Awkward Almost Flashings And Other Worldly Monster Knockers

I’m a vampire. Not in the “kiss me Edward, you delicious sparkly creature” sense but in the my skin in sunlight feels like how bacon sounds when it’s cooking sense. The lore of vampires and werewolves was started by a blood condition called porphyria. The bad kinds of porphyria make people blister when they’re exposed to light. After the blisters heal, hair grows out of them. Delightful right?

I have the kind of porphyria that just causes pain upon exposure to light and any sunburns result in permanent scarring. Understandably people with porphyria avoid the sun and consequently tend to have fair complexions. Thus how the whole vampire phenomena was started.

A cotton t-shirt only has a sun protective factor of ten. This fact is irrelevant for non-vampires but the summer that I worked outside,  this meant that every morning I would have to cover my entire top half in 110 SPF sunscreen before getting dressed. This process meant that I was so greased up that the whole world became a slip and slide until I had my t-shirt on.

That same summer that I began working outside, my boobs grew, like really grew. Picture the moment when the Grinch decided to save Christmas and his heart busted out of the device that was measuring it. That’s totally what happened to me with bras that year. The combination of a big cup size and a tiny ribcage made it difficult to find a sports bra. Yet my mother had searched and searched and finally procured me a size 30D brassiere. It was exactly the right fit but it was super tight which made it tricky to get on.

On this morning my mother had left early for work so it was just my father and I in the house. I went through my morning routine of slathering my entire body in sunscreen then reached for my bra. That was when everything went terribly wrong. Somehow while pulling it over my head, the elastic bottom got coated in sun cream and so rather than sliding down over my head and arms,  the bra rolled up onto itself like one of those pull blinds, forming a ring around my arms,  pinning them to my head.  So there I was standing there with my hands straight up like I was caught in a nudist stick up without the gun.

The elastic was tight to begin with, but when it was rolled up on itself, it became like steel;  impossible to bend or move. “Help” I cried,  waving my arms above the elbow in an attempt to escape. My father hearing my cries dashed from the other room. Hearing his footsteps I added “I’m stuck in my bra” at those words,  the doorknob which had been about to open, reverted back to its closed position.

My father is helpful but above all he is conservative. That meant that although he would coach me from behind the door, entering to unpin my arms from my head was not an option. “Is Mom home?” I asked despite knowing the answer. “No, she left already” my father replied. “Are you still stuck?” he asked. Turning this way and that in my undergarment prison, I sighed “yes”.

After some Houdini like movements and an inordinated amount of grunting, I managed to extract one arm. My Dad was relieved when I finally escaped. Getting flashed by loved ones has never been high on his list of fun experiences. I was much more careful the rest of the summer, applying sunscreen to my arms only after I was wearing the necessary undergarments.


The Highest Distinction

“You are the only person I know that has handled this much of their own urine. I’m not sure whether to be impressed with your perseverance with this or be repulsed by the fact that you stored your own urine in your fridge [twice] hahahaha then again, what do I know [?] I have a dead fox in my parents freezer.”

This is a direct quote from Sula’s most recent email to me. She’s off in the frigid north without a phone, electricity or running water again. I think it’s secretly her dream to wake up in the stone ages and clunk a brontosaurus on the head for breakfast.

Now before anyone goes jumping to conclusions about what the two of us like to do in our spare time, I should explain that I’m being tested for a rare type of porphyria. For those who have no idea what porphyria is, you clearly need to read more of the National Enquirer. At one point they loved doing articles on vampire children who blister in the sun and live under cloaks and who can only play in darkness with bats and owls.

I might be exaggerating. But it is a real condition. Tex thinks I have it based on the fact that I got a ripping red burn from sitting next to a window at the farmhouse. In my skin’s defense it was a big window.

Tex : “Somethings wrong; those are double-pane, tinted windows.”

Unwashed : “It’s fine, it’s just my skin.It’s my fault; I should have been wearing sunscreen if we were going to open the curtains.”

This was how I found myself collecting, decanting and the refrigerating my own urine for 48 hours. It was supposed to be for only 24 hours, but the first time I collected the sample, the lab forgot to tell me that I had to protect my urine from light. (Apparently my pee gets sunburned too?)

It might make a good birthday gift for an enemy. How's my wrapping job?

It might make a good birthday gift for an enemy. How’s my wrapping job?

Which was why I spent part of Saturday morning wrapping a container in tin foil and trying to decide whether this was the world’s grossest gift or the worst arts and craft project ever. Regardless, I don’t think Martha Stewart would ever have deemed it “a good thing”.

My beloved, modern comfort hating friend, Sula found the whole story to be hilarious and disgusting. Apparently she draws the line at storing bodily excretions in the fridge but dead woodland creatures are acceptable. The only reason I can think of is because you can eat one but are immediately unpopular if you consume the other (I won’t even try to imagine the halitosis one would have after drinking a day’s worth of urine).

Nevertheless, I now have earned the distinction of being the person who has handled more of their own pee than anyone in Sula’s social circle, which is saying something because her boyfriend once made her an Arctic porta-john out of scrap metal, a chair with a shotgun hole blasted in it and reindeer antlers. Clearly I’m in with the in-crowd.