Ain't been doing much of anything lately other than playing the fuckin' dinosaur game
and taking enough screenshots of it to write a pretty convincing "dinosaur field study" picture book. Whenever I've not been sucked back into the Mesozoic Era (not only the Triassic or Jurassic or Cretaceous because some of the dinos in the game never lived side-by-side, damnit), I spend more time than is strictly fuckin' necessary psycho-analyzing myself and all the stupid things I've done and have happened to me that've led up to this point in my life. A lot of it would be pretty believable if played out on a sitcom or a 3am infomercial, because this kinda shit just doesn't happen to normal
people, or if it does I've
never heard anyone openly admit to it. So in lieu of any frikkin' comics or any other content whatsoever, because my muse has been on vacation for the past good while
and has apparently gone and bought a beach house, I want to tell y'all...a story.
"Depending on your sensibilities,
this story may be good, bad,
or a cautionary tale."
On a dark and stormy night, it was dark and stormy.
Or dark, at least. As tends to happen when you're outside at roughly 10pm in the Southern spring, after the sun has gone down but before the subway has stopped running.
At this time I've been in Art Institute for five years. Had the school not changed the curriculum a few quarters ago I would have graduated by now, but now I have to take extra classes that weren't in my original degree program, and also take out more loans to cover them. By this point the degree is getting more stressful as I get nearer the end of it; more demands from teachers, harsher critiques and the general feeling that whatever I do in this Goddamn school is never going to be good enough for these teachers, more tutorials from YouTube and Digital Tutors to fill my $2000-per-credit-hour classes. Senioritis is settin' in hardcore, along with a BIG dose of resentment at having been at this school for an entire extra year at this point with no end in sight yet. This wasn't the first quarter I'd had to go to classes at the campus in Atlanta, but it was the first time I'd had to do so at night; the class started at 7pm and went through 10pm and was two nights a week, plus two other classes at the other campus on two other days that demanded 100% of my attention at all times as well.
Add to all that; the school has just enacted a brand new attendance policy, which allows for one excused absence (and even then it has to fit very specific parameters), and one unexcused absence (being tardy counts as being absent under this policy), before the student who doesn't know what an alarm clock is is kicked out of their classes. It is in the students' best interest to not miss a single day of school (and no, the fact that you're capable of emailing the teacher to tell them you've been in a massive car accident on the way to school and now your spleen is currently in the southbound lane means that you are capable of dragging your excuses-making-ass to class
I have had a volatile temper my entire life. There were attempts made at anger management in elementary school that managed to cull the worst of it...which had resulted in a medium length fuse instead of a millimeter long one. At the Art Institute, my temper was exacerbated by the apparent jinx I cast on any computer within a five foot radius of me. Admittedly some of the issues might've actually been caused by me violently tapping the enter key or left mouse button whenever a program showed any intention of freezing, or ran too slow when I was working on projects and had a deadline. Other times the program would flat-out refuse to work as it was supposed to; following tutorials word-for-word and still getting it wrong, clicking the same button five times but when someone else clicks it it does what it's supposed to, that kinda thing. Many a time I'd wished that, instead of the plasma screen TV's in the hallways that perpetually ran adverts for the school, and the Mac computers mounted ten feet off the floor in the student lounge that no one ever used for risk of a neck injury, the school had instead invested in something actually
useful...like a bug-out room where we could beat the everlovin' shit out of a computer with a bat. Maybe my stress levels would've been lower then.
This particular day at the Atlanta campus had been a shitty one. I'd been left in the dust in the program we were working in a week ago, and now tried all the tutorials online and Google'd solutions because neither the teacher nor the students were the helpful sort. I don't remember exactly what happened, but through some occurrence with not understanding the program, getting no help from the people who did
understand it, and not being able to satisfactorily finish an in-class project, by the time I boarded the shuttle bus to the train station I was in an exceptionally foul mood. This particular driver also liked to sit around on their phone for an extra five minutes before leaving for the train station, which meant that I was regularly arriving at the train station very
nearly too late to catch the train.
