accidental emergency

September 30, 2014 at 3:03 pm
filed under food, things that make me cry, weight loss

I answered the main phone line earlier today, and the caller ID said “Novi Police Department.” That’s not good, right? So the police person on the phone said she’d received a hang-up call to 9-1-1 and she needed to know if everything was OK. I’m the operator. How would I know whether some stupid coworker of mine accidentally dialed 9-1-1 and then hung up? Then my stupid coworker, the one who is the closest thing here to my friend, who plays Dungeons & Dragons with me in my basement and lends me copies of Walking Dead graphic novels, the one who is basically a clown and 44-year-old manchild, but he is joyful and in ways he reminds me of my actual father — he scampered out of his office toward my cubicle to say, “It was me! I did it! I tried to get out here to tell you as fast as I could! I dialed 9 and then 1 to call out, and then I guessed I pushed 1 again. I’m okay though!” “They call back for that, you know,” I said. And I told the police woman that my coworker did it accidentally. She was not amused.

I’m just feeling sick today. Right now I feel sick to my stomach. I’m losing my mind, I just feel. I need therapy or something. First I knocked over a full glass of water onto all the papers on my desk. This wouldn’t matter, but two of these were original letters that I was asked to draft responses to. The date stamps and signatures are smeared. They’ve dried with substantial bumps and crinkles. That’s not what made me sick though. I’ve been working on the same project for days — a 90-page Word doc of our union bylaws. It was drafted by another secretary, and it took her eight weeks to send this to my boss, and it’s horrible. Rather than send it back to her, he sent it to me, of course. I have redrafted it, completely reformatted it, created a table of contents, unindented all the paragraphs per my boss’s request, re-indented all the paragraphs per my boss’s request, and more. Working on this thing is what started my stomach turning. Something about it makes me want to puke. It makes my brain feel like exiting my skull. I’ve completely had it, but I’m not done. So lunchtime came, with all my wet papers flattened out all over all the empty surfaces of my desk and my tiny fan on to dry, so I stood up to walk outside for a minute, around the parking lot, and then to go in the back door to go to the fitness room, which I do sometimes. I stopped in the bathroom in the lobby on my way. That’s when my phone fell out of my back pocket into the toilet. I swore. Pants down, I fished it out immediately. It didn’t seem soaked. I hurriedly peeled the case off and opened the back of it, and the battery looked dry. Only the upper area by the camera lens had water inside. I pulled up my pants and started washing and drying things, because toilet is disgusting. Then I heard fidgeting with the door. I said “Hey, hey, HEY, HEY, HEY, I’m in here,” and then, with a key, the door opened. It was an office authority figure. She is evil and has been evil to me directly several times. She said she was sorry. She half shielded her eyes. She said nobody’s EVER in here. I said I use it from time to time. She said it’s always locked for some reason. Yeah, you have to turn the lock to unlock it when you leave, I said — something’s not right with that — the knob will turn to let you out, but the lock will stay locked and will lock as it shuts behind you. But since I use that one from time to time, I know to unlock it manually as I leave. But evil authority figure figured she was the only person to know anything around here, so she figured that it was empty and locked, even though the lunch hour had just started, and I was inside yelling hey I’m in here. She was so not sorry. She should just be glad my pants were up. I didn’t need her seeing me drying off my phone parts with a paper towel, though. Really. I threw everything into my tote and walked outside directly to my car, where I sat, flipped through 100 stations on Sirius XM before landing on the one that was already on when I started, and tried my phone. It worked. I tried sending some gchats, and it worked okay. Then it started being completely broken. Shadows of letters that shouldn’t have been there were there in my text boxes. Letters I hadn’t typed typed themselves. I rebooted it with the same result. I sat in my car and cried. My husband told me to turn my phone off and take the battery out to let it dry. But that eliminates all of my external communication. It takes away the only part of me, at this job, that feels normal. But I did it. At that moment, I decided to drive to Subway for lunch. In a moment of self-hating rebellion, I decided I would eat a sandwich and whatever potato chips I wanted instead of the Healthy Choice frozen meal I had in the break room fridge. I started my car. Then I realized I didn’t have my purse, which contained my wallet. So I unstarted my car. I walked back to my office and instead of grabbing my purse, I walked straight down the stairs to the break room. “Don’t speak a word to me,” I thought, which is a frequent thought I have, and I was relieved to see zero other humans. I opened up the freezer to find my frozen meal and stuck it in the microwave. I couldn’t help but notice two half gallons of ice cream, though, left over from Friday’s all-staff luncheon and totally up for grabs. While my lunch was heating, I used those four minutes to scoop tiny balls of overhardened Butter Pecan into a paper bowl with a plastic teaspoon, stickying my hands to provide reinforcement and avoid snapping the thing into pieces. I didn’t stop after a serving. I scooped at least two. Then I found a can of Reddi Wip that was in there since the last ice cream day at the end of June. I checked the expiration date — December 2014 — but it’s kind of a dairy product? and it’d been open for a while? So I squirted some on my finger to taste it. Seemed okay. I filled up the rest of my paper bowl with it then. Why did I do this? I started eating it right away, sticky spoon and sticky fingers, even though it was too hard and too frozen to be any kind of satisfying texture. I didn’t care, I wasn’t even tasting it. It just had to be shoveled into my mouth. The microwave beeped, I took out my frozen lunch, I sat down and I kept eating the ice cream. Someone came into the room behind me, but I didn’t greet them, and I didn’t even turn around to see who it was. I just ate the ice cream, with my plastic bowl of rice and vegetables steaming on the table in front of me. When I was finished with the ice cream, I remember an oversweet taste in my mouth, and I immediately started on the frozen meal. It wasn’t particularly good or noticeable at all really. But I ate it. At the end, I blew my nose. The dish had spices I hadn’t really thought about. I used my nook reader to check the time — 1:18 — still 12 minutes. I wondered what to do. Should I go to the fitness room and ride the bike for a little while? Why even bother. Should I track the calories I just stuffed into my face? Maybe. I stood up and opened the freezer to look at the ice cream container. 170 calories per half cup, 10 grams of fat. Times two, roundabout. Lovely. I’ll have to eat no other sugar for the rest of the day, I thought. This is when someone who throws up after doing this sort of thing would throw up, I thought. (I won’t — ever — and I never have — but this is the thought that entered my mind.) I want to cry just thinking about it at this moment that I’m typing it out. It was less than an hour ago and I totally just want to sit and cry. I ended up coming back upstairs, punching in again at 1:22, and sitting at my desk to maybe think about what I’d done. I think I started typing this thing then. I have to make myself do this work, but I want to walk out the door and never come back.

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