Today, Mama, You Can Yell

Mom is well.

I can tell because she called and started yelling at me for…something. Her usual go-to “yelling topics” have to do with doing well in school and losing weight, so I’ll go with one of those.

I didn’t care that she was bitching. It was just nice to hear her voice… Even if it was sorta shrill for the early morning hours. 

JESHKAAAAA!!! 공부 빨이하라! 알았냐?!

Okay, Mama.

Waiting Room

My brother called. My mother has been admitted to the hospital. They’re checking her brain for hemorrhaging and brain stem trauma. She’s scheduled for an MRI later today.

He wouldn’t tell me what happened exactly. She woke up with vertigo yesterday and was very nauseous. The doctors thought she was trying to score narcotics. She got worse in the ER waiting room. I’m assuming someone noticed she wasn’t well or perhaps my father went ape shit. They found the hospital wasn’t equipped to treat her. They transported her to a different facility, and that’s where she is now.

I tried to call Pops. No answer. Gotta wait.

I hate waiting. I’m pretty scared.

I’m sure my mother hates waiting rooms even more. I bet she’s not scared; she’s brave.

I Must Look Like a Hooker

Whenever I fall on hard times financially, I always think about a particular day at the boathouse.

It must’ve been late morning on a Saturday because there was an all girls’ middle or high school crew team on the water with us. High schoolers don’t wake up at 0400 for practice; only us big kids do that.

I remember seeing a small, waif of a girl. I walked over and started to chat with her since I figured she too was a coxswain. “I’m not a coxswain. I row in the bow on both sides. I asked my daddy to come watch me today. Hi daddy!”

I turned around to see an elderly man with a limp approaching. How the fuck does this old man have a child this young? The little girl skipped off to help her teammates clean and put away her boats. “Are you a coach?”

“No, I cox for UMBC. I thought your daughter was a coxswain so I decided to strike up a conversation. You know, swap some professional tips and such, haha!”

I was having a very normal conversation with the old geezer. He told me his daughter rowed while his older son played lacrosse. He said he was in the real estate business. It was all rather dull, run-of-the-mill bullshit banter. …and then the dialogue took a darker turn.

“I have to go to her rowing practices since my wife can no longer do that. She passed away a few years ago.”

I never know what to say to bad news like that. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I didn’t have a chance to offer my condolences.

“You’re a sweet girl, and you’re in college. Do you need any financial help? Do you want a sugar daddy? I can offer you a lot of things. Not just money, but introductions to the right people. I like you, and I want to help you. I think $2000 a month would be a reasonable allowance. What do you say?”

This fuck had just gone from “My name is Jim” to “My wife died” to “I’ll pay you for sex” in the span of about twenty fucking minutes. I was knocked back on my heels. I wasn’t thinking straight. I was confused… so I said, “Two thousand dollars…?” He took that as my accepting his offer.

“I’d want to see you once a week at least. Of course I’d provide gifts and pay for our dates – ”

I turned around and walked back to where my teammates were standing around. What in the blue fuck was that?! I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Where are you going? Is right now a bad time? Perhaps we can discuss the terms of our arrangement when you’re finished with practice.”

“EW NO! Get the FUCK away from me!” Old Jim looked shocked. I guess he thought I was totally okay with being propositioned for weekly sex. His face fell into a look of hurt and rejection. I felt bad for a split second, and then I felt white hot anger.

“Don’t ever talk to me again, and stay out of my bay or you’ll end up as fish food.”

For the rest of practice I kept wondering how people must view me. I mean, did I look like a hooker? A well-kept prostitute? Why had the pervert approached me about sex and not any of the other girls on my team? I felt dirty and cheap. I also almost crashed the boat a few times because I wasn’t paying attention to where I was steering.

I’m quite certain I made the right decision to not fuck an old man for money, but man… When financial aid fucks me over…

Jess, you are a stallion in a world of Bronies.

It’s little compliments like these that keep me from selling my vagina to the highest bidder.

Time and Mead

Me: If the good die young then I’m running out of time.

Sam: But… you’re an asshole.

Me: Oh. That’s right… means I have plenty of time to drink this mead.

Sam: You gonna share that?

Me: You just call me an asshole?

I shared.

I could die today.

Take Off Your Shirt, You’re not Twenty-One

Yesterday was freshmen move-in day or what I like to call “freshmen heckling day.” All of them are scared shitless and look awkward as fuck, perfect for trolling. Their mommies and daddies have left them for the wolves. As luck would have it, I actually didn’t start shit until a parent got on my case.

I had just gone for a run with my Foster’s shirt on. Abe had just finished his shift as a residence hall desk clerk, so I made my way to his dorm. I cut through the freshmen dormitory courtyards and was stopped by an old, white man with his snide remark, “You’re not 21; you shouldn’t be wearing that shirt.” I stopped, put my sunglasses on top of my head, and stared at the codger. I don’t like it when people tell me what to do.

