Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Well, the month of October that usually starts with rounds of Halloween parties, and lots of delights and frights and ends with the celebration of Samhain or All Hallow's Eve has certainly gotten off to a bang this year around here. But, this being Nebraska Ave., 33602, 33605, where everything can and has happened at one time or another and has seen the visitation and/or arrest of everyone from Harry Truman, to Theodore Roosevelt (neither of whom saw a jail cell) to Darryl Strawberry and several other athletes and congressmen (who have visited our fine Orient Road Jail), why should I be at all surprised that October started out with something like James Thurber's “The Night The Bed Fell” and as of Sunday, we experienced a little bit of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”, “Baron von Munchausen” (or Munchausen by Proxy), and ended the week with a re-enactment of a segment of “The Jerry Springer Show”, minus the “who the baby daddy?”

"I suppose that the high-water mark of my youth in Columbus, Ohio, was the night the bed fell on my father." ~ James Thurber

Of course, all of this needs some 'splainin'. My erst-while roommate who is no longer my roommate, had spent most of September in New York, visiting her birth mother who was in the hospital, with liver failure. When her mother did not expire, she returned home with her relatives. The condition of her release from prison, stated that she would be unable to live with them, so because I do belong to a political committee and because one of the Chairwomen knew of Jim's passing, it was thought that this might be a win-win for us both, as I am living on my own income. I was rather reluctant at first, but said I would at least talk to the girl's aunt. The aunt seemed rational enough, so she brought her niece over and we struck a deal.

Well, the first month wasn't so noticeable, because the girl was in NY for most of the month, and when she was in the apartment, she kept to herself, writing her letters, being quiet. She did however, mention that she knew it was me putting coffee filters in the coffee pot. I dismissed this, as just some off-hand remark; I knew she was trying to adjust to living “outside” and I just went about my day. Then, she left for NY again, and her mother died. Now, she was not close at all with her birth mother; she was raised by her grandmother and had very little feeling for her birth mother, but when she returned, she acted like her world had fallen apart.

I tried to be sympathetic, but we've all lost people at some point in our lives, and this does not give us license to be. . . well, stupid about things like coffee filters. I say this, because she brought this up again, by leaving a note on the coffee pot. I answered her note, in kind. Just really immature, and stupid stuff. This was just as she went to NY. While she was there, I felt an immense sense of relief and was dreading October. Well, October came and it was something.

A week ago last Monday, which would still have been in September, I took my night-time medications. I take the same thing every time and have been on the same meds for at least 2 years. The essential tremor medications quell the high-frequency tremors, but along with that I have to take a mild muscle relaxant to quell the dystonia (cramping) that the tremors will cause. It allows me to play and do all the virtuosic things I'm used to doing on the viola. Because I have a motor disorder, ANY deviation from any of my medications louses me up and I've heard this from many other people who have everything from Parkinson's Disease to Tardive Dyskenisia. It's why I wear that faboo little bracelet, made for me by Handmade by Heroes! Thanks, Guys!

And on a side note, the roommate was also using a TON of bleach in the apartment, which I had specifically asked her NOT to do (even when I pee'd) because she claimed her nose was so “sensitive” (more on that later). I had started to develop a cough that was nagging and much like an upper respiratory infection that I would normally develop if I weren't taking my medications for my COPD, so that was an issue.

Anyway, last Monday night, about half an hour after I had fallen asleep, I felt a burning sensation on the left side of my face, up by my left eye, and I was in a sort of half-awake, half-asleep state. I had the sensation of seeing something over my left eye (the eye has a flaw, like a caul and it's like looking through hand-made glass; wavering) and it was bright and melting. I sort of jerked more awake and fluthered around and bleated “help help”. Had Jim been there, he would have talked me down, as he did numerous times, when we were together. We were really good for each other that way. But no one was there. It was 1:30 in the morning, and I had a rehearsal the next day.

So, I jump up, and I'm bumbling around for my phone and I'm trying to dial 911 and I babble something into my “smartphone” and it hangs up on me. Great. Then, it calls me back, and it's a 911 operator, and they send Fire-Rescue out.

