I haven’t written much in several months about my fights with the old black dog, but he has hung around the entire time nonetheless. This last month or so has been one spectacular fang and claw deathmatch after another and today hasn’t really been an exception. I came perilously close to a complete and utter melt-down in my local Bi-Lo today after the bank teller wouldn’t cash the check Mama gave me to replace what I’d used to buy a radiator for Rob’s truck so none of us would have to make umpteen trips back and forth to Simpsonville burning $3.33 a gallon gas.
The whole thing seemed simple enough. I bought the part and took to Rob when I picked Mama up for her doctor’s appointment. Mama gave me the check, the truck was fixed, I went to cash the check because it was after 1:00 and SunTrust Bank — which used to be CCB, which used to be American Federal, which used to be Southern Savings and Loan — holds any funds deposited after 1:00 until the next business day, UNLESS you deposit the funds in a “grocery store branch” in which case they hold the funds TWO business days. You can get around this rule by cashing a check and depositing the cash. If you do that, the funds are available immediately.
So that was the plan, but it didn’t work because the new “assistant branch manager” of something that technically isn’t a branch wouldn’t cash the check because I didn’t have enough funds in the account to cover the check and she didn’t care that the reason I didn’t have enough funds was because of the parts I had bought for which I’d been reimbursed by the check in her hand.
I just didn’t need this today because it’s already been a bad week. I felt the top of my head float away like it does at times like this and I strangled my words to keep from saying what I really wanted to say. I deposited the check and picked up some stuff for supper, went back to the counter and DIDN’T bite back what I’d wanted to say after all. Then left as she was doing that sickeningly sweet “hope you have a nice week, sir” to my back.
I just walked on when what I really wanted to do was whirl around and say, “No you don’t. You think I’m an asshole — mostly because I am — and you couldn’t care less if I win the lottery or die of an onslaught of necrotizing fascitis; in fact, if I were killed by a lightening strike in the parking lot seconds from now, you’d probably point to my demise as proof of divine justice being real and immediate and dance a little jig around my smoking corpse.”
But I didn’t because I was too angry and not at her but at me. Once upon a time, I didn’t live like this. Once upon a time, a little thing like this wouldn’t have held me up for a minute and I’d probably had something witty to say and we’d all have just laughed it off. Not anymore. Incidents like this cause a fury to engulf my emotions that I can’t really adequately describe.
Let me try to analogize. If you’ve ever had a very sore finger — severely jammed or even broken — you know that finger seems to become a magnet for door jambs, counter tops, and jumping dogs. No matter how hard you try, that finger gets bumped and banged and every time it does, the pain shoots through the finger and up your arm to explode behind your eyes in a rainbow of agony. Well, mostly lately my entire being is that sore finger. I find myself in a rage or else near to tears for absolutely no apparent reason. Sometimes, there’s no reason at all, apparent or otherwise.
Stress makes it worse which is even more infuriating to me because, once upon a time, I could eat stress for breakfast. I had adapted to the point that I thrived on stress and last minute stuff. Somewhere along the line, though, and I’ve pinpointed it to about nine months after I was fired from my high school teaching job ten years ago, I lost the stress handling mechanism and now, stress of any kind sends me into the stratosphere to paralyze me with anger or apathy depending on the caprice of the black dog’s whim. It’s gotten to the point that I just want to stay home and a lot of the time, that’s exactly what I do.
Truthfully? This mess just isn’t much fun anymore.