Apology

My apologies for not writing to you every day as I said I would. I was making it a point to do this for a while, but I had problems concentrating and I could not overcome a blank screen. As I have freely admitted to you, I am mentally ill, and I’m under the care of a psychiatrist and a psychotherapist, along with being the reciepient of several state sponsored programs to assist me in living independently. I cannot navigate life on my own. I have a mental disorder which the second cousin to schizophrenia, in which disorganized thinking is at its core. On top of this, I have severe emotional problems. This is the reason why my writings have been a disappointment to me, because I’m making the focus all about myself and the ugliness within, instead of describing life in my town as I had planned to.

I told my therapist, Dana, that I didn’t wish to be a recluse anymore. She had told me that she was happy that I was working so hard in therapy, and making so much progress in such a short period of time. But this progress has been painful. Sometimes it gives me feelings of joy — a sense of blessed relief — but at other times, it can cause me sadness, anxiety, along with feelings of agitation and anger. This shows up sometimes in my writings also, but my face is now turned toward the sunshine, and I’m committed to finding positive modes of expression, while, at the same time, being a realist when it comes to social issues, equality, and justice.

“But when I observed the affairs of men plunged in such darkness, the guilty flourishing in continuous happiness, and the righteous tormented, my religion, tottering, began once more to fall”

— Claudian

I have begun to feel uncomfortable about writing to you and revealing so much about myself. According to my statistics, most of my readers are not hitting the “like” button or leaving comments here. Sometimes, I think some of these mysterious people are fellow bloggers, but I’m also sure that some of them just Googled something and found me, glancing at me once, then moving on. I’m concerned about online harassment, or if maybe someone from Robersonville will find my blog and can identify me using my picture, using it to hurt me and Laura. But to everyone who follows me in here, I know I can trust you. I was especially moved by the online support I received on my last post. If you don’t know the people I’m writing about, I invite you to visit their blogs and follow them, for I am sure they will follow you in return.

Radhika’s Reflection

Radhika offers beautiful thoughts, along with lovely haikus and poetry. Her modest and unpretentious style is what draws me to her writings, and I find them fascinating and uplifting.

Orkidedatter

When you visit Lillian’s blog, you will see a portrait of a woman looking upward, her long tresses covering one side of her face, the painting covered with beautiful shades of red, green, purple and blue. This is her own original creation. She also shares an entire art gallery with us, showcasing her wonderful art. Not only that, she is a poet — following a sensitive muse — creating her art in her own space in her kitchen. I was deeply moved by her recent comment, where she sent me her loving kindness from her home country of Norway.

Sparkkling Thoughts

There is nothing more delightful and inspiring than Kranti’s philosophy. These are the thoughts of a person who wishes to influence others for the good of humanity. She spreads good vibes and good thoughts, showing us that, in her words, everyone’s life is their own personal art, encouraging us to create a beautiful aesthetic.

Positive Side of the Coin

One morning, I was searching in my WordPress reader, looking for a blog which would give me inspiration, then I found Anjali. She has encouraged me, through her blog and comments, to view the proverbial glass as half-full instead of half-empty. She once wrote to me that if I would view the positive side of the coin, and reject negitivity, I would live better; and I know for certain that she spoke the truth. Her outlook, along with Kranti’s, have influenced me tremendously, and helped me to gain strength of mind, and to change my life.

Aesthetic Miradh

Moushmi is an intelligent young woman from India. I’m always impressed with her. Sometimes she shares with us the books she has read in the past month, and she reads numerous ones. I have gathered from looking at her blog, that she is putting off marriage and having a family of her own for school and a career. (If you are reading this, Moushmi, please correct me if I’m wrong.) And I have gathered that she believes in justice for women everywhere, and that they should be paid as much as a man. She believes — and I agree to this — in justice and equality for women everywhere. Women and men should be equals, and women should not be made to be subservient to men.

Dees Platter

Deeksha has a cooking blog, where she encourages us to “savor and eat.” I have just met her in this blogging world, and I appreciate her sudden interest in my personal story. She has recipies for many good things to eat.

“A friend is the medicine of life.”

