Wallowing Through The Wetlands – Chapter Six

Yay, welcome to Chapter Six! This one actually made me uncomfortable at one point, so you know it’s going to be good. Tread carefully, dear readers.

A nurse walks in. Unfortunately, it’s not Robin. Oh well. I can ask her, too.

I love the weird little relationship she’s got going with her male nurse.

“What happens if I need to have a bowel movement?”

That’s what they call it. I can break out that phrase, too, if I feel like it. Depending on who I’m talking to.

I’m glad that Helen has the capacity to have a somewhat professional side. At least she could be a functioning member of society if she wanted to.

She explains that as far as the doctors are concerned, it’s desirable that you take a crap as soon as possible. So no log jam develops. She says it’s better for the wound to heal with regular bowel movements so that everything grows back together properly and is able to stretch normally. They must be out of their minds.

Log jam! Hilarious!

Like this, but in your ass.

When the nurse leaves,  Helen thinks about things that could cause constipation, and then Dr. Notz shows up. She admires his long eyelashes, completely ignoring all of the important things he’s telling her about her recovery.

Eyelashes like that I call eye-mustaches. I can’t stand it when men have beautiful lashes. Eyelashes are a constant theme in my life.

Eyelashes, anal, shaving, smegma… you have a lot of constant themes in your life, Helen. She thinks about her obsession with eyelashes for awhile, and then says that she didn’t have lashes for many years during her childhood.

One day a woman asked my mom if it didn’t bother her that her six-year-old daughter had fuller lashes than she herself did, even though she used mascara and a lash curler. Mom always told me there was an old Gypsy saying: if you get too many compliments about one particular thing, that thing will eventually disappear. That was always her explanation, too, whenever I asked why I no longer had any lashes.

I have a weird feeling in my gut about this.

I have a lingering mental image, though: in the middle of the night I wake up and mom is sitting on the side of my bed where she usually sits to read me stories. She’s holding my head still, and I feel cold metal along the edge of my eyelids. Snip. On both eyes. And mom’s voice says, “It’s only a dream, my child.”

Seriously? You have got to be kidding me. Mrs. Memel has some serious damage. She is jealous of her small daughter’s eyelashes, and so she cuts them off in the middle of the night? No wonder your kid is so fucked up!

As a child, I had super long eyelashes too, to the point where people thought I was a boy when I was a baby. My mom was so excited, because her eyelashes are blonde, and she was proud to have a daughter with such pretty eyes. That’s what mothers are supposed to feel like. Not jealousy. Jesus Christ, lady.

With my fingertips I’d always touch the stubs of the lashes. If mom’s Gypsy story were true, the lashes would have fallen out completely. But I can’t really pin it on mom, either, because I often blur the distinctions between reality, lies, and dreams.

What a stupid saying to tell your kid, too. You should teach them to be proud of compliments, to take them nicely, and return them. Not to be ashamed of them, and then be afraid you’re going to lose the thing you’re getting complimented on. Everyone should be comfortable in their own skin and appreciate what they have, and if others want to compliment them on it, that’s their prerogative. It’s not Helen’s fault she had nice eyelashes, and that people noticed them. Mrs. Memel is making my eyes bleed right now.

These days in particular I can’t keep things straight because of all the years I took drugs.

I love this segue. She went from blurry memories of her mom jealously snipping her eyelashes to the years that she did drugs. Connection, maybe? Bad parenting = fucked up kid.

The wildest party I ever had happened when my friend Corinna realized Michael, my drug-dealer boyfriend at the time, had forgotten his stash of drugs at her house. There was no occasion for a party. It’s just what you say you’re doing when you take drugs. Partying.

Thanks for the clarification, Helen. I would hope that there was no special occasion that would make you take drugs.

She describes this fake pop can that Michael kept his drugs in, and that it was jam packed so that it had the weight of a real can. So we can imagine how many drugs were in there.

Corinna said: “Check it out, Helen – Michael’s can. He wouldn’t mind, would he?”

She grinned at me, wrinkling her nose in the process. That always means she’s genuinely excited.

