I’m ignorant and curious. I’ve seen protected posts here for years, usually by the same post-er, and am clueless to what the purpose is. I see that a password is required.
Can anyone fill me in on what this is? I’m just curious.
Enigmatic mystery. Mind your own business. I enjoy eating hamster fetuses.
One year. Miss you, my little boy. So glad I knew you. See ya later! Go to Sophia. She’ll love you till I get there. Let her know how special she was…she’ll know what to do. You changed my life. You made it worthwhile. You taught me love the way all of us deserve to know it – unconditionally. You are the best.
“They” say to write things down.
My limits are being tested. I don’t appreciate change, in fact, even though I know it’s beneficial and unavoidable, it just completely sucks. This year…this last year, since May 2019, this is officially one of the worst. I suppose that right about now many of us are saying that.
And yet where is the logic in waiting? In staying? What does tomorrow hold that will be meaningful and relevant, and that is worth staying around for? This …. life. This series of twenty four hour cycles during which I breathe and accomplish. Accomplish what? Enough so that my little chunk of cheese provides for me for one more week? Then, we do it all over again. Why?
I want so much to pour out all the minute details of the past month on this page….some of these details are identical for most of us – lockdown and isolation and too much damn time on our hands. But “they” also say “When it rains, it pours.” I’m soaking wet right now, and can’t find my way out of the rain. Sure, I suppose it’ll stop at some point. The sun will come out, the ground will dry, and life will be roses again. Times like this make me hate roses.
Everything is you, little buddy. Everything is a flash of your face, your life. Except, you’re not here, mixed in with me and all the “everything”, buddy, you’re where I want to be…you’re “over there…”
I read in the news of the death of Dr. Lorna Breen, an emergency room physician in New York. No history of mental illness, according to family, and yet this Sunday, she ended her life. Her father, also a doctor, said that she spoke of situations in the hospital during this pandemic that were extremely stressful. He said that “she was doing her job, and it killed her.” I am basking in this story, and while that may sound rude or inappropriate, you see….I see this woman in a light that many wont. She is “over there.” She has done what I spend most of my waking hours dreaming, fantasizing about doing. She had the courage to make a decision and follow through on a plan that would result in her death, and she did it. She did it. She, in whatever form she now takes, if any, “knows.” She knows what happens at and after the moment of physical death. She is either existing in another realm, plane, dimension, whatever you want to call it, or she is not. As are that man in Ecuador who, just forty eight seconds ago, passed away from corona virus complications, that woman in Cookeville, Tennessee who just succumbed to cancer two hours and seventeen minutes ago, Kobe Bryant and Mother Teresa. I do not rejoice in the death of Dr. Breen. I envy her. I want what she has. Right now, I want the courage and the determination to do what she did. I am tired of the pointless today’s and tomorrows. I am tired of the systems and the processes and the stupidity that turn on my lights and provide me all I can consume. “Civilization” has taken our civility and smashed it on the ground like a billion glass balls.
Someone, somewhere, in all this media coverage of this pandemic, said “Why would we all possibly want a return to normal?” It made me stop and think….what we have come to accept as normal. We will twist and contort and mangle ourselves to achieve some ethereal, misty ideal, even though the damage we are doing to our spirits and souls is irreparable. But achieving that ideal…living that lie, propagating that stereotype, bullying your way to dominion all others be damned…that is our “normal?” That is the ideal, the goal, I am supposed to strive for for the rest of my days? To continue lining the pockets of …
Best to not finish that sentence. Pointless ramblings of a pointless person.
My little buddy, I’ll be writing again soon. “They” say I need to write to you, and ask you for help grieving. “They” say our reunion will be whatever I want it to be, “they” say that it is a proven scientific fact that energy cannot be eliminated, it can only change form. “They” are implying we might see, experience, one another again. “They” are well intentioned, and “they” are either right, or wrong. You were my all. You were my world. You were my soul. I swear….haven’t I dried up and died in the past six months? Who am I anymore? I don’t recognize myself. I’m a total asshole. People and their problems….who cares? I died with you, buddy. The only real difference is my body doesn’t have the sense to stop. I miss you.
