Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Horrible Bitch at the Park

I came home this weekend to be with Cyrus. We had a wonderful time playing and watching Ghostbusters. Until today.

You see, we were up at Art in the Park. He was tired, and it was balls hot outside. So, we headed toward the playground where exactly 1 million sweaty kids and 2 million sweaty parents crowded into the shade of trees and play equipment.

Cyrus was running around, like (totally fucking normal) kids do. I was admiring his ability to climb and slide and not fall over anymore when he runs. Just a year ago, this park would've been scary for both of us. He had trouble negotiating uneven surfaces, and little bumps from some other kid might send him reeling sideways and onto the ground.

Since he was wearing a neon yellow shirt, I let my eyes look away for a moment or two then heard some dad yelling, "that kid's kicking him!"  I could tell by his voice he meant someone was injuring his child, so I looked for the horrible thing that could be happening. I see a kid and Cyrus behind him on the slide. They're both sort of inching their way down, on their butts. I guess it might look like a kick at first glance, but you know, if you wait just a second, you can see what's happening.


Both kids were smiling.

And suddenly, the Horrible Bitch echo's her husband,, "He's kicking him!"  And she runs, with her hand raised and her voice raised, toward Cyrus. I sprinted over in front of him. But it was too late. This Horrible Bitch was yelling at my son, "YOU DON'T KICK!" And she grabbed her kid (who was clueless).  I looked right at her and yelled, "I'll yell at my son."  To which she replied, "Then, maybe you need to."

The rage in her voice and face was just...awful. So, I picked up Cyrus from the bottom of the slide. And started to walk away. This Horrible Bitch was white. And wearing one of those workout baseball hats and running shorts and a matching tank top and had on sunglasses and pony tail. You know the kind.

As I walked past her with son in my arms I said, "He's special needs."
And she said, "Then maybe you should watch him better."

I kept walking and heard her husband say, "I understand."

The only thing for me to do was burst into tears. Mom and Aunt Judy were off getting some food, so I just stood there holding in sobs. Cyrus noticed and asked if I was sad. Then he pulled up my sunglasses, "Let me see your tears, Mom."

This happened at Noon today. Since then, I've packed up and driven back here to Arkansas for work. I had 5 hours in a car to think about all this. And just cry. Here's what I came up with:

1. Why did I say he was special needs?
      Because he is, isn't he? He has a feeding tube, he's practically legally blind, and he runs funny. Like I said before, I was standing in amazement earlier as he looked like a normal kid playing. I said that to hurt her. To make her feel shame for trying to parent someone else's kids. To say it in front of the myriad of people watching our interaction. (I remember her face when I said it. I was looking right at her, but she didn't look at me. Just clenched her mouth and jaw and nodded her head just a bit. Just trying to think of the next horrible bitch thing to say) And he's been a super dick lately, really. I'm sure he's just going through something, like kids do, but every time something happens with him, we always assume the worst. Maybe his behavioral issues are in his brain and he can't control them because...

2. Why did I cry?
      I know sometimes people cry when they're mad. I'm not usually one of those, so what happened? I still see him as fragile and special. By special I mean a fucking miracle of science and love. When she yelled, with her hand in the air, I didn't see my 5 year old son on that yellow slide, but a tiny fetus attached to all those tubes. How dare she threaten such a little, precious being. It was repulsive.

3. Who the fuck does she think she is?
    There is no way I would yell at someone else's kid like that unless someone was about to be seriously injured. Again, the rage in her voice, in her whole body. The way she moved toward him, too, so deliberate and aggressive.

So that's what I cried about and obsessed over for most of my day. I've replayed it in my head a million times. The revisions I've added are as follows:

1. She touches me, in any way, I tackle her so hard her body makes that horrible noise
2. She touches Cyrus, in any way, I punch her in her fucking nose and the crowd around us cheers
3. I walk up to her and get right in her face and say, Fuck. You.
4. My dad's there. We all end up in jail.
5. The crowd, seeing it all happen, jump in an humiliate her until she cries and has to leave.
6. Her husband actually has someone in his family who is also special needs. He sees her true character and divorces her ass, taking the nice kids and raising them to be wonderful humans.

