9/26/2014

Time is harder to hold on to than water with greasy hands.  Earlier this year a weird realization came over me.  It stopped me in my tracks and I have spent time over many late nights trying to digest it.  I have known my wife, Meta, longer than I knew my mother.  I have been carnal with Meta longer than I knew my mother and in three more years I will have been married longer than I k was my mothers child.  It left me rather unsettled.

Its been during this time that I have struggled with quitting smoking.  Mom and Dad both smoked thou it was a car that killed Mom not tobacco.  There are far sadder stories than mine and I did learn a great deal about finite mortal living.  I passed my 50th birthday which has driven to me to try and figure out what I have learned in this life and hope that it is something worth sharing.  I’m kind of a freak as it is, sort of a walking anomaly.

So my love affair with tobacco, cuz that’s what it is, an affair.  First thing, those anti smoking advertisements must be aimed at non smokers because every time I see one I can’t fight the urge to light up.  What’s the deal with that anyway?  Is it possible that some clever marketing man figured out away to fulfill the tobacco settlement and advertise smokes on television?

Damn if that doesn’t sound paranoid.

I want to say, for the record. that I do not disagree with the statement that cigarettes pose a serious risk to my own health and the health of others, and that tobacco, especially factory tobacco is addictive.  I am addicted.  But I also like smoking.  The weird thing is that the audio, visual and tactile effects of being schizophrenic (hallucinations, illusions or delusions) get worse while I am quitting.  I barely leave the apartment as it is.  This isn’t an effort to convince anyone of anything, just is whether you believe it or not.  It seems these symptoms get  worse now then before dialysis (That’s a whole other story for another time.)

The loss of my Mom taught me to get to know the people you care about before you loose each other cuz at some point it will happen.  You will lose each other.  Know your beloved gives you better memories and less shoulda, woulda. coulda than the alternative, say it later.  Regardless of the conditions of the day always end your time by saying “I love you,” if indeed you do.  While I was dealing with kidney failure I was terrified that Meta and I would ppart ways before I coulld say it to her one last time. I wasn’t afraid of the fatal moment.  What frightened me was the idea that I woulpd goo with out taking the sound, touch and her image with me.

Total corn but true none-the-less.

I am not quitting smoking for my health nor Meta.  This is the simple contradiction of being human…to be smart enough to know the right road to take but not wise enough to take it.  I am not quitting because I want to and no I don’t have cancer.  Its the economy that’s provides the motivation.  It irks me to use a charge card to buy tobacco and food prices have blown through the roof.  I use to be able to smoke and eat less but cigarette prices have gotten outrageous as well.  The whole mess is a real cash bonanza if you’re a member of the right group.  Yet a best I can manage two days before I cave.

It might just be a case of Akrasia (I don’t think I spelled that right) or weakness of the will.  The problem is that I don’t want to quit smoking, I have to quit smoking.  I’m not interested in vapping, the patch or the gum….seems self defeating to me to use nicotine to quit nicotine.  The trick is to keep busy, my hands and my mind and have plenty too eat.  By the way, celery and carrot sticks don’t cut it, chocolate is better, besides its a mood altering drug in its own right.

The stress is probably the hardest thing but there is the dulling of mental agility and I lose the ability to keep track of time.  That last one is a major pain in the ass.

I haven’t given up yet.  I’m going to take another run at it tomorrow.  I have a doctors appointment on Tuesday.  If I make it past that and don’t find myself on a three day pass and manage bot to smoke. …Well, that would be a big deal.  I don’t like to think that far ahead though, not when it comes to Tobacco.

Hope you are well,

Be Blessed.

The Doorknob Incident 1/28/2014

This incident took place a week ago Sunday.  The exact date would be January 19th 2014.

Meta had been made mention for some time that she was having problems with the doorknob, this particular door knob was part of the front door to our apartment.  She had stated, directly most of the time and indirectly on the rest of the occasions that the afore-mentioned doorknob didn’t seem to want to work, that it was sticking somehow.  In later discussions Meta would state that she had been having this for a couple of weeks or so.  Though it seems to my recollection that it was longer than that possibly a month maybe six weeks but I would be forced to acknowledge that the frequency of the incidents that she had been reporting had increased dramatically in the last two weeks.

