742a 5 july 2022

breezy, uncertain
i woke to grey light, dim
the temporary buoyancy of yesterday,
the day before
gone.
sometime in the night it left,
stole away, slunk away
embarrassed to have lifted only to leave
“i’m sorry,”
whispers on the breeze
“i’m sorry, that wasn’t for you.”

i’m sorry that wasn’t for you.

my shoulders all wound together
knit together, snicked tightly, bound.
the hand that holds my pipe tensed and clawed
the tips of my fingers white from the pressure

unclench your hand, look at your fingers.
sit up, you don’t have to get up.
sit up straight, you can stretch.
you remember most of it.
take in deep breaths of this shaded air
look up
aggressively blue sky hidden (thankfully)
mostly by the canopy
there are a lot of silvery clouds breaking up the blue

today feels very uncertain,
I feel the mania pulling my shoulders together
i will do everything that I can but there is only
so
much
available.

812p 22 may 2022

i hate being alone so much.
i hate it hate it hateithateithateit
quiet and alone and lonely and cold even in this heat
cold.
even in this heat the cold strangles my blood
freezing it cold solid cold
i shiver in this heat.

i could have stayed at yours but no.
i am afraid.
the rain, the dark, the aloneness.

you held me in your arms you squeezed me closer
felt the heat bloom from my body setting it afire
holding me closer.
i tangled my fingers in yours
hoping to keep some of you for me
when i go.

i sit in your kitchen, smoking
vibrating in place i cant sit still inside
i don’t know how i appear, manic, most likely
i hate coming to you, needful, needy.
i don’t think i ever feel pity from you, i don’t think
(if i begin to think i won’t let go so lets just not)

i know i am not always like this i know that
but right now i am very much like this and it is hard to be.
much less be around.

i know i am exhausting.
i am so sorry.

frustrating thoughts on a tuesday morning

your author, dressed for 29°F weather at 7a, sitting in the parking lot to medicate (description below)

It is currently 29°F outside, actual feel of 22°F. I am outside for my morning medication: today is cannabis and coffee. I’ve already taken my fish oil, but there’s no one to say anything about that if I take that in my kitchen. So I come outside after having dressed for the weather. This includes: underwear, thick socks, two pairs of flannel pajama bottoms, a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved shirt, a fleece hoodie, my purple fuzzy robe with white stars, a knitted neck warmer, a knitted hat. I have spiked my coffee with hot cocoa mix and butter to make the warmth seem thicker and more long-lasting.

I have a medical marijuana card. Up until *very* recently, whole flower was not allowed to be sold in medical dispensaries. Smoking whole flower is the method of delivery that works best for me. If vaping worked for me, I could probably get away with vaping inside my apartment, although I really wouldn’t want to try. But it doesn’t. Smoking whole flower is what works. I no longer engage in practices that are meant to be good for me but in actuality, aren’t. Imagine if instead of taking your anti-anxiety meds by pill, you had to have them by suppository and you had to do that outside because that’s what the law dictated. Just because.

When it is colder than this, or when the weather is shit, or after dark (I feel like a D!sney princess out here sometimes, skunks ((Flower!)), raccoons, possums, cats, ALL the squirrels), I sit in the car. Even with the engine off, this is illegal to do. When I have zoom therapy and I am home I do it in my car or outside so that I can smoke. So that I can medicate. When I have zoom therapy and I’m at a friend’s house, I can be inside and warm and still medicate.

No other medication is subjected to restrictions and procedures like this. This is inhumane. Could you imagine if I told you you had to go outside for your heart medication if you weren’t well off enough to own your own home with private property? If I told you you had to take your cholesterol meds every morning but go outside somewhere on the street, what would happen?

And if I told you that unless you had the wherewithal, you couldn’t have a get-together with friends and have a smoke sesh. Have all the wine and cheese parties you want, every book club has its Bordeaux, every rehearsal dinner its Riesling, but no ma’am, you’re not allowed to enjoy this totally legal thing where you live, where you love, where you entertain. What would you do? What would you say?


