Hell Yeah.

I have pretty much always known I was going to Hell. Whether it is a designated hot spot below or a cold hole on earth, there will most definitely be a place there with my name on it.  I have been “saved” countless times as a youth by an over-zealous believer who must have sensed my overwhelming evil, and she might have been on to something.

I have daily infractions that I add to the list that will seal my inevitable doom to the damned.  The list might include the following:  I cook pasta in a sauce pan some days. I think people who say they “read the book” and actually listened to the book on audio book as cheaters.  I judge  bike commuters who take the light rail train with their bikes. I think they might be fake bikers who have an unnaturally attachment to their bikes.  My car happens to double as a trash can.  Presently, my yard consists of more weeds than actual grass.  Just a few reasons my angel wings will be traded for devil horns when I approach the pearly gates. Some might think the above list seems to be petty, but it all depends on if your God is a bit uptight.  Mine is.

On most days, I try to live intending not to offend, insult, rub the wrong way, or even be seen.  I like to go unnoticed and when I do go unnoticed, I consider this to be an accomplishment.  I once was a member of a gym for 5 years, and for the first 4 years not one person ever acknowledged my existence. It was pure bliss. If I could have a super power, it would be invisibility.

What does my quest for invisibility have to do with going to Hell? They might be two different things, but I find that when I am more outgoing I tend to make horrific life choices and this impacts my express pass to Hell.  So, I tend to keep to myself and enjoy time with my daughter, and by enjoy time I mean… corrupting my daughter ever so slightly.

She recently showed me a video of this parrot who would not say anything but, “Fucker”.   I wasn’t even upset that Ella was listening to a bird saying a swear word. She hears much worse from her mother.  But in all honesty it was the way the bird said the word was funny, but not so much the word itself.  I am assuming the bird was a He, because of is his foul mouth. He, the bird, would string out the word like F..U..C..K..E…R… and he would almost whisper it.  I, now, wake my daughter up in the mornings, some days, by standing outside her door, sticking my head in her room ever so slightly and whispering F..U..C..K..E..R.  She’s a light sleeper in the mornings, so even a whisper wakes her up.  We do giggle when I do this, but it doesn’t make it right.   I am certain this will be on the list offenses that will keep me aglow in life after death.

On a recent trip to home, my sister was listening to David Sedaris on audio. I have already read everything that David Sedaris has written.  My sister and I listened to a story, called “The Rooster”.  If you haven’t “READ” this story it’s about David’s brother who swears a bunch all the time, but he also swears in normal conversation while talking with his father. I, of course, started mimicking David’s brother while talking to my sister for the rest of my time with her. It would go something like this, Bitch! You better drive safe, Mother Fucker!  The main point of the sentence structure is it has to start with Bitch, and end with Mother Fucker…insert whatever you like in between.

Let’s fast forward to Easter Sunday. I received a Happy Easter text from my sister, so I naturally responded, Bitch! Happy Easter, Mother Fucker! I didn’t even think about my response until I noticed that my sister’s text was a group text. So, yes, my fate is sealed. I am absolutely headed to Hell. If I was teetering on the scale between Heaven and Hell, I believe that text just tipped the scale in a downward direction. My hair in the heat and humidity won’t be good.

So, where do I go from here? I will continue to judge myself harshly, grow more weeds than grass, cook in whatever pan might be clean, and use curse words because I find that they add a flare like a good accessory does to jazz up an outfit.  And I will pack light for my afterlife, with only a bathing suit and flip-flops. This will allow more room in my bag for my anti-frizz hair products.




Snow More!


I was informed today that Portland just might get another snow storm. My former self loved snow. I would approach each Portland winter with my fingers crossed that we would get snow, since it is such a rare occurrence.  Most winters I would be disappointed with old man winter. If it did snow it would be less than an inch.  My daughter would attempt to sled on grass. I always would feel a bit sad for her thinking that playing in the snow was sledding on cold, muddy grass with a few icy snow flakes and making 6 inch high snow man was normal. However, this winter after a few ice storms, a BIG snow, and 9 snow days later from school…I can say my winter dream of participating in the precipitation is fulfilled. The groundhog’s prediction of six more weeks of winter is officially rejected, and I am not accepting its credentials of rodent to be enough to pass as a meteorologist.

