Saturday, October 25, 2008

1001 for valium

Without the pain of points
bulleted in shrapnel shards, my
life, liquefied intacto sum, seeps
listless its stresses through cracks in
my curvature, unlucky stone-
faced facade.

An unfortunate Must-Parade squawk
ing in shambles, checks un-checking all
on their own, despite which-
ever scrutiny you apply, lacquered layers
indiscreetly opaque.

again again again
wishful thinking.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

just to clarify

I fucking hate balloons.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


And of course the game last night was...well, fuck, thing is it wasn't even a bad game. The Sharks played maybe the best I've seen them play this year, and Anaheim was mediocre, and they still won 4-0! Oh well--SJ won the first 4 of the season and it had to end sometime. Anaheim just pisses me off. Hopefully they trounce Philly tonight.

Saw Lynn briefly today which is always a wonder, and to other people would probably be like finding a rare species of self-replicating mammalian double-headed monkey-owls (body of a monkey, head of an owl, duh) since we have this ability to just KNOW. I love her so much. I hate that for me to have someone to cling to that knows what I'm going through means she has to suffer so much so constantly, but having her and knowing her has saved my life.

Hockey thus far has been my biggest respite, aside from the few friends who're still around, or new and willing to tolerate my meness. There were so many fights in last night's game it was like a boxing match on ice; good ol' Jody Shelley. Stacks of film noir waiting for me. Time, enemy mine.

Uncanning myself

Whatever the fuck that means--maybe I'll find out.

I get a lot of sympathy, I suppose, some pity I'm sure, but just letting me be in all my goods and bads for better or worse sobbing in pain in self-styled tragedy and loathing in disappointment and frustration and complete despair--near to never. How can I expect that from anyone who hasn't felt each moment of every day like a branding iron searing the seconds just before they pass, marking and damaging them before they can trod through my skull in my heart and whatever dust I have that amounts to a soul--how

Do two en-dashes make an em-dash?

Alphonse Daudet wrote, In the Land of Pain, a number of notes, fragments of thought, observations of his own physical state and its effect on those around him, to which I relate wholly, and other turns of phrase so beautiful as to take my breath away:

    'What are you doing at the moment?'
    'I am in pain.'

    . . .

    Very strange, the fear that pain inspires in me nowadays -- or rather, this pain of mine. It's bearable, and yet I cannot bear it. It's sheer dread: and my resort to anaesthetics is like a cry for help, the squeal of a woman before danger actually strikes.

    . . .

    Ephemerality of my impressions: smoke against a wall.

    Effect of intense emotions: like going down two steps at a time. You feel as if you're drawing on the very source of life itself, as if you're attacking your capital, low as it already is.

    . . .

    A sort of hollowing-out that doesn't go away.

    . . .

    I'm a poor old wounded Don Quixote, sitting on his arse in his armour at the foot of a tree.

    . . .

    Are words actually any use to describe what pain (or passion, for that matter) really feels like? Words only come when everything is over, when things have calmed down. They refer only to memory, and are either powerless or untruthful. 

    No general theory about pain. Each patient discovers his own, and the nature of pain varies, like a singer's voice, according to the acoustics of the hall.

    . . .

    What we want diminishes to fill the smaller space available. Today, I don't even want to get better -- just to keep on at the same level.

    . . .

    The garden awakening. The blackbird: his song making a pattern on the pale window -- a pattern drawn, warbled with the tip of his beak.

    . . .

    Pain is always new to the sufferer, but loses its originality for those around him. Everyone will get used to it except me. [emphasis mine]

Aside from the simple elegance of his writing that moves all that loves words in me, reading this is like ripping out my own heart to have for lunch, being force-fed yet somehow still party to it, sharing a guilty secret, having my pants pulled down in front of an audience, choking on tears. And I think about that in vivid detail--cutting/ripping through skin, fat, muscle, breaking the breastplate with some inhuman claw-fist (Ichabod's gift to me?) to grasp, at last, the lopsided, still-pumping organ. Feel its beat die in my palm. Examine its curves, its orifices, while the rest of me shuts down without it. 

I can't sleep. 

