We were together for months and I wish I could get in touch with her to say various things to make myself feel better but I can't because I never got her last name.
06 September, 2008
27 August, 2008
L. Ron Hubbard received holy wisdom through mental disease, amphetamines and pederasty, and was told when to give up writing sci-fi by the plurality of the voices in his head and to, instead, found a religion.
Let it be known: Lt. Ronald Hubbard certainly didn't give up sci-fi and go on to Dianetics, etc because (paraphrase): The real money is in religion.
Now I have been called in a way I didn't expect!: To tell you what stocks to buy!
Sadly, my epiphany doesn't involve an intergalactic opera and nuclear bombs inside volcanoes.
But from here on THE FIBROMYALGIAN will also function, occasionally, as a Here's What to Invest in Right Now! blog.
BUY BUY BUY!:
Apple! I just did, and if everyone who reads this (you, boyo!) does too, we'll send the stock up perhaps a fraction of a small fraction. Guaranteed green, blogfriends!**
But, given my extremely limited resources (all my money belongs to debtors), why would I buy Apple? Why now?
Good questions. Thanks for getting right to it.
I am making Apple a short play -- which I think means that I bought some of its stock, but plan on selling my purchase off rather soon.
Why? Glad you asked!
On September 9 Apple is likely going to announce a revamp of its entire iPod lineup, and the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
...As long as we're doing this, let's toss some completely unsubstantiated rumors around: Apple may be making all its notebooks with touchscreens, so the interface will function much like the iPhone's.
Closer to reality, perhaps, is the possibility that the Mac Mini could bow out and a Mac tablet take its place. ...Many people keep rumors going about this possibility, but forget that they wouldn't buy a tablet PC -- even if it is as sweet as an iPhone on 'roids.
Tablet PCs have been around forever. (Remember the Newton!) They don't get bought. But reading all the rumors re a Mac tablet certainly gives one the impression that there's an untapped market waiting at the gates for the doors to be flung open.
[In this space is this sentence instead of a few paragraphs that were deleted for posterity.]
Short: Big product rollout September 9. If you need money for the short term, as I do, buy as many slices of Apple as you can about one half-hour after trading opens (things are cheap around ten a.m. for as much reason as exists in the stock market) tomorrow (use a cheap service like Scottrade or something such).
Then hold tight for just a few weeks or so until Apple announces its financials in its fourth-quarter earnings statement.
Apple sold the hell out of the iPhone 3G in that (this) quarter. Despite issues/flaws/whatever, the iPhone 3G remains an unattainable must-have.
Primarily for this reason, listen in to Apple's 4Q go-round with the analysts, hope that everything any analyst has to say is positive and that you hear "exceeding expected earnings for the quarter by..." as often as possible.
M-kay. That's this edition of THE FIBROMYALGIAN INVESTOR.
Expect more amazing advice and insight in the future.
(But please be aware that the advice given in this and any post on THE FIBROMYALGIAN is not to be construed in any way as advice. --Nothing written is meant to motivate you to do anything, no statement demanding or suggesting you should do something or any thing demands or suggests that you actually do do something or any thing.
(I think this should catch all: This blog post is for entertainment purposes only. The author of this blog expects that the reader will live his/her life after reading the post just as if he/she never read the post.
*The title of this post is in no way meant to suggest that you should "invest the Fibromyalgian's way."
**Any guarantees or promises ever made by C.Bandini are neither. Bandini bears no responsibility for anything -- and that would include washing himself if he had the money to pay someone to do that for him.
17 August, 2008
Wellsphere.com has been kind enough to add this blog's posts to their site, and to give me the laurels you see to your left.
I hope they know what they've gotten into...
Until my posts are pulled from their site for their off-topic topics, for revealing only the author's venality and adoration of expletives, I thank everyone who is part of Wellsphere.
...Well, I'll still thank them, even after my posts are scratched out, for being a site where one can find a lot of good info from real people.
--Now to throw in something to do with fibromyalgia (which I feel a bit pressured to do because of my new attachment to Wellshpere, I must admit):
For the past two weeks I've had to keep a regular weekday schedule: The alarm's sound comes at 8 a.m.... The only sound I hate more than Celine Dion's voice. I swallow the small bottle I filled the night before: 60mg Ritalin, 10mg OxyContin, 2mg Klonopin. Then I curl up and get back to sleeping.
An hour plus thirty minutes later the Ritalin kicks and I have to move. It is very important that I'm up and about by 11 (for reasons I must omit with apologies) and, because I need twelve hours of sleep per night -- which I finally figured out after having fibro for how long? --
I developed the forced-wakefulness regimen described above.
On the weekends I hibernate. I sleep from whenever the steam furnace runs out of charcoal to feed it and hit the pillows and blankets Friday night and remain there, with small breaks to watch TV and take meds, until around four or five p.m. Sunday.
Sleep is important. Especially, I hear and read and experience personally, to people with fibro.
So I neglect my Rit. pills on the weekend and catch up on what I missed through the forced-wakefulness project.
All of which is bad and stupid and for the love of oxygen don't do anything like what I've described, be harmed in some way by it and sue me. Every and any action I take is not to be done by anyone else and I cannot and do not condone my own behavior. The things described in this post have been performed by a professional weirdo and should not be imitated or deemed rational by anyone.
...Today I woke at 4:30 p.m. And I hope to be sleeping again by 1 a.m. because I want to be ready to kill the alarm tomorrow morning, down my drug cocktail and get back to sleep. ...The elapsed time between my waking at eight and being asleep again is now only five minutes.
I'm an extraordinary machine.*
*Buy every Fiona Apple album.
24 July, 2008
My lawyer called me today to let me know I have "won" (seems like a poor term to describe the situation... But that's how she put it) my Social Security Disability claim.
Which means I will be getting back-pay for the year of my life I've wasted (fifteen months if you're counting) waiting for this decision, and a monthly income of... Well, since I can't make any money myself, at least it's something.
More to come blogfriends, at long last! (But you have to wait longer because I'm too happy to write today!)
Finally I can breathe... The terror ebbs.
28 June, 2008
27 June, 2008
[This came to my inbox and I thought I'd pass it along and urge everyone who is able -- after donating all you can to me me me, of course (button's on the right) -- to give give give to PRN. The e-mail:]
Pain Treatment Advocacy Group Sues State of WA
Jun 25, 2008
By: Donna Gordon Blankinship
The Associated Press
SEATTLE - A pain treatment advocacy group filed suit Wednesday in federal court to challenge the restrictions Washington state officials have put on prescription pain medication
The nonprofit Pain Relief Network says the guidelines for prescribing narcotics, written by the Washington state Department of Health and published in March 2007, have influenced pain treatment across the country and have made doctors afraid to give opiate prescriptions[...]
Me (Calvin) again:
Get the full story using this link.
Donate to PRN using this link.
This post's title is a link to PRN.
...And sorry for the dearth of posts this month.
11 June, 2008
when they stop staring
at your ass
you need their ogles back
enough to tell the
very superior old pale lie
you reserve for
your younger sister found blue in her crib.
...You were so young.
My exam was far too short. But I think I may have some sort of chance at being found to be disabled (infinite-non-jinx).
The doc started asking questions after taking my blood pressure, and I found myself reading from the pages containing the lists I made yesterday, so I just stopped myself and handed her the pages.
She looked at all the meds I've taken previously (we were on that topic at the moment) and was taken aback. So was I, truthfully, when I saw all the meds I listed, college-notes-style "a" through "z," then indented and listed next to asterisks. "A" through "y" covered only the meds I still have the bottles for.
After that I cheated on a few list items. For example: I put Paxil on the list (note to dear reader: Do Not Ever Take Paxil) and simply noted that I've taken every other SSRI, SNRI and NSRI as well.
So she had, and I hope the Social Security Admin. will end up with, a pretty-complete list of my current meds and their dosages, my current treatments (TENS), my past meds prescribed/taken, my past treatments (trigger-point injections, all the other injections given by Dr 9, so on) and -- first things last: everything that tags along with fibro (chronic fatigue, etc).
(Wow... This is so deadly close to what I wrote yesterday. ...Best to get past the list.)
She was amazed by everything. She would interrupt something she or I was saying to mutter "...You're only twenty-nine..."
She seemed to have a problem with the OxyContin and the fact my doc had upped my dose two months after I started taking it. She was worried about habituation, the definition of which she gave me... Not as an insult. She did so before she found me using similar words in our conversation. I let her know that the correct Oxy dose has not been reached, and I didn't need to take more Oxy to get the same relief I originally obtained from it. I also let her know I've been on high doses of benzos (mostly Klonopin) for more than a decade without becoming habituated, without escalating, on.
I also let her know of the studies I've found that prove people who need painkillers and benzos don't get habbed, hop on the escalator, get addicted, all that mess.
But it turns out that, even if she believes I am having to escalate my Oxy dose, she realized what the following illustrates:
"Overall, you've got to realize that getting on OxyContin was the last option I had and I had to take it."
