Imagine if you will

Robot Brain

Tuesday, the 8th of June: I can’t comply with either of these medications. I have been taking a Latuda about once every 4 days. He wants me to take it every day but I can’t tolerate the pain in my calf muscles. I can’t go cold turkey either. That was extremely unpleasant. The off days I take the Vraylar. That shit fucks you up mentally. It’s the weirdest thing. I went on Drugs.com to read what other people said about it. The first 2 people said they slept exactly from 9pm to 4 am and then they were up for the day. I’m like, yeah, okay, how does it know what time zone you are in? I totally discounted their stories. Now here I am; it doesn’t matter what time of day I take it, 9pm, I’m in bed. I don’t really sleep but I”m not fully conscious. I’m aware of my mind running the whole time. Then… 4am… I open my eyes and I am up for the day. Not tired. Last night I thought I had an A-HA moment. I opened my eyes at 2am and felt like a “normal” day. I said, fuck this, I am closing my eyes and staying in bed the full 8 hours. I couldn’t close my eyes. I kept checking the time but it just didn’t feel right. Finally, I looked at my wristwatch and it was (did you guess?) 4am. The battery on my wall clock started dying in the middle of the night and was 2 hours slow! Now my ears are ringing like I have tinnitus. I really hope it’s unrelated. I didn’t take anything Saturday so I could function at my daughter’s the next day. I was fine.

Wednesday, the 9th of June, 2021: I biked to and from my daughter’s house last Sunday. That puts another 25 miles of pedaling on the calendar. I already forgot the total from the week before. We watched “Tangled” (Rapunzel) It was pretty good. I don’t have Disney channel at my place. I asked my daughter if she thought the guy was a little too old for Rapunzel who just turned 18. She said she didn’t know. I don’t think she is ever going to let me meet one of her boyfriends. She turns 16 this month. I usually give her cash because that is what she wants but I am not giving her cash for her 16th. I was thinking of having flowers sent to her house the day before her birthday. I don’t know what kind though. Would red roses be weird to get from your dad? I saw a local florist’s website. I could get a pretty good arrangement. Maybe I will call and ask for advice. The website was outdated. It still had Xmas flowers, but it was well done. I also need help writing the card. I want it to say something like, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life,” but a completely different phrase that means the same thing. I already dropped some coin on a Queens of The Stone Age, Vinyl. It was expensive because it was never re-released. She has quite the vinyl collection now.


“… you told me not to drive, but I made it home alive, so you said that only proves that I’m insane.” Billy Joel, “You May Be Right”

Thursday, the 10th day of June 2021: J___ stopped by a few weeks ago. I told her it doesn’t matter how long she is gone, I never wonder if I’m going to see her again. I know she will be back. She smiled and gave me a big hug. She called at the perfect time. When I saw her name on my phone I was like, There is no way I am not picking this up!

Yesterday I managed to get a blog written. I think I’m going to publish it Friday. So you will read that before I post this one.

[callback] Vraylar (cariprazine) 0 of 5 stars: Would not recommend.

Saturday, the 12th: All this time I have been trying to figure out what they did, I didn’t realize I wasn’t taking enough of anything. Oopsie.

WEmoticon

Heart colored pencils

I sent her a clever message coming up on midnight on a Thursday. She came back immediately with something funnier which surprised me because I wasn’t expecting an answer at all. I used to be slow at asking for numbers but not that night. I asked, Do you want to text and she sent me the info. We stayed up most of the night flirt-texting. We got along great with no hesitation between messages.

She worked 2nd shift and had kids in school so she was only available in the mornings. That was okay, I never slept. I think I ended up inviting myself over that morning. She said, yeah, after her kids left for school. (This will date me) I looked up her address on MapQuest and printed it out. She lived about 5 miles away. A right turn and a left turn.

She told me she wanted me to come over, open the door to her apartment, find her bedroom, walk in and fake rape her. I never had any rape fantasies but the letting myself in and finding her in bed sounded exciting. Ultimately I chickened out. I believed her but I couldn’t shake the possibility she was giving me someone else’s address and I could get into a lot of trouble. I told her she would have to wait in the living room and I would knock once.

