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.

Pity me.

I hope to improve or get on Aderral or Ritalin -- prescription amphetamines -- soon.

More to come! Till next, try not to enjoy:

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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?”

“Good, now.

“So how have you been in the ten years since we last talked to each other?”

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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.

Enough self-pity.

For today.

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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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:


"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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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:

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


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.

Happy birthday!

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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.

A roach.

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."

"Check everywhere!"

"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."

"Big Man!"

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.

"...Sleep well."

I went to my apartment and, still irrational, took a very hot, very long shower.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

it's you it's you it's you

Knowing that
cuts me slowly,
jaggedly and deep--
Every minute I'm
lapping my own
blood to delay
death from thirst
and for the iron
-tasting warmth.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


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.


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...]

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

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.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

11 April, 2008


Let me preface this story by saying my parents' house is on a golf course, and we can see holes three and four from windows at the back of the home:

At seven this morning I was golfing hole four on the course, using nothing but a five iron, because I really need to figure out how that damn thing works. I've never been able to hit well with irons that aren't eight or nine.

I was out while the sun was rising and the dew was forming, knocking around about ten balls I had carried with me in my hoodie's pouch. On the fairway I watched all the neighbors' houses light up one by one as the people inside awoke and got ready for work and school. Personally, I was still awake from the previous night, going through one of my bouts of insomnia, which hit me about every other day. (I used to be on a ton of sleep meds to regulate my sleeping, but stopped taking them months ago because who wants to miss out on four a.m. infomercials and, especially, golfing practice at sunrise?)

By hitting the ten-or-so balls I had brought I was able to determine that, if I'm lucky enough to have a ball that lies on completely flat ground, I can hit a five iron reasonably straight, and about 150 yards. (...I should note that my distance is awful compared to any five year old who picks up a club for his/her first time.)

If the ball is on a downhill or uphill lie, I pop the ball up and slice the living hell out of it in the latter case; in the former case I succeed in excavating the fairway almost down to clay and zipping the ball about ten feet along the ground.

...Which looks cool at dawn. The ball whizzes along the ground, throwing the early-morning moisture off the blades of grass about ten feet high.

When I was done I walked down our road back home in my jeans and black hoodie, quite aware that if I do shit like this on a semi-regular basis the parents in my cloistered neighborhood are going to start thinking an insane person has invaded their sacred community to steal golf and bugger their children.

"All I can tell you, officer, is that if he thinks that weird Quaker-beard-thing on his face looks good, he must be nutty as an acorn."

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

10 April, 2008


OK... So posting ABBA without explanation has me feeling a little vulnerable.

As a cover:

The best band ever from the best live show ever, one of the best songs ever:

Stop Making Sense!

Girlfriend Is Better!

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


Here's Dancing Queen live.

I could explain why it's here, why it's important to me, despite ABBA being everything wrong with everything...

But won't beyond noting: for A.E.

Now let love in...

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


I just woke up from a nap. Goddam my goddam head hurts so so so much ("faithful" readers can take pleasure in the fact this blasphemer is stewing in his own sin)...

...I fell asleep just before I was supposed to take my second dose of OxyContin, and am now waiting for it to kick in, having taken it within 30 seconds of waking -- four hours off schedule.

...The same migraine as every day, but unmitigated by drugs... Railroad spike through my right eye, another through the right temple... The skin and (seemingly) bone on the right half of my face and head firing nerves that yell loud as Godzilla pain pain pain... I can't stand the sound of my fingers hitting the keys but have to type, to do something to take my mind off the agony... Even if it won't won't won't work how could it ever... Pain jumps from the tips of my fingers, reverberates, amplifying itself every time it seems to bounce from one inner surface of my skull to another... Every square millimeter of the air attacking me like a million manta stings to the eyes through the simple act of seeing...

But in an hour all this will be a shadow.

How did I survive with these fucking migraines for so long without strong painkillers?

...Oh yeah, I was going to kill myself if Dr ML&S didn't intervene.

...It's a pity party! And only those who brought gifts can redeem their invitations...

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

09 April, 2008


Yesterday I walked around the local skate park because the outdoor section just opened for the year. Then I walked around the local college's campus to see what I am missing now that I can't skate.

...Why the masochism?...

And, since I can't skate, I made up this story on what happened yesterday. I made sure the experience sucked so I wouldn't hate the fact that I'm now lame and can only walk.

...Maybe I need Heelys...

