The Monkey Pen: Because Not All of Us Use Wrenches

Wearing different colors in a uniformed workplace can feel like being the only white person at a black barbecue. Forgive the racial analogy, but currently, that’s how I feel.

This morning was certainly not a good morning. I slept a rocky 5 hours, and after just an hour awake, I realized, to my horror, I was scheduled for a double shift from 10AM to 2PM, and 4:30PM to 12AM. Not the worst hours, many people would say. My husband works 13-16 hour shifts regularly after all. And it’s certainly good for us financially. It was just that I wasn’t prepared for it–literally. I had to wash my work clothes in a hurry and get back to sleep for a hopeful 30 minute power nap. When I woke up and checked my laundry (my husband having put my clothes in the dryer), I discovered pen ink stains on both of the shirts I needed for today. I don’t know if you’ve ever had pen ink stains on your clothes before, but once that dries on, it STAYS on. I had less than 10 minutes before I had to leave the house because I have a 30 minute drive to my work, so there was nothing I could do to remedy the situation. I just put on my cleanest of my two work shirts and ran out the door. Needless to say I was already in a shitty mood, but as I was driving, I find even more cause to become upset.

I had missed my counselor appointment.

Every two weeks I go in to see a counselor to talk about my life and how I’ve been feeling on my medication. If I miss an appointment, I have to pay $70 out of pocket. At the moment? Both me and my husband have some $60 between us. Remember in my podcast how I mentioned we were battling back our credit cards and trying to save money? This shit certainly doesn’t help, and I literally screamed in my car.

Tonight I’m working with a co-worker who is notorious for shirking work whenever possible. This day? This day is filled with craptastic fun. Never mind that I have a meaty assignment due tomorrow and I have to be at work again from 8AM-4PM, and that I still have to finish the ALP! update. Now for some meta-shit that doesn’t quite apply to today but is still on my mind: BILLS BILLS BILLS. Trying to help my husband de-stress from his crazy to-do list, which now towers over him after weeks of procrastinating and not talking to me. We got a court-order because our lawn had literally grown three feet tall, and our lawn mower is broken. They also included in the court order our broken fence, which allows you to see right through our backyard because the shitty people who built our fence did a shitty job so the shitty thing blew over in one of Georgia’s notoriously shitty thunder storms. Yeah. And the cherry on top?

My grandmother is in the hospital.

After my aunt’s death in December, my grandma, my abuela, has been withering away. When I went to visit her in Panama this August, she was literally skin and bones and lacking in that pep she once had. She had surgery shortly after I returned to the states, to remove a benign tumor in her intestines. She’s 85 years old and not recovering so well. She’s vomiting. She can’t stand. She can barely eat. Her intestines are swollen. My mother has told me to prepare myself for her passing away. To pray. But like my aunt’s hospitalization last year, I just…can’t. I don’t want to call my mother because of how sad she sounds, but I keep trying to check in because I don’t want to come across as callous.

And all today and tomorrow, I have to bus tables and serve drinks with a smile.

…Do you guys still wonder why I miss updates sometimes?


EDIT: Just got an update from my mama via text. Grandma is doing better. Hopefully this continues. Cross your fingers!

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