Letters From Indiana: Death, Divorce, and Suicide

This post is personal, not political.  It’s little if any more than me doing my emotional laundry.  Since I haven’t gone to church in years Sunday morning is a good time for it.  Those of you who aren’t sports fans can maybe understand why so many of us say thank god for the NFL.  But that’s months away.   And BTW for those of you following Sealed With a Kiss, I posted another chapter yesterday.

When I was a psychotherapist long ago I often had to deal with suicides, or those that might be.  There are all kinds of things you look at to determine lethality.  And one of the worst is anniversary dates of deaths, divorces, and so on.  The third Tuesday in May it will be a year since my former old lady told me she was going to divorce me.  That by itself might not be such a big deal if I were a completely different kind of man or if I had found somebody else by now.  But i’m not and I haven’t.

Here are two other things in assessing lethality: Chronic depression, which I’ve always had, and a great deal of hostility, I have always had.  This is a highly lethal combination, and when I had a client like this I made a mental note to call them on early on that day just in case, talk to them for five minutes, and judge by their tone, not content, of what they say.  I’ll never know if I saved any lives that way, but maybe I did.  Most therapists are never close to giving enough of a shit to do that on their day off.

But i’m no suicide risk because of my narcissism.  That trumps those three others.  But I feel like on that day I need to do something.  And from that came a consideration of rituals and tradition and their function in the human mind.  Some are formal, some personal.  Some are at least somewhat religious, some are purely secular, as is mine.

The best I could do is to decide to fast from sunup to sundown, close the blinds and keep it dark all day, listen to George Harrison, and meditate on the transience of all things.  Tout des choses doit passer.  All things must pass.  It’s more awkward in French but much prettier.  This is lame but it’s the best I can do.  Maybe it will take the worst part out of the bite of that awful day.  It does not help that she and I are now on as good terms as we could expect.  We spent most of Saturday together and we both agreed that I have to stop ending up in the hospital, or sometime they may decide to stick me in the nuthouse and since she is no longer my next of kin she wont be able to protect me.

The problem is that both times I was in hospital the last ten months I was so sick I very nearly died, and idk how to not be sick any more than i’m already doing any more than there’s any way to teach somebody how not to fumble a football.  It’s the nature of divorce to see things like this.  Right now the world outside is not merely inimical but utterly hostile.  So I have to stay inside as much as I can.  Since I am privileged enough not to have to work I can organize things so I didn’t have to go anywhere more than once a month.  But after a week i’d be crazy anyway.

Those of you who know anything about Mark Twain know I borrowed part of the title of one of his works, and why not?  It’s catchy.

It’s getting close to elite eight time and I guess i’ll stop.

BTW, can any of you computer geniuses tell me how to get a picture from my tracphone onto WordPress and Facebook as my profile pic?  Pretend I can barely use a computer, which is close to the truth.  Auf Wiedersehn. 

 

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Sealed With a Kiss 10

Murmur of river in late afternoon.  Smell of Virginia and paper mill and polluted river.  She has fallen asleep and is snoring lightly.  They say the ones who snore seem to fall asleep first.  I am drowsy but too amped to sleep and soon I begin to fidget.  I get up slowly and think I can make it out of here when she grabs my forearm in a vise grip and says, Where do you think you ‘re going, young man?

She wants to play.  That’s bad because she’s going to be harder to get rid of.  I look at her and across the river and think about pivotal moments in destiny and about how all our efforts never have near the importance we think.  Sometimes you just have to swing for the fences or pray or do whatever you do.  

 

Where to? She says quizzically.

It’s a secret, lover, I say.  Come on.

I take her hand and we walk toward Lombardi’s place and to where the ship is.

She is sleepy and pouty and starts to pull away and says, RU going to tell me where we’re going?

That’s highly classified, I say seriously.  After a moment I peel away the Velcro and quickly show the Time Police badge.

What dime store did you get that from?  She says.  Her voice says her specialty may be scorn.

Would you believe i’m on a mission from god?

No

Good.  That means I can be secular and you’ll believe me.  Probably.  Maybe.  I’m on a mission to save the world, I say, as seriously as I can while staring at the cleavage and the hooters i’m getting an eyeful of.  I’m from the future after WW III, and we’re trying to figure out where to intervene.  In my time all that’s left of the civilized world is most of Georgia, some of Florida and North and South Carolina.  Everywhere else the radiation has killed everything.

The scorn is dripping from her as she puts her hands on her hips and says, If you just want to keep fucking me you don’t have to…

STOP IT, I say yell at her and grab her by the shoulders and say, Don’t you understand?   Not in your lifetime but maybe in your grandkids this will all be a radioactive hell.  You can maybe help, or just stand and watch, or do nothing at all.  It’s all the same to me.  If I could fit you into the timeship  i’d love to take you back with me but the way things are there/then you might wind up in a  political prison.  You definitely would never be allowed to leave.  Would you want to leave this beautiful world of yours to go into a fascist future run by the same right wing nuts that started the war because they just had to invade Iran?

