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.

Something I started in September 2016 (tw?)

I wrote this September 13, 2016 and never published it.  The cruel shoes still fit just as painfully poorly (cruel shoes, remember Steve Martin anyone?), so I’m publishing it because I don’t have the motivation to write something new or the talent to write something better.  Readers beware, it’s gonna be a bumpy hayride and I can already smell the tractor diesel and smoke, musty wet hay, field-rotting pumpkins, and horse shit.

I’m supposed to muster up something.  It’s supposed to be pleasant and motivational and encouraging.  Except I have these issues.  I have these wants.  It’s possible I’m completely normal and I should be able to do everything I need to do.

It’s also possible I’m mostly dead, barely able to wiggle a finger, and I’m supposed to carry the scene, starting at 1:44, here:

Confession: I AM bluffing, and everybody knows it. I’ve got nothing. Not even a sword. Well, no. I do have a sword, I just don’t have the strength to lift it.  Some people say “the world is my oyster,” or whatever other positivism nonsense I’m supposed to make sense of.  If it’s my oyster, damned if I have the tools to crack that fucker open, and if I did, I’d end up with a broken shell of a broken world, no pearls, and everybody pointing their fingers at me, the one who broke it for no reason.  “I mean, what the hell is wrong with you, Deon?! Everything was fine until you fucked everything up!”  Except I haven’t touched it, it broke when I turned around just to prove to me that the universe fucker works overtime at making life suck for me, for everyone.  I want him dead, or I want out of the game.

Somehow along the way I have either attached myself to, or become attached to, people who expect me to do things:  Continue to flirt while understanding and accepting rejection.  Continue to have the energy to do household chores while bearing the burdens of depression and loss and failure and a lack of any kind of motivation.  Continue to provide leadership and guidance with homework and social development, and assistance in and participation in community service.  I’m supposed to feel guilty when I can’t keep up with everything, and not shut down and move away from or be upset with anyone who needs my emotional support, ignoring my own wants.  They must be “wants,” because I’m supposed to have a God who provides everything I “need.”So if it isn’t provided, obviously I don’t “need” it.  Except I think I do.

I’m supposed to listen and pay attention to everything everyone else wants me to attend, because that’s more important than whatever I am already attending and listening to.  I’m supposed to be able to tap into some elusive, deep well of hope and faith and love for people who offer something else, or soul-emptying nothingness and demands for more in return.   I’m also supposed to harness the time I don’t have to complete things with the energy I don’t have.  I’m not supposed to need anything, and I’m supposed to be able to provide everything out of nothing.  Last time I checked, the only being capable of creation ex nihilo was God.  Everyone else is subject to the laws of nature.

It’s possible I’m only venting my spleen because I’m angry at God and taking it out on everyone else, including myself.  I’ve felt abandoned.  The expression “left high and dry” doesn’t really fit, because while I feel completely dry, waiting to blow away (get on with it, “let’s go already!”(Futurama’s character, Bender)) I am anything BUT high.  Plus, back in time, some people left Jesus high and dry, but I don’t want to be Jesus.  I just want to be Deon, but certain people wonder why I can’t be Jesus, and raise myself and them, from death and depression and destruction.

That, friends, is why I have nothing.  It’s why I’ve been spotty lately with the blog.  It’s why on the weekends I do my level best to do jack shit.  Because I’m completely fucking empty, and I need three refills to stop feeling desiccated.  My friend’s recent death, honestly sucked ass.  All death sucks ass.  My mum called me, bless her heart, concerned that I might switch from side effect to suicidal inclinations because she heard how my new med is affecting me and then talked to her friends who do nursing or something.  Mum, I don’t want to die, I want to live but I want it better.

I’m still mostly dead and I don’t have a Miracle Max special pill.  Even the music I try to listen to isn’t filling me enough.  It gets interrupted anyway.  I get interrupted.  Because what I say doesn’t carry any importance.  What I want isn’t important.  No one out in my day-to-day world gives a shit that they are killing me.  I’m like something annoying or gross that they scrape off their shoe.  If it wasn’t for my blog, I might think those darker thoughts.  I wouldn’t trade you readers (both of you) and writers (several of you) in for anything.  It would be too high a price to pay.  If I could do what my non-readers wanted me to do, they’d only find a way to ask for more.  Ever heard “the task expands to fill and expand the time allotted for it?”  How about “debt’s appetite is never satisfied?”  Yeah, that’s my real world experience.

I need something and I’m not getting it.  All you self-help people? (stop reading or accept a half-assed apology for the following- click out, I mean it, here it comes last chance) Fuck you.  I’m tired of being told what to do so I can do what I need to do or have what I need to have, what to do to muster the energy to do what I’m supposed to do…  I’m tired of being told the solutions are available and all I have to do is whatever the fuck program with anywhere from one to twelve steps.  I’m tired of being told the answer is inside me, because there’s nothing there, and if it’s there I lost it.  I’ve got shit, jack shit, and fuck all, and what I need isn’t something I see anywhere on the horizon, like that cruise ship that’s supposed to show up for the guy stranded on the desert island, full of food, drinks, and available hot women for him to choose from.  I don’t want a cruise ship, it’s a metaphor for what I need.

I’m Doctor Campbell from “Medicine Man.”  “Haven’t you ever lost anything, Doctor Bronx? Your purse? Your car keys? Well, it’s rather like that: Now you have it and now you don’t.”

I say that because I used to almost have it.  I used to have almost enough whatever I needed to do almost whatever I needed.  Never quite enough, but somehow enough.  I used to have almost enough faith.  Well, now it’s not enough.  Or less than not enough because I’m always had not enough and now not enough is bigger than what used to be not enough. Not enough left inside, not enough faith, not enough provision, not fucking enough and there isn’t any more to be had and if there is, I can’t get it because my morals prevent me from stealing from innocent people, being shady and catching that extra $30K to $100K that I actually NEED on the sly, or murdering guilty people who should have taken better care of me and treated me fairly and they didn’t, or “just” getting a second full-time job while maintaining my present level of responsible involvement and volunteerism and not dying in the process, for several years, until I’m out of debt and the kids are finished with college.

You demanding people, fuck you too.  You are asking a stone to become bread, a serpent to become a ready-to-eat fish sandwich, and Jesus wouldn’t even do that when he was starving to death.  If I knew how, like Jesus, I still wouldn’t do it for you.  You’d only find another fucking stone instead of mixing up and kneading dough and baking it your damned selves.  You’d pick up another snake and then ask me to treat your snakebite and oh by the way can you make that into a nice hot fish sandwich for me?  (See Matthew 7:9-11)  Fuck you, I’m done because I never was able to do what you wanted me to do in the first place.  Not for lack of trying.  Not for lack of nearly succeeding, only to realize I never reached the mark and never could reach the mark.  You wanted the extra that I didn’t have, like a mugger who takes every penny, that’s not enough so he steals your identity for a fast buck and then just for kicks, because that wasn’t enough, stabs you and shoots you just to watch you bleed and then, runs over you with his car a few times because you weren’t dying fast enough.

I have always tried.  And sometimes I have almost succeeded.  I’ve gotten close enough to get by, after begging for forgiveness for not having enough, and people keep coming to me like I’m somehow going to have enough next time.  They are insane.  Because they think it’ll be different when they come to me again.  Bill collectors.  Wife.  Kids.  Church.  Work.  Volunteer things.  You all want too much, and give back not enough or nothing.

I’ve basically even shut down from church, something I’m aware is not the right choice.  I still attend but I used to actually be involved and doing extra things.  I liked it, but it became another thing that took and didn’t deliver dividends on the investment.  This is the one area of life I thought would have synergy, but instead, not so much.

This is called burnout.  And I have commitments  that  will keep me on a slow burn for a while.  And I have debts that will keep me forcing myself to move longer than that.

There’s a joke I’m surprised I remembered, and it’s “I did some calculations, and I’m so far behind I’ll finally be catching up and might break even, 300 years after I’m dead.”  Ha-fucking-ha.

