Pish Tosh

Wednesday, March 23

Story O' My Life

Raining today, and my head is full of Sinus Spring Surprise. Throat scratchy, mildly grouchy. Plus, my office is a mess, I haven't blogged in days, and I have an official due-date for my exam proposal.

Plus I have to go work at the bagel store. Which, food service is gross when you have to keep sucking in your snot.

So I decide to call in sick. I decide this while I'm driving to the bank because you can't use a check to pay your speeding tickets, but instead need a MONEY ORDER.

The soundtrack goes, you feel crappy and even if it IS a lunchtime shift, it was dorky of the guy to hire you based on appearance alone. Just because he thinks you look committed to working his minimum wage job doesn't mean you have to put it in front of your health or your own need to get the stuff off the floor of the office so that cat doesn't chew it all up.

So I did, call in sick.

"Oh boy," he said. Hard to get a sub at the last minute!

So now I feel guilty.

Guilty for putting my own needs before a stupid minimum wage job. That someone hired me for based on I'm a girl which made him think I'd be reliable.

Recent Searches

Hm, does my blog have a porn theme of which I was unaware?
s*xy 15yr olds
s*x* b*b*s*tt*rs
little b*b*s*tt*rs s*x*

And also:
effexor turkey cheese

The Monogrammed Pillowcases Are Lovely...

...but you see, I didn't take his name.

I had assumed that, eloping, I'd manage to miss some of those trappings. You know, crystal picture frames and wedding-cake candles. But nope, the two biggest proponents of trappings in my life -- that is, my mother and CV's sister, who can both be trusted to purchase Christmas themed knickknacks for me EVERY YEAR -- both came through right off the bat, the second they got the announcements.

So now we have monogrammed pillowcases (which are nice, and the monogram is amusing), and my mother came through with the fancy ring-shaped picture frames, scripted with something like "I thee wed," the better to forever crystallize our decor around eight-and-a-half minutes in Vegas.

But have you been in our living room? (This is a rhetorical question, of course.) It's all angular bookshelves and modernist chairs. We already have ONE fancy silver picture frame you gave us before.

Where are the others to go? Where shall we build the shrine to us?

I know you mean well but you make my task more difficult. I am trying to purge the excess, not make room for more.

Technically I'm on Break

Yep, technically I have plenty of time right now. My test prep classes are over and the new round doesn't begin for another couple weeks. The wedding thing is over.

Yet how come it's already Wednesday? Where has the week gone?

I've taken this opportunity to reorganize my office, partly, which means finally throwing out some of the student work I've been holding onto, for years, against the day I have to put together a teaching portfolio. I've actually STARTED putting together a teaching portfolio, featuring commented-on student work, but it's so exhausting to sort through all those years of teaching that I've never properly committed to finishing the job.

Plus I don't know exactly what it is I should be keeping. Do search committees really CARE about your comments on someone's comp paper from three years ago?

It was amazing how energized I felt on Monday. It really was like I had just completed a project, and it had gone pretty well, and I was ready to move on to the next project. Okay, nothing to stress about, just my next projects to occupy me for the next little while: a PhD and a novel. If I put my mind to something, I bring it into being.

Along these lines I took all the books off my bookshelves. Time to reorganize the shelves along the lines of what I'm ACTUALLY doing now. Time to devote the "good shelf" to only the theory books I need to read for exams. Time to devote an entire five feet of shelving to the massive test prep books that represent my current teaching committments. Time to clean out those old composition handbooks: a new edition'll probably come out by the fall when I probably next teach comp, anyway. Time for focus, time to devote my space to enabling the projects and nothing else! Singlemindedness! Focus! A ruthless cutting-away of distracting baggage!


Now it's suddenly Wednesday, and I feel like the same old slacker, only now with an office in which everything is stacked randomly all over the floor. :) Really, I think the office reorg (and the closet purge that has to go with it) will feel productive... but part of me can't help thinking that this purging of distractions is JUST ANOTHER DISTRACTION. If I was REALLY interested in working on my exam proposal/writing a novel, wouldn't I get up and do THOSE things, instead of still more space-clearing work?

I tell myself that this is itself distraction talking, and that this investment in time and organization, IF I FOLLOW THROUGH WITH IT, really will better enable productivity, esp. when I start doing the test prep thing again.

