Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life is but a dream

Ahh, but there are several types of dreams! One, always a favorite, is the stress dream in which YOU CAN'T WIN! No matter what you do, your brain changes the rules to screw you over. One of my most common involves me driving in a highway and taking the wrong exit, only to be stuck in an series of increasingly difficult roads that always lead me further and further away from the path I desire. The common ending for these has me carrying my car on my back as I gingerly walk across a shaky rope bridge over a chasm. One I had recently involved a Batman-obsessed gremlin thing that was a pushover. I beat it up and outsmarted it time and again, but it was always right around the corner to attack again. The dream ended when I thought I had it trapped in my grandparents' house (Mom's side) only to realize too late that they had installed a pet door. With a, "well, that's the end of me," sigh, I woke up. Another fun version ends with thousands of airplanes falling from the sky until one finally hits me.

The above sketch is a fairly good indicator of the past 24 hours. On one side, we have the quiet and reserved Yvette Nutley. On the other, a tempting and shiny meat cleaver. A truer emotional self-portrait has never been done!

Let's recap the fun!

-After sleeping through my alarm and moving like a drunk snail all morning, I arrive at my grandparents' house (mom's side) a few hours late. This is not a problem for me, since they didn't believe I was coming. Such faith they have in me! I try to explain webcomics to them, then explain over and over why the one painting they like of mine wasn't on my website. It's my poinsettia painting that has been sitting at my grandparents' house (dad's side) for the past month.

- Grandma (mom's side), with whom I am supposed to be spending quality as she has terminal cancer and all, says she is tired and goes back to read and watch TV. She feels perfectly healthy, so she's in no rush to do that creepy family time stuff. Most of my interaction with her was checking her math while she balanced her checkbook (she got it right) and turning down the beer she offered. Most of my time was spent chatting with my aunt (mom's side) as we "watched" a basketball game.

- Then I got a call. My grandmother (dad's side) wanted to know where I was. Now, I had told my aunt (dad's side) that I wouldn't arrive until after 9pm. I was told by my mother that grandma (dad's side) said it was perfectly fine if I showed up late at night. When I showed up at my grandparents' house (dad's side) at 9:30, I found out neither relative had told HER when to expect me. I was in trouble.

- The reason I didn't spend the night at my grandparents' house (mom's side) is because I have daily internet obligations! I need five minutes of internet time to upload the day's Precocious strip, and the only wifi I can steal is around my grandparents' house (dad's side).

- When I arrived at the grandparents' (dad's side) house I was greeting with the strange image of my grandmother (you know by now) eating cold Chef Boy-Ar-Dee from a can. Things also smelled funny, but at the time I chalked it up to the can (chef's side). After taking great care to keep their pipes from freezing during the recent cold weather, the pipes chose to rust themselves into oblivion instead. The kitchen was out of commission, the heat was out and the plumbers had a bit of trial and error before finding the problem.

- Thinking the leaky pipe was in one place (the wrong side) they knocked some holes in the downstairs ceiling. Though that hole came the distinct smell of dead mouse. Oh great. That explains it. (It's mostly dissipated by now, but that was not fun coming into the fresh kill zone.)

- I was tired from a day in which nothing had gone right. Grandma (still dad's side) was the same. We talked ourselves into a stupor and then adjourned for the night. It was time to do my update.

- THE INTERNET IS DEAD! I tried every fix I could, even though Windows (Satan's side) told me again and again that the problem wasn't on my end. The person from which I was stealing wifi was currently without internet - and I was up shit's creek until that person realized there was a problem.

- As midnight grew closer, I became increasingly distressed. I had it all planned out! I abandoned my grandparents (mom's side) just so I could be covered for the update! I couldn't do any other work because I was checking the connection every 10 minutes until 3am or so. I missed my update time and I hated myself for it.

- Feeling helpless, I decided to try sketching. Guess what I had forgotten to bring! If you guessed MY DAMN PENCIL, you know me too well. Fortunately, I had brought lead refills, so my no-copy red pencil was sacrificed to the alter of "I can't scan red!" That is one problem solved, everything else in the world still wrong.

- I could not sleep. Not only was my mind still panicking and waking me over and over to check the connection, but it was FREAKIN' COLD! I had just escaped a house where I was forced to run the space heater all day to keep feeling in my hands, and now busted heat put me in the same position.

- I end up sleeping through TWO alarms and oversleeping an hour. I am not remotely rested and I feel sick because of it. Oh well, at least this place has the best shower in the world! See, at home something has gone wrong. At the 10 minute mark, the hot water is gone. This had not been a problem before. Showers (home side) had been reduced to trying to ration hot water long enough to clean AND relax me. (If unrationed, it would never reach 10 minutes.) This means showers had become stressful and ALWAYS ended in cold frustration and disappointment. GUESS WHAT! Two minutes into this shower (grandparents dad's side) I had shut off the cold completely and was taking all hot I could. I finally had to bail, cold and miserable.

By now I am starting to wonder if I have died and ended up in Purgatory. No matter where I go, the same problems follow me. I can't get warm. When I do momentarily reach warmth, overheating immediately follows and I have to freeze again. No matter how long I sleep, I cannot get any rest. This has been going on for days. No matter what I do, I cannot get on the internet. I can't properly taste food. Feelings in general have become confusing. Seriously, since when have I been so succeptible to cold? It's getting worse every day and I don't know why! It's a minor disaster wherever I turn, and I am starting to suspect nothing will ever go right again. Around the 10th time I managed to connect to a wireless network from the nauseating IHOP only to have it fail to connect to the internet, I was certain I was a ghost. It's not just recent events, you see, but the past two months have been unrelenting in thrusting negativity on me. Is this like the Sixth Sense scene where I am lamenting how I am ignored by people I thought were friends, only to realize they moved on because I was, yanno, dead? Is this why I can not sleep for a day, sleep an entire day, quit eating for a while, eat like a pig another time, work hard, do nothing and generally turn my life into one crazy variable experience.... and yet the result is always the same. I feel the same no matter what I do. I weight the same no matter what I eat. This is not something mortals do. I am dead. I've been dead for a while. I'm dead and the afterlife SERIOUSLY SUCKS! Fuck me.

And then we rush home from the IHOP (after two hours of awkward and horrible-tasting misery) because we have doctors appointments. We don't stop by the library (which offers free wifi) because of this. Aha! Once again the solution is twisted away from me! This is a dream or death! I am certain!

Once home, I find the wifi person finally remembered to plug his modem back in. I do my comic update 14 hours late. I have no email, no comments, probably no chance in readership... and when I call my grandparents (mom's side) with an offer to come visit, they tell me not to bother since they didn't expect me to come over anyway. Even though we had all discussed it the day before.

No matter what happens, it all stays the same. WHY DOES THE SAME HAVE TO SUCK SO MUCH!?

No comments: