Caution: Adult themes ahead…


Well, I did it.

I wrote and published something on Amazon for sale to the general public.

I took the leap.

All of the years of procrastination, the fear of rejection, the worry…

I decided to chuck it all.

Caution has been dispatched without ceremony.

And now, I prepare myself for the results.  Success and reward or folly and failure.

The die has been cast.

But all of this with a twist.

The genre which finally allowed me to break the barrier is, shall we say, of an ADULT nature.

So needless to say, this is not Shakespeare, nor Hemingway… not even Danielle Steele.

But it’s mine.  And my hope is that it leads to more.

Self-control did get the better of me.  It’s written under a pen name to shield my personal and professional connections.

So this is no flack advertisement.  No link included for you to follow in order to purchase this torrid tome.

If you want to read it bad enough, most of you know how to contact me.  I’ll send you a link and your purchase stays forever in the vault of my discretion.

It’s certainly a side of me that very few people know existed.

But damn, does it feel good.

I’m more relieved than anything, to be honest.  And someone has already been kind enough to purchase it.

One sale down, hopefully many more to come.

My irresolution was fulfilled before the end of the second month of the year.

So I listened to “Raise Your Glass” as I put the final touches on it and pushed “Publish” and these lyrics played out as the mouse button clicked:

So raise your glass if you are wrong,
In all the right ways,
All my underdogs,
We will never be never be, anything but loud
And nitty gritty, dirty little freaks
Won’t you come on and come on and raise your glass,
Just come on and come on and raise your glass.

Finally, after all the years that my words never produced a penny, I am beginning the journey to if not producing an income, at least supplementing my income.

It was time to raise my glass.

And for the bravery to put my words out to the masses, whatever source that came from;

I thank you.

I thank you.

This spring, my hope be eternal.  And to quote the Shawshank Redemption

Hope is a good thing.  Maybe the best of things.

So raise your glasses, and join me in a virtual smashing of the champagne bottle across the bow of my writing career.

The horizon’s clear and seas are calm for now.



A Resolution For the Irresolute

I’ve had a long standing agreement with my life… if there’s anything about it that I really don’t like, I procrastinate dealing with it until I hit one of two milestones…either my birthday or January 1…

It’s a shitty plan, admittedly.  And many times I just hit a mental “Postpone” button (kinda like that Windows Update that keeps cropping up on my screen… you do it, too.  Don’t judge me.)

I’m not a believer in resolutions.  I’m firmly irresolute.  The only thing that I do believe about resolutions is that they usually wind up left at the curb with the dried Scotch pine and broken light strands of the holidays somewhere mid-month.

As I write this, it’s 7 degrees outside, I’ve got a fire snapping and popping in the fireplace about 3 feet away, but I have something burning much more intensely inside.

The urge to write.  To create fantasy.  To actually make my living from all of the demented fermentation of thoughts, words and ideas sloshing around in the ol’ skull… at least while I still have enough synapses connected to accomplish that.

You only have so many good years on the planet.  I’ve been counseling my youngest on that very fact.  He spends an inordinate amount of time worrying about deep life issues that a 13 year old needn’t occupy their thoughts with.  But that’s a tale for another day.

As I lecture him from my Paternal Pulpit, a little voice distracts me.

“Great advice there, Pops.  Now, when does the physician heal himself?  When do you start taking your own advice?”

I firmly and politely tell that voice to piss off.  I’m tending to my fatherly duties.

“Sure, Pops.  You’re 47, you know.  Ain’t getting any damn younger, that’s for sure.  Just when do you expect this wonderful writing career to start?  Another year just flew past you.  Another year that you could have been living the life you want to, but you let it slip past.  It’s gone.  Adios.  Sayonara.”

Yeah, yeah.  I get it.

“Do you?  Do you get it?  I happen to recall YOU telling a co-worker that life was short…and if he was unhappy, he should retire.  You told him not to waste any more of his life being miserable.  You should have been having that conversation in the mirror, pal.”

And so on and so forth.  I won’t bore you with the rest of the mental debate,  but I’m pretty sure that the voice called me a dumbass and other less nice things.

