Another phonecall from her new home, the administrator alerting me that it's not working out, mom's not on the right cocktail yet, the staff is up in arms because she's on a rampage again, hitting and swinging and grabbing and pushing the staff, fracturing resident's fingers and everyone in fear of their lives and shying away whenever she's near. The administrator is set on Haldol, an antipsychotic (We've had good results with other residents...), since the seven or nine medications mom's currently taking don't seem to be working, she pulling up flowers and creeping out behind the shed, banging on B___'s door until a caregiver has to retrieve and guide her back to the main building, mom awake at all hours and constantly distressed or angry or both, asking about him unceasingly him while uncomprehending her condition nor why anyone would need to assist her in bathing/dressing/eating/toileting, her dinners getting cold and evenings becoming late nights and early mornings while she continues to wander the halls as though midday sunlight shines through the windows and doorways, the administrator advising her staff to fill their pockets with candy to "get on her good side", and all this just days after her most recent hospitalization.
I finished my prior post with the phrase, "Pills, thrills, and bellyaches
." Well, I don't want anyone to read too much into that one; it just came to me as I was finishing off the post. It's actually the title of an album by the Happy Mondays, and unlike those infamously intoxicated blokes, I'm not a regular pill-popper; I only ingest the lowest dose of Tafil (Mexican Xanax) whenever I'm feeling particularly anxiety-ridden, such as when my heart begins its revolt, jumping out of my chest and compelling me to lay down in order to restore my composure. During those moments, which often stretch into minutes or hours, I find the only way to gain relaxation is through exercise, meditation, masturbation, or sleep. Yet these aren't always readily available options - for example, when one is riding a crowded bus in L.A. on a swelteringly hot day in August on the way to a Check Cashing place in a scary neighborhood, all the while accompanied by someone you love who is very ill (who has a disease of the brain, in fact, an illness which confuses its bearer, rendering her hopelessly challenged by all conflicts, great and small) and who couldn't be expected to understand your anxiety since you don't understand it yourself - under these circumstances, one can not be expected to quench anxieties' appetite through sleep, meditation, exercise, or other. There is no place to sleep on a bus in which one is standing for lack of seats; any attempts at the silence of meditation are disturbed by the jostling of passengers and the turbulent, noisy progression of the bus. Exercise is futile: beyond the meaningless stretch, there is no hope for exercise in a space occupied by three but intended to provide room for one; I don't believe I have to provide explanation for the challenges of onerism on a crowded bus.
So you escape the bus and all the stares and whispers of its passengers ("Look at that guy..." "...clutching his chest..." "...heart attack or something..."), and find yourself sprawled on the sidewalk near the corner of Venice and Sepulveda, the heat aggravating your anxiety, your heart quickening as you lay your head in the shade - that tiny area of darkness under a bush, rare to find in a business district at noon. Your companion asks what's wrong, her awareness of your condition escalating from fear to terror, you replying that you just need a moment's rest, a moment to breathe and relax
, yet your companion doesn't let you relax, she doesn't understand, she's terrified and thinks you're having a heart attack, and you can barely speak enough to explain the situation for each word steals away more of that much-needed oxygen, and it wouldn't matter if you could speak anyway because she still wouldn't understand and chances are it would confuse the situation even more. Salespeople from a nearby car dealership approach and inquire, and you try to explain that you'll be fine, you're probably having a panic attack or something
, but they insist on calling 911, and before you can protest they have gone to make the call, and you feel ridiculous and scared at the same time, managing to gather yourself enough to rise and follow them into the dealership to stop them from making the call but it's too late, the ambulance is on its way, you'll be hearing sirens soon. A month or two later, after another few attacks, you find yourself driving to T.J. one afternoon with your companion, explaining that you are going on a little road trip
. You've brought your girlfriend along for moral support, and the three of you walk through the maze of gates and succumb to a restaurant barker who encourages you to buy tacos and cervezas
, and you walk past a guard into a pharmacy where your girlfriend negotiates with the clerk in spanish while you keep your eye on the guard, wondering whether he'll make a move, and a phone call is made to a pager, and a doctor arrives, leading you to a building down the street for a consultation in a small, dark room above a restaurant.
It's great to see that Anne
is on track again
. Meanwhile, I'm a wreck. Not to sound cliche-ish, but the days have seemed unusually dark and full of despair. I almost always live with an undercurrent of anxiety, but usually I'm somehow able to shake off my demons and pretend to live. Lately, however, I've been having a particularly difficult bout with the beasts. They keep coming and coming and they just won't let go. Which explains why I haven't been around much here--I haven't been able to blog regularly for over a month now, and though I've had the time to do so, I haven't found the inclination. I've been, effectively, "staring at the wall", even when the wall has been replaced by my computer's monitor.
There's always a seed in a pile of shit, however, so here it is. My Internet radio station
has received the honor of Best New Station in the 2004 Best of Live365 Awards
. Which may turn out to be the crowning achievement of my life. (Let's hope not.) I'm thrilled my station was recognized, however. Perhaps it will inspire me to other achievements. Anyway, keep checking my other blog, Transmitting to Earth
, for pictures of the Mikey (award) when it arrives in the mail. Thrills, pills, and bellyaches.
I don't have anything to offer you at this time. But Joe Frank
most certainly does. If you missed his live performance
April 9th at the Evidence Room, you have another chance to catch him live on May 15th at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County for the L.A.: light/motion/dreams