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?

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!


“Back in the days our parents used to take care of us
Look at ’em now, they even fuckin’ scared of us
Calling the city for help because they can’t maintain
Damn, shit done changed”

“Things Done Changed” THE Notorious B.I.G.

I believe there has been another cosmic shift in my existence. A sea change? Am I mixing metaphors? I don’t care, it’s all tidal effects, can you feel the waves? I like that one. Most of my life I have lived near the ocean, though I have never been out of sight of land.

Sunday night I put on that meditation not knowing I would fall asleep soon after. I don’t remember what information I entered into the mental machine but the output was rage! I woke up at 3am not knowing which end was up. Hence Monday’s rant. I had a lot of anger to release. It had nothing to do with some “not quite real” person on the internet and everything to do with me.

For the last week, I was afraid I was fated. A feather floating by the whim of the universe’s breeze. I was afraid to move. I was afraid not to move. I didn’t want to miss it! Whatever “it” was. “Limited choices, chaotic voices, contradictions telling me which way to go.”

It’s not M=== either. She claims to be in tune with the energy of the universe, or some such shit. But she doesn’t remember half the details of our mysterious “connection.” She thinks I was drawn to her. She has been following me around her whole life. There I was afraid I would have to believe all that crazy shit. There are numbers all around. Today’s date, 11/17/2021, two 2’s and four 1’s. Must mean something, right? I better break out my abacus. Just another part of my universal timepiece.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got timing on my side. It just took listening to her bullshit for a few minutes to bring it all back. Basing her beliefs on fictional characters. Denying her mortality by imagining past lives. She has one for every occasion. I’ve got the timing back. The same Grace Jones song just ended as I wrote this, it means something completely different today. I didn’t even realize it was playing until it faded out at the end of the sentence.

I met with my new therapist yesterday and told her bit about this summer and how now I am in remission and don’t need a therapist anymore. She thought it was funny and said after we get to know each other we could work on my goals. It felt like she was telling me she is going to set goals for me. What? I’m going to become an astronaut? I corrected her. Priorities. She compromised. That was nice. She was willing to take a step towards me. I don’t know? Is this another therapist I am going to make my friend? She said she does “talk therapy”, but she meant exactly that. Talk about how my week went. Maybe I will be asking how her week went?

That is what got me to listen to Biggie Smalls. That was a blast from the past. What I had in mind was the line from “Big Poppa.”

“Who they attractin’ with that line (what?), “What’s your name? What’s your sign?”
Soon as he buy that wine, I just creep up from behind (that’s right)
And ask you what your interests are, who you be with
Things that make you smile, what numbers to dial
You gon’ be here for a while? I’m gon’ go call my crew, you go call your crew
We can rendezvous at the bar around two (come on)”

Yeah, I couldn’t listen to that for long. I would have ended up at the bar around two. Reminiscing. But I’m dancing again, letting the rhythm flow through my body.

Where was I? Oh yeah, she said, “goals” again. I let it slide. That’s not one of my priorities. Maybe both words mean the same thing? Time will tell. (Get it?)

But seriously, I could feel the peace creeping through me as I “slept” last night. I feel so relaxed.

One of the first things I did this morning was put an entry in my gratitude journal. I was grateful for me.

Perspective Shift

Robot Brain

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” Bukowski

I wasn’t going to write today. But then I left the house for a few minutes.

I walked to the store a coffee. I usually don’t drink coffee after dark, but I said fuck it… I’ve been lying in bed for hours and gravity has been giving me the feels. It’s better than getting drunk and I gotta shift outta neutral. What am I afraid of? The coffee is going to keep me awake

My buddy is working. He is one of the few people there that will engage with me. He always, “Hey Billy, how doin’ tonight?”, I always crack wise with something stupid. I don’t know how he knows my name and I am afraid to tell him I don’t remember his. (Can you hazard a guess) It doesn’t’ matter. He trying to make the best of it. I’m pretty sure his life plans didn’t involve working at a gas station convenience store at age fifty.

He wasn’t paying attention and turned left, I stopped like I was surprised to see him and said, “What the fuck are you doing here?” It took him a second , he hadn’t seen me but he knew… “As little as possible, I guess, Billy, You know?” What did I say? “Is that like hardly working or hardly working?” (sic) I guess he was doing as little as possible because now he’s walking past the coffee machine which is where he just came from and sticks with me,”Actually, I get paid to loiter…”… “Ah, shit I got fired from that job two weeks before I was going to collect my pension.” That’s it. Fucking hilarious shit, right? We should take our show on the road.

I finished pouring my coffee, thinking that’s all it took to brighten up my day. Remembering a while ago I put a twelve pack up on the counter and he said the usual, “How you doin'” I looked up and deadpanned, “I think there’s a glitch in the Matrix.” He just looked down, took my money, nodding his head, somberly, “Yes, yes, there is definitely a glitch in the Matrix.” And I walked out. Why do I remember that? It’s not original… It’s not funny…. I don’t walk around speaking in movie quotes. That’s the point. It isn’t funny, we’re making stupid jokes about stupid jokes not being funny and that’s what makes it so funny. (If that was the end of the story, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing right now. If you know me, you know there is always more to the story.)

“So I’m standing there minding my own business,” Not really, I’m kinda listening to whatthefuckshisname talk to the old broad in front of me. She is talking about something, how people are quitting their jobs and it’s terrible, nobody wants to work and she doesn’t know how they get by… He says, “I don’t know, I guess the internet is pretty liberal.” (You know,wink, wink, there are other ways to make money) I know you aren’t supposed to pigeonhole people but how did I predict this whole scene as soon as this bitch and her boyfriend walked in? They weren’t wearing “TrumpAmerica” T-Shirts but…

As soon as he said the word, “liberal” her eyes popped open and what do you think came out of her dumb ass mouth? That’s right, the snowflake rhetoric. “You can’t say anything on the internet, you get censored by (air quotes) “fact checkers” blah blah, people get triggered and start to cry…” (I’m thinking, watch this) I only looked in her direction because the door is right there and she started spouting off. My expression didn’t change, no eye roll, nothing. I turned to him and said, “I don’t know? I hang out on the good part of the internet and nobody gives a fuck what I say.”

