JFC

“If I didn’t see it happen in front of me, I wouldn’t believe it. Goddamn.”

That is what my witness said to me after it happened. I have proof. Finally I have a witness I have proof.

The place where I work was packed, busy even for a Saturday. My boss asked me to do something as I was sitting at the computer doing other things so I added it to the list of my tasks. One by one I got through most of them when my boss asked me if I had gotten to her thing. I replied “nope! Not yet! Haven’t had a chance I’ll do it right now.” And got right to it.

This woman. This fucking woman.

This fucking woman appears in front of me with her two children akimbo. I had helped the older one once upon a time, been very patient with her as she overcame a very difficult thing. Gently and successfully, much to her sullen, preteen resistance I might add.

This fucking woman.

This fucking woman says to me.

“Watch your mouth around my children.”

My head shoots up, eyes wide. “Excuse me?” Having zero understanding of what she’s talking about since I have said absolutely nothing since responding to my boss.

This woman. This fucking woman.

This fucking woman says
“You were about to say Jesus fucking Christ in front of my kids.”

And I looked at her.
And my witness looked at her.
She said it in front of her kids.

“I absolutely did not say that.”

This fucking woman said Jesus fucking Christ in front of her kids.

This fucking woman.
This fucking woman says:

“I am the queen of cursing and you were about to say it I know what you were going to say.”

I KNOW WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO SAY.

“I absolutely did not say that.”
My witness, shaking their head, shocked. My jaw just about hitting the floor.

The queen of cursing, you say.

The Queen.

This fucking woman thinks that I would respond out loud to a question posed by my boss with the answer
Jesus fucking christ.
This fucking woman thinks that I would respond in front of children
Jesus fucking Christ.
In front of her children. Jesus fucking Christ.

You want to know what was in my head? You think that banal bullshit was what I was thinking at the moment?

You have the audacity to think you could imagine what it’s like inside my head?

The things that I think, the things that exist inside my head would terrify you to a point where you would never, ever, ever say another thing again.

You really think you’re the queen of cursing.
You want to go head to head with me?
I guarantee you will not survive. I will make you rethink your entire existence.
I will make you question your reason for living; I will make you question whether or not you deserve to breathe on this Earth.
I will tell you things about yourself that you know to be true deep down in the deepest fucking recesses of your soul.
I will share with you the reasons your daughter hates you so much (it’s because she looks like you), you narrow-eyed cunt.
Every time she looks in the mirror she sees your face even though her cheeks are full and they’re going to be full for the rest of her life and you are going to shame her for her fat face. Every time she sees you look at her she sees your disgust, feels your disappointment. If you aren’t already saving for her therapy, you should do so immediately.
You ought to just give up on your son because he is going to be in codependent relationships for the rest of his life. He is completely neglected and wishes for a second that he would get some of the attention you give your daughter even though it’s all negative. Honestly it would be better for all involved if you let him go live with relatives. Literally anyone else would take better care of him. You simply don’t give a shit.
You take your anger out on me because you couldn’t help your child. You know that you absolutely do not have the patience to help your own child where I did.
Your daughter hates you so much because you’ve made your husband miserable and he doesn’t fuck you and is most likely fucking your friends. A quick look on dating apps would find him in a second.

You think you’re the queen of cursing? Come at me bitch. I’ve got you I’ve got your fucking number. I haven’t even gotten started with you.

Jesus fucking christ. You think I was thinking Jesus fucking christ? No I wasn’t. My only thought at that moment was how to get to the end of the day without killing myself.

It’s going to get a whole lot worse from here.

636a 8 october 2022. integration.

This is real fear. This isn’t the free-floating shit that pours over me like a fucking wave of lava no, this is real fear based in reality and is well-founded.

This is all of the usual panic and terror before a show coupled with the fact that I have decided to make a fucking living from my work. My real work. That kind of a decision takes confidence and it is a confidence that I am not so confident I have under me completely.

I know it’s there, I know way down it’s there.

The part of me that is the gatekeeper, She Who Heads The Committee, She stands in front of that door, arms crossed. She doesn’t say anything, just looks at me, looks me over the way I assume everyone looks me over all the time. It is She who I have to win over, ultimately, She is the one who pulls me together.

Let me in, I say, eyes meeting.
Let me in.

ongoing

it’s pure fear in my brain
in my skull
full of open-mouthed terror and no
No no no no no
(mouth opens wide as if to scream but no sound comes out)
it is as if my brain knows not to attach worry to the unchangeable
my brain is so quick to send out the orders
but my body, my body says otherwise
there is nothing and everything specific
the overwhelming state of my life

I smoke and smoke and smoke and cough so hard I puke
there is still no lift, no elevation.

it will fucking pass
it will.

