Tag Archives: thoughts

Thoughts (4 Days Before London) 

17 Oct

When An Anxiety Attack Keeps You Awake At 3 A.M.

2 Dec


…So you’ve never had an Anxiety Attack. Bully for you! I think it’s great that you’ve never experienced the cold chill followed by immediate burning rush of panicked adrenaline, at a volume usually reserved for legitimate life and death situations.

…When you are clearly in no physical danger whatsoever…

…And yet your brain actually legitimately thinks you are in the process of your last breathing moments on earth.

…Across minutes that stretch to hours.

Cuz I gotta say, that shit is scary.

…It’s like your whole body is on phantom fire, which no one can see, no one can put out, no one can relieve the pain of.

…And this ball called “earth” that we live on, just keeps spinning at gross speeds which you swear you can actually feel…to the point you get motion sickness and wanna vomit, but can’t, because that too will bring a whole host of new fixating anxieties with it…and what you’ve got going on right now is plenty enough, thanks.

I’ve been up and having one for the past hour, real-time.

An Anxiety Attack.

…I’ve paced, and made my tea, and tried my bag o’ tricks to oust it from my brain…but nothing seems to be working. And so: I blog. (Which was this thing’s first purpose on inception, years and years ago.)

…Thought I’d take you with me, on this one…talk it out, and try to regain my center of calm.

YOU’RE calm. Just lookit you! Sitting there, reading this, at whatever normal time it is to be awake and reading things…

…Bet you aren’t shaking in a cold sweat, fixating on possible fatalisms too numerous to count…until actual physical pains begin to ghost your body as if to say, ” See! I told you I am a total legitimate possibility…!”

Bet you don’t have to pace the floor like Rainman, chanting positive reinforcements to your clearly failing mental state, like you’re in the final moments of coaching it to the performance level of winning an Olympic Gold Medal…and if you fail right now, we’re talking like DECADES of your life’s work will have totally been wasted.

…Down the toilet.

So don’t fuck this up, asshole!

…All meanwhile you physically happen to be in a perfectly warm and serene enviornment, with zero “tangible” worries befalling you, no great stresses you can put your finger on…in essence: freaking out for absolutely no reason at all.

Just: awake!

…Suddenly! And in total mind-coked-out panic! Here! Now! In an awful living-and-fully-conscious nightmare that you can’t shake off.

It must be nice, to be you…

…And not have any of that.

…But I wouldn’t know.

I’m “me.” And I have Anxiety Attacks. And though the world says, “S’all cool here, no need to freak,” my brain is heavily debating that right now.

…It’s a pretty good fighter. So good, that when these happen, no matter how logically I try and work my “process” through it, I’m always secretly terrified that this time: it’s totally gonna win.

The “it” that is my disturbed little brain.

…The same brain, which fixates so easily, that “study” and “learning” become like crack cocaine.

…The same brain that can get lost in a book-world so deeply, I could stay inside while on a bus full of screaming children, in the middle of an earthquake, while Godzilla makes his slow, giant, monster-steps towards us and our inevitable doom.

…The same brain that can multitask like a mutherfucker, retain two and a half hours of non-stop line dialogue, and put in a 40-hour day-job, and still puke out exhausting repetitions of emotional diatribes to paying audiences five or more times per week.

The. Same. Brain.

…Which is my blessing, as well as my curse.

…Like a really shitty Superhero.

…Who doesn’t actually “save” anybody or anything. But could totally tell you the plot in that one story, in great detail. Also: (at the moment anyway) virtually anything in the world about ten or eleven current topics of intense obsession.

Rescue you from a flaming building? Sorry, not my bag. Tell you about mid nineteenth century social, medical and economic conditions among the immigrant Irish: hold onto your damn hat!

Anyway…now you’re all caught up. Well, not “all.” “All” would insinuate you’ve been riding this joyeous wave of terror with me for the past…oh, look at that…hour-and-half now. Actually inside my brain parts, trying to duke it out…shot for shot…instead of just reading my “things to try when stuffs 1 through 45 don’t work” play-by-play.

…And you should be thankful for that, really.

You’re welcome.


Thinky Day

3 Mar


This is one of those weird disassociation days.

