January 03, 2005

Fish Story

His grandmother gave us home-made pickles over the holidays. They hung suspended in a neatly-labeled jar, along with some herbs and peppers to spice up the taste. Each time I opened the refrigerator for some creamer for my tea, I would see them staring back at me. The peppers swam about invitingly, like goldfish. I opened the fridge again, and watched the goldfish, fluttering their fins and opening their mouths as they struggled through the brine. I live with active hallucinations every day, and this was no different, in fact it was far more innocuous than most of the things I have to pretend to ignore. I slammed the refrigerator door and flopped onto the couch, glaring furiously at my book.

But perhaps it was the minor nature of the thing that made it stick in my mind so well. I couldn't focus on the book. As if sensing weakness, like they always do, the voices that resound endlessly from vacant corners of the room trained their attention on those poor fish in the pickle jar. All at once stoking my curiosity by asking what harm it would do if I helped the fish "just to be on the safe side," while at the same time, teasing out my deeper fears by laughing at my ridiculous delusion. I just told myself over and over again to be proud that this was one situation in which delusion was clear. But just then, that thought and certainty would slip through my mind. Pushed out of the way by useless drivel from alien voices filling my own uselessly small mental capacity. I could almost feel that tenuous grasp on reality sliding like scales through water, and then it was gone.

A jumble of mismatched syllables made reading impossible, and I arose for another cup of tea, and to get those fish. Did my mother give those fish to me? She must have, since she was the last person who telephoned me. Yes, that logic made perfect sense. I pulled the jar out of the refrigerator, and hugged it against me. They were so cold. Poor little things. I struggled through racing thoughts to place the word "net" and just what I intended to do with that noun. I set the jar on the counter, and glanced at the bubbling tank in which our real fish swam. I observed the delicate fins of the phantom fish as I began to unscrew the lid of the jar. And then I realized that I should do what I always do when I'm feeling wrong, and my speech patterns can't resolve themselves enough to talk to anyone else. I should ask my fiance about this whole situation. The fish blurred in my vision as I squeezed tears out of my eyes as my heart was seized with the failure that my resolution meant. And amidst an overture of voices jousting with my own self-control, I laid down on the couch and waited. Useless.

He came home later, it could have been minutes or days as far as I was concerned. I greeted him cheerfully, and he did the same, and then he retreated to his work shop. I followed quietly, and watched him prepare to relax with his hobbies. "I have a silly request" I said, with a smile. He didn't look at me, but pleasantly asked me what it was. "There's a jar of pickles on the kitchen counter. Could you please check to see if the peppers have turned into goldfish, and then return them to the fridge if they haven't?" He turned to look at me curiously, and I could feel my face turning red. He walked to the kitchen, made a spectacle of inspecting the jar, and returned it to its place in the refrigerator. We laughed, and then he sat down at his computer, and we were silent for a while. I poured out the rest of the tea so that I wouldn't have to get any more creamer, and then returned to stare at my own computer from my place on the couch across the room. I was too crazy, for now, to occupy myself with normal tasks. I saw my new screen-saver, the "Marine Aquarium" digital saltwater fish, and I remarked aloud that I was happy that I had them installed, other than the fact that it made me imagine fish in our pickle jars! My fiance didn't look at me, but said in a pained voice, "just... Don't talk about it anymore."

Posted by alex at 06:54 AM | Comments (2)

October 13, 2004


"Your eyes can deceive you, don't trust them."

A few thousand years ago, and I'd be a Shaman. I can't be a modern Shaman? So, now what? It's hard to fight, uphill, all the time. Against culture, and expectation. Knowing that all I have to do is just keep quiet, and not tell anyone about the way I am. Nobody would ever know, if I didn't choose to tell them. Why do I do it?

"Use the Force, Luke."

Posted by alex at 06:16 AM | Comments (2)

October 11, 2004

Drug Study

Well, I can be pretty sure that I wasn't given the placebo. Yesterday morning I felt a little dizzy and had a head-ache. But today, it had escalated to not being able to stand. I was continuously falling into things and loosing consiousness. After crashing around the bathroom for a time, unsuccessfully attempting to get dressed, I called the research people. Then, I discovered how disorganized my thoughts were. I couldn't speak correctly! I tried to tell her I was having "side effects" but it came out "heart attacks" repeatedly! I get to stop the drug, and then they'll talk with me about it on my Wednesday appointment. They want to try tapering me on it slower. Fuck that! Up until the last month, I hadn't taken ANY anti-psychotics for over a year. Then, I got it in my head that maybe I should experiment with them again... That maybe I didn't give them a chance. Rediculous! Now I'm getting a well-needed wake-up call, reminding me of why I was doing so well without the drugs in the first place!

