The stinging in my back worsens as I stand positioned. Repetitious work. Folding cotton sweaters in such rhythm I feel like the Jay-Z of this clothing store. Sliding my fingers underneath the fabric and aligning them straight. Allowing a trickle of OCD as I stand loathing time. Time which is spending my 6 hour shift toying with me. Taking its sweet time allowing me visitation rights to the clock card machine.  “Oh how I miss that thing.”  I stand hunched over the clothing table.  This is costumer service 101. *Sigh

The day after Christmas leaves me dead to the world. Consumer assholes coming for second helpings while bringing their righteously negative attitudes to greet me. “Why hello ma’am today we’re having a..”. “I CAN READ,” interrupts me as my smile is greeted by an Oprah. Now?.. Before you assume down the path of racism an Oprah is someone who anticipates their skinnier then they really are. Often a woman who’s weight often balloons . An Oprah. Eyes half ajar with intimidation and lack of sex. A stiff walk that reads “pound me… damnit PLEASE!” ..   Such a yo-yo diet would leave me feeling defeated I reckon? But why take such negative energy on somehow as cute as I? I dunno…

The store begins to pick up with customers. My folding goes unnoticed as a Loitering Rat  has dismantled my perfected sweaters. To busy texting to even realize my look of defeat as I stand next to her. Wishing I had eaten that slice of greasy pizza earlier as my crop dusting  is out of ammo. She will go unpunished today i suppose. A Loitering Rat is often in their tween ages of 12-16. Young kids who spend their time window shopping by forms of clothing injustice. Trying everything on while in a zombie state as they tweet on their phones avoiding the destructive path they leave behind.  They speak in head shakes and demands. Often cruel in tone if sizes are depleted while playing Jenga with the stack of denim. As time passes they relocate back into their parents hole..err minivan. I could use some in-store D-Con.

Store traffic often gives me moments of a true rush. Multi-tasking customer requests while jumping on register. Moving in a pace that leaves one sweating in their britches. Uncomfortably squirming as my underwear begins it’s Speleologists gig investing the cave. Often rushing to the dressing room to either adjust my balls to breathe or Amber Alert my boxers. “Excuse meh?” i’ll hear. In a timid voice normally with a hint of accent. “OH FUCK!” i think before my 90 degree twirl I’ve mastered.  “HI! how can i help you?” springs from my lips as rehearsed. “Hello.” she says.  ‘Bloody Hell it’s Rainbow Barf.”

In definition a Rainbow Barf is a progressively fashionable Asian. They wear colorful clothing that complements their often crazy haircut and work in packs. Burdened with Cliche as they accessorize with HELLO KITTY! apparel with overall wardrobe seeming over the top. I sometimes assume they come to my store for the catwalk entrance. Showing off their super cool esemble in slow motion upon store entry. Smiling as they rub in there Gucci belt or progressive setup of their suspenders. Only wishing I had thought of such a creative way to wear them like that. Wardrobe is very much fountain drink suicide.

“Do you have 00?” i’m asked. In an accent I find entirely too difficult to hear. Leaning in closer as my 4th or 5th “What?” expels from me .. Wishing my deafness would surpass as I’m coming off rude, I imagine?  “Do you have double zero.” she asks again with clearer English. The sound of double zero inflaming my ear drums. Such a size actually exists in this city? I was under the impression a double zero was an Urban Legend.  I focus.

“Why let me check the backroom for you,” i say. “As such a size is uncommon.” She doesn’t laugh.  I rush off before slightly admiring the creative way ribbon was used in her hair. “I’ll be right back.”

I search the back-room for the Skinny Jean ( 00’s) as requested. Checking my phone for missed calls and blowing a kiss towards the clock card machine. “See ya soon toots,” i think. Only been a couple hours and I may have mentally clocked out. Drained from social capabilities. Wishing I could sign to costumers instead. The negatively lies stagnant as I hunt through denim. No Double zero?

“Excuse me ma’am, we seem to be out of stock.” I whistle. Avoiding any eye contact with a hidden smirk. “No no?’ is whispered. This is the part I find thee most difficult when dealing with a Rainbow Barf. Their lack of English and compassion. Immediately when a “No” is used in context they dumb themselves down. Pretending that “No,” means “Maybe!” and that I prolly overlooked their anorexic fitting denim.. Usually a game of racquetball occurs with “No and Yes” being heard echoing from walls. Frustrating having consumed me as this Rainbow Barf is fucking with me. I glance at her Gucci belt and sigh. Wishing I had a white flag to succumb to her game. “Try ONLINE,” i say. Only raising my voice a couple octaves. Still smiling as this is Customer Service and all. Yet, like a quick breeze she smiles and nods. Her pack re-positions and exits the store. Just like that!