Immediate response: "Of course without doubt."
...It may be a good sign that she spent most of our appointment trying to think of a clinic or hospital or doctor I could see that could somehow treat me better than I am being treated now (impossible -- and she came up empty, which was the only possible thing to do. I've tried everything).
Also, I believe she was impressed by the life I had been living until I had fibro (work-wise) and appreciated what it meant for me to be kicked off the track I had built.
God damn it.
Now I wait for a letter and try not to think about everything that letter could be.
I don't know how to feel.
Until I figure out how I should, I'm at my default setting: Extremely Anxious.
10 June, 2008
Tomorrow is my second, and hopefully last, exam to determine whether I am so decrepit I must, essentially, become a ward of the state.
When I found out I was to have the test, two cinder blocks immediately were stacked one on another atop my ribcage.
So for weeks my muscles have been weakening until now my lungs only can inflate enough to take in as much air as is held in two of the empty pill bottles (one for each lung) I've kept in a drawer I'm about to pour on the floor so I can make a list of most of the the meds I've previously taken.
For the MD examining me I also will need to list all current and past treatments (like trigger-point injections), ailments that accompany the pain of fibro (like chronic fatigue) -- anything I can think of... Though I won't be able to get everything down.
(I know I've written something quite similar to this post before. But hell, I'm padding my blog -- I admit it... Plus I haven't read my own stuff in a while and recall my previous pieces as corpses in need of a Dr Frankenstein. ...And I'm not referring just to the recent stuff.)
I'm afraid to tell the whole truth and nothing but to the doc tomorrow because it's going to sound like I'm horribly inflating my case.
But I'll be truthful anyway... But be sure to let the MD know it's going to seem like I'm padding -- the way I'm padding the blog right now.
[UPDATE! -- written after initial post]
My analogy using cinder blocks was stupid: It only works if I've been lying down ever since I found out about my appointment... And I've had to walk to the bathroom a few times since then.
So how about this: Since then a daily-tightening rubber band has surrounded me from armpits to floating ribs.
Or how about this: Screw the analogies. I've been increasingly anxious ever since the letter, and now I'm in such a panic I barely can breathe.
Tomorrow will decide how I live the rest of my life.
A bit stressful.
07 June, 2008
The fireworks finale! The expectation before!
A description of what happened in the sky pre-finale. The description-length is dictated by the word count sought by the publication you hope to appear in.
Since you just saw the display being described, you can relate to it.
Something before, during or after the events described set off a memory for the narrator, or the events themselves now turn into something else on a sentence.
An ambiguous sentence. Or a sentence that nails the events above to a cross. A sentence meant to be a revelation. A sentence that, were it the first one, would have made what you just read not worth reading.
05 June, 2008
An MD is taking care fo this one. So I'll have to write down my many disorders and all the drugs I take now/ever have taken, all the tests that I've had done, and all the treatments that have been foisted on me.
It should be a blast.
Meanwhile, the Ritalin doesn't seem to be working for me. I've gone back to sleeping all the time.
And since right now is a time, I should be sleeping in it.
I'll get back to it, and let you know what impressions I have after the exam.
...I need to learn how to write in my sleep...
30 May, 2008
When he can't make you come
would have you
but maybe you'll
take the lathe out this time
and shave until the blade
is as dull
as you keep
Try it all
In the sandbox
you were the
But now you're
afraid to smile
because it shows
the creases life has
made in your face
though you know
everyone around you
wherever you are
in the small town
and the only
way they know
your face is by lineage
you know they
hunger to see
your face crumple
the signs dying things
and you try not to.
only for as long
as you face
like the fucking
rest of us.
The worst of the
world groped its
way into you
as soon as my fingers stopped.
29 May, 2008
I switched my account from AOL to Gmail because my AOL account, lately, has been hiccuping like a sot on his fifteenth beer.
Please send any/all correspondence to email@example.com from now on.
Love and kittens
28 May, 2008
My lawyer called me yesterday to let me know that, now that a psych picked by the Social Security admin. has examined me (what? three weeks ago?), the SSA is going to have me see an MD of their choosing. Hopefully soon...
I'll have to be sure to list all the stuff I have -- you can't say "I have fibro" to a doctor and expect them to know that that means you have a disorder that is comprised of various other diseases/disorders, plus the pain everyone knows it causes, I've discovered. I also need to list all the medications I've taken and treatments I've been through, too.
...With all that, plus the doc's personal findings, I can't imagine he/she reporting to the SSA that I should be put to work in a coal mine immediately... Or saying I could be hired by any company for anything. Like my personal doc said -- "I hope your book works out [I'm writing a book... Seems important to note that, here], because once you fill this you'll never get hired by anyone for liability reasons" (then he wrote me my first Oxy script).
"Hi! -- Calvin Bandini, here for the interview..."
"So what you're saying, Mr Bandini, is that you're pretty much on something like heroin, plus uppers and tranquilizers twenty-four/seven?"
"I guess, yeah. But, I can't get high from the stuff. I take it out of medical necessity."
"Um -- Do you think your medications would affect your ability to do you job?"
"Only in that they would allow me to do my job. --Provided I can get a one- or two-hour-long nap in sometime during the day, don't have to remember anything said to me five minutes after it's been said, don't have to walk, stand nor sit for more than thirty minutes at a time, and can have anywhere from four to ten days off per month, depending on what treatments I need at any given time.
"...You know, pretty average stuff.
"--Oh! I can bring in my own hammock! It's one of those you can set up anywhere you have the space! So the nap-thing is really a non-issue!
"...And you guys have a three-day workweek, right? Because I need to rest four days out of the week or I just get completely messed up."
"...Huh.. Well... Yeah.
"...Thanks for coming in...
(This is the next thing the person would say if he/she were able to be honest:) "We'll call to tell you we can't hire you as soon as our lawyers come up with sufficient grounds on which to deny your application that also preclude you from suing us under the Americans with Disabilities Act."
...Moving on in my staccato fashion: I should tell you why/how the hell I'm up at eight in the morning (so unnatural... It never felt right for me to be up at this hour even when I had to be for work): Every time my Oxy dose is upped my bags pack themselves and I'm sent on an unplanned vacation to Snoozeville for about a week until I become used to the increase. (Thankfully, the sleepiness wanes but the pain relief doesn't)... Which is why it's eight a.m. and I've been up since eleven p.m. ...Last evening I passed out right after taking my second, 20mg, dose of Ritalin. ...If that doesn't illustrate my exhaustion, it's impossible to.
My body has pretty much matched my mind, now, in weirdness...
...So I guess I'll be getting something from the SSA in the mail, hopefully soon, re when I get the pleasure of being probed by a doctor. ...And let's hope the doc has some experience -- or at least knowledge of -- fibro beyond having seen those whiny, demeaning commercials for Lyrica.
...It now has been a year since I applied for disability. Wow.
...And I remember reading that the SSA was making it a priority to expedite disability decisions this year. I'm actually glad that isn't the case (or doesn't seem to be, anyway). The Bush administration's idea of expediting disability claims, I'm sure, would have been to throw all of them out as baseless.
Remember when "compassionate conservatism" was all the rage? ...If the phrase "compassionate conservatism" was on the SAT, it's analogue would be "humane death penalty."
23 May, 2008
I saw Dr ML&S this morning. I thought I was going to have a problem waking up early (I had to leave the house at 9:00, and I've been awakening at 11:00 or noon lately), but did not. I woke at 4:00. ...That would mean I got five hours of sleep.
I don't know what the hell that is about... Some nights my person seems to love sleep at least as much as it loves oxygen, but other times it wants out of it like a college kid wants out of the drunk tank as soon as he wakes up. (The three-inch thick foam-rubber mattress you're given to put on the concrete floor isn't comfortable once you've sobered up.)
First we discussed the results of my allergy test. I told him I immediately cut yeast out of my diet, and that what I had thought was IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) was actually my gut's response to its yeast allergy.
So I have no more IBS-like symptoms (which I won't discuss here -- eeeeeeww)! However, that's the only thing wrong with me that has been put right.
After that discussion, Dr ML&S asked me to rate my pain throughout the day. I told him that, since I take all my meds on time and on an exact schedule I make every morning, based on when I wake up, it's a 4.5/10 all day long.
He said "Then I guess we have a ways to go."
...On my way to see him, today, I hadn't even thought about increasing my OxyContin dose, but the doc doesn't seem like he'll be happy until my pain rates 0/0, if that's possible to attain.
When he asked me if I thought taking 10mg of Oxy every five hours instead of every six would further reduce my pain, I said yes. Thirty mg/day decreased it significantly (from 50/10 to within the scale), 40mg/day decreased the agony maybe two points more, and so now I hope my pain decreases even further.
...Perhaps I can get to a 2.5 or 2/10... If that happens, it may no longer hurt when I sit back in chairs!
He also asked me to tell him how my pain has been since I began seeing him.
"Well... You saved my life."