But it’s true, folks.  Not just for me but for you as well.  You ain’t getting younger either.  So if you are as irresolute as I, skip the resolutions and instead pick one goal to accomplish.  I don’t care if it’s racing in the Cannonball Run, or creating art or simply getting your damn laundry caught up.  Accomplish that goal and then pick another.  Baby steps, just like Bill Murray’s mantra in “What about Bob?”

Tomorrow isn’t a guaranteed delivery.  The only thing that you know is that you have the moment now.  Take action.  Put paint to canvas.  Carve unflattering soap sculptures of your sister-in-law.  Seek and destroy whatever is creating that godawful funk in your teenager’s bedroom.  Whatever it is that you have been putting off, your time to do it is now.

Before another year passes you by, buttercup.

(But seriously, find out what in the hell is causing that smell.  The stench is overpowering)

Thanks for a great 2017.  I appreciate you and especially those who have been kind enough to give me comments and feedback.

Meanwhile, Imma get busy writing.  I’m going to try my hand at erotica, but I can’t post that stuff on a wholesome family blog like this…

Or can I?

(laughs wickedly and then coughs and hacks… damn cigarettes)






The unexpected magic of an ancient cat…


Allow me to introduce you to Minka… she’s 21 years old (101 human years old, according to Cat World)… she’s a tiny little lady, with a soft rusty purr and and a crabby sounding meow.  She’d rough-looking and graying but carries herself with the never-ending pride of cat attitude.  She’s fighting the ailments of any geriatric cat and she lives at a local animal clinic that was going to be closed over the holiday weekend.  And I got roped into cat-sitting her.

I had no idea how happy she would make me.

This little lady gave me such a warm sense of the holiday… it’s hard to put into words.

She spend the holiday weekend in the warm carpeted confines of my son’s closet, which she took to immediately.  She got lots of attention and love, mainly from my boy who was happy to volunteer his room for her guest room.

For some unusual reason, the knowledge that there’s a good chance that this would be her last Christmas gave me a tremendous sense of purpose.  If the cat gods call her home before next December 25, I will have the satisfaction of knowing that her final Christmas was not spent alone in a steel cage, but taking naps with a teenager curled up on the floor next to her… gentle face rubs and lots of friendly words.

Sometimes, I would sneak away from the family activities to run upstairs and lay on the floor.  She’d rouse herself from her soft, warm bed to come greet me, get a few pats and issue a gravelly meow and then head back to her bed to relax.

And that was enough to put me back into a great holiday spirit.

An act of kindness towards someone (or something) that can never repay you is an exquisite feeling.  It’s indescribable.  It’s as if you’re making a deposit back into that Bank of the Universe that has shown you the occasional kindness or stroke of good fortune.  And it allows you to feel grateful for all the good things that you enjoy in your life.

The beauty of magic (especially Christmas magic) is that you can’t predict the source or timing… but even an ancient cat can be the gateway for a little magic of your own.

This won’t be a lengthy post.  Just enough to say thank you to Minka.  Thank you for spending the holiday with us.  Thanks for the rusty purrs as you got your face rubbed.  Thanks for helping Christmas feel like Christmas again.   And if you’re still with us next Christmas, you’ve got a standing reservation at my place and the welcome mat is out.

And to you, dear readers, may 2018 bring you magic, happiness and peace.

47 years and counting…

A few years ago, I wrote a post on my birthday called Reflections on 44. It remains one the most popular posts I’ve ever written.

I know that many, if not most posts I write are dark. I don’t know why that is, other than for some strange reason, the darkness rouses the Muse and words flow more freely. In case you were wondering, I don’t spend my days in some sort of gothic state of depression. Quite the contrary, I am happy most of the time. But it isn’t those moments when I am driven to the keyboard.

So today, on this auspicious 47th anniversary of my entering this world, I decided to reflect on the good in my life.

