Rage and Fear

Over the last 24 hours, I’ve had the emotional fortitude of a doorknob.

Yesterday, it was dealing with Jacqui’s 18th birthday and the requisite celebrations (or, as she liked saying the entire day – “it’s Jacqui day”). We spent the day casually, doing family type things. We excused Hayley from school (it’s only Year 12 :P), and took the Jacquii (Jacqui and her girlfriend Jacquie) to Aqwa (the WA acquarium – which rates a passing mention in my novelette Kraken). From there, we took in some KFC on the run, before we caught Shrek 2. While I was a little disappointed with the movie (was funny at times, but it tried too hard I thought), the day was on the whole quite pleasant.

That evening, we had Jacqui’s choice of dinner – chocolate fondue. The fondue was so rich, we didn’t dare touch the chocolate birthday cake. In fact, as of this writing, we still have yet to touch it. Shortly after the meal, Jacqui’s uncle – Ange’s ex-brother-in-law (from her first marriage) dropped around.

Now, our living arrangements are generally straight forward, but there are complications which I am growing to detest when it comes to the ex and all those semi-broken family bonds with the ex’s family. I won’t go into it, but suffice to say, I spent the rest of the night raging over the violation of ‘my territory’. While generally emotionally self-aware, there are times when I turn a blind eye to introspection and turn to the baser emotions – sulking and annoyance. These I revelled in with gusto.

The morning cleared up my angst, but with today came two complications – formalising my TAFE enrolment in the Web Site course (gonna make Shadowed Realms look even BETTER soon), and going to the dentist for the first time in years.

The TAFE thing wasn’t hard, but the staff are set in a pattern of incompetence and indifference that I find frustrating (my years as a government customer service Team Leader, with extensive knowledge of queue management, fastest processing time etc. tends to highlight the inefficiencies in an organisations service structure). After play cat and mouse with the lecturer – I was ultimately told they don’t have a timetable, and that I am to simply rock up at 8.30 on the appointed day and everything would magically resolve itself. Yay! And I thought they wouldn’t be organised…

The dentist provided the scariest moments. It took a lot of coaxing to unfurl me from a foetal position this morning, when I remembered all the drills, air/water sprays, and that nasty little hook they jam into those ultra-sensitive nooks in your teeth and gums. So, after being bullied into empowering thoughts by Ange, I faced the dentist with a suprising level of determination and calm. As it was only a clean and examination, I withheld the panic attack, but I still suffered suction, high-pressure water hoses, and that nasty hook thing. It also turns out I have a few teeth that require removal – or root canal surgery. Part of my reason for not going was that exact knowledge. They just confirmed the facts. I also have a number of fillings needed, but overall, the damage was much less than I feared. It has been years since I went to the dentist – I already had issues over the torture the experimental student dentists did to me when I was a teenager. That fear was only overcome by a local dentist, but he moved on a few years ago, leaving my treatment unfinished. Oh well, I’ll put on the brave face when the drill comes out at my next appointment. I’ll also need a brave face for the bill… a root canal on ONE tooth costs $750. A crown $1000. eek.

In between, I’ve managed to send a few submissions off. Victims of Circumstance came back to me from the Sex Crimes II anthology – they already have introspective murderers apparently. So now its off to Nerve webzine. I also sent my Cruel Summer series – Sand, Sun, Sky, Surf, Shadow – to the Summer Infernal anthology and the Flash Shot Cruel Cruel Summer contest. Here’s hoping.