— Unknown Author

On Monday morning, I left at dawn on my bicycle for the city of Greenville to keep my appointment with Dana. There air outside was cool and humid. As I placed my bike in high gear and pedalled rapidly, I passed through the outskits of Robersonville and began to look at the crops growing in the open fields. The tobacco plants were progressing nicely, being over five feet tall, their bottom leaves ripe and already pulled off to be placed in barns for heating and curing. The cotton crop was all bushy, with a dark color green enfolding white blossums. The corn has not fared so well, however, turning brown prematurely, its growth, stunted.

When I entered the north side of the city, passing through downtown, turning toward the streets leading me to the Medical District, then arriving at the human services building at the Brody Medical School, I had some extra time before my appointment, so I went up to the medical school library to cool off and look at some of the books. I find the treatises that comprise the milestones of the history of medicine to be the most fascinating texts I have ever read. As I continued brousing from book to book, I laid down my biking helmet somewhere in the stacks, and absent mindedly walked away from it. I was the only person on the third floor, it was very quiet and I was basking in the silence, the students having gone back home for the summer, and, when I suddenly realized what I had done, I walked around everywhere among the desks and aisles of books, looking everywhere for my helmet, but it was nowhere to be found.

When it was time for my appointment, I left the library and walked over to the clinic. Dana called me back into her office soon after to start my session. I might take you inside with us sometime, and share with you the things that we have been talking about, but right now my emotions are raw, and I’m not able to do this.

When my counseling session was over, I walked back upstairs to the front desk of the library to see if somebody had found my helmet and turned it in. The librarian looked inside a nearby cabinet, but the helmet wasn’t in there, so I rode my bicycle to the bike shop to purchase another one. When I arrived, there was a young woman with an effervescent personality who helped me pick out the perfect helmet. She even went so far as to fit it upon my head, adjusting the straps and the knob on the back as if she were a tailor fitting me for a fancy suit. I realized that losing my old helmet was actually a blessing — it was as if I had traded a cheap helmet for a really good one. The young lady, with sandy blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail and a cheerfulness that was guaranteed to win over even the most hardened misanthrope, crushed the box the new helmet came in, folding it up so I could fit it into my backpack, and, as she held the front door open for me, I pushed my bike through the doorway toward the bustling street outside.

“Have an amazing day!” she exclaimed as I was leaving, with my new helmet strapped securely upon my head.

And you, too, my friend, may you have an amazing day.

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Lazy Sunday

I hope this letter finds you doing well, as I make this zealous attempt to write to you every day for a while. As you already know, I am faced with daily challanges: I awoke this morning hours before dawn to a messy apartment. When I was in one of my psychotherapy sessions with Dana, we discussed making a to-do list and attempting to give structure to my daily life. I have a dry erase board along with some markers, and I listed some tasks to accomplish in the coming days. I was able to check off everything on the list that didn’t require a phone call. I spent most of my time rearrainging cans of food in my kitchen cabinets and scrubbing the kitchen floor. There was a sense of accomplishment in my heart over this small victory, knowing that my kitchen was now clean and tidy. Then I proceeded to vacuuming the carpet in the living room, the hallway, and the bedroom. All of this didn’t take long, it was just difficult to get started, the tribulation being all in my mind. I told Dana that I wanted a higher standard of cleanliness in my apartment, and not to wait until the housework piled up to do it, and have it start bothering me.

After checking these tasks off my to-do list, I felt that my work was done for today. The sun had already risen when I took out my tablet and opened the Aljazeera app and started watching. I saw images of the war in Syria, Bashar al-Assad’s forces fighting with the rebels in the province of Idlib — the rebels refusing to lay down their weapons and to surrender — so Russian warplanes were striking residential areas, markets, and hospitals. The the news presenter — an enormously attractive woman with a lovely voice — showed me a video of a six story apartment building which had collapsed, with rescue workers pulling people out of the wreckage. The scene shifted suddenly from the war to social unrest on the far side of the world. In the city of Hong Kong, masses of people were shuffling and rioting under the streetlights of the city, as the police — wearing helmets and carrying batons — were firing tear gas and rubber bullets, with blue flashes of incandescence and wisps of smoke erupting among the agitation of the crowd. There were also unauthorized protests in Russia, with activists being beaten with sticks and dragged into buses to be carried off to jail  — angry that the elections to the Duma were being rigged — and opposition leader Alexi Navalny was taken from jail to a hospital because the conditions in detention were so filthy that he caught an infection. Navalny’s YouTube channel was also shut down — the presenter being arrested in front of the cameras — for covering the protest marches where over a thousand people were apprehended. The scene shifted once again to farms in the green, bucolic pasture-lands of the United Kingdom, where researchers were attempting to reduce the methane gasses emitted by cows and sheep, whose carbon footprint is greater than all the cars, trucks, and airplanes in the world combined.

