Chocolate Malaise

It’s been a challenging 10 days. Between a major colitis flareup as well as a heavy depressive episode, there have been brighter moments in my life. I don’t feel like complaining, because I am aware that millions of other people are suffering through various ailments of their own. I will admit to being tired, physically and emotionally. Sleep isn’t coming easy, and the fatigue seeps through my skin and invades my brain, smashing my neurons to bits. Writing is almost impossible; I can barely read more than a few paragraphs before I want to close my eyes. I know I am painting what appears to be a bleak picture here, but I am aware of a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

I’m going to try meditation. Enlightenment is not what I seek; I seek only clear-minded thinking. Thoughts are racing constantly, and that adds to the malaise I feel during the day, and I’m sure are the direct cause of my panic attacks. It’s not normal to lie in bed at night and obsess over your death. What’s normal is to roll over and hold your wife (in my case) tighter. I should entertain the thought of taking walks again, it’s just so cold and mucky outside at the moment.

Well, there it is. I apologize for the clunky nature of this update. I have several ideas floating around in my head at the moment; I just need to crack the coconut.

In lighter news, in case you missed the fact that I am a NATIONAL HERO:

Sorry, Cadbury.
Sorry, Cadbury.

The Incident

It was one of those spring days that stories are often written about. Bright, warm, and inviting, my friends and I were engaged in a game of wiffleball on the busy city street. It was the year of my third grade. We were all at ages where crossing the road wasn’t an option yet, so we chose to play our modified rules game right there on the sidewalk. Looking back on that day now, I don’t know how we even managed to play at all. The tightly boxed in vehicles didn’t give us much leeway as far as our swings, and I’m sure the neighbors were none too pleased about the possibility of that little, white plastic ball ricocheting off their shiny cars. But, we played on.

As anyone could have predicted, the ball soon rolled into the street. Now, when I say it was a busy city street, I’m not talking about a booming metropolis. My friends and I happened to live in a small city, if it could even be called that, and the street happened to be the main drag in town. It was even called ‘Main Street.’ Nevertheless, it was a fairly busy road. One needed to be careful. Volunteering to fetch the ball, I looked both ways, and not seeing any cars coming I darted out between two parked cars in search of the elusive wiffleball. I don’t remember the sound of tires screeching, but I’m sure it happened.

I was lying on the sidewalk, and I could hear my friend’s mother calling the police, and then I could hear my father being beckoned; I only lived about 6 houses down from where I was struck by the car. Time was fluid, because the next thing I know I’m being lifted into an ambulance on a stretcher. I politely asked the medic not to run over any railroad tracks, because I knew it would hurt. The man smiled at me and promised they would be extra careful. He kept his word.

At the hospital, my mother was by my side. My father must have called her (they were divorced, and their relationship was far from amicable) and I can only imagine the abuse he suffered from her acid tongue. She was talking to me sweetly, trying to divert my attention from what the doctors were doing to my right leg. When they were done, I was allowed to look over. There was what looked like a giant mechanical screw imbedded in my leg, surrounded by brownish residue, and my leg was suspended in what now I believe was traction. I was in awe. How did I not feel it? This was awesome! Of course, that euphoria would be short-lived as the shock wore off and pain moved in to take its place.

The end result was two broken legs, one worse than the other. My right leg wound up growing a bit shorter than the left, which gives me trouble to this day. The woman who hit me was found liable, but I really can’t hold any resentment towards her. I should have known better, and even though I remember looking both ways, I obviously did not. Memory is like Play-Doh; you can shape it any way you want to over time. One thing is clear, however: I will never forget that day.

Cemetery Gates

I enjoy cemeteries. Ironic, really, since I am absolutely terrified of using one as my final resting place. I may hate my life, but I don’t loathe it enough to find out what, if anything, is on the other side.

Unless, of course, god turns out to be pepperoni pizza.
Unless, of course, god turns out to be pepperoni pizza.

I do my best thinking walking among the tombstones and mausoleums. Although, being a fan of Phantasm I tend to avoid getting too close to the latter.

Thank you very much for that, Angus.
Thank you very much for that, Angus.

When I was younger, cemeteries were creepy. After all, every horror movie I ever watched taught me that only bad things come out of graveyards. Zombies, vampires, witches, etc: These are all things that I want no part of in real life, unless…

Yes, why I DO happen to have a moment to talk to you about your Lord and Savior, Lucifer!
Yes, why I DO happen to have a moment to talk to you about your Lord and Savior, Lucifer!

Now that I am older, and perhaps a bit more emotionally intelligent, I realize cemeteries for what they are: memorials of loved ones, and also works of art. If you take the time to walk around the majority of burial grounds, you will find lots of marble sculptures like this one angelweeps, which you’ll find if you are ever in the cemetery which holds quite a few of my relatives. You don’t have to believe in a higher power to be moved by these creations. They are beautiful, and one can only hope that the person they are dedicated to was worthy of it.

