People I Met on the Way Down

Never took the time to appreciate my surroundings. Never really put much thought in what it took to get to this place. Six years ago, I couldn’t even fathom getting to this place. It’s not always simple; there are days when it feels like giving up is just easier. These days, though, that’s not even an option I consider. And if I think too much about those moments (because that’s all they are these days), I risk falling into the rut. Let’s ignore that. For now anyway.

Depression has been a lifelong companion. For years, however, I let it take the wheel. It ruled my every thought. After the split, I just gave into it. Allowed it to make my decisions and let me tell you—they weren’t always good decisions. Actually, there are so many things I did, said, and thought during my long journey to here that I’d rather not think about.

But I’m not here to “throw shade” at my mistakes. Something happened that put things into perspective. These last two months have been a strange roller coaster and strange beginnings.

In August, Jeanna was involved in a car accident that took the lives of her mother, sister, and youngest nephew. Breaking the news to Shaun wasn’t easy; it’s nothing a person can prepare themselves for. Jeanna was on the road to recovery, but he’d lost three special people in his life. While the hospital allowed Shaun weekend visits, he was thrust into a situation of living with me full time. (He’s asleep as I type these words, by the way.)

A lot of people use death as their motivation, and I can see why. Life is short. It’s fucking unpredictable as hell. I’m appreciative of the days I’ve had, and those that are still on the horizon for me. But I don’t know what lies beyond what I can see, because even that isn’t guaranteed.

As I sat in the waiting room, trying to make sense of all the news just thrown at me, I made phone calls. A few phone calls, actually. I called my mom first because she had Shaun. I called Virginia second because I needed to hear her voice; I needed the comfort she has been so good at giving. She didn’t answer, but that was expected; it was one in the morning, after all. I called Monica because she’s been there for me through so much already. And I called Laura, who called me back. Each did their best to calm my tears and fears.

It’s strange to conclude a post about depression with death, but there’s a reason why it ties together in the end.

I’m appreciative of where I am now. There are difficult moments. Like knowing that Jeanna’s mom isn’t going to just text me out of the blue. Or that I will no longer have these random conversations with Marci on Facebook. I’ll never see Arnie, who passed away in September, make another comment on one of my Facebook updates (and like his own comment). I’ll never get a strange, middle of the night phone call from Shon (who passed away last Wednesday) about one conspiracy or another.

I’m happy that I was given the opportunity to have these people in my life. And I’m happy to have been in theirs. I’m happy to have called a few of them my family.

I’m appreciative of where I am now, and more so for the people who helped me get here. And not just with this situation, but situations in the past and those that bloomed in its wake. To those who helped me by dragging me out of my home even though the depression was eating at me. To those who hugged me despite my aversion to it. To those who cared enough to ask me how I felt at any given time. To those who I call family.

Thank you.


In every circumstance…

She could make me smile at a funeral. It’s a discussion we have via text message as I walk around the church. I mentioned the funeral taking place as I pass it by, deciding to change my route out of respect for the family of the deceased. Just so happens before I learned about the funeral, we were talking about the domesticated rabbits that found new freedom in the city. There’s two of them. And she jests if the funeral is for the rabbits. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s for a human.” She counters, “A human killed by rabbits?” As the conversation continues, I let it slip that she’s quite some wizard. Having the ability to make me smile with such a dark subject can be a special gift few will ever possess.

She twists my words. She boils them to the most literal sense. Several times I’ve fallen victim to her logic traps and I find myself clawing at the pit, trying a way to argue a way out; I fail each time. I lose track of time when we text. Before I come to, she’s wishing me a good night, letting me know her phone’s almost dead. When I’m self aware of the time spent texting her, the anxiety of being a bother rises from my stomach to clench my heart. Am I being too obvious?

She makes a bleak day the brightest of the year. Standing in the YA section, reading through the shelves, I feel a panic urge heat my body. A feeling I haven’t felt in quite a way. Even with New Mexico, this raw heat didn’t course through me. At a friend’s party, she accidentally touches my hand reaching for a napkin. Maybe it’s the time we’ve spent talking about all things nerdy. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’m getting better at this being human act. Still, what goes through my mind isn’t the same thought that runs through it had someone else touched me. There isn’t a feeling of burning. There isn’t a sensation of panic. I don’t retract my hand. Maybe that’s a strange reaction not to do because I offer no sign of assisting her hand to find the napkin despite that I’m staring at both our hands.

Jeanna tells me that maybe it’s time I took a chance. Monica tells me the same. And my “wing man” seems to be doing her best to keep us together no matter the circumstance. But the mindfuck is still fresh in my head, and I don’t know if I want to let myself be that vulnerable again.



“Of every saving word…”

“Are you afraid of dying?”

Via GroteleurCreative thought has eluded me for weeks now. I can’t concentrate on an idea longer than the span of time that it comes to me. And if it doesn’t contain pictures, I haven’t managed to involve myself with a book. It’s a dry spell. One I cannot shake off.

My dreams have taken a turn to the nearly indescribable. I’m lost in the wilderness and happen about two colonies of people on different ends of the island. There is a force—a person?—threatening our well being. I am a stranger on both sides and cannot be trusted. When one camp is attacked, its survivors and interim leader turn to me to guide them to the other camp.

These dreams become sexual the closer I get to waking up.

I share the dream with a stranger online. His/her response is simple. A single question: “Are you afraid of dying?”

I am not afraid of dying anymore than I am afraid of growing older. The inevitable isn’t something to fear.

