Friday, November 26, 2010

Brains should have off switches

Because without my brain being on, I wouldn't grow upset at...stuff.

During my time writing for NaNoWriMo, I scribbled out a story about a couple "suspiciously" like Becky and I that won $218,000,000 in the Powerball lottery. As one of the adventures, I had the main character, Phil, come to the rescue of his closest friend, Tara. These fictional characters actually represent myself and my dear friend Julie. The rescuing she needs is from a life gone crazy. She has three kids, none over the age of eight. Her husband has been laid off from work yet again. Her house is a disaster area just waiting for someone to notice it's bad enough to be condemned. Thus, my fictional self, with 1.8 million dollars with which to play with after putting money away for taxes, "abducts" his friend and her family, and has the house destroyed...and then rebuilt from scratch. What's more, he takes his friend to the bank and starts a checking account in his name, but lists her as an authorized card user. This allows her access to the money he puts in there, but doesn't place her in a new tax bracket. From there, he annually places $150,000 in that account for her to use as she pleases.

And they all live happily ever after...fictionally.

The reality is severely different, however, in only one way: I'm not a multimillionaire.

I received a call from Julie yesterday, and we spent an hour on the phone. She's sick, and still nursing her newest child, Lucy. Ruby, who I believe is two, is an exceptionally active child. And her eldest, Kieler, Is a very emotional, rather thoughtful genius. (He's in first grade, and all the kids in his class have HIM check their work before they hand it in.) Joe, Julie's husband, has been laid off yet again, and work prospects in their area are looking dismal. Due to the kind of work he was doing, he cannot file for unemployment. On top of that, the local welfare office can't help until Julie can prove that she no longer has power and/or is about to be evicted.

And I thought the sea of red tape I had to deal with was bad!

Julie was fairly optimistic. She fights such disasters by looking forward to the day when they'll be out of the bad parts...for a while, anyway. I, however, couldn't help but get upset. It's times like this when I wish I truly WAS sitting on piles of money so I could rescue my dearest friend some of what's going on in her life. Joe and Julie have so little money that when I suggested sealant for the windows, she said it would cost $40, so it would have to wait a few weeks. When she told me this, I felt stabbed in the heart; it's 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and their house is a drafty nightmare. I just...I want to throw on tights and a cape and fly to her, and use my powers to make everything better. The fact that dropping me into a vat of nuclear waste would probably kill me before granting me superhuman abilities, so the alternative of being wealthy is my next best bet.

As we talked, I mentioned that I had "wasted" $166 so I could go see Becky in December, and will blow the same amount to buy a ticket back to KS. I'm finally in a position to help her instead of the other way around, and I'm using my money to see a woman I'll be moving in with in about four months. (Probably; it's still being discussed.) Julie, in turn, argued that I wasn't wasting it, but USING it to see the woman I love.

But...but...I love Julie, too. In a very different way. You can't help but love someone whom you've shared so many private things with over the last 20 years. If you don't love them...TRUST them, then what on Earth were you two doing all that time?

Hmmm...Getting a little off track here.

I became so upset that those "fight or flight" instincts kicked in. I want to fight for Julie's well-being, and that of her family. The result is a whole bunch of naturally created steroids getting released into my bloodstream. In case I've failed to mention, (and I think I have several times along the way), steroids and diabetes don't mix. Those chemicals raise the sugar levels so one has the energy to fight or flee. And what happens to me? Well, I cross that good old "renal threshold" and start running to the bathroom quite frequently. Every 30 minutes, to be precise.

I eventually took more insulin and improved, but it hasn't changed the fact that I simply can't help "Julie and Company." I thought about running to GitP and creating a thread with the sole purpose of generating some financial aid for them, but then it would look a little...strange. "Just send me the money and I'll get it to Julie." And I would have to do it that way, as Julie doesn't have internet all! There's not even a library for her to visit to use public computers.

*sigh* I don't know what to do. For the time being, I'll simply wish I had an off switch for my brain so I could at least take a break from worrying.

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