Monday, November 30, 2015

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dissociative Days…

“What in the holy hell is wrong with you?” George asked me last night worried.

George just got finished calling me a “space cadet”. We had just been to an all-you-can-eat catfish establishment. My treat as George sat in the car as I drove us home. We both ate our weight in fried catfish, hush puppies, fries, and slaw.  George had been wanting to go since he got out of jail – one of his favorite restaurants.

“Dissociative behavior,” I replied as George lit up a cigar and buckled his seat belt.

“Dissociative what???” George asked alarmed as he turned to glare at me.

“I feel like I am having an out of body experience,” I told George as I pulled into Mrs. Florene’s driveway. “It is like I am all not completely here in myself.”

George frowned and told me to go home and go to sleep.

“Take three or four of your Klonopin!” he told me as he got out of the car. “And get some rest. Your stressed out!”

I didn’t go home. My uncle recently gave me a Kim Richey compact disc Bitter Sweet and I have been obsessed with it – listening to it over and over. One of the best CDs I have heard in decades.  Every song on the CD has merit.  I drove way out Spring Road to just sit and look at the stars last night where it intersects with the dirt Smedley road. Far out from the glare of the city street lights. It was a surreal experience and it reminded me of all the lonesome nights I spent in college doing the same as I sat drinking beer and smoking cigarettes lost on the back roads of the outskirts of Montevallo, Alabama.

I finally did come home around midnight anxious to check our updated forecast. The weather has also been an all encompassing obsession with me lately with big changes in store for us finally.  I was also anxiously awaiting Coast to Coast AM with Art Bell tonight. Art is rarely on these days and it is treat for dyed in the wool Coast to Coast fans. He was having a psychic witch name Dr. Evelyn Paglini on to interview. I wasn’t disappointed.  It was like the Coast to Coast of old – the Coast to Coast I have so missed these days as it becomes more and more mainstream and milquetoast.

I don’t have any plans for today my day and night off. I will most likely spend it sleeping as usual to escape this dissociative feeling I am experiencing for the past two days. Sleep has become the great escape and I worry I am growing depressed. I have felt completely odd the whole week with each passing day growing easier and better. Last weekend was hard.  It was like those mental illness trials of old. George calling me a space cadet was an ample description of how I’ve been feeling lately – totally spaced out. 

Well, I am off to turn my air down to seventy, pull on a plethora of quilts atop me, and go to bed before dawn arrives.

Friday, September 24, 2010

High Strangeness…

I didn’t feel well yesterday. I slept well. I just woke up feeling mentally discombobulated – a high strangeness that is hard to put words to paper. Mom realized something was wrong when I didn’t come pick up my drinks for yesterday. She brought them by late in the afternoon along with Maggie’s and Caramel’s flea treatment and heartworm medications.

“Are you okay?” mom asked as I answered the door. “You have a strange look on your face.”

“I feel confused,” I told her as she came inside to sit down for a moment.

I haven’t quit taking my Risperdal. I still take 2mg in the mornings before bed. I am also still taking the Paxil. The only difference lately in my habits is that I have been drinking caffeinated drinks again for the first time in many weeks. I will just chalk it up to the mental strangeness I have always experienced from time to time over the years. It is kind of disconcerting in a way that I don’t want to be mentally ill and I don’t want to experience these kinds of symptoms. My first inclination is to stop taking the Risperdal feeling that is the culprit.

It is nothing of the high strangeness mentally I have experienced in the past, though. I could go for weeks and just barely function in some of the harder times of my life. I am still able to go about my day as usual. I have just been acting strangely lately.  Like sitting for hours on the couch just looking out the window. No TV. No music. The hours will just fly by.  For years, on all those medications I couldn’t sit still. Maybe I am still adjusting chemically to all the drastic changes my psychiatrist and I have made lately. I am set to see her next Wednesday and will discuss this sudden arise of strangeness with her. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Going Through the Motions…

I haven’t had much to say lately. Just going through the motions of life. Work. Occasional play in that I am obsessed with music these days with a passion. I’ve been sleeping much better without aid than I have in months. Too much sleep would be what my psychiatrist would tell me.  In my all or nothing fashion I tend to go from one extreme to the other.  

