Rat Poison: Not For Dogs


It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged here, and lately I’ve been thinking about doing other things, like either writing and pretending I’ll post on my blog but then not actually posting, or starting another, actually anonymous blog, where I can be embarrassingly overly-personal without falling into the labyrinthine hall of mirrors which is real-time real-name internet memoir-writing.

But then, I thought, Fuck It! What are blogs for?

And the answer to that is, we don’t know. They’re new and we’re not actually sure, yet, what they’re for.

But fuck it anyway! I am going to write here and pretend that no-one knows who I am or anything about me, so that my sentences will not come bouncing back at me in my own head, as I imagine people I know reading them, and make me cringe, suddenly, in self-consciousness, while selecting a bag of frozen peas from the freezer case at New Seasons. (They’re on sale!)

And in those remaining moments of withering doubt, when I wonder how I could possibly be self-centered enough to continue writing about myself without absolutely dying of shame, I’ll just go read Allie Brosh’s blog, because she is my current, and sudden, hero, and the fact that she writes a blog makes the internet (and world!) a much richer place.

Another reason that memoirish writing is so difficult is that, in order to be completely vulnerable in writing about oneself, one must be honest about the gross incongruities and inconsistencies in one’s character. Basically, one must be honest with oneself (and the world!) about being an ABSOLUTE AND TOTAL FREAK. This is a thick wall to claw one’s way through with just one’s fingernails, but on the other side- enlightenment! Because, as it turns out, WE’RE ALL FREAKS. Some examples-


Most of the time, it is extremely difficult for me to focus on anything for more than five minutes at a time. But sometimes I can focus extremely well for a good chunk of time, to the point of obsession, and these spells, while unpredictable and impossible to plan around, are very prolific. In any case, if I try and focus for longer than I feel capable, I either a) fall asleep or b) start surreptitiously picking at myself.

I am completely and totally obsessed with what I eat, and what it might be doing inside of my body. I am thinking about this every moment that I am awake, and sometimes when I am asleep as well. When I was younger, this obsession took the form of an eating disorder- I wanted to be impossibly thin, and would count and re-count the calories in every bite of food I took. Now I just think about whether or not things might be poisoning me, or feeding my candida, or making me tired, or contributing to some strange, inexplicable chronic illness that I seem to be manifesting for myself the way a snail builds a shell out of calcium from its own body.

Sometimes I get so grumpy I can’t be around other humans at all, and I even feel resentful of my dog. A sort of dull paranoia envelopes me, and I become overly critical of every social interaction and living creature, and fantasize of driving everyone (fools!) away until I am completely alone, safe in my apartment. This resentment of others leads, ultimately, to total disgust in myself, at which point I break down, cry, feel vulnerable and sad, and am released (sometimes weeks later!) from my delusions of non-interconnectedness with every other form of life.

I have a lot of difficulty making long-term bonds with other people. I bond with people super intensely, and then I just sort of drift away. I can never understand, afterwards, why they might feel abandoned, and I am baffled at other peoples’ ability to “keep in touch”. This is, I have read, a common result of physically abusive, neglectful childhoods where children were seldom, if ever, given love.

Sometimes, in order to connect with another human when I am finding it difficult, in the moment, to do so, I imagine that they are a cuddly forest animal, like a koala.

I have a hard time conceptualizing linear time, and as a result, the future. I truly believe that western civilization will suffer a massive implosion sometime in the next twenty years, and this makes it hard to do things like write a book (who will publish it?) or conceptualize student loan debt (I will never have to pay my loans!) or to think about buying a house/having a career/raising children (WTF??!!). I also have a hard time making plans for NEXT WEEK, like calling people and asking them if they want to hang out. (Embarrassingly, the people I see the most have always been the ones who are willing to do the work of hounding me.) This attitude towards life does, however, make it super-easy for me to be present in the moment (Colors! Shapes! Textures!) and to take risks (Student loans! Dental neglect! Procrastination!).


-I dream about the ocean almost every night. Last night, while doped up on Nyquil (I have a cold!) I dreamt that I was swimming across the ocean with my dog, a little chihuahua. She kept wanting to sink, cause she thought she could breathe underwater, and I had to hold her above the surface while I swam.


Peoples’ dreams are never very interesting, unless you dream about castles made out of glittering purple crystals and epic quests across the arctic ice-pack.

-I am very interested in the arctic.

-In my imagination I am an expert raft-builder, I carry a quiver of arrows on my back, and I sleep each night in clumps of birch trees on the outskirts of small, eccentric villages.

-I wrote half a book in the spring, but then summer came and I stopped.

-I hate western medicine professionals, and this dark energy pulls unfortunate medical events towards me like a cosmic magnet. For example, my dog recently ate rat poison and the vet gave me the (very simple) antidote, Vitamin K. Unfortunately, he only gave me 8 days’ worth, and the required dose is THIRTY DAYS. As a result, four days post-finishing the antidote- Kinnikinnick is huddled, shaking, under my boyfriend’s back deck, and she will not respond to her name. Inside, my boyfriend is having his birthday party. I crawl under the deck and drag Kinnikinnick out by her cold little limbs. Her gums, normally pink, are a ghostly grey. (A definite sign, says the internet, of internal bleeding. Rodenticides work by causing internal bleeding.) Paula drives me to the emergency vet. Her heartbeat, says the vet, is very slow. He does some blood tests- her blood cannot clot, and her liver cells are “exploding”. Ono! I think. My small friend is going to die!! But she is hospitalized overnight, given IV fluids and lots of vitamin K, and the next day she begins to recover.

The original vet, the one who gave us the first batch of antidote, was a nice, avuncular man. He seemed competent and experienced. And rodenticide poisonings are common as rain. Why, then, did this happen?


And so I manifested his awful, and incredibly stupid, mistake.

I not only distrust western medicine professionals, I am terrified of them. They seem so strange, checked-out, and zombie-like to me, with their battered little merck manuals in their shirt-pockets. They speak in convoluted, circular riddles, interrupt you, and become insulted if you demonstrate the powers of critical thought. And they always seem intoxicated to me, like they abuse prescription drugs and/or nitrous, or like too much mercury vapor has crossed their blood-brain barrier (dentists). I have not, at this point in my life, found a western medicine professional that I felt that I could communicate with, about even the most basic of concepts, without great effort.

My acupuncturist, on the other hand, I trust very much. She is a magical intuitive healer being, and she listens very closely, in lots of ways, and is like a conduit of information from the very center of the universe. It’s too bad that she doesn’t make as much money a doctor. However, post-industrial collapse, that won’t matter very much, and she will have the more useful skill.

My eyes have grown too weepy, now, from the sinus infection in my face, and I have to stop writing. But expect some more overly-personal, un-self-conscious posts (I can’t seeeeeeee you!) in the near future. Maybe even regularly!!!

6 thoughts on “Rat Poison: Not For Dogs

  1. this was relatable and great. thanks for pretending i didn’t exist so you could write this (that is often my tactic as well, in addition to also doing some of the other fine practices mentioned above.)

  2. Glad you’re back! So sorry your dog ate rat poison. My dog did too this summer, but fortunatley barfed it all back up. We gave her vit K just in case she still had some in her system but she was ok. I totally agree with you about western medical people and love my TCM doctor.

  3. Anita- rat poison, so sketchy! My dog ate such a little amount, but since she’s tiny it still made her really sick. And apparently it doesn’t even work on rats? Just dogs, I guess.

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