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Bouba and Kiki

It’s Saturday.  I haven’t worked since Wednesday.  Sleep coma’s are becoming an even bigger problem than usual.

It’s just that I don’t have any reason to get out of bed.  I’m a homebody by nature, content wherever I am.  10 hours of sleep each night is nothing unusual for me.

I feel like I can out-sleep anyone.  Anyone except Hana.  Her habits were surprisingly worse than mine with staying up later than me, eating more than me, spending hoards of cash, being more impulsive.  All of my worst habits, she has them tenfold.  And trust me, I can be pretty bad.

My problem is that I don’t have anything to look forward to.  Sure I have my friends, I go places and have fun, but what I’m missing is more than just run-of-the-mill shenanigans.  I need a project to work on.  Something that makes me excited to get up everyday.

My Bozrah project got me excited, it got me up in the morning, gave me reason – but stupid Groupon isn’t selling our deals like expected.  So now it’s just another worry, another liability.

What am I missing in life?  I’ve always been like this, as far back as I can remember.  I’m lacking a reason to get up.  I lack an obsession.

Beer used to be my motivator.  “If I go here, I can have a beer.”  “If I have tomorrow off, I can get away with drinking tonight.”  “Let’s call so and so and grab a drink somewhere.”

Beer has been my number one motivator, my number one reason for getting out of bed each day – for as long as 15 years it’s been my only reason.  But I haven’t been working much, so my number one reason for waking up each day is becoming my worst nightmare.  It’s like if you want your kid to stop smoking, you make him smoke an entire pack – It’s like that with me, with beer.

But I do love it.  Even just one bottle of beer makes me feel wonderful – just one freaking bottle is all I need.

Adonis, my employee, the one who wanted to speak to me last Wednesday, asked me if he can be business partners with me 50/50.  And because I was drinking beer, I remained nice and calm and didn’t show my rage.

I was expecting him to quit and I was okay with him quitting actually.  I started planning my next move and looking forward to the possibilities.

I told him I’d think about it even though I wanted to shout out “hell no!”  Instead, I let it fester for one night and had horrible nightmares because of it.  Nightmares of people moving in – literally moving into my business.

When I woke up the next day from my sleep coma, he texted me saying he’d like to discuss it again with me and I replied with a simple, “It’s not going to happen, sorry.”

I could’ve given him a long list of reasons as to why it’s a ludicrous idea, but it wasn’t worth it to me to get all riled up again.  I didn’t give any explanation, just a flat no.

Goddamned millennials.

It’s Saturday, yet another day off.  I can pick up the phone and call someone, but like I said earlier, I need more excitement than the same old shit I’ve been doing all my life.  I don’t have any ambition for calling anyone up.  And my greatest motivator, beer, is losing its magic.

I keep thinking “what if I had my electric bicycle?  Would that motivate me to get out of bed?”

Maybe, but I love having money in the bank.  I feel safe and good with money in the bank.  If I buy the bike now, that lovely feeling will be gone.

*****************************

It’s now Monday.  I’ve been doing fiddly squat for days on end.  Well, I did manage to clean my room, make a new improved debt chart ($9,000 in debt), and yesterday I ventured out to buy two things I’ve been craving – kimchi and french onion soup.  And then I bought a smart ukulele on Amazon for $159 out of boredom.  I went on Amazon just to look around, like taking a stroll downtown to window shop, and within 5 minutes of my “window shopping”, I bought a ukulele.

If I want something that costs less than $200, I buy it without much hesitation.  I want it and I simply buy it.  The fret board lights up to tell you where to put your fingers, and they have games to play.  It’s like Guitar Hero but with actual learning a real instrument.  I’m pretty damn excited about it.

********************************

In one of my video games (Persona 5), they taught me about Bouba and Kiki.

It’s when the name of a thing sounds like the way it’s shaped.  I learned this on my own in one of my autistic moments as a kid.  I did this with numbers and how each number had it’s own personality based on its shape and sound.  5’s were my favorite for some reason.

Anyway, if you look at the two images, the one on the left is Kiki.  It sounds sharp, has sharp angles.  Bouba sounds gelatinous like the image on the right.

My name, Melanie, is gelatinous.  It’s the sound my sleep coma’s would make, if they were to make a sound, it would sound like my name.  I can’t help thinking that if I had a different name, like Katie Couric, Crystal, Lisa, Susie, J.K Rowling – If I had a Kiki sounding type of name, maybe I wouldn’t be in this mess?  Maybe I wouldn’t be content sleeping 10 hours a day and lounging for the rest?

If only I had my electric bicycle now, and my ukulele, I can ride it somewhere and sit down to play in the park, or ride it to a friends house and we can sing together.

I have odd ambitions.

