Friday, February 22, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 16

Chapter 16 

At last! my appointment with Dr. Cuckoo has arrived. The fact I’m leaving two hours early when his office is only fifteen minutes away . . . well, is that really a problem? Psycho Voice thinks so. “For Chris’ sake, Dorothy, you have enough time to follow the yellow brick road, pick up the scarecrow, the tinman, the cowardly lion, AND douse the damn witch with a bucket of water!” Off to a damn good start with the voice doing a great imitation of an asshole. 
Standing on the doorstep, I begin to wobble like a crazed dirndl, mostly because I’m trying to decide between dashing back into the house, or nutting up and making my appointment with Dr. Cuckoo. Meantime, the sun seems hell bent on ruining my cornea’s. Well, it has been three weeks since we shared a cup of tea together.
A small jolt of reckless abandon hits me. I shuffle forward as if my two big toes were stapled together. Ouch. Some minutes later I reach the car. Then . . . another problem crops up. I can’t decide whether to ride in the front seat or the back. B asks me three times what I want to do. Damned if I know. Think hard, Liz. Five minutes later, B repeats his question. Blinking away the fuzziness, I reply oh so slowly, “I’ll ride in the back. I’m tired.” Like an elderly woman without the grace, I hoist myself in and fall face down onto the bench seat. I stay that way for the fifteen minutes it takes to get to Ellicott City.
When the car comes to a permanent stop, I sit up and take a quick look around. Dazzling little white cottages abound. Am I in Heaven? But some jerk driver leaning on his car horn quickly disabuses me of that notion when he tells my husband,“Yo pendejo, you drive like my blind grandmother. Move your ass, man.” 
Ok, so we’re not in Heaven. I cover my ears and look around for the miscreant as I exit the car. I’ll give him a piece of my mind. On second thought, he can have all of it. Serve him right.
I take a few halting steps before I’m blinded by a dazzling sun shimmering off the multitude of white buildings. Which storybook cottage does Dr. Cuckoo work in? I have at least twenty to choose from. And I can’t even count to one because I’m so focused on just staying me for the duration of this appointment. Hell, for the duration of walking into the office. Hell, for the duration of putting one foot in front of the other.
B finally spots the man’s name on a tiny rectangular sign in front of Snow White’s cottage and guides me in very carefully. Poor B, talk about one’s world being turned upside down. Talk about rock of Gibraltar. Well, I married it. But all is not totally lost for B. He’s been able to go back to work what with the kids in school full time. Of course, I’d hoped to be teaching once again, but clearly that had about as much chance of happening as Jesus paying a return visit and performing miracles. And even then, I’d so bully my way to the front of the line, I’d probably get booted to pitchfork city.
I don’t care. I’m pretty much pissed at God right now. He’s got some real explaining to do.
Good luck with that. 
Shhhh . . .

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 15

Chapter 15

Next up on the wheel of my very bad fortune is a psychiatrist named Dr. Cuckoo. Yes! A light at the end of a very long tunnel. The appointment is anon. Seems like an eternity to me, but mayhap I see my savior on the horizon? Then again, after trusting in the aged wisdom of the great Oz, Dr. King Kong, mayhap I’m being a idiot. 
The big question of the day is, how am I going to make that appointment standing on two feet? My confidence level is lower than a grave dug in hell. Anything could trigger a switch; the phone ringing, a thunderstorm for the ages, or maybe even walking from one room to another. Any amount of stress and I'm probably going to lose it. And then it’s, bon voyage, Liz, enjoy your little cruise into the twilight zone of madness.
But all is not totally lost. I have a bit of cheery news on the insanity front. First, the “psychotic episodes” are finally lessening in number, though not in intensity; the voices still emerge in an atonal symphony of cacophonous sound, and incoherent ramblings as I crawl aimlessly around the house looking for a safe place to hibernate.
Secondly, I discovered a brilliant way to ward off my flight into psychosis. One day, I happened to turn the TV on just as the panic button went off. Lo and behold my eyes did fasten hungrily on the rather amusing shenanigans of one, Hopalong Cassidy.  Though Mr. Cassidy was before my time, I watched with great fascination as he lassoed in his enemies, then rode off into the sunset on a white horse, a veritable hero.
This is certainly an interestin’ development, given that I've always hated westerns with a passion. The whole cowboys vs. indians, turns me off completely. Not to mention in the plot redundancy department, good guys always win, bad guys always lose. To me, that gets real old and boring. 
So, what is it about watching good guy Hopalong Cassidy slay the bad guy, that keeps me focused long enough to ride out a switch? Don’t know. I'm just verrrry grateful it's keeping me off the floor. Which basically means in the foreseeable future, all I want for Christmas is a good western to watch. 
Indeed, as my appointment with Dr. Cuckoo draws ever nearer, I completely immerse myself in watching westerns. Bad westerns, good westerns, it doesn’t matter. And boy do I revel in the testosterone-driven exploits of everybody's favorite kickass cowboy stars, like Randolph Scott, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, and John Wayne. 
Gee, I wonder what my favorite psychiatrist, Dr. Sigmund Freud, would say about all of this.

