Obsessed

Obsessed, 07/19/2017, Deon Mumple

When I wake up, you’re on my mind,
Add the chaos of routine every day,
When routine’s never quite routine, I find,
It’s to routine, I wish I could get away.

I sip my coffee, check, and think of you,
Try to smile, check, and to start to pray.
There isn’t ever enough time to do
Everything, and change is here to stay.

The hornets’ nest spins at the queen’s command,
Minions rise to detest her fair bidding,
I throw guesses in a bag, to face work’s demands,
With blurred eyes.  Don’t imagine I’m kidding.

She might kiss, brutally, before she’s mini-vanned
Well-hid exhaustion behind beautiful flurry
Then I regret everything failed I’d planned, and
Check again, then rush off, in my own too-slow hurry.

Radio drones simulate everything’s great; all stupidity,
As we drive to work, dodging two-plus ton bullets,
Too much laughter at things that aren’t funny,
Then a song, the only escape we might get.

On the outside pretending I give a shit for work goals,
I think of you, when not spitting silent bile at my screens,
Hope you’re all right, remembering your life’s tolls,
Wait for a break, hope you’ve written anything.

I might write, stealing time from a self-made hole,
Leave the reader wondering what it means
Don’t be alarmed, the writer would barely know
Tomorrow, from yesterday’s routines

Don’t worry, I’ve got a routine to hang from
Don’t alarm yourself for my emotional state
If change shreds all, who knows what will come?
Would it be worse than what I now hate?

Before I try to sleep, I check one more time,
To see if you’ve checked in, in some tiny way,
An email,  rant, a narrative, a tear, a smile, a line
Just to know, bad as it may be, you’re relatively ok.

I want at least that piece of peace of mind,
That peace of my world, as intact as you can be
Despite life’s grind, the rewind, and regrind
And I am sorry if I ever make you worry.

Compared to the alternatives I know are possible-
I’d rather not read about you from any other source
Though my normal seems comparatively dull
Routines, checking, checking, rechecking of course

If routine disappeared from the queen’s kingdom
I’d just worry more, for her, her minions, and you.
If you’ve not written, you’re who I’m waiting to hear from,
Call me obsessed; I’m just your biggest fan, being true.

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The Evils of Daydreaming, Gambling, Using the Internet, and Other Social Sins

As the Powerball Lottery in my geographic region just went over $400M, I again started to daydream about winning that shit.  I bought a single ticket, because my chance is just as good as any other person’s chance.  And on Sunday we sang a praise song about how nothing on Earth is quite as good as anything in Heaven.  The message from the song was clear, the message from our pastor was clear, and in my notes I wrote it:  “Faith in God makes your perspective about our earthly struggles much clearer, but it doesn’t do shit about fixing them. You have to muddle through just like everyone else.”  Struggles, he might have just as well said problems, frustrations, disappointments,  pain, or whatever other “big picture” word you can pick.

On Friday night, I rested my sore ass after working hard all week at this same shit job, and doing a half-assed job with house work, because my back was twitching and unmedicated.  Literally, I hurt from back to legs, just enough to twitch when I tried to stand and walk.  And that’s just truth, not a complaint.  I endured, and that’s not a complaint either.  I’ll explain in a second.

At least I’m not a plumber, because then my shit job would be a literal shit job.  I don’t mind dealing with my family’s shit, but I really don’t want to deal with a world of shit.  So, I celebrated my tiny shit job ending for the week, and had a tall glass of lemonade while wishing my back would stop hurting.  If I had copay money, I might know a good chiropractor, but instead I tried stretching and waiting, because it’s cheaper.  On Saturday, I mowed a half-acre of grass and did some volunteer work, the completion of which were their own reward.  And I drove home from these tasks, took a hot shower, and rested my sore ass.  This time I had grape kool-aid, because we had finished the lemonade and I got to choose.  There’s still my quarter-acre and the other half of mum’s acre, so 3/4 acres to mow this week if I can fit it in.  And, at least I’m not a landscaper or mowing service, because having it as a job means that’s got to be done to earn money, and it was too hot to do anything Sunday.  Imagine being out in the hot sun all summer long and then, when the landscape business dries up with the spring and summer rains, you do something else to earn money I guess.  Engine repair, sharpening lawn mower blades… (“Mmm hmm…,” brain flashed back to Sling Blade’s Billy Bob Thornton character), driving a snowplow and hoping for snow, vs. the rest of us, wary commuters who are hoping the snow and ice only falls on the dormant grass and not the streets, sidewalks and driveways.

It’s barely summer, just getting hot enough to notice.  So, I’m still mowing grass, not shoveling snow.  I recall in prior, winter storms, when the snowplow played an amusing game with me.  I’d diligently shovel my driveway and sidewalk, and the plow would barrel down the street when I finished, and pile that shit off the street and onto my driveway and sidewalk.  Only the second round was packed down, and usually icy, so if I didn’t go right back out and shovel again, it would freeze and make my driveway worse than before I shoveled the first time.  I say, “amusing.”  I mean, something else.