Snowflake? Triggered? Crying? Who’s having a fucking meltdown now,? As she is still yelling at my my back while the door closes behind me. She can’t see that I’m starting laugh my ass off.

What exactly was she “triggered” by? He said the word, “liberal?” I said,”good part of the internet?” Was she offended by the word “Fuck?” I mean, what was it that caused the snowflake to melt? Does she want to make it illegal to say those words in public? We weren’t talking politics, nobody asked her opinion. We’re just trying to have a good time. Is she trying to censor me? Am I being politically incorrect? I’m right, nobody gives a fuck what I say on the internet. Read this post… Shouldn’t I be censored. Some of these people are so fucking stupid. They don’t see the irony. I’m don’t care what her politics are,(well, I do but) just don’t get in my fucking face about it.

Okay, she’s right. Being censored by a public corporation for violating their terms of service, which she agreed to when she signed up for their service is a violation of her 1st amendment rights. I believe I learned about that in grade school.

Jesus Fucking Christ! You don’t like FB, get off FB. I haven’t been on in 10 years. I don’t miss people from high school popping up, asking how, I’ve been… How I’ve been? I’ve been not talking to you for for twenty fucking years, That’s how I’ve been.

All I wanted was a coffee, it’s pouring rain, the storm drain is backed up, there is a foot deep lake blocking the path. I have to walk a friggin’ mile around to get to the store and I’m still happy, and this fucking bitch decided to ruin my night. Now I’m drooling and spitting all over my computer.

Not really. I got it out of my system just in time. I’m supposed to be let into a Zoom meeting, oops, I’m in! Someone started a “mental health support group”, Loosely defined. It is the first meeting. It just a bunch of regular people hanging out on Friday night. It seems pretty cool!

Nobody Weird Like Me

Robot Brain

“Enchanted as a rabbit
That my life is a dream
Well everything is never
Just as it seems

The freakiest show I know
Is the show of my own
Living my life in and out
Of the twilight zone”

“Nobody Weird Like Me” Red Hot Chili Peppers

“I was just sitting there minding my own business” is how I like to start a lot of my stories. Usually it’s true. I started it last night but the rest of it is strange but true. Yesterday afternoon I made a rough plan of what I wanted to do for the night. Nothing major; my most important “accomplishment” was cooking dinner. But that was no mean feat. I blew it off last night because I wasn’t hungry enough to take the pan down to the dumpster to empty the leftover crap. I knew with the way I’ve been lately I had to allot plenty of time for it.

I wanted to do the Zoom meditation at 7pm. I’ve missed them for a couple weeks. They don’t have a lot of them and I just haven’t been home and when I was home, I’ve set alarms for a couple but missed them by turning off the alarm and forgetting 10 seconds later. I am glad I hit it last night. My favorite people were there. The guy I get along with the most; his mom died last week and it was good for him to talk.

Those were the two items I stress and the rest flowed well. Listened to another audio book but it was really an hour long deep breathing meditation for me. It wasn’t meant for meditation, that is what I do when I have to stop moving for a period of time. It was nothing like the first. It was what I would expect from a self help book. Learn to accept yourself just the way you are so you can get into a better relationship and get that promotion at work. I knew it was only an hour and I did learn a few things.

Writing the poem was extra. I wanted to post an old one but it wasn’t in my computer yet and it would have been a lot of typing and while reading it I realized it needs to be rewritten. I blew it off but it was fortunate. I clicked around online and saw, “No Regrets.” My joke when I see that is “No Regrets? You haven’t lived” I got the idea to turn it into a poem. (All of this is extraneous; let’s get to the heart of the beast.)

I didn’t want to go to bed and I was bored so I downloaded Bumble again. I know, I know, maybe I didn’t want to go to bed alone? But what is going happen at 11:30pm on Wednesday? I remember last time I asked that question. This time, nothing happened. Well, something happened but not sex; Still, a lot of fun. I didn’t spend much time on it; I was thinking, why am I doing this; go to bed.

I woke up this morning and had one “match”. But there was no way I swiped right. She was 57, which doesn’t bother me; the woman I hooked up with a couple month ago was the same age. But she did not look like a matronly, grandmother. (Still going off on a tangent.) I don’t swipe right on everyone because I know the algorithms on swipe apps are designed to find who is most likely to pay. People think the more swipes the better their odds, but the algorithm cuts them off and they pay for more swipes. It might sound counter-intuitive but the more you swipe right the less matches you get. The algorithm learns from you and if you swipe on the fake profiles it feeds you more fake profiles, or if you swipe on a lot of people you have nothing in common (they are less likely to accept) with it doesn’t learn what you like and keeps sending people with nothing in common. etc…

I have to read the profiles because if I keep swiping on people who live a hundred miles away or their profile says they like to travel, fine dining, theater, I don’t have any money. You get the idea. The algorithm knows if you are taking your time and reading profiles and a learns to send me people more likely to respond. The more discriminating I am the more matches I get.

Whatever, I know I didn’t choose my grandma, especially when I read her profile saying she we aren’t looking for the same thing. The funny part was at the end she said, if you think we are a match, send me a message. It’s Bumble; Guys can’t send the first message.

It was another super nice day and it’s getting late in the season so I wasn’t going to waste it. Guess where I went? Panera? Bingo! It sucks. I could walk further but the next best thing is Starbucks, or I could get fancy and dine at Chili’s. Are you starting to understand where I live? (Okay, done with the preliminaries, ready to hear my story?)

