Get Back, Honky Cat

I’m working through a change of circumstance, and as those two who faithfully read my blog know well, I LOVE when life changes everything up on me.  Crisis?  What crisis.  No problem!

OK I’m done with the joke.  I fucking HATE change.  I hate change, hate crises, hate breakage, hate loose wires, hate things that fall.  They induce panics.  And I also hate going shopping and other drivers and going to work at all.  They induce justifiable panics.  I hate not having any money, because add rage to panic.  So let’s go back to I hate work because rage and panic and micromanagement all suck ass.  I hate whenever the phone rings.  Let me call you, or better still, email you, or better still, ignore you unless it’s important.  Which means if the phone rings, it better be damned important or I’m not going to like it.  Which is why I naturally have to answer phones all fucking day at work, for idiots who don’t know shit about shit, talking to idiots who didn’t do whatever they were supposed to do in the right way or they wouldn’t have had to call me at all.  The idiots I answer for, are idiots because they think I can support a family of four on a poverty wage and their idea of career advancement is, “he’s good at that, let’s leave him there and keep paying him the same amount as we pay the new people coming in fresh off the street.  If he asks about getting a promotion, let’s move him around laterally until he’s so confused he gives up.  Let’s discourage him too, because uppity people who, while we admire that they are smart and hard workers, say they need more money need artificial obstacles thrown at them ”  Stupid shitheads.  “He’s been getting by on what we’ve been paying for several years, why does he need more money?  Plus, if we promote him we might find out he’s just as stupid as the others we’ve promoted before him even though he’s worked here longer and might know more, so let’s not do that.”

I know what you’re saying.  A promotion to more money would be change, and you hate that, Deon, so what are you saying?  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fuck-tion.

What I hate is complication. What I like is simplicity, logic, doing things right the first time so you don’t have to do more work to get the same effect, or do things twice.  A very simple and practical example is, I hate my shoestrings that routinely come untied.  I tie them, and they come untied within 5 minutes.  I tie them in knots and they come untied after the first hour or less.  It’s an unneccesary complication.  I know what you’re saying.  If life was easy, and your shoestrings stayed tied, you’d get less exercise and probably be fat.  And if that’s what you’re saying, fuck you for saying that, and I mean that with the fondest of af-fat-tion.

Speaking of fat and unnecessary complications, I treated myself to breakfast today because it was after 10 and I went in to the office to pick up what I thought was something to make my job easier, but we haven’t gotten into it yet, I’ll explain it all in a second and in my own rambling and random manner it might eventually make sense if you stick with me.  But breakfast, speaking of complication, was complicated.

I went to a great fast food place where there used to be a famous clown whose logo resembles a letter, or french fries, and whose name rhymes with Donald Nick-Ronald, and I suppose that might be a Scottish name for a red-headed Scottsman who was famous for telling people “take your pancakes and sausages and eggs and hash browns and biscuits and coffee, and fuck off.”  For the love of dieting and rationing plans, why did she give me three fucking pancakes and only TWO pats of butter and only ONE container of syrup? These portions are just stupid unless you’re OCD and have to count down.  “SIX! Thousand calories in your hash brown.  Five!  Thousand calories in your biscuit, sausage and scrambles.  Four! Tines on your fork.  Three!  Pancakes.  Two! Pats of butter.  ONE!  Container of syrup.”  Clowns have become symbolic of the creepy, a posse of killers, an insane Joker played a bit too well by several actors vying for the best portrayal of a villain in a superhero movie about a guy who isn’t really a superhero, a real life killer clown named after an actor, and so on.

