It’s A Combination Of Remembering (AND reading) ~ Late Evening Thoughts…Intermezzo


A dear friend of mine, M. Christopher Boyer, is Pastor at Good Shepard Baptist Church. This morning, he took his congregation on a journey involving the Prophet Amos and the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin issue.

It’s a powerful piece and one I told him was worthy of publication somewhere.  He graciously gave me permission to post it here – and hopefully, he’ll find a wide outlet for his thoughts.

I was going to reprint it in its entirety, but decided to post this link to the printed sermon.  If I posted it on the page in full, I’d be wanting to break it up with pictures and such.  This way it stands alone … in all it’s power.  This being Sunday and all ….

Please Pass (over) The Nuts (3) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

I, along with many others, watched (in my case overwatched) the inauguration of a new President on the 20th. (Yes, I was still watching at the 10th Presidential dance! If their feet didn’t hurt, mine certainly did!)I was hopeful that a new beginning might signal a new start in areas where so much has been lacking. As a gay and fundamental Christian, I believe I have a Biblical obligation to pray for my leaders, even those I disagree with. As an American, I feel I have an obligation to hope and pray for the best from my leaders, and to “hold their feet to the fire” if they are not doing their best.

The cynicism that I posted about last, had even gotten into that area where I could no longer even look at any of the governments – federal, state and local – with any degree of objectivity or hope. In the amazing book “Language In Thought And Action,” the author talks about when we have cast someone in the role of the “enemy” ALL communications/actions by them are immediately suspect and are filtered through the lens of how I view the “enemy” regardless of the truth.

So, I began to climb out of THAT hole and back to the level playing ground of attempting to see what was truth and what was not. And based on the last several years of watching government, not an easy task ~ not an easy task at all.

Over the last couple of days, two instances of people working on the premise that someone is the enemy and all communications are to be dismissed as lies and deceit have really hit me. Both are disturbing in many ways, but most disturbing to me as to their own lack of humanity and belief in people. Both would claim that is not true, but sadly both would be wrong.

The first came from a supposed christian (small c) self-appointed leader. Joseph Farah is the founder of a very conservative web-site WorldNet Daily. It has a number of contributors who echo the views of the founder. That’s not a problem for me, as I will defend their right to say what they think, just as I will defend my right not to read it. I will also defend my right to comment on it, and give my view of it.

Back in August, I posted about christian hate and christian witchcraft. Christian witchcraft to me is asking the Almighty (however you regard that) to do something “to” another rather than “for” another. It’s charging into the Throne Room ~ demands in hand and expecting that regardless of the Person on the Throne’s attitude/statements/desire we will get what we want, when we want it and, “oh yes, make that yesterday” because I say so. In this case Joseph Farah does something a little more insidious than that. He cloaks his witchcraft in a seemingly nice Christian outfit, with a few well chosen verses thrown in for good effect. He is asking ~ Well, here’s the article. . .

Joseph Farah Pray Obama fails
Posted: January 19, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

Many American Christians believe, as an article of faith, that we are to pray for the success of our leaders.

It has become a sort of conventional wisdom among soft-minded believers. The biblical proof-text for this misguided way of thinking is Romans 13:1-4:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

“For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.”

What could be more clear-cut? At face value, it would seem the Bible is telling us government is a God-ordained good and that we are not to resist its terrors.

Many a coward has been bolstered in his conviction against challenging tyranny by not reading too deeply into the Scriptures. Yet, nowhere does the Bible ever suggest evil rulers are to be obeyed. When the rule of men conflicts with the commands of God, the Bible leaves no doubt about where we should stand.

That’s why I do not hesitate today in calling on godly Americans to pray that Barack Hussein Obama fail in his efforts to change our country from one anchored on self-governance and constitutional republicanism to one based on the raw and unlimited power of the central state.

It would be folly to pray for his success in such an evil campaign.

I want Obama to fail because his agenda is 100 percent at odds with God’s. Pretending it is not simply makes a mockery of God’s straightforward Commandments.

So you will not see me joining in the ritual of affirming Obama and his mission in public or private prayer this week – or any other week.

Instead, I uphold the words of Jesus in Matthew 15:14: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” And I take warning from Isaiah 9:16: “For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.”