And you know, with my personal mental issues, that in the moment of having to do the thing I just spent the time getting done right, a-fucking-gain, I was not particularly celebrating the opportunity.   I mean, I get cranky when my kids don’t do shit, which is all the time, I get frustrated when my wife doesn’t do shit I want her to do, which is all the time, and I get a good rage on when I do something and it falls apart and makes me repeat the process.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Tie my shoestrings, I knot the damned things and I’m still walking on sunshine the damned strings by the end of the day.  Bless my heart, my feet are different sizes, profoundly so, and I therefore can’t wear slip on shoes, they just fall off.   And I re-tie my shoestrings again.

Guess what?  The nature of life, I’m told, is that things routinely happen to cause people to have to, for example, re-tie their shoes, or re-wash a dish that accidently shifts from strainer to soapy water, or re-vacuum or mop a floor someone tracks dirt deposits on.  Well, to turn an urban phrase, “I ain’t down wit dat.”  I don’t even want to do it the first time, do NOT make me have to do it twice.  Or three times.  Imagine my consternation with throwing something in a straight line to the trash, from a foot away, and missing.  Three times.  I stand, my back hurts.  I bend.  My back hurts.  I pick it up.  I hover over the trash, release, it sticks to my finger the first time and misses.  The second time it hits the rim, and misses.  FUCK!  I mean, you can laugh, but my back hurts.

We are supposed to struggle, says my pastor.  Well, fuck that.  I get to a point struggling when I am broken, quicker than your average schmuck, and I want to quit.  We are supposed to endure.  I have that down to a science.  And yet, fuck that too.  I know he’s telling us the truth, but I don’t want it to be that way.  I don’t like being broken.  I don’t like struggling.  It’s most often not worth the reward I receive for struggling, at least not in this life.  He never did get around to telling us WHY we’re supposed to struggle and endure.  I do it for Mrs M and the kids.  I do it for a select few of my readers, you know who you are.  And I do it as a matter of personal satisfaction.  And maybe that’s the point.  “…patient [fucking] endurance…” (I just misappropriated Revelation 14:12, if you’re keeping score.)

My church seems to really have an issue with what I do with my money.  I watched my tithe check go into the offering plate, written by the lovely hand of Mrs. M. herself.  I need to mention it, because I know some people love to walk in smug self-righteousness, stand in the crowd of the proud holier-than-thou people, and sit in judgement. (I just appropriated Psalm 1:1, if you’re keeping score.)  Anyway, at the risk of inflating my pride, my “widow’s mite” of a tithe went in, not that it was very much.  But my $2 went for a lottery ticket, because there is a chance.  I myself took a dim view of the lady who claimed to have spent the month’s rent payment on lottery tickets back when it was a billion dollars.  Because that’s just dumb, even if it IS a billion dollars, what do you do when you don’t win?  Your landlord still wants that money.  Rumor has it she tried to crowd-fund, and almost got away with that except that she implied she’d do it all over again and this wasn’t a one-time impulsive dumb mistake that she learned from.

My bills have to get paid. Even the ones I rescued from a random box Mrs M stuck them in, in an effort to clean house, or in an effort to forget them.  I…. don’tunderSTAND!
Image result for james kirk
I …don’tunderstand!!

I like a clean house, don’t get me wrong, but don’t lose the house while you’re putting things “away.”  “Away” is not in a random box you plan to sort through when you get around to it.  The bill collectors do not care that you don’t know where it is or how much you owe, they just want to get paid.  “Patient [fucking] endurance.” (that’s two)  On the plus side, I found the fucking bill and put it somewhere it might be found in time to pay it.

Anyway, the point is, I try to be responsible with money, and get the bills paid as well as I can, and then I keep a tiny reserve of a few bucks a week to spend, sometimes.  Or give to the kids if they need a little money.  I don’t go out to eat, so I might buy a lottery ticket if the jackpot is ridiculously high.  Which is to say, anything over a few hundred million.  So yes, if you keep score, I wasted $2 last week, because my numbers were not drawn.  I’m wasting another $2 this week, unless I win, in which case you’ll change your tune and call it “investing.”  And bet me that even those sanctimonious, richer-than-thou pricks who caught lucky breaks and make boatloads of cash more than me, will turn from their pious down-nose-gazing judgement and be all chummy with me if I do.  And watch their stunned faces when I tell them to fuck off.  Along with the richie-riches who didn’t help me when I humiliated myself and asked them for help.  And the ass holes who put the shit on my credit report, not during the big financial crisis that led to the above humiliation, but after I worked my sore ass off and paid a little of that shit off, will be charged at least 30% interest if they want to borrow from me.  It’s almost as good as they offered, the bastards.

And the ones who actually DID help me will be paid back with interest, or given a gift and they’ll have to figure out what to do with it.

