Grandfather Time…. We didn’t start the fire!!

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The VA is a place of healing but a healing that is part transcendence and part acquiescence.   A kind of home to the many homeless and/or hurting.    Like an old military training film,  the memories of soldiers are rekindled,  with the ebbing of the time and tide and the constant changes that slowly and almost imperceptibly evolve.

Sitting in chairs lined up like eggs the shiny floors and a plethora of young people with a whole lot more than you in their lives talk loud and authoritatively.   Nurse Cratchett with her Ben Casey cap mulls over the scene keeping it as quiet as she can with a prescription in hand and whispering where to go next.  There is order here,  and signs telling you what you should do as and where you should do them.   Part suggestion and part demand….  you comply.

What I see is a bunch of old, white men/women constantly berating the President. Don’t believe me…check out Fox News’ viewing demographics….You guys seem to fit right in their target demo. Face the fact that your generation is dying off and being replaced with multiracial, non-religious, informed citizens that don’t buy the corporate bull shit anymore. Thank you all for your service, but it’s time to give up on your 50s “Leave it to Beaver” dream world and accept that America is changing.

(And this was from a military site and a part of my point in this blog)

Shuffling past the new partitions and faded drapes you humbly canter onward to a room to wait some more.  Then the eager young doctor rolls into the room, inquiring about what brought you there that day.   Like he doesn’t already know.  His intentions are generally good and his allocation of time is ten words and a prescription(s).     Back in your chair you wait.   The minutes tick laboriously on with black and white clocks making their rounds in your head.    And you feel like a bursting dam full of still water.     The coldness of put-out caregivers with dissembling glances stare obtusely at you.

You are whisked away in rubber chariots with the air-conditioner breaking the disturbing silence that has long been established.      Only so many retold stories can they bear and what they show to their friends is markedly different than what you experience.   The tar on the road causes a clicking and thudding as tires roll and roll and roll and you fall fast asleep.

At home there there are no cupboards,   just a chair,  a bed and perhaps a TV.    The walls are yellow and gray brick,  the mortar hardened like the souls of man.   The ceiling fan in steed of a dream whirring and whirling and the tick,  tick,  tick of an electric chain.   Bound to reflection you start to complain but feel the potential sting or words,   those silent statues in an antiquated museum.   Their only destiny an auction or the city dump.

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The plain yellow curtains burp and rustle against the warm walls as the A/C is clicked on and you fall asleep and you faintly hear the sound of doors and the rustling of tires on hot gravel.    Magical cupboards are laden with product,  generic brands of what you used to consume and settle on mashed potatoes and country cream corn,   as much due to chewing as it is to satiation.

Pretty soon your cat or cats or maybe a dog gather up with you,  finding a place to call their own and that is the closest you had that day to affection,  non-contrived and totally about you!   Yet the emotional give and take is the soft mortar which has not nor will ever harden until the by and by.

Prozac Nation. Your thoughts! The Long and winding Road.

As I watched the movie Prozac Nation,  Christina Ricci is sitting naked on the bed while her mother comes into the room and opens the window tells her to get going.    Ms. Ricci is going yard.   She is off to Harvard to ply her skills and hone her narratives on life as she experiences life away from mom and dad.     Her home life was idyllic in the sense of having nice clothes and a supportive mother but she did not like people because she assumed they did not like her.

She of course had her drugs,  mainly medication for her behavior but she added X,  LSD,  Marijuana and Alcohol to her mind bending menu.    She had a narcissistic,  womanizing  father who avoided her  during her early teen years and a madly manic’ mom whose insecurities rubbed off on her talented but troubled child.

After the first party her own manic behavior corrupted her friendships and she was openly antagonistic at the worst moments.      She already had an emotional problem and the sense her life was going to be short.   She was also a cutter and obsessive about her writing.

On a personal level her behavior is NOT necessarily outrageous given her medical,  yes medical condition.   Depression and anxiety is not cured by psychotropic drugs because cognitive and awareness therapies can redirect some of the more harmless inclinations.    Those treatment modalities may not cure and so the right medications will help fix some of the neurochemical issues.

