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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
Wednesday... How odd, another Wednesday. November 5th, the day after Presidential Election Day of November 4th. It is so very sad that so many Americans have lost the ability to actually think. For if one measures emotions against facts one will discover the World's most notable tyrants have been elected on the basis of emotion. This unbelievable result has hammered another handful of nails into the lid of my coffin of sadness.
I forgot my timely rent payment and earlier last month I slept through a medical doctor appointment so now I have to shell out fifty more dollars that were earned so very dearly.
I was thinking that some may view this as a 'crying out'. But it is not. For when one is fully aware of his or her situation, and sees nothing but blackness, or sameness, or boredom, or unachievement and stagnation and finds himself among the ignorant hordes whom care more about a pro-sports team or a television show or an animal pet than they do about anything else, who is kidding who?
If, to participate in life, one must dose himself with mind-altering chemicals stirred up in some desert laboratory in Israel, is that really living? If to deaden both the psychic and physical injuries, or to even sleep, one must consume Bluto Blutarsky volumes of ale, is that living?
I marvel at the myriad of everyday wonders that were unimagined when I was born in the 1950s, but are we any happier? Or do all these medical discoveries and time-saving devices simply prolong our existence along with providing multiple means to distract us from how vacuous our lives are?
I'm old enough now to where I should have achieved some sort of financial bedrock, but I'm living from day to day like a teenager evicted from his parent's house. Yes, yes, I know the old apothegm about "It's never to late", but it's never too late for what?
Only an infinitesimal percentage of us will ever achieve anything of note, and it seems as if a majority of them become even more burdened and more unhappy than before. Are we to strive and strive and strive for what? Be the best broom-pusher you can be? What's the design in that? Are we to strive and strive so that we may strive even more?
What would I miss? All I can see is that I would miss more sadness. I would miss being a burden to my children. I would miss giving them advice they would ignore in any case. They would miss seeing their father, blessed with far too much awareness and sensitivities for this world, whithering away.
Is there purpose, is there meaning? Man's been asking that question for thousands of years, and while the hordes are seemingly satisfied working for The Matrix with imagined Saturdays and Sundays off, and a three week paid vacation after two years, I am not.
Thursday... Some beer, some Black Sheep, some Johnny Mnemonic, some fried chicken, some ice cream buried in a lava of Hershey's chocolate, some sleep. All better.
Wednesday I knew I was scheduled for a session of DVD watching at my youngest boy, Mainio's, dwelling after he got off work. My depression was quite deep and dove even lower when I learned my slightly more successful and slightly taller, writer-friend, Michael Chricton had succumbed to cancer. Or maybe succumbed to suicide to kill the pain of the cancer.
In any case, I was pondering, if I managed to keep separated from Mainio, what unplumbed depths of darkness I might morbidly manage to spelunk my soul through.
But God would not let my cry in my beer any longer as around 6:00pm my door began rattling as if the Dawn of the Dead trick-or-treaters were demanding their bloody bounty, a certain sign that Mainio was outside wanting to take us to get something to eat.
We ended up at the local grocery store, where the always nice black deli-man, reading the extreme election disappointment results in my eyes, gave me many more pieces of fried chicken than the advertised eight. I was about to verbally to address him by name, when I read the "Malcolm X" on his badge, and instead simply and honestly thanked him for being so nice (to this non-person-of-color).
In the popcorn and pop aisle I drew the eyes of an attractive lady 25 to 30 with nicely rounded breasts jiggling behind her otherwise sagging green t-shirt. I thought she was smitten with me, but then I realized she was attempting to decipher my Polygamy Porter t-shirt.
We bumped into her again in front of the popcorn when from behind us she suggested my choice of kettle-corn style might not be as healthy as another. Without thinking, I advised her I was not trying to live longer as many people are, but trying to kill myself. What a great pick-up line, eh?
Minutes later, sans the green-shirted-babe, we settled down at Mainio's pad. A place that reminded me of the trunk of a car someone might be living in. Then, carefully keeping my stomach empty, I swilled down three beers and watched a movie of genetically altered sheep who took a liking for human blood.