…The kind that you get when the brains are pulled in totally different directions not even remotely in the same ballpark as one another, but at the same time. 

Crap sleep again.  Strange hormonal sweats coming in waves.

…Headache behind left eyeball through three cups of black coffee and all of Month-End. 

Successfully hit my numbers, ate a banana, took some head pills.

…Which lead to more paperwork, and bookings, phone calls, and catch-ups with WHS Pimp, who is currently at a Managers Meeting in Florida.

…He hates it, and thinks they’re all racist schmoos.

(They are. What kinda dicks wearing 3000 pounds of aftershave, cram into a cab and proceed to yell things like “Onward Habeebs! Lets move it Moostafa!” to the cab driver, on the ride from the airport to the hotel?)

…Now that they’ve completed all the keynote speeches for the day, though…everyone’s been left to their own devices.  Which means they will be wasted while getting lap dances on the company dime, by 1 pm, our time.  Easy. 

… I told WHS Pimp to go sit in the sun by the pool, and look at all the bikini bodies walking by, instead. He has decided, in lieu of this, to go back to the room and sleep. He never listens to me.

…And he should. Not just cuz I’m always right, but also on account of the fact he’s not allowed to come home without first securing a sugar mama of indiscriminate age, who will elevate him into the sort of lifestyle of which he should become accustomed…so I can quit work here and be his PA. And by PA, I mean “Personal Alcoholic.”

This was already decided before he left.

…I, of course, form no personal function towards him. As his PA, my job will be to drink Bourbon and Mojitos and park myself in ritzy resort cabanas with mountains of pillows and a foot-rubbing boy named Jesus-Federico, (who I will call “Fred” for short.) He will be supremely jealous of Conquistador Manuel Rodriguez (my lover) and Habitas Consuelo (my other lover), who both wear white linen over their tan skin, when not in their James Bond boy-short swimming trunks, coming in and out of the pool in slow motion to Julie London and Billie Holiday songs.

I have a plan, people.

WHS Pimp WILL deliver.


In real life: I’m sitting here winking at the screen, trying to get my headache to go away…trying not to fixate on the fact I’ve my first actual rehearsal for the show tonight and still have no idea what the hell to do with my character.

…Still not off book like I wanted to be.

…Still exhausted, and trying to wrap my head around getting through the work day, never mind the four hours that follow.

…And knowing, as well, that through all of this relative nonsense, worry, and stress, they are putting my Grandfather to rest today.

A more deserving place to focus my thoughts, obviously. But they just don’t seem to focus on anything at the moment, merely “flit.”

…Is it any wonder it breaks away on it’s own little quest, beyond headaches and Month-End numbers and serious loss, to stupid mental escapes like a hummingbird?

…Oh look! Something shiny! I’ll look at that for a bit.

…Instead of what it should.

Stupid head.


The Part No One Talks About

8 Feb


*Unvarnished grief, real-talk, inappropriate and uncomfortable subject matter. But I need to let it out, and somewhere, someone might just need to read it. To know: you’re not alone.
I needa shower.

Feel gross.

…Eleven hour car rides (one way) through snow and ice storms to get to Oregon, turn around the next day, and do it all over again, in the single most depressing field trip of all time.

Because death isn’t funny.

…Except when it is ironic, or unreal.

…Which it nearly always is…

…Once upon a time, my shrink said, “the second you can laugh at or make fun of a thing, is the second you win control of it.”

…But really, I’ve been far too pissed off to make fun of death lately.  With or without irony.  I know it isn’t supposed to be the “funny, ha, ha” kind of laugh…it’s the dark and twisted side. Obviously. Like where Tim Burton lives. Like if Tim Burton were a Funeral Director, instead of just a movie one.

…It sort of makes sense, because death is something we all deal with and will all have to face, and fearing and raging and crying about it doesn’t lessen any of those facts.

For me, it’s the awesome moments of “slap-stings” occurring…as if from no where, instant microseconds of time which wallop you so fucking hard and fast that you have forgotten how to breathe and when you come-to again, can’t understand how you are even still standing up and not in a clump on the floor.

…Cuz you FEEL like you’re a clump on the floor.

…In fact, a clump on the floor, sounds like a soothing place to be.

…But you’re not.

