Monday, May 23, 2016


N.B. Not a cheerful post.

The June gloom, which we barely experienced last year, is still here in full force. (Yes, I know it is May.) Either the dementors use the gloom as a disguise, an opening in the dark’s vulnerability, or vice versa. The upshot is some uneasy blues, that mental pattering around the edge of the trip wire into depression, despair, or some other kind of a low mood.

Today it is softly sunny and cool enough for a chill. I ought to go out and work on the garden. All I really want to do is get more sleep. Is writing some sort of compromise?

I didn't sleep again, or, at least, not well. As evidenced here, I wrote when I headed to bed, cold sober for two days, having taken some off-the-shelf sleeping meds. I was drowsy but could not find my comfort within the sheets. The short and frequent gyrations for entry into oblivion eluded me. Dozing was seductive but the sought rest eluded me time and again. 

Have I mentioned how noisy it is here with the birds? I do think the garden has attracted more of them this year. They are so raucous that the cats don't even pay much attention any more. As in Brooklyn and Brewster, they often wake me.

The day that Janet would not swim was a tough one for me. I was so frustrated with her that I turned it on myself in the form of too much cheap cognac. It didn't help that I was cooking. Cooking and drinking just go hand in hand for some of us, each pleasure augmenting the others. I mean, it must be better for you than a speedball, right? That's a famous mixing of two pleasures.

Sunday, not a fun day.

The not-so-good week ended with me having to take Janet to the emergency room again. Her allergy recurred, only days after off steroids. We tried various at-home-off-the-net remedies though none seemed to work. She was uncomfortable. I realized it would probably be better for me to just get her seen than to listen to her complain all day and try to be patient with going through several iterations of remedy. I've had longer stays at the E.R. She's medicated and improving I think.

(Don't know if I had mentioned before that her face and eyes were very red and swollen. She said that her skin burned and itched.)

The first blow of the week was that my long term part time gig is in hiatus if not over. Though it is not a lot of money, it certainly helped. For the time being, I have no income. And with Janet needing more rather than less attention, I am not sure beyond spending the time (and frustration levels)  getting government assistance what to do about this.

I was dealing with the no job when I took Scotch to the vet as she was sneezing. Catteries often have respiratory viruses floating around. We can ill afford it, but we can just take it easy for the next week. As the doctor was examining her belly, he found a huge tumor. He insisted on taking an x-ray, for free. Yes, there is something large there. However, we there's no way, unless we borrowed money or took it out of savings, to pay for even an ultrasound or a surgery. So, I get to watch her die or at least become less well. She's still eating and drinking and using the litter box for the time being.

My heart and spirit are broken into many disparate pieces. I came home from the vet's and just slept and read. I suppose I am bit lonely, too, as Janet is my main source of company save for the iChats and emails. 

In searching for a word to describe my current state of mind, I came up with bereft. Cambridge online dictionary as "having to do with something or someone and suffering from the loss." Yes. The loss of so many things. My livelihood. My home. Many of my friends. My mother. My self-esteem. My place in the world. My possibilities. My heart. 

Bereft nails it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


May 17

Yes, I just posted but I needed a fresh start. Just listening to Guy Clark, remembering the many associations he has for me, and the depth of his talent just got me going in a different direction. And I am trying to focus. I was embroidering and watching Frankie and Grace with my mom, but decided to hit the bed and write, to see if I could get to sleep earlier (not so far).

I was getting a bit iffy about writing, even though I know it makes me feel better. One of my friends was talking to me about invisibility. I am less invisible to myself when I write. Now see? If I were more positive, I would say "When I write I am more visible."

There’s been some good. When I woke up Saturday, I was so depressed I was trying to figure how to bow out of a Richard Thompson show that was a birthday gift. When I am not even up for RT, I am in a bad way. Fortunately, there was a part of me that remembered I could at least try to change my bad energy. I stripped my bed to wash out the tossing and turnings, and the recent nightmares. I flipped my mattresses. I sun soaked the down comforters that are my featherbed. I sun/air dried the sheets. 

RT was terrific. Christine Collister was on hand to sing harmony; I had not seen her since the first time I saw RT up at the Cotati Cabaret (it's a small converted church. RT and I discussed it once.) It's good to have a little female energy there. (Plus, RT played songs she knew so some gems from the 80's got sung.) Debee, John, and I had a blast.

