posted by meowser
Today I did something I’ve never done before in my life. I crashed a Zipcar.
Yep. Six years — first with Flexcar, then with Zipcar after Zipcar ate Flexcar — and not so much as a scrape until now. (My last accident of any kind was in 2002, and both cars were barely nicked. I wouldn’t even have bothered to report my own damage if the other person hadn’t reported hers.) Pretty miraculous, especially considering that most people who have been in the car with me think I’m kinda the Terror of Colorado Boulevard. (Although that’s more out of ineptitude than recklessness — I won’t even fiddle with the radio with the car in motion, let alone do that plus pluck my eyebrow hairs, eat chicken parmesan with a knife and fork, and text five people simultaneously like so many people seem to be able to do every day of their lives without ever getting into a wreck.) I guess my luck was going to run out sometime.
Nobody was injured, nobody was totaled, nobody was drinking, neither of us even had a passenger. It was such a boring accident even the cops didn’t bother to come out, even though Zipcar duly made me call them to file a report. Basically, depending on how you looked at it, either someone clipped me on the driver’s side fender or I T-boned her while I was coming out of a parking space on a major street and she was about to make a right. I guess it’s up to the insurance compan(y)(ies) to decide which. *I* don’t even know, frankly, it all happened so fast, but I’m not going to be shocked out of my gourd if I’m found at fault, since I’m the one who did the T-boning. She got a dent, metal only, on the passenger side of her pickup, while I mauled my — or, I should say, Zipcar’s — fender of my/their Subaru Impreza wagon. (Nice little car, really. If I was ever going to buy one, I might consider that one. But first I’d have to decide if I’m ever going to drive again, which…well, ask me again in a week, okay?)
When I finally got home, with frozen cat food and Indian takeout and brain drugs in hand, I had a decision to make: Alcohol or Klonopin? I don’t use a whole lot of either one (as drinkie-poos and dextroamphetamine don’t exactly mix, I save the former for my weekly stimulant holidays), but I soon decided that while alcohol might be more fun, Klonopin was in my med stash exactly for situations like this. And when I say Klonopin, I mean like one-sixteenth of a Klonopin. One-eighth will put me to sleep. I am not kidding. I filled this scrip in August and have maybe used half the bottle, and might get around to using the rest before it expires. Benzos, like pretty much every depressant (alcohol included), render me almost entirely useless.
One thing I didn’t want to do a whole lot of? Was eat. Even with some very tasty chicken tikka masala in the house at dinnertime. Yeah, some fatty *I* am. Aren’t we all supposed to be Eating Our Feelings night and day? Not that I think it would be terrible if I did respond to stress that way; I can think of worse things to do after a car wreck than sticking your head into a vat of hot fudge. (Well, okay, room temperature fudge. Literally hot fudge might sting the scalp a little.) Some people go home after car wrecks and kick their pets around. Or scream at everybody in the house. Or deliberately break expensive appliances. Or even worse.
Not me. And I didn’t even want the fudge, or anything I else could swallow, for that matter. You know what I wanted? I wanted my yarn.
Yeah, I’ve got this crochet project that’s more ambitious than any I’ve ever done before, and it’s taking me twice as long as any other creature with opposable thumbs would take to complete it, because I keep messing up and having to frog my entire last row. Because I often crochet as a stress reducer, and as such I sometimes have attention farts. Which isn’t so bad if I’m making my usual endless series of granny squares, but this is a little more intricate than that. And I just got in a car wreck and I want to get back to where I was before I noticed my last goober and had to pull out a week’s worth of stitches, give me my damn yarnies! Let me make endless double-crochet stitches until I’m not agitated any more, and then maybe I can get some work done.
It’s interesting to think about this instinctive response to stress, because just last night I was thinking about the circles I used to run around with, the hyper-new-age 12-steppers who equate white sugar with crack cocaine. (In fairness, though, I’ve also known plenty of perfectly down-to-earth 12-steppers who have absolutely no truck with that sort of goofgassery.) I remember one woman we went out in a group with once being completely lethal to my boyfriend, which I didn’t find out about until he told me later, and I still don’t know — and won’t ever get to ask her — if it was because of my boyfriend, or because I, a fatass who dared to eat bread, made with white flour and everything, had the temerity to actually have a boyfriend, being a drug addict and all. I wondered what would happen if I ever met up with any of them again, if they’d note that I was fatter than ever and thus continuing to flick my chin at God by consuming carbs. How do I know I wouldn’t get and stay thin by cutting out all white flour and white sugar and white rice? Have I ever tried it? Well, no, because I’ve kind of gotten attached to the idea of not having to extract my poop out of my ass with a long tweezer. And also, because I like many foods made with those ingredients, and I don’t want to give them up unless medically required to do so. I personally think God (gods) can handle that about me.
But that belief can get a little lonely. I’m not sure most of them would buy the white sugar=crack equation if there weren’t safety in numbers. That’s where the fat=food addict=eating to quash feelings auto-assumption comes from too, you know. Numbers. Unless you were born a recalcitrant weirdo, like me, nobody really wants to be all that special, it’s too much work. You can and should stand out, but you’d better not stick out, and you’d also better know exactly where that line is. I think when I was younger, I did think of myself as a comfort eater. Why not? It’s easier that way. Everybody knows that people are more likely to break down and confess to anything if nobody believes them that they didn’t do it, right? Also, when you’ve declared yourself to have a strict calorie limit and YOU MUST NOT EXCEED THAT EVER PIGGY, caving in and eating anything that isn’t a celery-stick hologram is liable to make you label yourself “compulsive.” Well, of course I was. I kept doing it, restricting, expecting my appetite to somehow magically require only X many calories or X many points just because some piece of paper said so. It was like keeping myself up for 48 hours and locking myself in a room with a king-sized bed and then expecting not to go sleepy-bye just because I “shouldn’t.” So given all that, did I ever eat when I was upset or agitated? Maybe a few times. But not nearly as often as I was chastising myself for doing, and what “nervous nibbling” I did do, when I thought about it, really wasn’t a whole lot of food.
The point is, when I quit dieting, that went away. Which is something I could have just said up top and saved you 1300-plus words to comb through. But writing’s another thing I do to relieve stress. And it must have worked, because now I’m hungry. But I just found myself saying, “Are you sure? Do you really need to eat?” Yeah…I kind of do.