And please don’t tell me about “rendering unto Caesar.”

It’s important to consider the circumstances and the audience behind Jesus’ instructions to “render unto Caesar.” The Sadducees were attempting to trap Jesus into advocating open contempt for Caesar. He recognized their wicked and hypocritical little game and answered them with a totally truthful response that astonished everyone.

But think about it. There are two components to Jesus’ words. We are to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” but we are also to “render unto God the things that are God’s.” Well, everything ultimately belongs to God. But, most of all, this injunction by Jesus instructs us that government laws cannot trump God’s laws – ever.

If government commands you to do evil, as a Christian you must resist. There is no alternative. Citing the “render unto Caesar” line is an apologetic for accountability to God – nothing more, nothing less.

Furthermore, it needs to be pointed out that in America we don’t have a Caesar. Never have, never will. You see, our system of government is called a free republic, and it is based on the concept of constitutional self-government. We have no “rulers” in America – except ourselves and our God. We believe in the rule of law, not the rule of men.

This is an important distinction, not a semantic one.

Nowhere in the Bible does it teach us to obey evil rulers. Nowhere.

This is a time for principled biblical resistance, not phony Christian appeasement.

If, indeed, Mr. Farah is the Christian he claims, and not the christian he seems to be representing here ~ there’s a very strong disconnect from the reality of Scripture. I’m not going to head into a theological argument here, that will be for another time. But I will say time and again The Bible makes it perfectly clear that indeed we do have leaders and we have an obligation to pray for them.

He also conveniently ignores the number of instances where Biblical characters not only DID support what Mr. Farah would consider to be evil, but actually in some cases ruled WITH them.

Yes, there is a time for resistance – but this is not one of them.

And a final thought on this man ~ if, indeed, the President WERE to fail would he stand on his cyberspace rooftop and shout that God had answered his prayer? I rather doubt it. . .

Then, today ~ I ran across this gem from someone who should know better, or is so desperate for ratings or sell his material that he would grasp at straws to accomplish his ends. Rush Limbaugh (remember him from the prescription addiction/pharmacy shopping episode). had this to say about being asked for a 400 word article on what he hopes from an Obama administration:

So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.

Again, this from the man who indicated a number of years ago that dissent was equal to terrorism ~ I suspect echoing the press secretary right after 9/11 who warned that “Americans…need to watch what they say, watch what they do.” They were chilling words back then and became even more so during these last years.

I’ve discovered I’m not as young as I used to be ~ my body keeps reminding me of that daily and going out and about reminds me of that as well. One of the things it has done is allow me the luxury of looking at things with very different “eyes” and outlook. These people are sad in different and similar ways.

I’m not joining the “cast them into the fiery pit of hell” crowd because dissent is a natural and important part of the American political process. What I, and I hope others, will do is to point out the hypocrisy and errors of their dissent.

And, alas, to pray for them.

A 60+ Stoner ~ Late Evening Thoughts

This chapter picks up from —here

Once taken into the surgical holy-of-holies, I was shown to a draped area with a bed and various machinery not for the faint of heart. I was handed two (not one) two surgical gowns to put on. As surgical gowns had been designed by Dr. Seymour Butts, this was a welcome change indeed. Now, the posterior areas would not be flapping in the breeze of hospital air conditioning…or so I thought. Alas, when the surgical nurse (have to use the right title here) came back. I was to put one on and the other would be put on after surgery. But, I need not have worried – once I got into the bed, I didn’t get to leave it.

And now the torture began. After the first surgical nurse left (having divested me of one of the gowns), a second one arrived – carrying a $4 cup of coffee. Sheer torture. Fortunately, he was but a moment and left with coffee intact very shortly. At that point, the anesthesiologist arrived without coffee and talked in detail about what they were going to do and how I would be “under” for the operation.

Those who know the story of a year ago, know that my last major surgery was not exactly a walk in the park going into it. I had shared that with my Dr., but had no idea he had shared it beyond that.

I was very glad to talk to the anesthesiologist and find out that I was NOT going to be given the paralyzing shot so common in operations, but would be a combination of gas and drugs. There was a lot more torture as various surgeons, interns and I swear there was a cleaning person all arrived in front of me – with cups of coffee. One person actually used the table by the end of MY bed to add his sugar … I was in agony.