I probably had some more coffee while I waited and then I texted her a “;)” emoji. She texted back, “;)”. I went out to my car and left. I walked up the stairs and knocked once. The door opened and she smiled and let me in. We sat on the couch and got comfortable talking for a few minutes and she was the one who ended up raping me.

In the bedroom I got my first surprise. I had heard about it but never met anyone who did it. As soon as I put it in, she slammed shut and forced me back out. Then she ejaculated about a pint of liquid spraying all over me. It’s not urine. it’s slightly slippery like a guy’s prejaculate.

She was also the first woman I’ve met that asked me to call her a “bitch, slut and whore.” I’m not very verbal but hey, she told me to do it. I liked it because she got more excited every time I called her a name. I am usually pretty quiet but I am capable of talking.

After the first day, things went pretty well. Every Friday morning I would text 😉 and she would answer 😉 and I would drive to her place. We got to be good friends while I was there, we just didn’t text much. At the end of that winter her mom got cancer so she and the kids moved in with mom to take care of her. We talked for a bit after that, then one night I sent a text and it went to another woman who just got her the (new to her) phone number. But that is a different story.

Hornpoutin’ About

I read a missed connection on CL about someone paying the toll for the car behind them and they chased each other around the highway, waving. They said they wished they had followed them off their exit. I thought it was kind of stalkerish and I was bored so I answered the verification question of, what was I driving?, with, “Toyota 4Runner!” They answered back, haha, nope. It wasn’t much to go on so I said, That’s too bad… so you were going to follow her home? I got a return saying, No, I’m a girl… I paid a cute guy’s toll behind me and we raced down 16 going 90 mph, I wish I had taken his exit but my gf was with me and we went home. I told her I was a guy and was just fooling around on CL tonight and wondered if anyone else had answered her. She laughed and told me no. You know how weird that can be if a man followed a woman down the highway but how hot is it if a woman follows a man down the highway? Whatever. I told her I had posted missed connections and gotten answers from people who thought I was talking about them. I had met some of them in person and even dated a girl for two years after meeting this way. She started emailing more frequently and seemed really interested in me. She was 21 and she asked me how old I was. Well, of course I’m like 10 times 21 years old! She didn’t care and we kept joking. Then she sent me her phone number unprompted and said she was curious what I looked like! I sent her a picture and that is the end of the story. I am too ugly. Seriously. I got no response. I’ve always know I’m ugly but I could always compensate. Now it’s just one picture and you are done.

You may be right

Robot Brain

“Friday night I crashed your party, Saturday I said I’m sorry, Sunday came and trashed me out again… I was only having fun, wasn’t hurting anyone and we all enjoyed the weekend for a change” You May Be Right, Billy Joel

5/31/21: Monday: I remember the big fuss over football players disrespecting the National Anthem. My grandfather fought in World War II and he used that time before sporting events on television to go take a piss and get himself another beer.

His oldest son (my uncle) kept up the military tradition by volunteering for two tours in Vietnam. He came home alive but shortly after that he suicided with his service rifle the same year I was born. That was the end of any military aspirations for my family. None of my aunts, uncles or cousins ever signed up. Nobody owned a gun. We weren’t even allowed to play with toy guns growing up.

Prognosis: Suicide. Avg age of onset: 32

Tuesday, June 1st: I think I have Akathisia. I have almost zero control of my legs. If I do force myself to walk it is painful. Not walking is painful also. I’m going to talk to my doctor tomorrow. It is direct evidence. I take a Latuda I have pain and uncontrollable muscle movements. If I don’t take a Latuda, the next day my legs are fine. Etc… Every time.

