Monday, July 09, 2007

Depression, Money, and My Dislike of Dogs

The sun is just lighting the east side of the redwood trees on this overcast morning. I prefer overcast when depressed; the sun seems an oxymoron.

I wonder if I can write anything more about clinical depression. It's been a rough ride. My shrink added antipsychotics last Wednesday, so I'm half-stoned most of the time, though I care less about my deeds and misdeeds than otherwise. Still my crying spells and interior self-denigrating thoughts persist.

I know this is depressive thinking, but it is not without merit to believe I have wasted my life. That thought brings tears to my eyes, bringing up the chicken and egg conundrum where the sad thought induces the sad affect; we've been over that already and you know that I believe it is the sad affect which generates the sad thoughts.

I've had all these years on disability with dreams of being a writer but no practical plan for marketing and making money from it. I would like to make money, a lot of money, and I can say that for the first time in my life, an ambition that most us come to in our twenties. I'm only thirty years late for that train, although a bad long-term marriage with a non-working wife and three children took their toll in alimony and custody. Nevertheless I always took money for granted and lived hand-to-mouth, save a few years I had some equity in my home. My interests were always "beyond" money. But nothing's really "beyond" money unless you're a monk. And by not paying enough attention, I'm now in a position where money controls me, not the other way around; if the flow stopped tomorrow Kathleen and I would have to move into a tent. Since my disability was yanked in the fall of 2005 (subsequently restored in December, although in the interim all my savings were taken by my first ex-wife), I have been understandably paranoid about having no income tomorrow, which doesn't help.

Premature old age is another symptom of depression. You start dwelling on penury and poor health and how will you get your medications and where will you live and such things. You wonder how you will die. Cancer runs in my family and my cardiac risk is now low without the smoking. But instead of making plans for today and "smelling the flowers," you can only see the brown blooms of winter on the denuded rose bush.

Here's a poem from my first and only book (I have stopped writing poetry):

A Time to Uproot

It shot forth one thin stem
from the waxed, purple stalks.
Suddenly they yellowed, wilted,
a sickness had taken hold.
I waited but no new shoot
grew fine and green between the thorns.

While weeding one day
I placed my hand around the branches,
testing them a little,
when the whole thing sprang into my clutch.
I inspected the roots:
an army of translucent termites
was feasting on the soft wood,
each a hideous jewel of pale yellow.

The bush left a wound in the ground,
dark and pleading, a crumbling mouth.
I salved it as best I could
with powdery white pesticide.

I'm working on my airport book thriller again so that it's ready for the writer's conference in August when I'll have the opportunity to meet with agents. It's designed to be a page turner, though I dwell too much on conversation and character, I fear. I stopped revising the Eliot book for now to revise the novel, as it has more potential for earning money.


I was going to write about dogs and how I didn't like them today: How they haul in every burr and frond into the house, how a house is impossible to keep clean with a big, hairy dog, how I hate the consistency and smell as I mix the wet food in with the dry food in the morning before I have my coffee, how I wonder when a long hair squats how fecal matter can possibly be spared from hanging from its fur (which helps me understand why they cut off some dogs' tails for cleanliness, among other reasons). I hate picking up their poop in public places, I hate waiting around while they sniff in circles making up their minds where to poop. I don't like sticking my fingers down my dog's throat to make sure he swallows his medicine.

Dogs are gross: messy, stupid, smelly, and they demand a lot of care. I love Kenyon but I don't like him as a dog; I wish he had scales instead, that he were as clean as a lizard. There, I've said it. I'm more of a cat person at heart. They're cleaner and smarter. But you can't have nice furniture around them, and if they get mad and start pissing on things you're in big trouble, as the scent is impossible to remove.

One last thing: I don't know if I shall continue this blog after its two-year anniversary on July 27th. I don't know how much good it does me or anyone else. It helps most when I'm very depressed and the act of writing takes my mind off myself for a while. But today it's just making me cry.

4 Kilorats,



  1. Anonymous1:24 PM PDT

    Aw, Doc.....I hope you continue to write !!! I look forward to your blogs actually. They seem to work for you as good therapy (?)

    As far as pets go...

    Bunnies RULE !!! (although the furry-fuzz-butts DO have poop hanging from their BEhinds at times.) Hang in there !!!

  2. I like this poem - nice imagery and sounds. I hope you start writing poetry again, even if just for its cathartic benefit.

  3. Anonymous4:53 PM PDT

    Hey --- I know i give you a hard time now and again and may seem as a piss-ant now and again but in this common erea, what else to be? or not... since my intellegence is far inferior to that of the likes of yous and well if you were closer we could get together and rubberneck at the barristas down yonder and albeit your bad normaJeans might just have you rolling on the floor or in thatnotso new cozmic bm
    w --- Ho-Ho-Ho! attentives and all.. I'll wear my new burkaenstalks and taunt the german shepard while pretending to wax my car.... scarry...and THEN ill link the make and model of the guy trying to sneak away after snapping tellyphotos from behind the pink then grey chimney ... his hispanic gf on the lamb.. Oh NO! not the MaSuess! all this spycological suffering in succatash honestly

    until we lear again
    yrs butt always truly,
    a veryvery shallow dumbdish

    BTW - have YOU called your daughter lately?
    annie git yur gun

  4. Who would spell so badly--to disguise being a teacher? And who would know that my daughter is in a new production?

    Probably KD.

    Thanks, Sorlil And Jennifer.

  5. While I understand why you might want to end your blog, I hope that you don't. You touch more people here than I suspect you realize, and all for the good, no matter what it feels like to you in your darker moments.

    But whatever you choose, thank for for the decision to share yourself with others; it's a courageous and admirable decision.

  6. Anonymous7:23 AM PDT

    You're a sparkling intellect CE, seems every match for the many shadows. I'd sure miss your blog.

    Keep it up.


  7. Thanks, all. God, how I wish I weren't this sick!

  8. Anonymous1:02 PM PDT

    You really expect me to come home (except to rid you of the big hairy messy disgusting canine) after this???? The stories I could tell about your schmegginess!! Why don't you ask Boyd if you can be his new roommate!

  9. The Queen should not judge her vassal so. If I need to vent, I will vent, dogs be damned. Your anger is intemperate and unfair. I said I loved the old beast.

  10. Masale.Wallah6:06 PM PDT

    To echo what the commenters have said: Please don't stop writing! Your blog is the among the first things that I read everyday.


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