I wonder what Corinna’s parents are like.

We blew off school, bought some red wine at a kiosk, and left a message for Michael on his answering machine: “If you’re looking for cola, we found a whole case in Corinna’s room. You won’t get pissed if we start drinking without you, will you?”

I think probably yes.

We were big on using badly coded language over the phone. When you’re taking drugs you get paranoid and confuse yourself with Scarface.

Say hello to my little lesioned ass.

Then began our race against time. The idea was to take as many drugs as possible before the first one took effect and before Michael showed up. Anything we didn’t slurp down we’d have to give back.

This is a really bad idea. These girls have some serious damage, and after this binge they’re going to have even more.

At nine in the morning we started taking two pills at a time, washing them down with wine. It didn’t seem right to snort speed and coke so early in the morning, so we made minigrenades out of toilet paper.

Oh, yeah, it’s totally out of taste to snort drugs this early, but it’s okay to swallow them. What the fuck? This scene is every parent’s nightmare, I think. Helen laments that the packets were actually less than they were supposed to be, because Michael shorted people to make more money.

But people can’t exactly register a complaint with the police. That’s just the way it is on the black market. No consumer protection.

I seriously love the flow in the narrative of this book.

Anyway, these paper grenades are very tough to get down. It takes practice. If it doesn’t get washed down your throat right away, the minigrenade opens up and the bitter powder sticks to your mouth and gums. You definitely don’t want that.

Great play by play, so informative, Helen.

I guess everything started to kick in. I can only remember the highlights. Corinna and I laughed the whole time and made up stories set in a fantasy land.

You know, that would have actually been productive behaviour, had they not been high.

At some point Michael came by to pick up his can and cursed us out. We giggled. He said if all the stuff we’d ingested didn’t kill us, we would have to pay him back. We just laughed.

And I bet Helen got dumped. She’s not a very good girlfriend.

Later we puked.

You don’t say?

First Corinna, then me from the sound and smell of hers. In a big, white bucket. The puke looked like blood because of the red wine. But it took us a long time to figure out why it looked like that. And then we realized there were undigested pills floating around. This seemed like a terrible waste to us.

I really, really don’t like where this is going. Mom, in the highly unlikely event that you’re reading this, skip the next few paragraphs.

I said: “Half and half?”

Corinna said: “Okay, you first.”

NO.

And so for the first time in my life I drank someone else’s puke. Mixed with my own. In big gulps. Taking turns. Until the bucket was empty.

It’s interesting how she said “for the first time”. That almost implies that there are more times. That I really don’t want to hear about.

Imagine. Just imagine.

A lot of brain cells die on days like that.

Well, at least she knows that.

And this, along with other similar parties, definitely took a toll on my memory. There’s another memory that I’ve never been sure is even a memory. I come home one day from elementary school and call out hello. Nobody answers. So I think nobody’s home.

Okay, here we go guys, this is the icing on the cake with Mrs. Memel.

Then I go into the kitchen and lying there on the floor are my mom and my brother. Hand in hand. They’re asleep. My brother’s head is resting on his Winnie the Pooh pillow and mom’s is on a folded-up, light-green dish towel.

The oven door is open. It smells like gas. What to do? I saw a movie once where somebody stuck a match and the whole house blew up. So, nice and slow, I carefully creep over to the oven – there are people sleeping here – and turn off the gas. Then I open the windows and call the fire department. I can’t think of the number for the hospital in order to get an ambulance. Oh, both are on the way… yes, they’re still sleeping… I can ride with them. Two ambulances. A whole crew. Flashing blue lights. Sirens. They have their stomachs pumped at the hospital and dad comes directly from work.

Okay, so Mrs. Memel tried to kill herself and her young son. I’m assuming he was not even in elementary school yet, because Helen was coming home by herself. And then they are discovered and saved by Helen. If that doesn’t fuck a kid up, I don’t know what will.

Also we have another good segue, whether intentional or not. We went from Mrs. Memel jealously removing her daughter’s eyelashes at night, to Helen doing an extremely dangerous amount of drugs as a teenager (which she says happened many times), and then back to Mrs. Memel trying to kill herself and her son when Helen was little. Cause, effect, and back to the cause. Mrs. Memel is a fucked up lady, and she’s taken it out on her kids in pretty severe ways.