I wish I had an entire long tall wall, made of corkboard say. I want to write out and pin up all my plans.

Meanwhile, I've also decided this is the year to start a little garden. WHICH MEANS ANOTHER PROJECT.

A particular guy from my writing workshops, back eight years ago when I was doing the MFA. He was 10 years older than me, so already 30 when we both started. (I was 21.) And he was smug. He would write on my stories, which were never ever finished, "Decide to write. Or quit." Like it was a simple choice, just like that.

I still want to smack him, like a dad who means well but misses the point. Especially on a morning like this, when I wake up to last night's dinner dishes and the prospect of a shift at the bagel store I have to cover. Not to mention health, nutrition, time with friends.

I haven't quit, even though it might not look like I'm doing it. Progress isn't measured necessarily in visible daily accretions. Sometimes it's invisible for awhile, then whole techtonics shift.

Thanks for the congratulations! Still another project I've got going is writing a diary of a wedding...

Saturday, March 19

Other Happy Endings

Our decision to get married in Vegas -- BY OURSELVES -- was a decision we decided to keep secret.

And I kept it a secret, which means I didn't tell my mother, and I didn't WRITE ABOUT IT ON MY BLOG.*

Believe me, that one was hard. In fact, the last fight we had before we were married had to do with whether or not I could post an entry about it on my blog last Thursday. **

I was all inspired to, because I got a wedding card from my SAT students. Really it was from the math instructor, who bought the card and asked the students to sign it during the last diagnostic test. This apparently led them to have a whole little debate about my wedding, while I wasn't even there. (Thinking about this makes my cockles glow.) I had already told the students -- I can't remember how it came up -- that I was getting married in Vegas over Spring Break. The class ended right before this, so maybe that's how it came up.

Anyway, the reactions in class had been predictably cute and predictably split. A couple of girls squealed and said That's so sweet! A few were shocked, because I wasn't going to tell my parents. This was a class full of Asian kids who contintually referred to their own ethnic identification -- "That's not very Asian," they'd say. I'm not sure to what extent this has anything to do with the horror some of them felt over not telling your parents, but it kind of seemed to.

This is also the class that began, first day, with three or four of the uber-bright Asian boys in one of the sections writing to each other on their class manuals: "She seems very not qualified." In the end, though, these very same uber-bright kids turned into my biggest supporters. I think they were impressed partly because I said "bullshit" during class (I meant to say "BS"), and partly because everyone's reading scores went up 100 points between tests. ("How come all our reading scores went up 100 points?" they asked. What would you have said? "Because I am the BEST TEACHER EVER!" was my own giggly response.) But, it turns out, one of these boys was also a romantic. "When people are in love, they have to do what feels right to them!" this boy insisted, when one of the girls was expressing dismay that I intended to ELOPE.

On the last day of class, then, after they'd given me the card and as everyone was leaving, the students all said thank you, this class was fun. The romantic uber-bright boy came up to me shyly. "Miss B., I want to say one thing." "Yes?" "I hope you have a very happy wedding. I really do." "Thank you, thank you very much."

Happy ending? Sure.

The other happy endings were my evaluation scores. Now, the test prep company teacher evaulation form is way different from a college evaluation form: there's basically one tiny section devoted to each teacher. Would you say this teacher is outstanding? Did this teacher make the class interesting? Did this teacher demonstrate mastery of the material?

My scores, for both classes, including the TOTALLY CRAZY class, averaged to 3.4 out of 4.0. You have to average 3.0 to keep working. And as anyone who's read much of my blog realizes evaluations make me TOTALLY CRAZY, so I was relieved.

The other funny thing. One of the students -- a really uptight girl who liked me but who was freaked out by not having your mother at your wedding -- wrote this in the card.
Hey B.!
How are you? I'm guessing you have a very strong stomach cuz'
you're eloping! Though I don't contain your behavior, I wish you a wonderful wedding!
Go Vegas! I [heart] you, have fun, Student

You might be wondering, as I was, about the word "contain," which her test prep training should have taught her was a diction error. The math instructor explained to to me: The student started out to write "condone," then decided midway through that this was kind of rude, so changed it to "contain."

Which has the same exact effect, only now with a diction error! Aren't students funny?

And now I unfortunately must go work at the bagel shop.

