Am I back? TBD.

I have to say thank you to HB for blocking the one account of hers that I bother to check in on. I see she’s been here nearly every day for nearly five years. She likes to say “I hope you heal” near-daily. I hope she visits every site and account I have, every day, until the feigned hysterics turn into actual mania. I appreciate being able to stick to my resolution to not read her insults. THANK YOU!

Anyway. 2023 was a good year.

It was one of my best income years.

I got to see The Eras Tour Live, TWICE. Once in Tampa and once in Pittsburgh.

Tampa was fun. I took the girl kitties with me. We stayed on the Riverwalk and drank at Cigar City and some Gen X bar. And we spent time in Ybor City. Great fun. 10/10, no notes.

Pittsburgh was amazing. I was supposed to travel there with my BF. But his dad declined quickly and entered the process of dying. RIP Larry. Who I liked better than his son, anyway.

I took my cousin M. to Taylor. I haven’t seen since she was a baby. My momma and her momma were super close though. Like sisters who didn’t fit into the broader fucked up family.

In any event, I’m so glad we met up. I got a great friendship out of this and that was the real souvenir from this trip. That and fat from all my favorite bars and bakeries.

I nearly went to see my paternal grandmother while I was in town. I didn’t. Ironically as all fucking hell, my half-sister’s daughter was in the section above us. (They live like three states away.)

M and I had killer seats at Heinz Field. (Thank you, Capital One presale. I got SO LUCKY.)

I checked my half-sister’s FB page and holy crap, she and her kid had THE SAME VIEW. Just up higher. Like what are the fucking odds?

They did go to see our (ugh, “our”) father briefly on the way out of town. His dopey wife moved in her dopey daughter and her FOUR kids by four dads. And she goes to Liberty University.

(I seriously love that the man who told me he wanted nothing to do with me, his kid –because his then-girlfriend didn’t want him to — has to raise the wife’s kid AND her waiflings.)

Anyway, my flight home got canceled. I should have kept the Mustang convertible and driven the 16 hours. Instead I flew to my BF’s town for a layover. (The opposite of hilarity ensued there.)

What I should have done was stayed in PGH. M’s mom Elaine wanted to see me but we didn’t make it happen.

Now, I’ll never see her again. E went and died on us three months later.

What the fuck, Caucasian male God?

We endured eight deaths this year. I don’t want to talk about all or any of them, really.

I say it was a good year because I got to travel and see Taylor and I am still employed and Cocoa is still with me. But it was a trying fucking year.

2022 ended w losing my Uncle Tom. Not Elaine’s dad Tom, who we already lost, but her stepdad Tom, who loved her like his own.

In 2023, we lost my cousin Jim to bladder cancer around my birthday.

T’s dad died shortly after I came back from Pittsburgh, to pancreatic cancer.

Elaine died of colon and liver cancer in September.

M was on her babymoon, one week after the concert, when her mom got diagnosed.

She took care of Elaine till she passed in September … four days before M’s daughter was born.

I can’t imagine becoming a mom four days after losing yours. My cousin is badass. Bad fucking ass. She is also a doctor. And the most liberal person I know.

I am so proud of her. And I miss her mom so fiercely.

Imagine — had we not gone to the concert together, we wouldn’t be friends now. I wouldn’t get baby pics and old videos of her mom to make me laugh and cry. I wouldn’t get cool care packages from Pittsburgh because she was so grateful I said don’t pay me a dime for this ticket, after she was thisclose to paying $1,400 to get resale.

I love that I could do that for her. It was nothing. I got so much more in return. So much.

I LOVE my cousin to pieces and her little girl is cuter than any human kiddo I’ve ever seen. I tried to send an “I snuck into the Eras tour” onesie for Xmas, as I am the peddler of Swiftie baby gifts, but it turned out disastrously though.

There is another death I can’t post about. I wanted to tell my Old Friend(TM) about it at the concert.

O.F. had agreed to meet me there. We didn’t. Not for lack of me telegraphing my location at all times.

I don’t know if his GF kiboshed that meetup or if he himself was afraid I’d jump his bones after 30 years in front of 70,000 other people. (Bitch, I might. LOL)

He stopped returning my messages the moment I stepped on the flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta. But he liked every FB post I made about my trip.

So, guess what, buddy. You don’t get to know. You don’t get to know how fucking broken I have been and how fucking broken you should fucking be, with me.

And not 10 minutes later, metaphorically anyway, one of my fellow directors died of gliboblastoma.

Not the one I call Feather for reasons best left unexplained. One the world actually misses and sucks a little more without.

I mean, in the end I knew Kris’ tumor had come back. Where Nanny sows discord on purpose and yet I somehow get blamed, Kris was inadvertently mixing stuff up at the end.

My staff was so frustrated and so was I. But I couldn’t tell them why I was so incredibly patient and they should be, too.

One of my staffers (I lost 16 people last year. Story for another day. Or never.) lost her mind when this nice lady passed. Like, she wouldn’t have been so angry at her if she had known. I said you can only react within the bounds of the information you have. Now you know, you don’t always get the full story.

I hate to say I forget who else died. Those were some fucking big ones. And somewhere Heinous Bitch is out there saying I deserve all the hell and hurt I get.

And to that I say, I’m sorry.

That’s what she wants, an apology. Fine. I am sorry that she had to post that she was going to my colleague’s funeral — that I DID NOT GO to because K. deserved better than potential drama.

K deserved to live. I am not sure I can say that about some of the survivors in the stories I’ve told you about today.

Looking back, two Eras Tour trips doesn’t really seem to offset all the sadness that continues to this day.

But again, M. is one of my close friends now. And with the death I can’t post about, it was good to reconnect with their ex (who broke the news). Even if his page is too tRumpy and religious for me.

But I did reach out to my friend’s niece, B. And we’ve developed a rapport we never would have had otherwise. I share old stories and provide as much insight as I can.

I suppose I could talk about my own health adventures. Just grateful to be here another year.

Not grateful for all the jagoffs who waste my time. Like, hi, if you lived through MY 2023, you’d see why I cannot stand to waste a moment of stress on Nanny and Linda Blair. (Another who thinks it’s cool to tell us what failures we are to them.)

But I really do stress about them. And the 16 I lost. And my asshole neighbors who can’t stand to see a community cat eat an ounce of food without them sticking a camera up my cooter to try to intimidate me. Like, literally — I am not joking.

In any event, I know what makes me special and I hope that the people who think I am special (in the good way) don’t get that view (too) influenced by the others.

I got enough to deal with, without worrying about how to afford all the retail therapy I require to get through all the rest.

The hardest part of a new year is officially having to leave behind those who will never see it. That and looking at those who don’t deserve to still be here.

I won’t claim that I won’t go snoop on whack jobs in 2024 and find new ways to piss them off just by existing. But I do promise to still be a better worker, human and citizen than any of them could ever hope to be.

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