The first thing that I want to mention is you. Knowing that you take precious time out of your day to scan these words brings me hope…hope that one day, I might turn this habit of verbal doodling might become my life’s work. That’s there still value in these thoughts that bubble up in my brain. That one day, I may truly become a writer, complete with paycheck. Thank you for your presence, the words of encouragement that you leave me and for the gift of your time.

I thank the gods for my friends. You know who you are. The trials of the past year would have been unbearable without you.

Happiness is not a state of being, I’ve come to realize. Happiness is in enjoying the moments that fill our every day and being fully present within them. My own are the simplest: that first cup of coffee in the morning quiet of my front porch, smoking and watching the hummingbirds zip and dive around my neighbor’s feeder. When my newly adopted cat jumps up on the couch and onto my lap, hesitantly craning her neck out to touch her nose to mine. When I have my kids on the couch next to me, their presence (even though they are enraptured by their phones/tablets) brings me peace and joy.
Singing along (badly) with a favorite song while I drive. Flopping down and watching an episode of “Longmire” at the end of a long day. An unexpected message from someone. Watching the sun go down. Listening to the night sounds while I smoke the last cigarette of the day before bed.

That is happiness to me. And my days are filled with those moments.

Surprisingly, these days I have an abundance of hope. I can’t explain why, but I have a concrete sense that no matter what, everything will turn out ok.

Cheers to 47 years. I don’t know if I have 47 more, but I will make the most of those I do have. I plan on making changes for the better in the coming days and weeks ahead.

Thank you for your birthday wishes. Thank you for continuing to read. Thank you for being you. My wish for you is health, happiness and hope in the coming year.

What you think about, you bring about. Never forget that.

“Walk tall, kick ass and take no guff from those swine.” – HST

A Suicide In My Brain

“Man looks into the abyss, and there’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that’s what keeps him out of the abyss.” – Wall Street

A few months back, a high school classmate posted his suicide note on Facebook. Although I hadn’t laid eyes on him in 25+ years, I joined the frantic effort from his friends and family members in vain attempts to reach out to him. Hours passed, and while I knew that he had seen some of my messages, he stopped looking at them or responding.
My spirit bottomed out. I feared that our efforts would be fruitless, wasted with a culmination on some lonely dead end road.
It stirred up a black swirl of my own memories, when dark days prior to my separation and divorce led to even darker days that followed it.
Many nights spent lost in shadowy thoughts. Where internal debate rages between the fear of death and the pain of life and like some evil role call every single misstep and bad decision comes prancing out of lightless corners in the mind and each one happy to burden the scales in favor of ending it all.
Voices from nowhere reminding me what I waste I was, how I had squandered my life, ruined my family, destroyed my finances…
The gift of words that I had been blessed with I rarely used.
I felt that I had disappointed so many people.
Why was I continuing to remain here? What was the point?

I don’t endorse/condone suicide in any way, shape or form.(I don’t include terminal disease/medically assisted cases in this)

But I understand it.
Oh do I ever.
When the burdens grew nearly intolerable…I called my best friend and handed my gun over to him to keep. I told him that I was worried about security at the extended stay hotel I was at, but it was so much more than I could bear to talk to even him about. I asked him to hold onto it for safekeeping.
I let him hold onto it for months.

Until the internal debate simmered down.
Until I felt like my head was on straight.
Until I felt like I could breathe again.
Until I could look my children in the face and not feel like I was collapsing into a emotional disaster.
Until the dark thoughts finally dissipated.
Until I realized that there was hope.
Until I allowed myself to feel the love of those who rallied around me.
Until I could study the sunset and look forward to tomorrow.

As I write this, there is a story on Yahoo about Katy Perry and her own experience with suicidal thoughts. Even the young, wealthy, famous, gorgeous aren’t immune from the siren’s song…

And if there’s a battle raging inside of you or someone you know, act and act quickly. For your own good. For the sake of your loved ones. Because there is always hope. There’s always good things in the future. There is always a reason to keep on living.

As for my high school classmate, he was found at a hospital. I don’t have all of the details except the most important one…he is alive.
And for that I am thankful.

24 hours in Heaven and Hell

jeepYou know, the past 24 hours have been such a whirlwind, I really don’t know where to begin…

So I guess that I will just begin at the beginning.