I should have paid more attention to the next explanation but I didn’t. They were going to give me a nerve block in my upper legs which would relieve most of the pain over the next couple of days. This is important for later.

After that discussion the Dr. came to see me and made the usual poking of the leg, discussion with the nurse that was with him – and merely gave me “THE LOOK” for daring to joke about marking the leg to be operated on with an X. (Some surgeons are known for NOT having a sense of humor – mine included!)

At that point, the anesthesiologist was back with several additions to the IV that had been started in my arm. I felt wonderful!!!! Nothing hurt, I had a good grasp on reality and everything seems fuzzy and sharp at the same time. The bed I was on was the one I would be taken to surgery in – and off down the hall we went. By this point, the meds were beginning to take hold, and I was enthralled by the passing lights, and the people passing by. My mouth seemed a little fuzzy but I think I could still be understood, but frankly I have no idea what I said. Finally, it was through the doors and into the operating. I was feeling so good – getting onto the operating table was no problem. That’s because they didn’t move me until I was out. The anesthesiologist was talking about the mask in my ear, and it was placed over my nose/mouth and I did as I was told – to breathe deeply.

That was the last I remembered until I woke up in my hospital room. To say it took a few minutes to get focused would be a distinct understatement. Managed to see my daughter sitting in the room, and supposedly asked her if I’d had a good time at the party. I then remember various people suddenly (she says not suddenly, but over a period of time) converging around the bed to “fill me in” on all I needed to know. First off was an explanation of the machine in bed with me making my leg move up to my chest and then back down. A major annoyance during my stay, even if I was grateful that I would keep me from locking up the new knee. Then there was the physical therapist to point out what they would do later (Spanish Inquisition torture for 400 Alex.).

He finally left and the nurse came over to explain the pain pump next to my bed. In my foggy state I did manage to listen as she explained that every time the light came on I could press the button for pain medication. Please make not that she actually said could press it. As she was leaving, the light was on – (cue the Psycho violins here) – so I pressed it. And that’s what I did all afternoon to early evening.

I need to do a short explanation here (do I do anything short?). I am not a stoner but not by nature. With my compulsive/impulsive nature people are sometimes surprised. I simply can’t. Pot makes me incredibly physically miserable and very sick – which made me a real pain-in-the-butt in the Theater department in college. And none of the rest either because they don’t work in my system as -according to everyone else – they should.

So now, I have drugs blocking the pain in my knee, whatever was in the IV dripping away and I’m pressing the pain pump every time the light comes on…which seemed to be about every five minutes. At this point – even my daughter agrees- I had gone from operation drug lingering head long to a 60+ year older stoner (in case you hadn’t gotten that!!) I had several cell phone calls I don’t remember having, ate two meals which I don’t remember and several servings of ice cream – which was available anytime on the floor.

I was blissfully unaware – even though my daughter was telling me at the time I was beyond loopy and heading toward loony!! That blissfully unaware came to an end when I looked at the wallpaper above the sink in my room. I’ve included a picture of something similar – but mine was more gold, more washed and with some dark in it. (creepy music for 200 Alex) I was looking at the TV on the wall when I realized that the wall paper pattern was moving . . . around the wall. I did what any logical person would do in that situation and closed my eyes several times to see if it would go away.
It didn’t.

I realized right away that I was for the very first time in my life completely and absolutely stoned. I will say that it was frankly NOT a good sensation. (OK, DEA did that cover my probation?) I also knew exactly where the problem was and what needed to be done about it. At that point the nurse came in and we both basically started the same conversation . . . which in a nut shell was “the machine has to go.” She was trying to be diplomatic about it – I was being blunt. She wanted to re-set the timer (!!??) I wanted the thing gone. And shortly gone it was. Eventually the “trip” came to an end, the wallpaper stopped moving and the fuzz began to clear.

It especially cleared enough for me to concentrate on my nemesis since the beginning of time – the walker. Curse it as much as I did – it wouldn’t take the hint and leave. It just laid there against the wall and mocked me!!!