There are advantages to depression and anxiety. . .
I am spineless and unable to establish boundaries and speak up for myself. As such, for the past seven years, have been pursued by a woman I briefly worked with at an animal shelter. I had no feelings for her beyond just being a casual work acquaintance. She would text me, drop by every now and then to chat about how unhappy she is in her marriage. Much of her unhappiness stemmed from lack of physical gratification, and her use of sexual innuendo was annoying to say the least.
Being the wuss I am, I was completely unable to say “(Name), I’m sorry that you’re unhappy, but I am not able to offer you anything beyond a casual friendship.” Spineless. So, I just put up with it, hoping it would stop at some point.
“No means yes”, and apparently no response at all is an invitation for more and more and more.
About three months ago, as I was dealing with the loss of a pet, I texted her several times during periods of intense grief. In these texts, I opened up about having suicidal thoughts as well as dealing with depression. Like her, I just needed some validation, acknowledgement and comfort.
Her reply? Silence. Absolute, total, one hundred percent silence.
See, when you’re a man with depression, you might as well be wearing a huge glowing “L” on your forehead. You might as well have a highly contagious disease – a man who presents as being strong is not allowed weakness, of any sort.
Three months now of silence from (Name).
Oh well. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!
“See you in a few hours, Curtis.”
(pause, deep deep struggling breath) “Ok.” (Faint as a whisper.)
Yeah. What real problems do I have? Not that many. Seriously, dude, not that many. Wanna go for a walk? Wanna go to the store? Wanna. . . wanna. . . want to. . . Do you want to. . . What do you want? Most of it is readily and easily accessible, and here, where we are, that’s all that really matters.
You lucky s.o.b.
Count ’em up. You’re buried in blessings, my man.
Zzyzx. What the hell? I mean, who names a street this?
Raisin is sitting atop my recliner, to the left of my head. Somedays she will perch on my shoulder, and as I type this, she just moved down to my chest, and now she’s jumped off and left the room. Silly kitten. Silly kitten and her sandpaper tongue. She chooses what she wants, oblivious to time, to deadlines, to my wants and needs. She’s full of love and only seeks to give it. But to her, what is time? It’s the gaps between feedings, it’s the gaps between head scratches, it’s just really not what it is to Chuck.
Chuck moved out of his home yesterday. When I arrived, he was kicking it on his couch. The hottest day of our summer so far, the thermometer on his porch read 107, but the actual high was only around 100. I believe that somewhere near 35 or 40 celsius. Hot. Stiflingly hot, not a day to have to move if you don’t need to, but there were no alternatives for Chuck.
On a day this hot, the last thing anyone needs is a fever, but yup, you guessed it, Charlotte said ol’ Chuck was running one. He didn’t jump up off the couch when we arrived, he lingered in the cool breeze of his air conditioning. Smart man. Hell, we all lingered in it. His neighbor was in his living room also, didn’t catch her name though. She was there to see him off, Charlotte was sent by the agency to assist with some of the finer details, and me, well I was just Chucks chauffer today.
Chuck resigned himself to rising, and slowly trudged through the living room, on his way to “go take a leak.” I had to remind myself to be patient – we were supposed to have left fifteen minutes ago. You know me – anal about schedules. So I breathed deeply and relaxed, Chuck needed to pee, and I’d expect to be afforded the same courtesy.
Looking around Chucks living room, I realized I’d never see it again. He has a wall that is painted with an aquarium scene, the entire wall a soft yet deep aquatic blue, in which swim a myriad of different fish. It’s mesmerizing and beautiful, never seen a wall painted this way. Very cool. A single lamp sitting on an end table next to his couch illuminated the small space. Drawn curtains would have rendered the room dark had the light been off. In the uncomfortable summer heat, Chucks living room felt cozy, lived in, lived in for many long years.