Anyway: "Yesterday":

Skating sucked yesterday... In the outdoor section, all the (wooden) ramps at the skate park were warped from the winter, and dropping in was like picking my way through a minefield... "OK I'll drop in here, have to miss those nails and that indentation (on the vertical part of the ramp, no less), then deal with the crack right before the fun box (at some parks not-so-aptly named), then immediately get my feet together for a 180 -- but have to jump before the exposed screw at the top of the box -- then land and navigate fakie (backwards) between the water puddles."

After only two hours of dealing with the not-so-fun boxes and treacherous ramps I ended up going to Lummox University. The place is even more of a skate park now than it was when I was a teenager, learning everything I know now. I was totally blown away: the perfect street course. Rails of all lengths and gradations of steepness, a huge gap to 180 over that allowed you to choose, by picking your launch spot, how far you needed to jump and how far you wanted to drop, and on and on.

And all within an area the size of a football field.

Why did I even go to the park? I already had jammed my left shoulder by misjudging my speed when launching to a disaster soul... I had no idea I would be going as fast as I was, since I hadn't dropped in on the ramp I used until that trick, and so I seemed to hang in the air after my jump, waiting to come down to earth so my skates could catch the ledge. My back skate did, but by then my front foot didn't know what to do with itself. I had almost launched the entire fun box, and I was straightening my skate out to land on the flat just when it caught the last half-foot of the ledge.

This made my front foot wash over the top of the ledge. which led to my entire body spinning ninety degrees atop the ledge, then to me taking the two-foot drop (from ledge to ground -- five feet for my shoulder) on my shoulder. At speed.

Back to the university:

I decided to give it a go at my favorite rail of all time -- an aluminum tube made smooth by thousands of previous grinds, hundreds of them my own -- long enough to make you proud you could actually lock in and ride out your grind for that long, but not long enough that if you fell you would be going too fast and hurt yourself (the rail runs down eleven steps).

I had a porn star (grind -- my balance mostly on the soul of my front skate, my back skate on the rail between my second and third wheels) locked in on my fourth try, but was a little off balance when I came off the rail fakie, my preferred may to dismount rails (the best-looking), with my left wheels not quite level with the ground. My boot was almost sliding along the concrete -- and all my weight was on that skate. This caused me to bend my knees until my ass almost touched the ground and my arms to spin like windmill blades as I attempted to get my balance onto my right skate.

Suddenly my left foot gave out entirely. My left skate's ankle strap exploded which, I soon found out, carved scrapes into my lower leg as it buckled into the skate. The scrapes on my lower leg, together, look like a shark bite.

(From pseudo-landing the grind to buckle explosion took only about two seconds, in which I covered a distance of about five feet.)

Naturally, I immediately removed the broken skate and heaved it into a wall while yelling FUCK! as loud as I could. I had almost proved to myself that I was perhaps three-fourths as good a skater as I had been almost a decade ago.

...My behavior is not kid-friendly in that it is completely childish, I thought as some parents who walked by gave me reproachful looks, holding their kid's head between them as though trying to insulate his mind from the word I had yelled. They turned away from me the moment I looked at them, vehement, likely afraid that my anger at botching the landing could be turned on them...

I calmed down an iota as I thought the situation over, seething while examining my skate: that's what the ankle strap is for: to break in a situation that would otherwise break your ankle. So I suppose I can't complain too much.

I should definitely use the broken-skate-thing as a reason/excuse to finally quit skating... But my christ it's harder to give up than smoking...

[Lots of fiction lately. I apologize, but guarantee it's more interesting than any presentation I could give of my actual life.

In case you're curious:

Pain seems to be about 5/10 with 40mg OxyContin daily, but more experience at this dose is, of course, necessary.

Anxiety with 6mg Klonopin daily: 5/10. A friend and I agreed a few days ago that "If you're not freaked right the fuck out all the time, you're not thinking hard enough."

...The things you let yourself believe to get by...]

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

07 April, 2008


I've been in my bed, balled-up into the fetal position for the past few days because the seasons appear to be changing. When there's a major shift in the weather, fibromyalgians feel like shit for some reason.

I couldn't eat all weekend, slept about 12 hours a day (which still wasn't enough), but spent quality time with my TiVo, which had been neglected since I have been reading lately... Around the time I started taking OxyContin...

(It would seem Oxy has increased my ability to concentrate rather than diminished it, the latter being what almost all doctors tell you it will do. "Do you want to be a zombie the rest of your life?"... I now am able to concentrate on novels because I can take quite a bit of my focus off how much I hurt.)

