Coming Out Crazy April 14, 2016Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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I have never shied away in this space from discussing my personal situation. It makes for a strange mix, the literary stuff–Odd Words the occasional poem, the quotes–and a personal journal I chose to share publicly, mixed with quotes and brief essays of a highly personal nature.
Today I took the 2013-2014 piece “Confessions of a Pill Eater” and published here as a page. posted it to Medium. Yes, writer ego played a part but I did it for the same reason I went through the process of reporting what I consider an accidental overdose when I went through a change of generic medications for spectrum disorder. I have a story to tell about mental health and Big Pharma and what that means to a creative person, and I am not afraid to tell it.
Fear is death to an essayist. No topic should be taboo, particularly if one tends toward the personal essay. Now I need to follow-up the 2013-2014 installment with the 2016 installment: the new diagnosis, the new pills, the accidental overdose, the constant struggle for a balance between suffering and the creative impulse. Big Pharma and Conventional DSM Psychiatry seek to kill the ups and downs, the necessary mania of the creative impulse as mentally unhealthy.
That is not an acceptable choice to make. It is no more a reasonable choice than suicidal ideation represents a reasonable choice. It is really no choice at all. I don’t believe in the myth of the suffering artist but I suffer and I create, and if I must suffer in some way to create then I need my doctor to understand that, to work with me to ameliorate the symptoms to the extent possible without killing my creative voice.
Fragments April 2, 2016Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is the fragment of a song
the symptomatic single verse
which best represents
mania stuck in its groove,
free from the ADD-inspired
of random light & bells
the silver balls of thought
ricocheting from bumper
to target & I bet you thought
it was all about needing
a chess timer for conversation.
in such a quiet moment,
alone with the tumbling
one might enumerate
the reasons for staying,
not unplugging the machine
first the children
(who frankly could use
the insurance for school)
and your lover, who says
she lives through
her fibromyalgia pain
only for you; & then
you are left wondering
if counting up why not
constitutes suicidal ideation?
This latter is the part
Jimi Hendrix’s mad guitar
doesn’t slow down to capture
in “Manic Depression,”
(A merman I should turn to be)”
gets the morbid rumination part
rather nicely and the sea,
the sea is straight ahead, straight up ahead
the beautiful moonlight highway
into the motherly shushing of the waves
but remember the children and &tc.,
so many bright, shining worries
left to worry as the manic burning sun
breaks the spell in a palette of beauty
& leaves you with a moment
of poetic clarity & a pencil
and the suddenly welcome
frenzy of energy &
the day begins again,
just you, your thoughts
& the tumbling tumbleweed.
When the going gets weird February 12, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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the weird mark their days by songs of Pink Floyd. There are your screaming “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” days and your quiet or soulful (or even depressive, the B-side of “Careful…) days of “Great Gig in the Sky.”
Today…today we shall be Fearless.
Agraphoria January 28, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Crappy to report that the lexical selection terror on this knew medication is much butter. Going to try not to drink about it, and go watch something mindless (like me), like Disney’s Dysphasia. I love the part with the element ballerinas. Agraphia me a beet while your up, will ya?
— Benzo the Clown
BEER July 5, 2015Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
BEER is an alcohol-based emotional solvent of the class Booze used to self-medicate anger, frustration, anxiety, depression and other symptoms of spectrum disorder and the general state of the modern world. BEER is frequently combined with other medications used to treat these conditions in direct contravention of those medications’ label warnings. Do not drive, operate dangerous machinery, make important decisions or attempt to address any dysfunction in personal relationships while using BEER. Use BEER with caution on Fridays, holidays and other excuses to consume BEER to excess. Possible side effects of BEER include: spilling food on your shirt when you finally decide you had better eat something before consuming more BEER, irrational urges to address personal or societal problems in an anti-social manner, ineffective sexual performance, localized obesity, headache, nausea, regret and self-loathing. Users of BEER may forget to rinse the cans before putting them in the special bag you keep for The Can Man who picks the recycling containers in your neighborhood and which you leave out on top of the can for him, resulting in a sticky spot you will have to scrub on your hands and knees while experiencing headache, nausea, etc. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid BEER. Woman who may become pregnant should consume BEER in moderation and avoid men who are consuming BEER. Shots of whiskey and tequila may exacerbate BEER’s side effects. If you experience clumsiness, dizziness, excessively garrulous behavior or delusional ideas about how to address your personal or the world’s problems, discontinue using BEER immediately and switch to drinking large quantities of water.
(It’s Just) Another Day June 17, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
There’s simply nothing you can’t do if you’re armed with patience and perseverance…
What my horoscope doesn’t tell me is where I can acquire these things. I am the poster child Gemini, flighty, garrulous, of two minds about everything but insistent when my mind is made up.
