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Archive for the ‘anxiety’ Category


garden girl

My phone number belonged to a call girl before I got it from T-Mobile. She must have been really good because she still gets calls. I thought about answering numbers I don’t know with some themed response.

Since it was Christmas –

Do you want a one horse open sleigh or the whole team?

We’re running a two for one special on Santa’s Little Helper.

Would you like the two French hens and my partridge in your pear tree?

 

With this kind of talent, I should be writing erotica.

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I’ve been a bit under the weather. The doctor prescribed me a cough medicine with codeine.

Wrapped in a warm blanket snuggle into the depths of the sofa, the darkness had settled and with it a drowsy drugged feeling. I hadn’t coughed in almost an hour.

The light from the television pushing just enough light into the room to make out the patches on Grandma’s old quilt.

Soft elevator music played in the background while a man in the lobby of a large office building buffed the floor. A comforting fog moved into my mind.

What was the name of this movie? My mind drifted like a cloud.

A deafening crash echoed through the room as a body slams on top of a truck on the screen in front of me.

My chest was heaving my body tense, I was hardly able to process what just happened. I looked around at the people watching TV with me. They were staring at me with open mouthed amazement.

“Did I scream out loud?”

“Yeah,” my roomie replied.

I screamed like I have never screamed before. Hollywood pays people for this kind of high pitched, gut wrenching scream of terror. I tell you this so that you may learn a lesson from it. If you are taking cough medicine with codeine, do not watch a movie called Devil. I had to pray myself to sleep last night.

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car rain

 

Excerpt from Meet Me By The Gate:

July 7

Item # 30 – Painting of Mom and Dad

Allie,

I’ve painted a portrait of Mom and Dad. I want you to have it. Perhaps if you can hang where you can see it every day you’ll never find yourself unable to remember what they looked like.

Love,

Jo

***

I woke up last night, crying. I dreamt I was in heaven. It was bright and shiny. Everyone was happy, just as you’d expect. But I was surrounded by strangers, alone. I couldn’t find my parents. It’s been over twenty years since I last saw them, spoke to them, hugged them, since I became no one’s daughter. I wondered through the crowd, looking in every face. But I couldn’t remember what they looked like. I couldn’t find them. I woke up sobbing.

What kind of person can’t remember their parents’ faces? The people who spent most of their lives taking care of me and I can’t remember them.

I lay in the dark, trying to remember. Dad had dark wavy hair, a large nose I think, but I could only see bits and pieces, like a puzzle you’ve lost most of the pieces to. I tried to concentrate on his face, but it’s just a vague blur.

REMEMBER HIM, concentrate. Remember his face the last time you saw him, at his funeral.

Brown suit, one button, small lapel, white shirt, but I can’t get above his collar. Just when his face starts to become clear, it slips away again. I can’t see him. Why didn’t I commit him to memory? Surely I realized it was the last time I’d see him.

What about Mom? The last time I saw her, she was sick in bed with cancer. I didn’t want to remember her like that. I thought of the picture I have of her, with that red hair and green eyes, surely I can remember.  I concentrate on the picture – blue background, white blouse, red hair waving done over her shoulders. I could almost see her face. Her eyes, I couldn’t get hold of her eyes. I had her nose and the shape of her face, but it was just individual pieces. I couldn’t assemble them. I couldn’t see her.

How will I find my parents in heaven when I can’t remember them? Will they remember me? How long before my son forgets me? I’m afraid I won’t find my parents in heaven. I’m afraid in the dark. I am afraid.

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109

Jim was a nuclear physicist, a brilliant man. Much to his own detriment, he didn’t know when to stop thinking.

He had been through a series of interviews. The job was basically his. All he had to do was pass a drug screening. I don’t know if they said drug test or not. I’m assuming not, they must have been vague.

The company had an on-site clinic where the test was performed.

So, Jim comes toddling in. The tech hands him a cup and tells him to return the sample to her desk.

Does Jim think “They want to see if I use drugs.”?

