Posts Tagged ‘scary’

The Time I Had a Rogue Hair

April 28, 2013 Leave a comment


So yeah, everybody gets these. If you haven’t found one on your own body, you simply haven’t been looking hard enough, and it’s probably at least six inches long by now. SEARCH THYSELF.

I remember discovering mine for the first time, growing out of the right side of my abdomen like it fucking belonged there. It looked like it came off Gandalf’s head (the White, not the Grey), several inches long and as glossy as a unicorn’s mane. I plucked it with horror, only to have it grow back again and again, the thin strand as white as purely driven snow. Now I monitor the spot with grim vengeance, razing the area as soon as it pokes it’s tiny silky head out of my stomach.

I remember a girl in my class in college who had a massive two-inch black hair emerging from her chin, like Satan’s own pube. I couldn’t understand how she had never noticed it before, but it became more clear as I watched her glance in the mirror in the bathroom. She always angled her head in such a way that she never saw the offending hair curling in the breeze. My God, had nobody ever told her? I didn’t know how to approach that situation since we were merely acquaintances, and she soon ceased coming to class altogether. Had she been strangled by her rogue hair in the night? Perhaps she looked on it fondly, stroking it gently before drifting off to sleep each night. I will never know.


The Time I Fainted Regularly

March 31, 2013 1 comment

So right around puberty, my body decided it could go fuck itself.

I mean, not literally. Well, maybe a little bit literally. But more like my body thought that betrayal of itself was the order of the day.

The first time it happened, I was in the kitchen getting some breakfast around 6:30 am before school. Suddenly, while in mid-sentence, I keeled over and thwaked my head against a counter before slumping to the floor unconscious. I had no memory of what had happened, but came to with my parents’ concerned faces floating above me, and a goose egg slowly forming on the back of my skull. After testing that I had my full wits about me, I was sent to go catch the school bus with little fanfare. My head ached the rest of the day, but I otherwise felt fine.

This scenario would replay itself several more times over the next few months, finally culminating in a fainting session where I stopped breathing and my mom had to call 911. By the time the paramedics arrived, I was conscious and talking, but couldn’t stand up without immediately passing out again. But I refused to go into the ambulance, and simply sat on the floor slowly eating cereal until I could get myself onto the couch.

We never really figured out what the problem was, but it seemed to be related to blood sugar. I started swallowing spoonfuls of sugar whenever I started feeling a bit out of it, which usually preceded a fainting spell. I began carrying hard candies around with me always, for a quick sugar boost on the go. To this day, I know I need some candy or soda if I start getting the “sweats and shakes,” as I call it.

It’s bizarre, but luckily the days of collapsing like a felled tree seem to be behind me.

Three Checks Walks the Deadman (Part 2)

October 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Click here to read Part 1

We now continue my brother’s 1980s Ohio paddling saga…

So, I went home that weekend and told my Mom I was going to be paddled. She’d always thought it was barbaric. She said if it ever came to that, she wouldn’t allow it. She asked what I’d done. I said, “Talking, basically.” She nodded.

Saturday, Sunday. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I had a migraine the whole time. I thought of nothing else as the hours slipped away towards Monday morning. I’d never been hit. By anyone, or anything. Never been in a fight, never been punched or slapped or beaten by my parents. I’d avoided conflict wherever I could. I suppose I knew my days were numbered; that sometime, somewhere, I’d have to take a punch like everybody else. I never imagined, though, it would come from someone I trusted and obeyed, never imagined it with a piece of wood.

My mom said she’d intervene if I wanted her to.

I thought of her charging into the front office with me in tow, stabbing her finger at the secretary, then the principal. I’d stand behind her, quiet, incapable, impotent.

I thought of Tuesday morning and the questions. “Why doesn’t he have to get paddled?” “Because Damian’s mommy won’t allow it. Because Damian can’t take it. Because Damian is special.”

I told her no.

Monday morning came. I rode the bus to school. No one brought it up. Maybe they’d forgotten. Maybe everyone had forgotten.

After the bell, the Teacher called roll. I said, “Here,” and a few kids tittered. They hadn’t forgotten.

I’d have a shot at that badge of courage after all.

After roll, the teacher looked at me, not unkindly. The rage she’d felt 48 hours ago had abated. But rules were rules and everyone knew them. Three checks walks the deadman. No waiting. No reprieve.

“Damian?” she nodded like a rancher about to put down her favorite horse.

Thirty faces lit up. They’d have their show. And on a rainy Monday, of all days, first thing.

I stood on wobbly legs.

I lifted the top of my desk, took the inhaler out of my pocket and held it a moment.

