right. Because I still have some residual sense, I knew better than to express my private opinions publicly. So, accompanied with the man’s encouraging nodding, I weaved a tale on the spot on how exciting it is to participate at this unique occasion and get to lend young talented people a hand with getting the career they deserve. A load of shit. But I’ll be a TV star.

When You Don’t Feel like It, It’s the Worst

When You Don’t Feel like It, It’s the Worst

My late grandmother used to have a lot of sayings which I didn’t think particularly clever or relevant. As I’m getting old myself, surprise, surprise, I’m getting my grandmother more. A shame I can’t tell her. (Now I almost sniffed, which is ridiculous because I didn’t love my grandmother that much at all. Feel free to shoot me in my cold heart.)

The grandmother used to say, When you don’t feel like doing something, it’s worse than when you can’t do it. These days this resonates with me more than ever. To complete the picture, my favourite personal growth author writes to the effect that workaholics are the least efficient workers and that when you work too much, you can get yourself to the point when you’re too tired not only to work but also to relax. That’s all me. A shame I know it but do nothing much about it.

Irrelevant shit I haven’t posted yet

Speaking of grandmothers, I visited my late grand-grandmother’s grave today. She was my favourite family member ever. She was a fucking heroine. A shame I didn’t take after her. She was uneducated, simple but commonsensical and she was the bravest person I ever knew. She buried her husband, her grandson and her only daughter, yet she shut the fuck up, dealt with it and lived to 92. How could she do it? I’m only slightly over third her age and I can’t anymore.

Came Home from a Looong Trip and Am Orgiastic

Came Home from a Looong Trip and Am Orgiastic

I just arrived home after being the whole day on the go. That’s standard practice for most people, but for me, it’s an emergency situation. I fucking hate to go anywhere, the more so that it typically involves getting up at my usual bed time. I live in the middle of nowhere, so it takes a lot of manoeuvring to use the public transport to get somewhere.

Today I got up at the usual 4 AM and travelled to the other end of the country on a business trip. It was traumatising on so many levels. There was travel. There were people. There was social interaction. There was a very limited number of smoking breaks. I had to be constantly on the guard to appear competent and interested, or at least not asleep.

My mouth still hurts from my prolonged pretence of a forthcoming smile. I don’t usually smile. When I’m genuinely amused, I lift one corner of the mouth (it’s too much effort to lift both) and chuckle spasmodically. Also, my bum hurts because I’ve been sitting on my sitting bones the whole day. I guess that would be less of a problem if I had body fat, but I don’t have such a thing.

My hand isn’t jaundiced or spotted. Wrong choice of filter.

Based on the overwhelming impressions of today, I have come to several conclusions (which I suspected before, so it only confirms my darkest preconceptions):

  • People are so fucking exhausting.
  • Business meetings are perfectly useless.
  • People don’t respect me.

As to the last point, it may have several explanations. I’m nervous, unassertive, quiet and always have a guilty face like I just stole your kitten. Also, people seem to think I’m much younger than I am. This isn’t as flattering as rather frustrating because they tend to treat me condescendingly. Finally, when in more formal environments, people apparently have issues with my appearance, which is only very mildly extravagant. (I mean, sure, I have half my head shaved, but I was wearing a fucking blouse & blazer, all business like and shit.)

I was dealing with one middle-aged and one elderly lady today. The middle-aged lady kept on addressing the other woman politely as doctor. Both women addressed me in unison with my first name. I think I took offence. The doctor lady has a lesser degree than I do, she only has a PhDr (means she just reworked her MA thesis), while I have a greater degree, PhD (means I studied extra three years plus wrote a dissertation and took an exam). But I didn’t get to be addressed as doctor. What’s wrong with you people? Either let’s call everyone their first names or let’s address everyone with their titles. Makes sense, no?

Finally, fuck. I’m orgiastically happy to be back home.

Socially Awkward Is Just a Nice Word for Incompetent

Socially Awkward Is Just a Nice Word for Incompetent

I’m socially anxious and therefore socially awkward by default. But when I’m feeling low, awkward doesn’t come anywhere close to adequately describing my social interactions. Totally incompetent is a much more fitting expression here.

Today it’s been one of these days. I thought a trip to the supermarket would cheer me up—because of Oreos. I always reward myself with Oreos when venturing out to get groceries. I thought wrong though. If anything, my outing made me even more depressed.

I attempted to reply to random people who tried to communicate with me, but it was pathetic. A Tesco employee nearly ran me over with her manipulation trolley because I wasn’t looking. She said, Sorry. Guess what I said. I said, Thank you. Thank you for what exactly?

In the supermarket

The cashier checked in my Oreos and asked the usual, Cash or card? No-brainer, right? Well, not really because I said, Yes. Yes to which? Duh. Wordlessly, I waved my card. The cashier got it. She even bagged my shopping, which is not a standard practice here.

I was so moved by her kind act that I was on the verge of tears. Why? Dunno. Probably tears of gratitude. Or tears of frustration. I wanted to say something—here my previous thank you would have been apparently appropriate—but I could think of nothing, so I grabbed my groceries and ran.