Now, in the past, when I've had a panic attack or felt like I was having a heart attack, they come out, take my vitals, everything is normal; and the Fire-Rescue guy says, “did you take your anxiety medication?” and I say “no” and he says “Well, there's your problem, right there”. They're good about it and it hasn't happened in a long, long time.

This time, they had me sit in a chair, and my vitals were okay, but. . . my blood pressure was orthostatic. That means that when I stood up, my blood pressure dropped and my heart rate went up. I explained to them that my muscle relaxant does that in the first hour to 2 hours that I take it, and it had only been about 45 minutes. I talked and talked and danced and Scoobied and they weren't having any of that. Well, shit. So, they bundled me up, made sure my cat had food and water, locked the door and off we went.

Once, I got to TGH, I went through the whole blah blah again, and was getting all ready to put my sho-I'm in my damned bare feet! And skate out of there, after they ran all their tests, feeling fine, gimme my cab voucher, I got a rehearsal!

Whoa Nellie, here comes an Attending doctor with five neurologists. Oh hell's bells. We go though the routine again. Eye, hurt, bright, melt, jump, blah, blah, blah. Only, I am very precise with these doctors, because I have a “history” and an “agreement” with TGH.

This used to be called Grand Rounds. Now, it's more of a "Chat 'n' Chew". Back in the day when I worked at the University of Michigan Teaching Hospital they would have anywhere from 15 to 20 interns. Now, depending on the specialty, I noticed, only 5 or 6 and I felt like I was doing the teaching. Eek!

It goes like this and it came about after a totally nasty and humiliating experience I had when two of the Attending Neurologists were not willing to listen to what I was saying. I describe a symptom to the doctor and the doctor paraphrases it to me. If I feel that he or she is mis-interpreting what I said, I correct them, and vice-versa. It makes for a much more productive experience.

Because I have a world-class neurologist, they decided they would run “due diligence” and keep me overnight (which wasn't what I wanted, but I couldn't very well say no, either) run some tests and see where that went. Everything checked out and I was released from the hospital late, late, late Tuesday night. I really did appreciate their concern. I've always been compliant and I've been granted such a marvelous quality of life, who am I to bitch?

This has to be one of the most terrifying movies I've ever seen in my life. I never realized I was going to star in an episode of it.

So, I come home to “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane”. My roommate is home, and things are back to normal, whatever that is. I wake up the next morning, and I'm sore. I've had IVs in both arms. For some reason, the food at TGH, which used to be pretty awesome, was horrible this time around. I'm hungry and I missed my rehearsal which did not make me happy. I look over and on top of my bag of potato chips is. . . a coffee filter. I'm instantly pissed.

I go in the kitchen and I say to my roommate, “What is this?” She feigns surprise. “Oh! I don't know where that came from!” I looked at her. “You put this on my bag of chips. Listen, I don't do head games. I won't have this. If you're going to continue in this vein, you can't stay here. No head games!” I emphasized. I turned and left the room. I got my cane and sunglasses and left the house.

Of course, when I came back in, it smelled like bleach. She went to her grandmother's house to pick up the rent and I deposited it and paid it, and the rest of the bills. Alex and I had bought groceries while she was gone and 2 days later she told me that her roll of stamps was missing, implying he had taken them, although they had been by her computer, and I had worked AT her computer that evening and she failed to mention it to me for 2 days. I just bought her some new stamps; she didn't like Alex, although he is the closest person to me and the best thing in my life.

Sunday was the kicker. I woke up with a bladder infection. I haven't had one of these boogers in decades and they're horrible. I knew I hadn't been drinking enough water and I knew there was plenty of tension going on in the house. Luckily, I was able to get some AZO and Cipro and it started clearing up, right away. But, on one of my many trips to the bathroom, I caught my roommate spying on my, which just freaked me right the hell out. As soon as I came out of the bathroom, I decided that was it. Especially since, she went right behind me and poured half a gallon of bleach in the toilet. I called Alex, he came over, and I went outside. I called her aunt and told her to come and get her niece. Now, normally, if the woman had been civil, I would have offered to pay her for the days the niece didn't stay there, but what transpired was something out of “Jerry Springer” minus wondering about the parentage.