I’m Sorry for Eclipsing Truth and Love

I don’t think it’s the depression talking yet.  It could be, or it could be I had an epiphany today.  The pastor didn’t even suggest this, so if it was epiphanous, I’ll take it even though I didn’t really like it.  I thought about myself, my blog, my character, and people in my life and social (and web) circles, and about God.  I thought about who I want to be, compared to how God wants me to be, and who I currently am.  There’s a wide gap between those last two.

For that, in a way I owe everyone an apology, if they’ve read my blog, or my life, for signs of something different I should be showing.  In a way, maybe not.  In the “not” way, I’m who I am, being shaped by the wrestling match between my hopes and dreams and the life I actually have, and the continual frustration of trying to find a path to get from here to reaching those dreams.  I feel helpless and when I do try to do things toward success, so far it hasn’t worked.

But in the way I owe the apology, it’s for this:  I’m a Christ-follower, but I don’t follow very well.  Sometimes (OK, a LOT of the time) the selfishness and anger and frustration, etc., are too much and I don’t communicate very clearly.  I’m supposed to be a reflection of God.  I’m supposed to show His character- His love, His truth, His holiness (that’s a weird word, it’s attributed to God and it means His “different-ness.”)

The moon is supposed to reflect the sunlight and shine it on the earth at night.  But occasionally, the moon gets between the earth and the sun, and instead of reflecting the sun’s light, it blocks it and casts a shadow.  It’s all very science-y and math-y, but ratios of mass and distance work out so that during those events, the light is blocked, and in some places at some times, it’s completely blocked.  Where I live, there will be an eclipse today, and the moon is going to block out something like 90% of the sun’s light.

My epiphany yesterday was, maybe I’m blocking out God’s glory, His truth, His love, and the validity of His promises, because I’m not reflecting them.  I’m in the way.  So yesterday, in the middle of a sermon about something completely different

(no, the pastor did NOT teach anything from Monty Python’s Flying Circus), I wept and prayed.

You all THINK I’m a guy full of words- angry, bitter words about how people have been disappointing and how I’m trying to be supportive in spite of their lack of reciprocity.  Occasionally, I have a lot of words about how I care about people and try to support and encourage others, guide my kids and family, and train my slow-to learn, sometimes frightened, all the time stubborn, and occasionally openly angry dog (who is still a lot like his master in many ways).  I still have those hopes and dreams, despite the crushing nature of my emotional swings, and the events in my life.  I rant on about a lot of things and I use a lot of words.  But my prayer, unbelievably, all fit in two words.  I prayed for God’s forgiveness for being that very poor reflection of Jesus.  And I prayed for God to make me into a better one.

All the moon needs to do to stop blocking the sun is get out of the way.   For a Christ-follower to be a better reflection of Jesus, it takes a little more.  To reflect His character, we have to study it, a bit like a son idolizes his dad, or if his dad is like me, maybe his grandpa or one of his uncles makes a better role model.  Or, like an idiot studies a celebrity and tries to be just like that.  It takes a long time to do it right.  Those really good comedians you might watch who do the impressions spend about 5000 hours, to start, to learn and mimic the vocal, facial, and bodily mannerisms of the person they’re modeling themselves after.  But in a cosmic kind of way, I realized I’m not important, so it doesn’t matter if the reflection of God’s character comes from me, although I would like to be the person in your life who shows you that God is good, in spite of how hard life is.  So my prayer was simplified because I realized that maybe I matter, maybe I don’t, but it’s not up to me.  It’s up to God to use who He wants to use, to shine on whomever he chooses to shine.  If I’m back behind a better Christ-follower, eclipsed like the moon when the earth blocks the sun’s light, it’s fine.  I don’t want anyone to watch me as the great example of Jesus’ love, because I suck at it sometimes (OK, most of the time).

I want people to be attracted to Jesus, like they were when He was doing his life and ministry on earth.  I want people to see better examples, as clearly as possible.  I don’t want to block them, or God Himself, from shining on others. I don’t want to be the reason someone decides, “if this guy is a Christ-follower and his life still sucks, I want no part in following his God.”

I want people to consider following Jesus, enough to look in a Bible and check into it.  I want people to read about Jesus, and the Christian way, straight from their Bible, enough to actually give Jesus a shot, rather than just ignoring the possibility that Christ could offer more than what they hope for right now.  I want people to know that God IS good, and he DOES make a positive difference in a lot of ways.  The trials and natural consequences of life and scars and hardships don’t go away, but He gives a better strength to endure, a better patience, a far-better and eternal hope, and a desire to reach out and show others that He cares.  That’s why I keep trying; that’s how I’m so (so-called) “high functioning.”   I want everyone in my life to see Him, not my poor example of trying and failing I don’t want to eclipse Him.  So I prayed this:

Move me.

From Hyper-critical to I-Don’t-Give-A-Shit in 3 seconds

I don’t know if that’s the accelerator or the brake.  But I know that the right words, or preferably,  silence with the right actions, can motivate me to work my ass off.  And I know that the wrong words, because nobody ever just shuts the hell up, can put me into escape mode.  I’m already gone.  I’m already done helping with whatever concerned you.  The silent, unseen “fuck you” has already left my soul.  It doesn’t need to be said, in language, sign, sigh, or any other physical reaction.  I’d like to think it’s a private, psychic rocket ship, one that, most of the time, is far more efficient than any known technology.

Because of this, I think it’s an accelerator.  Sometimes I wish it weren’t psychic, I wish it were real.  It’s a rage rocket.  Instead of flames, it would release sonic energy.  “Impulse” power just goes, “Buhbye! Bye now!  Bub-bye! Buhbye!”   It ramps up through other rage-induced profane and/or snarky expressions, and if you really piss me off, full throttle goes “FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU! FUCKYOU!!  FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!FUCKYOU!!!

Say it.  Push my buttons.  And see what happens.  Except you presume you’ve done or said nothing wrong, and it’s me being batshit that causes me to be angry.  You’re not paying attention to yourself.  You’re not paying attention to me.  And when I told you what the issue was, you didn’t want to do anything about it, and my way of handling that rejection was to shut off that part of your part of my life.  You can still come back.  You don’t have to verbally apologize.  A non-verbal apology and promise will suffice.  But I don’t think you know how to not say it.

My problem  is I want to stay.  I want to come back.  I want you to come back.  I want my kids to know I genuinely care about them and I want them to return my care appropriately, but I can’t afford to buy that affection.  Thank God most of the time the kids have learned to read me, and know when I can laugh with them versus when what they say or do, or don’t do, will just piss me off .  I want my wife to know the same, but I can only offer so much, and there’s that trigger, more sensitive after almost 25 years of being married.  I’d think she’d know not to do or say those things in that way, and I’d think she’d know it’d be nice if she did something I liked once in a while.

It’s the same at work.  I want to work.  I want to work my ass off and make you a ton of money, but I need the favor returned here too.  Entry level wages and being ignored unless I’m being disciplined does not earn my respect NOR my extra hard work.  You pay me shit, expect my work to be shit.  And it would be if I had no pride in something I have to put my name on.  But my name is on what I do, so I want to do it right. You should want to do right by me in return.  After 10 years I’ve proven I’m worth it, and you should prove you want me to stay.

And it’s the same at church. You’d think with my training and volunteer experience, they’d maybe want me to work at the church, as more than a volunteer.  But no, I can volunteer or I can decide to do nothing.  So I’ve decided to do nothing and see if the doors open somewhere else.  Corporate America does not as a rule promote people who know what the fuck they’re doing from the inside.  They make them stay where they are and work them until they’re worn out.  Similarly, “modern day” “normal” churches do not recruit from within.   They find some superman who looks great on paper and has a more forceful presentation, and all the hidden agendas that go along with that kind of force.  Well fuck that.  If God wants to use me, He’ll set that up, and if not, well, here I remain and I think I have to be ok with that.

And it’s the same with God.  I want to have the best relationship with God, but I often fail.  Being the Creator He should know this and deal with me with a little patient and divine encouragement.  And you’d think my struggle with faith and doubt might be answered like it is with my earthly father- sometimes he’ll slip me a $10 or $20 for just being his son, which is really cool.  And lately, this whole relationship with God has actually improved.  I wonder if it’s because I quit trying to do anything.

