Snap! Back to Reality

Robot Brain

Sunday I stopped denying the depression was/had already settling in. There was no more denying. Christmas day I was ready to off myself. Strangely, the denial that day was I would not allow myself to believe my daughter had forgiven me. I didn’t want her to, I don’t want to forgive myself.

I wouldn’t believe it. Friday she invited me to Christmas dinner the next day. It was true, but her mom must still be pissed at me, right? She said it was her mom’s idea. I still wouldn’t let myself believe it. (We usually don’t do Holidays together, but that was my idea) Saturday the roads were a sheet of ice and snow was coming later, I told my daughter I didn’t want anybody driving, she said, I can pick you up. I said wait until her mom wakes up. I guess I could have had a great Christmas but I put myself in exile. (I did have a great Christmas Monday, casual hangout, laughing, That is what we usually do)

Sunday. Sunday, I’ve been looking at my priority list I had rewritten on paper. I first wrote it in June and rewrote a few weeks ago but that time I made it more specific and similar to a flow chart. I added gratitude list to the top. It’s not a new thing but it wasn’t on the list since June. I also added all the issues I have to work on and realized they all fell under the umbrella of Acceptance [Audiobook: Unconditional Self Acceptance, Cheri Huber. 5 stars]. I don’t know what people think I have been doing but all of those were the first things I put on my gratitude list months ago.

Sunday still. I thought, umm… It’s the 21st century, who the hell writes shit down on paper and why am I still doing it? All of the papers get pushed aside or buried under new papers. I’m looking at a 2 inch high stack of scribbles that has already accumulated since I cleared my desk last summer!

I wonder what that app on my tablet called “Reminders” does? I’m such a dullard. I don’t have much on the list and had it set up relatively quickly. I think that is the brightest bulb I electrified all year. It started paying off that night. 10pm I got a text. I thought, Who the hell is that. I checked my phone, it said, Meditate. I’ve been doing a lot anyway but this one is to get ready for bed. Do you know what the next text I got said? 11pm: Sleep. Do you set an alarm to remind you to go to sleep? The rest is also the basics of my self-care.

Monday, I thought there must be an app I can download for this, right? Of course. I’m not sure where I’ve heard about bullet journals, (Mental Health @ Home) Thank you, Ashley. I searched, trying to find the best without too many features but a lot of them were designed for business and sharing your daily tasks with co-workers and the personal ones were way too involved. I don’t want to spend the whole day writing about what I am supposed to do all day, instead of doing it. I tried “mood journal”… etc. I gave up and chose one that said it was free with in app purchases. I didn’t need extra and I set up my activities and wondered why they weren’t asking me to set alerts. No problem, I found it, set an alert, went to the next activity, hit set alert and the screen changed to you have to subscribe to “Premium” to set more than one alert. Da faq? I’m such a Luddite! [Welcome to the 21st Century: Oct. 2020]

The fucked up part is while spending the morning doing this I was getting irritated my phone kept going off with alerts I had set Sunday to remind me to do things. Do you see where I am going with this? I spent the whole morning searching for an app that would be simpler than the one I already set up in 10 minutes on Sunday which was working exactly as I wanted the whole time! What is wrong with my brain?

I think it is the depression thinking about how I “was” delusional at times this past year, that may be blinding me to the idea I may be a little delusional. I mean, My daughter and her mom making the effort to get me to their house to spend time with them and the twins are there and all the dogs and we had our usual Christmas. AND my daughter took an hour detour to the store for a loaf of bread, where we spent more time sampling deodorant scents and laughing and chatting and being ourselves.That’s the kind of specific memory I put in my gratitude list. I did start to call it my “good memory” list.

After being home for a couple hours I started wondering if the whole experience was another hallucination. My brain took it and ran and turned into believing the whole day was an elaborate ruse and they were really saying goodbye to me and that was the last time I was going to talk to my daughter. Everyone is abandoning me. Oh yeah… My brain was making plans to I don’t know what? Pack up and leave the country? Pull a “Leaving Las Vegas?” What the shit?

I had some kind of reality left in my mind. Like, hey, does this make sense? My daughter didn’t have to make a detour, It is less than ten minutes to drive to my house and say, “See Ya” And she made another trip back because I left my phone on the table at her house. Why am I thinking all this crap? I can’t shake it. I’m believing it about everyone in my life and interpreting everything as a signal I somehow missed. Good thing I got a reminder to go to bed! I kind of slept.

Tuesday morning is when I told myself to chill the fuck out. I had on my to-do list to text my daughter good morning, I got the alert and, wait a minute, she is 16, it’s school vacation. She doesn’t want me waking her up. I opened the app and moved good morning to Noon and next to her name I typed, “Chill Out!” I haven’t been over texting anyone all year, until that week I freaked out over all the suicide songs, which was a “me” problem. Even when I wanted to text, “I’m sorry” every five minutes I didn’t. I did twice.

I think I made a good connection last week when I told her I used to joke, I love texting because I can say, Great, thanks! How are you? While I’m crying my eyes out.

Tuesday, Okay, everything is back to normal. These meditation apps make sense in a way, talking about acceptance. The three I like all the same thing. You have no choice but to accept life the way it is if you want to be happy. What is so hard to accept? I don’t see my kid as often? She is an adult and has her own life? That is what made me happiest this year. My life didn’t turn out the way I planned? Me and 7 billion other people. Welcome to the club. I remember the guy I used to hear almost every day when I was doing zoom meetings. “It used to drive me outta my mind if every little detail in my life wasn’t perfect. Who da fuck am I ta think my life’s gotta be perfect? What am I? Special?” He was one of the few who made sense to me.

I’ve been doing these meditations for weeks but couldn’t get past, “I don’t deserve to be happy.” I’ve done a ton more, trying to find out which issues I need to work on. Living through pain from years ago. But I’ve done that before. But maybe, I tried it, some of them helped. But I’m trying to accept my situation today. I went full in Tuesday and Wednesday. Hours. I’m on board… But maybe not. I can’t let myself off the hook for last month. I never made my daughter cry before.

I remember last summer looking up, how to cope with major life change and how to deal with grief. I was already doing them all except therapy. That’s my checklist. Keep a routine, eat healthy, exercise, meditate, sleep. Monday I added Write and Read but I didn’t set alerts for them. I didn’t want to write that night. I want to see it on the list each day as an option.

This morning I still had the belief everyone want to ditch me. I didn’t do it a few days ago but I made myself do it today. I wasn’t having anxiety but I was ruminating. I did a 3 column layout, what’s the problem, what are the “cognitive distortions”? What are some logical, believable (to me) responses. It was a lot of what I typed here. For some reason pen and paper works better for that. I think I procrastinated because I don’t want to allow myself to feel good.

I checked it out. I’m vacillating between depression, I’m just going to give up, and acceptance, I’ll live with this the best I can. (Live with what, asshole? Life is going great?) On the stages of grief. It was funny, the first page I found had two paragraphs about it and yep, I got it. Nobody died, life got better, but that’s what I’ve been doing.

Reading through my gratitude, I saw on the same day I wrote about my daughter driving me around listening to her favorite music and sharing more. I also wrote how happy I was to find a voicemail from a therapist and called back and made an appointment.

I explained to her I wanted to focus on my daughter and (read my list above) I was feeling pains of grief last August. That was before Thanksgiving. “Something” happened. Finally two weeks ago I reiterated and we spent a session talking about it and she ended saying, she thinks we should spend a little more time on that. Really?

It’s funny, taking two minutes to write out what I was ruminating about worked. The part that helps the most is reminding myself all the “worst case scenarios” I develop in my mind have not even turned out to be negative experiences and sometimes I am surprised situations turn out to be great. Again, I waited so long, I don’t want to allow myself to feel good.

I have more but I am a bore. I am ho-hum depressed now. Leaning towards letting it go. After Tuesday’s, this is going to be easy! To Wednesday, Absolutely not! To right now, Probably gonna have to figure out a way to do it. I keep thinking of that poem. I say to myself, Hey asshole! You keep banging your head against the wall trying to figure out a solution to a problem. The only fucking problem you got is banging your head against the wall. Think you can figure that out? Okay, that got a little laugh. [Poem: Night Terrors, Forgive and let yourself live]

I gotta go. I have a tight schedule to keep. I have to exercise but it has been dismal outside for days. Already dropped that from the list. I can deal with the cold but it looks like Mordor outside my window. I have to get myself amped for meditation and bed at 10pm.

