Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mood Improved; Wife Don't Like It

It was today I realized I had crossed the bar (thought not with Tennyson).

No, I had entered a mixed state and was rising to euthymia when a guy cussed at me in a parking lot in Fort Bragg while I was safely weaving my way around him. His window was cracked and so was mine, so passing him closely on my left I heard his epithets: "Fuck you! You're gonna fuck my car! You're gonna damage it! What the fuck do you thing you're doing?"

From my point of view, and I think my wife will testify on my behalf, I was doing a safe thing to get around this silver, long bed Toyota with fiberglass shell.

Trouble was, my window was cracked and I heard every word. I sprang out of my van like a bad watch and grabbed his door handle. Locked. Through his cracked window I yelled that I'd kick his ass "from here to Antarctica" if he didn't apologize to my wife for cussing and furthermore put my elbow through his windhield for starters. Chastised, he apologized to Kathleen (who never heard his epithets, of course, being deaf) and thus saved his window.

I hope talk of a madman gets around. I'm mad enought to defend myself against rude little truck-worshipping scrawny red-headed men with watery blue eyes who don't know what being a neighbor means. No racism intended.

Small town: I may remember him, but he will always remember me.

Now Kathleen fears I'm hypomanic, like I don't deserve a break! I tell her this incident was normal for me. I didn't go nuts. The asshole apologized to her, I was satisfied.

It's true, I never told him she didn't hear it because that would have cost him his window. But if his door had been unlocked in the first place he would have been thrown into the planters. See how kind I am? See my restraint?

Kathleen doubts my report and has gone upstairs now, pointedly avoiding me, telling me how I need to slow down and how she's not nagging me.


Just because I had this sea change doesn't mean the order of my poems will be accelerated; but if anyone would prefer a few hypomanic or manic poems for relief, please post and I will try to accomodate you from the second half of my manuscript, Sine Wave. And just because I had a good day does not mean I'm stable; it will take at least two weeks to prove that. Stick with me.

Thine in renewed euthymia (though Kathleen suspects hypmania),

C. E. Chaffin


  1. I doubt he'll "always remember" you. People easily forget those they have goaded into outrageous behavior. Now, if the door had been unlock and you had yanked it open to the .357 he had pulled from under his seat and he'd shot you - then he'd have something significant to remember.

    Of course, I'm remembering the roadrage trial we had around here (central California) a few years ago. One of the guys is remembering the incident from a prison cell he'll be in for a very long time. The other guy can't remember - cause he died.

    There's a good argument for just flippin' the bird at people swearing at you from their driver's seat. Psychos with handguns can be found almost anywhere in America.

    Of course, the latest roadrage murderer, Tim Brooks, used a knife. Those guys in Placer County are a backward bunch I guess.


  2. Dear Beau,

    Good cautions.

    Not too many people packing on the Mendocino coast, and I've only seen one cop up here in two months.

    Besides, and this is a little dirty secret of the disease, that when euthymic, hypomanic or truly manic my speed and strength increase exponentially when me or mine are threatened--I could tell you tales you wouldn't believe.

    In this case I had a contingency plan for that very thing while I maintained eye contact: I would have broken the driver's window with my elbow and grabbed his scrawny neck so fast he wouldn't have had a chance, truly. Not to mention my size.

    I've never killed anyone, not even by mistake as a doctor, for which I'm grateful. But I've had plenty of chances, contenting myself with a knockout or a few superficially broken bones, though I never struck first, save once, and that guy had twenty guns in his house he was trying to get to. But he could barely crawl to his cell phone to call the police. He used to be my best friend and it's a long story. I don't care mentioning his name: Eric Sprik. I would love to make peace with him, but he wouldn't have it, banished me from his life. Too bad. I wish we were still friends; he's a smart and funny guy.

    Thanks for stopping by, I guess we're "near" neighbors for CA.



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