“I was sitting there minding my own business” and my phone buzzed. It was my potential soulmate. She asked what I was doing and I told her. She said, “I love that place!” Really? I’m bored; I sent a picture of my pizza and asked, “Jealous?” No response, who cares, right? Later, I’m about to leave and get, “Yes, I am. Was it good?”I started to type, “Yes, but now I want… [some more]” and my phone gave me an auto-suggest word, “someone.” I almost sent it but I was tame. She said something about “talk to text getting things wrong” I asked if she was doing that now, she said , yes, why? I told her what happened and asked if she ever played the game where you type in a word and let your phone finish the rest of the sentence?

She said, “Yes it is funny sometimes.” I don’t know what she was doing but I was following the rules. I didn’t type anything manually. Obviously I chose the most interesting of the three words. I started first and came up with, “I want someone to help me with this”, She flaked with, “lol”, What the hell? “Could you please help me?”, I didn’t give her a chance and it came up with, “I think my phone know something about me that I don’t know.” What was next? She said,”I think so too”… “I am just curious about what you think of me.” She got, “Are you a scammer?”, She broke the wall, “Seriously, that is what it came up with, Are you a scammer?”… “Yes, but I am trying not to be rude.” I think she manually typed, “Not rude”

Do you believe this? You won’t believe this, “I am wondering if you will get some free time?” Shit! I can’t remember what she had. Next was, “Are you still up for dinner later tonight?”, I had to break character and tell her I really haven’t changed any words. We did a few more that made sense and she stopped and asked, “Seriously this is me, What do you do for work?” I didn’t want to leave the game but… You know? But I tried one more and got, “I don’t” which is true, but I tried my luck and spun, “I don’t want to waste your time.” Which was also true.

Was I wasting her time? Was I wasting my time? I’m sitting in Panera in nowhereville, laughing for an hour. She obviously had time on her hands… What would she have done instead?

It was weird because when I want my phone to suggest or even finish an obvious word, it comes up with words that aren’t even close to being in context. Never mind full sentences that make sense. It must be our density.

Ha! I just opened up Bumble. “There are no more women in your area who match what you are looking for.” That is funny because I believe there will be 50 more women tomorrow who moved to my area overnight. Also, I can pay to see women who have “liked” me. That does sound enticing! I’m on an app where men can’t send the first message, yes, I would love to pay to see who liked me but not enough to send a message. That would be helpful.

Did you do anything fun today? I didn’t just fuck around all day. I cooked and cleaned the kitchen and bathroom. I was going to vacuum but I could not waste another 55 degree day in November. When I woke up it was below freezing! I had to get out there and create more stories.

Not “Your” Kind of Crazy

Robot Brain

I get stigmatized by other people with mental illnesses when I do something “crazy.” What the fuck do they expect? I’m not using it as an excuse to do whatever I want. I’m trying my best to restrain myself and act “normal.”

I’ve been trying to get a therapist for five months. I finally got one but I don’t have an appointment until next week. She sounds very nice but before I talked to her I was tired of waiting and I found a legitimate group therapy Zoom meeting online. I registered with the site and found a “Dual Diagnosis” group last week but it didn’t start until last night. I made the appointment last week and got the email and put it in my calendar and waited.

I signed in 5 minutes early and about six people on camera were already talking but I kept myself on mute and off camera. I wasn’t the only one off camera. The moderator is Is saying some shit like, “This is my day job but here I am at night, you people keep me coming back.” The meeting started and they read the guidelines and started the “check-ins” and everyone seemed pretty chilled out; even the woman who said she was manic looked like she was about to fall asleep. But whatever, I can’t tell anything by looking at her on my tablet. Another woman introduced herself by listing 20 diagnoses like a pedigree. Not to minimize, but, you know?

The “moderator?” (is that the correct word?) asks if anyone else wants to check in. I really didn’t want to because I already felt out of place and I waited and I waited some more. I said, fuck it I’m here for a reason, I’ll check in. I unmuted and almost started talking but felt it might be rude without video, my first time at the meeting and I turned my camera on. (That is how long I waited before I “disrupted” the meeting for mentally ill people) I didn’t introduce myself by my diagnosis, but it’s pretty fucking obvious I got something going on. I just start babbling but I’m not dropping “F-bombs” and I”m not under the influence of any substances and I’m not talking over anyone. The bitch says, “I’m sorry, are we starting the discussion period before we finish the checkins?” (Not, “Excuse me, (…), We need to let other people check in first…) “I said, “I’m sorry, this is my first time in this meeting.” And I put myself on mute. No hint of sarcasm. I was polite and sincere. (I’m thinking that was fucked up, because she just had back and forth discussions with the other people who checked in before me)

Then, nobody else checked in! She said she wanted to start the discussion with the pedigreed woman because she had an “SI” a couple weeks ago. I’m not supposed to talk about what went on in the meeting but I’m not going into too much detail? Right? I’m not sure if I should write this? Fuck it! Nobody can figure out what meeting I”m talking about. What are they going to do? Ban me? I already know I”m not welcome and I left early and I”m not going back. I was going to stick it out but the reason I left is a guy was saying he was scared and didn’t know what to do and he sounded it and she cut him off and because I guess the person with insomnia was in more danger.

I’m just pissed, I got shunned from recovery meetings because some dude was fucking with me and when I asked what I should do about it I was told I shouldn’t have told anyone I had a mental illness. Okay, so it’s my fault? Every meeting they encourage you to talk about your “slip up.” What was I supposed to do? My “slip up” was related to my mental illness and I still wasn’t going to say it but sometimes I can’t help myself because because I’ve been up for three days and I talk too much and I don’t know what I’m saying because it’s part of my mental illness. But when I asked about it, I had gotten a good night’s sleep and I was calm and I didn’t do it in a meeting, I asked a volunteer in the chatroom through DM. He asked me the username and I said I don’t want anyone to get kicked out, I”m just wondering what I should do? Because I am reticent to speak up in meetings. He said I need to work on “acceptance of others” This shit is fucked. I kept doing the meetings for 2 weeks after the dude fucked with me but I never spoke up. I went for 2 more weeks, thinking, maybe they are right, I need to work on that. I heard “acceptance” doesn’t mean you have to like it, so that made sense.

