June 10th, 2017 – Musical Truths

If you’re standing with your suitcase
But you can’t step on the train
Everything’s the way that you left it
I still haven’t slept yet

And if you’re covering your face now
But you just can’t hide the pain
Still setting two plates on the counter but eating without you

If the truth is you’re a liar
When just say that you’re okay
I’m sleeping on your side of the bed
Goin’ out of my head now

And if you’re out there trying to move on
But something pulls you back again
I’m sitting here trying to persuade you like you’re in the same room

And I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
And I wish you could still give me a hard time
And I wish I could still wish it was over
But even if wishing is a waste of time
Even if I never cross your mind

I’ll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There’ll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back, if you ever come back now
Oh if you ever come back, if you ever come back

Now they say I’m wasting my time
‘Cause you’re never comin’ home
But they used to say the world was flat
But how wrong was that now?

And by leavin’ my door open
I’m riskin’ everything I own
There’s nothing I can lose in a break-in that you haven’t taken

And I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
And I wish you can still give me a hard time
And I wish I could still wish it was over
But even if wishing is a waste of time
Even if I never cross your mind

I’ll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There’ll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back, if you ever come back now
Oh, if you ever come back, if you ever come back

If it’s the fighting you remember or the little things you miss
I know you’re out there somewhere, so just remember this
If it’s the fighting you remember or the little things you miss
Oh just remember this, oh just remember this

I’ll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There’ll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There’ll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back, if you ever come back now
Oh, if you ever come back, if you ever come back

And it will be just like you were never gone
And it will be just like you were never gone
And it will be just like you were never gone
If you ever come back, if you ever come back now

April 22nd, 2017 – Musical Truths

When, when we came home
Worn to the bones
I told myself, “This could get rough.”

And when, when I was off,
Which happened a lot
You came to me and said, “That’s enough.”

Oh, I know that this love is pain
But we can’t cut it from out these veins,
No

So I’ll get the lights and you lock the doors
We ain’t leaving this room ’til we both feel more
Don’t walk away, don’t roll your eyes
They say love is pain. Well, darling, let’s hurt tonight

When, when you came home
Worn to the bones
I told myself, “This could be rough.”

Oh, I know you feel insane
Tell me something that I can explain,
Oh

I’ll get the lights and you lock the doors
Tell me all of the things that you couldn’t before
Don’t walk away, don’t roll your eyes
They say love is pain. Well, darling, let’s hurt tonight
If this love is pain then, darling, let’s hurt, oh, tonight

So you get the lights and I’ll lock the doors
Let’s say all of the things that we couldn’t before
Won’t walk away, won’t roll my eyes
They say love is pain. Well, darling, let’s hurt tonight
If this love is pain, then, honey, let’s love tonight

Present Day, April 19th, 2017

8 mm. I live in America and have minimal familiarity with the metric system so it seemed like such a small number to me. Eight. Millimeters.

That is what it took to bring me down three weeks ago (See – Present Day, April 2nd, 2017). To practically derail my life for an entire three-week period. An 8 mm kidney stone. The stone. The wait. The stint. The removal. The recovery.

I will not bore you with all the details (you are welcome), or with any of the images (you are SOOO welcome!). Let’s just keep this simple, straight forward and honest. There are awful combinations in life. Take for instance large amounts of cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Terrible combination.

Well, for those who do not know, Bipolar (or any number of mental illnesses) combined with chronic or pseudo-chronic pain? Bad combination. Throw in morphine and narcotic pain medications? Really bad combination. As a final ingredient to the recipe let’s toss in a splash of a highly physical job that starts at three in the morning? Yeah, I was pretty much fucked.

Things were actually supposed to be quite smooth following the insertion of a stint between my kidney and my bladder. Should be minimal discomfort they said. Shouldn’t hardly be noticeable they said.

