Image hosted by

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Get It On

Family and prudish friends, skip the first half of this blog.

Eighteen years into this relationship with Mr. Lane, I opened Pandora's Box. I was just trying to get a cup of coffee, when Darla, my wiener dog, licked my bare foot. I told her, "Stop licking my feet unless you're going to buy me dinner first."

Mr. Lane's sleepy eyes perked wide open. He asked, "Have you ever had a foot fetish?"

"Are you kidding me? Of course not."


"Because I'm kind of grossed out by feet."

"You don't have any fetish? Nothing kinky in your closet you want to try out on me?"

Barely able to contain my laughter, I said, "Don't you think by now, if I had a fetish, you'd know about it?"

"Well, some people are shy about that stuff."

"Have you ever known me to be shy about anything, ever?"

"No. Not really."

"Okay, then Mr. Porno Star, what kind of kinky shit do you have hanging in your closet?"


"A little on the defensive, no?"


"Quick short answers mean you are on the defensive, Sponge Bob Guilty Pants. What are you hiding from me, you kinky fuck?"

Now laughing, Mr. Lane said, "My favorite is when you're on top. But that is hardly a fetish."

"Yeah, well, I'm afraid of heights. Next."

"Come on, Lo. Let's get our Sunday Heathen on."

The Sunday Heathen is what we call Sunday morning sex, since we'd rather be hollering, "Oh God!" from the bedroom than a church. Do you think that is a ticket to Hell? If so, someone get my hand basket ready.

Alright already! So I have a contest and no one but Pinky, the attention whore extraordinaire, participates. What gives, home fries? (Home fries are slightly saltier than my Home Fires, but equally hot.)

She can't just win by default. Can she? You are aware of the fact that she has already won fabulous prizes here in the past, correct? Oh yeah, she has. Don't let her lyin' eyes fool you. And don't for one second allow her to use that adorable little bugger Shmoo to sway your vote.

This really is your last chance to make it happen. All of your peeps need to come here and speak on your behalf. They should tell me why you should win this awesome autographed CD by Bud Buckley. The people with the most friends, those with the best, funniest and/or most creative answers will all be sent to Bud. He will choose the winner.

I have to shuffle this one along. I have a lot of other things that need to be given away! It's true. So get it on! Deadline is this Wednesday! The winner will be announced some time next week.

You can take a listen to Bud or buy it your own damn self, by clicking right here.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away

Ain't that the truth! Sorry I bombarded you all with that bullshit drama below. I was beside myself, and turning to writing did feel good. As long as that post was, I realized I did leave out a lot of details when I went back and read the whole thing. It's all water under the bridge. It has to be in order to heal completely, right? But your comments, emails and phone calls were healing. I can't thank you all enough.

A serious blog post like that is bound to have an impact on those reading. Anger, fear, sadness, confusion, helplessness, hopelessness and plain old parental beasts came out of each of you as you read those words. Thank you for caring enough about my little family to feel. Your kindness and compassion filled the hole inside of my heart. I have hope, and I want to buy each of you a groovy ass cape. You are my super heroes.

We Lanes are striving to get back into a good grove. I think it might be working. As I mentioned in the last post, the kids are seeing counselors. We've always had an open line of communication, but I want them to have another option should they have something they choose not to share with me and their dad.

They used to be these completely normal brats, without a care in the world. Who knew I'd miss that?!

Mr. Lane had a very painful wakeup call. He since has admitted he shouldn't have allowed his brother to come here in the first place. Being his brother, Mr. Lane is having a harder time letting go. They still communicate on the phone. Until the man can resurrect himself and walk a long and lonely sober mile, for himself, I'm completely done. What my old man chooses to do with his brother, is his business. I'm over it.

The major thing we disagree on now is payment. I believe Corky should pay the financial cost of replacing everything he ruined in our son's room. Mr. Lane thinks I should just let it be. If I had enough money to just buy new, then maybe I could let it be. But knowing that lousy piece of shit had enough money to pay a cab $150 to get him back to his apartment from the hospital, where he "partied" with all of his buddies, makes me certain, I'm right about this.

The day Corky called so nonchalantly asking me for a ride, he also called Mr. Lane in the same chipper tone. I just found out about that a couple of days ago. Without talking to me, he told his brother nearly verbatim what I told him. "You are a grown man and you are just going to have to figure this one out on your own. We thought you really wanted to get better, and we wanted to help you achieve that. You lied and you used us. First time, dude shame on me. Second time just ain't happening."

It was a huge step and I'm sure it was difficult for him. The second major step in his recovery came the following day when his brother called back. "Dude, can you just give me a ride? I don't have my shoes here or anything, please!"

I could see the anguish in my husband's eyes. I was certain he was going to crack, give in, place his hand out into that raging fire again. He looked at me, shook his head, closed his eyes, took a deep breath and said, "I'll drop your clothes and shoes off at the hospital entry and call you when I leave."

