Anything Could Happen

There was blockage in the toilet, but I took a second look, because I thought it might be a rat. Yes, I sat there peering at someone else’s giant poop in the toilet, doubting that’s what it was, figuring it for a rat, just not knowing if it was a drowned rat or not. That’s disgusting. That’s crazy.

Last week, I stood in the AT&T store, turning my phone over in my hand, doubting that it was actually a phone.

Ha, ha, aren’t I nutty.

The week before, I walked into a room and wouldn’t have been surprised if I found someone dead there.

I have basis for finding someone unexpectedly dying in a room, for finding a rat perched on the dogs’ water bowl. Why wouldn’t I think a phone is not a phone? Why not a rat in a toilet? Why not carry a pile of laundry into a room and find your world shattered? Anything could happen, really. This world is unpredictable and, I am learning, unsafe. 

I’m pretty sure this is still the trauma.

I do what I can to gird myself against the unpredictability. I hold up the grocery line, carefully placing my bills into place in my wallet. I clip my keys to my purse as soon as I stop the car. I fold my yoga blankets like some sort of meditation, lining them up neatly. My office desk is clear, with my course files stacked regimentally–uniform and ready for the job. I am trying to make order in this world, which can be horrible, so suddenly, and in the most mundane places. 

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6 thoughts on “Anything Could Happen

  1. This post just had me laughing out loud. The trauma is not funny, but the way you tell it is. If it makes you feel any better, this morning I was wondering if there had been studies done that specifically look at how grief/trauma messes with the brain. Why, you ask? Well, because I had just applied toothpaste to my face thinking it was lotion. Because I can see the gaps in my own functioning, and I know it’s not my imagination. The toothpaste, for example, my mom bought while visiting, and it’s not in a tube. It’s in a stand-up container, and for some reason, I can’t differentiate it from the other lotions/stand-up containers. I can’t tell if I am putting toothpaste on my face or moisturizer on my teeth until it’s too late. Or, sometimes when I approach an intersection, I see the color of the light change, but my mind can’t seem to register what it means. It’s green, so does that mean I can keep going!? My brain takes forever to make the simple connection – too long, when you are in a moving vehicle.
    But staring at the rat / poop in the toilet…that’s still making me laugh. I hope it will get better for us…this crazy lady syndrome. I think it will, slowly. I look at what we’ve been through, in the loss of our spouses, our minds working so hard to come to terms with it while simultaneously deflecting it, and then I think, no wonder.

  2. Bless you for laughing! Bless you for putting toothpaste on your face! (Or, at least, for sharing that.) I almost deleted this post, worrying that I talk about toilets far too much here. But widows get it. (A Freudian might appreciate the toilet stories, too.)

    I also have to think hard about traffic lights.

  3. I’m so glad bedraggled told about the tooth paste. A few weeks ago I washed my face with shampoo and thought it was a sign of old age. Now I can chalk it up to the widow’s fog which does make me feel better. Fichereader, once you get your toilet unblocked, you should try having everyone flush twice to get enough water going through the pipes to keep things moving. This plus a monthly treatment of Bio-Clean solved the problem at my house and I used to deal with this on a weekly basis. A plumber told me this is what he does at his house.

  4. I’m Googling Bio-Clean….Wow! Yes, I need enzymes that eat their own waste in weight. Thank you, Jean! This could mean the end of toilet stories on this blog.

    And thanks for sharing your shampoo story. I feel so much better now, and I’ve gotten another chuckle.

  5. Another thing that can effect toilets getting plugged up is if the vent on the roof is full of leaves, etc., and enough air isn’t getting in. I don’t quite understand how this works but it was the first thing the plumber checked when I called one time.

  6. Count me amazed, Jean. Who knew?

    Thank you for sharing this toilet advice. Seriously. I have spent more time than I care to share with these toilet problems. I’ve been blaming it on a high-fiber, vegetarian diet. And here it could be the vent. Bio-cleen is en route from Amazon, by the way.

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