Mainio talked about how Aili and my 15 month old grandson had come to his workplace and how Kimmo, much like the eighty-pound English Bulldog who raised his mother, went charging down the aisles with his forty pounds of beef, crashing into things, causing havoc and finally had to be incarcerated in a cart, much the same way, decades ago, they had to tie-down in a wheelchair his Alzheimer's afflicted great grandfather. (By the way, great grandfather, while tied down in the wheelchair, at a later date, did still manage to escape the resthome only to be recaptured on the side of the road as he was obviously heading home to be with his wife of forty-seven years.)
After the movie at Mainio's, I borrowed three DVDs, grabbed my bird-choking plastic bags of chicken and popcorn, slipped my digits into the handhold of the 12-pack of Diet Pepsi with Lime, and stepped into the brisk 57F degree night for the 100 yard jaunt to my compartment, in my goose bump causing Tom-Selleck-replica shorts. (It is too bad that the goose bumps raised were on my skin and not on any ladies who might see my exposed and rippling thighs.)
Once back at my compartment, I threw my fried chicken in the oven, shoved my Diet Pepsi carton into the frig, stuffed my kettle-corn into my workbag, and slipped my borrowed Johnny Mnemonic into the DVD player. Forty-five minutes later, after wiping chicken fat from my face, I was shoveling down store-brand vanilla ice cream buried under Hershey's chocolate syrup, soon sleepy enough to lay down and dream about being chased by sheep ... who had taken a liking for human blood.
Thursday... Dreamt about Hanna-Marie and the hurt was just as much as if it had been real.
The longer I live the more I feel emotionally bad about everything.
What impels us to keep on living? What force keeps us pushing through both real and imagined hardships to keep going? Hormones, pehremones, the output of our glands?
How could love be the motivation? For love is fleeting--a mirage--a hatfull of rain tossed into a Santa Ann-winds stoked forest fire--and can be withdrawn at a moment's whim. In any case, how can what we imagine what someone else feels about us keep us going another day?
No one really wants to be with anyone else anyway. Look at how quickly friendships fall apart. Look at how very superficial 99.9% of them are...or were.
A pang strikes me as I hear the female DJ on the symphonic-music FM station talk about 'sitting on the porch this lovely evening' and, as usual, I'm again at work. On this afternoon's drive into work, as my gorilla-hairy nostrils snatched the scents out of the air, I was reminded of a happier time two or three years ago. A 'happier time' that, at the time, was viewed from beneath a drug regimen that would have kept a great ape comatose. A 'time', that I would never have thought in a million years, to label 'happier'.
All the things we imagine to be so damned important while we are alive are gathered in a heap and tossed at our passing. Or put into storage for future generations to re-gather and then toss out.
Is staying alive--do we keep on living in the hopes that our situation will improve? (However one judges improvement.) Or in the hope it will get better for someone, somewhere, sometime? Or that we will make it better for someone else?
I've begun reading a psychology paperback written in 1962, and even this renowned medical doctor cited the fact that humans seem to strive and achieve only so that we may again strive and achieve the next day. Week. Month. Year. Decade. Quarter century. That we simply stay alive so that we may strive and strive and strive and strive and strive. www.doctormalamud.com
Thursday... After my normal dosing of three to four beers, I retired to bed at 4am this morning, tossed and turned, and turned and tossed, and finally the alarm went off at 1PM and by then I did not want to get up. I was still tired.
During the few ragged hours of actual sleep, I had endured an old horrifying nightmare of missing so many classes at community college that they had threatened to kick me out.
During the moments of semi-wakefullness I planned my death. I discovered that to leave as little mess with what I left behind, and to divvy up my worthless stuff, would be a lot of work. I joked to myself that it might be easier to simply keep pounding away at life than to end it.
But I look at the world and what effect I'm having on it and it's pretty much zero. Minus zero. My oldest child, the one who has known me the longest, Santeri, divorced me when his birth-mother, Hanna-Marie did, thereby openly signifying his disdain of his father. Aili's got her troubles with Kimmo-the-grandson, and the fertile-felonious-ex-Family Guy father. Mainio would surely miss me, but what kind of example am I setting for him? Yes, I know, "what kind of an example" would my death set?