Why the eff did she fuck with me? i think as I decide to hide out in the dressing room area. Such customer service leaving me exhausted i decide to “Run.” Clothing that is. A job that requires you to clean up customers messes and shelf them. Today being December 26, i can only imagine such piles await me. As the clear line to the rooms is my foreshadow.

I skip towards the room and greet my other employees in battle. Often giving a wink of sympathy as they too are at war with an Oprah or Rat. Smiling on robotically as we please their every wish. “Hey Buddy. I need your help”… The sound of a rather attractive man, perhaps?  Oh this could be Oh So serendipitous. I twirl around and am faced with an older gentleman. Immediately ceasing any flirting mannerisms that may shoot his way. “How can I help you today.” i say. Scripted still. Thinking how great of an actor I would have been.

“It’s for my son. I need help dressing him.”..  Oh hell! A chance encounter with a male Koala. I was unprepared for this new endevour. Yikes!

A Koala is a parent who could possibly be single. Taking the reigns as the dominant parent on a mission to shop for their offspring. The only issue really being their lack of understanding. Wishing they could grab the first pair of jeans and call it a night. Overwhelmed with the costumer service I was about to gift them with.

“What exactly are you looking for?” i ask bubbly. Loving the sound of my voice as I have paired with a mission that could draw out time.

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As culture goes it is very rare for gay househusbands to hang out. Maybe due to the lack of trust in their partners? Monogamy being truly tested within the househusband(s) allowing their attractive muses to leave the nest?  9/10 it’s just hysteria within their own subconscious. Insecurity when they ream “why do you have to hang out with them.. ALONE?” in a tone that deems suspicious. Assuming that us real housewives have an arterial motive of fucking on the brain. If we as a gay race are trying to delete social stereotypes. Then? We should start within our culture. I’d say.

It was a Monday morning. The weather overcast as it whispered sweet nothings to my eyes. “Sleep in sweet man. It’s your day off.” in a voice i’ll pretend was Queen Latifah.  The crust in my eyes making it uncomfortable to watch as Kathie Lee goes on yappin about the Kardashian backlash. Slightly tuned out by my wrestles neighbor upstairs and the beeping of the coffee maker. Feeling the sharp pain as falling asleep on the couch has become a real nuisance lately. I grab my phone and pick the eye boogers out while reading my texts. Neurotically rolling them in balls by fingers as suddenly it occurred to me. “FUCK.. I have my Housewives in a couple of hours.” *Flick*

Four men. All four in relationships that are fairly domesticated. Four different personalities coming as one. To well? Become friends. Dive a little deep in our social bag as such has been lacking as of late. Something I feel all wives could agree on. Just a Monday afternoon of alcohol and board games. Such a thing feeling relatively innocent as men get along socially than woman. And the excitement to meet new friends seems to be the best high at my old age. Not having many gay friends, myself, I was absolutely prepped for this adventure. Champagne….check! .. Green party favors… check!

I’m greeted at the door by V. A young native of Hawaii with incredibly attractive dark features. He’s the  Gabby of our group. Also the one who set this pow wow in flight. V voice purrs when he talks as I always think he’d make a great Catwoman. He’s delights in his charm and making one feel welcome.  Luckily for me V takes the reigns of a lot of social events too. Which makes breaking the ice with others, oh so smooth. Clearly such a strength stemming from his career as an Event Coordinator . I really am grateful I have V as a friend. He has been honest and kind always. Even during days that I may be stand-offish or physically clocked out. V with his vivaciousness  again confirms how “Good this will be for me.”.  Maybe due to my recent hermit phase? Watching as my days slip away and my history lies in purgatory.


V and I prep as we unravel our bought goodies and prepare for the other wives. Joking about our cheap champagne and what to anticipate. I decide within moments that I was going to get drunk. A luxury I rarely defied in. Not like, shit tanked where I’m foolish. But a good buzz to help butter the social anxiety I was facing. The older I get the lack of witty & engaging charm sweats from my pores. Sometimes I come off relatively distant to folks. When in reality i’m just watching. Observing while preparing to write  about you without consent 🙂

We are interrupted by a soft knock. As if knocking in code, i think as V nearly parawets to the door in childlike anticipation. Smiling as our new guest puts the Housewives meeting in order.” It’s official” i say. “Let the 1st Annual Housewives Meeting begin.” Only one more to go.