After the newscast, Laura called me and asked why I hadn’t rang her phone at 8:30 to wake her up so she could go to church. I replied that she made no such request to me yesterday. Laura asked me if I wanted to come over, so I turned off my tablet, put on my shoes, strapped on my backpack, and left home on my bicycle. We had planned to go to the grocery store today so I could buy soda for Laura, in exchange for some meat she got from the food bank. Laura’s spine has been hurting her — she says the pain is excruciating — so she got into one of the motorized carts for the handicapped, then we went down the grocery aisles together. When we arrived at the check-out line, I felt a feeling of dread, because I knew I was going to have to use my food stamp card — and everyone in town knows what one looks like — a multicolored red, white, and blue card depicting the American flag. A man who looked like a construction worker got in line behind us, trying to buy a loaf of bread, and he kept watching me, to see what type of card I was about to pull out of my wallet. As I was swiping my card to pay for Laura’s groceries, I was almost trembling with anticipation, in case this person dared to say anything disrespectful. It seemed like — for a few tiny seconds which seemed like mintunes — the whole store grew deathly silent as I sought to quell rising anger.

Laura and I left the grocery store without incident. We returned to her house and she made some smoothies with milk, bananas, and strawberries. Laura filled my backpack full of frozen meat and fish. I brought up the YouTube app on my iPhone and put on the music of Mozart, as Laura streached out on the bed along with Pumpkin the cat. She took her medicine and was about to fall asleep when I took my leave.

I arrived home, putting my food in the refrigerator, feeling strange sensations under my scalp and my mood was sinking. It was now my turn to take medicine. I swallowed it down with a glass of water, took my clothes off, and got under the covers of my bed with the fan on. It wasn’t sundown yet, but I felt incredibly tired, and I had a big day tomorrow, for I was going to ride my bike to Greenville again tomorrow to keep my psychotherapy appointment with Dana.

So now I must end my letter with love and best wishes. Take care.

Mental Health Day

How are you doing today? I’m doing much better since I rode my bike to Greenville and paid a visit to my psychiatrist, Dr. Saba. I secured my bicycle to a tree in front of the building, and his wife, who runs the front desk of this busy office, greeted me with a smile when she saw me carrying a helmet. They always seem to like it whenever I ride my bike over there.

When Dr. Saba walked up and retrieved my file, he escorted me into his private office. I shut the door behind me and stepped upon the scale. I weighed in at 164.6 pounds. “What’s been going on?” is his usual question. I told him that the side effects of my medication was bothering me. For one thing, I was grinding my teeth, and for another, I was troubled by nightmares and insomnia. I thought the 75 milligram Effexor I was taking, along with my other medicine, was bothering me. “What time are you taking this medicine?” Dr. Saba asked me. I told him at 5pm every day. Dr. Saba replied that Effexor was a stimulant, and it was meant to be taken in the daytime. This could be what was causing me problems. If I took the Effexor in the morning when I arose, the insomnia should clear up.

Dr. Saba asked me what else was going on. I told him about the emotional distress I was experiencing while wearing a large backpack upon my back in public, riding my bicycle to the food bank to get my groceries. Dr. Saba said that I was a man taking care of his own business, and not to concern myself with what total strangers thought about it. He told me that back in Goldsboro where he lives, there is a dry cleaners where he gets his shirts done, and beside it is a food bank. He has seen people drive up there in fancy trucks, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and in any other type of vehicle you could possibly imagine. Food banks are a phenomenon which have cropped up in this country only over the past several years. There are a lot of people doing it now.