“I don’t think my wearing a shirt advertising beer is going to make your son turn into an alcoholic… sir.” Yeah, I was being an asshole, guns blazing.

“My daughter is a lot smarter than that, young lady.”

“Well we’ll see how smart she is after she drinks shitty Coors Light and gets plowed by some upper classmen. Tootles.”

I walked away very calmly until I was out of sight, and then I ran like a thief in the night to Abe’s place. Sometimes I’m a big pile of chicken shit. I kept throwing looks over my shoulder expecting to see the old dude following me.

I bet that old guy is imagining all the terrible things that could happen to his daughter right now. I’ve probably ruined the whole college experience for that family.

“Tough titty,” said the Kitty. “But the milk’s still good.”

Sam: That’s probably one of your biggest flaws, Jess.

Me: What?

Sam: You find listening to instructions interesting but following them less so.

Me: Bad decisions make for great stories. If I did everything right, my blog would be a lot more boring.

Sam: You ever gonna tell me the name of your blog?

Me: Hell no.

Large and in Charge Barge

I almost died in a horrific manner today. Holy fuck, that was scary.

I arrived at the boathouse for practice and found that we were terribly short handed on rowers. There were only five rowers, myself, and my coach. I typically don’t row as I’m better at being loud, steering, and nitpicking people’s forms and techniques. The boat we’re racing seats eight, so even if I were rowing, we’d still be two people short. My coach and Danielle decided to sit out so we could take out a smaller boat, the Foard. One coxswain, four others moving the shell. Perfect.

The water was nice, the breeze was lovely, and the set (whether the boat leans/rocks from side to side) was fine. I decided to take the boat out into choppier waters, beyond the Hanover bridge. Things were going well. Form and technique were great, everyone was chatty and laughing… and then I saw a small boat about 200 meters out. I thought it was a tug boat at first. Tug boats are kind of bad news. The wakes a tug boat makes can splinter a racing shell, so it’s better to steer clear of them.

The wide craft started to turn. I told my boat to “weigh ‘nough” (that’s “stop the fucking boat” in land lubber speak). And then I saw that it was a barge, not a small tug boat, its long, nasty profile presenting itself to me. And it was moving very quickly. Towards us. I called out a few commands to turn the boat and move us out of the barge’s way. “Starboard pressure! HOLY FUCK! STARBOARDS GO!”

The barge turned with us, coming right after our asses. The current was against us. It was closing in, only 100 meters out. We were just a piddly four boat in the choppy waters with a big ass boat that obviously couldn’t see us on our tail. “ALL FOUR AT YOUR RELEASE! FUCKING BOOK IT AND GET US OUTTA HERE!”

The barge was now at my back; that meant my four rowers, Nicole, Drew, Cannon, and Juan, could see the impending doom over my shoulder. Nicole started to ramble nervously, Drew was silent, Cannon’s flashy smile was now a thin grimace, and Juan, my silent stroke seat, kept muttering “Oh God, it’s gaining on us.” I glanced over my shoulder. The behemoth was 50 meters away and encroaching. Best not to look, Jess.

If a wave from a tug boat can split a racing shell in half, impact with a barge would certainly turn our boat into drift would. We’d be sucked under the barge and spat out by very large, fast propellers. Even if we survived the impact with the hull and miraculously missed the blades, we were out in the middle of the harbor with heavy winds, strong currents, and no safety launch. I wondered who would show up to our closed casket funerals.

I think Poseidon or some deity was watching us this morning. Actually, no; I don’t think that was the case. My rowers knew it was sink or swim, do or die. And my goodness did we fly through the water. The set was perfect. Everyone’s handle heights were on point. There was no check in the boat. The stroke rating was phenomenal. And the Foard was angled in such a way so that the barge just missed us.

Oh, and then we had to keep fucking rowing like madmen because the wake from the barge chased us for a few hundred meters.

We made it back to the Hanover bridge and stopped the boat. I think the magnitude of the situation struck home. “…dude, we almost fucking died.” I looked at my teammates and was so glad they hadn’t panicked. They were gods among men to have gotten us out of that hot mess.

We ended practice early. I think everyone needed to be on solid ground. I took a look at my rowers’ hands. Most had blisters that had popped. Pinched skin the size of quarters had erupted on their palms, a tell tale sign of death gripping an oar. Coach Paulo checked my pulse to make sure I wouldn’t pass out… And then we all decided to eat breakfast at a Double T Diner. I didn’t know diner coffee could taste so good. I had three delicious mugs of it.

I wanted a life or death experience to clear my mind; I certainly got one today. My thoughts in those moments… very curious they were.