Sometimes, I remember.

I unfriended her on Facebook one day. Along with 150 other people. So, why do I still remember who she is?

I haven’t shared words with her in over 4 years now, maybe over 5. She’s not the only one that’s gone. So, why do I remember her?

Why, when I check the national radar, do I always check an area of the country where I have never been? Why do I check for weather alerts in that area?

Would you be surprised if I admitted that the area in question is where she and her family live? Would you be surprised if I admitted I check, because I hope she and her family are doing well, and that the weather has not damaged their home?

Even though I can never say the words to her, or her family.

I have sometimes wondered if I should mail a Christmas Card. But then I wonder why. Then I wonder if it would make any difference to anyone, including me, including her and her family, if I did.

And somehow, I know it wouldn’t.

So I don’t.

Would you be surprised if I said she and her family are not the only ones that I think of in this way?

I remember people who are now gone. Some of them I know left because of what I did, what I said, what I believe. Because I was not like them.

As I sit here some days, I know. Of course I was not like them. I am like so very few. Which is why I sit here on my own.

I told my therapist last week, “Old people go to church because that’s where their social lives are.” It’s true. I said those words. They go to church to not be alone.

I used to try to go to church. But I figured out one day why I was always so miserable there. Why I always felt wrong, left out, alone. Why I could not say any of the things I believed, any of the things that were the truth to me.

I don’t belong in such a place. Because I can’t fit in. Like a square peg being stuffed into a round hole. I never see anything the way I’m supposed to see things in such places, among the people of those places.


I can only be me.

So I unfriended her years ago. To protect her from me. Who I am. What I feel. What I believe. The same way I have so many others that are gone these days. The same reasons. Some of them left on their own when they learned they can’t change me.

It is what it is. The way things are. The way they shall always be.

I’ll never send any cards. Never write any letters.

There would be no point to them.

I am who I am. And I am not like them. Never will be. No matter how hard they try to change me.


Me and My Depression (Sunday, 02 April 2023).

I need to vent to someone. Even if it’s thin air. You certainly don’t have to read the rest… ‘Cause…

Just finished the dishes. I feel, physically, somewhere between awful and not so good. A lot of my joints that I’ve injured over the decades are talking to me today. Welcome to the weather change.

Doesn’t help that I’ve had a touch of something all day. I know this because of how many times I’ve broken out into a sweat while sitting still. And by how many trips I’ve had to make to the bathroom. And by how many times I’ve wanted to stretch out on the bed, or the floor. And by how many times I’ve noticed I’m moving slowly.


All that aside.

My depression is hammering me.

See. It’s hard to explain. Because there’s nothing wrong. I just finished washing the dishes. The sinks in the kitchen (It’s a 2 sink sink, or whatever you want to call it) are empty. Nothing in them. Well. Except for a bit of water. Some bacteria. Some food particles that I didn’t manage to wash down the drains. Whatever. Probably a bit of Dawn dish-washing soap too.

Next up? The workout.

I turned the water off. And I turned the music off. And I damn near cried. Because. The workout hurts. No. Seriously. It physically hurts. A lot of muscles scream at me.

What makes it worse is there’s no reward. I don’t get brownie points for working out. I don’t get noticed for working out. No bonus. No nothing. I get to lay on the floor after I finish the 3rd set, coated in sweat, my arms and shoulders screaming at me, my entire physical frame vibrating like the tines on a tuning fork.

And no one knows. No one sees. No one cares. It’s just me. It’s all just me. It’s all about me. And what I believe. And what I want. And who I am.

It’s all part of that Machine called “Mark.” That machine is part of me. Hell. For decades that machine was all of me. Where it didn’t matter how I felt, what I wanted, what I thought. I did what I had to do to survive. To meet the requirements of parenthood. To meet her requirements as best I could. To meet the requirements of work as best I could. To get everyone, everywhere, to shut up and leave me alone.

The depression spike is from that. Because. For the first time ever, I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to be the machine. And that triggers oceans of problems.

I’ll work out in a bit. Probably in the next hour or two. Even if I cry about it. Because. I have to work out. I will feel better. And I will better deal with the depression. If I work out. So, the workout will happen.

But. Godz. Why do I have to hurt myself to keep moving forward? To keep in shape? To keep making progress? Because. The workout is the tip of the iceberg. There’s the Duolingo thing. And how if I stop and think about it, Duolingo becomes torture. Just like the workout.

