Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Six in the van . . . now what?

I went to program at 9 o'clock today, finding La Netta with Wanda's van. Besides me, they were picking up Ken, Tully Boykins, Shawn Snodgrass, Rodney and Robert. Six clients? This can't be good.

We went to K-mart, where we stayed for just a little while. After K-mart we got back in the van. Baby Shawn, Rodney and I loaded into the back row, then it was Robert's turn to get in the middle row. As Robert was getting in, I heard Wanda say, "Scxxt over!"

"Rrrrrrrrrr!", I growled. "Robert! You didn't get in the right seat! By not getting in the right seat, you made Wanda say the SC-word!"

"I don't think I said that," said Wanda.

"You did!" La Netta got into the van. "La Netta, didn't you hear Wanda say the SC-word?

"I heard her say 'Toot over'," said La Netta.

"Toot, like toot your horn?"

"Yes. I had a talk with Wanda about the words this morning, and I told her to use 'Toot over'. Then we talked with Robert about those words, and explained to him what it meant."

"Oh."

So Wanda was going to use "toot" instead of "scxxt" from now on? We'd see.

Baby Shawn touched my testicles. I said, "Ow!", and La Netta said to just tell him to stop it.

We got into Wal-mart, Baby Shawn in his wheelchair, and looked at headphones and candy (where I got a Mike & Ike Tropical Twister). We went to the pastry aisle, where La Netta bought some miniature pies. Then we went to the juice aisle. I heard a woman call out, "Twxnkies".

"La Netta, are we near the pastry aisle?"

"We were just in the pastry aisle," she said.

"I heard a woman say T-W . . . then I . . . then N . . . then K . . . then I . . . then E . . . then S."

"I'm so busy watching Robert,
my brain is asleep."

I finally picked up a bottle of Lemon Berry Punch.

We got back in the van and I repeated "
T . . . then W . . . then I . . . then N . . . then K . . . then I . . . then E . . . then S" for La Netta. We complimented Robert on how he didn't go up to any store clerks and ask where their headphones or soda were.

Due to the schedule, we went to In-N-out Burger to get lunch, where I could get two hamburgers with onions only. Score!

Baby Shawn fondled me some more. "Stop it!", I said.

We then went to Kennedy Grove, where I purged and washed my hands.

After La Netta osed the restroom, she walked Robert and me back to the van. I got in at the far left seat in the back row. Then it was Shawn's turn. Baby Shawn sat at the end without filing into the middle seat of the back row. While I was thinking of what to say to get him to move to the middle, Wanda said, "Scxxt over!"

"Rrrrrrrrrrr!", I said. This time it was really "scxxt".

"I'm sorry!", said Wanda.

When everyone was in, we drove back to the houses, starting with Ken's house, to do drops.

During the drive, Wanda, who was in the middle row with Robert, told Robert to "scxxt over".

"Rrrrrrrrrrr!"

"Sorry!"

We dropped three more clients off, then finally it was Rodney and my turn to go home. La Netta said good-bye to me and I said good-bye to La Netta, but I would have to do some purging.

When I went inside, that carroty taste came up as I purged off the two "scxxt"s. "Scadoloot over, scaeoloot over, scadoloot over . . ." While I purged I watched my In-N-out Burger bag to make sure no dipsers were getting in. Finally I was done and could eat my two hamburgers -- with onions only.

Wanda is the worst offender for the SC-word at CIWP. What a misfortune that they had to put me with her. And to do that when they had six clients in the group? They should have known better than that. I don't do well in groups of six due to the "scxxt over" thing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A day at the alley

This morning Darnell, La Netta, Ken, Edward, Jolene and I went to Burger King to use the restroom and buy food.

When we got back in the van, Darnell talked about a table full of young loaders he had seen there. We talked about crack, which Darnell said people were now calling "Z's", and how they seemed to want to get some. He said, "People get involved with that mxss."

"Ewwwwww!", I said.

"Sorry, James", said Darnell.

I talked about how Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love would shoot heroin.

"Isn't that awful?", asked La Netta.

I talked about the different names for weed that were used at my high school -- bud, buddha, ganja, the ganj, dank, dee, bomb -- and the conversation soon turned to the way parents turned away from the "bad" schools to get away from gangs and guns, only to turn to the "good" suburban schools, where instead of violence they had drugs.

"It's a real mxss", said Edward.

"Ewwwww!", I exclaimed.

"James doesn't like that word", Darnell told Edward.

We soon arrived at the bowling alley. Jolene had soiled her pants and needed to be changed. As La Netta was getting a walker out in the back, I heard Ken say something that was either "xxps" or "whxxps".

"Did Ken say the WH-word?", I asked La Netta.

"I heard him say, 'Whoooooooa'", said La Netta.

"There was definitely a P-S at the end." I turned to Ken. "Ken? Did you say the OO-word?"

"No, I didn't", said Ken.

"So you said the WH-word?"

Instead of answering, Ken walked away.

"He sees someone," said La Netta.

"Who's that?", I asked.

We walked over, and there was -- LAMESHA!

Lamesha was there with their husband Zicheas,
who was La Netta's cousin. Lamesha said that if she had known they were related, she would have invited La Netta to her wedding.

I hugged Lamesha three times, including for my last two showers. She told me that she was considering giving up her job as a bus driver, as when she went back to work she had a panic attack, afraid that she was going to get vertigo again and lose go of the bus. She told me, "It was fate that brought us here".

Finally, as we went our separate ways, Lamesha shouted out, "James is my boy! James is my boy!" La Netta told me that Edward and Darnell were shaking their heads as they saw us hugging.

I told La Netta I'd like her to be out there when I was bowling, so she could listen out for words. She said she would have to spend a lot of time on Jolene's diaper and new clothes, so "maybe we'll have to reschedule". I said that I'd just skip the bowling today and use the time she and Jolene were in the women's room to use the men's room.

So I went into the bathroom. I found a stall and unzipped my pants. I saw a photo of Maroon 5 on the stall's poster. I learned that four out of the five boys from Maroon 5 have long hair. (None wear sunglasses, though.)

I purged off both the M-words, then I got into "whxxps". I wasn't sure whether Ken had said it with the vowel sound in "Froot Loops", or the vowel sound in "good book", so I covered both. "Whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops,
whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops, whadoloops . . . whadoloops! Whadoloops, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps, whadolewps . . . whadolewps! Adolewps. Whadoloops, adoloops, adolewps. Adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps, adolewps . . . adolewps!" Then I repeated it.

I was done just in time for La Netta and Jolene. Jolene was changed, and Edward and Darnell had bowled a great game. We were ready to go get lunch. When we went outside, Lamesha and Zicheas were still there.

"Jolene, did you like seeing Lamesha today?", I asked my friend.