In the past, I would have so much joy and anticipation at the thought of snow. Back in my college days, I would end up in bars if classes were cancelled (which was rare). To clarify, classes being cancelled was rare, me ending up in bar during a snow storm was not.  When I moved to Philadelphia, I would again end up in a bar with a nice fire place, when the city would shut down for snow. It was glorious to walk down the vacated city streets during a snow storm.  Then I moved to Portland, snow in the city was a rare event. It was so rare that when it would snow I would get the urge to throw in something a little special to my bar experience, maybe a strip club.  I can’t explain why naked ladies factor into my life when it snows, but it can’t be just me.

Today, I am so against the snow, I am willing to write the President to suggest he write an Executive Order forbidding a single snowflake from entering Portland for the rest of 2017. Otherwise, I believe I might be on the verge of a freak out.  It could be quiet, and on the inside maybe. My freak out might even be in the form of a twitch or a weird twinkle in my right eye.  Or it could be an epic tantrum, if I wake up tomorrow with snow on the ground and Portland Public calling snow day number 10.  I’m afraid even naked ladies won’t lift my spirits this time;)


2017, You Look Fabulous!!!

Every year, I promise not to make any New Year’s resolutions and stick
to the tried and true tradition of lowering my standards. By not
having high standards I tend to not get disappointed. So, every New
Year’s Eve I raise my glass and toast to even lower standards from
last year. One might think that I would be eating out of dumpsters and
drinking out of mud puddles by now, but I do draw the line at such
things. However, I wouldn’t decline a garbage bag full of the “it”
restaurant’s left overs that might be tossed in the trash anyway, but
that could be another story. My standards are low, but they have
served my easy going nature, and  my quest for nothing. However, 2016
has been a tough year to chew and swallow.

Last year, I did have an unspoken goal to compliment people. It
started off great. I paid a compliant to a co-worker, I really liked
her boots. From there, I thought that once a day I would compliment any random individual. I didn’t have to know the person, I just genuinely had to like something about them enough to compliment. Sounds easy enough, right?  Well, it lasted one day, and
then I lost my nerve. I am a bit introverted, so putting myself out there like that wasn’t the most comfortable. So, instead of expressing my likes at random strangers openly and out loud, I would compliment them “silently” in my own mind.

Hello there, you don’t know me, but I really like your shirt. Can you take it off, because I think I like your abs.  Okay, you might think that this compliment is
over the top, but they don’t know or hear the thoughts in my head, so
I could get down right creepy if I wanted. There is no need to judge.
Oh, hey random person, I love that sweater. Where did you get it? Can
I have it?  So, I silently complimented people’s hair, boots, eyes,
muscles, nails, choice of food, choice of partner, running gait…the
list is endless. I was like the Santa Claus of compliments. I got
really good at the mindful compliments, but never instituted the
actual appreciation out loud. I think of it as random thoughts of
kindness, but no action necessary. Perhaps, I am a apathetic

The way 2016  is ending has made it extremely hard to keep up my
silent contribution to mankind, and leaves me looking forward to 2017.
I am tempted to not lower my standards, yet again, because I believe
that I just might be at my rock bottom of accepting crap and and
consuming it because it happens to be the same color as chocolate. I
was doing so well just accepting the cards that have been dealt, and
thinking that the outcome must be in someway the universe making
me payoff my karmic dept. I have a big one, it seems.  So, in 2017 I
will make goals, not resolutions. I will do things. Hell, I might even
decide to date and learn to fly a small plane.  I will also commit to
continuing my silent compliments of others, because it seems to work
for me. So, if you see me out and about and I’m staring at you
deeply, don’t fret. I might be complimenting you.

