Shopping is always hard on me, thanks to MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) and to being stuck with dealing with the bus.
I keep trying to see the positive sides to my horrible, horrible shopping trip yesterday, but still, some 11 hours after I finally made it home, I am still angst-ridden enough about the whole scene to slap out a blog entry about it. It takes me a really long time to wind down from these things.
Every 3 or 4 months I do what I call “big shopping”. Regular shopping is when I lurch my ass to & from the store on the bus, and purchase only what I can carry. This miserable little town also provides a service in which you can hire your own bus much like a taxi, on which you can take home as much stuff as you can load up – so I do the big and/or bulky stuff that I can’t handle on the regular city bus – like pallets of water or tea, and cat litter, huge packages of paper towels and toilet paper – big bags of potatoes and cooking onions, and stuff like that, on one of those paid service buses. Since I do so loathe, detest and despise leaving my house, I try to stock up; I get as much as possible on “big shopping” day, so that for the next 2 or 3 months, I just have to do regular shopping and not fool around with the big stuff. I am about to quit fooling with that shit, anyway. I’m going to try out this Chewy.com for the cat stuff (cat chow and cat litter is big, heavy stuff), and I am going to rely more heavily on Amazon since I paid for a year of Prime. It will pay for itself in the shipping and handling. I have to order online frequently, as this wee shitsburgh is sorely lacking in stores that carry organic, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, GMO free, Fair Trade products. 😡
It was raining, and unbeknownst to me, the bus had come early. It’s not goddamn fair when it comes early. I was out there on time. Usually, that sonofabitch is LATE. So I waited… and waited… in case he was late. The bus never came. 20 minutes later, thoroughly annoyed and a bit soggy I went home and called the bus dispatch office, asking, ‘uh… where’s the bus?” They ended up sending me a free service bus. (Actually that was really nice). My original plan was to just do regular shopping, because I was being a puss and didn’t want to do big shopping. It is hard. I decided, “damn it – I’m here, we need the crap, I am just going to brute force myself to do the goddamned big shopping. If I don’t do it today I’ll have to do it soon enough and next week is going to be a bitch”. It is, too – multiple appointments; optometrist, dentist, etc. Boo. 👎😢
So, I’m at Walmart, and I run into the pedo-fucko. Imagine that? Does he have the propriety to leave me the fuck alone? Of course not. Goddamn jerk wants to talk. Sadistic fuck. He knows that I hate him. I don’t hide it; not even a little bit. I have even said to his face, with great dismay upon seeing him, “oh… ew… fuck… it’s you.” (I did this in the past, not today). (He really didn’t like that). Horrible, freaky man. Seeing him shook me up a bit and I had already been perturbed. The bright side? He didn’t have his sisters – jack-o-lantern grin and buck teeth barbie, with him (one time I saw the whole shitting family there. I fled and then felt that punched-in-the-stomach feeling for several hours). I have an unpleasant history with both of his sisters – one of them used to be my best friend. Seeing him AND them would have been worse than just seeing him, so yeah, some silver fucking lining, right?! But after I finally got rid of him the first time he came back a second time – seriously! God damn him! – to ask about my VERY old grandmother’s welfare. I told him the truth – she damn near died twice in the last three months. Pneumonia.
Now thanks to my MCS and my paruresis, I hate going to the public restroom, but all of the sudden, after finally shaking him off for the second time, I had to shit. Badly. I guess seeing him literally repulsed the shit out of me. I had to endure that awful public bathroom, and it was full. Peeing was out of the question, (paruresis!) and I hardly wanted to shit in a very busy restroom, hell, I can barely shit in an empty public bathroom, but I had to – so, clammy and nauseated, with my palate swelling from the goddamned air freshener, and with my face buried in my t-shirt (because the smell of my own sweaty old tits is infinitely preferable to that synthetic, stinking perfumed cancer-spray), I had to, with great mortification, try to time my ass-blasts with people using the hand dryer or flushing toilets. I was pretty sure that I was in Hell. I have no idea if those noises provided good cover or not – I was too busy sweating, gasping to breathe, and wondering if I were actually in Hell. Everybody was probably totally aware of what was up with that. I don’t know. I’m better off not knowing. When I got out and washed my hands, there were no paper towels anywhere. I left, (most likely muttering something unsavory), wiping my wet hands on my wildly frizzed hair (thanks, Mr. early bus driver, for that 20 minutes in the rain). Some lady looked at me strangely. I glowered inappropriately at her and carried on my not-at-all merry way.