People ask how you know when you’re in love, and they ask how to find a significant other/partner/spouse, and I think the answer is the same for some people.  If  you’re aggressive, you run after what you want and you take it whether it was offered willingly out of love, or whether it was just you being a pushy ass hole.  And you think you’re getting what you want, but really you’re just taking it.  I want to be given what I want, willingly and out of love.  And I want people to realize, without me having to tell them, that they’re selfish, grabby, pushy ass holes and they’ve been taking everything at my expense.  But I think you find love when you least expect it, and you wake up and realize you’re in love because you were falling long before you ever realized you had fallen.   I still haven’t figured out how to just get what I want at work, but with marriage it’s been a conscious decision, my choice.  Fuck, I still love her and she treats me like shit quite a bit of the time.  It’s because after I realized I loved her I decided I wanted to be in love and stay that way.

It’s naive and stupid and setting me up for heartbreak, people tell me.  And they say the same thing about believing in God.  But lately,

I quit trying to do anything, and God did some pretty cool things in answer to a pretty snarky prayer “request.”  Actually I was flippant and nearly in denial and He did answer, giving me something I really needed when it was needed.

So maybe this quitting doing anything would work for work, and for wife, and for family.  Except I like a clean house, a dog that’s been walked, a yard that’s been mowed.  I’m not sure which “anything” I need to quit and which I can keep doing, that’ll ultimately and miraculously result in me getting what I need from family and wife.

As it stands, I’ve got a dead cell phone because I didn’t demand we get more time/data yesterday when I thought I had a month left.  Kids don’t clean the house or walk the dog because they know I’ll reach a point of desperation where it’s too gross and needs to be done, or I know the dog is about to create a disaster if I don’t take care of him.  I’ve got nothing happening in other areas because I haven’t demanded that.  I don’t want to demand anything to get what I need.  I want to be treated with love and care and respect just because I’m worth it, but because I’m not demanding and pushy people take me for granted and treat me like shit.

So where’s the road sign from rage and depression and lack, bypassing forceful taking, and driving straight through to people just giving me what I need because I’m worth it?

If you know, let me know.  But right now I have to go buy a fucking phone card because mine is dead and Mrs M and the kids want to text me their list of demands.

A day without all this cloudy, grey, dam(n)p rain so I can mow at mum and dads would be great too, but that’s an appeal to a Higher Power,  Fuck it, if He wants clouds and rain, and rivers in my back yard, bring that shit on until He’s bored with that and moves on to sunshine and rainbows and unicorns and lollipops and neapolitan ice cream and remembering Buttercup, and other shit I might actually enjoy.  Same with the fucking job, and the family, and the church.   Maybe the rain has to fall and I have to be broke, and the job has to be shit and the house has to be filthy and my legs have to cramp until I can barely walk before I take the dog out, and the wife has to be off-putting and insulting and demanding, so I really appreciate when it’s finally sunny, and I finally win the Lottery AND the Publisher’s Clearinghouse, and I finally get a job I really enjoy, and my kids finally help clean the house, and finally make a habit of walking the dog and my wife greets me naked at the door and attacks me with all those soft, beautiful weapons.

For now it’s clouds and rain and cramps and abstinence and alcohol.  Bring it on.  I think I can still weather it a while.

It’s been a while since I thought of Buttercup.  I figure, if I just wait, and refuse to do shit, the rest of the clouds are sure to break soon.  (I know, but shut up and let me have my delusion!)

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

Ohh, yeah, if you can’t be manic and optimistic, pretend like fuck and eventually you’ll still be depressed and angry.  So it goes that yesterday I pretended to not be depressed.  I pretended I was fine and got dressed and got into my car and drove pretending not to be afraid of the other drivers.  I was less afraid than usual because I wasn’t leaving in the middle of rush hour, but I knew that since I couldn’t find my fucking cell phone until 5 minutes later than I needed it to be there on time, I’d be a little late.  I failed to pretend when the nonexistent traffic ground to a halt and then proceeded to mosey when I knew I was already late to get to the doctor’s office, but the other drivers either couldn’t hear or pretended not to hear.  I don’t like car horns, so I don’t use my own unless the rage is particularly bad, and yesterday it wasn’t.

I boldly got out of my car and smiled at some other poor schmuck and his kid in the parking lot, because why add my stress to their stress.  I held the door for them, because if I’m already 3 minutes late, who gives a fuck about being 1 more minute late? I pretended with the receptionist when she told me that my appointment was a half a fucking hour and 5 minutes ago, and she would have to reschedule.  I pretended to be OK leaving the office knowing I’d have to come back and might be late for work, and expressed my gratitude I could get it out of the way today and not wait a few more weeks.  I’ve been fine I guess without medication, my acting chops have proven invaluable at work pretending I accepted the new bullshit they shoved at me in the form of moving me to the ass end of the schedule without a pay grade bump.  Because having less money than I need is better than having NO money at all.

I went back and endured a little less traffic at 10, and pretended  with the receptionist again, acting as normal as I felt normal might act.  I pretended for the doctor, because why should he worry about me when there are far worse cases he could invest his time with.  I mean, someone who’s dying isn’t as bad off as someone who only feels like shit in his mind.  That shit was real shit when I got home, and it was nothing but stress, so it’s a good thing he didn’t get a sample of that.  It’s normally a whole lot more regular and a whole lot less displaying evidence of my stress level, so I was peaking yesterday morning because after I went before going to the doctor the first time, I went again after going to the doctor the second time.

Side effects of the medications cause me to lose weight, which is great, and add to that I have a new best friend to take on frequent and regular walks around the neighborhood, and add to that the stress of recent changes has, in small ways, affected my appetite.  So I’m not really eating lunch on the regular.  I eat dinner and then I might have some toast and I might add butter or peanut butter, as a late snack.  Yesterday I added a banana because if I didn’t eat it we’d need two more bananas in an aging condition to make banana bread, and frankly I was too tired to bake, and I felt like eating it wouldn’t make me nauseous.  No, I was nauseous before and after the doctors appointments, but not last night.  And I buttered that toast before I added peanut butter and that banana.  Elvis much?  I didn’t grill it, so maybe it’s not as buttery and artery clogging.

With my weight loss, my blood pressure has dropped into a quite normal and healthy range, and my stressed out pulse didn’t freak out the nurse practitioner.  I’m reporting some good news, people, can you believe it?  My resting pulse is at this weight probably normally 60, with the meds pushing it down into the 50s.  I’ve lost 5 more pounds, and I’m now closer to 200 than I am to 250, which feels nice and looks great… so why isn’t Mrs M climbing me like a softly barked, very solid sequoia?  Well, maybe I only look great if you don’t look too close…  There’s still the matter of the scruffy beard, which only hurts when I shave.  I get a razor rash, and I’m allergic to the shit you’re supposed to use to treat that.  And I get nicks, which seem like they’ll never stop bleeding (Waaahhh, would I like some cheese with that whine?) .  I’ll compensate by pretending I have the energy and motivation to clean, which is just fucking sexy if one isn’t taking one for granted and presuming the ambition exists.  I might be even more ambitious and sexy if there was an actual, erm… reward, for my efforts.  I push because shit’s gotta get done and who’s going to do it?

It worked out fine.  I kept my mouth shut; I didn’t bitch about anything.  I didn’t tell him about the stress at work, or the issues of my very beautiful, but allegedly pre-menopausal wife and her lack of a normal sex drive.  I can accept her age, but the drive has been in the same gear for almost our whole marriage.  And frankly, as gears go, there’s never been enough grind.  I compensate for her lack, by wanting sex about twice a day, in one glorious form or another.  And she compensates by saying “no,” which I want to respect.  “I said too much; I said enough.  I thought that I heard you laughing.” (fucking earworm!  REM?!

Maybe the earworms are trying to tell me to sleep.  AC/DC or Led Zeppelin to the rescue!)