—more tomorrow

A 60+ S_ ONE R ~ Early Evening Thoughts

Picking up from —here

Everyone knows what a hospital waiting room looks like, sounds like and very often smells like. They are often places of frenetic activity, unintelligible or delivered in code intercom calls . . . and frankly smell like hospital.

I was not prepared for this entrance/waiting room. There was the tranquil sounds of fountains and a full sized grand piano was being played by ghostly hands. OK, that was a slight exaggeration – it was a player grand piano. Turning to the right, there was a marble topped circular desk with someone in coat and tie standing behind it. I was tempted to go outside and see if I had been delivered to a funeral home by mistake. Everything seemed so peaceful and didn’t smell. It turns out that the gentleman behind the desk if the first person everyone talks to before entering the rest of the hospital.

He takes your information (actually listening I might add!) and then calls whoever you are supposed to see and they will come an get you. If necessary, he will take you to where you need to go. No wandering aimlessly around the hallways trying to remember if you were told turn left, then right – go up five steps and “shake it all about.”

There were several reasons they went with the set-up the way they have it. First of all it help control traffic and also it help convince people that they are known and expected. Of course, visitors check-in and go up to the rooms.

Anyway, hospital registration came out to get me as I waited in nice comfy chairs – by a window wall and listened to the water wall and piano. I was taken to a glass enclosed area to begin the sign all the papers required and make sure all the payments had been recorded. Within a very short delightful time, I had my wrist band and the nurse came and got me for the necessary testing that had to be done.

Before going into the testing area, she took me on a tour of the floor where I would be staying – showed me a room (I was beginning to wonder if I would be expected to buy a time-share plan before I would get out). And we grabbed a fresh cup of coffee from the floor waiting area. Already I was falling in love – they had good coffee!! Once ensconced in the testing area, two nurses went to work on me. The only complaint I had was that one cup of coffee was not going to be able to replace the gallon (so it seemed to me) of blood they drew. OK, the 2nd complaint had to do with those little gluey pads they use for EKG’s. But that has more to do with glue and chest hair. . . and there’s not much anyone can do about that. And then, we were done. Because I had come in before the day of surgery, I was given a reprieve on arrival time on Friday. I didn’t need to be there until 5:30am!! Not much of an improvement, but at that time of day (Is it really a time of day?) I’ll take what I can get!!

So now I was free until Friday morning – about 33 hours away. Just enough time to go home, and brace myself for nothing to eat or drink after 10pm on Thursday. Of course, that gave me sometime to surf the net and discover all sorts of things I didn’t want to know about the operation. . . and anesthetic. I know I should have stopped reading, but it was as if I was watching a car wreck. I just kept looking.

“Achmed was supposed to pick me up Friday in time to make the 5:30am deadline. At about 5:00am I get a phone call they he can’t pick me up, but one of his friends is going to be there and the “friend” knew where the hospital was. “Friend” did NOT know where the hospital was – and “Achmed” was giving him directions the entire way – very loudly – over the cell phone. And we did make the appointed time. Again, check in at desk, registration comes and gets me and I get a wrist band – which includes a picture, by the way. No mistaking who I am that’s for sure!! Registration takes me to the surgery floor, and there is the ONLY place I’ve had to wait for any length of time…along with the others scheduled for early morning surgery.

We did get to laughing as the waiting became a test of endurance. Right across from where we were waiting was an area for families to wait while surgery was being done. The area was filled with coffee, colas and rolls and such. It was very hard to behave – let me tell you. Especially seeing the coffee …. especially the coffee.

Eventually, we were released from the torment and taken back to begin the final part of this story … and of course the last letter in the hangman puzzle in the heading.

–more tomorrow.

A 60+ S_ O _E R ~ Late Evening Thoughts

Continuing from —last night— ~

By now the horrors (as I called them) had begun to run out of steam. I had assured all of them that I wasn’t going to end up a bed-ridden cripple, that I was not going to have to sell my first born to pay the bills (although when he was growing up ~ ah, let’s not go there!) and that whatever path the recovery took I would be just fine …

I then had D & D to deal with. They had decided that there was no way I was going to be able to go through the operation and recover by myself ~ and that they were going to be there every step of the way. Which normally, I wouldn’t have minded ~ but the thought of them fluttering around the hospital bed and then fluttering in and out of my apartment while I was recovering was just a bit more than I wanted to even think about let alone deal with. (hysteria by proxy for 600, Alex)

Don’t get me wrong, they have been and are good friends ~ in very defined doses. Fortunately my daughter was taking over that portion of the watch, and she definitely didn’t need any help. So, not only would she be around after the operation, but would carefully monitor my being at home.