*Although, people I did tell include:
my dentist
my hairdresser
my therapist
my exam director
my fellow SAT teacher trainees
my SAT students
my ex-boyfriend
CV's ex-girlfriend
most of my friends
some random shopkeepers downtown
a woman at the dogpark
fellow bagel rollers
the woman who owns the bagel shop
anyone who happened to ask me "What are you doing over spring break?"
my brother, though that was an accident, but he didn't tell mom either -- thanks Tony!

**Let's acknowledge right now that in my case, the "pseudonymous" aspect of the blog means "pseudo-anonymous." CV's argument was that some family members know about our Flickr sites, and from there you can find the blog, which is why I should wait a few more days to disclose it all to the blog. I said the chances were slim, who cares? But this is also the attitude that makes me TOTALLY SURPRISED when I'm the subject of any gossip. That person? Cares about what I do? And told other people? Weird! So anyway, CV was probably right.

Friday, March 18

What I Did With my Spring Break

after the wedding

Went to Vegas, got married, took some pictures.

Also, I ate a lot of seafood. Which has cured me from wanting ever to eat seafood AGAIN.

More later.

Wednesday, March 9

Today I work in a bagel shop.

Would that I were kidding, though I like bagels.

It happened like this. Last week I went in to the nearby bagel store annex (put in to service one of the many new luxe highrise loftstyle apartments this town has recently cultivated, also the courthouse). It was kind of busy and while I was waiting for my bagel the manager (you could tell cause he was older than everybody else) kept making little jokes. "You can tell she's starving; she's on her last leg!" I was standing on one leg, with the other sort of propped out at an angle, so I thought this was a little bit funny, and I smiled at him.

Then my bagel was done and he was ringing me up. "Course if you wanted employment, you could work here too!" he said randomly to me, as if kidding.

"Are you really hiring? Cause I am kind of looking," I said.

"We really are. Let's come sit down!"

And he fixed me up with a couple of short shifts during the week.

"So I'll see you next week, then," he concluded.

"Don't you want to know my name?"

I prefer jobs like this, the kind that just come to me and curl up in my lap, purring. Applying for jobs is so disheartening.

But it means I have to work at the bagel shop, then drive my drive to the class in Midwest Metropole, to teach the freaking-out kids about the SAT. Which means, by way of revealing the point, that I will unfortunately not have time to blog on any of the food-related topics I'd like, or about meeting with my director yesterday, or my in-progress post called "That, that tingling in my left thumb -- is that an orgasm?" OR about any of the many issues raised on all the other blogs. Today I like bankruptcy and debt: I'd like to talk about that.

Everyone's freaking out about the SAT, incidentally. It's new, now, you know. On Saturday, the new test will be administered for the first time... and the kids, they aren't doing so good. It's a hard test got harder.

Tuesday, March 8

Food Memoirs, Two

My parents had a run of bad luck with babysitters. I didn’t know much about this; I slept through the good parts.

I looked forward, midway through my first decade, to babysitters with the same vigor with which I waited for a sister or a best friend: Maybe this will be the one who entertains me. I was desperately bored of entertaining myself, and the Brother, while enthusiastic, was too repetitive to crack my immense disdain.

But the babysitters, without fail, were disappointing. Drab girls with makeup bags and ennui, girls who caused me to write in my journal I will not be like that when I am a teenager. (I was.)

The babysitters didn’t want to play Sorry! by Milton Bradley again; they didn’t want to watch Darby O’Gill and the Little People on the Disney Channel, they hadn’t appeared (as babysitters ought) with trunks full of puppets and puppet clothes, or paper dolls and paper doll clothes, with which the babysitter would prod one into making up stories, since on one’s own one tended to be unable to sustain a narrative and instead to drift mindlessly into arranging hair and hats. The babysitters, in other words, were boring, and when they were there I always went to bed on time without protest.

Clever babysitters.

Their unravelling started because my mom noticed a cracked glass. Also, because my two-year-old brother had some sort of garbled report of walking in on someone lying in the bathroom.

It wasn’t that Leslie had CRACKED the glass, my mother explained over and over to her friends in my hearing, until I was dead to the drama and didn’t care. It was that she didn’t confess her error (which was after all, my mother hastened to add to clinch her own role in the story, no big deal!) to my mother, on her own initiative, in a confiding and submissive way.

That, and she’d thrown a huge party.