There’s the dishes. She does notice if I get them done. She said as much. But. Like you know. The dishes never end. They’re like the laundry. The cat litter. Feeding the cats. Sweeping the hallway. Running the vacuum cleaner. And a million other things. They never end.

Like the workout. I get through this day. And then tomorrow? There’s the workout problem staring at me. Again. I get through the dishes. And then tomorrow? There’s more stuff in the kitchen sinks, and I have to deal with the dishes. Again.

It’s the relentless, unending nature of the problem that causes the depression spikes.

All the above said… Let me tell you a truth I know. A truth that shows I’m not at risk of doing something stupid. See.

I know this. I KNOW this.

It’s all just feelings.

It’s that simple. It’s that obvious. It’s my feelings. Sometimes, they can be overwhelming. Sometimes, I can’t plow right through them, and have to take a breather. Sometimes I know it’s just what I’m feeling, and I have to remind myself of what I want. Sometimes, it plays with tiredness, with fatigue, and those two feelings gang up on me.

Sometimes, when it’s bad, I have a day, or two, or a week or two, of a month or two, where I’m not terribly functional. Where I get the absolute basics done. Like laundry. Like showers. Like dishes. Like the workouts.

But I can’t seem to get beyond that for a while sometimes.

I’m coming out of that now. That started in August. It’s April. And I’m just now coming out of that. I won’t escape it completely. I know that. But. If I can learn to live with it. To acknowledge the emotional parts. To accept that they exist. And that they are what they are.

Then the brain cells can take over. Or I can let the machine take over. And get things done. Even when I’ve got the big time blues.

The blues don’t kill anyone. Depression itself doesn’t kill. I’m convinced of that. It’s how we, as individuals, process our emotions that does the killing. It’s how we react to those around us, and how they react to what we feel, that does the killing.

I’ve got her. And the cats. And you. And a pile of other people. Y’all are my “Pooh Bear and company” to my personal “Eeyore.” Y’all know I’m depressed. And that a lot of times, I’m not a lot of fun. And y’all are OK with that. Well. Maybe not OK. But at least you accept it.

I’m convinced that’s why two people I know shot themselves. They didn’t have that support. They didn’t have any outlet. Any way to talk , or to be honest.

They couldn’t get past the emotions that are depression. Couldn’t see them as just something they felt anymore. Maybe the depression even became all they were. Which would explain why they did what they had to do to escape that endless blackness.

But, see. I know. I know it’s just something I feel. It can’t hurt me, as such. It’s not all there is. There’s her. There’s my cousin Lana. There’s y’all.

It’s OK to feel yuck. It is what it is. Some days, I have to step back, and rest a bit. I have to pull back from the battle. Pull back from the marathon of dealing with things. And rest. Other days, I’m OK, and can keep moving.

This is how I know I’ll get the workout done tonight.

It’s like training for anything. If you don’t train. If you don’t practice. If you don’t put effort into your practice. If you don’t try to get better. If you don’t accept that you have to practice. And that means you have to be tired sometimes. And sometimes, you have to ache. All over. If you don’t do that, you can’t keep going in the endless day to day push through the dishes, laundry, cat litter, lawn mowing, garage cleaning… You can’t keep doing the things that keep you alive, that keep you safe, that keep you as happy as you can get.

So, I keep doing those things. Just like the workout. To keep myself strong enough, physically, to keep going. To learn more about myself, and what I can and can’t do, so I can stay within my physical limits. But those physical limits are as high as I can keep them.

It doesn’t end.

In this life, I don’t think it’s supposed to end. I think how we learn to deal with it may be why we’re here.

OK. I’ve rambled enough. Hope you didn’t mind. Hope you didn’t read a word you didn’t feel like reading.

Now to figure out when I’m going to push myself through that workout. Because I know I need it. And I know I’ll feel better after I complete it. And well.

I’m not going to let the depression own me. It’s just something I feel.

A Thought For A Thursday (2022/12/29)

I decided, on Tuesday, to try coming off the Buspirone on a daily basis, and use it on an as needed basis. I did this because of my collapsing energy levels. I think it was the right thing for me to do, since my energy levels are improving, and I’m able to move around better, and get more things done.

Let me tell you what I think demons and angels are. Yeah. Yeah. I know. Where did that thought come from, Mark? It’s something I keep running into in life. Like people trying to explain away bad thoughts, and bad actions, and bad behavior by attributing them to demons. The old saying, “The Devil made me do it.”

