Friday, May 13, 2011

What I Learned in College Besides My Social Security Number.

Just now I found a small circular screen on our kitchen floor. I picked it up and thought it must have been attached to the pony tail holder I just took out, but it was a lot firmer than my other screens and it was perfectly round. There are perhaps people who might wonder what it is and where it came from. There are others who will immediately recognize it is a screen for a sink faucet. I fall into the latter category and am sure it was dropped by the maintenance man who was here earlier fixing the microwave.

When you hear Steelers Wheels' Stuck in the Middle with you, do your have visions of Mr. Blonde hacking off someone's ear? If your answer is Yes, you understand just how much an event can change the way you think of something. If your answer is No, I'm sure you understand, but you really need to see more movies from the nineties. A song can take you back to a different moment in time, and so can the sight of an object.

I quit smoking in 1997. Three packs a day. Camels. In order to stop, I had to go cold turkey on everything. I wasn't a heavy drinker or weed smoker, but just the thought of having either made me want a cigarette so I quit it all. Even my morning cup of coffee had to be put on hold for awhile.

Time goes by, I break a bone, and my doctor gives me Vicodin. I become a fan. Not enough to beg for more, but enough that I am still consuming what remains of the prescription long after I need it. Two close friends sit me down in the Rumpus Room and remind me just how bad the stuff is. When I tell them I'm using it to help me fall asleep at night one of them, the Juggernaut, reminds me that weed is just as efficient, much safer, and that I am well beyond the point of needing a cigarette from a hit or two of weed before bed. He's right. I accept a small gift in the plastic wrapping from El's pack of cigarettes and run upstairs to look for my pipe. It takes no time to find, but I have cleaned it out so well there is not a trace of resin. Or a screen.

I went to college. I can handle this. I know my kitchen sink will have an extra screen for me. What I don't know is that I am no longer able to put a faucet back together.

I work with power tools. I put things together for a living. But at this moment, I don't know that I have MS and my disintegrating dexterity and occasional double vision are making the task very difficult, nay impossible. Half an hour later I receive a phone call from one of the Juggernaut wondering what the fuck has happened to me, and why am I not back downstairs yet?

As I pick up this small round screen from the kitchen floor, the memory that comes to mind is the vision of him at my sink, his back to me while he properly screws the cap of the faucet back along its threads. He turns his head around just long enough to sneer at me and say, "You know - you're dorm is one thing, but you're not supposed to do this to your own home." True Dat.


Weed: Helping Americans learn the Metric System.


  1. Damn you've got the dreaded MS, my sister has it too. So many research labs on this disease, so little results. They out to be able to figure out why the myelin is destructively removed, when its not absolutely not supposed to.


  2. Maybe one day they'll figure it out. Even if they can't reverse the damage already there, it'd be nice to know we won't continually be degenerating! What an annoying disease. But as my doctor put it - "We all get SOMEthing." She wasn't trying to be bleak, it's just a fact of life. I do hope your sister is well...

  3. Both of you put my dyslexia into perspective (oh fcuk, my sis has that too).