Jingle Hell

The day after Thanksgiving I was in my local coffee shop grabbing a quick cup of coffee while I was on my way to work. As I walked in the door, I was assaulted with Christmas music. I understand that it is customary for businesses, radio stations and really everybody to start to play Christmas music before the turkey is even cold. But as my ears were being raped with holiday cheer, my brain was trying to determine just how I was going to cope with this reality and how I was going to survive the next month. I already have a slough of self harming rituals that I perform on a weekly basis in order to continue to exist on this planet.  I’m not sure I can squeeze one more in my already full  daily schedule. It is a balancing act that includes  so many things that I could go on for days and days listing them one by one.  The one thing that my daughter pointed out that I have been doing unbeknownst to me is talking to myself, a shit ton….morning to night. I am not certain what I say to myself, but I think I mostly repeat, “Are you fucking kidding me? several times throughout the day, especially when I am looking in the mirror, but the mirror and the phrase are not mutually exclusive.

However, this Christmas music situation is adding a hint of desperation to my mood that I don’t remember being present in past holiday seasons.  I feel like someone who is allergic to the sun, like a vampire. But it’s not the sun, it’s festive melodies. I have a over the top reaction, like I just might die if I can’t make it stop. I find myself almost cursing at the tunes, like a irrational teen. If I hear Christmas music I must turn it off if I have the ability or flee from it if I have no power to quiet it down. I don’t believe I will have the mental fortitude to holiday shop in a public place this year. I might make it only 20 minutes before I am on the hunt for a sharp object to cut myself to relieve the heart crushing anger that this cheerful music stirs.  I know what you’re thinking, Christmas music and blood don’t go together, but I disagree. If I wear green and cut just a little, the blood, I think, will really put me in the holiday spirit.

I realize it’s not even December yet. I know that I haven’t begun to run this Holiday marathon. Oh, Sorry,  this Christmas marathon. I didn’t mean to offend any Christians out there. I believe that I might need to start a desensitization program to sink into this holiday season slowly, like I do when I take a nice warm bath.  My hope is that the music will start to resemble the  stifled moans that come from my cold dark heart, and I will disregard the music  like I do the moans and go about my normal day, numb and robotic. I want to approach the harmonized over-commercialized arrangements like I do with  people  I happened to know and whom I really don’t care for, or unpleasant medical procedures. For example, I recently got a shot of cortisone for a overuse injury. This was not something I liked, but I tolerated this just like I do when people talk to me in elevators about the weather or when strangers talk to me about their health conditions on public transportation.  I don’t like it, but I don’t get rabid. However, holiday music is my Achilles heel, the thing that makes me feel like Kirk Douglas in the movie, “Falling Down”. For now, I will just consider this a condition and will proceed with caution. If you happen to see me in the next 29 days and if you have a spare Xanax, feel free to slip it in my Christmas Stocking or directly into my  fancy holiday Starbucks cup.  Heck, I will even try to catch in my mouth, like a dog, if you throw it in air as an early Christmas present. I did put it on my Christmas list, but I believe that I didn’t make the cut on Santa’s nice list this year, so I am not holding my breath.


I guess I have been burning on empty for a while now. It has been difficult to realize just how drained I have been feeling, because when I’m this fried all judgement and insight must have dried up months ago. Lately, I wake up from my dream state on most mornings by hitting my alarm a little too hard, and sink into to my daily realization that others might call hopelessness. I wake, work, leave, and repeat. Sometimes I dream that it’s Friday only to wake and realize it Wednesday, these days are the most challenging. My job lately feels a little like the mailman’s mail bag during the holidays. The cases have been piling up and the deadline to deliver remains the same regardless of the amount that I have assigned.

I must have been comfortably miserable not realizing how tapped I was muddling through my day by day getting things done just by sheer pissy angst. I walked out to my garden after a long day to do some maintenance, and I was immediately stressed out by my vegetables. I stood there staring at all of them, and was sure they were staring back pleading with me in their own semi-aggressive way to either be picked, watered or eaten, in what order I am not sure cause I couldn’t quite hear them over the even louder voices in my own head.