Being depressed now is almost a relief. I can relax. If that makes any sense?

[I don’t receive any monetary compensation for links below]

Matt’s Mishaps review of Healthy Minds meditation app

Insight Timer Website and free meditation app

Post about how I started my gratitude list in September. (Bounty of the County)

Perspective Shift

Robot Brain

I guess I just needed to hear it in a voice I understood. “Hey, Asshole, Smarten’ the fuck up, would ya? The only problem here is you. The only reason shit is ‘unacceptable’ is you refuse to fucking accept it! Chill the fuck out!” They say, show myself some compassion and not to beat myself up but I think I needed some tough love.

I visited my daughter’s family Monday and it was great. We have never had same day Christmas because I didn’t want to be the guy who shows up at 2pm whiles she is having fun with her family and say, okay, party’s over, time to hang out with me. (Whatever)

We had fun. I got to see everyone, talking, joking, leftovers, the dogs, it was like I never left. Then it was time to leave. My daughter drove me home. I’ll tell you what happened and what my mind did with it.

Her mom asked her to pick up some things at the store and on the ride my daughter asked if I would mind if she stopped at the store before she brought me home. Yeah, no problem. She was supposed to get bread and a couple others.

I followed her into the grocery store and she took a hard left towards the deodorant? I didn’t think anything of it, I was just walking along talking. She stopped in front of the Old Spice and they have like 40 different flavors now. She grabbed one, pulled the cap off, stuck it to her nose and then under my nose, “Do you like this?”, “Not really.”, “Me neither, what about this one?”…. I asked when she started wearing Old Spice? She told me her boyfriend does and sometimes she forgets hers and has to use his when she is at his house. (TMI)

So for 20 minutes we stood in the aisle sniffing all 40 flavors of Old Spice, talking about whatever we talked about. She picked one and shook her head and put it to me. My eyes immediately crossed and I got that intense pleasure feeling at the base of my brain. “Yeah, get that one!”, “No, I don’t like it”. I know they study the chemicals and know why they appeal to people. But why didn’t they put that chemical in every stick? Some of them smelled good, some were okay but This one! Was it just me.

Anyway, this is what I’m grieving. I know it’s stupid. Nobody died. I knew I was going to see less of her when she got her license. I asked for a therapist before all that, yada yada. She wasn’t an accident. We talked about having a child and tried for 2 years. This is what I wanted. I knew I would see less of her when she started driving but I couldn’t figure out why I was having grief pains in my body last August.(Another story)

Monday night I was home, nothing happened but my narrator is telling me nobody likes me and that is the last time I am going to talk to anyone again etc… I can’t understand why. I kept telling myself it was a great day and knowing going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread wasn’t an emergency. She didn’t have to take me to the deodorant aisle. She was sharing her weird with me and it was fun! It was the most present I’ve been in a long time. I had no thoughts other than, yeah, that one is okay… I don’t know, it doesn’t really smell like anything, What is that smell? Bubble gum? Yeah! bubble gum… You know?

I’m lucky I went to sleep, I had an elaborate narrative going to counter all of the positive and I don’t know where that story ended.

Tuesday I woke up and had reminders on my phone, (another story) It said, 5 minutes breathing and then gratitude. I was going to trash the day but remembered there was a reason I had my phone sitting next to me telling me what to do. I did the breathing and made my self sit down at the computer.

I wrote about the deodorant and thought I should go back and read the list. It’s not the first time but it was just after, “Hey, dumbass! You can’t accept what? Life is going too well? Your daughter is all Aces? What?”

I found a good way to do a gratitude list on (no compensation). I googled it last summer and the first one I saw made a lot of sense to me. Don’t put a million things a day. Write a few things and describe why it makes you happy. You don’t even have to do it every day. I wrote, “My daughter took me scent shopping”

I went back to September and one of the first entries was her mom said it’s L===’s first day off in a week and the first thing she is doing is coming to see you. That evoked an emotion. One line made me feel better. I did the same for my cat. He’s lovable and and handsome and an generally an all around nice guy.

(2 hours later) I had this all thought out, But I will just skip to the end. What do I wish my best friend would say to me? “Dude!” Cuffs me upside the head. “Acceptance?! You are lucky anyone is accepting you! You are lucky anyone is even talking to your right now! You are ‘the crazy ex’, Stop doing stupid shit and Chill. The. Fuck. Out.”

I spent the past two days in bed trying to chill the fuck out.

I’m doing pretty well. I realized my daughter didn’t want a text from me at 8am during school vacation. So I waited til noon. Back to normal. Good morning, Good night, I love you. “Thanks for taking me scent shopping. That was a good gift. I love you.”

Yesterday, N=== texted and said it was great to see me doing so well etc. (???) “Thank you, I had a great time seeing all of you.”

Why do I still feel like everyone is mad at me?

Judgement Day

Robot Brain

“Comin’ at ya like a stiff blow, fuckin’ up ya program
Ain’t takin’ shit from you, him, or no man
Mastermind, maniac, and a menace
Ohhh, how they wanna pass a sentence”

“Hand on the Pump (Muggs’ Blunted Mix)” Cypress Hill

People tell me to just be myself but then when I act like myself they pass some serious judgement. Once I got clean cut and started looking “normal” people started calling me sir and shit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still me. I didn’t change the way I acted; of course I have changed over the years. People who like me tell me it’s because I’m authentic, open, honest and “down to earth.” (Whatever that means) The phrase has fallen out of fashion but I used to get it all the time. “Down to earth?” I’m out of my fucking mind.

I think the times I don’t act like myself is when I have a fear of being judged. Then I will usually just clam up. I read that is common among addicts. I think there is truth there. I’m not sure if it’s a new thing but I started laughing about hearing people say and seeing this on social media a lot; “I don’t give a FUCK what anyone thinks about me!” Uhh.. Yes you do. Why else are you going around yelling, telling people what to think about you, unprompted? I give a fuck what people think about me.

I also joke about if someone says, “I’m not judgmental.” It’s probably going to drop hard and heavy, soon. I will throw some judgements around like a motherfucker. Kind of like I’ll judge you before you can judge me kinda thing. But I am really good at catching myself. It’s like an old habit. I judge people for not living up to the high standards I set for myself. I don’t even come close to living up the the standards I set for myself! Who the fuck am I to judge? Okay, now I remember where I’m going with this.

After I messed up with my daughter I thought, Jesus. H. I gotta stop! During and after Thanksgiving I stopped doing all the things I had been doing to maintain. I stopped meditating so I stopped sleeping, stopped keeping a regular schedule, stopped eating, stopped, you get the idea. Then my mental health team did something fucked up to piss me off. I would like to blame everything on them but I can’t. I think I did a pretty good job not making any excuses and accepting culpability when I apologized to everyone. I’m writing it here but there is no excuse.

I remember raging at my therapist one day and I spent six hours one night writing this long ass email. Yeah, that helped. Luckily I caught myself but it was too late. I wasn’t angry at my daughter, I was writing some crazy shit. But I was scared about the suicide connection but I was an idiot, she just likes good music.

I thought why the fuck am letting them get me all pissed off about shit that has nothing to do with anything? I just scared my daughter and made her cry and I still want to yell at these people? Chill the fuck out! But I remember a couple nights making myself lie down, telling myself to sleep, fucking breathe and sleep. Five minutes and I would jump out of bed, “Fuck this shit! I wanna be pissed!”

I wrote that poem, I had a lot of shit going on. I can’t remember, I think I gotta change the way I’m thinking. I gotta stop listening to this music, I don’t need it anymore, I don’t need to relive this shit. But this is my life… I gotta give up my life? I have to do something. I was about to off myself. [Poem: Release Me]

It was Tuesday night and I had been in bed for four days breathing and finally slept Monday, which was good because I had another therapy session Wednesday. I wrote my therapist a one line email, “Next time we talk could you please remind me the plan was to focus on my daughter.” I still wanted to yell and scream and blame them for me scaring my daughter. I sat down and wrote a script (outline) and made some food.