When I first started taking Citalopram it was not effective so was switched to the drug Sertraline which did alter my awareness around me.    Initially my family and specifically my brother indicated I was more aggressive.   I may have been but I believe a lot of that was a change and the change was discomfitting.    I resolved that I was becoming more aware of what was eating at me.    My comprehension of my behavior and thoughts became my own.

The sheer terror of public speaking is a theme that caused me a lot of anxiety as a kid and was not helped by the constant threat of violence in the schools.    Corporal Punishment hardly phased the hard-butted strong-willed student but to the good kids,  it became an obsession and fed into my own distrust of 99% of people.

I understand Elizabeth’s (Ricci’s) impulses and her lack of control and the desire to please everyone long enough to find an egress from a social situation.  Hers was self-medicating.   I was fairly skilled in language and was a prolific speller with a great vocabulary.   I read college text books in fourth grade because they were fun.     What I hated was the spotlight.   I really loved sports and always felt like people who were watching were judging me.    By the time I was in my early twenties I went back to the high school and played basketball during recreation at the school  and a childhood nemesis who said,  “Damn you are talented.”    I tell you,  for a moment in the social context that was a homerun.    I did practice and I shot threes with touch.   I prided myself getting lost in a place I felt safe.    Both scared and excited was when I made my first bucket in a game.   I remember like it was yesterday.   A high arching shot and nothing but net.   That was an ice breaker of a kind but too much is a bad thing.

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Retreating into my own little Universe I groped for safety without a safety net and the feelings of being judged,  even by family.    My hypercritical thinking makes me a very good weather forecaster but the downside is that skill causes me confusion and alarm.    I have overcome a lot of things educationally but extreme anxiety has rendered me inert in many situations.    I sometimes hate myself,  question my own sanity and perceived stupidity.

The exact origins I am slowly rooting out.   I am reconnecting with friends from my own class of 74 and finding out that the girls thought I was cute and so on.    But this is a slow process and reconciling the pain and anguish is hard.  My cats help and we share a symbiotic connection that I believe benefits us all.

So her behavior is not unusual and her journey through the darkest abyss is a journey that we must take.   The therapy, drugs and finally a modicum of self-acceptance.    We are what our neural pathways allow for.   Mine is a hardwired hyper-awareness.

Real life In The Fast Lane.

Most times just going to the store can be an event that can only be coped with by getting in and out as fast as possible.    You feel like to see the curb you have to look up and you resent people getting too close to you and not being sure about their motives.   The hate and revulsion you bear is multifaceted.  For example,  my writing might be better except I find it hard to be too long in one place.   Sleep helps but I am getting older so do I want to waste too many days.

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I care for people who are hurting.   I have worked at the Shriners and the CCFA and done charity events to benefit others.   That stuff is good and I am pretty humble about it,  even as I donate to special causes for the alleviation of hardship.   Outwardly I am respectful but inwardly very untrusting because my puzzle was shaken so much that I do not know that all the parts are still there.   And considering the fact that I might fail I use the excuse of quitting to preserve my margins.    I just can’t take another loss.

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Some tragedies have been more profound than others,  so heartbreaking that I trust precious few.   Exploitation of the weak is a mortal transgression especially when I see no sense of guilt but the sociopathic behaviors of people who may be family or friends.   You can apologize and I will accept it,  now if I can forgive myself.

I just fed my two cats.   I have so much fun at the labor of love because they will not or cannot hurt me.   I am not perfect but I am no Jack the Ripper,  nor do I spit on any man’s grave.   When Saddam was hung I felt no joy although he had done enough that his death was the only solution.   Barbarity is always barbarity.   I just wish that people would apply astringent to all wounds,  sort of like MDs.

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There are times when the tides of my consternation wash over me and I get confused between the different points in my life.    Not knowing where the hand may come and realizing that no one really comes out ahead.    So,  at this moment I was feeling bad but my kitty insisted on soft food and I realized it was her time and all I could feel (to both of them) was mercy and love.    Figuring the rest will work itself out.