…Instead, you’re in another city. In another state. In a funeral home. Waiting for the Director (a youngish, clean-cut guy in a suit, not at all resembling Tim Burton) to get the paperwork to sign.

…And the sheer weight of morbidity for you to be standing here in this place, just about manages to send you into an anxiety attack.

…But you don’t let it.

…You push back.

…From the middle of the room…by the chairs you’ve just been asked to sit in.

Giant, overstuffed leather.

In front: a giant round table, with a giant box of kleenex, masked in a faux giant stack of books. You don’t sit (of course), because that would require motor skills and the confidence in your ability to stand back up again. Instead, you just stand there…trying not to become enclosed in the shrines of death all around…the walls of boxes and urns, the pillowed caskets, plaques and stone mock ups, and to the left, apparently: “pet haven”…where you can have all of the same in miniature version, or have Sparky turned into a pendant made of his own pressed ash.

…And that is when this shit just gets totally unreal. Like beyond ridiculous.

…And somewhere you must realize it’s prob’ly not reasonable to be so pissed off at the fact that there is a “pet” section at the funeral home you are here to claim a family member from. “Pets” are people too (or so they say.) But at that second, it becomes sorta the turning point of, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?! THEY HAVE A PET DEATH SECTION, LIKE JUST OUT HERE, RIGHT IN YOUR FACE?! AS IF LOSING A GODDAMN DOG BELONGS IN EVEN REMOTELY THE SAME REAL ESTATE OF FLOOR SPACE, AS LOSING AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING?! I HATE ALL YOUR FUCKING DOGS! AND CATS! FUCK YOUR FUCKING BIRDS AND GERBILS TOO!! FUCK ‘EM ALL!!!”

…Is what you are thinking.

Really, really loudly.

To yourself.

…But you must confess, it does help a little. Having something tangible to become angry at. Because up till then it was all about trying not to look at and note the weirdness of various makes and models of open caskets with pillows, resting on the floor…like they were inviting you to take them for a test drive or something…and the wall of urns and boxes and cylinders and mini “keepsake” vials…that hold the remains of what “remains” when we are, you know…not alive anymore…but for some reason, people want to keep you around anyway.

…Creeped out, more by the second…thrown back instantly to every Holocaust film and research flashback…and bad horror film you’ve ever heard with your eyes shut… you were, in the end, semi-saved by a rage-fest at the “pet haven” section.

Which lasted exactly as long as it takes for a guy to walk from his office, back again, with a manila full of documents to sign.

…Then it all comes crashing back to real-times again. And that hurting-to-breathe thing. And stinging eyeballs. And you try to hold your shit together, just a little while longer, so as to NOT lose it in front of this stranger (who I’m sure is totally used to it by now)…”just three minutes more,” you think, “And it’ll all be over.”

But then it all comes to this silent, silent moment where time and space and life completely freezes. It’s like being out in the country after a new snow. The silence is SO silent, and pure, that all you can hear is your own breath…and your own heartbeat. You can actually feel it’s thump so hard that you can hear it. Pure, pure, silence of: STOP.

You’ve been handed a box.

It is heavy. Heavier than you would suppose, had you ever thought of the weight, which you never have, until now. In your hands. Maybe a million what-others-might-consider-morbid-thoughts, cram your head full, but you don’t think of them as morbid. They are wonders. They are private. I don’t even know if they are articulate enough to convey. But the single biggest two, you know:

“It’s wrong that I can pick him up, now.”


“I need to get the hell out of here, before I blow.”

…So, you do.

…Get the hell out of there.

…And because you don’t know what else to do…because you don’t know the “protocol” for transporting your uncle’s remains in a car ride, a full state away…you do the only thing that comes to mind.

You put him, very carefully, on the back seat, with a seat belt securing him in.

…And you get into the car…

…And you ball your fucking eyeballs out.

…Until you really can’t see or breathe anymore.

…And you squeeze your Mom’s hand.

…And then…because life has to go on…you turn out on the road. And drive home.

There are all kinds of grieving, and ways that people come to terms and deal with the things they must. For me, it’s been a lot of anger, this time ’round. Anger of “too soon,” and “simple causes that can’t be reasoned with” and “what about his son?” and much, much more. Too pissed off to cry as much as I probably should. But there are no rules, no “how-tos,” no right and wrong ways when it comes to grief…I don’t give a shit how many books you read or shrinks you go to. Everyone sees and feels and deals with the after-effects differently. Everyone needs their space to do so. Everyone needs to come, in their own time, in their own way, to that silent-snowfall moment…where it finally sinks in, and the enormity of the loss is so loud, it renders the entire world deaf with it.

I am thankful for a belief that all he is doesn’t rest in a box that I can hold in my hands.

I am thankful for a belief that he has moved on to a place where he can watch us and his son, and laugh and make merry, and be the “he” that he always was here, only care-free.

I am thankful that I have such a hilarious, cheerleading, go-to-guy up there…so close to the ear of the dude that makes “the calls.”

…But none of that replaces or excuses the fact of what we had to do that day, or what he had to live through for fourteen before all this, or what his son will have lost, for the rest of his life.

I have a bone to pick with God on that one, and I think I always will.

I’ve added it to the list.

So noted.

…Now, to that other one:

“Take a shower. Get human again.”


Thinking Run-Ons, With Caffeine

5 Jul


…It’s a good thing I ate lunch today, cuz I probly won’t now till after the show, but I need the energy for tonight and stuff, and not just the “caffeine” kind of energy that I’ve been pumping all day long, the other kind…that includes meat and starch, sprinkled with pretend green foods…something my body can look at and be like, “Oh. Yes. I can mulch that up and shove it places to burn off later”…as opposed to the liquid diet of champions where the energy is fast and furious but dies quickly, leaving only the shakes…like those alcoholics who just tremor and get mean, any time after 11 am if they haven’t had their “hair of the dog” yet, for the day…

…And also, why is it “hair of the dog?” That never really made sense to me…what does that even mean?  It doesn’t feel like “hair of  the dog”…to me it feels more like “poison of  the death” or maybe, “head explosion of the vomitness”…possibly “morning-after of the bad-idea” but that one seems kinda long…and obvious…and apparently we go for the opposite when naming hangover cures…which, I mean, if we’re going for that, then why not just go with “sparkle of the My Little Pony?”

…Sometime I feel like people just don’t try hard enough…

…It is half an hour until I get to go home, and admittingly, I have been basically mentally clocked out for the past thirty minutes already…I blame that chicken taco, because it made me sorta sleepy, which is counteracting parts of my caffeine high, but only parts of it…and only the good ones I think…so I’m trying to balance that out with MORE coffee, cuz somewhere in my head it makes sense to do that…which is roughly the same spot where the little voice that says, “stay up till two a.m. and watch that youtube thing,” comes from…which I already know from past experience, isn’t the brightest spot of my brain, and maybe should even have like a tune-up, but I sometimes think that by giving into it’s bad advice, consistently, it must somehow raise it’s odds of at some point being actually “right”…which will save it by statistical proof so that I don’t have to go through all the bother of a mental tune-up after all…

….Which, come to think of it, is exactly what I did that one time with my last car, just before the piston went through the block…

…So maybe it IS a bad idea, when all is said and done…

…But then I never would have met Harriet, who “has nothing, but looks everything“…in that she has already cost me about $10,000 in repairs and incidentals…none of which was actually any of my fault at all…but basically what I’m saying is: had I tuned up the first thing, I wouldn’t be floating in loan debt up to my eyeballs, while driving a super cute car…

….And I forgot even why I was telling you all this, except that I wanna think it had something to do (ultimately) with caffeine, and I’m not sure how, but am fairly certain that I’ve just proven my point.

(High-five to the people still reading, because they clearly have nothing better to do…or are just taking an extra long poop.)

…Listen: this is gross…

…The WHS Pimp likes to play this game with a friend back home.  It’s called something like, “Find The Most Disgusting Thing You Can On The Internets And IM It To Me”…(that’s not really the name, I don’t think they actually have one, but it accurately depicts the turn of events, so we’ll go with that)…anyway, while he was describing it to me, I learned a new thing about google searching…didja know that if you put a search term and + or – after it and another term, it narrows your results? I didn’t even know this was a thing, but its good that it is, especially for their game, cuz they’re gross but not like “monkey-doing-a-hippo-people-porn” gross…so anyway…he was telling me how one time this last week they were playing the game and he did something about weird sex fetishes minus bestiality, and came up with this dude who likes to film himself running around his apartment on all fours, totally naked, acting like a dog, and climaxing by pooping on the floor.

