Well, at least it isn't eldritch…

“?! You little shit.”

As I stand stock still in the pantry it’s confirmed—I am in fact not hearing things. A mouse has gotten in through the hole in the floor that the people in charge of this hole of a building refuse to fix.

(Of course, this on top of the black mold, the falling-in-bathroom walls, the leaky pipe, the decaying space under my kitchen sink that has been that way since I moved in…)

I moved the trap to the path of where the mouse has been going, but it seems to have wised up. (“You little shit.”) Now I’m about to clear out the pantry and put down a couple more glue traps.

On the upside, I’m on vacation until Friday.

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In which I vent about the landlord who has done nothing for the building.

Dear Landlord:

Because you’ve dragged your feet on the leak over my apartment, I’ve developed a case of what is either black mold or mildew on my ceiling. While I was willing to attack this with a can of Killz brand antimold/antimildew thingy on my own, the fact that the ceiling itself has developed a bulge in two places, and gives when poked in another, is something that is more in YOUR wheelhouse. HOWEVER. It’s been almost half a year and you’ve done nothing. Which leads to this:

That’s my bathroom wall. An extreme closeup albeit, but the wall. Specifically, one of the wall tiles. You see how the stuff that sticks it on has rotted? You know how my bath doesn’t have a shower so it’s impossible for anything to get there? Yannou, except for that wrapping-around bulging pouf of paint that clearly indicates the pattern of leakage from the unit over mine? Well, THE FUCKING TILES are falling off now.

That’s right. The TILES ARE FALLING OFF BECAUSE OF THE LEAK YOU WON’T PINPOINT AND FIX.

Frankly, you’re lucky anyone in this building pays rent, because this right here is some serious bull.

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Eldritch Mouse, Part 2…

I step across my threshold with nothing on my mind except the prescription bottle that I’ve forgotten on my bed. I’ve been sans a nerve pain pill for two doses and at this point I have excruciating pain in four places and an alarming lack of sensation in a fifth. The first thing I’m going to do is take a missed dose.

The first thing I actually do is drop four F-bombs. Sitting on my wall is something I can only describe as a fucking corpse blow-fly (DON’T google that!). It’s about as long as the first joint of my thumb—I have long thumbs—and it’s…not actually doing anything. I avoid aggroing it as I get into streets and prepare a snack to take this med with. It is then that I notice something…odd about the air in the apartment. It smells vaguely like battery acid and hate. I get the distinct impression that I should check my glue trap.

Ay, Yemaya help me!”

I realize that they don’t have actual collarbone an are also all around flexible, but even Eldritch Mouse shouldn’t be bent in such a position. It clearly didn’t approve of the plan I had laid out for it. Its body is twisted double—triple-jointed even, using the entire available width area of the glue trap. From the looks of things, I got him shortly after leaving for work—maybe that was the noise I heard when I thought I dropped a pack of caraway seeds.

Worthy opponent aside, I’m not looking forward to moving that trap. But if I don’t get up to do it now, it won’t get done…

*cringe/shudders and gets up*

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Sometimes you just have to cut family loose.

You may or may not be aware that I take a fascination with following the phenomenon known colloquially in some areas as ‘the nigga moment.’ Shortest definition—it’s that moment where two otherwise civilized individuals throw sense to the wind and act all out crazy. Normally, these are the height of ridiculousness—something involving new shoes, for instance, or an overreaction to a bump on the sidewalk. But they can hit things more serious. I’ve been keeping an eye out for them because the ludicrous things that happen in the area deserve more eyes on them, if for no other reason than we can stop them from being so damned common.

Little did I know that I was about to star in my own personal nigga moment, and it’d burn the last family bridge standing…and I wouldn’t regret it.


Friday Evening

I hate it when my phone rings first thing in the morning. I don’t usually answer it when it happens. I ignored it as usual and went back to getting ready to work. Of course, later in the day it rings again and this time I don’t think to ignore it. It’s my cousin—the daughter of the aunt who’s so bigoted and backwards that she’d rather I was a slut than queer. There’s weather blowing in and she’d like to crash at my place—

“Sure, why not?”

“Is it OK if I bring somebody over?”

I REALLY should’ve bailed then. The last time she brought someone over it was a triggery disaster. But…weather’s blowing in, and not letting family in out of the weather would be a dick move.

“Sure, why not?”

A voice in my head told me that I was going to regret this immediately after I said it.

“I tell you what, I need a favor, a bit of help around the place. Do that and we’re cool.”

She arrives in a couple hours, with this…halfling of a man in tow. He’s shorter than I am, with all the confidence of jell-o on a hot humid day. A genie in an Electrolux steam cleaner would be less wishy-washy. He spends half his time with the phrase “I got nothing against black women but—”

Yeah, nothing good ever comes after that.