But yeah, gambling is evil, if it’s your addiction.  It’s not mine, because 1) the house always wins; and 2) I can’t afford to be compulsive about it; and 3) if I had the cash, I wouldn’t feel the need to take a chance on more.  Why would you bother?  I wouldn’t go to Vegas if you paid my ticket, room and board.  Because people lose their asses out there.  “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas[, and it keeps your assets there with it].”  If you throw your rent money, or your food money, at your bookie, that’s a problem and you’re going to have a bad time.

Speaking of time, I suppose it is fitting to confess, I’ve daydreamed about the lottery a few times.  Enough to plan a few things when I actually do win.  You’ll know it’s me from the dental implants, the practical, fuel efficient car, the ridiculous swag I give Mrs. M., the diligence to wrap up details I feel responsible for before quitting my shit job, and the gentle, non-bridge-burning ways I distance myself from certain people.  And the way I disappear from view, unless someone who cared about me when I was poverty-stricken needs something.  This, however, is a waste of time because I haven’t won yet.  Who knows what I could have accomplished, if I had harnessed that time in practical pursuits.

There will be wasted money if I win, but not a whole lot of it.  I’ll indulge, because I’ll be able to.

I was a little startled this morning when I went online from work, on the “guest browser” internet access.  The provider (not even my company, because the tightwads refuse to offer bandwidth to guest users from the company who are at lunch), refused to connect me to the lottery website and said the reason my request was filtered was “gambling.”  So I went on Twitter and found my answer there, stupid ass holes!  As an employee, I should be allowed to check on break or at lunch if I can quit my job, using bandwidth provided by my employer.  The only reason to not allow it is for people who will abuse it, so I get that.  As a guest browsing on your bandwidth, as a non-employee, what’s the reason behind filtering out the lottery website?  I should be allowed to check if someone won, just browsing as a guest.  I don’t get that one at all.  Unless you’re one of those holier-than-thou judges and you believe you’re protecting me from myself.  I’m a big boy now, and I don’t have mommy or daddy hovering over me while I take my chances at life, and I don’t need to be prevented from seeing if the lottery jackpot suddenly went down, so I can know whether to bother checking my ticket on the way home after working my sore ass off all day.

There are both practical and recreational uses for the internet, and we all know there is a lighter side to both, and naturally a darker side.  Farbeit from me to judge how you recreationally or occupationally use the internet.  You may well judge me if I “cast a stone. (Matthew 7 1-3, and John 8:7, scorekeepers)”  I recommend the lighter side, but I’m not going to stop you.  I know a certain blogger who knowing he’ll probably never meet anyone from the internet, has been known to casually be flirtatious.  He’s an ass, but intends no harm.  But if that’s sin, then that sin is out there for all to see, just like any other sinner’s “sin.”  I wonder if I’d use the internet more, or less, or differently if I won the jackpot and were free to do whatever I wanted.  I hope I’d work on my books and my blogs more.  But I can’t predict that; I can only hope.  There but for not having enough free time I might be the guy everyone looks down on for “sinful” internet activities.  You can’t do those things at work, because 1) eww; and 2) I don’t even know what that would be filtered as; and 3) even the lighter side of internet distraction gets filtered by my work computer as “entertainment.”  You can’t even do THAT at work, much less anything  “worse.”

In my bunker, guests can do what I can afford to let them do.  Have a beverage or a few, rest and recharge, carry on harmless flirtation, hide from the zombies, sharpen your z-whackers, practice your marksmanship.  Stay for dinner, stay for breakfast, in your own warm comfortable bed, by yourself, guarded by my lack of any real intention and Mrs M’s heretofore un-tested-but-surely-insane jealousy.  I don’t favor the commitment of crime, so you probably should do that in someone else’s bunker if that’s what you like to do.

When I win the lottery, that fucking bunker is getting built in a non-virtual, very secret and undisclosed location, by invitation only.  “And in the morning, Image result for shrek donkey meme
See?  I told you I was an ass.  But because I didn’t win yet, this past weekend, and I feel I need another shot at it, I’m going to waste another $2 tonight.  Just in case someone is still keeping score.  And when I win, quite a few of my daydreams will have to be prioritized and accomplished, because I do habitually daydream.  It’s cheaper than buying something.  I can’t afford to buy much right now, but when I can, I just might.  I hope I’m not compulsive, but deliberate and thoughtful.

Do I need this, want this, or is it a stupid impulse I’ll regret later?  Or, if I bought this and gave it to someone, would it be a blessing, or a waste?  I think those principles will make an excellent guideline for me when I win.  It’s funny, for all the judgement I hear from people who don’t participate moderately and conservatively in social sins, I don’t get enraged at having to buy another lottery ticket or at losing yet another $2 if I could afford to spend it and had it in my wallet and went to the store.  And sure, it’s probably a stupid impulse I’d regret if not for the happy daydream that chance buys.  Will I regret winning?  I’ll let you know, but I doubt it.  With the knowledge that gambling is viewed as a sin, I bet I’ll finally find out if that song is right.

