Today flew by. I Kramer’d my way into a job yesterday. I went to a small software company nearby and parked. I saw their ad for a programmer on an online job site, and the clever way it was written made me laugh. I waited for someone to come out to smoke and psyched myself up to approach. I reminded myself that Kramer just blended in and they accepted him as one of their own. Naturally, this made me laugh inside because it’s such an audacious thing to do, which is precisely why I wanted to do it. So I broke the silence by asking if he’d seen the leaked photos of a new Windows Surface phone.
It worked. The smoker asked if I was there for an interview, and I said I was interested in a part-time position, but didn’t have an interview scheduled yet. I’ll admit, my anxiety surged at this point, and I felt like I just finished sprinting 200 meters, and was trying to act like it hadn’t winded me. Fortunately, I do this several times a day. I have no idea what it looked like from the outside, but from my perspective, I pulled it off well enough. He invited me to accompany him inside, and schedule an interview.
It was delightful inside. Geek fodder everywhere I looked. I couldn’t help myself; I gave myself an up-close tour of the displays. Then I remembered I was a guest begging for a job and got it together. I spoke to what I assume was a receptionist, and she asked me to have a seat. The owner came out to greet me, and I recognized him instantly. We went to school together. He seemed genuinely glad to see me, which helped me calm down. We were casual acquaintances who had a few classes together in High School. We traded news about schoolmates, and he asked about what I’ve been doing since I got out of the Army. Then he hired me.
I started today. It went well. It felt like it was time to go too soon. I can’t wait to go back. On top of that, I got invited to play board games tomorrow. I would be dancing with joy, but I’m paying for my audacity now. My physiological reactions to external stimuli are out of sync due to having PTSD. Mine are almost always delayed. It’s probably the only good part about it. I can be calm and productive during extremely stressful situations, but the reaction I should have in real time comes later when I’m alone. I usually shake violently, vomit, sweat profusely, and cry until it passes. Sometimes, that’s better than freaking out when I need to keep my head.
I don’t know if the delay is strictly PTSD, or if it’s military training. I decided it doesn’t matter. I don’t go to the PTSD support group because my presence silences the Vietnam veterans. They don’t feel safe to speak of horrors in front of a woman.
The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or one. – Spock.
Out of respect, I don’t go. Support groups are only helpful to me for a few visits. After that, I start getting pissed off by the ones who come every week and talk about the same exact issues, but don’t want to discuss a resolution, or actually do anything to change them. I struggle to tolerate adults who insist wishing will change their lives. I insist on reality.
I watched a few more episodes of Louie on Netflix earlier. I’m almost caught up on season 5. I can’t get over how good this show is. Louis CK is a genius. I know the word is overused, but in his case, it’s genuinely true. If you love reading novels especially because you like recognizing foreshadowing, imagery, and symbolism, you need to watch Louie. It’s a sitcom on FX, and it’s in its 5th season. I don’t pay attention to awards shows, but I’ll be deeply offended if this show hasn’t won several awards.
It’s more than funny. It’s a sitcom that forces me to think, laugh at myself, and look at the actors. Usually, I rarely look at the screen when I “watch” TV. I watch reruns of Seinfeld and Friends almost daily. I also watch Bob’s Burgers, Archer, 2 Broke Girls, Louie, and Better Things. I watch People of Earth, Conan, The Big Bang Theory, and Fixer Upper. Every so often, I’ll catch an episode of All in the Family on a local OTA channel. That’s probably the best sitcom of all time. Louie is better written, more honest, and something that surprised me; It’s healing.
Louis CK is a decent man. He tells us he’s an asshole all the time, but then shows us over and over that he’s a thoughtful, intelligent human being. He’s not perfect, and he proves that too. He shows us lots of things he’s noticed while raising his kids in NYC. Seinfeld shared all the funny superficial stuff. Louis CK is showing us things about ourselves. Things that matter and impact all of us. It’s brilliant on a level I didn’t realize could be achieved outside of a novel. He made me look at him. Really look at him. I’m so glad I did. It made me love him and appreciate his gifts. It’s been a gently healing experience, processing each episode and thinking about what I observed.
As a rape survivor, every man I encounter begins as a potential destroyer, while internally, I reason with my pain until the fear loosens it’s grip, and he’s reclassified as an unlikely threat. This is done subconsciously, but I suspect it shows in my eyes. I’ve sensed that I’ve offended more than one man by looking at him with naked fear in my eyes. I don’t blame them for feeling offended and am working on controlling and overcoming it. I imagine it feels like an accusatory look. I’m working on it, because it’s not fair for me to treat every man like a potential rapist. That’s what’s going on in my head when I encounter a man. Despite that, I love Louis CK, and I trust him not to hurt me for being a woman. See? Surprising. When I watch Louie, I look at the screen and am present for the duration. It’s hilarious and awesome to me that a man I’ve never met got my attention by making me laugh, then used it to make me think.