@loripalminteriTweets by @loripalminteri
“FUCK ME. FUCKIN’ HELL. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS AND BACKWARDS. FUCK. WHY DOES THIS HURT SO BAD.”
The faint sizzling sound of bubbles cleaning open blisters on the palms of my hands come with a sting that makes me question how well I actually do handle physical pain. They’re from doing monkey bars at the outdoor fitness area near Astoria park. An exercise that I quite enjoy as it feels more like play. Only on this day, it was excessively hot, so my hands were sweaty as hell and in their slipping grip tore holes in my hands.
Bandaging my hands so to protect from infection, it looks like my wounds may be some sort of stigmata. And I keep forgetting they’re there until I pick anything up, the oozing blisters sensitive to any contact whatsoever. Driving to my gig later that evening, I looked absolutely ridiculous steering the wheel with just my finger tips, then pleading with the emcee at the venue to not shake my hand.
For the weekend my brother accompanied as a road buddy since my Virginia gigs were near family we don’t get to see often enough. With our cousins we laugh at our memories and fill each other in on recent happenings.
My very pregnant cousin said she was on the Metro and some kid turned to her mom and said, “that lady has a big belly.” “Well, there’s a baby in there,” the mother replied. And then my cousin goes, “it was delicious.”
So you see, while I may be the only comedian in our family, there’s no lack of wry humor in our genes. My cousin’s little children have already mastered sarcastic replies to their parents. In comparing ours to others, we mock ourselves, in all our white trash glory.
In talks of family, money, future, my brother, unknowingly, gave me an extremely kind compliment.
“You don’t have the greed,” he said, “I have the greed. I’ve always had it.” Speaking about it like a disease with no cure, I suppose I never really thought about it. My brother, however, is a generous person. At least to me and anyone he finds loyal. He often hooks people up, and like anyone in my family, we’re trained to provide for ourselves and not lean on others. Though he also attested that while almost all people have ‘the greed,’ men especially have it worse than women. That you’d be hard pressed to find a man without it.
I’d like to not believe that, but reality has taught me otherwise, providing evidence everywhere one looks.
Pouring hydrogen peroxide on torn open hands, I don’t bother muffling my cursing shouts in my apartment. I’m quiet enough most of the time, it’s to be expected that every so often I’ll be shouting, “FUCK ME,” every so often (though I’d rather be yelling ‘fuck me’ in the throes of pleasure than pain). Why does healing hurt so much? What kind of design flaw is this? Why does it hurt to heal? Physical pain is endured but was I not greedy in my self medication of emotional pain? In chasing even temporary relief from the whirling black hole? Does lacking monetary lust exempt me from such a shallow trait? Or does it come in different forms?
Holding my hands over my head, bent over my sink and clutching my teeth, I know the sting will dissipate quickly. Lady MacBeth with metaphorical and literal blood on hands. There was a time in my life I could never fathom why anyone would hurt themselves purposefully until one day it made sense to me how depression drives people to feel something that’s real. Anything at all. Once you’ve had this revelation it’s certain to stay with you.
Why does healing hurt.
One of my closest allies in comedy mocked me coming off my headlining weekend, since I nearly lost my voice by the end of my set.
“That’s how little you talk,” he said, “that if you have to talk with conviction for 45 minutes your vocal chords can’t handle it.”
I’ve gargled hydrogen peroxide to help sore throats. Poured it in my ear canal when I’ve had ear infections (I did this just a couple weeks ago). I’d drink it straight out of the bottle if it had some sort of numbing effect. Because when it comes to softening the edges, wasn’t I greedy?
If I continued to yell “FUCKIN ASSHOLES SHIT ON MY DICK,” would I lose my voice? Would it hurt to talk? Wouldn’t I remain silent anyway. Wouldn’t I stare off into the distance, the multiple narrators in my head taking over. Wouldn’t I pour hydrogen peroxide on them if it meant I could just get some good sleep? Knowing that I’d writhe in pain first?
I suppose I would.
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