I really like my entire medical team including my doctor. There was, however, one problem with just about all of them. They were young. Very young. As in, too young to have ever had a kidney stone. In other words, it was all book knowledge. No experience. Or put another way, they didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

The day after. And the day after that. And the day after that. The pain did not go away. The discomfort that was indescribable to my wife. The inexplicable lack of energy. From the Tuesday the stent was placed inside my body until six days later (two days ago), when I grabbed that string and pulled that son of a bitch out of my body, it had become the physically most discouraging period of my life.

The day of the stone was worse than the day of my heart attack. The week after the surgery was worse than the week after my heart attack. Not. Even. Close!

And so I have been sidelined. With no creative energy to write (or think for that matter) as I suffered through day in, day out of blood clots, cramps, and fatigue. As I took over the counter pain killers to stay awake enough to run my route before popping a narcotic to sleep enough to do it again the next day.

But I have survived. Once again my pee is flowing freely and bright (sorry…couldn’t avoid ALL the details), my energy is back, and life is rainbows and unicorns. At least for today. And for today…I’ll take it.

Present Day, March 29th, 2017

Last week I did not do well. Had a few really rough days. Less than 5 out of 10s on the “How the hell are you doing?” scale.

As is often the case, it was a little thing that set it off. But somewhat unusually, it wasn’t the little thing that plunged me down or kept me there. In fact, I would ascribe…oh, let’s say 5% to the event and 95% to my feelings that followed the event.

Let me see if I can find a way to describe this. Much like every other human being in the world, I experienced a mildly hurtful moment. I simply wasn’t quite thought of as much as I would have like to have been. A request came, I didn’t think it was filtered through my needs, and that frustrated me. It really was no big deal. Not a major slip up by a loved one. It just happened.

But what followed was the reality of how much my neediness requires such requests to be filtered, or even rejected. The request would have potentially impacted my sleep schedule. It might have thrown off my “night before work” rhythm. It could impact my routines that I tend to hold quite dear.

Now, I get that not everyone reading this is going to get this. However, there are those of you out there who are totally going to understand the power of those three words: schedule, rhythm, and routine. You not only understand them, you see them as lifelines. You see them as foundational to keeping your shit together. Like me, you know that the break in any one of or more of those three can be the snowflake that starts the avalanche or the pebble that initiates the rock slide. Both of which cause great messes, significant damage, and possibly loss of life.

Yes, that sounds very dramatic. And yes, if you knew the request I was presented with, you would think it is way overly dramatic. But here is the thing…we never know. We never know when that little thing that we pass off as a little thing because we don’t think it will be a big thing ends up being. (Yeah, you might have to read that one again.) I could have rolled with the request, and everything may have gone fine. Or I could have rolled with the request, and a few days later been in real trouble.

Which gets me back to the 95%. The part that plunged me into a fairly dark hole for a couple of days. It was the reality once again that I am Bipolar. The reality once again that I have a mental illness. The reality, right in the middle of life chugging along fairly reasonably, that such small things can become big things and big things can become life and death things.

It was a reality that cranked up ideation and thoughts. Yeah…that kind of ideation and thoughts. A reality that caused an overwhelming pain at the reality of never getting better. A reality that we aren’t just waiting for my insurance company to approve the treatment that is going to “fix” me.

No, the reality is that more times than not these simple requests will have to be met with “No. I can’t.” answers. And the fact that someone actually asking will probably hurt less and less, while the reality that I had to say “no” will probably just keep hurting more and more.

March 18th, 2017 – Musical Truths

I wanted you to know I love the way you laugh
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain away
I keep your photograph, I know it serves me well
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

The worst is over now and we can breathe again
I wanna hold you high, you steal my pain away
There’s so much left to learn, and no one left to fight
I wanna hold you high and steal your pain

‘Cause I’m broken when I’m open
And I don’t feel like I am strong enough
‘Cause I’m broken when I’m lonesome
And I don’t feel right when you’re gone away

Monday, February 13th, 2017

The scene unfolded in a time decades before. Possibly the 50s or 60s. In a remote Texas or Oklahoma like town. Possibly Kansas where there seemed to be more dust than asphalt and more sheriffs than police. It was early enough for people to still be out on the streets and late enough for them to be scattered as darkness fell. It was a time when he knew the law was as likely to invoke immediate justice as they were to allow a court of law to do the same.

