Bill by Bill
So. Okay. While I was out-and by that I mean 'out of my mind with illness and junk'-it seems as if upon my work table, there grew a gigantic stack of envelopes. These envelopes had to be differentiated from the gigantic stack of medical statements(I wonder exactly how many trees had to die so I could live. Hmm.) but the truth is, I actually crossed over from simply coasting at 'whelmed' and then all of a sudden, plunged deeply into the land of 'overwhelmed'. You get there by discovering there was one bill you missed while you were down and out and now it's become two, WITH a late fee.
And then there were a whole buncha things like, two months ago, the internet bill magically leaped from $37 bucks a month up to $51 and all that was happening when you were focussing on a trip back to homeostasis. And to get a cheaper plan, they want me to add cable because that makes absolutely no sense at all.
And all that insurance business which got resolved(so far so good-I guess)but the monthly premium(is that the word I want?)is so large, that I've wrapped myself in bubble wrap just for November, hoping I don't have to pull the card out which would cost me 20% of God knows what.
I took to my bed.
Well, not completely, but I got to where I just couldn't look. I did some ceiling staring trying to decide which was worse-the cancer surgery or the financial aftermath. It took me a week of ignoring the pile and knowing it was the end of the month and I had to get in motion.
A lot of the most painful cancer treatments-the way I(and one of my cancer friends) seem to have gotten through them was to score some sort of treat on the other side. Didn't have to be something pricey. Just something to focus on when they are somewhat unsuccessfully using a needle to suck stuff out of the lymph nodes in your neck.
So, I kinda had that game in mind when I attacked the pile. I thought okay, so, whenever you think you deserve it, as you work through this pile, you can score a prize.
It was the weirdest thing, but after I got Chase Bank to return my $12 monthly fee for exhibiting an extremely shrimpy direct deposit and then when I got AT&T to deduct the $28 dollar hike, I started feeling like some sort of lion. No, really. Tearing through this pile of problems.
Now I have to say, that it took days and one whole lotta running around. And I had to close the Chase account in order to pay Blue Cross while picking up an extra work shift-not that it's going to save me or anything-in my imagination-I say to myself that that particular extra shift is my breathing money-like if there's something that's beyond the budget entirely.
For instance, I was out after work doing all these financial errands and I hadn't eaten, so instead of our new mantra which is: WE HAVE FOOD AT HOME (*sigh*), I popped into Sugar Beet Food Co-op and scored some healthy-ish chicken salad with grapes in it. In the three buck zone but something like that would come out of my imaginary extra shift fund.
It took me the longest time standing in front of the sandwich salad section to decide what to get. They even offered me assistance but I didn't want to pay 6ish bucks for some sorta random sandwich so I said I was waiting for something to speak to me. What it would have said was, I'm not too expensive and the store has forks!
And strangely, the words of Mary Poppins and Second City Improv Training School collided:
"In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, you find the fun and SNAP! The job's a game."
"Find the game."
Saving my ass got kind of even a little bit-dare I say-fun AND never even required glamorous prizes.
A new person arrived at one of my places of business and they said they had a lot of questions and I did the physical indication that they could ask me anything which is pretty much how I run my life, I guess, and then they indicated that they didn't want to ask This particular question in front of the big boss and I thought umm okay. Not really.
And a little while later they did this like: Pssst. Ann. thing and I thought ye Gods, what the hell IS this? And the yearning burning question was as follows: Where can I score some weed around here?
And I said: You're asking the wrong person. Which, ya know, should have shut that conversation down, no? I'm not making judgements about people's choices or whatever, I just don't want to be anywhere near that shit.
I think that's fair.
And they countered with this: How do you even get through life?
This from someone who's probably not even 23.
And in the deepest depths of my head and in my best Brooklyn accent I thought: Get away from me, yahhhhh little fuck.
I was talking to some people at my other work and a woman sort of casually introduced me to someone else and she said, "Ann has survived two different cancers." and I don't think I've ever actually heard that in a sentence before and it took me a minute but I thought, oh yeah. That's right. I did.