George was sitting in my den last night asking me if we could find a way on the Internet to take off his ankle monitoring device so he could have a drink. I smiled as George went on and on about how “uncomfortable” it is and that it is “embarrassing” to wear. George is still up to his usual antics. I told him he only has about five more months and then it will be off. Give his mother five months of peace. George went on to discuss how great the sex with Pookie has been lately. It made me throw up in my  mouth a little bit as he said it.  I’ve said this many times before, but Pookie is the only crack addict I have ever met that is a hundred pounds overweight. George calls most crack addict women “chickenheads” as they are so skinny and their adam’s apples are so pronounced as their heads bob as they walk.  Of all the women available in the world, George has to pick the only overweight crack addict in the state of Alabama to do the horizontal tango with on a regular basis.  They are like the Bonnie and Clyde of the netherworld.  

Stacey and I are pretty much over with. To be explicitly honest, I was tired of the constant badgering. She grew too codependent on me.  Also, the whole deal with her children made me uncomfortable. I know it will be hard to find a woman my age without children, but I am going to wait and try.  Stacey was also ten years my junior and she still has a lot of growing up to do.  Life still has a few more lessons for her to be even tempered and even keeled.  I grew tired of the constant drama and would rather be alone.  I have grown rather comfortable over these past few years since Rosa and I broke up – comfortable in my bachelorhood. 

Work is still going well. I have settled in this comfortable routine every night.  I couldn’t have found myself in a better shift as far as easing myself back into working with the public and working in retail. It is so quiet at night and I spend much of my time just doing busy work. Stocking shelves mainly. I only have just a handful of customers after midnight and these people tend to be people who either work third shift or sleep in the day.

My father and I rarely talk which is pretty normal. Mom and I talk everyday. Lately, mom has started adding two extra drinks such as diet Sunkist to the six diet Cokes I pick up every morning. She adds these along with a treat such as a snack for the dogs or a snack for me.  I go by after work to pick them up and bring them home to drink them before going to bed. The caffeine doesn’t faze me as far as being able to sleep goes. It never has.

I’ve struggled with that anxiety more lately than I have in months. I don’t know what has changed, but have had the occasional anxiety attack this week. Thankfully, none at work, but they always happen late in the evenings after I have slept all day. I just have to get really quiet and lay on the bed for about an hour until they pass.  Strangely, sometimes they can be almost intoxicating – this strange sensation my body is feeling. I have always enjoyed feeling out of the ordinary or abnormal.  Thus my dabbles with mind altering substances over the years.  It is when they get out of hand do I grow scared.  I have kind of learned to temper them in a way that they are not so severe.  They don’t halt life like they did many months ago when I could barely function.

Well, it is about time for my supervisor to show up for work. I am going to shut down this laptop and get ready to head home. I am looking forward to grabbing some breakfast at a fast food joint and a newspaper, and heading home to get my diet Cokes.  Then sleep will follow.  I will try to get back on a regular writing basis again.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Starts With the Heart…

“How many loaves of bread are you getting today?” mom asked me when it started.

I had been feeling shaky all morning. I came home from work and took a 2 and 1/2 hour nap and woke up feeling panicked. I shouldn’t have gone. I clutched my chest as mom looked up at my lack of response.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I am starting to have an anxiety attack,” I told her, asking for the keys to her car.

The grocery store was very busy was part of it. I felt claustrophobic and closed in within the narrow, crowded aisles. Mom was also asking me a hundred questions today as is her custom and it wasn’t helping matters. I just felt totally overwhelmed.

“Go sit in the car and I will buy your groceries,” mom told me. “I pretty much know what you like.”

I raced out to the car at a furious pace, cranking it and turned on the A/C to high. I leaned back in the seat and began to breathe in and out deeply through my nose as my heart thumped in my chest.

“You’re going to be okay,” I told myself reassuringly. “Nobody ever died from a panic attack. This too shall pass.”