This restaurant, and society, have lost all their innocence because a few ass hole animals have committed atrocities in clown suits and we are no longer able to appreciate the art of a good clown because a few were evil.  Too easy a target, and I’m sorry a few took their shots.  What’s next?  Traveling vacuum cleaner salesman who really suck?  Zombie teachers who only want to eat your child’s brains?  Vampire pastors preaching about life after death, achieved by drinking blood?  Oh wait.  If you listen to my kids, the teachers ARE brain eating gouls.  And if you listen to certain texts, um, I’m not far off about the pastors.  I joke, because I’ve read it.  Here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+6%3A53-58&version=NIV

I like routines; I like simple things.  Keeping life simple leaves margins for the times when life by necessity gets more complicated.  When people say they like to keep busy, I don’t understand because there’s no room for any extras.  When your schedule is full there’s no time for relaxation, and there’s no time for urgent, unexpected events.  When do you edge in the time to get an oil change, or worse, what if your car breaks down and needs to be fixed?  Or if you get in an accident rushing here and there (and here I’ll say if you were distracted it’s your own fucking fault and you should get the fuck out of my way because I’m not distracted, you’re in my damn way, and I’m in a real hurry because I’m late after taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of at home.  Fucking MOVE.

I like the weather in the fall, cool but not cold, grass doesn’t need mowing, driveways don’t need shoveling, I can wear a coat that has my beloved pockets without undue discomfort, but it’s not so cold I have to actually use the zipper or have a hat or gloves. And, there are apples on the trees waiting to be made into preserved jars of apple butter and canned apple slices and apple pies.  Mrs. M, bless her, says my hair is thinning on top, and as she is also my barber, I suppose she must be telling me the truth.  If my kids weren’t listening, I’d whisper into her ear that my head is trying to show her over time what I’d like her to do now, which is, getting naked.  That is, if my kids weren’t also actually watching and acting all grossed out, like they haven’t studied the origin of the species in fucking…. hahaha… biology and health classes.  I mention it only to set the climate into perspective when saying I still don’t need a hat or gloves in the fall.  I want my pockets because everything goes into them because I don’t like putting things in my pants pockets.  Wallet, comb, keys, a pocket knife, occasionally a nail file and clippers.  And sometimes other crap, whatever I feel like I need for the day.  It goes in the coat pockets from fall through winter.  And I lament the spring and summer when it’s too hot to have my precious pockets, because it means change.  I completely HATE spring forward every damn spring, and I love falling back every damn fall.  Just keep setting the clocks back an hour until we gain a whole day of sleep, and I’ll be perpetually happy.  Who’s with me on that?  I can’t possibly be the only one.

I like the traffic flow to keep flowing and keep moving.  When there are flashing lights or crashes or shit on the road and everyone either has to slow down to avoid causing further death and destruction, or those few have to practically, or actually, fucking stop because they have to know if there’s any blood, and if there is, they literally have to stop and stare and cause the rest of us to be later than we already are, fuckers.  If you would get the fuck out of the way and keep moving the emergency vehicles could get there that much faster and get the poor schmucks to the hospital before they bleed to death, but if you fucking slow down and make everyone have to stop behind you, or worse, if you fucking STOP, they’re going to bleed to death waiting for the ambulance, and if you want that, you grim motherfuckers, fuck you.  And I mean that with the fastest of af-fuck-tion.  We’re already too late for “wham, bam,”so I’ll “thank you, ma’am” or sir, if you’ll FUCKING MOVE your damn crate either OFF the road so we all can get around you, or, GO!!  When the traffic lights are green and I’m not moving, it PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  And when your traffic light is red and you ARE moving, that PISSES ME OFF… just a little.  Oh, who am I kidding? If you move and your light is red, FUCK YOU TWICE, right up your tailpipe with a barbed wire and cyanide dripping hot buttered baked potato.  You’re the reason I’m not moving when my fucking light is GREEN!

Today I took the dog for his morning relief, and started the car on the way back inside (editorial parenthetical:  I actually wrote this part last week or whenever, who the fuck remembers, whenever it actually snowed here in Indianapolis and there was a whole inch on the ground, before they actually demonstrated how they had fucked with my schedule starting Monday of this week, and now I’m busy having a vodka tonic and some chili with tortilla chips because it’s 11:00PM on 2/1 and why not?)  I left home right after my son left to catch his bus.  I offered him a ride, and to my surprise he declined my offer.  My nicely preheated warm old car beckoned.  I got in to drive somewhat cautiously to work and made it in a half an hour early in spite of just under an inch of snow on the ground, and all the other somewhat cautious drivers on the road, in my way, on their ways.