My first thought was consistent with how i feel about work, I asked my veggies out loud, “How am I going to keep up with all of you? Why are so many of you due at the same time?” At this very moment I realized I was 24 hours away from a much needed vacation. Gardening is, typically, not the straw that breaks the camel’s back, right? However, I was standing in the middle of my garden having a conversation with my vegetables, probably a little more loudly than I initially anticipated. My cases are due, my reports are due, and now my veggies are DUE. I attempted to remind myself that vegetable are not DUE…they are RIPE , and this became the mantra I repeated to myself as I picked my nagging veggies this evening burdened with the thoughts of what I was going to do with all of them.

I immediately packed my bags upon returning from my garden. I found homes for all of my veggies that had to leave my garden that evening. I think they all found their forever homes. As for me, I realize I am the one who is due, and I am rehoming myself for the next week. I have zero standards or goals, because when I keep he bar low I am rarely disappointed. The plan is to sit and stare for 7 days. Maybe, I’ll decide not to use words at all and just point and grunt for 7 days. My utopia is a place where combs and brushes are not necessary and there is no judgements made by just how long I lay in bed, laying and staring, not to be confused with the sitting and staring portion of my vacation. The only thing that will separate my days is when is it time for the coffee to stop and happy hour to begin, and the only burning question will be is when will I fit in a run. Will the run happen after the laying and staring or before the sitting and staring portion of my day? Who cares? If I happen to see you I will point and grunt “hello” as I slowly jog by.

ParaElla Strep-Activity


I decided to let my daughter sleep with me last night since she is a bit sick. The 10 feet of distance between our two rooms is sometimes too much for my racing mind to handle. Having her closer seemed like a good idea, so I wouldn’t have to guess about her throughout the night. However, I was frightened awake around midnight by someone that looked like my sweet Ella, but this version was crying and barking like a seal. She spoke fast and stared at me urgently speaking in a language I mostly did not understand. She was insisting we needed to leave the house, trying to pull me from the bed. She would break into English that I could understand at times, but would drift back to the crying, seal barking mode while looking wildly into my eyes, pleading with me in this strange language insisting we leave the house.

It was about midnight when this occurred. The only place, I knew of, open at this hour on Thanksgiving was Safeway. I thought to myself, I doubt she wants to go to Safeway. But on the other hand, Ella didn’t eat much today. We spent the morning at urgent care. Ella was diagnosed with Strep throat. Ella only ate a bit of Jello, some rice and a couple bites of pie. Ella’s Thanksgiving feast was less than we had anticipated. Perhaps, she had caught her second wind and knew that we only had about 30 minutes until Safeway closed.

In this very creepy interaction, she continued to cry, bark, and speak in this unknown language. When she did not get the desired response from me she would dry heave. Well, I then would react firmly stating, “Ella, or whoever you are, if you are going to vomit, you are NOT going to do it in my bed, and then she would insist she would not. She then would continue the process of barking, crying, and wanting to leave the house.

After a period that seemed far too long, I was able to get this little demon to lay back down. I, however, was freaked out and wide awake. The creature that laid beside me snored loudly like there was something dark trying to get out. I pondered putting the little poltergeist back in her own bed, but didn’t want this child, coming at me from behind, tapping me on the shoulder with another demand. I’d much rather see her coming and wrestle her off. As I finally managed to doze off, on cue Ella sat up again crying and barking like a seal with the demand of leaving the house, ending in the dry heaving. After getting Ella back to bed for a second time, I considered calling a priest with a ample supply of holy water and perhaps a few ghost hunters. I thought, at the least, they could  watch Ella as I get just a few hours of sleep, they seemed skilled for such. They might even consider such a task mundane.

I was super grateful to make it through the night and wake up to a nice sunrise this morning. I felt like I survived a night in a haunted house. Ella, of course had no recollection of the events of last night. She seems to be feeling much better today. I surmise the activities of last night were related to her illness. However, just to be safe I’ve decided to head out to my local Christian supply store for some emergency stockpiles, I seem to be fresh out. I am wondering if they have any exorcism kits for dummies on sale for Black Friday.