I had no point of reference for what she was saying.  Better stated, I hadn’t experienced any problems with accused doorknob in any way.  I felt nothing when I turned the handle, no resistance and the door opened every time.  I did something I think my father would have been proud of, I chalked up the reports of her experiences as some form of female hysterical delusion lacking any resemblance to rationality.  This single mental act I had never done before.  When Meta told me something I always took it seriously previously, I may not have done anything about it but I didn’t just mentally blow it off and chalk it up to some weird assessment of female inferiority.  There could have been other reasons why the doorknob behaved when I turned it.  It could have been my massive strength being a he man and all,  maybe it was an  expression of my paranormal power, possibly some sort of spiritual blessing or odds are, just plain old luck.

I was operating from a deeply seated assumption that reality is some how intransient, unchanging.  This is an underlying operating assumption that I have been aware of in humanity for sometime and Meta and I had talked about it at some length several times in the recent past.  The phenomena, in the simplest terms, If I have an experience with the doorknob today and it works for me, indeed every time I use the doorknob it behaves accordingly then that is the way it is for every one all the time.  Its the empiricists interpretation of knowledge.

So it was sunday the 19 in northern Ohio during a january that is beginning to look a lot more like winters past.  Meta and I had decided to make a run for essentials, pop and cigarettes, we had everything else, before the weather turned again.  Rain and freezing rain over the next day or two followed by snow and a sudden impending cold spell combined with the lack of a car and the fact that neither of us are spring chickens anymore prompted us to move on a clear day in the middle 20s temperature wise.  She would run the errand and I would stay inside, I know, I am a lazy dog, but I can live with it if she can.  It was then that I experienced problems with the doorknob right along with her, it just didn’t seem to want to let go of the doorjam.  But we managed and it opened.  I stood in the hallway, we traded I love you’s and I told her to call me so that I could be at the down stairs door to carry up the supplies.  I watched as she headed down the hall and turned and began to descend the 44 stairs down to the street entrance.

It was then that I glanced down at the doorknob and turned it back and forth. It seemed ti me touch and my eye that it was working just fine.

“Should I leave it open until she gets back?” I thought to myself.

“You getting delusional now, hysterical maybe,” Stated another voice in my head.

(Don’t be alarmed, I am a schizophrenic and these types of strange mental activities are fairly frequent)

“Go ahead and close it, you can sit ’til she calls, be comfortable,” This was stated by a second voice.

“I don’t know if that would be wise,” I thought back, “I think there might be a problem with the door.”

“Don’t be a pussy, shut the door already,” Stated the first voice.

“Be a man and close the door, you look like a dufus,” That would have been the second voice.

I don’t know why, it seemed logical that everything would be just fine and the nagging sensation that maybe I had missed something was fading but not gone. This would be what NoahBoddee, my brother, would have refered to as a dumbass attack.  But the thing about dumb ass attack’s are that what everything has to be done first before you realize that every action was an idiotic endeavor.  Most of these last couple of sentences are reflections as I had put enough though into what I was doing.  It was just a nagging feeling so I shut the door.

I stood there, hand open only inches from the doorknob and I could not take my eyes off it.  The fading nagging sound had become quiet loud again.  So I figured I see if I could open the door and put the noise in my head to rest.  So I gripped the handle and turned, first to the left and then to the right but the door would not open.  There was no lock on the door, other than a dead bolt.  I repeated the cyclic move several more times and regardless of how hard I pulled I could not get the door open.

It was then I realized that I had a dumbass attack.  That I was in fact something of an idiot.

I Freaked.

first I tried the old driver’s license/credit card trick, I had always been able to use this to unlock a door from the inside, not dead bolts.  Fail.  It seemed to me that the license and the credit card were too flimsy and it had been a while, maybe I was mistaken.  Next came a butter knife, I could not get over how stubborn the lock was, after all this was from the inside, I was trying to break out.  The idea of Meta being stuck in the hallway only added to my overall level of anxiety.  Then two butter knives, a flurry of action, metal clicking against metal.  Meta would later say that she could hear the noise those two butter knives were making all the way down on the first floor.

We had managed to make contact before she got home so that she would know the situation and the fact that I would not be downstairs to help her haul.

As soon as I am certain of the world it does something to remind me that I don’t know what I am doing, hell, I don’t know what I am thinking.

