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Just Checking by Emily Colas

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And I guess as some sort of divine confirmation, I had that bad trip, and as a result, stopped using. It was like some god somewhere was telling me, "We have something else for you. Something special." I was honored. Until I realized that special treat was insanity.

Say I'm on the phone and the conversation gets dull. Instead of thinking of an excuse to get off, I start to have some fantasy in my head. I'll still be talking to the person on the other end of the line, but after a few minutes I'll realize I've been daydreaming and I don't know what I've actually said...This zonelike state also overtakes me when I'm writing things down. Before I'll hand someone a piece of paper on which I've written, say, direcions, I'll check the page over and over to make sure I haven't put down any stray marks or hidden thoughts: "Left on Main, right on State, I'm going to kill my mother."

So it seems like a good practice, to tell the truth. One that I try to adopt. But it gets pretty complicated. Like, when my son looks up at me with his big brown eyes and asks, "Does Santa really know if I've been bad, Mommy?" Is it wrong to say, "Yes. So you better go clean your room. And don't hit your sister." Doesn't it seem sicker to say, "I'm sorry honey, there's no such thing as Santa. He's just a mall employee." So in the end, I try to use my best judgment. Santa gets his cookie, Rudolph, his carrot. And I plead and hope it doesn't get more difficult than this.

"Ask him..." I stopped talking. I realized I have a talent. I possess an endless capacity to keep worry alive.

"Why My Husband Stays"
First, there were draws that are basically base--
things like my hair and my hands and my face.
Also my smell and my tender caress,
to him these things were important, I guess.
But the reasons go deeper I have to admit
on why my husband was unable to split.
Perhaps he's demented, a klepto, erratic,
paranoid, anxious, or plain posttraumatic.
Maybe a loser, psychotic, bulimic,
schizoid, repressed, or just hypoglycemic.
These ideas are no good, my mind is a void,
perhaps it would be wise to seek help from Freud.
I think that the doctor might offer this credo,
I was the id for my mate's superego.
Or from Jung's point of view, the yin and the yang,
maybe that's why my partner did hang.
I was his match, the piece he did lack,
anima, animus--he sounds like a quack.
So off i did roam to get resolution,
the Anonymous folks might provide a solution.
Their text would suggest that my guy's codependent,
his need is to caretake, to fix me, to mend it.
The shrink that my husband so often was seeing
believed something else was the cause of his being
this man who it seems for no personal gain,
stayed with this woman who seemed so insane.
The shrink's take was simple, yet not to bemoan,
he believed that my husband feared being alone.
And now he was with me, we were in this together,
there was no other way to think of forever.
Till death do us part, our bond can't be broken,
now that those vows were so openly spoken.

But every time we saw one, without fail, my dad would say, "Do you think that one might be a prince in disguise?" and then he'd chuckle and I'd chase the little guy around, finally catch up to him, and plant one on what I believed were his lips. Then my dad and I would stare at the frog resting in my cupped hands and wait. Look, it's not like I'm building up any suspense here. Obviously nothing happened. But I kept finding frogs and I kept kissing them and frankly I'ma little concerned what this says about my ability to learn a lesson.

RECIPE FOR A WORRY
Take one pound morbid preoccupation and mix vigorously with one cup overactive imagination. In a separate bowl, add one part hypersensitivity to three parts increased hormone activity. Fold together and let stew for hours on end.

...She just stared at me with that familiar "You know medication might help you" look and slowly closed the door on me. Since there was no way to know for sure about the safety of the litter, we instituted the shoes-off rule. Everyone who came into the house had to remove his shoes at the door, and not touch the soles since it was clear people didn't bother to look at what they step on. My husband became an expert at sliding any kind of shoes on his feet without using his hands at all.

...so I took my daughter to a nice quiet corner to escape. I don't think she was happy to be there either. She was just standing up, clinging to my thigh, and shoving her head between my legs. Someone remarked that it was reconversion. "Maybe she's trying to get back in." My husband thought it was more likely that she was going to warn her brother not to come out.

At this age, kids' memories of events can be completely different from what actually, truely happened. So I figure if I just tell my kids cool stories about things they never did, eventually they'll believe they had great childhood. Next Thanksgiving we're going to Disneyland.

Scars are great. They're this outward symbol of some personal pain. Just by looking at someone's scar, you know that person has suffered. Usually, or maybe almost exclusively, medically. But what about the suffering insane? We have no scars. That's why we have to make them ourselves.

"How To Be A Good Wife"
Don't be insane, a pain, or vain
nor mundane, arcane, or plain.
Use your brain
don't complain
no disdain
remain urbane.
Do not go against the grain.
Entertain in your domain.
Explain, sustain, and ascertain
all you find to be germane.
Clean a stain--
prepare for rain--
refrain, obstain, from the profane.
Maintain, obtain, ahve it pertain--
Tupperwear and cellophane.
Try hard not to be a strain
pick your guy up at the train.
Wear a chain, eat chow main, clean with Gain, don't do cocaine.
Have a nice walk down the lane
run your fingers through his mane
sometimes even snake a drain
never, ever be inane.
Make your love so high octane!
that his interest will not wane

But the startling realization I made as I was coming to my senses was that life's kind of a drag. There didn't seem to be much to it. And my rituals had been a nice diversion. Without them, I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself. This thought made my head ache. I got anxious, nervous, wondering if I was destined to live this dull and uninteresting live. Because of those damn pills, I wasn't even able to obsess about that.

Which brings me to the point of my story. You can mind fuck something until it makes you crazy and it's all wasted energy. Spending so much time in your head. Because, the fact is, no matter what spin you choose, you just don't know. So go out, have a good time, make the most of your life. And when you start to doubt yourself, if that happens, do what I do and blame it on the guy with the debilitating skin disease and let it go. Because life's just way too short to bother with such nonsense. Oh, and don't forget to take your medication. 7480 stars.

Eats

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