And Now For Something Completely Different.

I’m done for the day. I know that as I sit here at my computer, listening to Dreamcatcher’s Apocalypse : Follow Us mini album. It’s the first time I’ve listened to the entire album. If it’s like the other 5 recordings I have from Dreamcatcher, I will love it.

I’m supposed to be writing a flash fiction story for Miranda Kate. Week 271 of her weekly challenge. But, really, I’m not into writing much right now. I am eating my bowl of cereal, drinking tea, and listening to music.

It was a good workout tonight. Sort of fun to hear the thunder outside while I was watching two more episodes of Robotech. It’s what I do right now. Watch two episodes of Robotech and ride the Stationary Bike. Something like an average of 17 miles in 47 minutes or so. Not bad for an old man. Too bad I think I’ve managed to wear the bike out, so I don’t think it’s accurate anymore.

In what, 15 days? In 15 days it will be November first. A lot of things happen on November first. I’m trying not to be terrified about it. Not to panic about it. Not to let the rage and anger out.

November first. Everyone knows about National Novel Writing Month. In the 30 days of November, write a draft of a 50,000 word novel. The big question everyone who dares to try it always asks is, “What the fuck do I write?”

I decided, back in July, I was going to write this year. I’ve done it before. I know I can. All I have to do is decide I’m going to, and then stick with it. The story doesn’t even have to be good. It’s the first draft. The idea is to get it down on paper, and worry about fixing it, and cleaning it up after it’s written.

But… This November is going to be different for me. On November first, I am scheduled for my first visit with a new psychotherapist. And on November second, I am scheduled for my first visit with a new psychiatrist.

My brain cells just screamed, “He’s going in blind!” They do that. My brain cells. They scream. A lot.

That changed everything about National Novel Writing Month for me. I realized one night, a couple of weeks ago, that I’m face to face with a chance to write down 30 days of my life. 30 days where I start therapy, and work with a psychiatrist to see if we need to adjust my medication. 30 days where I’m working my way out of a major depression episode.

I learned in my six years of therapy, from October of 2010 through May of 2016, that writing is part of how I deal with the chaos that life is. Part of how I figure things out. Which means I get to write. Usually, I write fiction, but in the past few months, I’ve been fictionalizing things that happened to me, things that I’ve experienced, felt, dreamed, or lived. That I’ve been writing them from my perspective. And it’s helped me to come to grips with a lot of my anger and rage.

So, tonight, when I looked at the picture for Miranda’s challenge, I decided, “Let me write something like what I’ll be writing in November. Let me practice that kind of writing.”

It’s been a good day, too. For once. Good days have been rare lately, but the past few days have been better than the entire last month. Some things got done. Mowed the side yard, just before the rain got here. Got laundry started this morning. One load in the dryer, one load in the washer. Cleaned the shower. Vacuumed the bedroom. Got a shower, and even shaved.

I hate shaving.

God made facial hair to drive guys like me bonkers. I hate shaving. But it grows out. And when it gets long enough, that stuff itches something awful. And I hate the itching more than I hate shaving. When it itches enough, I mow the facial weeds, and the itching stops for a week or so.

This is how it will be in November. I won’t write fiction. I mean, the prompt for Miranda’s challenge this week is great. That ancient typewriter, with paper in it. I thought about having a ghost writing stories, in an old, abandoned house, that everyone was too afraid to tear down, because they knew it was haunted, and didn’t want to piss off a ghost, and end up being haunted themselves.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll write that story some other time?

For now, I just have to remember to breathe, to monitor my pulse rate, my blood pressure, the tension in my shoulders, the way my hands shake. So I can head off any panic attacks, and remain calm about November first, when it all starts. I want to give these people a chance. I want to find out if they have any ideas that could help me better manage the depression I live with.

Maybe this is enough for now. Maybe I should put a title on this when I post it. “And now for something completely different.” Whatever.

Don’t be a wreck on November first, Marcus. Don’t be a wreck on November first. Breathe, damn-it. Breathe. And give them a chance.



I was like you, once.
Not so long ago, really.
My life was defined.
Everything was organized.

I walked a fixed path.
A predefined path.
Cut through existence.
Trees, brush, animals, birds, squirrels,

The path was clear.
Used by everyone.

I was like you, once.
Not so long ago, really.
The professional.
The success.
Everything I was supposed to be.

I walked a fixed path.
What to wear.
What to say.
When to speak.
When to be silent.
Everything was planned.

Do your job.
Never speak the truth.
Only positive words.
Can do words.
Even if everyone knew
It was a lie.

I was like you, once.
Not so long ago, really.
I had all the signs in place.
The house.
The cars.
The yard, well kept,
Always edged,
No weeds anywhere.

And perfect flower beds.
I knew the path.
I knew the way.
What to do every day.
What mattered.
What didn’t.

I was like you, once.

And then I changed.
I saw the path
For what it was.
How barren,
How empty.

Nothing lived there,
On that path,
Where every day,
And every one,
Was the same.

A path that lead from life
To death,
In a straight line.
Turning neither right,
Or left.

Oblivious to everything.

So I stepped off the path.
To see what lies beyond.
To greet the unknown.
And explore the world,
Outside the land of safe.

I was like you, once.

No more.

I’m free.