I’m going to take a shower and go rollerblading.  What a life, eh?

 

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Just Another Stupid Wednesday

I’m sitting in the lounge in Bozrah while my new therapist, Breanna, massages her first client. I’m not feeling that great. I’m wracked with worry over my dog. He’s been sick and today he started limping. We taken him to the vet and she gave him antibiotics. And another reason for my worry is that my male therapist, Adonis, whom been working for me for almost five years wants to have a sit down to discuss something important. He just sprung it on me on my way over here to Bozrah. I told him to meet me at Wood N Tap tonight. It’s trivia night and I was going to be there anyway.

I hate my sensitivity to stress. I need to just breathe and let it go. I already decided I can handle it if he quits and not only that, I’d be able to replace him with a female independent contractor instead of an employee. It works out better for me.

I hope Breanna is doing ok in there. It’s her first day. I hear the wind chimes crackling away in there, a bit too much for my tastes.

I had a client today in Cheshire and then went home to nap. While I was napping, my phone exploded with a gazillion texts. My phone was on silent. One of those texts was Breanna telling me she got booked for today.

I leapt up in hyperdrive and scrambled to get my pants on. I looked at the clock, the client would be there in one hour.

“Holy fuck I’m not going to make it! She doesn’t even have a key! I didn’t go over anything with her!”

Luckily my landlord was here to let her in. I didn’t make it in time for the massage. She was already in session by the time I got here. Stress man, I’m telling you.

Igor, my other therapist, just texted me about a strong pot smell in our little closet area. Ugh….Adonis, if you want to leave me, leave. Please. No need to discuss it with me for a half an hour while I try to win at trivia.

I just want to go home and hug my dog.

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The Calm Before the Storm

I’m not sure where I left off in the telling of my life….my last post is too long to re-read.

Let’s pretend that I’m standing right there in front of you.  Picture me shoving both my hands in my pockets and flipping them inside-out.

I’m “no-pot-to-piss-in” kind of broke.

You know how many times I almost lost the business?  More times than I can recall. But  I always pull myself out of it somehow.

Why am I broke?  Quarterly taxes are due this month, my employee’s get paid 3 times next month, and I only have $2,500 left in my lawyers retainer.

But like always, I’ll pull through.

I decided that I will personally take clients in Bozrah until I hire my second therapist.  I hired one already, she’s a crazy work horse of a woman.  She’s been working 3rd shift in a hospital for the last 2 years and wants out.  She’s working in the morning for me, 10-2, so that means I have to get there by 2 each day.

This is a good thing.  It’s only temporary anyway, until I find a suitable replacement and at least this takes care of my money woe’s.  If I take these clients myself, paying another $5000 to my lawyer won’t be an issue.

And I think that’ll be the last $5,000 I’ll have to give him.  Or maybe the second to last.

He’s finished with the depositions, so i guess now is trial time?  I just have to wait for the trial to come?  I don’t know how all this works.

He sent me a bill the other day for $1,500 and I was like “oh hell no”, and sent him this.

Of course I was right, as I always am.

I’m trying to think of a way to stay afloat with the bankruptcy.  Switching everything over to Sound Alchemy Massage and bankrupting my other business.  Because I tell you what, I ain’t paying shit to these women I don’t care how much they ask for.

Speaking of…I need to write up emails to both of them.  Just like I did for the first lady victim.  But first I have to read their depositions to get a feel for who they are before I can write up an email tailored to their personality types.

It just takes forever, you know?  I always have shit to do.

I was insanely depressed the day my lawyer sent me that bill for $1500.  I couldn’t conceal it to anyone.  But I don’t believe what I feel is actually depression, it’s more fear than it is depression.  Depression is being sad all the time for no discernible reason, but fear is “oh shit what am I going to do now?”  It’s not a chemical imbalance that can be remedied with meds.

My so-called depression lasted 5 or 6 hours.  That’s how long it taken me to talk myself out of it.

***************************

I had a dream two days ago that somebody stole my purse.  I was in Peru, or someplace like it, and I was there with all my friends from home.  My purse was stolen and I was left with absolutely nothing.  I was so mean to everyone.  So incredibly mean to all my friends.  They acted like everything was okay, like nothing happened, and I yelled and screamed at them.

Me – “How would you like it, huh?  If this happened to you?”

Fear can turn me into a monster towards people and when I want to suppress that monster, I take on an absent catatonic stare instead.

Either way, it’s best I avoid people.

Last night I had the complete opposite dream.  I was a waitress working at a theater filled with famous people.  All my friends were yelling and screaming at me to steal merchandise.  So I stole a hat and shoes of someone famous so my friends can sell it on eBay.  Then they screamed and yelled some more telling me they needed more stuff.  I was on an active movie set with the camera’s pointed directly at me.  I was seconds away from being caught and needed to escape.

