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Since the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud has chosen to revert to her maiden name, in a bid to make her seem more human, from this page forward, I will refer to her as Hanna-Marie Malamud
Friday. . . Here it is Friday and I've pretty much retired to my cave watching discs number four and five of Ken Burns' six-DVD movie about World War II, and trying to square those hundreds of thousands of Americans dying with my whining about virtually nothing sixty-three years later.
I've always told myself that if I could die saving the life of someone else, preferably a stranger, that that would at least give my death purpose. It would not give my life purpose though would it? And now, with my cuter-than-a-bulldog-puppy grandson around once every week to grin wildly at me, I don't know that I'd have the guts to do something that would cause me to leave him, or Mainio, or Aili, or Santeri, my eldest who hates me. Or Hanna-Marie.
Such cheery thoughts, eh? Probably comes with my latest challenge that won't let me quit drinking too much. Dammit. Just can't cut out the old demon alcohol for more than a day. It truly is a 'one day at a time struggle.' But it's my will power versus the easy high from golden liquid known as tequila. It's not like it's something insurmountable. Is it?
Not to end on a sour note this second day of May 2008, I can remember driving slowly around last May, from client to client, while listening to the classical music flowing from the radio that, combined with the unbelievably sweet-smelling Spring weather, and the painted sunsets of Arizona, forced my spirits to soar.
Thursday. . . Ooops. Been drinking tequila since 1:30am this morning and now it is 6:34am. It's a good thing that I do not have to work today. I've just switched to Grand Marnier liquor. Went to the 24 Hour Wal*Mart on Tatum & Shea and found they had changed their hours to close at 11:00PM. Gosh.
Right now I'm waiting for my Swanson's Hungry-Man Mexican Style Fiesta 'TV' dinner to finish cooking after forty minutes in my over pre-heated to 350F degrees. But now I feel pressure behind my forehead that feels like it wants to extend beyond my skull.
Understand that I've inherited the particular Finish genetics so that I do not suffer from 'hang-overs' unless I ingest an amount of alcohol that would kill a 'normal', non-American Native, individual. When you are young and single, that ability is an advantage.
But it is not an advantage if you look like Steve Buscemi rather than Brad Pitt or George Clooney. For I would drink so much that I would black out. Black outs during which I would appear to be totally conscious but was rendered unable to remember a single thing I did.
Remember the 'good old days' when I would post these columns drunker than a Ted Kennedy? Well, this is one of those times. I just switched to Yellow Tail Merlot, from my Grand Marnier, a wine which would melt the ivory off of the teeth of the un-initiated, and it tastes as sweet as a naval orange.
I have no idea why I continue to slurp the alcohol far beyond the point of flying higher than Superman, well...why? I have no idea. I assume I am an addict. And knowing that, I have, no matter how blasted I was, never tried anything stronger than marijuana.
The beeper is screaming, telling me that my Swanson's TV Dinner is finished. I gulp down the dregs of my Merlot and stumble off to the oven.
Friday. . . I've been sadder, but not by any measurable degree. I think being depressed would be an improvement from where I am. I can barely type today's entry. I'm baking a corn tortilla with cheese on it and two pieces of pepperoni for my breakfast this morning. To be followed with one-half a can of Bush's Maple Cured Bacon Baked Beans. And it doesn't even bother me. Much.
I own one of those can openers that slices below the lid, and I'm wondering if I should carefully clean out the beans, so that I may hide something valuable inside a can that has "Baked Beans" clearly written on the outside. But I have nothing valuable left to place within its rounded walls.
I've been thinking a lot about ending it all by chugging two two-liter bottles of Diet Coke followed four rolls of Mentos (not sure what flavor) and be the witness to the top of my skull being blown off by the resulting 'accident'.
I've got a lot of hope riding on my new psychologist, who I will have waited to see one month by the time I see her. I've scouted out her office, hidden away off of Mescal Street in Scottsdale. What an appropriate name, eh? 'Mescal' is a form of tequila, the form that almost always has the worm in the bottle. But, my regular readers know I've been struggling with the demon tequila for many multiple of months now. I've never struggled with the worm, although I do enjoy letting a lucky Cactus Wren eat the soused nymph.
My last counselor instantly became my friend, as I'm quite easy to like (except if you happen to be the XXL large-breasted Laura S.G.) and told me I would not go to Hell if I committed suicide. I can't blame him for liking me, sometimes even I like me, but to tell a suicidal patient that what he sincerely believes about the penalties of suicide is wrong, is just plain dumb.
I never saw him again.