“Damian can’t take it. Damian is special,” I heard the voices.

I placed it inside the desk next to my books and fruit. Then I closed the lid.

I stepped to the open space between the tall bookshelves. The teacher and her Witness came up behind me. Then I walked around the corner.

Teacher said, “Everything out of your pockets, please.” I took out my milk money, an orange-colored eraser shaped like a Volkswagen, and a tiny Rubik’s Cube keychain and put them on the floor by my feet.

I stood again. The teacher made no speeches, no pronouncement of guilt, though she and the Witness wore the same smile as always.

“Bend over, please.”

The world inverted as I took the small bones of my ankles in each hand. The blood rushed to my head and dampened all sound. Blood throbbed in my neck. My heart counted down the seconds. I heard the engine of the entire world humming all around me. I remembered my Mom’s “A’right, then,” remembered her resigned look and the pat on my knee when I told her I’d make the walk alone.

Then the first hit came. It sounded like someone had dropped a book three rooms away. The walls around me shuddered as my body took the force, then steadied. I was still standing.

The second hit, I didn’t feel at all. There was heat, a rather cozy-feeling heat, actually. I could see the impact points perfectly in my mind, two paddle-shaped infrared slaps across my backside.

“You’re done,” she said. I stood up and smiled at her. Not a belligerent kind of smile but the kind that comes when you realize that the world is still there, and that it isn’t all that bad.

Teacher and the Witness parted and I passed between them. I turned the corner and saw the thirty faces, some grinning, some not, many confused and disappointed. I smiled at them, beaming. Immune.

I took my seat and every moment of the life I was about to resume, all the days I’d live in comfort, in safety, without fear, without war, without pain, yawned before me.

“Okay, people. Open your Reading books to page 28, please…” said Teacher.

I got out my book and, like everyone else, turned the pages.

Three Checks Walks the Deadman (Part 1)

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment


Today features a guest blog by my esteemed brother, who has been mentioned on this blog several times before. Keep in mind that my brother was born in 1971, so this story takes place well into the past. Enjoy!

Rex Ralph Elementary. Sixth grade. I’m a quiet kid, I’m a nervous kid. I know too much about Star Wars. Also, my hands shake. They shake from all this asthma medicine I take. Everyone thinks it’s hilarious. “I have asthma,” I say, like that’ll help. One kid grabs my wrists, holds my hands out all the time, “What are you, nervous or something?” He makes a big scene of it; he’s the same one who waves his peanut-butter sandwich under my nose saying, “Go on. Sneeze!” I told him I was allergic to it. He smells the weakness in me. I’m slowing down the clan. He’s got a natural-selection hard-on for me. Somewhere back in time, his ancestors place boulders on mine and leave them for dead.

But yeah, the hands. The shaking hands. I tell everyone it’s the meds and it is, but it’s also this place, this school, the teachers, the kids, everything. Some people can handle it, some people can handle anything, some people are Han Solo. Me, I’m an Ewok. But not Wicket. I’m the one with the hang-glider that dies.

Our classroom is a pressure cooker of E. Coli, Rotavirus, gummy bears, and craft glue. The hours plow forward through the airless haze made by 60 peanut-butter-stinking mouths. The stultifying minutes are differentiated only by the list of names growing down the side of the blackboard: one name for each person caught talking, caught fidgeting, caught giggling, found passing notes. A name for sneezing, a check next to it for sneezing again. Two checks if it was done for comic effect. Names and checks, names and checks, until someone scores three. When that happens, everything stops and the lights come up on the Thunderdome. Then the three-checker gets up and takes the deadman walk around behind the bookshelves. No waiting. No reprieve.

Back there, the teacher makes him take everything out his back pockets, pens, combs, keys. She makes him bend over and grab his ankles. She says a few words about his crimes so everyone can hear it. She concludes with, “Perhaps in the future you’ll learn not to…” Then, in the manner prescribed by the county, she raises the paddle high in the air. She nods to the Witness, the teacher from next door, her smoking-buddy, her trenchmate, her second. Witness smirks, shrugs, “What are ya gonna do?” They grin, despite themselves. Their eyes twinkle like Japanese businessmen at a live sex-show.

We’re all on the other side of the shelves, breathless, waiting for the “CRACK!”, which comes twice. Some of us giggle. Some of us reach for our inhalers. Then the victim comes back in, usually in tears, though sometimes not. The ones who don’t cry, who swagger in, beaming, immune – they’re a breed apart. Everyone knows this.

When the teacher comes back in, there’s a row of dew on her upper lip, she tucks her hair behind her ear but she can’t hide how good it feels. She puts a girl “in charge” for five. She’s gotta have a smoke.

