In the Throes of Passion

Robot Brain

“You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on
I just need your body, baby, from dusk ’til dawn
You don’t need experience to turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I’m gonna show you what it’s all about”

“Kiss” Prince

I forgot to tell you the best part about yesterday! I got sized up by a tall, young, strapping latino stud! (Not maybe, from across the room, did he just?) I was sitting in Panera , minding my own business. (I don’t know why I was in there again. I don’t like the food and I’m low on cash this month, but I’m gonna waste the $15 somewhere.) I think there were 2 other people in there, he was the 3rd and I don’t know where he came from. This time I really was minding my own business. I had just texted my daughter a picture of my flatbread pizza and I was still looking down at my phone because the thought bubble popped up meaning she was typing. I didn’t see him, I felt his presence. I looked up and he was stopped 3 feet in front of me staring me directly in the eyes with a dead serious look on his face. He scanned down my body, up my body and back to directly in my eyes, walked past and disappeared. The whole event last maybe 3 seconds. I thought, what the hell just happened? That was a first for me. Should I get a big confidence boost from that or not? I don’t know, you tell me.

Speaking of curiosities, I had another surprise recently. A couple days ago my back was still hurting and I wondered if insurance would pay for a massage? I have a doctor, I could get a referral. There is a “Massage Envy” franchise right there in the Walmart plaza. I googled their website and it didn’t say anything about insurance and their prices were too much to pay out of pocket and I was about to forget about the idea. I mean, do I really want to go through the trouble? I’m not disabled by it and the pain is nowhere near like it was before when it was all I could think about. It still hurts but it’s not calling me by name. It will probably be gone in a week.

Then I thought, that’s odd, I have never gotten a professional massage. Why not? Many men and women have told me how great it is and I agree it does sound great. Especially by someone who is trained and has to get licensed and it’s their job. Plus they make tips, right? (I think?) So the the better they did the more money they would make. Why have I never done it? I’ve seen the place many times and it never occurred to me. Like I said, now I can’t afford it but in the past I’ve had plenty off disposable income. I’ve worked manual labor jobs that made my whole body hurt. I could have used a really good massage then. I’ve never been cheap, I just blew $50 in the past week on food I don’t particularly like. I spend money on other people, I’ve let friend borrow money and never asked the to pay it back. Why have I never spent money on myself when it sounds so good?

I never thought about it before. I don’t know how much you would tip the therapist, but I could figure that out easily. Pretty sure insurance would cover it. What would it take? Two phone calls. Why can’t I be bothered? I thought I might feel kind of awkward being nude in front of a complete stranger, but you got a towel, right? That’s really weird, I never thought twice about stripping down and having sex in a straight, hookup with someone I just met. Drunk or sober. Whatever, probably not going to do it.

None of that was the surprising part. I said, forget the massage and closed the tab which revealed the google tab. Second on the search list was a place close to where I live, on the main road. (Something, massage therapy) I thought, I’ve lived in that town most of my life and when I didn’t I’ve lived close, there is no place to get a massage anywhere near there. It’s not a big city. It’s a small town. I clicked on the website and it was well done, professionally. They showed a picture of the building, it looked pretty nice and it said they were located directly directly across from McDonald’s. Okay, now things are getting really fucking weird. I’m not the biggest fan of McDonald’s but I’ve eaten at that location many times seated in front of the window looking across the main road. There is no fucking way I would not notice this distinctive looking building right in front of my eyes.

Now I’m really curious. I scroll down and they say, Asian massage, Full body massage, something else, $60 for 90 minutes. 60 bucks? That’s a third of the price of the place I just looked at. Down a little further, there were a few reviews and one of them was dated 4 or 5 years ago. Okay, they didn’t just build the place yesterday, I’ve driven on that road a million times. I’m not fucking blind. What the fuck is going on? Am I imagining all this?

I gotta know. I saw the address and looked it up on Google maps. Yes. Directly across from McDonald’s. And… Next door to the the little Chinese take-out joint. Now shit’s gettin’ real fucked up. I’ve eaten at that place a lot. It looks like trash, but it has really great food. Not only have lived near the place. I’ve practically lived inside the place. Eaten at the McDonald’s across the street, the Chinese place next door, Went grocery shopping many times at the store next to that. What? I know plenty of people in the area, nobody has ever said, hey, you can get a really cheap massage at this place a mile away from your house? I’m baffled. I look again at the map and see the blue line takes a tiny left and a tiny right. Okay, I look at the directions they say take a left, next right, the street has no name. Alright, I’m not crazy. It’s not on the main road, That is just their postal address.

Mystery solved. I’m about to close Google maps and I see “Street View.” Wait a minute. That. Is not the building on the website. In fact, it does not even closely resemble the building on the website. It’s the tiniest brick building AND it only occupies half the space. There is another business there. But, there is a sign, (Something massage therapy) I go back to their website and see something that puts it all together. Now I know what is going on. Building looks abandoned, Asian girls, Nobody has ever mentioned it… “Cash Only.” Pretty sure my insurance it not going to cover that.

Curiouser and curiouser

Robot Brain

“People are strange when you’re a stranger

faces look ugly when you’re alone

Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted

Streets are uneven when you’re down”

“People are Strange” The Doors

For the last few days while my mind has been in overdrive, I’ve been telling myself to cut myself a little slack. “Take a fucking day off, would you?” Yesterday was the same thing. Minutes after I wake up I’m walking around raving. I catch myself, “Get off the fucking clock! There is no schedule. It’s Sunday, This is the perfect time. All you have to do is chill out and watch football. It starts at one.” Somehow that turned into I have to get all kinds of shit done before one. What? What do I have to get done? Nothing. I’m getting nothing done anyway. I’m just spinning my wheels. I’ve been up for half an hour and I haven’t even started the coffee yet. That’s usually automatic. I’ve attempted three times but somehow I forget during the 15 foot walk into the kitchen. Finally I get it started, but now I’m behind schedule, right? What fucking schedule? Did I pencil in this walk around and yell at the walls time? How do I forget coffee? I’ve been drinking coffee every morning forever.