Jolene responded, "I did!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Too much to hold in

As Lisa's birthday was next month, Brenda was discussing with Lisa what she would like to bring to her birthday party.

"Chinese food", someone suggested.

"Ice xxxxx and cake?", asked Lisa.

"Blechhh!", I went in disgust.

"Don't say that word", said Brenda. Brenda had to explain to Lisa that "he doesn't like that I-studd."

"What do you like?", Lisa asked me.

"Chinese food . . . tacos . . . burritos . . . lasagna . . ."

"We could make a lasagna at the office", suggested Brenda.

I began purging in the back row of the van. As the conversation turned to other things, La Netta drove into the gas station. Rodney went into the gas station restroom, as I just kept on purging off the I-word. The songs on KOIT made it difficult, as I had to listen to make sure they were not singing things with "ice" or "cream" in them.

Then the pager beeped. La Netta answered it, and it was Stan. He wanted Rodney dropped off at the Richmond Health Center at 12:30.


Finally, we got to our scheduled destination of Wal-mart. Brenda said there would be walkers and wheelchairs to get out.

"La Netta," I said, "Could you take me to the restroom while Brenda's getting the walker out so I can get a head start?"

"Get a head start on what?", asked La Netta. "Why do you have to use it."

"I have to purge because Lisa said the I-word . . . remember?"

"We got an unexpected call from Stan, and we only have 15 minutes to spend in Wal-mart. We only came here because we know how much you need your juices. So do you want to get the things you need?"

"Yes."

We managed to rouse Rodney out of the van, and Lisa was given her walker. Our group
got a wheelchair out for my friend Jolene. Finally, La Netta convinced Ken to get out of the van and told him not to worry about Rodney.

We satisfied the craving of the women for Snicker's and chocolate raisins in the candy section while I held onto La Netta's arm. Then La Netta walked me over to the juice aisle, while I held in that I-word.

I had to avoid seeing the words "ice" or "cream". Therefore, so I wouldn't see the word "juice", I got La Netta to look and pick out my juices for me. I told her to pick a Hawaiian punch off the shelves, and then an apple juice. She said the only apple juices she saw were unsweetened, but I said that that was OK and that I had had an unsweetened apple juice before.

Lisa was first at the check-out. She wanted to use her credit card on her purchase, so they demanded her ID. She showed them several other documents before finally digging to the bottom of her purse and getting her ID out. Finally she was done, and I could buy my juice.

The cashier told several people to "Have a nice day". The "ice" in "nice" would give me more I would have to purge off before getting to the "ice xxxxx".

We got back in the van and I purged off all the ice's before chowing down into "ice xxxxx". That word os such a hard one to hold in.

We made it to the health center, and waited for Stan to pick up Rodney. While I was purging off the I-word, Lisa was talking about being driven and said, "Kendra would drive me axx oxxx the pxxxx". Now I had two phrases to purge off in the back of the van. I tried to purge the A, O & P words off, but I had to listen to make sure I didn't hear anyone say "all", "over" or "place". Listening for those and for the I-stuff was very taxing on my brain. I started groaning as Lisa continued talking and I was trying to keep the rubble cleared. I heard someone say "Wal-mart", so I had to purge off an "all".

But Brenda and Lisa and La Netta just kept on talking. "I can't hold it in!"

"Do you need me to take you to the restroom?", asked Brenda.

"Yes."

She took Rodney with us and soon Rodney was in the restroom of the Richmond Health Center. After Rodney could use it, I went in.

I purged off several "all"s, "over"s and "place"s, then finished "axx oxxx the pxxxx" with a Spaghetti-O's flair. Then I purged off a few accented and unaccented "ice"s, and did the I-word. I finally got in to taste right, instead of tasting like cake. Once that vanilla ice xxxxx taste came up, I shouted "Yippee! I'm done!" and sat on the toilet seat to urinate.

Just then, Brenda came in. Rodney had been dropped off with Stan and we were ready to go.

"Just let me flush!", I said.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

And so we speak again

Pia asked me how I was doing, and I told her I was sad because of the whole Lamesha thing. I told her I missed Lamesha, and she said she knows because she read about it in my blog. She asked me for Lamesha's number. I told it to her from memory, and she punched it in the portable phone.

Lamesha was there!

Pia told Lamesha about how I had been missing her, and even told Lamesha about the way I checked the Social Security Death Index. They talked about Lamesha's illness. When Pia was done talking, she asked Lamesha whether I could speak with her, and Lamesha said sure, so Pia handed the portable telephone over to me.

"Lamesha!", I called out.

Lamesha said she had been very ill indeed. She had missed five weeks of work. She was driven around by her husband. Today, in fact, had been the first day she was out in the community again. Oh, and the illness was the reason she didn't come over Sunday.

Lamesha had been driven to the hospital and back several times, which is why she never seemed to be there when I called. OK, so that explains that.

But why did the cellphone conversation break off in the middle and Lamesha never call back?

"Sometimes the cellphone drops," said Lamesha. "My oldest son, he uses the cellphone to call girls."

Lamesha said she's going to come over this Sunday, this for sure. I said that was great. We do after all, have plenty of hugs to catch up on.

Lamesha said she didn't even come over to pick up her chocolates. I told her about the way the package had arrived at my group home, and told her she could come pick it up when she came over. "Seeing you would mean the world to me, Lamesha", I said.

"And seeing you would mean the world to me, James."

So, that was my answer. She was just very sick (and I already knew she was). I'm really going to look forward to this seeing of her, and every day I hope she gets better. We have hugs to share, and her radio to look at and play with together, and talk about family to exchange (I've heard her husband is La Netta's cousin?), and chocolates to eat, and music videos to watch . . . maybe even blog entries to read. Forget Super Tuesday, we're going to have a Super Sunday in a few days!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Talking it over

Even though today was Martin Luther King Day, John still came over at his usual Monday time. I got off my bed and began to speak with him. We wanted the volume on my white sound machine lowered so he could hear me clearly.

I told him I had thought of a word besides "scxxt" that had the history of a particular person behind it. When I was living with my family, my father would say the word "Pardon?" to mean "I didn't hear what you said. In my late teens he said it more and more frequently. Having a class in JC where my biology prof said it too was the last straw, as when I was 21 I developed a purge reaction to that word. I remember how I hated having to repeat what I had said, or having to watch others suffer the same predicament. All that hard work of straining my vocal cords had gone to waste when someone didn't hear me. It felt as if I had asthma.

He asked me if my father and my bio prof had anything in common. Aside from their saying "Pardon?", the only thing I could think of was that they were from the same generation (Silent Generation). Of course, no one under 50 except immigrants uses that word.

John asked me what the first word that ever made me purge was. I thought back the way into kindergarten and remembered doing a song about a goat. The word "goat" got stuck in my throat and I would push my nails down my throat and then push them up again, letting the word fly out my mouth.

