Saturday, February 2, 2013

Rumors of the Reincarnation of The Offbeat Drummer.

February 1st...

"Beware of Darkness" from Harrison's monumental "All Things Must Pass" release, performed at the "Concert for Bangladesh," August, 1971.

This song is foreboding, creepily beautiful, a musically complicated trail of melodic warning with relation to the ills of what humans encounter in the material world, put very simply. Anyone with a layperson's knowledge of the Hindu concepts of karma and maya would probably not refer an individual to this song if that loved one was in the hurricane eye of terrifying Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which, as a sufferer, can be defined as a trudged up panic over latent fight-or-flight points in time that happened in the past which impede the consciousness of the present moment and overtake the mind with a flood of looming and inevitable dread. Hindus might say that the erupting and interrupting negative and corrupting thoughts are what Harrison forewarns (further in the tune) introduce maya, or utter, distracting illusion.

Watch out now. Take care, beware of thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness surrounds you in the dead of night
Beware of sadness.
It can hit you. It can hurt you.
Make you sore and what is more? That is not what you are here for.

At a critical psychological moment Monday night, in between looping inside and outside my classroom, vomiting or otherwise having my gastric system go cuckoo, while I paced the halls of Adler trembling in the hallways, attempting to go outside for air in the cold and back into the security-locked down office tower that holds the school, trying to explain to a few friends the how and why of utterly freaking out, my not-so-nimble fingers backspacing over typos and incomplete thoughts and sentences, in his infinite love and boundless tact, Guy Friend (who was on his way home from work) simply texted me back this: "BEWARE OF DARKNESS. GH." That certainly packed a greater right-in-the-stomach punch than his previous text soon before, in which he indicated he was listening to the Commodores' "Brick House," or that he'd been enjoying the guitar riffs of The Knack's "My Sharona," which I'd included on the latest compilation of tunes I'd made for him, uh, the week I died.

At the time, I grounded my teeth at Guy's overwhelming insensitivity in text, especially given in the middle of needing to be soothed, while awaiting the late train out of the Loop towards O'Hare, he casually said to the effect of (paraphrasing), "Well, I'm home and going to eat dinner. Take care." BOOM.

Either he knows me so well to know I didn't have the Anna Karenina in me to flail in front of the train before it stopped and trusted that the PTSD was something I had the wherewithal with to muddle through, he fully comprehended the enormity of an earworm as complex as "Beware of Darkness," which I highly doubt, or, my knee-jerk reaction, that pulling his hybrid into the garage abruptly ended his Relegated Period of Giving a Damn.

Not having spoken with him since, as he left for a long skiing weekend in Colorado without saying goodbye to me, with Lady GuyGuy on the slopes, for whose birthday he trekked up to an outlet mall in Wisconsin with a buddy (who was wearing a dreaded North Face jacket, of which Guy took a picture) and procured her request of a new daily handbag (also pictured) and, as I understood it, a "satchel" as well... my perpetually fatalistic conclusion is that I'd exceeded my monthly allotment of Guycentric Warm Fuzzies.

My impression at our last, uh, mingling, was that Lady GuyGuy shipped him off to shop with a specific goal in mind, and he kind of did what he was told, and came back with something requisite per her request, about which he seemed rather blase. My friends are quick to point out that said activity took only a small percentage of ingenuity and thoughtfulness he put into Christmas gifts to me. Lady's birthday spiked his obligatory "Go get me these...thingys," followed by an appeasing yet fun enough mini-vacation, given Guy enjoys skiing.

As if having to go a female friend's dad's wake today, Dad's Last Day Wandering Through the Coils wasn't surreal enough, and that Guy Friend's own dad would spend the evening of February 2nd trying to revive my father after what was a fatal heart attack from alcohol withdrawal, before the idea of chemically easing withdrawal was the way to go, I was having kind of a harsh week to begin with.

February 2, 29 years ago.