I was about to have dinner with a friend, when she got the call that every parent dreads.

A phone number that she didn’t recognize.

A frightened voice telling her that her daughter had been in a car accident.

As the fates would have it, the accident was a mere 100 yards from her front door.  We ran to the car and we could hear the sirens howling in the distance.  Panic crossed her face, as it would any parent hurling themselves headlong into this sort of surreal nightmare.

If we weren’t on the scene in less than a minute after hanging up the phone, we were pretty damn close.  And the scene that greeted us was nothing less than the very picture of what haunts parental dreams.  Brilliant flashing red and blue lights.  Smashed and twisted steel.  Concrete strewn with debris and moonshine diamonds of shattered glass.  Emergency vehicles racing up the road.  Screams of pain.  Glowing red road flares.

We dashed across the traffic lanes and were blocked by police until she heard her daughter screaming for her and she damn near lost it.  The officer relented, let her through and she fell to her knees next to her daughter who was being carefully tended to by the first paramedics that had arrived.  She was crying out in pain, the heart rending sound that makes a person feel so helpless.  Her mom was overcome and had to take a moment to gather herself so I knelt by the girl, holding her hand like the most fragile, delicate piece of glass I could imagine, saying every comforting and soothing word I could think of.  Kind hands on my shoulders as a fireman said “It’s ok, dad.  We are taking good care of her.”  I didn’t bother to correct him or clarify my status.  At that moment it seemed trivial.  Those same kind hands purposefully guided me away, giving them the space they needed to work.

I turned to the teenage boys that were with her in the car and who were pacing nervously, almost as if lost.  The story was coming in bits and pieces, but we managed to gather the basics but the penultimate detail was that the girl was ejected from the vehicle through a back window.  That was about all we had the chance to gather before the girl and her mom were loaded into an ambulance and fired off.

I stayed behind and tried to wrap my mind around what had happened.  I spied a shoe that the girl had been wearing left on the street.  I picked it up and searched for the other.   It wasn’t the only item missing from my sight.  As I looked at the car she had been in, I noticed that the right rear wheel was gone.  As was the tailgate of the car.  Not just flat, bent or damaged.  Fucking gone.  I looked all around and could not see them anywhere.  I wrenched open the battered driver’s door, grabbed the girl’s purse and found her other shoe still inside the car.

Incredible.  Surreal.  I was stunned as my mind pictured the immense impact and I couldn’t shake the horrible image of the girl flying out of the window in a glittering explosion of glass and winced as I pictured her body thumping against the pavement and coming to rest.  I dropped into the front seat of my car and lit a cigarette.  I closed my eyes and took a few moments  before I did the impossibly long (at least it seemed) drive to the hospital without the benefit of lights and siren or even a visual of the ambulance, but wasted no time nonetheless.

I parked the car and hustled into the ER Entrance.  As I approached the trauma room I saw swirl of scrubs and white lab coats.  Machines and monitors beeped, ticked and blinked.  Her clothes had been cut off and lay in a dejected pile on the floor.  I put my arm around my friend and did my best to keep her calm.  She described the ambulance ride as we stood just outside the room, as no space for even a single other person was available in the bustle of that room.

Minutes turned to hours to hours as staff gradually trickled out, their roles complete.  The girl seemed pitifully small on the hospital bed.  We took turns gently talking to her, delicately stroking her hair and reassuring her that we were still there and were not going anywhere while they rolled her to CT scans and paced until she was brought back.

Finally, around midnight, a relieved looking surgeon cataloged her injuries, a concussion, bruised bones and pulled muscles, cut and bruises and an ugly patch or two of road rash but nothing broken.  Nothing serious nor life-threatening.  She would spend the night in the hospital for observation purposes, but could go home in the morning.

Which in my humble opinion, is nothing short of amazing.

A few weeks ago, my youngest asked me if I still believed in God.  It brought to mind a scene from a movie where a fallen angel asks a man who once studied to be priest;  “Do you still believe?  Any of it?”  And the priest didn’t.