Do you ever hear a  voice in the back of your head telling you things?  I do.  It may be an index of just how crazy I really am.  Or, how sane.  Depends on your perspective on reality. “The voice I hear falling on my ear” is usually comforting, but sometimes it’s not something I really want to hear.

The boss informed everyone that schedules were going to change, but she also soft-sold it by telling everyone not to expect anything drastic.  There was a whole list of mitigating factors in deciding the schedules which the boss played up to make everyone relax so we wouldn’t worry about it in advance.  I recall “based on your time zone,” “based on a normal eating schedule for lunch,” “based on your skills,” based on your tenure,” “based on your performance,” “based on your skills,” “based on…” bullshit.

I call “bullshit” because in actual point of fact, when the new schedules rolled out, I guess a bunch of us got the same shit shift, switching us from a normal 8 to 5 all the way to the ass end of the workday for the company, and we’re now working from 11 to 8P. fucking M.  It was a huge surprise.  I used to start at 8 or as late as 9, and finish the day as early as 4:30 and occasionally as late as 6 PM.  And I really didn’t mind anything in that window.  But the ass end of the day?  Sucks the ass end of the corporation.  I fought it, I didn’t want it, and for more than 20 years I have done the same kind of work, with a basically normal east-coast-time-zone based schedule.  Which was great since I live in the eastern time zone.  They basically were going to shove it down our throats, and I didn’t want that, so I argued.  It leaves no time whatsoever for life as I’ve known it for the past 50 years to balance with work.

But somewhere  in the back of my mind, the little voice whispered, “what if you embraced it?”  FUCK!

The answer I gave the voice in the back of my head, and my boss, was that I wanted to keep my schedule, and I wanted them to train people on the west coast to do what they wanted done, and then they could cover the hours the company needed but have a nice 8 to 5 schedule in their own time zone.  I’m surprised they let this little tidbit slip out:  the customer’s complaint was that the people they had doing the evening work sucked at it, and they wanted to move people who didn’t suck to work those hours.  I guess it was nice to have a vote of confidence.  But after two weeks of praying and hoping, the bosses called and basically thrust the new schedule at me again, saying there wasn’t any room for THEM to fucking compromise and they expected me to do all the give while they did all the fucking take.  Shitheads.

Based on their need to have competent people covering the hours they needed covered, they didn’t like where I wanted them to put the new schedule.  Shoving it either direction for them would have been uncomfortable.  For them.  So they decided to shove it at me and make me bear the responsibility and make me uncomfortable instead of just fucking hiring people from Colorado or California or Seattle, which would have seemed to me a whole lot more reasonable than making me take it.  Since I kept protesting and refusing to let them shove it down my throat, they found another vulnerable place and shoved it there, and it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it.

All of this was done with the utmost professionalism and civility, except for the way they bullied me into taking it, bringing the boss’s boss on the conversation acting all puzzled about why I don’t want to just give up my life outside of work and just fucking work.  Ass hole.  Ass holes.  And then my boss implied that I can influence the schedule by being a great performer and doing more and working harder, and that the reason I got the shit schedule was because others did more and better.  Bull shit.  Then she diverted to other topics and breathed her sigh of relief after I shut up after my protest was voiced once again, and she advised it had been considered and ignored.  Fuckers.  She thinks everything is fine, and she moved on, leaving me to pick up the shattered shit in the wake of the hurricane.

I went home Thursday night and relaxed with a lovely and large glass of cheap but potent Merlot.  That is, after I took the kids out to dinner, the last time in the next several months, or time eternal if they decide to lock in the new shitty schedule, that I’ll get to do that on a weekday.  They want me to be flexible enough to take it up the ass any time they want to change the fucking schedule around, not realizing what a panic and a rage they cause whenever they change shit around and make me less and less valued and empowered and living.  In the interest of having a job and not having to go look for another one I decided to acquiesce and I believe everyone else who got the shit schedule did the same.  They monitor our communications so I can’t really ask from work.  But to me, this is the opposite of “balance,” and the opposite of consistency, which I highly prize.  If I were any more resistent to change, I’d have been diagnosed years ago.   It’s there, honest, but it’s well hidden under brilliant acting skills, well-rehearsed coping devices, and tucked in under the banner “high-functioning.”