You could stay here with me, she says.  I could…

I thought about it, I say.  But they’d send a platoon after me and torture me.   Besides, I promised to do a job and I keep my promises.

What promise?  What RU…

I cant tell you that.

What can you tell me ?

I look up at the six o’clock sun and down at  the clean, beautiful  earth beneath us and shake my head and say, Follow me.

We walk in pregnant silence across the grass to where the ship lies, invisible and waiting like a tame dog.

I pause and say, I would swear you to secrecy but you’re a smart girl so you know what would happen to you if you said anything about what i’m going to show you.

I walk to the ship, put my finger in the orifice and the blue glow becomes visible and then it dies down and reveals the ship.  Do you live alone?  I say.

Yes.

Good.  If I need your help there wont be  any explaining to do.  Give me your phone number.

IDK,she says .  Maybe…

Give me the number, I say angrily.  Don’t you know I could be taken out and summarily shot for what I’ve already told you?  Don’t fuck around.

She gets a business card from some pet store and writes the number down.  IDK if they had area codes but it doesn’t matter.  I open the canopy and sing a verse and look at her and say, Stay frosty, Ginnie.

Where RU going?

Going back, i say.  Back to the future.  Better stand farther back.  The radiation drops off according to the Inverse Square Law but IDK the particulars.

With that i shut the canopy and push the control stick forward.  I crane my neck to breathe.  I flail bonelessly in the grip of a temporal succubus and scream a dry and soundless scream.  My flesh is sucked from my bones and falls with a clatter toward a vortex, still mired in the cockpit like a writhing china snake or a prophet sealed in glass.

IDK how i know i am fucked up when i get back except that there are tubes in my arms and some kind of canopy over me and Dillon looking at  me and saying that i have some kind of anemia and that i can never go back because i need a bone marrow transplant.  Well,  at least he’s human to feel the crushing guilt i see in his face but i’m going back anyway.  One way or another.

 

Some got it Some Dont

:Saturday night I was out of my head.  Some kind of mosquito bit me and gave me brain fever.  I  don’t remember any of it but I was delirious.

I went to Wal Mart for something and had words with some asshole and told him to back off.  This caught a security guard’s attention and he approached me.  I told him to back off and keep his distance but he ignored that command.  My hands were up in a kung fu /kickboxing posture, but he’d seen this so many times he thought I was just another asshole posturing.  He was wrong.

He said the next thing he knew he was on his back looking up at the sky.  I’d done a karate sweep and dumped him on his ass.

My kung fu is good.

When the cops got there it was obvious I was delirious with fever.  I nearly died, and was in the hospital for a week.

Don’t take any chances with strangers, boys and girls.

There is such a thing as a charmed life.

Jenn or anyone else who wants to talk tonight about this, call me.

Love to all, Troy

Sealed With a Kiss 9 Peaceful Easy Feeling

You catholic girls start much too late. But sooner or later it just comes down to fate.  I might as well be the one…Only the good die young, Billy Joel 1977

I see her feet first.  Female feet in what were once called cross trainers.  An almost-pretty blond in her twenties has stopped dead in her tracks.  She’s covered her mouth and is deciding whether to run like hell,  and I cannot let that happen.  I put away the taser quickly and smile and say, Hi.

She looks nervously around and says, What are you doing here?

Twiddling my toes, I say.  I’m thinking about painting them.  Arent they pretty?

She laughs and settles down a little.  There’s a cross around her neck that suggests Big Time Catholicism.  I say, I’m not trespassing am I?

She shrugs and says, I have no idea.  I’ve been here before. It just kinda, kinda…

Draws you in, I say, lying on my back and sticking my tongue at her.  How many times have you been here?

This is the third time for me.

Maybe cause it’s the only hill I have seen in this place, I say.  It just kind of gives you…

She says, Gives you a peaceful easy feeling, she says.

My own sense of humor is getting hard to control, I think as I look across the river.  As far as i’m concerned it has come to being a farce to a parody of mtv pixel art.

Hey, sit down here by me, I say, gently patting the grass on my right.  Come on…

Well, she says ok and sits by me maybe where the river bank begins.  Since she is so tight assed I wonder if she’s a townie or goes to school in some uppity place.

What’s your name, she says.

I’m Jim Chones, is say.

My names Virginia she says and I barely keep myself under control.

Catholic girls learn much too late.

How did you know i’m catholic?

Wild guess, I say.  Do you go to a parochial school?

St.  Annaling’s she says

Well whatever, I say.

She turns her face toward me and mine to her and you know what happens.

BTW, i was definitely was not the first.