I forgot to take my meds, the doses of which are so high that missing them in the morning will make me sick AND in major pain by the afternoon. Halfway through the second class, I felt like a victim in Scanners. I lied on the sofa in the kitchen of this old church, behind the stage, and just. . . fucking cried. It felt like my body saying, who the hell do you think you are trying to live a normal life? along with everything I think and feel recurrently around this idea/theme bombards me at once and it's just simply too much. And I felt like such an asshole for abandoning my post as "co-instructor" and for inevitably making some kind of scene, no matter how minimal.

And Jesse (that second class' main instructor and all-around wonderful creature) was so kind to try to do. . . anything? at all for me. Not much to be done. Who the fuck wants to deal with that kind of shit, man? How IMPOSSIBLE is that situation for people? My own MOTHER is done with it. She can't handle this me this most of me anymore. What IS there when someone is so in need of some kind of help and nothing absolutely nothing you can do will help? 

That is how most people seem to feel. The thing is, I don't ned HELP from people -- not from my friends and my loved ones, except on rare occasion (as in rides to the emergency room &c.). 5 neurologists, 2 acupuncturists, 2 chiropractors, an allergist, a rheumatologist, 2 physical therapists, a spinal surgeon, a myriad of massage therapists, a few psychics/spiritualists, my physician, and 2 pain specialists HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH ME OR WHAT IS EVEN CAUSING MY PAIN. The thing I NEED from the people who love me is to just keep fucking loving me. Just be there. That's all.

I don't know why it hurts so much just to type that, even knowing most of the people its meant for will never read it. I am so weary. I am tired. I don't want this to be my life anymore. I want to lose the weight I've gained in the couple+ years of my in-valid-ity so I feel just a smidgen less undesirable than I already do, but chronic pain, nausea, vertigo, and fatigue don't inspire the gym-freak I used to be towards resurrection. I want to make it through a day without fantasizing about decapitating myself. I want to want to live.

I also just confessed my crush to my crush in an email, which is probably the dumbest and most inconsiderate way I could do it, but as I got out of bed and wandered into this realm of paper-pyramid chaos, driven as I was by despair at the discomfort that kept sleep from me, "fuck it, fuck it all" and "what's the point?" were the top sentiments regarding just about everything in my life at the moment. 

See? See how old this gets? There she goes again. But it's not again. It's brand new to me, even if I've said and felt similar things before, because trauma doesn't get bored with itself, and that's what chronic pain IS--constant, daily trauma. This is why chronic pain sufferers have such high suicide rates. But I DO feel like I'm repeating myself and I feel whiny and complainy all the time and I see it getting old and tiresome and pointless for people around me, and I have absolutely no idea what to do about that.

Maybe that's what disturbs me most. Maybe that's why I got out of bed, more than the ice picks in my head and the early-stage withdrawal nausea--how can I maintain my grasp on what little semblance of life I have left?

How to buoy this leaden hull?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

. . . with five minutes to spare . . .

I've waded through the often-painful layers of creative spelling, grammar, and instructional interpretation to reach the end of my progress grading. . . finally!!

These grades have been hanging over my head the whole week; now I just have to prepare for midterms! This includes creating a midterm exam for my Film Genre class, properly setting up the midterm project for my storytelling classes, and gearing up to read a further series of excruciating papers. 

At least Keith Olbermann is on to vent what remains of my evening's rage. Oooo, lookitme! My own wee space to bitch and moan to my heart's content! This is as close to heaven as I think I'll ever get.

if there is a God, I'd very much like to punch Him in the face

It's not enough that I've had a chronic pain condition going on four years, is it?
Nah, of course not.

Is it enough that I lost my dream job on my birthday so I could overload myself with classes to teach, so much so that I had to give one up and have fallen so far behind in my grading that the administration has started calling me to find out why I'm being such a terrible instructor?
Or that my pain has been escalating beyond the new medications to land me in the ER twice in two weeks?

Or that a dear friend of mine died unexpectedly while I was doing nothing less petty than shopping the day before the start of one of the most stressful weeks of my life? That I can't even remember the last time I paid my bills? That I'm accruing parking tickets for the luxury of taking BART to work? That I've been getting a collective average of 3 on-and-off hours of sleep per night and have to remind myself that eating is part of staying alive? That I get paid for maybe a third of the work I actually do? 