It didn’t take mom long to buy my groceries much to my relief. It is always interesting what whims motivate her in what she will buy me. It is kind of like a potluck supper in that you get some interesting surprises when you arrive home to unload. I think mom buys me what looks appetizing to her at the time.

I was so glad to arrive home to my Mag dawg and Caramel. I quickly unloaded my groceries. Put them away. Then I took a Klonopin and settled into my Laz-E-Boy for the pill to take effect. You can almost mark your watch as it will take exactly thirty minutes and then suddenly my heart will quit racing as the medication enters my bloodstream. It is such a feeling of calm and relief as if you just passed the finish line running a marathon. These anxiety attacks really take a lot out of you mentally and physically as your body struggles to cope with this odd and strange malfunction.     

Cycles…

Mom stayed over at my house all day Saturday. Dad went to the Auburn ballgame after watching football all morning. Mom cycles. She is on one of her low ebbs at the moment and is sleeping a lot. How she can just lie in the bed for hours all day after sleeping all night is beyond me. I kind of cycled myself and slept a lot as well – not leaving me with much to write about. It was the sleep of ages for me – having got caught up on some much needed and missed sleep after a few weeks of getting adjusted to working nights.

Work is very slow tonight. I’ve had one customer in hours and he was just a gawker, gawking at all our television display models. I hate to answer a hundred questions and not make a sale. It seems like such a waste of time, but maybe he will be back to buy a TV tomorrow sometime.  

The store is dead from midnight to about 6am. We close off the sundry side doors leaving only the grocery side doors open and I think this confuses people with them thinking we are closed. We only have one point of sale open tonight and it is a very big Wal-Mart so that shows you how slow we are tonight.

George told me yesterday that his job was the most boring, monotonous job he had ever had.

“Would you rather be sitting in jail?” I asked him, miffed.

“No,” George replied. “That puts things into perspective.” 

The Gossip Line…

“George is having sex with that Pookie again,” Mrs. Florene told me last night before work.

The way she said it made me choke back a laugh. She sounded as if George was cavorting with Satan and it is not far from the truth.

“She picked him up yesterday and they were gone for hours.”

I sighed and told Mrs. Florene that George was a grown man and must make these kinds of choices for himself. 

Mrs. Florene was also really upset that George chose to go to his usual Saturday night poker game where there would lots of drinking going on. George is playing with fire, but I can’t say much as I have often done so in my life as well. You live and you learn as they say.

Arise From the Dead and Go Forth My Minions…

“I am craving a hotdog and some tots,” I told mom late Saturday night, rousing her from the bed in my computer room. “Let’s go to Sonic.”

Mom immediately perked up at the prospect. Mom wanted a chocolate shake really badly foregoing her diet this weekend night.

“I would eat like this all the time,” mom told me as we sat in her car and ate. “I’d weigh 500 pounds, though.”

I smiled. Our meal was delicious and mom enjoyed getting out after being inside all day with me sleeping. She said she didn’t sleep, but just lay there all day. I have my suspicions we might have got a few naps in. :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Neither a Borrower Nor Lender Be They Say…

“Can I borrow $20 bucks?” George asked me as he arrived at work this morning.

“What for?” I asked warily, sounding like my father.

“It’s for sodas and lunch,” George replied. “Momma is being chitzy with her money fearing I will drink on it. I can’t wait for payday.”

I pulled out my wallet and gave George $20 bucks. He thanked me profusely and headed back out to get busy bringing in the carts.

I think Mrs. Florene and I are both warily anticipating payday – fearing George will go back to his old ways. A pretty new liquor store opened up just a mile from Mrs. Florene’s house and it both worries us. George could easily walk down and get a drink. It would be a matter of days before his parole officer downloaded the data off his monitoring device and it would be a go back to jail free card for him – violating parole.

Video Game Mania…

I had a man walk in my department around midnight. He spent a long time surveying the video game cabinet.

“I hear the Wii is for kids,” he told me passingly.

I disagreed, telling him all about the Wii fit and other “party” games that were popular for adults.