Something happened. My mania went away. I thought, OMG, it’s over. I read what I had written on the page and thought if I start with this I am going to snowball and end up in the hospital. Talking about suicidal and fuck no! Flipped the page and toned it down. Still too much. What am I doing? I just wanna prove I’m right and yell and sound crazy? She will be writing down notes, delusional, paranoid, persecution complex. Found a blank piece of paper and wrote, “Only talk about my daughter.” (and stick to why I asked for a therapist. Nobody died but I am grieving, I feel like I am losing my family again.)

After that I had the strangest night. I just thought I don’t want to start talking about all the coincidences. It’s 11:33. I mean right now as I’m typing. I’m telling you, I’m not looking at the clock every 30 seconds. Thursday, I woke up feeling like I slept forever and thought watch, it’s only midnight. I pushed the button on my phone. 1:11. Saturday, I was worried N==== was still mad at me, she hadn’t texted back for hours. Finally I open my phone, 2:22, of course. I wasn’t worried about that, I almost typed the first letter and N===’s message popped up. “I just woke up” We had a really good talk. None of these numbers mean anything, so what’s up? I’m just going to stop. Sunday, I tried to prove I’m just looking for these numbers. I’m like, see, there’s a 5, see, another 5, big fucking deal, everywhere you look there are numbers! See? Another fucking 5. I’m not even going to prove to you how bat shit crazy I am by telling you who texted at 5:55.

Not even trying to talk about that. I was up all night. Wondering if I just woke up from a nightmare. I was “normal”. I kept walking from room to room to see if I was in the same world. Like The Twilight Zone shit. A lot more coincidences but no numbers and very personal and I’m not typing it because I don’t want anyone messing with me. The mania came back and I didn’t sleep. But since then yes.

I stuck to the script and once I got going talking about my daughter it was easy. I did the same thing with my case manager Friday.

At some point before all this I had rewritten my priorities list, my daughter, her family, my family, what I have to do to take care of myself and added work on acceptance, forgiving myself, forgiving others, let go of pain, judgment. I remembered someone had told me about the Insight Timer meditation app. It’s really good and it’s free unless you subscribe to a course but I read it is difficult to unsubscribe. But there is no reason. It has 150,000 meditations. You can narrow it down by keywords or phrases, male or female voice, music or no music. Highest rated, most popular, most recent, etc…

It turns out all the fucking topics I chose came under acceptance. I chose the parameters obviously but I got very lucky with the first one. It was about acceptance in general but holy shit! I knew what she was doing but…. She talks to you, calms you down, tells you to stare at something directly in front of you and blink every time she says a number counting down from ten. I got to four and couldn’t open my eyes. An hour later I felt like 300 pounds of very relaxed lead. I forgot, the breathing. 10,000 meditations I’ve done tell you different ways to breathe. Now on this app they all specifically tell you to breathe the way I’ve been practicing all year since I found what worked. I’ve only listened to about 10 but I guess I am lucky.

I did a let go of pain one and I don’t know… It fucking sucked! It hurt. I could feel it in my abdomen and I was fighting it. I didn’t want to let it go. There was no breathing… It was crying, crying, crying and fuck you, fuck you, fuck you…. and I don’t know… I can’t do that one again.

I did a couple forgive myself but you know, I couldn’t grasp it. Like fuck everyone, do whatever I want as long as I forgive myself it’s fine? It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I got really depressed. No. I can’t forgive myself, I don’t want to forgive myself, I don’t want my daughter to forgive me. I don’t deserve it.

Last night I found a good one. He talks about exchanging the word forgiveness with acceptance and acceptance doesn’t mean you condemn or condone something and It doesn’t give you a free pass to do whatever you want. Accepting others was easy, I was already figuring that out. I had just lost focus because I was thriving on anger the past couple weeks. I remember reading the last few months post and when I went from happy manic to angry manic and I want to explain it here but I don’t because I want to let it go. That’s why I did that with my therapist and my case manager. Use my therapist as basics and I don’t understand about my case manager, I’ve known her 10 years but it’s not going to help trying to figure it out and she helps me the most of the people I see. I already figured this out last year about my brother. He hasn’t been home thinking about me. I’m just pissing myself off all the time trying to change something in the past by thinking it through over and over.

The forgiving myself was hard to grasp but I liked the not letting myself off the hook part. All week I was trying to combine the freaking psycho, psycho therapy I listened to a few months ago. The talking to myself like Gollum and be my own best friend. It ended. I liked it. I felt like I should listen to it every day but still, you know?

I slept so good. I woke up and thought, yes, this is how I felt before. I want to feel like this every day.

I was going back and forth all morning. I wanted to apologize to my daughter every day but is it too much, too little??? Fucking texting. I did one last week, it was good but I still didn’t know. I came up with a good one. Nothing about how bad I feel. I don’t want to guilt her or make her feel bad for how I feel or responsible for my feelings. I think it was good for her. I think it was good.

Of course some random asshole liked a post from last summer where I wrote about walking down the street telling myself, fuck these people living rent free in my head, focus on the people who matter and that is when I started to feel good last summer.


Robot Brain

“All I can say is that my life is pretty plain
You don’t like my point of view and I’m insane
It’s not sane
It’s not sane”

“No Rain” Blind Melon

We’ve all heard the song. Happy, right? Everyone loves the video with the little girl dancing around in the rain in a bumblebee suit. Lyrics are pretty ersatz, right? Would you like to die of “Unnatural Causes”? Click on the link and listen to this version. Blind Melon: No Rain Ripped Away Version Half tempo and probably not what the record company wanted to hear. It’s his voice. This is the pain I want to hold on to.

That is where I really lost my shit and fucked up texting my daughter for five days, thinking it was only five minutes. It was my fault. I listen to my playlist on shuffle. But I was in a mood and “My Wave” by Soundgarden popped up. I remembered I would always play that first on the jukebox a hundred years ago because it was my favorite. I thought it would be a good idea to listen to the whole album. Good idea, right?

I texted people who know and said, “Listening to SuperUnknown and crying. (Before I started drinking) Thinking everyone is surprised he killed himself… His whole career is one long suicide letter. I was googling lyrics and accidentally saw he killed himself at 52… I’m 52! I wasn’t suicidal but with all the crazy coincidences this year… Am I suicidal?

I already knew about the Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington connection. One of them killed himself and the other suicided on the other’s birthday. That’s all I know. I don’t research it. I don’t want to know more. But, bright idea number two. I think I’ll listen to all the Linkin Park albums. I just googled to make sure I spelled his name correctly. Rolling Stone article says, “People were ‘shocked!'” Shocked?

What I was really trying to avoid was Blind Melon. The two hit songs are my favorite and I have them on my playlist. (It takes a lot to get on my playlist) But why did I never look into more of their music? I do it with other bands. Of course I know why, I remember the day I asked my daughter if she had any songs she wishes she had written and she told me “Galaxie” From the album Soup. Right? She told me she likes the album because the first time she heard the album she cried so much she had to leave school and went home and listened to it all day. Short version, of course I went home and listened to it all night and cried. (no booze) She told me she was glad it made me cry. Long version, I wrote about it here, Nov. 2nd: Letters to the Future.

Since then she got me to download three of his albums and I know why I never looked into him before. I rarely add full albums to my playlist and I don’t get into music just because she likes it. For years she was into 21 Pilots, saw them live 3 times, the whole thing… I have one song, “Heavy Dirty Soul” That is what it takes to make it onto my playlist.

This isn’t new, I’ve been struck by the fact that her favorite music is my favorite music. No big deal, right? That’s the thing, kids are into the 90’s. But it is very specific and she didn’t get it from me. She didn’t know my favorites. Of course they were popular but lots of bands were popular. She hates Pearl Jam, so do I. But fucking Chris Cornell.? Some of this shit is very specific. Too much. She likes other bands I don’t bother listening.

I couldn’t handle her playlist and I switched to mine (another great idea) we like all the same music and all these people killed themselves. That is when I started texting her song lyrics. Luckily I didn’t say anything about suicide. I remember last month telling her I understood these songs when I was young but they hit a lot different now.

I think I was trying to protect her from life. I don’t ever want her to feel the way I do. But she is a kid she doesn’t know what these lyrics mean. I mean she does but she hasn’t lived them yet.

I slammed on the brakes but it takes a long time to stop when you are traveling at the speed of light. I was still doing crazy shit and if you read me you know I write some pretty crazy shit.

Everyone was pissed at me. I am pissed at me! What am I doing? I never made her cry before.