The train and the shuttle ran more or less like clockwork; the bus finally leaving the school at 10:10pm, getting to the train station at 10:14pm, and the train arriving sometime between 10:14pm and 10:15pm. My bi-weekly exercise regimen that quarter was full-on sprinting from the bus, through the turnstiles, down the stairs, onto the platform, just in time for the train to open the doors. This was routine.
What wasn't routine that
day was my foul mood.
As usual, the shuttle pulled into the train station at approximately 10:14:30pm. As usual, I hit the ground running, because this was a late night train and the next one wasn't going to arrive for another thirty minutes. I could hear the train pulling into the station as I neared the gate. Got through the gate, almost rolled down the stairs; by the time I started down the stairs the train doors were already open. And just as I hit the middle of the staircase, the doors started beeping like they do when they're about to close. I got one running step on the platform toward the train when the doors closed, and the train pulled away.
By that point I was seeing red. The platform was abandoned, no one else was in that part of the station except for me, and if I didn't scream or throw something or do something
I was going to have a conniption right there on the platform. The nearest object to me was the train schedule, and right next to that was a silver trash can. I figured it was hollow aluminum or something.
So I kicked it.
I'd hoped to leave at least a dent, but there was no mark of any violence to the trash can when I walked away. For the next thirty minutes I sat and seethed on a bench against the wall, cursing the shuttle driver and the train while waiting impatiently
for the next train to come by, texting parents to tell them I'd be later than usual. At 10:45pm the train pulled into the station, so I jumped up to get on...and promptly collapsed on the platform when my foot exploded
in pain. It couldn't bear my weight, and hopping onto the train on one leg hurt just as much as walking, so the whole ride home I was now beating myself up for getting so angry and royally fucking up my foot, all while it's taking a fair amount of effort to not start crying from how much my foot hurts. The destination station had stairs up to the car pickup from the train platform; I had to literally crawl up the stairs because my foot was fully unusable at this point, then brace myself against the wall to get out to the parking lot where my parents were waiting.
As it turns out, the trash can was solid concrete coated with steel plating. It was an immovable object in every sense. When my foot hadn't improved the next day, mom took me to the ER. Somehow
, through sheer force of will, I was able to walk unassisted
into the ER, but with such a heavy limp that the doctors took me back (in a wheelchair) right as I got through the door. There were x-rays taken, a needless pregnancy test undergone before the x-rays, questions answered...and the hospital determined that I had miraculously not broken any bones. They figured it was a mild sprain, and that I should be put on bed rest for two weeks...which started an argument about how that was impossible because of my school and their absence policy. I left the hospital with a bandage to wrap my foot in, and for the next week I walked, to the best of my ability, to school from the train station, but did not
run to catch the train at night.
After a week of the pain only slightly lessening we went to a foot specialist, who performed more extensive tests on my foot. When I told the doctor the hospital's diagnosis, "a mild sprain", he was speechless for a good five seconds. Because it was most definitely not
a "mild" sprain; I had in fact sprained the main weight-bearing tendon in my foot, the main connector between the lower leg and the top of my foot. The doctor was incredulous
that I hadn't been given a foot brace. They remedied this by prescribing me a foot brace and a pair of knee-high compression socks; the foot brace was the kind where you have to basically force your foot into it, and upon being told how to put it on I was kinda relieved they hadn't
given me one at the hospital. There was a fair chance I wouldn't have even been able to put it on.
It's been three years, and the tendon still hasn't fully healed. When I step a certain way it twinges, and sometime last week I managed to misstep and twist that ankle, so now it's hurting all over again (thankfully not nearly
as bad as when the original injury happened). I've also calmed down considerably
since I went stupid and kicked a solid concrete trash can in a blind rage; the near-constant twinging in my foot is a physical reminder that getting so mad as to hurl yourself against an immovable object is an exercise in futility. Actions carried out in anger can have consequences that last the rest of your life.
Kicking a trash can was the best anger management I've ever
been through.Wouldn't recommend it to anyone else, though.
I won this for stupid life decisions."