Thursday, June 3rd: My doctor is going to put me on Vrylar but it needs to be approved by insurance. I asked him it their was anything I could do to stop the pain and spasms in my legs. He said Benadryl which I thought was strange but I was willing to try anything. I took 2 and waited a couple hours. It didn’t work. I took 2 more and still nothing. 2 more and it worked. I should mention I never take Benadryl because it messes with my brain. Instead of calling the pharmacy, for some reason, I walked there. It is a mile away. When I got there they said they had nothing for me. They told me the Vrylar was waiting on approval and the other two meds I had already picked up on Tuesday. I was very confused because I had no memory of picking them up. Even though I had everything I needed at home. I have no idea why I went to the pharmacy. I walked home and had to call my doctor’s office to make an appointment. My brain wasn’t working and the Benadryl dried out my mouth and throat so I could barely talk. I could tell I wasn’t making any sense but I kept trying to explain myself. Whoever listened to that voicemail probably thought I was drunk. I called again this morning and made the appt. and told them I need prior authorization. Looks like I am staying away from the Benadryl.

Friday, June 4th: Preacher’s kid turned us on to Metallica Ride The Lightning in the church basement… After hours. We were tripping balls. He lived down there. Sixteen, had his own entrance. You had the cool kidz but then never did anything as cool as we did. I lost my virginity on prom night on someone’s grave in the cemetery across the street from the school. I didn’t rent no limo. No tuxedo. Fuck that queer shit.

Sunday, June 6th: Like fucking 3am. I don’t usually google my meds before I take them but I was curious about this one since they had to get authorization from the insurance company. I don’t read anything anecdotal. I go to the company’s website. The most common side effect is akathisia. WTF? That is why I just quit Latuda. I’m all done with this shit. Why are they doing this to me? I remember I worked outside in the summer and they gave me a med that said, stay out of direct sunlight?

Today should be a good day. I will be biking to my daughter’s house. It is going to be 90 so I better not forget the sunscreen. My skin is still peeling from last time. My state lifted all Covid restrictions so all the tourists will be out. I will be riding through the main part of the beach checking out all the pretty girls in bikinis. Dirty old man that I am.

I Have Arrived

Robot Brain

Tuesday May 25, 2021: The sun burnt my face and neck and parts of my arms and legs. I am pale so I burn easily. It was my fault. I went for a 3 hour bike ride on the warmest day of the year and didn’t wear any sunscreen. Last weekend was the first time I took my bicycle any distance. I did 15 miles on Saturday and 30 miles on Sunday. By the time realized my face was getting scorched I was still trying to push myself to my destination. I am glad I made the eventual decision to turn around. I almost didn’t make it home, my body was so sore. Especially the knee above where I broke my leg. As soon as I got home my body was back to normal and the only soreness was my toasted skin.

I was lucky I had some vinegar to spray on myself. It sounds gross but it really helps a sunburn. I found a bottle of aloe lotion and I’ve been putting that on since.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021: I dropped down to my goal weight before my goal timeline before my birthday last month. I lost 20 pounds so quickly I have loose skin all over my belly. I use 5 pound ankle weights. They are pretty bulky. I was just thinking, I lost 4 of those things. That’s a lot of fat! I can’t believe 180 was an acceptable goal weight for me. I should be trying to lose 20 more pounds. 180 is my Latuda limit. It doesn’t matter how much I exercise and diet I can’t get below that. On Zyprexa my limit was 200 pounds. I can’t believe I was happy to get down to that weight at the time. That is 40 pounds overweight. Obese.

Thursday, May 27, 2021: I’ve been having out of body experiences while exercising. I can’t go too far. Just enough to see my entire body. My mind is still connected to my brain because I can tell it to correct my form if I am not moving the right way. I have tried to do it in bed lying down and listening to the same music but it doesn’t happen. I can’t do it while I am sitting here typing. Maybe it has to do with my brain being occupied with controlling my movements. The only other time I exercise is riding my bike and I don’t dare to close my eyes while doing that. As soon as I open my eyes my mind is back in my brain.

Friday, May 28, 2021: Man, they put a lot of noise in my head when I try to figure all this shit out.