So, yeah, I get a cup, sit down, turn on the computer, relax, read some fucking blogs. Okay, I got it sorted. Open the reader, cool a lot of people posted. “Fuck! The lentils. I haven’t even started.” (Like I’m going to starve to death) That was another ordeal. Put the pot on the burner, walk away. I don’t know how long. What I did? “Fuckin’ lentils” Okay, three more trips to the kitchen. Got it! Turn on the burner. “Set the timer. That’s the only thing you have to do. Set that timer.” Good, remembered. Now I’m really behind schedule. “What fucking schedule? Give it a rest!” Alright, sit down, drink your coffee, read some blogs. Click, open a post. Full cup of coffee, ice cold! Back to the kitchen, dump it down the sink. Take a couple steps. Wait a minute, maybe, just maybe, I don’t need any coffee today. Dumped the pot down the drain. Smartest thing I’ve done all day.

Still going. Same fucking thing all morning. Finally, ate the lentils, same thing, apple, apple, apple, orange, orange, orange… Banana… Could you hurry up and do this? Hurry up and do what? Every time I sit back down, the first post I opened hours ago is still open. I haven’t read it. What have I been doing? I haven’t done anything else. What the fuck have I been doing? I woke up 7 hours ago. I don’t know. I read a couple. I forget. Now it’s the strawberries. I got to eat them. No I don’t. I had plenty of food. I like them but I can eat them whenever. Sit back down. It’s fucking noon. I gotta read all these blogs and all this other shit I added to the list because football starts in an hour. Why? I got all day to do this and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter. I read ’em. Took less than an hour. But somehow that turned into I also have to write a post. No! I don’t! About what? Supposed to be taking the fucking day off.

Now I’m serious, “Sit down and shut the fuck up! Sit. Down. And. Shut. The. Fuck. Up!” I did it. I did it. Lying in bed. Calmed myself down, game started. I am really fucking relaxed. Like, oddly relaxed. I feel good. Really good. It’s Sunday. I’m in bed watching football. Patriots win, that’s good. Tampa’s playing next. I still like Brady. I don’t care if he went to another team.

Pops into my head, “I haven’t checked the mail in a few days.” I don’t like to check the mail on the weekend because if I get something I have to act on, I can’t because it’s the weekend. I will just stress until Monday. I don’t know, I got a minute. Just fucking do it. Easy enough. I’ve taken care of everything this month. Go downstairs. Fuck! Housing? I just did that. It’s jammed into the top of the box. What the hell? Fucking postman! Better not rip. Probably nothing. Back upstairs, open it.

Termination Notice! The fuck? My renewal paperwork is overdue? No it isn’t! I remember clearly. It was the end of August. I got it in the mail, saw the due date, thought, no problem I have more than two weeks. Not for me. If I put it aside for one day I will stress about it for one day. I was sitting right there, I had plenty of time. It’s easy. Do it right now. I did it, double checked it, put it in the envelope, double checked, “No Postage Necessary.” Okay, I have stamps, don’t need one. Walk to the mailbox at the store next door, drop it in, done. Less than an hour. Nothing to worry about. Until, Termination Notice?! I only have until Friday! Instant worst case scenario. That’s not enough time! I don’t have the paperwork to send because I already sent it. I’m gonna end up homeless because something got lost in the mail? Can’t do anything now, it’s Sunday. Already lost a day.

Settle the fuck down! Voicemail, email, text my case manager. Did all the right things. Still fuckin’ freakin’. Wait a minute. Calm down. Something happened but I do have time. Alright, I haven’t had to do this in a long time but it worked before. Write it down. That’ easy. Where the fuck is my pen? I got fucking ten pens. I don’t go anywhere. How the fuck did I lose ten pens? I’m fucking screaming cause I can’t find a pen. Found one. Got paper. What am I worried about? Okay. Why do I think that is going to happen? Okay. All of that is very unlikely. Okay. What is more likely in reality? Okay, read it, it makes sense, nothing to worry about. Tampa wins, Brady threw 5 touchdowns. I text my mom and N___ “I think Brady is gonna repeat.” Write a blog. Go to bed.

Woke up this morning, running fast. Not worried. I get a text from my case manager a few minutes before she usually starts working. See? Already started. It was a mix-up, they have my paper work, solved before 9:30am. See? Nothing to worry about. So why now does my anxiety kick in? No problem, relax. I can’t take the first breath. Now I’m giving myself about having anxiety.

Noontime. I crawl into bed, put the blanket over. Come on. How long am I going to do this? I’m giving up for the rest of the day? Get all depressed and shit? Fuck that. Look how nice it is outside the window. The whole idea was to get outside as much as possible. I broke the cat shit scoop. I think they are less than a dollar at Walmart. Okay, take your ass to Walmart. Outside, feeling better already. You know what? I’m going in Panera. I don’t like it. It’s over priced and the people who get paid to make sandwiches all day, have apparently never seen a sandwich before.

I get there and I held the door for this kid because he wearing the uniform but he didn’t look like he knew if he was going in or not. He looked like he might be a little slow. He said “Thank you” and sounded a little slow. I told him to come on in. For some reason it’s an airlock entrance so I opened the second door and let him walk through. “Whoa, lot of people.”

I got my shit, I’m sitting there eating, looking around, wondering who else goes there at noon on Monday. I figured it would be people on their lunch break but it was mostly couples. Only a couple other people sitting alone. I don’t know, I start freaking out for no reason. just want to get up and go home. “Just fucking calm down, alright? Relax.” I guess it worked. I didn’t notice someone else sat down in front of me. She looking at her phone. The fuck? Everyone I’ve seen today has been staring at their phone. I have my phone but I haven’t looked at it since I left my house. Next, another broad is sitting with her and the are both staring at there phones. Ignoring each other.


See, the problem is one of the books I started listening to a while ago, the guy was talking about ways to distract yourself from anxiety. One of them was, have an erotic fantasy. I can do that. I have erotic fantasies all the time. I wasn’t feeling good on the walk but I kept getting spontaneous smiles from people who weren’t on their phones. I got a boost but what is going to happen when I’m walking on the sidewalk. But it was unusual because I don’t know if it is everywhere but people around here go to great lengths not to make eye contact.