I explained that going from 50/10 to 4.5/10 was something so tremendous it hadn't even occurred to me that we should try to bring it down further (maybe I should work on this post so I don't restate that)... That he had improved my life (reduced my pain, etc) so much that I'm still in shock due to how much better I feel. (Which isn't to say every moment isn't agony...)
I know this seems like I'm simply blowing smoke up my doctor's ass, but I have no reason to: very few people know about this blog (PLEASE DONATE!), including him.
I'm simply grateful that this guy saved my life. The day before I saw him I was thinking up different ways I could kill myself. The very next day a smile crept on my face for the first time in forever.
...Dr ML&S also increased my Ritalin LA (long-acting), so now I'm taking 30mg to get me out of bed, and 20mg later in the day, about eight hours before I plan on going to sleep.
I think it could work out... And if it doesn't the good doc (I think that is the first time I've used that phrase without sarcasm) and I will fine-tune things when I see him in about a month.
...Hopefully all this is leading to me getting on some sort of sleep schedule... That's eluded me for a very very long time.
May Dr ML&S live a thousand years.
21 May, 2008
It now has been exactly two weeks since I was examined by a psych. chosen by the Social Security Administration. Someone I know, who succeeded in getting disability benefits, said he received his decision within a month. Perhaps I will get mine within two weeks.
Now would be a good time to have patience, which I've always sorely lacked...
But, on the bright side of the I-Can't-Eat-anything-With-Yeast-In-It-Anymore situation, I've been so preoccupied with watching my diet and its effects (minimal: It's easier for me to wake up now, but still very hard for me to stay awake, even with 40mg Ritalin and all the green tea (which has caffeine) I'm drinking... Green tea being my sub for coffee, the latter of which I'm also allergic to... It's a good thing I've always liked green tea) that I haven't had much time to think about the forthcoming decision from Social Security. Also, I've lost seven pounds in one week. Perhaps because my diet, now, is a hell of a lot like what people in the first two weeks of the Atkins program are supposed to eat.
...Waiting is boring. So is this post. How fitting...
20 May, 2008
I was walking the two miles home from J’s at, what I found out when I arrived home, was about eight a.m. on a Thursday.
I kept to the side of the road, freezing...
I woke up at J’s half-covered in a blanket, the XBox controller still in my hand. I must have passed out while navigating some goddam menu the console makes players go through. Leave it to Microsoft to make accessing a game as fun and easy as typing in a proper MS-DOS command.
The first thing I noticed, before opening my eyes and realizing where I was, was the extreme pain in my head. ...The same pain that's there every morning. I soon found that I was sitting upright... Still locked in the position I likely had been in when I first went to sleep.
Then the anxiety hit. And then I noticed I was shivering, and that J must have moved from the couch he had passed out on to his bedroom. For a minute I surrounded myself in the blanket I had -- made a cocoon out of it -- and laid on the couch he had occupied. I learned that leather likes to maintain its temperature, and that if it was going to warm up, it was going to have to steal from me heat I wasn’t producing.
My morning panic attack forced me into action. I don’t know why I thought it would be possible for me to go back to sleep under any circumstances. My drugs were back home; my pill-box was empty. I hadn’t planned on staying the night, and so I hadn’t brought my morning pills.
I needed ten milligrams of OxyContin and two or three milligrams of Klonopin immediately.
I searched J’s entire first floor for a phone. All I found were chargers for cordless devices I couldn't locate. ...I couldn’t be rude and wake J up so he could drive me home, so I decided to check to see if the weather was nice enough for me to walk home in.
...I had lied to myself, because I began walking down his driveway and up the road as fast as I could as soon as I stepped outside. I had known I was going to walk home even before I stepped out the door.
At least it wasn’t raining. However, whatever the temperature was, I felt if it was a few degrees lower I would have been able to see my breath.
...I tightened the ankle straps on my sandals to try to avoid getting blisters. ...This also locked in the gravel that already had crept beneath my feet. ...I couldn't make myself stop to shake out the pebbles because I couldn't suffer a drug-free moment I could avoid.
The sun was a murderer. It focused all of its rays on my right eye, where my daily migraines emanate from. I zipped up my jacket to my chin, put on the winter hat I had worn the night before, even though it had been about sixty degrees the day before. I wondered why I was so cold, both that morning and the night before, when the the level of magnesium in small tubes indicated I had no reason to be.
It passed the time as I walked up the big hill.
A car passed and I realized I was on the Walk of Shame, and I hadn’t even gotten laid the night before. And for the first time in my life I actually found it shameful to be walking home early in the morning in the same clothes I had worn the day before, freezing and disheveled. On all previous walks like this one I had been coming back from having sex, which I could never understand anyone being ashamed of.
My thoughts occupied me as I walked as fast as I could, head down against that bastard in the center of our solar system. The pain blared in my head like bad music trying to get Noriega out of a church and into an American prison... My panic attack forced me on.
Eventually, finally, I could see my house.
I pictured the two brown bottles... My Oxy and Klonopin, waiting for me on the coffee table next to my bed and its four blankets and comforter. Not close enough...
The sun hit my eye and I grabbed my head as though it had been pierced with an arrow... A person driving by in an SUV at the same moment probably thought a wheel had kicked a pebble in my face. Whoever it was didn't stop.
...Down the driveway, through doors, my pills were on their way to my stomach. I buried myself beneath my blankets and began to feel warm as I waited for them to kick in. As I did I thought of the fact that a large percent of the population in the Eastern time zone was beginning its workday. If the person in the SUV though he/she may have blinded or otherwise injured me, he/she couldn't stop because he/she was late for work... But the person likely didn't notice me at all because his/her mind already was there.
I envied whoever it was as I lay in the dark, twisted up in my blankets.
17 May, 2008
[This is a comment from David at the LifeTrek blog re my 10 Commandments post that needed to be more visible than it is in the Comments section, followed by my response:]
By no means am I deeply religious, but I did do some online research.
Typically much of Galatians (try 3 and 5 for starters) explains some of what you're asking.
It appears to be a common misinterpretation when questioning the bible piecemeal, but that is answered throughout the New Testament.
Here are some summaries online of the bible in whole:
The coming of Christ made parts of the Mosaic law unnecessary.
In order to understand this, we must realize that the Law is made up of three parts: ceremonial, civil, and moral.
The ceremonial law related specifically to Israel's worship. Since its primary purpose was to point to the coming Savior, Jesus made it unnecessary. He did not abolish it, in the sense of destroying it; he fulfilled it. Nowhere do we read that Jesus thought that the ceremonial law was wrong. The principles behind the ceremonial law are still applicable to us today -- that is, the principles of worshiping and serving a holy God.
The civil law prescribed rules for the Israelites' daily living. These laws separated the Jews from the Gentiles, and gave the Gentiles the example of how a holy people should live. Since much was given to the Jews, much was expected. But God gave a new covenant in Christ, and there is now no distinction to be made between Jew and Gentile. We are still to follow the requirements of this law as God's people, but the punishments are not for any nation to impose on its people, because we are no longer separated by nations but by God's grace (Christians and non-Christians).
The moral law is basically the Ten Commandments. We are still bound by these laws, not for salvation, but to live a holy life. Jesus not only desired that His followers adhere to these commandments, He wished that they would go above and beyond them. He said, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment..." He desired not only an outward observance of these laws, but an inward observance as well.
"If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law" ... "therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day -- things that are a mere shadow of what is to come," and "For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under Law but under grace."
Keep in mind who Paul's talking to: young churches, mostly of Jewish backgrounds. When he speaks of "the Law", he's referring to Mosaic Law. When he speaks of "the law," he refers to state law. (I say this so nobody thinks I'm claiming Paul says to disobey all laws.) Jesus clearly states in the the Gospel of Matthew that He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. He didn't destroy the Law of Moses, he completed it. He fulfilled the prophesies of the coming messiah, He became the very essence of the suffering servant.
The Ritual Decalogue is the list of commandments in Exodus 34:10-26. They are generally viewed as having minor significance compared to the Ethical Decalogue. Although the Ritual Decalogue appears in the text at the point where the Ten Commandments are inscribed into the second set of stone tablets, and it is them, rather than the Ethical Decalogue, which are there identified as the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28), it is the Ethical Decalogue which is commonly believed to have been inscribed on both sets of tablets.
I also read in one of my searches that the reason for the differing translations for commandments, but I can't remember where I found that and am lucky to have kept these straight through the fibro fog.
So, maybe we aren't all going to hell. Hope that helps.
Re your comment on the "10 Commandments" post. Put simply: you got me!
From a strictly Christian standpoint, you've got me dead to rights. The only thing I would point out is that it is Christian tradition that makes the ethical commandments those written on Moses' tablets. I maintain that the commandments I list in the post are, in fact -- based on reading the Bible alone -- the ones that actually went on the tablets.
However, your comment goes on to make the above point... pointless.