—and the other half of the time bitching about how women on Facebook are bitches and ho’s and and the queer community is immoral and he’s saying this while going through my things and stumbles over my packing device (it’s a dick, ok) blah blah—

Listen, guys, the TL;DR of it is my cousin brought over a misogynist bigoted homophobe and on top of it racist against his own. And I’m supposed to be OK with this? Top this off, he has no concept of boundaries, WILL NOT REMEMBER MY NAME, and insists on making reaching/grabbing motions in my general direction—and we remember my problem with hands.

He goes off to his job and she lets me know that she’s been screwing around on him (one of the things he’s so terrified of)—do I look like I care? Do I want to know? Two months ago you were trying to get me to fix you up with the cutest girl on my friends list, now you’re all about dick again? URGH.

And it doesn’t get any better. The night is a hotbed of overstimulation and blatant ignoring of my repeated calls for quiet. The guy goes off to work and she goes on and on and hey would I like to hear a thing she wrote and oh god that’s dark suicidal

dark room bottles in hand one swallow off from being done phone’s four feet off I still have half an hour to call someone and get out of this but do I really want to get out of this I mean I put all this work into getting out of this I should get out of this I really should get out of this too many things to do only I can do I have to stop 911 911 911 answer faster 911 

Stop.”

She keeps reading.

“STOP!”

She keeps reading. I can’t talk fast enough or loud enough to get it through to her that I need quiet. She also doesn’t listen to my repeated explanations that it doesn’t matter what the subject was, at this point I don’t give a fuck what her intent was, the point is right now everything has to stop so I can figure out where and when I am.

I’m about this close to my blade. I almost gut her. She’s a threat. I can’t keep this up.

I take a walk instead.

Nothing’s been done around the apartment. Lots of peanut-gallery action, but nothing’s been done.

Saturday.

The wishy-washy doesn’t improve before I go off to work. Work itself is welcome relief from the day before, and I knock the fuck out of some linens. Cousin’s spent the last few hours trying to convince me to let her borrow my good backpack (The answer is such gigantic big heap no that the Indians from Peter Pan look politically correct). I finally get home after work thinking I’ll have me that sushi and a nap and that’ll be the end of most of my day.

Nothing’s been done. In fact, there’s A BIGGER mess than when I left. I would’ve done better on my own. Dishes are piled to eye level, and about two weeks worth of my storehouse is demolished.

Oh, and get this—she’s talking about inviting a different guy over. (Remember, she’s running around on the first guy—then again he’s such a wishy-washy blob looking at pictures would count as such to him.) She plays me up to convince me that it’s cool—“Oh, Cuz is cool, she’s gay [I’m pansexual, get it right already] and progressive and all that, she won’t care as long as we don’t do nothing around her,” that sort of thing—

Now that I think about it, this is the same spiel she used to rope me in last time. And, like before, it went badly. But I ignore the little warning flag, just like I’m ignoring the repeated variations of “Oh my god I can’t wait to see what he got between his legs!”

In that moment I wanted nothing more than to teleport to the local drag bar…on ladies’ night…preferably wearing my Tootsie Pop Owl shirt, the one with the owl that says “I Bite.” Anything to get away from all the MAN and the talk of MAN PARTS, if I SEE another MAN any time soon…

There isn’t time to ramble about it though because this second guy shows up—packing Chinese takeout. This one’s perfectly forgettably meh on all counts—seriously, other than the fact that he brought Chinese food I don’t remember a damn thing about him. I wind up crashing early because I’ve been exhausted.

My pantry is completely unnavigable. Nothing has been done.


Sunday.

I wake up and my cousin is on the phone alternately fighting with the first guy through text and calls. There’s no time to hang around with “he’s not worth it’s” and “he’s not worth the time’s” because I have to work, and all the drama is kicking up the flashbacks. I get out without preamble and go beast mode on the linen again. I get a text message while I’m there that my cousin’s bailed out. Later that day I get a different message that states that “he barely ain’t got no dick.” Further questioning reveals that this is a third guy, if you can believe it. At this point I’m right back to the “TELEPORT ME TO THE LESBIAN BAR” stage. In her evident excitement for fresh dick, she’s forgotten her keys and phone charger.

When I get home, I see that the dishes are stacked to my eyeballs. The pantry is even less navigable than before, and she has borrowed one of my bags without permission. Nothing has been done.

Later I attempt to air my problems with this entire visit over the phone, specifically the whole problem with her bringing dudes over (two different ones in two days in this case!). It was running my nerves raw, and I needed to set down some ground rules if we were going to hang out again, especially since so little of our agreement has been worked on.