I subconsciously feel like I’m letting down everybody.  I can’t keep up with the demands of my friends.

If I tie my two dreams together, I want to avoid everyone for fear the monster will come out, and secondly, I feel like I’m letting everyone down because of it.  I completely missed my friends birthday a couple days ago.

**********************

Today is the start of my Groupon campaign to my new business.  This first day I’ll be lucky if I  sell 2 groupons.  Groupon has their own version of a “high rollers” club where they get first dibs on any new deals.  It’s sort of a pre-launch.

Tomorrow is the real thing.  I’m expecting my tracfone to be ringing off the proverbial hook.

It’s 2:21PM and I’m still laying in bed.  Don’t get me wrong, I had work to do from my laptop since waking up at 11.

This is one of my last free days I’m going to have in a while.  I guess I am a little depressed.  Yesterday I watched a Peter Pan mini-series and then I watched a Pinocchio mini-series.  I mean, who does that?  Seriously Mel? 6 hours back to back Peter Pan and Pinocchio.  Like I’m 6 years old.

The weather is finally getting beautiful.  It’s been so shitty for months.  I need to buy new sandals.

I’m refraining from buying take-out every day like usual.  I’ll save about $600 a month.

I went rollerblading yesterday with a new pair of skates I bought.  I used to skate all the time and thought I’d be ready for the 90mm wheels, but no.  I put them on and skated around with them on the first beautiful Sunday afternoon that my town has seen in a while and it was a safety hazard.

First of all, these skates are so slick that I don’t even need to move my body for them to roll automatically.  And they are FAST.  And the break doesn’t work as well as on my K2’s.  Not good while rolling down a trail packed with strollers and toddlers.  Mother’s stopping in the middle of the trail to check on their kid – WTF lady?  I can’t stop!

I’m going to switch back to my old skates for now.  Until I’m back in shape and have better coordination.  Right now my goal is to lose weight, not go fast.  My old skates have just the right amount of resistance I need to tone up my flabby muscles.  And I won’t roll over any pedestrians.

I should be skating right now.

I need to go to Hines hardware for new light bulbs for the shop.  And my new hot towel caddy came in today, my old one cracked.  I should set it up.

Ugh…always with shit to do.  And if I don’t do it right away, it adds up.  It adds up quick!  And one of my therapists doesn’t want to massage her client anymore because he got an erection last time, so I have to massage him on Wednesday to see if he’s a pervert.  It just sucks.  Everything sucks.  I just want to rollerblade, that’s all I want to do.

************************************

I’ve added black bean soup to my diet.  I’m slowly adding in new foods.  They just have to be low in calories and healthy to be added to the list.

Two days ago was my first attempt to make black bean soup and it was a huge success!  My Dad yesterday, was asking me when I’ll be making more of it.

I just need a cup of it with a side salad to make myself feel full.  It’s incredibly cheap and easy to make too.

At night for dessert, I eat cottage cheese with blueberries, raspberries, banana or whatever I have on-hand and drizzle it with honey.  And I have a nice cup of sleepy time tea to go with it.

There’s also something called a “Bright bean soup” that sounds yummy.  I can eat it for breakfast or for my nightly dessert.

*************************************

I don’t want to do anything.  I just want to lay here with my dog.  Tomorrow I’ll force myself up and go to work.  Today, I need a breather.  It’s game time and nap time and black bean soup time all day today.  A beautiful wonderful day if you ask me.

Once I hire my other therapist, then I can enjoy all the splendors of free time.  I just have to get through this one last push.  Today is the calm before the storm.  There’s no Massage Envy’s out there in Bozrah, so I expect to be slammed by these deals.

My goal is to save $5000 for my lawyer, and then once I do that, I’ll save up another $4000 to open up another Sound Alchemy Massage.  That’s how much it costs.  Around $4000, more or less for each location I open.  Plus all the hassle and time put into setting it up.  The first one was killer, but now that I know what I’m doing, the second one will be a cinch.

And I’ll do the same thing.  I’ll work it all myself until I hire people.

It’ll be like a snowball effect once I get going.  It’s always the first location that’s a struggle, but once that’s out of the way, the real fun can begin.  And then if it comes down to bankrupting my old business, I’ll seamlessly switch it out with my new business like a thief in the night.  Completely untouchable is what I am.  I have it all figured out.

But for now, I must work.  And I’ll have to hang up my rollerblades and my travel suitcase until this misery is put behind me.

*********************

And that’s it.  That’s my life right now.  It changes every week, there’s always updates to make much like annoying iPhone apps.  But right now you’re all caught up on Melanie’s life online.

Once I start taking clients over in Bozrah, I’ll be writing a hell of a lot more.  Downtime in-between clients needs to be filled.