Since I am a former Catholic, you reminded me of what I already knew: That Jesus fulfilled certain parts of scripture, and went so far as to remind the people that certain laws were to prepare them for the coming of the Messiah, and that those specific laws no longer needed to be followed in his presence which, it can be argued, Christians remain.
I'm also very happy that your comment is so erudite and learned, when usually the kind of bile I spit in that post (I admit it: I wrote it in haste and with with a certain gleeful meanness) only causes more bile to come forth from readers. Which would be my fault, of course.
But you took a much higher road, and I say well done.
16 May, 2008
FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.
Yeah. I can't eat bread. It turns out I'm INCREDIBLY allergic to yeast (including brewer's, so NO MORE BEER... NO MORE BEER!), so I can't eat anything that has it. This includes all breads. I can't eat fucking bread!
...Weeks ago I had a blood test that determined what and how much I'm allergic to certain things/foods. It turns out that yeast is a huge no-no for me.
The good news is that, by cutting out of my diet everything that has yeast (just about everything), I should feel better.
I'll still have fibro -- neither my trigger points, the alpha-wave intrusion into my delta-wave sleep, nor the constant pain I live with are going to go away as I exclude all yeast-containing products from my diet -- but I may feel more awake, and maybe even a little better overall.
I'm also supposed to avoid sugar and pretty much all sweeteners. Eating properly is going to be very difficult, but worth it if I can feel a bit better. Especially if my allergy is making my chronic fatigue worse. (It's been horrendous lately, as up-to-date readers know... I've even been able to sleep for hours after taking 20mg of Ritalin for crissake!)
But oh well. Like I've said since I was diagnosed with fibro: I'd walk The Mall (in DC) from Congress to Lincoln barefoot over broken glass to feel better.
...It's too bad that's pretty much what I have to do now.
But I will. I feel so bad all the time that I'll do whatever it takes to improve my condition even slightly.
I was sent the info on my allergies yesterday, and immediately went on a short fast. I ate lunch today, and realized that from now on I will have to cook, myself, almost everything I can eat. Almost everything has yeast in it.
This afternoon I spent 45 minutes cooking a chicken breast. ...I haven't cooked in a very long time, but give myself kudos for my improv skills. I don't measure anything, nor do I know how I'm going to prepare what I'm going to cook when I put it in the pan (I have always stayed away from ovens). I just look in the cupboard and pantry and pick out whatever spices/herbs/oils/etc smell like they'd work together.
I ended up with seared garlic and rosemary chicken with a red wine (though I'm not supposed to drink wine anymore, I figured it would be OK to cook with it since I reduced it to practically nothing... Maybe that just made it all the worse by concentrating it, though) and roasted peanut oil sauce. (The two don't seem like they'd work together, but I added the oil after I had added the chicken back to the pan and the wine had reduced to a tablespoon, so I needed just a touch of oil in the sauce.) The finished product somehow turned out quite well.
...Perhaps I'll eventually get incredibly tired of preparing everything I eat, and wind up having to be fed intravenously...
But until then I shouldn't have a problem losing the rest of the weight I want to. (I dropped twenty-five in the month after I stopped taking Lyrica, but would like to get rid of another twenty-five or so.) That's another plus.
I will keep you posted on my yeast-free existence... It will be interesting to see if I begin to sour on having to live with this allergy (did I mention I can't eat bread, the very thing that allowed humanity to cease living as hunter-gatherers?), which is yet another kick in the nuts from a professional field goal kicker.
12 May, 2008
[I have recently been prescribed double the dose of Ritalin previously prescribed because each pill keeps me awake for only eight hours. I'm trying to be awake for sixteen daily, like a normal person. So I called my doc and now am to take one in the morning and one later in the day.
Which I am very happy about, but may worry a friend of mine. I e-mailed her -- a postscript to an e-mail I previously sent to her -- explaining why more Ritalin is a good thing, though it's likely she doesn't think so.
Here's the e-mail:]
I wonder if you think more Ritalin is exactly what I don't need -- more drugs of any kind exactly what I don't need.
It's important to remember that my disorder is rather serious (the pain medication I take is the same given to terminal cancer patients... And not because I love painkillers but because I'm in equivalent pain), even though I act as though it's anything but. It affects every single facet of my life... And the drugs I take I take to attempt to crawl into the shadow of my former self.
I don't mean to put words in your mouth -- I just wanted to prevent you from worrying about my drug diet.
I wasn't able to talk to you for a month because I was sleeping so much (and so very very tired when I wasn't asleep). I finally was able to call you after I was put on Ritalin.
Everything I take I take to feel more normal... Not exactly better.
I call her after I drink the fifth of Stoli to a certain level.
She doesn't notice I'm drunk and continue to get more so.
Her: "My ex is stalking me..."
"I think he's gotten over it..."
Me: "The last thing you want is for him to get over it. The last thing you want is for anyone to get over anything. You need power over everyone. That power turns the crank that juts out of your back."
(I don't know if I just came up with that or if I'm reiterating it.)
"The fact remains that if he showed up at your door and said he'd really try this time, you'd take him back. You love the fat, small-dicked fucker because he's broken... And it isn't that you want to fix him: You love playing with the pieces."
"You think I'm incapable of loving someone who isn't fucked up?"
"You know you are."
The conversation goes on until I find myself sinking too far into self-loathing.
...I need her.
I must love playing with the pieces...
And I must be shattered for her to listen to me...
The realization scares me as it did the first time and I beg off the phone quickly with a limp excuse.
We'll talk when the bottle of Stoli gets to the proper level.
Maybe the next time I call she'll have some other guy. And then I'll hear about all the ways in which he's inadequate, and mesmerizing because.
Then maybe her ex will begin stalking her in an obvious manner, out of jealousy.
Then maybe they'll get back together.
11 May, 2008
[I got into a hyper-religion-investigating mode yesterday and thought I'd post this instead of my own ranting. And I also promise to get on some other topic after this post.]
From Exodus 34:
1. Behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves
2. For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a-whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods
3. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods
4. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt
5. All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male. But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty
6. Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest
7. And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. Thrice in the year shall all your menchildren appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year
8. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning
9. The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God
10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk
There are twenty-one or twenty-three edicts given by god in all, but these are the only ten called "commandments" in the bible. Therefore, these are the ten commandments.
Christians, you'd best start to observe passover! Also, what the hell is with the faithful no longer making sacrifices? God nothing more than the smell of burning animal entrails! Observe the feasts! (Maybe the fact that you do not is the reason god obviously did not keep the promise he makes in this commandment.) On to numbers eight and nine: Get with the freaking sacrificing, you're pissing god off! Finally, keep kosher!
It's good to know that I'll see everyone in hell because they fail to keep the real commandments.
Feel free to blubber and make lame excuses as a way of sliding yourself through the closed pearly gates, but by doing so you're basically saying "god didn't really mean it." But sorry: God meant everything, and literally, in Exodus -- and he killed and ordered to be killed a hell of a lot of people for much much tinier infractions than not keeping the commandments.
We're all lucky we haven't been struck dead already.
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
10 May, 2008
[I know the proper saying is "...tree." The reason I modified it will become clear.]
I was sent an e-mail that had a bunch of cool pictures of rock formations that looked like animals. After the pictures was this plea: to take ONE MINUTE to say the lord's prayer, to not be ashamed of your love for god, and to show it by passing the chain e-mail along.
My response to the sender:
[The creation of every formation is] explicable by natural phenomena. Cool though.
I take this e-mail as an attempt to illustrate that god is the creator of all things, and only god could make the rocks, etc look the way they do. And that its creation is beautiful.
The flip side being: If god is the creator of all things we must also give ONE MINUTE to god for the Holocaust.
We can't just give god credit for the beautiful things; it has to be given credit for everything. Otherwise it is not god because it is not all-powerful.
One can make an argument that god is unknowable, and all the evil that is done is done for a purpose only god can understand; the beauty must be taken with the horror. And one cannot lay blame for evil on free will -- on people choosing to do evil -- because mankind was created in god's image and likeness.
Further, just as people are capable of wrong, so is god. A reading of the Old Testament (Torah, Hebrew Bible) shows that god is capable of error -- it admits to erring on a few occasions (oops! Hundreds of thousands dead!). Ergo, he is not all-knowing. God endorses wholesale slaughter of entire cities and the men, women and children within them. It endorses slavery. On and on.
God made a rainbow, and rainbows are beautiful things. Before it made that, though, it wiped out almost every single living thing on earth, without remorse. The people drowned to death -- one of the worst ways to go.
The foundation of my life is, irrefutably, my parents, and I give thanks to them for my life. I don't have god's genes.
And you'll excuse me for being ashamed of a mass-murderer. I'm ashamed of Ted Bundy, and he killed far fewer people than god ever did.
You can choose to divorce the Old Testament (Torah, Hebrew Bible) from the New Testament, but then you are not following the god of Jesus, the Jew, who gathered followers through his superior understanding and (strict) interpretation of the Torah.
Either god has done it all or he has done nothing. We can't pick and choose.