It took me too long to apologize but I was trying to think of a way to do it without using I’m crazy and drunk as an excuse. But WTF? I already scared her. I can’t tell her I was hallucinating her voice like we were having a conversation even though she wasn’t texting back? Tell her I have a song lyric for every thought? Song lyrics are my thoughts? That I wrote the songs she is listening to? I have to lie down and breathe for 12 hours a day so I don’t do stupid shit like that?

Nobody was talking to me anyway. I finally “talked” with her mom. I can’t tell her everything either. Same thing, I can’t make any excuses. She knows but, you know? I told her part of the problem is I haven’t seen anyone since thanksgiving. I can’t hear anyone’s voice or see their face. I have no idea what words on a screen mean.

I told her what I wanted to say and I wanted to tell my daughter I feel horrible but I don’t want to tell her because it’s not about how I feel. I don’t want her to feel responsible for me. She told me to just say I feel horrible but I”m still not sure if I should have.

I apologized but I still don’t know because I can’t see her.

I realize that is not when I lost my shit. I was going to write a post using my thanksgiving weekend post as a way to prove I was doing fine. Crazy is as Crazy Does. Really? The 5 days I spent with my mom and only slept 2 hours? That will show them! I hadn’t slept since thanksgiving. Except for the two times I got drunk. I know I may seem drunk all the time but I can’t drink all the time and it takes like 500 beers to put me to sleep.

I wanted to write about the fucked up shit that keeps happening but it keeps happening. The day I wrote that poem I decided to change the music I listen to and made a new playlist but while I was typing I had on a Best of 2020 EDM remix and Linkin Park remix came on? This sucks

I can’t even type fast enough. The fucking numbers. They don’t mean anything but why do they keep popping up? I’m not looking for them. But someone randomly liking the post about the day she told me about “Galaxie”? That’s why I know the date I wrote it.

Another random like on the thanksgiving post I don’t remember writing even though the only drug I had that week was caffeine? I don’t drink with my mom. I never have. Even when she was drinking.

It happens once in a while but not often and those two posts?

I don’t even want to start sounding crazy about sitting back for a second looking at my monitor and it’s 33 degrees and 3 emails? What’s with the fucking threes? There are plenty of numbers on the screen but I don’t care what the temperature is. I want to stop and go watch tv but I’m afraid to do anything. 11:11 am? Should I just go lie in bed and put a blanket over my head?

I could go on forever

“You’re Welcome” Narrator: He was in fact; not ‘welcome’

This town had me thinking there is something wrong with me until I realized people don’t act like this when I go to another town. A couple weeks ago I told someone I feel like a freak when I’m out in public; never mind starting a conversation, people make obvious attempts to avoid eye contact. Am I grotesque? She said, Oh my god! I am so happy to hear you say that! I thought it was just me… I talked to other people and they say, Yeah, dude, your town is weird. I started thinking about it and yeah, I didn’t want to move to Seabrook because when I was a kid the joke was it’s the “inbred” town. They don’t like outsiders. But that was 40 years ago. The town is built up since then.

Then I realized the town has Walmart and all the strip mall stores and chain restaurants that are new but no new people have moved here. People come from other towns to buy their groceries and do all their shit and then go back to their “normal” towns where people will actually talk to you. I think some more, I meet people but they are all from other towns. I also remember talking to women on dating sites and more than a few times I have been asked, “Do you live in Seabrook? Or are you a ‘Brookah?'”

Winter is setting in but I’m still going for walks everyday. I found myself in Panera again, what the fuck am I doing? I don’t like this place but there is nothing to do in this town. I’m feeling trapped. I leave, I’m walking home, I’m depressed and I’m pissed. What’s been working for me is telling myself, I feel good today; I would like to feel like this again tomorrow. Positive reinforcement. But I start thinking, This sucks! I don’t want to feel like this tomorrow. You see the flaw in that logic? Before I went home I almost decided to walk an extra hour and a half to buy spinach because I forgot it when I was shopping earlier. That’s how bad I didn’t want to get home and have it be 4pm and pitch black outside and WTF? The day is over?

I remember I had my mom laughing about how I joined every group on as long as they weren’t drinking. But I can’t get 2 hours north to hike a fucking mountain and the events are rare. The funny part is now that winter is here, my fucking inbox is full of invitations! The kayaking club is meeting in a bar 3 times a week. Same with the hikers and the bicyclists and the fucking chess club! You get the idea? I went to the site and unsubscribed from emails.

I remember people saying, take a class in something… Okay? What? Where? Google it. They got like 5 fucking “hot yoga classes”, yeah that sounds like me. What am I going to do? Show up in my street clothes? I would need a whole new wardrobe. But I see a cooking class 5 miles away. I like to cook, click, whatever? But you have to sign up for the whole series of classes and they are held at “The Victoria Inn.” Well, let me tell you something about “The Victoria Inn”, It just cost me 300 dollars to type “The Victoria Inn”.

I remembered the waitress at “Red’s Kitchen and Tavern” where I had breakfast with my mom, telling us they have a live bands at the bar and shit. Sounds great but not really a good idea for me and what the hell is she talking about? It’s a chain restaurant and it used to be an Appleby’s.

I gave up! I’ve been saving a century mark for no particular reason and I can pull another dollar out of the bank and still make it through the month. Fuck it! I’m going out to have a “two bills night” and see what happens. (Get it? My name is Bill?) It’s a half hour walk and it’s actually warmer now than it was when I walked further during the day. It’s already 8pm, how much trouble can I get into?

I showered, shaved, threw on some decent clothes, checked the mirror… Yeah, I’m suitable to be in public. Let’s go. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You know me… Probably not the best question to ask.

9pm, I’m almost there, lights are on, cars, okay, they are open, good. But I stop in my tracks and look to my left. I know damn well Staples closes at 5pm and everything is dark; why the fuck are there 20 vehicles parked in the lot? Look back at Red’s, not empty, but plenty of parking. I’m pretty good at math. I can put 2 and 2 together. Something is going on. I think I’m going to like it. But I walked in and I was wrong. 5 waitresses standing near the door and don’t even say hi. Booths are full of people eating and there is a large bar but only like 8 people, no band. I’m wasting my time, go home and save my money.

Screw this though! I’m all dressed up and no place to go? I’ll take the back way and figure out how the Japanese steak house stays in business at the corner of a strip mall in nowhereville. Wrong again. Three cars out front but as I keep walking there are three women standing outside laughing with each other. I stop, pull out my phone but of course no wifi. But I look up and the big girl is facing me and gives me the “high sign.” I don’t even have to look around to know I am the only person standing here in the dark. I wave back but she turns to her friends, it was nothing. Go home.

But on the corner is “Casa Tequila.” We used to joke since I moved in the building has been 5 different restaurants that close after six months. What is the problem? Prime location on the main road? But this place has been open at least four years. I like Mexican food and Tequila. Let’s check it out.

The hostess looks at me like I got two heads but I introduce myself and say first time here. Would you like to sit in a booth or the bar. I’ll feel funny sitting in a booth by myself, can I eat at the bar? Yes. Okay!

Okay… Bartender, would you like a Margarita? Salt? Menu? Yes, I would… Things are looking up. It’s says “Burrito Verdes” but I tell her I’ll have the green burrito. Not very busy, what the hell? It’s something. I notice they are cleaning fast like they are about to close and I ask her how late they are open. She said, oh, I don’t know, 9:30, 10… How the hell do they stay in business? I look around and the two drunk broads at the other corner don’t look like they are going anywhere, same with the couple sitting across from me with two fresh drinks and the two women to my right at the table have been there longer than I have and had already finished their meals before I walked in, why am I the only one sitting there with my check in front of me which I didn’t ask for? I guess I’m going home for real.

I’m still thinkin, there is something going on at Red’s. What is ten more minutes of walking? This time I was right. Only a couple seats at the bar, band playing crappy 70’s rock but what would I expect? People look like they are having fun. Sit down, bartender comes right over, Hi, blah blah, somebody told me this was a good place, first time here. Okay!

Few loud, old guys next to me making lewd comments to the bartenders but I can tell they are locals and they laugh at the guys stupid jokes cause they are gonna make tips. I laugh at one of his jokes, make a comment. Everyone is loud, drunk bitch behind me falls down on the “dance floor”, laughs. “dance floor?” It’s the five foot aisle between my back and the band is squeezed up next to the windows. Dude next to me with three chicks, leans over and asks if I’m drinking Tanqueray? No, it’s vodka, I like a lime in it. He says, me too, takes away that taste. Three bartenders shaking there asses, having a good time. I put down my empty glass and boom! a full one in front of me.

