I feel… odd. No other way to put it. Off center… off kilter… I feel like a ghost drifting through my own life. This is my room, with all my belongings, but they don’t feel like mine and I don’t particularly feel like me. I’m sure there’s a lovely, long, technical name for this. Whatever it is, I don’t like it.
I’ve got too much energy today to sit but not enough to do anything and not enough focus to read. I almost feel like clawing off my own skin, as if I were a cocoon and there’s a butterfly underneath. But there isn’t and I won’t. My skin itches and crawls nonetheless.
Last week I got a letter from ODSP (Ontario Disability Support Program) saying I’d been accepted. The next day I got a notice from EI (Employment Insurance) saying I’d reached the end of my 15 weeks of sickness benefits. At the time I figured that was good timing and gave my worker a call.
Just bring the paperwork in so we have it for our files.
Alrighty then. It was a beautiful day so I printed out the papers and we headed off. I brought a 15% off coupon for a nearby organic restaurant too, figuring we could get a snack. The two were near each other and Jeremy asked if we could walk. Sounds great. We had to pass a huge aquatic pet store, a place I’d take Jeremy and Emma when they were little… pretending it was an aquarium. Jeremy wanted to go in.
We left that store with four little frogs, two “on sale” tiny aquariums, and me wondering how such small purchases could add up so quickly. It seemed like a good idea at the time, I’ve wanted a pet frog for years, but the cost was staggering. I almost told the cashier to put it all back but I’d feel guilty for wasting their time and Jeremy was happy. At least the frogs were relatively long lived, with a life expectancy of five years.
The first frog to die was Jeremy’s that very night. Then one of mine. The last of mine died last night and Jeremy’s remaining frog doesn’t look healthy. It’s only a matter of time. It hasn’t even been a week. There is a return policy but you have to bring back the corpses and I’ve flushed them. I couldn’t picture keeping them “on ice” in the freezer beside the Gardein Porkless Bites and the frozen kale. Maybe I’ll get a Siamese fish so I’ve got something to go in the tank. What I really want is to go back in time and tell myself to walk past the store. Just walk on by… don’t go in. But time doesn’t work like that, even when you feel like a ghost.
And the paperwork wasn’t good enough, according to ODSP, so I had to go out on an almost freezing, pouring rain day to get more paperwork from EI and bring it in. The nice man in the office informed me that I could have printed everything out at home and that my worker should have known the paperwork was fine. ODSP says I can get more money from EI. EI says I’ve exhausted my claim. It would be nicer to get fought over if they both weren’t fighting over who’s not going to pay me.
Jeremy and I are going to walk a block to the store to buy pizza fixings. Maybe the fresh air will help reconnect me to my body.