I know all this because I walked the deadman once.

It was late on a Friday, near Halloween, lots of sugar around and names were going up on the board like a murder of crows. Everyone was frantic, the teacher was in a frenzy, nailing people for reaching too abruptly for a sheet of paper. Everyone screaming, laughing, kids sprinting from seat to seat, teacher bellowing something unintelligible into the gale.

Then someone asked me a question. And just as the class fell silent, I answered, “No, ‘droid’ refers to all robots, not just…” Searchlights locked on my position. I’d transmitted in the clear over radio silence. Teacher had me dead-to-rights. I was supposed to be one of the good ones. I never made a peep. I’d betrayed her. She reached for the chalk and next thing, I was staring down the barrel of three checks. I didn’t even know my name had gone up.

Then the bell rang.

Everyone sat, mouths open, looking at me, looking at her, looking at me again, all thinking the same incredible, impossible, delicious thing: Damian Baldet is gonna walk the deadman. Me: shaky-hands, inhaler-boy, Johnny-weak-link. They were looking at a ghost. I’d never survive it.

But there was something else was remarkable about the situation:

It was Friday. End of day.

True, I had three checks. And everyone knew: Three checks walks the deadman. No waiting. No reprieve.


It was Friday. End of day. The bell had rung!

There was room for a technicality here. It was in her power to be merciful.

Pity tapped on the blackened shell that encased her heart. For a moment, she fought her addiction.

In the end, though, it had been a bitch of a day and pity didn’t stand a chance.

Her expression darkened.

“On Monday morning, Damian will serve his punishment.”

Click here to read Part 2

The Time I Had Pins in my Feet

September 26, 2012 4 comments

So when I feel the tops of my feet, I have…well…horns, essentially.

These are the pins sticking out of my healing bones. After my bones were broken during bunion surgery, they were realigned and stabilized with scary-looking metal hooks. And so they’ve stayed since June, just waiting to poke up their sharp little curvy heads.

As the swelling in my feet go down, the pins are becoming more and more prominent, and are now sticking up and bruising my skin. My scar can’t fully heal while the pins are pushing on it from the inside, so they’ve got to go. I had an appointment with my surgeon yesterday to discuss the procedure, which turns out to be a bit more involved than I had anticipated.

Basically, the doctor will make a small incision over the pin, perhaps a centimeter wide, then yank on the exposed metal with pliers for all he’s worth. If he’s lucky, the pin will come out smoothly and relatively painlessly. If he’s not so lucky, the bone will have grown up over the head of the pin, and he’ll have to chip away at it until he can pull the pin free. If he’s really unlucky, the pin will have bent at some point while it was embedded in my bone, and it will be nearly impossible to remove without doing some painful damage. Then the incision will be stitched up, and I’ll have to keep my foot dry (AGAIN) for another ten days. Torture.

The doctor said this could (hopefully) all be performed under local anesthesia, though my mom, who has had pins removed from bones before, warned that it would still be plenty painful. Though injected anesthetic can numb skin and muscle, it apparently has no effect on bone, which is just bristling with nerve endings. When my mom had pins pulled from a broken finger, she said the pain was some of the worst she had ever experienced, and this is a woman who has had natural childbirth at home more than once. So…that’s daunting.

And so the nurses told me to be prepared to be put under IV sedation. Though the pin removal will be first attempted under local anesthetic, if I start freaking out, I’ll apparently be put down like an unruly circus animal. I’m really, really trying to avoid that outcome since it involves being escorted home on a Friday morning, which is a tough sell since all my friends/family work for a living.

So here’s hoping I won’t pussy out, and the whole thing will take five minutes TOPS. Or else I’ll scream and be injected with powerful drugs. Oh yeah, no pressure at all.

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The Time I Was Picked Up by Drunk People

August 22, 2012 5 comments


So I admit, the title of this post is misleading. I do not mean being “picked up” in the romantic sense. I mean being literally picked up in someone’s arms, perhaps over their head, and eventually dropped. Which hurts.

Let me explain. I’m short. Like, pocket-sized. And apparently, when people (especially guys) get drunk, they feel like trying to fucking bench press me. I don’t know why this happens, or what it’s meant to prove, but it’s happened too many times for me to ignore. I know that if people around me are wasted, I have to be on high alert, since there’s at least a 75% chance that I’m going to be airborne before the night is over.

And let me tell you, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Saying, “No, don’t pick me up like a bag of rice!” never seems to work, and I’m too small to stop someone who is determined to lift me over their shoulder. If you have never been unwillingly hoisted by a drunk, beefy man, I can tell you that few things will make you feel more vulnerable. I mean, how rude is that shit? I don’t go up to you and leap on your back or something when you’re just trying to have a good time. “Hey, you looked like you could support my weight, so how about you CARRY ME NOW YAAAAAY!”