Sorry. That’s not true at all.

Demons and angels are literally us. We are each both a demon and an angel. And they can’t be separated into two beings. Think of it like rose bushes. Beautiful, but armed with thorns. Some of us are like wild blackberries. A few small berries, and an ocean of thorns. Some of us are like blackberries on the farm. A few thorns, but tons of berries.

The point is, when you get cut off in traffic, it’s not a demon that makes you scream at the driver that cut you off. It’s you. It’s anger. Frustration. Bafflement. Relief that you didn’t get in a wreck. An entire host of emotions. All of them inside of you and that collection of single celled organisms that has organized itself into a macro-organism called a human being.

Own it. Don’t blame it on something you have no damn control over. Own it. It’s all you.

Hold the door open for someone behind you? Aww. You little angel you. But, you see. If it’s not a bad thing, we don’t say, “An angel made me do it.” We treat that completely different. We don’t even always recognize that good behavior. But, there it is. You did something good. Like an angel would.

Own it. It’s all you.

Angels and demons. We are them. They are us.

Sometimes I think we oversimplify too many things. Pushed the red button that launched the nuclear missiles? You devil you. No demon made you do that. Own it. Put cat food out on the back porch for the stray cats that you know are out there? You angel you. No one made you do that.

Punch your brother smack in the nose? Broke his nose? Put him in the hospital for a couple of days? You devil you.

See? There they are. Angels and demons both. One and the same. Inside of each of us. We are the angels and the demons.

And it does get complicated. Doesn’t everything get complicated? The serial killer. If ever there was a case for this thing called demons, that would be one of the cases. “The demon possessed him, and made him kill 27 boys, and cut them into bits, and bury them in his backyard.”

Right. Sure. And we can bring in an exorcist, and cure him, and all is forgiven. Right?

Some of us have more darkness in us than others. It comes out looking like bigger demons.

The guy that took a gun to school, and shot 27 people dead? A demon, right? A fruit loop? What possessed him? What made him do that? He went crazy, right?

No. He deliberately decided to do what he did. Maybe his logic is flawed? Maybe he is filled with hatred, and rage? Maybe he wants to say something, but can’t convince anyone to listen? Maybe he just hates life? Maybe he wants to die, but can’t kill himself, so kills others until someone stops him?

Possessed? No. Crazy? No. The things you call demons? The “devil that made him do it?” That’s all him. No one made him pull that trigger. He literally came to the conclusion it was what he had to do. What he wanted to do. That it would solve whatever the problem he had was.

Demons had nothing to do with it.

Neither did angels.

Life would be simpler if they did, wouldn’t it. If only we could blame all the bad stuff on demons, and praise the angels for all the good stuff.

But, see. Then we come to man’s tools. Like cars. Cars which in and of themselves are not good or evil. Cars which are invaluable transportation tools to people. You have to have that car to get to work, to go buy groceries, to go someplace on vacation, to get the kids to school, to get to the doctor’s office, or the dentist’s office.

But, at the same time that the car does all that good, it’s slowly destroying our biosphere. Pumping out carbon from burning fuel. Leaving a trail of microscopic dust behind it from its tires, and metal parts, and springs, and paint.

Suddenly, the car becomes both good and evil. An angel and a demon.

Just like me. Just like you. Just like everyone everywhere.

My father told me, “There is a darkness in you, Mark. Just like there was in my father.”

Yes, dad. There is a darkness in me. There is also a light. And an interplay between the two. In some of us, the darkness may be bigger than the light. In others, the light may be bigger than the darkness. In others, they may be in balance. In each of us, they are always in conflict.

It would be easy to let the darkness win. To let it end things. To let it rule things. To let it make my decisions. I know this. I know my darkness well.

The magic. The thing that makes me human, is the light that balances the darkness. The light that keeps the darkness from owning me. So long as the two remain in conflict, I have hope that I’m not a bad person.

It’s not demons. It’s not the devil. It’s not angels.

It’s me. It’s my emotions. My feelings. My thoughts. My brain cells. The zillions of single celled organisms from which I am composed. That which makes the macro-organism that is me.

We are the demons. We are the angels. We are like the roses, and the black berries. We have flowers, and fruit. And we have thorns.

There. Now you know what I think about demons and angels. And about people who let the darkness in them win. No psycho pulled the trigger and shot 27 kids at school. No fruit loop cut up little boys and buried them in his backyard. No demon took possession of such people.