…Which is how we got onto this subject to begin with…because of my previous poop/reading assumption…but what I mean by it all is: I learned something new on google the other day…not about the dog-man-pooper, but about the plus/minus deal…well, actually, to be truthful, I learned both, but only enjoyed the second thing…(and also, incidentally, The WHS Pimp won that round.)

…Anyway.  People are weird. 


…If I take a real long time, I bet I could totally milk these last three minutes just on locking the door, alone.

Am gonna try it.

Peace-out, all!

Happy Weekend!!


Word Fairies, On A Walk

17 Sep


A walk.  To battle the  Monday-after-Vacation, gross obeseness of crud.

…There’s this walk I take, that we call “the loop.”  It’s the long circle that takes you down the full length of the north-end neighborhood, and round to the point, looking down on Old Town, rising up from the sea. I usually take it when my brain is too full to negotiate actual directions and choices. It’s easy because it never wanders too far from itself and always comes back home again…like a good dog. Which is really convenient when you’re clearly too busy talking to yourself like a schizo, about all the things you didn’t get around to today, but need to, and how the associated reporting materials will be filled out, and in which order.

…Also, the ocean is good to focus on after a rough day. (If you let yourself.)  It’s calming, somehow.  Maybe because it’s bigger than anything that could possibly be bothering you at the time.  Maybe because it’s so “in your face,”  that you can’t help but get sidetracked by it.

…Sorta like how you can trick a kid outta crying if you give ’em something new to focus on, instead of whatever it is they first wanted, or was taken away, that they can’t have now.

I totally know how that kid feels, today.

Those bastards stole my vacation goodness away…and I was pretty ticked about it. 

…So clearly, after work was done, (and my car payment was made), “the loop” was in order. 

…Anyway…the point I was getting at is: mid-between casa de mi, and the beginning of “the loop,” is this house:


About once a week, they print out a poem, short story or anecdote in bulk, and plop it in that little plastic holder bolted on the post and driven into the ground, just on the corner, there. I dunno what the owner’s story is…I frankly don’t think anyone does.  And not too many people take the souvenirs, but I know I’m not the only one who stops to at least read ’em.

The rule is: it can only take up one page. 

…So far, that’s the only quantifying identifier in content or theme. And it has become an addictive reader board, like a fortune cookie’s guts, housing who even knows what words of wonder, day-to day. The top black flip-up cover says, “take one”…like those realtor get-ups you might use to sell a house.  Only this one is used to sell you “thoughts” instead.  Sometimes they’re goodish ones.  Sometimes not. Sometimes I wanna write a note back, and pop it in the box, for the Word Fairies.  Things like:

” I liked the one about the dog.”


” Sylvia Plath isn’t always totally depressing like I thought


” This one hurt my inside parts.  But that’s okay sometimes.  So, thanks.”

…Also, I wonder if they take requests?

” Maybe less Politics please…”

” Can you find something about sunshine for the next one?  It’s been raining for six solid weeks…”

” Have you ever considered limericks?  I’d suggest a good Dottie Parker…”

Regardless…its always nice to have some clean, warm air…to hear the sound of sprinklers and dog pantings and runner’s tread…and watch the sun set out over the water.  Its nice to have words like these in my head, other than the chanting of “to do” lists for tomorrow, and the balancing of my checkbook.  Those things can wait.  But a hard-earned piece of goodness and mental rest after a long day, cannot.

…So: “Thank you, Word Fairies.  Keep up the good work!”

(Here are a couple, most recent…)


Poem: “The Clearing,” by Gregory Djanikian
from “The Man in the Middle” (Carnegie-Mellon University Press)

**”Poetry is an act of generosity.” ~ Don Skiles**

And something will happen:
You will stand at the edge of a field

hearing the wind-skirted
leaves of the trees, and you

will try to remember
the woman you almost married,

though her life will spiral
like a hawk away from you,

and you will want her,
as deeply as you’ll want

the hawk to settle on your fist,
or the wind to empty

your eyes of grief for all
you’ve renounced to become

what you now are, but
nothing this day will claim you,

neither hawk, nor wind, nor lover,
and you’ll sense how your past

has seduced you through the years
to this field, this reckoning,

to, finally, this poem
which you will write by learning

what matters is not the words
but the unlabored

breath through which
they’re spoken and given up,

like hawks, or lovers
or this life you keep on revising.