I went for another a month after the guy messed with me, usually more than one meeting a day, but I keep hearing people talking about how much easier it is now they have accepted they can’t control other people’s behavior, they can only control their own reactions, blah, blah, bullshit, because in the next sentence they will say like, “My bitch of an ex-wife did this… and I almost went out and” I’m just bitching now.

I had my biggest fuckup this weekend, since Labor Day and tried another meeting Monday but I can’t say anything, so what the fuck am I doing there? I can’t believe that was only two days ago.

I’m lucky I found that audio book Monday. I never felt more at peace with myself. At the recovery meeting, the self acceptance was, because you did a bad thing it doesn’t mean you are a bad person… So it’s okay for me to keep doing bad shit? Never mind. They talked a lot about accepting your past and you are not your behavior but they also said to treat that little voice in your head that tells you to go out and use as “The Enemy”, give it a name and tell it to fuck off… etc… My biggest takeaway was a young kid in one of the first meetings I did who said, Wait a minute, I have a problem with that, that voice is me, I have to show myself with a little compassion.

Monday and Tuesday, it was painful learning where those voices came from but she said the same thing, they are parts of your personality and you should show them a little compassion and explained one way to do it and luckily it made sense to me and helped me immediately.

I got pissed off about the group therapy last night and I laid back and didn’t feel like getting fucked up, I laid back in bed and did something similar and relaxed and fell asleep eventually. But what am I supposed to do? Meditate for half the day? No, actually, I did calm down and get up and finished my night. Okay, that makes sense. I think I have to do it for a few minutes in the morning because I’ve been up for 6 hours trying to type this but also got up 14 times to eat before I finally managed to do that.

It only takes about ten minutes to chill myself out but I refuse because I am thriving off anger and racing thoughts. Not a good idea… I think I will do it now; keep my promise to myself.

The acceptance of others is harder for me to figure. If someone does something I consider egregious, you know?

But where do I go? Is there a place for me? I got shunned from recovery meetings for dauntlessly mentioning my mental illness and again from a meeting for crazy people for being too crazy. Reminds me of people saying they love people they feel they can be themselves around but ditch me when I am being myself.

Okay, rant over. In ten minutes I should be relaxed.

Deciding whether to publish…

You’re in the Army Now…

Robot Brain

“The lunatic is in my head
The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You re-arrange me ’til I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head but it’s not me”

“Brain Damage” Pink Floyd

I keep laughing about the old the old Army commercial, “We do more before 9am than most people do all day.”

I woke up at 9am this morning and texted my daughter around the normal time. Then I texted my mom asked her how she was doing, she asked how I was doing. I told her I can’t wake up. Why? I just slept for 24 hours. She was concerned, I don’t like to worry her, I told her I haven’t slept since June. I told her the positive things I have been doing for myself. She said, I know, I’m so proud of you! You inspired me to get outside and get my steps in, etc… Again, I didn’t want her to worry, she has been worried about me my whole life. I said, I have slowed down.

I didn’t really sleep 24 hours straight. I woke up intermittently for a couple hours at a time. I got up sometime to feed and water and scoop my cats shit. (Sanity check: Can I take care of a cat, Yes.) Once around midnight to type a blog post and couldn’t believe I had forgotten about my friend, “Trash”. He was integral to the story, he was the most important and interesting character. I almost hit Publish and thought, wait a minute, I think I already wrote this story. I checked and yes indeed I wrote it over a year ago. I deleted last night’s story completely. What an idiot! The whole point last night was to add “Trash” to the story. I suppose I can rewrite the post and add him to it. Not a problem but I keep remembering more stories I feel compelled to write immediately. Also, I always want to write my journal before noon but there is so much left in the day that could happen. If I could forget about “Trash”, Who else have I forgotten?

As I was telling my mom I had calmed down, I laughed to myself about trying to tell N—, I had slowed down and she said, No you haven’t, you are manic, look at you, you are talking with your whole body and splashing coffee all over the place! That was right after she brought Ollie and I to the vet at 8am. She doesn’t do everything for me and I know I am no longer her responsibility. She could have made it impossible for me to see my daughter after we divorced but instead she allowed me to visit each week at her house. Not the point. She loves animals, and she told me while we were at the vet she did it because she knows Ollie is good for me.

After she dropped me off, my daughter was already planning on taking me out which was fortuitous because I had to unexpectedly flea bomb my apartment and Ollie and I couldn’t be there for a few hours. The whole time I was with her I kept thinking I had to keep my mouth shut but if I had, we never would have had such a good day and when my daughter got home her mom sent me a picture of her looking super happy and added, “she is telling me about her time with you today.” I told her I had cried a lot and she said, See? We are good for you, it helps you heal. So I did pretty well, Tuesday, until later that night when I encountered another “Just another Tuesday night” story by telling a woman, “I love your hat, I used to have one like it” and didn’t sleep until 9am Wednesday. It was only supposed to be a five minute walk to the store.

This morning I laughed after I talked to my mom, because I didn’t tell her the story about making an appointment with a new therapist who asked if I preferred morning or afternoon? I said, afternoon, I need to keep my morning routine which is, lentils, apple, orange but that takes me at least 4 hours. I think I am going to like her because a 5 minute conversation to set an appointment turned into more than a half hour; She said that’s okay, I like to tall too.

This morning I did lentils and kept telling myself, apple and orange but found myself at Panera around 2pm, wanting to yell at an old man because he was standing in front of everyone’s food that was ready, waiting for his food which was not ready. I said excuse me and he threw an attitude.

I got back to my table and thought, Old man? I am the same age. How old do I think I am? I got out of there and went to Walmart to get some fish oil capsules but couldn’t read the fine print. First I asked a kid who worked there is he had good vision because he was wearing glasses. He couldn’t figure out what the hell I was asking about. I was looking for the quantity of each, it doesn’t matter. I asked another man who worked there and he looked puzzled and another woman who worked there said, he doesn’t speak English. I asked her and found the bottle I recognized. Put back the one I was holding and she got miffed I was putting it back in the wrong spot. I was putting it back where I found it. I freaked and asked myself, why are there 3 employees and 3 customers with carts in this tiny aisle that is usually empty? I will order everything online.