Nobody in the family has ever spoken about it. At least not with me. That’s why I’m not sure whether maybe I dreamed it or made it up and have just convinced myself it’s true over the years. It’s possible.

I think deep down Helen knows that it’s true, but her subconscious is trying to suppress it. Also, I don’t know if her parents were divorced at that time, but if they were, how the fuck did Mr. Memel not get custody? Mrs. Memel tried to kill her son! Obviously she’s an unstable parent. Yet Helen and her brother live with the mother. Is the father more fucked up, so the mother got custody by default? I don’t know, but I wouldn’t want my children living with a woman that was suicidal and wanted to take them down with her.

Mom trained me to be a good liar. To such a degree that I believe most of my own lies. Sometimes it can be fun. Other times it can be maddening, as in this case. I guess I could just ask mom.

“Mom, did you used to cut off my eyelashes out of jealousy? And another thing: Did  you try to kill yourself along with my brother? And: Why didn’t you want to take me with you?”

That’s the kicker, there, too. Did Mrs. Memel think that Helen would be too old to convince to go to sleep on the kitchen floor with her? Did she not want to bring her because she was jealous of her and loved the little boy more? Or did she want Helen to find her and save them? Questions. Fucked up questions.

I never find the right moment.

I can’t imagine there will ever be a right moment for that conversation.

At some stage my eyelashes grew back and I always curled them and used mascara to make the best out of them – and to piss off my mother in case that memory is a genuine memory.

Genuine rebellion. I’m actually cheering Helen on here, though, the petty part of me thinks that Mrs. Memel deserves this.

Helen goes on to describe how she wants her lashes to be huge, and globs on the mascara so much so that they look fake. She talks about how she never washes off the mascara, and showers in stages so that she never lets her face get into contact with water.

I haven’t put my head underwater for years – not in the bathtub or in the school swimming pool. I have to climb into the pool by the stairs like a granny, and I can only swim the breaststroke because your face, or parts of it, go under water with any other stroke. If someone tries to dunk me, I turn into a fury and scream and beg and explain that it would ruin my lashes. That’s worked so far.

See what happens when you try to keep your kids from doing or getting something? They do it or get it in excess. This is just obsessive behaviour.

This is what Helen wants her eyelashes to look like.

For years I haven’t seen water from below the surface. Obviously that means that I never wash my face either. I think it’s overrated anyway.

You would.

When you take your makeup off with makeup remover and cotton balls you’re kind of washing your face. Just keep your distance from your eyelashes. That’s the way I’ve been doing it for years. Only one or two lashes have gotten stuck in the curler. And they grew back. So I’ve proved that your lashes don’t all fall out if you don’t remove your mascara overnight.

Well, now that we’ve got that sorted out.

You’ll have to excuse me, I need to go have a cigarette to mentally prepare myself for this next bit.

Okay, I’m back. Deep breaths.

My ex-boyfriend Matt watched me curl my lashes once and asked me whether a row of eyelashes was the same length as the inner pussy lips.

Guys, please, I don’t want to have to read this part again. Really, you’re going to make me do it? You suck.

“Yeah. Approximately.”

“And you have two of these curlers?”

“Yep.”

A gold one and a silver one.

To my dude readers, just in case you don’t know what eyelash curlers look like:

Just in case we needed to clarify. These things seriously look like torture instruments.

He laid me down on the bed. Spread my legs. Pushes aside the ladyfingers and gently clamped my dewlaps with the eyelash curlers. That way he could hold the inner labia away from the hole and look deep inside. A bit like when they force Malcolm McDowell’s eyes open in A Clockwork Orange. He asked me to hold the curlers and pull them as far apart as felt good. Matt wanted to fuck me immediately and cum on my stretched lips. But first he wanted to take a picture so I could see how pretty my pussy looked all stretched apart. We clapped our hands with joy. Well, he did. My hands were busy.