Dr. Saba proceeded to commend me on keeping my weight down, saying that I looked really good. He asked me what books I was reading lately. I told Dr. Saba that I have been reading the works of the ancient Roman historian Tacitus, along with the war commentaries of Julius Caesar — wading through their long, latinized sentences structures with very limited character analysis — but describing in minute detail the battles, the geography surrounding them, and the hundreds and thousands of people slaughtered, as if they were objects instead of people. Dr. Saba said that the reason there was no character analysis in those books was because the rulers at that time had no real character to speak of. The focus was entirely on expansionism. Dr. Saba said that the reason the Roman Empire collapsed was the same reason the British Empire eroded and faded away: they grew too large for them to govern.

“What do you think of the Boris Johnson character?” I asked Dr. Saba.

“Well, he is a fast talker. He has made a lot of promises with no real plans to carry them through,” he replied. “But Theresa May was a disappointment.”

Dr. Saba is origionally from Sri Lanka, and he spoke of the times when the British were getting out of his home country and out of India, the development of the European Union, along with the United Kingdom’s efforts to break out of that, also. We talked about European politics for a while, then, as we concluded our session, Dr. Saba escorted me out of the office and admonished me to use plenty of sunscreen.

Have a wonderful day.

Insomnia and Dreams

My apologies about my being lax about writing to you lately. My letters to you celebrate a mundane life in a small town. There is not much going on around here, and the news is scarce. A lot of us don’t live the kind of exciting lives you find in adventure novels, me included. The big circumstance which befell me since last week was that my old microwave that I’ve had for many years finally broke down. Laura had another one which she had unsucessfully tried to sell at one of her yard sales. We unlocked her shed, where she kept her yard sale items packed up in plastic containers, and her microwave was sitting upon the floor beneith a dusty table. I brought the appliance inside her house, cleaned it up, then plugged it in, placing a glass of water inside. I turned it on for a moment, its interior light coming on and its engine running, then took out the glass and found that the water was warm. The microwave still worked. I paid Laura ten dollars for it, and she brought it to my apartment in her car.

Laura and I have been spending time together painting ceramic figurines. Laura has several gnomes with pointed hats which she has been coloring. I colored some wooden figures of vegitables and fruit, then began a more intricate project — the painting of a medieval wizard, with a long beard, holding a wooden staff and wearing a long robe, with his body language indicative of a necromacer, conjuring up spirits from hell.

I have been experiencing such phantoms in my sleep lately. Night after night I’ve been disturbed by nightmares, broken apart by bouts of insomnia. Yesterday, in the darkness of early morning, within my subconscious mind was a rupture of blinding light, with peels of deafening thunder. I was a child once again, standing alone upon my grandmother’s porch when the rampage in the sky began. Torrents of rain started to fall. Suddenly, there was a bolt of fiery winged lightning, striking a large tree in the yard of the house just across the street. The tree was filled with violent streams of electricity as balls of fire were forming upon its trunk, then, with the sound of a terrifying explosion, the tree tumbled to the ground, smoldering. Two more bolts of lightning struch the tin roof of the aged farm house in quick succession, coming from two different directions, and the structure began to burn. The conflagration turned into a fiery holocost as the roof collapsed, exposing the charred timbers and beams, as someone’s home was being rapidly consigned to oblivion.

I kept tossing and turning my nude body, as it tangled itself mercilessly in the covers of my bed, and more visions of the night — some as ridiculous as they were frightening — began to take shape from the nebulous forms before my inner eye. I dreamed that I was going to visit Laura, walking down the streets of Robersonville in the pouring rain, shielded by my umbrella. When I arrived at her house, it was customary for me to walk to her back door underneith her carport, closing up my umbrella, leaving it leaning against the stairwell. During the course of my visit, the rain ceased, and I said goodbye to Laura as I opened the back door from the inside, then much to my shock and dismay, I saw President Donald Trump, dressed in formal attire along with his trademark red power tie, carrying my umbrella in his hand, attempting to walk off with it. When I confronted him, he denied that he was attempting to steal it, but was merely admiring the colorful patterns upon my umbrella’s canopy. I immediately knew that Trump was lying, because there was no patterns on my umbrella — it was a solid color red, which represented the Republican party on an electorial map, just as the color blue represents the Democratic party.