Speaking of social sins, yesterday was so damned hot, that while I was outside doing yard work, I had a cold beer.  And when I finished working outside a few hours later, I had ANOTHER cold beer to cool off, and then a nice hot shower, and then fell into a nice restful sleep.  It brings me to this morning.  This morning, I did a stretch and felt my back adjust, and it took me a few minutes to realize my back wasn’t aching as bad.  So there’s another blessing.  Despite not winning the weekends’ drawing, I really did have a little “thank-you-God” party when my back popped.  On Sunday, I felt VERY blessed to have those cold beverages in my fridge, and even moreso when my back popped to correct itself. this morning.  If it hadn’t, I’d have figured out how to hobble to the car and drive my sore ass to work.  If I hadn’t had those beverages, then probably ibuprofen and more grape kool-aid, because it’s just good-tasting.  Since I had them, though, I’m probably bordering on alcoholism, if you’re keeping score of all my “sins.”  I’ve probably got several others if you are as perfect as the judgemental set are.
But so far, lying isn’t really one of the sins you can charge me with very much.

I really am making waffles on the day after I find out I’ve won the lottery.  The best damned waffles, EVER.

Fallen Angel

When words fail us, our tears fall like rain.
Should we feel anger mingled with our pain?
When there are no answers, and right feels wrong,
The tears are the silenced words to our love song
When I remember, they play all over again.
My fallen angel!

I’m not alone hearing a love song play
With no music and no words left to say
What we have left are wishes that won’t come true
And our grief, deeper than any shade of blue
And words we wished we could have said…
My fallen angel!

No one can answer the questions we ask
But guilt never resolved chords dissonance
What’s left when there are no more words?
And she’s not here if they could be heard?
I don’t know anything left to tell
My fallen angel.

What can I say that wasn’t said before?
When I said “I love you,” I loved her more
And the tears fall, singing my love once again,
For mixed up hearts and lives. My friends
Should know love’s much deeper than pastel.
Don’t fall, my angels!

05/21/2017, Deon Mumple

I wrote a poem before about my Ulla, when I found out she had left us.  And now I’ve written this one by request because too many people fall to depression, bipolar, and other mental health difficulties.  We lost Ulla, and then we lost Johnna who wrote sweetly about how Ulla touched her, and honestly I just don’t want to lose any more of my people.  More famously, and more recently, forgive me for taking it too personally, I lost my favorite male vocalist Chris Cornell.

Sorry for being selfish, but please, all the rest of you warriors, please just don’t leave me here without you.  Ulla said “You matter.”  We need each other. And I don’t want to write any more poems in memory.  I want to write poems of celebration.  Ulla was an encourager of others, and the wish I wished the most other than my prayers for her to be healed was that I could encourage her enough, be a good enough friend, to help her and make her want to stay and keep writing, and keep fighting.  And neither were granted.  I fear for myself, and I fear for all of you.

Here is a short, beautiful tribute written about Ulla by Pieces of Bipolar, quoted by Johnna:
Blahpolar had an immense effect on my life. I doubt she even realised how much. She walked beside me on my own journey even as she carried the weight of her own demons. She said two words that redefined my life – you matter. Two simple words that changed my life. And now, I am at a loss for words. Because she mattered to me, and to you and to us. Words escape me. All I have are tears…https://painkills2.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/thinking-of-you-blahpolar/

A Song for Chris

I want to cry, don’t want to cry,
Fuck you, death, Why don’t YOU just die
I’m tired of grief, and time, the thief
I want to kill death, watch it die.

I sit trained like a dog, to wait
For food, my own death, festering hate
Afraid to walk outside the gate
A rabid temple, a sacred fate.

I’d scream to find a higher truth,
Louder than love.  We’re caged, in pain,
We waste away so much of youth,
In saddest days we can’t explain.

The garden’s sounds frighten my soul
Loud and confusing, silent toll,
No sleep, justice is misaligned-
I find a dream, and miss the goal.

I want to cry; I wanted more
Than cloudy feelings, sad and sore.
If life were ever not unfair
In this life we’d settle the score

But we just die, and there we lie
Until we crumble, rot or fry
It’s not the way I would decide
What I want: I want to cry,

I want all my lost treasures back
So many people I’ve lost track,
Nearly forgot my broken heart-
I want it healed, and not attacked,

Black days to go the fuck away,
Starve death until it’s dead and lean,
and Rage Against the Death Machine.
Don’t want to cry.  I want to cry.

R.I.P. Chris Cornell, 07/20/1964-05/17/2017

Alone in Crowds of People

Did I choose this, or did it happen, chance, or a deliberate accident?
I’m with people all the time, who act like they care, but they don’t.
When it comes down to it, the crowd doesn’t care for the crowd,
Only the one cares for the one, the megaphoned silence says out loud.