I broached the subject of Lamesha. I told him all about my problems with that friend of mine.

He asked what I thought could be happening. I came up with three possibilities. (1) Lamesha was very sick and couldn't talk to me; she was too ill to even respond to her messages. That'd explain why she couldn't come over. (2) When I had said that after she stopped coming I lost a part of my life, that offended her for some reason and she didn't want to speak to me again. (3) Her husband overheard our conversation and thought I was competing for her love, and forbade his wife to speak to me.

John had his own theory as to why she wasn't calling me and why her mailbox was full. He said that Lamesha was just busy in her life. I didn't think so, because she suddenly stopped speaking to me in the middle of our phone conversation.

He asked how I felt, and I told him I was worried. Worried about what could be wrong with Lamesha and worried that I might never see my friend again.

John asked what people could do to support me in this time. He wanted to know whether there was anyone who could help.

I mentioned Tone and Lorraine because they were both friends with Lamesha and would be able to speak with Lamesha and see what was going on.

John said that wasn't the kind of thing he had in mind. He wanted to know who could be there for me.

I told him I was inconsolable. I said the only thing that could make me feel better was to have Lamesha back with me again.

He said he thought I may be grieving, and that I would soon go through the five stages of grief in my loss of Lamesha.

We ended our session without me feeling any better. I'm just so sad about not seeing my friend. John told me that I seemed very sad when I talked about her, and I was. I have friends who will be on my side when I'm missing Lamesha, but there's no substitute for having the actual Lamesha right there, in front of me, in my arms.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

What's up with my Lamesha?

On Wednesday, January 9, I called Lamesha to tell her that her box of See's chocolates had arrived at the post office. We talked a lot, and I talked about her coming over. Lamesha asked when a gooe time she could come over would be. I said "this week-end". And so she said she would come over on Sunday, the thirteenth. She said she was still suffering from vertigo, as she had been when she visited me last, so her husband or someone would have to drive her over.

While we were talking, I said "When you stopped working here, I lost a part of my life." I waited for Lamesha's response. Several seconds and I didn't get a response. "Lamesha?", I asked. "Lamesia?"

She didn't seem to be answering. I put the portable phone back, imagining she would call sometime later that day.

I never got a call back, but I looked forward to her coming over on Sunday. Sunday arrived, however, and Lamesha never came. The staff told me I had a phone call, but it turned out to be from Aaron. Late that night, I called Lamesha's number, but no one was there.

I tried calling several times the next week, but I either got several rings and then an answering machine message, or it went straight to the answering machine message. One time it was a man (presumably her husband), who said she wasn't home. I decided not to have him get Lamesha to call me back, as she might call back while I was showering that night.

Today, I called Lamesha's number yet again, and I got a message saying Lamesha's "mailbox" was full. The same day, Jason brought a package into my room, and it was the package addressed to Lamesha. The word "UNCLAIMED" was written on it in marker.

I checked the Social Security Death Index for Lamesha Smith, but no one of that name had died.

Lamesha was never there when I called her, and hasn't even come over. She wasn't feeling well when I last spoke to her. I'd just love to have Lamesha there with me, speaking with me, and hold her in my arms again. I'd love to be hugging off showers with my 2+ year friend once again. We were scheduled to do it. I almost had it with Lamesha. I wish I just knew what was going on.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

All because of them

Today we went bowling at Albany Bowl at CIWP. Brenda and Edward went in with me while La Netta stayed in the van with her clients Ken, Jolene and Robin.

I traded in my black New Balance shoes for bowling shoes, and our game began well. I hadn't gotten any strikes or even spares yet, but I was hoping.

Then all of a sudden I heard something that could have been a "whxxps" from somewhere in the bowling alley. Wondering whether I had indeed heard that terrible word, I called Brenda's name so I could ask her. "Brenda? Brenda? Brenda?"

"She went to the bathroom," Edward said.

I would have to rely on Edward to tell me whether anyone had said "whxxps". "I thought I heard the WH-word", I explained to Edward.

"It was probably somebody else", said Edward.

"Edward, did somebody say the WH-word?"

"I don't know. I wasn't paying attention."

"Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhh!" Now I was going to have to purge. "Tell Brenda I'll be in the restroom."

So I walked down the aisles of the bowling alley until I found a familiar series of blue doors. A door for employees . . . then a women's restroom. Its male partner was just a few feet down.

I got in there and purged off the WH-word in the smaller stall. Then I got out of the restroom.

I started looking for my lane, covering my eyes up so I wouldn't see their Winnxe the Pooh and Dipser-man stuff. I found some bowlers and looked at the lanes, then realized I had seen lanes 21-40. I needed lanes 1-20.

I walked around blindly saying "Excuse me? Excuse me?" No one seemed to be nearby.

Finally a man heard me. "Can you take me to lane 4?", I asked. I held out my arm.

He led me by arm to lane 4. I thanked the man afterwards.

I saw Edward bowling. So Edward still wasn't done with his turn? I sat down on the bench for our lane.

"You're back!", said Brenda. They told me it was my turn.

I started to bowl, but then I saw there were 4 pins remaining and the light above the lane said 2 instead of 1. "There are four pins left", I told Brenda.

Then it just got worse. Brenda told me that Edward had been taking my turns when I was in the restroom.

I bowled without any alacrity or effort, just making throw-away throws. My score would be muddled by Edward's throws. So would Brenda's. We'd have no idea who won or who got the lowest score.

I was so upset that Brenda told me I could have her turn. I took my 14-pound bowling turn during her turn and botched it.

Finally, the game ended with only Edward's score fully reflecting his own bowling abilities. "You got a 90", Brenda told me.

"But I didn't earn that 90!", I said.

On my way out of the bowling alley, I saw a Winnxe the Pooh vending machine that I would have to purge off.

All because of Brenda and Edward, I had had a terrible bowling session.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It all turned around at the Dollar Tree

Note: this article uses IPA. ˈ indicates that the following syllable is accented. ə is the schwa, the vowel sound in the unaccented syllables in "beaten", "about", "symbol" and "focus". a is the vowel sound of the A in "water", while æ is like the vowel sound of the A in "hammer". ʒ sounds like the S in "television", so dʒ is like the J in "join".

This morning Stan came in at 9:00. "Your ride is here", he said.

I got out of bed, combed my hair and put my sunglasses on. I decided not to take the headphones with me, as they hadn't worked yesterday.

When I got in the van, La Netta and Shirley were talking. They wanted to pick Rodney up too, so they were waiting for Rodney.

I would have loved to have a CD player and pair of headphones with me, but I was afraid mine just wouldn't work. Shirley and La Netta were yakking on and on.

Then Shirley said, "What I'd really like to get at Wal-mart . . . is those pajxmxs." She pronounced the word like La Netta, with the middle A sounding like the A in "jam".

