I Say It Often, But Love Your TRIBE

So, in that grand tradition, you know the three day one I just started, that is me talking to my phone to get a blog post out, I bring to you today, me talking to myself in the middle of the late morning, with nothing else going on except a mild anxiety attack for recent that I have not yet pinpointed.

Side note after the fact, for those of you who are noticing that these sentences are extremely long, with insane amounts of commas, good for you. I, too, have noticed this, however, I do not want to try and edit my diction and worst about proper punctuation when I am talking about the current subject matter. Now, on with the show.

I wish I had something more sophisticated to talk to you about, something more debonair and awesome, but no, I’m going to talk to you about my anxiety attack because, and I’m sure you figured this out by now when you have an anxiety attack that’s the only thing on your mind in that particular moment.

it’s a gorgeous day, the kids are outside playing, Terry is on his computer doing whatever Terry does on his computer, and I’m sitting here staring at my computer, so I guess you can tell, it’s just a normal day.

I even talked to very many people today, not particularly on purpose, that’s just the way that it’s happened. I have dicked around and try to play a video game, that did not end well. I haven’t eaten anything yet, but I’ve had a lot of coffee. I’ll take care of the food thing here in a second. I don’t have anywhere to go, I don’t have anything to do, I’m just in the middle of a panic attack and it’s bugging me that I don’t know why, which of course is added to the panic of it all.

Yes, I use the term anxiety and panic interchangeably in this context, yes I understand that medically there is a difference between the two, but I don’t really care about any of that right now.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Naomi’s anniversary is this weekend, and it’s a significant one, I suppose? Five years isn’t exactly 18 days in the grand scheme of things. Still, it feels like yesterday that I got that phone call from the sheriff’s office, and at the same time it feels like it’s this impossibly long time ago, and that it happened to somebody else and I just happened to be there watching the whole thing when it happened.

I remember the text messages I sent, the phone calls I made, the tears I shed, the heart that broke. I remember everybody who came over to my house, I very much remember all the people that didn’t as well. I remember the words that were spoken, the sincere, and the insincere ones alike, and I mostly remember that there was absolutely nothing I could do.

It’s a situation where you live through it, you deal with it, you cope with it, there’s nothing you or anybody else can do to make it better. I suppose they can make it less hard, and for a few of you, by the good goddess, you did a spectacular job at that, however, at the end of the day you just have to survive it.

I remember saying to myself that when I had answers, it would hurt less. Then when I got the answers and the pain didn’t go away, I said that it would hurt less as time went by.

5 years go by and it still hurts as much as it did that day. I’m not going to say that I’ve resigned myself to pain, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it’s never going to completely go away. Some parts have healed, huge swathes in fact. Then, there are parts like this, where it is just a raw nerve that’s open to the air and every second it gets twinged by something.

The memories are my greatest tool and my weakest point. I can sit and tell a story about almost every day of the year that involves her, and while I’m telling people about them I laugh with them and I smile, and then when I lay upstairs in the dark later, the smiles turned it to tears, and then memories drift from the good ones to the bad. The lost time, the broken experiences, the things that were supposed to happen they never did because of one reason or another.

But don’t think me as broken as I was, or maybe even as broken as I will yet be, I have gained so much strength from it, so much knowledge, and through my Tribe, my People, my nearest and dearest, I’ve learned that I can, in fact, live and love through anything.

Winding. Fucking. Road.

This Bitch Is Going To Wander…

One of the things that have hit me the hardest in this pandemic cocktail drink of horror is that I am a very touchy-feely person. I love to hug people most of all and, if I can be a little cocky, I am pretty sure I give good hug. If you are a single-arm squeeze, a bear hug, or of course the patented Bear-Lifty-Twirly hug, I give a good fucking hug. I know it is a pretty minor thing in the long and short of things that people have lost, I am not trying to say it is a trauma, but it is a part of me that I am not allowed to express and that is a thing I am not used to at all.

My kids have been home since the last week of March. Now, if you can do basic math, and only basic math, like me, you know that is a long fucking time for three kids to be trapped in a place. I mean, Elder Duck’s summer vacation is shorter than the time he has been out of physical school. I don’t know what will happen when they all have to disappear and go back to real places again. I want to believe that there will be a mad rush to the door to get the hell out of a place they have been for nearly three-months solid, but Ia m also afraid the little dudes have established a routine so deep that there is a lot of bad things in the wind to get things back to “normal”.