Poem: “You should at times go out, ” by Elizabeth Daryush

You should at times go out
        from where the faithful kneel,
visit the slums of doubt
        and feel what the lost feel;

you should at times walk on,
        away from your friends’ ways,
go where the scorned have gone,
        pass beyond blame and praise;

and at times you should quit
        (ah yes) your sunny home,
sadly awhile should sit,
        even, in wrong’s dark room

or ever, suddenly
        by simple bliss betrayed,
you shall be forced to flee,
        unloved, alone, afraid.



Conspiracy To Chicken-Dog & Other Things

6 Sep


Conspiracy Theories.

…It’s one of my favorite things.  I thought maybe I’d share a couple with you and then if you agree, we can form a team and do secret Op investigation on it all.  This has nothing to do with what I’m watching on T.V. lately, btw.  All I know is, if I suddenly go missing (or this blog does), and you only faintly think you remember wasting time reading something resembling this entry… you’ll know I was on the right track and they had to silence me.

My theories are in no particular order:

* KFC chicken isn’t really chicken, that’s why they did the whole new marketing name change in the 90’s.  So what animal with tiny bones are we actually eating then?  I have it down to Chihuahuas imported from Mexico.  And the thing is…I totally still eat there sometimes.

* The term we have come to know as “Aliens” is only the evil kind that they keep covering up, so we don’t freak out all the time. The good kind of Aliens have already adapted into our society, so we can’t really tell the difference.  But I can.  Here is a listing that may help you figure out their patterning:

 Good Aliens                                 
– Elvis                                                                                                                    
– Shakespeare                                               
– Helen Mirren                    
– Abraham Lincoln                                      
– Bill Gates                                                      
– Whoever invented coffee                        

Bad Aliens
– Simon Cowell
– Whoever wrote Beowulf
– Ann Coulter
– Rasputin
– Bill Gates
– Politicians in general

* Almost every disease known in the world already has a cure, but the pharmaceutical companies make more money for endless treatments, versus a single dose of “fix it” meds.

* Somewhere, a CIA agent is reading this blog right now, because it just got dinged as “suspicious” due to the tagging contents. They totally agree with at least half of the things on this list, and prob’ly could add to them.

* Reality TV has nothing at all to do with “Entertainment Programming.” It’s only a monster syndicated product placement program. The joke is totally on you for investing in it emotionally. Even a little bit. All they really want is for you to buy their stuff.

* Secret Agents actually break into your laundry room routinely in order to steal your left socks. This is so you will spend all your time wondering on where they disappear to instead of things like “the government” and real conspiracy theories.

* All advertising is actually in a special code that allows people to sell you old or compromised versions of things that didn’t sell the first time, but without getting sued for it. Here are some of the codes I’ve broken so far:

– All New! = (We painted, dyed, or repackaged it.)
– Fat & Sugar Free = (We pumped that shit with toxins to make up for it’s total lack of flavor.)
– Four Out Of Five Specialists Agree! = (One or the other group we asked about this is right, we aren’t sure which one, so we are covering our asses by including them all.)
– Extra Strength = (Trick advertising. Nothing comes “regular strength” anymore, and hasn’t since sometime in the 50’s.)

* Stupid people herd in groups in hopes of lessening their individual weeding out. This is why when you have “one of those days” where it seems like every person you communicate with is a total asshole or idiot: they actually are. Your aren’t imagining it.

* On another planet in another solar system right now, a little kid version of their world-rulers are looking at us through a microscope, being told that what they are seeing has been dead for thousands of years. And we probably are, we just don’t know it yet.

* If statistics can be applied to patterns, and patterns can be applied to coincidence, and coincidence can be justified by choice, and choice can be based on averages and averages go into the making of statistics, then your life span is totally computable, and “fate” is real because whatever choices you make already have a mathematical path of possibility. (I’m just totally making shit up now, but it sounded like a real thing at the moment, didn’t it?)


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