Anyway, the doctor,  bless his heart, bought my act and re-prescribed meds I’ve been out of for a month, compensating for some of them with alternative substances (mostly coffee or herbal tea and liquor and vitamins, including hefty doses of vitamin D) and wishes for regular and frequent therapeutic, relaxing, stress relieving, full-body massage.  He’s a new guy I had never seen before who’s probably been there the whole time I’ve been a patient, while we were on different schedules.  It’s a medical group, and they all treat all the patients, although I do have a primary care provider who is a member of the group, I haven’t seen him in more than a year as our schedules haven’t been compatible.  So I saw this new guy and pretended I was OK with meeting another stranger, AND, he brought a tagalong, some kind of intern or something, to observe.  Anyway, I went to the drug dealer and got the scripts, and took a very late dose.  Did I sleep or did I stay awake to write this?  Did I mention insomnia if I take it too late?

Did I mention ADD and cyclothymia under a depressive tidal wave full of tree trunks and cars and busses and street signs and broken glass and suppressed emotions and other shit?  And did I mention I haven’t taken my meds in a month?  It’s a wonder I’ve written ONCE in the past month, but no, you’ve had to endure the torment probably 3 or 4 times, and twice yesterday.  FFS, Deon, shut the hell up!

Now that I mention that whole ADD thing, allow me to pretend to focus on the point of this blog entry… well, best I can pretend to focus.

Top 10 Explanations for High Functioning Deon

I don’t know if there are 10.  Maybe there are 35.  Maybe there are three or four.  But hey, I’ll brainstorm and see what kind of shit the dredges bring to the surface.

10.  Terror.  As much as I’d like to lie and tell everyone how brave and courageous I am, I am more like the cowardly lion before he discovered his heart.  As I said, I’m a briliant actor.  And “If I were the king of the fore-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-st!” …Nevermind.  Suffice it to say I identified with him and I know all the words to his song.  High functioning Deon is caused by terror.  I’m afraid if I don’t fight, the world around me will go to shit FASTER.  Oh, it’s going to shit, there’s no stopping that, but if I quit functioning and shut down as often as I wanted to, I’m afraid over time my house would become more of a hovel featuring both filth AND squalor, my boss would fire me, my wife would divorce me, my children would disrespect me even more, my house and car would be repossessed, (and I own the damn car!) all my teeth would break and I’d get a slow and painful infucktion that wouldn’t ever actually kill me but would torture me for a long, long time,  and all of my “friends” in the real world outside of this blog would express their disappointment and shun me with the promise to stop if I repented.  Please, shun me and don’t stop.  That last one isn’t a fear so much as “a consummation devoutly to be wished.”  And for fuck’s sake, if you’re not going to shun me, then give me motivational cash and gift certificates to your favorite steak house and burger places and to the various low-rent stores you’d never go to yourself, preferring to call the guy or visit classy retail establishments.  Suggestions I might use could be the local home improvement place, for wood and paint and plumbing and tools and other house-type items, the local convenience store with everything from groceries to clothes to greeting cards to bedding and furniture and new tires, the local auto repair shop so I can get my shock absorbers replaced, …the list of practical places goes on and on.

9.  Promises.  When I was young and hadn’t experienced much of life yet, I was much more full of hope than I am now.  I made certain promises to certain people.  When I make promises I like to keep them, and it drives me because if all I have that’s good is my word, then when I give you my word I will keep my promise or die trying.  I may do a half-assed job of whatever it is, especially if I’m exhausted, but I’m going to take a crack at fulfilling the letter of the promise.  If I care about the person I’ve made the promise to, I’ll strive for the spirit of the promise, which usually is better quality work than just doing exactly what I say I’ll do.

8. Compulsivity.  OK, at the risk of personal disclosure (what the fuck is a blog for if not for that, Deon?), I suffer from fits of compulsivity.  If I start cleaning it, I have to finish it, but thank God that only applies to whatever surface or area I’ve decided to clean.  It frustrates me if I don’t have time to finish, or if I finish only to look the next day and my wife or kids have messed it up all over again.  I did the microwave two days ago and I keep wiping it out.  Since I’m home and heating my caffeinated beverages I’ll invest an extra two minutes and wipe off whatever exploded in there.  The kids’ bathroom is next because I noticed the sink is disgusting and I am not picturing either of them cleaning it.  I cleaned the downstairs bathroom sink today, and it was just the sink, but it’s clean and shiny and it made me happier after the Doctor-induced panic.  Which brings us to the next explanation:

7. Caffeine.  So,  you all DO know lots of chemical compounds or molecules that end in -ine are stimulants, right? Caffeine, nicotine, cocaine, Amphetamine…  Well, prior to being actually diagnosed officially with ADD, and still today, my drug of choice is caffeine.  Coffee, tea, chocolate… I used to drink caffeinated sodas, but I don’t want all the sugar.  But it’s helpful, it fuels the concentration.  I love the flavor of a good coffee or tea.  I drink them plain, no sugar, no cream.  All I want is the caffeine molecules, and the water doesn’t hurt.  Ritalin isn’t like those, aka MethylPhenidate.  It is a stimulant, but it’s synthesized, since 1944, and it doesn’t act like a normal stimulant.  I bet if I did take ritalin, I’d be one of the rare ones that gets more depressed.  It’s a known potential side effect.  Concerta is a brand of the same but it gives my daughter hallucinations.  I don’t want to see scary things that aren’t there, since things that ARE are scary enough.  The more natural, the better.  Caffeine may technically be a “high,” but it’s natural enough to keep drinkers high functioning, including me.  Now…where did I put my coffee cup?  Coffee keeps me moving, even though my motion often seems to me to be more backward than forward.  I don’t have any bathroom difficulties, with or without caffeine.  But WITH caffeine, I spend less time contemplating how murder might make the world a better place.

6. Rage.  The list wouldn’t be complete without my rage.  Rage gives adrenaline better than fear.  There are different kinds of rage, as there are different kinds of fear.  Fear of disappointing Mrs M motivates me slightly less than being in a frustrated fit of rage at whatever button she pushed that really pissed me off.  Don’t you fucking ever dare tell her that.  I’m not sure if there’s an upper limit, a threshold I shouldn’t be pushed over.  She hasn’t reached it yet, as her body is very much alive and amazing, but if you informed her that rage worked better than fear of disappointment, she’d piss me off all the time just to get whatever shit she wanted done, done.  You don’t understand.  She’s not physically abusive, not really verbally abusive, just, she knows how to push my buttons in the worst possible ways if she wants to.  I dread her verbal jousting more than her disappointed huffing sigh.  Rage motivates me to go to work at this fucking cess pool where they abuse me mentally and fiscally, because it’s not as strong as my fear of being unemployed, and motivates me to work hard.  The company may not show their appreciation but I value my name enough to take the best care of the clients that I can, see also, #9.

5.  Hope.  Or Depression.  I’m not sure which is stronger.  Hope.  I know, it’s adorably naive, isn’t it?  But really.  I can and do have hope for eternity, but the more depressed I get the less hope I hold out for the here and now.  So either my hope, or my depression, which feeds into my feelings of rage against society, fuels my perseverance.  When I’m feeling particularly hopeful is when I can do something that makes a difference and helps someone, even if it’s something small.  When I’m depressed, usually from watching the daily news Mrs M insists on having on in the morning, it just makes me depressed, less hopeful, and more angry at our so-called “civilization.”  I mean, for fucks sake, what the fuck is WRONG with everyone?  Idiot “sociologists” try to persuade me that crime is justified when there is an absence of hope.  I call that theory “interesting bullshit.”  Sorry, but there is no excuse for crime and violence and vandalism.  There are people in dire circumstances and they’re not out rioting or looting or mugging or destroying shit that doesn’t belong to them.  They’re on your local street corner holding signs asking for your spare change.  Give them something, even if you don’t have much.  Give them your lunch and go without for one day.  If you ate yesterday and got your coffee this morning, and you’re going to eat tonight, c’mon.  But yeah, crime and violence and vandalism, looting, robbery and rape aren’t symptoms of hopelessness.  They just make me mad.  They make me wish I was a superhero able to stop the criminals.  Crimes against children make me the most angry.  Pay your fucking child support, or you’re a thief and a child abuser, you stupid fucks.  That is NOT how you love your kid(s), dear deadbeat dick donors.  You should  be paying extra, to make sure YOUR KIDS are well taken care of. But instead you treat your own kid like shit and withhold the care you should be providing  because you want to stick it to your ex; do you not fucking care about your own fucking KID(s), you abusive, stupid, ASS HOLE?  Treat them at LEAST to the court required support, and THEN pretend you’re “Disney Dad” when it’s your turn to “have custody,” which is court-appointed doublespeak for “taking direct care of your child(ren) without their mother’s help” which, when you were together was probably “you letting her do everything without your help.”