Thankfully, even though his brother tried to ride that sympathy train again, standing there wearing his hospital gown, looking frail, waving sadly, leaning his forehead against the inside of the hospital window, Mr. Lane set the bag down, and walked away. My heart hurt for my husband.

I've given my son the choice to either go back to his room or not. I've thrown away the bed and bedding. After scrubbing the carpet for days, I ended up cutting out the section. Yeah, it looks really ghetto. But I threw an old rug and a table over the hole and that is as good as it's going to get until I have the money to replace everything, or that piece of shit mans up.

I brought down the twin bunk that Lane 2 uses for her friends to sleepover. Even though the bedding is slightly girly, and it's a small bed for him, it's something.

Every night, almost like a test of wills, Lane 1 goes into his room. He watches TV, plays video games, does his homework, listens to music and goes to sleep. But every morning he wakes up on the couch in the living room. I've all but begged him to just stop trying to sleep in there. I even went to his counselor and told him that he was doing that. He thinks Lane 1 is trying to face his fear. He believes in time he can concur anything. I guess in time, right? I just ache for him. Why can't he just be a carefree little boy who sleeps soundly anymore? It sucks.

Getting back to normal seems like mission impossible. But like things go, out of the blue, Lane 2 said, "Mom, Patches is having a birthday and I really want to have a party for her."

What kind of crazy cat lady am I raising here?

Corky isn't someone who I felt would be a good influence on anyone's kids. So I'd been adamant about letting the kids have friends over. But now... there was no good reason for me to tell my kid no.

"Sure, have a party for her. But you have to clean, and plan the whole thing yourself."

When she approached me, I was on the phone with my friend Donna. Who no doubt thought a party was just what us Lanes needed. She said she would even celebrate the cat's birthday with her cats by giving them a special tuna treat.

She said, "My cats are very excited about the tuna party. Hopefully I have some in the cupboard. It would be a big let down if all I could do was let them smell my crotch before I gave them a Pounce treat."

I almost choked to death, I laughed so hard.

Lane 2 was pretty stoked. She made invitations and gave them out. Unfortunately, it was on the same day as a football game. Most of her classmates are either cheerleaders or football players. So, thankfully (for me) only a few kids could come.

She made a cake the night before. Then stayed up late cleaning the kitchen. She was so tired and said, "I wish I wasn't so tired. I never even made decorations."

While she was at school the next day, I busted out the balloons, construction paper, stapler, glue, tape, glitter and scissors, making chain link streamers, banners and...a Pin the Tail on the Meow! I used the different colors of construction paper to make confetti to glue onto a calico replica of Patches I drew and covered in glue. I cut out shapely tails for the game and everything. I have to admit it was pretty cool.

When she and her friends came home from school, she lit up. It was worth every second and every ounce of energy I used. I even forgot about that piece of shit brother in-law of mine for a little while.

Her friends, even those who couldn't attend, made cards. And some of them even stole their cats' toys to regift to Patches. One kid brought a half eaten jar of treats. Another friend sent a can of cat food. One of her best buddies bought Patches the Camp Rock DVD. Lane 2 screamed like a banshee! That was by far the highlight of the party... next to Pin the Tail on the Meow, of course. It was so ridiculous and so cute. Even one of Lane 2's teachers made a card for that damn cat, signed by her cats.

Lane 2 held Patches, taking her paws, clasping them together to "open her presents, and read her cards" and every time a card had the word "Meow" written, Lane 2 squeezed the cat, making her meow on cue, as if she really was reading. It was so funny, and so nice having the thunderous sound of laughter fill up our home again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm No Superman

On Aug. 14th, my brother in-law, drug addict and alcoholic, manic, bipolar, ADHD, PTSD, OCD, LMNOP (whatever) suicidal, father of three, came to live with us, to get clean and sober. I told Mr. Lane that I wasn't ready for another live-in, especially one who needed so much attention, and came with so much baggage. Unfortunately, Mr. Lane already told his brother it was okay.

In the three weeks he has been here, he refused to take any of the free help I found for him. He refused to seek social security for his three kids. He could qualify based on his mental status alone. He finally got tired of my suggestions and got a job at a gas station. It wasn't much, but it got him out of the house, and was a few dollars in his pocket.

I wanted more for his kids, but he clearly wasn't ready. I laid off the suggestions, and stopped asking if he was drinking, even though I could smell it oozing from his pours daily. I opted to talk to Mr. Lane. I asked him to talk to him about the drinking. He made an agreement with us and now he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain.

We had five rules when he came to us, No drugs, alcohol, smoking in the house, sleepovers (with his 19 yr. old girlfriend - don't even get me started on that topic, he did try sneaking her into the house twice) and finally, no suicide attempts.