On Sunday, there was a small birthday bbq planned for MN. As she is very fond of boysenberries, and ours are coming in, I thought an angel food cake would be a good vehicle. I had not made an angel food cake in long enough that it might as well have been never. The making of it was somewhat stressful as I did not have the right pan, but it was a good challenge.  

I did remarkably well with the egg white separation.

Hand beating the white? Next time, I'll use a metal bowl.

I also made a homegrown tomato/mozzarella/basil salad kind of thing. The tomatoes are a-comin' in. (And, by the way, that special spray thing to knock off the spider mites appears to be helping!)

I even sent MN home with some veggies, including a rather splendid broccoli.

Peter brought Porterhouse steaks that he cooked to perfection. 

This is all just avoiding the hard stuff. The hardest stuff is my mom. Her memory is getting quite bad and in the course of an hour she might ask me what day it is, or about some appointment, four or five times or even more. 

I tried to get her to go swimming. I got her all the way to the edge of the pool and she refused to go in. Of course, as soon as we got to the car, she said she wished she had gone. 

She's completely obsessed with Merle (she calls him Blackie, after her first dog.) She has been reading more, but that's not saying a whole whole lot. When I came home from RT, I could see that she had turned off the TV to read. 

It seems as if caring for her will take up more and more time. If I want her to keep any of her faculties, I have to spend more time doing activities with her, getting her out of the house, and that sort of thing. 

It is crushing. You've heard this process, this aging, memory loss, facility loss, dying process is crushing. It is crushing. 

I listened to Jeff Buckley sing Hallelujah on repeat for a good 30 minutes tonight. 

And it's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

I don't know how that obtains here, but it does.

Plus, my dear neighbors next door are moving. Hearts are broken. 


And brave the storm to come
For it surely looks like rain

Oops! Dropped In to a Grateful Dead quote there.

The last few days have been quite overcast and storm threatenin' (my very life today...) for the last couple of days. I do hope my current mood is based, at least in part, of the lack of light. 

My bed this morning looked as if I had had the time of my life with covers every which way, but alas, the only tussling was with the dementors. I know that I had another nightmare and that I, once again, called out or yelled in my sleep.

Saturday, May 14.

While I am not really sure when I started this post, it was probably within the last week. The gloom was lifted somewhat, so there has been some light. The new garden bed gets quite a bit of late afternoon light, damn near blinding when I finally got around to starting to plant the new bed on the side of the house. 

Among the depressives out there reading this, do any of you wake up from a sleep in utter despair, not wanting to face any consciousness, only to get up, wander about in dismal existence, a vague dread, slow-beating panic, until you get some caffeine in you?

Tuesday, May 17

Time do fly.  We all said goodbye to Guy Clark today. 

Pack up all your dishes.
Make note of all good wishes.
Say goodbye to the landlord for me.
That son of a bitch has always bored me.
Throw out them LA papers
And that moldy box of vanilla wafers.
Adios to all this concrete.
Gonna get me some dirt road back street

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought

Here's to you old skinny Dennis
Only one I think I will miss
I can hear that old bass singing
Sweet and low like a gift you're bringing
Play it for me just one more time now
Got to give it all we can now
I believe everything your saying
Just keep on, keep on playing

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought

And you put the pink card in the mailbox
Leave the key in the old front door lock
They will find it likely as not
I'm sure there's something we have forgot
Oh Susanna, don't you cry, babe
Love's a gift that's surely handmade
We've got something to believe in
Don't you think it's time we're leaving

If I can just get off of this LA freeway
Without getting killed or caught
I'd be down that road in a cloud of smoke
For some land that I ain't bought bought bought.

Pack up all your dishes.
Make note of all good wishes.
Say goodbye to the landlord for me.

That son of a bitch has always bored me.

I bought that first Guy Clark album although I have no idea how I knew about it. I can remember listening to it my sweet Berkeley apartment on Virginia Street. I particularly liked Texas, 1947. 

Maybe this one is leveling me because I am here in Los Angeles on a road that doesn't end anywhere great. My mother will die and I will be ... well, I don't know where I'll be. And that, my friends, is a very scary place to ponder.