wee bee is admittedly guilty of “reading the cosmos” for signs. she is convinced there are many signs if only you are willing to accept the possibility they might exist to guide you. as she got older, she rationalized this with the use of quantum physics. quantum physics would allow for the possibility that things can exist (dead people, other random beings in the universe, whatever) in other, more complex spatial and possibly temporal dimensions, and all we would be able to perceive are the minute, 3-dimensional effects of these larger events which are otherwise imperceptible.
as some of you know, wee bee has written a novel. she finished the first draft almost exactly one year ago. she sort of let it sit there, existing, waiting, expecting something to happen (don’t worry, she still understands this is flawed logic and not generally the way to get things done, and strongly suggests you don’t live your life this way). she would, for lack of a better simile, poke and prod at her novel from time to time, but mostly she just had a novel draft. sometimes, for no real reason, she would poke ferociously and think she was actually getting places with the novel draft, but it rarely lasted. she even began to think that maybe she wouldn’t finish it, that she’d never polish it up and sell it. she hadn’t given up; she just didn’t know. she applied to harvard. got a job at a university. wee bee began to think she was maybe going to end up being just like every other normal person on the planet who doesn’t write or paint or do anything much artistic except maybe in their spare time. she applied for jobs she knew would wreck her ability to have free time, jobs which would make her so worn out at the days’ and weeks’ ends that she’d be incapable of doing much else.
she did not get any of those jobs.
she did not go to harvard.
and one night, seemingly as simple as any other night, wee bee got a text message from mamma bee. brother bee #1 was being called upon by his nation to go serve nine months in afghanistan.
some people might think “well, he is in the military.” but they’re wrong. sort of. brother bee #1 did NROTC to pay for college. immediately after graduating he was drafted to work at a desk in washington DC. the navy paid for his master’s. he served his time by going to a desk every day with a shirt and tie and slacks. and when his time was up, he stayed in the reserves to rack up some extra cash and education benefits. when brother bee #2 enlisted in the navy, the bee family knew he would be deployed. but nobody saw brother bee #1′s deployment coming. it tore through wee bee like a weed whacker through tissue paper. she is haunted by visions of a flag folded into a triangle and a smooth, cedar casket so polished she can see her own reflection. she sees her brother’s dead face sometimes, and doesn’t understand why the casket is open. she watches her family fall apart.
the only thing worse than this is that it isn’t at all the reaction she had when brother bee #2 went to iraq. when he deployed, she was devastated. she realized that everything being what it was in her family, they were still her family. yes, wee bee was devastated when brother be #2 deployed. she cried nearly every night. she felt that if god existed, there could be no greater prayer than the tears of a sister waiting each week for that phone call verifying everything was okay. she was hysterical at points, but still, she never saw a casket. she saw pain. she saw her brother coming home a different person, sometimes in a wheelchair, but never dead. and he did come home a different person. he came home filled with anger and even sometimes a look of betrayal, as if his family betrayed him into the situation, forcing his enlistment, and then his country betrayed him. he was broken. in only his early twenties, he had half a dozen hip surgeries, walked with a cane, and was told that he needed a new hip, but nobody was willing to risk giving him one at such a young age. the first time wee bee went to visit him and saw him walking along the streets of san diego with that cane, nothing that had ever transpired between them mattered. he refused to get a disabled parking permit, and hobbled in excruciating steps trying to keep up with his friends and celebrate wee bee’s birthday. she was 21.
and when wee bee heard the news of brother bee #1′s deployment, plagued with visions of that folded flag and casket, wee bee remembered an interview she saw of jk rowling once, where in the interview she said her biggest regret was that her mother died before she ever finished a novel and came to any amount of success. she didn’t register it. she didn’t think “this is a sign.” wee bee just had a fire lit up and raging. she wrote and rewrote and read her novel over again and again as she pushed forward. she had to finish it before her brother deployed.
finally, it was finished. finished finished. she started researching what the hell she was supposed to do with it. she became confused. all she knew was that she wanted to publish it before his deployment. that was it. she put a tentative timeline on having the novel itself completed early in june so that she could focus on the next steps, but a series of strange events occurred which have made wee bee wonder about the world more than ever.
wee bee was late in finishing editing, cutting straight through june, but didn’t mind. she was on fire. she assumed she would keep it up. then she got sick. or, so she thought. she didn’t know any better. she randomly had five days in a row off of work, and was ecstatic at the work she’d accomplish. only she got sick. she thought it was probably nothing and would go away and allowed herself to rest, knowing she was wasting precious time but thinking she’d catch up later when she was better. when work came rolling back around, wee bee felt a little better, but still she’d come home and after about a half an hour, would feel terribly sick again. finally she decided she had to push through whatever was going on, and went upstairs to her office, thinking maybe that’d kick her butt into higher gear since a laptop and couch near a television while you’re feeling sick doesn’t usually turn out high levels of productivity. she thought that if she forced herself to just sit at her desktop, something other than television marathons would occur. about an hour into sitting at her desktop with the door closed to keep wolf-bee from deciding to ingest some cables, all of wee bee’s symptoms of illness disappeared. then she went downstairs to watch some tv before going to bed, and they mysteriously returned.
wee bee had this strange phenomenon happen over and over. she’d come home from work and have to force herself off the couch and to the computer before she got too sick to function again. it took about three or four days for wee bee to realize what was going on.