I ran out the door of the van and opened the door to my house. I went into our bathroom and purged, purged, purged. Stan announced that Rodney was ready, and then I still had to finish purging. I urinated when I was done, then flushed the toilet and I was out of there.

We drove all the way to Berkeley where we could get Lisa. While Shirley and La Netta were talking about the parks there, I heard Shirley say something about what "little bxtty area".

"That little what area?", I asked La Netta and Shirley.

"Cooking. That little cooking area," said Shirley.

"Did I hear the B-word?", I asked La Netta.

"No. No B-word", said Shirley.

"It sounded like 'little B-word area'," I said.

I asked La Netta whether she knew what the B-word was.

"I don't think I do", said La Netta.

"The word that rhymes with 'city'", I explained.

"Oh, that has to do with the way you look?", asked La Netta.

"No, it's not 'pretty'. I didn't say it begins with a P, I said B."

"Beauty", said La Netta.

"No, it's not 'beauty'. It rhymes with 'city'. It has an i sound in it. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii."

"My mind is drawing a blank", said La Netta.

"It means little or small," I explained.

Shirley tried to figure it out.

"The word means little or small, and often people say it after 'little', or sometimes it comes after 'itty'." How more obvious could the clue be?

"My mind is somewhere else today", said La Netta.

Finally Shirley said it.

"That's it!", I said. "You just said it!"

"Oh, that bothers you?", asked Shirley.

"Yes!" I began purging in the back seat. Lisa didn't come so we just drove off to our next program site.

The next site was See's Chocolates. Oh good. This will make my day better. It must be a sign of a wonderful day.

We got into See's Chocolates, with Jolene in her wheelchair and Rodney at our side. They had Valentine's Day stuff out now. I picked out a rum with walnuts, a buttercream, a Bordeaux, some other assorted chocolates, and gave the woman my money.

Then it was La Netta's turn. La Netta selected a few chocolates. After one selection, the lady behind the counter said, "Whxxps! Wrong one!"

"D'OH!", I exclaimed, hitting myself on the forehead. "D'OH!", I went again.

La Netta finished making her selection.

"You said the WH-word!", I told the lady.

"It's a common word that everyone uses," La Netta explained to the lady, as if the lady might think I was referring to a swear word.

Now I would have to purge.

La Netta told me she would take somewhere.

Since we had a lot of time left scheduled at See's, La Netta asked if I could go to Avenue, a clothing store. I said I didn't know about that. La Netta said, "They don't have any of those things", and I knew what La Netta meant. She meant they didn't have any pajamdras.

Right as we walked into the Avenue door, Shirley said, "I'm looking into buying those pajxmx things."

I growled. "This is going to be a terrible day."

"I'll take you somewhere," said La Netta.

La Netta started to lead me around the store, when Shirley said, "I got them their pajxmxs."

"La Netta!", I said to the woman I was holding onto, clearly disturbed. "You told me they didn't have any of those."

"They don't. Let me whisper something to Shirley", La Netta said.

I plugged my ears.

"She knows", La Netta told me after she was done with the whispering.

"I need to sit in the van," I told La Netta.

So La Netta took Rodney (who was pushing Jolene) with her, and twisted and turned around the different sections until we were out of the store. I sat in the van and purged off the plural "pajxmxs" while the group waited for Shirley.

"La Netta, Kay doesn't say the WH-word. She just says the OO-word."

"I know," said La Netta.

"But you said everyone uses it."

"I didn't mean it that way. I stopped using it because I know you don't like it."

"You never used the WH-word, La Netta. Your word was the SC-word."

"I remember," said La Netta, laughing. "And you know, the other word, I never realized how common it was. Now I'll be watching the news, and they'll say it over and over again."

"The WH-word?"

"I'm talking about the M-word."

"You're right. Like when they're talking about the situation in Iraq?"

"Yes."

"It's now become a cliché to say that Iraq is an M-word."

"It has."

Shirley came out. We were going to the office to pick up Ken. That would give me some time to use the restroom.

As soon as we got to the office, I opened the van door and ran up the ramp into the restroom. I saw my friend Ken along the way. He was standing right in front of me.

"Sorry, James," said Ken.

"That's OK, Ken", I said.

I got into the restroom and locked the door so there wouldn't be any "Whxxps, sorry"s.

I finished purging off the "bxtty" first because that was the easiest. Then I did some "whadoloops, whadoloops, whadolewps, adolewps, whadoloops, adoloops, adolewps". There was a feeling of a palpitating heart as I did those chants on the WH-word.

Finally, I had Shirley's singular "pajxmx" to wrangle with. My native pronunciation of "pajxmxs" is /pəˈdʒaməz/. The word "pajxmxs", pronounced this way, is what my purging ritual for this word was designed for. When I hear it with its plural form and the correct pronunciation, all I have to do is say /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ once down there, and /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ once going up, and I'm done. When I hear the singular pronounced /pəˈdʒamə/, my ritual wasn't really designed for the singular, so I have to say, /pəˈdʒamdrə/ (at my groin), /pəˈdʒamdrə/ (going up), /pəˈdʒamdrəz/, /pəˈdʒamdrəz/, /pəˈdʒamdrəz/, /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ (all at my groin), /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ (going up)". When I hear the word pronounced /pəˈdʒæməz/ instead of /pəˈdʒaməz/, I have to do a /pəˈdʒæmdrəz/, /pəˈdʒamdrəz/, at the bottom and then a /pəˈdʒæmdrəz/ going up, followed by a /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ at the bottom and a /pəˈdʒamdrəz/ going up. When I hear a mispronounced singular form, as /pəˈdʒæmə/, it differs from my prototype both in plural ending and in pronunciation of the middle A, so purging it off becomes a labyrinthine nightmare. I have to think, "Amaazhdap, amahzhdap, zamahzhdap, amahzhdap, zamahzhdap, amahzhdap, zamahzhdap, amahzhdap, zamazhdap", then think "Amaazhdap, amahzhdap, zamaazhdap, zamazhdap . . .", and do several more variations even before I can begin the thrusts and chanting. I always get myself confused.

I finally managed to get finished with the purging, and walked back out and into the van. "Feel better now?", asked La Netta.

"I do." I asked La Netta for my pill.

"I can give that to you when we get to the Dollar Tree."

"All right. Let's no one say any words from now until then."

I told Ken that it was a terrible day today.

"Well, you got to go to See's", said La Netta.

We arrived at the Dollar Tree at long last. I walked out behind the van where La Netta was. I saw her opening her purse, where I could see the back of a dollar bill.

"Is that a dollar bill?", I asked La Netta.

"Yes it is," she said.

"Can you see the pyramid on that one?"

"Let me look . . . yes, you can."