Chuck finished peeing and slowly walked through the kitchen, ready to head down the stairs and outside, into my company’s van. A wheelchair awaited him for his ride. Charlotte, neighbor and I had to decide how best to assist him down the stairs, hemming and hawing about supporting him here, holding him up there, and ensuring his safe journey down his five stairs and into the wheelchair. Chuck shut us up when he said “I’m a puss, but not a total puss – I can make it.” So we chuckled and stood aside while he carefully stepped down the stairs, turned and lowered himself into the wheelchair.
Neighbor brought a duffel bag of belongings and asked me if I had room on the van for it. Absolutely I had room, in the passenger seat, along with another bag of a few miscellaneous medical supplies. Charlotte asked Chuck if he wanted to hold on to his glasses and his phone, and he said he wouldn’t be able to, so I placed them in the center console of the van. Trivial items? Maybe. Where would some of us be without our glasses, where would all of us be without our phones? Yeah. It would suck, right? Glasses and phone. “Testicles, spectacles, wallet and watch” someone once offered as an amusing checklist of any man’s vital necessities before leaving on a trip.
It’s time to go, Chuck.
Securely seated in the passenger compartment of the van, neighbor and second neighbor both wish Chuck farewell, but not before Chuck asked second neighbor to “crack the window on his pickup just a smidge” because of the heat. “Will do!” he replied, followed by “You take good care, Chuck.”
I wonder if Chuck got to admire the aquarium scene on his wall before he left – I’ll never forget it. He won’t have it to look at anymore. Ever.
The drive to Eugene took about an hour, Chuck drifting in and out of sleep, and our brief conversations included topics ranging from his careers as a mechanic, roofer, and logger to all the dust being generated by the tractors plowing the fields of the farms we were passing as we journeyed towards the home of the Oregon Ducks, and Chucks new home.
Well, we made it, Charlotte pulled in just after me, having followed Chuck and me in the agency’s car. She smiled, checked on Chuck, and made contact with a nurse who said “Hi Chuck, we’re expecting you, your room is all ready!”
I lowered Chuck down out of the van and maneuvered him and his oxygen tank through the front doors, into a beautiful lobby. Think Colorado ski lodge. Gorgeous. Wood, everywhere. Deep, plush rugs covering wood floors, and oh man, the temperature – cool. Everyone commented on it. This place has GOOD air conditioning. To the left and right of the lobby are visiting areas, well lit by sunlight streaming through large windows, adorned with high quality and extremely comfortable looking furniture. Bookcases full of hardcover books, tables and desks with lush green plants create an environment amenable to sitting for hours and relaxing with friends.
Charlotte, nurse, Chuck and I made our way into Chucks new home. I became aware of the silence – there just isnt a lot of noise here. That’s good. Chuck will benefit from the peace.
Chucks bedroom here is simple, clean and comfortable. A dresser to the left of the door, ample closet space, and a large window letting in the bright sunlight. No aquarium scene, though. I wonder if Chuck will miss it. I would, but hey, maybe he’s tired of it. Thirty some odd years of looking at it, maybe he could care less.
Thirty some odd years in his old home, and today Chuck moved to his new home. He peed just before we left, and asked second neighbor to crack the window on his pickup just a smidge, because of the heat. Chuck isn’t a puss, he came down his steps under his own power, like a man, for the final time.
I guess I was trying to feel what Chuck was feeling as he moved to his new place. I tried to empathize, and maybe for a few seconds during my time with Chuck I felt some of what he was feeling. I felt tired, frustrated, relieved, angry, sad, confused. . . resigned.
Charlotte is Chucks caregiver, and a fine representative of the agency that employs her. She always has a smile on her face and a “can-do” attitude. Yeah, I’d hope the agency would send her to provide me care. She told me Chucks fever had been sitting at 101 degrees for about two weeks now, and well, his symptoms just aren’t improving.
The dresser to the left of his bedroom door is where I set Chucks phone and glasses. A doctor entered the room, sat down near Chuck, and began discussing his fever, and his hiccuping. He didn’t hiccup during the ride, but apparently it’s been an issue, and Doc brought it up.
So, my job is done, and I said “See you later, Chuck”, to which he replied “Thanks for the transport, and get your mechanic to look at the transmission soon.” Chuck had noticed an odd sound coming from the transmission as he rode with me, and his experience as a mechanic gave him reason for concern.