But nope, I’ll just be chatting, sipping my drink, and some dude will come up behind me and fucking cradle me like a baby. Usually I barely even know him, and now my drink is on the ground and I’m pissed. “Come on, don’t be a bitch,” he’ll say while digging his hand painfully into my armpit, or sometimes inadvertently (?) fondling my breast. “I just wanted to see if I could lift you.”

How about this? FUCK. YOU.

After the guy gets tired of toting me around like a damn Neanderthal, he’ll usually unceremoniously DROP ME. I’ve been dropped on tables, doorknobs, and into mud puddles. Huh, guess I was heavier than you thought, ASSHOLE.

Luckily, this doesn’t happen to me so often these days, though it felt like a fucking weekly occurrence in college. The next time you get the urge to pick up some random girl just because she’s tiny, put yourself in her shoes for a minute, and then WALK AWAY, you moronic sack of shit.

There, I feel better now. And the next stranger who tries to pick me up gets CUT, BITCH.

The Time I Ran From Dogs

March 2, 2012 Leave a comment


I spent much of my youth being terrified by dogs of all types.

A tiny yappy Chihuahua, a fluffy lap dog, a big slobbery Great Dane, it didn’t matter. I was scared of them all, and convinced I’d one day be torn apart by canine teeth.

I’ve already mentioned how I was raped by a chocolate lab, but that was not the first nor the last time I’d be humiliated by man’s best friend.

Years before that incident, I was walking in a field with a friend when a Rottweiler appeared in the distance. It advanced towards us, drool flying as it ran in a full sprint. We soon realized that its intentions were not friendly, and we broke into a run ourselves. I swear I have never run so fast in my life, and my innate fear of dogs propelled me far past my friend. I figured the slower of us would be the first target, and I sped as if my life depended on it. But our pathetic flight was no match for a full-grown dog, and he caught up with us in moments. I could hear his ragged breath behind me, but my legs continued to pump with a mind of their own. Suddenly, the breathing noises stopped, and I glanced behind me, assuming my friend was being eaten. The dog had stopped suddenly, letting us escape. It turned out that we had been inadvertently trespassing, and the owner of the land had released his dog to chase us off his property. He sicced his dog on two 8-year-old girls. The dog had been trained to stop dead at the edge of the property, and it sat there, alternately panting and growling at us.

I also had another friend growing up whose house resembled a zoo more than a home. The house was a historical landmark, and so renovations were limited by law. It had central A/C, but was heated by a single wood-burning potbelly stove on the first floor. The children spent free time chopping wood and tending the fire, and sleepovers involved shivering on the upper floor under a foot-high stack of blankets. The family had three dogs, three cats, three rabbits, and two horses. The cats and dogs ran free using pet doors, the rabbits had a hutch larger than my bedroom, and the horses lived in a large pasture. The property itself was so large that each family member had their own small motorbike they used for doing chores during the day, and there was a full-sized teepee in the middle of the yard for relaxing. I learned to ride a Pocket Rocket bike myself, and promptly crashed it into a fence my first time out. The family was friends with the caretakers of neighboring Peterloon Estate, which meant us kids got to explore the 1200 acres of land, complete with gardens, fountains, and woods. I even got to go inside the 36-room and 21-bath mansion once, which was pretty spectacular. Outside, we’d get a group of 10 kids and play flashlight tag at dusk in a landscaped area straight out of The Secret Garden.

Anyway, the three dogs at this house were somewhat…temperamental. There were two large Siberian Huskies, one of which was semi-feral after living life mostly outdoors away from the family. Named Koshka, the Russian word for “cat,” the dog frequently snapped at and tackled me, growling in my face as streams of drool dripped onto my forehead. The other Husky, Ivan, was more tame, but would chase after our motorbikes and often launch himself in front of the wheels in a sort of bizarre suicidal game. I’d wrench the front wheel to the left or right, usually causing me to spin out or crash into a bush. I burned my leg more than once on the hot exhaust pipe when my bike fell to the ground, pinning me underneath. Ivan would gambol about my prone body, yelping in excitement at the smell of burning flesh.

Sophie, a Husky and German Shepherd mix, was the most friendly and tame of the three, and was the canine that finally got me to overcome my fear of dogs. She liked to play, but was never overtly aggressive, and her mismatched eyes would look into your own with an air of curiosity and intelligence. Plus she was super cute, and since she never once tried to rape or kill me, she got an “A” in my book.

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