I couldn’t bring myself to tell him the truth, that life had battered that out of me over the past few years.  I didn’t want to break his little heart, so I told him that I still did.

I don’t know what to believe anymore, but dear reader I can tell you this I surely believe in miracles.  And when that girl shyly and hesitantly walked up to me (after I brought them home from the hospital) and wrapped her arms around me in one of the sweetest hugs that I had ever received, I knew that I was holding a living miracle at that moment.

In the midst of all of this,  I get contacted by a high school friend.  After texts back and forth, he tells me that his mother is dying.  A woman who was a second mom to me in those terrible awkward years of my life.  A woman who I had shared countless hours, cigarettes and RC colas with.

I pondered this crazy life of mine.  One moment joy and relief, and the next, sorrow.

And a few hours later, a simply worded text.  His mom had passed.  And all of the breezes that had filled my sails earlier vanished.  In a matter of hours I shall be sitting with my friend, doing my best to be the person that I need to be for them.  I will give them the gift of my time and my love and friendship.  The longer I live, the more I believe that those simple gifts are the only currency that don’t devalue.

And some day, I hope that this life will make some sense to me.  In the closing scene of the movie “Tombstone” Wyatt Earp is visiting Doc Holliday as Doc lay dying and Wyatt is lamenting his inability to live a normal life.  To which Doc replies:

“There’s no normal life, Wyatt.  There’s just life.  You’ll get on with it.”

Truer words seldom spoken.

I guess I’ll just get on with it.


Long, hard times to come…

At risk of stirring up a shitstorm, I feel compelled to write today.

Not of sunshine, autumn breezes nor unicorns farting rainbows. But of life and its seemingly unending desire to plant a foot in my ass.

Some of you know, but most of you don’t, what’s happening in my life.

I am in the midst of a divorce.

It’s far worse than I ever imagined. Not that I have any regrets about leaving nor did I have halcyon dreams of an ideal post-nuptial life.

But man, I never expected to feel more angry after leaving than I did before I left. It’s as if I was being given a choice between a shit sandwich or shit soup. Here you go, Danny. Take your pick and enjoy your shit either way.

I was drinking a lot those last 6 months. Just to keep from losing my mind and to try to sleep at night. It kept me in check but I slept very little those last months. In fact, the past year has seemed to be one long, sleepless night due to one disappointment, betrayal and insult after another in all aspects of my life.

The good news is (if there is any) that I rarely touch the drink anymore. One problem solved. Many more waiting impatiently in the queue.

Now I’m faced with the task of planning some sort of future. Being mindful of the child support obligation that I’m very much okay with fulfilling, I wonder what type of home will I be able to acquire. What sort of neighborhood will I be able to afford… house or apartment? 3 bedrooms to accommodate the kids or only two since I only see them every other weekend? What will I be able to afford for Christmas? What if my car breaks down? Et cetera…

The road that stretched before me is fraught with uncertainty and very little in the bank to address it.

I have had some very good friends to lean on during this time when I have mostly felt abandoned and alone. Without them I don’t know that I would have made it.

What’s the point of this post? I don’t know. I do know that I’m not giving up. Surely the fecal buffet that I have been dining on will switch entrees eventually.

But like the song says:

“I see them long, hard times to come…”

For those of you who stuck with this post all the way to the end, thank you and I’m sorry.

My first almost girlfriend… rest in peace

Allow me to grovel at my extended absence from this blog.  Life had delivered a few sharp blows that sucked the wind right out of my writer’s sails…but today, I saw something that forced me back to the keyboard.

Sadly, it’s tragedy that brings me here.

Any of you that know me understand me as an awkward person.  Always have been.  Always will be to varying degrees.

In high school, I was even worse.  Exponentially so.

I never went on a date in high school.  No dances.  No movies.  No senior prom.  I was too painfully shy.

In my junior year, I was required to serve 3 weeks as a social service project.  I chose Children’s Hospital where I thought I could feed babies and pull little kids around on wagons… and I did those.

But I also met a beautiful girl my age there.

Her name was Shannon.

