Every Day Above Ground (mallorys_camera) wrote,
Every Day Above Ground

Confuse the Innocent, Protect the Guilty

Met with new ESL student Marissa for the first time this morning.

Name isn't actually hers: She’s from mainland China and has deduced her real name will not play well in the U.S. of A.

(Name isn't the actual pseudonym she goes by, either. Confuse the innocent, protect the guilty! is my motto here in Online Journal-Land.)

“Is it Marissa or Melissa?” Lois Lane asked because due to a much-satirized Chinese-to-English phoneme issue, it can be hard to tell.

It is Marissa.

I liked her!

She is fluent, focused, and very no nonsense despite the fact that she’s living in a shelter for domestic violence victims: Her American husband—scion of a rich Milbrook family, Lois told me afterwards—bashed her head into a brick wall one night when he was drunk, causing a significant brain injury.

It takes a lot of guts to leave an abusive situation like that even when you’re not an immigrant.

I can’t imagine how hard it was for her, knowing absolutely no one here—she had one of those husbands who did his damnest to cut her off from everyone and all potential resources.

When all is said and done, I’m pretty hard-headed, I guess.

Because that’s what it takes to survive, and I’ve had a lot of practice surviving.

My eyes glaze over whenever anyone who hasn't served a combat tour evokes the acronym “PTSD.”

The truth is unless you’re very, very lucky, and there’s someone who loves you, no one apart from enablers or professionals who want to get their hands on your money gives a shit about your PTSD. And that’s show biz, kids!

PTSD is some weird 21st century version of sentimentality.

If you’re serious about survival, you learn to stash "PTSD" on the back shelf, and you focus.

Marissa is very focused.

She wants to become an ultrasound technician.

I can help her with that.


Yesterday, I hung out with BB, which was the Big Fun as it always is.

We had a fabulous lunch at my favorite Indian restaurant in Rhinebeck:

And then we hit my favorite art supply store, the Best Chocolatier in the Universe, and Oblong Books where I discovered Jonathan Franzen has a new novel out. Which I bought. In hardcover (ulp)—Jonathan Franzen being one of those writers whose every book I read.

Then we went for an invigorating tromp in Poet’s Walk, which is a very pretty place and also the site of one of the tales in my Livingston Ghost Story Cycle. (It’s the place where starving 18th century Palatine child meets wealthy 19th Century Livingston child through some time travel mechanism I haven’t quite finished finessing.)

A good time was had by all! Though it was a gloomy day weather-wise.


Oh, and Buff Ken and Loraine entertained a guest yesterday:

Crossposted from Dreamwidth.
Tags: #oh, #yesterday, animals, friends, volunteer

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