To quickly sum things up and give you the short version of the argument against the existence of the Christian god:
1. If evil exists and God is omniscient, then God knows about it.
2. If God knows about evil and is omnibenevolent, then he wants to prevent it.
3. If God wants to prevent evil and is omnipotent, then he can prevent it.
4. Therefore, if God is omniscient, omnibenevolent, and omnipotent, then evil should not exist.
The Christian god is defined as being omniscient, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. He is everywhere, he is all-good, he is all-powerful. But he cannot be all these things if evil exists, which it does.
But if "evil" is really "good" -- a necessary part of god's giving mankind free will, etc -- then there is no point in worshiping such an entity, for why kneel to something that allows us to suffer? That makes us suffer?
And if the devil causes evil, then god is not omnipotent, for he cannot defeat the devil. If god chooses not to defeat the devil, then he is not omnibenevolent. If god is unaware of the devil, then he is not omniscient.
Sorry to belabor the subject. I added this last piece because I needed to address specifically Christian conceptions of god, and not just the god of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible/Torah, who was undoubtedly evil (commanding the rape of 32,000 women from one city, for just one example).
Still, to not-love the god of the Old Testament is to not-love the god of Jesus, the Jew.
And to love the god of the Old Testament is to love a dictator/fascist who commanded the slaughter of hundreds of thousands, the rape of hundreds of thousands, the enslavement of hundreds of thousands, to love a being that did not frown upon the incest committed by Abraham's (the patriarch of Judeo-Christianity) daughters, and on and on.
Personally, I'm incredibly relieved that such a god does not exist.
I'm having mixed results with the extended-release Ritalin. Yesterday I awoke at two p.m. but had to go to sleep at ten p.m. last night. I was freaking exhausted, despite having taken a Rit promptly upon waking.
Perhaps the release isn't so extended...
But the previous day I couldn't get to sleep until six or seven a.m. I had been awake for what felt like forever, but was probably about sixteen hours.
And now I'm awake and it's eight a.m. However, I woke up at three.
Perhaps in the struggle between Ritalin (amphetamine) and Klonopin (tranquilizer), the Klonopin wins... But K hasn't made me tired for about a decade.
I can't make sense of this.
Perhaps I'm being worked over by the impending decision from Social Security re whether I'm disabled according to them. The sound of the executioner sharpening his blade sings beside my ears...
In other news, I think I could go for a nice round of marcaine shots. My neck isn't as flexible as it used to be and the trigger points in my back make it painful for me to sit back in chairs. Also, my migraines are worse than they used to be.
So it may be time to see Dr 9 for the only thing he's good for and believes in: those damn shots of his. ...My TENS unit just isn't a good enough proxy for those shots.
(Man what a boring post. I should have waited for the Ritalin to kick in before writing.)
Now I have to go hide my drugs. A certain person is visiting today, is a fucking pill fiend, and would rather I wish for death due to lack of narcotics than he be high.
He does have a legitimate problem with his back, but won't get his own Oxy prescription, which he has said time and again his doctors are more than willing to give him. Instead he sticks to taking overdoses of Tylenol through taking assloads of Vicodin and his liver must be as black as our lungs by now (each of us has been smoking for about fifteen years).
How am I to sympathize?
...And now I have Ritalin, which he would be more than happy to ingest like a behind-schedule trucker...
One's possession of heavy drugs easily turns certain of one's friends and loved ones into con men and snakes who search for your the pills you hide and protect like unhatched eggs...
07 May, 2008
[From now on all short stories, like poems, will have titles in all-lowercase so you can easily tell the posts that have to do with fibro -- the diaristry (I like making up words) -- from the ones that (usually) do not. A new blog devoted to shorts and poems to be announced soon.]
It Could [Have] Be[en] Sweet
(please begin playing thePortishead selection below)
Stereotypically, I developed a huge crush on her because she pushed me away for so long and that crush went away as soon as we slept together.
So many idiots make the mistake of waiting to sleep together. Get it fucking the fuck out of the way. The first time is horrible. You hardly even want to be naked with the person.
And christ, being told that sex was to be "something special between us" -- at our age (thirty-ish) -- was just laughable.
At thirty you damn-well-better know that all sex is is two people getting off together. Trying to make it something else corrupts the act itself and the people who buy into the idea that it's more than what it is.
...After a full month we were finally fucking and it was awkward and bad, despite the athleticism involved. I came three times, trying my best to remember each picture in the Kama Sutra.
It was nothing but a goddam performance piece... She was too loud to be believed... Then, anyway. If it had been weeks ago I would have bought it. I would have loved it. I would have joined in. ...At that time her wailing, and my belief in its contrivance, almost made me limp. I practically had to close my eyes and think of England...
All this despite the fact I had nothing but admiration for her only minutes ago. She was too like me for me to not love her (which is the more honest way of saying that we had a lot in common and I loved her because). We had already started communicating just by looking certain ways at each other.
...Naturally, after we finally had sex, that fascination with one another turned into the love one has for a sibling. And the third time we were screwing it was almost as weird as having sex with a goddam relative (I'll point out, here, that I come from a family of all [hetero] boys and unattractive cousins).
I began to think of how we were missing Aqua Teen,* and became sure she was thinking the same thing. So I pinned her knees by her ears and came within minutes, playing "Common People"** in my head to drown out the screaming of my name.
Then we lay on the bed, naked, sweaty, exhausted, the room stinking of vaginal and seminal fluid. I grabbed the remote from the floor.
The box flickered on and I was relieved to discover I had caught the last few minutes of Aqua Teen.
She curled herself around me, sighed loudly into my ear "Mmm god aren't you so glad we waited!"
She held me everywhere with all her limbs and kissed me on my face, neck and chest while I watched television, using her pillow to prop up my head.
Within thirty minutes she had put her clothes on and we lay next to each other, not touching, staring at and laughing at the television together.
*Aqua Teen Hunger Force (number one in the hood, G): see Adult Swim listings, Cartoon Channel after-hours
That you're convinced
makes me wish
I'm at my best when I
dull and shorten you
and resent that you
sharp and tall.
Well, who the fuck knows how that went. ...I just know I don't.
The psych who administered the exam seemed sympathetic, but the cognitive memory disorder test was too easy. Every psych (two prev.) but this one asked me to remember three or five very specific things, and let me know I would have to recall them after five minutes of conversation (which I cannot do). Didn't happen this time.
I was asked who the current president is (and had to taste his name in my mouth as I said it... I need to rinse with Drano) and who the previous president was, then asked to count backward from one hundred, subtracting seven on the way. I've always failed the shit out of that one. The psych let me flounder for about five minutes before turning off the embarrassment.
And then I was asked to interpret three metaphors! I have a BA in English! I was a professional copy editor! NO FUCKING FAIR!
"What is the phrase 'The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence' meant to convey?"
Who the fuck doesn't know that?!
If we're testing to see whether I have opposable thumbs just have me hold up the fucking digits!
Maybe testing the mental acuity of someone who has spent his entire life studying all the goddam nuances of the English language is not best-done by asking him to interpret common goddam metaphors!
...Me telling the story of getting fibro, showing him my current meds, and answering the five memory questions. That was the visit.
(It's important to note that I have nothing against the psych, but know it's the Social Security Administration that sets the questions.)
Too much of me thinks I'm fucked...
Also, the Ritalin seems only to work for about three to four hours. I'm fucking tired.
06 May, 2008
I feel like I'm beginning to live a childhood I never had, having just been prescribed Ritalin, since I never had ADD/ADHD/whatever the hell kids who won't sit at their desks and shut the hell up are "diagnosed" with these days. (The real problem: The kids don't function at all well in a stupidly structured environment and parents and teachers don't have so much as the inclination to deal with them on their wavelength. Thank you DSM-IV for letting bad parents and teachers off the hook... And I swear this is the only swipe I'll take at you.)
...Now, with any luck, I'll be able to reverse the cycle I've been in, and sleep for about eight hours a night and be awake for about sixteen during the day! I'm sure I won't know what to do with myself... But fear excessive masturbation may be involved.
...I took my first extended-release Rit about a half-hour ago, and drugs take one-and-one-half-hours to kick in for me. So I'll see if I can stay awake today.
Until it does kick in: Still so very, very tired...
UPDATE!: Here are the drugs I now take for fibro, generalized anxiety and chronic fatigue disorder:
OxyContin, 40mg daily
Klonopin, 6mg daily
Prozac, 30mg daily
Ritalin, extended release, 20mg daily
With any luck the Ritalin will help me take another pained step toward the shadow of my former self...
03 May, 2008
It seems the long wait may finally be nearing an end... And what I call my early retirement near its beginning.
I am to be examined by a doctor who will then report my status to the Social Security Disability Administration. I'm sure to be diagnosed with cognitive memory disorder, which fibromyalgians lovingly call fibro fog, because I've been diagnosed with it twice. Said disorder is the reason someone I know was awarded disability, so I feel pretty good about my newfound idiocy being just cause for "awarding" me benefits.