So, even among my biological relations, I have no one who'd miss me, least of all my ex-soul-mate, Hanna-Marie, who's always viewed me as pretty much the "does not work towards potential" guy she married 31 years ago, without ever gaining one single shred of understanding, or even compassion towards the circumstances that molded me into this life-pattern.
For the second time this year I learned, once from a book penned by a psychiatrist back during the Camelot years of 1962, that our future success or sadness is fairly well determined by the age of seven.
My age seven is a year from my past that uniquely clearly stands out.
My dad, mom, my two older brothers, and myself, were living in a small apartment on east Oak Street. I was at Madison Elementary School as a new kid, the "new kid" and without a doubt hated it, because my gait, my squint, my voice and my breathing made me seem something strange and odd.
Seven was when I was butt-raped by an older boy whose sister discovered four flat tires on her bullet-nosed Studebaker the next day.
Seven was when the football-sized desert tortoise I had found near the canal banks escaped his bonds and was crushed by a hit and run turtle-killer.
Seven was when I learned the nice couple who owned the two French poodles I loved to play with moved out in the middle of the night, rent unpaid.
In 1958, I probably had yet to be fitted with orthopedic shoes to correct my strange shuffling stride. Or seen by special teacher who would correct my spoken lisp. Or diagnosed as being as near-sighted and blind as an English bulldog with cataracts all the while crippled by asthma that kept me inside at night, got me kicked out of Cub Scouts and caused several weeks of absence from school each year--along with ingestion of asthma-medicine that probably further scrambled my emotional state that was always trying to steer my body clear of my Schlitz-energized Nazi-like father and to understand my fall-down-drunk mother I depended on and loved so very much. www.doctormalamud.com
Friday... I just got my utility shut-off notice, I mailed my car payment three days late, I'm writing with a pen I found outside a Circle K and I'm at work on a Friday at dusk when everyone else is getting ready to go out to eat, even if it is only at Taco Bell or The Ocean Club--and I'm laughing.
What changed? Did I stop swilling beer like Ted Kennedy at an all-you-can-drink reunion of AA drop-outs? Did I get a decent job where I'm paid more that I was as a teenager forty-four years ago, treated like a human being, get weekends off, and actual paid vacations? Did I score an intravenous morphine-sulfate drip prescription? Did Laura San Giacomo drop in and lovingly coax out of my body all those hot poisons that had stubbornly settled in my groin?
No. Nothing has changed. As a matter of fact, my financial situation is even worse than my Thursday column above.
Wednesday... You know what makes us want to stay alive? It's just something within us. That is, if we are 'normal'.
Now that I'm apparently over my suicidal depression (caused by my withdrawal from the already wrongly formulated Budeprion?) suicide makes about as much sense as giving up on my desire to have Morgan Fairchild as my next wife. It doesn't even register. It's not even an option. It's not a way out. It simply isn't even on the table as a 'solution' any longer.
It's not like I made a decision to become non-suicidal. It's not as if Jesus appeared to me in a dream to tell me I must stay alive to keep writing my Dr.Malamud Diary's so that at least one person on the planet would know that his or her life was not as crappy as mine.
Suicide ... well some say it is a call for help, but anyone with any kind of an understanding knows that there really isn't much help for what ails the person intent on suicide, hence suicide makes sense at that time to them. But it only makes sense because their is something far out of line in their blood, or I should say, brain chemistry.
Now that I've lived both the 'boo, hoo, hoo-I may, kinda, sorta, at some point in the future end it all' (i.e., virtually this entire journal from 2003 on) and the cold-blooded and matter of fact 'how do I end it all without leaving too much of a mess?' I firmly believe that suicide is not a decision of a normal person, but the result of a person whose brain chemical balance, for whatever reason or reasons, is simply out of whack.
