IV – My “Darksome Path”

I walk down a road of failures,
Leaving behind broken dreams,
Waiting, hoping, struggle, cry,
Warriors walk beside me, falling,
Unseen demons, dying screams,
Praying, wishing, asking why,
Dropped to my knees, you won’t kill me!
Stand again, walk through the pain,

Dropped to my knees, blinded, can’t see,
Stand again, walk through the pain.

-DM, 3/2/2020

Deon Who?

Gone but not forgotten… I mean forgotten but not gone, I am the always late, never great, Deon Mumple.  Since I’ve last written, there have been lows and lowers, I don’t get high, OR highs. Sure it’s depressing, but I’m on medication for that, which doesn’t do shit except cause insomnia during which I should be writing,  but instead I’m busy accomplishing nothing of any lasting value or actual worth.

So, I’m late again, by which I mean still.  Sorry for causing any alarm for anyone who followed this blog.  Oh. Nevermind.  Unless you’re the one who read with more than clinical disinterest.

Since I have last written, cars have broken down and been minimally repaired, and my own lovely money pit is only $2K behind, but runs without the things that would make it actually be safe to drive.  Other things have broken down and also have been minimally repaired, and we’re still alive but still in a general state of irreparable or unaffordable decay.

For unknown reasons and/or medication side effects, I have almost no energy and almost no manic days during which to catch the chaos.  I’m still doing mostly the same things I was doing including forcing myself to go to work every day and putting up with the bullshit.  Home isn’t exactly the same, I’m putting up with  significantly less bullshit at home, for which my family has well-overcompensated.  The less bullshit I accept as something I can tolerate, or shovel away for my own sanity, the more bullshit there is.  Too much to write about or shovel.

The boss has me back on a stupid mid-day shift start, which puts shift end at a stupid late time.  Still sucks just as bad as the last time.  I finally got a day off and washed a shit-load of laundry, my own for a change, in between hot flashes and sleeping and washing all the fucking dishes.  After which Mrs M got home and bitched about what wasn’t done and how what was done was inadequate, so no changes there, either.

The point of the article though, was to be that I had a paradigm shift.  All this time I’ve kept visualizing myself as a tool on a shelf collecting dust, but I was wrong.   I’m not a tool, except for not realizing it.  I’m dead and buried like a seed trapped underground.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I know I’m supposed to leverage whatever good I can, except I’m still not sure how to properly leverage whatever good this is, in this position.

All this said to say, I’m alive, still facing the stupidity and my specific brand of insanity.  Good luck with yours.

Holy Shit! What a Day!

It all started when Mrs. M. woke me from a deep sleep, wearing only the best grin and the most mischievous eyes.  For a solid hour, she did everything I already knew she could, and everything I always dreamed but never thought would ever be in her love vocabulary.  And then, she promised there would be a lot more days like this because she wanted to make up for lost time.  Then there was a quick shower and we ran out before the kids woke up, to grab breakfast at that place I really like.

We got home and the kids were already up and dressed for school.  My daughter had walked and fed the dog, and was getting herself ready to commute to college.  My son went out early to catch the bus, and had turned in all of his homework last night, including getting caught up on all of his late assignments.

I clocked in to work and the boss had sent me an email saying she was giving me a raise, both to adjust to cost of living, and, because so many of my customers have sent in rave reviews of my service already this year.  My callers were all really polite and pleasant, and I even had time to clear my queue of things i needed to catch up on, and follow up on.

I mean, everyone usually is upset about the weekend being over, and having to get back to the first day of the daily grind.  Today was a Monday, but for me it was a Monday like none other.

It was April 1st.

And Where The Hell Have You Been?

A much younger me watched and enjoyed television, particularly as much British humour (lol) as I could stay up late to watch.  I don’t recall how many shows featured the angry wife demanding of her guilty-looking, penitent-but-innocent husband, “and where the hell have you been?”  He stammers and explains and by the end of the episode, all is resolved as the truth is revealed as truth, supported by smirking witnesses.

Anyway, I haven’t been anywhere.  I wish I could tell you everything was explained and resolved.  I’m still in the same exact exactness, wrestling with everything, daydreaming of being set free just enough to help other people with their wrestling matches, just a little bit to encourage them to keep fighting.  Nope.