Within the cold lies Quiet J. Hair flowing from face and head in perfect sync with the wind gust. Striking blue eyes staring back with a smirk. I look down and take notice of his basket of baked goodies. Quiet J is the Bree of our group. A man who’s overall presence fascinates me as he comes off..well? quiet (Hence the nickname). Not your complete mute that would make such a presence uncomfortable. But, I relate to his actions. He watches. Observes too. Catch him on a drift and he’s passionate and witty with comments. I can only imagine that this man has lots of great stories. Perhaps, like me, it just takes awhile to hammer at his wall.

“Boys, I made some goodies,” said with a glow. V and I already eye fucking the basket while licking our chops. Assuming such goods have pheromones leaking as I prepare to spray. We make our way to the basement. Sitting in a circle as we await out last guest. Pouring mimosas and refilling while divulging in some greenery. Coughs heard in rotation as we three begin drifting in our weed fueled comma. I look around and smile. I love these guys already.

Random, funny banter coming from the mouths of 3.4 housewives as our eyes lie heavy. Relaxing as the bubbles make their way to our heads. V proudly announcing that “4 attractive gay men CAN hangout without drama”. Me silently saluting his brilliant idea of our club. Wishing that a pizza would arrive along with the 4th wife on her way.

“Hey guys.” we hear. Standing at the foot of the stairs stands J. An All-American boy with the attractive features to boot.  A smile incredibly infectious as he eyes the scene. Which I imagine is funny considering we have started without him. Feeling the buzz as I politely veer him to the champagne in offering. V being the organized one greets with the pipe. “Teamwork”! – J is the Lynette of our group. This being because out of all he has two MEN to take care of. Quite a big task I can only imagine. But most indubitably a cute trifecta of partners 🙂  . I admire people who go for what they like. No pussy footing. Love doesn’t restrict to just two individuals.  Love is something you follow when it clicks. No matter how it’s offered.

As J settles into his new settings. It occurs to me that like The Planeteers. Our group feels complete. J being the cherry on the top.  What a gift to finally get to know these men on a friendly level. Allowing myself the ability to make new friends and feel disarmed. Such a similar event seems to have occurred decades ago. We begin our gluttony by consuming in more alcohol and weed. Occasionally making the cigarette pit-stop outside. However, only lasting moments as we are pitted to war by the cold.

Hours slip by and my champagne buzz heightens. The afternoon was a complete success. Only anticlimactic as this was our first get together. I’m sure there’s a lot of barriers one goes through for full comfortable. Yet, innocent fun as board games were played and laughs were had.  Still lots to get to know, i think. As I survey the goodbyes. Sitting in the garage with lit cigarettes being smoked in a endurable manner. I effin love these guys.

“Till next time fellow Housewives!” – Susan

K

My finger-less gloves give me a sort of hipster meets hacker appearance. They also match my Tim Burton esq beanie.  The looks from strangers are radiating off my coffee cup. Keeping it warm I’m sure? as i pored this coffee a good couple hours ago. Nursing the straw in between keystrokes. Looking completely mysterious, i think?  My pink crotchet scarf being the final fashion cherry. I’ decided to make a statement that I”m one cool cat. I’ll sprinkle a little Mystery into the dawning of my introduction. While dressed like my fashion pioneer.  Punky Brewster.

Today starts my new adventure at the downtown Dialysis center. I decided to divorce my previous clinic for a temporary time. I think we needed a break? Whether or not that break will come to fruition.. We’ll find out?  I just needed a fresh start. Inspiration to write & being near home. Also, the downtown clinic has heated chairs. YES.. HEATED chairs. My body may lie retired in a medical clinic but my ass is on vacation. Somewhere clearly tropical. Wearing euro-trash and thanking me by form of tequila shots.  This must be what Julia Roberts felt like with Richard Gere? This clinic is FANCY. All i need is an annoyingly infectious crackle and some I Love Lucy. I Kyle, feel like a Pretty Woman today.

My eternal alarm clock awakes me. “FUCK i have forty minutes.” i growl. Wishing my phones alarms didn’t come in options like Feathered Waterfall or Soothing Apple Tree. I have  yet to be woken up by my phone. I’d much prefer alarm tones like Woman Giving Birth or Root Canal. But alas, i’ll settle with Chirping Finch. Sigh!

Eric presents me with a cup of coffee. My tongue licks the steam in gusto. Vanilla scent seducing me. ” I’d fuck this coffee if I had more time,” I say to Eric. Him leaving mid sentence as such a comment is pretty daily. But him purposely giving me time to process that today i’m holed up at the downtown clinic. My stomach in knots as if the first day of school. “Will they like me? ” What if the nurses & techs are cunty? Why again did I leave my old clinic?. I hate change, grrr”.  These thoughts rotate as I fight back tears. Cursing MY Gods for not producing a kidney yet. “Damnit to Cher, what’s the fucking hold up?”  I’m too fragile of a man to handle CHANGE.