It was 29 years ago that my dad died in the 2nd of February. It struck me strange that on January 29th, which was the last day I saw him alive, the number of years gone matched numbers with the date, which I Googled and found out that 29 is actually a prime number, and furthermore considered a "Lucas prime number" in mathematics. That's freaky.

En route to the wake, which was a good hour & 1/2 in bad traffic, Guy texted me a simple, "About those 2 cd's you..." which sent me into a panic of "AND?" I thought he was going to explain criticism (I gave him complete liner notes as to why I chose what I chose) but as it turned out, I somehow accidentally gave him two copies of the same CD. I honestly thought I'd successfully burned both, but I didn't, and he wants to hear the 2nd CD, so I told him I would burn him a copy for next week. Then it struck me...he's thinking about the CD's, which means he's thinking about me while he's swooshing down a big hill, with old what's her name, which is totally awesome. Unless he went w/his guy buddies, which he didn't clarify but then it would be doubly awesome.

Lady GuyGuy got a Michael Kors bag as her gift from Guy, no less, which, please...(possibly faux, but certainly not classy-ish) ostrich on what looked big enough to hold one of those gravely annoying Little Dogs? Did he not know you can get Michael Kors stuff at T.J. Maxx? If I may get all marketing business fashion kooky for a second, which is really *not* punk of a rule, a designer's legitimacy and value cease to exist once that designer is reduced to supplying goods for the purpose of, well, reduction and clearance at a mega-chain. Kors is a trained architect, not a fashion designer, and his garish and consistently tacky totes bearing "MK" initials confused me at first into thinking they were designed by likewise tasteless actress/fashionista Mary-Kate Olsen...Put more bluntly: It ain't no fuckin' Kate Spade.

Spade's designs are whimsical, classy, sharp, sophisticated and subtle, minimalist cutting edge with enough traditionalism to be functionally sassy, and, apart from the Louis Vuittons I own from my "Living in the Material World," years and my fondness for Burberry, are the only persnickety non-punk attributes about my choice of wardrobe and accessories. (Hell, Best Male Friend is just like me but has Burberry pajamas.) Kors' designs try to have the status renowned by Vuitton, but in the shape of some of Spade's or Prada's trademarks, with enough Hermes wannabe to pass off an "originally $400" handbag into $99 at any number of retail establishments aimed at bargain hunters.

But oh my, did I ever digress!

My original point being, to realize the intensity and intrusion which accompany a trigger of PTSD is close to impossible, even with the best of intentions and the utmost of empathy. Our professor in Community Psych (who's wonderful) on Monday night showed us a "20/20" clip of a man literally (and not staged for TV) beat his wife to a pulp. It struck such a fearful nerve, that I'd left the room for extended periods twice in a matter of an hour and a half, maybe? I knew the topic of class was domestic violence, and I was ok with hearing more about ways to treat it, if only for my own personal edification. I feel strongly I am not a victim of domestic violence; rather, I'm a survivor of it. 

Yes, I understand that I will have clients who present with problems similar to what I've gone through. But the ethical model we follow in the psychological practice is to refer a client out to another therapist who may have more knowledge, experience and tough skin to handle a domestic violence case if I can't, because I am too jaded and afraid. I explained to the professor later, on the train home, what was the scoop. My therapy partner from last semester, who is also in my class, stayed after class to fill the Prof about what's happened to me, which I said was fine. I feel bad that my prof felt bad showing such a graphic video. While blessed with a strong stomach for most things, I was not prepared for the discussion about the makeup of the domestic abuser. (Hint: It's usually the guy everyone thinks is the nicest and most outgoing, seemingly wonderful guy around, which is completely what Chris was like.)