I suck as a father, revealed in my kids’ disrespect.  I suck as a husband, revealed in my wife’s ongoing wavering between passive-aggressiveness, controlling, disrespect, seething anger, and disappointment, and my continual trying to succeed, effort that ends up confirming I suck even when I manage to break even or one thing actually goes right.  And they all take such great delight in telling me that I’m wrong and they’re right, even when I accidentally somehow stumble into higher moral ground.

I suck as an employee, as the annual performance review was yesterday.  But not enough to fire me, just enough to keep me where they want me to do better, while the clients absolutely love the way I take care of them when I’m given enough time to do it, or when I steal time from breaks and lunches and after or before work to do it.  The review said I meet the company’s expectations, and one area they actually admitted I exceeded them, this year.  The management has obviously mistaken my complete brokenness for a gentler, meeker and cooperative spirit.

The truth is, I should be the happiest man who ever lived.  I actually want what I have.  The trouble is, I want what I have to treat me differently than it ever has, better than it ever has, and that is psychotic because I can’t change anything on my own.  I can only keep struggling and hope the struggle resolves in a good way.  Would a financial windfall help me, or would I end up more miserable?

A decent job with decent pay, might result in me being able to pay bills on time, fix the fucking car money-pits that keep breaking in various ways and degrees, all with the goal of draining any extra money we might have to fix my teeth and buy some new glasses.  It might get me farther away from minimum wage so that whenever the idiots raise it to what I currently earn, I’m not shoved back down to the lowest possible working poverty wage.  With my luck, the percentages would result, once everything in the economy adjusts to the new, higher lowest low, in me being at the same damned place I was before I got the new job.

A windfall, on the other hand, might result in me writing more, finishing my books not having to worry whether they’ll sell or not, helping out friends and family, and quitting my job and not bothering to tell them why I hate the cheap-ass, tightwad, corporate bullshit they spew and insist the lowly peons thank them because it’s champagne.

On the other hand, it might result in me losing friends who were in fact acquaintances, who think somehow I owe them something in exchange for the value of their friendship, but who never really gave a shit about me before the increased cash flow.  It might result in estrangement from my otherwise perfect and loving children, who naturally would only want affordable, rational, realistic and reasonable things, considering “our” newfound economic strata, when I tell them “no,” and the reasons why I won’t pay for whatever self-destructive shit they want to buy.  I swear, if I bought an auto shop and hired good mechanics who knew what the hell they were doing and did a fair and reasonable business, our cars alone would bankrupt the place, or turn it into a lovely tax dodge, if I made them fix them on our profits.

I think, given my current situation, I’d still prefer a windfall, just to see how it would go.

Where the hell have I been?  In the same boat, basically expectantly hoping that a certain Someone would wake up and realize I’m drowning here, in between the brief respites of merely treading water and waiting for the sharks to eat my lower extremities.  In other words, the same fun as always.  Sorry I’ve been away so long.  I can’t claim complete innocence and just complicated circumstances that made me look like I was in the wrong.  And I can’t fix anything yet, but I’m working on it.

The other part of my apology is this:  Words can sometimes be encouraging and I’m sorry I’ve been so very stingy, for a long time.   You’re all still very much appreciated, and I hope I can get to a place where I spread encouragement like my company’s corporate bulls spread what they spread.

Which reminds me of a really stupid joke:

Q.:  Why do cows walk on hooves?

A.: Because they lack toes (lactose, y’all.)

III – Wisdom and Innocence

Wisdom and Innocence, 11/23/2018, Deon Mumple

I’m here living in a world where all the innocence is lost
We all said we didn’t want it, but we didn’t know the cost
I gave it up too cheap; I can’t afford to buy it back
Now the interest is so high no one bothers keeping track
But I wish I could have known it, without having ever known

Wisdom is for sale,  pray it doesn’t drive you insane
All that wisdom ever costs is higher premiums in pain
Mum tried to instill grace and faith, and some patience to wait
We gain wisdom looking backward, can’t go back ’cause it’s too late
But I wish I could have had it, before my bad habits had grown

I have no more time for patience.  Quick, my time is running out
The answers to life’s questions can’t all be brokenness and doubt
I want what every other broken person wants to find:
Some love, a little comfort, and a stack of peace of mind,
A few more answers to my prayers, some rest while I’m exhaust-
ed, while living in a world where all my innocence is lost.

