pages 31-35

   I let this get away from me a bit and I feel pretty bad about it. No more of that. Even if I only write a post to confess that I've been watching Bachelor in Paradise, I'm going to do it. Also, please judge me. Please make me feel like the world's biggest idiot and feminist traitor for watching this garbage. Say something mean enough to get me to stop, or come take away all of my TV watching devices, because I cannot be trusted to strive beyond the comatose-level of brain power it takes to watch a gaggle of beautiful boneheads get wasted, make out, cry, and repeat. I keep telling myself it is okay to do these things because I am grieving, but I'm a little worried it's becoming a habit. Like, when bachelorette Rachel picked that idiot chiropractor over Peter-the-gap-toothed-dream-boat I was legit upset. I spent way more time than I would like to admit stalking her Instagram account, scrolling through the photos of she and Idiot and imagining what punny headlines People Magazine will come up with to announce their relationship's inevitable demise, then bouncing over to Peter's Instagram account and saying to no one but the cats, "She made a big mistake. HUGE."

(Yes, I quote Pretty Woman even when alone.)

Here are other bad things I'm doing in the name of grief:

Eating zero vegetables.

Taking days off I can't afford to take off to hang out on the beach.

Getting really tan.

Bailing on most social events.

Letting the cats eat the expensive yogurt I didn't feel like finishing.

Buying really expensive Icelandic yogurt. Also cured meats, fancy cheeses, and chocolate. Add birth control pills and you have the base of my personal food pyramid.

Skipping the occasional run (ugh, I even hate typing that).

Watching all things Bachelor related.

Not wearing any clothing that has an actual waistband or requires underwear.

Lying to the 7-Eleven clerk to get solar eclipse glasses.
They were out, but the clerk asked if I was Jordan, who she had set aside a pair for. I said I was indeed Jordan, bought them, and enjoyed the hell out of the eclipse. Fuck Jordan. I'm grieving, dammit.

Except, maybe Jordan is grieving, too. Maybe the clerk set aside a pair of eclipse glasses for Jordan (when I was told over the phone they would not be holding glasses for people), because she had a good reason. Maybe her brother just died, and he was really looking forward to the eclipse and she wanted to see it, for him, so could they please hold a single pair of glasses for her, please? That's one of the biggest lessons I've learned in all of this. Is that there are dead brothers everywhere. Dead brothers, dead fathers, dead children, dead dogs, dead friends. I've wondered how many people I've offended by being my typical sarcastic-bordering-on-rude self. I often find myself muttering, "what's your problem?" when a stranger almost hits me with their bike while I'm running, or steps out in front of my car without looking, or cuts in line at the grocery store.

"What's your problem?"

I used to say this without thinking about whether or not they have an actual problem. The first week back home after Alex died, I had a really hard time focusing, especially in public. I couldn't hear the clerks at the grocery store, I dropped things all the time, would forget to look both ways before I crossed the street.

"What's your problem?" someone said to me one day, when I stepped in front of their car while they had a green light. I saw my old self in their angered face, my old self who used to ask people that question, demanding they feel bad for the slight inconvenience they just caused me. I ignored that guy and kept on walking. I know it's not a question I was really supposed to answer, but what if I wanted to? Where would I start?

"What's my problem? My brother died. Also, Rachel picked that idiot over Peter."

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