The aunt came bolting out of the car and screaming, “I want my money! I want my money!” I said, very calmly, “I told you over the phone, I don't have your money, I had to pay the rent. Now, we can set up a payment plan, but I cannot pay you now.” I'm standing on my neighbor's porch, and my neighbor Sheila, who is seven months pregnant is outraged. She yells, “She doesn't have to give you anything!” and she proceeds to get right up in the aunt's face. This escalates and the two women are hollering and all of a sudden, the aunt hauls back and she's going to slug Sheila, my neighbor. I'm just behind Sheila, on the phone to 911, who cannot understand anything for all the yelling, and I'm trying to get to the aunt to punch her before she hits Sheila. Sheila's roommate, my soon-to-be-ex roommate are hollering and there's just this scrum of women hopping up and down. . . until, Alex, who is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 300 pounds, ROARS, I mean, ROARS “JUST A GODDAMNED MINUTE! EVERYONE CALM DOWN!

We all freeze; and from the four corners of da 'hood, comes every able-bodied male to help. The clarion call had gone out that the House of Women was in distress, apparently, and the men rose to the occasion. The roommate was stuffing her crap in the car as fast as she could, but the aunt wanted to wait for the police. Fine. We waited. The police kind of sided with the aunt, but the roommate wanted to beat feet, so they all left, yelling “Go die!” or something. The true classiness of people really comes out when it comes to money. Just ask my ex-husband, Bill Nunnally. Totally unclassy.

I got a lovely little text from the aunt the next day, saying that she was coming by with the police to get the money, or she would take me to small claims court. I texted her back; this was after I had spoken to the head of the political action committee and discovered that I had been lied to; that the roommate was to have had her ID and been registered by 10/1 and had made no attempt to do so. I told the aunt that her niece was already in violation of Florida statute and she knew that, and also if she did try to take me to small claims court, I had nothin' but time on my hands. I would delay, delay, delay and ask for continuance after continuance, whereas she would have to keep taking time off from work. I'm not proud of doing something like that, but I will protect myself and my loved ones.

I will also continue to live by myself and make my plans for what I had originally started to do after Jim died. More to come on that. My political activism will remain in the background. With all this crap going on, I didn't have time to be insecure about writing. I was more insecure about my playing viola. It's been that kinda month already! Oh, by the way, the cough cleared up, now that there's no more bleach being poured all over the house!


Rohn Federbush said...

And I thought I had problems.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Bless your heart. This story should be a made for TV movie. Use it!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I agree. There's a story here. Happy IWSG. My life seems rather boring suddenly.

TBM said...

Now I remember why I don't have roommates.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sounds insane! And a good PSA for never having roommates!

- Madilyn Quinn @ NovelBrews

Shannon Lawrence said...

That is one insane experience. I can't believe that woman was going to hit a pregnant woman! Good luck with dealing with this situation.

Viola Fury said...


Thanks for stopping by. They REALLY didn't know who they were dealing with; I've been homeless, Baker-Acted (locked up for mental problems, although I manage them nicely, unless I care to let them out to "play") am bipolar and have Asperger. I also know the laws, and I can use each and every one of those to my advantage; they won't be troubling me again, and the roommate is on her way back to Utah, since she violated her terms of release. The 'hood here don't play, which is another reason to live here; but yeah, no more roommates! Lesson learned! :D

Viola Fury said...

@T. Powell Cohn

The question is, is this a comedy, horror show, or a Lifetime movie? Or all three? Thanks for stopping by! :D

Viola Fury said...


I don't mind exciting, as long as I'm in charge of it. When someone else is in charge, it gets all messy, and in my case, I usually start to shed blood. Other people's and then we have a problem, so boring is probably better. Thanks for stopping by! :D

Viola Fury said...