Sitting in my 1999 Dodge Intrepid while it heats up. Singing the tunes of a car that needs work.  Clunks & rattles fading out the voice of Feist.  Feeling a little claustrophobic as I sit in this  fart igloo. The smells wafting from retired Mcdonalds Happy Meals and gym clothes. This is clearly a self-induced punishment . But remembering the grim cold that cloaks itself outside awaiting to defile my poorly circulated body. I’ll take this prison momentarily and allow my anxiety to warm me. I cannot believe in 15 minutes i’ll be faced off with the unfamiliar?  I set the car in drive and begin my fidgety journey to downtown. The coffee’s aroma now leaving me mentally impudent as fear takes the wheel. Fuck, i hate change.

I pace behind a fellow with a Kermit the Hat beanie. The sort of ones you mock from Hot Topic but secretly wish you could pull off. The mans yellow tinted skin alarms me but acts as a great guide into the unknown.  The doors slide upon entry being clearly well lubed. Inviting Kermit and I inside to stay awhile. A queef of warmth blankets my body with what’s mixed with Hospital smell. The smell of elderly and bleach that I’ve OH SO become employed too know. “Welcome.. you must be Kyle?” . I leap back in disbelief as Kermit sounds awfully feminent?  I peak my head around and am greeted by a middle-age woman. She being the source to the voice.  I feel foolish and examine her. “We’ve been excited to meet KYLE.” she says glowing.  Me blinking on as my ego inflates by sound of her praises. Reminding myself that I’m cool and collected.  I want to be discreet and make no friends here. Mostly deriving from the family I already missed from my previous clinic.  This place is just a business agreement. I am giving them zero introduction to the real me i decide. Dialysis and go.This woman’s lava lamp physique leaves me delighted for preferring Bratwurst over taco. How her tits read like a Google Map making it clear to me their going East & West. Her catsuit turns out to be scrubs that only defines the outline of a camel toe. Awaiting the camel toe to scream “Feed Me Seymore.” and swallow up poor Kermit dude in a gulp. I’m clearly allowing my imagination to run rampant.

Her names Jan. And she works as the front desk administration. A woman who’s voice belittles between vowel punctuation. A woman who thinks her job is more important then actual definition. A woman who I imagine goes home urgently to check her PlentyofFish.com profile for notifications. Taking self portraits from her smartphone in her favorite angles. Editing her profile daily in hopes to snag the right salmon. Jan is a lonely soul by appearance. I feel bad for her.

As I make my way through the haunting entrance to what seems like a 60 foot hallway i take notice of my new clinic. Bright. New faces roaming the corridors as whispers of my presence begin reaching my ears.  Anxiety ballooning within my stomach walls as I continue my catwalk. Attempting to keep my cool as I’m moments away from facing my new adventure.-

My new clinic.

To Be Continued..

K

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By appearance the house is reminiscent to The Adams Family. However less in size and spooky hi-jinks.  It’s something you’d see on Hoarders. Squint worthy exterior with wet cigarette packs as lawn ornaments. Decorating the deceased & pale grass. Being internally grateful for the colored fall leafs blanketing the fucking outside ugly.

I live in a 6 unit house apartment building .  It’s a safe temporary pit stop for Eric and I. This being his actual apartment. Everything  paid for. Free Dish TV. A unit that was healthy enough in size that seemed promising. And affordable & clean. Even with the fickle toilet and small cramped spaces. We  inevitably make it work for now. No lease is also a benefit.

Often our days are pretty domestic in definition. He goes to work with suit in tact. Hair so OCD that it glides stiffly like a duo of fake tits. Grinning on with an Elvis arrogance to him.  Me bidding farewell while grumbling about some wifey clamor “But babe.. the cat needs a Cat Tree. Your so insensitive.”  Essentially just bitching to bitch.  But always finalizing with a coffee tasting kiss. We make a god damn great team.

Since I’ve started dialysis I’m legally denied the opportunity for a full-time job. Since receiving Medicare/Medicaid benefits. I am  allowed part-time jobs as long as it doesn’t pass a certain financial amount . Due to the kind monthly checks you receive while on disability. Because of this hold back.. I Kyle,  have become a Real Housewife of Spokane. Spending many of my days trapped into this housing cubicle.  Spying on my neighbors crazy antics while watching Dr.Oz and eating dry Top Roman. This is the chronicles of a male housewife.

