What Has Become of Us?

Even though I have spent over half my life without one, not remembering to grab my cell phone off my dresser this morning has left me with a feeling of mild anxiety.

I am also annoyed with myself and at the fact that I won’t be able to use my phone to text the friends I am meeting up with after work. I am annoyed that I can’t see any new emails with just one swipe of my finger, annoyed that I won’t be watching any episodes of Chopped later today as I do boring data entry. I feel like I have lost a connection to the outside world. I feel partially isolated even as I am surrounded by numerous co-workers.

I am also mildly annoyed that not having my cell phone with me gives me a twinge of anxiety. It’s not like I will die without it. Half the time I have it I ignore it. It’s just losing the options that the cell phone allows seems like a downgrade and I don’t like downgrades. I wish I had memorized more than just my husband’s phone number. Thank goodness for email still having saved contacts that can be accessed via the internet.

When did we lose our ability to function, anxiety-free, without our phones?

Going It Alone

I wonder how many children grow up in households that should feel like complete families but in reality one of the parents chooses to spend the majority of their time elsewhere? I wonder how much it hurts to know that even though you’re married your spouse doesn’t want to spend any time with you or your kids? I’m not talking about bitter arguments and desires to be with other people coming between the parents, I’m talking about plain old disinterest by one person towards the other, the silent rejection of love that denies the other who is left alone, bewildered that not only they, but the children, are not considered important to the other person. What kind of effect does this have on the kids? Does it teach them that relationships are one-sided or does it train them to harbor resentment towards their absentee parent? Staying together “for the sake of the kids” doesn’t really seem like the healthiest option to me. If you have a broken relationship, don’t force your children to be a part of it.

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Youthful Misadventures

“That Time I Was Forced To Go Along (Unknowingly) On A Drug Run to Jordan, MN”

One of the nightclubs in downtown Minneapolis used to host a 16+ dance party from 7-11pm and my girlfriends and I would often go down and dance to the techno beats they played. Sometimes if we came early enough we’d even get to catch the tail end of an awesome punk show.

One such night I was there with M, N & TBF. M had driven us, this was the first time I wasn’t the group chauffeur, and M and I were in a great mood because we had gotten there early enough to see the last 40 minutes of a Dillinger Four show. Also, my on again, off again punk rocker boyfriend was there, being especially charming and introduced M and I to several members of the band after their show. N took advantage of M’s jovial disposition and asked if she was willing to give N’s “new friend” a ride home. M agreed and at the end of the night we all piled into her tiny Geo Metro to drop off some random dude in Jordan, MN.

Now had I been the one driving everyone, things might have been different. None of us realized where Jordan, MN was in relation to downtown Minneapolis. It was also in the opposite direction of the northern suburbs we all resided in. After what seemed like forever we arrived at a run-down trailer park where dude resided. Apparently I hadn’t been looped in on the whole story because when we arrived N insisted on going inside and begged us to come with her. I had just gotten a page from my parents and agreed to go inside if I could use the phone to call them back. It’s a good thing I called them before I realized what was going on.

When I called my parents to tell them why I wasn’t home yet I “truthfully at the time” told my parents we were just dropping off one of N’s friends and I’d be home soon, since M drove I couldn’t really do anything about it. My parents grumbled and told me to be home in 30 minutes, which was not going to happen, and I told them I’d insist we leave that minute. I turned around and saw N bartering with a grungy looking dude in his 40’s. I had assumed when I walked in it was dude’s dad and maybe it was, who knows, but I soon realized N had an ulterior motive for making us all trek to Jordan.

Laying on the coffee table was a huge bag filled with white powder. I got instantly annoyed. What the hell had N gotten us into. I walked over to where M was and asked if she knew what N was up to before we left the club, she told me she had but had thought N was just trying to get some weed. I became even more annoyed. They knew how I felt about hard-core drugs. I told M we had to leave and that I was going to go wait outside. N called my name and as I turned towards her and opened my mouth to speak I suddenly found her finger rammed in my mouth rubbing something on my gum. I felt them start to go numb.