I tried quitting Latuda but that turned out to be a bad idea. I made it 3 weeks and had to start taking it again. It is still building up in my system. After kicking the Sapphris I wanted to figure out what is real or not.

I got both of my shots. It was easy. I went to Walmart both times. With all the conspiracies you think I would be scared of the vaccine instead of the medications my doctor is giving me. I had to go to the state’s website and give my info and make an appointment. By the time I got my second shot a few weeks later Walmart was taking walk ins off the street. I could have waited and gone anytime.

We don’t have time for this shit!

Coffee Talk

I can’t get off the fucking clock. The night before I was going to see my daughter my eyes popped open and I thought it was time to wake up. I pushed the button to illuminate my watch and it was midnight. I had only slept an hour. I was wide awake but it would be trouble if I got up. I wasn’t worried. I thought I would get back to sleep easily. I didn’t turn on the tv. I forced myself to lie there. Finally I gave up and looked at the time again. 4:45am.

Close enough. I said I would prove to myself this was all my imagination. It’s the coffee making me hyper. I made some and took my first sip at 5. I also started making lentils. Cooking and eating lentils takes about an hour. It is mostly setting the timer on the stove to cook and setting it again to let them cool off. I wanted to time it so I could eat before I took my meds at 6. It all went according to schedule . I sat down and said, See, it’s the fucking coffee! I picked up my cup which was almost full and took a sip. It was cold! It was 6:20am. I should have easily had 2 cups by then. What the fuck was I doing for the past hour and a half? And why was my mind racing when I haven’t had any caffeine in at least 20 hours?

It started working about an hour before she got here. That was good. I still had to chew on my tongue for a couple hours. She is a great driver for the short time she’s been doing it. She got lucky with that car. It’s a 2005 BMW but it looks and drives like new. She really likes to drive. I will probably never see her again after she gets her license. She still hasn’t been on an interstate highway. I don’t think I want to be in the car the first time she does.

Last night I was back to thinking I don’t need all these medications. Until I was still awake at 4am. I gave up and took a trazadone for sleep. I woke up at 8am and started the lentils and took my anti manic at 9. (Still on the clock) Yesterday was not a typical day. Today is more like it. I wake up feeling fine and decompensate later.

I only remember all these exact times because I wrote everything down as I did it. I’ve been using my day planner to keep notes. I know I’m being hyper-vigilant about this but it has been a few weeks since my mind has intensified. I feel confident I will have a better day. I haven’t had a day where I was afraid I couldn’t handle this myself since a week ago Saturday.

I’m only getting granular about this because every day is different and usually by now I would be going 24/7. I figured out when I last had a panic attack. It was 8 years ago when I last told someone about it. I remember because it was when I first moved down here and they gave me a nurse practitioner. I told him I was having 6 hour panic attacks. He said, Panic attacks don’t last that long and dismissed it. What should I call it? Panic 2.0? SuperAnxiety?

This is stupid. I keep hearing a voice telling me I don’t need the medications. That makes no sense at all but I still want to listen. At least I’m not drinking or taking street drugs. That usually gets me off my medications. That would make everything a total mess. I can binge for about 4 days with no food or sleep before I fuck up somewhere.

It’s 10 am and I still feel good. I don’t know if taking the med in the morning is making a difference. This is only the second day. Like the magic 8 ball says,”Too early to tell.”

“You’re not as messed up as you think you are

Your self absorption makes you messier

Just settle down and you would feel a whole lot better

Deep down your just like everybody else”

“Reasons not to be an idiot” Frank Turner

And another thing

Robot Brain

Wednesday: It finally broke! I slowed down a little and all those negative thoughts stopped racing through my mind. I no longer have myself in hospital style lock down. I can leave my place without thinking I’m going to do something stupid. I’m still not well functioning but I’m functioning well enough.