To those for whom my heart actively beating and synapses rapidly firing were intrinsically important or engaging, my death was notably feigned, even if its Pythonesque means lacked the intended humor. For any other sorry sods who probably didn't give two hoots in the first place, or for irritating simpletons and life's annoying miscreants, yeah. I died jet skiing off of Turks & Caicos & the conjecture and speculation thereof was completely purposeful. (Perfect example: Guy kind of convinced two of his colleagues at Balderdash & Verities, "Gumby & Pokey," or "Dumb & Dumber," as I would call them (well, they DID get their medical degrees in Guadalajara), that I *did* die, but still had work to do on the oft-obituary-scanning, obsessive-enough-to-check-with-the-county-coroner office manager.) Let's say I was really dead, and in a pure gold urn, which is Luke's vision of things, and they spilled me accidentally, I'm sure he'd have a similar reaction such as this, Python's tribute to Graham Chapman, which I personally find hysterical:

I wonder, snickering, if anyone who saw the more-faux-than-ostrich-faux news accident report stopped to ponder how in the Sweet Name of Fuck *I* could afford to vacation in Turks & Caicos in the first place.

What's doubly silly is that the older I become and the more sardonic I approach my mortality, the seemingly less funny my demise comes across to others. I chalk it up to being one accidental OD shy of completely being sniped. To all that I would ask for some slack, given today is an historically really poopy time of the year for me.

So what took Jesus 3 days took me a week and I don't even have stigmata with which to impress my friends and assuage the naysayers. It's almost like I never left in the first place.

Resurrected. Reincarnated. Tomato....

Did I go to heaven? Not quite. Did I rest in peace? Hardly. Was I deserving of nirvana? Health long and short of it was "Nuh uh." The Good Judeo-Christian Lord Almighty collaborated with Krishna and Buddha (at a big conference table, no doubt, over lunch) to revert my soul back to the planet with only a small concussion and a sprinkle of Tough Shit after the unfortunate wipe out in the tropics. Turned out I was, at the very least, one PTSD flip-out and an intense hypomanic episode away from any semblance of paradise in the afterlife.

Such is the depth of the sarcasm of God.

Mixed reactions to my reincarnation reveal the world's overall intoleration of  Me as An Even Bigger Asshole Than the First Time Around (subtitled: We Didn't Think That Was Possible.).  I jest, but I'm sure there are people out there who wish that my life's end was for real.

During most of my psychological vacation into the afterlife, I was pretty severely hypomanic. As my mind fluttered from point A to point F to point Z, wrapping and weaving through the other 23 letters of the alphabet, I was surviving on about 3 hours of sleep a night, and doing things like every-detail cleaning my entire bedroom/office looking for my custody/child support paperwork, frustrated I couldn't find it, & kicking myself when I was done because, while my office area sparkled and organized, all I had to do would have been to call Craig and have him email me the documents, which he had scanned into his laptop a long time ago. Argh. My mania was further compounded by the separation anxiety of both Guy and my best local girlfriend leaving town simultaneously. Don't misunderstand me; I'm not blaming them for my mania, but there are a number of external circumstances that exacerbate an already fragile mind.

I was capable of focusing enough the evening of the room-cleaning to play with my band, and, if I had to venture a guess, was operating on about 80% mental capacity and performed as required over last weekend.

If my memory is correct, the mania eased by Wednesday, I think, and I proceeded to spend much of the last 72 hours dead out asleep, rising only for the occasions of obligations related to my son. Wednesday morning, I had to be downtown at school at 8am and had overcompensated on my caffeine by having coffee at home, a Starbucks (featuring a triple shot of espresso) on the way to school, and an Earl Grey tea at school, before coming home, dozing off on the train, and assuming I'd sneak in several hours' additional sleep before it was time to pick Luke up from school.

Nonesuch was to be had, and I lied in bed with a frantically pounding heart for 4 hours, growing increasingly aggravated, unable to get the mental scenario of working the kinks out of Guy Friend's muscles out of my head, which frustrates my frustration. (Guy'd been complaining before he left for Colorado of a very sore neck from ice-chipping outside several days ago, which I offered to massage out of him had it not been for my sore hands, which broke my fall on said ice when I wiped out in the alley the night before, taking out the garbage. In lieu of physically remedying Guy, I told him to pretend I'd kissed his neck, which'd have to do, which naturally pretty much gave him his own panic attack. And I wonder why he skipped town without texting me so much as a goodbye...)