By this time ~ a week before the operation ~ the hospital, doctor/surgeon’s office, anesthesiologist and medical equipment rental decided they would need to be paid. I was informed these people would be calling me and to be prepared for sticker shock.

And I was . . . there was a middle-man in what I was beginning to call “Behind The Operating Room Door” and if you’re too young (or too innocent) to get that reference ~ send me an E-mail and I’ll send you a link. The reason he was in the middle was his delightful personality, his willingness to help, his lawyer skills and a company American Express that could take the charges and I would then pay back from the inheritance.

None of us knew what anyone was going to charge ~ but as a cash up-front patient, I was sure there would be some kind of discount…which I was prepared to ask for.

Believe it or not, the first call was the hospital and I almost wished I had delayed all this several weeks. After my experience of calling all the “medical center” hospitals ~ I was prepared for 1)rudeness and 2) an astronomical price tag. I received neither. The business office was incredibly helpful and let’s just say that I was going to be able to get BOTH knees done for the price of ONE at the other hospitals. (blue light special for 300, Alex)

So, when all the calls were done and everyone had the money they needed ~ I began to stump (I certainly wasn’t able to dance!) around the apartment singing “Signed – Sealed – Delivered!” When you have to sit down every few moments to let the knees recover, it somewhat takes the fun out of the celebration!!

The Doctor had given me his instructions on a much copied copy of a copy. But the hospital was quite insistent that I either come down on Wednesday and pre-register and get the necessary paperwork and test done, or I would have to do the morning before surgery. Dear me, what a difficult choice!! (Remember, I’m the one that wasn’t sure 5am was an actual time of day!) So, Wednesday afternoon it was off to find the hospital and get the tests done.

Since I’m still not driving (that IS going to change no matter what my son-in-law says!!) I either take the bus or a taxi. In this case, taxi seemed preferable. . . that way two of us could get lost. At this time I had a driver that I used all the time. He was quite good, knew the city and we had a number of pleasant conversations. He was Muslim and spent most of the trips discussing religion with me … I had always maintained that iron sharpens iron … and as the conversations were never arguments I had begun to look forward to them. Of course, I referred to him to my daughter and my friends as “Achmed, the dead terrorist.***” Knowing that if I every accidentally called him that or explained it . . . I would be in deep trouble. (non-famous deaths for 600, Alex)

Off we went – I had the address and the approximate location of the hospital, he was convinced, as always, that I had no idea where it was and he did. The discussion was lively and interesting ~ but alas, he is too serious to have much of a sense of humor. But that certainly never stopped his trying to convert me and/or all in my family.

We did find the hospital (I was right ~ he wasn’t but never admitted it) and I walked into one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in a long, long time.

—more tomorrow and another clue in the hangman puzzle of the title

*** for those of you you didn’t understand the Achmed reference ~ here is ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Achmed. My grand kids think he is hysterical, however we did have to explain to the youngest that going through one of the box stores saying loudly: “silence ~ I kill you!” was not really a good idea!!!

The New Year Begins With A Look Back (part 5) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

Life is a journey not for us to be lowered into the grave all pretty and looking rested. It is a journey for us to slide into the grave broadside at the last minute ~ banged up, used up but still proclaiming ~
Wow!!! What a ride…WOW!!! What a RIDE!!!

(You can read the previous posts here … >1<>2<>3<>4<)

At this point in the story, I was finally in a hospital bed. There were bandages for the gash in my forehead ~ for which, since I was hanging by my neck in a looped belt, there is no explanation. There were bandages running up the operation incision (running from just below the ear almost to the collar bone) in my neck ~ which was closed with butterfly bandages to reduce the scarring. There were no bandages on the slits I made in my neck ~ those, I was told, would heal by themselves with no visible scarring. So far … I was able to absorb that much information. I was also introduced to “the watcher.” Basically, there was going to be someone sitting at the foot of my bed 24/7. While people think that it’s only to keep someone from trying again, it actually provides much more than that.