I keep trying, I keep working, I keep on setting the best example I’m able to set, even with the emotional difficulties I have.  The rage and depression, and the hope that my example will make a difference eventually, or might make a difference now, keeps me trying to move forward even when life is pushing back hard.  See also #1.

4.  Music.  Music is an alternative wave that I ride for those temporary escapes from the focus on how tired I am.  It also is a channel of weirdly loose focus, that allows me to keep working on whatever chore it is.  Sometimes the lyrics remind me of profound truth, see “Get Back, Honky Cat,” and sometimes the lyrics don’t quite ring true enough so I tend not to gravitate toward those songs when I want to work.  But the profound truth of ALL of my labor is that I can handle it, and the reward of looking back at the successfully finished task is often enough encouragement.  Dishes can get discouraging, but the gleam after washing…  Bathrooms can be bad, but look after the scrubbing bubbles are wiped away.  The floors can be filthy, but look after I vacuum, or sweep and then mop!  I like a little bleach.  See also, this motivational musical number:

I figure there are two options:  Either brooms and mops, bleach and soap, or high explosives.  So far, the former are still working for me.

3.  Brilliant acting chops.  It’s quite possible that my forced enthusiasm is nothing more than a brilliant act, and I may just be so brilliant at it that I fool myself.  I pretend so well that I care about the dirty house, I can actually fool myself into vacuuming, emptying the lint trap in the dryer, mopping, wiping, dealing with the sorting act and deciding what’s trash and what’s treasure, chasing the paper, washing, drying and putting away laundry, etc.  Mrs M has been brilliantly handling the bills since she fought me for the checkbook many years ago.  She doesn’t fight fair.  Those eyes…  Those curves…  Still hot after more than 20 years.  When I say I love my family, that’s not an act,  …roughly 96% of the time.  Don’t hurt any of them or you’ll find out I love them to death, literally, and I don’t mean their death, or my death…  So I’ve learned to act like a French maid.  …I need one of those sexy French Maid costumes, but for a guy.  You ladies can keep your thigh-high stockings with the seams up the back, and garters.  I don’t think Mrs M will mind, presuming it’s masculine enough.  I can’t wear high heels.  They don’t look good on me and I fall over.  And I can’t wear the girly stuff, but something minimal with a soft, black, Stetson with the option of either a black ribbon around the crown, or a black leather strap, depending on my mood, pleated white silk tuxedo front and cuffs, and maybe black silk boxers, and black lace-up combat boots…  I don’t guess I could wear that in front of the kids.  They act all grossed out if I smile at Mrs M across the dinner table.

2. Alcohol.  Would be necessary if I actually ever tried to carry off the French maid bullshit above.  But it was a funny image, now, wasn’t it?  Alcohol keeps me in a high-functioning range when life is shit and I need a little medicinal relaxational motivational beverage at the end of a hard day.  It makes me more relaxed and less stressed out and better able to carry on conversations with family AND less focused on the effort of completing tasks.  Combine that with magical, motivational music, and I am good to do more housework.  Holy shit, what I need is a job that lets me drink something other than tea and coffee sometimes.  Tonight, probably The Rolling Stones.  Because, “Start Me Up.”  Yesterday, if I remember that long ago, it was Aerosmith.  But I like the older stuff.

1.  Warrior Mentality – My sense of manhood.  Life is a fight to the death.  We all eventually lose.  But I’m just going to describe my heart here.  I don’t give a shit if you want to throw your inner feminine side out there, guys.  I just don’t give a shit.  And I also don’t give a shit if you want to grow a pair, ladies.  In MY personal inner being, lurks a warrior spirit, and life IS a fight to the death, and I don’t intend to lose until I’m dead.  Like the song goes, “Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way.”

There I go. Is it 8 PM yet? It’s Friday, Hallelujah. Maybe the song should be back in pajamas. That’s my armor, folks. All Ephesians 6 says to do is “stand firm.” I got that covered. In pajamas. And all I’m saying is my inner warrior is in a fight to the death with life. All those things I hate? I want to fix it. And if I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough training, so be it. If I can’t fix something because I don’t have enough money, again, so be it. But if I can fix it, or TRY to fix it and do a decent job, it’s worth the fight, I say, even as I bitch about how hard life makes something that should be easy and simple. Fixing a ceiling fan, or something that makes me climb a dreaded ladder, sure, I have panic, but I know I can do it if I climb. And then, of course, the damned screws always fall or refuse to thread correctly. Fixing a leaking sink, sure I can do it, but not if it’s broken and refuses to go back together correctly, and of course, there’s always grossness in the pipes to clean out and then they leak because the grime was holding hands and keeping the water on the inside. Household labors nearly ALWAYS take more time, more effort, more training, and more money than I walked in wanting to invest. Or, they frustratingly fall apart and require re-doing, which always makes me just shout for joy, or, they break to a point where calling the guy” is required, which costs WAY too much. I mean, fucking car repairs, really?! The guy is always tsk!-ing and telling me how I need this and that or the car will die in the middle of the highway and get me killed, and how he wouldn’t drive it like it is if he were me. But fuck you, mechanic, yes you fucking would, because if I were you I’d be charging $75 an hour labor and then shop and parts fees, and if you were me you wouldn’t be able to afford that shit.

I knew a lady once whose plumbing always fell apart on the holidays. Seriously, her hot water heater held up until Thanksgiving day, and then blew water all over her house. Her sink blew up on Christmas, I was waiting for the toilet to explode on the fucking fourth of July. And me? I once saved a “simple” plumbing thing until the holiday only to ultimately call the guy (I waited until the next day) to put it right. I HATE house repair projects especially when they go to shit, which is like down to 40% of the time because I’ve learned not to try a percentage of things I don’t really know shit about, and I know I’d do a shit job if I tried it on my own and then have to call the guy, which means paying for parts at least once and then probably twice, AND paying whatever hourly bullshit the guy can get away with depending on if it’s a holiday.  AND, in my own defense (STOP FUCKING LAUGHING!  …Oh, go ahead, knock yourself out.  Please.  Laugh harder, you’re still breathing and conscious.) In my own defense, over the last 20 something years, Mrs M has bullied me into a rage sufficient to learn how to fix a lot of shit.  Lighting fixtures, fans, vacuum cleaners, some plumbing, although I still have a dread fear of the water leaking or dripping, and I once rebuilt a damned shelf 4 times because she had too much shit stored up on them.  Shut up!! I was building it correctly, it just wasn’t strong enough to hold the weight.

0.  A sense of moral obligation.  I don’t see a lot of this in the real world.  This is why guys get what they want from a girl and then leave the girl to carry the responsibility all by themselves.  HIV/AIDS.  Herpes.  Gonorrhea.  Syphilis.  Scabies.  Babies.  Rabies.  Oh wait.  It’s a poem, a rap, with a catchy street beat:

STDs, you know they come in all sorts,
Viruses, bacteria, bugs or maybe warts, (that’s attractive!)
Chancroid, PID, gonorrhea,
pubic lice, scabies, chlamydia, (now, interactive!)
Trichomoniasis, HIV, and HPV,
Molluscum contagiosum, and hepatitis B, (It’s in your blood!)
Don’t be rash…, choose wisely, as the buyer,
Get yours today, they’re spreading like fire! (You’re leaking crud!)

Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew.  Committed monogamy is not a sexually transmitted disease.  Thank God I’m married.