The door closes and a rush of relief comes over me. Eric has left for work and my mind rushes for projects. My first  being depositing ass to couch. With Pookie as my arm pillow watching Court Television. Nothing arouses me more comically then white Southern trash suing over stolen DVD’s. Doing nothing to help their stereotype.  “This hoe stole mah two disc Miss Congeniality 2 dvd. Yaw Honor.”   Rule #1: Guilty Pleasure Eye Dung.  This is what one does in the  housewifey rulebook. It helps fuel our bored brain by making us feel better about ourselves *Mission Accomplished*.  So far my day has been productive.

As my brain saver clicks on i’m alerted by the time. “FUCK! i haven’t cleaned.” i yelp. Normally such a thought lies stagnant during my television cleaning hiatus. However, previously being lectured by the lack there of.  My leg begins shaking like Peg  Bundy. My ass inviting me to stay awhile. “Damnit Kyle!  Kathy & Hoda are totally smashed on todays show.” it sings. In what i imagine sounds like Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia. My leg gains momentum as my ass anchors more into my sectional. This housewife shit sucks!

Housewife Rule #2 : Tenant People Watching.

“Damnit Dr.Oz,” i think. As his segments flair my hypochondria.  Multitasking by reference of WEB M.D. . Which is always like a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Except you always ends on Cancer. The music of Britney suddenly catches my good ear. I slowly sway my head to the catchy hook and answer my phone. “Babe, what’s going on?” I hear . Shit it’s Eric!  My wifey animal in-stinks kick in as I rush to turn kitchen sink on.  Allowing the water to sound out any suspicion of lazy. “Ahhh nothing baby. Just doing dishes.” i fib. My face warming with guilt. “Great job Tootsie Pop,” he praises. I slowly grab a dish examining. sigh!

The call ends and I begin attempting to pursue the rubber gloves. ALWAYS being inside out which adds another half hour to fasten them. Thus beginning the tedious process of dishes.  My scowl wrinkles my face as I scrub at the crusted cheese. Wife- blaming Eric for this slavery as he recommended Calizones last night. “Damnit we need paper plates,” i scold. Looking down at Pookies confused head tilt. This housewife shit sucks.

BAM. A loud noise shakes the complex. Hope that’s 2012’s relieving me early of dish duties i joke. Once again looking down at Pookie realizing I talk to him. Damn he’s a good listener though.  Does such a thing diagnosis me as crazy? Hell, I’ll ask WEB M.D. later.

I peek my head out to see a young man  near his car out front. Man in unit E, i see.  He’s pacing back and forth in a sort of meth manner. His face sunken as if  giving the Blue Steele. A golf like cyst occupies his forehead like a hanging mistletoe. I watch the glow of his cigarette run down the stick in urgency. This man has had better days.  So begins the chore of tenant watching as dishes can wait. This building complex is notorious for DALLAS themed drama. My eyes open with anticipation as I continue to creep.  This man seems to be aggressively packing up his things. A fight has clearly occurred?  Unsure as Unit E is a studio and houses two men. I create characters (nicknames) for everyone in this building. The skull face being the houseboy to the other tenant . An older man with two Pomeranian’s and a butt-plug walk. You do the math.

Skeletor begins tossing black garbage bags into the pea green Honda. Always a sign of a quick getaway. The bag rips indicating the quick manner of packing. Clothes overflowing and occasionally falling about . By now his cigarette greets the filter as he still moves in a neurotic rhythm. Fighting back his anger while picking up trails of dropped underwear.  Finally there is it. THE GLARE.

  [GLARE]  :  noun, verb, glared, glar·ing. Context to Relationships

  • Definition. Ahh hell no’s. You gone n’ fucked up.

Skeletors cold glare captures his units window. Our stoner upstairs neighbors to be exact. A minute and a half of piercing drama continues. His eyes speaking words his mouth can’t exhaust, i think? Trembling lip as he stares up at his partner. Who I believe is looking on in a Juliet manner. He shakes his head and lights another smoke. Unfortunately bringing attention to that god damn bowling ball of a cyst. Yet. As if a movies ending. The young man darts into his green machine and is off within blinks. A love story gone weary? I dunno? But most definitely a story that ended in sadness. A sadness I sympathize as if a soap opera. That pea green car never returned after that.  “Well Pookie!.. That was a fun show.”  I turn off my blinders.  Chore # 2 accomplished. Productive as hell today, i’d say.

Housewife Rule #3: Procrastination Nation

3:30 pm. “SHIT.” This time of day causes the most anxiety. Eric is going to be home soon. Normally my alarm is when Anderson Coopers awful talk show is coming to an end.  I use it as an alert to get my procrastination into gear. Usually such a thing involves hiding clothes in drawers, quick garbage pick ups and a Febreeze hosing.  Like OJ I whip those tight rubber gloves on and violently abuse those dishes clean.  It’s perhaps a super power that I can manage this. But usually the result is less than satisfactory. Though enough to where my daily wife duties are met with contentment.

