carose59: my mother's family (it seems to absolve us)
I Couldn't Go To A Queer Halloween Party Once Because The Only Rule Was You Couldn't Come In Costume And Darling, I Had Nothing To Wear.*

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I've written this never-ending series of Wiseguy stories called Roadhouse Blues. I sort of thought I was finished a few years ago, but other stories popped up and I wrote them and did nothing with them (except the one I wrote for Christy; I showed it to her. Considering the number of stories I have that I wrote for/dedicated to her, Christy telling me she didn't think I was her audience is abso-fucking-lutely bizarre.)

Anyway, I'm writing on them again for reasons. But I'm breaking all the characters and at three of them are having meltdowns and I'm crying. This is effect and cause; I'm doing this because I need to cry and I'm a lot Irish and crying over imaginary people is what we do.

(I once wrote a story I only worked on when I was depressed or having PMS. And one I finished right after Pat died. You could wipe out a whole dealers' room of fans with those two stories.)

And in two days it's Thanksgiving and I've been invited by my cousin.


1. I love my family.
2. The food will be good.
3. There might be a few moments of feeling like I belong.
4. It will make them happy. I guess. *shrug* They invited me.


1. It will take four hours I could use for writing.
2. It will be loud and I will come home with a headache.
3. I will feel alienated and alone.
4. There will probably be a political argument which will leave me feeling even more alienated and alone. Unless I keep my mouth shut, in which case everybody will agree.

What I get when I see my family is sarcasm and whimsy. It's the language we all share; we're good at silly.

But it's like a garnish. Would you order an expensive dinner just for the garnish? (I might, because I'm like that, and if I had a use for the rest of the meal, like giving it away.)

It makes me so sad that it's this hard, that I do not feel a part of my family.

When my cousin in Texas wrote me that he had been thinking of coming to Indianapolis to look at train stuff (don't ask) (but now he wasn't because he was punishing us for something—again, don't ask), I wrote back and told him I'd be happy to go with him to look at train stuff.

He said he didn't know I was interested in trains.

I'm not. Except for liking to listen to them, I have no interest in trains. I'm interested in him.

I didn't tell him that because he wouldn't understand it!

And so it goes. I'm supposed to be interested in their lives when they're not a bit interested in mine. I'm endlessly weird, and as such, a source of amusement. I cause endless trouble by not enjoying my role as prop in the latest holiday special, sitting on the sofa and pretending everything is fine when nobody is talking to me (except my one cousin's husband who sees me as prey and wants to argue politics. It's fun. Fun. The destruction of our country is fun).

I want to say no and I want to be honest but I don't want to hurt them (well, yes, I do, but I also don't). I want them to actually be able to see me and that will never, ever happen and I need to stop wanting it but I don't know how.

And even if I tried to be honest, how many words do you think I'd get out? How many of my meaningless, incomprehensible words is anyone willing to listen to? I've written almost seven hundred right here. Nobody's going to listen to seven hundred words. Maybe I could pare it down to four.

I won't be happy no matter what I do, but staying home is a more productive use of my time. Sonny's having some serious PTSD, and Vinnie's throwing up from stress, and I don't even know what happened to Roger. It would be more fun to stay home and untangle those tangles and watch Humphrey Bogart. And I can make my own damn food.

(I did buy food. I decided to make smoked sausage and carrots and potatoes and onion and cabbage. I'm partial to red potatoes—I like the ones that are so small, you can hold two or three in your hand at a time. So I picked out a bag of small red potatoes. And I thought I'd get red cabbage instead of green, for no particular reason. And then, of course, when it was time to get the onions, I got red ones. I don't know if you've ever cooked with red onions, but they turn a sort of pale mauve, and from what I've read, so does red cabbage. I should have a really interesting-looking dinner. And while my family might find this funny, it would be in a despairing sort of way. Pat would find it hilarious. She'd hunt me down some red carrots, without me even asking.)

*Aaron Raz Link
carose59: my mother's family (it seems to absolve us)
"No, I Try Not To Have Any Ideas. They Only Lead To Complications."*

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I think the thing that drives me crazy about right wingers is that you can't even ask them questions about what they believe or why. You're immediately shut down—usually with vicious insults. Since I don't understand anybody, I spend a lot of time trying to explore different ideas. Why asking a question is seen as an attack, I don't know.

(If you think I'm not serious about this, you have no idea how many hours I've listened to talk radio so I'd know exactly what I was talking about, so I'd know exactly what people were hearing. It turned my stomach, but I listened. Maybe that's one reason I get so angry with people who want to shut me up—I've done my damn homework, I've listened to those wretched men, just so I can have an intelligent conversation with you and now you're telling me to shut up.)

It's probably my whole not-being-believed-when-I'm-most-sincere syndrome.** I have gotten in more trouble for asking honest questions--people always think I'm being a smart ass. (Except when I am being a smart ass; that's when people take me seriously.) It makes me not want to ask questions. It makes me not trust people. When it happens, I just want to disengage, just—fine, apparently I can't talk to you so I'll go away. And please don't pretend things are fine now because they're not. They're really not. I just don't need more people in my life who want me to shut up. I have more than enough of those and I've never been any good at it. There are books I can't read because the need to answer back is too strong.

I quit talking to my cousin Alan because I refused to be cruel to him and he wouldn't stop being cruel to me. (I value myself to much to turn myself into something I despise if there's a way to avoid it.) He denied everything—he wasn't being cruel, I was too sensitive, it was just a joke, his reality was the real thing and I was just wrong, wrong, wrong. He thought mocking him was somehow acceptable, no matter how much I asked him to stop, and he hurt me so much, I became afraid of him. I know he doesn't accept this, but it's the truth. I sincerely thought about banning him from my mother's funeral, I wanted to see him so little.

I didn't. I pretended it was OK. Well, I was numb.

I know, I keep writing about this. I know it doesn't sound like anything, but the betrayal was profound. And last night something else happened with another relative.

*Dr. Johnny Fever
**I once tried to post something frivolous on a Starsky & Hutch mailing list. My post never came through and never came through and never came through. I contacted the owner of the list to ask if there was some reason I was blocked and she said no, I should try again. So I did—a couple of times. Nothing. Contacted the owner again. She said there was no problem with the list.

So I came up with a different email—same name, only hotmail. And the post went through! So I figured it was just AOL and thought no more about it.

Until the owner sent me a furious email about me being sneaky and going around her. I told her I was just trying to solve the email problem, since apparently AOL was the issue.

