When Your Dreams Die

Editor’s Note: I wrote the story below in 2007 but never took it any further than what you see here. I am playing around with whether I should tie it into the draft I put down here.

Haven’t decided yet, might just let it sit and percolate for a good long while.

My therapist said that “I lack coping skills.” It is a nice way of saying that she doesn’t approve of my choice of antidepressants. I have several that I enjoy. Unlike the shit that she wants me to take, these are prescription free. My drug of choice is of the liquid variety. It is fast acting, doesn’t cost much and best of all, easily found. I never worry about late night freak out sessions because I can always get a taste and that is reassuring. And you know that when you “lack coping skills” it is nice to find things that can dull that edge.

I apologize for being so manic. That is what they call it, isn’t it. I mean my behavior. If I am not careful I get so wound up that I can’t hold still and I can’t shut up. I pace around the room chain smoking and muttering to myself. That is why I like to keep some of my buddies chilling in the fridge. During those moments when I can’t decide to laugh or cry I can always rely upon them. Six or seven and I start to feel like a human again.

My therapist says that part of my problem is that I bury my problems. She says that I like to choke my pain so hard that I can’t feel it. Personally I don’t know what the fuck she is talking about. If it didn’t hurt so goddamn much I wouldn’t need to rely upon Messrs Miller, Heineken and Bud.

It is not like I am stupid or completely unaware of that I have a problem. I know that things aren’t quite right. Healthy people don’t drink themselves into oblivion. A fifth of vodka and a handful of Ambien doesn’t lead to a good nights rest. On the other hand going thirty or forty hours in between shut eye isn’t all that good for you either. So you pick your poison and hope for the best.

Heck, that guy Pete in accounting has been popping Prozac for the last 11 years. Tell me what good it has done for him. I’ll tell you the difference between me and him. I know that I am screwed. I know that sooner or later I am going to become a friend of Bill’s. Sooner or later I am going to wake up and find me a sponsor because if I don’t I am going to die.

You want to know how to tell that your dreams have died. It is when you can speak about death like I do. Most people do what they can to avoid that day. Me, I look forward to it. I am not afraid to die. It looks pretty damn peaceful to me and that is something that I am in desperate need of. I can’t remember the last time I was truly relaxed. Why wouldn’t I want that.

I won’t bore you with the sob story about how I got here. I am not interested in your pity. I don’t want to serve as political fodder for some crazy liberal. I don’t need them to take advantage of my situation to further their own agenda. And I sure as hell don’t need the disdain of those who don’t understand how your own head can fuck with you.

That is a road that I have been down a couple times too many. See there was a time when I though that maybe the way to get myself healthy was to try talking to a couple of the boys. Jimmy told me that if I stopped acting like such a pussy I would feel better. Max had more empathy. He said that I just needed to get laid.

I wouldn’t bother with seeing my therapist but for a court order. So now every Tuesday afternoon I head down to the VA and spend an hour engaged in mental masturbation. That is what it is. Nothing more than head games disguised as medical treatment. I am still waiting for the therapist to figure out that our therapy sessions come right out of the movies. Sometimes I tell her stories from The Deerhunter. Sometimes I act out parts of The Godfather or Goodfellas.

It is my own inside joke. I think that it is pretty damn funny. You want to know the sad part. Sometimes I think that she has figured it out but since she doesn’t care what happens to me it is easier to just let me fuck around.

Speaking of “fucking around” that is a word that apparently bothers her. She doesn’t like the word “fuck.” She gave me a speech about it being undignified, non descriptive, lacks shock value and in general is inappropriate. Here is the thing, I kind of agree with her. I don’t use it to swear. If it is a part of normal, everyday speech all it loses its power. It is not all that effective. Maybe I’ll make a real effort to give it up. I don’t really know.

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