@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
Ginger, You Bitch
In the last nine months, I have made an enemy. An arch nemesis if you will. A cold killer. Reptile eyes and a monster… Ginger.
Who is Ginger, you ask? Great question. We’ve never met. In fact, I’ve never even spoken with her. She is my chief rival on Words with Friends. We are both very good, and we both score high 300’s and our games usually end within 10 points of each other. She’s my match.
Ginger’s profile picture, which is all I really know of her, is a woman in her 60’s, maybe older. Glasses. Looks like she owns more than one cat. You know the type. Look, she could be a lovely person. She probably is a lovely person. But that doesn’t stop me from waving my fist in the air when she pulls ahead of me score wise. “GINGERRRRR YOU BITCHHHH!!!!”
I’m not kidding. I actually do that. I enjoy playing Words With Friends in the morning. I’m very much not a morning person and this has a lot to do with bad sleeping habits, working weird ass hours, and meds that make me lag a little in the morning. But Words With Friends is a fun brain activity that feels like a calm way to wake my brain up. Start the day with a little word play and thinking, but not overthinking.
November is a notoriously rough month for me, year after year… but right now, I feel maybe the most stable I have felt all year. The new writing job has a lot to do with that, taking away financial fear and the threat of homelessness and harrowing debt. It also fills a creative space that’s not getting fulfilled by stand-up at the moment. Additionally, personal life dramas have gotten softer. Including, a very big win, my friend (35) who went through Chemo for cancer and is doing well, despite what seemed like catastrophically bad odds. And then my own cancer scare turned out to be nothing to worry about.
There are still a lot of bad things in the loop (obviously, I don’t think anyone is wondering what that is), but a lot of the weight I was carrying around has gotten lighter. I feel like a different person now than the way I was months ago. Make no mistake— depressed Lori IS still me. Just not a great version of me. So I’m no less myself when I’m down, I just can’t feel all the parts. And now… well… I feel more confident. There’s still the lingering pangs of uncertain times and the stress of the state of the world, but I’m able to start my day without it crippling me. I feel better. And honestly, I’m funnier. I’m just laughing more than I was.
For example, I was merging onto the highway and wouldn’t let this aggressive driver behind me pass, so when he finally did he was all pissed at me and I started blowing him kisses instead of giving the finger and then he seemed utterly confused. That was hilarious to me. And it’s just little things like that. Little things that can so easily get under your skin and trigger you, lately it’s been easy to mock and make silly. As an Epicurean, with a “nothing really matters” attitude, you tend to oscillate from the existential dread that nothing matters, to laughing at how ridiculous everything is and those people who take everything so seriously are. We are here a moment and that’s it. Tragedy will find us. It always does. The endings are almost never happy. We’re all walking into our own graves at some point, but I, for one, enjoyed that the fall foliage, what with the global warming that’s killing our planet, fell and faded at the slowest rate I’ve ever seen. That the leaves slowly turned all sorts of brilliant colors and hung on for many nature walks.
To say I’m not still scared, or anxious, about the near and distant future would be a hard lie. And it’s not always possible to wake up and say, “today, I am not going to be scared.” But on those days you do have that ability… well, that feels kind of special. It kind of feels like a gift in itself. Today, like everyday, there is much to do. There’s so many more stories I want to write and the days slip by and by. Lately, when people ask how I’m doing, I can say, “you know what, I’m okay,” and mean it.
And that in the mornings, when I rise, instead of cursing the day, the country, the world, myself– I curse Ginger. That bitch.* I curse Ginger and I laugh about it. Because it’s fun.
*Ginger, if you ever read this, whoever you are, wherever you are, I don’t actually think you’re a bitch and very much look forward to our matches. I was just using you as a tool in my diegesis (a word I learned from Words with Friends). In actuality, I appreciate you.