Cognitive dysentery, explained

I’ve frequently forgotten to take my Paxil lately, which is fine because I needed it thanks to overwhelming anxiety about getting fired from jobs I didn’t like anyway. Funny, now that the “worst” has happened, I’ve never felt better!

I had a horrific dream about the ex-job last night. Sheesh. I’d thought their days of haunting me and causing me grief were long gone. Oh, it was awful. All whirlwinds and airports and wild goose chases and trying to second-guess their next moves.

But really, I realized it’s like trying to outsmart a toddler — my solutions and explanations were far-too-sophisticated when all I had to do was stand still and wait for them to find their way back to square one.

Oh, had I only realized that solution 12 months ago. …

I realize I am the least-interesting most-public blogger among my entire network. (And it’s a big network.) But reviving an old high-school friendship has made sense of it all to me.

Back in high school, I had befriended this evil cunt we’ll call Eve. (Because that’s her name.) I had hit a rough patch with my “gay boyfriend” because he had expanded his social circle to a girl I just did not like.

Maybe I was jealous to some degree that he was splitting his time between us (oh, I WAS jealous). But moreover, I tried to be her friend and I JUST could not understand the “attraction,” as it were. I was cuter, smarter, more adventurous and definitely a lot funnier. Why did he need to expand his harem?

I brought another friend into the mix and we became a very weird foursome. Not four people you’d put into a room together, that’s for sure. (My friendship with the other guy ended in college over money he owed me that I will never see. Why rob the poor girl who helped you out of a crisis? Jeez.)

Anyway, I think Eve thought I stole the other friend from her, as they were tight through ninth grade. I know Eve wanted to join the fabulous foursome. Which, jeez, I was happy to have her around … until she revealed what a social mutant she was. Lord. I could see why everyone would rather have left her at home.

But her dad had just died, and I needed a good girlfriend. (As the gay men just weren’t cutting it.) I could tell my foursome was crumbling from the inside as my “gay boyfriend” became marginally obsessed with his new fag hag (emphasis: HAG). And the other guy had a car, so I think they became more of a threesome.

Besides, they all came from money and I didn’t. I couldn’t afford all our outings. Perhaps they didn’t want to bother asking me all the time. (Oh, how I wish they would have at least asked. …)

Anyway, I was feeling very left out and, well, Eve was kind of a riot when you were one-on-one with her. We played Nintendo and hung out and really just bonded. I thought, fuck all those idiots. I have a new friend who clearly wants to spend time with me.

Now, the long story short (you’re welcome) is that my senior year was ruined by secrets. While Eve and I were sharing our heart’s deepest thoughts, she was sharing MINE with MY OLD FRIENDS.

The twist? She elaborately added detail to anything I might or might not have said. The bitch was planning to become a psychiatrist — she only used nuggets that they would have believed and then really played on them.

Don’t get me wrong — I know I said an untoward thing or two about my now-ex-friends. I was coming from a place of deep hurt and, fueled by Eve egging me on, a growing resentment.

When my old friends stopped speaking to me entirely, I was confused. I missed the gay boyfriend; the rest, I didn’t care about. But he wouldn’t return my calls or bother speaking to me when I cornered him by our lockers. (Yep, next to each other alphabetically. I staked his ass out a lot.)

I don’t know how it all got revealed — I think one day he just felt he had to confront me about something that even he couldn’t believe I would have said. And I was all like, WTF? I never said that. Or that. Or that.

But where I had some credibility with him was the fact that we had been friends since age 10 when we met in the fifth grade. (Neighboring lockers, ahoy!) And he knew that I was a lot of things, but I wasn’t the slightest bit mean-spirited.

And kudos to him for taking, oh, five months to figure that out when we were 17. But alas, I was so beaten-down, beaten-up and just plain beaten that I didn’t even care. I admitted the things I did say. But I did tell him how they originally came out of my mouth.

Anyway, we had a long talk. And talked some more. I learned who Eve really was — she had a crush on my gay boyfriend and was truly just trying to get him to like her … by giving him gossip about one of his oldest friends.

But he didn’t want to disown her the way he’d disowned me. (The start of a pattern in his and my relationship.) He wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt, I guess for opening his eyes or some shit.

Alas, she quickly turned on HIM. SHE was the one who not walked but RAN away from her newfound friends. She never said a word to me ever again. And my friendship with my three other friends was rekindled for the next few months … enough to get me through high school.

He and I stayed friends till a few crazy things happened in college. I’m still not sure whether it was because he slept with my best friend … or I slept with HIS … that ended it all. But he shut me out once again and this time I said goodbye and good riddance.

I hear Eve ended up taking over her father’s funeral business. Which is a good thing, I think. She should NOT deal with the living. At least the dearly departed can’t repeat the fantastical shit that comes out of her head.

Anyhoodle, secrets ruined my senior year. Before that, I was very quiet. I was always writing, lest I say something out loud I couldn’t take back. And after being picked on my whole public-school life, I have more than the average amount of empathy for my fellow humans.

I KNEW I never said anything really bad because I don’t actually THINK anything that bad!

So, yeah. Secrets suck. So, even at the risk of TMI, I would rather share every detail of every story quickly and publicly. Have people gotten hurt? Sure. I didn’t want it that way. But the ones who know and love me understand that not one word was ever typed out of maliciousness.

Every entry on every page here is rooted back to my perception, my experience, my understanding and the feelings that were invoked/provoked in response to it.

Plus, every story is another clue into understanding human nature. By understanding my own, I “get” everyone else. I know I poke fun at my last two-headed hydra of an employer, and the merry band of miscreants before it. But hey, there are some powerful lessons in those goofy-ass stories.

Every one of them had the audacity to put me down and try to strip me of everything that made me special. I took it. I smiled. I cooperated. And I got walked the fuck all over.

I own it that I lost their respect by not standing up for myself every blessed time they knocked me down. And maybe it’s cowardly to lash out on the Internet. But even when they’re reading, they’re not listening. But so help me, if what they recognize in my words makes them treat just ONE employee better, then hallelujah.

So, that dream about my job? Yeah, it invoked buried memories of she whom I called the “Evel” one. Because, you know, I don’t care so much about being treated shabbily in the workplace. But, you know, none of yinz is a Dr. House.

I can take the crap if it means I’m going to become smarter and savvier. But when I can dance circles around toddlers, well, it’s a hollow victory to go every day without giving these yin-yangs the smackdown they so deserved.

I much prefer being at the big-kid table with all the biggest brains in the industry. And guess what, you miserable assholes? (I see your IP address. Hi!) They regard me as just as smart as they are. They don’t know who YOU are. They wouldn’t even let you SPEAK other than to laugh at you over cocktails later when you flounce off thinking you just dazzled them.

Every one of those bitches is just the grown-up version of Eve to me. I feel sorry for them all. But that is never, ever going to stop me from having the last laugh at every last one of them, because assaulting my character never gave them any.

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