That was when she told me how stupid I was not to realize of course I was blocked! (I was stupid for not knowing she was lying to me.) And how dare I try to trick her like this?! (She'd flat-out lied to me twice, but I—using an identical screen name—had been trying to trick her. That annoyed me just because I'd have to be pretty damn stupid to try to trick her using the same name. I might be clueless about what other people are thinking, but I'm not stupid!)

So it is me. I get that. I just don't get why.
carose59: death (a scientific fact)
"A Disagreement In My Family Involves Restraining Orders, And Bloodshed."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

This morning I got an email from my cousin in Texas. He had found out my mother had died while he was doing some genealogy stuff online. He didn't find out shortly after it happened because I didn't have his phone number. He didn't find out from the card I sent him because I didn't have his new address. And this is somehow my fault and I didn't behave properly when his mother died (when he wrote and told me although I never heard from him) and he's not sure he wants to come visit because he doesn't think anyone cares about seeing him.

I wish he would come, but I don't particularly want to see him. The rest of the family seemed to enjoy him. I got tired of the long silences after I spoke, as though he was trying to figure out what I was talking about and why I was wasting his time. I think I'm too much of a Kiesel to fit with the Donahues, and I don't even know any Kiesels.**

As I was writing this, I thought of something that happened many years ago, when my father was still alive. My step-cousin, Steve, was inexplicably angry at my parents about something, and one thing he said was that nobody ever treated them like they were Kiesels, that they weren't invited to family gatherings.

Afterward, when my mother told me about this, I said, "You should have told him that being excluded and ignored is being treated like a Kiesel! He was being treated exactly like a Kiesel." That is not an exaggeration. My grandmother kept the family entertaining segregated. We were invited over when my father's father's family was in town. My father's brother was invited for actual fun party-type things--and for all I know, he was the only one invited. My mother and I were once excluded from a family reunion.

I could stretch a point and understand my mother, since she's only a Kiesel by marriage (although my grandmother was going and she, too, was only by marriage), but me? And I look like my father! Who looked like his father! What the hell?

I was in high school when the family reunion occurred, or just graduated, and I didn't particularly want to go. And I still find it all amusing. But it is telling that there is family on both sides that feels like they're being excluded, that they think they're being treated differently when what they're complaining about is being treated the same. This is what my whole family is like. It isn't any better on the inside than the outside because there doesn't seem to be any actual inside. No wonder I became a professional outsider.

*Joe Morelli
**That isn't strictly true. I have a cousin, Patty, who is my father's brother's daughter. I sent her a note when my mother died (pretty much the same note I sent my cousin Jeff) and found a message from her stepbrother—or maybe ex-stepbrother, since her father divorced his mother—in the mailbox last Friday. So I called and got condolences from him and I called to see how she was.

Patty was always slow, but I'm thinking years of antipsychotics have done a number on her. She didn't seem to know why I had called. It was hard to talk to her on a number of levels. (She's about ten years older than me I am, but even when I was in grade school, I had to slow way, way down for her.) I worry about her.
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"I Don't Know, It's Authentic . . . Dead-Something."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

First I dreamed about more criminal activity, though I wasn't involved in it.

I was driving around in the little area in my neighborhood, just to the other side of Emerson Avenue. It's strange back in there. For about six blocks there are no north-south streets that go all the way through from 16th Street to 21st Street (the bigger streets where there are stoplights) and Emerson to Ritter Avenue. Also, there are more than four streets between 16th and 21st, and they wind around. They're all number streets, but there's 18th and 19th Place. There's also a creek, which is probably why the streets don't go through.

Anyway, I was driving around there and I kept seeing cars coming from a dead end. Somehow this told me that a crime had been committed and the police had set up a roadblock, and those cars were going to the dead end to turn around. (I'm very intuitive in my dreams.) So instead of continuing the way I had been, I got turned around to take a different route home.

There was lots of traffic because the police were looking for Brad Pitt. I don't know what he was supposed to have done. I decided to go to my grandmother's house on the south side.

(My grandmother's house isn't there anymore, it was torn down years ago and to the best of my knowledge, nothing has ever been built on the lot. But the house Pat and I lived in before this one reminded me a lot of that house, though the walls weren't old turquoise.)

There was a family gathering at my grandmother's house—and my grandmother, dead lo, these many years ago, was there. I told her about the manhunt for Brad Pitt and she offered me a cup of punch, which I took.

It wasn't a party, and it might have been a funeral because everyone was very subdued and wearing black. My grandmother turned on the radio so we could all listen to the news reports about Brad Pitt, and there was speculation that he might be hiding upstairs, but nobody went to look.

There were a lot of dead relatives there—in fact, mostly dead relative, but not my parents. And Pat was there, in a wheelchair, and my cousin Andrea was also there, also in a wheelchair. (I don't know why Andrea was in a wheelchair; she doesn't need one in real life. Also, she's not dead.) We were standing by a door that never existed that went to the basement. (There was a basement, just not a door to it in this location) and we were discussing who could get down the stairs in a wheelchair "best." I'm thinking best meant without injury or falling out of the chair, and I was trying to dissuade Pat and Andrea from trying to find out because I was pretty sure there was no "best" in this situation.

I woke up before either of them could try to wheel down the basement steps.

Then Saturday night I dreamed that my aunt Shirley (dead) had come to visit my mother (also dead.) I wasn't entirely sure where my mother was, but my cousins did and we went to see how she was. It turns out she was living in a small apartment about a Dollar General store. Rather than go in and upstairs, we climbed up on the the awning that was level with her window and just looked in. She was fine. She had friends visiting her. My aunt was there.

That sounds like a metaphor.

*Evan R. Lawson
carose59: friendships (even to know they are alive in the world)
Love Is Blind; Friendship Closes Its Eyes.*

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A few weeks ago, right out of the blue, I got a call from a longtime friend. It was the last thing I was expecting.

At a time in my life when I really believed the only thing that was going to happen with friends was them leaving me, someone actually went out of her way to reconnect with me. I've felt like such a charity case for the last few years, I cannot tell you what this means to me. Beyond the sheer joy of having someone to talk to with whom I have a shared history, there's feeling like a worthwhile friend again.

I'm having fun again. I'm being fun again. I wasn't sure I remembered how to be fun.

-:- -:- -:- -:--:- -:- -:- -:-

In other news, my family—some of my family—is worried about me, about me not having anyone to lean on. Patrick has actually reached out to me, and he said he talked to my uncle about me being alone. Honestly, if you'd asked me, I would have said my family never thinks about me when I'm not around.