I have to be patient.

952am 6th september 2022

I am sitting in my car, unmoving
Right foot on the dashboard
Smoke nearly filling the cabin, rain outside
Grim and grey and compressing me into this small, flattish wafer of a person
I am so alone and I do not want to be so alone but I cannot go anywhere
I do not want to go anywhere I do not want to go out in this
The things that I know will make me happy I cannot find the energy to begin to think about doing,
There is too much preamble.
I think about curling up in the shower and letting the water beat down on me as I lay on the floor of the tub
I think about crawling back into bed and never getting out
I think about my hand my shoulder cramping as I clutch this pipe and cannot smoke enough weed to make me feel better no there is not enough to make me feel better

I do not want advice.
I just want some fucking relief.

731am 83122

A photo of the pink moon over Croton in a Facebook memory from 5 years ago, Gary commented, “My lovely lunatic. 💜”

it is getting close to the end, again.

five years ago this was your last two weeks on Earth.
You didn’t know, I didn’t know.
No one did, no one could.

I turned off facebook memories for those first three years, it’s too much.

(there have been years gone by, now, years without you. Years.)
“those first three years” is a terrifying thing to say out loud.
i digress.

As the memories come up for this week, though, I am warmed again by the things I see, the things you responded to, the way you responded. all not knowing what will come,
all perfectly normal and routine and lighthearted and me rapidly cycling, clutching fast to anything stable

and then there is this yawning pit that opens and will never, ever close
unhinges its jaws and
e v e r y t h i n g in my life hurries in, disappearing.

it is only now, close to the end, again
that i am beginning to see my way
but is it clear? no, not yet.

one thousand, eight hundred thirteen days.

how many more will there be

4/9/89 11:21 pm | 757a 24 february 2022

typewritten 33 years ago. found in the attic at the last possible moment.

darkness — thick, oppressive
congealing as if blood around an open breathing wound
i
am this
the wound
ed
panic steers this two-ton beast
not i racing
racing heart racing through mazed streets
dimly lit by infrequent lights
sudden dip
plunge headlong into wooded thick
et
cricket thicket surroundsound
i turn up the radio to shut out the nature
nature of this two-ton beast of steel racing heart racing.


I wrote this 33 years ago on the way home from somewhere/something stressful. My engagement party? I was less than a month away from turning 21.

I would have stopped to pull the car over to write this; wherever my first Filofax disappeared to, deep within its pockets lies a piece of looseleaf covered in my handwriting, tense and manic and completely out of control from the feel of it. This was about 6 months before I married my first ex-husband, The Sociopath. I hadn’t yet gotten anywhere close to the diagnosis I finally have, I mean I had finally gotten away from the schizophrenia misdiagnosis and was hovering somewhere in limbo, hinting around manic depression and clinical depression, but no one understood suicidality and ADHD back then, much less accounted for the PTSD I already had and would continue to have. I’m pretty sure by this point I had been put on Prozac which only helped to launch me fully into extreme mania.

The terror that I know that I was feeling that night, it is a familiar one. The time of year, well into the beginning of spring, added to the mania I know I was experiencing. Without understanding that this is how my body acts in spring, without any tools to help mitigate what would always be outside of my control, I can feel (finally, I think) really aware of just how much I have survived, and continue to survive.

I kept going when I had no proof of better times to come. I have that proof now.

I am that proof.
My proof lives in me.

It always changes; it always shifts. It gets better and it gets worse and it gets better again. Gam zeh ya’avor / gam zu l’tovah. This too shall pass and it is all for the good. גם זה יעבור זה גם לטובה

1142p 11th december 2021

this late at night
at this time of year
there are some very dark stretches of route nine heading north to home
so dark that i could turn off my headlights

and disappear

there are very few other cars
no lights
i could drift into nothingness
brightness

then black.
Nothing.

the road ahead opens its maw
promising to swallow me whole.
it could be done.
Over.

this void within my chest swells
my brain reels

this is a thing I know, now, filed away.

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.

water washes away

sitting in my car, rain smashing into the windshield
coming hugely into the narrow slit I’ve opened in the window
smoke hazing around the inside of the cabin

It is pouring (again)

giant crocodile tears wetting my sweater
I don’t dare lower the window any further not even to tap my ash
thunder competing with the din of the rain on my roof

I have eaten and smoked and am grateful for the help I had in making it through this day.
I am not alone.