We lived, at this point, downtown, in a two-story shotgun style house with funky décor. The bedrooms were upstairs. Three big rooms downstairs all led into each other (the “shotgun” in the name of the style of the house signified, I was told, that you could stand in the front room and shoot a bullet all the way through to someone in the back room). The middle room, the “dining room,” was covered all around the top with panels of glass, and below by a tall sort of wainscoting made of old barn boards. Old and decrepit: not old and interestingly weathered. Around the ledge that rimmed the room, my parents had placed a what now strikes me as crazy assemblage of tchotchkes: among them, my father’s hooka pipe (!) and a samovar, which was some weird old tea pot that he’d paid some dude to bring him back from Russia (there was also a stringed instrument that looked like a funky guitar propped in the corner, between bookshelves totally crammed with books); also, an assortment of ceramic clowns, whose appearance at this location in my memory totally befuddles me. Also some authentic German beer steins and some ceramic Victorian figures in states of romantic pursuit.

In the kitchen was a huge island, with those stools that bolt into the ground and feature tops that spin around.

In retrospect, it was a great place for a party.

Once the drunken orgy was pieced together, from the girl’s own sketchy resentful confessions and my little brother’s memories, my parents were kind of turned off teenage girls.

This is all a long preamble to the story of my love affair with pork chops.

My parents – who were young, after all, maybe a year or two older than I am now, and who therefore still went to bars, occasionally – solved the babysitting problem by hiring Ione. This was pronounced in the basic, no-nonsense way: I Own. Ione was a tall, thick, vigorous woman with black eyebrows and cropped hair with mannish grey sideburns. She lived, conveniently, a couple of blocks down, and she was poor.

It is amazing to me in retrospect how conscious I was of money, and its emotional hierarchy, in these early encounters. I wonder in what ways this consciousness played into my dislike of Ione: because I disliked Ione.

She was stern and commanding, and I was a little bit afraid of her. There were no games or sense of fun, though the only particular grievance I can now reconstruct is that she made us walk downtown one afternoon in the cold – when I was playing by myself and particularly did not want to go for a walk – so that she could visit her daughter. WHO WAS ON WELFARE. In spite of this, she had a big TV, and my brother and I had to sit and watch this TV while Ione talked to her daughter, for what seemed like HOURS. I was ticked off: made to sit like a little church mouse, scared to move, unsure what to do while the grown-ups droned out their list of complaints and angers. I was ticked off because I was bored and I was cold, and I was ticked off because it was my understanding that my parents paid Ione NOT to make us do stuff we didn’t want to do, but to watch us in the comfort of our own house, where at least I had my books even if no one to play with. As a customer, or as the representative of the customers my parents, I was displeased.

I despised Ione and her family. Not so much for being on welfare – I ate reduced lunch at school, after all – but for being so BORING and MEAN. Persons who did this to life were not on my good list. Rather, I liked persons like my beautiful music teacher at school, who had pretty hair and wore long skirts and pointed boots and loved singing in her beautiful, mellow voice, like an organ! And taught us all to sing all the hymns for mass but it was fun to sit with a whole cafeteria of children, singing all together. If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you father for giving me wings. If I were, a buzzy bee, I’d thank you father for giving me stings. Also, something about inch by inch, row by row, gonna make this garden grow.

I liked songs and earth, and didn’t like forced visits to houses where I wasn’t allowed to do anything. I wished someone would teach me how to garden, because it seemed impossibly hard.

However, I also liked Ione’s pork chops.

She must have found a package in the refrigerator one time, and she fried them up for us for lunch. I have no idea how she did it, but I was convinced that she’d used milk to fry them in, and spices!

They were so good. Fat and sweet and wonderful.

After this, pork chops were my favorite food, for years. The way the fat outside could get crisp, then pop (like a blister!), letting lovely oil spread out over your tongue. The different ways the meat could taste -- tough, which enhanced its barny flavor and pointed out the durability of the material, or plush and soft, courting the sharpness of teeth, as satisfying to breach as wrapping paper slit by sharp scissors. And this pleasure in spite of the fact that we could never cook them as good as Ione could.

In our early household, we lived out the promise of convenience food: sterile! Hygienic! Nutritionally balanced! We didn’t eat TV dinners, but we had individual pot pies, La Choy brand Chinese dinners on egg noodles, macaroni and cheese and fishsticks.

