Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Holy Underwear

My son Oliver’s wicked gaming skills have earned him an invitation to some kind of Fortnite all-star tournament. According to Oliver, there’s a $1 million prize. He says that if he wins he won’t get anything for his sisters. But the first thing he’ll do is buy me a new car.

Me too.

I have a social worker friend who worked with military families for many years. When I told him about my PTSD diagnosis, he asked when I anticipated being back at work. I said I hoped it wouldn’t take more than six months. He looked at me, paused, and said “Trauma can take a long time.”

One of my writing files, labeled “Longterm Unemployment,” includes my increasingly voluminous musings on the various implications of having your life derailed indefinitely. Most of the stories are too triggering or at least too disheartening to share yet. But I think I’ve made enough progress to tell this one.

Before Vancouver Men’s Chorus rehearsal on Wednesdays, I usually go to my favorite coffee shop on Commercial Drive. The regular barista and I are buds. A few weeks ago my receipt had the tell-tale coloured stripe signaling it’s time to change the ribbon. I laughed, and told her I’d done laundry that morning. You know it’s time when you’re down to the pair of underwear that’s wholly holes. 

When the barista brought my quad americano to the table where I was typing on my laptop, she smiled and said, “Did you know economists can predict when a recession is about to end by observing when men start buying new underwear?” 

Deferred maintenance, whether it’s involves your house, car, wardrobe, or body, is something you think you can ignore forever. Until you can’t.

Still, I was doing fine before I moved into a house with two Aussiedoodles.

Bear and Buster are chewers. Their favorite chew toy, even more than bones, socks, or fuzzy things, is stolen underwear.

Considering I still don’t have a real job, can either of these items of intimate apparel be characterized as “sexy” holey underwear? 

Yesterday I drove to Seattle for oral argument at the Washington Court of Appeals in my lawsuit against the bottom-feeding private investigator firm that colluded with my former employers to evade their responsibilities under the Washington Law Against Discrimination and the Rules of Professional Conduct. The court will issue its ruling in a few weeks. On a Monday. I offer no predictions, but I remain hopeful. 

Regardless of the outcome of the case, I’m glad to reach the end of this particular chapter of my life. To celebrate, on the way home to Bellingham I stopped at the Premium Outlet mall, where I bought two heavily-discounted packages of underwear at the Calvin Klein store. 

No holes yet. Except for what looks like a bullet wound in my chest where the recent alien bacterial infection had been burrowing.1

1Trust me, you don’t want to see pictures. And this comes from the guy who posted a photo of his inflamed left nipple on the internet last week.

At the courthouse - last beard picture until Fall

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