It’s not that simple.

Anger. Rage. Fear. Hatred. Blind emotions. Terror.

It’s complicated.

People lose to the darkness in them all the time. You broke the pencil at work. You spent half the night awake, playing a video game, bashing monsters with a big wrench or a sword. You slept on the sofa after you had too many drinks on a rough day.

It’s not demons.

It’s not angels.

It’s you.

Grow up. Own it. And if you need to, learn to deal with it.

A Thought For A Thursday (2022/12/22)

Then there’s the “stolen election” conspiracy theories. Don’t those drive you nuts? I find they illustrate how totally, absolutely stupid people have become. It’s not about who got how many votes. It’s not about how many people voted. It’s not about population in any way, shape, or form.

It’s about how red the maps are. It is literally that simple. And I’ve said it a million times. It’s about people doing “1 map section is 1 vote” in their heads, and looking at the map, and saying, “No way did Biden beat Trump in Georgia. Look at the map!”

It’s why Kari Lake has gone stupid in Arizona, and is claiming the election was stolen.


There you have it. The entire election conspiracy problem expressed in full color. Count the blue sections of the map of Arizona. How many are there? 5. That’s it. 5 blue sections. Count the red sections. How many are there? 10. Kari Lake won in twice the areas that Mark Kelly won. And yet Mark Kelly won the election.

We both know it’s because nobody lives in those 10 red areas of Arizona. Everyone lives in Phoenix and Tucson. If you win those two places in Arizona, you win the most votes. It’s that simple.

Here’s what the problem is. The map doesn’t reflect the number of votes in each map section. It is simply a map of the counties of the state. What does that mean? Here. The county map of Arizona.

 Looks just like the election results map, doesn’t it.

There is a ton of information missing in this map. So, let’s look at a population map. This one shows red where a lot of people live, and green where not very many people don’t live. Take a good look at it.

Presto. Kari Lake won all the green, where no one lives. Mark Kelly won all the red where everyone lives.

And it makes me wonder if people are really that stupid, and that dense, that they believe all 15 counties in Arizona have the exact same say in who Arizona elects. Because, for them to believe this, they have to reject the idea of one person being one vote. To believe all counties count the same, the counties with 10,000 people in them have to be given the same voting power as the counties with 1,000,000 people in them. Or even more lopsided than that.

This is a fight I had with my brother. Population density has to matter in statewide elections. We need to change the maps that report the results to reflect the population density. We need to show voting districts. Not counties and cities. Voting districts. Because those are based on population.

But, here’s the sad part. If we show voting districts, we run into the same damn problem, because we end up with tons of little bitty districts and a few big districts, and now we have the problem of the little districts having been made up to stack the deck on voting in the favor of the Democratic Party.

This rapidly devolves into a shouting contest. Where whoever lasts the longest shouting wins. Because. One side of the discussion can’t be reasoned with. One side of the discussion sees the ocean of red, and the lake of blue, and screams, “The election was stolen!”

And people wonder why I’m depressed, angry, and mean. Because the sheer stupidity of looking at a map, with no context, no sense of population, and saying, “There’s more red, so red won.” is totally stupid. And it’s exactly what is happening in state after state of the nation.

So, yes. I am angry. And hurtful. And I call people stupid. Because they are. Because they can’t understand the simple truth that one person gets one vote, and that places with lots of people, as a result, get more votes than places with almost nobody living in them. And I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s so hard to understand that more people live in Phoenix, Arizona than in any two red counties that voted for Kari Lake.

If you follow through with the argument that the elections are rigged, and the conspiracy theories, you end up with 12 counties in Arizona telling the 5 counties where everyone lives, how to run their cities. You end up with 1 million people telling 5 million people who the governor of the state is. Who the president of the country should be. Whether health care should be private, or public. And it goes on and on and on. In other words, you turn the state into a copy of the US Senate, where each of the 50 states gets two senators. Where Wyoming, and it’s half a million people has the same clout, the same power, as California, and it’s 39 million people.

And yet, that’s how these yo-yos think.

And seriously. The only way to fix that thinking, the only way to solve that problem, is to dissolve the United States, and turn it into a bunch of independent nations, and city states. Which sounds more and more like what the election conspiracy people want to do.

So, yes. I’m angry. And I will be angry. And I don’t see that changing until this entire fiasco and hundreds of fiascos like it, are resolved, and maybe not even then.