she’d had an inkling that maybe she was allergic to her house after that first day, but she needed to verify this. indeed, every time she is downstairs in her house for even a mere half hour, she feels like she has a serious sinus infection, sneezes out an ab workout, and feels completely shitty. but wee bee needed further proof. she would stay downstairs until she felt at her worst, then take benadryl and force herself to stay awake. the benadryl would kick in and she’d have about two hours of somewhat peace. but what was she allergic to?
wee bee knew that she’s allergic to most everything from two rounds of allergy testing (round one ended early, with wee bee being given meds and told to come back when they had stronger dilutions of the allergens), and she knew also that she’s sort of allergic to her house without her noticing (there is mold damage, and a previous year she had an aspergilloma – literally a tumor of fungus caused by an allergic reaction to the offending mold – sucked out of her sinus cavity), but something had to be off since she’d never had this serious and obvious reaction to her house before.
ironically, even though wee bee has been opposed in general to cleaning her house because she doesn’t mind neglecting it in favor of writing until her book is published, she was forced to clean it. the grandparent bee’s decided they were going to drive up her way and visit. so wee bee thought this was probably a good way to see if it all was due to her lack of cleanliness/serious dust issues (she hadn’t been in her office much the previous few months, and kept the door closed, so there was significantly less dust). wee bee dusted the shit out of her house. she dusted and vacuumed and polished everything. she even cleaned all of her dishes, some of which were, sadly and embarrassingly, growing mold.
side note: this is what happens when you give a single person an entire house with way too many dishes and silverware and pots. if they don’t like cleaning, or don’t feel like cleaning, there is always another set of dishware hanging about somewhere…
after about a week of serious cleaning, the only place left messy in the beehive was in fact the office room. hopefully you can use your powers of deduction to know what happened, since wee bee posts from her office. it is an extremely strange phenomenon, but it at least forces wee bee to get off the damned couch and into her office.
now, to get back to some previous things: dimensions, deployment and signs.
wee bee was so focused on publishing her novel in july that she took being allergic to the entire rest of her house as just one more kick in the pants to accomplish that goal. but when the grandparent bee’s said they’d be coming to visit, wee bee knew it was going to take up another huge chunk of her time (a huge chunk given that july was fast approaching and she was spending all of her free time novel working). her house was in such a state, she did quite literally spend a week, possibly more, cleaning everything before her grandparents showed up, because if it wasn’t cleaned they would’ve called mamma bee and told her the house was chaos, which would unravel into even greater lost time because then mamma bee would get herself in a tiff and decide she needed to see wtf wee bee had done to her blessed house and wee bee would lose upwards of two weeks if that were to happen. even after so much cleaning though, the house still had more than a few things wrong with it, and wee bee was (and remains) worried about mamma bee showing up. the whole thing felt like the universe taking away precious time for wee bee to work on her writing ventures. time made even more precious because an entire week this month will be taken up by a bee family vacation before brother bee #1 deploys.
wee bee is extremely excited for this vacation, but she’s still apprehensive because she thought she’d be 100% ready to publish before the vacation, and thus could relax and feel good about things. in preparation for the vacation though, we reach part two of the post’s title. soon, wee bee’s birthday will arrive, and mamma bee asked if wee bee wanted new glasses for her birthday. at first, wee bee kind of shrugged it off. when she had first come home fleeing from psychopath ex-husband, mamma bee insisted wee bee get new glasses. papa bee was not so happy about it, since it would be out of his pocket. he told mamma bee, presumably, that it would be the last time he ever paid for glasses for wee bee. he was mad enough that she was back home and unable to find work. wee bee reiterated what mamma bee had told wee bee about papa bee’s feelings the last time he paid for her to glasses.
mamma bee sort of shrugged it off, and a few days later asked if wee bee had put any more thought into the matter, which wee bee had indeed. she told mamma bee that she’d rather have contacts, because not only would it make their family vacation nicer not having to switch between glasses and sunglasses, or being blind at the water parks, but because wee bee keeps running into things and has been getting sick of repairing her glasses. and so off went wee bee to get contacts, where she was told that she is, for all intensive purposes blind in her left eye and is seeing the world in two dimensions.
wee bee knew that she was right-eye dominant and had extremely poor depth perception, but apparently the brilliant bee brain decided fuck it, i’ma just shut down this left-eye crap.
wee bee didn’t realize you can go blind in one eye and not notice it. ironically, the morning of her appointment, she thought someone had taken away her keyboard at work, and got her supervisor, who pointed out that the keyboard was right there on top of wee bee’s desk. she also had recently turned down various invitations to see 3D movies because they made her sort of cross-eyed and queasy and generally feel weird. the eye doc told her it’s because wee bee’s brain literally can’t recognize and process three dimensions anymore.
how does one not realize this crap? wee bee ruminated on this for a while and decided it was kind of like movies or video games. technically, they are (ignoring the new 3D versions) two-dimensional. when you play a car-racing game, the game is seen in two dimensions, yet you’re able to still play it and know when to stop and turn and whatever because even though it’s in two dimensions and flat, it has all the same properties of the three dimensional world, and you can play the games based on that – shadows, things getting bigger (processed as coming closer), etc. so while wee bee has monocular vision, it never seemed any more strange to her than watching a movie. she’s pretty sure that before 3D movies came out, most people never really put much thought into how movies are 2D. our brains are able to make three-dimensional sense out of only two. so as wee bee’s brain gradually shut down the use of her left eye, she never noticed. and what was wee bee left with other than this knowledge? the eye doctor’s words on why this had gotten to the point of near left-eye extinction, words she’d heard from physical therapists about her back, from rheumatologists about her hands….
“too much time at the computer.”