The depressive slump resulting after the hypomania, yes, comes at an inopportune moment in my year's chronology, but I'm not going to palaver at length about my dad's death, because it seems like I do that every year and furthermore, it serves no purpose other than to make me *more* depressed. So with all the capacity for love in my giant heart, I will gently say "Dad, I miss you every day, and for every day I miss you,  I love you even more."

Heartfelt thanks to those of you who kindly left eulogies and condolences within my last blog. Don't think your love and affection weren't appreciated or noticed.

I have to give a shout out to who have recommended "Rhythms" as being a topical and mental health-related site, which in a roundabout way, it is, if one can meander through my complicated personal life to eek out what's socially relevant. To "Stand Up for Mental Health," as I do, visit:


BMF said...

"Guycentric Warm Fuzzies." Either a great name for a song, a pair of slippers, or a euphemism about your relationship you've chosen not to share with me. I'm going with slippers because out of the 3, they upset me the least. Just glad you're writing again and yes, I meant every word of my tribute.

Anonymous said...

The "fuzzies" aren't as mysterious as this "mingling" they're reportedly doing.

Rob C said...

Good to have you back on this earth as i have conducted the funerals of several good friends and wouldnt want to add another one. So am glad your trip to heaven/nirvana had a return ticket

Andrea Miklasz said...

I assure you, I don't participate even a 10th of the GuyCentric Warm Fuzzies OR mingling in which I'd love to enact. So minds out of the gutter, you two.

Rob, glad to be alive again. I think it's so I can start watching this "Downton Abbey" show that's all the rage.

Rob Cheney said...

Downton is great it took me a while to get into, Vyk was hooked from day 1 but i resisted but it got me in the end! Plus it is a pretty accurate portrayal of how i live.
"Keeping up appearances" is another Brit classic, well maybe not in Downtons league but a fine example of a very safe British class related comedy. I hated in when it first ran but find it rather amusing nowdays, plus one of its stars went to my wedding as he was great friends with my ex father in law

BMF said...

Annie's weird. She'll watch "Desperate Housewives" since the first episode but isn't into "Abbey." And she's an intellectual! I'm hooked on the latter and "Appearances" and "Fawlty Towers" are a couple of my other favorites.

Andrea Miklasz said...

OK, Guy Friend called. I totally missed him saying the last time we talked that he was going skiing THIS coming weekend and didn't go LAST weekend. I misheard him in the restaurant, which tonight agitated him.

It didn't help that I'd taken my night meds a couple of hours ago & was totally looped out by the time he called me. Even my follow up texts apologizing for being looped out were looped out, but I got the point across and he said "Sweet dreams." Either my dreams will be warm and cuddly and happy, or the polar opposite and I'll be clinging for dear life while something horrible is happening to myself or my loved ones.

Lady GuyGuy isn't going along. He's going with his male buddies, which he could've told me so I wouldn't be quite *as* nerve-wracked. So my presumption and fact-checking was TOTALLY wrong.

I feel like an asshole, although I did text him after we hung up that I loved him. He was really not happy about being raked over the coals in my first blog since I reincarnated. I simply used him as a reference point regarding "Beware of Darkness" and my aggravation of not being able to get to sleep last week because of my over-caffeination and otherworldy fantasies about the guy's damn neck.

Meh, he'll be alright. I'll be alright. I will look forward to our next chance to mingle with fuzziness.

Anonymous said...

You are SO hard on yourself. He'll forgive and forget before you even begin to compensate for however he feels about the blog, and you not making sense on the phone. Those of us who know you well know when you've hit, as you call it, your expiration date, after which you get these completely random thoughts and can't stay focused on any one conversation or idea. And if he loves you, that's got to be OK and you shouldn't feel like you owe him an apology.

But for crying out loud, you make more sense when you're drinking than when you're fully medicated.