(This is a snip of a conversation I had with the first psychologist who diagnosed me with cognitive memory disorder:
"So basically I'm a moron now."
"That depends on what your IQ was before you got fibro."
At the time -- and this one -- I'm still intelligent enough to find the above hilarious.)
Also, there's the fact that no one will hire someone who has to eat OxyCodone and Klonopin like candy and that, for months at a time -- times like now -- I have to sleep for sixteen hours of every day.
I would be a total liability to anyone who would hire me... Whacked on Oxy and Klonopin (most people think of these two as incredibly debilitating in and of themselves... However, they allow me to function. Still, no one would put me at the helm of a steamroller... I'd be a lawsuit waiting to happen), unable to remember what happened or what I was told to do any given five minutes ago...
I feel reasonably certain that will be the finding of the doctor I see Wednesday.
...It's an odd thing, to hope that this will be his conclusion.
But there is no other to draw.
29 April, 2008
I'm going to be away from the desk for the next couple days, and would like to leave you (for the time being) with Love Will Tear Us Apart. I hope you enjoy the song, but that love will not, dear reader, tear us apart...
A programming note: I plan on making a new blog where I will post all my short stories that have nothing to do with fibromyalgia and actually start to post here, on a blog called THE FIBROMYALGIAN, about only fibro and everything related to it, which I haven't been doing much of recently.
What's my excuse for the dearth of posts and for posting so many lame short stories lately? The change of seasons has floored me and I've been sleeping all the time. I was on my feet for about eight hours last week.
I hope to improve or get on Aderral or Ritalin -- prescription amphetamines -- soon.
More to come! Till next, try not to enjoy:
28 April, 2008
I hate the fact that I'm putting exclamation points on my short stories just to make them fit the style of this blog... Just as I'm sure many of you are sick of me not writing about fibro and instead writing short shorts (use NAIR).
This is Done
“I love you l love you I love you...” I breathed into her ear as I came.
Her breath had slowed...
Both of us were done.
For years we had messed around, but this was the first time we had had sex... And in a way that used every aspect of the right-angled couch that sprawled along her one-thousand-square-foot basement...
It was supposed to be bad... Everyone we knew told us it would be. But it was like seeing the Fourth of July from the Point (which I would do much later and find analogous) in San Diego: fireworks everywhere... Unable to see it all, everything happening too quickly... The moment over before it began...
Ten years later more than made up for it.
I called her, drunk; I had had a dream in which she was killed.
It was 4 a.m. She picked up on the second ring:
“Calvin! I’ve been trying to reach you for two weeks!”
“Why? Are you OK? You’re not hurt are you?”
“No... I had this weird dream.”
“I had one too. Just now.”
“Are you OK?”
“So how have you been in the ten years since we last talked to each other?”
23 April, 2008
It had not been a good evening. She wanted to stay in the apartment, I desperately wanted to be the fuck out of there on a Friday night like a normal goddam twenty-five-year-old.
We lived together in Tacoma Park, an ex-urb so close to DC you would smell the Potomac if your stood in the right spot.
She gave in and decided to drive us to a bar she had been to on Connecticut Avenue.
"Why are you taking this way? We're going around half the freaking Beltway. ...We should've just parked and taken the Metro, like I said before."
"This is the only way I know how to go where we're going -- and we're already driving, so just be quiet."
I was getting the shakes. And I couldn't let her see that. ...The alcohol withdrawal drove an impatience that bordered on insanity...
Still, who the fuck drives slower than the speed limit?
I held my tongue and wrenched my hands all the way to The Four Provinces, a not-so Irish bar. It took us forty-five minutes to get there when it should have taken fifteen. ...Or would have, if I had driven.
But she drove because both of us knew I was going to get loaded... I physically needed to at that point.
She parked her Beetle on the street a few blocks away from the bar. We walked, picking our way along curbs and jaywalking across four-lane streets, never touching.
We got a table for two once we were inside. I immediately ordered a Guinness plus one because the place was so busy I knew it would be a while before we saw our waitress again.
"Did you know Guinness has less alcohol in it that Busch Light?"
Her stare answered: How could you possibly think I would care?
She stared off and twirled the stem of her wine glass in her fingers.
God I wished she would just get drunk so we could fucking forget about everything...
I finished my first glass in three gulps and held up a hand to the waitress for a third.
I finally felt not-sick.
I calmed. Everything around me stopped being an assault on my senses.
I sat back in my chair and looked at her: her thin top gathered by a string that was knotted loosely around her champagne-flute neck; her witch-black hair so long it almost touched the ground; her eyes large orbs of undisturbed water on a night full of clouds, glistening.
I had never told her that I loved her. I wanted to, then.
"What? Why are you looking at me like that? ...You can't be drunk already."
"No, I'm not. It's just...
"...You look good tonight.
"You always look good."
"I like the band that's playing."
"So do I."
I cupped the hand she had around the wine glass and bent over the table. I kissed her on one of her cheeks, which felt delicate as paper-thin glass to my lips. Then we pressed our heads together, side by side.
When I sat back both of us were smiling.
I've been in too much pain to sleep tonight. So I spent an inordinate amount of time writing this through the agony fog:
I had to go to the second-floor's bathroom because the first-floor's was completely mobbed. After waiting on the stairs for about five guys to come out I was able to go in.
I went to the one open urinal and started to think of when I was ten years old and the family went on vacation to Niagara. My stage fright was just abating when a guy stood at the urinal next to me and put a beer in a plastic cup atop the stained porcelain, directly beneath the pipes where the effluent water flooded down when you depressed the handle... And I could see the pipes sweat just above his drink...
My dick shrank until it was nothing but an oversized clitoris.
"Fucking bitches. I mean, man, you bring them out, you buy them drinks and then the bitches are like (he puts a childish expression on his face and speaks faux-apologetically): 'I'm kinda seeing someone.'
"Fucking fuck you bitch! Tell me that before I buy you five drinks!
"...I mean bitches, right?"
I was still trying to convince myself that I had heard what I had heard, which prevented me from responding.
"You've been there man. Watch out some bitch could be doing it to you right now."
He flushed, and with the sound of flowing water my dick reappeared and I pissed.
...If anyone would've taken the bet, my life was on whatever girl he came with not being the slightest bit involved with anyone...
I came out of the bathroom after washing my hands. The line for the women's went down the stairs.
I stood on a landing: "My friend just came out of here to go find us a table -- anyone have any idea where he went?" I asked, effectively, every girl on the stairs.
The girl standing right in front of me said
"Yeah, he went through there."
"Thanks so much."
I went through the door-frame-without-a-door and to the second floor's bar. I thought about how all my friends were downstairs... Christ, two of them had come all the way from the other coast just to see me...
But in my mind that schmuck was still pouring out bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch.
I sat on a barstool, turned it away from the bar, and spotted the fucker quickly. He was sitting on a couch, which was across from another couch (both running parallel to my line of sight) on which other guys dressed exactly like him sat (khakis, undershirts that clashed with their long-sleeve, pinstripe, button-up Polos, anyplace-brown shoes). And there were girls with them -- one apiece. The "bitches."
Every one of the guys was more muscular than me -- accomplishing a feat fit for a ten-year-old. But I had skill and speed... But not enough to take down three guys who, when I punched them, would end up less damaged than my own knuckles.
I turned my barstool around and ordered a Stoli on the rocks.
I exhaled from the bottom of my lungs, then turned around with the tumbler in my hand.
I was amazed to see the guy who had previously shit from his mouth leave suddenly to piss again... Or maybe to stumble around for a "bitch" who would appreciate his sensitive nature.
His presence on the couch had hid his leather bomber jacket from my view. It was draped on the couch's back.
I drained my drink and immediately began walking... slow, calm.
I had no idea what I was going to do, but found myself doing this:
I grabbed bathroom-boy's jacket by its collar and slung it over my shoulder, mid-stride.
"Don't worry about it guys," I said to the males (I would kill myself for calling them "men") on the couch, not looking directly at them, not looking away.
As I made my way to the stairs, down to the first floor and out to the insanity of Eighteenth Street Washington DC on a Friday night I didn't hurry, didn't complain when I was held up for a few minutes in the entryway by a girl who had lost her shoe on the stairs. I didn't look behind me.
I was either going to get the shit knocked out of me or I wasn't. I thought of the best position to take to cover my head and internal organs once they had me on the ground.
But I got outside and to the sidewalk to my amazement, and immediately crossed the street. I spun the jacket around my arm like cotton candy around a stick and held it close to my stomach so it couldn't be seen from behind.
Then I walked the mile downhill, home, never looking behind me.
When I got into my apartment, with the locks clacked behind me, I finally took a deep inhale and let out a long exhale.
Why was what I had just done so important to me? Why, from the word "bitch," did I have to harm that piece of shit in some way?
I tried on his jacket. Finding that it fit was an unexpected bonus...
I'm sure the douchebag chalked up his loss to a mindless act of theft...