I do my final hose through as the smell of “Winter Cinnamon Frost” hot boxes our little apartment. I strategically turn on fans using toes if have too. Watching as Pookies face reads dumb shit at me. I grab our mini vacuum and rush to clean the dog & cat hair. While still watching Anderson as if a timer counting down.  I fall to me knees and begin coiling the vacuums cord. Sweat tickling my cheek as I focus at the TV.

Credits roll. The key enters  the door handle as it begins to seizure. I run to the kitchen to drop the vacuum off. Admiring my quick clean job. Maybe even giving Pookie a quick eye wink of cockiness.  “Hey Babe,” I hear mumbled from the living room.  I catwalk out from the kitchen with a shit eating grin. “Wow the house looks amazing!,” he says. Closely examining the house with a level of  doubt in his voice.  ” A hard day of being a Wifehubby.” i respond. Wiping the sweat from my cheek dramatically in hopes he sees. “You have worked hard today. The house looks good. Did you work on this all day?”

I pause for a moment and smile back. Allowing my cryptic smile to answer that.  I realize my cleaning duties are rather lackluster or lazy. And to be honest I am thee worst at being domestically wifey. And Eric knows it. And loves me anyway.  Definitely not bred for such things. But as I await my kidney and continue my crusade as a househusband. I can only imagine strengthening my skills… that or strengthening my short cuts 🙂

End*

Ginger. It’s a cookie. It’s a flavoring in my coffee. It’s the color of hair.  And importantly it’s a persons name.

The Ginger that I know is basically a concoction of all clichés rolled into a doughy young woman with freckles sprinkled in. Her pale skin only heightens the visibility of her Pippy Longstocking features. Her voice is bubbly but masks a stern punch that causes a little intimidation. An intimidation I find oddly endearing.  Ginger is my nutritionist. Ginger is a friend. Ginger is a fucking bitch.

There is only one day left till Thanksgiving. The stress of making small talk with my caustic relatives leaves me exhausted. The type of tired where you pre-rehearse answers to typical questions asked. “Well Grandma I haven’t worked at Blockbuster in over 10 years.” to “NOPE.. no girlfriend for me..(Gulp).”   Basically I just go from relative to relative in drabness and a little Winona Ryder swag to my mannerisms. All the anxiety of holidays makes it difficult to enjoy the wonderful food offerings from my hard-working mother. The way her deviled eggs carry a kick as if an aphrodisiac. Shoveling em in my mouth silently enjoying the mental orgasm. Cleaning up with a whiskey and seven and a belly full of tryptophan. That is Thanksgiving to me. Only 24 hours away.

Ginger. It’s a plant. It can be a spice in your food. Sometimes it’s the name of a crayon. But most importantly folks.  Ginger is a bitch.

My dialysis unit is quiet as i anticipate a tumbleweed  at any moment.  Patients enjoying their vacation out-of-town with relatives I’m sure? I feel a little abandoned by my peers as I’m left with the medical staff and a handful of  crazies. I scroll through my phone to a Selena Gomez song I have been listening to on repeat. Feeling a little embarrassed & old to be enjoying this Disney starlet. However monitoring the volume carefully so nobody can hear. I look around as the catchy fluff narrates the nurses every move. You have to entertain oneself somehow.

Distracted by people watching I take notice that Ginger had appeared in the facility. How I missed that auburn glow from her hair is beneath me?  How its flames wicker behind her pale head as she floats around the room. Her natural powdered face baptized with soft freckles. Her clothes puritanically wrapped upon her  figure teasing with the occasional midriff sighting. Ginger’s discreet sexuality just baffles my sexual orientation as I can’t help feeling enthralled. She is the Pines Facility Nutritionist on call. Someone who teaches you the importance of a renal failure diet. A diet that I joke is limited to ice cubes and dust.  A diet that NOBODY follows. I sometimes wonder why they even bother funding her program? Listening to her once a month bitch about the importance of staying away from pizza, chocolate & soda just makes patients loathe her. Somehow though? She manages to make eating healthy sound cute.

Ginger. It can be used medically. It is normally a yellowish or reddish-brown. It compliments sushi well. It’s a delicious beer. But most importantly folks. Ginger is MotherFucking Bitch!