The reason I left the house was the pharmacy texted I had a script ready but they only send the first 2 letters. LA. I take 2 meds that start with LA. I walked there because something strange happened to my phone and I couldn’t call. I tried to explain, she told me which one, I said I will take that but it is not the one I need, I am confused because I called this summer and they said, I picked it up two weeks prior, I freaked because I did pick things up two week prior but couldn’t find it. I don’t hide things from myself. I do have some left but I never miss a dose because it is my most effective med ever. I didn’t tell her I was lucky they gave me an extra three months sometime in the past. (they screw up all the time) and that was why I still had some. She told me no, you haven’t picked any up since February. I’m picking it up tomorrow.

Old man? Old man? At the pharmacy, all kinds of Betty’s were (“Kindly speak English and drop the vernacular.” Curly: “Vernacular? That’s a derby! Three Stooges) popping out of nowhere in front of me and I start having thoughts, I shouldn’t be allowed out in public. But I got home and started thinking, ever since I got near my forties, girls in their twenties started being attracted to me. I don’t seek them out. I’m not that creepy old guy starting conversations but I will respond. I dated Jen for two years. (That is part of tomorrow’s story) I try to be age appropriate but women my age aren’t attracted to me. Some of them are. The woman who just left is older than me.

Since I saw my daughter Tuesday, I’ve been thinking about how I have three freight trains of thoughts barrelling through my head, how do I know if I bought a ticket to the right train? Why have I been thinking about trains so much?

[4 hour interlude: I can’t get rid of theses bitches. I like the way they walk and they like the way I talk! I guess I’m not trying very hard. I got a text asking if I wanted her to come over. I said, I have an early appt. tomorrow which will impact my life in a negative way if missed. It was true. She said, what about Friday. I have more important things to to Saturday early. I said tonight is better but you can’t stay until the sun comes up.]

The reason I left the house was the pharmacy. I kept thinking, there are not enough hours in the day to do all the things I wanted to do. I had last night’s wasted writing in mind, this journal post, and two more. I knew I couldn’t write them all today, nor did I need to write them today. One I felt I needed to write, but I kept thinking, apple and orange, it’s almost 3 o’clock! I started to panic, I”m not going to get home in time to write two. Yes I am. What else do I have to do?

I got home and wrote on paper, keywords and phrases as reminders wondering why I didn’t use my computer. I don’t know this was faster. I hope it is legible tomorrow. I took out the trash and checked the mail. Good thing I checked the mail, it scared the shit out of me but it wasn’t important when opened. It’s the sender’s address that scared me. It was the board of Mental Health. They decided her actions did not rise to a level of professional misconduct. Some kind of bullshit went on because if you worked for a company and did your boss’s job without consulting your boss and your boss was surprised you did it because it wasn’t warranted. What would happen? Even I she called me twice a day for two months, sent me letters every day, came and knocked on my door, (which she none of those. ) and I did not answer, it’s still not her job. I didn’t want her to lose her job; I only wanted her to feel a little stress because she caused me an inordinate amount of stress.

I couldn’t decide what to type. I really want to type another story but it’s not time sensitive and if I don’t post the journal before midnight then it won’t be today, but that’s not true, If I’m still awake then it’s still today, okay? Good thing I chose wisely. I’m still typing like I have a deadline!

I remembered I have to eat so I’m cooking my “Power Brain Stew”, gotta get those lentils for the GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter. (Okay, it’s finished. It boils for an hour and a half so I have to let the radioactive core cool.)

See what I said? It is now Friday. Bear with me, I’ve been typing since 4pm Thursday, (not continuously) I still haven’t gotten to the point! (Slowly approaching, but another thing) I woke up this morning, Yes, it technically is still today! I remember a long conversation with a woman I just met who has the same doctor as me. She said, Yes, he is an asshole, he is so dense, on and on and on… I ended with , I know, every time I open my mouth my doctor throws another pill in it! (Was that funny?) (I don’t know if you have read me before but my friend I wrote about from East Bumfuck, KY, first developed an affinity for me base upon our mutual love of parentheses) Okay, the point! I could not remember where I met this woman or how we had the same doctor until I realized I met her in my dreams over the past 2 days…

To culminate, the point is I wrote, “Letters to the Future” which was about a connection with my daughter but where the panic set in was, I really am receiving messages from the past… Why did write a poem in 1998 when I was was 29 years old that begins, “I am running out of time to do all the things I dreamed”? ” and it made no sense at the time, but now I am typing furiously at 2am? “1998”

Letters to the Future

Robot Brain

Jesus Fucking Christ! She did it again! My daughter asked if I wanted to take a ride to the thrift store in Kingston. Yes, that sounds great! She picked me up and we went to get two “perfect bagels.” We were sitting there talking and I’m like, alright Bill, keep your motor mouth under control, you just told N—- you calmed down and she said, no you’re not, you’re manic. I asked her about her car because she just got her license and I’m also jealous. It’s a 15 year old BMW with power everything and it all works like new. She likes it because it has a CD player and her favorite things to do is find “new” old bands and drive around listening to them.

I told her about the ’87 BMW we had when her mom and I were still married. I asked her if she knew what a tachometer is and she did. I explained to her how it tells when to shift gears in a car with a standard transmission. She gets it. I told her, don’t tell your mom but one of my favorite things to do was take that care down the twisty, turny coast road and bounce the tach between 3,000 to 6,000 driving as fast as I could while hitting the apex of the turns. I didn’t tell her I had to drive on the wrong side of the road to do it.