I’m alone at work with my stress, my work, and there’s always a little more work,
If the counters counted my value, my boss wouldn’t have to be a jerk,
I’m alone when at home, surrounded by drivers who thrive
On my silent drives: duty and responsibility, their manipulative connive

I’m alone at my church, good enough to work and serve, but not good,
Until I worship, alone, a God Who has turned away, and well He should,
Alone, surrounded by my crowds of strangers, I know, and want to know
Alone, while they dare to claim their care, I think it’s a hell of a show

I’m alone, surrounded by significants who ignore my insignificance,
Alone, wondering if everyone else feels they’re alone, in a trance,
Or if they’re really not there, why they seem so real, while they’re ignoring me
Did this start because I wanted to be left alone, or through emotional injury?

All I know is I don’t like what I know about being alone any more,
I’ve been pushed away,  until I learned to push away, and my heart’s left alone and sore
It’s been a long blur of lonely, I’m a stranger to myself, alone long enough to question-
I begin to wonder if I pushed first or they, and if, maybe, it’s time to try to trust again.

Are you lonely only because I left you alone? If I left you, I’m truly sorry.
But I’m terrified from being hurt before, if you look close enough to see.
I’m sad and tired from loneliness, but lonely’s a safe place to stay
So I’ll leave you alone forever again, if you hurt me and push me away.

Clarified Astigmatism

Clarified Astigmatism, 3/21/2017, Deon Mumple

I thought I saw you clearly,
Though we both tried to hide,
We talked and we were friendly,
Shared dreams we held inside,

What we saw was a patchwork
Of what each chose to show
I hid that I was a jerk
You hid the fears you know

Pretending I was better
Than I know me to be
The lies behind the letters
I hoped you wouldn’t see

Pretending we weren’t sore
Faked fearless, hid cage bars,
But joking showed a bit more
We both revealed our scars

I loved you and I love you
As you have shared your pains
While fearing what you would do
If I showed my soul’s stains

You tell me that you love me
We still hurt, life still stings
I see just what you show me
The safer side of things

I tell you that I love you,
My arms, the safest place,
Wishing I’d never hurt you,
Wiping tears from your face,

Is it inevitable
That I will let you down?
The looks of disapproval,
The not-so-subtle frown?

I want to be your safety,
To let you be at rest
But can I do so safely
Since this lacking’s my best?

I’ve just become your nightmare
Wanting to be your dream,
You’ve been my biggest scare,
I’m caged, long to be free

You deserve everything good
But I want to be yours
Despite ways I could or should
Strive to serve you more

You still wear let-downs with style,
I’m trapped, crestfallen, lean,
I’ve dimmed down your loving smile,
I don’t know how to dream.

First World Problems

Sorry I’ve been away so long. You all probably think I won the lottery or changed to a better job or went on vacation with Mrs M to someplace warm and steamy, with the emphasis on “steamy.” Nope.  Not yet.  I’m still hoping because there’s still a slim chance if I buy a ticket.

I got a little advance warning on the impending crash of the wave of depression, so some of you were perceptive enough to pick up on it.  I think. I may have mentioned it. Because it sucks. Well, crash it has. I like Christmas, I just hate that I have to ride around in this semi-animated corpse pretending everything is great including me. Yeah, you’ve heard the cheer on your radios because it’s after Hallo-fucking-ween: “Voices singing let’s be jolly, fuck the halls with bouts of folly.”

Well, everything IS great, on the spreadsheet. Except finances, and my job, and my car’s check engine light, and my teeth still not fixed, and my wife and kids demanding indentured servitude without the terms of severance or the income.  Wikipedia says “The employer is often permitted to assign the labor of an indenture to a third party.” And it’s true, we have a new dog the kids have named “Scruffy,” and my labor has been assigned, on an as-needed basis, to serve “Scruffy.” And this without relief from the other duties two of my friends tease me about. They say I’m “a good wife.”

On the spreadsheet, I have a job. I have a car. I have a house. I have a family (and a dog). There is food on the table. The house has heat for winter (now) and air conditioning for summer (now).  I also have time-released amphetamines for my depression.  They keep me awake sometimes, they might help me focus a little better than the coffee.  Oh, and I have coffee, which is excellent.  Coffee is one of the best things on the plus side.  These are great on the surface. Scratch it a little (because “Scruffy” likes that).

Under the surface a little, the wisdom of another “Scruffy” shines through:

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via GIPHY

That’s right, about the time I’m ready to kick life’s ass and take its’ name, life, or my feelings, or my whatever the fuck the opposite of mania for a cyclothymic comes along with a great big rainbow of

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via GIPHY

And it IS a gray rainbow.