Ugh….my merchant processor wants me to call them back.  I can’t use their Clover mini and have to use the Clover Go instead.  Stupid work shit.  Stupid stupid shit.  I hate this PCI compliance crap.

 

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1/11/18

I wrote a post years ago about the significance of the number 118 and how it crops up everywhere in my life.  Well, today my great nephew was born and I topped off my lawyer’s retainer.  Five mother fucking thousand dollars.

And I got hit with an audit.  Not a bad thing, just my insurance company asking questions and wanting me to plug numbers into an online form.  Complete pain in my ass.  They’re also asking for proof of insurance for all my independent contractors, which I have, but I need to go to work to xerox and attach them.  Plus I don’t have my 941 forms for all the quarters, which I’m waiting on from my book-keeper.  This is all due tomorrow or they will cancel my insurance policy.

I don’t like to open mail.  I open mail once every 5 or so weeks and most of it goes in the trash.  I think it’s stupid, I hate it, and I have better things to do.  Nobody owns me.

Mail makes me an angry person.  Mail makes Mel mad.

But yeah, my little nephew was born today.  My Great Nephew I should say.  The biggest baby of our family and my little Ecuadorian niece of 18 gave birth to him.  Well, she wanted to push him out the good ol’ fashion way but the baby was too big so they had to go with the C-section.  She was in labor for 40 hours with the hope of pushing him out.  She’s a stubborn bastard.

He’s a perfect baby.  His head is in the shape of a cone because he was down there in the canal for so long, but it’ll round out eventually.

I should xerox those damn insurance cards.

I’m freaking stressed again over this lawsuit.  I don’t want to do anything, talk to anyone, see anyone…etc.  I just want to get through this.

I’m hoping to pay off the $5,000 by either February 5th, or 18th.  It needs get paid ASAP.  Once that’s done, I can relax a little.

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Discovery versus creation versus invention

I don’t believe in inventions. I believe in discoveries. You can’t create something that’s already there. Basically what I’m saying is that you can put together the first transistor radio, but you didn’t invent it. You discovered it.

You discovered how the world works, and not the other way around.

But you can create art. Anything can be art. The phone I’m typing this on can be viewed as a piece of art. But technology itself? That’s not yours. It belongs to the world. Technology has no owner. Putting two sticks together creates fire but that fire isn’t only yours, you know what I’m saying?

Two sticks or banging two rocks together was once the latest advancements in the human race. The invention of the wheel is still talked about today. And so is sliced bread.

All advancements, big or small, are nothing but discovering how the world works. You uncover a little more of the riddle, you advance a little more in technology.

First the discovery, than the tool to use it, and then creation comes when you put the two together. Skyscrapers, electron microscopes, a Boeing 747. All works of art. All from the minds of people who asked the question, “what can I use this for?”

What can I use this for….

I’m about to gut out my bedroom. Possibly tomorrow if my game allows it. And this question will bullet hole my brain until I have to sit down with a useless object in my hand and let my brain ooze out my skull. My eyes drift into the haze of wonderment and memory.

What would I need an old helmet for? I’ll never wear it, I look ridiculous in it. Why should I keep this old crappy computer that drove me insane? I played the PlayStation VR like what, one time?

What can I use them for…what new discovery is awaiting me?

What would happen if I gut out all the wires in my old computer, fill the helmet with gasoline, pour it all over the computer and strike a match? Record everything and then watch it on my VR headset like I was there in person?

That’s art. That’s art at its finest.

It’s New Year’s Eve and I just want to play my game and sleep. I had to wake up early today for a client and yesterday, no bullshit, really did kick my ass.

But seriously though, should I be trying to discover something new in the world?

First I have to have a need for something that hasn’t been discovered yet. First the need, than the search, than the disc…ah fuck it, I even annoy myself, not just you.

What do I need….money. We all need money, that’s why everyone imprisons themselves with jobs.

Maybe I can create money? No, I tried that when I was 12 and it looked like crap. The soda machine wouldn’t even take it.

What else do I need besides money?

Power? Notoriety?

I’m such a lowly superficial human…

No, I mean a real discovery. Like quantum gravity or some shit. How can I prove quantum gravity entanglement? If I can do this, I can uncover the first hover board.

But I have no tools. First the tool then the discovery.

I should try napping again. I tried earlier but my employee called and woke me up after 10 minutes. I won’t make it to midnight at this rate.

I need to discover something similar to sliced bread. I have tools for a discovery like that.

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The Bolivian Belly Beast

It started on the 9th.  On the plane ride home from La Paz.  And now it’s the 13th.  Five days!  I’ve had this thing inside me for five mother fucking freaking days!  And it’s not getting worse, but it’s not getting any better either.  All I know is that I’m freaking starving right now.