High functioning anxiety.  High functioning depression.  High functioning sociopathy (I haven’t actually ever murdered anyone, but I fantasize about it a lot.  Surprisingly, I have fantasized about various scenarios from winning the lottery and teleconferencing to tell them all a few things right before quitting the shit job and the shit shift, to annually doing something on a randomly chosen date to induce them to panicked fear and just to generally fuck with them because I figure it’s only fair, to driving across the state lines to where they work to tell them in person that they’re a bunch of fucking shitheads and then explaining the reasons why, and then announcing the $400 M windfall I’m set to receive and then telling them they are all not included in any of it, to just building a bigger bunker and hiring hit men to just mess with them until they fall under the same company bullshit they laid on me and then want to quit, and making sure their bosses tell any future employers they wouldn’t rehire them because they sucked.  Briefly there was a hit-man scenario, but I don’t want to actually kill anyone, I just want them to share in the misery they offered me so they know what it feels like.)  Anyway, high functioning something something keeps me in this job because of a few things-

1) I’m not high-functioning enough to feel confident enough to “just” get another job,
2) No one wants to hire a sweary preacher.  Hypocritical fuckers.  Or, “holier than thou” fuckers.
3) I haven’t won the lottery yet.  As far as I know.  I DID buy a ticket for the $206M drawing earlier in the week, and I did buy a scratch off ticket today, and I’m still $9 ahead for the year’s “investments.”

I have friends who tell me they’re totally jealous of my “high functioning” functions.  If I think this is hard, how hard is it for someone who’s jealous because it’s not aws hard for me, or doesn’t seem as hard for me?  I often force myself to do things, in spite of my brain saying “no, no, no, no, no, no.”  Because they have to be done.  But I often wait until it’s a crisis and it HAS to be done NOW or it will get worse or cost more or both.  Or until it gets worse and WILL cost more.  Not a good thing for someone who’s worked 20 years in the same industry and gets paid entry level wages.  But no, I’m great.  I’m depressed, but it’s high functioning depression, so it’s not that bad.  Right?  FML.

Maybe I could say, “I’m underpaid, but it’s high functioning underpayment,” which is to say that I miraculously make do with shit wages.  FML.  Even less now since the insurance premiums increased due to the “affordable” health care law.  O-fucking-bama-care.  Like HE cared about my situation when he fucked with the whole country and messed up health insurance for anyone who thought they were in the middle class, right down to people like me who were ALMOST, but not quite, above the poverty line.  Fucker.  Fucking idiot.  But hey, the last several Presidents, not to mention presidential candidates, have been “high functioning” idiots, so they’re …fucking idiots.   Affordable my pained ass.  Even more painful with this schedule shoved up there along with the extra insurance premiums when I couldn’t really afford the old premiums when added to the cost of actually taking advantage of medical and, especially, dental, benefits that I’m supposed to be getting.

On to the point of this, which is to continue my discussion of omens.  Get back, honky cat, was playing on the radio when I drove in early to work, so I sat in the parking lot to listen to it.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=get+back+honky+cat+lyrics&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

These lyrics remind me of the prodigal son story. Almost everyone’s telling him different lies, and a few are telling him truth. The voice in my head said “LISTEN.” So I did, and I mean intently. How do you hear the truth and decipher who’s right? But if the lyrics are portentious, the voice wanted me to hear that I needed to get home and take the change and it would “do me good.”

But right now all I want to do is try to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine.  I hate change.  Did I mention I hate change?  It takes me a long time to settle in when life changes.  I’ve already given up a decent paycheck, now I’m giving up the opportunities of volunteer work during the week AND the opportunity to spend any remaining weekday evenings with my family.  As a compromise, they are “allowing” me to work from home, which is another change I’m supposed to embrace.

I’m totally fucking thrilled. (Sarcasm much?)  Pass the wine bottle, please.  And please, tell me that’s whiskey and not more Merlot, because I don’t really LIKE Merlot.  At least not this cheap crap we can afford.  Maybe it’s high functioning Merlot.  (FML)  I can accept change, whenever the alcohol kicks in and I’m feeling high…functioning, I mean, of course.