Brain Blender

No poem today. Maybe later if I can escape long enough to actually write something I’m not embarrassed to publish.  I am struggling with a rhyme scheme and meter.  Not to mention, the topic is me, so, it’s not great to start with.  Whatever.  I’ve been taking my pills faithfully.  I went to the doctor today to report side effects- nausea and hot flashes, which, as I am a guy and not a woman of a certain age and I don’t take that particular number of vitamin B, was not expected.  He is, therefore, changing my brain blender to a new, improved one, with sharper, faster blades.  I can hardly wait to run out of the other med, so I can go back to more nausea and hot flashes and probably helplessly watching my brain turn into watery pudding.

Meanwhile, my family is still critical, lazy, not engaged in any agendas except their own, but they still like to criticize and express how their opinions and answers are better than mine, even when they’re wrong and I’ve shown them their error and tried to provide gentle correction.  I’m the Donald Trump of my family, I suppose.  Sorry, should have advised a trigger warning, as there are devout Trump-haters out there I may have upset.  I’m saying, I am aware that my kids don’t think I know anything; that’s completely normal.  They are both teens, one trying to go away and be independent while still being waited on hand and foot, and the other trying to decide what and who he wants to be, and how, and how badly, he wants to rebel.  I think it’s probably also normal for a woman to decide she’s right and a man is wrong, but it still hurts my feelings a little bit more than when the kids are sassy.  At least some of the time the kids are trying to be funny.

Mrs. M., bless you a million times, but you are the worst, harshest critic I have ever had.  It’s not about being constructive.  It’s about being critical, and after I get it and I know you’re right, you go for the extra, cutting, bitchy dig that demoralizes me and discourages me and makes me not want to do shit, when I almost had a shred of energy to invest in doing whatever it was.  Thanks, and fuck you very much, but I don’t really need most of that.  Don’t wonder why I shut down, don’t wonder why I push away.  You’ve been pushing away for years, maybe I’ve finally learned whatever lesson your push off was for.  So celebrate, Mrs. M, you win. I lose, but it doesn’t matter.  Even when I’m right, or at least trying to work on our relationship, I’m still wrong because of whatever shit I did moments ago while trying to either help us or help you or help me mentally, or whatever shit I did yesterday or a month ago or ten years ago, or whatever shit I didn’t do that you wanted me to do right now right now rightnow rightnowrightnowrightnow.

The problem is, despite the ADD medication you insisted I go on, that gives me insomnia until sometimes 3:30 or 5 AM, and the anti-depressants you insisted I go on, that make me sick to my stomach and have hot flashes, I still have an attention span of a gnat, I still want to do what I want to do, which is the same as what you want but in a different order of priority, I never get to do what I want and I don’t get what I want, I’m still poor and thus far unable to escape the poverty cycle, and I’m still fucking depressed because life is fucking depressing.  And if I don’t do whatever it is I’m focused on I’ll never get it done and I’ll never go back to doing what I wanted to accomplish because something else will distract me or be more important, or I’ll be too frustrated to think clearly, so I’ll never have a sense of personal accomplishment because I’m not doing what I wanted to do, and I am not doing what you wanted me to do to your level of satisfaction.  And on that battle front, you’ve informed me of your disappointment in everything to the point where you expect to be disappointed and I expect to be disappointing and we self-fulfill that prophecy.  I lose, and you get the smug self-satisfaction of winning but remaining harsh and critical instead of loving me the way I want to be loved.  There’s a wide, wider, next-to-impossible gap to bridge between you being harsh and critical and you loving me like I want to, or need to, be loved.

I’m afraid it will require your investment and realization of how cut, wounded, damaged, frustrated, depressed, and angry I am about life, and how you add salt to the rejection wounds and then hit the psychological bruises twice just so they stay fresh in my mind and I want to give up on everything because nothing is working.  And since I run away instead of hitting back verbally (or, God forbid, physically, which I’ve never been driven to so far), you use that as another way of hitting me verbally, adding to my demoralization.  Again, fuck you very much, that is not what those marriage vows you and I took were supposed to look like.