With a final word to Chuck that his glasses and phone were on the dresser, I left the room, walked through the quiet hall to the spacious, beautiful lobby, and found what I desperately needed – the bathroom. After a quick visit, I was back in the van and ready to leave.
Chuck will also leave soon, but not today. Charlotte says it could be just a matter of weeks, perhaps less.
Chuck is resigned, but he’s still holding on to his time. Why shouldn’t he? It’s his to do with as he damn well pleases. If he wants the window on his pickup cracked because of the days heat, well, somebody crack the damn thing, ok? It’s not too much to ask for a neighbor like Chuck!
Chuck wasn’t wearing a watch, maybe he didn’t own one, maybe like many of us, he checked the time by looking at his phone. Time is relative, you can have lots of it, or not. Chuck has had his time, but it’s running out.
Chuck was checked into hospice today, and will die in a beautiful facility with great air conditioning and extravagant furnishings in Eugene, fifty eight miles from the town where he called home since. . . forever.
I knew Chuck for ninety minutes. Ninety minutes of his time, ninety minutes of mine. That’s ninety minutes less for both of us.
Time is a-tickin’ for us. And back in Chucks living room, a myriad of fish swim in beautiful blue water, whether Chuck is there or not.
I wonder if neighbor one or two turned off the light on the end table next to his couch. I hope so. “There’s no point in leaving unnecessary lights on’ dammit!” just sounds like something Chuck would say.
We’ve all got time. Maybe plenty, maybe not. I suppose what we do with it is really all that matters.
See ya later, Chuck. Glad I met you.
The frustration and anger was building inside him. I could see it by his facial expressions and actions, yet he was holding back and not retaliating. Not yet, anyways. He was biding his time, determined to exact his revenge, and he was not the only one, there were more. Still, I continued to antagonize them with childish insults and ridiculous behavior, knowing deep down that I was digging my own grave. Still, deep down, the anger and sadness drove me on, looking for a victim, looking for an outlet.
I didn’t know him, but didn’t like the way he looked. So I treated him like garbage, and instead of walking away, I continued my idiotic behavior, making them angrier and angrier with my insults and laughter.
And inside me the fear continued to build, the knowledge that I was getting myself into a situation that I wouldn’t be able to handle. But what the hell does it matter? I deserve to push back, docile passive aggressive ***** that I am, door-mat to the world that I am. I wanted to be the a**hole, the one pushing their buttons. I deserve my turn at the top, giving orders and making demands, having things go MY way, everyone else be damned.
Still, I’d have to answer to these very angry people, and soon.
That’s when I woke from the dream, an hour before my alarm would sound.
I’m a coward. I fear the world, I fear it’s inhabitants, their thoughts and their actions, their criticisms and opinions, their questions and their remarks. I fear much. I live a passive existence of taking what is given to me and pretending it’s all just fine.
Just a bad dream I had, one that startled me awake.
I will never stop missing you, buddy. Your loss has changed me. It has changed me, and in these three months, I have grown . . . angry. I rage at things that I once laughed off. I am becoming despondent, some would say. I am searching for another “you”, and maybe I shouldn’t be. You have become another voice in my repertoire of imaginary characters, now existing alongside Creature, Entity, Schrindleman, Miss Gwendolyn, Neck, Darnell and Chang, Viktor and Raja. Now there’s you, and we converse throughout the day, in an effort to quell this god forsaken loneliness. Imaginary friends. These are what I have to share my time with, and now you are one.
The dream that was you is over, and what’s left is all around – a bland, ugly world in which all I am doing is breathing, existing, and wondering what to do now.
I love you baby boy. I always will, that will NEVER change. I miss you with everything that I am. You were, and always will be, my heart and my soul, my life and my love, my world. I hope to see you again, Hooks.
March 2, 2012 – May 1, 2019
My little boy. Seven years was all we got together. I hoped and dreamed for more, but no, that can’t happen.
