I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
September 05, 2014 - 10:48 a.m.
If you missed my last entry better read it to know what I'm talking about. Done? Good. After Wednesday's explosion yesterday was take care of myself day. On the way to therapy, often when I have my best therapy, I realized exactly what happened to me. I was Ralphie beating up Farkus in A Christmas Story
I'm not ten years old so there was no violence and the profanity was not as non-stop but otherwise that's a pretty good picture of what happened. I realized that I'm lucky. When the silicon chip inside my head flips to overload that's all that happens. If my life had been worse, if I had been abused as a child or suffered deprivation and I had the trigger that I'm not going to discuss here maybe I would have been violent. Perhaps the same could be said of all of us. There but for fortune goes you or I.
OK So what did I do in the aftermath, all the things I do to take care of myself. First I had lunch with Erika. She is the one that initiated it but I jumped at the chance. Of course things weren't easy. It should have been about a 40 minute trip. I've done it before. It's just the to the then walk a few blocks. Once again the trains mocked me. The day before when I needed the three came in a row. Yesterday of course the came. And then it just sat in the station. They announced on the train but not the station that a passenger had gotten sick at DeKalb. That's the next stop for both trains. It was hot so I decided to wait in the sitting and read. I figured when the train moved I'd switch trains at DeKalb. Then they said that the problem was at Grand, that's only on the . I was going to switch to a totally different line, the but the doors closed and the train left. We got to DeKalb. And just sat there. I gave up waiting and took the to Jay street where I could switch to the . The upshot was that I was half an hour late and Erika has of course only a limited lunch break. How did I not go nuts? Another element of taking care of myself. I read Lord of the Rings. That's why I got on the so it would be easier to read.
I got to the restaurant and joined Erika. I then proceeded to vent to her. It was a rehearsal for therapy. First I told her what I had done the day before then I told her why I was so upset. Sorry you don't get to hear that. Erika was great. You know that's not what I usually do but it was still eating me and it was take care of myself day. We then started talking about other things and in passing Erika mentioned that her grandfather, Billy Sullivan Jr. was a major league baseball player. Then she added so was her great grandfather Billy Sullivan Sr. I of course immediately looked them up on Baseball-Reference.com.
Senior played in the dead ball error and was a super defensive catcher. He was on the world champion 1906 White Sox called "the Hitless Wonders." He was part of the hitless and part of the wonders as he caught such great pitchers as Ed Walsh and Doc White. He invented an improved inflatable chest protector and was the first catch to position himself directly behind the batter. They used to squat well behind. As is defense was great and it was the dead ball error he could be a valuable player despite being a poor hitter. He has the second lowest career batting average of any player with more than 3000 at bats. Here are his stats, and here's his bio. Erika told me that he caught a ball dropped off the Washington Monument but I was dubious because I heard that story about lot of other catchers including Josh Gibson. But according to the bio it's true and it was done by at least one other person. I guess that was a thing then.
Billy Sullivan Sr. Also played in the World Series for the Detroit Tigers They were the first father and son to both play in the Fall Classic.
I got so excited about hearing this from Erika that she said that whenever I'm depressed she's going to talk about her grandfather and great grandfather. I just got excited about it now.
after lunch I had two hours to kill before therapy. I walked Erika back to work on 49th street. I somehow took an hour and 45 minutes to walk down to 11th street, all on Broadway. I don't know how I managed that. it should have taken 35 minutes. I did stop to go to the bathroom at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and I stopped at McDonalds for coffee and I took a walk around Madison Square Park but it should not have taken that long. I guess I stopped and smelled the roses. It was take care of myself day.
Therapy was not as intense as I thought it would be. I vented and got affirmation. She said that my reaction was natural given the stress I was under; I wasn't over-reacting and that what upset me was bad. I was worried about that. Of course Erika and Katrina, the two people I talked to about it both thought so too.
After therapy I went straight home and had an ice creamed coffee. My therapist said that one of my strengths is that I know what to do to make myself feel better. Food and Tolkien I can get on demand. I rested up for a bit before taking the last part of taking care of myself. What's that? What is missing? Music of course. Doug and Telisha Williams, The Wild Ponies were playing at Hill Country Barbecue Brooklyn. So I got not just music but also friends and more great food. They weren't playing upstairs where they usually have the music. The entire upstairs section was closed other than the bathrooms.. They played right by the front door in the bar. So it was a bar gig, not ideal. I found a stool at the bar with a back and grabbed it. I told Doug to make sure nobody stole my stuff, then went in search of food. I had a quarter pound of moist brisket and a quarter pound of boneless prime rib. My side was whte shoepeg corn pudding. Ahhh, shoepeg is a variety of corn. The wonders of Wikipedia. The food was great. So was the music. Doug and Telisha had a drummer with her who knew her job. I found myself drumming along with her but she was in no way intrusive. She knows how to accompany and not overwhelm.
I always love their songwriting and their performance. Here's a question for you. Name another duo with a guitar and upright bass. I can think of just one but I'll give you a minute to think about it. Got it? Yes the Smothers Brothers. Telisha, on the bass, stands on Doug's left. I thought that was how the Smothers Brothers did it too.. I pictured them on the show. Then I double checked on Google. I was right!
During the intermission I had to go to the bathroom but I got distracted talking to Doug. I finally managed to pull myself away. When nature calls you have to listen.
During the second set the crowd thinned out but those remaining were there to hear music not drink. That's the problem with bar gigs, people not listening. At least they weren't too noisy.
After the music I went home and talked to Katrina on the phone. Then I read more LOTR. I spent all day taking care of myself and it helped. But I'm not over it. I was up at 6:30 because once again nature called and I couldn't get my mind off what's been bothering me. So despite the fact that I was so tired I read another chapter of LOTR. That worked and I was able to drift back to sleep.
I still have the knot in my stomach though not quite as bad. Today I'm going to talk to LORi then tonight more live music with good friends, The No Fuss and Feathers Roadshow..
I'm still feeling a bit George Bailey, minus the suicide, but improving. I know that I'm made of rubber and always rebound. This just might take while.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Follow on Feedly