This scene slowly faded way, enfolding itself into other senseless images of my sleeping mind, when I found myself suddenly transformed to another time and another place. I dreamed I was at the social housing projects I frequented each and every week, to stand in line in front of the community center which houses the food bank, with my backpack, where I recieve my ration of free food because I have a low income and cannot afford to shop at the local grocery store. I had been standing there in the blazing sun for what seemed to be for hours, being the first person in line, as all the other people were queueing up behind me. Then Russian President Vladimir Putin showed up in a military uniform, with two empty grocery bags, attempting to cut in line in front of me.  I grew angry and shooed him away.

“Go back to your own crime infested country!” Putin exclaimed as he stomped away.

“You do the same,” I retorted. “This is America, love it or leave it!”

Putin came back before much longer, ended up in line behind me somehow, and we settled our differences, being reconciled to one other, becoming friends. I couldn’t help but admire the medals attached to his uniform. Putin asked me in his broken English, “Why do you have such fascination with my patriotic medals?” He allowed me a close inspection of all five of them, and I took them up in my hand, one by one, noticing that all of them were engraved with a letter R, some of them cut in the steel with artistry by a calligraphist, while others were stamped on them by a crude machine. For some odd reason, I knew what the R stood for. I stood for the country of Romania, but I couldn’t understand the signifigance of this no matter how hard I tried.

As I was looking at these R’s, displayed in radically different shapes and sizes, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom walked up, with his empty bags in each hand, and the three of us made conversation. I gave Boris Johnson the business card of my hair stylist, and he thanked me profusely. Johnson quickly noted that he, Putin, and I were the only white people standing in the bread line, and I told him that he would find no loyalists here. Judging from his plump physique, I could easily tell that Johnson wasn’t truly needy like the rest of us. He was just working the system.

My nightmares and insomnia went on like this for several nights. In the quiet hours of the morning, between midnight and sunrise, I awoke from one of my dreams, opened my laptop and began reading some blogs. A blog entitled Between the Lines, written by Claudia, had a post which particularily struck me.

Confession(2)

“They saw me naked and I felt no shame!” Claudia writes. “Too lucid for the deep hours of the night, too dreamy to face the morning!”

Claudia is a good writer, and her words came to me at an opportune time. I left a comment on this paticular post, thinking no more of it, but two nights later, as I was sleeping, a motion picture played itself out within my slumbering psyche, and I found myself in a public place with no clothes on.

I dreamed that I had been traveling by train. As I got off one train and was preparing to board another, I got into an altercation with a train conductor at the train station, and I pulled off all my clothes, leaving them in a pile in front of him, accusing the employees there of soiling them. I walked away from the train station naked, trying to think of what to do. I was in downtown Charlotte and I had to be in Robersonville in three hours. I began running as fast as I could, leaving the outskirts of the city, running down the Interstate as motorists flew by staring at me, but no one did anything. Before my feet became sore, I was running down some secondary roads, past some woods and family farms, then I began sprinting through a mobile home park, and this is when the trouble started. A gang of men wearing white tee-shirts who lived there were disgusted at my appearence. When they began chasing me, I stumbled and fell.  They caught up and surrounded me — one of them pulled out from his back pocket a long, sharp butcher knife — and as I lied upon my back, he threatened to draw out my intestines, to feed them to his hunting dogs.

I don’t know how I got away from these tatooed men, but the next thing I knew it was after nightfall and I was still running, this time through the mud beneith the pouring rain by the shapeless light of a sinister moon. The same man with the knife was now covered with slime, and was chasing me with a large sledgehammer. I was consumed with terror as my assailant grew closer and closer — my feet and ankles sinking deeper and deeper –into what was becoming a swamp. I knew I was sinking.

Upper Endoscopy

I hope this letter finds you doing well. My apologies for not writing to you for a while; I hope you didn’t think I grew tired of the blogging world and abandoned you. Nothing could be further from the truth, but I must admit that I’m currently having trouble keeping up with everyone. I have been thinking of you often, but I’ve been at a loss to think of what to say, even though some events have transpired in my life that cry out for expression.