Rob Cheney said...

Although the Downton Christmas episode was very average compared to the regular episodes. If Fawlty Towers is on TV i always watch it even though i have the dvd as that show never gets tiresome. Did they ever make a US version or am i just imagining that as i know our Steptoe and Son became Sanford and son

Andrea Miklasz said...

I had to look "Fawlty's" history up, as I've never seen it, but apparently, 2 US series were attempted but failed right away and a 3rd was produced but the pilot never even made it on the air.It may still be on PBS here, I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure "Keeping Up Appearances" is. BMF, where are you watching it from?

BMF said...

"Appearances" is still on PBS where we live during the weekend, and I also have "Fawlty" on DVD. I remember my mom watching "Upstairs/Downstairs" when I was really young.

Annie, please tell me Guy Friend's not angry with you about last night on the phone. Yes, it's hard to keep you focused when you're drugged up, but that's not your fault. Don't feel like an asshole. I totally agree with our friend who said you're too hard on yourself. You always are.

Anonymous said...

My dear, sweet Andrea:

If you're less panicked because Guy Friend's with his guy friends and not "her," please don't think I'm trying to make you panic worse, but groups of guys with groups of girls they don't know away on vacation can get funky.

BMF, you won't like this idea, but. It's only Wednesday. If he's making a long weekend out of it, if I were Guy, I'd fly you out. That's why resorts are resorts. Set you up in the spa for the works while he's skiing or send you down a bunny hill with an instructor.

Either his friends have had no idea whatsoever about you all this time or they do know, because if I were Guy I'd never stop bragging and, depending on how fine and upstanding this bunch wants to pretend to be, would understand if he excused himself away for the evening. Most normal guys our age, regardless, if one of them said "See you later, the hot little 40 year old who's crazy about me is here, I'm going to split" would not only buy him a drink, they'd give him a huge round of applause and high fives. After that, you two could mingle however it is you mingle, end of story.

Maybe my plan is surprising, considering my attempt to seduce you failed, you went running to BMF and fortunately I recovered quickly. Now watch, BMF will counter offer with an even more attractive weekend package.

Run it past Guy Friend anyway and tell him truthfully it was my idea, which won't shock him.

BMF said...

Just because I don't like that whole scenario doesn't mean I don't understand why you proposed it. Unfortunately, I cannot whisk her away for the weekend myself. Annie deserves some fun.

Kate said...

To hear the two of you talking about whisking Annie away makes me very jealous. After I get over that emotion , all I can say is why would she ever, in heavens name , want to be whisked away by GF to any place on this earth?
What would they do ? Play scrabble for hours , or make that days , at a time? Annie would cream him! She does deserve some fun. She has really achieved a lot under difficult circumstances . Annie hold get the best vacation in the world , just not with him.

Anonymous said...

I think I concocted a perfectly reasonable and romantic plan for Andrea to present to Guy Friend. If he chooses, for whatever reason, to not go for it, it's his loss.

My feeling is that if Andrea and Guy actually wanted to play Scrabble for 4 days and that's what made them happy, and nothing else happened, they should go for it.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Now, to get him to read all this while he's on vacation and doesn't to on the internet while he's away.

Rob Cheney said...

Last bit of threadjacking about old Brit TV. My Mum also used to love upstairs downstairs and they re ran it on one of the satelite channels last year and it was not bad lots of Wobbly Scenery though.
When Downton first started on ITV the BBC tried to get ahead in the ratings by commisioning a new series of Upstairs Downstairs which totally bombed as all the characters were completely unlikeable

Annie come and have some fun in the UK claim refugee status and live on our rather generous welfare system for a while and take advantage of our National Health service like thousands of new/temporary Brits do. Possibly avoid the isle of Wight as you may get Cabin Fever i am immune but visitors from large countries may suffer

Andrea Miklasz said...

Rob, I got my mom the entirety of "Upstairs/Downstairs" on VHS several years ago. I don't think she's ever actually watched it.