Thursday: I may have spoken a bit too soon. This morning I woke up feeling, Wow! I can’t remember the last time I slept so well. I don’t remember when I fell asleep, trying to fall asleep, falling asleep or even how the television got turned off in the middle of the night. I felt great. I did my normal daily routine which is very healthy. The unhealthiest part of my morning is coffee but half the studies say it is good for you. I’m not looking for any health benefits from coffee. I’m just feeding an addiction. I don’t drink a lot. I just can’t cut it out completely.

I felt so good I was confident this was going to be the first day in a long time that didn’t go downhill. Then it hit me. A panic attack. Anxiety has been my regular friend but I haven’t had a panic attack in at least a few years. Long enough for me to forget how long. But, what the hell was this? I knew immediately so even though it sucked, I knew how long it would last, all I had to do was lie down and wait it out, do some deep breathing and I would be fine.

Six hours later. My deep breathing wasn’t working out so well. My ribcage and abdomen were sore from holding my breath so tightly. I wouldn’t realize until I ran out of oxygen, breathe out and try to breathe deeply again. Again and again. This was making my anxiety worse than the panic attack that started the whole thing.

The great thing about my anxiety mind is It keeps saying, Oh no, this is the worst day ever! But my rational mind quickly stepped in and said, Well, actually… Saturday was much worse than this, remember?. My anxiety mind answers, Thanks. Thanks for reminding me that I could actually get worse. My regular anxiety can get pretty intense but I know it can’t last forever. It just feels like it will.

It’s getting dark now and I feel pretty calm. As soon as it started fading I knew what to do. I went into the kitchen and whipped up a big carb coma recipe. That was a couple hours ago and it is working. I don’t know why it works. Maybe because it pulls the blood down to my stomach, away from my brain and my lungs follow naturally to feed it with oxygen. Whatever it does, I wish I could do it sooner. Eating was not an option before then.

Friday: Be sure to tune in to your next manic episode after this brief anxiety! I don’t know what the fuck is going on. Up at 2, flying by 5, ruined the whole day. One piece of good news. I think I figured out why I’ve been calming down in the evening and still sleeping at night. I recently started taking my anti manic/psychotic in the daytime so I can get the calories it needs. I always took it at bedtime because that is what the dr. told me. But he was trying everything to slow me down at the time, I wasn’t sleeping at all. Now I’m realizing after a few hours I mellow out. Just in time too because my daughter is picking me up tomorrow and I was worried who I would be when I woke up. I can’t be babbling in her ear while she is learning to drive. I also can’t be bouncing off the walls at her house. N__ would be so pissed at me. I’m going to try taking it with breakfast and I will have a few hours for it to start working. Maybe it would be good idea to take my med before I start flipping out. Do you think?

In other news. When I’m calm I’ve been arguing with my voice. It’s been telling me, See, you don’t really have a mental illness. All these symptoms are just side effects of all the meds you’ve been taking all these years. I talked back. What about when this happened? What about when that happened. It had an answer for everything and I was starting to believe him. I was scared I would stop taking everything. Finally I got him. What about the first 28 years of my life I wasn’t medicated? Explain all of that! That got it. Now it’s easier to end the conversation. At first I would take meds, feel better, think I didn’t need them, stop taking them and end up in the hospital. Start taking them, feel better, etc… Explain that. As nice as it would be to not have a mental illness, I know what happens when I stop my meds. It’s never good. I’ve done it a thousand times.

Would have thought?

I have anxiety from thinking of a million different reasons why my anxiety suddenly got worse. The simplest explanation is my anxiety did not suddenly get worse. It’s always been horrible so could I please shut the fuck up about it?

They all tell you it’s the anxiety that makes you drink. I can handle the anxiety. It’s the pain. Oh my god, the fucking pain. I almost forgot. I really wasn’t expecting that today.

The first time I got a good therapist, she was certain I had PTSD from my childhood. I didn’t even tell her half the shit! I haven’t talked about it since. I don’t think she was right. I didn’t know. I thought everything was normal. I thought everyone grew up like that.

