Thursday, July 12, 2007

Six Lanes and a Blind Man

I have tried so hard to drink diet soda, but I hate them. I hate that chemical, foreign aftertaste. A moment ago, filled with wanton abandon, I crawled into my car and headed south to my father's pharmacy on a quest for real sugar, carbonation, and lots of caffeine. Screw this diet, I thought. I have lost thirty freakin' pounds! Luckily, my father was off with what I presume to be his mistress or mister as my ex-wife would always accuse so I didn't get berated when I walked out of the store with five six packs of regular Classic Coca-Cola.

I arrived home and stuffed the cans in my refrigerator. Then began that all too familiar ritual of filling a large glass full of ice cubes, the crack and fizz of opening a Coca-Cola, and the pop and crackle of the cubes as that warm cola is poured over ice. I sat in my lazy boy lounger with remote in one hand and glass of cold coke in the other. That first drink was heavenly and as thirst quenching as if I were parched after a leisurely trod through the Sahara.

My neighbor, Ed, showed up earlier in the day. He wanted to see the house so I showed him around. I had just cooked a large pan of lasagna and it was sitting on the stove top. I could almost see Ed lick his lips as he passed by the stove for me to show him the laundry room. The house smelled like some Italian villa in Sicily. Joyce soon knocked on the door and I had a house full of neighbors. I am not used to neighbors being so neighborly. My neighbors at my late grandmother's house didn't speak or visit for the two years I lived there after my bout with homelessness. It feels good, but it is scary at the same time for a person with social anxiety. I am just exhausted after our friendly visits and exchanges. My therapist keeps telling me that these are exactly the types of situations I need to place myself within for practice in overcoming my anxieties. It is kind of like telling a blind man to walk across six lanes of traffic in downtown Manhattan. It is that damn scary!


Cheryl said...

So far, today's been a 3-parter for you. Post wise, that is. You finished your book! That's fantastic. I hope I get to read it. You've put in an excerpt before; could you do that again? How many times have you read it?

I'm so happy that Rosa is spending this time with her granddaughter. That's thanks to you, you know. And your childhood? Your Mom did the best she could. You turned out great despite her mental illness.

I can see you out on your porch with your real soda. And a little cigar. I wish I could be sitting out there with you. Enjoy the night.


IT's nice to have people over, but it's also nice for them to leave and hopefully they didn't over stay their welcome!

your dad and a mistress? wow, I must have missed that part in your previous postings..or is this the first mention of it?

Hope you're doing well!

Its Tishy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Its Tishy said...

OMG!! I just today started to drink Diet soda....i have tried them all and HATED THEM...but i just tried Coke Zero and i have to say i can ACTUALLY drink it...and enjoy it....and I am a Pepsi kinda girl!

I am so glad Rosa's relationship with her daughter and grand daughter is going so well, it must be incredible for her!

You have a great night and pet Maggie for me =)


PipeTobacco said...


If you had been drinking Diet Coke, then I can understand your distaste for that vile swill. I would like to suggest you try Coca-Cola Zero, or if you are lucky enough to have it in your neck of the woods (it is much less common in the South)... drink Diet Pepsi.

Both Diet Pepsi and Coca-Cola Zero have very pleasant tastes with virtually no aftertaste. Diet Coke, on the other hand, tastes akin to tepid insect urination.

We in the north have easy access to Diet Pepsi... hopefully you do as well.


C. R. Morris said...

I'm not one that likes much company. Most of the people I have over are people I am very comfortable with. Still, if that phone rings, I make my dh answer it. I guess I'm lucky in that I can drink Diet Coke and not have a problem with the taste. My sister gags on it. I also want to say congrats on the 30 pounds lost. I have 1.5 more pounds to go until I can get the pink bangs (yeah, I know) out of my hair and get back to a normal hair color. Hey, it was a summer thing. Congrats again on the weight loss!!!

Eric said...

If you insist on filling your home with the mouth-watering fragrance of lasagna, I am sorry but you will have visitor. BY the way, what is your

I can understand how your house filling up with guests would be difficult, but I have to say, that if you must have a houseful occasionally, that these folks seem to be good choices.

Oh by the way, I clicked on one of your ads and found a great writing site. Thanks

Dreaming Mage said...

I discovered you a few days ago by clicking on the "next post" button. Imagine my surprise at discovering another mentally ill person so quickly and easily!

You write interesting posts, and you are a reasonably good writer. Keep it up.

If this leads you back to me, then please read back. I am occasionally inane, and I wouldn't love to be judged by one entry.


justLacey said...

It took me forever to get used to diet soda and finally when I had gestational diabetes I overcame my distaste for it. Still for me there is nothing like a Mc Donalds Coke when I don't feel good. It seems to have just the right mixture of syrup and carbonation. I don't drink them often, just once in a while. Mostly I prefer unsweetened tea.
I'm glad you are making the huge effort ot be able to interact with your neighbors. You are such a people person and to have social anxiety seems like such a rip-off. You can over come it andeventually not give it a second thought. You just have to do as you have been and one day you will wonder what all the anxiety was about. Do you ever watch Paula Deen on the food network? She had the same thing for years.

Andrew said...


That is fascinating about Paula. I love her and her show. I have the same southern twang as her in my voice. I will never watch her show again the same now that I now that. She is such a sweetheart.


jAMiE said...

I dont like diet sodas either (though we call it pop here in this part of Canada where i'm from)...i've tried but just can't get a taste for it...but i'm a Pepsi girl, through and's the choice of the new generation, dontcha know!

Josie Two Shoes said...

It sure is scary, Andrew! As lonely as I sometimes get, I prefer it to being overloaded with company. I'm not good at the hostess thing, it stresses me out. But it is wonderful that you now have caring neighbors. Life won't be so lonely for you. With your cooking talents they might show up regularly, so you may need to set some boundaries, or develop the ability to say "I'm a little busy right now, can we visit later?" That way you can still have some downtime for yourself too. I think it says many good things about you that your new neighbors are welcoming you - they obviously like you a lot! I bet that surprises you, but it shouldn't. You are a far better friend than most I know. :-)

sanityrules said...

Having just stumbled upon your blog, you should do well with writing. Here's hoping your book gets published and is a big hit.

Not having the time today to read through your posts, I will be back.