I got pissed off. N asked me if it was “quality shit” and I retorted that I wouldn’t know but my gums were pretty numb. I grabbed M and dragged her outside stating I wanted no part of this. We waited outside for almost 10 more minutes until N and TBF came outside, both giggling like school girls. In my best imitation of my mother I screamed at them to get the fuck in the car. If I recall correctly I lectured them the entire ride home about their poor life choices. I even had some choice words for M about enabling such things. I didn’t realize that N had purchased an entire bag of cocaine and had it stashed in her purse. Probably good I didn’t find out till afterwards, who knows what I would’ve done.

After that I stopped hanging out with N and TBF. I didn’t want to be associated with coke users. Not sure what happened to them, they’ve dropped off the map as far as I’m concerned though last time I checked their lives were both in tailspins. I never let anyone else be my chauffeur again. I was determined to never be put in that situation and was willing to be the one spending all her money on gas to ensure that I had control over the vehicle. I also vowed to never go to Jordan, MN again…no good comes of it.

Youthful Misadventures

“That Time I Got Roofied”

Back in my early high school days I would often hang out at a small coffee shop in downtown Anoka, called Cafe Ami, with my friends. There was a wide assortment of patrons at that cafe and for the most part we had a good comradery with everyone, including the owner. As with all places there were a couple of unsavory elements who also frequented the cafe.

Around the time that I obtained my cat Micah there were several other kittens in that litter that needed homes. My parents had me asking everyone I knew if they wanted a kitten. We had found homes for all but one little black tuxedo kitten I had named Pete. One Sunday when my parents came to pick me up they brought Pete with them, hoping her adorable cuteness would win over a cafe patron. One guy, who we called Cowboy Andy, came over to my group of friends crowded around my parent’s vehicle and offered to take Pete. He was an adult and my mother promptly handed the kitten over to him before I could say a word. I was not too pleased to see Pete leave with Andy but no one seemed to care about my misgivings.

The following Saturday I was back at Cafe Ami with my regular group of friends but this time another friend, D, had begged to come with so she could check out the cafe. I was hoping to see Andy so I could check on Pete, I missed the little kitten and was worried about her wellbeing. As D and I sat at the cafe chatting Andy walked in. He came right over to my table and started a conversation. I asked about Pete and he didn’t seem to want to discuss it. He tried to change the subject and asked if D and I wanted to come to his place for some drinks. I declined the offer and again inquired about Pete. He said Pete was back at his apartment and I could come check on her if I wanted.

D jumped up and said, “let’s go, I want to drink” and started following Andy out the door. I really didn’t want to leave the cafe, my other friends had left to take a short walk together and I didn’t want to disappear without them knowing where I was. I also didn’t really want to go to Andy’s apartment, we were 15 and he was close to 30…I felt it was a creepy thing to do. D, meanwhile, was already out the door and walking down the block following Andy so I left the cafe and followed them to keep an eye on her.

We got to Andy’s apartment about 5 blocks from the cafe and I went in search of Pete, yet there was no sign that a cat lived in that apartment. No litter box, no cat toys, no bowl of food or water. I asked Andy where Pete was and he told me a neighbor had taken her since he wasn’t really a cat person. I got pissed off and said I wanted to leave. D was already chugging her first beer. I declined the cheap can of beer Andy offered me and grabbed an unopened Mt. Dew instead. D went all marathon on the beer and had downed 3 before I had even finished half of my soda. Andy was trying to get me to talk and sit next to him, I kept jumping up and pacing around the apartment trying to avoid him, I had zero interest in him. He was, at least, ignoring D and her obvious drunken ramblings though. She would have been an easy target for him.

After he tried to get handsy with me I excused myself and headed towards his bathroom. I sat in there for a minute planning my escape. I came back out and finished off my Mt. Dew then went over to where D was sitting and tried to get her attention. Andy headed into the bathroom and I grabbed D’s arm and dragged her protesting self out of Andy’s apartment and was practically running by the time we got outside the apartment complex. I kept telling her it was important we leave and that we had to hurry back to the cafe. She stumble-ran behind me a couple blocks before Andy realized we had left and came after us. He caught up with us when we were only a half block from Cafe Ami and tried to convince us to come back to his apartment. I refused and dragged D back inside.