But it's not about him and never was. It's come to be about the fact that every time I wear that jacket my shoulders go back and my chin comes up and I remember that I can overcome rational fear to do the irrational: what I believe is fair.
22 April, 2008
No matter how fun one's job is, not doing one's job is more so.
I e-mailed that to a friend today and found it at least as profound as "Men and melons are hard to know," by Ben Franklin.
Today I am having a migraine hangover, which my younger brother described beautifully as "like the aftershocks of an earthquake," so I'm going to keep it lazy today.
Yesterday was King-Hell Fibro Day... I finally got my blood drawn so my new doctor, like three former ones, will rule out Celiac Disease as the cause of all that ails me. I didn't mind getting my blood drawn yet again, for reasons I've explained... And maybe it will pay off to be thorough.
Very, very thorough.
Then, because I had driven in the sun before my meds kicked in (OxyContin and Klonopin), I got a brutal migraine. I spent from two p.m. to six a.m. in total darkness, except for the television I was watching, turned down to a near-inaudible level. ...Only I and dogs could have heard it. Though the light and sound from the teevee were incredibly irritating, laying in bed, sore everywhere, my head going supernova, watching it was better than not... Without the idiot box (perhaps that name isn't completely fair because most of what I watch is on History International. ...Wait, why am I showing off my geekdom?) I was left in the dark to contemplate my misery. With the tele on I could contemplate my misery and why certain books and gospels didn't make it into the christian bible.
I recently started reading Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche, and e-mailed a few thoughts about it to my friend along with my proverb. I'm simply going to publish it here and call it a day.
Please feel free to comment on how wrong I am about Nietzsche's views. I read Thus Spake and some of The Antichrist a few years ago, and am sure to be a bit off.
Recycled e-mail, do your thing!:
Beyond Good and Evil is amazing. Nietzsche starts (after a few preliminaries) by saying that truth and morals are not arrived at by philosophers through thought, but that their truth and moral constructions are simply reflections of, and a service to, their prejudices and their own way of life. So their "discoveries" are actually their preconceptions.
So he puts all previous philosophical "findings" into a chamber pot and heaves them out a window.
Then he has the balls to wonder: What about the "evil" mankind does -- which it does most often and quite well... Why isn't "evil," in effect, good, in the sense that people have no predilection to do "good" (especially "good" as christians define it)? (I'm all-but sure he does not end his treatise with the belief that all that is "bad" is "good," but reformulates what is good based on what benefits humans and humankind, their/its happiness, and that everything else is bullshit.)
Nietzsche rails against all previous philosophers for simply carrying water for the ethical constructs of their time and place. Being an atheist, he is free to move into an ethics he considers "beyond good and evil," especially as the concepts were defined by christian philosophers. In fact, I think in The Antichrist he goes further, explicitly stating that everything the christian church teaches is against the good of all people: The seven deadly sins represent the seven ways of being that come most easily to humans. We are lustful, gluttonous (basically we enjoy eating, to oversimplify), greedy, slothful, wrathful, envious, prideful.
And if we weren't all those we wouldn't have survived long enough to invent religion.
I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school until the fourth grade, and was even an altar-boy for a few years. I didn't stop attending mass every Sunday until I went to college, when I was finally able to stop attending altogether. But what eighteen years of being immersed in christianity taught me, above all, was this: that everything I felt or thought or did was a sin to some degree.
Christianity teaches that all that makes one human makes them "evil." And what could possibly be more evil, more like the mouth on the figure in Munch's The Scream than that?
Christians are supposed to choose a mortal life devoid of worth so they can have a life worth living in heaven. Nevermind that the masses living lives in poverty -- and finding fucking glorification in it -- serves all world governments to a T...
...But Nietzschean philosophy is, of course, much more complicated than that (please disregard my personal tirade to make this e-mail coherent) -- and my account of "Beyond Good and Evil" is only a synopsis (that leaves out a lot) of the first half of the first chapter -- but it's interesting as hell (and not Dante's hell, which was a yawn... How can he be thought of as the "great master of the disgusting?" Gimme Hieronymus Bosch!).
It's also given me cause to consider myself a Nietzschean "free spirit" instead of simply an amoral beast.
Which is nice.
21 April, 2008
There comes a point at which even I can't stay in bed feeling sorry for myself.
...But then I came into my office and got behind the computer and knew I couldn't write anything. Not even something completely worthless.
So the best I can do is copy a story I wrote a while ago at a friend's place when I was feeling write-tastic.
...However, this one kinda sucks. Best I can do:
THE SPORTING LIFE
"Fuck. If we don't turn off we're getting mugged."
"Calvin? CALVIN, COME ON!"
V had already crossed to the other side of the street, which I wanted to avoid because there were two teenagers leaning on Section Eight fences at 3:30 a.m. there.
"V, come here" I seethed through my teeth and across the road... But he already had resumed walking.
"Goddam you forever V -- stay close to me."
I crossed the road at a run to wrap his sleeve around my hand, trying to keep him close while he tried to control his legs and walk the straight line of the sidewalk.
I let go of him for one second as I hopped across the gutter, just after we passed the two kids ("What's up?" "What's up."). Then one of the kids was in front of me.
"Gimme your wallet."
I was straddling the yellow lines in the middle of the road.
Where the fuck was a car, even at 3:30?
Oh yeah, not in this neighborhood. Not even a cop car.
"I'm sorry -- What?"
The kid couldn't have been more than fifteen. He shoved a box-cutter (if fucking terrorists caused 9/11 with them, it stands to reason someone will fork over a simple wallet when faced with one) into my stomach, only enough to press in the skin around it.
My eyes, of course, immediately examined the tool, and I immediately saw that the possible cause of my death -- the blade -- was rusty and dull.
If I was to die it would be from infection... Possibly sepsis... The medics would have hours to put Humpty together again.
But fuck -- what did the other guy have... What was he threatening V with... How could I have let him go for that one goddam moment...
"Gimme your damn wallet man."
He wasn't acting calmly enough -- and was too young -- to convince me he had the balls to slit my throat. Only my stomach was in danger... Then again, maybe everyone who dies choking on their own blood in the middle of DC roads thinks this a few spoken sentences before their windpipe feels the wind...
"Look, that's not gonna work out."
"The fuck did your say?"
He pressed the box-cutter harder into me. At that point it still wasn't even cutting the cotton I was wearing.
...Still... What does the other guy have on V? What is my stalling accom--
V came rushing across the street, oblivious to what was going on with me and the kid. He bear-hugged me across the street to the other sidewalk.
It was over. The kids made no effort to follow as I dragged V by his collar as fast as I could.
I made us walk a few blocks out of our way before we came to V's English basement, while trying to explain to him the danger we had been in. When he asked "What?" in utter incomprehension for the fifth time I knew his drunkenness saved both our asses.
I talked to V after I woke on the sofa and he came out of bed. I was happy to discover that he didn't recall anything that had happened past one o'clock of what was technically the same day.
It reminded me of the relief and surprise I felt when, as we shared a bottle of Shiraz before passing out after our encounter, the wine glass didn't shake in my hand.
Tired from the moment I wake up until I finally sleep... Getting 11 hours of sleep a day... Head imploding and ex- at once... Everything aches though I barely can move...
With any luck I'll be done feeling this way by the time it's time to feel this way again, when summer shows its ugly face...
Sorry for not posting. I can't think.
17 April, 2008
Well, it turns out there's a Secret Garden in all of us...
No, wait, There Is a Light That Never Goes Out:
And it's becoming spring in Whatever State I'm In. Which is making me horribly lethargic, apathetic, and given me hysterical pregnancy. I've been sleeping twelve hours of every day since the weather has gotten warmer...
No idea why the changes in weather make me feel awful (though pain is kept to 4/10 with OxyContin), but I have heard it's common for fibromyalgians.
So I'm writing to let you know I have no interest in writing.
15 April, 2008
A girl moved in two doors down, and was the first friendly neighbor I had had in four years of living in my apartment complex in Downtown/Logan/Dupont DC.
We went out for a drink the first Wednesday we met. In the following weeks I would stop at her place to borrow her blow-dryer, which I used as a makeshift-iron when I needed to look decent (which wasn't too often). She called me whenever she had a spider or roach crawling up her wall.
The first time she called me I went over simply to tell her that, as a rule, I do not kill things. That, whenever an insect makes its presence known in my apartment I simply scoop it up with newspaper and let it our the door.
"And that's why this place is infested!"
Sure, she was right, but I don't like the thoughts that go through my head just before I kill anything sentient.
The thoughts I have before I eat anything (formerly) sentient are all about my taste buds' alacrity... But I don't kill things myself. I let others do it in massive murder factories, which makes me somewhat morally superior to those who do not, of course...
"Are you done already?"
I should have been. I rolled up the newspaper as I stared at the bug, asked its forgiveness (which I'm sure I did not get) and killed it simply because she wanted it dead.