-:- -:- -:- -:--:- -:- -:- -:-

Also, although I have probably not lost any weight, I do seem to be moving around more easily. I feel smaller. I feel lighter.

So there are good things.

*Friedrich Nietzsche
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"No, My Brain Is Distracting Me, And There's Nothing Anyone Can Do About It."*

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Sunday night, I dreamed the police were looking for my cousin Patrick. They wanted to question him about a list they had found—a list of kitten names. They suspected he was planning to get another kitten. Although having a cat wasn't a problem, conspiracy to acquire a kitten was a very serious offense.

I've been thinking lately that cats are authority figures in my dreams, and this backs that up. Because the only one (besides Patrick himself) who would object to him having a kitten would be Little Cat.

Monday night, I was stuck in a loop of promos for BBC comedies. They were all amazingly glitzy and glamorous, with sparkling chandeliers and long, curved gilt staircases, and the laugh tracks were really loud. I was somehow both inside the stories and outside, watching (which happens a lot in my dreams), and friend kept recommending various show to me, but I felt no enthusiasm for any of them. The shows, that is. I have no idea where this came from.

Tuesday night, I went shopping with my mother. We went to a flea market—not someplace my mother would have been interested in. My father's the one I got my love of flea markets and garage sales from. I didn't want to go. I told her I have a very hard time making decisions about buying things unless I have a specific purpose for what I'm buying, and I really didn't need anything. But she insisted and we went in.

It was in a tent, a big black one. At the first table, there was a man selling iguanas. He kept them in shoeboxes—it was like they went into suspended animation until they were taken from their boxes. He was playing with one when we came in, a bright yellow one, the color of a gumdrop. It didn't look real. He started telling this horrible story about cats attacking and killing iguanas.

I kept trying to leave, but my mother and this man were insistent that what I really needed was an iguana—but not the yellow one. The man got out a different box, and inside it was something he said was an iguana. It was more like a skink, only it was really big and had very subdued rainbow colored fur. I did not like the looks of it and didn't want it, but they kept telling me Meg would think it was another cat (like Meg would consider that a good thing). I don't remember how it turned out, although I do remember feeling very relieved when I woke up.

Very often as I start writing down a dream, I won't know where the component parts came from, but as I write, realizations occur. With this one, I think the skink is actually a cucumber I bought the other day for Meg. Not to eat, or to scare him with, but to keep the ants away from his food when he eats in the bathroom window. I don't know, sometimes it seems like my mind is just playing a weird version of MadLibs.

*Trace Beaulieu
carose59: MKK (richer than i you can never be)
"I Can Think Of One Logical Starting Place: Why Do You Think You're The Only One Who Hears Dogs?"*

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Monday, my mother called me to ask me if there was a tornado watch in effect because she was hearing a siren. There was no tornado watch. I was at work, so she called Patrick to come over and see what was making the noise.

When I got home, he was on the front porch and told me he'd talked to her, but had not heard a noise. When I went over to her house, my mother told me Patrick had heard the noise but couldn't find it, and now it had stopped. I don't know if he told her he heard it or not.

One thirty in the morning she calls me. The noise is back. "What do you want me to do?" I asked. Nothing. I told her I needed to get back to sleep. Oh, it doesn't matter what time she calls, she sleeps all day. "Well, I can't do that," I said and hung up.

Tuesday she called me again. The noise was back. I was at work and nothing I said seemed to get through. I told her I'd see her when I got home. She said she'd call Patrick.

I called Patrick and told him to tell her it was the dehumidifier in the basement. He did that. He also unplugged the dehumidifier. (Yes, he unplugged the real machine to make the imaginary noise stop.) She's still hearing the noise. Maybe it's going to set something on fire.

This isn't a hallucination, it's her bored brain. Deaf people hear things that aren't there because their brains get bored. She knows this. But she won't listen to me when I tell her. Today I tried again and she wanted to know why she should believe me. "Because I can hear and you can't," I said.

"How do we know that?" she asked.

I got up to leave.

I have more than enough problems with reality and figuring out what is and isn't. Every time she pulls this crap, I feel like I'm being pulled down the rabbit hole. It shakes me.

I've always been stupidly sensitive, annoyed by sounds that other people barely noticed. My mother always brushed it off, as though I was somehow deliberately being annoyed, looking for something to bother me. This is not the case. She was never sympathetic about it. But now I have to listen while she talks about sounds that aren't there and might set the house on fire.

Life sucks.

*Tony Peterson

Problems from last July

Thursday, 7 April 2016 05:49 pm
carose59: my mother's family (it seems to absolve us)
"Well, Lucky For Me, I Speak Delusional."*

-:- -:- -:- -:-*

[I wrote this back in July. I don't know why I didn't post it then. I guess everything worked out, since I haven't gotten any more phone calls since. I'm not sure why I'm posting it now, either, since I doubt anyone reading it will be much interested.]

A couple of weeks ago, my uncle had a stroke.

He's doing quite well; they released him after about forty-eight hours. First he (and my aunt) went to my cousin Molly's house, now he (and she) are home. But my uncle still needs someone besides my frail, petite aunt to look after him.

So Patrick's spending the night with them.

Twice now, my aunt (who has dementia) has called my mother to ask her to look out the window to see if Patrick's car is there. The problem is, the bushes are grown up quite a lot, so my mother can't see. So she calls me.

I can't see out either, so I have to get out of bed and actually go outside.

The first time, it was about eleven-thirty, and Patrick had just spoken to his mother at ten-thirty. He doesn't get off work until eleven, and he comes home to feed his cat before going over.

The second time, it was only ten-thirty, so he would still have been at work.

Monday, I talked to my mother about this. I advised telling my aunt that Patrick would be there soon, and offering to talk to her until he arrived. (My aunt finds my mother comforting; she's known my mother since she was seventeen, longer than pretty much anyone except my uncle.) Actually trying to ascertain Patrick's whereabouts is pointless; my aunt is anxious and needs calming down. She doesn't remember the information she's been given, so what difference does it make what the information is?

And, yes, I'm annoyed because my sleep gets interrupted. The inconvenience of getting out of bed is less minor when you're wearing a C-PAP mask. Even answering the phone is complicated. (You start off at a very low pressure and it ramps up as the night passes until you're where you're supposed to be. Stopping and starting means going back to a much lower pressure than you should be on.)

And if I open the front door, Meg assumes it's time to go out and play and has to be herded away from the door and gets cranky and won't come cuddle with me. I need all the cuddling I can get.