Whatever, I was having some fantasies about a few women who walked in after me. Not only erotic but in general. There was a nice looking woman waiting for food in my eyesight. She was younger, but close to my age. She had a little girl with her and you could tell it was definitely her daughter, about 4. She smiled at me and I smiled back. I wondered if I walked over to fill my drink and I wanted to talk to her? What would I do? Would I make her daughter laugh first and say, you have a lovely daughter? Enjoy it, my daughter was her age yesterday and now she has her license. I don’t know, I’m just thinking. I don’t really want to meet someone with a young kid. I have my own daughter and I don’t want anyone to meet her. I didnt want her to have a bunch of “aunts” when she was growing up.

Then the girl with the phone? What if I just sat down across from her and said something stupid? The phone seems to say, I don’t want to be bothered, stay the fuck away from me. But I don’t know. I didn’t grow up with cell phones. Still, it’s noon at Monday. I’m just having fantasies. Another good looking woman walked by with a half smile at me so I did but she went around the corner. Then I thought, I don’t even know if these women are married or have boyfriends or what. Why am I having all these imaginations?

What the hell, I’ll just refill my drink and get out of here. I put my cup under the black tea spout and a woman squeezed close to me an reached for the Plum Ginger Hibiscus some shit. I said, oh, excuse me and took a half step. She said, it’s fine, I just wanted to get in there. Whatever I could have just stood there but I looked up and said, Oh, I wanted that but it has sugar in it. (I lied, it’s clearly labeled) She said, Oh, no! It’s unsweetened, you should try it’s fantastic. I said, I know, I had it before, that’s why I almost got it. (lied again) Something, something. That was it, but still pretty good considering most people around here would rather die in their sleep than acknowledge you exist.

I’m telling you. I walk past someone going the other direction on the way to the store. Hey, how you doin’. No response. Sometimes I get a grunt. A grunt. Once in a while someone shocks me and says, good,how are you. I’m speechless. I mean. It’s not like I’m going to stop you in your tracks and have a conversation. It’s obvious I”m still walking. It’s just what people do. I don’t care how you are doing. I don’t know you.

I walked out of Panera and saw the woman who made me think, I don’t know if someone is married. I looked to the side and saw she is 10 million dollar rock on her ring finger happily married. Ha ha.

I don’t know. I’m on my way to Walmart to get something to scoop up my cat’s shit, I think I will just continue. The place empty except the pet section. Like 50 people. Not really. But I’m still having fantasies. I found what I needed. They were 99 cents. I got three because I had three singles in my pocket. Smartest thing I did today.

I hate the self checkout. There were two lanes with live people so I got in the line. She surprised me by saying something. I told her I got in her lane because people are more fun to talk to than machines plus I want to keep you in a job. Something, something. Three? Your cat must shit a lot. Pretty funny. She could have been my age but she looked like she was seventy. Weird though, two people in the same day said more than the minimum possible?

I feel better than sitting home but nothing to do but go back. I got down by Panera and the woman with the young daughter was leaving. I looked up and her face was turned towards me and she was smiling, her foot in the air turned a little toward me and she stopped for the tiniest fraction of a second and her foot went down and she kept walking straight. Was I supposed to stop? There wasn’t time to stop. She was past me.

Maybe, earlier I should have told her she had a lovely daughter.

The Plot Thickens

Robot Brain

Last winter I bought a small pocket calendar to keep track of changes I was making and their effects as well as appointments, etc.. I didn’t think I needed anything big. Just something simple to write a quick note with a pen in 2 seconds instead of opening a device. Then all kinds of crazy shit started happening but I was still trying to fit it all on the few lines provided for each day. God forbid something happened on the weekend because they squeezed Saturday and Sunday into the space of one weekday.

After the important events slowed down, I looked back on it and it barely made sense. I was trying to squeeze much unnecessary information in there as possible alongside what I needed to remember. I would fill the space for one day and draw an arrow to continue in the space of the next day, only to find I needed that space the next day and would relegate myself to the margins. It was a mess. I was driving myself crazy flipping back and forth trying to figure out what happened when and what the hell my abbreviations were supposed to mean.

Luckily I did a good job of writing events as soon as they happened. I opened a word document and transferred only the facts. I was lucky to think of buying the calendar when I did because my sense of time makes no sense at all. I might remember something happened in winter if I happened to be outside standing in a foot of snow at the time. I could never tell you the month. But I did manage filter out the extraneous matters and type out dates and actions that would match dates and actions other people would have written in their notes about me.

Today I had an appointment and I noticed I had something penned in for tomorrow. It was the Seafood Festival at Hampton Beach. It is 3 days but the big day is Saturday. It has been happening for 30 years but I have never been interested in going, I don’t care for seafood. I flipped forward through the calendar and saw I had other places and times written in. I remembered. When I first joined meetup I was genuinely looking for sober activities but they were hard to find. The hiking and biking groups took place too far away but I joined them anyway. I signed up for a ton of groups I had no idea if I would be interested. Like online yoga classes or meditation groups. I’ve never done yoga and I certainly don’t see myself downloading Zoom and meditating with a group of strangers.

I realized what I had written down in my calendar were events from meetup, but groups I couldn’t or didn’t want to join but they were in my area. After last weekend’s festivities I saw what they all had in common. They were places I could go to meet people and drink. The Seafood Festival? Yeah, I don’t like seafood but I do like, “BEER TENTS!” Next week is a women’s group, brunch at Applecrest Orchard. That is 3 miles away from me. I can’t join their group but I can go to the restaurant. What was I going to do? Impress everyone with how many apple cider mimosas I can pound down before my egg’s benedict shows up at my table for one? Volleyball at Jenness Beach didn’t make sense at first. My leg is too weak after my accident to be jumping around in the sand. Then I remembered the site said they “sometimes” like to meet for cocktails at the restaurant bar across the street after the game. Yeah, “sometimes.”

I have no idea where I thought I was going to get the money for all this partying. I don’t exactly have a boatload of expendable income. I had big plans though.

I’m still on the site. I’m still looking for cheap, sober activities. I get notifications from some of the hiking clubs but I can’t get to the mountains 120 miles away. Plus some of them are overnight, bring a tent events. I’m not a fan of freezing my ass off. There are a couple bicycle groups I could reach but they do the “railtrails”, my bike is built for the street and so is my body. They haven’t sent out any notices lately. I even joined a couple book club groups. I enjoy reading but they meet at wine bars. And I do enjoy my wine. I could go and not drink but that may be wishful thinking.