Dr. Freud: So. You are hearing voices, ja?
Me: Not really. I speak in different voices . . . well, ok, there is this one annoying voice inside—
Dr. Freud: Aha! So. You are not hearing voices, but you are speaking in different voices. That is not so unusual, my dear. I myself, do a great impression of my colleague, Dr. Jung. And sometimes, Anna, my daughter, has accused me of talking like Mama. But that is neither here nor there. Now, my dear, are you having delusions that you are someone else?
Me: No. Look, Dr. Freud, I know who I am. The problem is, I can’t control the talking in different voices, and the annoying—
Dr. Freud: Aha! So. You are not having delusions. That is a very, very good sign, my dear. Now, vhen you are talking in these different voices, do you recognize them. Perhaps you hav heard these voices many times before, ja?
Me: No. I don’t recognize these voices because I’ve never heard them before. They come right out of the—
Dr. Freud: Aha! Vell, my dear, I hav pinpointed the problem. You do not recognize these voices because you do not realize vhere they are coming from. It is my job to tell you vhere they are coming from. Your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is a fertile breeding ground for the bacteria that all our bad experiences vill become. Do you understand this?
Me: I’m not sure, Dr. Freud. Are you saying my subconscious mind is full of shit?
Dr. Freud: Yes, yes, yes! You are very smart, my dear. 
Me: And you’re like expensive toilet paper.
Dr. Freud: Vhat? . . . No, no, no! You see, my dear, vhen you vere a child, your subconscious mind vas like a tape that recorded all the voices vhich vere the most discordant and disruptive in your life. You are now playing the tape back. That is all. Once ve erase the tape, you vill be fine. But first ve must identify those voices that are causing you the most problems. To do that ve must start vit the mama voice, ja?”
Me: I . . . I don’t know, Dr. Freud, I had more than one. Mama’s I mean.
Dr. Freud: I see. And how many Papa’s did you hav?
Me: Hmm, let me think . . .
Dr. Freud: You hav to think about it? Oh, my dear, that is bad. I see ve hav a lot of vork to do. I am sorry to tell you this. 
Me: Oh . . . F**K!
Dr. Freud: VHAT?

Saturday, February 09, 2013

"Sucks, Doesn't It?" A Memoir, Entry 14

Chapter 14 

A week goes by. And still, I spend a huge chunk of each day crawling around in circles, rocking, and yelling in voices I can’t stop. For the thousandth time it seems like, my husband urges me to take medicine. Gee, I'd love to, dear, but can't you hear this? 
            “Hell no to the meds, Lizzie! You just need to buck up. Remember what happened in the hospital? Those moron’s nearly killed you.” I wish they had, I snap back. 
        Little did I know the words, I wish they had, would blast echoes off the walls of my rapidly deteriorating mind when I become aware that an insidious personality change has shattered its way to the forefront; I'm swinging from manic to obsessive at the drop of a bat! Even when I'm rational! For instance, any quality time I spend with my children, which pretty much takes up all my sane time, ends up with me bouncing all over the place, but ten times worse than Tigger. At dinner, I will only eat chopped hamburger and mashed potatoes. This type of bizarre behavior continues for several more weeks, until one day, as I rummage through the silverware drawer I ask, “B, where are the knives?”
Silence. “I put them away.”
“What for?”
Silence. “Because I don’t want you to hurt yourself.”
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU IMPLYING? That I'm a mental defect, therefore I will hurt myself? . . . Dammit, B, that's insulting. And . . . and racist.  Are you some kind of closet racist? Because that's how those sickos think!”
Totally gobsmacked by the accusatory and utterly irrational leap in logic, B still manages to hold onto his temper, and instead, shows me a jagged, red horizontal line on the inside of my arm.
My eyes yoyo to the floor. “I didn’t do that.”
“Yes, you did.”
“Well . . . it was an accident.”
He shakes his head.
Silence. “I need help. It’s not going to get better, is it?”
He shakes his head again.
“Ok.” I slam the drawer shut. “Call a psychiatrist.”
He nods.
I run upstairs just as the switch goes off, and become a child. The rocking begins, but for the first time, instead of embarking on a house cruise, I stay put and lapse into sing song.
Twinkle, Twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder when I’ll die.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