My parents brought home pizza and despite my better judgement, I just wolfed down two slices.

Everyone wants me to see a doctor but I refuse to go.  I’m anti antibiotics.  They do more harm than good.  What I need is eastern medicine.  To eat special herbs and shit.

I don’t get it.  I never get sick like this when I travel.  At least, not for five days straight.  Usually my bugs are flushed out within 24 hours.

If this thing doesn’t kill the people of La Paz, it ain’t going to kill me so I’ll ride it out.

The thing is, I get weaker with each day.  I slept for most of the day today.  My backpack is still fully packed from when I got home, my room is still completely trashed….I have no energy.

I’m fine if I don’t eat.  I can go out and about.  But now I’m at the point where I’m too weak to move if I don’t eat.

I’m grabbing more pizza, screw it.

And my asshole is really starting to burn something fierce.  It’s getting so bad that I’d rather throw up than shit.  And trust me, I’m nauseous too so throwing up ain’t a stretch.

My eyes want to close.  I’m so tired.  I fell asleep at 10 last night and woke up at 10AM today then took a nap.

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Cusco And Ayahuasca

I haven’t eaten anything all day. It’s 6pm and I taken a short 2 hour nap.

Today we hopped in a van and embarked to the retreat center where we had an introduction ceremony involving chewing cocoa leaves. Then we got psychological profiles done by a shrink and a different doctor gave us a check up. There’s also a nurse here who preformed some sort of stress test involving the heart and she is constantly checking our oxygen levels with a little device that attaches to our fingertips.

Everything came out normal, I am good to go.

***********

It’s now the next day. I ended up doing ayahuasca again. It’s incredibly hard to swallow. So so hard to swallow. I had to sit with my hand over my mouth so I didn’t spit it out. Our coordinator knelt down next to me saying “you can do it. You can do it.” And I did it with one fast and furious swallow.

Ugh ayahuasca, why do I keep drinking it? I don’t need to anymore. But it’s incredible. Really incredible. But it also sucks.

Our group consists of Corine, an Australian woman, Daniel, a very cute guy from South Carolina, Sipon, a white young man from LA, Deleon, Daniels friend also from South Carolina, and Hana and me.

We’re all completely normal, no weirdness or anything. I had meaningful conversations with all of them.

Corine hasn’t slept in 3 days so out of courtesy, I’m sitting outside our room while she tries to sleep. I’m not tired but I’d be able to fall asleep easily with my audiobook and then I’d commence with the snoring.

Corine woke me up last night because of my snores and I didn’t recognize her or know where I was, I still had my audiobook playing in my headphones.

Anyway, it’s a problem. I’m not terribly loud but loud enough.

Even when sharing dorm rooms on the Camino, I was the first to sleep and the first to snore. Not once did anyone else keep me awake.

Everyone is napping and I’m awake. In 2 hours we’re going to volunteer at an impoverished orphanage.

I’m listening to the soundtrack to Baby Driver.

There’s a little black crippled dog here. He yelps terrible cries whenever somebody moves quick. He was hit by a car and his front leg is clearly still broken but he wobbles on it. He follows me around. I never seen a dog with PTSD before.

**********

My experience with ayahuasca last night was all about telling me how awesome I am.

Aya told me that scared people like to attach themselves to me because I make them feel safe. And I enjoy it because I love them back and want to feel needed. And I actually DO keep people safe.

She said I’m a healer but not in the medical sense. More like I heal hearts and give people strength and I do it by simply caring about them.

I’m supposed to do ayahuasca again today, but a larger dose of it.

I don’t want to. I really don’t need to. Oh god the taste….

I don’t know what else to say. Corine just came out of our room looking for a pillow. “Take mine, it’s clean.” She can’t get comfortable.

I asked the shaman what it means to see eyeballs. Apparently it’s an envious person who attached themselves to me and is trying to bring me down. It’s their eye watching over me. But I only seen the eye that one time, the first time I did aya.

Anyway, there’s absolutely nothing to do. I suppose I’ll just lay here on this couch with the cripple dog and listen to Baby Driver while everyone sleeps.

*********

It’s now 8:30pm. I was able to say no to ayahuasca tonight. I’m proud of myself for that.

Earlier, me and the boys went to volunteer at the orphanage. Hana and Corine were too tired to move so they stayed put.

And holy crap. Holy freaking crap.

It’s a poor orphanage alright. Most of the kids have some sort of disability.

Upon entering the facility, there’s a sign on the door that tells you no photos allowed. I didn’t bring my phone so no problems there.

When you first walk in, it smells like shit. I mean real human feces.