I had one group left. I got the notification last week. It said, “You’re going!” Seacoast Empath Support Group. Well, I guess, I’m going! I looked at the group last night. It had a couple hundred members but only one was going. The creator of the group. She looked nice enough. She had a long ass description about her journey as an empath and she was deeply involved in anything and everything mystical. I just don’t believe in any of that shit. At the end it said she runs two podcasts. “The X-Files” and “I want to believe” Okay. Who knows what could be out there in this infinite universe but The X-files is a fictional television show.

What am I thinking? I still might go. It’s held in the crystal shop which she owns. I don’t know… I just kept thinking of my friend Marnie who said she was an empath. She always saying shit like, oh, I just got a strong feeling from my friend who lives a thousand miles away. Then she would ask me if I was afraid of what she was saying? I wanted to say, no, I’m getting pissed because you say you are an empath but you can’t pick up that I’m getting pissed you won’t shut up about this bullshit and I’m standing right next to you!

Click, “Not Attending”

Charmed Life

Robot Brain

I can’t sleep and technically it’s Wednesday, 2am EST. Time for another journal post. Yesterday, I did it again. I’ve been doing it every nice day for the whole summer. I wake up in the morning no problem. Put on some coffee, start cooking lentils, start sipping coffee. I text my mom because she is the only one I know who is awake and she spends as much time alone as I do. It makes her happy. She is funny. I asked her how she is doing and she said, Awesome! Your brother went back to work today. He had an 8 day vacation. He was making me miserable! Around 8am I text something to my daughter for her to wake up to and I hope she likes. I text her mom something positive because she is depressed as fuck. She can’t work but they won’t approve her for disability. They tell her to suck it up and get a job. I was surprised she was awake so I copy and pasted my mom’s text and sent it to her. hahaha. I told my mom it was party time and she sent me back a giphy of an old woman doing that happy dance where you swing your arms and your hips go left and right. I sent a copy of that to N____.

I asked my mom if my brother went on one of his week long solo bass fishing retreats? (He won’t reveal his secret honey holes, somewhere in the deep woods where he pitches a tent, starts a fire and drinks beer and smokes dope for a week. He usually drops his phone out of his kayak into the lake trying to take a picture of the bass he caught to post on Facebook. He does catch some big fish… I guess?) She said no, not this time. Two months ago he had a 10 day vacation and stayed home. She quit smoking that week. Said she almost couldn’t take it. She quit smoking after 50 non stop years! I told N____ my brother really is a miserable cunt. She knows.

Then my thing kicked in. My thing was where can I buy a pair of shorts out of season? I wore holes in the bottoms of my sneakers, and my one belt shit the bed so my pants fall down. (I lost a lot of weight but I can’t go down a pant size because everything else gets tighter.) Doesn’t matter I know where to get a belt. My mom thinks she is the only one who has heard of Google so she texts me results right after I look them up and I tell her but she doesn’t get it so she wont stop because she is so into it.

Coffee is gone, ate the lentils, an apple, an orange. A couple three hours have gone by and now I start to freak out. It’s only 11am but I think I’ve wasted the whole day. I gotta get going! Why? I only have to walk a mile, go into the store and walk home. The whole point of walking is it is so fucking nice out I want it to take as long as possible. If I was in a hurry, I could take my bike. I can’t stop myself. I’m out the door. Halfway down the street the side walk was covered with some kind of four foot tall weeds that weren’t there last week. I brushed through them got across the big intersection, looked down and I was covered in fluorescent green pollen?

Into the Goodwill store. They won’t have shorts. Winter is coming. People will donate warm clothes. There it is… Four long racks of long pants. But, there in front of me is one pair of shorts. My style, my size, eight bucks. Something is going on here… Okay? Meanwhile at Walmart, it is winter seasonal. I guess I could use a pair of jeans. Levi’s, 20 bucks, 4 shelves packed. Only one pair in my size. That’s good. I only need one pair. The belts are right over there. Millions of them hung on millions of long metal hooks/rods. They all have a plastic hanger with a number on it. The size, right? Who the fuck is shopping at Walmart? 48? 55? 56? No organization. Just jumbles of numbers. I don’t care what the belt looks like, I just want it to be black. One tag, 36… That’s my size, right? No… You don’t buy belts in your pant size. It’s different. What is it. I never buy belts. Fuck it, 36, that’s my number. It’s black, its mine. I gotta get outta here. I don’t want to use the self checkout because I don’t want them to think I’m stealing the shorts I bought at Goodwill. There is a real person! nice… I bought these at Goodwill, they don’t give out bags, can you just put them in with the other stuff? She won’t do it… ??? Spins the turnstile toward me and I have to put the shorts in the bag. I bought an energy drink because it was called “Bang”. I thought it was funny. That got it’s own bag? Got home, everything worked! Success!

I was all jacked up because the day before the forecast said rain all day. But no, 85 and sunny! I gotta get on my bike and go. No. This is what I do every time. I rush out the door and I can only ride so long and I get home way to early. I’ll try to wait till four. It’s going to stay this hot until after the sun goes down. Screw with the computer. Time to get ready. Go slow. Don’t forget anything. Eat something. I bought five peaches the other day, now three left all ripe at the same time. Poor me I have to eat two peaches. Yum!

Pack my bag. Don’t forget the keys to success. My keys, my wallet, phone, mask. Three bottles of water. Put my rain jacket in there. They said rain but I doubt it. Even remembered sunscreen on my face. I am hitting all the right notes! Out the door, It’s a furnace! I love it. Go my usual route and how the hell did I get down here so fast? Phht! My tire went flat! Come on, man. I got a small hand pump. I can hear the air coming out as soon as I put it in. It’s shit. I’m not too far away from my daughter’s house. I just gotta get up to the end of the breaker wall so I’m at a landmark. I text N____. 911… What up? Flat tire about a mile from you. I’m home without a car. I can walk, it will take me about a half hour, is that okay? I’ll get an Uber home.