And that once these chemicals are brought back into their proper proportions by aerobic exercise, or proper diet, or being spanked by black-patent-leather-body-suit wearing Morgan Fairchild for being a 'bad boy', suicide will make about as much sense as a tofu-shaped turkey on the dinner table tomorrow. (Or for that matter, cranberries-anywhere, anyplace, anytime.)
And while life may not be light and gay and happy and bright with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it will be lived. Dragged on and lived until it's natural end.
Thanksgiving... For overtime pay, I worked at another office Wednesday, and after work, all night long I had nightmares about it. I woke up not knowing where I was, what I was supposed to be doing ...
Do we simply live so long that after a while, and looking back at things that we thought were so very bad, turn out to look not-so-bad, simply because we have lived so long and seen worse?
I'm examining a wife-beater undershirt, that two years ago I put in my shoulder bag to use as a rag to clean monitor screens. Chagrined, I realized that the one that I'm wearing today has more holes and rips in it than today's cleaning rag.
Clouds. Clouds are one of God's marvels that anyone, without any special equipment or training, can witness changing, growing, dissolving.
Right now I'm mesmerized by a thousands of meters tall, white, fluffy cumulus cloud bank so clearly outlined it is as if a child had simply stuck them onto a sky-blue felt-board the size of the heavens.
Suddenly they are being slammed by storm clouds as smooth and gray as a shark's skin. The dark cloud slowly eats its way into the white of the cumulus until all is gray. The sky is all gray.
It's a lot like the progression of depression
But what makes the storm clouds gray is moisture, unfallen rain, and as soon as that rain does fall, the white, fluffy, and happy cumulus clouds arise once more.
As humans, our difficulty lies in discovering what is the unfallen rain in our own gray depressions, so that we too might release it, let it fall, and become happy once more.
One of my wealthiest clients brought to my office the sole dinner I had this Thanksgiving. I imagined they didn't even know I existed. Odd thing is, they talk a British accent.
Sunday... You know you're becoming a serious drunk, (or is it connoisseur?), of liquor, when, to save a penny, I'm trying to calculate if it would be cheaper to derive my self-prescribed three ounces of daily alcohol via precisely-measured doses of beer or hard booze.
I've temporarily broken my regimen of beer, followed by a Safeway-schnauzzer-sized, butter-soaked baked potato paired with the still steaming, moccasin-sized potato skins stuffed with shredded cheese, topped off with an ice cream dessert, by lately leaving out the Arizona-made French vanilla treat. A treat, which I insisted on consuming even after I was not the least bit hungry.
Prior to dropping the diary delight, (after all, my parent's were from Wisconsin, 'The Dairyland State') my uninterrupted sleep periods had ranged from four to six hours, but I always awoke still tired, with my senses stumbling their way through an Oregon coastline morning fog.
Now, sans my frozen treat, my sleep lasts only from one to two hours. Tops.
So, the reason I ate the ice cream even after I was full, was because my body knew that it was my sleeping pill.
Wednesday... Tried to sleep some and I guess I did from about 11:30pm to 2:30am. Went to bed feeling like I was coming down with a cold (finally) but I guess it was simply something I was allergic to at my Mainio's apartment.
He had told me that him and Mikaela, his live-in, are going to get married next year ... at the zoo. Which is fine with me. I'm just so scared for them, not having a single idea of what they're getting into, and both being from the way-too-common, 'broken-home.'
I was just thinking that in their own way, they are both outcasts. But in the 21st Century, them being outcasts from their peer group is a valuable appellation.
As I was lying in bed it struck me that the five year anniversary of my court-approved divorce from Hanna-Marie had come and went eleven days before and that maybe that was part of my foul mood. I feel just horrible about my future--of which there isn't any. I don't see anything changing, because I won't make a move to change it.
I know that I instantly feel more positive the moment I get out and about with the humanity that, unless it has something to sell me, denies my existence. "Don't they know who I think I am?"
My microwave gave up the ghost a week or two ago. Not by flaming out, or with popping noises and flashes of electricity flying behind its safety glass. It simply went to sleep and refuses to awake. Something that wouldn't bother me one bit.