I thought I was done with a project and it popped its’ ugly little head up again and said, “Remember me?  Good, now prove you did everything right, all over again.” So after I half-recover from the stress of this week I get to go through all that shit all over again, prove my numbers, search for the one thing the one person wants me to find, and if I find it, figure out why the rest of my numbers worked out right, and if I don’t find it, deliver the bad news to the guy who loses $200 dollars and does not get to pass “Go.” I was very careful and I’m 96% sure I’m right.  It’s just a tiny “fuck you” from a universe full of those.  Duck, or the universe will hand you a few too.

Remind me to never volunteer for shit again.

It’s been a rough few weeks for me, not from the plus column because I’m truly grateful for everything good in life: I have good friends, three in particular who have been extremely supportive. There are people who would murder to have that kind of morale support, and their lives tear them down regularly to a point where even my bitching feels like encouragement to them. And I offer it.

Add to the plus side:  I have a car.  It runs, and it depreciates, so therefore it costs me money.  Depreciate is a big word that’s code for “shit falls apart.”    I have a house, and I like it when it’s cool in summer heat and warm in winter cold so therefore it costs me money.  I have a family that likes to eat, and I’m the biggest culprit for that.  I have a laptop computer that likes to spontaneously highlight what I’ve typed and delete it in ways Ctrl+Z won’t recover, and despite this, I still like to write.  Mrs M and the kids have their electronics, and we like Netflix too.  The stove runs on electric too, so we have a bill to pay or three there.  We also like it when the trash is carried away once a week, and we like our hot and cold running indoor plumbing.  To handle the expense of these things, I have a job.

My minus column might not be bad if it weren’t amplified by depression and loudly broadcast through a few other things. Amplifiers take the existing signal and push it up. Amplifiers are good because they boost what you can’t hear and make it audible. It’s the speakers I dislike. The minus column by itself is fine, I guess. Nothing a little humongous lottery win, or death, wouldn’t eliminate forever. (I’ve got no immediate plans for death, just in case you read closely enough to grow concerned, so the only thing left is that HUGE cash windfall. Bring it. And AMPLIFY THAT shit to 12 out of 10 on the dial.)

Broadcasters:
1-The grind – I fucking hate the grind. I have a job, but there’s no reward beyond a sub-minimal paycheck. There’s no such thing as team. There’s “I,” if you want to promote yourself like hell and there’s “they” if you want to finger point and make other people look bad in order to make yourself look better, see also, “I.” I was temporarily under another supervisor’s thumb for a week. During that week of assigned indentured servitude, I was scheduled to be in early, and I was late once. A half an hour, which I realize was my fault because I didn’t observe the schedule change, and I was in at my regularly scheduled time. And thereafter, I had two days of adjusting to a new, earlier traffic pattern when I was in the office on time but not on the clock until 3 minutes late. And because this alternate supervisor is one of the “they” people, he reported my tardiness, all six minutes over two days, which my company treats to punishment, as if I had missed an entire fucking day. The remaining two days I was early. But I have a job. Would other people murder for my job? I think not. Just so Mrs M can hold her exhaustion over my head (see below) Mrs M has to have a job because my job is shitty and pays shitty.  I’ve been there for several years and recently things have taken a turn for the decidedly worse (see above). There used to be grace, a few minutes, no big deal. But now, even though I always give a little extra in between and after just so my desk stays under control so my name and my conscience are clear too, and then try to help people get theirs done, there is only punishment and fear of more punishment, and stress, and accusation, and “I” and “they” thinking instead of mutual respect and consideration and mercy. In light of worsening weather and us getting a dog, I asked about working from home in addition to asking for a raise. Others make the same (new people) or more, others doing the same work are permitted to be home-based, but my request is denied because I didn’t jump when they originally offered it. I wasn’t ready for such a big change, and who among you with a touch of Asperger’s if they’d relish a huge change in their life.  I didn’t toe their line, when they wanted me to, and how they wanted me to, so now work is dishing out “fuck you’s” and second helpings of “fuck you’s.” I’m supposed to be grateful and ask for thirds and dessert courses of the same.

Anyone hiring, looking for a guy who just wants to come in, do good work, and go home, or better still be home, satisfied at the end of good day’s work? I don’t mind staying late or coming early if the expectations are clear. I don’t mind working hard, and I do a good job, not that anyone I work for would confess to that. I do good work because I value my name and I want my company to be profitable because if they’re profitable it’s supposed to trickle down. But no, if minimum wage is “raised,” I get a tiny “raise,” but ultimately it represents a 50% pay cut because I’ve worked hard to be almost up to the newly proposed minimum above the minimum wage and I’ve almost reached the newly proposed minimum wage because I’ve been faithful. So go ahead and raise that and knock my feet out from under me, why don’t we ask the government? But the idiots who don’t understand basic economics WANT the new minimum wage, not realizing it moves a bunch of struggling almost-middle-class people who’ve worked their asses off to earn anything close to the proposed minimum, JINGLING ALL THE WAY back down to the new poverty level. I don’t mind telling you it’s frustrating as fuck watching the idiots who want to run our country…into the pits.  Why am I despairing?  I don’t know!  (Is my sarcasm showing?)