*record needle scratch*

Monday Morning—THIS morning, actually…

Let’s just pause for a second. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that this has to have been leading to something big. You guessed right—this would be the thing that triggered my own personal nigga moment.

The next thing I know I’m on the receiving end of a litany of attempted emotional abuse—the standard lines. The “I was the only one who even was on your side after the shit you pulled/supported your lifestyle choice [NOT A CHOICE BITCH]” lines come out with increasing volume, while I’m trying to specify that I can’t deal with all these random males she brings with her every time she comes over.

“I’ve been over twice!”

“And you brought losers over twice. IN THIS CASE THREE. And I REALLY don’t need to know about your dick-chasing habits at every turn.”

“You listen to me, bitch—”

“Hey LISTEN, bitch-ass—”

It goes downhill from there. She gets more and more abusive, and I remember that I do not have to take that shit. I hang up, put my phone on Airplane mode, and eat breakfast. Afterwards I turn my phone back on. I’ve got a series of passive-aggressive texts now demanding that I come into HER town with her keys.

My turn to text.

Get over yourself. I’m not going out of my way for someone who treats me like you do. Get your ass here or you don’t get your shit.

My phone rings a minute later. I probably don’t have to tell you how violent the discussion got. I also probably don’t have to tell you that the fact that I spent five years first couch-surfing with a friend and then moving into this little box shows that her repeated assertions of solidarity are so very much bullshit. I end it with:

“You’ll get your shit when you get your shit. And after you give me back my bag. Once that’s done with, forget my number.”

“I’m through with this.”

“No. I’m through with you. All of you. Don’t come to me needing anything ever again. I’ll leave you out there to drown.”

Two hours later, I dismount a bus, chuck her crap to her, and walk to the platform for my train. I never stop walking the entire time.


Clearing the Fallout

The next thing on the list was grocery shopping, but while I was there, I picked up cleaning supplies, specifically roach baits—I’ve seen breeders about near the garbage chute on the ground floor—and scrubbing stuff, and housewares in general. But all the household cleaning and cleansing and AURA DE-BAD-MOJOING won’t do a thing if I don’t give myself a good one as well. So after downloading an app specifically designed to fix my home productivity problem, I hit the luxuries section and got myself some fancy things.

Speaking of, just remembering all of this was a colossal drain on me. There’s a little bottle of Wild Rose oil waiting for me.

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Eldritch Mouse…

The good news is that I’ve gotten rid of the mouse that’s been plaguing the apartment.

The bad news is that its corpse shows signs of having been scavenged upon by something larger.

I pop antiemetics like candies after discarding the trap and its contents, as my stomach has begun to disagree with me. The image of that…thing that used to be a mouse has hit me a bit more solidly than expected.

It’s not the gore itself that bugs me, I don’t think—it’s the rapid cannibalism, the fact that it was the rich organ meat that was consumed and nothing else, like the mouse that’s taking this one’s place is one bad motherfucker that knows EXACTLY how to become the fittest…ribs splayed open like a warning sign. Like this is intentional or something.

…Somehow I always end up with the crazy mice. And I thought the parkour building scaler was a hard trap.

I have…NO IDEA where my 100 Things drafts are.

I have them somewhere on my hard drive but can’t seem to find them right now. I haven’t been able to find them for a bit.
I’m going to have to do some hunting.

On the upside, I figured out what was causing me the twitch, and I cut that medication out.
I should be able to write again in a couple days when it’s completely out of my system.

Things you should never have occasion to do:

  1. Second-guess your doctor.
  2. Second-guess your pharmacist.
  3. Second-guess your doctor again when you have a rotten reaction to a combination of medications.
  4. Second-guess your pharmacist again when they seem confused about you having a reaction in the first place.
  5. Call an unaffiliated pharmacist who also second-guesses your primary pharmacist…and their sources.

I was recently put back on a bunch of head meds by my shrink. Me being me—me being sick of being on so many meds—I reluctantly get them filled and look up any potential problems that there could be while I’m on them all. While I’m doing this, I see that there are more interactions than I care for listed between the three that are now the big drivers, plus a bunch of others.

Well, I take the meds last night, and wake up this morning the absolute sickest I have been since starting the entire regimen in the bin, right when we were trying a bunch of them and they weren’t tuned right and interacting all wrong.

This is the second time this has happened.

It’s 20 hours later and I’m still feeling sick. The plan now is to remove one of the pills each night and see if the bad happens without it. If it does—it’s individual meds and a timing adjustment will do it. If it happens anyway, it’s all of them and I’ve got to just drop most of them or I’m in BIG GIANT TROUBLE.

…I suppose it could be worse.