If I, in a fit of mania, do the dishes, walk the dog, take out the trash, sweep the kitchen, do two loads of laundry which means to me wash dry fold and put away (but to you means wash, dry and fold, or leave in the dryer, or leave in the washing machine), and vacuum the carpets downstairs, you want to know why I did the laundry and if I did it wrong, why, and why the bathrooms weren’t cleaned and the floors mopped and the ceiling fans dusted and the upstairs wasn’t vacuumed and why the vacuum cleaner wasn’t emptied and why dinner wasn’t cooked all while I was working for 8 hours during a weekday.  Because I’ve had bigger fits of mania while I was not depressed and accomplished more very occasionally, in the past 26 years.  And why don’t I have a better job that pays more money.  And why I sleep on the couch so often.  And why I don’t want to lock the dog in a cage overnight.  Blah, blah, blah.  It’s never stopped; it’s only gotten worse over the years.

I started reading self-help books: a book about dealing with anger, a book about dealing with clutter, and a book about marriage enrichment.  Because these are what I want help with.  I’m a chapter into each one, and I’ll wait and see, and decide what’s potentially realistically applicable, and what’s ridiculous and impossible, on all topics of study.  Mostly it’s you trying to gently communicate your hopes and dreams for our future and how you think we (meaning I) can work toward those goals, and then overstepping and crushing my spirit, and then telling me yet again how I’m inadequate and a disappointing dissatisfaction, and me trying to explicitly communicate what I want and you telling me to fuck off because you’re not going to do that and then again, wondering why I sleep on the couch so much.

I finished the dishes and swept the kitchen after I dropped a glass on the kitchen floor.  There was a kind of mercy in it:  I hadn’t washed the glass.

Someone asked me what I accomplished this year so far.  I thought about it, and came to realize  that I survived, and that’s about it.  Maybe the progress is that I’m medicating, or maybe the progress is that my soul is that much further crushed, which I suppose, makes it easier on everyone around me.  If they didn’t want me to clean house and if they didn’t need someone to bitch at and tell how they are intellectually superior, more right in their approach to life, and better at everything, and how worthless, stupid, wrong, and inferior I am, I’d probably just end it because I wouldn’t have any useful purpose in life.


Find your purpose and your worth apart from anyone, because no one is going to give you anything but shit.  And if money is involved, get it in writing or you’re screwed.  That’s my takeaway.  That’s my wisdom from 26 years of being worthless, underpaid, underappreciated, and not getting what I want from anyone.  I’m still trying, I’ve survived, and that may be a bigger accomplishment than anyone really realizes.

Sorry for the bitch-fest.  It had to come out.  And Mrs M wants me to move my ass now because her family is waiting on us.  Have a great day if you can, and if you can’t, have an OK day even if that just means surviving and getting through what you can.

II – Deon’s Demons

II – Deon’s Demons

From morning to afternoon, I’ve known them, circling,
I taste them only when coughing, exhaling,
Doctors can only see random allergens,
Giving snake oil addictions to treat my symptoms.

Medicines, cruel demons, here to stay

Choke, cough, expectorate, medicate, rinse, repeat
Nausea ad nauseum, I don’t want to eat,
Those are the infestations below my brains…
Through my eyes, I’ve welcomed more, sweet, permanent stains

You can’t bleach them or wash them away.

Generation to generation, they ride down,
Hitting tree branches, growing concentration,
So I give them the best evils I’ve gotten,
Though compared, “the good old days” were just as rotten.

Genetics find unfair ways to play.

I can’t concentrate quite enough to finish well,
Retreating from judgement, escaping for a spell.
My wife, from my dad, inherits my mother’s hell.
Failures, words, like anvils on a sparrow’s egg shell.

Disappointing her gives me dismay.

Seasons of sadness enshroud my brain like a pall.
They should be warm and soft, shouldn’t they all?
Instead they scrape, tear and grind, while making me fall…
How many times can I escape, try to stand tall?

Some days I’m OK, then, demon days.

Dragged down by people as much as by demons,
They blame me for myself, as if I had chosen
My feelings, frustrations, of my own free will,
As if my cage could be opened by all these pills.

Past and new bullies are hell to pay.

My brain is on fire, everyone should just run!
This can be transmitted, hell’s special contagion!
Leave me here to fight memory, sadness, time lost,
Come around to be nice to me, warm my black frost.