I played with the idea of taking the door knob off but I hesitated, our land lord is on good terms with us and I was planning to keep it that way.  It wouldn’t be until Meta herself suggested that I take off the door knob, after she had been sitting in the hall for nearly forty minutes.  I am not mechanically inclined, my brother constantly warns that I should never be allowed to handle tools.  None the less I found the proper sized Phillips and quickly removed the knob.  the internal workings would be different though as it appears the mechanism had sprung and had to be removed in pieces.

Meta would say later that evening that I should feel bad about the incident, that it could have happened to any one any where.  I don’t know about that.  It wasn’t until I explained that it wasn’t so much her being trapped in the hall or hauling the groceries up the stairs with out help.  It was because of the way I had blown her off, not taken her seriously.  I shouldn’t have done that.

I realize that this post is a little late.  I guess its taking more effort to get my sea legs back then I thought.

Remember, be blessed

Voices of the Dead

Its been a while since my last post, things of the end of summer and through the fall were just a bit out of hand and mind but I will save that for another time.

Please accept my apologies.

This early dark season festival many neopagans call Yule is a very important time for me.  This year I felt far from the advertised commercial feelings of the season and had come to a rest, as in a body at rest or in motion will resist any change to its state.  I hope I wasn’t too hard on Meta with my bah humbug and general blah sentiment.  I refer to it as melancholic as a way of differentiating it from out right depression.

I should be careful before I find myself babbling endlessly.

Any way, for me, in no way am I saying that any one else should see or relate to this season in a similar way,again, for me this is a time to reflect on all those that have come before, the family of my memory, and it is also a time to look forward.  The whole thing has a strange quiet soberness to it and this Christmas/Yule here in the north of Ohio where the cold chill freezes breezes sound from the air, or at least this seems the case.  You know its cold when you don’t here any gunshots.

My past, the time before the time now, the time when I still possessed a great hope and powerful will and had submitted to the great beliefs of our land.  These are memories of a first life, though I breathe the air with the same lungs now as I had then, or felt the rain with same skin now as then.  It was a time when I operated under the delusion that I was sane.  Now it feels still like I live a different life.  My mother bought this massive old Victorian house, a monstrosity, or white elephant as she liked to call it.  After two years of working on renovations we had began to have big thanksgiving gatherings.  Aunts Uncles, cousins, friends of the family so that there would be over twenty people in the large dining room most seated around that odd table that could be pulled to extend its length.  I’ve probably written about this event previously I honestly can’t remember.  Its Yule/Christmas/Chaunnika/Kwanza holidaze at the very beginning of the freezin’ season when I most dwell in those places in my memory where all those people still live.  Many are dead, the rest have moved far either to get away from members of the family that spooked them or to find better opportunities.  It matters not.

It is in this process of recollection that I feel those moments, moments that I know can never be recreated.  I know this is impossible yet I feel the need just like a chance meeting near a fairy circle.  Once you been in that space, if you are well wise, the memories are such that you desperately want to live them again even though it is very unlikely.  Fairies are capricious to say the least and rarely show favor to even the most friendly to their point of view more than once.  It is that which those old memories most remind me.  Images of grand parties like faerie lights or the wisps faint and odd in the distance.  It takes an effort to overcome the tendency to pick and choose the qualities we wish to remember.  A fair recollection is the most honest one you can keep.  Now that Dad had passed last year or the year before just a few days after his birthday I have no one left that remembers anything much about those times.

If I wasn’t all ready crazy I’d probably really feel like I was loosing my mind. As 99% of the memories I have worked so hard to keep have no counter point anywhere in the family.  I tell stories and no one recalls, no one remembers, no one cares.  I could be paranoid about the whole thing but I choose not.  Instead I choose, too much beer and drugs under their respective bridges or they simply forgot.  Through disinterest or as a way of avoiding emotional pain they simply let those events slide from the bright light of their mind’s eye and into the shadow.

Memory is like a garden, it has to be worked, cultivated and fed if you want it to be healthy and productive.

WHEN THE DEAD SPEAK,

IT’S VOICE IS LIKE THUNDER,

IT’S WORDS AND MESSAGES CREEP,

FROM PROFOUND SILENCES.

AND PLACES STRANGEST.

