Wallowing In Self-Pity & Getting “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer

It’s been almost five years since my son’s dad put me in a choke-hold and slammed my spine on his knee. At first, after numerous tests (CT-scans, MRI’s, X-rays, etc), it was only two herniated and one bulging disc with massive nerve damage. Apparently, my son’s dad had hit that magical “Sweet Spot” which resulted in nerve damage in both my upper and lower body. At last count, I have three herniated discs in the lower (lumbar) spine, with bulging discs on either side (“Like bookends,” I told my pain dr.). The nerve damage causes muscle spasms which can sometimes pull a muscle; the herniatef, and bulging, discs cause, well, a lot of fucking pain.

I first heard about Amanda Palmer after she married Neil Gaiman. She seemed to have a knack for making headlines, and Mr.Gaiman was, therefore, mentioned as well. Basic “research” (Google) turned up many negative articles about Ms. Palmer with a few positive ones mixed in. She seemed to be one of those people you love or hate — nothing in between.
I should state here that I’m not one of those people who “follow” the personal lives of famous people. I enjoyed watching TMZ because it was funny but I never felt I had a say in someone’s life just because I buy their books or see their movies or listen to their music.
After they were married, Amanda Palmer wrote a book titled, “The Art of Asking”. Anyone who knows me will tell you I have no problem asking for a tampon in a public restroom  (an example given in the book) but, since becoming physically disabled, I have become less likely to ask for things. I have become less likely to ask for things for myself but I have no problem asking for things for my son. I will buy him name-brand shoes and clothing while wearing Payless shoes to the point that I can feel the sidewalk beneath my feet and layer shirts so that the holes don’t match up. But I found myself wanting to read this book.
I checked the library, but it wasn’t available.
I asked around but nobody knew what I was talking about.
Finslly, I posted online a request for the book.
Amanda Palmer reposted the request:


I received four responses and sent them my email address. Two responded, along with a third whom I planned to send the book to once I finished it. One said s/he would send it, but I didn’t hear back. The second said s/he would send it and here is what happened:
On Monday 16 November 2015 at 8:54pm, as my son and I were watching the end of Gotham, there was a knock at my bedroom door. We don’t have a fire escape, but we have two doors to our apartment. One is the main door. The other leads to the living room / my bedroom and has a sign on it that says, “This is not *apt #* / The door for *apt #* is “.
Usually this is not a problem but in this case it was.
I called out, “Who is it?” And received no answer. My son and I forgot about it.
Once a month I move the chair from in front of the fire escape door (even without rollers it weighs only a couple of pounds). It is usually only fliers and menus. The day after Thanksgiving, I found a post office receipt dated 16 November. There had been no follow up, no second try.
I spoke to the mailman on Friday 27 November and explained the situation. I was unable to physically make it to the post office (there is one four blocks away but for some reason one needs to go six blocks further, make a right and continue five blocks, then a left for one more block). This was not the regular postal worker but he took my receipt and gave me a new one. I didn’t notice that the new one didn’t have the tracking number.
Tuesday 1 December, my son was sick. His doctor is a few blocks from the train stop by the post office. I brought my receipt, waited on line, and was told that the package, which required my signature, was not there — it was going to be delivered to me. Yay!
That night there was a knock on the door. A package for my son. Nothing for me. I explained the situation and was told it would be delivered the following day.
Wednesday evening there was a knock on the door. A bigger package for my son. As I tried to explain my situation to the worket, he said, “I don’t have anything for you”, and, literally, got on the elevator as I was in mid-sentence.

Today, Thursday 3 December, I called the U.S. Postal Service directly. I explained the problem, asked why there was no second (follow up) notice, and asked why the person ignored the sign pointing to the correct door when every other postal worker, delivery person, etc, had seen it?
The person on the other end of the line only had one thing to say: that my package, a gift from somebody who didn’t know me, the nicest thing anyone has done for me in, literally, decades {scratch that: an angel paid for me to go to my 20th high school reunion, but my son’s dad purposely (he told me later) didn’t pick our son up that weekend so I couldn’t go} was gone. Gone. I had asked and received nothing.
I cried all the way home.
Texted the sender.
And wrote this blog entry.

Blessed Be,
D.K. Stevens


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