Jim Longworth
carose59: mental health care (and the pelican says)
[Originally posted elsewhere January 9, 2010]

When I talk about myself as emotionally unstable, I'm being literal. I'm taking both Cymbalta and Clonazepam. Both of my grandfathers were alcoholics, and one of them had a grandmother who was manic-depressive. There's agoraphobia and panic attacks slithering around on one grandmother's side.

And the second grandmother? That's where you hit mental instability pay-dirt. All but one of my father's uncles died in the mental hospital. That one was the over-achiever of the family; he died in prison.

My father was manic-depressive, heavy on the manic, hospitalized many times, on Lithium when he died.

My mother has panic attacks and has had serious agoraphobia. She (and I) have the symptoms of one of the milder forms of manic-depression, heavy on the anxiety (and with me depression), light on the mania.

Like my father, I'm high-functioning. (The man would come out of the mental hospital and go right back to work. His only addiction was to cigarettes, and he took his medication religiously.) I don't drink, smoke, gamble, or have random sexual encounters. I was in a committed relationship that lasted twenty-five years and ended only because she died five years ago. I've held the same job for thirty years. After some moving around, Pat and I settled in a house next door to my parents, and have been here since 1986. I'm not in debt. I've never been arrested. I am overweight and my house is a mess. The only one who's diagnosed me is me, and my mother concurs. When I told all this to my last psychiatrist, I told him I was mildly manic-depressive, but not very good at it.

I describe myself as emotionally unstable because my emotions are where the instability shows. I cry easily, I have periods where I feel (metaphorically) as though I'm standing on a wobbly stool with my hands tied behind my back. I have periods where I feel as though my shadow is simply too heavy, and periods where the weight of other people's thoughts keep me immobilized. (I tell my therapist these things and she writes them down because they're both poetic and accurate. There are some things you can only be accurate about by being poetical.)

Besides all that, I'm terribly nearsighted and have an over-active imagination. Life comes at me in puzzling images that my imagination interprets before the rational part of my mind gets a chance. Those interpretations could be scary when I was a little girl, but now they're usually amusing.

I honestly don't understand most other people, which makes them potentially dangerous. I'm always saying things that seem perfectly reasonable to me, but upset other people, and they almost never tell me what they're upset about. (I do have a very silly sense of humor and a very serious way of expressing myself, which confuses people.)

I don't feel compelled to write this—I write about this stuff all the time in my private journal. I'm writing it because I want to, because if people are angry or upset with me because of nothing more than misunderstandings, this seems the easiest way to clear them up.
carose59: health matters (an intuition of mortality)
[Written June 9, 2012. Saved with the title Post Today. Never posted.]

"I'm Not Always Depressed, You Know. Every Now And Then I Have A Good Day. It's Between Those 'Nows And Thens' Where I Have All My Trouble!"*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I knew you were waiting for me to whine and complain, so here I am.

Do you want to know what I had planned for today? My weekly conversation with a dear friend, a graduation party for my cousin's kid (where I had plans to shmooze my godson and his brother about building us a swing), a possible drop-in at the Gay Pride parade (never been to one), and the Unbroken Bones Society's storytelling event tonight.

You know what I think I'm doing as of right now? Sitting around the house watching TV. Because Tuesday night I did something stupid.

I have two fans in my house that I use on a regular basis: one in the living room window, very high powered. I use it as an exhaust fan at night. It's heaven.

In my bedroom, I have another fan in my window. It's a pedestal fan, and it sits at window level. Normally I have it pointing kind of up, so it's just moving air around the room. But Tuesday night, it was pointing pretty much directly at my face. I lay there thinking I really should move it, or turn it off, but I didn't (story of my life), not until late in the night when it was already too late.

I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore throat.

I woke up Thursday morning with a sore throat, a cough, and my sinuses hurting. Strangely, I was in a pretty good mood and went to work and to my appointment with Diane.

I woke up Friday morning with a sore throat, a cough, my sinuses hurting, a headache from hell, feeling like pounded crap, and deep in that horrible despondency that comes with being well and truly sick.

The worst part of yesterday was when I called my mother, the second time.

The first time, she didn't answer the phone. She had called me earlier, told me she was having stomach problems, so I was calling to see how she was.

The second time, she didn't answer the phone because my uncle did. He and my aunt were there to give my mother Communion.

He didn't say anything bad to me, it's just that I sounded like an idiot. And I spent the rest of the day leaking tears and thinking about how they don't like me.

For me, it's all part of being sick.

One kind of amazing thing is that when I'm sick and need a nap, Meg will come in and nap with me. I mean, come in from outside. He's very supportive when I'm sick, very sweet.

I'm better today, at least so far. I can't talk without coughing, which means I can't talk to my mother at all. (Talking to my mother means yelling, and I can't yell, period.) I still have a headache, but I've taken some drugs.

Charlie Brown
carose59: PLS (moses supposes his toeses are roses)
"I Can't Believe You're Going To Keep A Few Little Letters Of The Alphabet Keep Us Apart!"*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Pat and I had some rules in our relationship. Don't worry about other people's secrets. Don't bring other people into our arguments—or even let other people know we were arguing. Go to bed angry.

The other-people's-secrets thing came from years of watching sitcoms. Practically every show had an episode where a friend would have a secret that one half of a couple finds out about. Then the other half finds out, and is angry that their espoused didn't confide in them.

It made Pat and me angry. "It's not her secret to share!" we'd yell at the TV.

This actually came up in our relationship. A close friend called up, distraught, and talked about things from her marriage. I assured her with great confidence that I would not repeat anything to anyone, including Pat. When I got off the phone, I reported that our friend was upset and told me a bunch of stuff in confidence. Pat didn't even ask what was said. It had nothing to do with her; it was our friend's secret, not mine. I believe this is called being an adult.

The not-bringing-other-people-into-our-arguments thing came from a couple of things. One was watching my cousin inflame the family's dislike of her husband by calling her mother every single time she had an argument with him. My aunt would tell my mother (and who knows who else), my mother would tell me, we'd all be angry at the husband. Half the time, by the time anybody else even heard about the argument, my cousin and her husband had made up, but we were still pissed.

I wanted my family to like Pat—and this was before we'd come out. The very most I would do was a casual "Pat and I had an argument last night," kind of thing, but never details, and always very lightly, amusedly, and in the past tense. It's over, it doesn't matter. (I think I once answered the phone, "Pat and I are having a fight," but we'd been together ten years by that time.) I never tried to make Pat the heavy with anyone, and she didn't do that with me.