There was constant monitoring (and recording) of what I was doing, my mood and my activities. They were also expected, during the day, to engage me in conversation.

They were supposed to, but I really didn’t want much of that. I discovered that the day watchers loved “trash TV.” If you are not familiar with that term, it covers all the reality (supposedly) type shows from Jerry Springer to Divorce Court and everything in between. So I would turn the TV (which I didn’t want to watch anyway.) toward the foot of my bed and they could watch to their heart’s delight.

The statistics are a little frightening. Someone of…age who is depressed, is very likely to make a suicide attempt (there had been three half-hearted previous ~ I’d posted about one of them in Poison to Medicine) and what I did before was not more than an overture for this event. The most frightening statistic is that those of my age who make an attempt are probably going to make another one ~ and succeed without life skills retraining and/or serious intervention and/or continued therapy, help/support system. And so, the real journey had started.

— more tomorrow

The New Year Begins With A Look Back (part 3) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

Life is a journey not for us to be lowered into the grave all pretty and looking rested. It is a journey for us to slide into the grave broadside ~ banged up, used up but still proclaiming ~
Wow!!! What a ride…WOW!!! What a RIDE!!!

When I left off the last post, I mentioned that EMT, Police and Fire had arrived at the complex and all of them in my apartment. I had sat down in the chair by the computer and awaited the arrival. I had not realized that as many people would show up. I also had not realized I was going to be asked so many questions ~ some of which did not make sense. Please understand, at that time I was without any money, no resources, no insurance and no place to stay. I really didn’t think there was anyone that would help me. I became at that moment completely homeless and penniless. A very interesting situation to find myself.

Finally they decided I would not be able to walk and they brought a gurney in to take me to the ambulance. This meant that I would be taken through the courtyard of the apartment complex, which was full of residents trying to find out what was going on. It was not an exit I was looking forward to but I really didn’t have much choice in the matter. This involved taking me through the living room door into the office and down six steps. I was barely aware of who was there … except for three people, one of whom I gestured to come up and I held her hand for a long time. I had no idea what was going to happen to me, and for the first time in a very long time I was very, very frightened.

There was a discussion in the ambulance about where I wanted to be taken. They suggested this very nice and very expensive hospital ~ not really an option. I wanted to be taken to the level 1 trauma center here, which also treats people without question of money and/or insurance. I finally convinced them to take me there. I realize now that I must have had a concussion of some type from the fall that created the very large gash to the bone in my forehead. The ambulance people were very concerned that I stay awake and kept asking me “stuff.” I had to describe at least three times what I had done, how I did it and with what ~ all I wanted to do was go to sleep.

I have no memory of the arrival at the hospital ER room. This particular ER I had written about before last December and didn’t realize how accurate it would be.

The trauma team
all wear
black shirts.
Around them
an occasional
flash of
white whirling

I don’t think
I would
want to wake
up surrounded
by black shirts.
There are times
my life is
black enough
as it is.

It is true, most of the team wear black t-shirts saying trauma on the back. There are memories of the black shirts all around getting me undressed ~ and damn it was cold in there. There was poking, prodding, turning me this way and that, many questions I don’t remember. Finally two white coats were suddenly there. All I could remember was a very, very old song ~ “They’re coming to take me away … hee hee. They’re coming to take me away … ho ho. The little men in the little white coats are coming to take me away.”

All I wanted to do was sleep … but there were a number of forms to sign ~ I had left my glasses back in the apartment, and couldn’t read any of them. There were some discussions that occurred. Finally, there were nothing but white coats around me, and all of them were concerned with the gash in my forehead and evidently the concussion. I kept trying to tell them about my neck … and they kept poking the forehead and shining a flashlight in my eyes.

One of them finally ~ begrudgingly ~ looked at the slits in my neck. I learned a new hospital term. Ordinarily when there is a problem that is serious, the term is “Do something STAT!” I’ve seen it in television shows, read it in books and heard it used even in that very ER. THIS time when one of his fingers literally went into one of the slits on my neck ~ quite deeply. I got the hear the new term: “Oh Shit!” I thought it a rather interesting replacement, but who was I to argue??