I needed some shade. The concrete breaker wall is concave on the ocean side and blocked the sun. I sat on a flat rock and pulled out a water. Some old drunk dude comes walking around the corner. Mind if I light up a joint? Go ahead, I can’t smoke but I don’t really give a fuck what you do. I lost 200 bucks at the casino… I won 5 so I broke even. ??? I retired when I was 40, 17 years ago. Okay, so he’s 57. I worked hard, 7 days a week. I been growin weed since they made it legal. Made 12,000 last year. You know where Winchenden is? No, I heard of it but I dont know where it is. Way up north, in the middle of nowhere. I bought a house in 1989 for 50 grand, it’s worth half a million now.

He kept repeating himself. The numbers changed every time. Kept getting bigger but somehow he still owes more on the house than it is worth? He only sells weed to his neighbor. A bag every other week? How much is his neighbor paying him for a bag? If he’s so rich what is he doing down here in slumtown playing five dollar tables in the casino? Sorry dude, I gotta long walk, nice talking to you.

My negative thinking kicked in but I’ve been practicing on my own. It’s a flat tire, you been fixing your bikes since you were 6. In a few minutes you are going to be there. It’s not the end of the world. The fuck? Remember all the horrible shit you been imagining? And when the time comes it all works out better than you could even wish? Life has been going fantastic for a couple months. You can’t even remember half the horrible shit you thought you were worried about. You could be stranded 20 miles from here. All you gotta do is walk a few minutes. You are halfway there already.

I don’t know how I got so good at that so quickly. And why have none of my therapists ever worked on that with me. It’s obviously a huge problem for me. It’s a huge problem for a lot of people. My biggest problem was it was the end of the world. I can’t get anywhere without my bike. How am I gonna get it fixed. I can’t push it ten miles home? I got there. Sox was home. He’s got a small air compressor in the shed. He filled up the tire. It emptied. Yep, It’s flat. My bike is a commuter with tall thin tires. It needs an odd size tube. I don’t know where they sell them. They got bikes at the house but none of them are in any condition. He says wait a minute. Pulls the tube out of one of the mountain bikes. I don’t think that will work. My tire is two inches taller and way thin. He started wrapping that fat ass tube around the rim and it fit! No fucking way. We put the tire over it. It’s not working. Wait, yes it is. Turn the compressor on. Fixed! No way that should work.

I rode it around the block and it held air. I guess I’m gonna try to make it home. Sox was standing there and I said I wanted to thank him, but not for fixing my tire. I wanted to thank him for being so good to my daughter all these years but especially now. I’ve been thinking about it. Since she got her license. I have never seen her so happy. I was so happy for her I cried. He had to leave to bring a kid back home. I told Nicole, She said I already said that to him. I said I know but it was years ago and I was shitfaced. I’ve been meaning to ask for his number cause I never see him. Now I have his number.

I pedaled the short way home. The first mile I worried about every change of feeling. Then I forgot all about it. I knew I was going to make it home. I did. I got to my door at sunset. Texted I made it and thanks again. See? Shit worked out again. I have the original tube but we couldn’t find the leak. Today I might put it in some soapy water. Should probably have the right one in there. A couple weeks ago I cleaned a bunch of shit out of my closet and found the tire patch kit that came with the small pump. I forgot I even had it. First thing I did was order a self sealing replacement tube. I don’t know why I never bought one. I know tires go flat.

Gonna be 90 today. Hotter than yesterday. I still want to ride down to the seashell and listen to music and watch the fireworks. I got all day to screw around with the tubes. I think I can make it as is but afraid the bigger tube could pop the tire off the rim if I hit something with pressure. Still solid now. I can only walk three miles an hour and the beach is ten miles. I don’t think so. I’m doing something. Labor Day is less than two weeks. End of season. I said I wasn’t going to waste any nice days this summer. A couple nice days coming up.

Almost time to wake up and make coffee. 4am. Twilight zone. Up too late? Up too early? Don’t feel like lying in bed wide awake. Coffee now schedule would start way too fast. I don’t know what to do. Besides everything at once. Maybe my mom will be up. My brother makes her stay in bed until he wakes up for work. If I text her in the middle of the night and she doesn’t have her phone on mute, he yells at her. He really is a miserable cunt.

School Daze

Robot Brain

Monday, the 14th day of June: Tomorrow is the last day of school for my daughter. Next week it her 16th birthday. It goes by so fast. There were some extra people at her house yesterday. It was hot so we went on the beach. It was my first time this year. I didn’t go in the water. Too cold. We were all having a good time until the earwigs started crawling on people. I guess they made a nest in the beach chairs this spring. Gross. Now we might have to burn the chairs.

Wednesday: I am still talking about last Sunday. I knew my cousin in law would be there with her 2 kids. I like them all and I was happy to see them. I haven’t seen K____ in a couple years. I will always remember her as a toddler. I am blown away that she is in college now. How did 20 years go by so fast. She spent a lot of time at our house when she was a toddler. She was fascinated by me. Her eyes would follow me everywhere. When she got old enough to talk she would ask me to sit next to her at dinner and slide a chair next to me. Then my daughter was born and she got jealous. She would wait until she thought nobody was watching and knock my daughter to the floor. I met her mom shortly after I met my wife. We are maybe 15 years apart in age. Her son is in grade school and is very shy but he always smiles and waves when I say hi.

Thursday: I talked to my doctor yesterday on the phone. I yelled at him asking, Did you seriously tell me to take Benadryl for my leg pain? And told him what happened. He stopped me halfway through, wait a minute, wait a minute. We decided against that and you were going to raise your dose of benztropine and see if that worked. I was completely confused because after my Benadryl blackout I went online and figured out I wasn’t taking an effective dose of benztropine myself and made the change. I had no memory of the two of us talking about it! I was even more confused because why would I hang up the phone and walk to the store for Benadryl (which I hate) when I had plenty of benztropine sitting right there in my bedroom and I wasn’t against taking it?