“I like the Zelda games personally,” I told him. “And I am 38 years old.”

Halo Reach has been our biggest seller this week – causing a frenzy among Xbox 360 gamers. Just another first person shooter in a video game market glutted with them is my thoughts on the matter. What happened to flight simulators and strategy games? Games that made you think and learn? Not just “twitch” games as I call them.

The man purchased a Playstation 3 and about four games. I told him that soon Sony would be rolling out controllers and capabilities similar to Nintendo’s Wii. He was excited to get home to play. He must have been in his forties which surprised me. I am finding myself having to put in a concerted effort to keep up with video game technology and happenings with me not playing regularly, and they are a big part of our department. 

Sleep, Beautiful Sleep…

I unplugged my landline, turned off my cellphone and I curled up in the bed with Maggie and Caramel after lunch yesterday. It had been about an hour since I had taken the Percogesic dad gave me yesterday morning. I was soundly asleep for hours. I woke up only once when Maggie decided that the room had grown cold and she wanted up under the covers and against my warm back.  I smiled and told her, “Good girl!” and was soon back asleep. The Percogesic made me feel groggy for the rest of the day, though. I could have slept much longer if I wasn’t for my bladder and stomach protesting around 8pm.

I turned back on my cellphone and immediately within moments had a call. I am glad I had turned it off. It was mom.

“Did you get some sleep?” mom asked anxiously. “Helen told me not to bring your plate and it worried me.”

“I finally got a good seven hours of sleep,” I told her.

“I am going to drive over now and bring your supper and your cokes,” mom told me getting off the phone.

Helen’s Friday meal was delicious as I sat in the kitchen and ate as mom watched on and talked.   The meatloaf was especially flavorful – Helen having cooked it to perfection. It was a very nice treat after such a good day of rest. I was starving when I awoke.

“I dread tomorrow so much,” mom said with a very audible sigh.

“Why?” I asked, always amused at my mother’s antics and whims.

“Your father is off of work and will watch football ALL day!”

I laughed deeply, understanding how mom felt.

“It’s not funny!” mom exclaimed. “He will just obsess over it and the TV will be so loud it will drive me crazy. I am probably coming over here with you and the dogs to sleep.”

I smiled and told her we would be glad to have her. It would thrill Maggie’s little soul to lie in the bed all day with mom. Maggie loves mom’s visits more than any other person that visits the house.  Caramel is much more aloof about such matters.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleep Overcome Me!

I just apprehensively drove to my father’s pharmacy feeling it was best to do what I was about to do face to face instead of on the phone. I needed relief and I needed it today. Friday’s are dad’s slow day with a co-pharmacist on duty. Mom says he sits in his office on the Internet and watching TV. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to ask for help in getting some sleep. The Ambien is just not working any longer and my Klonopin are like taking a placebo.

“Dad?” I asked as we walked out into the pharmacy away from the busy counter. “Do you have any thing over the counter I can take for sleep?”

“We both know you can’t take Benadryl,” dad replied as we surveyed all our options where the OTC medications are kept. “You’ve have addiction issues with it in the past. Tylenol PM and Advil PM all have Benadryl in them as the active sleep ingredient. 25mg of it.”

For years, dad gave me six Benadryl per night during our medication ritual. I would take all six and go to bed. It certainly did knock me out, but I don’t think taking six Benadryl at a time is such a good idea and not my most smartest of moments over the years.

“Let’s give you two Percogesic and take some Tylenol and aspirin,” dad finally said. “Now, the Percogesic is going to knock you out. Don’t take them and drive.”

I thanked dad profusely and gave him a hug. I would just about do anything for a full day’s sleep including going against my best inclinations and asking dad for help. Let’s hope the Percogesic do the trick.

Macaroni and Cheese Time…

I left the pharmacy and stopped by mom and dad’s to get my six diet Cokes for the day to put in the fridge for tonight at work. Helen was sitting out on the porch and drinking her a soda. It is Helen Fridays and i was anxious to find out just what Helen was cooking today.