He hopped on the first bus. He was wearing a long, dark brown trench coat under which he concealed one hand holding a long, kitchen style chopping knife. The blade still clean, shining and sharp for use. He made eye contact with no one. Said no words. Gave no indication of his looming plan.

A few stops went by, and then he sprung his plan into action. He stepped off the bus and walked roughly a block down the street. Then he began to cut between streets and blocks heading towards the path of another bus route. Roughly halfway there he approached a random individual from behind. He grabbed them by the shoulder, spun them around, and with a quick, violent motion thrust the blade into their gut. Almost before they could audibly express their pain or register shock on their face he withdrew the blade allowing the victim to fall to the street, and began his run.

He knew the clock had started and it was now only a matter of time. As he crossed city blocks in an up-tempo jog he spotted the next city bus coming. Desiring to avoid any human contact and prolong the carnage as long as possible he waited for the bus to come to a stop and approached it from behind. When it began to depart, he jumped on the bumper grabbing hold of whatever grip he could find with his free hand and rode the bus for a few city blocks.

He then jumped from the bus, began crisscrossing his way across town and enacted the plan once again.

Another thrust of the knife. Another innocent victim fell.

He found no joy in this. No pleasure or rush. Merely, he felt this was how it must end.

This went on for three, four, maybe a half-dozen victims until he noticed between bus hops that he had made a mistake and somehow managed to jump on an earlier bus route looping himself back towards where he started, and into a net of law enforcement. Now it was time to find out how this would end.

He could see an officer in front of him, and another approaching from behind. He fell to his knees, dropped his knife, and intertwined his fingers behind his head. A clear sign of surrender. Hands ready to be cuffed. Justice ready to be carried out.

That is when he noticed it. The approaching officer was holding a knife. A very large knife. As the officer drew closer, he realized it was not a knife at all, rather a machete. And it was at that moment he became aware of what type of justice he would be facing. He turned slightly to catch a glimpse of the officer behind him and could see the shine of a restaurant style steak knife in his hand. That would be the officer who would reach him first, and he would not go down without a fight.

As contact was made they began to grapple with the knife causing both parties to get nicked and cut. By this time the machete bearing officer had arrived along with another, and they were simultaneously taking hacks at this heinous criminal’s limbs. He felt the first significant strike cut into the calf muscle of his leg.

I felt the first significant strike cut into the calf muscle of my leg. And then another. I began to toss and turn. Wrestling with the officers, feeling the pain of the cuts. I began to moan and prepared to cry out when my eyes popped open, and I sat up in my bed. Heart racing. Terrified. But once again aware of my surroundings and reality.

In some ways, this was nothing new. I have had nightmares since I was a small child that resulted in my waking up with screams of terror. So many that my parents eventually resorted to simply shouting from their room, “You’re okay. Go back to sleep.” But I wasn’t okay. I’m not okay.

The dreams always focused on my death. Acts that should result in my death but never did. Endless gun shots. Falls. Car wrecks. Stabbings. More than a human would ever withstand in any one instance. But in my dreams…in my nightmares…I would never die. Just kept experiencing the pain.

This was different. I was the man in the dream. At the start, I was the man hurting others.

I got on a train in August of last year. I was taken into protective custody. Custody to protect me from me. Custody to protect others from expressions I had shared indicating that I was thinking about carrying out acts against others. Others who have hurt me. Others who have told me I’m okay.

But I wasn’t okay. I’m not okay.

 

February 4th, 2017 – Musical Truths

…And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Holding you I held everything
For a moment wasn’t I a king
But if I’d only known how the king would fall
Hey who’s to say you know I might have changed it all

And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d have had to miss the dance

Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance