II – Deon’s Demons

II – Deon’s Demons

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

Medicines, cruel demons, here to stay

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

You can’t bleach them or wash them away.

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

Genetics find unfair ways to play.

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

Disappointing her gives me dismay.

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

Some days I’m OK, then, demon days.

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

Past and new bullies are hell to pay.

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

Emasculation ≠ Gender Equality

Back in the very dark ages of the gender wars, say, before 1920, women were quietly and submissively hoping for a better world.  Married women, at least my wife, if she’s an example, know how to quietly and submissively demonstrate how women can live in a marriage.  But they (if my wife is an example) don’t do that.  Instead, they exert a very powerful influence over men (if I am an example).  Don’t go calling me “whipped.”

I heard that!! What the hell did I just say?  HEY!!  STOP LAUGHING!

OK, maybe I’m a little “whipped.”  Shut up.  It means I’m 26 years ahead of my time in the gender struggle.  Or maybe it means I’m not rich or famous enough for anyone to bother accusing of harassment.  It’s not because I’m not annoying enough, but at least I know that.

Although I’m not rich or famous enough to bother with, the question arises, when does flirtation become harassment?  Where’s the line?  As a blogger, when I become a rich, famous novelist, will I be found guilty of harassment for something or some things I’ve written in my blog that are only much later, say, 40 years, after the gender wars have progressed even further, be determined as “inappropriate,” or “harassment?”  I won’t know unless a fellow blogger, or one of my two (maybe three) faithful readers tell me.  What if there’s only one comment I’ve made on a random blog somewhere and I’ve forgotten about it, and no one ever told me they were offended?  When will I be informed of the offense?  Could I be alerted of getting close to crossing that very ambiguous line sometime before I cross it?  Or will the flirtation be returned, such that I think it’s OK until it’s too late?  Or maybe a more pertinent question would be, how much money do I have to have to be worth suing, or accusing?

It’s a cynical line of questioning.

I want to believe the claims because many times, men cross the more obvious lines.  A woman is taken in by his wealth, power, and charming personality, drawn in by the promise of possible opportunity, career advancement, being treated nicely, or whatever else a lady may need of a non-sexual nature from a man.  And a man, being either creepy or completely stupid, is looking for whatever a man may want from a woman, and blunders in thoughtlessly or deliberately.  A woman who wants a career opportunity and may be looking for a good professional reference tries to make friends, and does the normal social and professional things, and the guy is all grope-y, or that and worse.  And then he may or may not offer those opportunities to the lady, based on things going farther than social or professional.  Because I know guys can be creepy, I want to believe.

But I’m sorry, I’m cynical.  I ask the questions.  Was she flirting back?  What were her physical and verbal cues?  How was she presenting herself?  Where are the lines of demarcation for when a woman progresses from social and professional to something more?  How are clueless men (and most are) to interpret a woman’s intentions in the minefield of modern gender warfare?  Is she interested in more than social interaction, but waiting for him to “make the first move?”  Was there an interest back then that went beyond mere social or professional goals, and now years later, with social or political or monetary aims, the interest is being denied?

What I’ve learned from dog training applies here, not that I’d imply that men are dogs.  (read in my sotto voce whisper:  MEN ARE LIKE DOGS!  AND SOME ARE DOGS!)  Any self-respecting dog trainer will tell you that the time to intervene to prevent a dog from acting on his or her impulse, is before they start acting.  So before he lunges, charges and bites the neighbor kid, or snacks on the neighbor’s pet, an owner should distract and divert to a different behavior or give a verbal command, and give a reward for obedience.  Cesar Millan, the “dog whisperer” says dog aggression may not be intended as aggression, but instead is curiosity and excitement.  The same is true for a normal man.  Even though I’m married, if a woman wants to talk to me, I am curious and excited.  If a woman flirts in response to my flirtation, my curiosity and excitement will grow.

If I weren’t so very married, I might lose control of my impulses at some point, and I often wonder what that point is for me, but I don’t want to learn it.  Guys are behaviorally similar to their best friends, but if there’s redirection or correction before things get out of control, I think many of those unfortunate biting episodes could be prevented.  Cesar goes on to say that aggression may be triggered by fear, insecurity, anxiety, frustration, and lack of proper socialization.

Don’t be fooled by the guy’s veneer.  We’re pretending to be stronger than we are.  We’re acting calm, but on the inside we’re close to panic or desperation.  We’re motivated by lack of proper socialization, too.  Show a guy a curvy work of art, and he’s helpless.  He wants to study that work of art, by whatever sensory means possible.  He’ll stare, he’ll sniff, he’ll touch if given the opportunity.  Et cetera.  I’m still studying my wife, and damn! She’s still fascinating after all these years!  Thank GOD I’m married, or in the modern minefield of gender warfare, I’d be a different kind of animal.  I mean man.  I mean person.

I believe the line has to be defined, and then respected, by us guys.  It’s our fault if we do something wrong, and we damned well should know the difference between what’s OK and what’s not.  I know there are women who lead men on, but because I’m a guy I’ll go out on record and say if a guy goes too far, it’s his own damned fault.  Not hers.  But I do understand how guys might feel some confusion on the line of acceptable behavior.

When Jesus gave the simplified commandments, He said the first commandment was to love God, and the second was to love your neighbor as yourself.  We guys have to love our neighbors as ourselves, and learn to treat people with that in mind.  Would we love it if girls ogled us or groped us?  Oh, shit.  Nevermind that line of reasoning.  But we need to think about how our behavior will make our “neighbor” feel, and we want to make them feel loved, respected and appreciated, not objectified, hurt, or taken for granted.  Just as we men want women to make us feel.

When my mother read about gender roles in the Bible, teaching me, she read that thing about women submitting, and then went on to read that thing about how a man should love his wife to death, like Jesus loved the church (See Ephesians 5).  Jesus “loved the church, and gave Himself up for her.”  When my pastor shared Ephesians 5 with us in counseling before we got married, he said “it is the wife’s duty to respect her husband, but it is the husband’s duty to be worthy of her respect.”

I try, but I’m not very good at it very often.

My mother-in-law, (God rest her soul (please)), used to make little jokes about me getting castrated.  “Snip, snip.”  Or whatever.  It came to a point I asked Mrs. M. to ask her to stop.

And this is the point I’m trying to make:  There is a point in the gender war where men aren’t just discouraged from being manly.  Society, not understanding there’s a time to stop, goes past pressing the advantages and advances women have made in society, goes too far, and men are neutered.  Men are expected to not act like men.  Well, when a dog is told not to bark or growl, biting is the next dog-like behavior, so they resort to that.  At what point, in telling men to not act like men, does a man resort to another male behavior?

If I haven’t gone on record yet, although I think I have, let me do so now:

I firmly believe that any man who rapes or beats a woman should have a fitting punishment as a consequence, to insure they learn the behavior is unacceptable and to insure they don’t exhibit that behavior ever again.

That being said, I am against the modern trend of social castration.  My mother-in-law hinted at this trend, three generations ago.  My wife often demonstrates a great understanding of having learned from her, and when she does, I fucking hate it, despite my deep love for her.  Men shouldn’t be expected or taught to act like women.  We aren’t women.  We don’t need to be taught how to act like we aren’t men, with masculine traits, masculine thoughts, masculine drives and masculine wants.  Instead, we need to be taught how to be better men.  We need to be taught impulse control.  We need to be taught proper boundaries and proper approaches to proxemics.

Glance at the curves for a half a second, but don’t be hypnotized!  Look away!  Her eyes are attractive too.

A Lesson for Guys in Poem Form:

Study words from her lips,
not the sway of her hips,
Notice hair, what she says,
don’t stare at her legs,
No matter what your brain says,
Never presume she means “yes,”
If you’re married, keep her,
Stir her heart with ardor,
Men, always keep your wits,
no matter how cute she is.

I know what you thought that last line would say.  And you’re right.  Everything women are, that’s different than what men are, is amazing, beautiful, charming, delightful, and exciting.  But the differences aren’t just skin-deep.    Guys, learn what’s ticking in her brain before you try to learn anything more, attraction notwithstanding.  There’s more to relationships than just sex.  What do you do after that?  What do you do before that?  What do you do instead of that?

Ladies, give us a clue before screaming to castrate us.

Guys, unless she marries you, it’s a minefield.  Tread cautiously.  And if you’re rich, get a prenuptial agreement before those nuptials.

To Give, or Not to Give (a Fuck)

There are days when I care, days when I’d like to think I don’t care, and days, like today, when I wish I could stop caring.  I don’t want to give a fuck about anyone or anything, but instead,

I care too much about stupid politicians and politics.  I care too much that idiots are the faces of the politics of the World, of the United States, and of the individual states of the United States.  If idiots weren’t in charge, I firmly believe that basic, needed things would be affordable to anyone who works a full time job, or anyone who is retired and has paid into Social Security, or anyone retired or disabled from our military service, or anyone legitimately disabled and unable to work.  We, and our children, need basic things:  food, clothing, shelter.  We need medical, dental, and optical care, and medicine.  If selfish idiots weren’t in charge, taxes would pay for services the government is needed for, and infrastructure maintenance, and we wouldn’t need special extra gas taxes, cigarette taxes, liquor taxes, and toll roads.  A flat tax paid for consumption or use would be fine, but that should eliminate income tax.  Instead, we pay twice for what we should pay once, and someone or some ones in the middle of it are raking in the bucks.

I mentioned yesterday that I’m paying about five times what I borrowed for the house, instead of just paying it back with a reasonable interest rate.  And thank God I know about loan types, or we might have gone with an adjustable rate mortgage (A.R.M.- that’s what it costs when the rates are “adjusted.”), or worse, a loan with a balloon payment at the end.  It’s bad enough the part of the monthly payment that goes toward reducing the principle is less than 20% of the total payment demanded.  My trouble (first world fucking problems!) is that an assessor went through our crap neighborhood last year and decided my house is worth more than I’m paying (translation, tax assessors and other middle-men can get more money out of me), so they raised the taxes on my house to match the value they say it’s now worth.  Except I signed an agreement to pay a specified amount for 30 years and now the government and the bank and the tax assessors are in collusion with one another, dicking around with it and saying now I have to pay more than I agreed to pay when we signed the papers, FUCKERS!

If I get a raise, the damned government figures out a way to suck that away before I get to touch it.  Raise taxes, reduce benefits, arbitrarily design a “fuck-you, taxpayer” fee I didn’t know I had to pay.  Meanwhile certain people who know how to work the system eat better food than I can afford from my job’s wages, and if I make literally a single $1 too much over a six month period, they are going to pull what benefits I DO benefit from out from under me and make me pay full market price for them (insurance), even though that $1 more doesn’t do shit to relieve the burdens that make me grovel and beg for that assistance, because now my house is allegedly worth more.  It’s only worth more if I try to sell it, but since I’m still paying for it, it seems to me that it’s worth the same as what it was worth when I started paying for it.  The insurance company and the bank and the government want me homeless and helpless and bankrupt, or (actually, “and,”) they don’t want to help.  Why the fuck is that?

Buy a tire and you pay for tires, then mounting and balancing, then valve stems, then tire disposal, then alignment, and then, if you’re wise, for a protection plan because roads have potholes and nails and screws and abandoned disintegrated tire “gators,” and other shit left by litterers and road construction crews and whoever else, not to mention the local fauna.  Valve stems, really?  Like, if you bought a tire it wouldn’t come with fucking valve stems from how they’re manufactured.  Disposal, really?  Like if I don’t want to take the old tire home with me and throw it in my own trash, I have to pay an extra fee for the tire shop to have a guy throw it in the dumpster out back.  I get the other fees, someone has to do mounting, balancing and alignment so the tires will work, and so they’ll last.  But there should be a better way to structure that or to bill for that.

A home loan payment shouldn’t be five-plus times the amount of the principle of the loan.  That tells me several ass holes are lining their pockets with way too damn much (go ahead, insert meme) of my money and probably a few million other wishful would-be homeowners’ money.  Buying feels right though, to finally own something rather than being a renter forever and never having any kind of personal security, or building equity.  If you rent, I’m fine with it and I don’t think any less of you.  I know good reasons to rent, not the least of which is if you don’t own it you shouldn’t have to shell out cash to fix it under conditions of normal use.  Like renting a car, if you just drive it a few days you should only have to put gas in it, not pay to change the oil and pay to rotate and balance new tires for it.

I want a King Solomon for President.  Someone who is wise enough to design systems that actually work, that help people, and who is politically savvy enough to not put us on the brink of World War III every time he opens his mouth, and to not try to just hand over the keys of the country to other countries every time she opens her mouth.  I want a King Solomon for state governor, who will help people beyond basic needs.  We need employment from employers who will pay a fair and decent living wage, and reward loyalty by paying higher-than-entry-fucking-level wages to people who stay with a company.  The governor should hire reputable companies to build and maintain the infrastructure of his state, and oversee the other important concerns of his or her constituency.  The governor, or his trusted appointees, should be able to step in when a constituent is being treated unfairly.

I want a King Solomon for an employer, who trains and promotes and pays higher wages to those from within, rather than hiring from the outside and paying them the same as what I earn after 10 years and calling that an entry level wage.  When I found out that basically unless I made a lot of noise about it they were happy to keep me under  everyone’s thumbs, if I were prone to uncontrollable rage, instead of festering, I’d have driven down to corporate with guns, killed a few select people and gotten myself either killed, or earned 3 square meals and a bed, workout facilities, a legal library to study and earn a law degree, and total dependence on the government and my cellmates.

I care too much about my family.  If I were a selfish ass hole of a man, I could have earned a divorce years ago, instead of 25 years of marriage.  I could tell the courts I’m helpless, find a “sugar momma” to bed, and live off of her excesses and indulgences and leave my ex wife and kids to sink or swim on their own and not pay any child support.  Instead I’m home helping with housework and home repair and improvements if I can afford them and school homework and gas money and car maintenance if I know how to do it myself (MUCH cheaper) and working my ass off and praying for college scholarships because I don’t want to work until I’m 150 years old to pay off the debt and usury, adding the extra penalties and fees for not dying soon enough.  Because the working poor are supposed to work two and three and more jobs just to survive, and die of heart attacks when they turn 42.  I’ve outlived that shit, thankfully, at least so far.  But caring is stressful.

I care too much about my neighborhood and local things.  Instead of hearing about the latest murder victims, kidnapping victims, rape victims, robbery victims, I want the news to lead with the story they try to close with on a slow day.  And I want more news stories like that every day.  I want my neighborhood and my city to be shown what can happen when visionary people who aren’t completely heartless ass holes decide to keep trying.  But instead I get the other shit, for 28 minutes every morning if I only watch for 30, and then 2 minutes of a veteran who gets to be in a parade and go for a short ride in a nice fancy car because he’s 90-something and someone wanted to do something nice for him before he died.

I want people to be celebrated and be on the news for doing the nice things.  Why the fuck do we have 28 out of 30 minutes on the weather, the traffic, the mayhem, and only 2 for the people doing something nice?  I can understand 13 on weather and traffic.  But do the other 15 have to be wasted on how horrible some people are?  Flip that shit and do the opposite.  If it’s in the interest of public safety, fine, tell us to lock up our daughters and wives, or tell us the infrastructure is crumbling and we need a new bridge built over the overpass so there will be diverted traffic, fine, report that.  But otherwise,

Why can’t we hear about Girl Scout Gold Award winners, Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award Winners, and their service projects?  Why don’t we hear about foundations making grants and setting up programs to help retirees make it on their fixed social security and medicare, or churches feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless, and sending out a small army of people to help seniors and disabled citizens with their house- and yard- work and gutters, washed dishes and laundry, vacuuming, companionship, trips to the local community center or to a nice restaurant for a meal?

Why can’t we hear about the people who got the full-ride scholarship to a local college (, and can those recipient be my daughter and son when they graduate)? Why can’t we hear about how Mrs Mumple has managed to not murder or kick Mr. M to the curb, through 25 years and two children?  Why can’t we hear about the mystery generous guy (or lady, I’m not going to give it back because of a gender issue) who just out of the blue decided to hand Deon Mumple a check for a few million dollars with enough extra to pay the tax on that?  That hasn’t happened yet, I’m just putting it out there for that person, whomever they are, so they know there’s room over here for their anonymous donation.
I’m quite certain there’s at least 13 minutes of those kinds of stories that could be told, every day, instead of all the guns and evil.  Maybe if we celebrated the good, instead, there would be more of that, and less of the shit we glorify on TV EVERY fucking day.  Kids looking for role models won’t find them on TV or in the news or media.  All they’ll find are idiots, idiot politicians, cheap-ass business tycoons, and criminals, including murderers and robbers and rapists and vandals and other thugs, not that those genres are never cross-populated.  And the worst thing about putting those role-models on the television and media is, that THE AIMLESS KIDS ARE FOLLOWING THEIR LEAD.

The way it’s run right now I wish I could just not give a fuck.  But alas, I do in fact care, and try to do small things to make it better.  I volunteer a little time out of my life whenever I can, or whenever I can figure out how to schedule it even though I don’t think I can, because I can make a tiny difference by showing up to sweat for someone who needs help.  Because I care, I wish other people gave a fuck too, instead of the standard issue what’s-in-it-for-me and how-can-I-profit-and-screw-the-other-person’s-welfare that I see in the world, in American politics, and in modern corporate America.  I either need enough money so I don’t have to care and then I need to learn the lessons from the above assholes, OR, I need a LOT more people to start giving a fuck about someone other than themselves.

I understand.  We’re all under the same shitty management.  The old managerial ass holes were all taught the same thing, doesn’t matter which hoity-toity school their dads bought their business or law degrees from.  Which means, nobody reading this has shit, unless a bored billionaire is looking for people to condescend to.  I’m willing, in exchange for a few million dollars, to be treated with condescension.  Go ahead.  But if you’re not a bored billionaire looking for a charity case you might only have a few bucks extra here and there.  That’s most of the readers out there that I know about.  I know you need your not-coffee, but how about buying one less cup of not-coffee from Starbucks, and giving that money to a cause I care way too much about.  Click here:

https://www.gofundme.com/single-mom-being-bugged

Please.  Really.  She and her daughter ARE a worthy cause.  I may care too much, but until her tiny goal is far surpassed, I feel that not enough support is being shown to these two deserving young ladies.  What the hell, if you ARE a bored billionaire, how about giving a few million to Ms. N., instead of me.  I’ll be fine, probably.  Or, we’re both willing to accept donations if you’ve got it like that.  But we both need enough for it to be an actual blessing, not just enough to cut their benefits off, or cut my kids’ health insurance benefits off at the knees and make me work 3 jobs to pay the extra costs.  If you’re gonna give and you can give big, give big, and may God bless you back for being a blessing from your abundance.  If you’re gonna give and you can only afford little, give and may my God bless you back for being a blessing out of your own need.

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.

I Learned This

I didn’t write anything at all on Father’s Day,
But rested instead, in a quirky, working way,
I did everything just like my dad showed me,
Before he started to lose the man who he used to be.
I pray that the harder struggle doesn’t happen to me,
But I see clear signs all around me already.
He used to be so strong, and worked so very hard,
At his job, at church, for friends, or strangers, or in the yard,
I can see that more than he loves himself, he still loves us,
His kids, his wife, and surviving friends, He’s my image of Jesus,
When he was younger and stronger he set the tone
Expecting respect, demonstrating grace and love, until we had grown
And always showing love for my mum that still gleams in his eyes
Despite the frustrations that can still make them both cry
I learned this.

So I worked in the yard and the house on Father’s day
Resting hands in the dish soap, in the garden, at play
And I flirted with her;  ’til it hurt when she pushed back,
But I loved past the point when I felt her attack
And I don’t understand how, but I love the same way
Sometimes it works out, it’s what dad would say
The kids disrespect and the wife says things harshly
And occasionally she sees me hurt, says she loves me,
Then offers something different than she knows I really wanted
Because love sometimes translates, and sometimes it doesn’t
If I only know how to speak love with the tongues of mere humans
Ending with surrender, I miss the mark by even farther then
I have to do more than say it to make it really count
Say I’m crazy, but love’s worth blood and pain, any amount
I learned this.

Instead of intent and accomplishment, I gave up and spent
Time to show love, and then our time came and went
To say it, to be it, an example to my kids, and proof to her
That I meant the words of my vow, just like my father
Mum’s frustrated; He says he can’t do it, I feel his discouragement,
As strength that once filled him is replaced by bones, bent,
He gets tired easily instead, now in slow, aging decline,
And his legs hurt sometimes, I’m sure much worse than mine.
She and I did mundane things, held hands, being together
I missed my chance to mow the grass, caught by stormy weather
I can’t get frustrated.  It’ll have to wait until another day
Another time, because love’s worth the time, and any price I’ll pay
I learned this.

A kind word, and laughter, are stronger than strength
I want a legacy of love that outlives my life’s length
But I begin to realize the things I can’t do still
That I used to just do; now I still try; I always will
Offering guidance with a gentle hand, a story, a joke meant
To distract but discipline, train by encouragements spoken
There are and will be days when I want my way, for me
But more often that’s not how I hope to be in their memory
They see me, discouraged, and I get up again, disappointed by
Life, and I get up again, I smile, fall and get up, trying to try
And fail, and try until I win, or die, I want to leave this
They see me discouraged, and angry, I cry, shoot and miss
The mark, but I keep on trying, fighting my pain with rage
Because I’ve seen deep meaning behind trying as I age
I learned this.

My dad is old and sometimes, too tired to try again,
I’ve seen him want to surrender, depressed, and then
To spite the lie, the warrior’s glint in his eyes flashes
Rage to raise to his feet again, teeth grind and gnash as
He tries anyway.  Despite all the negative-he may fail
When he feels disappointed, left alone after betrayal
“A righteous man falls seven times,” and gets up again
I may never be righteous; failure feels like all I’ve ever been
But I want to get up, love, and fight, when I remember his life
She doesn’t speak his language well, but she’s still his wife.
Not all of this is shown perfectly, by either my father or me,
But it’s worth the effort, if generations grow, learning to see
That noble struggles with life, with their personal humanity
Are the ongoing examples they ought to choose to leave.
I learned this.

Thanks, Dad.
~Deon

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.

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:

//giphy.com/embed/eMLXYjKIHaQyk

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

//giphy.com/embed/J5IV6WQZlQS4w

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.

The Best Time to Sing the Blues

The Best Time To Sing The Blues, 8/19/2016, Deon Mumple

The best time to sing the blues
Is after the storm,
Picking up the pieces
Of a life that’s torn.
We all get ’em sometime.
We all feel the flood;
Feel like we’re drowning,
Water and blood.

And ain’t nothin, nothin I can do,
But feel blue

The best time to sing the blues
Is when you’re away,
I miss your heartbeat and your eyes,
The funny things you say.
Ain’t no storm like lonely,
Tears my soul apart.
I___ need you baby,
Please, come heal my heart.

No one, no one, no one I want, but you.
I feel blue.

The storm is raging out there.  The waters rise.
None of it matters, let me look in your eyes.

The best time to sing the blues
Is when I feel blue
I don’t want you to sing them with me
I just want you, to
Stay. right. here__. with me, baby
Till the storm has passed,
You’re all I need to get through.
I need our love to last.

But right now, I know, ain’t nothin, I can do,
But feel blue.

Notes:
Dear Readers,

I’m watching the flood in Louisiana, saw the flooding in Texas, and it has me thinking about the disparity of politics, the despair of the citizens, and praying.  Sure, it wasn’t as drastic as a hurricane, but people are handling this in an entirely different way than they did and it’s the same issue- flood water and death and hunger.  Last time there were fingers of blame, last time there was a demon who didn’t care about the people, and this time I don’t see it, and it isn’t balanced.

It got me in the mood to sing the blues, and this song is what came out of my head.  I’m hoping my emotional storm has passed, for this season.  And I hope, when your storms are raging, you know I’m here for you.

DM

Too Busy

I realized, last night, that I have some extra activity throwing me out into the world EVERY night this week, after enduring going to work. The stress builds onto me and I start to think, I need a day off. From everything. I don’t get a day off until maybe Saturday, whereupon I will sleep in a tiny bit, make waffles, and clean house, and I may binge watch something on Netflix. Boring boring boringboringboring, but oh so satisfying. If I get ambitious maybe I can work on some pet projects. I hope that happens, but if not, I hope it’s ok and doesn’t come back to bite me. I’ve got things that need to be done, but they’re not urgenturgent, they just have to be done and they are on a deadline it’s just not a pressing deadline.  But I do need some down time.

I’m craving waffles and real maple syrup, and sausage, and maybe even scrambles, with onions, green bell peppers, and cheese, and hot salsa…  And a screwdriver, which is truly the best part of my plans for waking up on Saturday.  Just to celebrate the fact that I don’t have to go out anywhere.  The best part of my hopes for Saturday are to spend a little time with Mrs. M., unfettered by too much shit to do.  I will do my best to make that hope a reality.  That is, until she makes me get out of bed and starts in with the list of shit she wants me to see if I can accomplish at home, added to what I routinely will clean and maintain.  Yeah, that’s why I’m making the waffles, because I don’t want her to “have to do that” and have that guilt trip hanging over my head in addition to the list.

That said, thank GOD Saturday is almost here.  I get to go at my pace, mostly, not rush here and there, all jeebyheebynillywilly.  I LIKE my pace, which is, in words, if it gets done, fine, if it doesn’t get done, fuckit, it wasn’t important.  I hate it when it has to be done, right NOW OR ELSE!, which is why I hate the list.  I mean, I’ll do it, but I want to work it at my pace or skip it if it doesn’t get done.  I might take a nap on Saturday too, if I can fit it into the day and find some quiet.

The fucking neighbor blared his idiot music last time I wanted a nap and had a time to do it, thump, fuckingthump, FUCKYOUNEDFLANDERSTHUMP! and I couldn’t get to sleep.  If that happens this weekend, I will go out, in my flannel, nondescript, comfortable pajamas, find the fucker, whomever he is, ask him to turn it down nicely, and if he declines, put my chef’s knife through his damned speaker cords.

If I did much social networking beyond this blog (which I largely do at my pace, which is why you don’t see a lot of weekend postings) and twitter (which I largely ignore), I would be (more than already) completely bonkers mad.  I think people need margin in their lives, which is to say this:

People need enough control of their lives to be able, at least some of the time, to say, fuck this thing you want me to do, fuck this place you want me to go, fuck this timespan you want me to accomplish whatevershit within, fuck the methods and parameters you prescribe and want it done by, and while we’re at it, fuck off yourself, I’m taking a fucking break.  I will always go to the store to buy milk, I will always venture out to provide rescue transportation to my family, but if I don’t have to go out, I wish I had the liberty to not go.  Sometimes you need a break.  Sometimes you just need to take a nap.  Well, I do.

Home made waffles…and a screwdriver to go with my morning coffee.  As a general rule I shy away from alcohol on weekdays, and don’t binge on the weekends.  It would be too easy (but too expensive in both long and short run) to make that a habit.  One or two are enough for me.  But fuck yeah, I’m having a screwdriver Saturday morning.  It’s been a busy week.  Too fucking busy.  I hope next week settles down and doesn’t demand too much.

If not, I may take an executive action and figure out what I can push aside.  It won’t be Mrs. M; I want her close.  I want her VERY close.  So close, she can’t reach for a pen and a pad to make a damn list.

Why Am I So Sick Of Everything?

When I was young, say, 8 or 10 years old, I kept up the struggle to be optimistic in spite of everything life handed out.  And a lot of what it handed out was shit.  There was food on the table, and it was damn good, as my mom was a great cook.  Mom stayed at home most of the time and dad worked two jobs at any given time to support our family of 6, and it was almost always enough.  I was never made aware of our limited income, except when I went to the store and wanted something.  I did all right in school in spite of bullies.  In the modern day, knowing what I know I suppose I would have put the bullies down fearlessly, but back then I was this timid kid.  But I was optimistic and I thought I was smart and had a good future ahead.  I had no clue what I wanted to do when I grew up, I just figured it would all pan out well.

I’ve been coasting watching a slow decline over the years.  I worked hard for a marriage, I worked hard for two kids, and I’ve worked hard to keep it together, but the edges keep fraying.  By “the edges” I mean everything, and by “fraying” I mean shit falls apart.  Everything from cars to plumbing, This is natural and I should just roll with it and deal with it, but it’s happening faster and faster.  Perhaps when I was younger I had the energy and patience and time to deal with shit, but frankly, I’m tired of everything.  It’s taking a toll on my home, my kids, my wife, and me.  There isn’t enough money for what I want.  There isn’t enough money for what I need.  I have a number in mind, of how much is enough, but it’s pie-in-the-sky.  And no, the number is not 3,141,592.65 although that would be a nice start.