Those of you who know me, have been around a while, already know how I feel about that sort of thing. Bottom line, if you have no respect for your own life, how can I?

I hate to toss baggage at you but I have to get it out of my head. Writing has been a comfort my whole life. And I guess the original blogs were made for doing that type of journaling.

*Flings self onto sofa*

I tried so hard to not fixate on my concerns. But even when I wasn't thinking about them, they were there in the back of my mind. I couldn't shake them for three weeks. I feared that Corky would try to kill himself in our house. Mostly I was terrified that one of our kids would find him. It was a legitimate fear, that I expressed to Mr. Lane. He has attempted some 15 times before. Add that to his decades of abuse involving GHB, acid, LSD and ecstasy...graduating to coke, crack and heroine, all while being an alcoholic. Am I drawing a clear picture for you yet?

It was going to be a great night. As a family, the whole Lane Gang was going out for one last sit down dinner together Friday night before harvest took over Mr. Lane's entire life for the next couple months.

We wanted to go early so Lane 2 could go to a dance at the teen center, which I was chaperoning. As we all got ready in one bathroom, my brother in-law Corky, stood in the doorway, arms crossed over his chest, sort of pouting and said he didn't want to go.

I pulled Mr. Lane aside and said, "Talk him into going. He's been acting really odd today. He needs to get out and have some fun."

Mr. Lane went outside and they talked on the porch for about a half hour. I was starting to worry if we didn't leave soon, we wouldn't be back in time for the dance to begin. Anxiously pacing, I told Lane 2 to walk to the teen center and let the director know we would be there but it may be a little late.

When she arrived, the director asked her to help her plan a birthday party for her grandson. Lane 2 called home and asked if she could just stay at the teen center instead of going out to dinner with us. A little part of me was crushed, realizing that my little girl is now a teenager and would rather plan a party than go out to our annual harvest dinner. I know it sounds ridiculous, but we do this last sit down every year and I look forward to not having to cook, clean and serve.

Our big dinner plans were turning into a table for three, me, Mr. Lane and Lane 1. I guess because I love traditions, the whole thing just didn't feel right to me.

After a few more minutes of trying to get Corky to come with us, Mr. Lane gave up and he and Lane 1 got in the car. I gave him the "be there in a minute" signal. I hobbled around gathering my things. Oh, that's right, I didn't tell you guys that I broke my foot, did I? Well, long story short, I was running for the phone, which was in Corky's shit hole of a messy room and tripped, making a weight fall off of the bench and onto the top of my foot.

Anyhow, on my last hobble toward the front door, I had an impulse to ask Corky one last time to come. Normally when there is a closed door in front of me, I knock. For whatever reason, I opted to just open the door.

I found him covered in his own blood, with three deep, spurting puncture wounds on his wrist. I saw a pool of blood all over my son's bed. He tried to cover it with a pillow but the spot was so big that the pillow wasn't big enough.

Any sense of composure went out the window, and I lost it. I yelled at him, "Suicide, Corky? In my son's fucking bed?!"

"It's not suicide, Lois, I swear! I got hurt when I fell into a tree on my way home from work. I swear to God, Lois!"

"Bull shit! Get the fuck in the bathroom!" I dragged him into the bathroom and called Mr. Lane back into the house. Lane 1 followed. He saw everything. My baby boy turned as white as a ghost, and fear took over that spark in his eyes.

As a parent you try to shield your kids from this kind of crap, and then turn around and bring it right into their home. We should have thought it out more, but we were so happy believing that he really wanted to get clean that was our main focus.

I am so sad for Lane 1. I'm so angry at my brother in-law. I don't know how to make it okay again.

When Mr. Lane heard him say it was an accident, he believed his story. Still unable to contain myself, I said, "Man the fuck up and own up to what you did. You don't value your own life, you don't respect anything or anyone, including yourself. How could you do this to your brother and his family? How could you look us in the eyes and lie? What the fuck is wrong with you?"

Mr. Lane never yells at me. But Friday, all of that changed. "Back the fuck off! And stop saying it was a suicide attempt! He had an accident! Help me clean him up and shut your mouth or get the fuck out of here!"

He was shoving me out of my bathroom. Yelling at me, when I had no doubt in my mind what really was happening. He must have taken his fear and shifted it to anger toward me because that is a hell of a lot easier than admitting your brother tried to take his own life in your home.

My anger sent me back to the bedroom. On my way, I begged Lane 1 to go outside and wait for the EMTs. I grabbed the phone, called 911 and told them his story and my thoughts. Before I hung up with the dispatcher, I had another impulse to shove the bed up against the wall.

"Get in here! What the fuck is this?!" I asked while pointing to my best kitchen knife covered in blood laying where the bed had been.

Mr. Lane looked so sad. He threw his arms up in the air as if asking God why.