This fragment of a poem came out of this melancholic haze from that longest night of the year as I sat with my brother drinking beer and reflecting remembering and discussing our plans for the new year 2014.  It was then that the two times the dead left me a message seemed most profound.  In a surreal way they spoke directly to me through some sort of intermediary.  I do not necessarily attach any type of supernatural element to these messages.  Anyone may do so if they wish, but to my mind they found a most mundane path to deliver these messages to me.

The first incident was rooted during the time of my mothers wake and her burial.  She died in 1988 on the 2nd of december and was buried on the 6th, what was once known as Saint Nicholas day, her favorite feast on the catholic calendar other than the major catholic holidays.  I touched on this story in my work Living Inside schizophrenia which I as of yet have not gotten published.  My brother, this would be brother number three, my fourth brother had not as of yet became part of the family, was dating a young lady at that time.  She was very close to my whole family and went by the nickname Kimmie.  The Nickname Kimmie was given to her by my great aunt Ruth who has now for several years rested in the cold hard ground.  Apparently my mother and Kimmie had talked quite a bit, unbeknownst to me.  I lived in a different city at that tine and was desperately trying to scratch out some kind of an income from the world of minimum wage labor.  The university and I had decided to part ways, mostly it was the university’s decision.  This was my great failure in my own assessment.  It was my shame.  I quickly found work at a local fast food restaurant.  I had enough education that if I was honest on my applications for work then I was also over qualified for any better job.  Deception was never a preference of mine.

It was after the wake had ended and we all headed back to where ever we came from that my good friend Midnight Angel, a platonic friend, relayed this message to me.  She and Kimmie had spent some time on the side lines talking privately between themselves.  Kimmie stated that my mother had told her this: “At the time I washed out of college.  Went then and found a job and found an apartment and began to support myself she (My mother) had stopped worrying about me.  She was certain that I would be able to take care of myself.”

This could easily be considered hearsay.  Just as easily one might consider it as a made up thing simple stated to easy my strange grief.  I accepted the statement with the understanding that either of these may be true just as the message may have been accurate and true in its own right.  It didn’t seem really to matter as the message had little hard effect on me but yet I did manage to remember it.  It was a thing that held a great fascination for me.

The second case though is a bit stranger.  Meta, my wife, was doing research on her family history making use primarily of local resources.  One of these resources was the court records, especially the probate court.  She was looking up old probated wills from her family and asked me if she would like the wills from my mother and her father which I said I would.

Before I go on I should give some back story first.  Back in 1987 I was watching television and caught the news out of Columbus Ohio.  I believe it was Columbus although it just as easily could have been Detroit.  Where the news came from matters not, its one story during that broadcast that is important, at least it was to me at the time.  This story was about the Zimmer power plant that had been built in Cincinnati Ohio.  This was a joint project between Dayton Power and Light and a power company in Kentucky though honestly I couldn’t tell you its name.  Zimmer, the nuclear power plant, didn’t pass NRC regulations and was unsafe and would not be allowed to go on line.  It was a new power plant and had cost 9 billion dollars which the two companies had financed jointly.  DPL (Dayton Power and Light) was going to stop paying dividends and the price of the stock began to drop finally reaching almost 10 dollars a share.  It’s a power company so I knew that it would keep making money and as soon as the debt was paid it would start paying dividends again and the price would go back up.  I owned 538 or so shares of Centerior at the time and felt that I could easily sell two hundred of those shares and turn around and pick up three hundred of so shares of DPL.  I thought I was a good trade.  I decided to phone Dad and ask him to which he responded, in so many words, that I didn’t know what the hell I was doing and I should leave my Centerior stock alone.

It was silly actually, calling to ask permission to sell stock that I owned.  In the long term he would be right, I didn’t know what I was doing as I would later piss the whole 538 shares away on an ill-conceived business idea.  To this day I don’t know why I would sell the stock to open up a tea room but not sell it to increase my portfolio.  There is definitely a sign of fractured logic there.

