Saturday, November 29, 2014

Never Step to God

I am a good girl and you never hear me say things like, "Oh, that's it! What more can God to do me?" Or, "God just doesn't love me!" Or, "Why does God hate me so much?"

I never step to God.

Truth be told, I live an incredibly blessed life of love and freedom and hard work and good fun and loads of friends. More importantly, I do not believe in a vengeful God. I believe in a loving and gracious and benevolent God. I do not even like writing those letters next to one another to form those words to make that sentence. But lemmetellyou, it has been one hell of a couple of years, and just when I think I have rounded the month and kinda sorta started to get ahead of the curve something else has happened, either by my own hand or by fate's, and then WHAM!

Hopefully, the last straw came with my mid-October four-day hospital stay brought about by my little surfing accident, which left me with two fractured ribs that punctured my left lung and slowly deflated it until I had no lung with which to breathe--better known as an acute pneumothorax from trauma. I am not even going to go into what it did to my 25-year-old Dow Corning silicone breast implant. Anyhoo...

I have posted a few pics and made a couple oblique mentions on my Instagram and FB Fan Page but I really have not been burning up my feeds like you would expect me to do if some kook had come from the outside and ran my kookie ass over and kept surfing right on by. That is because it was an accident of the greatest proportion--an accident distilled from the purest most authentic and unadulterated force majeure--it was an accident done to me by my own Caveman.

Yes, I know. I know.

I saw it all in his eyes and across his face. I heard it all in his voice. I felt it in his touch as he unzipped my wetsuit and peeled it off my shoulder. And it all made me instantly not want to bawl or howl or make a scene or be fussed over or anything that would make his pain or guilt or concern any more acute.

It was a Sunday morning spent surfing. It was pure perfection. We were coming in, and I ended my wave at the bottom of his wave hidden in his whitewater purely by accident--mainly because it is nature and you cannot always guarantee that where you go down is where you will come back up. When I did come up, I saw him; he did not see me; I even saw him looking for me. I even willed him to see me, but that plan did not work so well; I quickly moved to plan B, which was to cover my head and dive as deep as I could. I saw his board go over me, and I thought for an instant that he had cleared me. Then, there was the solid THUNK of the fin of his board hitting my back and dragging across to my arm; I heard my own scream under the water and then I had no air, I mean really,
(((I HAD NO AIR))) and I could hear the crinkling and bubbling of the air in me and I could feel my ribs moving at my back.

When I came to the surface and the whitewater had cleared and he finally saw me, the Caveman was at the shorebreak yelling if that was me that he had hit and if I was okay and "to get on my board and come here right now!" I was saying yes and yes and yes. I am a little embarrassed to say that I secretly wished the Caveman could reach across the water and just pluck me out and save me, you know, like he does on any given day.

Meanwhile, in my head, I was going through my own private checklist against panic and pain: Darya, you cannot even touch bottom! You cannot breathe! Fuck, this hurts! Calm your ass down. Just put your arm over the other arm and swim; pull on your leash; swim; pull; swim; pull. Grab your board. Get up on your board. Oh, thank God, there's a wave. Just ride it in. Get out of the water. Quickly! Untie your leash. Get away from your board! Yes, yes, yes, I am okay. I just need to take a knee--like a football player or a wrestler or a whatever. No, I am okay. Just let me catch my breath. No, I can walk. 

We walked down the beach to our stuff. He took another peek at my back to be sure nothing in me was not poking out of me and we looked at the three-inch gash in my wetsuit.  While he loaded up, I rinsed off at the showers thank God I did because that was to be my only shower for the next four days. We walked very silently and very quickly, as quickly as I humanly could.

And in my head I just kept the loop going: Darya, just walk down the beach. Darya, carry the board overhead, it's easier to breathe that way. Bag the boards. Stow your crap. Just keep walking. Walk over the sand. Walk over the bridge. One foot in front of the other. One foot in front of the other. Stop and rinse off at the showers. Walk to the car. No. I can carry my own board. Yes, I am okay. No, just let me catch my breath. Really, I am okay. ::smiling, kinda:: 

But I just kept getting weaker. When I forfeited brunch and my usual Mexican coffee AND I asked to go to the ER, the Caveman knew, well, he just knew it was a big deal because no.1: I spend enough time in hospitals and no. 2: I do not like to part with my money, especially to our healthcare system.

To make matters all the worse, the Caveman had to endure watching me abide a four-hour ER wait-time before I even got to get in a bed or get seen by a physician or get my one intramuscular shot of totally ineffective pain medicine or get my chest x-ray. All that was nothing. The Caveman still had to do the hardest thing of all: He had to leave my side and make the hard phone calls to Daddy and Sister and oh, God to the Hero.

It would be another two hours before I was placed into the CT tube so that the chest tube could be placed into me. All in all, it had been nearly eight hours before I could breathe again.

Oh, well. I am strong. I am Dutch. I can take it.

It really does not matter. I took it.

Now that I am home, and I am back at work and the gym and needing to be 110%, but really feeling only about 70% things have really piled onto my shoulders, and I am beginning to keep count and keep score and the column that is against me is getting longer than the column that is for me. Just like the debit column is getting way shorter than the credit column or the other way around--I always forget which column is coming in and which column is going out. Maybe that's why I am always in so much trouble.  Hmmm...that's a poser, whad'ya think...

But, yes, yes, yes, I am okay. Just let me catch my breath. It has become my mantra it seems.

And maybe all I really need is to get in the water and get fully stoked just once. Just once.

