Gaslight in The Stuff That's Not Interesting But Is The Most Interesting Stuff I'll Write

  • May 9, 2021, 1:23 a.m.
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  • Public

I’ve been around long enough now to know that when something really really great happens, something supremely shitty is just around the corner. The universe just has to balance the fucking scales, although this particular situation wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

I have about six different entries of various topics that I’ve started sitting in my drafts because I’ve got so much to do that I don’t really have time to sit around and type out long-winded diatribes on the sex I’ve been having or the drama that people have started. Seriously, so much to do as I prepare to move to another fucking country in the middle of this pandemic. But I’ve never felt more prepared or clear-minded in the entirety of my almost two years of preparing for this.

But it started Sunday night. I noticed this strange odor inside my house. It was a bit like car exhaust fumes lingering inside my house. Now, my first thought was that my senses were going haywire because it’s not something that hasn’t happened before. One of the side effects of my disease is sensory trickery, so I just shrugged and went about my day. But the next morning, the smell was stronger and my nostrils were burning, my throat was dry, and I felt like there was this stickiness all over my skin.

To make sure it wasn’t in my head, I asked my little brother, Cameron, to come over and see if he smelled something. It took him a moment but he said he definitely smelled something, it was just faint. I told him that I felt that same way the first time I thought I sensed it. So, satisfied that it wasn’t all in my head, I started looking around my house. I don’t have any gas so there’s no gas leak. I found out a rat had gotten into the rat poison I keep around the house and it was all over the cabinets underneath my kitchen sink, so I cleaned it up.

Still, the next morning, the odor was there. Now my lungs were burning, my headache was stronger, and my entire mouth tasted like hairspray. So I started ripping everything out of my cabinets, which is a considerable amount of stuff. I just pulled everything out trying to find whatever the source was. It was driving me crazy and honestly, I wasn’t feeling too great.

At one point, a conversation I had with my dear friend Angie popped into my head. I told her how I’d bought tickets to Thailand and her immediate response was, “You didn’t tell your mother, did you?” When I told her that I had in fact told my mother, she chastised me, “Why would you do that? You know what your mother is like! She’s gonna pull some shit to try and make you stay like she always does.” Angie is quite familiar with all the nonsense my mother has pulled, from keeping correspondence while I was in school in Chicago so that I’d be homeless and come back to California, to the private investigator she hired to follow me around Los Angeles, and all the innumerable things she’s done over the years.

Part of me wondered, is my mother trying to poison me so that I’ll be too sick to go to Thailand? While I did consider that for a second, I didn’t think it was a real possibility and moved on.

However, I realized that I really couldn’t sleep another night in this place with all this poison circulating around. So at 11pm at night, I went over and borrowed the key to my mother’s little she-shed she made that has a full bed and kitchen, and slept there.

The next morning, I went to return the key and told her I’d slept there and she went absolutely livid. You’d’ve thought I’d stolen money out of her purse or something. She went on this rant about how nobody respects her privacy and what if she decided to go there in the night and suddenly she couldn’t because now I was there.

I had already told her that there was some kind of fumes in my place and she said, “Well, that’s not my problem! I just made that bed in there, and I have guests coming in two weeks.”

My anger just burst, “Are you shitting me? You’re mad because the bed might be messed up? I’m literally breathing in fucking poison!”

“Well, I don’t think I believe you!” So I told her to come over and see for herself if she could detect anything.

Big mistake.

She didn’t even seriously try to examine it, she just had a meltdown because my house was in disarray… because I’d torn my place apart trying to find the smell. She told me that no one could live like this, that my place should just be condemned and it’s totally disgusting. I just stood there in disbelief.

I had told her I’d made that mess to find the smell. It’s like anything I say just doesn’t compute with her.

Then she turned to me and said this, “I don’t want you to get how you get because you never want to even consider one of my suggestions. Do you think that maybe, because your life is so horrible and you live in this kind of squalor, that it’s in your head and you’re making it all up for attention or to get out of this horrible place?”

You know how in cartoons, when a character gets mad, their face starts turning red and steam comes out of their ears? That is what was happening in my head, but in reality, I calmly looked at her and said, “It’s not psychosomatic, I considered that possibility and that’s why I had Cameron come over and confirm it.”

She turned around and left, but brought back a wheelbarrow full of boxes and garbage bags so that I could “throw away everything I own.”

After she left, I sat down at the bench in front of my house and started crying. Every time I have involved my mother, she just makes things worse. She has no concept of comfort or compassion, it’s about her and how it makes her feel and her look and what reflection of her this will be.

I went back to work and have stripped everything out of my bathroom, the mirrors, I removed the toilet to see if there was some kind of leakage. I dismantled the sink. I’m stripping this entire house, because that is exactly why I’m leaving.

People have kept saying the same thing to me whenever I tell them I’m going to Thailand… “Do you know anyone over there?” And when I tell them no, they always reply, “Wow, that’s brave of you to go somewhere so dangerous when you don’t even know anyone.”

I’m in more danger here with the people I do know.

Last updated May 20, 2021

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