Patient, not so much. Perseverance? Really?
I think I will arm myself with patience and persistence. Mañana.
For now, there is coffee.
I had a good night’s sleep, by the clock. It started probably around 7:30, perhaps a quarter to eight. I know I woke just before ten with half of the beer I opened for dinner clenched in my first, my vape fallen into the sofa, my old Kindle lying on the floor. I had slid into a position that made the space between my toes hurt, my body gradually slumping while my rubber-bottom sandals remained planted in place, cutting into my feet. I went straight to bed, and plugged in the phone but forgot to turn on Sleepbot. I may have snored like a warped board saw and tossed and turned all night, but have no way of knowing. By five my brain decided it wanted to get up, although my body is exhausted.
I sit down with the microwaved dregs of yesterday’s coffee, and light a cigarette. I was determined last night not to buy cigarettes and did not. As I draw on one of the last ones in what was to be the last pack, I can feel Death’s hand squeezing the tops of my lungs. They are not icy but warm. Still, I can sense the cold bones underneath. Death whispers “emphysema” with each exhale, and gives a little squeeze. I look in the box at the last two smokes, and contemplate running to the sketchy store before works starts at seven.
Does contemplating going out for smokes in this condition constitute suicidal ideation? I will have to ask the expensive but empathetic psychiatrist.
I believe insistently logging into VPN at the current incarnation of Moloch before 6 a.m. constitutes suicidal ideation.
Memo to self: un-hide the resume on Monster, Dice and CareerBuilder. Let my boss’ next check-in call go to voicemail as if it were an accident. Let her hear the greeting that tells why I don’t answer unrecognized calls, that if you are yet another recruiter that I am currently employed and thank you for your interest. Change the arrangement; tip the scales in my favor.
For now I am one hour away from “protected time,” the arrangement by which a multi-national Moloch manages meetings between New York and Singapore. Next week it will be 7 pm until. And then I will start again with a two-hour morning meeting at 7 am, and another at 9 pm.
So it goes.
I need an attitude adjustment, but grow weary of pills. I can’t afford the psychiatrist I sought out to get away from them and a therapist. I missed the first class of Tai Chi yesterda, because work did not give me a moment to call doctors to make sure I got my new medication and made arrangements to not run out of my blood pressure medication. I should be practicing the mindfulness technique my psych and I practiced on Monday, but feel compelled to write, and the compulsion to write calls for the “seer in front” with a cheering section deep behind him, and the lizard brain hiding beneath the stands swilling coffee and contemplating cigarettes.
All along Moss Street they walk, they run, they bike. They walk their dogs, or run with their dogs, and sometimes (but not this morning) let their running dogs pull their bicycles. I drive, entombed in my car, a new pack of cigarettes safely in my pocket. (Emphyyyseeeemaaaa.) A clearly homeless man, wearing a dirty yellow safety vest, is hand-lining for breakfast, his distant but pleasant expression places him more at peace with his world than I am with mine. (Work: T minus 33).
If I had more time, I should have jumped on my recently repaired bicycle and forced myself to ride to the sketchy store for cigarettes. If I had more time. Today’s calendar hangs from my tiny whiteboard by a magnet, a cryptically colored, solid block of no-time, of not enough time even to do what is written.
Emphysema. Cigarettes. Work.
Tonight is date night. Hopefully I won’t be exhausted.
My side of the bed at my girlfriend’s house is what I call my “happy place”, the one spot in the universe where I feel truly relaxed and at peace. I don’t dare go there tonight, and risk falling into a restful slumber. I have a meeting tomorrow.
At 7 am.
“I heard another beep. Who joins?”
[rewind … flap … flap … flap … Krapp]
1. The title comes from the irrepressibly cheerful Paul McCartney, the one who should be dead. I fucking hate Paul McCartney. 
2. A working class hero is something to be. 
3. Listening to George Harrison’s “Wah Wah” on the car stereo while in a hypomaniacal state, I might as well be cranking it while swilling straight from the Speaking Tequila Skull while doing donuts in front of the police station. This is what I believe the mania index quiz calls “risk taking behavior.”
Fuck You, Google June 7, 2015Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: dumb, fat, unhappy
Of course The Google knows it’s my birthday. It knows Everything. I was fascinated and appaled when I found I could trace my movements through Europe last year when I relied on GPS and Maps to help me find my way..