Chills, Spills and other things. Roads to now. Are you here?

I felt the sun’s virtually as unabated heat in the white sandy beaches of the Florida  panhandle and the smell that permeated that area from a nearby Paper Mill.   It’s sickly sweet smell hung in a florid sky and the aftertaste of scallops made me feel nauseous and trapped.

The Frozen Rainbow.

 

I guess things happen for a reason and behind the doors of our dreams are cryptic answers too complicated to comprehend.  Especially for a child.   The Northern Lights breathed a luminous landscape in the night skies and the cold winds were a knife with a lethal cut.

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Sad moments made the frosty chills breathtakingly painful and unforgettable.  The lonely heart of my many nightmares both real and dreamt cascaded over me,  sealed by the ice and recorded in fragments of memories.

The Rainbows here were made of AU with Santa’s helpers nearby,  ready to conference with that white-bearded Totem handing out candy and coal.

I was lost one day in a row of sleepy trailers which billowed out smoke from wood-stove fires and dangerous old space heaters which either warmed us or ignited other kinds of fire.

My Journey seemed to have no end.   With a runny nose and rubber boots I languished in this maze,   seeking out some answers from a random neighbor.    This story somewhere between a dream and my fear of being permanently lost.   The smoldering ruins of a fragmented world.   Like elevators in towering skyscrapers chased by Gremlins and the free fall of a damaged psyche trying to make amends for being hurt.   To be hurt less or no more.

Life always seemed to be changing.   Starting over again and again with the approach of a train, a car or a bus,  we were Gypsy’s not long for anywhere.  And each mode of transportation offered Rockwell scenes,  with pop tarts,  Corn Chips,  Sandwiches and Koolaid.

 

Texas was the land of tumbleweeds, tornadoes and tacos,   where watermelon festivals and PTA meetings and Open Houses happened in a school with disagreeable teachers and paddles with holes in them strategically located in plain site.

At our home in Burkburnett we had a storm cellar and one day a boy who is a few years older than us wanted to show us younger kids something.   He showed his ass (literally).    Getting upon a large electrical spool inside the storm cellar, he showed us his wares,  so-to-speak.   Or the lack thereof.  (underwear).   I had to be careful with that term.   LOL.

Now as far as his crime,  it was not his own but the influences around him.  Probably at home or somewhere else.  Nothing wrong with the human body,  especially the coming of age stuff.

When you’re an adult and violate the vulnerability of your kid or someone else’s,  you set in motion a disaster.   Roles are confused with adult behavior in a life whose coming of age is thwarted for a time.

   Anger bleeds with wounds so deep you fail to thrive.  Your life is bits and pieces and crashing bells.   You cry silent tears of rage and people getting too close makes you want to fly away to a place no one else can land.   You dream of leaving on a train like the Box Car Children or in a clean space station dressed in white where angels cannot find.  You dream of stories where you are the hero and you can control the volume and the brightness.

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Sad songs make you happy because at least they are real and the clouds and the dark skies are a kind of revenge,  control over the storms.    You cheer the rain and people wonder at your skills to know but what they do not know,  that these are your sanctuary.    Snow Days are a thrill, a hedge against consensus. A road painted in white,  radios calling it a day.

One night you wander in your dreams, falling down to the Earth and walking back to the camper where you hung out.   The next morning your bleeding hand started to heal and the following night you punch out a window.    Your dreams and your reality clash and the rebel yell resounds.    Heart beating to rhythms unheard cloaked in allegory.

The ending of a story with buildings punctuating the end.   Times will never be the same.   Love?  Happiness?  Your own shame,  mix in a vortex of purple and green hues.   The Cowboy left bleeding in the sand,  his hand no longer the fastest,  the mask going gray along with the retreating clouds.  The wary veteran reporter no longer finds a smiley face but a dearth of wisdom and the prickly thorns of conscience.

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My two cats are my sentinels and they know the sounds to make with purrs laced with loyalty and a home where a home might not be.   A car,  an alley or a truck stop day room,  your car at least has your friend.

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