People are going to consume where they are able to consume. Where they are forced to consume. This has always, and will continue to be what happens. By welcoming dispensaries and consumption lounges into Peekskill, by allowing smoking in specific areas of our many public parks, we are making our residents and visitors feel more comfortable and welcomed.

four years/forty years

Last year I turned off Facebook memories for 2017-2018-2019 for this week beginning today. Today is the beginning of the end. Today is the beginning of the last week that Gary was alive.

So much in my life has changed in the last four years. I am not the same person who I was four years ago. I am not the same person I was forty years ago.

Forty years ago is when my bipolar disorder began to truly manifest in ways that other people could see. When my behavior became outwardly observable. Things that only I could see and feel and experience from age five were finally coming to the surface. The person that I grew into, the person that I became was by necessity, a damaged, broken, angry, fearful thing. I was shaped by my experience, by the storms inside my brain that no one could understand, but the results of which everyone could see.

The person that Gary met, she was a powerhouse. She had divorced her first and second husbands. She was taking care of her cats. She was running her own shop, she had an employee, she was working a lot. She was working out a lot. She was taking care of everything around her. She was not taking healthy self care.

She was, however, manic 24/7 and hella cute and driven.
And on fire.

She is still here, in my brain, part of The Committee. She listens mostly. Doesn’t have much to say anymore, more an observer. She sits back and nods knowingly, joint in hand, smoke curling from her lips. She is Rosie Revisited, captured in a portrait, hanging on my wall. There are times when she does speak, a forceful, if gentle “STOP IT.” I have evidence.

your author. 📷 Gary Hoffman 2002

Four years ago I was forced to stop. I became incapable of movement in any appreciable direction. The formerly driven, push-through-ahead-no-matter-how-miserable-it-makes-you person could not go any further. The “attack wife” had no fight left. I had no accountability to any other human. There was no one there for better or for worse. My life spun completely and totally out of control. I lost things, am losing things I can never get back. And yet…

I have found a new self, a calmer, more even self. I am finding the capacity for euthymia, for a happy evenness above my emotional equator. A firm-yet-squishy pleasantness that exists beyond the edges of what I smoke and carries me through the day and into my involvements with others.

I am no longer miserable.

In voicing this thought, however, there is such exquisite pain for the reality that Gary could have been helped. That perhaps he too could have finally found some measure of relief, as I have. That we just hadn’t gotten here yet in researching. That given enough time, we would have.

We didn’t have enough time. But I do.

I miss you so much.
I wish you could see me now.
I wish you could hear me now.
I wish I could talk to you.
The only thing you can do is listen.

And all I really want is to hear what you have to say.

think i had a psychotic episode today. (part 1)

think i had a psychotic episode today.
i don’t know for sure.
it was while i was driving.

what i do know is that the fear and terror that i felt was as bad as it has ever been
terror and fear so huge that it overtakes everything
but there was no pain
no physical pain to be afraid of
just the fear that always accompanies it
no looming precipice in front of me
nothing different about the day.
nothing.

what i do know is that approaching ten thirty this morning
while i was driving
while i was driving i was filled with overwhelming dread
i mean serious fucking dread like a tornado sky out of the clear blue.
arguing with myself over what to do
really, i mean come ON wtf
look at the complete lack of signal
how much further now? not much

i pulled over as soon as it was safe enough
hazards on, music on
into the deep we go
i had to tell someone what to do, it became clear.
i pulled over, made a short video.
said what i needed to say
that i am okay
(i do not believe that for a second FUCK no but i don’t understand what’s happening, either)
my phone pin.
my master password.
again that i am okay but i need to tell, i need to say.
in case.
so no one is sitting there with my dead hand in theirs trying to get into my phone
the way i did.
the way i had to.
i have no plans.
no ideation.
only the nearly ever-present need to fight to stay connected to the earth.