We didn’t use spices, except for salt, pepper, and Molly McButter. Also, on garlic bread, we used garlic salt. We didn’t use real garlic, onions or peppers, because my mother couldn’t eat these foods in chunks. (She also couldn’t stand ice in her drinks, and for years I also ordered my drinks with NO ICE because of her lead.) We ate tuna fish mixed with mayonnaise and boiled eggs, smeared on English muffins and covered with a perfectly square envelope of Kraft cheese. I was also obsessed with cooking turkey-cheese hotdogs in the microwave, and even had a way of fashioning a sort of hive out of paper towels, in which three turkey cheese hotdogs warmed, each in its own paper cell.

In other words, we were well fed, but flavor was neither a lesson nor a goal. And when I saw fat Ione, competent and severe, DOING SOMETHING in the pan with the fork and a pork chop, paying attention to how it was cooking and manipulating the food as it went… and when the result was this pork chop, this full dollop of pleasure… it occurred to me that cooking could be different.

My ill wishes on Ione came to a confusing conclusion when one evening, just as my parents were about to go out, a knock came on the door. Standing on the doorstep was not Ione but a polite young man. He was very sorry. His mother, Ione, had been in a car accident. She would probably survive. He was here to let us know she would not be at work this evening.

Many that’s terribles! and of courses!, and the young man went away. My parents quite willingly stayed in, where they probably played many games with us and told us stories and altogether provided much more entertainment than one could expect from babysitters.

Food Memoirs, One

My first food-related memory involves not food but my brother. I am three, about, and my grandpa has picked me up in the truck.

I’ll digress to point out that this truck seemed exotic to us when we were kids. It was silver, and it was like a moving fort. Many are the afternoons I spent as a child, fishing off the back of the truck, holding a stick with a string tied to it and, occasionally, an open safety pin hooked on the end, the better to up the danger factor and make the experience “more real.”

It was also exotic to be riding alone with my grandfather in the truck. He was fetching me from a neighbor’s house, a neighbor chosen because their possessions included a chubby little girl just my age.

Even at three, I knew these people had more money than us, and I felt the slight deference this afforded. The dad’s name was Claude; the one exotic thing about him was an intense black moustache, and he was not as friendly as my dad, which had to do with being rich.

I think while I was at their house, I rode a horse.

My grandfather was taking me home to my house, to the sweet little starter home in the clean child-friendly neighborhood on the hill that my parents bought with an FHA loan. At the house, my parents would be back, and with them would be the new brother I’d visited in the hospital, or rather had gazed at vaguely from behind glass. The most impressive thing about the hospital, as far as I was concerned, was they they’d given me a bendy-straw. I thought the accordian-pleated collar that let the straw bend was the most marvelous piece of engineering.

Because I was three, my impressions do not include anything anybody said, just some colors and feelings. As my grandfather and I climbed the hill in the exotic silver Ford farm truck on the bench seat covered in green vinyl, I felt anticipation, because little kids are led to understand that a new brother or sister is like a treat! Basically like a live doll! For them!

Then we are in the living room of the little 3-bedroom home on the hill, from which my earliest memories date. (There had been a couple of previous homes, including one with impressive pillars, but these I don’t remember, except from a couple of pictures in which my parents are dressed incredibly hip: bells and fur-trimmed jackets and so forth.) Everyone was back and so forth. It was dark: as a child, I was convinced that we conducted all important events at my house in the dead of night, like gypsies. We opened presents in the middle of the night; we hosted gatherings in the middle of the night. It must have been the first winter I’d understood anything about the world, and in this new cognizance I’d not yet learned that darkness comes in the morning and evening, not just late at night.

Lamps were lit and grownups were cooing. The bassinet was in the middle of room, and in the bassinet in a yellow shawl was the brother.

I peered in at it. All that was visible in the yellow roll was the head. I thought of a kind of meat I didn’t eat but had seen hanging at the supermarket. I thought: It looks like a pimento loaf.

Thursday, March 3

Sexy Lexy

Why have I been awake since 5, feeling alert, feeling fabulous?

Yesterday I took half a Lexapro: I'd been off for a week and a half.

An obsessive researcher, I spent 2 hrs yesterday morning scouring Google for any combination of the following: Lexapro withdrawal Lexapro withdrawal flu
Lexapro withdrawal symptoms

I won't provide all the links, but basically, what CAN'T you blame on withdrawal. I've lurked for years on websites with names like "crazymeds.com," happily reading the stories (from articulate to angry and badly spelled) like so many truffley treats. I like stories!