May all your change be good for you.  And may all my change come in large denominations of currency.  I’ll share, when I win the lottery.  I promise.  But I never did tell you with whom, now, did I?  I’m not manic, but I sure can act.  Where’s Hollywood with the big movie deal? Or better still, a high-paying voice-actor job so I can hide in my bunker away from all the anxiety, and rake in the cash.

A Picture of One Wave

So I think this might be a brilliant picture of the manic part of the experience. We’ve just climbed out of a very dark tunnel, that the people around us, (including some of the doctors if they would be honest with us, believe we dug ourselves, and they’re mad at us for causing them problems. They’ve basically kicked us out, but because they couldn’t be rid of us completely, they just kind of said “stand here and watch for signs of trouble,” except we’re out of the tunnel and we’re daydreaming, finally:

We just escaped it, with everybody still mad at us for being in the tunnel.  We’re functioning again, blind to the approaching danger. And at the end of our swan song, we realize, oh shit, the hyenas are about to eat me, and we crash back down and we’re falling, with everybody mad at us for causing so many problems, as if we wouldn’t help ourselves and everyone else if we could. Manic phase, to our surprise, has abruptly ended. We have no explanation why.

There’s a cure. But we’re still trying to find it, with people denying the truth and blaming us for everything and calling it a hoax and so on.  The meds they use feel worse than the disease, I’m told.  I wonder myself if the cure is something readily available, right in front of us and we aren’t being told the truth because doctors and pharmacists and manufacturers are busy getting our money and insurance money and so on.  “Lord, I believe!  Help my unbelief! (Mark 9:24)”  Because

Here’s the other, more downward, part of that sine wave. The panthers are chasing us through the forest, to the edge of the cliff, and along comes a fucking doctor, saying, “it’s all right, we can figure this out,” and us responding “I hate you,” because their “help” ain’t helping. My wife really wants me to go. For the depression. But I’m reading the research that says my cycle is slow and meds might make it rapid.

That’s why I don’t really want the help.

because if I let them, I’m afraid this will happen:


And at the bottom of the waterfall, we’ve been bumped around, slammed into the rocks, tossed down a waterfall, we’re tied up, we’re completely helpless, so are the doctors, we’re irritable as a wet llama with no change of clothes, and it’s fucking raining. Everything I read tells me the side effects don’t warrant me being their llama. I mean, a guinea pig. And I’m falling down the waterfall again. Ugh. Here I go again. I’ll just ride it out again. I hope. Hopefully I’ll be back on the “Now my status ain’t so quo” side again in another few months. And maybe it’ll last a while.

 

Thank God, for me it’s cyclothymia with a long cycle and not a rapid wash and spin cycle tossing me up and down and around like a rag doll in a washing machine a couple of times a day. No matter how bad I feel, there are people I can pray for because I don’t have it so bad. At least that’s what I’ve been told.  And yeah, I am praying for everyone who’s suffering, because who knows?  Maybe the cure will be discovered because I asked God to reveal it.  If I don’t ask, I don’t get what I want.

“You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.” – James 4:2 (NIV)

I’m asking, OK, God?  Could we please have an answer other than “in this life you will have trouble?”  (And then the irritating “Be of good cheer” instruction that follows in John 16:33, of course, and makes me want to swear some more, and throttle a scribe or two.)

Is it me, or did this mania part not last as long as it should have?  “I don’t know about you, but I’m getting all funned out.”  Fuck.

“Bring it on.”

~Deon

Is That All It Takes?

Yesterday I snarkily remarked that the “ask and you shall receive” axiom for Christ followers isn’t always answered.  But for the record, about two weeks ago one of my long-standing requests was finally granted.  And last night one of my more temporary, some might say foolish, requests was granted, without protest.  So today, genuinely, thank you, Jesus.  Even when my heart doubts and gives up hope, truth is truth.