(more later, i promise. i’m fucking tired.)

nonstop. 3d october 2020

i did my job today.
i did my job well, today.
it was non stop and busy and there were too many people and now i am
.
and now i am sitting barefoot on my couch
too overwhelmed by everything to want any noise near me
the noise inside my head, also nonstop
the pain in my hip from not resting but for ten minutes, nonstop
shoulders, tense, up around my ears
hot tears fall, splashing my lenses
i can barely breathe.

I purposely posted this past the point of danger.

728p 8 september 2020

i do not want to be alive right now
i want to be not here right now
i do not want anything other than to not fucking exist right now
but i can’t write that and post it now because
everyone will freak the fuck out
so i cant post it
i cant reach out
i cant scream
i cant tell anyone
i just have to not do anything
not do anything
not do anything
just sit with this and struggle and scream inside my own head and not do anything nothing nothing nothing

nothing.
it is all i can do to sit and type
and the stench of that motherfuckers cigarillo is in my fucking apartment
and all i want to do is punch him in his fucking dumb face

nothing.
nothing i cannot do a thing
i will scream and scream and scream and not stop and i cannot stop i have to do nothing.

i know if i open my mouth i will scream and scream and not stop so i dont

nothing.

nothing.
my shoulders are tense and around my ears and tight
this empty this noise
this noise this noise this noise
.
there is no enjoy there is not any enjoy.

i need to smoke.
i need to smoke but it does not last
my plant is so thirsty she needs so much attention i cannot give her the attention the care she needs she is suffering.

i take great big gulps of air but it is not enough there is not enough air..

i am going to go smoke and maybe it will be enough
if i just smoke enough

nothing is enough
my brain is on fire and falling into a crevasse
there is no end to the fire no bottom in sight

it is a relatively quiet evening
even with the idiotic clapping of some fucking asshole for some fucking reason
even with the assault of garbage music that competes with blasting television noise
no yeti-footed neighbor upstairs
(took his black-and-tans and split)
stop with the fucking clapping for fuck’s sake already

i don’t want music
i don’t want noise
i want silence
nothing interfering

my eyes are dry, for now
core unclenched, shoulders still tight, but lower
i can think about packing a bowl now
try without becoming frustrated, fucking it up
easy to do in general, yes but nothing is easy and if that asshole doesn’t stop clapping soon

fuck i am exhausted.

7:13a 26th august, 2020

You need to stop what you’re doing and listen to what’s linked below. A love poem to New York by Roger Cohen called “I Forgive You, New York”.

I’d had to stop listening to it when it first aired; too painful. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past fifty-two years, it’s that painful things can’t be avoided forever. I’ve learned how to lean into the pain, breathe through it, adding potsmoke as often as necessary, let it untangle, unsnarl. To understand that not everything that happens is meant to be understood. That in itself has been infuriating, frustrating, obliviating. That even though I am hurt, hurting, in pain. That even though, I can’t be sure that I will ever know why. That I can’t compel the answer. That nothing I can do, no innate power of mine is enough, no existing love and care and kindness is enough, that I have to accept that I may never know. Because even if I went against my nature, blew shit up, caused a lot of unhappiness past my own, that not even that would be a sure thing. And that so many more people would get hurt for nothing.

So I can only appeal to better natures to tell me. I can only be hopeful that better natures exist and that I have not been completely misled for so long.

And if that is the case, then I really, really need to be gentle with myself. Because learning that painful a lesson is going to take a long time to absorb.

1205p wtf even is today 2020 (22 july)

i am hoping.

(i am hoping)
jesus gods i am hoping
i am hoping that it is just that you are busy
that there isn’t some other reason
“oops, it looks like his phone has been off/disconnected for awhile.”

disconnected

we have been disconnected
the last thing i know you saw of mine was thursday,
even though i text you every day, almost.
(i know you are busy. i am not complaining.)

six days ago.
disconnected.

it will be five months since we’ve seen each other
no longer am i worried it’s something i’ve done
no more paranoia around that particularly fun attribute of my chemical rollercoaster
no.
you are a doctor.
there is this virus.

i am hoping.