A Thought For A Wednesday (2022/12/21)

Ah. Humans. So entertaining.

I’ve been trying to explain, slowly, and cumbrously, why I am the angry, hurtful guy someone once called me. In that spirit, in that quest, let me write down more of what makes me angry, so you can know, and understand.

The moon landing of Apollo 11 happened 53 years ago. People are stupid enough to believe it didn’t happen, and was all faked in a studio somewhere. That even the astronauts were faked out.

Let me ask a few questions.

In 1969, how good were the special effects of movies? Perhaps the best effects were from Star Trek, the original series, the first episode of which was released on September 8th, 1966. Other special effects wizardry at the time came from movies, such as “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, a James Bond movie released on December 13th, 1969. Other movies included, “The Italian Job”, “Easy Rider”, and “True Grit”.

Look at the movies. Look at the special effects in the movies. The movies did not have the special effects to fake the moon landing in 1969. If they had those effects, the movie studios would have obviously used them.

Look at when computerized special effects showed up in movies. Movies like “The Last Starfighter” and “Tron”, in the 1980s. Watch those effects, and you know they are clearly generated. They aren’t real.

When did movie effects become good enough to appear real? As soon as the movie studios could develop and obtain the technology to make them real.

Look at computer games. It’s 2022, and computer games still don’t look real. They are getting close. There are some technology demonstrations that do look real. Demonstrations including a Star Wars scene that was generated by nVidia in 2018, 49 years after the moon landings.

Perhaps one of the best movie or computer game examples of special effects pushed as far as they could be pushed at the time was the original Superman movie of 1978. A movie where most of the flying effects used cranes and cables to lift Christopher Reeve and move him around. A movie where every frame had to be hand painted to remove the cables and the cranes, and make it look like Reeve was actually flying. And, despite the best efforts of the studio, and the creators of the movie, there are times when gravity shows in how the cape Reeve is wearing moves.

The best movies today can illustrate scenes so realistically we can generate life like movies. These scenes involve hours of computer time to create, and the computers use techniques like Ray Tracing to render the scenes as realistically as possible.

The raw number processing power of the computers used to generate movies today is easily thousands of times more powerful than the computers we had in 1969. Those computers would have taken years to generate each moon landing video.

The history of computing, the history of movies, the development of computer graphics, and ray tracing, show that in 1969, NASA, and the government could not have faked the moon landings. And yet, there are oceans of humans who believe they did. Simply because we never went back.

We never went back because there is nothing there. Nothing we can use. Nothing we could afford to mine, and ship back to earth. The cost to do that would have far exceeded any return on investment we could have had.

Let me continue.

In 1492, would you have sailed with Columbus for the new world? Would you have sailed with the settlers of Jamestown in 1607? Would you have believed the new world was even there to be sailed to? These were one way trips. Exploratory trips. Like the trip to the moon. They did not become regular, even for trade purposes, for decades, until well into the 1600s, and even the 1700s. Even today, ships still sink while crossing the oceans.

But, today, no one thinks much about boarding a ship, and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, or Africa. All it takes is a bit of time, and a bit of money, and you can sail across the ocean.

This is how travel to the moon works. Right now, it’s expensive. It’s difficult. It’s a trip you may not come back from. 53 years ago, it was more difficult than it is now. 53 years from now, if we survive as a people, that trip may be on the verge of becoming routine, and the trip to Mars may be the trip no one believes we have made.

History, and how people work, tells me that there will always be people on Earth that do not believe we have been to the moon. Even when we have reached Mars, there will be people who believe we have never reached the moon.

It’s how people are.

It’s stupid. It’s infuriating. It’s ludicrous. And it’s one of the thousands of reasons why I am the angry, mean person that someone once called me. Because I don’t deal well with people who are that ludicrous.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : Week 268 (2022/12/05) : Lake Effect Snow

I don’t like winter, it’s when my depression is at its strongest.  I especially don’t like snow and ice, as they remind me of my depression. That doesn’t mean I can’t deal with snow and ice, I can. And I have, many times.

One year at work, I got to spend two weeks in Buffalo, New York, then two weeks at home. And I made at least three, if not four trips to Buffalo that year.

It fucking snowed on every damn trip. Lake Effect Snow is what it was called. Every morning I was in Buffalo, I had to march across a white parking lot from the hotel room to the car, scrape an ocean of fluffy white water off the rental car, and then drive the rental car on ice and snow covered roads to the Buffalo office of the company I worked for.