9 Years of Burn

I was at a point in my life where I was exhausted. On my way to work I would walk by and smell you. You smelled amazing. I was always curious about you, but I didn’t think you were my taste. But that smell either became more persuasive or I was just weak with fatigue. I finally decided I would give you a try. It started out innocently enough, a latte here and there, at first. But soon enough I was hooked. Soon I was frapping, capping, getting double and triple of you, and pouring ice over you when it was warm outside. I really couldn’t get enough. In the evening, before I would go to bed I would become excited at the thought of meeting up with you again in he morning. My standard latte eventually turned into an Americano, I didn’t need milk taking any of the glory away from you. I then began to buy some locally roasted beans that I would grind for the mornings. I would drink my home brew and then grab a quickie on my way to work. Life was good. You put the manic in my hypo. You made me want to conquer the world during the 20 minute rush that only you seemed to give me. I needed you. I was dependent. You knew how to get me to that perfect level of agitation and yet still make me supremely productive. Some type of black magic, maybe. However, in spite of how hooked and addicted I was, you were just not good for me. You gave me a 9 year stomach ache with raging, searing heartburn. To be honest, I blamed everything else when the doctor asked and I eliminated everything from my diet worth living for, except you.

Recently, I had to make the heart-wrenching decision to break up with you. It has been four weeks. The most devastating part of this story is how much better my stomach feels. I mean this is just awful news. How could you be the cause of such gastrointestinal upset, when you are so incredibly perfect in every single way. I cannot tell you how heartbroken I am that I have to live my life without you. I still smell you everywhere. I have found myself standing outside of the Starbucks I used to frequent, wondering if the baristas miss me? I leer from the outside looking in watching them stand in line to order. I watch them drink from those white cardboard cups with their names spelled incorrectly.

I have thought about not letting any of them have you and have half the urge to slap the cups out of their undeserving hands, but this is Portland. I would be exhausted. There is literally a coffee shop on every corner of every block, I can’t take on this kind of attitude, can I? No. I am not a vengeful person. Next time, I will just lick the glass when I linger too long watching every sip they take while I am on the outside looking in. I promise it won’t be an angry lap at the window, but more of a longing kind of lick with a hint of taunting. I hope you consider this fair.

I would tell you that I can’t sleep, but this is just not true. I am sleeping fine for the first time in 9 years. I would say I am a mess and can’t eat, but again no. I can finally eat  without thinking that perhaps I mistakenly swallowed shards of glass and chased it with some sort of cleaning agent. However, I life without you doesn’t seem possible. You made me feel alive or maybe it was just awake, but isn’t that the same? Presently, I have replaced you with Chamomile. This is like going from ridding in a high-speed train to being pulled in a carriage by an deceased horse. I truly am trying to love the one I am with, but shit just got real boring. Oh sure, I do try to do new things with Chamomile to try to keep it exciting. I put it in a fancy mug and throw some honey and milk in it. I’m thinking about adding a donut into the mix occasionally, but I am afraid that the Chamomile will just be the third wheel. I have doubts that anything good will come from a menage a trios with my tea.

I haven’t completely given up on our future, though. I am hoping that great scientific minds will come up with a way that I can consume you in a way that will bypass my stomach all together. I have not heard of anyone snorting you or smoking you, but I haven’t done a thorough internet searched yet, to be completely honest. I have heard of the coffee colonic, but I fear that if I made this part of my normal morning routine it might interfere with my work schedule a bit. Perhaps, I will consider this for birthdays and holidays. Until then I will continue to walk into my kitchen and stare breathlessly at my empty coffee pot. I promise to remember the good times, and then weep silently into my cup of Chamomile, maybe the salt will spice it up a bit.

To All the Little Birds….