I explained that I didn't want to see the exe on the pyramid. Luckily, the exe was covered up when I saw it. La Netta wanted to know why I didn't like the exe. I told her I better take my pill first, lest explaining it make me purge.

I could finally take my pill!

When we got into the Dollar Tree, things began to turn around. The radio played the song "You're the One" by the Vogues, which is a song I love. I picked out a burrito and a Hawaiian punch from the frozen foods and the juice aisle, respectively. I could sit in their restroom, urinate and defecate in comfort. The last time our group came, the staef told us that they didn't even have a restroom. And there were already the sights of Easter filling the store. Maybe I can go shopping there for Easter stuff someday soon.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Holding in an SC-word

When we got into the van today, I sat in my usual back seat, and Jolene got into the middle row. As she got in that morning, Brenda told her, "Move over. Scxxt over."

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

"Sorry!", Brenda apologized. "It's early in the morning."

"I'll take you somewhere," La Netta told me.

We picked up Lisa and dropped Lisa off at the office. I told Edward I was getting out of the van. Edward was about to get out when La Netta told me we couldn't stop to use the restroom here, because we had to get Brenda to her doctor's appointment on time.

We spent several more minotes parked in front of the office, with La Netta having Ken throw several pieces of junk away. I could have spent that time purging.

Finally, we drove off to Brenda's doctor, and dropped her and Edward off there. Now that Edward and Brenda were out, La Netta told Jolene, "Give James some space", so Jolene moved from the back row to the middle row. La Netta said she was hungry, so the next stop would be the burrito truck (Tapatio's).

We stopped at Tapatio's, and La Netta got her burrito. I ordered a head Super Burrito. After I had gotten my order, I asked La Netta, "Would this be a good time to use the restroom?"

"No, it wouldn't," said La Netta.

So I had to hold the SC-word in some longer.

"I told Jolene to give you some space so you would have the back row to yourself," explained La Netta.

"Oh. I can't purge back here -- I need to be standing up to purge off the SC-word", I explained.

"Oh", said La Netta, and drove off to pick up Brenda. She stayed parked in front of Brenda's doctor's office for several minutes, before giving up. We could have picked up Brenda and had me in a restroom in no time, but Brenda just didn't come out.

Finally, La Netta went back to the office, where she could pick up Lisa. As soon as she parked, I rushed out of the van and ran up the ramp into the office, where I entered the restroom.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" I did a lot of purge work on that SC-word. I heard Jolene walking her way on her walker towards the women's room. I purged "scadoloodover, scadoloodover, scadoloot over, scadoloot over", and all sorts of things that had crossed my mind when I was holding it in. Then I got to some "scadoloot over's" that felt just right, two on the left, two on the right, and one on the bottom right where it could all be collected, the Central Scxxt. I made some throsts upwards over my abdomen, saying "scaeoloot over", and the taste of cooked carrot came up. Finally I did a big "scadoloot over" at that central spot that came all the way up.

I sat on the toilet, and then I washed my hands. I had time to wait outside for La Netta.

Without Brenda and Edward, La Netta now had a 1:4 ratio, so she left Lisa at the office. Jolene moved to the middle of the back row, almost squashing my headphones and burrito. Edward got in at the opposite end of my row. Then we picked up Lisa.

They're talking about making Lisa permanent as a part of our group. With Lisa and Edward both coming every day, we're going to get cramped a lot. Or at least I am. Where's my room to put my food? Will my headphones get sat on and broken when I'm not using them?

Brenda's cellphone rang, and she started in her call. "Let me put on my headphones first," I said.

I put my headphones on. I didn't hear anything. Then I realized they weren't plugged into my CD player, so I plugged them in.

I could still hear Brenda's cellphone conversation. I had to keep asking her whether she said the M-word. Each time I touched the part that plugged in, I heard a different volume. Then it started crackling on and off.

"Let me examine that," said Brenda. So I gave it to Brenda, CD player and headphones, and she took a good look at it. "These batteries are weak, because each time you move it a little, it turns off or turns on."

And these are new batteries! Don't tell me they're no good!

Earlier today I had had my CD player sitting on the middle seat of the back row. It was playing very loud -- it was great! But now Jolene was in that seat, and they couldn't fit there.

I had to listen to Brenda, La Netta and Lisa's conversations the whole way home.

After dropping Edward off at 1:30, Lisa had to be at her dentist's appointment. She told us it was at the intersection of Addison and Shaddock in Berkeley, in Berkeley Square. We drove and drove around Berkeley Square, but we just couldn't find it. They told Lisa to call her case worker, who would take her there. Lisa kept telling Brenda and La Netta to just search for Western Dental.

Then Lisa called 411 and asked them the number for Western Dental. They connected her, but she got disconnected. She called again, and was disconnected twice.

Finally she just called Western Dental and asked them their address. It was 11115 Shaddock. They made it to Shaddock, and had to take five or so minutes to find a place they could park and let Lisa out. At last Lisa got off, and apologized several times for holding the group up with her faulty address. Then it was Ken's turn to get dropped off, and not long after I made it home with my headphones and burrito.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I've hurt myself by hurting you

I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you
--Christina Aguilera
Today on 4thkingdom we were having a conversation on bipolar disorder. The topic soon turned to OCD. A poster on the site said he had been diagnosed with OCD with bipolar disorder. This poster is married, and sometimes he worries that during sex he's going to scream out the name of a woman other than his wife.

I told him that I have the same kinds of fears. Sometimes I'm afraid that I'm going to do something to hurt my friend Jolene. I think of all the ways that I could injure her, or I think that I might try out doing something mean to Jolene like tripping her just to see La Netta's reaction. One week, we were supposed to go to Williams' Health Food, but we didn't because picking up unexpected clients that day ate into our time. On Friday of that week, La Netta told us that she would take Ken, Jolene and me to Williams' in the morning because we deserved our time together. I thought about spontaneously hitting Jolene for no reason, and about La Netta's reaction of telling me, "Now I'm not taking you to Williams'!"

Or I fear I might do something to break up my relationship with Lamesha. I might tell her I don't like her anymore, or tell her that she was stupid to bring me a certain gift. Or maybe hang up on her during a phone call. I'm afraid I might miss out on a visit by saying I'm too sleepy and I don't want to see her when she arrives. Sometimes I imagine destroying the radio she gave me.

In the online world, I'm afraid of going crazy and lashing out at 4thkingdom members Brandied or Koresh. I picture Brandied as small and frail, and that's how I imagine her emotionally. Like I have worries that Brandied is going to submit a segment to Inner Bruise (a work of collaborative fiction we have on 4thkingdom) and I'm going to trash it (even if I love the addition) just to experiment. Or I imagine posting messages to various friends online that "I don't like you anymore".