We left the bagel place and she started searching for a CD in the door compartment. She put in the friggin’ Violent Femmes! one of the few bands I have the full album in my playlist. The rest is just mix and match choices of my favorite songs. So I guess we’re driving to Kingston and singing along to the Violent Femmes.We both knew all the words to every fucking song.I didn’t even realize we drove past the house I lived in with my grandparents when I was ten. I was too busy telling her this is my favorite line and listening to her tell me her favorite lines. I tell her the songs meant a lot to me back than but they hit a lot different now that I’m older. You think this is the fucked up part? I’ll get to the fucked up part.

I told her I love that album because J— played it for me when we first met and I said, “these chicks are pretty good.” My daughter said, they are guys, I told her my girlfriend said the same at the time. She thought it was funny. Then she told me her boyfriend bought it for her. (okay) I started telling her about J— and hitchhiking around the country and living in a van for a couple years. My daughter said, “You didn’t really work at a circus?” I said, yeah, for a year, world’s largest traveling big top. She said where did you go? I said name a city in California, I’ve been there. I start remembering all these stories I haven’t thought of in years. I told her a guy wrote a newspaper article about us, titled, “The Notorious Nomads of The Night”, because we would show up in your town at 4am and set up a huge fucking tent, and a mini city full of RV’s and travel trailers and elephants and everything in what was a vacant lot the day before.

She said, oh, I thought were in the circus? No I set up the tent and the bleachers. I was telling her about Steve and I would climb on the top of the tent and watch the acts down below and the only people who notice were the trapeze artists because they would smile and wave when they swung up towards us. I told her about Gerardo teaching me Spanish. He was this drunk homeless dude but he was a walking encyclopedia. I would ask him what a word meant and sometime he would ask, well, how did they say it? If they said it this way it means this and if they said it that way it means that…, (I completely forgot he was the one who gave me the name “Pinches Rojo” because of my hair.) She said so, it’s the same with words in English. I said, that’s not what I’m saying, he’s this drunk homeless guy and he could do it with every word in both languages! But, he would get shitfaced and want to fight the world and start screaming, “I am one hundred percent motherfucking Aztec!” Because he was. (I’m thinking should I be telling my daughter this? It’s okay, she is totally against drinking and drugs)

I told her they did an LGBT benefit in Chicago and back then it wasn’t a very acceptable thing to do. The city didn’t like it and tried to stop it by pulling some “building code” bullshit about “enclosed structures” so we tore the tent down and set it up with just the bottom 12 foot high skirt wall and left the roof off and there wasn’t a damn thing they could say about it. It was now an “open air structure.” She liked that.

I told her I didn’t hang around with many of the white guys because they were all racist assholes, calling the Mexicans lazy and shit. (I didn’t tell her it was also because a crack dealer was following us around and half the white guys were hooked the shit.) But when was the last time they learned a second language just to get a job? Were they saving half their paycheck and going down to Western Union to wire to their families? No! I led a crew of illegal workers that set up the left half of the tent and and we always finished way ahead of the white guys who set up the right half of the tent. Does that sound lazy? (am I getting to the fucked up part yet?)

We got out of the car and while we were walking up the ramp and I asked her if she had any songs she wishes she had written? She said, yeah, I have a ton, but I really likes “Galaxie” by Blind Melon. I said I like them but I have never listened to all their songs. We got to the entrance and she said she would play it for me later.

Inside the store were two old women, I guess they were the owners and they said, excuse the mess, we are under construction, just kidding, it always looks like this. I said, that’s okay, I’m used to places that always look like this. They laughed. We wandered around and my daughter was browsing and I didn’t see much for me, I don’t care, that’s not why I’m there. I’m talking with her but being restrained because my emotions are out of control and I have three trains of thought racing through my head. We got to the back room and she pulled a men’s jacket off the rack, new looking and too big for her but she likes that. She said she wasn’t sure and I told her she should get it, and she said, no, and I said are you sure? (I was hoping she didn’t want it because I was going to buy it for myself. I knew it would fit me perfectly and it’s my style) I asked her again and she said she didn’t want it. I said good, cause I’m buying it. I tried it on and it fit, I asked her if I should wear it, she said it looks good. (every time I go into a thrift store I find the one thing I need, this time it’s a fall weather jacket) I told her about finding the shoes last time and the jacket this time and doesn’t she think it’s just a little bit weird? She didn’t seem impressed. (this is just the everyday stuff, not the fucked up part.)

Out in the car she hand me a few CD cases and asks me to find a CD with a picture of cigarette butts on it. I found it and asked who it was. Blind Melon, I’m going to play you that song. Okay, I slid it in the slot. The song starts playing and she starts singing along with it and she sounds exactly like the guy and he’s singing, “I’m entering a frame bombarded by indecision,Where a man like me can easily let the day get out of control” I said you wish you wrote a song about a man like me? She said no, she loves this album so much because the first time she heard it she had to leave school because she was crying so much and she went home and listened to it all day. I wasn’t going to tell her but I had to tell her because it was going to be obvious in a minute. I said this is the first time I’ve heard this song and it’s making me cry. She said, I’m sorry, I can take it out. I said, no, I like it, You can take it out if you want me to stop crying. She said, it’s okay, I’m glad it makes you cry. (This is just the kind of fucked up part)

Her gps took her the way she didn’t want to go but we could still get there. I’m still crying but not balling my eyes out, I can still have a conversation. I didn’t realize but we ended up driving through Exeter and I told her I lived there and went to High School there. I said they had a lot of cops because people spent a lot of money to send their kids to Phillips Exeter Academy and they wanted them to be safe. I started talking about how I started messing with the cops when I was a kid because they didn’t like anyone out after 9pm. There was no curfew. I wasn’t drinking or doing drugs then but I liked to stay out all night and walk around town. They would stop me and ask, where are you going? Home. Where are you coming from? A friend’s house. What is your friend’s name? Uh, none of your fucking business… I told her I was just a kid walking down the sidewalk, it’s brightly lit, wtf? Then they would drive until they got out of sight, turn around and drive by again, get out of sight, turn around, until I got home. I knew they couldn’t patrol the Academy property and it takes up half the town, so I started cutting through there. I could get anywhere I wanted to by cutting through, school property or the railroad tracks, or the cemetery because it was locked to cars.