Insert sharp hairpin of a curve…

Do you know what pisses me off? People who think that the opposite of love is hate. As my way smarter than me best friend has been trying to remind me of for the last umpteen years, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. Think about it for a second, just stop for a second, and fucking think about it. What? No, still fucking think about it.

Now a straightaway…

My mental health, while never what one would call a particularly stable thing, has taken a hit over the last little while and I swear to the Goddess herself the next person who tells me I just need to go outside and get some fresh air is going to get my hand to their head. I am not a big fan of outside, but, you know what? I go the fuck outside. I breathe air, I go places because I need to go to them, hell I even go to places that I want to go to. Terry and I drive down by the lake to think and I breathe all kinds of goddamn air while I am out there. Do you know what else is outside? All of the things Ia m allergic to that exacerbate my migraines to the point where I go to bed at three in the afternoon for the day and then feel like a gutless fuck because I didn’t stay awake with my people.

Home Stretch Bitches…

Healing is an insanely personal thing and if I am smiling, or I make a joke or post a damn meme, that doesn’t mean it is “all good” and that I am all set for the Universe. No motherfucker, that just means that I am above water long enough just then to breathe deep and remember why being under the water for so damn long sucks so fucking bad. You stay in your lane about my mental health and I will stay in mine about yours, okay?

Now, I am going to listen to more fucking Weird Al polkas.


The Door Is Open

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired guys. Migraines and Depression, Anxiety and Neuroses up the proverbial ass.

So I am simply not going to be those things anymore. I am not naive enough to believe that this is an easy thing, or that it will be an instant thing.

However, as the people I love the most tell me frequently, I can’t pour from an empty cup. My sweet, wonderful Gentle Readers, I have no idea where my fucking cup is. I couldn’t tell you how much is in it, I couldn’t tell you the last time it had anything in it. So I am going to do the ONE thing I don’t do.

I am going to take care of my fucking self for once. I am going to focus on every goddamn breath if I have to until I get to a place where I can feel genuine happiness and not some weird guilt based fakery. I want to smile and have it hurt because the muscles are tight, nit because I am faking it for so long I want to slit my fucking soul in half. I am going to get myself, in mind and body and soul, in shape. It is the way it is going to be and I am sorry that some of you already are hurt by this choice.

There is a limit that we all have on how many spoons we are capable of losing in a lifetime and I am there.

I spoke to a sweet and spiritual soul last night and without realizing what she did, she laid my fears to rest over my need to do this. She took my heart for a moment in my most broken state and gave it back to me and it felt warm again. A hint of it, a shadow of what it will be, but dammit it is there.

So there are going to be some changes, and I am not going to list them all here because not only do I not have to do this, I am under no obligation to. I am instead going to go and do the HARD work of making myself right again. I am not disappearing. I am still going to post my Ducks, memes, social activism posts, but there is always this in the back on my mind and heart.


Most Importantly.

If you do not like this. If you cannot accept that I need to go and do the things I need to do to make myself better…

The Door Is Fucking Open

It Had To Be On Memorial Day, Didn’t It? Goddamn It.

I have what I believe is called a conundrum on my hands today. I had a very specific thing I was going to write about today and yet, as I sit down to write about it it seems callous to write about such a thing on a day set aside to honor the fallen. I will not say I found a way to squash the two together, for I have not, I will instead be honest and say that the honored dead will be honored in my mind and heart every day of the year, today’s event occurs but a singular time a year. It isn’t a fair thing, what I am doing, but I felt the need to express it in some way before I plunge into the myriad of shit that will be what I write about today.

So, today is my dad’s birthday.

I will go ahead and tell you he was born in ’45 in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, a few miles outside of Arnold, California. Family lore says he was born nearly nine months to the day after my grandfather returned from serving in Iran during the Second World War. After the war, and possibly before as I do not know exactly, my grandfather was the ranger for the park and was for at least a decade or so after my father was born. They moved down to Los Angeles sometime in the mid-’50s and, well, that is all the autobiographical shit I am going to include because fuck him is why.

I am not writing about James Nealon the person today, I am drilling a little deeper and talking about James Nealon, the father.

He wasn’t good at it.

That may sound childish in its form, but why not use Occam’s Razor? He was a shitty dad not because of the booze, sadistic wife, PTSD, and his parental issues, but because some people should simply not have children, and he was one of those people. It doesn’t say a lot of good about the potentiality for future generations I know, but if I could have put it another way, you know I would have.