“Your father surprised me,” Helen told me. “He wanted meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, fried okra, field peas and biscuits.”

Oh, my stomach started to grumble. I couldn’t wait for today’s meal to be ready this afternoon. Helen’s meat loaf and macaroni and cheese are divine!

“Tell mom not to wake me up!” I told Helen profusely. “Tell her I will pick up my plate when I wake up this afternoon.”

“I sure will, baby,” Helen replied. “Well, Mr. John will be home at three to eat so I better get cooking.”

Helen gave me a hug and told me to go home and get some good sleep. She said she would be thinking about me today. I told her I loved her and left to take my medications and go to bed. It is time to snuggle with my pups and go to sleep – the Percogesic I took thirty minutes ago already taking affect. I am about so sleepy I can barely stay awake.

I Guess It’s Over…

Stacey came storming into the house last night saying we needed to talk. I knew exactly what that meant when a woman says that.

“This is just not going to work,” she told me with a furious look on her face. “I never get to see you and when I do, you are sleepy and tired.”

“What can I do about it?” I asked, flummoxed. “I have to go to work! I have to support myself!”

“I think we need some time to just think about where YOU want to take things!”

“Fine,” I said complacently and she left after staying only a few moments.

I had already cooked supper and set the table. I sat and ate alone last night. I guess it’s over. I haven’t heard from her since. I am thinking I jumped into a relationship too soon into my recovery anyway. I felt an odd sense of relief last night at the possibility of no longer being badgered about our relationship for a change. I am just going to lie low and put the ball in Stacey’s court. Let her do what she will. Mentally and anxiety-wise, I can’t take any fights or arguments. I have enough on my plate at the moment for the time being with work.

Cellphones Galore…

I have to work again tonight and the overtime will be nice. I didn’t complain or balk when my supervisor asked me to work six days in a row once again. Nights are boring without work – with me just sitting at home alone all night with nothing to do, but use the Internet and watch TV.  Most of my Twitter friends are asleep and Facebook is a wasteland after midnight.

Cellphones kept me busy last night. Everyone was wanting our new low cost plans and phones. I am urged to sell the most cellphone for the most money, but I am like these people and realize I spent too much money on my Crackberry and an expensive data plan. I should’ve bought something more simple and economical. These new Wal-Mart branded phones we are selling have few bells and whistles, though, so are not for the tech savvy consumer. They are just for people who only casually and intermittently use their phones – not for the power user.  They are mainly for very frugal people and low income families. I think it is a good thing our company is doing and so good for competition in a cellphone market glutted with expensive phones and outrageous service plans.

A Political Animal…

“I am hoping we can get another tax cut,” Jim told me last night eating his turkey and Swiss on rye. “Be sure to vote coming up!”

“Oh, I am the kind of person you don’t want to vote,” I replied with a warm smile and laugh. “I believe in taxes and think we must pay our part to help the common good. I just wish the money was spent wisely and not on the military and wars. I think the tax system needs to be reformed, though. Our tax code is over 70,000 pages long! I would like to see a flat tax or a national sales tax.”

“What would you spend the money on if you were President?” Jim asked.

“Education and economic stimulus for family owned businesses,” I replied. “I would bolster the middle class and do away with welfare for corporations.”

“But you work for one of the biggest, most profitable corporations in our country,” Jim said contrarily.

“I know,” I replied. “It is a bit of irony with my unorthodox political and socioeconomically interesting leanings, but it was an economic necessary evil for me.”

Update on George…

George’s keen sense of humor has seemed to have returned after his long tenure in prison. This morning he was talking about all the women he was going to bed in the upcoming months before Christmas. I laughed as I walked alongside of him as he pushed in a long string of carts. I realize my best friend can be kind of simple minded at times – the most basic human needs and aspirations motivating him. 

“You need to experience a black woman at least once in your life,” George told me.

I smiled as I told him I think I was with a black woman once sexually, but was too drunk to remember it.

“That doesn’t count,” George said with a serious look on his face. “You would have remembered it as a good black woman would knock your socks off!”

I burst out laughing and told George I was always open to possibilities.