There were two kids trapped in cages. One of them reached his hand out to me and said “Ma, Ma, Ma.” Over and over. Another child was in a straight jacket being led back to bed by a volunteer or paid worker, I don’t know. He was wearing yellow rubber overalls.

I didn’t see many helpers there. The ones I did see seemed like they also were suffering some kind of disorder, both mental or physical. And the facility isn’t that big. Everyone is jammed packed in there, using up every crevice.

Our first job was to pluck the dry clothes from the line and fold laundry in a small room with several clogged toilets nearby. I didn’t see a washer or dryer. Everything is probably washed by hand and outside they hang to dry.

It stunk but you get used to it. The laundry was a never ending pile and you hope whatever you’re handling was first washed thoroughly.

We didn’t get to finish. After about 30 minutes it was lunch time.

My second job was to spoon feed a severely mentally retarded boy, Angel. Lumpy cream of wheat. Quite possibly the only meal he’ll have all day.

I made sure he ate every bite. It was a large bowl too. He couldn’t wrap his lips around the spoon so I had to sort of dump it into his mouth like a shovel.

He couldn’t speak, couldn’t understand anything. He had virtually no quality of life whatsoever. At least, none that I could see.

One of the boys on the retreat was all for euthanasia after his visit to the orphanage. He was traumatized by what he seen.

I on the other hand, watched a documentary about exactly this. I was primed for it and didn’t phase me in the least other than the smell. I even knew about the kids in cages before seeing them with my own eyes.

But these people are doing the best they can with the little they have and they’re doing it without euthanasia as an answer.

Shit got real in there. At least 15 kids in diapers, all needing to get changed, bathed, fed, put to bed. Done by people who can barely walk and talk themselves. Not to mention the kids who didn’t need help.

I think the older mentally retarded patients, the ones that aren’t severely disabled, get recruited to help with the children.

I can still smell the shit. It’s stuck in my nose hairs.

Anyway, so that happened. It was perhaps the most lovely van ride of my life though. Other than the poverty, Peru is beautiful.

Okay, about the ayahuasca tonight…

I literally can’t swallow it anymore. The smell, the look of it, the way it feels in my mouth…I have trouble watching other people drink it. I had to close my eyes.

I’ve done it 5 times now. That’s enough. And I don’t like the set up here. There’s no fire and we can’t go outside to move around. I didn’t even try to drink it tonight. And they give you a lot. Not just a sip of it like the other places.

They have the traditional maloca (I think that’s the name) – a big wooden teepee with a straw roof. But it has a door they like to keep shut during the ceremony. It’s super dark in there.

Stray dogs bark all through the night and you can hear sounds from the village that echo off the mountains making it sound like a scary Halloween sounds CD. Basically it’s the most frightening scene to be in after ingesting the strongest hallucinogen known to man.

“Here, drink this cosmic porridge and enter into the most frightening scene imaginable. Don’t mind the accompanying puking sounds you’ll hear all throughout the night.”

But that’s exactly what I did last night. That’s just what I did.

I gave Hana my amethyst necklace to hold onto. I told her we can stay connected that way.

Last night she was laying next to me during the ceremony and crawled over to hand me a piece of wadded up toilet paper.

“Is this toilet paper used?”

Her- “Haha no, you hold onto it and it makes you feel better. It’s like inception.”

I look at her.

Her- “You know, inception.”

I still have no idea what she meant by that but I couldn’t help laughing.

Me – “Yes, inception. Okay, I’ll hold onto your precious gift of toilet paper. Thank you Hana.”

I stayed with her tonight for approximately 5 minutes. The time it took for the first person to vomit. I felt bad leaving Hana in there but honestly, having that necklace will help her more than I can. And we’re not allowed to talk to each other anyway. I hope she’s not pissed at me.

Damn, it’s thundering and lightening. Add that to the already terrifying atmosphere.

It’s now only 8:55pm but to the group stuck in the hut, it feels like 3 hours went by.

Poor Hana, I hope she’s okay. She still doesn’t like letting me out of her sight….but I’m not going to sit there with her for 5 hours. I’m a good person but a girls gotta have limits.

I need to go back down there at around 11:30. That’s the time we came out last night.

Oh no… I’m starting to get sleepy. I’ll set my alarm, no problem.

I can’t publish anything. There’s no freaking WiFi and they discourage all cell phone use. I can’t even listen to music. But I am though. Right now.

I guess I’ll switch on my audiobook and zone out a bit.

This will end up being a long post, I know it. I’ll add more tomorrow since I can’t publish.

I just need to say that above all else, writing is the only thing that keeps me feeling like myself.

**************

I fell asleep last night listening to my audiobook. Then I hear a knock on my door around 10:30pm. It’s the coordinator telling me that Hana wants me and she’s in the nursery.

“I’m coming.”