Back to Meta and her investigation of her family history.  She did eventually bring both my Grandfather’s will and my Mother’s will.  Grandfather’s will was extensive.  On the other hand Mom’s will was smaller. You see mom bought stock in round lots, increments of 100 shares, then she would enroll in the companies dividend reinvestment program.  So her stock was single entry with some odd number behind it, like Centerior 937 shares or Pepsi co. 549 shares or Pfizer 1293 shares, but one entry stood out.  It struck me like a hand across the cheek.  That entry was Dayton Power and Light 1000 shares at$10.66 a share.  Maybe dad told her about the phone call he had gotten from me and she bought it or maybe she saw the same or a similar news story and bought it because she knew it was a good investment.  DPL wouldn’t come around until a year or two or maybe even three after she died but it did come around.  It doesn’t matter whether the idea came from me directly or if she saw a similar or even the same story on the news.  Its says the same thing about the decision that I didn’t have the spine to make for myself, what it said was that I had a good idea.  That I would have been right to follow that course, that I am not an idiot and that I do know what I am doing, sometimes.  The startling thing is how I got the message.

If I had no recollection of the event itself then I would have never received the message.  The messages delivery depended entirely on my own memory.  I could be receiving these messages everyday and not know it because I don’t remember the important events that would allow the message to make sense.  You to could be experiencing the same thing yourself but lack the memory to hear.  By the good will of the divine keep those memories a live.  They to may contain important components of messages from the dead, messages many of us have yet to receive.

The Cycle Continues

I awoke yesterday, like most any day and prepared myself to help Meta with the grocery shopping.  It was in those waking moments that I turned on my radio and it started.  The Boston Marathon, exploding bombs and the babble of radio mouth pieces rattling on about numbers of people hurt or killed, legs and arms blown off spectators and atheletes and this and that always changing and thus began the information void.  I was happy this day that I did’t get television, don’t have a digital adapter and don’t get cable so I was spared the constant grinding repition or the images of suffering people.  They’re people I don’t know but people as much as anybody in my home town.  I began to get that unsettled feeling as speculation was substitued for facts and the screams, subtle at first, but they would get louder, for blood.  “Send the Drones,” or “Turn them into glass,”   the rage would build until very late when I finally turned of the radio and went to bed.  I tried to sleep but it was not easy.

In the next 24 or 48 or maybe 72 hours a perpetrater will be named and the only real question will be answered, was this domestic or foreign in origin or just some NUT JOB.  Again there will be a startling lack of factual information.  We will go and kill some of them and in a short few years they will come back and kill a few more of us.  Its been like this for 6,000 years and my better off and better educated friends tell me that there is much less killing today then there was even a thousand years ago.  Maybe I’m just in a better seat, have a clearer view and I can’t figure out why it hasn’t stopped.  I feel lost on days like these.  It is a hard thing to understand when the only way we seem to settle our differences is still some form of violence, I guess we aren’t quite as high up the evolutionary ladder as we like to think.

What bothers me the most, though, is what happened to North Korea?  Weren’t they about to nuke Japan or Guam or South Korea or something?  I remember the count down, North Korea was gonna denotate that or test this on the eleventh or the twelvth and then finally the fifteenth and there was all this talk of what the American response should be.  Well did they  launch something or blow something up?  If they did such a thiing and the media didn’t report it…then did it happen?  Was any body paying attention?  Or maybe North Korea really isn’t that big if a threat.  Just another horror show monster/shadow to make families everywhere a little bit more frightened.

I just wish the global self inflicted suffering would stop.  I gues that’s why I am crazy.

april 2013

If I had a million dollars…I think that is how the song lyric goes.  I have spent time here and there over the years wondering what I would do if I had a millions dollars.  I was just thinking about that a few hours ago.  Now as the age in my personal chronology aproaches 49 I find that a million dollars isn’t what it use to be.  I think really a million dollars is a phrase, if allowed some peotic license, that really means: In a place where you don’t have to worry about money.  A certain kind of riches or wealth and now when I am 49 and I wonder what I would do with a millions dollars I find myself thinking about things.

Things like owning my own home some where out near the wilderness but not so near that I can’t get to a doctor when I need one.  I may find myself back on Dialyisis at any time and I need to be aware of that possibility and plan for it.  It would be nice to own a car, nothing fancy, just something reliable of course but a little flash could be cool.  Maybe buy some new clothes and a decent pair of shoes and I have always wanted a suit made to fit me.  The last new clothes I had managed to obtain were a couple of pairs of J.C, Penny old Gork, Dork, golf pants and a couple pairs of thermals (Always handy).  Boy that just sounds so old and before that I received a new pair of overalls from my great aunt back in 1998.  I keep hearing about the social security and food stamps gravy train but apparently I don’t know where it stops in my home town.  I’d love to take Meta out to a nice resturant where she could be waited on hand and foot.  I know the whole thing seems rather pathetic and small minded for with my million dollars I would be things and comfort.  Its kind of silly in a way for Meta and I have things, maybe not the most comfortable or the nicest and we really had to work to get them into our appartment but things none the less.  The United States has the best garbage piles in the world.  Its amazing what our brother and sister citizens just throw away.