That was the other part: we presented a united front. We were together, period.

A long time ago, I had a friend who was always talking about her husband in very disturbing terms. My friend had health issues, and she'd talk about her husband "making" her work (they worked together) when she was unwell. Pretty much everything she said about him made it sound like, at the very least, a borderline abusive relationship. A mutual friend really thought she should leave her husband because of the way she talked about him. If you want your friends and family to like your spouse, you have to act like you do. If all you ever tell about are the bad things, your friends are going to think you're married to a creep.

Going to bed angry is just common sense. When has being exhausted ever made a situation better? How many arguments have you ever been in just because you were so tired you wanted to cry? My feeling is that there are two things people fight about: important things and unimportant things. Unimportant things will look unimportant after a good night's sleep. Important things shouldn't be discussed when you're exhausted.

So we'd go to bed not speaking to each other, lying with our backs to each other, not touching. Then one of us would reach out a foot and touch, and everything would be fine. You can't do that with words.

*Peter Wright
carose59: MKK (richer than i you can never be)
I Thought, If I Strangle Him It's Going To Look Really Bad.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

I know this because after she said it, she hung up.

What she said, "I know why we're not getting along. It's because you're just like those damn Kiesels and you have no sense of humor. Goodbye." Then she hung up.

This is a version of "You're just like your father," which is a serious insult coming from any of the women in our family. It's her way of disowning me. But, you know, I've been disowned before. The Kiesels disowned me a long time ago, when I wasn't invited to the family reunion (because I'm not a real Kiesel. I don't know what being a real Kiesel means, but considering how much I look like my father, we're clearly not talking bloodlines.) And I feel like my mother's family disowned me years ago, I haven't felt a part of them for so long.

Anyway, she's mad at me about yesterday.

I took her back to rehab and pulled into the white zone, which as you know is for immediate loading and unloading of patients only. There is no parking in the white zone. Of course, there are always cars parked in the there, usually employees' cars, and there were yesterday. I parked not-quite-directly behind the same car that had been there four hours earlier when I went to get my mother.

I went for the wheelchair. As I went into the building, I passed the owner of the car I was parked behind. When I went to get my mother, she told me the man wanted to leave, and I should move the car. (I have no idea if he told her this, but I doubt it. For one thing, even if he had, she wouldn't have heard/understood him.) There were a few of problems with this. First, there was no place to move the car to that wouldn't mean a long trek to the front door, and second, if the idiot wanted to park in the patient loading area, he should be prepared to have to wait a while. And finally, I wasn't actually in his way. He couldn't back up while I was getting my mother out of the car, but he could as soon as I closed the door. He might have to maneuver a little to get out, but it was doable. It was thirtysomething degrees out, I wasn't having her out in the cold any longer than necessary. I told her he could just wait, and got the chair into position.

And as soon as I got her into the building, she told me she'd wheel herself to her room and I should go move the car because I was inconveniencing the man in the car. I started to say something along the lines of having to walk back and forth and back and forth (because I need to sign her in when I get her back), thought, I don't care anymore, and went and moved my car.

I moved it to my house.

I didn't sign my mother back in, I didn't say goodbye, I just left. I've decided to adopt her new motto: What are they going to do? What if I don't sign her back in? Will they not let me take her out anymore? Fine with me.

She keeps telling me she wants the keys to her house, and insisting she's never had a key to the security door. This is ridiculous, but the great thing about being deaf is, you don't have to listen to anybody again ever, you can just say remarkably stupid things and pretend they make sense. She wants the keys because both my uncle and Patrick have told her they'll bring her home anytime she wants. She'd be better off climbing out a window and walking home. Patrick doesn't even visit, and I don't think my uncle's in good enough shape to do everything required to get her in the house.

But today I'm going to get keys made—because I have no idea what she's done with her keys—and take them to her. God forbid I stand in the way of her family, the people who really love her.

*Aaron Raz Link
carose59: philosophy (it's all a pastrami on rye)
"If You Call Her A Widow, That Proves That Even You Thought You Were Dead!"*

-:- -:- -:-

My uncle is in the hospital. He had a stroke yesterday.

My cousin told me last night. I went over to tell my mother this morning, but she was sleeping, so I came to work and called her later, when I knew she'd be awake. I never wake people up to give them bad news. Bad news seldom goes away, and there's seldom much you can do about it. Knowing sooner only makes you unhappy sooner.

I did the same thing when Pat died. The only people who knew right away knew for reasons other than me telling them. I waited two hours before I called my mother—who was asleep then, too. It was early in the morning.

In my head, the time you don't know someone is dead, they aren't. Not to you. Their death only imprints on you when you find out. Not telling feels like a blessing.

That might not be true, or exactly true, or something. In the last few years, I've found out about the deaths of two friends by searching for them online. One had been dead over a year, the other several months. In both cases, the discovery left me feeling like Wile E. Coyote running off the edge of a cliff. All that time I was running on nothing and I didn't have a clue. This is why the world seems so alien to me; I never know the things I think I should know. How can a dear friend die and I not feel the reverberations?

Another friend—a live one, at least the last time I checked—had her sister and brother-in-law murdered.

Wait. That sounds like she paid to have it done, which is not what I mean. What I mean is, they were murdered. I didn't know them, I just know her, so for me what happened, happened to her. I cannot think of a way to rephrase that. Anyway, the night it happened, she was at the movies with Pat and me, the second Lethal Weapon movie. When she got home, her brother was waiting for her.

Later, when the third movie came out, Pat and I talked about asking if she wanted to see it with us. We'd seen the first one together, so it was sort of a tradition. But with the associations, it seemed wrong. I don't think we ever saw it.

Much later, I told our friend about this discussion we'd had, and asked if we'd made the right choice. I don't remember what she said about that, maybe because something else she said has never left me. She told me she loves Lethal Weapon 2, because in her mind, that was the last time her sister and brother-in-law were still alive.

It's like time travel, the difference between reality and your own truth. There is a part of me that still believes Pat was alive when I got up that morning, when I went in the bathroom and closed the door so the light wouldn't wake her, when I talked to her, thinking she wasn't answering because she was still sleeping. She didn't become dead until the paramedic said the word to me and I was pulled out of my own reality and into everybody else's.

*Henry Lowndes
carose59: poetry (by Henry Gibson)
-:- -:- -:-

You can live without me,
without thoughts of me.
I do not hover in your mind,
I live in a box in the shed in the backyard,
one you do not go to except to take out holiday ornaments.