Thursday. . . Don't feel like writing. Don't feel like reading. I feel like eating and sleeping, which is pretty much all I do these days. I've put off writing here because I have nothing uplifting to say and the whole reason for this site was to offer encouragement. I can say I've never been closer to calling it quits, all the while knowing that my learned helplessness response is providing the fuel for my depression.
Used an image search to find a rare publicity photo of the ex-Mrs.Dr.Malamud, Hanna-Marie. Poor dear she looked even more bloated than myself.
At first I felt the hot and sour breath of Elation as She spoke "Good." But then I felt so sorry for Hanna-Marie, for in her singular search for personal happiness, she could not have realized that dissolving our marriage would generate such a tsunami-wave of hardships across our family, while leaving her on a barren isle of sadness.
The other day the advertising sign showing the temperature read 110F degrees at this hour, today it's reading 63F degrees.
Mainio just phoned to invite me to go to Blockbuster to pick up National Treasure: Book of Secrets, for our viewing pleasure tonight, before his better half comes home from work at 9:30pm.
What will I do, how will I behave, when, as he must, he moves away?
Friday. . . The windows of the Starbucks are steamed up. It's 9pm and it's been raining on and off all day and we're looking at a low of 55F degrees, where a couple of days ago the high was exactly double that. I think I've seen windows fogged like this in movies filmed back east.
What a difference a day makes. What a difference two days without drinking alcohol makes. I feel so much better.
Isn't it odd that 'depressives' seek out activities, like swilling tequila, that prolong, or extend, or better yet, insure their continued bouts of depression? Life is so odd. It would be like a person with a wound, who kept tearing out the scab-encrusted stitches so that the wound could be opened up again. The hurt could begin again.
In any case, if I can keep away from the demon alcohol for an extended period, I could definitely see my situation(s) improve--because it is all in your attitude.
You either have an overall positive attitude, or some hidden drive (that even you may not be aware of) and then, you succeed. With success being whatever each person for himself or herself determines it is. All the while knowing that you cannot lie to yourself about what success for you is.
I was just thinking again today, whether I'd have sex with anyone other than myself, ever again.
Dead at Sixty-One...Today is day three without the demon alcohol and I really don't miss it or crave it or lick my lips thinking about it. However, I do lick my lips thinking about the lovely Laura San Giacomo. I also dream about her and shape my mash potatoes in the shape of LSG, like Ray Schneider's character did in the movie, 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Only Schneider molded one mountain where I mold two.
There will, soon enough come a time, a stressor, a slight from me being the only driver in Arizona who comes to a full stop at stop signs, and only exceeds the posted speed limit by 9mph, where I feel a need for a drink...
I've read that any habit is undone, unlearned, by being replaced with another, hopefully more healthful habit.
Currently I'm replacing the tantalizing tequila, golden juice of the gods, with food--for when I eat, I don't feel the urge to drink. Prior to attaining a Michael Moore girth, I'll be forced to replace the food with either prescription psych medicine or exercise or both. I'm leaning towards the exercise because I'm getting way too, as they say, "heavy", and far too old not to be in decent shape.
I'm in such poor condition, I could soon be pleading from carpet level, to my upstairs neighbors, who wear wooden Dutch golf shoes, while they bowl with twenty two pound octagon-shaped balls on their hardwood floor, "I've fallen and I can't get up."
I neglected to reveal my main method used to halt my constant alcohol consumption. And that is, I simply ran out of tequila, beer, whiskey, wine and rubbing alcohol (all on the same day--go figure) and did not restock my liquor cabinet, which is to the left of the shelves I stack my one dollar cans of Hormel Chili on.
And with my so sad income, it's not like I'm going to drop by Off the Hook Martini and Sushi Bar, and suck down a six dollar shot of Sauza followed by an eight dollar fork full of sushi and tapeworm eggs.
Hanna Marie phoned me this 70F degree overcast Saturday--only the second time since our one-half-decade earlier divorce. Santeri, our oldest boy, genetic father has died. At age sixty-one. From the effects of a life time of drinking alcohol. He passed away alone, in his trailer, and lay undiscovered for several days in the Arizona heat.
Isn't that one of our greatest fears? To die alone and to rot undiscovered? Such is my fate if I don't get a handle on things.
Twenty-two years ago this night I witnessed the birth of Mainio, my youngest son. Coincidentally, his mother, Hanna-Marie, was also there. Sixty-four years ago today Allied Troops landed in Normandy, France to begin their rush towards Berlin, Germany and the end of World War II.
Friday . . . After one month of waiting to see my psychologist, I finally did see my psychologist.
Of course I was limited to the list of doctors (this one being a Ph.D., not an M.D.) contracted with my health care provider, but it was a long list. As a matter of fact, I already had a link to this doctor's practice on this very web page. Small world, eh?