While I was talking, Blind Melon was still playing and it was a song called “Bernie” and it had a line in it something about, 1983. I stopped and said, oh my god, I’m telling you a story about my life that happened in 1983 when I was in high school! (okay, that was the fucked up part. I guess the whole day was the fucked up part.)

I stopped talking and she is talking about her dogs and anything that was on her mind and I’m still talking to her and I’m not crying too much. But I keep opening one of the CD cases. It was empty but on the inside it said it said, “Sent to the Future.” I knew what it meant but it hit me and I said I gotta tell you something. I don’t want to be a poet but for a few years around 2000, I wrote a lot of poems. I didn’t know what they meant, well, of course I knew what some of them meant but some of them didn’t make sense. I would start playing with words in my head and I would have to find anything to write on and scribble shit and stuff it in my pocket and go home and turn it into a poem. A while ago I found my folder full of them and now they all make sense. I was writing messages back then for me to read now and they are hitting pretty fucking hard.

Then we went back to talking about normal shit. She brought me back home, I said, I love you, thank you for taking around, it was so good to see you, I had the best day. Sorry for crying so much. She said it’s okay, I love you. Normal good bye stuff,, everything is good.

I got inside and saw I had a voicemail from an unknown caller, like who the hell is this? It was a new therapist calling to make a first appointment. I asked for one back in June and slipped through the cracks and asked again a couple weeks ago. I’m going to do it on Zoom.

Maybe this isn’t fucked up. Maybe this shit happens to everyone. Maybe this only makes sense to me? I just spent the day with my daughter doing all the same shit I did when I was her age.

I texted her mom and told her a little about it. She started out saying, “She has a deep soul” and it reminded me of when she was really into Twenty One Pilots but the only song I put on my playlist was, “Heavy Dirty Soul”.

A few minutes later her mom texted a picture of my daughter standing there with a big smile and another text that said, “We r talking about singing in the car. My fav thing to do with her. Her face. See she loves seeing u”

I am drained.

Another Perfect Day!

Robot Brain

“I’m hungry
I’m dirty
I’m losing my mind
Everything’s fine!

I’m freezing
I’m Starving
I’m bleeding to death
Everything’s fine!”

“Mother Mother” Tracy Bonham

Don’t be afraid to ask for help?

It was 1pm earlier today. I was back in bed crying. I didn’t sleep last night. I think I got up and ate an apple and orange. Listened to a Zoom meeting. People were okay, talking about anxiety mostly. I was prepared to stay under the blanket the rest of the day. I looked out the window. Fuck, bright sunshine, no clouds, bluest sky. I’m not doing it! Dude you know the deal, every nice day, no matter how you feel. I know but not after yesterday! We don’t have any money, anyway. You got a fiver on the table, enough for a coffee. It’s too hot for coffee, it’s the middle of the afternoon. You gonna stay here crying all day? Fuck you! Okay.

Where’s my blue “breathe” t-shirt? I’m not going if I can’t wear that. It’s my favorite. Why can’t I find it? Hanging in the closet? When was the last time I wore it? Let’s get out of here.

Halfway there I am still crying hard. Usually when I’m not feeling it I can put on a grimace that looks like a smile if you aren’t too close. Not today. October, too hot? Too hot? Too cold? Too windy? Just fucking keep walking. I don’t think I’m gonna make it. Almost there, I can’t. You’ve done it before. All you gotta do is say, large coffee please, thank you and sit down.

There’s a fucking line! The place is always dead. Now there is a line. I wanna leave, why is it taking so long. I’m about to scream. Okay, it’s an old woman, it her first day and the troll is making her more nervous by correcting her every second. I feel bad for her. I look off to the left and start casting judgements. Why she dressed like that? It’s too hot for a sweater. Oh, she’s being interviewed. She’s in her forties, I get the idea she’s a mom. I hope she’s not a single mom. Okay, she’s wearing a ring, nice one too. But still. The indignity, Imagine having to get up, dress real nice, do your hair, makeup, look your best so you can be judged by some unqualified kid to see if you are “qualified” to work at Panera?

My turn. The woman is really nervous, I’m calm, trying not to contribute. She’s doing fine except for the girl harping in her ear. By the end she can barely count the change. She hands it and says, count it, make sure. I said it’s okay, I trust you. Okay, got it, They are doing the interview where I like to sit, I grab some napkins for my eyes and find the only other spot where I can have my back to the wall. I’m not into it buy I text my mom a picture of my coffee so she knows I am out. I can’t help it, I have my hand on my forehead looking at my phone, thinking now I am one of those people. I look up and the woman waiting to be interviewed has no business being here. She should already have a job being paid to be beautiful. I can’t be staring. I’m vaguely aware of a woman speaking Spanish into a phone to my left.

I look down and text my daughter a really good one. I text her things I wish people had said to me when I was her age. I think school is done, she might be driving. My mom,”Panera?”, “Yeah, it was really hard to leave the house today.”, “I’m glad you did” I’m glancing up between messages. I mean WTF? This woman, her hair up, glasses match her face, her shoes. She’s overqualified to even walk into this place. I gotta stop doing this to myself. “Okay, see you Monday at 10am”, She is hired. Don’t worry, I won’t be setting my alarm Monday morning.

“Jesus some woman just tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was okay!”, My mom, “Really” It was the Hispanic woman, she said, are you sure? Yes, thank you so much! I’m just having a bad day, I will be fine. Are you sure? Yeah, yah, thank you, that was so nice. Now, I’m really crying. Napkin over my eyes.

“Are you okay?”, “Yeah, I’m just emotional.” Nothing… My doctor’s office shows up on caller id! WTF?! I let it go to voicemail and listen. Phew! Just changing an appt. I tell my mom, OMG, I thought you called them! I’m okay. Ever since L—, got her license, she makes me so happy I cry for hours then I get exhausted and a little depressed. (I lied, a little, Monday morning when I opened my eyes, everything was different. I was definitely depressed.

