Saturday, September 20, 2014

Feck You and the Horse You Rode In On

Do you ever have one of those days where you hate EVERYONE?

Where every single person on the face of this earth has found your last nerve and is chewing on its ragged end?

Where people who you think are friends let you down?

Or worse, tear you down?

Where normally you can take it, you can, but not on this day, not today, because everything and everyone just pisses the ever-loving crap out of you?

I just want to say a general FECK YOU to everybody who has crawled under my skin today (and yesterday) and farted. No, not farted, SHARTED, that awful, wet, smelly cross between hot air and the other stuff.

What's crawled up my ass, you may well ask? Oh it's too fecking boring to go into. I'm not being passive aggressive or trying to stir up some drama or anything, I'm just venting.

No, I'm not mad at Dave. No, I'm not mad at Mom, or my sister, or my neighbour. IT'S NOT YOU, you're good, honest.

At least for now.

Gimme a moment, though ...

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Chains That Bind

You're all my friends, so you know this, but in the winter of 2005 my life changed irrevocably. I went from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to a criminal in one fell swoop. Me and the ex had the biggest fight of our lives after he was caught cheating and, in my anger and pain, I swatted him with a Dr. Seuss book.

Green Eggs & Ham. Naturally. If you're gonna swat someone with kid-lit, it might as well be the best.

I called the cops to have him removed from the house, but instead of asking him to leave, they arrested me for assault. When I freaked out, one of cops stuck his hand over my mouth to shut me up, and I bit one officer's gloved finger.

Without further adieu, I was handcuffed, charged with assault police and escorted to jail for the night.

Yada, yada, yada. I apologize if you've heard this a million times before.

No big deal, right? I mean, people spend nights in jail all the time. People on TV crime dramas don't think twice about it. But not "people like me." I was the epitome of Betty Crocker. June Cleaver. Mary Fecking Sunshine. I was a do-gooder, an environmentalist, a politically active world-beater. And I truly used to believe cops were my friends.

Basically I was a naive asshole who didn't know shite from shinola. Or a can from canola. (Substitute any grain or gluten-free product you prefer here.)

Since that time I have carried the weight of a criminal record. You'd be surprised how this affects you. On top of the morbid embarrassment of it all, you can't get a passport. You can't travel out of the country. You can't volunteer at a school or anywhere else that demands a clean record. You can't get life insurance. You can't be bonded or be hired for certain jobs. In short, if you can possibly avoid biting a cop's thumb and smacking your ex, I would highly recommend said avoidance.

Years passed. Life carried on and, in fact, improved. Everything has come up roses for me in just about every way. My marriage break-up was probably the best thing that could have happened. Still, the record lingered, reminding me every once in a while with a sadistic kick in the gut that "you're not normal, you're an outcast, you're a criminal."

This spring I finally decided to find out if my record still held, because honestly I wasn't sure how many years had to pass before the record was expunged. So I gathered up my courage and went to the local cop shop to get fingerprinted. I have to tell you, it was a really traumatic moment. My experience with police made me terrified of them. I don't like them. I don't trust them. When I see events like the killing of Mike Brown I have no doubt the cop was a vicious, racist killer.

That night I reached out for help when I needed it most and instead of helping, or showing any kind of sensitivity, they arrested me for swatting my ex with a book. I mean, seriously? The whole night could have gone so much differently if they had any brains in their heads. But I digress ... just trust me when I say I was shaking in my boots and filling my drawers with stinky stuff when I went to get fingerprinted that day.

I mailed the prints and a form off to Ottawa, to RCMP headquarters, and waited for them to do a criminal record check. I waited. And waited.

And waited some more.

And then got tired of waiting and almost forgot about it.

Last week I finally heard back. A letter from the RCMP was in my mailbox, addressed to me. I opened it with shaking hands and held my breath as I scanned the piece of paper for the verdict:

I can barely describe how awesome I feel. How nine years of pain has been washed away.

I am finally free.