April 26 by The Running Son
It’s a full moon, and I am awake. Bi-Polar or not, when I get nutted up, I go looking for reasons and causes.
That’s what successful, efficient people do yeah? They see a problem and find a solution for it.
So then Jim’s brain switches into high gear. Should I eat healthier? Maybe I need to get away for the weekend, or meet a girl, or get in touch with lost friends. Am I depressed because my house is a mess? Or is my house a mess because I’m depressed? Should I grow a fu manchu mustache?
Chemical chaos or not, I go on the hunt. All the while, Jimmi’s brain is prattling on, “It’s a trap. Causes are dangerous– they’re a rabbit trail. Take care of first principals and the rest will fall into place”.
It’s hard not to get mighty philosophical during these lonely hours. Head like a loudspeaker, body physically buzzing. I wonder as I am sitting there at 3:30 in the morning, am I really suffering simultaneously with hundreds of thousands of others? Perched on the edge of their own beds, asking similar questions and contemplating their own brand of a desperate solution? Of course I am in a “company” of souls, but it hardly transforms my thinking into a calm sense of unity and solidarity. I just feel like there’s a crap-load of us out there, and we are all pretty much screwed.
It is a campaign. It takes effort. To begin, I draw upon my best rhetoric, trying to convince myself–using every power at my disposal to convince myself– that some other warm human body understands. If my mother and father really knew the implacability of my existential vacuum, would they call me? Will pops ever give up his severity and galvanizing criticism of me long enough to realize I have a part of me missing? That I need him?
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference”
It all starts to feel like a head-game, and bad chemicals. Bad, BAD chemicals! Go stand in the corner until I say you can come out! I’ve had it up to here with you!
But it is not all chemicals, is it? Yesterday I did some inventory. Like a life inventory, to see If there was a basis for my recent anxiety. Oh. my. god.
Somehow I didn’t put it all together and see it as a whole.
1. My girlfriend, who left last October to work the courts for custody of her children, just spent a week in a psychiatric hospital. I just found out Wednesday. I didn’t know. (on the small chance you read this, I love you baby)
2. For years I have been joking about people getting “stuck” in the Southern California desert. There’s no work, and housing is so cheap that people move here first, then figure out how to survive, then i find out that is all you can do up here– survive. I broke up with my wife of 10 years in December 2011, gave her the car, and moved here. Well, I am now officially stuck in the desert, surviving.
3. The story of the Prodigal Son fit’s me. I left home, family and friends to work out my own misguided salvation in a world of hedonism and Dionysian excess. As the December 2012 “end of the world” approached then passed, this prodigal son “came to his senses” and began the path home.
My dad, my friends and the women in my life, I longed to make good to them. For weeks, longer really, I thought about it, planned the right way to say, I’m sorry.. I was lost.. it’s stupid, I know.. please, please forgive me. My dad, I knew, may never forgive me, but surly my friends will embrace me. They’re mostly Christians after all, and St. Paul was chief among sinners, and the prodigal son WAS accepted back. As it turned out, I am suspect and an unknown quantity. But more, a few of my friends, the important ones, judged me more harshly than I could have imagined. The most important of all of them, a man I stood next to at his wedding, won’t talk to me.
4. OK, here’s the big one. My dad begins radiation and chemo this coming week. He had a 6 hr operation late January to remove a tumor in his neck, and now things are going south. There are complications and he is being swept up in a torrent of hospital appointments and preparation… everything is changing.
People die. It happens to every single person and we all lose our family. But I hadn’t called or talked to him since February, since I started the blog. I was mad… more than mad. Hurt. Furious. The reasons seems so pedantic and stupid now I can’t even talk about it. Last weekend I finally picked up the phone, which weighed like 10,000 lbs, and called him and found all this shit out. He is dying, and I was mad?!
There is more, but this is enough. Sure, it doesn’t require a jacked-up series of outside causes to twist my insides into a knot like a closed fist, but when life does happen, so to speak, of course I’ll be affected, like any other happy well-adjusted person would, just a little more perhaps.
My responsibility is to take care of first principals. Seek ye first the Kingdom, THEN all these things will be added. I called pops. I was distant and protected, but dammit I called. I am in support of my babygirl any way humanly possible. I am coming to grips with the humanity and imperfection of my friends, and actively trying to make my way back home to Orange County California. To my family and friends, medical care if I need it, and civilization.
Meanwhile, I have two fat cats, my dog Buster brown, my room, and my blog. I have blogging friends that I have meet. I am writing poetry again after all these years, and I just accepted the largest art commission ever.
Now I’m tired. Peace, Jim
Portrait of my dad and I, circa 2006
My “old boy” Buster Brown
D-Wiley Coyote, my boy fatcat