My co-pay was $30, and the doctor invoices my insurance $150. $150 an hour, for thirty bucks? What health care crisis? Sure, my health insurance premium is a chunk out of my paycheck, but with 20 visits pre-allowed a year, I'll soon recover every dollar I paid in this year--and it better not take 20 visits to 'fix' me either, dammit.
Last month, as I read the psychologist's biographies on their website, I discounted the male and chose the woman. The woman psychologist I saw today.
Unlike the rest of us, she was bright, cheery, slim and pulling down $150 an hour. Nice.
Her biography revealed her specialty to be children, but I prefer women and probably most of my challenges come from my own childhood. And the rest from * beginning to drink alcohol before I was old enough to drive and thereby blurring a period of maturing that cannot ever be replicated. She did not say that, or discover that, I simply have known that for years.
* Parents: That is why you absolutely must keep your babies away from any alcohol at all--ever prior to the age of eighteen.
(That is called 'parenting.')
Apparently the first two or three sessions will be to bring the doctor up to speed on my situation(s). After that, we begin to face my challenges.
But one thing she immediately spotted, and this is why we all need individuals outside of ourselves (co-workers, friends, pastors) to tell us what they see when they look at us. What they see us doing wrong, ('Wrong' being doing something that just cannot work out), or what they don't see us doing.
She noted that I had not had one single positive-feeling moment, lasting longer than an occasional burst of insane laughter, since I had stopped my Wellbutrin-XL SSRI prescription.
Of course, that might be due to the fact that, pretty much in the same motion, as I carefully placed my brown, round, plastic container of Wellbutrin-XL onto my medicine cabinet, my arm returned with a 1.75 liter jug of golden Jose Cuervo tequila.
Yes, I have a large medicine cabinet.
Far less dramatic, this morning I had my second $30-copay powered consultation with my lady psychologist.
I've thought that her odd style might not suit my uninhibited, brutish, utterances, farts, burps and sneezing fits, but then again, she comes out with-- she lets slip, that she knows exactly what I'm saying. Knows exactly what I'm feeling.
After all her specialty, as I read it before choosing her from the dozens of psychologists Cigna offered up to me, is children and childhood problems. And I know my problems stem from my childhood.
So at today's meeting, to solidify in the doctor's mind that she was dealing with a child in a three-hundred pound torso that now strains the fabric of former loose-fitting XXL tee shirts, I showed her a forty-three year old black and white photo of Dr. Malamud with my two older brothers and our German-speaking father.
How surprised I was when out of all the golf courses in the Valley of the Sun, she guessed, that as a child I had golfed my summers away at Encanto Park. The mystery faded when she proudly explained that she too was a native, and in the 1960s there just weren't that many golf courses.
I actually left the session feeling more upbeat than I had in a long time.
So odd, I think the Trazodone prescription (the one that used to be an anti-depressant forty years ago and is now a 'sleep aid') enables me to have intricate dreams and dreams that I can remember for quite a while. This afternoon I woke up from a dream in which I didn't have a single t-shirt to wear. In real life, I have hundreds.
Also in real life I've been stuffing my dirty laundry into a wicker basket for weeks and am out of some types of clothing. But, uh, I won't discuss what types of clothing. Like I've said, "Men are pigs."
I can't believe how different I feel, getting regular sleep more often than I have since I got married to the beautiful Hanna-Marie back in 1977.
Just heard from Mainio that he's discovered his live-in has been waking him up numerous times through the night, and sadly, it wasn't for sex. That will explain some of his bouts of extreme oneryness. I told him that enlightened people of the 21st Century thought their grandparents were being prudish when the slept in separate beds. I told him it was actually so that they could sleep.
And somehow these 'ancients' lived without refrigeration, clothes dryers, microwave ovens, or George Foreman grills. They lived with about 12 radio stations, 7 indoor (refrigerated) theaters (all downtown) and television that went to static every night at midnight just like in the movie Poltergeist.
They made due with one car, maybe even a station wagon, without cruise control, air conditioning, 350 horsepower, or rear-seat DVD screens and drove them down narrow two lane city streets lined on each side with an open irrigation canal. They lived with public schools and walking to the neighborhood convenience store where everyone knew everyone, and smiles were as plentiful as the Arizona-grown spinach. Sounds pretty tough doesn't it?
Speaking of Hanna-Marie, by scouring the Net, I found a recent picture of her, and that, with what Aili and Mainio are letting 'slip' in our conversations, she's not doing too well. Gawd, I feel so bad for her, but guess what, I'm not doing so peachy myself. I'm better, but not yet peachy.
The pain of divorce, among two people who actually loved one another, continues until one of them dies. I keep thinking of the old George Jones song, He Stopped Loving Her Today.