Cut the BullCrap!
“I lost my cell phone the other day. My husband gave it to me on Monday and I lost it on Friday.”
PP laughs, though in retrospect it really wasn’t funny. Maybe it had something to do with Cell Phone Loser’s delivery. Sour Latina YMCA Clean-up Woman wasn't laughing, only grunting silently. She just wanted to float in the hot tub. Not hear stories about losing cell phones.
PP, however, was all about the story. But you all know that.
And it gets better.
And more intense.
“Where did you lose it?” PP asks, thinking it’s just a banal story, but she’s game anyway. The pool is Chaos according to Sweet Kindness Lifeguard who was up at the front counter ostensibly to learn the tricks of the counter check-in trade but PP thinks she just wanted to escape the Pandemonium of the Pool. Consequently, PP was gonna hang out in the Hot Tub till the pool calmed down.
Or CPL’s story was finished.
“At Lucky’s,” she laughs ruefully. “I had it in my coat pocket and I was there with my 97 year old father and he wanted more water so I laid my coat over the carton of water that we already had bought and my cell phone was in the pocket and I told him to not move and to watch my coat. But he did. Move....what’ya gonna do? He’s 97 years old.”
Nodding, PP glances over at Sour Latina Woman who was gettin out of the tub. She’d had enough of the story. Or she had to get back to work. Or she was just done with the tub soak. In any case, she was outta there. Like it matters to CPL woman. She still had PP as an audience.
“Yeah...” PP nods, encouraging. “Maybe your phone just fell outta the pocket?”
”Nah. I don’t think so. I think someone took it. Cuz the pockets have that ZZZRRCCHHH” she makes a Velcro noise pulling open and closed with her flighty hands. “They’d have to open up the pocket to get the phone out. My husband couldn’t believe it that I lost it already. He got it for me cause I’m on the waiting list for a new liver. I told you that.”
PP nods. No. She hadn’t told her. All they’d talked about before was how CPLW had a bunch of pirated DVD’s and was gonna loan The Curious Story of Benjamin Button ("That one is so cute!" she'd exclaimed) movie to her. PP hadn’t really wanted to get into the ethics and borrowing of stolen movies so she was glad that CPLW had seemingly forgotten about this.
Now she knew why. Probably needing a new liver made one forget things.
“Well,” PP tries for an encouraging smile. How does one respond to a stranger telling you you’re on the waiting list for a new liver? “I’m sure he’ll get you another one. Cell phone that it...”
She nods, sighs, then grins. “Yeah, he will. I need it to get my liver. But you know, I don’t trip on it. I know I’m gonna die. But it’s okay. I can kinda get things in....” Her voice trails off for a moment, and then she brightens, “...I can stop all the BullCrap that I was pulling before this and really get my life to where the Lord wants it. You know what I mean?”
PP didn’t really, but she nodded anyway. Riveted, she just floated and smiled.
“.....I’m off the Marijuana. I’m on the Hepatitis Drugs. I go to this meeting over on 32nd and there are about 28 people in the group and about 15 of them are taking this hepatitis drug and it’s really working for some. For me...” She shrugs. “Hey, it’s okay. I don’t trip on it. We’re all gonna die. I just thank the Lord that I got the time I do.”
The God Squad. That’s what PP’s sis calls it. Their Gram is a member of it and it must be comforting as hell (no anti-pun intended). PP, on the other hand, wishes she believed in It sometimes. It would, perhaps, take some of the pressure off?
Yet, listening to CPLW’s story, PP had to admire her no nonsense bravado. It was inspiring and made PP question what her problems were in comparison to such hardships. She gets all worked up over the pool being crowded or cold. Or the cat peeing all over her apartment. Or the neighbor clomping overhead. Or a myriad of really inconsequential things.
It isn’t like she needs a Liver Transplant for Chrissakes.
And, later, in the Mayhem of the Pool, this is what she feels like telling the Frustrated Angry Can’t We Get Some Lane Management Over Here Woman who yells at Sweetness Kind Lifeguard when 2 super spaced out slow as tortoises Asian guys invade her lane.
“I Pay too! And I get kicked out of my lane cuz you people can’t be bothered to Manage the Lane!” she hollers at Pool Sweetness Lifeguard who’s trying to get off the phone, probably with her boss, before she can help. But Yelling Woman is outta there.
And PP feels like saying, “Hey, cut the BullCrap! Sure it’s frustrating. Sure the lifeguards are lame at managing the lanes. But hell, it’s not like you just lost your cell phone so you can’t get The Call about your New Liver!"
Yet PP knows this is easier said than done. To compare your life’s ills to another and assess how yours pales in the comparison, on the surface, seems like it’d help. But in reality, it doesn’t. Why is this? Is it just PP’s HSK (Highly Sensitive Kitty) on overload all the time that doesn’t allow for this kind of Empathetic Analysis? She’s just so hyped up about her own issues that she doesn’t have any spare issue room to initiate complicated (or simple) life comparisons? Or is it just a holdover from her childhood? “Remember the Starving Children in China and clean your plate!”
PP never got this. What did cleaning her plate have to do with China’s Starving Children? It wasn’t like they were gonna be less hungry if PP ate all her peas!
So, today, when she hears CPLW’s Liver Woes, she does in theory, ooze sympathy and compassion, but in reality?
She’s just goddamn thankful that all she has to worry about is Lack of Lane Management at the Pool.
And maybe this is what Cut the BullCrap is all about!