See, dad was in the Army, a Beret in ‘Nam and the whole hero thing. Never once have I spoken ill of his service and I will not now. I cannot fathom the choices and obstacles he had to face on a daily basis and if there are people who are equipped to do it, it is not his pacifist, hippie, crystal loving, oldest son. The Army changed him, as it did so many thousands of people before and since, and it was not for the better. He became, at least according to the stories I would hear from my grandad and grandmother, a harder and different person. I will not speak on the horrors of a thing I have never experienced, I will speak on the horrors I did.

He was terrified a great deal of the time, loud sounds, helicopters, gunfire. Mind you, we lived in the barrio outside of Los Angeles, to say that these were common noises in the area is putting so lightly as to be invisible. When he got scared, he got mad, when he got mad, well, I’ll let you go ahead and draw the rest of that logic branch.

My mother was the downfall of him I think, they were married in ’76, my sister came along in ’78, me in ’80, Andy in ’83. My mother was an evil thing, anger and violence were here bailiwicks and she was so very, very good at them. She would be in the same room as him and you could see him change into her in this terrifying process that involved immense amounts of Jack Daniels and irrational anger at the smallest thing.

There is no point. I know a few of you are looking for it. There isn’t one. Every year I have to say something about him, today it just happens to fall on Memorial Day.

I can tell you that he beat us and abandoned us and knew the darkness that was my mother and did nothing. I can tell you he taught us all how to lie and had this chaotic desire to move every so often that got pretty annoying by the time we go to New York when I was 10.

He died in ’98, on the bed he shared with my mother, weighing less than my Elder Duck does now. He asked me, and I gave, the Last Rites to him the night before. I knew he wasn’t seeing me when he asked, he was talking to someone long dead in a river thousands of miles away from where the apartment in Hamlin, NY was. It was the last thing I did for him. Of all his sins and evils and faults, I sat with him in the middle of the night on a Friday morning and I forgave him the things I could, and I buried the rest so deep I had to get married and have children of my own before I realized how wrong some of his transgressions were.

Again, there is no point in it, all is senselessness and chaos.

Flectere Si Nequeo Superos, Acheronta Movebo. Sorry Princess, Latin Says It Better Without The Translation

I have been up pretty much as long as I normally to tell you the truth.

Got up a little after 5 to get the Elder Duck ready to do the things he needs to do (that means I am the dad that gets him up early so he can play video games before giving up my room all day for him to go to school) and then, normally, even if I don’t fall asleep, I lay in bed for a few hours and gradually acclimate myself to the soul-shattering fact that I need to go a whole day and not be asleep. Sometimes little dude comes up and crashes with me for a bit, which is adorable as it sounds of course.

That was the plan this morning when the power went out.

Now, there isn’t a real reason I couldn’t have stayed in bed, my bedroom is not only cold because I like it that way, but it is also the only room in the house that gets absolutely no direct sunlight into the bedroom proper. It stays cool in there even on the hottest of days, which we are definitely at yet to be sure.

No, the reason I couldn’t stay in there, other than the little squirming child next to me who was bored all of a sudden, was because there was absolutely no noise. I can’t go with absolutely no noise. It freaks the shit out of me and I just don’t do perfectly normal and quiet. Hence the sound machine, the fan when there was one in there, the air conditioner, the diurnal things I listen to. I can’t be absolute silence, it brings up memories of things that I don’t want to have memories of and, regardless of the skills I have learned, it always flips that particular switch.

So I am tired.

Know what else I am?

Soul-crushingly fucking tired.

I don’t have any of the spoons and fucks anymore. There are too many squirrels in my head and I am not going to last much longer if I don’t do anything about it.

So here is what I am going to do.

First, this will be the last thing in here for a bit. Feeling guilty over not writing things that I like to write is idiotic and I refuse to continue on that particular pathway.

Secondly, I love you.

Thirdly, let’s hope this ends sooner rather than later. I do not do myself or any of my people favors when I fo into hermit mode, and I am feeling a pretty strong itch to lay in a quasi-comatose state for 19-23 hours a day with occasional breaks for the food and the bathroom. We all remember what happened the last time I got stupid like that.

So if you know me, text me. If I don’t answer, I probably still think you are awesome?

The title says it all, let’s just hope we can do the former before the latter, yes?