I work better as a memory anyway,
not so troublesome, and I compact and sit where I'm put.
I don't ask why.
I don't ask anything.
carose59: (tattoo was the mother of pinkle purr)
(This is neither a poem nor a screed on the sad temporal nature of nature.)

I Want People To Have More To Say About Me After I'm Gone Than, "He Was A Nice Guy...He Chased Sticks!"*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

It's a sad thing about the locusts; if you ask Meg and Little Cat, there's no better toy in the world. They're just the right size, they move on their own and are fun to chase, and when you hold one in your mouth, it makes a sound like a clicker, which is very exciting.

Locusts are, however, very much toys and not food. You might play with a moth before you eat it, but you don't eat a locust.

For some reason, they're not allowed in the house. This is perplexing. Meg would stand up and peek in the door, and I would go over to let him in, see (or hear) the locust, and tell him no. "But I have a toy!" his expression would tell me. "A wonderful toy! See? I caught it myself. I Am A Hunter." I would praise him, but I wouldn't let him in. (My idea of praise is telling him, "If we ever have a plague, you'll be the first one I call. Then I'll tell the pharaoh to let the Jews go."

(He got one in once. Between me trying to catch it to get rid of, him trying to play with it, and it trying to get away, it was very exciting.)

Meg is also allowed to stay out later, after dark. One Saturday evening I just decided to see what happened if I didn't call him to come in. What happened was that around nine forty-five he came to the door to be let in. It was getting close to bedtime.

He's finicky about his bedtime, and prefers me to be settled in bed before eleven. If I'm not getting ready for bed by ten thirty or so, he comes and lays on me for a while. But if I'm up much past eleven, he'll go off and settle someplace else, probably thinking I'm too stupid to take a hint.

I've also discovered that Meg doesn't wash his back feet. He washes his toes, but the part of the foot from his heel down to where his toes start is gray now, and not because he's changed color. (Though some of his colors have changed, some of his white has gone a cream color.)

I want to wash his feet to see what color they really are. This could be tricky because I'm not supposed to even touch his back feet. The only time his back feet and I should come in contact is when he's walking or laying on me. Or when he's kicking me. But his feet are very private and shouldn't be touched, even when they're hanging down looking completely adorable, just begging to be tweaked.

One of his favorite things to do is play tag. He'll run past me and hit me on the leg with one of his paws. "You're it! And you can't catch me!" This is true. I can never catch him in a foot race.

Meg has embraced his extended family. He lets Patrick pet him, he plays with Little Cat (and eats her food--Patrick feeds her on the front porch, and when she's finished, Meg rushes over to gobble up what's left, even things he refuses to eat when they're in his own bowl in his house). He goes to my mother's house for whipped cream, and will also lay down and nap with my mother. I don't worry about him being out all day anymore.

During the really bad heat we had a few weeks ago, I kept Meg in the house when I went to work. (This was no trick; he didn't want to be out in it anyway, and would come back in from doing his business right away.) There were about three days in a row where the only time he had outside was when I got home from work, about three or four hours, and it was too hot to run and play.

Meg got cranky and crazed. He doesn't usually run madly around the house, but those days he did. He was also meowing a lot, and I realized he wanted a paper bag to play in. I was opening one up and he was so excited, he was leaping at it, as though trying to leap inside. The first night he spent the whole evening in her bag. The second night I also put out a cardboard box for him, and he spent the evening running back and forth between the two.

Oh, and there was one really exciting thing that happened. His big bag of dry food was nearly empty so I took it to the kitchen. (It had been in Pat's room, with the door closed, ever since Meg's required fast for his surgery.) I set the bag down, but it was too empty to stand up, so it tipped over, and Meg ran inside because, a bag! Nothing's better than a bag to play in!

Except there is one thing that's better; this bag had food in it! A bag! With food in it! What could be better than that? I didn't even try to pour the food into his dish, he was happier eating it in the bag.

Have I mentioned that he gets his drinking water from a bucket in the bathroom? It's a long story involving a drip in the bathtub, a bowl I put under the drip for the cats, a toilet that leaks if I fill the tank, changing the bowl for a bucket, and Meg discovering a bucket full of water! He sits on the side of the tub with his front paws on the edge of the bucket and drinks from as close to the middle of the bucket as he can reach. It's like watching a lion drinking at a watering hole. A tiny tabby lion with a plastic watering hole. It's adorable.

He mostly sleeps with me now, laying with his paws pressed against me. He's an incredibly happy cat, purring most of the time



Friday, 18 December 2009 11:29 am
carose59: it's all in my head (the wind of the wing)
In Most Mental Illness The Capacity To Relax Is As Much Impaired As The Integrity Of A Bone Destroyed By A Fracture.**

-:- -:- -:- -:-

For a woman with agoraphobia, I did really well today. I’d planned on going to the library and getting a book, and then my mother called and said she needed drugs and money, so I added CVS and the bank to my list. Oh, and bread, and half-and-half. That added the grocery.

When she called I was watching WETV, some Danielle Steele thing, and I already knew what was going to happen. (At the happy couple’s wedding, a Spitfire flew over the wedding party. That means the groom was going to die in the upcoming war.) That part was OK. The part I was having trouble with was the bride stumbling upon a deserted French chateau, and her falling in love with it and wanting to fix it up. Not that I mind people fixing up old houses, but it was exhausting me just thinking about imaginary people fixing up an imaginary house. So I went over to my mother’s to get the check.

I told my mother that I think the definition of depression is having so little emotional energy, you can’t even watch imaginary people do renovations on an imaginary house, and she laughed and agreed and said she feels the same way. The whole idea of wanting to do something so labor-intensive seems insane.

And then we agreed that the reason it’s so hard to clean house is the decision-making that’s involved. "Should this thing be kept or gotten rid of? If kept, where should it go? If gotten rid of, does that mean thrown away, donated, recycled—? I need to lie down now."

This is why I’m good at washing dishes and clothes. They’re very specific tasks. I know how to wash a plate, how to put it in the drainer to dry, how to put it away when it is dry. I know where it goes. And I can tell when the job is complete. (Though I will say that a great deal of the time, that last step, the putting away step, doesn’t get done with either clothes or dishes. I live out of the drainer and the laundry basket, as did my mother before me, and her mother before her.)