Lately I’ve been putting myself on a tight schedule. I don’t have to do everything at the same time every day. But in the morning I line the day up. I set start times for everything. I don’t have a set limit for finishing but starting is exact. I usually pick the beginning of an hour. Not 5 minutes before. Not 2 minutes after. I’m usually pretty good at it and if I miss I’ll usually slide down to the next round number on the clock.

Coffee and breakfast is routine when I wake up. I keep times for that. Today was lunch at noon, exercise at 1 and check the mail at 2:30. That would be after the mailman came and I could get the whole week at once because I’ve been fucking up and not setting a time for mail.

I hit lunch fine and 1 was looking pretty good. I was waiting and N___ texted me and said she would help get me to the vax if I signed up. I told her I’ve been thinking of it but I can’t figure out where to start. She told me and it was very easy. I have an appt. for my first shot on April 20. It should have been easy but by the time I was done I was slipping. It was after 1 and I could just change my time to exercise but it wasn’t looking good. That’s okay, I’ve been pretty rigid with that. Even if I’m not wanting to do it, if can get it started on the hour I can finish. It makes me feel better because I breathe as slowly and deeply as possible and hold my form and match my movement to my breath.

2:30 mail call was a joke. Perhaps I was being a bit optimistic. By that time I had myself restrained in my bedroom, totally losing my shit. That’s usually reserved for 3pm. Leaving my apartment was not a good idea. It is 7 now and I am feeling better. Comparatively. Not go downstairs and check the mail better. Now I know and that will be a first thing tomorrow objective. (Hopefully I’ve already done it today because I am scheduling this for tomorrow; Sunday)

My last therapist was always telling me to “stay in the moment.” What if the moment sucks so bad you will do anything to get out of the moment? Stay in the moment… What is that supposed to mean? She’s too young to be a hippie. Mindfulness bullshit. Even when I do a guided mindful exercise, I’m doing it to concentrate on anything but the moment. I’m doing it right now. Writing helps me focus my thoughts. Even when I’m writing about my horrible day, I’m really thinking about the writing. Back when I was “in the moment,” This would have been impossible.

Invictus

Robot Brain

Monday: I am so fucking manic! My brain is flying. I’ve been running my mouth non stop for a month. I had a revelation last night. Since I quit that medication I’ve been rehearsing talking to my doctor over and over. I’m getting myself all worked up. I want to express to him how angry I am fro prescribing that to me. Last night I realized getting all hyped up and yelling about how much better I feel since stopping the med probably wouldn’t sound very convincing. I’m still talking out loud to him but now I am catching myself whenever I get upset and starting the conversation over. I need to stick to the basics. Tell him what side effects made me quit the med. Tell him about the side effects I didn’t realize were side effects until I quit the med and they disappeared. How much better I feel now that all the side effects are gone. Done. I’ve been practicing all morning and stopping myself when I start getting faster or louder or sounding a little bit angry. I need to be as calm as possible. I guarantee he is going to say, I really wish you didn’t do that, you can’t just stop medications like that. Then he is going to try to get me to start a new medication. I will politely refuse. That’s how I hope it will go. We’ll see.

Wednesday: I got the fear yesterday. I’m afraid to tell him I stopped. He can’t force me to take it can he? I mean, if I tell him I feel a lot better since I stopped taking it will he still try to get me to take it. I don’t know what to do. I can’t just pick it up at the pharmacy and throw it in the trash. Now I have 3 hours to figure it out.


I feel much better after talking to my doctor. All month long I was thinking about how I was going to tell him everything but I stuck to the one strangest thing. Every morning I was raging out for 4 hours and couldn’t figure it out. Then I quit the med and haven’t even come close to losing my temper since. It disappeared the day after I stopped the med. I thought he was going to be against it but he said he is glad I figured it out because it was the best I’ve sounded in months. My anxiety dropped a few notches because now I can stop having the conversation out loud over and over. I’m so glad I caught myself a few days ago and didn’t yell at him. I just told him about the one thing I was surprised and happy about. I didn’t try to tell him about any other side effects. I wouldn’t have had time anyway. I only get to talk to him for 5 minutes he has so many patients.

