Monday, June 13, 2011

“Stark, Raving Girl Friday, Interrupted”

I had the initial appointment today to resume – court-ordered – group therapy. Who says you can’t go home again? It was like chatting with an old friend – who makes you pee in a cup before you leave. Really, I had this incredible sense of déjà vu. It seemed like only a year ago (this Friday) that I was biding my time, going through group therapy and pouring out my heart, my soul, my martini shaker … reflecting on a kinder, gentler time which I was, mercifully, far too drunk to actually remember.

The kindly fellow who did my intake was not unlike loving Uncle So-and-So, who came over when Daddy was working and Mama put on her cha-cha heels. I never had one, of course – ‘cause my mother was a good, decent Christian woman – who never wore cha-cha heels in broad daylight, but I have heard stories about the kind of men this man seemed to be. His snow-white hair was combed into a perfect, shellacked homage to the Czarina’s ancient frenemythe Fish-Man, whose wife owns “an entire peak in West Texas” and who has a penchant for the kinds of men who will either send you to heaven or send you to Heaven … if you know what I mean. I imagine, if I were a few years younger and a few years thinner, he might have asked me to put on a sailor suit and go fishing in his Dockers.

Other than the knowing glances and funny little, ‘just between us’ asides, it was a good reintroduction to what passes for DSM-IV these days. As if the problems of a lifetime – the myriad last straws that drove me to the bar (‘cause Lord only knows, I certainly wasn’t capable of driving myself …) – could be unbent by a few months of talking about how drugs are bad.

Drugs are terrible, but boredom, or misery, or whatever the hell else was going on in my head was far worse. They were temporary fixes, to be sure – but they were the only fixes available at the time, because I certainly couldn’t afford therapy before I was an addict, and – for that matter – what I receive these days hardly constitutes therapy. I am too poor to go crazy, and I really prefer the term ‘mad’ anyway. It’s more expressive.

So, I returned from my meeting with the Funny Uncle to find my boss back in the office and a mountain of work awaiting me. I have returned to the world of the working girl, and indeed – my office is 95% female. That probably explains why my boss – who is somewhere between hot and adorable – frequently finds himself playing the little brother with whom all of his heretofore unspecified sister’s friends flirt, or on whom they lavish smiles – in order to get free manual labor.

And it is then, somehow, fitting I am that guy’s girl Friday. He is - single-handedly - the IT department, so I should technically be classified an IT guy; however, given that I am not entirely sure what all those cables coming out of, and going into, that large metal thing in the middle of the room (I think it's called a server - just like that nice Latin boy the Czarina employed for a while) do, I am nobody's idea of IT.

I am getting accustomed to the swing of things, though. I discovered the break-room today, although I hear there is actually more than one. I passed a copier on the way to fix a computer the other day. And by fix, I mean that I installed Adobe Flash Player. I think the owner wanted to play “Angry Birds,” but I cannot be sure.

I have an office (space), but it is fairly small – a perfectly lovely side table – more commonly known as a night-stand – on which I have a laptop, a scanner, and when I sit at it, I have to put my legs in a drawer. I have moved up in the world, in that I have gone from a metal folding chair to a padded metal folding chair, which is actually very stylish. It's black. Which is beautiful, you know.

I really do enjoy what I do – mostly because it is not so unlike those halcyon days when I sat at the very feet of the Czarina Warrenina Joskes – hanging on her every bon mot and propping her up on her bar-stool. I was thinking of her today – as I was using a nail file to remove staples from some paperwork to be scanned. Adaptability, she would say, is key to success.

All I can say is that I am changin' all over the place – although I still feel like the same ol' me, most of the time.