I will miss you eternally, Taco. Handsome-Perfect. Boogie. Bug. Hooks.
You changed my life, little boy. You taught me how to love, when noone else could. You showed me what love feels like, when others failed. You are love. You are my eternal friend, my little kitty.
I’ll miss you from today until a time when whatever I am can no longer exist in any form, and then far, far beyond that. I love you so much.
You’re my heart and my soul, my love and my life. You’re my world.
I have to give you back now.
Rest, little boy. I miss you. I love you. I love you.
(Things are a bit somber here today, so leave it to the class clown to intervene with a bit of foolishness. Stupid is my strength. So, hopefully this helps lift a spirit or nine.)
At least one time before I go bye bye, I’d like to have the opportunity to use these phrases:
Yea, though it is written
In accordance with the scriptures
Avast ye scurvy knaves
Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war
Say hello to my little friend
Preferably at the grocery store, buying oatmeal, because that would be interesting.
If the person ahead of ME in line starts quoting pirates and Tony Montana, it’s time to find another checkout line.
Any other quotable quotes to add to the list?
– NOT SUICIDE RELATED.Just reminiscing. –
My dad could build. He wasn’t a contractor, per se, he was in the telecommunications business. But somewhere along the way, someone taught him how to build. Stuff, things.
My town recently passed an ordinance banning plastic grocery bags, because apparently they are evil and destructive and naughty, and the universe must be saved from them. So, today, I bought three cookies and a small bag of potato chips and left the store holding one of those extra gonzo size heavy duty paper grocery sacks designated as “1/6 BBL (70#) with “Renewable, recyclable, sustainable, and contains minimum 40% post-consumer material” printed on the bottom. Whew. The future of Earth is now safe, for eons to come.
Now, I must decide what to do with my extra gonzo bag.
As a kid, my dad built this “thing” – it was a storage compartment and trash can combo. The bottom part of it featured an area into which this sort of bag could be installed and held in place utilizing a simple binder clip assembly, filled with garbage and removed and replaced as needed. It worked wonderfully. Above that, was a storage area just slightly larger than these extra gonzo bags, into which as many as a hundred or so could be stored, provided they were folded neatly.
This contraption was just one of many such contraptions that dad designed and built. He did the lions share of the work on an addition to our family home when I was young. It took years of work on weekends and evenings, after his full time job, and mom hated that he insisted on doing as much of the work as possible in order to save money, but one day many years later, it was. . . complete. Dad’s greatest accomplishment, a memorial and testament to his skill and ability.
Dad found a basketball goal post for me once. It was buried in someone’s back yard, and he talked them into selling it so I could have it. It took the better part of a Saturday to remove it, he and I working together under a sweltering southwest Texas desert sun. At one point, the use of a heavy metal bar and a sledge hammer was necessary to break up some concrete. I had never swung a sledge hammer at the miniscule end of a steel bar before, and at the age of 14, lacked a refined sense of hand – eye coordination, but dad held the bar in his hands, told me to “focus only on the end of the bar, and try not to miss and hit my arms.”
I did, and I didnt. And roughly two weeks later, I had a nice new goal post in my front yard.
Dad trusted me that day. Without resevation, without visible doubt. He just told me what to do, and waited for me to do it. And I did it.
So, today, I’m staring at this extra gonzo paper bag, and trying to figure out where I’ll store it when I get home, but I don’t build. I do other things, but unlike dad, I don’t build.
I’ll probably use it to dispose of my cats used litter, since my city now says I can no longer purchase groceries and place them in plastic bags, which I then filled with the same litter.
I’ve hated my dad, disliked my dad, liked my dad, loved my dad, ignored him, scoffed at and disrespected him, secretly imagined killing him, and cleaned him after he soiled himself a few years before alzheimers claimed him. I shaved his face in a hospital once, and listened to him ramble about nothing and everything as we sat eating fried chicken in a fast food joint, during the early days of alzheimers. And I’ve buried my dad. I pinned two of his military service medals on the lapels of his suit jacket as he lay in his casket, the day of his funeral, and fought back tears as he received a twenty one gun salute at the cemetery, under not a sweltering sun, but a mild October sun in the desert of southwest Texas.
