Saturday, August 18, 2018

I'm out of the cave, I rise from the ashes. But now what?

I don't know exactly when things got better for me. 

When things go sideways you can trace the steps back. Someone dies. Someone dumps you. You lose a house, perhaps. Or you get really, REALLY sick. The mysterious kind of sick. Not the diagnosed kind where there is a beginning a middle and an end and a pill and a doctor who doesn't think you're crazy. Mystery sick we don't know why your liver isn't functioning, migraines are debilitating, memory is gone, get your affairs in order sick. 

I'll be brief, it was heavy metals. And I will be, I believe, the canary in the coal mine. It was from a failed silicone medical device. Feel sorry for me? Yea, see? But if I say 'leaking breast implant' you don't want to march for my cure or have a parade. That's not fair but I'm used to it. What about all the women who got reconstructive surgery from having their breasts removed who got sick from the implants they gave them after they made it through cancer? Yea, that really gets you. But I was just a 20 year old skinny girl with no definable curves who was knee deep into Vogue and Elle and shoulder pads and empowerment rhetoric that they sold us back in the 80s. You Can Have it All. (sign here and buy our products) And I didn't want it ALL, I just wanted to be super fashiony, have a great career and spend all my money on cool clothes and decorate my house. And look good getting my photo taken by the newspaper I was writing for. 

I was, of course, deep as a tea cup like many early 20s girls. I'm 50+ now and still learning and finding ways to be comfortable with myself and my appearance and self care and loving me for me and all of that. I have few answers but I know it's not about having bigger tits. And if it is, I'm surely going to find out in a push up bra with those silicone INSERTS. Not the kind that you cut yourself and put them INSIDE your precious body. 

So silicone turns to heavy metals and your body flips out and goes into auto immune lock down and all the endocrine glands start stealing from each other until you're out of all the hormones that make you want to continue to live your life. I've got some more details at my Practical Mystic site and if you want to work with me, I offer some consulting in my schedule now. I have a detox method that is all natural that I have gleaned from many helpful and visionary doctors and herbalists over the years. I trumpet the benefits like a preacher at a revival. But you'll need to detox one day. Soon. And often. This isn't spa day detox. This is lifestyle do it for life detox. Even without leaky implants, there's enough enviro toxins out there for everybody. And your kids are more at risk. 

So anyway, this isn't about that. Not today anyway. Today I'm writing about how I have finally come up for air. After 7 years of getting OUT the gunk, then another 3 of solid daily detox and illness (mercury does NOT go quietly) and now that I'm ready for Life again, there is no where to go, no one to play with and the world has gone to hell in a handbag (from a chef/restaurateur perspective, and maybe economically, environmentally and politically too) and also as a single lady. It's pretty bleak. We'll tackle dating in a future post. I'm more frustrated now with business owners who insist on opening shitty restaurants that still end up, somehow making enough money to keep the doors open (hookers and drugs)

But when you don't care about eating or can't eat and have no libido and spend a lot of time on the bathroom floor, you are not thinking about Dinner Dates or New Restaurants in Town or Socializing and maybe putting on some nail polish in this kooky rural town you snuck away to a decade ago. 

Instead you are watching YouTube vids on how to get the most out of your coffee enema for liver flushing. So basically...Undateable. But hey! Now I'm back and alive and want to go out to dinner! Hello? Hello??? So I go out alone---I work alone and from home and I'll talk mostly on the phone to clients and I do see some faces (dogs, tenants, neighbor, butcher) but I want to do socially things. Right? Maybe not. Anyway, I keep trying to go out in this hog town...and it's heartbreaking. It's a 90min drive to anywhere even worth a shower. So here is my latest rural outing. 


It's a good sign when pulling into a restaurant if the barrel chested white lady standing outside in a wrap shirt, smoking a cigarette, is actually the sushi *chef* of the establishment. Tres bon! Who needs an apertif?

I can't even. So I did not. The yakimoro express was empty at 745pm on a Friday, so obviously I'm not the only one who decided to Not Go There. A nervous Asian lady stood at the front door wringing her hands (telepathically telling me not to eat there) and two tattooed ratty teenagers in "Asian" mandarin collared uniforms followed me around asking if I knew what I wanted to drink while I looked for a table that had been wiped clean. I did not find one.

There was an angry old country man sitting in the back corner eating a chicken stir fry thing with a plastic fork. There were no lights on and the AC had that distinct uncomfortable temperature of "We're About to Go Out of Business" aka 79degrees. I asked what they had for drinks and the girls listed sodas and sweet tea. No sake? No, they didn't get their license when they took over last February. Ah, I see. Making too much money on the chicken stir fry (laundering operation so no need/or felony record so not allowed) so I said, "I think I'm gonna pass..." and I left not because of the sake, but because I'm pretty sure that was going to be a three day salmonella/norovirus cross contamination situation. 