That first Friday I was in Buffalo, I learned what a white out was. The Virginia Beach office called to check on me. “How are you doing Mark? What’s the weather like?”

“I don’t know. The weather report says it’s a white out.”

The other people in the Buffalo Office had laughed. “Mark. That means you open the door to go outside and all you see is white. No parking lot. No light posts. No cars. Nothing. Just white.”

Yeah. I didn’t really need to know that. The drive from the office back to the hotel took nearly two hours that day.

Like I said, I can cope with snow and ice. That does not mean I like them. I don’t. I don’t like them at all.

So you will have no option but to excuse me if I don’t get into your spirit of the holidays, and pray for snow for a White Christmas. I’d rather have Christmas in Hawaii. Sunshine. Short sleeve shirts. Walking on the beach somewhere. Let that Santa Clause dude have all the snow at the North Pole.

You want snow? Move to Buffalo. They get plenty of it. Every year. Lake Effect Snow. And, they’re close to Niagara Falls. If you like snow, and you like waterfalls, and you don’t like going out after dark, you’ll probably be fine in Buffalo.

Me? Virginia Beach is cold enough, thank you.

Frigging winter.

Frigging depression.

385 words

Written for Week 268 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them.

I Can’t Sleep Tonight.

I can’t sleep. It’s stupid o’clock, and I can’t sleep. I’ve been trying to sleep for the past 5 hours. And for the past 5 hours I have spectacularly failed to sleep. In a few minutes it will be November 18th. Sometime on November 18th, I will sleep. Eventually. For at least a few minutes I will sleep from sheer exhaustion.

I am watching the end of my nation. The country I was born in. The country I have lived in for 63 years. I am watching it end, watching it slowly turn into Russia, North Korea, Hungary, Turkey, The Philippines, and even China. An authoritarian, single party state. Where all the power is held by one party, one ideology, one small group of people. Where we pretend we are free, but in truth are not.

The sad part is that 47 people out of every 100 people in this country specifically want that authoritarian rule, though they will tell you it’s not what they want. They will tell you it is the overthrow of an entrenched, corrupt political system, and that such an overthrow can only be achieved through the destruction of what was, and replacing what was with a new, clean slate.

Welcome to the new United States.

I can’t sleep tonight.

#ThursThreads Week 537 : Then Explain This To Me

That sentence, “Then explain this to me.” It’s one of my favorite verbal weapons, especially when dealing with conservatives, who can’t explain bean dip. “Define a lot, but don’t use the words a and lot in the definition.” You can watch them fidget. Most likely they’ll throw up their hands and declare you hopeless.

The world is too complicated for them and their belief that, “Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten”.

I’m tired this morning. That comes from Wednesday, and my 1700+ word rant about stupid people. That rant left me so angry, so stressed out, I had a stress headache. A kicking one at that. I know it was a stress headache because I ate a bowl of cereal, took a half hour nap, and topped it off with an ice cream bar, and the headache went away. Magic, right?

All I had to do was remove the stress.

My previous therapist said to me once, “Let’s not destroy his perspective of the universe yet. He’s still young. Let’s give him time to enjoy thinking he knows what’s going on.” That’s probably paraphrased, but you get the idea.

We talked about that on occasion, though we didn’t flat out say it was what we were talking of. Like the time I watched the cars go zooming past the building out of the windows in his office, and told him, “They don’t know, do they. Don’t know at all what they’re doing.”

“No, Mark. They don’t.”

249 Words

A short clip from #NaNoWriMo2022 (30 Days Hath September, April, June, And November), written today, and edited to fit in the 250 word maximum limit. This is Week 537 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.

A Clip From #NaNoWriMo2022, Day 15.

You would hate sitting in a waiting room with me. I’m serious. You would hate it. I plug my earbuds into my phone, put them in my ears, and start music. Hell, a lot of the time I don’t even sit down. I’ll stand up. Sometimes I’ll pace. Sometimes I’ll stand in one spot. It depends on how much space is available, and on if I think I can pace without causing problems.

I’ll tap my feet on the floor. Toes, or heals. Or both. I’ll tap my phone against my leg, in time with the music. Usually, right along with the sounds of the song, or the sounds of the primary instrument. I’ll sit down, and bounce my knees to the music. Or bounce and vibrate them to the music, where my knees are always moving up and down, but my ankle moves to the music, up and down, so my knee rises and falls in a pattern.