Then the conversation on 4thkingdom turned to thoughts of hurting oneself. I don't think that's listed as an OCD symptom, but I have it. I often imagined experimenting with taking a pen and gouging my eyes out. I'm horrified at the thought and sometimes I don't want to go near the pen. Or sometimes I'll imagine sticking my hand in places in my room where there are cobwxbs.

Then there are the thoughts of other people being hurt by other people or forces. Sometimes, for instance, I imagine that Lamesha drives over to see me, and while she's making it to my house she has a car accident and dies. Or she ends up in the hospital and I have to enlist everyone I know to pray for her. Sometimes I imagine going to the hospital, or trying to go to the hospital but they won't let me in because I'm not her husband. And one night I had a long, elaborate session of imagination, wherein I imagined that Lamesha came down with a terminal illness, and I was in the hospital at her final moments, Lamesha being in my arms when she died.

I don't want the people I love to be harmed. For most people, the fact that they could harm their friends never crosses their minds. But for people like me, those thoughts are just a fact of life.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I meet Emanuel

Today Stan got me up before La Netta's van arrived, so he could drive me to CIWP. We needed to leave the house early today.

He told me to get in the middle seat in the back row. I got in the middle, then moved a little to the left after Bernard got in because I was afraid the person to my right was going to tell me to scxxt over.

Then Stan told me, "Scxxt over just a little bit."

"Rrrrrrrrr!"

"Sorry! Move over just a little bit."

I moved to my left some more.

"The other direction."

So I moved to the right. Then he pulled the seatbelt buckle out from the hole in the seat and buckled the belt around me.

"Some of the easiest things can be so complicated", Stan said.

When I got to the office I had to purge. I purged off the SC-word then came out to greet La Netta and drive off to some park. When I got in the van a boy named Emanuel Reed was sitting in my usual spot. Emanuel told me he liked the window seat, so I let him sit there and sat in the middle seat of the back row.

Emanuel noticed my CD player and headphones. "What are you listening to?"

"That's Nirvana," I said.

"Ooh, Nirvana is good. What songs do you have?"

"Tiat's Nevermind. I have "Lithium" and "Come as You Are" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

"Good songs."

Emanuel told me about how his father was a cop and how he didn't want to be a police officer.

"If you become a police officer, you have to arrest people for smoking weed", I said.

"That's right", said Emanuel.

The first place we stopped to actually do anything was the bowling alley. I got a strike on my first frame. Shirley Jones, who was one of our coaches that day, told me to stop holding the ball up so high.

I heard La Netta calling my name, so I ran over to find La Netta as soon as my frame was over.

Instead I saw a jacket. I heard La Netta's voice and moved over to my left, but on the counter I saw a newspaper.

Having to make sure I didn't see anything like plastic silverware in the newspaper, I looked at every picture. Then I saw the headlines. I saw one that said "Middle East keeps exe on election".

"Ewwwwwwwwww!", I exclaimed immediately.

I walked to my left and saw La Netta. I asked her why she was calling my name and La Netta said she was simply using my name to tell Shirley that holding the ball up high is my method of bowling.

I told her about seeing the K & E words in the newspaper. She said she'd take me some place to purge after the bowling game was over.

As it turned out, Emanuel won with the highest score in bowling. While we were leaving, I saw a gumball-style coin machine that sold balls with Winnxe the Pooh figurines in them. Oh great, I would have to do even more purging. This was turning out to be a rotten day.

Emanuel told me that he was 26, and that due to his biology, he would have the body of a 26-year-old forever. A thousand years later, he said, he would still be 26 . . . "because my father is the Holy Ghost".

I told him, "That makes you . . ."

We hit a stoplight.

"What does that make me if I'm 26?", Emanuel asked.

"Stupid stoplight!", I said.

Once the van was moving again, I could finish my sentence.

"That makes you the youngest person at CIWP", I said.

"How old are you?"

"I'm 28."

"28? Wow. You're still young."

"How old do I look?"

"You look 20 . . . 25. You still look young. My brothers is 29. Of course, that's really 17. Because he's immortal. My brothers are UFO's."

"Wait", I said. "You said your brothers came from UFO's, or they are UFO's?"

"They are UFO's," said Emanuel.

"So your brothers are spacecraft?" I wasn't sure whether this guy's extraordinary stories were all true or whether he had schizotypal personality disorder, but I wanted to hear him speak.

"Yep."

Emanuel said his brother was 6'5". He was 6'5" too. "I want to be a basketball player, but I think that might not be tall enough to play basketball", he said.

"Well, my father's 6'2", and he's taller than average", I said. "And you're taller than he is. That's pretty tall." Is 6'5" tall for an African-American? I hadn't been able to figure out was ethnicity Emanuel was. "Are you Hispanic, or African, or what?"

"I'm Indian and Black," Emanuel responded proudly.

"Indian like Hindu?"

"Yes, Hindu. I like the word Hindu. Hindu and Black. I'm from Palestine . . ."

"But Palestine is in the Middle East."

"You're right. I'm going to change that to Cherokee and Black."

I told him my surname and asked him whether he knew what I was.

He said he didn't.

I told him it was a Jewish name.

He said his father was a cop, and when his brothers turned 35 they were destined to be cops too.

"My father can send a car flying right off the road, with his mind. He has superpowers", said Emanuel.

"So he uses telepathy?"

"You could call it that. Yes, telepathy. That's a very good word for it."

"Selepardy?", asked La Netta.

Emanuel talked some more, and La Netta kept asking him what "selepardy" was.

"Telepathy", said Emanuel.

"So it's with a T? Not with an S?", asked La Netta.

I explained to La Netta: "That's like if I was thinking about a burger with onions and cilantro, and I made you know that I was thinking about a burger with onions and cilantro."

"That's right, but that's one small part of telepathy. It's just one small part of telepathy", said Emanuel. "Telepathy is when my father can drive on the road, and everyone's blood stops because they know that he's driving."

"Emanuel, do you spell your name with an E or an I?", I asked.

"An E."

"Emanuel is another name for Jesus," you know.

"Yep."

"So you're the Prophet?"

"Yes, I am."

I did a lot of purging at Ferry Point when I got there. I had to get out twice, once so La Netta could use it and once so Jolene could change herself.

When I got back in, I asked Emanuel whether he subscribed to the BMV hypothesis of UFO's. He did say his brothers were UFO's, after all.

"When I say my brothers are UFO's, what I mean by that is that they have supernatural power. They can fight a thousand people at once, a thousand against one, and they always win."

This is going to be an interesting new member of our group.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

An hour in the restroom

We were in the van this morning and Brenda was having a conversation with La Netta about diet. The conversation turned to Brenda's craving for sweet foods. Oh great, I thought, I hope Brenda doesn't say the I-word, knowing Brenda's love for this disgusting frozen dessert.

Then Brenda said, "And when I want some ice xxxxx . . ."

"Blechh!", I said.

