Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Though Depressed, frightens neighbors and upsets wife but makes it to gym.Though depressed, upsets wife, frightens neighbors and goes to gym..

Last night our neighbors reminded me of how I'd cavalierly spoken of suicide during my last visit, which they thought was... well, harsh... then they're from Malibu. In any case I didn't remember, though no doubt I likely did make said remarks, since I think of suicide as part of life's woof and warp and not a subject to be feared or avoided.

I answered the "suicide question" at age 30. I don't like to let the idea of it remain in my brain for very long since it is therefore of of no comfort, contrary to Nietzsche's cheerful prescription.

It is an old misnomer that people who really commit suicide don't talk about it: they do--until those last hours or minutes when the thought goes on automatic, when it's too late to call out because they've already hopped the train.

Unless otherwise proven, most cases of suicide are clearly the result of inadequately treated depression, which we have all around us.


Yesterday was extremely stressful. I was out in the world, and my mate keep asking me questions, like, "Do you need anything from the market?" In my depressed state the pressure of making decisions is fearful. I finally blurted: "Don't ask me any more questions, please!" which, although it made Kathleen angry, also gave me some protection from going daffy-odo-yodel-hoo, if you get my drift.

Later when she asked me if I wanted pepper or salt on my sandwich I made my own rather than respond to another query. She was miffed by this as well. So we avoided each other all night and I went to bed early, afraid of her coming up, afraid I might accidentally touch her when she got in bed, since I had been so clearly shoved away. When she got into bed and put her hand on my wrist, I was afraid to touch her back, not knowing if it were better that I protected myself and allowed no connection, or to pretened that things were normal and reciprocate. I finally touched her back, hesitantly, feeling no connection but hoping the behavior she expected might mollify her for the night.


I did something yesterday in my depression for which I deserve a medal. I haven't been to a gym in years, but we'd joined one here, and I hadn't been yet in two months. Kathleen dropped me off. I did my floor exercises, mild weight-lifting, 10 min. at level 2 on the Stairmaster, and 500 yards of swimming.

When depressed and forcing yourself to exercise like this, each stroke of the arm in the pool makes the next one more difficult to believe, but you persist, almost like a cartoon being drawn by another hand, and you get through it, though you can't believe it afterwards. Exercise in depression, something very hard to make oneself do, has this advantage: no human contact necessary.


Now, ironically, I get to paste in a happier poem than my present mood can tolerate, from Sine Wave Part II: "To the Apogee...And Down Again."
At the Aquarium of the Pacific

I saw a brilliant angelfish whose tail
and fins shimmered yellow until it turned
and silver spread like an undercoat of fur
when stroked against the nap, across its scales.
Black as caviar and rimmed with gold,
its eyes, though flat as dimes, looked deep as wells.
The clownfish cruising by above the shells,
its idiotic smile painted bold,
passed disinterested as if it’d seen
it all before. Maybe. But I've heard
fish see only black-and-white, so why
this purple puffer and iridescent green
parrot fish-- and for whom? It's absurd
to credit chance. Either for us or for the light.
(pubished in Niederngasse)


  1. and nothing about the game last night? Pat Riley has got switch back from Clairol Honey Blonde...

  2. I have wondered sometimes if my dad had depression. It would explain some of the horrifying and sad things that happened when I was young.

    Endorphins.. endorphins... endorphins.. Maybe they will help you as you exercise.

  3. I meant to comment on the game, the reason I was at my neighbors' (they have a television), but such hopeful ambitions were soon swallowed up by my self-centered melancholy.

    And what, you hadn't seen Riley's hair recently? It's been like that all year.

  4. Two thumbs up for “At the Aquarium of the Pacific.” My wife and I enjoyed touring some east coast aquatiums last spring break. Good stuff (though we were acused of spending our break rather unhiply).

    On a very off subject note, do you think a swarm of infantile poetry-devouring simpletons have descended on the Melic workshoping board like a plague of locusts, or is it one individual with multiple login names? In any case, is there anything to be done about it? I may not produce poetry gold but at least I earnestly appreciate constructive criticism. Ok… had to get that out of my system. I feel better now.

    I’m glad you decided to continue blogging.


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