Moments later I feel a stapled correspondence packet land on my thigh. Ignoring the content I greet Ginger with a typical wink and playful shoulder pat. It’s my way of flirting without coming off too creepy. Since flirting with a girl while plugged into a machine filtering your blood doesn’t rank high among romantic settings. Well? so says Shakespeare I bet. She softly brushes hair from her face and we discuss impending Thanksgiving plans. I bet she smells like strawberry bubble-bath I think as my eyes twine down her curves. I cant explain the crush that seizes over me? Normally I’m a little discriminatory towards the ginger race. Especially ones that are male. And importantly I’m gay. So why I exhaust energy flirting excessively can only mean I have great taste. Right?

My eyes end on her cute velvet flats and I compose eye contact again. There’s a stinging in my temples as I smile on and  listen to what she says. Occasionally chiming in on words catching my attention. “Awww so Pumpkin pies your favorite to eh? I praise. I can sense my dominant act of flirting has her snail trailing at this point. A ginger snail trail? I would normally shutter at the thought. But she is so wholesome I want to cuddle and do cute ginger things. I’m not sure what gingers do in their free time?  But I bet hers involves baking & playing The Sims. Perhaps dry humping too? I dunno? She composes herself like a kindergarten teacher. My thoughts are overly creative and i need to stop I realize.

Ginger. It can be a festive bread. It’s my grandmothers favorite smelling candle. Most commonly the carpet DOES match the drapes. But most importantly folks. Ginger is a bitch!

“So Kyle. Speaking of pumpkin pie. That is why I’m here to see you today.” she scolds as my heart flat lines. Her apparent arterial motive crushes all previous chemistry. I look down at the paperwork that had been weighing on my lap. THANKSGIVING ALTERNATIVES. The words practically rape all holiday excitement leaving my pupils dry. I recall a deja vu with this nutritional bible from a year ago.  Detailing the healthy Do’s and Don’t for the Holiday season. In aggressive BOLD COMIC SANS font it details the health risks of pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, gravy, yams and much MUCH more. Pretty much asking me to drink water and breathe air. But to have a wonderful Thanksgiving still. I feel setup I think? . A sexy woman is hired to crush a dialysis patients holiday spirits. Bah Humbug!  Manipulation by distracting with her unique beauty until the time of year she presents this nutritional bible of bullshit?  Jokes on her though, I’m Agnostic & gay. So her charm becomes shielded.  red flag!

The feeling of disappointment deepens and I listen on. Treating her the way I would my relatives. “So? What exactly am I suppose to eat? I ask glancing up at the TV as I turn on my male selective hearing. She continues on sounding as a PEANUTS adult. I hear the words “High potassium,” & “Entirely to salty.” I dismiss her kindly as i reflect on our fabled courtship. My anger towards Ginger magnifies as she suggest ” I eat an apple over pumpkin pie. And only a spoonful or so of mashed potatoes”. With every nutritional idea read I shutter with disillusionment. I feel as if the time has come to end my pretend relationship with Ginger.

I realize the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. Especially having renal failure I can feel the affects of high salted foods and how it effects my body negatively. The heavy bureaucracy of receiving a kidney are exhausting. A part of that being a monthly report card based on your current nutritional facts via blood work (Potassium, Phosphorus, etc). I realize that if I do follow this alleged bible that I’m following a pretty paved path to a kidney. Something that a lot of patients tend to ignore. I tend to be incredibly stubborn individual. And with a red-haired ginger forcing a limited diet during the BEST time of year. Well fuck? It’s excruciating.

Ginger. It’s a heartbreak. It’s ironically always a woman with red hair. Is a nutritionist with no holiday sympathy. But most importantly I learned. That Ginger is a bitch.

My dialysis technician Kris unplugs me as my run has come to an end. I watch on as the needles are carefully released from my left fistula. My voice barking on about my hate for Ginger and how dare she take Pumpkin Pie privilege away by force of papered guilt. Kris smiles on patiently as she waits for my vent to end. “And can  you fucking believe she said NO stuffing? I can’t believe I enjoyed her company.” I snarl in my queenly tone.

 “Damnit Kyle, shut up,” Kris finally interrupts. Angering me as I tend to love the sound of my voice. “Ginger normally only lectures YOU about your diet.” she continues. “Haven’t you thought it’s cause she is rooting for you?”  Once again I’m faced with a lesson learned. I’ve noticed this has become a theme with my dialysis adventures. I reflect on the fact that Ginger had only passed out those  sheets to the handful of patients. However, intimately going through the importance of my diet verbally. She hadn’t done that with anyone else that day.

My face feels warm with guilt. Guilt I can easily dismiss by the positive outcome of this particular situation.

Ginger. It’s the color of Garfield. The name of a Hollywood Starlet from the 50’s. My favorite flavor of Brandy. And most importantly folks. The name of a woman who cares.