—more tomorrow

The New Year Begins With A Look Back (part 2) ~ Late Evening Thoughts

As I mentioned in the last post ~ this story I’m telling has undergone some deep thinking an reflection, soul searching and hesitation.

In the last post I said, it was around the 28th of August that I quit my job and supposedly had to move out of my apartment within 72 hours. I had no plans, no place I knew of to go, but somehow, in the sickness of my mind I was convinced that it would all work out. Of course, it wasn’t going to and certainly didn’t. During the 2 1/2 months that I was managing I was also managing to cut myself off from everyone. I still talked to my Mother twice a day, as I had for almost two years, but even she was beginning to suspect things were not right.

And what did I do for the 72 hours that I needed to make plans and provisions? I drank. When you know that your replacement is going to be coming into the office ~ connected to the apartment ~ at 9:00am, any sane person would sneak out of the apartment around 7:00am and drink until it was safe to go back … right? Trust me on this one, there are very few bars worth visiting at 7:00 in the morning.

I would sleep a little, toss and turn, pace the floor and then sleep a little more. Rinse and repeat.

By now, I was not only at the bottom of the cliff, I was under the rocks at the bottom and trying to dig down even further. I kept trying to find ways to sleep the entire night, but nothing worked ~ even overdosing on the over-the-counter medicines that use Benadryl as the only ingredient. By now, I had stopped calling anyone I knew, was refusing to answer my cell phone and decided that I was going to have to disappear to get out of the hell I was living.

–strong stuff follows …you have been warned…

Sometime during the night of the 31st (I believe I have the dates right), I came to a terrible conclusion. The only way out that I could see was to end everything … permanently, finally and absolutely. No partial or half measures. This was going to be it. The final curtain. From this point on, there are flashes of what happened and what happened to me. I do not have all the pieces and may never get them back … and probably don’t want to.

I knew that I needed to get it done early in the morning, before anyone arrived in the office. Now understand that one office door was four steps from my bedroom and the other door was 7 steps to the living room. Not exactly the world’s biggest space and certainly too close to the apartment to hide anything. But I managed to — I managed to.

When I made that decision. it was as if a light switch had been turned off, there was no going back and no pain (that’s important later). And so I committed suicide. No, I did not make a mistake on the verbs. I should not be alive, however, I am so grateful that it didn’t succeed and that I have gone through all that I have been through. I am a very different person from what I was a number of months ago – but, you know what ~ I’m also still the same.

I took my belt and made a loop around the clothes rack in the closet because that was the strongest place and I knew it would hold my weight. A few quick breaths and I put my neck in the loop ~ forcefully. The quickness that blackness overcame me was surprising. I was done. Unfortunately to my sick mind, but fortunately for me ~ I woke up on the floor with a large gash in my forehead down to the bone – that wasn’t bleeding and didn’t hurt. OK, this obviously wasn’t going to work … there must be some other way.

Now, in all honesty, someone in their mind would have simply stopped after the belt failure (makes it sound like a vacuum cleaner!)and said: “Wow! That didn’t work! I should stop here.” But. as I said, the light switch had been turned off. I remembered the eXacto knife I had recently purchased. I also realized that my replacement was due to arrive, and hopefully would stay out of my apartment until I was done. I literally behaved like a secret agent on assignment and slithered into the bathtub and pulled the shower curtain closed. I was determined not to leave a mess for someone to clean-up.

Now, doesn’t that sound healthy? Not wanting to leave a mess? I’m about to do the most selfish act a human being can do, leave people devastated and angry … destroy any chance to accomplish anything with my life and I’m worried about a MESS?!?!?

I’d read enough books and seen enough TV shows to know what I needed to do. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into detail … if you want that, you can email and ask. Let’s just say, I ended up with three horizontal cuts in the side of my neck and very little blood. The most interesting moment was when my replacement’s boyfriend came in and used the toilet while I was ensconced in the bathtub. It was at that point I finally realized this was NOT working … and had run completely out of options. I very calmly made my way out of the bathtub ~ with my knees it was not an easy thing to do ~ and walked through the living room into the office and announced: “I’ve just tried to kill myself, please call 911.” I then went and sat calmly in the living room and awaited whoever was going to arrive.