It doesn’t matter. I took it myself and waited the 3 days for it to build up in my system and on the 4th day my legs didn’t hurt. But… I couldn’t go to the bathroom. I knew exactly what it was because I had the same reaction to a med before. I gave it a few days and still nothing. This is never a problem for me. I decided to give it a week. A couple days later my legs started hurting worse than ever. Fuck that, I’m not adding side effects to my regimen and I ceased the benztropine. The next day 6 days worth of food and drink came out of me!

He asked if I wanted him to read his notes and I said no, I believe you but I cannot understand why I did that with no memory of our conversation. I’m baffled. I am really out of options when it comes to anti-psychotics. I have been on all of them almost. I feel trapped.

Friday: Oh, don’t drink, they say. We got meds that’ll fuck you up way more than alcohol. I never took my meds consistently for long periods of time. If I didn’t like something, that was the end of it. I would fuck up sometimes and know I have to get back on them but it was up to me if I felt better. These past 2 years they been up my ass about, “Don’t miss a dose” , ” Are you taking your meds?” Every time I talk to someone. I don’t know, I was thinking, My brain is pretty fucked up, I’ll listen to tthem. So I’m going along not missing a dose. Finally I figured out the Sapphris was fucking me up and stopped taking it. The next day, all this horrible shit stopped. Sapphris started the akathisia. It was much worse then but I didn’t notice cause I was concerned with the uncontrollable rage I had every day. The drug was fucking up my brain and I couldn’t make simple connections. I knew I needed 8 hours after a dose for the roid rage and the leg thrashing to go away but couldn’t do the math, you know? The day after I stopped, I’m thinking, what the fuck? Am I stupid? But why would I call my psychiatrist because my legs hurt? Wouldn’t you call your physician?

Now my doctor talking about paradoxical reactions. Yeah, no shit! They list a ton of side effects but none of them said I would turn into the incredible hulk and want to destroy every morning. I didn’t get a chance to tell him I’m quitting it. So I did it myself. Then the Trazadone. You go in the behavioral health unit and everyone gets trazadone every night. Doesn’t matter if you been prescribed or not. You are now. They want every one in bed and quiet all night. I’m the only one not sleeping. Lying there waiting for first light. Slipping down to the nurses station at 5am. “Can I get some coffee, please?” “Okay, but don’t make any noise”, I kicked the trazadone a few months ago and I”ve been sleeping 7 hours a night. I couldn’t dream of that before. I fall asleep without any aid unless the akathisia keeps me up. Fucking paradoxical effects. I thought it went away with the Sapphris but I was just sleeping through my legs jumping. Oh, don’t miss a dose… Are you taking all your meds?


Daughter’s 16 birthday next week. I don’t know if I fucked up by ordering a flower arrangement. Getting delivered the day before in case she gets embarrassed, I don’t want anyone to be there. She has never been into “girl” things. She started picking her own clothes in kindergarten. It was all pants and sneakers. She would pitch a fit if her mom tried to put a dress on her. When she was 8 I was asking people what to get her for her birthday. They would say get her a doll. A doll? Are you kidding me? If she liked dolls I wouldn’t be asking everyone what to get.

I looked on the florist’s website and saw small set up served in a large, yellow, ceramic coffee cup, shaped and painted like a smiley face emoji. I called and told the guy what I was looking for and asked him what he thought. He picked out the same arrangement. I stressed 3 times, it can’t have any pink flowers in it. She has an issue with the color pink.

I didn’t want to give her cash for her 16 so I asked her mom. N____ said she wants cash, she is saving for a new bass guitar. That makes it easy.

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.

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

It Takes One to Know One

Monday: I never believed in manifestation or the law of attraction or any of that other bullshit. There have been a lot of times in my life where I thought the universe was aligned with me and giving me everything I needed. It hasn’t been working that way for quite a while. A couple months ago I gave up looking for a new partner. I didn’t want to do it any of the ways I had before but I was stuck wondering how to do it. I just hit pause. But I was still thinking about it. I have sex with a girl I am perfectly happy with except I barely see her.

I accidentally watched the beginning of one of those manifestation videos. It wasn’t clearly labeled. The same night a woman from forever ago texted me in the middle of the night. The coincidence added to the excitement. I wasn’t thinking valentine was coming up. I don’t think of it as a holiday. I’ve had people I barely know look me up before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Then I remembered why we hadn’t talked in years. We didn’t click.

I only actually met with one person who did that one year.
Don’t fucking look up to me! You got ten minutes to live: what are you gonna do next?

Thursday

I can’t write about shit. I’ve been trying to listen to a series of lectures. They are very interesting but I can’t follow along. My sensory system has been overloaded all week. Coincidentally that is what the lectures touch on.

Friday

I wanted to listen and write about those lectures on audio but I still can’t even listen to them. I like they are only 30 minutes long but that is too much for me right now. I am pretty sure this will be the only thing I post this week. I have a YouTube video to publish also. It should be easy. I finished it 2 weeks ago before I lost my mind. My first one got 1 view, which is pretty good considering I didn’t tell anyone how to find it. I’m trying to do a series of meditations for people who don’t like meditating but want to meditate. (like me) I got the idea from watching other YouTube meditation videos while desperately trying to relax. Few of them worked. I listened to a lot of them. Most of them are the same and useless. I did write down what worked for me and I will use that as a starting point.

I was supposed to go see my daughter Wednesday but I screwed up the night before. I fell asleep for about an hour and when I woke up I was completely confused as to where and when I was. Once I realized what was going on (or so I thought) I got up to make morning coffee. It was morning alright! 2 in the morning! I didn’t know until I had finished a cup of coffee. Obviously I had to take my night meds and go back to bed, right? (Wrong!) I couldn’t decide if it was too early to drink coffee or too late to take my meds. I tried drinking coffee all night and I was a mess by the time I should have seen my daughter. I had to cancel. (Still no sleep that day) I feel bad because I rarely cancel on her. She has been canceling on me a lot lately. Maybe she wanted to again and I just made it easier for her. I haven’t seen her in about a month. At first I was taking it personally but she is 15 and doesn’t need her old man of a dad hanging around all the time. It’s difficult. 16 years went by so fast. I know that sounds cliche but it really does feel like last week she was a little peanut who fit in the palm of my hand!