I have now been caffeine free for thirty-seven days. I couldn’t have accomplished this without reaching out for help. I have joined Caffeine Addicts Anonymous, and I have committed myself to the twelve steps of caffeine sobriety. I participated in a meeting over the phone this past Tuesday morning, which was a conference call. The members began by reciting the serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenty to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Then the members identified themselves. “I’m Sandra and I’m a caffeine addict,” said one caller. “I’m Ron and I’m a caffeine addict,” said another. After several people identified themselves, I spoke up. “I’m Tom and I’m a caffeine addict.” We continued the meeting with one of the members giving a reading from the book Confessions of a Caffeine Addict, by Marina Kushner. I ordered the book this past week from Amazon, and upon its cover is the inside of a coffee cup, filled with espresso, with a troubled pair of eyes from within it staring back at you, reflected in the dark brew, as if it you were a Narcissus falling in love with your own disturbing reflection. In the book are fourty confessions, people who describe insomnia, irritability, anxiety, mood swings, broken marriages, auto accidents, along with trips to the hospital as a result of their abuse of caffeine. After the reading, it was time for the members to share their experiences with caffeine addiction, and I spoke up again.

“I’m Tom from North Carolina,” I began, “and I am a caffeine addict. I was drinking coffee like most people drink water — two pots a day — and I entered this program with an aching gut. My addiction to espresso was stripping out the linings of my stomach. Today, I have to go to a doctors office to have a procedure done — an upper endoscopy, where a tube is to be placed down my esophagus with a camera on its end, to take pictures of the inside of the stomach I have been abusing with coffee. This makes the second time I’ve had to undergo this procedure. I haven’t been able to eat or drink anything since midnight, and I just cannot carry on this way anymore. There is a chance coffee has given me an ulcer. I have to commit myself to quitting caffeine forever. Thank you for letting me share.”

The meeting ended with a recitation of the serenity prayer once again, then everyone finally hung up. I never realized that buying coffee out of a vending machine years ago when I was in college would lead to something like this. A visit to Starbucks is filled with hidden dangers for some types of people.

So I rode my bike over to Laura’s house, and she drove me to Greenville, to Vidant Gastrointerology, a large brick building not far from Vidant Medical Center. Once inside, we went up in the elevator to the third floor, and I checked in at the front desk, signing some legal paperwork, then Laura and I were called back into another waiting area. I handed the nurse at the window my paperwork, then Laura and I sat in a couple of chairs in front of the television, as it displayed a soap opera entitled The Young and the Restless, offering its audience tales of corporate intrigue and marital infidelity, followed by The Bold and the Beautiful, which offered much of the same.

A nurse called my name, and I passed through the doorway and was assigned a bed. I pulled the privacy curtain, took off my shirt, and put on a gown which opened and tied in the back. One of the nurses hooked me up to a machine, placing a band which filled with air around my left arm, to check my blood pressure, along with a staple on the forefinger of my right hand, to check my pulse. As I began to hear the rhythmic beaping coming out of the monitor high above my head, another nurse warned me that I would feel a stick, and ran a needle into one of the veins in my right arm. She was handed a bag of clear solution, which she attached high upon a steel pedestal, hooking it into the tube now running out of my arm, and soon I could feel the liquid being forced into my vein.

They let Laura come in after these preparations were made. She was standing beside me holding my hand, as Dr. Ali, wearing blue scrubs and a blue cap to cover his hair, entered my pavilion, along with a medical student wearing a white coat. Dr. Ali gave me the full details of what he was going to do, making sure that I knew exactly what was getting ready to happen. After our discussion, I signed a document, and he said I would be next in line. After the doctor left, Laura sat down in the chair beside me as I lied upon the bed, and I could feel the tranquil effects of the solution being pumped into me. I was still a little nervous, but Laura comforted me. I began to feel a rumbling in my bowels. A man wearing scubs stopped by, who identified himself as the anesthesiologist, and began asking me questions about the condition of my heart and whether or not I was taking blood thinners. After I gave him the information he needed, I asked a pertinent question.

“Is there a chance I will mess up my pants in the middle of the procedure?” I asked.

“Oh, no!” he replied.

As he disconnected my body from the machinery around me, he began pulling out my bed, rolling it down a long corridor which was blocked at the end by a door; he pressed a button, the door slowly opened, then he wheeled me into a room with more machinery and a large television screen. “My name is Frances,” said the kind, gentle nurse assisting the doctor. “I think I’ve seen you in here before,” I replied. Frances remembered me from three years ago. She arranged the pillows behind my head, instructing me to roll over upon my left side. After I did this, she gently placed an oxygen tube around my ears, with the two openings of the tube going up both my nostrils. Frances then proceded to put a large cylinder in my mouth which I could bite down on, strapping it in place with two elastic bands around my head. Dr Ali put on a transparent shield over his face, and the anesthesiologist instructed me to start breathing deeply.