That was the extent of how crazy I acted in the hour I spent there. I finish my third drink and notice nothing happens. But it’s still busy, I can wait. Still waiting, bartenders walk past me, I’m invisible. Looking around, everyone has full drinks, bartenders still mixing as fast as they can… Am I gettin’ shut off? Everyone in here is completely shitfaced and I could probably pass a breathalyzer right now. I look at my phone, it’s 11:15, maybe it’s my imagination. I can wait… Still waiting… Still…

I stand up, throw a c-note on the bar and all three girls run over and ask if I need change??? I’m thinking, oh no, I was going to leave a 70 dollar tip on three drinks right after I got the bum’s rush… What do you think? I know this place stays open til 1:30am, that’s why I came here. Nobody walked over and hinted, maybe I had a little too much…. Oh yeah, maybe it was when I tapped my fingers lightly on the bar to the beat of the songs I kinda liked? I left $20, said thank you

What the fuck ever, I know what is going on. Nobody knows me, I understand I’m not going to be staying after hours. But it’s 11:30, There was no secret code they stay open til 1:30, they advertise on their website and it says it right on the door. Place is still packed on a Friday, not like they are losing money if they stay open. Bitches~

You should have seen me on the walk home. I was fuming. I just blew 120 bucks and I’m not even buzzed enough to have a buzz. Seriously, I’m going to be home before midnight and bored out of my mind… I could have saved some money and did nothing like I usually do.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t planning on starting a new habit of hanging out in bars. I don’t have the means anyway. I’ve just been pissed all summer. I don’t even like basketball but I thought of joining the league at the Rec. center. Can’t. Covid! Couldn’t get into Dunkin Donuts lobby. Covid! I don’t even like theri coffee. Gotta wear a mask to get my fucking hair cut. Covid! But 50 people shoulder to shoulder in a bar all night with no mask or proof of vax, no problem!

That’s my rant… Gonna stay home tonight, lie in bed, listen to music and meditate. WooHoo!

My Intentions

Robot Brain

When did this start? I have been the one pushing for a therapist, before the stress of summer’s life change. I finally get one, she seems great. She says she wants me to set some “goals.” I said, okay, what about calling them priorities? but thought about it, same word, right?

That week, I realized, I felt something was wrong with me, I have lived in this town for eight years; I do not have one friend. I do, just not from this town. I’m out and about? Right. Then a couple friends from out of town tell me, yes, your town is f’ed up!

I found other places in better towns online I am approved for but I know I cannot call the owners with my motor mouth and deranged thinking. I waited to tell my therapist; I said, yes, “goals” is the correct word. My goal is not one week, it is one year or two years, I need to get out of this town! That is a great idea! She responded. The next week, I said the same to my case manager, it was the three day holiday week; understandably she put me off but I agreed, I only wanted to mention it to her. That is her job to help me with these things. Tells me she can start making calls.

Tuesday, my therapist pretended she forgot all about it. Strangely because her big idea was setting goals and Wednesday, my case manager, AGAIN???? Now I am back to a year ago where I am getting humored on what I would like to do, I imagine until they think I forgot all about it.

Fuck this shit! Either one of them asks me a question. I am answering with a question of my own! I’m going to repeat myself until they get sick of fucking avoiding the question. I used to be lackadaisical and let them defer by saying, I don’t know, I have not spoken to (the other person) This ends now, or I end it.

I know what you may be thinking; I am still drunk or drinking whatever. My big plans for tonight; just got paid; I went to Panera, they don’t serve alcohol. That was my payday celebration. Coffee and flatbread pizza, but most of all, people watching.

I was texting my mom. She is laughing, there are only 6 people in there but I tell her I stay a long time and people come and go. Right now there is a highly inappropriate public display of affection in front of me and to my left is an old married couple sharing an ice tea and ignoring each other staring into their phones. I gotta go home, I’ve been here for two hours.

On the way home I said, Actually Panera is quite enjoyable, This is the highlight of my week! Do you really think I wanted to drink 4,000 beers in two days?

Then I complained about almost getting run over by three trump truckers (Seabrook Mother Truckers) and she stopped talking to me…. I stopped at the General Store and bought an extra large coffee.

Take Advice From Fools

Robot Brain

Don’t listen to anything I say. I go on like I got this sage wisdom. Nobody is talking to me today. I’m afraid I messed life up with my daughter. I woke this morning thinking I texted my daughter a little about the music we both like. That was Tuesday! Today is Friday! I was texting her non stop crazy shit for days. She wasn’t answering. I imagined she was responding and we were having a conversation. This morning I texted, Good morning, (heart emoji) like any other morning. She said, I love you, heart emoji) It was her first reply since Tuesday.

Since I started telling everyone about SuperUnknown and Chris Cornell killing himself at my age. I am thinking there is some incredible coincidence. No! Millions of people listen to that album. I was fucking delusional!

It wasn’t only her, it was her mom, she sent a text, saying don’t text after 10 pm go back and read what you wrote. She telling I am not trying to help myself. I didn’t argue but my doctors been telling me for years I am going to get progressively worse. I”m taking my meds, I’m keeping my appts. I was even sleeping and eating on a fairly strict schedule. I asked for a therapist months ago and after a long time I finally said to my case manager, what the heck is going on with the therapist??? Now I have one.

Then my mom thinks it’s cause I drink. It’s true but I”m not drinking all the time. She is getting back to her place in an hour… I want to ask her if she thinks I was drinking Thanksgiving weekend? I was with her 24/7, I don’t keep booze stashed in the house. What was I doing? Talking to her non stop and sleeping for an hour or two and talking to her. She can see all I have is water and Pepsi?

I want to ask, was I drinking that day I spent crying in Panera? No… The day I did the crazy 6 hour meditation and wouldn’t stop raving about it? No.. I can’t meditate for more than 30 seconds if I have a beer. I was drinking this week but I stopped When I ran out wed/thur am… I know it makes it worse but mania causes euphoria and lack of judgement and the delusions certainly don’t help!

Everyone else on my phone! Fr—- M—-, I was pissed at her and I wanted her to come over and have sex. I know she wouldn’t I just wanted to get back at her for lying to me. I know that would piss her off but I exlained it to her. She didn’t remember she explained it to me years ago. When we first met, I told her we couldn’t ever have sex and then we did a few year ago one day and that was when she disappeared. She siad she forgot all about that. I hope we are done talking.

I don’t care about any of that shit. I don’t know how much my daughter knew about me before but she didn’t know I was this crazy! I tried to explain today, but felt like I was making it worse and I was. I am going to wait until tonight and say, “goodnight, I love you! She is 16 I don’t want to scare her!

Crazy is as Crazy Does

“Now it’s time for me to make my impression felt
So sit back, relax, and strap on your seat belt”

“Nuthin But a ‘G’ Thang” Dr. Dre

My mom and I just had/are having? The best Thanksgiving ever. I don’t know… I can’t get rid of her. (I’m not trying) It is 8 o’clock on Sunday morning and she finally woke up. She never sleeps this late.

The week before, I was worried because I asked her what she was doing for the holiday. She said, “Your brother is working.” That is not what I asked. Getting a straight answer out of her is like trying to nail Jello to the wall. I told her I was asking a week early because she always waits until Wednesday night to ask if I want to go to my brother’s house and gets upset when I say no. (I don’t want to be stuck at my brother’s place for four days.

She thought it was funny…. etc… She asked if I wanted her to come to my place, “Sure!” I guess she did have plans. She immediately said, “Great, I can bring all the stuff down Wednesday and stay the night and your brother can come down after he gets out of work. I didn’t like it but, hey, it’s only one day, not four.

My mother loves holidays and cooking all the food. Wednesday she kept me updated by text as she packed her car. She was warning me she would be a little late. Late? It’s 11am the day before. I can’t remember; I think she got here around 2pm and that is when the party started. (No, no drugs or alcohol)

I started busting her balls about the Turkey breast still being frozen and her trying to kill me. She told me the instructions gave it 1-3 days to thaw. After nailing her to the wall, I found it had been thawing for 3 days.