I think this is the most I’ve written all week. Nobody says I have to post every week. I say that. I started out 3 times a week and soon when to twice a week. I would like to keep it at least twice a week. I still have a host of ideas on my Windows Sticky Notes on my desktop but it is so daunting to look at right now. I still have 1 planned for Sunday but I have to make myself sit down and write. If I can get started it will be easy. 20 minutes tops. It is another true story so it should roll off my fingers.

(Oh yeah) I finally shaved that nasty beard I have been growing since last Halloween. I bought my first selfie stick to get an honest assessment on how it looked. OMG! I can’t believe I was walking around like that. I didn’t know. (people were telling me I looked good) I think I looked like I was 70 years old. I took a before picture and immediately shaved my face. Then I took an after picture and sent it to my daughter and her mom. My daughter didn’t notice I shaved and asked me why I owned a selfie stick? I don’t know why but I look better in my bathroom mirror somehow. Once I saw the picture on my camera I was horrified. That is the longest length of time I have gone with facial hair and it was only 4 months.

I’m doing pretty well this morning. It is taking a concerted effort to keep myself calm and write all of this. I am going to see my daughter tomorrow whether she likes it or not. It has been too long for me. I will just show up at her house and hang with the dogs if I have to do that.

GOAT

Sunday the 7th

I have to admit I am a Patriots fan and I wanted Brady to win tonight. I can’t help it. They sucked for the first half of my life so you can watch them win for the second half. Ha. Really though, my first memories were of watching football and going outside at halftime to pretend we were the players in the snow. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. I’ve never played “fantasy football.”

Slightly off topic. I got a text from a woman I haven’t heard from in 5 years last night after midnight. She ended up wanting to sext! (go figure) We hooked up a couple of times before we lost touch; because she got serious with another guy. I haven’t talked to her since before my accident. It was a good thing she told me her name in the first text because I didn’t have her in my contacts anymore. I asked her what she would have done if she had the wrong number and another guy pretended to be me? She wants to come over this Friday. Looks like I will have to clean up this dump.

Tuesday

I’m making a concerted effort to clean this place. In my bedroom I found clothes I was wearing in the hospital back in 2017! I took out a large bag of other clothes that didn’t fit me. Some of them never fit me. I don’t know why I was hanging onto them. I even took the blanket of the couch I was using to protect it from the cat. He was trying to tear up the cloth when I bought it. I don’t understand how I can put something somewhere and it will stay there for years. But if I was looking for it, I would never be able to find it. I’ve got some laundry to do. I don’t think that is going to happen. Right now the cat is on the couch cleaning himself and will leave hair all over it. Great!

Wednesday

I’ve made a couple videos in the Windows 10 Video Editor. They are less than 5 minutes long. One is my cat stalking his water dish in slow motion with some music and the other is me walking around my building in a snowstorm, talking. I added background music to that also. I made my own music from loops available in Bandlab. It was the only application I could find that allowed me to create copyright free music. I still have to figure out if I can add a narration track to one video or if I have to choose between music and voice. I don’t have a microphone yet so it will have to wait.

It is all new to me and caused me a great deal of anxiety. Figuring out the easiest way to download video and music. It was all new to me. I am sure I made some mistakes.

Thursday

All of the apartments in my building are getting new toilets. They are in there doing mine right now. It sounds like they are using a reciprocating saw to cut the bolts. Then they tried to pick it up without disconnecting the water supply. That could have been a disaster but the helper saw it just in time. I could do the work myself but it’s not my responsibility. I hate plumbing anyway. It’s so gross. I would rather sit here and write about it. I don’t think they have replaced them since this place was built 50 years ago! Now it sounds like they are having trouble getting it to sit flat because some of the 1 inch tiles broke. All they need is a plastic shim and it would be fine. I’m not going to say anything. People in construction don’t like to be told what to do.

Friday

Today was one of those times where expectation didn’t live up to reality. It was exciting hearing from someone from 5 years ago who wants to hook up but the texting was better than the meeting. Maybe that’s why we hadn’t talked in 5 years. Maybe longer. My memory held a different idea. I liked talking to her. Having sex was a different story. I was trying to be passionate and I was at first but I quit halfway through. I didn’t just stop. I kept going through with it because we did all that talking last Saturday. I just disconnected. I didn’t want to be there any longer but it was my bed. I had nowhere to go. So I faked an orgasm. A guy can do it. It’s easy. Especially if you are wearing a condom. Nobody knows what is going on down there.

Ironically, now I have a head ache.

Saturday

I just remembered tomorrow is Valentine’s day. I mean I knew about it, but it was abstract. It was sometime in the near future. This year I wanted to do something for my daughter. It’s never been a holiday for us anyway.I remember looking at the date yesterday, the 12th but it didn’t make me think the 14th was 2 days away. I was hoping she would get that vinyl single I ordered for Christmas. They didn’t have any shipping options and sent it snail mail from England with a Covid warning. I gave it a lot of time until I sent them an email saying, yo, I didn’t get my shit. They got back to me but told me to call my local post office and blah…I know it got lost so I just bought it again. But it’s still going to be shipped snail mail with no tracking info. I know the site is legit because it’s the Royal Blood page. It’s not like nobody has ever heard of the band.

I woke up very early this morning. Deliberately. I went to bed early and even set my alarm for 8. (wishful thinking) I was freaking from the moment I got up. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I drank my usual coffee and that was a mistake. I am so agitated. I thought I would try a relax meditation video on YouTube. That didn’t work at all. I tried a several and the first few seconds of each was horror. I stopped and freaked out some more. I’ve been watching meditation videos for the past week. The thing about them is they only work if I am already relaxed. A few times I could catch myself at night time at the right time and I could zone in for an hour. I could make myself super relaxed for a couple hours. Other times, like today I can’t handle more than a couple seconds but I tried it because that is the time I need to do it. Right? It doesn’t work.

I finally went back after trying other ways to distract myself. I accidentally found a yoga video. I’ve never been into yoga but it was the one video in the list that wasn’t one of the stock meditation companies. They put out the same video but change the title each time so they will show up in every keyword search. They always have millions of views. I like watching the people who have 382 views over 3 years. Anyway, this yoga chick has like 8 million views so I guess I am the only person who doesn’t know who she is. I watched the video because there was a big dog sleeping on the floor behind her. I watched the dog through the whole video. He didn’t open his eyes once for 10 minutes. He moved his leg a couple times so I knew he was alive.