It's been years since I've had sushi #mercurydetox but besides that, the propensity for parasites and not holding to temperature is pretty high in a place that doesn't do high volume or have properly trained crew. Smoking during a food handling shift is a no no. Not just with my tight ass, but with the Health Department. And when there is a flagrant disregard for rules, other infractions are surely going on behind the nefarious scenes. I give that place 60 days. They should turn it back into Waffle House.

Since I was already out driving around in this culinary mecca I decided to walk in (and out of) any restaurant that was on my ride home and see what was up. Anywhere there were cars in the lot. Which means anywhere there are Ford F250, 350, 450s in a pile up. I think it's telling that in a town where so many can afford a $60,000 pick up truck, no one has a palate that isn't tuned for Shit on a Shingle (dad's Korean war reference)

Pretty much every place is operating as a sports bar. TVs everywhere. I forget how much Americans have to stare at the light in the box when they eat. And now more than ever. They even bring their own light boxes in case there aren't light boxes hung in every corner.

El Jenete was crowded and cordial and LOUD with TVs and Nortena music and a bunch of cattle dressed in people clothes stood at the entrance chewing on toothpicks blocking the doorway. Not to be outdone by bad food and service, the design of every place is so dumb it's all I can do to not move the cash register away from the point of entry. Also, Fire Hazard. It smelled like Fabuloso, musty carpets and tortillas fried in soybean oil. I thanked them and took my exit. There were 354 children inside like a cub scout bus broke down somewhere nearby.

Zaxby's looked like it was on fire. Literally. A lot of smoke coming out of the hood stack. Which usually means no one is cleaning the vents. I kept driving. The place called Sweet Breads which always makes me giggle is closed and I love that people up here think that means they'll be serving pastries. They burned down in the Clarkesville fire in that tinder box electrical hazard cafe space I turned down back in 2011. They reopened and have just gone under the old fashioned way. My neighbor said that sux cuz they had a 'good chicken salad wrap' which is SO hard to find #gasstationfood

Past the cemetery, the flea markets, the other cemetery, the college, the hospital---I saw the Sonic that changed to the donut factory had changed to a Chicago pizza and had a fancy *rock* facade. I missed the turn so did not go in. Capn Ds, Little Caesars, Asia House, Marcos Pizza, Mexican joint #8, fast food alley all were the sort of places where the teen staff stands outside and looks feral and vapes, bites their nails and generally look like they're waiting to get taken to juvie.
I stopped at El Patrono which is this town's favorite Mexican place and I'm not sure why but I went in. Mayhem. Cows blocking the door again. Tortilla chips all over the floor. Distinct smell of FISH?? No hostess. No identifiable staff but a lot of people who were sweaty and harried dashing hither and yon in blue Izod polo shirts and unfortunate stuffing of fat Mexican/Salvadoran(?) men into skinny jeans. #trendmustdie This is what happens when you don't have waitress stations and the restaurant keeps adding on to fit more cattle inside for *free* chips and a side of diabetes. No one is minding the store.
No one greeted me so I went to the center island of TVs (aka the bar) and sort of sat down. And I waited. And waited. And waited. Sound familiar? Keep in mind that now my experiment is just me mining the ridiculousness for story. But I'm actively looking around and trying to find an employee. I'm aware that I look like I may be the food police or an insurance adjuster. But still. Someone should ask what I'm doing there. If nothing else, I could be a rogue. 
A couple of chicas got into a fight about who was taking what table, all servers were going behind the bar to get their own drinks (such a nightmare) and there was a discussion about the loss of a grenadine bottle. I caught the eye of one guy who had that crazy doll face of shaving off the eyebrow and drawing it back on in an odd shape #divine #drag and he kept walking. I got to ten minutes and finally left.
I went to the tienda on the corner, grabbed some cactus and avocados, the carnicero gave me some bones for the dogs and I helped a lady carry an actual box of pan dulces (sweet breads, #irony) to her car for a bautiso this morning. How many people? No mucho...solo 250. And that is the future. You know I'm practicing my Spanish. Are you? 
I came home, noted that I was gone exactly 42 minutes, talked to a friend on the phone and ate my arugula goat cheese salad with my avocado and had some white bean soup I made yesterday. My friend said clearly I hadn't changed a bit and am not right for this town/state/country. But aren't I glad I feel like leaving the farm? Well, yea. Duh. We laughed.

And I want to say thank you to all the ways that I sort of kind of suddenly (after 3 years of daily work and detox and barfing and DARK DAYS) was better. I do not take it for granted. I swear. But now that I'm alive and functioning can I have an appropriate fun love interest and some fun friends and good food please?