Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Black Friday and the Kingdom of Craig

Tonight we voyage down to the Bay Area to have Thanksgiving with my sister. It's become a yearly tradition, God bless her, and I like traditions--we have too few.

She pointed out to me that "Black Friday" (so named for putting businesses in back in the black) coincides this year with our father's suicide, 11/23/87.
Twenty years.

He was a shrewd consumer.

Mom tumored out on us 17 years ago, exactly how long we've all been orphans playing at Christmas and Thanksgiving. It's a bitch being in charge. Thank God for women, truly.

If I were my parents I'd be grateful my children were still talking to each other.

Notice the date he chose. He meant it to be before Thanksgiving, the poor bastard couldn't face the bird, the Pteranadon of darkness.

He wanted there to be something there more than chemicals. There is, but in this realm it still involves chemicals as one parallel incarnation.

He didn't believe psychiatrists were real doctors, perhaps because they locked him up in the Air Force for a month for a manic episode and gave him a medical discharge. The shame of it, for him, was too painful to acknowledge. He always said "it was for pneumonia."

My psychiatrist told me today that I had negatively biased information selection, the cognitive-behavioral equivalent of a melancholy temperament. The words change, the disease doesn't. Of course I am much more likely to remember sad, mad and bad things about Dad than rad and glad things about him.

My melancholy temperament makes me want to weep over my daughters in ballet outfits as young girls, though sometimes it curls my lips upward.

It's my memory of me in those pictures that most makes me sad. Why do I feel lost? My wife loves me unconditionally; my spirit can't actually receive it though my body believes it. How great it would be to look at the grain and not the chaff.

In the Kingdom of Craig there are no sad thoughts, no mad thoughts and no bad thoughts.

Yearbooks make me sad. Even old photographs of my children can, Rachel's death notwithstanding.

My back hurts. I don't want to type any more.

In the Kingdom of Craig there is no pain.

My back is the chief reason I receive disability. Manic-depression is just frosting. Did you really need to know that?

Ah, but you love me. Because in the Kingdom of Craig, what?

There are no sad thoughts and no mad thoughts and no bad thoughts.

Love and thanks to all,


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