A few months ago, every morning I would be abruptly awaken by a bird running head first into my french doors. I would wake up and pull open my curtains and watch this little bird take a running start over and over, running head first into my the glass window. I would get my first cup of coffee and continue to watch this poor little bird, battling my door until I had to leave for work. I would think about this little fellow at times throughout the day, wondering if he was still hedging a battle with my home. I am no bird expert, but it is my understanding during mating season male birds become territorial over their mating grounds and often begin to attack windows and mirrors, thinking they are fighting off potential competition for their mating partners.

Everyday, it was the same. I would wake to a substantial bang on my glass doors. I would watch, get ready for work, and leave. I looked for a particular characteristic about this bird in an attempt to identify him, but my attention to detail has never been a strong point with me. But I had already began to identify with this creature without really knowing what type of bird he might be. Knowing his real name wasn’t important, because he was me, I was him. I called named him the “social work” bird.  Because for the past nineteen years of my life, I have been waking up every morning and making the choice to bang my head against my own set of  french doors. I have had a virtual headache for years over fighting for a better everything for individuals with mental health issues. The battle has been consistent, persistent and might have caused a bit of TBI since I did not have the foresight to pace myself or wear a helmet. Why would anyone take on such a battle? Well, just like the bird, the image that I saw in the mirror looked like something worth fighting for.

I’m always thankful for all the other little social work birds running head first into their walls, mirrors, or glass doors. Keep your weight centered and your helmets secured, peeps. Appreciate the ample amounts of caffeine that is available to motivate you all to get the running head start at the beginning of your workday. And you can WHINE or WINE as much as you see fit to at the end of the day.  As long as the image you saw in the mirror that initially motivated you to take your first head first run still makes you want to do it all again, head first, tomorrow and the next day and the next…….

Go Flush Yourself!

I feel I’m caught in between an automatic and manual world of hand washing in the public restrooms. When I find myself in new surroundings, I stand too long in front of manual water faucets just waiting like a princess for the water to sense my existence. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror feeling mildly insecure about my relationships with objects and their inability to sense me and my needs. Then I realize this faucet expects me to actually use force, how barbaric.  I turn the water on, roll my eyes, and secretly resent the faucet for making me feel stupid or making me exert, I really can’t decide which.

I do the same dance with the soap dispensers, but I find sometimes when the faucets are manual, the soap dispensers have been upgraded to automatic and this takes me off guard and I feel attacked. Or the opposite happens, I hold my hands under the soap and wait like I do with the water, and I realize it does not have an automatic mechanism and it might be mocking me. I then push the button just a little too hard to seek my revenge and pretend my hands are just really, really dirty when I am flooded with soap.

I find myself waving more at paper towels than I do at actual humans on the street. My waving is often rewarded with just one very small paper towel. A second attempt of waving even more vigorously produces nothing, and I am often forced to use my jeans to dry my hands instead. All the paper towel machines I encounter have a message written on them stating the costumer does not have to touch it in order for it to dispense. Just simply wave a hand near the sensor. Liars! Just like the sicko who likes to stand too close to the exit on the subway, forcing all the in-coming and out-going passengers to rub past him. I believe he must have created this paper towel holder, cause this machine will not spit out a towel unless it is mildly molested.

Come to think of it, I would much rather just dry my hands on that never ending festering old-school cloth towel hand-drying dispenser. You know, the one with the same cloth just rotates around for centuries and looks like it has never been changed. It says a lot about me that I will risk a few more germs than look like a jackass waving at or fondling a paper napkin machine, but I feel I need to draw the line somewhere, I guess.

The other option is the jet engine hand dryer that causes hearing loss. I am perfectly fine with buying tickets to a rock concert and dealing with tinnitus after, but I am not totally okay with ringing in my ears being a after-effect of a bathroom visit. I have seen the new hand drying machines send happy toddlers into convulsing piles of tantrums….wait, no. That was me.

