Robots and Doormats



These five a.m. wake ups are better called coming to’s. I come to at some point. Something demands my attention; either my shoulder hurting, my hands going numb, the fact that I have to pee or that I’m hungry (all four this morning). There’s no open my eyes and suddenly I’m awake. There’s only layers of coming to – damn! my shoulder hurts when I lay that way, let’s flip over; shit! my right hand is going numb; oh, wow! am I hungry?; gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee.

Then suddenly I’m getting my socks and slippers on. No sense in going back to bed; at a certain point my body just decides it’s time and no matter what I try I become more and more restless until I drive myself up, out of bed, and to my computer.

And there’s something else this morning, too.



Coillette is a name I borrowed from Futurama. Or should I say my brother borrowed it as a nickname for someone I knew once, for a while. He began using the name to try to diffuse a wind-up situation for me and it stuck. Now I have to think hard to remember her REAL name.

But it was her face this morning, whatever name you use for her. Her face laughing at me while I cried. Her face telling me that people that sleep in the position I do invariably end up dying of cancer, her face (drunk or stoned; never found out which) at my home at 2 in the morning arguing with my brother (she’d let herself into our home; just walked in uninvited) and then demanding an impromptu performance of one of my poems.

I’m angry. Under control angry; you’ll notice I’m not cussing up a blue streak yet. But angry, yes. At Coillette and at myself. All the rants I should have let fly at her head are coming up, and a good dose of ‘you should have recognized another narcissist in your life’ guilt to make me feel even more miserable.


Fine. This is a fresh one, so let’s talk it out.

Let me take you back to the not so distant past for me: Ireland. Bum-fuck at the end of a peninsula Ireland. If you don’t live there, don’t think you know what I’m talking about. In all my hopping about I’ve never lived another place like it. It’s a hostile environment. Imagine an island with a base of solid, hard rock. Now scatter about 20 feet of gravel on top, then compact it down with five inches of soil. That’s Ireland. No trees to speak of (yes! I know there’s one or two forests in the ENTIRE country – I’m talking about living with trees in your yard or on the street). I heard from more than one Irish national who was afraid of forests and trees. There’s nowhere to sit down. Nowhere. Not even in towns! Public benches are almost unheard of. Nowhere you’d want to go to the toilet, even if the facilities are operational. It’s a place where, at 1 in the morning if you happen on the public square, you’ll witness fist fights and kids pissing in the holy water outside of the Catholic church. I was going to add old men pissing in public, but THAT’S not restricted to 1 a.m. You’ll see that anytime. And the Irish will welcome you, welcome you, when you’re a tourist. Tell them you want to move in and watch them become hostile within 20 seconds – it’s magic grow; watch distrust erupt like a volcano!

So Coilette moved into the area and I tried to strike up a friendship. It seemed perfect; she was definitely a free spirit, an artist, and a toker. I helped her and her husband work on an artist gallery/coffee shop and volunteered to bake up some goodies to sell and work behind the counter. Unfortunately we had very different ideas about the level of cleanliness needed for that kind of thing. She thought her three under the age of 12 children should be allowed free range behind the working counter (even after the health inspector said otherwise), and I thought it was foul and disgusting that she’d allow them in to put their dirty hands everywhere. The last straw for both of us was one day when I received a call at 1 in the afternoon to come down now to man the counter because her mother was visiting and she wanted the whole family to take an outing. I had just put some baked goods in the oven and explained that (plus why didn’t I get a call earlier?). Not a good excuse in her book. A few days after that I was told that I was not needed and my baked goods were not needed. I picked up some jarred stuff I had there and never spoke to her again.

*sigh* There’s a whole other layer in there, too. I’ll admit I was looking for a mother/sister substitute. That’s right about the time I threw my sister out of my life for violating my boundaries and trust (again). So I was a bit more vulnerable, a bit more needy than I should have been walking into the whole thing. I wanted Coillette to fill that female gap in my life. She certainly did that – right down to the projectionism and gaslighting that all good narcissists do. The problem was all mine, she never said any of that, etc. etc. It was such a familiar set up! I could have been dealing with my own flesh and blood.

And just like dealing with my own flesh and blood, there’s a lot I feel I left unsaid. A lot I shut up about because putting up with that shit is just part of having women in your life. That’s what they do. They back stab and take advantage. They run you down, verbally and physically. They use you badly, then come back and expect to be forgiven and welcomed with open arms.

Beeps don’t play that game. There’s a line somewhere in my head. I can’t tell you where it is, what will be the last straw. Not until it happens. Just know that there IS a last straw and try not to use them all up, okay? I can forgive a lot, but not everything. Don’t cross that line.

And stop walking all over my back.


P.S. I realize I never even began to touch on ‘all the things I left unsaid’. I think I’ll go write a private vomit up of THAT. This is long enough as it is.



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