But general stuff eludes me. It can take me days to tidy up my desk at work. I’ll be doing just fine, then suddenly the part of my brain that knows what to do with things will overload and I’ll have to quit. If I can’t quit, I’ll go into panic mode and just sit there, moving things around, hoping no one notices that I’m not actually doing anything. Or I’ll start to cry. And how do you explain to your boss that the part of your brain that does what she’s asking you to do has locked up and can’t be accessed at the moment?

There are reasons I’m a mess, and some of them are laziness, self-indulgence, and a certain apathy about how things look. But those aren’t the only reasons. There’s really something in my head that doesn’t seem to work right where cleaning is concerned.

Anyway, today I rode my bike several miles, some of them uphill. I got all the things I was supposed to get, ran all the errands I was supposed to run. I was productive, and I was out of the house, and most of the time, I wasn't thinking about how badly I wanted to get back home.

I started writing this on June 10, 2008, and never finished or posted it (as far as I can tell). My house is still as messy, and now I have a cat who doesn't help matters at all. (She's raiding my shadow boxes for toys.) My agoraphobia is worse, mostly due to my house being broken into once, and Patrick's now three times. (The last time was yesterday.) I've come to realize that the decision-making problem extends to shopping, so I talk to myself in a low, gentle tone and try to relax myself, but there are so many mistakes to be made! And with food it's all mistakes, or mistakes waiting to happen, it's stuff that isn't good for me, or stuff that is good for me but will probably go bad before I eat it. I shop with the twin ideas that I'll still be the same person as when I bought it, and that I'll be somebody better and with more focus and energy, someone who will know what to do with a pomegranate or a bunch of radishes. Shopping is always aspiring to be someone else, or at least myself only better, and I nearly always let myself down.

The good part is, I know that now. I can work on it, or work around it.

*I like the word stricken. I like to think that I've been stricken with agoraphobia, if I have to have it at all. There's at least some poetry to it.
**Abraham Myerson
carose59: amusements (a medley of extemporanea)
Maybe We Invented God So We'd Have Someone To Understand Us.*

-:- -:- -:- -:-

Tuesday didn't start off so well. I have a leak in my bathtub faucet, so I keep a bucket under it and when it fills up, I use it to flush the toilet. Tuesday morning when I got up, I found a dead mouse floating in the bucket.

It was very early in the morning—four-fifteen or so—and I wasn't exactly what you'd call awake, so I just stood there for a while, looking at it and trying to figure out what to do. Eventually it dawned on me that I could just pour the bucket into the toilet, mouse and all.

Later, at work, I was reading Nuvo (the local alternative newspaper) and found out that Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead was being produced at a little theater. I didn't get the address or anything because the last day for it was the previous Saturday. The reviewer was disappointed in it, but that doesn't mean much since he doesn't seem to have been familiar with the play; he thought the third act dragged, and blamed this on Tom Stoppard. Anyway, it was moot, and I was disappointed.

Wednesday I listened to a play, Mizlansky/Zilinsky, done by the L. A. Theatre Works (who also did Orson's Shadow, which I saw when I was in New York in '05). I wasn't that crazy about the play itself, but there was something utterly surreal about listening to Rob Morrow as a gay Valley boy. I kept picturing him in short-shorts and a cut-off T-shirt (which I'm sure is not what he was wearing, but it's my imagination and I can do what I want with it). By the way, I can't recommend highly enough the L. A. Theatre Works plays.

Tomorrow I'm going to a wedding shower for my cousin Darby's daughter, Erin. I'm giving her ten dollars and myself a large chocolate shake from Steak 'n' Shake (because there's one right near where the shower is).

I also listened to a book called The God Delusion. I really enjoy books on religion written by atheists. I'm not an atheist myself, but atheists are more objective. They might be trying to convince you there is no God, but they're trying to convince you that across the board, rather than pushing one religion over another.

There was one point the author made that I'd never thought of. If the story of Adam and Eve is not literally true—that is, if eating the forbidden fruit didn't cause original sin to be passed down to humankind, then there was no reason for Jesus to die for our sins.

I'm slowly writing an entry about what I know about Catholicism, but there's what I've learned and what I've experienced and it's kind of messy and disorganized. And it's unlikely to get any less messy and disorganized, though it will get more comprehensive.

Next weekend I'm going to a Moody Blues concert with my cousins Alan and Tony, and my friend Tammy from work. Alan was planning on getting tickets for himself and Tony, then he asked if I wanted to go and I said yes. Then, when he went to buy the tickets, he discovered that it cost a dollar more to buy a four-pack of tickets than to buy three single tickets, so he did, and then he told me if I knew anybody who'd like to go, I should invite them.

I asked my friend Joe, who is sick right now. I keep having conversations with Mona (his sister) where she tells me things as though I know more than I do--she's probably losing track of who she's telling what, as happens when you're relaying the details of a loved one's sickness. Anyway, from what she's said, he has esophageal cancer. This is really, really scary, and I didn't know just how sick he was when I invited him to the concert, but Mona said he was very happy I called to invite him.

Then I was in something of a quandary as to who else to ask, and I decided to do something really different and invite Tammy.

Tammy works at Central library, and she's the one who's responsible for my poetry being displayed last year. Since then we've been emailing on a regular basis. So I decided to ask her to the concert. I'm working at reaching out more, and I think it's working. (I also decided to ask her because I thought she could handle being around Tony. It's an issue.)

Did you know I'm intimidating? My mother told me that the other day. We were talking about Tony and Alan, and how I refuse to back down when I'm talking to them, and that I know how to argue. "They're intimidated by you. We have that in us, I just never use it. But your grandmother did." She also used to burst into tears when she got her feelings hurt. I am very much like her. And from my father, I get just a little bit more detachment, so I can use this talent more effectively.

But I don't think of myself as being intimidating. I mostly think of myself as frivolous and strange. I know I know how to present a reasonable, logical argument, but I'm not used to being taken seriously.

It's nice to know my mother thinks I'm intimidating (though she's not intimidated by me).

*Rod McKuen
carose59: dreams (whose mind watches itself)
"Perhaps It's A Mutation. There's A Lot Of That Going Around."*

-:- -:- -:-

Last night I dreamed that I was in some kind of horror movie where large insect/robot hybrids had infiltrated my home. There were several of us living in the house—and it wasn't my real house, it was a movie house—and I kept seeing things moving in my peripheral vision.

Nobody believed me--I don't know who these people were, except that one of them was a twenty-something year old pregnant woman, and sometimes I was her. (I think all the other people there were men, but they all kind of blended together.) I finally found a wasp the size of a Pomeranian, hanging upside-down from the ceiling, and I knew there were more in the basement. So we all went down carrying various toxins to kill them with, only the toxins just made them very angry.