I'm feeling much better now, thanks to an extremely short half-life of the drug. I'm glad I don't have to take it today or tomorrow, or the next morning. I really want that $200 for the study, though. I'll have to listen to what suggestions they have. I managed to go to work today, after pacing around and drinking lots of water to get some of the drug out of my system. I was doing just peachy with my old, stable self before. Chemical lobotomies are bad M'kay?

My Chinese food came with two fortunes:
"You will have good luck in your personal affairs."
"Adversity is the test for strong men."

Posted by alex at 06:16 AM | Comments (1)

October 08, 2004

Drug Study Start

I'm going to start the drug or placebo tomorrow. Just to remind everyone, this isn't a treatment plan. It's just my little contribution to the field of schizophrenia research. I'm relieved that they did a lot of muscle tests on me today, because I want to make sure I stop the drug if I get the usual EPS side-effects. I choose to assume that I'm going on a placebo, because then I'm less likely to focus on whether or not I'll be seeing side-effects!

Posted by alex at 06:19 AM | Comments (2)

October 07, 2004

Coven Member No Longer

I had a really bad morning, but I'm feeling better now. An argument (that is now resolved) left me with negligible sleep hours, and I couldn't take any preventative anti-psychotic medications because I'm going to be starting the test drug soon. This morning, my really bad hallucinations lasted long into the afternoon. I kept wishing that I was physically sick, so that I could stay home from my volunteer time at the zoo. But alas, I was well, and had to make the trip to the zoo alone with my brain worms. At one point, I thought I was vomiting up long bunches of hair! But, I'm sure that was just a hallucination, because, well, I don't eat large amounts of hair. So I perservered, because I won't let my brain worms be the reason for staying home. I can't let that happen. If I let it happen once, it will happen more often. And then, I'll be crippled. But the zoo time was hard to not react to things in front of the keepers.

Well, the unexpected (finally?) happened. Sometimes, things just suck. And this, in particular, really sucks because I've been preparing for Initiation into a Coven long before I even knew I was. This evening, I was politely and lovingly excused from my training group due to the potential risks of Initiating somebody with schizophrenia. I'm not really going to post the details. My buddies, who are still in the group, can ask me about it privately, if you weren't given specifics already. On the way home, I was told, "sorry we chickened out on ya'." I said, "You didn't 'chicken out' on me as friends, and that's what counts." I really want to stay friends with everyone. Being in the group has really changed my life for the better, and it's been an experience I will never forget. I had some of the best moments of my life, and definitely the best feeling of belonging I've ever had, with them. There needs to be a word that means more than just family. I really wish that I could have stayed with them through the rest of everything we're going through. I don't think that they made the right decision, but I realize that the decision has been made.

So, of course, I shall be indulging in an evening of sobbing, hugging my Fiance, and munching on chocolate. It's very much like a break-up, you know. Sometimes, things are challenging, even if you are following your bliss.

Posted by alex at 06:14 AM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2004


I got a call this morning from a clinic that wants me to participate in a study for a new medication for schizophrenics. The lady asked me if she could forward my information to the doctor doing the study. I said yes, but that I'd only be interested if it was an outpatient study. Exciting! The drug is supposed to help stop paranoia. I could sure use that! Especially in the mornings.

Posted by alex at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

September 18, 2004


I highly recommend that anyone with schizophrenia should see the movie "Gothika," especially if they've had some difficulties with the mental health industry. Not only is the movie about a psychologist who has the tables turned upon her when she ends up in her own mental institution, but it actually has some realistic depictions of hallucinations and losing touch with reality. Of course, it turns out the main character actually isn't having hallucinations, but the movie could still give the viewer a sense for what it's like to be thought of as crazy. At least, a lot more than "A Beautiful Mind."

Posted by alex at 01:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2004


I've been taking some exams so that I can try to go back to school. There are elections going on today, and I wore a button that said "A Voting American with disAbilities." I have trouble with the voices during exams. When I was in high school, I had voices during exams, but at the time I didn't know that they were voices from my brain. I thought they were people screaming in the back of the room. I complained to my teachers a lot. Now they scream, and I know they are just from my brain. But I still have a hard time concentrating. I can't bring myself to ask for disability accomadations for exams, like a longer time for each exam. If I did it that way, it would feel like cheating. It would feel like I didn't get a degree at all. That it was given to me. I don't want to have that happen. I hope I pass these exams.

Posted by alex at 06:34 AM | Comments (0)

September 03, 2004


At the time I write this, I'm away from my computer. It's 6:24 AM 9/2/04, and I'm wigging out on the way to volunteer to the zoo, as usual. This always happens because I don't get enough sleep on Wednesday nights, even though yesterday I fell into a sobbing nap after work and then felt better.