Watching that video calmed me down enough to write this.. Calm is a relative term. I am still jacked up. I will be chill enough to go see my daughter this morning. I still have time to get my shit together. There are 4 dogs at her house so that helps. They get over excited when I first walk in and then they just want to hang out and do dog things. Yeah, I gotta start thinking about that. I did do something right. I got up hours earlier than I needed to because I knew I was going to wake up feeling this way. I knew I would need time to calm myself down. Now I have been up for hours but it is actually still early in the morning. I just need to put this on and find one more thing to distract me for a few minutes.

A New Resolve

1/31/21: I’m up very early today. I’ve been looking down a lot lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m fat. Not everywhere; just in my belly. My arms and legs are skinny and that just makes my middle look bigger. And it’s pretty big. I gained 20 pounds since the lock down last March. That is a big difference for me. I’m 200 now. I’m making a belated New Year’s Resolution. Or maybe I will put it as a challenge to myself like the woman in that book. I am going to lose 20 pounds by my birthday in April! I can do it. I’ve done it quicker before. I lost 10 pounds in a month when I went to ova-lacto vegetarian and I lost faster when I went strict vegan. I am not going to do that this time. I am hooked on 1 roasted chicken from the grocery store each week. I can’t pass it up because it is only 5 bucks and delicious and I get 2 meals from it. I will try it with the chicken the first month and see what happens. I want to get down to 180 lbs. Most of my gain came from eating quick fix calzones from the convenience store. Also bags of corn chips, a lot of peanuts and chocolate. Yum!

I also started exercising a little but I didn’t put much thought into it: I did it more on a whim. My arms were hurting in the mornings when I woke up so I started stretching them. I noticed how atrophied they had gotten. My legs are strong from riding my bicycle all summer but it did nothing for my arms. They just sit there. I saw my old ankle weights on the floor. I got them to do rehab on the leg I broke a few years ago. They weigh five pounds each. I used them to do triceps curls from the back of my neck to far above my head. Then I bent at the waist and hung my arms down. Twisting up to the right and the left to work my obliques. I do each exercise for just a few minutes but can feel it work the muscles. It’s not much weight but I don’t want to bulk up. I just want to be tone.

Monday

Correction: Yesterday I said I weigh 200 lbs. I don’t have a scale and weighed myself at my daughter’s house yesterday. It said 195. Congrats to me but I don’t believe the scale. I look to myself like I weigh more than 200.

I know it sounded like I am going to make a drastic change to my eating habits but it’s not really. I already eat a ton of vegetables and have added some fruits. I only need to cut out the junk I added during the quarantine period. I woke up very early again today so I’ve already had breakfast; 1 cup of cooked lentils, 1 pear and 1 apple. That is normal for me. The fruits have a lot of sugar in them so I think I am going to switch 1 of them to grapefruit next time I shop. It depends on the price. Grapefruit has very little sugar. I am out of tomatoes so I can’t have one for lunch. I will probably eat a head of romaine with soy sauce, sriracha and spices. Dinner will be a plate of wheat pasta and broccoli which I buy frozen. That is a cheap 4 meals. $1 for a pound of pasta and $1.50 for a 1 pound bag of broccoli. For snacks I have baby carrots and radishes. I know, yummo, right? But I like all that stuff. I will probably add another apple in there also. I still see roasted chickens in my future, they are just too delicious.

I know what caused this change in behavior and lifestyle. The voices I hear are no longer negative and telling me I am useless and to hurt myself. That is a relief. Now it is less frequent and encouraging. A few years ago I had a voice I called the “Drill Sergeant”. He was slightly taller than me and followed me everywhere about 4 feet behind. All the while yelling at me to do things. But they were things I had to get done anyway. He was actually helpful. I wish I could get that back again because it came with a hypo-manic/manic episode that lasted about a year.

Anyway, although this is going to start as a crash diet for the first 2 months to see how much weight I can lose, it is not a fad for me. I was eating as a casual vegan for a few years before the pandemic came. Meaning when I was at home I was strict vegan but when I went to a restaurant or someone’s house I ate anything. I’m not morally opposed to meat although I am disgusted by the whole meat industry in the U.S.

I still have to steam a basket of green beans today before they go bad. Do you see? I still eat a ton of vegetables. I can’t buy organic, it would be way too expensive. One thing I can’t make a decision on is the peanuts I eat as a snack. I’ve been eating 2 pounds a week. I can’t help it. I like them as a mindless snack and they are cheap. I will cut to 1 can a week and see how that goes. They have a lot of fat and come on… A serving size is 1 quarter cup? That is just one small handful. I can sit there and eat 10 handfuls. We may have to part ways. I could never control the quantities of foods I eat. That is why I stuff myself with vegetables all day.

Tuesday

I wrote another love story and scheduled it for Sunday.

Wednesday

I cleaned my kitchen. I had to split it up over 2 days. The stove was the worst. It took 2 days but it was only about a half hour of work.

Thursday

Not much going on here today. Yesterday I went to the grocery store and came back with all the same stuff minus the junk food.

Friday

I got off to a great start today! I burned my lentils and set off the fire alarm for the whole building! Somehow it shut off before the firemen got here. There are so many apartments in my building that it happens to someone at least once a month. This time it was me!

I think I’m going to start a YouTube channel for short meditation videos. I already made a clip of my cat circling his water bowl in slow motion and then drinking for a bit. I downloaded the Bandlab music creator because I wanted original music. I got those two put together and now I need to make a voice over track. In the Windows 10 video editor I have to record the track separately. I’m looking at another video editor (Davinci Resolve) where I can record and edit the voice over in the same program. All of these apps are free! Davinci looks a little too complicated for the kind of simple editing I want to do. But I will see how much trouble it is to add a voice over track in Windows. I’ve never made a video for YouTube. My daughter had a channel years ago. She uploaded screen capture of her video game with her talking over it. I need to learn something new.

I’m not going to see my daughter this weekend. Her brother is home from school in quarantine because another kid in his class tested positive. (Her brother tested negative) This is the second time a kid tested positive in 2 months.