Is it funny that my aforementioned dream job has contacted me to work again now that I don't have enough hours in the day for a modicum of stillness or creativity? 

I suppose I'm just being whiny, all because--after spending hours trying to complete my official progress grades, I finally decided to take a short break to read a few paragraphs of Heidegger in an attempt to further research for a doctoral dissertation due in a matter of months--a police officer strolled up my front path and asked, very cheerfully, how I was doing this evening. 

• Busy, I say, just taking a break from work.
• Oh, then do mind talking about the collision?
• Collision? I ask, utterly befuddled.
• Yes, he insists. You hit that car across the street.

This is true. A car parked at the lip of my driveway, and so, upon backing out to go get my first meal of the day, dinner with a newly dear friend, I bumped into the back of my neighbor's minivan. And a "bump" is what it was. We looked--no damage. Good, no damage. I glanced up at her house, saw no activity, inspected her car again, and drove on to get dinner and stop by the pharmacy in hopes my doctor finally allowed a prescription to alleviate some of my pain.

So I'm staring at this policeman in the dark, and I explain, with genuine surprise, Oh! I just bumped into it while I was backing out, and I stopped and inspected it and there wasn't any damage.

• No damage? he mimics me with prototypical PD condescension. 
• Yes, I repeat, I didn't see any damage and I just bumped into her car so I thought it was fine.
• It's not up to you to decide of there's damage or not. Failing to notify the owner of an accident is a hit-and-run and can send you to jail.

This mother fucker is talking about jail for a bumper-to-bumper BUMP, but I'm thinking, what the mother fuck why now why now what the fuck is GOING ON IN MY LIFE?!?

• You inspected that car and didn't see any damage? he repeats.
• Yes!
• Your whole tail light is broken and imbedded in her back tire.
• What?
• I need your license, registration, and proof of insurance.

I'm so honestly and earnestly shocked, I went inside and got my license and went to my car and got my paperwork and inspected my own car and still had no idea what he was talking about, then went out to the minivan. My insurance card expired 3 days ago, but the new one is inside somewhere under my piles of cluttered insanity. He points out the "damage" to me: bits of red plastic that are indeed broken around the base of the minivan's tire. I see no "imbedding." I see no body damage, but just for emphasis, he says, You don't call this damage?

• I didn't see where it was broken on my car, I say.
• I'd be happy to go over and point it out to you, he offers, and points his flashlight down to display a quarter-inch piece of red plastic that has settled between the hubcap and rim of the tire. 

I want to start screaming in his face; YOU CALL THIS DAMAGE? but cops tend to react disagreeably with any signals of belligerence, so I ooohh and aahhh at the horrendous mess I've made of my neighbor's vehicle. He orders me inside to get the new insurance card, which I locate only after a very literal tearing apart of my living room. 

By the time I come back outside, my neighbor has descended on the scene. She and I have spoken a number of times, mostly about the theft that occurs on our block. She says, yeah--there isn't any damage or anything, I'm just scared of pulling this piece of glass out of my tire. I want to mention that it's plastic, not glass, and that it's beside, not in, her tire, but again, I keep my mouth shut. I apologize profusely, and I am genuinely sorry; if I'd known there WAS any damage, I would have contacted her immediately instead of fleeing the scene like a dirty criminal streaking innards of small children behind me on the pavement. 

The cop seems sufficiently pleased with his display of dominance, or he's just plain bored, because he proceeds to explain the banalities of a collision report. He returns my paperwork and leaves. 

This is an absurdly long and overly-detailed rendition of this occurrence, but the pure and unrelenting ire it spurned in me at that moment I cannot begin to convey. Every step of every day for the past week alone has been an affront of kismet, a brutally blatant slap-in-the-face, and if I get one more I won't be able to recognize myself. 

I was overwhelmed by a sense of betrayal, a profoundly neurotic overreaction to a mere, stressful slight that knocked me over the precipice of rational behavior into an abysmal emotional collapse with all the trimmings: uncontrollable tears, shortness of breath, the need to blurt my misfortune to anyone who would listen, and a compulsive urge to leap from a ten-story window. 

Unfortunately, all the houses on my block are single-story craftsman bungalows, so I'm writing a fucking blog about it instead. How apt.