Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hemingway, Plath, Brautigan, David Foster Wallace, Lou Reed

I spent a week in an inpatient facility, but the connection I want to draw is electroconvulsive therapy. I'm some twenty treatments in, I started last September, 3 times a week at first, and have now spread the treatments out to once per month. I dread everything about it, from getting up ridiculously early to having to expose my feet for electrodes. The worst though, without a doubt is the loss of memory. I can't find places I've visited dozens of times, conversations both recent and in the past are lost to me, but perhaps most troubling is how little I remember of books I've read and loved. An excuse to read them again no doubt, but still unsettling.

Friday, July 23, 2010

With my signature your marriage is terminated.

Outside of people looking for citizenship, tax benefits, or perhaps health insurance, I don’t think anyone is more excited by the prospect of marriage for the involvement of the state than the vows.

I have to admit, we talked about insurance early on, but not as a reason for marriage, but as a reason that it made sense to get married so soon. We were convinced we knew each other more intimately than people married entire lifetimes, we’d been through the worst together, seen one another stretched, and still believed we’d never spend a night apart.

Marriage was attractive for the vows, the commitment that problems would be fleeting, not the relationship. In our end, the vows would be unspoken of until the courtroom. Only the legality was of consideration, discussed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I know it isn’t healthy to pin my happiness to another person, but sometimes in the afternoon doldrums I just want to know there is someone who won’t have plans without me, and won’t say no to going out.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Involuntary Goodfellas

The intake interview on 3C mostly consisted of questions I had already answered four or five times that day, first at my psychologist’s asking, and then with a series of emergency room medical doctors, psychiatry residents, and finally the EMTs who were transporting me to the inpatient facility. Bob, the night R.N. who I had been assigned to at the Behavioral Health Services Center checked boxes and slid papers across the table for initials and signatures. There were no surprises for me, although my suicide plan somehow seemed new to him. Like the father Jeff Mangum sang about, I had thought about all the ways to die, and up until now, they had all been more than I had dared to try. The night before I had settled on starving myself of oxygen by breathing in the pure helium commonly sold at party stores where it would otherwise end up in balloons that at their darkest would read ‘Over the Hill’. Bob made sure to stress that the program was short term, just for stabilization.

I was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts that may have been contraband for the elastic waist (shoe strings were banned on the floor, even for visitors), and the gown I was given ten hours earlier in the ER that my psychologist had walked me down to. My personal affects were in a plastic bag with the international symbol for biohazard printed on it - I pictured the scene in every prison movie where the newly released ex-con signs off on receiving the items that had followed them into incarceration as I acknowledged with ink an LG cellphone and the more important contents of my wallet (Bob had no interest in my being 6 smoothies away from a free one, or presumably being a regular shopper at Borders Books).

The unit’s community room doubled as the dining room. By the amount of crumbs on the tables, and the amount of patients I had to assume were also suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (someone must have had a cleaning compulsion), I had just missed snack time, when the sound of the metal window being rolled up draws the patients into a mob that slowly dissipates as they each receive their two food items and one beverage. For the Cleveland Clinic, it seemed odd that the offerings included potato chips, cookies and pop, but maybe the residents of my floor weren’t to be trifled with over high fructose corn syrup or trans fat. But if an apple or a banana could set someone off, I had to question the logic of allowing us to watch Goodfellas on a television which was behind a plexiglass window smeared with body oil in a pattern that suggested someone at been shoved against it before sliding down to the floor. It had been a few years since I seen Goodfellas, but all of a sudden it was slightly comforting that pens were also off limits - I hadn’t forgotten the scene were Joe Pesci put one through someone’s neck over a trivial insult.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

More picture(s) of building(s) (but not food).

Cleveland may not have a reputation as a first class city, but the controversial Marcel Breuer (Bauhaus) building always seemed more fitting for a Soviet concrete wasteland than the post-industrial demise of what once was the United State's 6th largest city, and home to Rockefeller and Carnegie.

Maybe beauty isn't only in the eye of the beholder, but the angle of the beholding.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The album is on iTunes

Years in the making, PFOC on iTunes.

My progress on the next album has been slow, but for a few more days I'm not going to worry about that.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Who knew the Grammys were so cheap?

PFOC bassist Tim Luntzel won a Grammy for his work with Loudon Wainwright III, but he didn't get a statuette, in fact, if he wants a certificate he has to send them $25.