You don’t see a lot of this because it’s not being advertised a lot.  The world, the media, your idiot peers, the advertisers, your favorite television shows, all glamorize how wonderful it is doing the dirty deed, as often as you can, any time you can, with anyone you want who wants you back.  Or front.  Or top.  Or bottom.  Yep, it’s great.  Shop around, bop around, hop around, they never show you the consequences unless it’s maudlin and you’re supposed to feel sympathetic to the um…innocent? victim?

The one thing that should never be advertised without a painful, flesh (not chemical) castration, behavior modification, lobotomy, and aversion therapy, is rape.  Rapists should be treated as harshly as possible, not get their name broadcast on the news (Hey, look friends!! I’m FAMOUS!!)  or worse, told they’ll likely never get caught.  In 2013 the estimate was that only 34.8% of assaults were reported, and it used to be even less.  In 2011 the estimate was that only 6.66 out of every 100 rapists were ever brought to any kind of justice, which by law might be some sort of fine, or might be a season of imprisonment.  So, the estimate is that 93 out of every 100 rapists get off and face no consequences whatsoever.  And that, readers, is fucked up.  I swear I didn’t make up the 6.66, which is fucking diabolical.  And this page, for some reason under the label BJs.gov… which I couldn’t make funny if I WANTED  to but for fucks’ sake, no pun intended, someone tried, it shows that the average jail time even if you ARE convicted of sexual assault, is  about 66 months.  That’s right kids!  Put someone through the trauma, and then the post trauma-tic stress of having to relive your unwanted attack, your damnable defiling of their private, personal, holiest of holy, sacred temple, whenever your innocent victim’s now traumatized brain puts them through it again, not to mention making it next to impossible to trust anyone in a romantic relationship ever again, not to mention causing difficulty with intimacy if they DO try, and then, after you’ve put your victim through that shit, if you’re one of the unlucky 6.66% that actually gets caught, charged, and fucking convicted of doing it, you MIGHT serve 5 and a half damned years and then you’re free to try again and see if you’re luckier the next time.  THAT is why I am in favor of drastic sentences and punishments for rapists, even though for some reason they won’t put a rapist to death, not even a person who rapes a child.

If the FBI is  reading my blog and my browsing history I think it’s hilarious because I just looked for information about what kind of plants grow best over a buried dead body.  I didn’t find any, which is disappointing.  We planted flower bulbs over both of our guinea pigs which died of old age, which is disappointing because they only live 8 or so years at the maximum, and ours lived that long and then just quit.  The flowers grow every year around Easter, which is just after when both died, which is a beautiful reminder that we loved the guinea pigs.

I looked it up not actually planning anything, just thinking that if victims and their families who actually love the truly innocent victims ever decided to handle the situation in a way that feels more just than fucking 6.66%, it might be nice to plant something to remind them when they walk by the hidden grave, known only by justice… I mean just us…, that the world has one less monster walking around free. If they are allowed to roam free, they are 93.34% likely to hurt another person and fucking get away with it.  Worthless animals that hurt people for their own sadistic pleasure need to be put down.  http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_16x16.swf?pid=kpmgdzqllc<br/> <a href=”http://www.hark.com/clips/kpmgdzqllc-the-twilight-zone-theme-song&#8221; style=”font-size: 9px; color: #ddd;” title=”Listen to on Hark.com”></a>”>Funny thing, right after I wrote the thing about the FBI, my whole internet crashed for 15 minutes

I did NOT start this blog with the purpose of ranting about rapists, but there it is.  Rage as a motivator.  I’m switching to Channel #2 in just a short while, but I wanted to write about having a strict moral code.  The world needs people who set high moral standards, and also needs those same people to be gracious when others don’t measure up to their personal holiness.  I listened to some jackass talking about how he posted some shit on someone’s social media about how the guy needed to be a higher class of guy if he wanted to attract a higher class of girl.  And he said some more shit about how he wasn’t trying to pass judgement.  Then what the fuck WERE you trying to do, because it sounded like you suck.  I mean suc…ceeded at exactly that.

I DO have a relatively strict moral code and I DO strive for it, despite failing all the damned time.  And I’ve learned there’s a good reason for my failures, although they suck.  I mean there’s at least one good reason.  I have learned more about extending grace,  because I am so very aware how much I need it for myself.  If you are holier than thou, you don’t need grace and you love to flaunt your perfection and look down your snoot at the poor helpless sinners asking them why they don’t “just” be a higher class of godliness.  Pious fucker.

The world doesn’t need more judgement.  Judgement’s coming, don’t get me wrong.  But we Christ-followers don’t need to be the ones to bring it.  No, what the world needs is more grace, more forgiveness, more honest, Christ-like love. “Neither do I condemn you.  Go and sin no more.” Or how about “God have mercy on ME, a sinner!” ?  I may never go home after praying feeling fully justified, and maybe that’s a good thing.  It keeps my heart in a place where I can encourage people, because we’re all the same.  Instead of offering no hope, and only judgement, Christ followers need to understand how to do something very important.  But some are so holy they don’t need it themselves, so they forget how to offer it.  “It” is mercy.  If we offer it, Christ followers, to those who need it, the world will believe us when we say Christ gives it away.

The book of Hosea is a fascinating story, God commanded the prophet Hosea to make his own LIFE, a picture of how God loves people in spite of everything they do, so it’s fitting that Jesus quoted it.  Hosea 6:6.  Matthew 9 is full of example after example of how Christ followers should NOT ACT.  Jesus is being loving and kind and forgiving, and the holier than thou set are being all judgemental and looking down their noses at JESUS, for Christ’s sake, (hahaha) thinking they’re better than JESUS.  And he quotes Hosea in the middle, saying, not in my exact words, “No, you religious freaks, that’s not how you love people.  You love people by learning this:”

 Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus loves you, but you have to know you need his love and mercy before you can really understand it and receive it.  If you don’t need it because you’re already perfect (in your own eyes), then fuck off.  If you desperately need it like I do because you know you’re SO far from perfect it’s completely hopeless and depressing, then you’re ready for it, and not only that, after you’ve accepted it, you’re ready to share it.  As long as you don’t become one of those tight-assed religious freaks who forgets how they used to act and uses their newfound lifestyle as an excuse to not help others, not love others, and pass judgement without mercy.

-1.  Mercy.  Mercy motivates me.  I need it.  But it’s beyond just need.  I’m starving to death for it.  I’m desperate.  And the desperation motivates me to express mercy, and acceptance, and forgiveness, and grace, which are the very heart of Jesus, in my very imperfect way. I am sorry for failing to share more often and more clearly, but this is where i am.  And as much as I hate everyone, God compels me to tell you that He loves you.  And as much as I hate it, I’m supposed to show you.  This is me showing you, even if my own heart says you’re a complete ass hole and I don’t want to.
So yeah, I’m “high functioning” despite all of the shit life dishes out, despite my boss, my budget, my bitching, my brood.  I have to be.  I also want to be, even when I don’t want to be.  So that’s what I’ve decided to be.  I’ll keep trying harder, even on days when I don’t want to get out of bed.  And there are lots of them.  I still push myself and go do what I have to do, motivated by one of the above, to keep going.

-2.  Maybe it’s really not me.  Maybe it IS my choice, but maybe not entirely.  Maybe it’s Something Else.  

Resisting The Impulse

My life lately seems to just be the poster child for resisting the impulse to act rashly.  I want to act on my rage, I want to act on my panic,  I want to act on my passion, I want to act on temptations, I want to act on my discipline and my desire to make progress in life, I want to act on compassion, I want to act on indifference.

I appear to be controlling the desire to act on what may be negative impulses.  I appear to be resisting the impulse to act out.  But what may actually be happening is this:  My impulses are keeping me from doing anything.  I’m stuck and buzzing with the feeling I should do something, but I have a counter-impulse that keeps the first impulse under control.

So when I have the impulse to tell the boss and the company they can go fuck themselves because of the way they’re treating me, I have the counter impulse that says I need a job, and job is better than no job.  So when I have the impulse to find some stress relief somewhere to just relax, I have tasks that force me to not be able to relax.  So when I feel the urge to sleep, I have the brain that says, maybe later.  Or not.

