Tag Archives: anonymous

Freight Trains & Growing Pains

Old_abbandoned_freight-trains

For the past two weeks I have been nannying a 10-year old girl.  That’s a lie; for the past two weeks she has been nannying me.

The first morning I was hyper.  Four cups of coffee before 7am will do that.  Bombarding her with questions, I asked about Benjamin Franklin, (I know this was important to the kid in “Big Daddy” so it must pertain to her), I observed her soccer gear and asked about her affinity for sports, the first tooth she lost, what the weather would be that day, if she wanted to play tic-tac-toe, (she didn’t), and basically everything except for her social security number.  Finally I calmed down enough to read her facial expression that said: pump the brakes, Lady.

I dropped her off for school and thought to myself, FaithAnonymous you are such a weirdo.  No doubt she was thinking the same thing.

The second morning we played basketball but the game came to an abrupt halt when I got excited, threw the ball too hard, and it landed in an algae infested river thing, or a stream of contaminated water…hard to tell.  Nevertheless we got to work MacGyvering a device for “Operation Save Basketball.”  This rescue mission was a pivotal point in our nanny-nanny relationship.

By the third day, we were head-banging in the kitchen, blasting Led Zeppelin on the way to school, and yelling “OH YEAAAH,” in a voice similar to the Koolaid man or a WWF wrestler.  Then she had to remind me to remind her not to forget her soccer stuff.  “Oh yeah, don’t forget your soccer stuff.”

The hour before school is the only time I get to spend with “Miss. Anonymous,” we’ll call her, and the block of time troubled me at first.  I knew this gig would be taking precedence over my morning meetings and on days I wake hating the world, myself, and everyone involved,  a dose of AA is the only restart button at my disposal.  What I have learned is that this morning interaction has a new pathbreaking impact on my day.

In addition to teaching me how to shoot hoops, she has reeducated me on multiplication times tables, informed me (just in time) that olive oil is not the same as Crisco when it comes to waffle batter, and that cake is not an acceptable breakfast.

This morning as I practiced my newly acquired culinary skills, she supervised from the end of the counter.  Something caught her eye right before my flawless fried egg flip.

“Woah!”  She said, standing in front of the toaster, looking at her reflection in the silvery stainless steal. “I used to have to stand on my tip toes to see my reflection on here, and now I don’t have to!” She exclaimed as she looked at her own face at eye level.

Something about this moment made time stand still in a beautiful way.   It was like watching life in slow motion. She was elated at her discovery on the toaster and the physical proof of growing up.

I am a “grownup” but I will never be  grown up; that implies that I’ve stopped growing.  Every single day there are new bits of knowledge thrown my way and I have to be open to receive.  Sometimes they are something small, like how to make waffles; sometimes it’s character building, like witnessing and acknowledging a kind gesture that gives me faith.  And sometimes it’s a freight train blaring across my path, screaming, you’re an alcoholic, and it’s okay to ask for help.

Maybe for a kid life is like a high-speed rail with information whizzing by so fast that they don’t even know they’re trying to catch up.  If I remember correctly, 10 is the age where information slows down enough to begin processing; except I guess it’s not slowing down; it’s just the kids growing up.  Catching up.  Suiting up for the freight trains and knowledge bombs. I wish I could tell Miss. Anonymous that once the train starts it is full speed ahead.

Or, on a lighter note, I could tell her this.

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The Party Must Go On

Day 223

I wasn’t a daily drinker or drug user.  Don’t get me wrong, there were binges.  The intensity of a binge was dependent upon what my time-frame and where my mind-frame was.

There were the standard rights-of-passage binges that all upper-middle class white girls get to stumble through; spring break, Christmas break, made-up breaks, any and all holidays, the entirety of summer, etc etc etc.  These passages, of course, being high school into college.

I guess if marijuana is considered a drug then I was a daily abuser from 16-20 years old.  When I started skipping class it honestly was a relief from myself.  This is who I am, see?!  Failing tests and taking bong rips on the way to school was my security blanket for those tormented teen years.

When my group of friends and I made the transition from middle school to high school most of them started hanging out with the older kids; since I simply didn’t have the confidence, I fell behind.  The pot heads picked me up.

Sitting in the back of class stoned out of my gourde, being told that I was fucking up (not in those words) was exactly what I wanted.  Finally my insides could match my outside, as though I was saying, “I’m a mess, dammit, and I’m going to show it.”  The good news was that my bad behavior on the outside was laughable.  Haha, silly me, my GPA is 0.4.  Seriously, that was my GPA at one point, and I laughed all the way to graduation.  Then again, a lot was laughable in those days.

My girlfriends and I would cram six or more of us in a car, roll two blunts, then drive around town with all the windows up, to get as high as possible and see who pussied out first by gasping for air.  How could I take anything seriously with such a ridiculous regimen?

Life went on like that for a while.  Party party party.  Invincible.  The pothead crew and the old crew had combined and it was beautiful display of debauchery; wake up late, go to bed late, bomb around shit-faced from house to house and wonder the next morning how we got home.

At a certain point I started to notice my friends growing up.  They put thoughts and efforts into internships, and into their futures.  As a 26-year old I am just now coming to believe that I might “go” somewhere,  but back then I hated myself to death and the hope for betterment was extinguished by an extreme lack of faith.

I can see now that my mentality was simple.  My mind-frame was: If I wasn’t going to amount to anything, (this was a fact), then there was but one option:  the party must go on.

So it did.

Ultimately, the parties stopped working. The periods between binges got shorter, everything in life became unbearably unmanageable. My blackouts were getting darker, my mistakes were getting bigger, and the thirst for cocaine was something I absolutely could not quench.

For the first time, I truly felt that life was spinning out of control.  Eventually, inevitably, it brought me to my knees.

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