WHY?! Seriously?! Where does she FIND these people?! And what dude would want to stretch out a chicks pussy with eyelash curlers?! SERIOUSLY?!

When you stretch these crinkly flaps of skin all the way out, the total surface is as big as a postcard.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

At some point Matt drifted out of my life, but his good idea stayed with me.

BAD IDEA.

I like the feeling I get from stretching my lips with the lash curlers until they look from my perspective like bat wings.

I guess this term has officially been stolen from dudes, then. I’ve heard that sometimes they stretch out their nutsack and call it the batwing. At least in North America, maybe not in Germany. According to this, chicks do it better. Or at least one chick, because who the hell thinks of this?!

Actually, I wonder if that’s why they’re so big and peek out from the ladyfingers? No way. I’m sure they were always so big and long and frayed grayish pink along the edges.

Helen, your pussy is so fucked (literally and figuratively) at this point, I’m amazed you even still wonder about why it is the way it is.

All of this goes through my head as I’m ignoring Dr. Notz. Now he wants to leave.

But here comes Helen with the photos of her ass.

I feel really bad for this poor doctor. Worst patient ever.

He needs to tell me which side is up. I can’t make out an asshole anywhere. No matter which way I turn the camera.

I look at him. He looks at the photos and quickly away again. He’s disgusted by the results of his own surgical work. No wonder he didn’t want to tell me beforehand what he had in mind.

Well, what else was he supposed to do? Some idiot gave herself an anal lesion for being careless with a razor, and now he has to deal with it. He deserves a medal for fixing your disgusting ass, Helen.

“At least tell me which way I need to hold it to see what it looks like down there.”

“I can’t tell. In my opinion the photo was taken too close up. I can’t tell which way it goes, either.”

He sounds angry. Is he crazy? He’s the one who did this to me. I didn’t mess around with his ass.

But you messed around with yours, and he had to clean up your mess. Technically, you did this to yourself.

He keeps glancing at the photo and then looking immediately away again. Hopefully he’s able to keep his eyes on wounds for a bit longer when he’s in the operating room. What a sissy. Or does he enter another world in the operating room? Looks at everything closely in there and just can’t stand to be confronted with it afterward?

I was always under the impression that surgeons were always really excited about their work afterward. If you spend that much time working on something, wouldn’t it be awesome to see how well you did afterward? I guess it goes the other way too, if you did a shitty job then it’s sitting there reminding you how badly you did.

I guess I’m kind of leaning towards agreeing with Helen, after all.

He didn’t greet my asshole very nicely.

LOL.

He doesn’t want to see it again.

I likely wouldn’t, either.

I see panic in his eyes: Help! My little operating room asshole can speak, ask questions. It’s even taken photos of itself.

LOL again! See, this book covers all ranges of emotions, especially in this chapter. I was just incredibly grossed out and uncomfortable, and now I’m laughing because Helen’s narrative is fucking hilarious. Sigh. This book is going to be the death of me.

Just for fun, I googled ‘ass taking a picture of itself’ and this came up. Had to share.

There’s no point. He just doesn’t know how to communicate with the people attached to asses he operates on.

I’ve worked with animals a lot in my life. I would say that about 90% of veterinarians that I’ve met are absolutely terrible with people. They’re socially awkward, generally bitchy, and just don’t know how to interact with other human beings. I attributed this to the fact that they are closer with animals, and so deep into their craft, that they don’t know how to interact with humans at all.

I have to wonder if it’s the same with surgeons. They are good with the inner workings of sleeping bodies, and not with run of the mill human beings that are awake and talking and don’t need medical assistance. I don’t know many surgeons, but I think this is the case with Dr. Notz. Or, he can see that Helen is a strange and fucked up individual, and just really wants nothing to do with her.

“Thank’s a lot, Mr. Notz.” That’s supposed to signal that he should leave. I dropped his professional title. That does the trick. He walks out.

BURN!

And that’s the end of the chapter. Your dewlaps can relax, ladies. For the dudes that didn’t really relate to the discomfort, imagine eyelash curlers stretching apart your pisshole.

You’re welcome.

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