It’s an election year.  It would be nice to know who to vote for because they’re good, but instead, they’re all shit and you have to pick the ones you think is going to do the least damage.  Which is why when I’m voting for one party’s presidential idiot…candidate,  I vote for the other party’s congressional candidates, to keep them from furthering their harmful agendas.  Lately, and by that I mean for the past twenty or thirty years, that hasn’t been working so good.  Yeah, I’ve probably been voting for twenty or thirty years.

It’s possible that my life is demonstrating this text.  (or not).  Yeah, click it, you’ll probably either laugh or ask yourself “what the fuck did I just read?!”  It’s not a good  “in my own words,” but if I were writing that, I might say this:  I want to do good and positive things, but everything I try to do only turns out to be more shit.

It’s possible I have every impulse known to mankind, and they’re all in perfect balance, preventing me from actually doing anything.  A bit like genius Matt Groening’s delightful Mr. Burns and his diseases:

Like my poem from the other day, I need to put one foot in front of the other one. Except every time I feel like i might be making progress,some shit happens to take that progress away. So it isn’t a good thing to me. Or maybe it’s fine.

It would really feel good to tell the boss exactly how I feel, but instead yesterday I worked my ass off again because I don’t want to give her or the company any ammunition they could use against me.  Fuckers.  I’m going back to do the same again.  Because I want to stay home and do fuck all.  But instead, I’ll get home after work and do the thing scheduled for tonight instead of reading all your blogs and catching up and trying to make encouraging comments and deleting my excess emails.  Because my progress continues to take a back seat to everything that has to be done.  I don’t have the resources to do what I want, so I have to do what I have to do and not do what I want to do.

Confused yet?  Well so am I.  So I’m going to work.  Sorry everyone!  I hope, despite my stuck situation, that you all make good progress today.  I’ll try to put a dent in something other than my car or my head.  Oh, I hit my head yesterday, too.  Maybe I just hit it too hard, but I feel fine.  Really.

Have a great day!


My Plague of Despair

My Plague of Despair, 07/30/2016, Deon Mumple

All day long I talk to people who are desperate,
Who can’t know I’m desperate,
The required disguise, on
When I’m home, still desperate, uncertain,
They can’t know I’m hurting
I pretend and I go mow the lawn

At church I lie, because “everything’s fine,”
“and going according to God’s design,”
But my faith is shards of doubt.
And when I pray I hope, pretend
He’s listening, that answer’s been sent,
Just hasn’t quite come about.

I even tell myself that I’ll be all right,
And tell you not to give up the fight
I believe some of you can win
But in my heart’s darkness I want to quit,
Let the thorns grow, let the garden go to shit,
While I lie, quiet, bleeding, therein.

What Do I Tell The Doctors?

What shall I tell the doctors?  What shall I not tell them?  Today’s the day, Mrs M has insisted I go tell them something about my mood and my chronic negativity.  She wants the magic little pill that will make everything all right, and I already know it doesn’t exist.  Unless it is a capsule holding $100M.   She wants to understand why I’m depressed in cycles, with mixed episodes in between, and she doesn’t want to hear cyclothymia with mixed episodes in both phases.  She wants to hear, oh let’s put Deon on nauseating medications for depression, with other lovely side effects.  She doesn’t want to hear that riding the medication train could potentially cause the cycle to become more rapid.

She also doesn’t want to hear that the triggers for not a few of my “episodes,” during the manic phase are just the facts of life being fucked up and my feeling helpless to fix any of the shit that’s fucked up, and that I should be depressed as a baseline, and my mind is making a herculean effort to put me in a manic phase in spite of the shit of life.

Sunday our speaker at church told us, although Mrs M had excused herself to do some things at home, that Solomon had more money than anyone should know what to do with, and he wrote Ecclesiastes, about how all of life is a vain chasing after the wind.  He said that people with lots of money still have lots of problems.  That may be true, but if I had it I could do a lot of things that I can’t do while I’m broke and we make bills 4,5,6, 7 and so on wait while we pay a little on bills 1, 2 and 3.  And we both work full time.

I don’t have time for looking for a better job while I have this one, and I don’t want to be unemployed while looking for a job and slipping daily into further debt.  I don’t have time or energy to finish things at home when I feel depressed and don’t even really want to get out of bed, but I make myself do the absolutely mandatory things.

I don’t have encouragement or support from Mrs. M because she wants to be in denial and wants to believe a magic pill that costs a fortune and kills me in the long-term will fix me. And I don’t have the kind of encouragement or support I want from Mrs. M because I’m not the guy she wanted when she started this magical mystery marriage tour.  And when I do bother to tell her what I want or need, she’s busy, she’s sleepy, she’s pushy, she’s grumpy.  And the other 3 personalities of the 7 dwarves are lurking in her head too, waiting to take a turn.

She wants to travel to see family and my car’s “service fucking engine soon” button just came on.  Yay, more unnecessary added to what I already knew about that needed to be fixed.

It’s entirely my fault of course, because if I just had a better job that paid a couple extra thousand a month we would meet our expenses.  Um, no shit, Mrs. M.  Trigger number 4,378,261 was earlier this month when my boss, who isn’t even my boss any more, screwed me out of getting any raise this year at work now that I have a new boss, same as the old boss.  Bitch.  I prayed regrettable things upon her head.  Like that she would die of inexorable, slow growing obesity from eating the blessing that I should have received from her hand.  We shall see.  Fat bitch.  But I can’t get more money in this job while raises are denied.  In spite of how horrible my prayer sounds to normal people, if it were answered in the affirmative I would laugh my ass off.  In exchange, I’d rather have enough money to pay my bills, fix my broken shit to a reasonable degree, (teeth and cars mainly,) and maybe have some left over to give to help people I know who are also in need.  Option 2 is a much better answer to prayer than request option 1, I really would prefer to have what I need and leave her alone with her guilty conscience.  Except, I let her off the hook on the phone when she told me what she did.  Instead of giving her the earful I wanted, I kept quiet and said I’d keep looking for a better job and I’d be fine.  Except I’m not fine.  I’m bitter.  And if she dies a fat lonely bitch, I’m fine with it.

I don’t actually need $100M.  I need $50K now to get solidly out of debt, and then in order to not slide back to where I am right now, another $50K annually with cost of living increases.  And I want a college fund for the kids.  But $100M would be great fun to deal with the crises, set up the kids and extended family’s kids, and then help other people with the excess.

The world is a shitty place, with demanding wife and kids I wish I could give what they wanted and needed.  With dentists that charge exhorbitantly for teeth that fall apart.  With HVAC techs charging exhorbitantly for a safe furnace that won’t kill us in our sleep come winter.  Except they aren’t.  It’s my income being too small and them not operating on a sliding scale based on my pay.  With selfish drivers demanding I share the road with them after letting them have my share.  With armed idiots roaming the streets wanting to kill the police who only want to serve the community, but they are too busy trying to protect it.  With politicians I can’t trust talking out of three sides of their two-sided mouths.  With preachers who preach faith and congregants and church leaders who help, but only so far.  With government agencies that will help only so far, and when you think you’re just about to be free, they kick the ladder out from under you so you’re back down where you started, or worse.  Fucking DON’T FUCK with the minimum wage unless I get a commensurate raise, which at the present rate would be about $30 an hour.

What do I say when it seems like the powers of hell are bent to fuck with me, starting with physics and everything falls and tries to break or falls apart, and ending with my teeth and car and heating system and other things falling apart, me being helpless to fix them as they decay, and my wife not knowing how she can encourage me, and me not knowing what to do to help myself.

And, just to show my readers that I’m not completely out of balance emotionally, while I’m busy being bitter about the long-term prospects, my generous work neighbor has provided me with the breakfast of anyone’s best daydreams.  So I have what I need for today.  I have to say, I didn’t ask and God and my neighbor provided, so I’m grateful for the short-term provision.

The question of the day is, what do I tell this doctor when my wife is pressuring the poor man or woman to give me a little magic pill that’ll fix my bad attitude, and pressuring me to not tell him or her I know what this is and I don’t want to be the doctor’s experimental guinea pig?

Hiding in the Library

In the solitude of the library, I’ve found a corner to hide in.  No one is asking me to do anything.  I have a window view and the sky reminds me of the last month of my days.  Grey, not white, and now raining.  I brought my headphones and if anyone knew how loud I’m blaring Metallica’s S & M they would look at me funny.

But I look just fine I guess.  Middle aged professorial looking guy slouched in a quiet corner probably writing the next best-selling novel.  Except I’m not fine.  I don’t feel safe anywhere.  At home Mrs M wants me to “just” stop being fucking depressed again, and wants me to work at getting the house clean, while the dear daughter and son loaf and bitch about their homework or how tired they are of always having their friends bug them on the phone or in person.

At church I don’t feel safe.  I wore the mask today but I couldn’t sing and I barely paid attention.  No one saw me.  I wanted to say something in Bible Study and kept quiet mostly.  But I’m tired of feeling Psalm 119:99a.  I’m not being arrogant although it may sound that way.  I’m older, I have insight, the Bible study leader can’t prounounce the words, misses huge things I know about and they never even say anything about it.  I’m marginalized as a worship leader and then as a musician, with a microphone there for show but turned off, so why bother.  I quit doing that because I didn’t feel safe because I wasn’t appreciated at all, maybe God is trying to tell me something and I should listen.

Then the pastor makes some idiotic jokes and we’re all squirming awkwardly because it’s not funny but he thought it would be.  Or maybe that’s just me.   And when he finally gets to the point it just annoys me because I’m supposed to figure out that God loves me somehow.  He said the same thing that life has been telling me, that I’m not in control of anything.  If I trust Him it needs to turn out a whole lot better than it is.  If I were in a shred more control, I’d have a greater measure of peace, but that’s not meant to be.  In the music I felt safest, but I’m not safe at all.

The people at church we talked to asked about life because they wanted to pray for us and I really didn’t have any way of expressing this in a minute or two.  I just said it’s a lot of the same things it’s been for a long time and I said they could pray God actually helps us without further hurting us because I’m already broken.  And that was more honesty and self-disclosure than I wanted to offer anyone.  Mrs M said to pray I could find a better job.  So that was OK I guess.

I don’t feel safe praying because I asked God to show me He loves me and my teeth are still broken and my car is slowly breaking, already needs new tires and repairs and I dread the next repair bill, the furnace is still not repaired and it’ll be September soon.  And every time I pray that God will help me without hurting me, something else breaks, and again He has allowed something to hurt me some more and help is not on the way.

I don’t feel safely married because I want more than Mrs. M will give me, and I notice other women a little too much and sometimes wonder if they would.  I’m trying to ignore that.  I’m a little safer if I can pretend to not notice.  When I feel unsafe and I don’t have anything to give, that’s when my wife wants to take more than she gives. It would be easier if she knew how much I really need her to help me, but when I approach the topic of the best way for her to tell me she loves me, she’s mostly dismissive.

I’m not safe at work, because it’s politics and who you know (or who you blow) and I don’t, so I can’t advance like some others have.  I keep my mouth shut (there, that’s the whole problem, isn’t it) and do my work.  And I don’t like that when I ask other people to do their work, they either don’t do it, they drag their heels, or they push it off on someone else (me).  Every time I say anything they introduce me to a new system and tell me to do my job and theirs too, if I want it done.  Friday I carried two other people but I make less than either one of them, and I need three times the money if I’m going to do three jobs.

I’m rambling, maybe I’m not even safe in here blogging.


I hope you all are in a safe happy place, maybe you can tell me how to find one.

I’d settle for feeling more loved, by God and Mrs. M., more appreciated at work, but I need to hear more than words.


Dear God, it’s me.  …Deon.  You know that already, right?

“God is not the author of confusion, but the author of peace.”  I Corinthians 14:33a

I woke up today thinking it was Tuesday.

With that, I’ve ripped the half-verse completely out of its’ context.  Or have I?  Today is, says my calendar and my computer, Wednesday.  And I was “guess[ing] what day it is.” No, I will not regale you with more context from that idiotic commercial, although I confess it IS catchy and amusing.  I don’t even know what the product was being advertised, and you don’t have to remind me what they were selling.  The character took in everyone’s minds, but the product, well, not so much. At least not in my mind.  The mascot is supposed to remind us what the product is, but instead it only reminds us what day it is because morning radio and TV suck and they still seem to bring up that character. Some DJ was playing that on yesterday on the radio on the way home at 6PM.  WTH?  They couldn’t wait for Wednesday.  And despite that, this morning, in my morning brain-fuzz, said fuzz told me it was Tuesday.

I checked the computer and did the Wednesday morning tasks, housework, on my way out the door to work.  When you do what I do, which is answer phone calls with questions from idiots, all day long, every day, if you’re me you have two responses:  1)  I NEVER answer the phone at home unless I see the call trace and it’s Mrs M. and 2) Days smoosh grotesquely, one blending horror-mogeneously into one another until Friday night.  And Saturday Morning.  And Saturday night.

Strangely I was too tired to be unhappy thinking it was only Tuesday, and when I found out it was actually Wednesday I was only just a little bit happier.  Tuesday:  the forgotten bastard stepchild of the work week.  But I’m off topic again, sorry for muddling and confusing the reader.  See, I’m NOT God.

I firmly believe “God is not the author of confusion.”  And not just in the confusing arena of spiritual gifts, which is where this verse is rooted.  But IN the arena of spiritual gifts, I think there are charlatans of two kinds:  1) the kind that fake it to puff themselves up in order to make themselves seem more important, more loved by God somehow and 2) the kind that say the spiritual gifts don’t happen in the modern era.  I believe John 14:12 is still in effect because Jesus said it and didn’t say anything after that to undo what he said.  Both of these confusing people muddle up Christianity, and it’s muddled enough.  God allows confusion just like he allowed Satan to fuck with Job in the Old Testament, and I wish He wouldn’t.  And God allows confusion but points out that idea because He knew there would be fakers and liars and denial-preachers.

I want peace.  My God isn’t the author of war, of conflict, of disunity, of suicide bombers, of child abuse, of disease, of hatred, of any of these confusing things.  God is supposed to be the author of peace.  I’m praying for peace, on a Wednesday.

I fought my way to work today, through trying to figure out what to have for lunch, through the extra trip to the bathroom on the way out the door, through taking the trash to the curb, through the coughing congestion fit, through the traffic, through the locked doors since we have to either have a badge or be let in (I was let in until I find the badge I lost or pay for a replacement.), through the passwords into the work systems.  And now I fight my way through the calls.  And then I’ll fight through traffic.

“Six days you should labor and do all your work, and on the seventh, rest.” (Exodus 20:9, Deuteronomy 5:13)  So for six days I get to fight against all hell and routine, and on the seventh I’m supposed to be allowed to rest.  On second thought, routine isn’t an addition to hell.  Routine is part of hell.  The boredom.  The lack of fulfillment.  The lack of peace.

I was confused about that for a few minutes, just like the Tuesday issue, because I thought I remembered reading something about work being a gift from God, which is nonsense.  It turned out I did not remember the exact words, which are:

Ecclesiastes 5: 18 This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot.

See, it says “LOT.”  NOT “gift.”

And I also found out why I had thought it said “gift,” because right there in the next verse it says
Ecclesiastes 5: 19 Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions,and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God. 20 They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.

It’s a gift of God to have wealth and possessions and the ability to enjoy them and to accept their lot and to be happy while working.  It’s not a gift to live in want, nor to be unhappy in my work.  I want this gift.  Because I don’t have this gift, I am tired, depressed, discouraged, empty, bored, angry, bitter, and all the other words.
So, God?  I know You’re busy running a universe and all, but if you have a second or two, can I please have this gift?  It’s what I’ve been asking for for about 15 or so years.  It seems like a simple enough request.  I want to be “someone.”

I want to be THAT “someone.”