I have no idea what she said to the 911 dispatcher, but shortly there were police, a fire truck and EMTs in the place. I was bandaged, tried to answer the many questions that were being asked by various uniformed folks. The one that sticks (sort of) in my mind was: “Do you have any sharp objects on your person that will hurt me if I touch you?”

–part three tomorrow night

The New Year Begins With A Look Back ~ Late Evening Thoughts

This posting has gone through a number of trials and travails. I wasn’t even sure I would even write about it ~ however ~ I also wanted to end the new year with truth and begin the New Year with even more hope, joy and gratitude than I have now.

When I started this blog over a year ago, little did I know the road it would take and the road my life would take. For those of you who do not know, I have suffered for years from depression. What I never knew was the depth and severity of it. I never realized how insidious and deadly it could be. Even as I have read over old postings about the disease I have, I realize just how much I didn’t know about it, how little I really understood what was happening to me and just how seriously it would effect me.

I also realized as I re-read the postings, just how important my attitude and sense of humor would be to me me. And it certainly has.

In my case, not only was I in denial about what was going on, I was convincing those around me that everything was “just fine, thank you very much.” But I was NOT fine and my world had begun to crumble to leave me with absolutely nothing but the clothes on my back. There was no money, no place to stay and nothing to look forward to.

I’ve told about when my apartment mate came in and basically said: “I’ve not paid the rent, I’ve found a place and am moving tomorrow … have a good day.” I finally found a place to land while I tried to figure out what I was going to do. I moved from there into an apartment where I was completely on my own. I had no support system and basically nothing to look forward to or to plan on doing. That, and a couple of very poor choices I made about friends and a possible lover added to the already bubbling cauldron going on in my life.

When I was offered the job of managing the by-the-week apartments I was spiraling in many different and deadly ways. Of course, the fact that I later found out they were ultimate slumlords that didn’t care who was in the apartments as long as they paid the rent and would not release money for real maintenance only made me cling to what was going on with an even tighter grip. Of course, I continued writing the Complex Tales for the blog — all of which were true — but tried to hide the hole I was slipping into ~ the cliff I was falling down from everyone I knew ~ including myself (which by the way, is very very very dumb!)

Serious “stuff” follows … you have been warned…

Also at this point I had been “bending the elbow” with my boss quite regularly. Of course, I certainly didn’t have a problem with alcohol … of course not. Just the fact that once I started with just one … there were always a number more. And since the boss was paying for it AND paid for the cab to take me home ~ this is a problem ~ how? Also during this time I was sleeping about one hour per night (if that) but convincing myself and anyone who asked that I was just fine and sleeping a lot. I was now getting thrown the last 30 feet down the cliff – and was bouncing at the bottom…and no Dudley Doright to cushion the blow. Could it get worse? You bet.

This part gets a little hazy ~ perhaps all the details will come back someday, but I’m really not looking forward to it if they do. I was being complimented and “honored” for having the best collections of rent in the system. For several weeks my tenants owed nothing and a good number even had credit balances. This, of course, led to even more drinks after work with the boss and the eventual discovery that he was a cocaine-head. He actually was stupid enough to do it one afternoon at the very bar we had been drinking at ON the bar. Yes, he created his lines and did them. (the plural is very deliberate! And no, I did not do drugs at least nothing was illegal or required a prescription!

I also had basically stopped eating much and what I did eat usually came back up at some point (my mind should have been going “Ding! Ding! Danger!”) ~ I look back and realize that what was going on had actually been growing for some time, and that I “might” have known, but was in no shape to realize.

I think that on the 28th of August, I literally snapped and quit my job. Called my friend who managed one of the other properties and gave him my keys. I faxed my resignation into the main office. Now, if you think it was one of those big corporate offices (which they wanted everyone to think) it was only the Patriarch of the Family and three ladies who worked there. As I was living on the property, I had signed a contract that I was to be out of the apartment I was occupying (and in 2 1/2 months still hadn’t unpacked) within 72 hours. I had no plans, provisions or even a safety net that I could see or think of.

To be honest with everyone and true to myself … this is going to take more than one posting. Now that I have complete access to a computer I can truthfully say:

–more tomorrow night!