So I’m sitting in my bathtub at 5:43 a.m. . . .Wait. I guess I should first explain why I was in the BATHTUB.
No, the tub wasn’t full of ice and I hadn’t had my kidney stolen by Black Market organ thieves (how f**ing ironic that would be). Actually, I was in the tub because I’ve had lupus for 10 years which begat kidney failure which begat the need for dialysis which begat a jugular catheter which can’t get wet in a shower. Hence, the bath.
So I’m sitting there enjoying some quiet. It should be about an hour until the four kids in the house need to get up. Then, in a moment that flashed like lightning, all of the following occurred: (1) my six-year-old daughter appears from behind the towel rack (2) I jerk like an electrocuted Tasmanian devil (3) I slam my hand on the corner of the bath tub, and (4) my hand bleeds.
My ninja-like reaction was presumably in preparation to vanquish the morning zombie, who was obviously intelligent because he’d somehow bypassed the house burglar alarm. After several milliseconds, though, I’d discovered it wasn’t a zombie, but rather my precious little girl at the end of my look. She’d arisen quite early for school and had ventured downstairs. Of course, my knee-jerk reaction was to scream.
“PIPPI! WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING!?!??!”
And she runs off. Boo, daddy.
After toweling off, I discover we have run out of regular band-aids. So I do what anyone would do: I raid the Barbie band-aids. Ordeal over, but it’s still a head-scratcher.
You’d think having dealt with bullshit like lupus and heart surgery, maybe I wouldn’t have to deal with any other ticky tack stuff . . . yet, here you are, Chronic Jumpiness. Amazingly, like lupus, no cure is known.
One time several years earlier, my apartment-mate came home, opened the door, and said, “Hey.” I hadn’t heard the door, so of course his “hey” initiated the launch of a glass of cabernet into orbit, staining carpet, wall, and chairs. He laughed. A lot.
Another time I drove a car – barefoot – to one of those “enter and sit” car washes. As the brushes churned, I sat carefree until I felt something crawling – a cockroach – on my bare feet. You might as well have tasered me in the nuts the way I freaked out. I became a stomping, shrieking, fetal-positioned teenage girl in a horror flick. Trapped in the carwash. That experience took months to wear off.
Good friends have ribbed me – maybe deservedly so – that this is Weenie-dom, plain and simple. I get it. I mean, I issue warnings to people who are getting to know me, “Look, the worst thing you can do to me is hide behind a door, and jump out and scare me. You might get a spinning side kick in the head before I know what’s happening.” At least my wife – the one who has witnessed the most comical epilepsies – has accepted it. And she still loves me!
As you might imagine, the worst jumpy moments occur when I’m in and out of sleep. Here, where anything is possible, I take Nervous Nellie to new stratospheres. In that dream where snakes cover the floor, I kick real kicks. In that dream where I fight the soccer goalie and I’m blind, I throw real punches. I’m surprised my wife hasn’t concocted a bed shield, or a zap system to wake my ass up when things get tense and I’m out of it.
I haven’t dwelt too much on this condition, but it seems irreversible. I think it also is my embarrassing cross to bear, similar to those who don’t care enough to rectify their “your/you’re” or “their/there/they’re” grammar problems. I can no more control this problem by screaming, “Self, stop being a weenie!” than I can improve others’ grammar by screaming, “you grammatical birdbrains don’t deserve your computer!!!”
I’m really a normal guy. It just so happens that sudden sounds tend to erupt and frazzle me with nuclear force. So thanks for understanding. Just clank some pots and pans from a distance before entering the room next time.
Q: Do you like haunted houses?
A: They’re on par with rectal exams.
Q: Do you like the horror movie scenes where the dumbass teenager is walking backwards and turns around suddenly and BAP! she’s dead?
A: No. Vehemently no.
Q: Why are you slamming yourself so bad? I mean, this is definitely man-card revocable material.
A: It’s good to have a self-deprecating post once in a while; it’s an existential exoneration for all the times I’ve ripped other people for frivolous stuff.
Q: Do you pee sitting down, too?
A: Actually, most of the time, yes, and that’s another hilarious story for another blog post.
Q: Were you subjected to shock therapy or lobotomization as a child?
A: I don’t think so.
Q: Did you like this :23 video?
A: My laptop hit the ceiling.