At one point I was muttering (quietly!) to myself and an associate asked me if I needed help. I told her, “no, I am just talking to myself”. Then I got the hell away from her.
See, I hate people and I hate people looking at me. Looking at me with their goddamned eyes. Judging. Hating. Scoffing. Ridiculing. Plotting their attack. I’m mortified by any attention at all and I wish very strongly to be left the fuck alone. In my right mind, I would be being as normal as possible, quiet, hasty, trying like all fuck to avoid getting my picture posted to peopleofwalmart.com. But Walmart itself, see, it fucks me up – I need to quit fucking around and write one of the blog entry about one of the greatest ruins of my life, MCS. Since I haven’t done that yet I will explain it briefly here – it doesn’t take a bright mind to decipher it – is exactly what it sounds like. A sensitivity to multiple chemicals.
What is WalMart? A festering cesspool of enclosed chemical soup! When I am being exposed to multiple chemicals I get dizzy and confused and I quit giving a fuck what anybody thinks, and I know at times I get a bit obnoxious with the muttering and sputtering and talking to myself, the thinly veiled hostility towards others. I am admittedly one of the eccentrics but I can pull off normalcy when I am not under attack. But all those smells? People’s body and personal product smells, plastic smells, rubber smells, the shit off-gassing off of all of those tacky sweatshop clothes and Freon from the food freezers and everything else – the garden section, the laundry detergent/household cleaner section, and the automotive section are the worst. It would not surprise me a bit if the people who work for years in those environments have higher instances of cancer. I’m not even kidding or being cute.
Being in that chemical soup is to me, being “under attack”.
Ok, let me segue here. I have 100’s of “friends” in MCS communities on various social media pages on the internet, and it is a common thread among MCS afflicted people, that a chemical exposure (a trigger) can have a profound effect on emotion and behavior. The most common responses to a trigger are weeping and rage. Luckily, for the most part, I tend to get weepy. I remember one unfortunate instance a couple of years ago, when I had to deal with social services – the welfare office. I had a weepy response due to exposure to perfume, cologne, fabric softener, hair products, residual cigarette smoke, etc. on the closed bus on the nearly hour-long trip there. I had to ride that horrible bus in the middle of winter – if I had opened the window I would have had everybody on the bus screaming at me, and the bus driver, who was blasting sickly heat, (which made the whole situation so much more nauseatingly worse) would have sided with all of them. I know this from one errant attempt borne of sheer desperation. It was a big fail. Then? My life being what it is? This sounds made up but it’s not – once I got there, the goddamned public waiting room had five – yes FIVE!!! air fresheners in it. One of those horrible automated spray machines (I call them Stink Monsters and kill them whenever I think I can get away with it) on ALL FOUR WALLS – and one of those horrible, squashed-looking Renuzit gel-cone-on-a-stick things on the attending Officer’s desk. Holy fuckballs. I was in bad shape. So – the multi-tiered, prolonged exposure lead to me crying like a bitch during my appointment with my social worker. At some-40 years old. Nice, huh? I told her, “look at me. This is why I don’t work. This is why I am here”. It was very much not an act, (who would do that?!) but she was not impressed – I’m pretty sure she hated me. She said rather snidely, “well, given the quality of the people that we have in our waiting rooms, we require that much air freshener.” I can’t believe the shit that people get away with saying to me. My dentist did something similar recently, but that’s a story for another blog entry.
At WalMart yesterday though, I was tending towards rage and that is really not good. I have always been left alone but I hope one day I don’t get my stupid ass arrested. Most of us have that bit of impatient asshole inside of us – your mouth will say, “excuse me, ma’am” when some broad is blocking your way through the aisle, leaning her ample ass against her cart, fucking with her cellphone, while several wee brats thread and squall about her. Some of us are nice enough people that what we actually mean is “excuse me ma’am”. But honestly? What a good-sized chunk of us are really thinking, is, “bitch, would ya move yo big ass?!”
Maybe… I don’t know. But I very strongly suspect it.
When I am in the bizarre mania that I start to enter after an hour or so of relentless chemical exposure, the line between “excuse me” and “move your ass” stars to blur. This is not good. For years I have worried that someday my mouth will write a check that my ass can’t cash – but it hasn’t happened – yet. Hopefully it never will. I attribute this to what my horrible friend Teresa called “the Crazy Factor”. That’s when people leave you alone because they think you’re crazy – even if you’re not. It can be a bizarre yet valuable form of self-defense for homeless women, which is what we were at the time.