She came prepared, but in her usual fashion. She forgot half and remembered half, but she had the essentials Ziploc bags with a dozen plastic spoons? She bought me small glass Sea salt and and Pepper grinders. The kind you find at the grocery store for a dollar. Good for me but I don’t know why she thought I was lacking. I opened my closet and showed her my doomsday prepping situation, which included a pound of salt and a container of rough ground pepper.

I say I busted her balls, but that is what we do and she likes it because she knows she is a little fucked up but she is on top of her game, she just plays by different rules. I was in rare form. I don’t think she was prepared. I had been texting her all year about what I had been doing but editing myself so she wouldn’t worry. But there was no pretending in person. It was fine because I have been in a great mood and I kept her laughing non-stop. She likes laughing loudly and tears were coming out of her eyes and she couldn’t catch her breath.

I don’t remember many of the specifics. I kept her laughing up past her bedtime. The first was peeling the potatoes. She brought a peeler from home and also bought me one from Walmart; it looked like a toy, I said, what is this? “Barbie’s First Potato Peeler?”

Finally got Chinese Food I’ve been craving since Covid started. Feng Shu. I found it when I googled Chinese food near me and it was the only one in town. It had rave reviews on Yelp but it shared a building with Dunkin Donuts, It really is fucking good. They don’t cook until you order and it is ready in 15 minutes and now they have a plexiglass Covid window. We were waiting and my mom had set the 15 minute time on her phone, it went off at the same time owner was yelling our phone number. We were slow and she got pissed and threw the bag through the window. My mom and I were laughing about Seinfeld and calling her the Chinese food Nazi. We spent $40, stuffed ourselves silly and only ate less than half.

She went to bed around midnight and I didn’t want to sleep but thought maybe I should. I opened my eyes not believing how well I slept, went to the living room and it was 2am. I tried to be quiet but woke my mom up and I got her laughing about she is the one to do that at 3am and I can’t get back to sleep. (long story)

I starting telling her how I had to wait for the store to open to get my “eye opener coffee” and I wanted her to try a small cup. Then I wanted to stress the whole “thing” I got going on with the lentils. “mom, mom, look, what am I doing?” I’m measuring out a quarter cup of lentils and a cup of water. “See? I got it down to a science. You think I was kidding? I’ve been doing this every day for 5 years! See? Setting the timer half hour. Then 20 minutes to cool and 10 minutes to eat. I never put this much effort in to eating anything! I never miss a fucking day! Do you think they taste good? They taste like dirt!” “I thought I was doing it to lose weight, I didn’t know anything about what they do for my brain until I googled, “Why do they call mac n cheese comfort food?” I didn’t want to know about asparagus and spinach and… lentils? Fucking lentils?

I told her I don’t do much googling but after eating 2 pounds of Brussel Sprouts like potato chips at midnight, you know, “Stupid me” Lentils came up again! I’m telling you I ate so many Brussel Sprouts they were falling off the plate and I was picking them up off the floor and eating them! I’m not googling shit anymore! I’m just going to eat whatever crazy shit I feel like eating at the time. She thought it was hilarious but she finally got I was serious. I told her I’m not a health nut. Some mornings I go straight to the store and buy 2 greasy sausage and egg sandwiches no problem but I still cook and eat the fucking lentils.

My brother (Buzz Killington) showed up Thursday and my mom cooks her whole life but she is having trouble since I kept her awake the past 36 hours laughing but she is still on top of it. I kept checking in and setting the timer on my phone to remind her, she was staggering around looking confused, but doing pretty well. The good thing was my brother kept his comments to himself and actually had a good time and had to leave early.

I kept her up late Thursday laughing but let her go to bed. I stayed up, I remember talking to myself and laughing in the kitchen. Thinking she is where I got my sense of humor. The funniest thing I kept thinking about was people my age at meetings. The most common concern was how to tell people you don’t drink? What is this high school? I came up with a good answer, “alcohol can have plenty of fun without me.” Then I ate all the chinese food and went to bed laughing.

I woke up in the morning and didn’t hear my mom. I was really afraid I imagined the whole thing. I’m thinking, watch me walk to the living room and nobody will be there and the room will be full of empty beer bottles. Nope. She was sleeping in.

Friday she woke up for a bit and went back to sleep. When she woke up her phone alarm went off and she said it is set to remind her to get out of the house before my fucking brother gets home from work. She is on vacation at my house! It was raining and we kept laughing and I told her how I felt like there was something wrong with me living in this fucking town, I gotta get out of here… when I go to another town people are friendly and smiling and acknowledging I exist.

I had her so daffed out telling her about the store still left in Exeter from years ago and we were going back and forth until she started asking me about if I remember the laundry place next to Woolworth’s. I said, mom, you are remembering things from before I was born.

Saturday we went to Plum Island Wildlife Sanctuary. We’ve been doing it for years but she really loves it now since her sister got her into bird watching. I like it too, we’ve been daytripping there since I was a kid. It’s beautiful. (Daytripper? I remember telling her how everyone loved the Beatles when I was a kid but I was the only one in first grade who knew what they were singing about!) She is a trooper, we drove out to the end and she got out of the car and walked 20 minutes to the ocean. It was below freezing and she was wearing a light jacket. I stayed in the car.

On the way out we saw a group of people with 3 foot long telephoto lenses trying to get a picture of one bird in a tree. We kept driving and saw a flock of at least 30 of the same birds and pulled over and got good pictures with our cell phones. Too funny.

She came up with the idea to get beach pizza (Square slices and “extra cheese” is a slice of provolone. It’s really good. (Childhood memory) We sent to Tripoli’s and she thought we would stand out in the cold and order at the window. Da Fuq? No, let’s go inside they have desserts. Really? Box off eight and two slices of carrot cake. Oh yeah! She said she didn’t know you could go inside, I told her she has to get out of her car once in a while.

Meanwhile, back in the world. This morning she asked if I wanted to go for breakfast at Red’s and see what it is like. Sure… She looked up the menu online and read it out loud, when she got to the “Everything omelette” I said, “That’s what I want, let’s go!” She said, “You know me, it takes for ever to make up my mind, I would rather know what I want before we go.”

We parked and she wondered if she should wear a mask, I said, I don’t think so, you know where we are and she started laughing. “Somebody might punch you in the face.”

They sat us in a booth, the waitress brought us coffee and asked if we knew what we wanted, I told her I do but she (my mother) might need some time. My mom surprised me by knowing she wanted French toast. But the waitress threw a wrench into the works by asking if she wanted powdered sugar. My mom wasn’t expecting that and looked to me confused, I thought oh, no it’s going to be another hour long decision. I told the waitress to stop asking questions and she said, “Okay, I get it, French Toast with powdered sugar. She asked a few waitress questions and if we wanted jelly on the table? I said, I didn’t know it was that kind of place… ha! She got the joke! (I’m thinking, this is why I go out in the real world, I get ghosted for making G rated jokes on dating sites… I don’t want to bang the waitress but it was more fun than saying, “No, thank you.” )

The guy behind me got up to leave and my booth slid across the floor, pressing me into the table. We went off again, posing hypotheticals, (Hostess asks, “Would you like a booth or a table?”, “I don’t know? Which one is bolted to the floor?” Or “Would you like a chair with wheels or would you rather be seated in a stationary position?” etc.. ) I don’t know, shit’s funny, we were the only ones having fun in the place and we were the only ones not drinking. People need to fucking relax.

The food was pretty good and she saw saw a kid with a Patriots jersey and talked about the game being on today. I went off on my rant about people thinking I’m a bandwagon fan and I have to tell them I started watching them 40 years ago on a 13 inch black and white screen filled with static because we were using rabbit ear antennae and we were lucky to get channel 6 out of Maine. It was the only way to watch a game because they sucked so bad the affiliated station in Mass. did a 60 mile media blackout to force people to buy ticket and go the stadium. People may be tired of seeing them win but I say, I watched them suck for 20 years every week hoping they would win at least twice that season, I am having fun watching them win for 20 years.

I said I tell people about life before the internet when they had to print the Boston newspapers at 11pm so they could be delivered to stores by 5am and you could only read about what happened in the first 7 innings off the Red Sox game because it went on until midnight. I tell people I knew how many hits every player had the night before and added them to the stats in the morning paper and kept track of their batting averages and that is how I taught myself percentages. People look at me and ask, “Percentages?” WTF? She was dying!