No.

He thinks “It’s a nuclear facility. They want to take a baseline reading now so they can measure the affects of potential radiation exposure over time.”

So instead of urine, he gives them a sperm sample. He is still trying to figure out why he didn’t get the job.

Can you imagine the technician’s reaction when a cup of sperm lands on her desk?

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I woke this morning from a dream turned nightmare. It starts colorful and bright, euphoric and exciting.

I’m carrying my baby so beautiful no one can take their eyes from her. Her face shines up at me from my arms as I walk through the store, showing her everything and she taking it all in.

A knowing look from a familiar face catches my eye. The world is illusion, replaced by reality. The bundle of joy in my arms turns to a wad of filthy rags. There is no baby and there never has been.

The world turns grey and dark, sharp and hard. I feel their eyes on me, like pawing hands pulling me apart seeing everything I really am. Most look on horrified or disgusted, a few pity me. I want to disappear, to cease to exist. But I don’t. I’m on display, my crazy rantings are on display.

Hands are gently pushing me towards the doors.

My sister come rescuer whispers, “Everything will be okay.”

I feel reality so sharp, my body is bleeding from cuts no one can see. I’m covered and cannot move without wanting to cry out. But I don’t, the pain of humiliation is too great. I keep silent.

I woke this morning from a dream turned nightmare. I don’t know where it came from. I tell myself I’ve never had delusions. At least I don’t think I have.

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02 (5)

April

Uncertainty

April 1

I was cleaning off my desk. I wanted everything to be ready, just in case. There was a pile of self help books. All designed to help you figure out what you really want to do. I keep starting them, then tossing them aside. I’m not sure I ever really performed the exercises or answered the profound questions. Why do you need so many books to answer one simple question – “what should you do with your life”? I set them aside. Possible lymphoma the doctor had said. Perhaps, if she were right, I’d go through them during chemo.

I boxed up all my paints – oils, watercolors, pastels, stabilizers, thickeners, and brushes. I doubt I’ll be using them any time soon. Perhaps I should give them to some young artist, maybe the Allen boy. Art supplies are expensive and he’s in college. He’d appreciate them.

I found the paint set I got for my tenth birthday, tubes of acrylics in a little wooden box. There were plastic inserts used to mix the paints with just the right amount of water. I used these to create my first masterpiece of a horse, Old Billy, eating grass in front of the barn. The brushes are gone, the paints dried up and the plastic inserts have disintegrated, but I think I’ll keep them just the same.

I keep thinking about my mother, diagnosed with cancer at my age, dead two years later. But I don’t have to worry, I don’t have cancer.

I sorted through some old files and found sketches I’d made in high school. When I was young, I thought I’d be an artist, a painter. I’ve been painting and drawing for as long as I can remember. I don’t know what I’ll do with these old pictures, but I can’t throw them away.

When should I tell my family? My younger sister, Allie has depended on me since our parents died. I don’t want to worry her if it turns out to be nothing, but I don’t want to wait too long either. I just don’t want to worry anyone if I don’t have to.

For more in this story, select the Meet Me By the Gate tab at the top of the page.

 

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99nnbI love paper – old books, pretty patterns, and foreign magazines. I rescue broken books and posters from the garbage heap. And then they’re all just here and I don’t do anything with them. Tonight I have the urge to rip them all apart; keep the best parts; shuffle them around; and bind them back together, making something different.

It’s this souped up hyper feeling and all I can think about is tearing into these books. It’s an itch you can’t scratch. Why can’t I get some obsessive urge to do something positive? Will I spend the next three days ripping up books to find myself surrounded by piles of paper?

Already I know this feeling will be followed by a round of anxiety and then exhausted depression. That part I’m afraid of. If I knew I would wind up with something; a great novel, a painting, or some break through research, I would plunge ahead, depression be damned.

Maybe just tonight under the cover of darkness I’ll free some pages from their old bindings. I’ll take my medicine and in the morning I’ll try to redirect myself in a positive direction.

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