Yesterday I read the story of the mother of 15-yr-old girl whose doctor had prescribed Lexapro for TMJ (!!!), and who now, trying to come off it, had flu symptoms, craziness, misery... Also a pregnant woman who went off Lexaro when she found she was pregnant and then was TOTALLY FREAKED OUT AND MISERABLE and then when back on and then went back off because she didn't want the baby to be addicted and then was basically at the end of her rope. It was her husband who was writing in.

Flu symptoms don't seem to be commonly mentioned as a side effect of Lexapro, though it was mentioned as a side effect of Effexor... but anyway, I had achey muscles, hollow muscles, a burning face, and these things seemed much too shakey for me to move around much on. (Has anyone out there been on Lexapro? Anyone else associate flu symptoms with withdrawal? Other insight?)

After I read the stories I went and lay down on the bed with my legs sticking off. CV came in and said kindly, "I know where you're coming from. That's depression."

"No, I'm just tired," I said. Then I got up and went into the kitchen and got out my bottle of Lexapro. I set it on the cutting board, then pulled a pill out and split it in half along the score line.

Then I took some pictures. Oh happy tableau!

Then I popped half a pill.

A bit later, I tried to download my still lifes with Lexapro, but my computer had misplaced my photo library. My computer still can't find my photo library. AND I DO NOT MIND THIS. I AM NOT CURSING, NOR THROWING ANYTHING. I in fact feel quite benevolent toward my little computer and if worse comes to worse and the archive is lost? Well, I will be a little sad, but what can you do. Also, I THINK I backed it up onto a cd. But I'm not sure.


Which brings me here: maybe I'll keep taking this substance, for the time being at least. Bottles will last twice as long if I only take the pills half at a time.

Of course, then it seems like my experiment failed. But I read that withdrawal symptoms can last two months. Two months! I'll wait till it's summer and I can run every day. In the meantime, cutting down to 5 mg already made me TOTALLY more energetic, since my entire life I've been a buzzing bundle of nervous energy that 10 mg just took the edge off. Even at 5mg, I'd reassumed a lot of the frantic pace and moodiness... but also lost some of the desire to sleep 11, 12 hours at a time, then take a nap.

I considered for years whether I needed medication, but of course decided that I was simply weak-willed and undisciplined. Coming off the Lexapro and paying "bare attention" (as my meditation books say) to what happened has convinced me otherwise: I'm one of the crazy. The fluctuation of mood, the agitation inspired by small setbacks, the crippling inability to start doing a task I wanted and needed to do but just COULDN'T... these things were not willed and were not in my control.

I can feel how meditation, disciplined exercise and eating, helps to address this, also journalling, and patience, but IT'S SO HARD. Probably too hard, is what I've come to. And dangerous... I have to drive home late at night from the city, and it's dangerous to feel like I just don't have the energy, and agitation makes me eager to get things over with, careless.

Okay, so I'm going to blame the speeding ticket I got last week on Lexapro withdrawal.

I don't know if I'm entirely happy about this all. I've never been one to knock the medication industry or the prevalence of medication, though I *DO* suspect they're over-prescribed** and of course the price gouging is unconscionable. (Remember, I only started going off the meds because, since I got no teaching this semester, I lost the health insurance that pays for meds. Academia, you need to work this out! All grad students and adjuncts should get totally free scripts. Also professors. Actually, EVERYONE should. And that whole thing where my insurance companies are being bitches about paying for "pre-existing condition" things even though they are supposed to waive that for grad student appointees who had health insurance before? And how the old health insurance company hasn't sent the documentation of this fact even though I've been calling them for months and they claim to have sent me two copies already? That's all totally fucked up! When I don't have meds, I'm dangerous, and more likely to ram someone's car in the back because they're driving like an asshole, and how would you like to have to pay for THAT? Hm, Aetna? Also, what's up with the now that I'm only a "grad student" and not an "academic appointee" you won't pay for my birth control thing? If I get preggers or have to address the consequences of being preggers, that's coming out of your pocket too! )

I'm not against, nor can I remember ever having been against, medications as such. I don't wanna join the "down with these evil poisons!" bandwagon you encounter on some withdrawal sites... but it is kinda weird how dependent you get on them.