The next thing I remember was that I was back in my same pavilion, with Laura sitting beside me. Dr. Ali peered through the curtain, giving Laura the pictures he took of the inside of my stomach and the surrounding anatomical structures, telling me that all he found was a little inflammation, no bleeding or ulcer, and no cancer. He cut off a tiny piece of tissue in the inflamed area and plans to take a biopsy. I would get a phone call in about three weeks.

I asked where the restroom was after I got dressed, and I went in there and sat on the commode, passing mostly air and burping. “Are you okay in there?” Frances asked after knocking upon the door. “I’m fine,” I replied, washing my hands and coming out. “You didn’t flush yourself down in there, did you?” she joked. She came around with a wheelchair to take me to Laura’s car. “It was nice seeing you,” I told Frances, “but I hope I don’t have to see you in here again.” As Laura was driving me home, I enjoyed the calm euphoria I was feeling; it stuck with me for several hours after Laura took me to her house.

Today was the day Laura and I always pay a visit to the food bank to get our groceries. Laura took my backpack with her to procure my food for me, returning an hour and a half later. We emptied all our bags of food upon her kitchen counter, trading with each other, giving out we didn’t want for what we wanted, then I refilled my backpack and Laura drove me home.

I told myself that, even though I got away a second time without any permanent damage to my stomach, it is no license to go back to drinking coffee, for I might not be quite so lucky a third time.

Reasons to Stay

How are you today? I’m doing well, thank you. I thought I would write you a few lines to tell you about a blog I’ve been reading. It is entitled

“Reasons2Stay”

and I would like to invite you to pay him a visit, perhaps leave him a comment. He does not disclose his name, but he is definitely a person who strives for excellance in every thing he does, with a view toward helping others. He possesses an acute awareness of himself, always keeping a close eye upon his progress toward his personal goals. It is truly inspiring to read about his weekly progress.

He nominated me for “The Special Blogger Award,” and I would like to thank him for this. I’m not very tech savvy, but I would like to respond in my own way. He listed a set of questions for me to answer. He asks me,”What dream are you working toward right now?” My dream is to create a new type of literature here, to create a depiction of a real life, with its true relationships and issues, which, hopefully, will not be withered by the passage of time, and will stand as a monument to my legacy. And he also asks,”If things happened the way I wanted, how would my life be different?” If things could only be different, I would be a Doctor of Philosophy, teaching at a prestigious university, living in a cosmopolitan city, writing books which intelligent people would be interested in reading. As we all know, this is not a perfect world we live in. Whenever disability strikes a person, it is always a tragedy, but it didn’t take away my ability to strive, to be motivated, and to make my life the best it can possibly be. “Are you thankful of your weaknesses, or do you see them as a curse?” is the third question. My answer is that I’m thankful for some of them, for I have turned them into strengths, but my slippery falls into the abyss of negitivity are a definite curse

I’m going to break the rules a little bit and not nominate anyone, since I don’t get much traffic here.  Have a blessed, productive, and wonderful day.

Quote Me

Let me tell you something about a blog I’ve been reading lately. The name of it is Orkidedatter, and I would like to invite you to pay her a visit. She is a poet, writer, and artist from Norway.

I would like to thank  Orkidedatter for selecting me to play 3.2.1 Quote Me. These are the rules of the game:

  1. Thank the selector.
  2. Post 2 quotes for the dedicated the topic of the day.
  3. Select 3 bloggers to take part in 3.2.1 Quote Me.

The topics are taken every week from the blog A Guy Called Bloke

Today’s quotes are on the subject of “knowlege.”

There is no knowlege that is not power.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

&

What man knows is everywhere at war with what he wants.

— Joseph W. Krutch

The three bloggers I select to play 3.2.1 Quote Me are:

Ilona                                      easydiet.blog

Anjali                                    positivesideofcoin.com

Moushmi                              aestheticmiradh.com

If you haven’t visited the bloggers above, I certainly invite you to go see them. And have a great week!