Timing is the issue.  After asking and asking, it’s a little tiresome to keep asking.  My timing is definitely not His timing.  I hate to wait, and I don’t learn the lesson if there is a lesson.  I don’t want patience.  When it comes to something I want, if it’s reasonable request and the answer isn’t yes, I’m a 4 year old having a temper tantrum in the toy store.  I still have a request hanging out there somewhere.  It’s years old, but it’s not a “need” so I can deal with that.  I’ve needed a tool for a few years, to help me make better progress writing, and I got that two weeks ago.

Things have changed, over the last month or so.  I had worked hard over the last two weeks on some physically demanding projects, and finally finished a big job last night.  I was exhausted.  I was satisfied with the work, feeling I had done well despite my attitude during the project, and my mood in the recent weeks.  When I got home, I altered my blood chemistry, if you know what I mean (here read:  alcohol), and then was delighted when she further altered my blood chemistry, if you know what I mean (I’ll let you ruminate on the possibilities).  And so it was that last night I finally slept through the night, and was conscious at 6:00 A M and then again at 7:25, when I absolutely had to leave for the office.

So, what made the change?  Was it finally being unburdened of these projects, with the feeling I had finished well?  Was it exhaustion that finally forced me to let go of something spiritual or emotional I was holding on to?  Was it just that in God’s timing, it was time for some “yes” answers instead of the “wait” that I hate so well?  Was it the alterations of blood chemistry, is that really all it takes?  Alcohol and favorable treatment?  Or is it an early shift of cyclothymia that has me feeling like I’m finally on an up-swing?  Or is it really time and I wasn’t paying attention?  Or a combination of things?  Or is this a quick episode, and will I crash again shortly?

From last year’s trend line I shouldn’t be out and up again until late August or early September if I remember it correctly, but I didn’t write it down last year so that’s my fault.  I just remember being severely depressed in the mid-to-late summer and it didn’t break for a long, long, long time.  And remember how much I love waiting for answers to prayer.  If this is something spiritual then still, in my humble, fallible, human opinion, waiting sucks and I don’t think I learned shit about shit from the experience.  If anything I learned being depressed sucks dirt and I don’t always have a rational explanation for how I feel, but sometimes I do and it’s because life is sometimes depressing.  And sometimes, Deon, maybe you just feel depressed for no reason whatsoever.

I should keep monitoring my mood, but dramatically I feel kind of normal today, like things are as they should be.  Also, compared to the normal crap clothes I usually wear, I’m spectacularly dressed today, since I have a date tonight immediately after work.  She eats early, she sleeps early, she wakes surly early.  I’m a night owl and as far as I can safely be, a bit of a party animal I guess.  C’mon hon.  We’re not senior citizens yet.

It would be really stupid to learn that the lesson I didn’t want to learn was simple:  Life happens, bad things and bad moods happen to everyone, it comes in waves so there are ups and downs, and we just all deal with them differently, and eventually, prayer changes things.  Or the rainstorm passes.  Or through hard work one can rebuild and recover after a tornado or tidal wave, but get ready because another one’s coming.  Or yes, Deon, you were right:  sometimes life is depressing, and it makes people depressed when life is depressing.

It would be really stupid if it were that elementary.  There should be something deeper and more profound in going through this.  Please tell me there’s a bigger purpose, God.  And if You please, could I not have to wait for eternity for You to reveal it?  Since You made me, You know how I feel about waiting.  And yes, I know it’s not a “need;” it’s a “want.”

Cyclones, Rages, Phones and Phases

Cyclones, Rages, Phones and Phases, 08/03/2015, Deon Mumple

In my manic phases I’m a real renaissance man,
I can do more, I just can’t dance the can-can,
When I’m depressed I could give less than a fuck.
Don’t ask me for shit, or you’ll be shit out of luck.
But on any given day, it’s my normal way, I cannot lie,
Don’t ring my phone, leave me alone, fuck. off. and die.
In my manic phases I can’t let you slide, driving poorly,
Even with class and classical radio both going for me,
When I’m depressed I’m late.  Fuck you, Out of my way,
Move. your. ass. I’ve got other things to deal with today.
But on any given day, I’d rather stay home and not go anywhere.
If I were home I’d be free to choose whether or not to care.