But I feel better today. Due, I have no doubt, to the fact I saw Dr ML&S today and he bumped up my daily dose of OxyContin from 30mg to 40mg.

Because my IBS was horrendous over the weekend, I'll be getting a blood test, probably next Monday, to make sure I don't have Celiac Disease. (If I do, all my problems could stem from an allergy to gluten.) Which, of course, I've been tested for a few times already, and don't have.

But I simply do not say no to Dr ML&S. The way I look at it, to do so would be akin to telling the man who just pulled my drowned body out of a pool and resuscitated me that no, he can't borrow a screwdriver.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

05 April, 2008


She got home to find me sipping syrah and watching television.

"How was work?"

She tossed her keys onto the small table by the window where we used to eat dinner together, stopped for a moment to glare at me, then went into the kitchen.

Almost immediately she was back, purposely standing in front of the TV, with a half-full garbage bag in her hand. She raised it shoulder-high and let it drop.

"What is this?"

"It's a garbage bag that could use more refuse before it makes sense to discard it."

"What did I ask you to do before I left this morning?"

"To empty the garbage from the kitchen. But when I saw what I was dealing with I thought we should throw away more garbage than the plastic that contains it."

We stared at each other.

"Sweetness, it's Double Jeopardy now and you're kind of in the way."

She pressed the Power button on the TV set.

I pressed the Power button on the remote.

She pulled the TV's cord from the electrical outlet.

"You had all day. I asked you to do only one thing."

"And I thought that one thing was ridiculous."

Her eyes were huge for her face and, terribly, all the more gorgeous and absorbing when she was in a fury...

"Get the fuck out of my house."

"I love you" -- I stood, stating a fact I had to reiterate so often it had come to insult both of us -- "I'll take the bag out."

"No. Get the fuck out of my house."


As I went for the bag she went for the telephone in the hall.

"And I'm calling my Dad. He'll be here in twenty minutes."

I knew she kept a loaded gun in the bedroom closet, the location of which she never told me in our months of living together.

"Fucking fine. Tell your Dad I said hello and that his fucking daughter needs to get back on her fucking meds."

"I'm dialing."

I yanked the door open and slammed it behind me.

The trash remained in the middle of the room.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

04 April, 2008


[I wrote this e-mail in a fugue...]

How I feel about you makes no sense to me...

I thought I could hate you. I thought I could live the rest of my life without knowing that you're all right.

It seems I must simply accept that I cannot.


All the things you said to me when we talked last are exactly what you need to convey to your ex...

But I don't want to throw the ashes of that conversation into the wind and bring them back in our faces.

I want to write, simply, that I somehow cannot stop caring about you -- and not because I want you sexually or whatever whatever...

You are a huge part of my history. And I don't want whatever we are to and for each other to be just that -- the past and only.

It makes me feel horrible to write that I need you... Just you, to be alive, to exist, to enjoy your life... And that not knowing that you are, that you are, that you do, will take something from me... Diminish me.

I cannot understand what I have just written...

I can only surmise that I miss you.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

la tristesse durera toujours

Every person
knows exactly where
his heart is and
Van Gogh kept
his intact.

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

03 April, 2008


This is Intervention and Wake Up (performed at the T), my two favorite songs by The Arcade Fire.

I've seen these guys twice. The first time I saw them they were on their first tour, visiting the 9:30 club in Wash., DC. Watch out for the guy with the crazy hair, the big drum, the harpsichord, the guitar, the tambourine, the kitchen sink. At 9:30 he left the stage at the end of the show by climbing the wall somehow, swinging over to the balcony and going through a Staff Only door.

Until that show I had only listened to the (first) album a few times, and liked it quite a lot. Still, at the time I was into an all-Arts-&-Crafts-bands-all-the-time kick. But a friend of mine knew if he invited me I wouldn't turn him down (I owe that bastard) because I'll see any band, within reason.

(Wow. I could knock so many bands right now... Good thing fibro fog is preventing me, right now, from coming up with any bands I hate... And recalling bands I hate likely is further complicated by the fact that I don't listen to them or think about them.)

Moving along: Since the show at 9:30 I've loved the Fire intensely (my wordplay, especially when unintentional, makes me cringe). In my not-humble opinion (all who disagree are simply wrong), seeing Wake Up live will change your life forever, and much for the better. There's nothing like screaming/moaning at the top of one's lungs in tune with thousands of people... Cathartic.

The last time I saw them I knew I had fibro. I screamed and screamed.

Everyone screamed with me.