"Ooh, sorry!", said Brenda.

"What's wrong, Robin?", asked Jolene.

"He said 'Yxk'," said Brenda.

Now I would have to purge Brenda's "yxk" off too. "No, I didn't," I said, "I said, "Blechh!"

"Oh, he said 'Ook'", said Brenda.

"No, blechh. B-L-E-C-H-H."

"Oh, blachh."

"And, Jolene, that wasn't Robin. That was me."

"Oh", said Jolene.

This is what I was afraid of! I unbuttoned my pants and began purging in the back of the van. Brenda talked more about her craving for sweets. Before I finished purging, she said, "My brother wants some ice xxxx . . ."

"Blechh!", I followed immediately.

"Oh! Sorry! Sorry!"

"We'll have to find a different subject to talk about."

"You're right, we will."

We got to Edward's house and I still hadn't finished purging off the two I-words. "Can we get Edward to sit in the middle row?", I asked.

"No, it's too crowded," said La Netta.

So Edward got in and everybody greeted him.

"Where are you taking me to purge," I asked.

"Krispy Kreme", said La Netta.

Mearc, mearc cie, I thought. Now that she had said "cream" I would have to purge that off before I got to my "ice xxxxx".

We stopped at the office for Brenda. I started to get out of the van.

"We're in the middle of the street", said La Netta, "Wait for us to stop".

"Ooh, I can't hold it any longer," I said.

"We'll be there in only five minotes."

I heard Ken say "over the place", so I would probably have to purge off "axx oxxx the pxxxx".

"James, just put on your headphones until we get there," said La Netta.

"We still haven't got the new batteries", I said.

Finally we got to Krispy Kreme. I rushed out the door immediately, trying to go over Edward's legs.

"James," said La Netta, "We're all getting out."

I went in the restroom. First I purged off a few all's, over's and place's. Then I purged off "axx oxxx the pxxxx."

Then I started rubble-clearing on the "ice xxxxx". I purged off the "nice" I had heard in the radio and Edward's "high school". I purged off the "cream" in "Krispy Kreme".

The songs that were playing kept having an "igh" sound followed by a "s" sound in them. There was this one song that kept saying, "I've got something up my sleeve".

"We'll be leaving in 10 minutes", La Netta told me.

"OK, La Netta."

I purged on and on. Then I heard Jolene's walker. That walker of Jolene signified that she was done with the restroom. I kept on purging.

Then La Netta came in again. She told me I would have to finish early enough to have time to go to Trader Joe's. She told me that Ken and Jolene were getting impatient.

I finished some rubble-clearing, then bit into Brenda's two "ice xxxxx"s, but I just couldn't get them to feel right.

"Snow (Hey-Oh)" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers played on the system. That song says "Listen what I say-O" and "The more I see". I had to do a lot of rubble-clearing while that song was playing.

I purged and purged. "Adolice cradoleam, adolice cradoleam."

Then I thought I needed to imagine eating ice xxxxx. If I could imagine the taste, I could get it to "feel right".

"Adolice cradoleam. Adolice cradoleam. Adolice cradoleam. Adolice cradoleam."

I was done!

I walked out and La Netta asked me if I had washed my hands.

"I didn't have time to wash my hands."

"Well, you hiave time now", she said.

So I reëntered the restroom and washed my hands with soap. Ten times for each finge. Then I came back out.

"I hope this didn't cost us our Trader Joe's", said La Netta.

We were back in the van before we knew it. La Netta checked the time. "You were in there for an hour", she told me. It was 10:59.

Was this going to be it? Because of Brenda's I-words, would we be unable to go to Trader Joe's today?

La Netta made a call to the office. What was she going to say?

"Hi . . . he just got back in the van. Anyway, James knows that we were supposed to go to the Trader Joe's in Alameda today . . . if we don't go to Trader Joe's, it will probably start something up again, so can we change our schedule to just go to Trader Joe's now and skip the library? Oh, good idea."

So we went to the Trader Joe's in El Cerrito instead of the one in Albany.

I looked at the frozen foods there, then looked at their cookies. I finally picked a baklava off the shelf and settled on that. It cost $4.99. Then I followed La Netta into GNC.

We went into Taco Bell, where Edward, Ken and I got lunch, and while they were eating their lunches inside Taco Bell, I purged off "yxk".

I noticed that after that incident, Brenda talked a lot less today. That was good. Maybe this will be the start of something new.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Sayun the ox

La Netta came to pick me up at 9:00 today. She wanted Rodney too. As a matter of fact, we even had Ayyoon and Sayun in the van when I got it. Sayun was sitting closest to the door.

After I got in, Sayun closed the door. He said something that sounded like "whoots" (rhymes with "puts"). Must have been "whxxps". That clumsy ox! Then he closed it again.

"D'OH!" I bopped my forehead. "D'OH!" "D'OH!" "D'OH!"

"Good morning, James", said La Netta.

"Good morning, La Netta. D'OH!"

"I didn't say it", said Ken.

"I know, it wasn't you, it was he."

Shirley said she didn't hear Sayun saying the WH-word and didn't know what he said. La Netta was out speaking to Stan at the time Sayun said it.

We stopped at the office. Sayun got out and went to the office's restroom. Then Ayyoon went into their restroom. (They didn't want too many people in the office at the same time today.) Then I went. I purged off the WH-word.

At 2:30 that day they dropped me off outside John's new office. John was standing there for me outside, along with Stan. I walked into his office.

Once I got in, he asked me how my day was.

I told him about hearing the WH-word.

He asked me whether I purged it off. John also asked me how hearing the WH-word made me feel.

I told him about the anger it had induced in me.

"So it makes you feel angry", said John.

I thought about Sayun saying that, and I bit into my wrist.

John noticed what I was doing. He asked what I was thinking about.

"I'm thinking about Sayun saying the WH-word."

John wanted to look at my wrist. So I walked up right next to him and showed it to him. "Ooh, that's heavy," he said, "Teeth marks".

I thought about the WH-word some more -- about people at programs other than CIWP saying it -- and started a frenzied session of biting. I bit the sides of my finges, and then I bit my wrists, then I took on the sides of the finges again.

"Do you break your skin when you do that?", asked John.

"No."

John progressed to ask me how my family dealt with anger when I was living with them.

First I told him about my father. My father would get enraged by something and then have these outbursts wherein he yelled at people. He got his blood pressure up. He said, "Jesus Christ!" a lot. Then he would apologize later.

Then I told him about my sister Elizabeth. My sister whined when she got angry. She got very moody. She would frequently accuse people of being "stupid". When she was yelling at me, she would call me an "idiot".

Then John asked me about my mother. I told him that my mother would get very stern and grab onto me, telling me how rude and impudent I was being. She would sometimes tell me that she wanted to slap me.