Do I have a point to make? No. I hate to think the inventors invent for the the first world inhabiters because we are so far gone that we need special considerations when it comes to faucets, soap and hand-drying. Next? I am actually hoping for an public restroom emotional fluffer who greets me as I am leaving, to pump me up for next time much like a mother does with her toddler after a successful potty training experience. This hologram would say the following: “Ms. Solt, the way you made the faucets flow, the soap dispensers your bitch, and the manner in which you tickled the paper towel sensor made me want to run for the nearest stall myself! Bravo! I cannot wait to see how you master these sanitizing beasts at your next visit!”

Loose Screws

I recently purchased a treadmill and it was delivered to my house. I know I understood I had to put it together, but I don’t think I fully wrapped my brain around this concept. I also think I was just a bit grandiose in my ability to manage this project.  To construct means: to combine parts, systematically arranging, to build. I do all these things rather poorly. I don’t even cook or throw dinner parties due to these weaknesses. I just can’t. My time management is poor and my organizational skills are worse. Actually, cooking for a holiday dinner gives me almost as much anxiety as being pulled out to sea in a riptide while hearing the tsunami warning horns blaring off in the distance.  Just the thought of this exhausts me. I believe building a treadmill might be the same thing as throwing a dinner party, minus handling the screws.

When the delivery truck pulled up I was excited and anxious at the same time. Let’s not confuse the two. These are totally different states of energy. I know this as an obsessive kind of person who treads through a healthy amount of apprehension on the daily.  After the delivery men left, I still remained magically optimistic and hopeful that maybe when I opened the box the machine would already be put together and it was just in its folded upright position. Of course my childish optimism faded with the cutting of the cardboard and I was left feeling a bit impotent.  Very similarly, I feel the same when I’m handed a new Apple device and am told about its capabilities and of its storage capacity. Terabyte? Wait, isn’t that a type of dinosaur?

In spite if myself, I opened the instruction manuel and laid the parts out, mainly in an attempt to fool myself. Perhaps, if my body acts like it knows what it’s doing, my brain will just go along with it. I followed the steps, each one. Until I get to step 14. I was supposed to have a stabilization bar, in which the console is theoretically to rest upon, but no. I read if you don’t have all the parts I am to STOP. Well, I think I was already three hours committed, which is too far my dear instruction manuel to just quit. And I have put enough Target  furniture together in the past two years to have some realization that sometimes there are variations between what is in the manuel and what is in the actual box. However, I did have a few moments of…well, I guess this is how it all ends, with the urge to just pack my bags and light a match and just be done with it. As the case may be, I might be the only person who has fantasies of just burning my house to the ground when it’s too dirty or when I take on a project that spirals into disaster much like this one .

With parts scattered all over the garage, I retraced all my steps thinking I might have carried off this stabilization bar to some other part of my house. I looked for it along with my stability for a period of time that seemed appropriate. I mean, just last week I found a lost coffee mug in my garden, so my ability to carry things off is part of my daily struggle. The commercials about early stage dementia often catch my attention for obvious reasons.

I looked everywhere and deep down knew this stabilization bar did not exist, yet I believed in it like I did in Santa. I knew this machine could be put together without it and it was meant to be put together without it, but the mere mention of it filled my already low mechanical self esteem with even more self doubt, which led me to curse the manufactures and my doubting self. And to have so many extra screws was worrisome. I continued to put the entire machine together and got to step 24 and then realized I forget to tighten some necessary screws at step 16 and had to take everything apart until then. Rest assured, those forgotten screws at step 16 are tight, cause they were tightened with a calm, quiet rage.

I worked for more hours than I like to admit putting that machine together that day. I did curse some, but mainly I did in a low mumbling tone. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse, actually. I almost finished up that night, but just could not get the last two screws in. I’m not sure if it was because I lost the good light of the day or if it was because my hands just failed to hold the screw driver properly after all those hours. I did try several times and I just could not get the screws to go where they were suppose to go, so instead of dropping a match to it and walking away in slow motion, I just put the screw driver down and grabbed a glass of wine and some Tylenol. Those two loose screws were not a problem when I finally screwed them in the following morning. And it’s not all the unused and loose screws left astray on the floor that bother me.  I think it’s the loose ones running on it that troubles me the most.