Well, it's nice to see people are keeping up with the Joneses...Meadowses...ummm...me. A couple of responses have popped up for "Losing a lost mind." I appreciate the emotional support that folks are sending out to me. I truly do. So, to Arguskos, who at one time, with the assistance of "mom" bought me toys to play with, thank you. And to "Papa" Zeb...Guess whose insurance doesn't cover Chantix? That's right! Mine! What's more, a little research online shows it's not as effective in diabetics as "normal humans." But the best part is what I already know about this drug...
You see, it was this drug that Stu was on when he tore his ascending aorta. Not that the drug caused it, but Stu was touting it to me when he started taking it. He read the "common" side effects, and I instantly knew it would be a problem for me. My stomach seems to have aged beyond my mind, and has become sensitive to even those things I used to eat when I was a younger man.
Once upon a time, I could eat a "death sandwich." Take two pieces of bread, cover with nails of your choice, smother in motor oil, season with arsenic and cyanide, and warm in oven at 200 degrees for five minutes. Allow for a bit of cooling before eating. Now the thought of just swallowing a thumb tack makes me nervous.
Okay...maybe that's a slight exaggeration. The reality is that just a year ago, I ran into issues taking Motrin. MOTRIN! I mean, how basic can a medication be? This is an OTC medication that was given to me at prescription strength, and not even full prescription strength. The reason it makes for a good painkiller is that it's actually an anti-inflammatory med. Less swelling means less pain. So my doc and I added it to my medication regimen in the hopes of avoiding a need for increasing doses of the narcotics I also take. The Motrin, however, started causing my a great deal of stomach pain, and it was taken off the list of meds I should take daily.
But all these issues when it comes to smoking doesn't mean I'm not making SOME kind of effort. Yes, I'm still smoking. (And, yes, I still need help with my finances.) But I'm falling back on the method I used the first time I quit. It will take a few months, but I'm hoping that by my birthday, 9 July, I'll have reached quitting time. What am I doing? It's actually very simple. Before I smoke a cigarette, I poke holes in the filters. As my body adjusts to less nicotine, I start poking more holes. In time, there will be so many holes in my cigarettes that I'll barely be inhaling anything at all.
It's this, or get those nicotine cartridges, and...ummm...well, I ran into a little issue with those e-cigs. In an effort to make the supply in the starter kit last, I used the "full flavor" cartridges. Inhaling the full, unfiltered strength of those things had me starting to show signs of nicotine poisoning. (Again with the upset stomach, the details of which I think I'll keep to myself.) So I went back to the one method I'd used in the past, and know it worked. Why I started again after three weeks of having been quit...Well, it's easy to tumble back into a vice when you catch your girlfriend cheating on you.
And speaking of old girlfriends, I had an experience last night that had me blowing all kinds of emotional gaskets. (That's the "anger" part of this post title.) As I said, my door's been open a lot lately. Yesterday, as the sun was setting, a woman paused in my door to say hello. Her name is Shannon, and I was falling for her a while back...
She was 17 when I met her, so while I occasionally flirted with her, there was no touching, nor even any effort to ask her out. Then she turned 18, and I...still didn't do much more than flirt. But I made it clear that I really was interested of she was, and it seemed as though she was gearing up to reciprocate. In fact, we had a few cuddling sessions, although there was no "extras." Just long talks filled with lots of gentle caresses. This happened only a few times, and then...
One evening, after a cuddle session, she left my apartment to head home. I'd closed my door, feeling pretty good about being "a good boy." That is, I hadn't been pushing her very hard into a relationship. The cuddling had mostly consisted on lying close together, with me gently moving a hand along her cheek and neck, moving the hair out of her eyes, and holding hands. You must understand that because I live in a studio apartment, when someone walks into my home, they essentially enter my bedroom. It can be an intimidating scene all on its own. But I hadn't forced her onto my bed, verbally or physically. She was the one in the driver's seat of the whole thing. I didn't press for the kisses I wanted, or anything else for that matter. On this particular night, everything was the same as all cuddle sessions before.
No sooner had I locked my door and walked away from it, when there was a knocking on it. I peeked through the blinds, expecting to see Shannon's mother standing there with a baseball bat, or perhaps someone else who was interested in Shannon. No, it was the girl herself. So I opened the door and she said, "I forgot something." That's when she kissed me for the first and only time.
Our relationship immediately took a turn toward high school. You see, in her excitement, Shannon told some of her friends about me. Their reaction was to paint me as a dirty old man who only wanted to get it on with a sexy teenager, and she, oddly, bought into it. I was thoroughly baffled. If that was my only goal, why hadn't I actually tried to get what they were claiming I was after. Thus, Shannon practically vanished from my life (taking all three of my Spider-Man novels with her). (I loaned them to her, thinking I'd have plenty of time to get them back. Boy, was I wrong about that!)
So years have rolled by, and I haven't seen Shannon in all that time. And last night, there she was, showing all the signs of abuse that a pregnancy can have on a woman. No shock there, since she was also holding a four-month-old baby in her arms. So after she said "hi," I sat at my computer, staring at her, the baby, and then I said the only thing that came to mind. "Where are my Spider-Man novels?"
Very little was said, really. Yes, the baby was hers. No, she wasn't married. In fact, when the father of the child learned Shannon was pregnant, he ran for the hills, leaving her to rear the child alone. And Shannon's last words to me were, "I have to get her bottle. I'll be right back."
She didn't return.
I was PISSED! She listened to everyone else, succumbing to peer pressure, and ended up getting pregnant by some immature scumbag who obviously isn't anything resembling a real man. He left her the moment he learned she was pregnant. I would have asked her to marry me, and if she didn't accept that, I would at least have made a conscious effort to be a part of that baby's life. I would have been on the phone with my Dad, announcing, "You're going to be a grandpa again!" I would have been proud. I would have been happy. But most important, my life would have been given greater meaning. If a cat can motivate me to get out of bed to care for her, imagine what a child (and a wife) could do for me.
Alas, Shannon was one of those women who starts out saying, "Age is just a number." But in the end, it's more than a number; it turns out to be a very big deal. Now if I was a billionaire like Hugh Hefner...The man just turn 83 on 9 April, and dates women around the age of 20. I'll be 42 in a few months, and people frown when I want to date a woman around the age of Hugh's girlfriends. The difference? He sells a fairly intellectual magazine filled with nudity, while I live beneath poverty level...and he's almost twice my age.
I try not to spend too much time thinking about my life. It's physically painful, and to intellectualize my circumstances makes it increasingly emotionally painful. Last night, I was overwhelmed with "woulda, coulba, shoulda" kind of thoughts. There's a list of self-destructive things that went screaming through my head for hours. I'm ultimately thankful I have Xanax on hand, or I might have lost my grip on the anger that *I* fear so much.
And so the drama goes on...I am still in dire need of help, if anyone can spare it. I sense, however, that people are now seeing me as a different kind of person, and very few are seeing me in the pure light I once existed under. For those who are of a mind to help, my PayPal ID is CityOfMutants@aol.com. But I'm not holding my breath for it. Instead...I'm losing hope.