Finally, he asked about my brother Alex. I said that Alex would go into these rants in an angry tone of voice that explained logically what was wrong with what the person had said and why that person was so stupid. As a child, he would cry a lot.

After what I had brought up about my mother, John wanted to know whether my mother actually slapped me. I told him that up until one day when I was 6, my parents would spank Elizabeth and me. Then one day they decided that it was hypocritical to take a child who had hit someone and tell them, "Don't hit!" then hit them.

John wanted to know how I felt when my mother talked about slapping me.

I said that if she had said "please" and I went "Aaaarrrrrrrrrrgh!", or if she said "sh!" and I hissed "SHHHHHHH!" back, I was just defending myself against her affronts, and it was wrong of her to accuse me of being rude for simply defending myself. I would get angry back at her when she tried to tell me I was rude.

I told him at the word "whxxps" was a stupid word. It was, after all, mispronounced. I talked about the variations with and without the WH at the beginning, and with the "oo" vowel sound and the "ew" vowel sound.

Then John asked me if the WH-word had had a particular person as its origin, much the way the SC-word had Rebecca Warren as its origin. I explained that it didn't.

John wanted to know if there were any other words, besides "scxxt", that started due to a particular person I didn't like. I told him that I would think about it and give him my answer the next time I visited.

So I'm going to think through all the words. If there are any like "scxxt", I'll let John know!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

No use/mention distinction

Aaron and Charles were over having a party. They were in the van with Bernard, Rodney, Jason and me, along with Ken (whom we were dropping off).

They were fooling around outside of the van, then when Charles got in I heard Bernard say something that sounded like "Rover". To make sure it wasn't "scxxt over", I asked Bernard whether he said Rover.

"No, I didn't", said Bernard.

Just then, Aaron said, "He said, 'Scxxt over'."

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!", I went. Is that what Bernard really said?

"Aaron," said Stan, "You know more than anyone about that word. And Bernard didn't say that."

"Sorry," said Aaron.

Aaron kept begging me for my forgiveness.

Oh, great. If I had only not asked about it, I wouldn't have heard the word at all. But even though Bernard didn't say "scxxt", I got Aaron to say it, and now I would have to purge when I got home.

"Aaron", I said, "If you have to refer to that word, say 'the SC-word'."

"OK", said Aaron.

There is a problem with words referred to as words. There is no use/mention distinction for my trigger words. If I hear even someone referring to the word by itself, I have to purge it off.

For this reason, I have developed a bunch of euphemisms along the lines of "the F-word" and "the SH-word". With my friends, coaches and coördinators at CIWP, I speak of "the M-word", "the SC-word", "the WH-word", "the I-word", "the T-word" (txsty), "the K & E words" and "the word that rhymes with 'single'". I use these in my label list for every post I make to my blog.

It's sometimes hard having to tell others what the words are without being able to say or spell them. With the M-word, for instance, I tell people it's "the word that rhymes
with 'dress'". The I-word is "the food they sell at Cold Stone."

It's especially hard to tell people what the WH-word is. I'll often say, "It only rhymes with one word, and that's what you get when you take the WH off the beginning, and it means the same thing." When they don't get it, I'll tell them, "It's the word you say when you goof up." I told that to John one day and he couldn't figure out what it was. (Later, of course, ie saw my blog.) Once I spelled it backwards for someone (S-P-O-O-H-W). I got really creative there.

Sometimes I write them down with asterisks.

And on this blog, of course, nothing marks the spot like X.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Three times is a harm

Today it was Darnell who picked us up. He picked Ken, me and then finally Lisa up and loaded us into the van, one in each row. Although Lisa complained about Ken getting the front seat (Ken always wants the front seat and mopes if he can't sit there), we were able to fit only one of us in each seat, so there were no worries about one person telling another to scxxt over.

Darnell had only three clients and no second driver with him. This is great, I thought, with no second driver for Darnell to hold conversations with, today is going to be a walk in the park.

I was wrong.

Darnell picked up his cellphone and started in on a conversation with Frangelica. I didn't understand his conversation. He kept saying "You're under punishment".

We walked into Big Lots and I held on to Darnell's harm, moving around the place. He was on his cellphone all the time we were in there.

Then as we left Big Lots, I asked him, "When are you going to be done with your cellphone conversation?"

"In a minute", he said.

"One minote? Sixty seconds?"

"In three minutes."

Oh, good.

He got into the van with Ken and me. We didn't drive off yet. Rather, Darnell stayed there. While we was on his cellphone, he said, "I'm sick of this mxss."

"Ewwwwww!"

Darnell got out of the van. After a while he got back in. "Sorry, James!"

He seemed to be done with the conversation now, so I told him that I had a craving for Chinese food. Darnell said he would take me to some Chinese place.

Darnell was still on that danged cellphone. He said he wasn't going to the office or wherever it was because "it's a mxss down there."

"Ewwwwwwwww!"

"Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry."

The time passed by as we drove to Nicholas Park, and Darnell continued chatting on his cellphone. Eventually, he said, "It's a hot mxss."

"Ewwwwwww!"

"Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, James. I'm sorry, James. I won't say that word anymore."

"You promise?"

"Yes, I promise." Then he spoke to Frangelica. "I've got to get off the phone, because I keep upsetting James. Yes. I keep saying the word. And I don't want to upset my clients."

He finally got off his cellphone. I asked if we could have Alice in the van, but Darnell kept switching spontaneously to stations that played exclusively African-American music.

Darnell went to Nicholas Park, then he took us to the library. Once inside the library, I asked him the way to the restroom. I purged off all three M-words in the restroom, then I used the toilet seat. I got some feces on my hands, so I had to wash my hands too.

Darnell knocked. "James?"

"Are we leaving now?", I asked.

"We're leaving now."

We stood in a restaurant along time, where clients from another CIWP group were bothering the customers. Darnell finally got sick of waiting in line and got out, telling Frangelica to buy him a Number 10 at McDonald's.

Then he finally got me to a Chinese place. It was the one where bins were marked in both English and Spanish, where I sometimes spoke Spanish with the waitress. I ordered chow mein, sesame seed chicken and chicken with eggplant. She told me it cost $6.14. I got a five, a one, a dime and four pennies out of my sandwich bag. Then I took the bag she gave me with my styrofoam container of food. I felt around with my eyes closed and took out the plastic silverware.

We got to Miller's Knots, and I used the restroom there. I may have heard the I-word when Frangelica was giving Darnell his sundae, so it was useful to have the restroom to purge.

Then came the time to drop Lisa home in Berkeley. Next he dropped Ken and me off together. Lately Stan's been having Ken dropped off at my house, and Ken hasn't been liking it for some reason. He asked Darnell to dropped him off at his own house instead, but Darnell said no one would be there.

At 2:45 I was finally home where I would be able to eat all my Chinese food in peace.