Stop staring at me. I wasn’t in a bar fight. I wasn’t mugged or Maced. I didn’t run into a door. I woke up this way — with a fat, red, swollen eye. No, I don’t know why. Yes, it is weird and I’d rather not discuss my unsightly blotch with strangers, so look away and move along. You’re freaking me out.
For the second Saturday in a row I woke to a surprise affliction. Last week, my arm and shoulder sustained three or four angry, itchy welts. Bug bites, right? Wrong. The exterminator came, vigorously searched my bedroom, and found nothing. No bedbugs, no ants, no sharks. Bupkis.
Not one to be deterred, I strapped on my thinking cap and, eventually, a light flickered: hives. Years ago, I had incidents when my arms erupted in itchy, puffy, red hives. The dermatologist suggested the outbreaks were stress-related and, when I linked them to my sister’s visits, 1 the hives disappeared.
Coincidentally, stress is my constant companion these days, too. And that’s because I’m being smited 2 — by gravity or Doppler or God himself. I’ve sure pissed off something. The unrelenting noise from upstairs has mostly stopped; she’s moved next door with her ex. Together they set off the smoke detector and slam doors all the livelong day, with occasional lulls to vandalize my car.
I spoke to the property manager about the car and she blew it off: hijinks. I called the police, who said it looks like I hit something. D’oh, I sideswiped a kiddie car — how, when? 3 Finally, as a last resort, I tried legal aid. Again, no dice.
So I’m frantically looking for a new place to live. The lone possibility so far has a 4-6 month waiting list and a 7-page application. Seems like an awful lot of rigmarole for a jump to a different frying pan. Oy. I don’t need this crap; the expense and anxiety and packing and schlepping. I need a break. I need a new computer. I need a dog.
So given the circumstances, a stress-related ailment isn’t far-fetched, but it’s unlikely. Leprosy, elephantiasis, necrotizing fasciitis, poisonous spiders, that’s the ball park I’m in. Did I mention I’m a hypochondriac?
copyright © 2016 the whirly girl
1 We’ll save that topic for another time.
2 Yes, smitten is the past participle of smite, but it sounds giddy and stoopid and unbefitting. Walloped is good. Clobbered, slugged, thumped, pounded, creamed, plagued, bashed, tormented, and bedeviled are also fine alternatives. Smitten, however, is not.
3 The police department dispatched a SWAT team for disparaging tweets about the mayor, but typically sidesteps actual criminal activity. Too messy.