The waitress asked if we wanted to take anything home and my mother was seriously considering it even though the only thing left on the table was one and a half sausage links. I stopped her and said, yeah, I can imagine looking in the the fridge and seeing those. That got the waitress started about having leftover sausage and onions and how she doesn’t really like it but she cooks it once in a while and as she walked away, she looked back at my mom, “I don’t even know why I bought it that day, I must have been in the mood… ” OMG! I almost slid under the table.

My mom grabbed the check and started calculating 15% in her head, I threw $30 on the table and told her to leave $10 for the tip, it’s worth it because she laughed at my stupid jelly joke and then she made that joke to you about the sausage. She looked confused again, “Sausage joke?” I couldn’t believe I had to explain it to her, “Sausage?”, “not sure why I bought it?”, “Must have been in the mood?” Then she got it, I don’t know how she missed it, that is her kind of joke, then she was laughing so hard she was crying and told me she wet her pants! I said, is that why I have so many stories to tell? I am the only one who keeps his eyes open?

Out in the parking lot. (This is what I bust her balls about and she knows it is funny) I asked her if she parks so crooked so she can find her car in the lot. She said, yeah that’s why I bought such a small car. We go in and I pointed to the cars on both sides of us and told her, it worked they are parked as far away as possible.

Anyway, she went home. I am still laughing.

I left so much out. The best part was none of us have good silverware. She had to bring some from her house so there would be enough for three of us to eat. We joked about she had to keep it separate because my brother would count it and make sure she brought it home. He did! He sorted through my kitchen drawers and asking where what came from where.

As we were leaving breakfast I asked, what is wrong with our family? You were just thinking about spending $1000 on a new phone you don’t need but you will go to yard sales and negotiate a price on used forks!???

I joke about her but she is not senile. She has been off her whole life. She had trouble cooking for three Thursday but her summer job was at a camp cooking three meals a day for 600 kids. AND, she had to have a regular meal, a vegetarian meal and gluten free. Her kitchen crew was exchange students and half of them spoke little to no English. He bosses fucking loved her because they did not have to give any thought to the kids being fed. She made the menus, ordered the food, cooked it, assigned jobs to the workers depending on who could speak English and who could translate, etc… Also extras like 100 bag lunches for kids going on a day trip on top of the regular schedule.

I also kept thinking we get along so well because we take life so seriously but we also recognize how completely fucking ridiculous it is!

Lust For Life

Robot Brain

“You’re a shotgun – bang! What’s up with that thang?
I wanna know how does it hang?
Straight up, wait up, hold up, Mr. Lover
Like Prince said you’re a sexy mutha-“

“Shoop” Salt-N-Pepa

Last week I was embarrassed by doing something stupid and yesterday I was kicking myself for not doing something stupid. Can you guess where I was?

While I was in there I was laughing about deleting the dating apps. One of the funny things I kept thinking because I see it so often, (I don’t know if men say the same) every woman puts in their bio, they are looking for adventure. I can imagine the adventure they were having on the couch swiping and typing when they wrote that.

I had more adventure at fucking Panera all week. That’s why I keep going. Last week would have been funnier if I someone else had done it. It wasn’t that bad. It was pretty clever to come up with on the spot. I just didn’t notice she was wearing earbuds and couldn’t hear me. I’m still laughing.

Memory of that is what stilted me Saturday. I don’t know. I’m still confused. There were about 50 people in there. Never before. I took one of the last seats but it was perfect because I go there to people watch and I could see the whole place. There was another beautiful woman way across in the other corner. But what am I going to do stare at her the whole time? There were some weird people doing weird things. I’m the weirdest but nobody notices because they don’t watch people like I do.

(Skip ahead) I noticed my new dream girl had left. I don’t care, what else am I going to do? Sit at home and try to type a journal before the day begins? I look up and she hadn’t left, she was coming back with her food. It was funny because she was taking baby steps, holding her tray steady, trying not to spill her soup. She looked up and smiled, I smiled back, so what, it was a little funny. I keep doing my thing, looking around, drinking coffee. (Coffee in the afternoon is just my excuse to leave the house.) I turn back and she hadn’t returned to the corner. She stopped at the table in front of me with four chairs and picked the one facing me and is big smiling already before noticed. I returned it but I’m all screwed up about being embarrassed the other day. Now that I think back I should have said something, she was only ten feet away. But what? I was tongue tied and I can’t figure out if she is smiling at me because I’m a nice, harmless old man? I’m 52, I look older, she can’t be more than 30… I am harmless but not always so nice.

She left. What has me all fucked up doing this shit is the article I read this summer… “How to meet men over fifty.” It was long, detailed article. Go to home depot in the afternoon, shit like that.. That is what fucked me all up. Like. I’m 50, I’m right here. I read another article by a guy saying the same thing. Don’t go to bars. Go to the grocery store when people are shopping after they get out of work. I can’t do that, but I can sit there and drink coffee.

I left my house around 2 and by the time I was done it was pitch black. Like it was only 4:30! No way am I going home. It was 50 degrees! November. (This is where I left of Sunday but you know my life is a never ending story.

Nobody would believe what happened at 8am this Tuesday morning so I’m not telling anyone. But you can imagine why I chose the lyrics to start off this post.

I got big plans tonight. This weekend I was freakin’ I got to get of this town! It’s true. I realized I lived her 8 years and the only people I talk to aren’t from this town. Saturday I tried searching housing but 4 apartments on the conglomeration websites. The same 4? Sunday I found the website where you type in any town in the country and it shows the approved housing there. They have 1100 apartments in Portsmouth within walking distance of downtown. They all have waiting lists and there is no set length of time. I had it in my head I couldn’t move until my daughter turns 18 but she is driving and I have Uber. I was lucky because I forgot about waiting lists. This could work perfectly.

My plans. I have to get out of this town for at least a few hours. I went on and there was a Ghostbusters watching party but it was 3 people who called themselves “Geeks.” I was thinking it’s weird how so many people express their individuality in exactly the same way. They all like Comic books, Star Wars, Anime, etc… A geek is someone who has is own things going on. I am a geek. I don’t mean I am unique but you know. Then there was this weird thing a guy had about the men teach the woman how to cook. Sounded good but it was just him and another woman. I joined and an hour later I got an email saying the event was cancelled due to lack of interest. The I saw I had another email that looked like it was from his group with his name transferring hosting responsibilities to me and click the link if interested. I clicked but then asked him why he cancelled and turned it to me? He said he had no idea what I was talking about.

My thinking is single people want to meet around the holidays. I know because I am single. Also almost every year some woman I barely know texts wondering what I have been up to.

Then I found Tuesday night $5 burger night at a bar in Salisbury. I wasn’t going to join because it is at a bar but I feel confident about not drinking. (I hope) Last summer I knew I was fooling myself and would catch myself at the last minute saying, You know you can’t go into a bar and not drink. Now it feels different. I don’t feel over confident. I just don’t want to drink. The second reason I wasn’t going to join was it is a private group. I don’t understand. I just clicked it and had to answer basic questions, like, do I agree to follow the guidelines, etc… An hour later I got an email saying I was “approved”. I looked at the event and it was me and another guy and six women! I told you about holidays. I checked again today and the other guy had dropped out and a woman took his place. If I go it will be me and seven women! I feel weird because they do it every week but it’s not the same people every week so who knows. I don’t want to be the only stranger. Who knows? Maybe they are all married but why would they be going to a bar without…. Yeah, that happens but why am I invited. I’m not saying I am going to hook up but I will be able to talk to actual people. And seven women! I have to go.

I feel pretty good about going to a bar. I am confident I can be “diet coke” guy and nobody will care. It goes from 6 to 8pm and the bar/ restaurant closes at 9pm. I feel different. I quit drinking for a long stretch but it would be a struggle sometimes. I’ve been through a few things the past 3 weeks that would have been giving me thoughts but it takes less than a minute and I forget about it. Plus I don’t think it would be a good first impression.

Wish me luck, lol


Robot Brain

“I’ll be your chauffeur on a midnight drive
It takes a miracle just to survive”

“Nicotine and Gravy” Beck

It took me six hours to write my post last night and I got it all wrong. I just gave up around 5am. I forgot the story I was trying to tell. I kept getting up, walking around my apartment, laughing about how I was worried I might run out of stories when I started this blog. I even made a long list of topics I haven’t written about yet.

