"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Kissing the Dive Bomber
plummet Function: intransitive verb
1 : to fall perpendicularly
2 : to drop sharply and abruptly
3 : to go where I went on last Wednesday
Wednesday morning was when the pot on the potter's wheel tore itself to pieces.
I had been riding a cycle since the lithium poisoning episode I mentioned a few days ago, and started hitting the skids over the weekend. Of course, that's when my wife wanted to go camping, so off we went to Virginia Beach.
Having grown up in Myrtle Beach, every time I go to another beach I mentally weigh it against my memory of the place where I spent so much time as a teenager. Every beach comes up short. Daytona, Wrightsville, Miami, all of them, so Virginia Beach is no exception.
Not to mention that a beach experience with my wife is somewhat different from a beach experience as a hormone laden teen, but we'll leave that right there.
I think "sedate" might be the word I'm looking for here. OK, really stopping now before I get into even MORE trouble...
Back to the topic.
Yes, I'm sorry, dear.
That's not what I meant at all, dear.
Uh, what do I mean then? Well, uh, ... Hey look! John Travolta is in the front yard! Really!
OK, where was I? Friday night.
We stop on the way out of town at a combination KFC and Taco Bell on Route 1 near I-95 in Richmond (at 8340 Brook Road, Richmond, VA if you're interested.) We have attempted to eat here several times. Yeah, attempted. The service is always very, very bad. This evening was no exception, as they were taking about five minutes per customer to fill the orders. They had a long line the entire time we were there, and actually served about 10 people.
Note to self: Next time, resist the temptation to believe in the ability of man to improve himself. At least in that restaurant.
We get to the campground about 9pm or so and set up camp. Then we confirm the fact that we have no bedclothes. 10pm finds us in the local Wallyworld shopping for sheets. I think. I don't remember much about the evening at that point.
By a little before midnight we're in bed. I sleep like a stone, and the next morning I don't want to wake up at 9:00.
My wife drags me out of bed anyway. I am a walking zombie, even after almost eleven hours of sleep. And I was sober, too.
So of course, I drove.
We did the bank thing, then the lunch thing, then went to the Marine Sciences Museum (Oh, for those of you tempted to click on that link, be warned....it loads slow and makes noise.) The museum was neat, even though I was feeling pretty lethargic. I had decided to be a trooper and HAVE FUN no matter what the cost.
Nothing, after all, is more fun than ordering yourself to have it. Yeah, right.
Toured the museum, watched the IMax movie, picked up some tacky souvenirs and off to town we went.
Now, this is right smack dab in the middle of the off season for Virginia Beach. Downtown is about half open, and a lot of the places are rolling up the carpet at 6pm. We barely make it into a couple of shops before they shut the gates.
In one of them I see what is absolutely the most tacky set of salt and pepper shakers I have ever seen. Each one is a Matchbox car with a small glass salt shaker hot glued onto the top of it. And there is no effort to disguise that, it looks exactly like what I just described, two toy cars with a two dollar salt and pepper set hot glued on top.
The price on it was $20.
We did not buy it.
We had eaten lunch at an Applebees. If you are not familiar with them, they are one of those cookie cutter yuppie food places decorated with antiques on the walls that follow a theme, like music or something, which is what the one we ate in had near our table.
And I sat there waiting for my food and wondered, somebody has the job of going all around and buying up antiques for those restaurants. What a cool job!
Then I got to thinking that these restaurants would probably end up being one of the major repositories for Americana.
Then our order came and I started eating and the heck with all this thinking stuff.
At dinner, we (I) had chosen a local barbecue place named "Jakes." (Their link does not play music.) Now, being raised in South Carolina, I am very picky about my barbecue. Since I have been here in Virginia, I pretty much have to cook my own to make it passable. And when I lived in Florida, well, don't get me started on that! They seem to think that sliced roast beef with some Kraft barbecue sauce on it suffices.
Poor folks don't know what they are missing.
I don't know what it is about it, but even though I know I'm not going to like it, I keep going into barbecue joints in other states and ordering the stuff. Helplessly, I walk into Jakes and do it yet again.
Wow, was *I* surprised! The stuff was awesome! If you are ever in that area, it's got my recommendation.
By the time we start to pack up and go home on Sunday, my depression (for that is what was happening all this time) was getting worse and worse. The docs had been juggling my meds around the past couple of weeks, and I was now officially "out of balance." I felt horrible.
Monday is pretty much a blur. I think I might have missed the day at work. I go to the doc, he nudges my meds yet again.
Tuesday I work a part of the day, then head home because I feel so bad.
Wednesday when I get up out of bed, my wife takes one look at me and tells me that we are going to the doc. My mood is heading downward in a death spiral. I made an agreement with her long ago that if she said that I needed to go to the doc I would go, so we did. By the time I get there, I am in as bad a shape mood-wise as I was when I was hospitalized a year ago. Fortunately, this time I was not a danger, so by a decision as close as a coin toss I didn't have to go in again.
BTW, for anyone reading this who has a mood disorder, these kinds of safety measures with those close to you are vital to living with it. If you don't already have them set up, do it now.
Anyways, another med change, and by the next day I was recovering, by Friday I was back at work again.
One thing I want to make totally clear here. That episode, although one of my worst ones, had no event triggers. It was totally chemical in nature. I was majorly depressed, but I could not have named anything in my life that made me feel that way.
My illness is not because I can't deal with problems. It is caused by misfiring brain cells. I don't want any pity, everyone has their problems to deal with.
I might, however, occasionally need a little space to stagger around a bit.
Well, I'm back now.
It was not a good trip.
Glad it's over.
Miss me? (Insert big grin here)
I was once thrown out of a mental hospital for depressing the other patients.
Oscar Levant (1906 - 1972)