Monday, June 25, 2007

Three men in a doctor's office

Can he see me today?

Yes, Mark, but it will be a little while.

Ok, he says with voice cracking. I’ll just sit down I guess.


Hey, you ok? says the man already waiting

Jussst real d-down, depressed.

I know what you mean. I’ve been depressed for seven years.

24 years for me.

I’m on Clanapin, Paxil--anti-depressants—Lithium for the mania and one other.

Really? Does it work?

Yeah, especially the Clanapin and Paxil together.

I’m going to tell my doc to put me on those two. I-I just don’t like the side-effects. They make me tired and I get limp dick.

Yeah, they all give me limp dick, goes with the territory.


How much longer is the doctor going to be?

Quite awhile; he’s booked.

Well, I gotta go now so I will come back. He gets up and goes out the door, passing Mark in silence.


Mark begins to tremble. He fumbles with his hat, looking straight down at the floor. He convulses slightly while groaning.

He gets up, hunched over, approaching the desk. It seems he may crumple into a ball and disappear.

Mark, are you ok? Do you want to come back in a room?

He begins weeping, his shoulders heaving.

The door opens and he’s gone.


I finally open up the book I brought along and try to begin Rosaldo’s “Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage”:

“If you ask an older Ilongot man of northern Luzon, Philippines, why he cuts off the human heads, his answer is brief, and one on which no anthropologist can readily elaborate: He says that rage, born of grief, impels him to kill his fellow human beings.”

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I should really blog something serious...

It's been like a freakin stupid month and my last post wasn't anything to write home about--but I just can't. I mean I'm tired and I have to get ready for my 7am class tomorrow and, well, I don't have anything serious to say. Ok, that's not true. I have a lot of serious things to say, but when I start composing a post in my head it sounds dreadful, dull, and downright depressing.

For example I could say something about family trips, how they impact children, create memories...I can't, it's too painful because I'd have to mention that our four day camping trip to Bear Lake was cut to a one nighter, a night filled with scooping up barf out of...ok I won't go there.

Or I could say something about the whole God/god/gawd question I've been rolling around in my noggin. Hell, going to hell I'll bet, it's just a muddled mess in my head. Someday I need to write more about this, maybe after I finish the Dawkin's book or maybe after I become a practicing Buddhist, because god knows I can't discuss it with anyone I know. Either they don't understand my angst because they've never really believed in God or they would take my criticism of "God" so personal that our relationship would never be the same...ok, ok I'm not going write about this either.

I could also, and I'm quite tempted, write about my looming 20th high fucking school reunion. Of course the dropped F bomb already indicates that this topic is too raw for me to reflect on. Talk about depressing: I was forwarded the address to the in-process class of 87 (I won't mention the school in case my blog would turn up on some past high school acquaintance's Google search nostalgically tooling around for pre-reunion gossip) website. Oh my gawd I was depressed, Holden Caulfield like depressed, when I read through the little statements people had posted about their lives. Some mentioned all the great amazing things they've done with their lives; others revealed things they should only be sharing with a loved one (and we ain't your fuckin' loved ones! It's been 20 years!!!). Obviously I can't write about all this--too painful and clearly I'm being way too hard on these, I'm sure, lovely people from the past. Not too mention I'm an insincere bastard since I've been checking for updated bios two or three times a day--I have issues. I really do hope they spend some quality time together without me.

Well, since there's nothing to write about I'll just stop myself right now.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Summer Movies and Books

I'm kind of in between semesters except for a few hrs in the writing center and a number of projects I should finish before summer semester in a week and half. Having this extra time I've endulged in several movies and finally gotten around to a few of the books stacked on my desk and end table.

Wife and I watched Shut up and sing about the Dixie Chicks (well really the lead singer, Natalie Maines) "controversial" statements about being embarrassed that Bush was also from Texas. Wife and I really enjoyed the film and our respect for the Chicks grew--only slight disagreement was when I said, in earshot of a kid or two, in defense of Natalie's use of the F-word: "I think she is quite sexy when she uses the F-word." By which, I quickly added, I mean every time she used it in the film she was highlighting her tenacity in fighting against Bush, the war, and the shalacking they were taking by country music fans and radio stations. I think women can be sexy when they are tough--that was my point. Next time I might wait till said children are in bed to offer such profound insights into the F-word.

I just finished The Good Shepherd and I'm going to go out on a limb, even though I don't have a carefully crafted argument to support my claim: TGS should have gotten several nominations, one for best actor, Matt Damon, and one for best picture/director (it only got best art F.... direction! I thought it was genius but it seems understated, low key, subtle movies/
performances often get overlooked unless they are of the Merchant-Ivory variety. The film continues to float around in my head, especially Damon's character which was skillfully portrayed with nuance and reservation.

Oldest son and I finally watched Independence Day (certainly a fun popcorn movie as one review put it) and Pan's Labrynth (after hearing about it during the Oscars). Pan's was a wonderful, deliciously dark fantasy mixed with realism. A few gratuitous violent scenes which we fast-forwarded but the rest was spot on. I really appreciated how the film works both as a "real" (like this happened) fantasy/fairy tale and as a realistic psychological display of a child's struggle to deal with a the wicked (and very evil) step-father.

I'm reading both The Spiral Staircase: My Climb out of darkness by Karen Armstrong and The God Delusion by the infamous Richard Dawkins. I'm not as far in the Dawkin's book as it doesn't have an engaging narrative like Armstrong's story of her recovery from seven years in a convent, but still the parallels are stricking. Armstrong, renowned religious scholar, retells her painful journey back to "regular" life, working through anxiety attacks, dangerous amnesiac episodes, and a bout with anorexia. Not only does she fail as a nun, she then fails her Oxford dissertation, thought a very controversial failure, after years of work. Somehow, as I kind of know how things will turn out, she makes it through all this to become a self-sponsored scholar, writing definitive works on all of the major relgions. Amazingly, on some level (not as "believer"), she works through the hate and dismissal of religion and turns it into her career. I can't wait to see how exactly she does this and compare it side by side with Dawkin's absolute refusal to see religion as anything but deception.