Thursday: He said I sound much better but he didn’t know I spent the previous 3 hours preparing for a 5 minute phone call. Stopping myself every time my voice got faster or louder, every time I strayed from the main topic. By the time he called me I had it honed and ready. The call lasted about 10 minutes because he also talked. I hadn’t planned for that. Of course he was going to ask questions and have responses. The first couple times I caught myself talking over him because my pressure to speak is so intense. I’m doing it right now and I’m just sitting here alone. It goes all day. It was an exercise in restraint to just let him talk. For a couple days my paranoia was so bad I was wavering on even telling him I stopped the medication. I knew all my fears were irrational but that didn’t stop them. It came down to the moment the phone rang to decide if I was going to follow through or blow up the whole thing.

Friday: This isn’t the good kind of mania where life seems fantastic no matter how objectively shitty it may be. My life is going pretty well. I would be the main problem right now. I’m agitated, nothing moves fast enough for me. I’m trying to get everything done at the same time. It’s impossible but I’m going to try. Meanwhile I forget important things I should be doing. And my brain. Just stop with the brain already! It’s early in the day but I have to put the brakes on again. Just stop everything before I spin out of control. I’ve had myself on lockdown for the past few weeks. See my daughter if I can, get food for the week, then nothing but meds, meals and sleep. I’m still getting sleep. That’s my barometer.

Saturday: Occam’s razor

Did you feel that?

Heart colored pencils

I met this broad on one of the dating sites during a time I was very active. We emailed for a bit but she didn’t want to trade numbers so I had a hard time gauging her interest. That didn’t matter to me. I didn’t have to meet everyone. Everyone was interesting to me at the time and if they were still talking to me I was still answering. She only emailed periodically. I figured it was only when she got bored. We would go back and forth for a bit and she would disappear again. We never got personal or shared many details. Well, she didn’t. All of my emails to anyone were very expansive. I couldn’t shut up. She knew a lot more about me than I knew about her. She did tell me she was also on disability for a mental illness. I attract people with mental illness. I don’t know why. It’s not like I am advertising for it. I didn’t keep my illness a secret but I didn’t come out with it until it came up in conversation. I do talk to a much higher percentage of people with mental illness than I think is statistically average.

We emailed for a good amount of time but I was sure that was as far as we were going. Then one night she surprised me. She asked me what I was doing and when I said I was talking to her. She told me to meet her at Appleby’s later that night. It’s a crappy chain restaurant but it sounded better than sitting at home.

I took a shower, got dressed and drove to the restaurant in the bordering town. When I walked in there was only one person there; the bartender. Oh well, at least I would be easy to find when she got there. I sat down, ordered a drink and talked to the bartender. I finished my drink and she still hadn’t showed. I told the bartender I thought I just got stood up and said fuck it I might as well eat something. I think I ordered a quesadilla. It was pretty good.

I drove home wondering why she would do that. When I got home I had an email from her asking why I never showed up. I thought she was joking and I told her what I had been doing for the past hour. She said no, I’m sitting here waiting for you in Concord. That was a key piece of information she could have shared the first time. I thought it was weird. I knew where she lived. She had to drive fifteen minutes to go through my town, coming within a mile of my house. Then she had to continue down the same road I had just driven twice; get on the highway a mile before she reached the restaurant I was sitting in and drive another twenty miles to Concord. How was I supposed to guess that.

I said whatever and drove down to Concord to meet her. This restaurant was crowded but we got a booth. She seemed nice enough and we had easy conversation but nothing was really going on. I still didn’t know much more about her by the time the check arrived. I was ready to call it a night but she slid down to the other end of the booth and told me to do the same. She cleared the table between us and put her hands palms up. She told me to put my hands on hers. She didn’t say anything and just sat there staring me directly in the eye. I was thinking, what the hell is this broad doing. Finally she broke the silence and asked, “Did you feel that?” I was completely confused. What was I supposed feel? I felt her hands under mine. I said, “What?” She smiled and said, “Sparks”