I'd love to fly out to Guy and enjoy a few days, especially a spa pampering (!!) but I don't think he'd go for it. I don't know if he went with church guy friends or normal guy friends and explaining me might be more difficult than it sounds.

It's bad enough I had 5 days of separation anxiety last week thinking he'd gone away. Now I have 5 additional days to fret.

I could play Scrabble with him (and yes, I would win, of course!) all night long. I could just cuddle with him and talk about anything and everything. He knows I'm not in a place where I would be necessarily ready to do the humpty-hump. I just enjoy hanging out with him. What people assume we've been up to this whole time is quite far removed from what we actually do, which is just hang out.

Because I'm generally oblivious, I mistook "Anonymous's" come-ons and yes, did choose to huddle with BMF instead. It was nothing personal. I came to see BMF that weekend is all.

BMF said...

And that getaway was great, all things considered. Annie's just really fun to be near, especially when you can relax a little, though our last weekend away was anything but relaxing.

She might think Guycentric Warm Fuzzies are the best, but to me, Annie Warm Fuzzies are even better. Kate, it's a fruit loop question to ask why she does anything she does, because she's Annie and while we might feel her wants/needs are strange or pointless, they're no less valid and I am behind her 100%. More than anything in the whole world, I want her to be happy.

I'd asked her to travel with me several times over the years, and she always said no. Finally I gave her an ultimatum and said that unless she joined us for a long weekend, I wasn't going to ask her again. She finally came.

Keep us posted. I've got pancakes with the kids' names on them.

Andrea Miklasz said...

I've managed to convince myself of the following, which I present:

Guy was purposely vague about the ski trip (not saying if it was w/the friends vs. Lady GuyGuy)because he knew if I knew, I'd probably ask to tag along.

BMF said...

I don't think so at all, Princess. None of us know what kind of friends he's with. While my friend imagines them all toasting Guy's prowess, he forgets (because he's him) about things like discretion and tact. You have to remember the whole world isn't like us, as much as you wish it was.

None of us know who knows what, if anything, about anything because Guy doesn't know half of what's going on himself from day to day, and you're a mosaic of chameleon-like incredible who makes his head spin.

If they're all other catholic married suburban guys, and not hip, a safe bet is that they know nothing, which has nothing to do with YOU and everything to do with Guy. If any of them are single, he should hook you up, but he won't, because he'd rather keep you at bay for himself. Me? You know me. When Kate brought up Scrabble being the most interesting thing you and Guy could do, I do agree with my friend. Whatever makes you happy. Realistically, the farther apart your body is from Guy's, the happier I'll be. But it ain't my business.

My concern is you being freaked out all weekend.

Andrea Miklasz said...

I'm not freaking out, I just feel bad for having left our last conversation incoherently. I don't know if he read my follow-up email at like 6am the next morning, and I tried to Skype him today but haven't heard anything.

BMF, one of the things I love about you is that you always answer my texts, no matter where you are. I feel special in that way. Guy reads them all, but responds to a 20th of them. I never know what he's thinking.

I likened Guy to a friend as being like a cat, who, once you feed it, keeps coming back, but doesn't want to be petted and hides behind the couch all the time.

BMF said...

A decent comparison, the cat, and you did tell me (which I really didn't need to know) that he purrs when you hold him.

BMF said...

Kate, Annie said you're upset about my comment about the fruit loop. My point being, a loop is a continuing circle. We could all go around in circles forever to figure out WHY Annie does anything Annie does, was what I was trying to convey. If I did so poorly, I'm sorry. Our Little Gal perpetually thinks with her heart, not her head.

Kate said...

I have been out of touch with you
and am praying I didn't offend you on Facebook by accident. Tim
and Vinnie came up and took all my stuff out of my mother's house. June moved in. I am very ill for many reasons, mostly for the earth shattering argument I had with a retarded social worker.
I know you are back in school and super busy , just don't be mad if I fell asleep on the phone
with you.Contact me when you can.I miss you!