Lesson Learned..  now pass me an apple 😦

My heavy anxiety goes noticed by my technician Kristin. She sportively squeezes my shoulder with a smirk.  Over the past year we have been together 3 times a week. For four hours at a time. The relationship we share is something deep but goes unsaid. Essentially she is the primary ingredient in keeping me living. As my technician she is the one who ultimately hooks and unhook me from what has been a nightmare traveled. A one year traveled.

“You become a veteran,” Kristin whispers as she prepares the needles, referring to my one year anniversary. Her perky mannerisms annoying me as I shrug off any attempt she has at cheering me up. It’s a quarter to 7 in the morning and my mood is foul. Without my caffeine beverage in hand I have nothing else to focus on besides the brief pain of needle entrance into my left fistula arm. One thinks that after gaining veteran status that such a thing would be irrelevant.. or painless, really? Unfortunately for me, Kristin’s focus and needle projectury is often sloppy. Leaving  nothing but silent tears as they increasingly well upon deeper entry.

It’s been over a year since i’ve touched down on my current career as a dialysis patient. I’ve taken pride in the positive outlook I had in my previously written stories. Now i feel darkness has blanketed me in this cursed longevity. With no word on a potential kidney candidate there is nothing to do but wait. It’s become the lottery of life really. I envision a blonde southern belle. Perhaps one who ends everything with a charming “y’all,”. A lady whose lived her life in the world of pageantry, riches & daddy issues. She Patiently awaits as the lettered balls spring from the machine. “We got a K, y’all” she squeals as anticipation grows for the next letter. “a Y,” she glows. Presenting a plastic smile as she holds up the lettered ball. Is this how I envisioned my life being saved? I’m not particularly sure the politics involved in getting me a kidney? Any potential family or friends have been ruled out. Which leaves me nothing but imaginary “lottery” scenarios as I look at my phone. No missed calls. Anticipation has now grown to fear. When will I receive that important call?

I sit in my plastic green chair and give a look of fatigue and anger to avoid any eye contact with other technicians or nurses. I have slowly realized my presence has turned sour as I have become the jaded cliché. Cliche referring to the shellbacks who has spent years coming to this clinic. Empty behind the eyes and often elderly. It’s as if they given up. Given up on life all together. I remember promising myself that no matter how long this nightmare took, i’d present myself in a positive presence. Unfortunately, I had cracked somewhere in that year?

I dig through my satchel for one of three activities I normally partake in for the upcoming hours. Listening to Adele, reading my ALREADY procrastinated novel or writing in my journal. I have altogether avoided television as of lately due the politics of our country & the Kardashians, whom have given me extreme case of brain constipation. I slowly whisk the earphones in and press play. By listening to music it has become a source of narration for the feelings that occur during my run. Music is truly the soundtrack to life.

The doors inside the clinic swing open. It catches my attention only cause of the rate the door launched. 90% of the people I spend my time dialysing with use the handicap button for entrance. Often times cause their lazy pieces of shit. But then I remember the few occasions i’ve utilized it and let out a guilty sigh. My eyes gallop to a young girl who  appears to have embarked into Wonderland. I recognize that look i think to myself?  Her passive aggressive walk read a story. “This is her first day,” i say, as she steers towards my direction. My eagerness takes over.

A fleshy young lady in her mid 20’s appears closer. her steps are met with hesitation as she’s followed by two equally scared individuals. Her parents I’m guessing? Arms bandaged together so tightly i’m awaiting a limb or two to pop off. Ironically the young lady is seated next to me. Her eyes sulking in the scary sights I once had to endure. The musk of unshowered elderly. Some of whom are missing limbs and are mentally ill. I always describe my first time as similar to Jack Nicholson’s movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or Girl Interrupted, for those youngins who may be reading this post.

My heart begins to hurt for this individual. I take notice that her folks have pointed me out already.  In hopes to calm her nerves, that she too, isn’t the only young soul dealing with this adventure alone. I reflect on my current mood status. My rapacious look. The fact I hadn’t smiled since her entrance. The idea i was being poisoned by the  shellbacks. It’s like being on the same cycle where we share a vexed facade. What the fuck happened to me? The one thing I had wished when i had first started was someone kind to just tell me everything was going to be okay!

And that’s exactly what I did…

“Hey, i’m Kyle!.. Words can’t describe your first day here eh? But I been here a year. And I can truly say that it gets so much easier & painless..” 

 Her eyes ignited a glow as her parents silently thanked me with a subtle head nod and smile. An incredibly humbling experience! Perhaps I needed this as much as she did?  End*

Ky