She happened to be very down to earth and friendly.

I was awestruck.

I looked for any excuse to hang around in her vicinity.

I talked to her.  Conversation came free and easy.

I screwed my courage up and asked her out on a date.

She said yes.

Fairy tales would have had us falling in love, complete with white picket fence and Volvo station wagon.

Ok… probably not a Volvo.  Her dad happened to own a Pontiac dealership.

But my life is no fairy tale.  And the date never happened.  Not through her own fault, but due completely to my own cowardice and insecurity.

I never followed through.  I never had the stones to call her and set up the date.

Every now and then, I would flip through a photo album and see photos of myself and a couple of high school chums in our blue volunteer vests hanging out at Children’s Hospital.  I even had a picture of Shannon and I in there.

I would smile.  What a silly, stupid kid I was.

And then today happened.

I was enjoying a gas station hot dog for lunch and flipping through the paper and a headline caught my eye.

“Funeral set for cancer patient beaten to death”

I started to read the article and dropped my hot dog in disbelief.

It was Shannon.

Now I hadn’t seen or spoken to her since then…but I was still sad and shocked.

She was seeking treatment for cancer in the Chicago area.  Sitting at a bus stop.  Some lowlife subhuman came up behind her and bashed her in the head.  For apparently no reason whatsoever.  Not robbery or anything else.  The guy simply ran off.

What the actual fuck is that?  What sort of piss poor excuse of a world is this really coming to?

She was on life support for about a day.

And died.

Died trying to fight death from another source.

A blogger friend of mine wrote a very popular post called “A Senseless Death”

Donnie, I have to compare this loss as just as senseless as the one you wrote about so beautifully.

Godspeed Shannon.  You’re with your dad now.  Watch over your family.

I am sorry for the way your life ended here.




Closing up shop…

It was an ordinary-looking house. A post war Kleenex box with a roof. It looked like every other one on the street.
I pulled to a stop in the driveway. I could feel it coming on me already. I knew that this was going to be a bad one.
My job is to visit foreclosed homes before they are auctioned off. I assess the property for the mortgage company so they can report accurate conditions to the bidders. I walk the floors and check for carpet wear. I flush toilets, run faucets and crank up the air conditioner to see if it works. My boss calls it “closing up the shop.”
But I am cursed…cursed with the ability to see the lives and feel the emotions of those that lived there. I’ve seen love and heartbreak, sadness and tragedy, joy and celebration.
Most houses have a pretty even balance. This one felt a lot different.
Not in a bad or menacing way, and I didn’t expect a hockey-masked psycho to jump out of the linen closet at me.
But this felt different. And the house looked different.
When I stepped across the threshold, I saw something that I rarely see.
No dirt. No dust or cobwebs. Not a cracked windowpane. The carpeting still had the tidy lines left in it from it from its last vacuuming.
And then I saw her. She was slightly out of focus, like a hazy VHS tape that has been watched too many times. She walked worriedly through the living room, stooping to pick up a speck of lint. Worry lines furrowed her face. Pure sadness was in her eyes. She studied the countertops in the kitchen. I followed her. She took something from a white bottle that was under the sink and scrubbed a spot. She shook her head and dropped the rag and headed to the basement. She did not want to have the new owners think ill of them.
I decided not to follow her down. I walked back into the tidy living room to see a boy of about 7 playing with Legos on the floor. He hummed to himself as he lay on his belly, constructing impossible combinations of pirate ships and interstellar cruisers. He held up one creation proudly to his dad, who sat on the couch holding an infant girl, feeding her a bottle. The dad smiled and nodded encouragingly, but the boy noticed something in his dad’s eyes. He saw fear and worry. It made the boy’s stomach flutter. He did not like to see his daddy scared.
I turned away and went down the hallway to the bedrooms. I peeked in the first one on the right and saw the dad years earlier, holding the boy as a baby as he rocked him to sleep. The father’s face was pure contentment. The baby was asleep, but it felt so wonderful to hold his first child in his arms that he just wanted to keep rocking that baby forever here, in this beautiful house that they had just bought and moved into.
I felt this pain inside me. The father’s pain. Grief and a sense of failure. I walked into the parents’ bedroom and walked over to the window. I needed a break. I had hoped to see a bird or squirrel, something to change what I was feeling.
Instead I saw the father again. This time pushing the lawn mower. His back was slumped. Defeated. He was mowing the yard one last time before they left. He trimmed the edges carefully. He pulled stray weeds from his flower beds. He didn’t know what else to do. They were taking his house from him, but he was doing it his way. He sat on the back steps of the house, surveying his yard. Then he put his head down and wept. Big, racking sobs where he knew his family couldn’t see him.
I turned away from the window, eyes wet.
I was met by scene that I was never meant to see. The mother and father making furtive love, trying to be quiet and not wake their sleeping children. Passionate kisses. Bodies with a fine sheen of sweat. She stopped him mid-thrust, putting her index finger on his lips as they paused, listening intently for the stirring sounds of a baby. He giggled and she shushed him, smiling. Passion resumed, quietly intense.
I left their room, with a blush that they never would have imagined.
In the last bedroom, I saw the girl at 5, carefully and gently laying her dolls in a white banker’s box. She wasn’t sure why they were leaving this comfy house, it made her sad. Mommy and daddy had tried to smile and tell them that it was an adventure. They were moving to a new neighborhood with a new school for the fall. It sounded fun, but was scary at the same time.
I spun and walked back down the hall towards the front door.
I could take no more, it was time to close up this shop.
I put the key in and locked it. As I walked to my car I saw the family carrying their belongings, arms loaded with boxes, heads swiveling from side to side to see if neighbors were watching their walk of shame.
I slid into the driver’s seat and keyed the engine. The sun was setting over the roofline. I turned on the radio and hit the scan button, hoping for relief. The second station it landed on was a country station playing “There’s No Place like Home.”
No. There would be no relief tonight.