The nursery is the infirmary. She had a bad trip. I walk in and see her laying there with oxygen plugs up her nose and her vitals being monitored on the machine by the doctor.

She points at the oxygen and says, “this is good stuff man.”

She was all laughs and smiles when I walked in. She knew just by the look on my face that I’d make fun of her.

Ayahuasca is strong, people have no idea. And it really does connect you with the other realm. But you have to die first and dying ain’t easy. Your life and all your regrets, all your mistakes and demons flash before your eyes. And the happy parts too. You have to toss it all, let it go. People can’t do that.

I don’t know what’s going on. The boys went home because they signed up for the two day retreat and Hana and Corine are napping. We’re supposed to be hiking. I was really looking forward to it but it’s raining. So I’m just sitting here listening to my iPod.

If I nap too, I’ll snore and disturb everyone.

Screw it, I’m going in. There’s nothing to do here but sleep.

*********

It’s the next day. Hana, Corine and I went to volunteer at an elderly home. It was actually a really nice place. Completely opposite the orphanage. We tossed a ball around to the elderly, all of whom were lovely.

Hana and I are bored as fuck. All we do is sleep. Especially today being that it’s cold and rainy out. The only way to get warm is to hide under blankets.

We’re getting massages today so that’s nice.

Seeing that I’m so bored, I’m considering doing ayahuasca again later. Hana said we’ll just do one sip, stay an hour and go back to our room.

I’m ready for Manchu picchu. We leave tomorrow.

I just had my massage and she totally massaged my boobs. Full frontal massage was what it was. Hard and vigorous the whole way through. Damn yo. It’s a good thing I got over my fear of being naked. My Nana instilled that fear in me when I was a kid and it evaporated over time.

I’m so glad it was a woman therapist and not some gross dude.

I need a shower. I’m glad I didn’t take one earlier. My hair is full of oil.

***********

I did ayahuasca not once, not twice, but 6 freaking mother fucking times! 6!

I wish I can drink a bunch of it but I can’t. It’s now impossible for me to swallow. I’m happy I took the plunge during my first ceremony by taking two doses and I managed to reach the other side. It hasn’t happened since then.

No more aya, no more walk. Why do I keep doing these horrible things to myself? I just don’t get it. I don’t get me.

***********

I’m now at a hotel at the bottom of Manchu picchu. Hana is in the shower. She freaked out earlier today at our coordinator because she thought she was getting ripped off.

I’m a bit weary of her mood swings but whatever. Most of the time she’s completely fine. I talked to the coordinator and straightened it all out.

She kind of reminds me of my friend from when I was 14, Margaret.

She has me following her around like a little puppy and won’t let me out of her sight. Even at night when I’m enjoying alone time outside, she comes out to tell me it’s time to come in. And I do. Just like Margaret did with me.

I’m a huge pushover that loves attention. A bad combo really.

It’s so pretty here in Peru. We took the train to Aquas Calientes and ate outside. It was perfect. We had mojitos and ceviche. I felt absolutely wonderful and light. Everything so perfect like it was written in a novel about somebody else’s life, not mine.

Tomorrow we hike up Manchu picchu and then hitch a ride back to Cusco where we’ll plan our last and final excursion before heading back home.

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Cusco Day One

My head hurts.

Where should I start? I want to write but I’m so tired and suffering from slight altitude sickness. I’m about to eat some Korean porridge from an authentic Korean restaurant.

Hana is next to me getting her nails done.

I just bought a poncho, we both did. You know those large hippie ponchos I’m talking about? The handmade ones depicting alpaca’s? Yep, we got them.

I got here at 9am today and Hana was outside the airport waving me down. We touched base at the hostel and went to the meeting place to meet our tour group and prep for tomorrow.

The prep involved drinking 6 large glasses of volcano water. Yes, volcano water. Not only is it from a volcano, but it also gives you explosive, volcanic diarrhea.

Hana and I could only stomach a glass and a half each. We are pussy’s.

But it made me shit 3 or 4 times and worsened my headache and fatigue and I’m fucking starving right now.

It’s supposed to clean out your system so ayahuasca can be absorbed better.

All I want is Korean porridge. That’s all I want. I’m hungry but sick at the same time. We taken a nap earlier. From 2-5 was nap time. I felt a million times better but exhaustion hit me once again. It’s 8:05pm.

I guess that’s all I got to say. I can’t wait until bed. Good lord sleep. I’ve been up since 8am yesterday. I’m not doing ayahuasca tomorrow. Screw that.

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Sitting at the airport…again

There was absolutely no traffic what-so-ever. None, zero. I arrived 3 hours early for my flight like a dork.