From the carpet, clear down to the floor boards, and two bath towels, both of which were wringing wet, all were saturated in blood. Glancing back from the pool on the bed, to the puddle on the floor, I finally looked at my brother in-law. I mean, really looked him in the eyes. At that moment, realizing we would have found him dead upon our return. I couldn't bare to think about what that would have done emotionally to any of us. His face was so pale, his lips were trembling as he attempted to lie his way out of the reality.

Expecting an ambulance to pull up to the house, I told Mr. Lane to sit his brother on the chair outside. He had already dripped blood through the entire house. So I wrapped his arm tighter and headed out the door with him.

Lane 1 asked if he was going to be okay, he was so afraid. I was honest and said, I didn't know.

The next bomb came when they had the gall to be mad at me for calling for help. I was beyond flabbergasted. I tried to chalk Mr. Lane's anger up to a shift in blame again, but inside, I was really hurt and confused.

Instead of an ambulance, five police cars showed up. You gotta love small towns, right?! The two of them thought they could get the bleeding to stop. And in their delusional state, they agreed Corky should just go back to his apartment and everything would be fine. They were so angry that I made that phone call. They were fuming mad at me, but I was caring less and less, because, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Lane 2 walking down the street coming toward the house.

Thank God my son is so smart and caring. He had the sense to run down to her, stopping her from seeing anything. He gave her the shortest version of the story, leaving out all of the details. And then he pulled out his wallet, handed her ten bucks as a bribe to just go back to the teen center. She took the money from her brother, waved and made an I love you signal in sign language to me. It was crushing to not run up and hug her, and tell her everything was going to be okay.

The poor kid was only coming back to the house to get a CD. Had we left, she would have been the one to find him.

Can you even imagine what must have been going on inside of her little mind as she saw all of those police cars pull up to the house? I can't. But I know it must have been a terrifying moment. I'm just thankful Lane 1 had the presence of mind to get to her before she got to us.

For decades, Corky has displayed this repeat behavior. Someone always saves him. Does that mean he really doesn't want to die? Does that mean we are all stupid for coming to his aid? Does that mean that we need to step back and let him sink or swim on his own? I think so.

When Mr. Lane and Lane 1 left behind the police car, heading to the hospital, I started cleaning the room. I had to make it right. I had to fix things. I was frantic to make it all go away. I stripped the bed and my heart was racing. I thought, what if he has AIDS? What if he has hepatitis? And then I felt like striking a match and setting the whole house up in smoke. I was losing my mind and had to shake it off.

I washed up and I went up to the teen center. I told the director what was going on, and then I grabbed my daughter. I held her so tight and she held me back. I thanked God for a minute as I breathed her in. Hoping she wouldn't want to come home, I left the choice up to her. She wanted to stay there. I kissed and hugged her one more time and headed back home, stopping at the store to buy every bottle of peroxide off of their shelf.

I scrubbed, wiped, cried, and just begged for it all to be a bad dream for two hours. I felt so alone.

I had to make a few phone calls. I had to find someone who could tell me it was going to be okay. I found out that my friend Mary is true blue. She was able to not only come over armed with every kind of bleach and cleaning supply you have ever seen, but she was there to joke, take me off the edge of crazy, and just be there...just so I wasn't alone. It felt good.

Corky is alive, in the hospital now, where he should have been long ago.

I packed all of his things, put them into the garage. I bagged up and threw out all of the bedding after wasting hours of trying to get the blood out. The same bedding we bought for our son for Christmas. I used six bottles of peroxide on the carpet, and a shop-vac. It still isn't right. It needs to be ripped out.

I know eventually the materialistic things can be replaced, and I know it probably means I'm an awful person just thinking about that stuff. But Mr. Lane and I have struggled and busted our asses for 18 years to have what little we do, and right now, there is no money for replacing anything. You can't decorate memories away, I understand that, but I sure as hell wish I could.

Maybe it makes me a bad person. Maybe I'm just fed up. I don't know. But when Corky called my house yesterday, like nothing happened, sounding almost chipper, and asked me to give him a ride back to his apartment, without ever acknowledging anything he did, I said, "As far as I'm concerned, you died in my son's bed. I'm over it. I'm over you. I'm not going to be fooled or enable you any longer. You are a grown man and you are just going to have to find your own way. We thought you really wanted to get clean and sober. You used us so you could be closer to your girlfriend, and we were stupid enough to fall for your lies. But I promise you, it won't happen again."

I wanted to throw in a thick Italian accent and scream, "You're fuckin' dead ta me!" I wanted to say, when he asked me to give him a ride, "Mother fucker, if you were on fire, I wouldn't waste my piss to put you out!"

Sure, it was abrasive no matter how it was said, or thought, but those words healed a tiny part of me, and this whole thing really broke the part of Lois that I love. She died in that bed too. Now I've got to find my cape, get it back on, and save her too.