So, O Great Google, do you now I now weight 259 pounds? That the medication I have taken to avoid compulsive eating in hypomania has caused me to blow up like a fucking balloon off the party shop stand up tank? That the last anti-depressent I took did the same fucking thing? That I’ve gotten up twice this morning and stood over the garbage can holding the Rouse’s doberge cake, only to put it back in the fridge because P wants to light a candle and sing Happy Birthday in her best Marilyn? That the new meds have not kicked in enough to completely stiffle hypomaniacal, compulsive eating? That the cigarettes I’ve reverted to this past two weeks haven’t helped?
I can live with myself at 235, am much happier at 215 , which is still on the red side of that chart written by doctors who haven’t gotten over their amphetemine addiction from residency. Two fucking sixty is just too much. I was ready to set out for a birthday dinner at one of my favorite restaurnts. P wanted to wear a dressy dress she made last summer so I changed into long pants and and a favorite linen shirt she found for me at Goodwill, and as I began to button it I knew it would not work:I was liable to pop a button the moment I sat down. The pants, Haggar Cool 18 chinos with a hidden stretchy bit, cut into my stomach.
Off we went, but this was not the happiest birthdy dinner I have ever had: fat, dumb struck and unhappy I still ordered the tamalaes with a crema drizzle, and split a flan for dessert. The flan and tamales at Casa Borrega are too damn good not to eat. I tried, really, but no amount of expensive reposado was going to improve my mood, flat as a fallen cake I came home and collapsed into bed in my (binding) boxers without even bothering to change into my drawstring bed pants. I turned to the wall and waited for the meltonin and herbal concoction to kick in.
So, thanks for the imaginary cakes, Google, but fuck you very much. I’m off to walk to Walgreens (leaving the car behind) to get a pack of cigarettes and browse the patent medicine aisle for a box of whatever berry and green tea pills. I am not ruling out mail order tapeworms.
The Universal Switch June 2, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Regular dancing has been shown to lead to significant decreases in salivary cortisol concentrations.
Down on your knees digging through the shelves of vinyl the cat has de-spined looking for Quadraphenia because you heard “5:15” on the satellite radio at the store where you were loading up on intentionally healthy things to stuff hypomanically into your gullet: cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, a non-fat low sodium French Onion dip, a tub of guacamole with pico de gallo and a bag of blue corn chips and you still bought cigarettes anyway, home and not sure what pose to strike, the classic boy hunched over his scooter or the famous inside shot of Todd Rundgren from Something/Anything, hands extended in a Nixon victory salute, so you choose the slouch on the couch and the Kindle and manage 20 pages of the new novel before you get too fidgety, the buttons jumping pages and changing the font size unbidden like the time you tried to watch Arachnophobia while clutching the remote like a protective totem which worked, after a fashion, switching off the movie every time you spasmed with terror.
I want to find that remote, the Universal Remote capable of controlling all channels: the Shopping for Losers channel, the Netflix is Empty channel, the Radiohead and Patti Smith Pandora channels, the channel you have dug from couch to kitchen in search of more compulsive food, the Ant Races channel, any channel carrying Black Mirror’s White Bear episode [No Talking, Keep Your Distance, Enjoy Yourselves], the imaginary but compulsively anticipated stress episode flashback channel, the flood of emotions overflow outlet channel that runs through your nervous system.
This is the truly Universal Remote, as mystic and distant as the Theory of Everything. The instructions for its programming and operation are hidden somewhere in the Paragonian Foundation’s webpage between The Heraclitus Project and Integral Relational Logic: Liberating Intelligence from Its Mechanistic Conditioning. The PIN code required is Hebrew and hidden in the Kabbalah. By default it operates on the radio frequency spectrum around 2.7 GHz so stay the fuck away from the microwave popcorn. Operation at 1420 Mhz is not supported outside the mothership and Radiohead lied to you. Patti Smith lied to you. They are not coming to rescue you.
You can only rescue yourself.
Whew. For a minute there I lost myself, I lost myself.
1. Quiroga MC, Bongard S, Kreutz G (July 2009). “Emotional and Neurohumoral Responses to Dancing Tango Argentino: The Effects of Music and Partner”. Music and Medicine 1 (1): 14–21. doi:10.1177/1943862109335064
Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) May 31, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The End, The Narrative, The Odd, The Pointness, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Out of my brain on the five fifteen.
— “5:15”, Quadraphenia
Train songs for the cigarette apocalypse, at the hour of the conjunction of the Third Klonopin and the Second Beer, your jittery teeth the tight shot black-and-white of the piston and the driving wheels.
Love & Loathing May 30, 2015Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Federico Fellini, La Dolce Vita, Stein
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“The day that you understand you love Marcello more than he does, you’ll be happy.”
— Steiner, La Dolce Vita