Really, I am okay. Just let me catch my breath. Because honestly, what am I going to do? Step to God.

xoxo Darya

Friday, November 14, 2014

I, The Juror

I am stunned and somewhat ashamed to be sitting in the Superior Court of California County of Orange juror selection room listening to all the bitching and kvetching and bellyaching going on.

Honest to God...

For chrissake people, aren't we all the exact same folks that made the most of our day off when we all "celebrated" Veteran's Day? Did we all not just hang our flags and beat our chests and tell each other what awesome patriots we are? And did we all not just hug a veteran or feed a veteran or throw some change at a veteran at a freeway on-ramp or pump a veteran's hand and slap him (or her) on the back and tell him (or her), "Helluva job you did there, son (little girl); helluva a job. So, proud to call myself an American, and so proud to say thank you for your service and your sacrifice." That last part embarrasses me to no end today.

If that was you yesterday and you are sitting with me in the juror selection room today, I wanna punch you in the throat right now. How dare you be so selfish; how dare you be so cowardly. How dare you believe that your time is worth more than someone else's freedom. After all, if you are eligible to be seated as a juror, you are part of that small segment of society for which jail and prison still operates as a deterrent and you should be pretty grateful for this opportunity to make sure that this one system we got going on IS actually working!

And lemmetellyou, most of you are acting like assholes. Near as I can see, you are working one of two angles: 1) The language angle; 2) You are biased against/for the police, the plaintiff, the defendant; pink hearts; yellow moons; orange stars or green clover and whatfuckingeverelse you can dream up as you describe in a manner, that you cannot even convince yourself is true, that you just cannot see yourself being able to see past your somewhat proudly proclaimed biases to ascertain the facts from your own ass when the evidence is presented, AND then you bold-faced lied and told the judge that you could not even do that when instructed by the judge about the actual law!!!
Unfuckingbelievable. Honestly, I cannot tell if you are stupid or liars or you are just stupid fucking liars.

And please 'splain to me, Ms. Juror 110, how you took your citizenship test and oath and the written driving test all in English AND received and answered your jury summons managing to both drive and arrive at the jury assembly room only to find yourself seated next to me making English small talk about how nice my cat-eye eyeliner and your chola-esque eyebrows look this early in the morning and listening to the same jury instructions, yet, lo-and-behold when it comes time for voir dire, "you no do English goodly" riddlemefuckingthat.

I am also pretty upset at that small specific portion of my fellow cast of characters called to report to Section C68 on the eleventh floor to help figure out if Mr. Patron had too much to drink one particular night when he got in his car and started driving and then a whole bunch of shit must have gone down because it ultimately resulted in me waiting on your disrespectful ass to get off of the escalator or elevator or the phone late each and every single goddamn time we had to arrive for roll-call because the rules say we all have to shuffle-move as one great big 300-styled-ready-for-battle-tortoise-shell-shaped mass from the jury room to the courtroom to the bathroom and back, again.

Disrespectful; disingenuous; deceitful and duplicitous. And almost all of you smelled. Disgusting. I am so mad and upset and disappointed. You all ruined my day. You all conspired to take something that is a privilege and something we should all be so proud to do with a pure and engaging heart--to listen completely and openly; to follow directions. I was sad to be unable to serve. I would have made the sacrifice; I would have lost a butt-load of money NOT availing myself of my own work, but I would have sacrificed to be of service.

Oh, and I am a good juror.

I don't mean to brag and I don't mean to boast, but you really want me on your trial; your attorney wants me on your trail! I listen and I think and I am discerning and open-minded, but not so open-minded that things like my common sense fall out. And, to be honest, I am easy on the eyes and if you are going to have to look at someone for a month, well, I think that would be an added luxury--definitely not a requisite, but a nice little frill. I know I want to look at a couple of sharp attorneys in pretty clothes speaking properly while duking it out. Like I said, it does not make a real difference but its an added treat. If you are a shitty lawyer with a crappy case and client, no matter how impeccably appointed you may be, it will not make a difference.

I have had the privilege of being seated as a juror twice, both criminal trials; both grueling; both were about a month long. The first trial was a gang murder in which one gang member put the business end of a less-than-18-inch sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with a pistol grip to some poor bastards head when he mistakenly wandered into West Trece territory and did not answer properly to the question, "Where you from?" Ka-Boom! The top of his head got blown off and all over his buddy riding, ironically enough, shotgun and the velvet headliner of his low-rider whip.

The second trial was a child molestation case where I was seated as juror No. 1 at approximately 8:30am on day No. 1, and I did not move for nearly three weeks as I endured the then 6-year-old victim take the witness stand against her "tio". See, Tio was found by the young girl's mother spooning her sleeping 5-year-old daughter with her panties inside-out and his pants undone, and somehow some of his semen mysteriously made its way to her prepubescent vulva. Yeah. Picture that in your mind's eye because it is emblazoned into mine. I cannot imagine how the assistant district attorneys sleep at night nor how the defendant sleeps at night, well, actually, we found him guilty so I am pretty sure I know how he sleeps at night, or at the very least, how he lays there very still with his eyes wide open and his back pressed against the wall just like that petrified little girl must have on a lot of nights.

That was intense and important stuff people.

Watching that little girl bravely facing her perpetrator and providing her own testimony was very powerful to see, and if you do not think that that is worth your time or your energy or even your timeliness, well, I feel very sorry for you and I hope that one day you need the services of an attorney and he (or she) has to pick a jury out of a roomful of people. Just. Like. You.  Because let's not forget, one of your rights as a citizen includes the right to a jury of YOUR peers.

And maybe that is all you deserve, you selfish sonofabitch.

xoxo Darya