I was a bit trepidatious when the idea was first spit-balled to me, but I thought it might be okay, and as I mentioned, the aunt seemed SANE and LOGICAL when we first talked on the phone and when we first met, before I even met the niece. So much for my judgment. No more roommates for me. I like my freedom and being able to do what I want when I want, anyway. The conditions of my Disability allow for a part-time job, and although I cannot drive, I can work from home. My old company will take me back part-time, so that's a problem solved right there. Thanks for stopping by, and happy IWSG!

Viola Fury said...


Thanks for stopping by! It seems to be the ions in the air over here on Nebraska Ave., or something. All kidding aside, just when I think I've seen it all, something else comes along to keep things interesting and lively. I guess if the truth were told, since I do manage to get out of these things in one piece and live by my wits, I wouldn't have it any other way and I'm certainly never at a loss for something to write about. At least it's a change of pace from ragging on the Feds about their encroachment on our Civil Rights or something that 2 people might want to read about. It just changes things up, a bit, ya know? Anyway, thank you so much for the visit and happy IWSG! :D

Viola Fury said...


When the aunt was revving up to hit Sheila, that was when I went from 0 to 90 with my adrenaline. The thing about me, is I have a punch like a mule and I've knocked a 250 lb man out, once and have really hurt other people (my friend Alex has witnessed this; that's when he jumped in). I have a mean straight right, and I use pronation (twisting the wrist, it's from playing the viola, bow hand, but boxers use it) and I would have beat her to the punch, before she ever hit Sheila, because my arms are longer. All of this was happening, while I was hollering into the phone, and that's when Alex ROARED, which I had NEVER heard him do. It was a good thing, because all sorts of bad things would have happened. I probably would have been sued, although at that point, I would have just told the police to haul me off to the Happy Farm, again. Still, who needs the aggravation.

The outcome was better this way. I suspect the aunt was hopped up on something; coke or spice and I actually found something in the niece's drawer that looks suspiciously like that drug. I'm not touching it until Alex looks at it. The aunt texted me about the money, in a very nasty text. I originally started out telling her, that since I had already paid the rent, I didn't have it, and that I would like to set up a payment plan, but she would have none of that, she just came out with all guns a-blazing. So, trying to reason with someone like that is just out of the question. I just then go to a precision nuclear strike and say "okay, then, I've reported your niece for not registering, if you persist in harassing me, I will take out an Restraining Order and No Trespass and if you try to take me to Small Claims Court, I have nothing but time, while you have to take time off from work. I will ask for emergency delay, after delay, after delay, continuance, after continuance, after continuance, and we have no written agreement." I heard nothing back. End of story.

As I mentioned earlier, they REALLY didn't know who they were messing with; I've been homeless, I've been Baker-Acted, I understand the system and the law and I can go "street" in a hurry. I prefer not to and I'm not happy about the way things turned out, but I'll do what I have to to protect myself and the loved ones around me. This is a "neighborhood" in the old-fashioned sense of the word. Thanks again for the visit! Happy IWSG! :)

D Biswas said...

So sorry you had to go through all this, Mary.

I hope things will be on the up and up for you for the rest of this month.

Sorry to leave a link, Blogger won't allow my wordpress comment:
Daily (w)rite

Viola Fury said...


Thanks for coming by! It's okay. Blogger is kind of a booger. It doesn't like ME half the time. One of the things that I've learned as I've grown older, is that these experiences don't really make that much of a lasting impression on me. I had a problem and I dealt with it. As I said, I'm not particularly proud of dropping a nuclear bomb on the aunt, but she behaved so outrageously, I was left with little choice. So, I basically made her go away, within the confines of the law. I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to jump up on my horse, ride over to her house and torch it, as my forebears would have done, as fun as that sounds. I think the law frowns on that. I had her over the barrel on a couple of legal points and she chose not to go there, because her niece was in violation of the law. So, I just went right back to normal and it's fine. I appreciate your concern, Damyanti; I never want to see my friends, or anyone in pain, but I also don't like to have people try to put one over on me or see anyone else hurt that way. Thanks again for stopping by. Starting to think now about NaNo. o_0. Take care, my love!