I think really, in order for me to gain any insight into why I would spend my million dollars the way I would today I would have to remember what I thought I would do with a million dollars when I was 20 something let’s say.  Probably just after college and I parted ways when I worked two full time jobs to make ends meet.  I was single and had no children (That’s a whole nothing long and insan e story).  Yet I still thought about that million dollar question.  I think everybody does from time to time, unless they have a million dollars of course.

I still remember those fantasies, that’s the simplest term to describe them.  What would I do?  I would travel.  I would have the time to do do the things I love like writing or Art,  and of course sex and lots of it.  As I work to rememebr what it was I wanted so much then I find that I have those things now.  Maybe not in kuxury but I still do those things.  I write.  I’ve been writing a lot over the last twenty years.  I like to think that I am getting pretty good at it.  I am an exhibited artist, nothing amazing but exhibited none the less and have wone a few awards and I have a great relationship with a horny older woman.  We have even managed to travel some, camping style, but we did it.  It took planning to be sure.

I find it fascinating that as I study my world and find all the things that are lacking in it today.  Through reflection I find that I somehow, I don’t really know exactly how, I have many of the things I was wishing for years and years ago.

Reflection can serve many purposes, mostly to give us a point of reference and to help us appreciate hat we have, what blessings we have received.

I don’t know what else to say except Be Blessed.  The Blessings are all around you all you have to do is learn to see them.

Bagged Cat, Cat tales #3

I remember some time ago, while my mother was still alive, that my brothers and I use to, on rare occasion gather in the kitchen late at night and have a quiet party.  This would be myself and brothers 2 and 3 and long before brother 4 came along.

I cannot remember clearly if this was on the very first occasion that we did this, but I suspect it was earlier amongst these rare occasions.  Brother 2 or 3 would bring a bag of weed…you know, Mary Jane, Grass, dope, the happy plant or coffee or even chicken.  I wasn’t much of a dope smoker so I would bring beer.  It would be late, and any bags we might have would be tossed thoughtlessly on the floor.  Mom and Dad were well asleep by now but we kept the noise down to be sure not to disturb them,  We would smoke and drink, talk quietly and have a pretty good time.  It was one of these times when I first felt that all of us were all adults for the first time.  We were all in college, we all had jobs or one sort or another and the future looked bright.

I don’t remember what we talked about specifically but I do remember my attention drifting to one of the bags that lay on its side on the floor and I could clearly see the tail and hind quarters of Mrs. Fist or Fisty as she explored the bags interior.  I remember bringing up the subject of an old cartoon strip called “Fat Freddy’s Cat.”  A change occured in the conversation.  My brothers quickly caught on and before you could say Mixedpixel we had the cat, Mrs. Fist, trapped in the bag.  We were gentle with her and had managed to work the bag upright so that she was sitting on the bottom and she appeared to my eye as if she were about to lay down and take a nap.  Brothers 2 and 3 shot gunned Mrs. Fist two or three times each and laid the bag back down on the floor on its side and all three of us promptly forgot about it.  I don’t believe that Fisty or Mrs. Fist, which ever name you prefer, left that bag for the rest of the night.

It was some time later that we would get together a second time.  Maybe Mom was still alive and maybe she wasn’t as my recollections of what was happening in the larger world are a bit sketchy.  My brothers and I had once again gathered in the kitchen late one night with similar party favors and again began to enjoy each others company.  Once again the bags in which we brought the beer or the junk food were tossed on the floor and left there.  I remember there was a great deal of laughter.  We were still happy and still had a hopeful out look of the world, I think.

Again my gaze wandered and again I spotted Ms. Fist.  this time she was crouched in the bag in such a way that I could only see her part of her head and her huge hopeful eyes.  She stared at me and then her gaze drifted to first one of my brothers then another.  I pointed it out to both of them and I quickly became apparent to all of us that Mrs. Fist liked to party.  That is how the cat became bagged.