Now see. This is why I haven't blogged much lately. I've been quietly and unannouncedly withdrawing, and haven't had the energy. But also, I have only common ground to cover... anxiety, profession, health insurance, medication.

In this context, it's pretty interesting that I've begun reading A Scanner Darkly, a Philip K. Dick novel in which there are the heads and the straights, and the heads are all on drugs. Specifically, on "Substance D," a synthetic concoction without which the heads will experience SUCH SEVERE WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS THAT THEY WILL DIE.

It's really not that far-fetched, people. And Lexapro is copacetic with the governments but marijuana isn't? The most dangerous heads I know are all on LEGAL drugs.

Incidentally, A Scanner Darkly is becoming a Waking Life style animated movie. (Via Fimoculous.)

**Amended to say that: hm. It seems like these meds must be overprescribed, because it's seemingly so easy to get them prescribed. Here's me to my doctor: "I have a stomachache." Here's my doctor to me: "Want some anti-depressants? You're intelligent. You tell me."

On the other hand, I love them, I love that I can be, like, CALM. Never a possibility before. And, if anything, I think MORE of my friends/family could benefit from meds, rather than fewer. When you hear of drs. prescribing meds to 15 yr olds for TMJ, that's one thing. But...

Wednesday, March 2

I love you Lexapro!

You've done it again: made me feel so good! Let's stay together, if only for tonight.

From something by Baudrillard which is sitting there on our kitchen table, cause that's the kinda household we run, that and copies of PMLA in the bathroom (along with my many, many magazines):

The Internet merely simulates a free mental space...

Side Effects

The non-properly-embodied feeling you get when you have a high fever or the flu, only without the flu, at least you think.

Things hurt. Muscles. But only vaguely. Like fatigue. Like after running. Only different. Subtle. Illegible.

Dizzy. For you the flavor isn't electric; you can't get any clearer than "weird." The head rush you have when you stand up... only MORE RUSHING. And fast. Just a tiny moment in time where there is a slipping sideways into prickly disembodied fizziness, almost like something you've experienced before but not quite.

You call people. Your ex-boyfriend, say. You write long e-mails, to people you work for or with. Long and chatty and soliciting help.

You remember that you used to do this a lot: call, write long e-mails. PEOPLE were your Lexapro. Not that this is as healthy as it sounds. "I'm the least difficult of men, all I want is boundless love!"

Sometimes there's nausea, but it's in the wrong place: high up, your diaphragm. On an X-ray, your stomach would glow green.

You go for a spontaneous aftenoon drink with a friend. The waitron is clearly a beer drinker, knows nothing about cocktails. She asks if you want your martini ON THE ROCKS and you, befuddled, say, uhm, yes? She brings it to you in a double-shot glass.

This is not a martini.

After chatting over nothings with your friend you feel so open that you write an apology on paper and prop it under someone's mailbox. You wouldn't feel comfortable living like this: in a house anyone can just enter from the street, put anything in your mailbox, walk right up to your apartment at the top of the stairs.

You write a long long letter in response to your potential-director's request to meet. Oh yes. You were a PhD candidate. This feels like it was in another life.

Like a backpack, for a day, you put that life back on. Will-there-be-teaching-for-me-next-semester? Please-sir-I'd-like-some-more, with a respectful bob of the head? You feel terrible, like a prisoner. Guilty. I did it: it was me. I didn't finish my exams in a timely fashion, I had one foot out the door! But I am sorry for my transgressions.

You stay up later, and get up earlier.

You write in second person.

It's a sunny morning, near the unblemished bowl of bananas and the Asiatic lily. You are drinking coffee, but it feels like whiskey. Why are you writing in second person? You feel weird. You are writing noir.

Your cheeks are kind of hot. Maybe it is a little fever. You can't explain the difference, really. Your therapist asked, last week, before you even felt weird, before you decided to skip this week's therapy. You couldn't find words to make them meet. "It's not that the moods are HIGHER or LOWER. It's that they're on... a completely different scale."

It's early. It still could go either way.

Meditation has given you a homunculous. This homunculous, fortunately, can do your laundry at the laundromat, gas the car, purchase your evening sandwich for the commute, prep your lesson, write individual responses to their recent test scores, even if you can't.

It doesn't hurt.