I’m keeping time with the music right now. Every time I stop typing, boom! There it is. My knees are bouncing to the music. My toes are keeping time with the song, and the words, and the rhythms.

It drives people bonkers. But I don’t even notice I’m doing it unless I pay attention.

Sitting still is a pain in the ass. Literally. I do not like sitting still. Because. When I sit still, I hear every damn thing in the room, and a lot of things outside the room.

You sit in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, you hear the TV, you hear other people taking, and you pay attention to when a doctor’s assistant comes into the room and calls a name, in case it’s your name.

I sit in that same room. I hear my heart beating. I feel my body’s pulse. I hear the frigging lights. I hear the TV you’re watching, and the one across the room, and the one in the corner over there. You know how much noise the water fountain makes, with all those fans in it, and that cooling system in it? Even the damn switches on that thing make noises. Push the switch, “Squee…” Let go, “eeek.” Turn that bitch on like a motor, push it 50 times, “squeek, squeak, squeak!”

The rollator the lady over there is on sounds different than the one over there that the guy is on. Someone’s on crutches. Another Karen or Ken is at the counter being an entitled white person. Crumbs, the elevator outside just stopped, and more people got off on this floor. They’re probably heading here. I wonder if that door was somewhere behind the door the dude comes out of and calls your name, or if it’s somewhere else in the building?

Oh, she’s cute. Snow white hair with Neon Blue tips. I like it. Don’t stare, don’t stare, don’t stare. Look. Some of the ceiling tiles have been replaced. You can tell because the old ones have beveled edges, and extrude from the ceiling. The new ones are bone flat. They don’t extrude.

Why did they put 13 blocks in the first row of those clear glass bricks, 9 in the second, and 3 in the third. That doesn’t follow a pattern that makes any sense. How can people watch that stupid TV show about people spending a zillion bucks to remodel their house? Oh, look. The Pioneer Woman is cooking up something loaded with calories again.

Look at here, with that ankle in an air cast. Jesus, that hurts. I hope she’ll be all better soon. But I know ankles never forget what you did to them. Oops. Time to move. Someone sat down in the seat next to me. I have to move so I don’t disturb them. If I stay here I’ll disturb them, but if I move that’ll disturb them too. I’m fucking doomed.

That’s three different people that called people’s names. I wonder if that’s for three different doctors, or for three patients for the one doctor. It’s not like dental hygienists, is it? Where the hygienist comes and gets you and sand blasts your teeth with a water pick and salt, and baking soda, and then uses dental floss on everything. Before the dentist even looks at you.

You sit in the same waiting room, and I don’t think any of that happens in your head.

So, I put my music in my ears, and shut it all out. I get rid of all those noises. All those distractions. All that chaos. So I can be calm, and wait for my name to be called. So what if I tap my phone against my knee in time with the music. I’m not hurting anyone. Deal with it, humans.

Today, I’m stimming. Apparently, the fluoxetine, aripiprazole, and buspirone are not going to stop that. Apparently, stimming has nothing to do with my anxiety and panic. Apparently, stimming is how I filter out some of the chaos I encounter just by sitting still in a room.

#ThursThreads Week 536 : You Can Send Backup Anytime Now.

“Before I destroy the fabric of your reality, let me say this. You can send backup anytime now. You’re going to need it.”

I didn’t wait for a response, and instead leaped straight into my destructive work.

“How much is 100%?”


“How much is 100% of something? Or anything? Can you have more than 100% pure gold?”

“No, you can’t get more than 100% of anything! Every idiot knows that!”

I looked at the chart on the wall, and pointed at it. “Then explain this to me.”

The chart showed survey results from asking 2382 white Christians a set of questions about the population of the United States. What I found hilarious was the makeup of the population, per the chart.

White people –  40% of the population.
Black people – 30% of the population.
Asian people – 40% of the population.
Hispanic/Latino people – 40% of the population.

If you added it all up, it was 150% of the population of the country.

“How can white Christians think there are more people in this country than are in this country?”

I was greeted by silence. Apparently the idiot knew that the numbers made no sense at all.

“How can white Christians add 40, 40, 40, and 30 together, and get 100? Do they not know how to add?” I stared at him. “Or, perhaps, they’re just terrified of things, of people who are not white Christians like them?”

You can’t really argue with numbers like that. The guy shut up.

249 Words

It’s Week 536 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the stories in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up every week.