“Why do you ask?” I respond.

“That’s usually what it means.”

What it means. An amateur dream interpreter has crossed my path.

Maybe dreams are shadows of our subconscious minds, but if it’s subconscious to me, wouldn’t it be harder for someone else to crack the shell of its meaning? Educated guesses, Monica once described it to me years ago. And even then, it’s a stretch. Using educated a bit too loosely for my taste.

In my dreams, it’s the end of the world. Something has happened, and I cannot remember what. I know that my child is alive out there. And I know that I must find him and Jeanna. And I know I must do then what I’m failing to do now. And I search the ruins of humanity, risking myself to save others I don’t recognize or know. And I’m torn between doing what’s right and what’s necessary.

Jeanna told me it was residual build-up, in anticipation of The Walking Dead mid-season finale last Sunday. I responded that I have been marathon-ing Lost this last week. “There you have it,” she said.

And yet, they continue.


Normally, I Use Lyrics for a Title, but Nothing Worked for This Post

Someone, sometime ago, decided children speaking in baby talk is cute. I beg to differ. If a child is too old to speak with a mock speech impediment, then it’s not cool. Besides, what does that say about a person with the actual, no-fooling impediment? Homophobic dating service, eHarmony is now running an ad featuring “Caroline,” Neil Clark Warren‘s, the founder, supposed granddaughter. The girl’s obviously too old to be speaking like a toddler, but the advertising team thought it was worth a swing. Usually, I’m not disgusted with ads with children talking about adult world things–eTrade’s baby, voiced by comedian Pete Holmes, is downright adorable and hilarious. And dubbing Dennis Haysbert’s voice over a little girls for an Allstate commercial? Gold. At least they didn’t have her talking like a goddamn moron. What’s a little more unnerving about the eHarmony commercial is that the little girl knows way too much information on her teacher’s romantic life.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

Moving on. While we’re on the subject of idiot’s, I’d like to make a statement that posting these “inspiration” hipster photos with quotes floating in the air, doesn’t make you deep. Whenever I post something like this, it’s usually something funny. Or something that strikes me as truth, or wise, or interesting. It’s never a shield. Never an “adult” way of saying, “I’m rubber and you’re glue so what you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”

Monica posted something in the lines of this thought, so I won’t rehash that post (nor steal it). It’s just that people who post this sort of thing have the worse personalities. Rather than owning up that they’re just dicks or bitches, they become the Vancome Lady. And not only that, they also hide behind their religion to justify their dickheadedness, posting messages and status updates with declarations such as, but not limited to, “It doesn’t what you think of me. The only opinion that matters is God’s.” Yeah. God called me and he wanted me to relay a message: You’re a bitch with religion, doesn’t make you better than anyone.

And if you post anything stating something negative about your ex, I can assure you that you think of him more than he thinks of you. And that’s just sad.


“People that fall apart…

Monica learned something about me today–I didn’t like Fight Club. I’m not too clear-minded at the moment. Only fragments of today’s outing exist. I’ll write more about this tomorrow.

I think my depression is clearing up. There are days when I just want to end this. But those are becoming fewer. I don’t like myself, but I’m learning to love myself. I’m learning how to understand myself. And maybe, one day, I’ll learn how to accept myself. And maybe then, someone will finally do the same for me.

Am I ready to move on? No. I don’t think so. I don’t think I ever will. Some say time cures all, but a broken heart never mends. Not really.


And All That Could Have Been: With a Vengeance

Parts of me wonder why I even bother eating anymore. Those are the parts that handle the food I shove into my body. This life of taking pills before eating anything needed to end, I just thought I had more time. And this isn’t one of those eat-bland-foods-for-two-weeks-so-my-body-can-recover deals. This full on Sparta in what I kick out of my daily diet, and what becomes “sometimes” food.

Have You Heard the One About the Priest, the Rabbi, and the Duck?

My coworker and I talked about creative writing professors attempting to have us write like them. I lucked out. Neither Jose Skinner or Rene Saldana, Jr. forced their writing styles on me. Emmy Perez didn’t, either, but there were times when I knew she wanted to sugarcoat my criticisms on my classmates’ writing. Homie doesn’t play that, though.

There was purpose to this blog, finding some sense of place. In my writing and in my life. And maybe I haven’t found the place I’m supposed to be in life, but at the dawn of my thirtieth year on this cesspool planet, I find myself almost comfortable with my place. Granted that I’m not where I imagined myself at thirty, but who is? I’ve made peace with my demons, amongst other things.

When Was the Last Time I Did This?

Work was a breeze, though I have to start making up hours tomorrow, Monday, and Tuesday (yay! Part time!). Which ultimately means less time with my son. But there are times when you just have to take that day out. Funny story about yesterday’s illness. It actually started on Monday, as I left the department. The sudden urge to up chuck rose from my innards. There are things I do to keep my mind distracted, so I started doing one. Yesterday’s decision was scanning all the titles from the local authors’ shelf, memorizing each of them. After a while, my focused aimed on a girl whose direction I’d been gawking at for I don’t know how long. This girl–woman–was staring daggers at me. Well, long enough for her egocentric mind to think I was checking her out. And at that moment, I felt the rising urge to spew all over the couch. Had it not been my respect and admiration for Mr. Cortez (who’d have to clean it up), I might have done just that to bring her down several pegs.

Closing Arguments

I’m happy that my friend has stumbled out of hiding after all these years of dead air. And I will kick your butt to update more often.