It was supposed to be a snapshot of my aunt but I was laughing too hard wondering how the hell did I forget about this story? I suppose it informs a lot about my outlook on life. How many kids grew up in a bar with a secret strip joint in the back. Maybe it’s not so funny. It’s the absurdity of it all. I remember seeing the door swing shut and catching glimpses of half naked women and not thinking twice about it. Well, I thought twice but not appropriate thoughts for a seven year old.

So much has happened since, it’s just so funny. I know I tell a lot of stories that start in a bar but I spent more time in bars not drinking before the age of ten than I spent in bars legally. I didn’t even go to a bar for my 21st birthday.

I was getting the giggles about searching for a picture of the outside but all I could find was that flyer. It’s the only evidence I found that the place existed. It was advertised as a collector’s item. I went to the website to find how much they were asking and saw I would have to register and PAY for a membership to find out. They weren’t even sure if it was from the sixties or the seventies! They should be paying me. I know exactly when it was proper to drop a dollar on a sixty cent drink. That was a good fucking tip! Forty percent!

I don’t have any money and I still tip like that. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I just know people in service industry depend on tips. I leave 20 percent if someone just does the bare minimum. I don’t know how it is now but it used to be legal to pay servers much less than minimum wage. Someone has to be pretty fucking rude for me to stiff them. They don’t have to kiss my ass or flirt with me. The only times I’ve done it is when I can tell someone assumes for whatever reason, I’m young, or the way I’m dressed, you know… And they throw an attitude. They determined the outcome. In fact I’ve never stiffed anyone. I’ll leave a dime and three pennies on the table just to be a dick. So the know I’m not being cheap or I forgot. ( I forgot where I was going with this too, still laughing)

“Live five years if I take my time,
Ballin’ that jack and a drinkin’ my wine.”

“Easy Wind” Grateful Dead

No, I’m not drinking. I was out walking and remembered being at this dude’s house with my mom when I was 16, there were a few people her age partying in the kitchen and I was in the living room messing around with his acoustic. He kept coming out asking how was doing, do I want a beer? Blow a joint? I’m like, no thanks, I’m straight edge and I’m the designated driver anyway…. It made me laugh, I was the designated driver since I could reach the pedals. (Everything is funny today… Funny?)

“You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe, but I’m funny how, I mean funny like I’m a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?” Joe Pesci in Goodfellas

Oh yeah, the dude, he asked if I wanted to keep the guitar and gave me the song book, with the chords and lyrics to the American Beauty album by the Grateful Dead. I knew the “high on cocaine song” we used to sing when we were kids but that was it. I went out and bought it and that’s how I learned to play. I’m listening to it now but I’m not a deadhead. I like some songs, Friend of the Devil is good, “Got a wife in Chino babe and one in Tennessee, First one say she got my child but it don’t look like me.”

(Fuckin’ M==== keeps sending me Youtube links to full length movies she wants me to watch. Like okay, I’ll just drop everything and watch 90 minutes of whatever she’s into at the moment. She said, no pressure, use my intuition. Okay, I did. I know I don’t work but I do things. I’m not saying anything important right now but it’s important to me. I’m expressing myself.)

I’ve been in the vicinity of the Dead many times but I’ve only seen them play live once. It was the end of the weekend and they thought it would be nice to put on an extra slow show. Ugh… We didn’t go for the music, we went to get twisted and people watch. The show I wish I did see was in Worcester, MA. We got a hold of some good shrooms and they played all their faster, rock ‘n roll type songs at double speed. It was frenzied! It was simulcast on radio and people were parked on the city streets with their systems blasting. One of the best concerts I’ve attended.

Oh yeah, my doctor yesterday. I was afraid I would start babbling and I wrote a script to practice. It was nothing complicated. Just a quick check in phone call. He was the one that started babbling! Hey, how you been doing? Pretty good except I had to sit around on this nice day waiting for your dumb ass to call. Aww… Bill, you should have blown me off, I would have blown me off if I were you. I tried to yesterday but your secretary didn’t even open the book and said, nothing for December… Still, you know, yeah, my friend called me today and said he had the “golfer’s flu”, great, I’m stuck in the office, I wish I was out there.

I’m thinking, this motherfucker, he diagnosed me with alcohol use disorder and he’s telling me I should have blown him of to get drunk and play golf! I bet he can’t wait to get home and pour a scotch over an ice cube. He asked me how my daughter was doing and I told him we have been bonding over music. He was off and running after that, he’s telling me one of his kids only listens to rap, Rap! Rap! That’s It! My other one listens to good music, well, what I like to call the good music, Buffalo Springfield and… I kept him rollin’, Oh yeah, I used to listen to that when I was a kid… Yeah, okay, he says I’m doing much better, I guess he isn’t worried.

(She just texted me another link! No pressure? Even if I watched the first one I would have time for another. A third one! I just left the room for a second? I’ve been letting her slide a lot because she is a nice person and )

I guess it was a good idea I didn’t mention the Super sexual psychotic symbiosis I had going on the other night, “Generating” electromagnetic waves with certain parts of my body and sending them through the atmosphere. Until I stopped after 4 hours and banged it all out on the computer while I snacked on 2 pounds of steamed brussel sprouts like they were potato chips.

The fucking sprouts, yeah, I love them but I haven’t had them for a long time. It was an impulse buy. I didn’t want do it but I searched, “Why am I craving Brussel Sprouts?” Not what I was expecting… A study by John Hopkins, First result, “Glutamate and schizophrenia”. Alright, “I’m your huckleberry, That’s just my game.” … “Foods high in glutamate”, Of course the sprouts, and others, then, spinach? I was craving that all summer! I finally bought some and now I eat 2 heaping plates a week. That’s what got me started, but not the way you think… I was watching Food Network and searched “Why do they call it comfort food” and spinach came up. Made sense, magnesium, anxiety, I guess, but I didn’t search, “glutamate and spinach.” Whatever, I’m confused by the glutamate, I don’t care, I don’t want to eat pounds of Brussel sprouts each day. I give up, but what is that at the bottom of the list? Fucking lentils… Of course. I’m not doing any more searches! I know I consciously bought them on purpose and I do like them but it wasn’t my plan to chow them all at two in the morning. I ate plenty that day, I didn’t have the munchies. Plenty of food in the fridge to choose.

I’m not a health nut, I thought I was eating lentils for protein and fiber. I’ve been eating a lot of sausage and pepperoni pizza. Probably not going to google that!

In other news, my doctor is right, I do sound better. When Covid came and we started doing phone calls I was angry manic and yelled and cursed at him for the whole call. Every month for at least a year. He would try to interrupt me and I would get more pissed. I didn’t even know what I was pissed about. He would say, Hey. Hey. Hey. Make an appointment for next month.

I am doing okay. I only slept about eight hours this week but I can still maintain. “insane in the membrane, cypress hill” I”m eating meals I am preparing myself. I kept all my appointments. I’m putting my family first. Today I kept my promises and extra. Haven’t done anything too weird. ha ha besides the Electric Light Orchestra in my bedroom but that stayed inside my apartment, except for the metaphysical part. I sound crazy with the numbers going on but I’m not chasing that rabbit. the numbers don’t mean anything to me. I’m not looking for it but it happens. My doctor hung up at 4:44, I was checking my phone waiting to see. Today I picked up my phone at 2:22 to text my mom. I didn’t know what fucking time it was…

Speaking of my mom I did a per-emptive Thanksgiving strike on her. I pinned her down on plans because she usually makes plans without telling me until the day before and gets upset I don’t want to do it. It did backfire on me a bit. She said my brother was working and asked if we could do something here. Sure! She said great, I can come over the night before and your brother can come after he gets out of work. ????? I guess she did have plans.

My fucking brother I was just telling someone I barely see him and I keep my mouth shut. Why does he have to come out with the sarcastic, “I was joking but I wasn’t really joking” bullshit? He can pull that shit at his house but I’ll kick him out of here. .

I don’t know, I’ve been doing okay with the self acceptance and the life acceptance, they go hand in hand, but the acceptance of others. I need some time with that one. I want to go on huge rant about my brother but I’ll just be breaking my mood.

My mood is, Linkin Park: Hybrid Theory.