She and I had a drink and a bug-killing session (not on the same days... We didn't toast the insects' extinction) about once a week until one night when she called me, frantic.
I looked everywhere in her studio and couldn't see anything. Then I moved to her dressing room/bathroom and asked
"What should I do? It's gone."
"Uh... Should I open your medicine chest and all that shit too?"
"Do whatever!" she yelled from a perch on a stool.
I immediately went to her medicine chest, recalling when I had seen a cockroach climbing on my own toothbrush (immediately discarded -- with everything else that was in its vicinity) in my own medicine chest, and also recalling my days as a drug addict. On what had become instinct, I immediately went for where I knew pills would be.
I found a single brown bottle, the label facing away from me, more than half-full. Saliva flooded my mouth as I checked over my shoulder and, to make sure she was still in the other room, yelled
"I don't see the thing here!"
"Look harder!" Her voice came from the same spot in the same room where I'd last seen her.
I turned the bottle around and the label shouted VALTREX.
She had herpes.
I never had been afraid of catching an STD, even when I was fucking the sluttiest girl in Whatever State University without a condom every weekday, while cheating on her and being cheated on on the weekends (and sure neither of us was using condoms then, either). (I was in the running for sluttiest guy on campus.)
But fear got me then, cold and irrational.
I came quickly out of the dressing/bathroom.
"Look, roaches can go anywhere. The one you saw is on the sixth floor by now" (we lived on the eighth).
"Stick around for a while. I have some rum... And I can't stand the thought of..." She went on and I wasn't listening.
She thought she was more attractive than she was and interesting by virtue of being younger than me. I hadn't tried to fool around with her, however, because her face was pockmarked and she was a horrible tipper. And now the bottle...
"Look, I'm not killing anything anyway."
I was closing the door behind me:
"Naturally, I realize how my inability to find and kill an insect means I have a Tic-Tac dick.
I went to my apartment and, still irrational, took a very hot, very long shower.
cuts me slowly,
jaggedly and deep--
Every minute I'm
lapping my own
blood to delay
death from thirst
and for the iron
I'm posting this so, hopefully, readers who have fibromyalgia can get to this post quickly to find out what works and what doesn't. Here's what works:
OxyContin, tailored to the dose you, personally, need, for instance. But different people in chronic pain need different narcotics. Which is to write, as I have before, that some fibromyalgians will benefit most from hydrocodone, some from morphine, and so on.
The take-away from this being that the only thing that will reduce your pain by an appreciable level is a narcotic analgesic. Fuck anyone and anything that touts a "natural" cure.
Well, I got ahead of myself: Fuck anything that says it's a "cure." By definition, fibro is incurable. If you thought you had fibro but it went away through one or another action(s), you didn't have fibro and please shut the fuck up because the people who actually have it are being hoist with your petard by the thousands.
My own mother told me about someone she knows who has fibro, but who does not experience daily, constant pain. I had to refer her to the exact diagnostic criteria to show her she had a hypochondriac (or wicked asshole) on her hands (and wasn't told the name of the person because I wanted to track her down and give her a taste of the pain she, despite "having fibro," wasn't in. ...Such is the insanity induced by my pain.)
Fibro is coming to encompass too many things that it is not because of inept doctors and moronic patients.
Anyone who knows anything about fibro is a pain specialist, pure, simple. And knows: Fibro is pain. Treat it with painkillers.
There are diets you can read about that claim they can cure you. If the diet cures you, you have Celiac's Disease, not fibro. Both cause quite similar symptoms.
Please, everyone who does not have fibro, shut the fuck up so fibromyalgians can be treated properly, so the disorder can get some goddam respect -- stop keeping us in the limbo of having been diagnosed with a pseudo-disorder, while you can simply cut gluten out of your diet and live pain-free, but unable to eat pizza.
...Trust me: Fibromyalgians feel your pain, douchebag.
2) NOTHING ELSE.
Only narcotic analgesics help people with fibro.
Sure, Lyrica may bring your pain down one number on the pain scale, but the extra fifty pounds you gain that it puts on your joints and vertebra are going to put your pain right back where it was.
Cymbalta: Doctors will be happy to give you this, along with thirty-or-so pills/injections that will do nothing or next to it, instead of prescribing you narcotics. (Pain relief from an NSRI. ...If I could laugh at that I wouldn't be able to catch my breath and drop dead, blue as a Smurf...)
However it is, by its weak ability to increase the amount of dopamine in one's brain (not by increasing norepinephrine, as most docs will say) also capable of bringing your pain down maybe one point on the scale.
But you'll still feel suicidally painful if you actually have fibro.
In short: Narcotics are the answer. Narcotics are the only treatment that works for fibromyalgia.
This must be accepted by doctors, and narcotic analgesic treatment must be insisted upon by patients (please see previous posts for all the crap I had to go through to finally get chronic opioid analgesic therapy).
If your pain isn't enough to make you cry your lungs out every day for a dose of morphine or oxycodone, chances are you don't have fibro and you're harming everyone who actually has the disorder. Find out what you really have, and don't let your doctor diagnose you as a fibromyalgian despite the fact you don't have a single trigger/tender point.
If your pain hasn't made you wish you were dead since it started, please get the correct diagnosis and shut the fuck up about fibromyalgia.
Please, as this disease becomes understood, let doctors and patients realize, together, the only effective treatment for it: narcs.
To anyone who can be helped with anything else enough to matter: You don't have fibro. You're not helping yourself by being misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, and you're hurting everyone who has fibromyalgia by going with whatever bullshit treatment you're being given (I could go into cortisol here) and finding that it helps your so-called fibromyalgia...
I understand that fibro is irresistable to hypochondriacs... Fibro is quite an easy disorder to pretend you have if you do your homework.
The problems is that you fuckers are helped with placebos, with Lyrica, with Cymbalta -- you're in studies yourselves and keeping out true fibromyalgians and making sure that our treatment stays bullshit.
To all fibro-pretenders: Just let me press down with my thumb on a certain place in your lower back for about thirty seconds, and we'll know what you have and do not have.
[Jesus, did the ire rise today. And I've been happy all day, too. ...I never know what's in my head until I sneeze it out.
Pain: 4/5. Debilitating, the best it will get... though I may want to think about upping to 50mg Oxy next month... Still too soon to say for sure -- I need to see exactly what 40mg can do, and it's been only a week now.
Anxiety: 4/10. Debilitating, the best it will get.
I would not dare complain that my conditions are managed as well as they are... I believe I feel the best I possibly can.
Still, I do miss being able to lift more than ten pounds...]
14 April, 2008
I had to sleep for 24 hours from Saturday and into an hour ago -- ah, sweet chronic fatigue syndrome -- so I haven't posted in a bit.
Yesterday I would sleep for five to six hours, until my pain would come back as my OxyContin wore off, then I would take a pill at the predetermined time. (Every day I make a med schedule as soon as I wake up so my OxyContin and Klonopin doses are as spaced out as they should be to make it possible for me to suffer the least amount possible.) And when the pills(s) would kick in I would go back to sleep.
Sleeping all day Sunday was preceded by my hanging out in downtown Lummox Saturday night. I dressed well -- a habit from living in DC and being taught what to wear and why by my best friend, a gay guy with impeccable taste -- which was suitable for where I had dinner... Which consisted of crispy duck with a spicy-sweet plum sauce that had been injected beneath a crispy, fried skin, paired with an IPA. With a few notable exceptions, the best thing to pass between my lips since I left DC -- by far.
But the place closed at 11, and I wanted to see if I could run into anyone I knew at the sports bar a parking lot away in the block-in-any-direction downtown. I succeeded, and hoisted a few with people I hadn't seen since high school, buying Jager shots for anyone who wanted them.
The good thing about offering Jager shots: not many takers. Especially good when one has absolutely no income...
So I walked around the bar, which was having karaoke night. Some people sang songs from the '80s that weren't even cool then. The rest sung country songs, which was what I expected.
I mingled with the local girls, and was pegged as gay, most likely, by a large number of them because I wasn't wearing jeans, sneakers and a flannel shirt. Otherwise I was written off as an outsider most likely conducting some kind of sociological experiment. Which they did not flatter themselves with -- it would make me "in the mist," and them gorillas.
The girls were stuffed into their tacky clothes like sausage into most-unnatural casing. The most attractive woman there would be considered hideously overweight in DC. (Just as I would be... While I lived in DC I committed the following crime against humanity: I didn't have a personal trainer.) The funniest thing, I thought, was that saying "hi" apparently counts as a pick-up line in Lummox, and not a conversation starter. I even thought, once or twice, that I was going to get a light beer tossed in my face for my having the temerity to simply greet women in the customary, two-letter, manner.
I hung about for an hour or so, appreciating (unironically) the differences between the scene in Lummox and the scene(s) in DC.
I especially appreciated the fact there's a place I can go to for perhaps the best duck in the United States -- a place where dressing well is expected... And blighted only by the fact that to pick up a woman there you have to be able to work magic on a married forty-year-old, which is beyond me.