Does the boss appreciate good work? With her lips she audibly says yes, but with her unrealistic, unmerciful expectations and her daily pittance, like some kind of Ebony  Z’You’rescrewed-ge, she screams a silent, yet somehow much louder, FUCK YOU! (Oh, yeah, just for all the citizens and illegal fucking aliens of the United States of the Too-Easily-Offended, the name is not racist, and fuck you very much if you thought it was.  Not that I should have to explain my intentions as  this is my fucking blog, I’m feminizing and characterizing the name “Ebenezer Scrooge.” You try it and see if you can do any better.) But hey, I’m accustomed to being taken for granted, which brings us to broadcaster:

2-The family—I fucking love/hate the family. If they were any more “supportive,” I might drive into oncoming traffic as fast as my crap car would go. With my luck, and with my car, I’d probably survive, which deters any such thinking pretty fast. And again, that’s not a plan. You worriers! All three or four of you.

My friends say I’m a “good wife,” and they’re right. One night I was so cold I washed dishes just so my hands would feel the hot water for a while. My children do chores only when we are angry and demanding, which sucks for parenting. “I have homework!” is a popular excuse. Among others. I do chores because I’m sick of the excuses bullshit and because Mrs M sighs and says she works so hard and doesn’t have the energy for anything more. And she doesn’t have the energy. She falls asleep hours before I do and gets up maybe 30 minutes before I do. There’s no time or energy left over for Mr. M., which is just great. Wait, is my sarcasm amplifier still on? And if there is time or energy, there’s no enthusiasm. I’m another fucking chore to sigh through and endure. And in spite of this, please cue “All I want for Christmas is You.”  The Mariah one, but pick your favorite if you have one.  I like the album one, to be honest.

Sure, she’s lovely live, have you seen those beautiful red dresses?   Of course you haven’t.  Because there are no pictures of the lovely Mrs M online, and I’m not sharing.  (I don’t mean Miss Mariah, although she’d be a hell of a catch.  That SINGING!!  Sadly, I’ve only really come to wanton, reckless desperation wanting Mrs M for Christmas (and every other day of the year) for years, since I determined she only loves me her way, not my way, and only when she feels like it. There’s certainly no joy in doing anything extra that would make Mr. M. overly happy. If I beg and plead, it’s an even worse chore, “sigh, sigh, sigh, you’re horrible and I hate you,” say all the nonverbal cues, which makes me not want to bother, which seems to fit the agenda.

And yet, she’s beautiful and pretends she means well and loves me some of the time. I just wish it seemed a bit more real all of the time and was a little more freely shared with me without the stupid dynamics that I don’t bring to the bedroom for offering the same treatment, freely, because it makes her pretend to be happy for a little while.

When she feels like pretending I’m reasonably happy and I can almost forget she’s just pretending.  It’s been more than 20 years, and I can’t exactly pinpoint when I realized she was doing that, but it really pissed me off and despite my efforts to recapture her heart, alas, I am only taken for granted and more is expected and demanded.  Fortunately I “make a good wife.”  My fucking friends are right.  But I know she’s the one I want.

This is 100% true, so far, no matter how hard I flirt online with all you fantastically hot bloggers.  You know who you are.  Yes.  You.  Fucking beautiful souls and hearts, trying to tempt me and ten percent away from succeeding…because I hide in my bunker to keep you at fingertip distances away from the true depths of my heart, once plumbed by the lovely Mariah…erm…Mrs M..

3-Because this is a list of amplifiers, I feel obligated to have a third item for my amplifier list.  I’m stressed out.  I’m discouraged.  I’m riding the wave and it’s cresting over my head.  It’s so cold in the office I can practically see my breath.  I wear layers to stay warm enough to keep working because my clients deserve good service despite the way our system and our management don’t help me.  I asked for a raise because of all the talk about raising the minimum wage nationally, also because I found out that I earn the same amount now after my years of experience as they are paying new people.  I wasn’t supposed to say anything.  I wasn’t supposed to ask, so now they are punishing me for saying something.  I’m not supposed to be upset about feeling punished, and I’m not supposed to be upset that my systems don’t work and I’m not supposed to be frustrated that my management is punishing me for little picayune things and for asking for a raise.  And I’m not supposed to be angry and convey any frustration to anyone at the office.  I’m not supposed to believe that I’m being punished.

I’m not supposed to be discouraged in life, in work, in my relationships.  I’m supposed to suck it up and be a good wife and be a good indentured servant to wife and work and family and dog and volunteer organizations.  I’m supposed to think positive.  I’m supposed to continue working and believe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Well, like they say in the Metallica song, it’s “just a freight train comin’ [my] way, hey, hey.”