Now, instead of traipsing through the graveyards looking for ghosts, I stroll through them looking for clarity. I take time to look at the names, how old they were then they passed, and wonder what kind of person they were. Sometimes, depending on my frame of mind, I can become melancholy and distant, but usually it awakens in me ideas that were dormant. It fuels the creativity. I want to live up to my headstone.

An angry draft

A white, Christian male enters a coffee shop, a gun hidden beneath his coat. As he approaches the line of people waiting for their morning beverages, he brandishes the weapon, yells out “Repent, Sinners!” and opens fire on the unsuspecting customers. The aggressor in this instance is upset at the shop’s owner, who happens to be an Atheist. The owner, another white male, decided that he was going to open his shop up on Christmas day, to take advantage of the opportunity to be the only shop open for the many non-Christians and Christians alike who happen to want a coffee on Christmas morning. There were 12 people in the shop, including 10 people that had never stepped foot into the place before that day. The gunman, obviously mentally ill, a lone wolf, is captured a few hours later by the police. It’s a horrible tragedy, but an isolated incident, and the general public sleeps soundly knowing that the bad man is behind bars, awaiting his justice.

A dark-skinned Muslim man enters a coffee shop, a gun hidden beneath his coat. He immediately opens fire on the unsuspecting customers. He is angry that the shop employs women, and that the owner does not close for Eid al-Fitr, which he perceives as an attack on his religion. There were 12 people in the shop, including 4 people who themselves identified as Muslim. It’s peculiar to the media and the government alike that there would be Muslims in a coffee shop, considering some Muslims will not drink coffee due to their beliefs. Obviously, they can’t rule out that the 4 “victims” were not somehow involved, perhaps part of a bigger, sleeper cell organization in the area. Local Imams are questioned and their Mosques are put under secret surveillance. Residents of the nearby towns are in a panic, and local government officials demand that the Muslim community leaders speak out at this vicious terrorist attack.

Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed. (Al Quran 16:91)

The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:31)

Think about the world around you. Think about how the news is reported. Think about what you’ve heard people say, the vitriol they spew. Change the dialogue.

Years lost

Three years ago today, my 19 year old (step) nephew passed away. Jesus, this is as far as I can go. I must force myself to post this because I promised myself I would never delete something once I started, but what good is writing for therapy when you can’t even write.

A new year is upon me

2014 is behind me, thankfully. While every year has its ups and downs, last year perhaps had a few more downs in it than I would prefer to have. The downs were mostly health related issues, and in reality some of them are within my sphere of influence, so if I buckle down I can surely alleviate some of my problems going forward.

2015 will indeed be a year of change for me. I have enrolled in the local community college and as of next week will begin to pursue a degree in Social Sciences. Whether I stop at two years, or transfer to a four-year college I cannot say at this moment, but it feels good to just take that first step, which I have been terrified of doing for twenty years now. I am looking forward with anticipation on starting these classes, but of course the fear of failure is weighing on me like an ape on my back.

It’s good to keep moving forward; once you stop, you might never start up again. I am lucky to have someone in my life who acts as a catalyst for me, constantly challenging me to improve my life. I realize that a lot of people don’t have that, and I’d be committing a moral crime by not listening to her and accepting the challenge, finally.

When I was a teenager I had dreams of becoming a journalist. I am hoping that at the very least my writing will improve this year, and give me the confidence to possibly pursue a career outside of my circumscribed comfort zone.

December 11, 2014

It’s apt that as I type this entry I am listening to Low’s excellent album “I Could Live in Hope.” If you’re familiar with the band, you’ll understand why I love them. Slow, soft, melancholy, perfect. Only 38 words in and I am already stalling; this is not a good method if you are trying to write a blog, unless you are Algernon Blackwood and are getting paid by the word for your stories in magazines. Sadly, I am not Algernon Blackwood.

I was conversing with a friend a few days ago via text messaging about the holidays, and that it doesn’t bother me as much anymore; I am feeling much better, and am able to deal with the loss of my mother more maturely now, so to speak. Then, I promptly slipped into a deep depression, accompanied by a completely atrocious attitude. Well, I guess I wasn’t progressing as well as I thought. Granted, 2014 hasn’t exactly been a banner year for me, but looking back, what year was? I digress.

blog-segment-but-i-digress

13 is apparently getting ready to ask a new girl to go steady. She is tutoring him in math. He is literally living out a fantasy if she says yes. The kid has skills, I will give him that. He will be leaving to see his father for Christmas in another 13 days, and he doesn’t seem too excited about it at the moment. When he’s there I know he’ll have a good time, though; his father is a real life cartoon character, so 13 will get his fill of rough-housing and the like that he doesn’t get here. Around these parts, we have dinner table discussions regarding the ongoing repression of minority groups and the poor treatment of women in society. With his father, he listens to country music, goes muddin’, plays with horses, and gets his fill of League of Legends. Come to think of it, why isn’t he more excited?

I have so much to write about, but so little energy to do it. Perhaps I will write more later. Have a nice holiday season! Here’s a cute picture to make up for the shitty writing.

catsat8