But you want to hear the funny part? This plane, Jet Blue, is taking me to JFK! JFK is closer to my house than Boston Logan Airport, where I am now. Only by 15 minutes, but still…

I tried to figure out how to fly out of JFK directly but there was no way to do it and I’m scared to skip the flight there because what if they don’t let me board?

I’d rather fly out of Boston anyway. Less traffic and this place is like a palace compared to JFK. They play classical music at the Jet blue check-in and it smells good there. White, clean, and modern.

I should eat something. I’m not going to be able to eat at JFK due to having to rush to my next flight. It’s going to be tight. I’m switching airlines which means I need to check in at LATAM. Jet Blue couldn’t do it. I hope it won’t take forever. I only have an hour to make the switch and I can’t check in online either. It’s a cluster fuck. At least I didn’t check my bag, that would’ve been worse.

International travel sucks!! Travel agents exist for a reason, it’s to avoid cluster fucks.

I’m at Johnny Rockets. Black bean burger baby.

People are gross. There’s just so many people, too many.

I listened to a podcast on the Camino that told me coincidences can be mathematically explained and are not special. It’s scary to think they are not special!

Think about it.

What are the chances that a child molester is close by? Like right now, look over your shoulder kind of close. Well, According to probability, pretty high. Chances are high for EVERYTHING and anything you can think of.

Especially when there’s lots of people around you.

So when I look around, it puts me at a whole new perspective.

My close family and friends all did bad things at one point, every one of them. And they are family and friends! What about complete strangers?

I need to stop thinking about this. The Johnny rockets cashier just handed me a napkin because I had mayo fingers and a stupid look on my face. That was really nice of him because he did it after I profiled him as a terrorist.

I’m the worlds messiest eater oh my gawd. I’m typing with one hand and shoving shovelfuls of onion rings into my pie hole. They’re all crumbly and falling apart.

I’m not looking forward to what’s about to happen at JFK.

Bean burger is not a tasty replacement for the real thing by the way.

I seriously shouldn’t be eating fried food before a 14 hour flight.

I think I’ll stop while I’m ahead. I have will power damn it.

Don’t order Diet Coke on a plane. The stewards don’t like it because it foams too much at 30,000 feet and takes forever to pour.

Oh god JFK….and I haven’t a clue on what I should do. Fracking sucks man.

I’m going to check Facebook and vape in the shitter.

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Sitting at the airport 

I’m so freaking tired and hungover.  I’m in a daze.  A dazzled lame state of exhaustion.

Yesterday I was right.  Janett wanted to go out.  As soon as I arrived at her hotel, she was waiting.  Before noon.

We met up with Egon and Stefan, two fellow pilgrims.  We ate lunch and stopped for souvenirs, meandering around.  

By the end of the night we were all shitfaced and dancing to Spanish dance music.  Before I knew it, it was 2am, then it was 3am.  I told Janett I was going back to the hotel but she didn’t want me to go and just kept on dancing.

Finally, we left the bar.  As we exited, there was a long line of finely dressed Spaniards waiting to get in.  The place was hopping.  It was jam packed in there.

I was wearing my usual pilgrims attire of super baggy camo pants held up with a belt, and my wrinkled flannel shirt.  My hair was a mess.  I danced like I was alone in my room in front of my bedroom mirror.  I danced until I couldn’t stand up straight and knew it was time for me to leave.

It was a wonderful last day.  We walked back to the hotel, talked a bit before bed and passed out.

Janet wants to move to the US but it’s a hard place to get into.  You either have to marry someone or win the green card lottery.

I met an older Canadian woman who told me her friends drive down to Florida for the winter every year but this year they were stopped by border patrol and asked what they thought about Trump.

They were refused admittance because they voiced their concerns about him and when they tried again at a different check point, they were already flagged in the system and turned away.  They are banned for a year because they said they didn’t like Trump.

I’m so tired.  We went to sleep at like, 5.  My flight is boarding soon.  I can’t wait for home.  There’s no place like home.

Whenever I fly into JFK after visiting a non-English speaking country, JFK feels like home.  The whole airport feels like my backyard.  Quaint and home-like.  Which is nuts because it’s freaking JFK.  A dirty busy hub of noise and shoves.  

From JFK, I still have another 90 minutes of driving to my house.  I hired a personal driver to pick me up.  It’s really not that expensive.

Home home home home home home home

What’s going on?  Why aren’t we boarding?  And what’s stuck on the bottom of my shoe?

**********

I’m now home.  It’s the next day.  I slept for a very long time, maybe 10 or 12 hours, I don’t know.  I’m laying in bed and it feels soooo good.  I have to buy my plane ticket to Peru and stop by Work and unpack my stinky backpack.  My parents got me a $20 gift certificate to the new hibachi place that just opened up across the street and I want to try it.  There’s much to do.  

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