Dad broke me down, along with mom, over a lot of years. It’s what parents do. It’s what humans do. They succesfully crushed my spirit, and stifled me through years of just being human. It’s everyone’s story, the only difference is the names, the places, the dates, yeah, the details. Parents crush child, child hates parents, child buries parents, child reconciles as best they can, or maybe not.
I suppose I can start a collection of 1/6 BBL (70#) bags now, thanks to a new municipal ordinance.
I miss you, Dad.
Occasionally I need to restore perspective to my kooky mind.
Carl Sagans speech helps.
It reminds me how darn big everything really is, and how insignificant I am.
A photo of Earth, taken from somewhere around four trillion miles away, I believe, by a Voyager spacecraft, many years ago. Just a pale blue dot, inhabited by weenies.
Pass the mustard.
I am a medical transport driver, driving people to and from doctors appointments.
I am learning to value simplicity these days. To see blessings where previously I saw nothing.
Don had a ride scheduled for 7:00 this morning. He lives in an assisted living facility, or as another passenger referred to them recently, “a warehouse for the dying.”
I arrived at 7, and the staff was running a bit behind, so they didn’t have him quite ready. Rush, rush, rush, ok, he’s ready to go. Out the door and into the van and off we go. Don is in a wheelchair. He is probably in his seventies, and his hands are large, and you can see that at one time he did physical work with them. His voice is deep and gruff.
“You’re going to have about a half hour before your appointment, and then afterwards, I’ll be bringing you back, Don.” I told him. “Let’s just get it done.” was his quiet reply.
At the doctors office at 7:45, the front desk informed Don someone had made a scheduling error, and his appointment had been moved out two weeks, “You should’ve received a call, we’re so sorry Don.”
So we get back in the van, Don and his wheelchair all secured down nice and tight, and we head back to his warehouse, uhh, sorry, assisted living facility. I’m craving pancakes, and I wonder if Don had breakfast. I did, but I’m craving pancakes, bacon, coffee, the works. Mmmm.
“Don, did your staff give you breakfast?” I inquire.
“No.” In his deep, stern voice. It belies disappointment and desire, but it confirms his reality – no breakfast, it’ll just have to wait, when in days past, it didn’t have to wait, because Don didn’t wait for anyone. He didn’t need to.
It’s now after 8:00. Don’s appointment wasn’t until 8:20, and his return ride was scheduled for 9:45. By the time he would’ve been back at the ware- uhh, sorry, facility, it would’ve been after 10:00, and maybe he would’ve received breakfast, brunch, lunch, who the hell knows.
Don struck me as a withered version of his younger days, when HE ran the show. When schedules revolved around him, and things were made and maintained through his sweat and effort. He reminded me of a broken down mans-man. He has the attitude of a man who knows he is in decline, who knows he’s been placed in a warehouse for the dying, where he will wait. For everything. For food. For cleaning. For laundry, for visits, for rides, for sunrise, for sunset, for tedious routine that finally leads to a day when he just won’t have to wait any damn longer, because. . . well, because. Don knows this. Resignation and memory are his companions.
I wheeled Don back inside, and joked with him that “at least we got to see some scenery and freeze our balls off.”(Its COLD here today.)
“It was a good ride” was his reply, as he went inside to wait for his overdue breakfast.
I drove to a fast food place, and parked. As I walked across the parking lot, thinking of hot coffee and a baked apple pie, I realized that today, right now, RIGHT NOW, life is ok. It’s ok. It’s simple, it’s got everything I need, and that’s a good thing.
Simplicity. I have my independence, I come and go as I please, and I have two cats that I love. And I have coffee and an apple pie waiting for me.
I want the world and all its shallow, empty lying promises – but right now, I’ve got everything I need. I want much more than I need. We all do. We don’t know, CAN’T know, contentment. It’s not our nature. Sigh. The world has been kicking my ass, all of our asses, and it will continue to, but for now, it can wait for me and my coffee.
What did I do with the darn cream? It was right here. . .
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