[I likely will not post tomorrow since I will be getting back, then, from a short trip I'm taking today. I'd rather not go, however, because I forgot to take my Oxy last night and wish I had died in my sleep and was on the coroner's slab right now instead of about to go someplace and have to put on a smiley... But I am proud of myself, at least, for not doubling-up this morning...

I'll be getting back here late tomorrow night. Traveling makes me super-anxious, so I'll be drunk as hell when I return and just crawl into bed. ...That's the plan at least.

PS: The above "drunk as hell" bit was a lie. I would never drink on OxyContin, Klonopin and Prozac. What am I, stupid, and with anxiety that can't be controlled, when travel is involved, even by the holy trinity (POK)? The nerve (of me to pretend I know what you actually thought after reading what I wrote)!

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon

02 April, 2008


I've been trolling YouTube and just had to post this. This song has been popping up in my head every month or so since I heard it more than a decade ago.

I've always loved this song but never have seen the video.

...So enjoy one of the best songs ever recorded and one of the... videos... recorded.

Sing along with the Common People!

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon


I received an itemized bill today that gives a near-complete breakdown of the treatments I received from Dr 9 and their costs. Please note that there was absolutely no long-term improvement in my pain during this time. (The only relief was from Demerol and an IV of Toradol. Each lasted only a few hours.)

Also please note the insane expense I had to go to with Dr 9. Please compare it with the expense of seeing Dr ML&S, who has enormously enhanced my quality of life and greatly reduced my pain:

Visit: $25 copay
OxyContin: $10 copay

SHAMELESS BEGGING: You hitting the DONATE button on your right would be pretty freaking sweet right about now!

Trigger-point injections: Marcaine (a cousin of lidocaine) was injected into various trigger points in my shoulders and back to try to ease my pain. They didn't. At all. Most doctors seem to believe that if one's trigger points are "taken care of," fibro pain will go away. Bullshit, stupid, false info that needs to be erased.
Depo-medrol: Steroid. Ineffective.
Demerol: Heaven when given IM. Narcotic analgesic.
Phenergan: Probably used in my treatment as a sedative/pain reliever. Completely ineffective.
Toradol: NSAID: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory: Stupid. Fibro does not involve inflammation. But IV Toradol was somewhat effective at easing my pain. IM it was useless (I received it only once IV, and so when is not noted below. Apologies.)
Tigan: Given to combat the constant nausea from my daily migraines. Somewhat effective. Given on every visit but the first few, though not noted on the bill.
Nubain: Some kind of bullshit-wannabe-narcotic. Given for pain. Not effective... Or was it? I'm having a fibro fog day... Locked keys in a running car... Please see the post on or after the day I was given Nubain to read what I really thought about it.
Benadryl: Explained here only to be thorough: Antihistamine. Why would a fibromyalgian be given this shit IV? Hell if I know...
IM: Intramuscular: This is shorthand to note that the drug was injected into my ass muscles.
IV: Intravenous: You know this and I know you know -- explaining to be thorough: shorthand for noting the drug or "treatment" was injected into a vein.

Office/outpatient visit: $225
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Depo-medrol IM, 80mg: $30

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Depo-medrol IM, 80mg: $30

Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Demerol IM, 100mg: $5
Phenergan IM, 50mg: $7
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Drain/inject small joint or bursa: $125
Depo-medrol IM, 40mg: $22
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Depo-medrol IM, 20mg: $8

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $220
Injection administration: $20
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48
Nubain IM, 10mg: $10
Tigan, swallowed, 200mg: $16

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Depo-medrol IM, 80mg: $30

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Depo-medrol IM, 80mg: $30

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Phenergan IM, 50mg: $7
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48
Demerol IM, 100mg: priceless. Lame joke and I apologize: $5

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Benadryl HCL IV, 50mg: $5
IV hydration (because I was in so much pain I could no longer eat or drink -- even water -- IBS, nausea, on and on... The nurse blew out one of my veins that day, and it hurts to this one, nearly two months later): $105
IV push (of Benadryl. ...That's right, I was charged the following amount for someone pushing a syringe's plunger): $25

Office/outpatient visit: $70 (for some reason... Or none at all.)
Multiple trigger-point injections: $100
Injection administration: $20
Toradol IM, 15mg: $48

Office/outpatient visit: $105
Toradol IM, 15mg: $12
IV infusion for therapy (likely hydration): $105
IV push (gimme the syringe so I can press down with my thumb, dammit!): $25
IV all other solutions (who knows what the hell went in my vein that day): $5

Add to Mixx! Mixx it! StumbleUpon