I could just be depressed.  I’m a bit like a robot or a zombie or something.  A robot, if you only count I’m going through the motions without any meaning or purpose or end in sight.  A zombie if I really am looking for something and I can’t die to free myself from the endless search (for brains).

Work is boring.  I’m not going to divulge any details but it’s a minute by minute struggle to focus and there is no joy in any of it.  I dread the next assignment, the next task, the next mind-numbing stupidity.  I also dread the tiny tiny paychecks that haven’t grown over the past seven years.  When they did grow, it was immediately swallowed by insurance increases.

At home, I’m going through the motions.  I’m running out of any real passion left since it wasn’t reciprocated when I was trying.  Push me away all the time, almost every time, and eventually you’re going to either hear me, or feel me, say, fuck you, you aren’t worth my time.  I don’t have the energy I used to have to stay up and take care of chores like dishes and other quiet housework.  I sit on the couch and watch television until I fall asleep or until I fall into my cold bed. I’ve surrendered to the realization that although she is physically present, she isn’t there.  She’s asleep and if I do anything except sleep, my advance is batted away like a line drive to some poor schmucks head in a baseball game.  I’m the schmuck.  Fuck this, what’s the point?  Why keep trying?

She’s always been impressed with money, which is why I was amazed she married me.  I had none, still don’t have enough to impress her.  I somehow doubt that even if I had what I feel would be “enough,” she’d still be distant.  Maybe even more.  A woman at work touched me today and I realized how much I miss it.  She asked permission (!) and then fixed my collar.  That was it.  I don’t want the woman at work, fine as she is.  And she is.  I want my wife back.  I want my life back, but I want it better than it ever was before we started slipping away from each other.

What I want is freedom from this shit.  EVERYONE I read wants to be free from their shit.  There are so many blogs out there where people are looking for a greater degree of personal freedom, Which doesn’t bode well for the hope that someday I will find myself free, after seeking out and finding whatever opportunity wasn’t ready to knock until I did the knocking.  I used to knock on doors to see if they would open, but they would tease me and slam shut and I reached the point of fuck this, what’s the point?

What I need is a windfall that releases me from these constraints- the rising cost of living modestly, the increasing speed with which things fall apart.  I need a season of repair and rest.  An extended season.  I want to fix it, or replace it.  I want to have time to write more of what I want, drink more of what I want to drink, eat more of what I want to eat and less of the crap I’m eating now on this so-fucked-I’m-helpless survival budget, and then after eating more, time and liberty to exercise more.  I don’t want champagne and caviar and lobster, but I bet my wife would like that.  Damn good thing I like rice and ramen and mac and cheese.  But sometimes even that loses its flavor in my mouth and I feel sick.  I want a fucking huge ribeye steak and a bottle of pinot noir and no time limit.  Once every week or two.  I don’t think that’s much to ask for.

I wake up in the morning and regularly have stress attacks. On weekends when I don’t have to do anything I stay in bed longer and when I do get up, there’s no stress attack.  I wonder how many days of not having to get up would make the attacks go away.  I force myself into the routine of morning, and then into the routine of the day.

I want to get up in the morning and choose what I want for breakfast and either cook it myself or go out and get it, and bring my wife with me to get whatever she wants.  I liked doing chores, when I had the energy to do them.  I like breakfast, but I don’t want it at the crack of dawn.  I want it at 9:30, after a cup or two of coffee.  Rich guy fantasies.  What do rich guys want?  I want to find out first hand.  I want to wonder where I want to go today, and then pick a spot and go, instead of being unable to have any choice.  I get up, I go to work, I come home, I watch TV, I go to bed.

I don’t want to be a recluse.  I just don’t want to do this any more, and until I figure out what I really want to do, I want to be rich enough I don’t have to do this any more.

In short, I’m more than just sick of everything and this is more than a simple tantrum or a rant.  The woman in the old commercial used to call out for “Calgon” to “take [her] away.”  And then she’d be in a beautiful bubble bath.  Yeah, I don’t want a bubble bath.  I want a lot more.