He went to work on us again in the cafe, trying very hard to convince us that we needed to go back to his place. I stood up and said very loudly, in front of the owner and numerous other patrons, that I wasn’t interested in going anywhere with him and that he needed to leave us alone. He bent down and whispered something to D and she giggled and then got up and said she was going to go see the foot bridge with Andy. I told her that was a terrible idea and that she should really just stay with me at the cafe. She didn’t listen and left the cafe with him. I refused to go, I had a bad feeling and didn’t want to leave the safety of the cafe. After about 10 minutes though, I became very worried for D’s safety and convinced another acquaintance that had shown up to come with me to look for D.

We found her leaning half way over the railing of the foot bridge over the river. I felt a moment of terror when she wavered pretty far but she managed to right herself on her own. Andy was just standing by her, laughing about how drunk she was. I got pissed off. I grabbed D as she leaned over for another attempt and yelled at her, dragging her down under the foot bridge where a whole group of people I knew were sitting. Andy followed us but knew he wasn’t welcome in the group. He stood off to the side, hovering and trying to get D to come back out for a walk. The group under the bridge were passing a bottle of Yukon Jack around. I took a small sip, it tasted terrible and I spit it out. Andy disappeared and I decided it was probably safe to make a break back to the cafe.

I stood up and wave of dizziness washed over me. I almost stumbled but managed to right myself up. I grabbed D and started dragging her up the hill and across the field towards the cafe. Out of nowhere Andy popped out of the woods and started following us again. I started running with D in tow. I was flat-out scared at that point. I also was starting to feel pretty nauseous and didn’t know why. I fled towards the cafe and as soon as I was inside I grabbed the bathroom key and pulled D and I inside it, locking it behind us. I immediately went to the toilet and started vomiting. I was getting more and more dizzy and scared not knowing what the hell was going on. I grabbed D and told her to go find E and T and let them know something was wrong. I could faintly hear Andy on the other side of the door begging D to let him in so he could help me, so that I could come “sleep it off’ at his apartment. I told her if she let him in the bathroom our friendship was over. Then I sent her outside to find my friends and pushed the door closed before Andy could come inside. The last thing I remember before I blacked out was LM popping into the bathroom telling me D had left and gotten a ride home with A, taking my purse with her. I told her something was wrong and reiterated that no one should let Andy in. Then there was only blackness.

I regained consciousness to paramedics kneeling over me. They told me I was lucky that someone knew I was in the bathroom or I might have died, they seemed to think I had alcohol poisoning. No one would listen when I told them all I’d had to drink all night was a peach Snapple and a Mt. Dew. I had spit out the sip of Yukon Jack and a sip wouldn’t have had much of an effect anyway. They ignored my argument and walked me out. I became quite belligerent at that point. I started screaming at the paramedics about how I hadn’t been drinking. I screamed at T and E sitting there watching me. I even screamed at my dad who had been called to come pick me and E up. Most of the night after blacking out is a blur though. I know we went home and I fell asleep pretty immediately. I feel like my mom and dad yelled at me prior to me falling asleep but I can’t remember what they said. I know I kept reiterating that I hadn’t been drinking. No one would believe me.

I woke up at 4am and went to the bathroom. I felt completely fine and got a drink of water. I woke E up and asked her what had happened. She told me I had gotten drunk and made a scene at the cafe. I again stated I hadn’t been drinking. We both went back to sleep. At 6am my parents came and woke us with loud noises. I was confused about what was going on but my parent’s seemed to think I’d have a hangover and this was supposed to be torture. They made us go to church under the assumption that the loud organ and singing would further make me feel terrible. When I had no obvious symptoms of a hangover they finally believed me that I hadn’t been drinking. I told them the whole story about Andy and D and my mother, the nurse, said it sounded like I must have been drugged then.

No one could find Andy for weeks after that. I found out that on top of slipping me a roofie in my Mt. Dew he had also drowned Pete in the river the night my parent’s gave her to him. I was so mad. I had to have my parents come with me to explain to the owner of the cafe that I hadn’t actually been drinking but had been drugged by Andy because he didn’t believe me when I told him and he had wanted to ban me from the cafe. Instead he ended up banning Andy. Sadly no criminal charges were ever brought against that sick fucker who drowned my kitten and slipped me a roofie but I’m just glad that I woke up to paramedics instead of an asshole sexually abusing me. After that I never left any drink unattended ever again.