Then I suggested shooting them. The men thought this was stupid, shooting at bugs, even if the bugs were the size of a small dog, but I started shooting at them and it worked. (The toxins hadn't worked because the robot part kept them alive long enough for the insect part to fight off the toxin.)

There was also something under the rug, like several puke-yellow insects all connected, and I went over and just stomped the shit out of it. The men were all kind of ticked off at me, saying I hadn't been "sure of just what was under the rug," and who knows what I might have killed. So I told them they could lift up the rug and see for themselves. (I had seen it/them trying to crawl out.) I was really pissed off about all of it, and paranoid about this infestation of my house. I swear to God, I woke up saying, "Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!"

Now, I know where much of this comes from.

The shooting is from the promos for the next season of Burn Notice, where Michael just stands there while the guy shoots at him.

The wasps come from the real wasps that have been harassing me all summer, trying to get into my house. There was one on my car the other day, and it rode most of the way home from work with me, hanging onto the grill, then climbing up when I'd have to stop, and getting blown off and grabbing onto the grill again when I started again. I had my windows closed, so I didn't have to scream at it to leave me alone, but it was still creepy.

The hybrid part comes from reading way to much yesterday—I was catching up on the ones I missed.

The men being upset with me comes from my cousins, Tony and Alan, both of whom love me, but I don't think like my being as smart (if not smarter) than they are. Really, I don't think it bothers Alan so much that I'm smart, it's that I argue with him that seems to bother him. I can be smart, but not with my own ideas. But Tony really can't deal with it, neither my being very smart, nor my arguing with him. I'm a girl. I'm younger than he is. And when I argue with him, I score points. And I was talking to my mother about Tony right before I went to bed.

As to why I was sometimes pregnant, I have no idea. Thank God that's not something I have to worry about. What I really find interesting are dreams where I'm sometimes myself and sometimes somebody else. I wonder if that has anything to do with more effectively telling the story by shifting the point of view.

*Justus Walters
carose59: philosophy (it's all a pastrami on rye)
I'm Sure Christ Wore A Mezuzah. He Certainly Didn't Wear A Cross.*

-:- -:- -:-

Lunch with my cousin Alan yesterday, and we were talking about religion, and God. Alan is not in favor of religion, but believes we should each have a relationship with Jesus on our own, with nothing between us and Him.

I was trying to explain to him about my belief in God the Author, because it's the only way I can make it make sense that God loves people who do very bad things. But authors love their villains as much—if not more—than their heroes, because without them, very little would happen. I find it a comforting thought, because it relieves me of some of my need to be perfect all the time. I'm not saying I'm perfect all the time--or any of the time, but that I'm supposed to be, and that's a weight. I feel like I'm letting people down all the time, and it's exhausting, feeling like a failure. The idea that I would be loved not in spite of that but because of it--

I feel ridiculous. Awkward and pathetic and moody and inadequate. And then I think about how I write Sonny, the least introspective, self-aware character I have ever written, and what a freaking joy it is to write him because he's hilarious. He breaks his own rules and has to justify this to himself, and his justifications make no sense, and he's tied up in knots because of it, and as an author, he simply could not make me any happier. And I think, and maybe that's how God sees me. I think it's sort of how my mother sees me.

Anyway, Alan asked me if I wouldn't want to have a closer relationship with God, and understand Him more. And my first thought was, "Um, no. Thanks." But I sat there and really thought about it and I still couldn't--

I thought of Stranger Than Fiction, where Will Farrell is hearing his life narrated, and fuck, I have enough problems with things like standing on my mother's front porch, waiting for her to come to the door, and this narrator in my head saying, "But little did she know that the last time she saw her mother had been the last time she would ever see her mother alive." (The narrator in my head is cliché ridden, and does not write as well as I do.) Personally, I like my relationship with God: He doesn't interfere in my life, and I don't ask Him for anything. I'm only expected to be as kind as I can be to other people, and not fuck myself up too badly.

I didn't tell Alan about the narrator in my head. I didn't tell him about my relationship with God. I just said I couldn't imagine what that would be like.

I did say that we create our images of God from what we can understand, and the reason that we need rosaries, and Mary and saints to pray to is that we have these bodies, and they need comfort. God's love has always felt so impersonal, but saints are easier to relate to. And I never felt the need for a duality of God the Father because as a Catholic (a bad Catholic, but being a Catholic is like the Hotel California: you can check out, but you can never leave)—as a Catholic, I also had Mary, the mother. Taking that away cuts me off from God because God feels distant.

I'm getting a little lost here. But I think you can expect more on this subject.

*Cesar Chavez

(The terminology I use here: God, and Father, and such, are the ones I used in the conversation. They aren't how I think of the Creator of the Universe, as Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. termed it.)

Things I did today.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009 02:20 pm
carose59: crime and other violations (i read the news today oh boy)
"Why Must We Have Something To Look Forward To? Why Can't We Just Look At Now?"*

-:- -:- -:-

1. Went into work late because I was up late last night because I went out for dinner with my family. Because I was going in late enough for Subway to be open, I picked up a chicken salad sandwich on my way.

2. Finished one of the projects my boss gave me, but she wasn't there for me to tell.

3. Called my cousin Alan to cancel lunch with him. After spending half the day with Tony on Sunday and a few hours with family last night, the idea of having to be social made me want to scream. Fortunately, Alan is very much like me in that regard, and he understood. He told me to go home after work, turn off the phone, and go to bed early. I can't turn off the phone, but I am going to bed early. I need a lot of down time.

4. Stopped by to give my mother corn on the cob and was told she really appreciated my speaking up so forcefully and telling everyone that no-one was putting her in an assisted living facility. "They were trying to talk me into it when they came to visit Sunday."

5. Talked to Patrick--did I mention that I was lending him the Compaq I bought at a garage sale and he offered to buy it off me? I told him sure, and was going to let him have it for fifty dollars (five dollars less than I paid for it), but today he told me he was giving me sixty, which he's adding to the rent check he gives my mother in a couple days. Since I'm the one who deposits/cashes' the checks, this is very convenient. While we were talking, his pizzas were delivered (it's a a two for one place) and he gave me one.

I'm not hungry though, so I'll have pizza for lunch tomorrow and the next day. Tonight I had a little chocolate ice cream, and I hope to be in bed before eight.

*Jerry Rubin

July 2017

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