I guess this is helicopter parenting at its finest. Just hovering, waiting for some perceived threat to happen, so she can jump in and defend her child. Or maybe she's just a sad housewife who has nothing else to do but buy those matching outfits and tell other people what a shitty job they're doing of parenting.

Or maybe, and I think this may be it, she's a horrible fucking bitch who leads a miserable life.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Second Spring

Not too many days ago I got an email about joining an archaeology project in Springdale, Arkansas. They wanted me in just a few days.I talked to Mindy about a plan for Cyrus, quit my dish washing job, and here I am.

This dig isn't like the archaeology I did just a few weeks ago in Springfield, Illinois. That ws diggin small holes all over the place (in a controlled manner) and looking to see if anything was there. This dig is knowing there is stuff there and trying to find as much as we can before a road goes through. This dig is more like what you're using to seeing on t.v. But, Gentle Reader,  Archaeology isn't as glamorous as t.v. would lead you to believe. Most people employed in this field are doing manual labor all day, myself included. There is a lot of shoveling, but not the kind you might think. We don't just shove it into the ground and pop out some dirt. We dig in 10cm levels and that is skimmed with a sharpened shovel. 
This is our unit at 10 cm deep.

It takes quite a while to dig, but it sometimes takes more time to look through all of that dirt. At this site, we're digging 2x2 meter holes. Someone with math skills can figure that out, I'm sure. It's a lot of dirt to push through a 1/4 inch mesh screen. And the ease of pushing it through has to do with how wet the dirt is, what type it is (sand, silt, silt loam, clay, clay loam, silty clay loam), the type of the screen, and the sturdiness of the screen. 

Shaker Screen, not someone I know
That's what we're using. So, imagine it's lying on the ground, you dump a bucket of dirt in. That bucket weighs about 40 pounds. You learn ways to lift the screen. Then comes the fun part: you shake it back and forth about 20 times.  Some dirt will fall out, maybe, like, 10%. The rest of it you have to shove through with your hands. You do this pretty much all day. It's hard on all the body parts: hands (skin and muscle), wrists, back, arms. But what you might not expect is the pain in your thighs. You see, you have to rest the screen somewhere in order to push the dirt though, so you'll just put it on your thigh. I have bruises after two days. 

This is from my dig. See how she's got that thing propped on her leg? That's what I'm talking about.
Of course, most of you ask, "Did you find anything!?"  Yes. We sure did. In two days my unit, which is now 50 cm deep, has found, in total, 5 pieces of beer bottle glass, 2 rusty wires, and a large tarp. 

The next thing you might ask is, "What are you looking for?"  I'll tell you, "anything we find."  But if you really want to know, the site is Archaic. We look for pointsflakes, and features.  There. Now you'll never be interested enough to ask again. 

I love working outside. I love sweating for my money. I like meeting new people and seeing new places. In a way, I feel like part of me is being reborn. 

In another, more important way, I fucking miss my kid. He's not here. I'm not there. I've been gone just a few days. I try to remind myself that I'm doing this for him; if I have money to live, he has money to live. We're still paying for daycare. He still has bills. I still have to adopt him. There is good news, too. I'm not that far from home, so I can see him every weekend. It's not close to enough. I hate not being there. I feel like I'm missing everything, like he'll never forgive me for being gone. 

I have teaching applications in. I'm hoping one calls soon, interviews me, and gives me job. I hope that job pays enough for me to be at home with Cyrus.  

Right now, propped up in a hotel bed, my back aching, I feel like that might never happen. Like I've never had all that at the same time. 

But tomorrow is another hot day and another level of dirt to sift through.