But indeed, I am horrible, and I earn and deserve every discouragement I get.  AND, the scary thing is, other people struggle with worse things than me.  Other people have worse dental situations, worse financial situations, worse work situations, worse relationship situations (some people are fucking physically abused, for fucks sake, by losers who should be shot to death as slowly as possible.), etc.  If I had a shred of manly courage I’d have a better job and earn enough money, and I’d also be able to fix the cars and the things around the house without routinely having a panic and rage attack when it falls apart, and wishing I had the cash to just call the guy who knows how to fix the fucking thing right the first time.

Lately it’s hair and fuck knows what else stuck in the drain pipes, and I don’t know what happened except a miracle: I’ve been able to fix that, after the panic attacks subsided and the desire to rage-quit was replaced by a strong desire to not have to pay someone to do it for me.  My teeth are still an issue.  I already need two implants, or the cheaper alternative is to have them just pulled, maybe a filling or two too.  Maybe in March I’ll get the courage and the cash to have them out, and then decide if I want to, or if I’m able to, save and spend it on myself.  I love doctors (see below) almost as much as dentists.

I can do little things, not big things like afford to put $3.5K in my face, or $700 in a doctor’s pocket for a blood test AFTER fucking insurance, or $1K into my car.  I only want to help people, and be helped in return, so the universe in all of its’ fallen glory shouts a great big FUCK YOU at me and deals the shit cards out.   I’ve taken to just calling the jerk who makes the universe suck, because I lack a more polite but accurate literary term,  an “ass hole.”  To spite the universe fucking ass hole, I decided to treat some dear people as nicely as I’m able.  You know who you are, you know I love you very dearly, and I hope what I did was practical and useful and fitting… for you, however impractical and impulsive it was for me.

Because if the universe is an ass hole to me, it’s an ass hole for others too, and if I can lash out and flip two great big birds at the universe fucker by doing something nice in spite of my situation, then that is what I want to do.  Fuck you, universe fucker.  Until you stop treating people like shit, including me, I’m going to randomly try to do nice encouraging things for people.  And if you slow down on fucking me over long enough for me to break even or get ahead, I’m going to do MORE whenever I can.  What I did was so small, but it was very significant to me

Because I keep asking a question.  I wish I knew where I should look to find a little, perhaps lingering, taste of the answer for myself, but I also ask for Mrs M and for my family, despite everything.  Maybe if I figure them out they’ll learn and eventually have enough to share.  I also ask for people I want to somehow help or encourage, in spite of the universe.  Because if I need it for myself, I know my family needs it too.  And if I frequently feel so empty, my family might feel that way too sometimes.  I know it’s true if I need it, that everyone else needs the answer, too, whether they’ll admit it or not.

When I look in the mirror I realize, even though I don’t really have a clue about how to fix very many things, I know I’m staring at a tiny part of the answer.  I don’t know what to do about work.  I still want to maintain my standards, but I’m past the point of giving half a fuck about this company and the people who have me under their thumbs and enjoy the work I do.  They seem to just be screwing with me right now so I won’t forget my proper place under their authority.  So If you know someone hiring at a decent wage for good work, I’ve done editing and proofreading and writing and research in the past and really enjoyed that.  (If I get paid, it’s not as crappy as this blog often is.)  It would be refreshing to do what I like instead of what my current employer undercompensates me for.

“Undercompensates” is a big word that means “acts in cooperation with the universe fucker to make life more difficult than it should be or needs to be.”  I think the universe fucker abuses the laws of physics and gravity and invented the contrary “laws” of relationships, to break precious things and break even more precious hearts, and cause unnecessary grief to anyone whether they can handle more shit in life or not.  Depressed?  Moi?   Fuck that, I’m busy pretending like fuck to be positive in spite of the shit dealers.  Because, for one, the boss wants me to smile while she’s fucking me over with barbed wire implements, and if I don’t like it, she wants me to pretend I do, and tell her “thank you” for the attention.  And not tell anyone about how I feel, or how it, and the tools the company gives me to try to do my job, that fail to help me fully succeed induce panic and rage.  At least I haven’t heard anything lately at church that pissed me off.  But give it time.  Christmas is when the gospel is love from God through scandal-an illegitimate child’s birth- and angels singing “comfort and joy” and “peace on earth.”  After Christmas, I’ll expect it.  If I get blindsided I might let you know.  As for Mrs M, Christmas and New Years give me a better shot at being loved how I want to be loved.  And I’ll keep trying to do the same for her.

If you don’t hear from me until then, despite how you may sometimes feel about messages either from the Bible or from some pastor (not necessarily the same original source), Merry Christmas, dear readers.  Life may not all be “tidings of comfort and joy,” but we can try to encourage each other anyway.  Like you encourage me.  And if you have a chance, be a tiny part of the answer to someone, even if it’s not very much or appreciated right now.  “This calls for patient endurance.”  But if I can do it in my tiny, insignificant way, you can do it too.  Try.  It feels really  good to flip off the universe fucker.