"The Further Adventures of Pancho and Cisco!"

Cisco:  Oh dios mio, I am soo bery sick, Pancho. The angels, they are coming por me! I know this well.

Pancho: Pobrecito, Cisco. Si, it is true, you are not long for this world. And so, I must bid you adios. Godspeed and Gods blessing, little brother! (You will need it, Cisco Cinero).

Cisco: Yes, I have done much bad in this world, mi amigo. Especial to you, Pancho. Please forgive me, my brahther. I can not go to the angels without your forgiveness.

Pancho:  Of course all is forgiven, Cisco! Go, mi amigo, go . . . the angels are calling your name now.

Cisco: Oh si . . . I hear somthing . . . Panchito!?!

Pancho: Yes, my brahther?

Cisco: The angel voices . . . they are getting closer, man.

Pancho: (sob) Oh Cisco, my heart is so heavy. I think . . . the tears they are coming. I haven't cried since I was a baby.

Cisco: No, Pancho, that is not true. Remember, only a few days—

Pancho: Cisco! Let us not talk of such things. You must go now.  Even I hear the voices.

Cisco:  You do? That is strange, Pancho, because—

Pancho: Cisco! You must save your breath, little brahther. I . . . I really don' hear voices. I am sorry I lie to you at this terrible time.

Cisco:  Is ok, Panchito. Many, many, many, many times have I lie to you too. . . And now, before I go to the angels . . . I must tell you somthing, mi amigo . . . somthing I did. It was bery bad.

Pancho: Nonsense, Cisco! You have already confess to me all the bad things you did, my friend. You are dying, that is why you are confused. It makes one a little loco, no? As it did my poor sainted madre. Do you know, Cisco, (ha, ha, ha) she thought I was you before she die. She say to me, "Cisco, I forgive you, mija." . . . . . . . Wait! . . . Did you do somthing to mi madre, man?

Cisco: (sob) It is time I tell you, my brahther. But I must be quick about it. The angels voices . . . they are—

Pancho: Si, Si, Si, I know the voices are coming already, Cisco. Tell me what you did to mi madre.

Cisco: (sob) I . . . I jus' try to help her Panchito. She was so bery sick.

Pancho: Si, Si, Si! Out with it, Cisco.

Cisco:  Ok, Pancho. When you sainted madre——wait, Pancho! Do you hear that? It is your mother's sacred voice! She is calling my name.

Pancho: Ay, da loco, Cisco! Quit stalling, man, or you will hear shortly El Diablo's voice.

Cisco: Ok, Pancho. When you sainted madre was bery sick, I . . . I give her somthing to make her feel better.

Pancho: WHAT DID YOU GIVE HER, tu pendejo!?! . . . Talk, or I will put my hands around your flaco neck and squeeze bery hard.

Cisco: Un momento por favor, Panchito! Your sainted madre is asking me a question . . . Si, Senora, I am listening. . . . . Que? . . . But you are in heaven. They don' . . . Que?

Pancho: STOP IT, Cisco! You are driving me loco with this nonsense.

Cisco: Oh, I am bery sorry, Panchito. Ok, anyways, I give your sainted madre special medicine and she die . . . jus' like that . . . but with a smile on her face, mi amigo.

Pancho: WHAT? Es imposible, Cisco. I was with my sainted madre when she die. Like I tol' you before.

Cisco:  No, Panchito. You were with her twin sister, your tia.  I . . . I switch tia with your sainted madre. Your tia was bery sick too if you remember! Ok, Panchito, I must go to the angels now! Adios, muchacho!

Pancho: $#%$*@$$*#*&!!  $#^$*@$$*!!  &;%&;*^$%$#*@$$*$$#$!!

Cisco: AYEEEE!!! Es el Diablo!  AYEEEE!!!