Now what? I shouldn’t be allowed out in public but I look up and this woman should not be allowed out in public. I’m not looking for this shit. She is 30 feet in front of me and her shorts are so short I can clearly see her bug. It’s not like she’s bent over or in some unnatural position. She is just standing there. I know you can wear whatever clothes you want but I can’t walk around with my dick hanging out. Back to my phone.

My daughter put a heart on my text. That means I did a good job! My mom, “Are you home yet?”, “No, I’m on my second cup, I don’t even want coffee, I just want to be out in public.” A woman grabs my hand and puts an apple in it! “Whatever you are going through, I hope you will be okay.” Where did she come from? “Thank you, so much.” Now I’m gonna die! Apple? I’m gonna take it home, eat it and put it on my gratitude list. I guess? I gotta get out of here before the men in the white coats show up.

I go into the bathroom, take a piss, look in the mirror. Holy shit! I”m a fucking mess! How am I gonna get out of here? Okay, there is an exit out in the little hallway. All I have to do is take a right.

Somehow I got home. I gotta write about this or go back to bed and cry. I open YouTube to listen to “Mother Mother” but first thing is a Frank Turner song that premiered a couple hours ago while I was walking to Panera! “Haven’t Been Doing So Well.” WTF! The concert was Sunday night. I knew I wouldn’t go. The tickets never arrived in the mail and i didn’t make an inquiry. I guess I have to listen to this.

“Don’t you ever wake up and suspect
That you were simply never cut out to be
The kind of person they expect
Thе person you intended to bе?
And I keep it all in with my idiot grin
And I’m doing my best but there’s very little left
So cut me some slack if I crawl back into my shell
I haven’t been doing so well
I haven’t been doing so well”

Frank Turner


Robot Brain

The Red Sox beat the Yankees in a one game play-off. I’m not sure if that has ever happened. I was surprised my mom stayed up until midnight to watch it. She usually doesn’t make it that long. I fell asleep shortly after. I woke up again at 2:20. I’m not sure what I did after that. There is nothing on television, I think I pretended it was a regular day. Cooked some lentils, had an apple and orange. I had to do everything in the mirror since I sliced my thumb this weekend. The only thing I can’t do backwards is scissors and my thumb won’t fit through the whole with the bandage on it. I use scissors all day.

I think I added to my gratitude list Is started about a month ago. It’s something I always thought would be a waste of time; I can remember what makes me happy. But I think everything is a waste of time. But it does help a lot to see it typed out. A few times I read it and I don’t believe it but not often. I realized I hadn’t written anything on it for 7 days. I added a good one. At the beginning of the summer I was trying to counter my automatic negative thoughts. I was trying to do that in my head also. It wasn’t working so well. This morning I wanted it to be absolutely believable. I had 7 or 8 items. I thought it was a pretty good start.

It was still early and I was still hungry. I googled breakfast places near me. Fucking Panera? There is nowhere within walking distance. Okay, what do I eat at Panera. They had a few good looking sandwiches on their menu. Except for the Avacado and eggwhite. I took a walk. I’m an old man. I’ll fit right in.

I walked in and it was me and the girl who worked there. She was about ten feet away from me fucking with a loaf of bread and just staring at me. I”m like, is she allowed to talk to customers? She made it over to the register and asked what I wanted. I said, a coffee and whatever you think is the best breakfast sandwich. She told me she doesn’t eat breakfast. Fucking troll… I was only being friendly. I even would have eaten the egg white if that is what she said. Waste of time. I ate, went home and eventually fell asleep.

I woke up confused but figured out it was time for a meditation with the Community Meditation Project. The subject was “gratitude”, another coincidence. People told their stories, big things, little things. I even said I was very excited to have water coming out of a tap in my kitchen. We wasted an hour.

I can’t remember what I did all afternoon. I was getting discouraged. Looking for a book that would help me but not be a “self-help” book if that makes any sense. It didn’t work. I decided to narrow down my positive list to 5 items because 2 didn’t really fit on there. Then I just didn’t believe any of them. I had a qualifier for every statement. Now I remember! I went for another walk to Panera and got a coffee. Only $3. I can’t afford to buy lunch everytime. Still a waste. I threw half my coffee in the trash.

I just wanted to give up on everything. I had no will to do anything. I went on youtube and searched motivation meditation. Maybe turn my head around. A couple rotted. But one sounded okay. But I guessed wrong. The woman was telling me to focus on my worst memory but in some kind of meditation way. Now I”m really fucking depressed but it won’t last much longer and I think she is going wrap it up with something uplifting. Something about Self Care and Self Compassion. Two things I don’t have right now. I looked it up and it made sense. I just couldn’t fathom it.

I still wanted to give up. There was another CMP meditation at 7 but I didn’t want to be crying when I logged on. I cleaned myself up. This one was focused on “Emotions”. WTF? I couldn’t do it at all. My emotions were, I started this summer losing fucking everyone I knew but I still had a good attitude and thought I had a good plan to create something new in the outside world. Then I really stepped in a huge pile of shit. Now winter is less than a month away and I’m going to be stuck inside still living my life online. I thought I panicked on August 1st, now it’s fucking October.

I was enthusiastic this morning. Now I want to go to bed and not wake up. The few other people online had a quick little talk about how good they felt after the meditation. I said, I don’t want to bring everyone down but that sucked for me. But then everyone started talking to me. I don’t go to them for their meditations. I go because they are the only people who are friendly. The org. is professional but a lot of the time is spent talking. I guess it’s what I”m doing because my friggin’ health center still won’t give me a therapist. They were trying to tell me meditation isn’t about solving your problems. I know that. I do it on my own and I usually get something out of it. It was just the whole fucking day. Even if it could solve my problems, it wouldn’t, I couldn’t even begin doing it. I almost bailed early.

Now what do I do? It’s 9:30. I don’t care about the Dodgers. I’m still in a shitty mood. Writing is still my best outlet. Do you all want me to keep going on for 3 more hours? I don’t.