High Anxiety (Blogger advisory ~ lots of vulgarity in this post)

Well, it happened.

I sent the kids off to the bus stop.  Alone.  For the first time.  To their second day at a new school.  Did I mention that they were alone?  AND they will have to walk home (1/3 of a mile) from the bus stop and let themselves in the house.  For the first time.  Alone.

And I was/am a damned wreck.  It was everything that I could do to not park somewhere and watch them while they waited.

The DadStalker.

You see kids, I suffer from anxiety.

Most days it’s manageable.  Some days, it’s paralyzing.

Lately, it’s been a fresh hell.

Aside from everyday life stresses and my crazy, fucked up occupation, I’ve been compounded by a move to a new house, worrying about my dad (with whom we spent 9 months living after the death of his wife), the kids & their new school, money (can I really afford this freakin’ house?), et cetera…

Oh, and I turned 45 a couple of weeks ago.  Birthdays almost always jack up my anxiety as I analyze my life over the previous year(s) and try to decide if I am keeping my shit together in a manner befitting someone of my age and station in life.

The answer this year was an echoing “hellz noooooooooo.”

And I am trying to decide if that is a good thing/bad thing.  My writing friends Hemingway, Thompson, Bukowski and good ol’ Hank Moody are all varying degrees of trainwreck.

Is this something inherent in my animal?  Literary DNA?

I wish I knew.  The past few months my hands shake noticeably.  Now the legs have picked up the beat as well.  If I stop typing, my hands will involuntarily tap the keyboard.

ajjdhohehoieh  (See what I mean?)

At least, I hope it’s anxiety.  A little voice in the back office of my brain’s Health Concerns Department keeps whispering “Parkinson’s” over and over again.

And to answer all three of you that read this blog, no.  I don’t take anxiety meds or have any treatment other than smoking and the occasional indulgence in drink.

I am a fan of self-medication.  An enthusiast, really.

But lately, neither tobacco nor fermentation has been working particularly well.

What to do, what to do.

As I write this, I get a text from the girl telling me that they are home from school.

The weight lifts ever so slightly.

My apologies for the lack of entertainment value in this post.  It was therapy for me to put this out there.

Thanks for reading.