Usually when I take the city bus, there is this wildly eccentric woman, Marsha, on there. I hate Marsha. I don’t know Marsha, but I hate Marsha. Why? Because the stupid bitch wears a gallon of perfume on the daily and every time I see her, I get sick for hours. Literal hours. It seems that she LIVES on the city bus, for 9 times out of ten that I have to ride the damned thing, either Marsha or the residue of Marsha (her perfume) is on that bus. The perfume she wears smells like old ladies and rotting, sun-cooked doilies and furniture varnish. I cannot fathom why anybody would spend money in order to smell like that on purpose. I talked to her a couple of times a couple of years ago, she told me that the kids in town call her “The Skunk Lady” because of the bold white streak in her hair. I had to wonder if maybe they don’t actually call her “The Skunk Lady” because she goddamn STINKS! I took the special service bus both ways this time – so no Marsha – but guess what? She was at WalMart, spreading her unholy stream of stink down several of the aisles in which I had to shop. Do you see how my life goes?!
Anyway I muttered and sputtered my miserable way through WalMart and then I had to go to the grocery store. Hell II, the immediate sequel. The grocery store lets me leave my cart of WalMart shit up front at the service desk while I shop.
Later – I had to sleep and now I am awake, and I am bored with this blog entry, so I’m just going to quickly slap out the rest of it and get it posted.
At the grocery store I couldn’t find any damned thing because my grandmother had a bunch of new stuff we don’t usually get on the list – because our landlord is a dick and he won’t replace our stinking oven, so now we have to live out of a crock pot. Also because I was reeling from chemical exposures and getting very confused.
I don’t remember the specifics nor do I care enough to Google it right now in order to present this precisely, but I have a vague memory of having read a study in which ants, spiders and bees were given LSD. I guess the ants made really messed up hills, the bees made really messed up honeycombs, and the spiders made really messed up webs. If anybody had a floor plan of the WalMart and of the grocery store, and a drawing of the path I took through both stores, it would probably look as erratic as the work done by those poor, dosed bugs. It would make sense that I should shop in an orderly fashion, going through the store once, minimizing my time spent in the chemical soup. But no, I was getting so goddamn confused that I was all over the place, no rhyme or reason, most likely doubling the time that I really had to spend at both stores. It was a nightmare.
No, I WISH it was a nightmare. At least I could wake up from that.
Even though it was during school hours on a week day, some stupid broad had no less than SIX kids with her, all of them under 8 years old, and those damned brats were getting in my way ALL OVER THAT DAMNED STORE. Everywhere I turned, no matter which part of the store I was in, there was that bitch and her flock of screaming monsters. I tried to be diplomatic and thought to myself – “Try to imagine how hard it must be for her, to have to go shopping with all of those brats in tow. Be nice, be nice.” But then my nasty side answered my own thoughts with “fuck that. I managed to figure out how rubbers work, and I avoided getting my stupid ass knocked up, it is not a hard thing to do, so why should I feel sorry for this baby factory? She needs to control these goddamned brats or find somebody to watch them while she goes shopping”. I found myself entertaining fantasies of plowing through the lot of them with my grocery cart, brats flying everywhere like bowling pins. My brain presented this to me in the form of an illustrated comic strip. Of course I didn’t act upon it but the fleeting fantasies were pretty sweet. Just for the record I’d never really hurt a kid – I’m not that sick – I just entertain dark, comical fantasies of scattering brats like bowling pins when I am “under attack” by multiple chemical exposures, and the damned little shitting monsters are in my way no matter which way I turn.
Then I saw my downstairs neighbors, which was frustrating, because I know they were going to come home to the EXACT same house with their nice, big, empty red van – and we are NOT the kind of friendly neighbors that I could have asked them for a ride home.
On the way out of the store I ran into my former best friend and his idiot baby girlfriend, I didn’t speak to them or acknowledge them in any way but it still upset me and flipped my stomach over. Why can’t that stupid little baby bitch just go out and get her idiot self hit by a car or kidnapped by human traffickers or something?
Later, when I finally made it home, I damn near fell off the fucking bus courtesy of tripping on my own pant leg while unloading the stuff from the bus. I told the goddamn driver which street to turn down so that the bus door would be on the same side of the street as my house, but he didn’t listen to me – the fucking jerk! – so everything was made goddamn harder by having to carry everything across the street. When I finally got all of that shit up the stairs and was able to rest, I was perturbed for the rest of the day and never really recovered from the horror of it all until now – a full day later.
Do other people struggle this much just while shopping?