Anyways, I'm writing so that I'll distract myself from my symptoms. I've decided (for right now) to think about my problem as a philosophical one, like the author Joseph Campbell does. That way, I won't feel like an idiot for focusing on the lady with the death-mask, who has been following me for a quarter of a mile, who I feel is stealing my thoughts away with her hand guestures in order to slow me down... Anyway...

One of the key characteristics of psychosis is the "distorted perception of self." I mean, the root of my problem is obviously that I don't know whether the things I'm experiencing are from within me or without... An idea that Joseph Campbell would consider a hero's journey to a foreign (and divine) environment. This dissolution of self is why women with post-partem psychosis, unaccustomed to this experience, sometimes kill their own infant. It is a desperate attempt to regain a sense of self by severing their most obvious link to the external. This makes me ponder further the myth of the mother Goddess and sacraficial God that is played out during the wheel of the year.

Back to the practical... I hate how stress aggrivates my schizophrenia. I'm going to talk with my doctor about whether or not any of my anti-psychotics are fast-acting in case I want to use one intermittantly in emergencies. All my life, I have worked best under pressure, and I've never been able to hack it at a boring job for long. How am I ever going to make it in the working world? There are no jobs that keep a person busy and driven while allowing them to take random days off to pop a pill and hide from the world to recover. Oh well, I'm not depressed, and I'm not beaten yet. I have to keep reminding myself that I've only spent a year and three-fourths with this disease. I'll find a way.

Posted by alex at 08:51 PM | Comments (2)

June 25, 2004

a brand new day

Well, here I am again. I was fired from my old job, and have just started a new one at a pet shop. I'm still sad about losing my old job because of my illness, but at least I have a new one so quickly. And this time, I can be sure they won't find out about my mental situation.

As for the rest of my health, I am recovering from surgery on the tumors in my breast. Everything is fine for now, and I just have to see my doctor in five months to check and make sure it is gone. It still kinda' hurts, and I've been battling a secondary infection, but I'm making it through.

If it weren't for my boyfriend, my friends and my faith community, I don't know where I'd be right now.

Posted by alex at 07:04 AM | Comments (0)

April 29, 2004

they found out

So, things at my job are coming to a head. I knew that, since I'd been having such a crappy week, everyone who isn't supposed to know that I work for SMH would be at the April 20th mandatory class on hospitalization. I was right. Lousy shrink #2 and Lousy Shrink #3 were there, as well as my current case manager. It won't be enough to have warned my case manager that: "this has been a rough couple years of recovery for me, and my job is something that's going well in my life. Please, don't make the wrong call, here. It's not yours to make." I don't want to fight with them anymore. They're pathetic. My hatred has cooled to contempt, and I no longer wish to waste my time with that diseased organization.

It's a good thing that I have a new job (if I still do), because I knew this one at SMH would end sooner or later. And it looks like the time has come. It's funny because, a week ago I asked my dad whether it was a good idea to quit my first job, and if so, when. He said, "when the time comes, you'll know." I think I'll wait. What's the use of losing your job for an unusual reason if you can't be fired spectacularly? It was good while it lasted, and I'm sure I'll find a new way to be subversive. I met up with my mother today and she said, "well, your goal at first was for them to get to know you as a person first anyway." It's true, maybe at least one of my co-workers will have a shift in the way they look at the clients after they learn about how I was all along.

When I next worked on the 22nd, my boss wouldn't even make eye contact with me, so I knew the gig was up. It turned out to be my boss' boss who had The Talk with me. Debbie sat me down in the office and told me that I already knew what she was going to be talking about. She says there's no way the situation can continue, so she'll probably have to can me. The official excuse she used was thus: "As an employee, you have the ability to read the treatment notes of your peers." Yes. My peers. The way she said it made the mentally-ill sound like some kind of inferior race of beings. I told her about my efforts to try to change my treatment to a different agency, and asked if perhaps we could work things out in that direction. She said she'll see what she can do. I guess I'm persona non grata around SMH, for now.

Posted by alex at 11:08 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2004


Work at the residential home for the mentally-ill was exhausting. When I first walked in, I found out that one of the staff members' estranged husbands is going to be trying to kill her. She has a restraining order, and we have photos of him and orders to call 911 if we see him. After she left, she called us and told us that he is in town and planning to come kill her at work. Thankfully, he never showed up!

It seems like it was a bad day for everybody. Two of the clients were really belligerent. One was really drunk, and his probation officer is impossible to get a hold of. One of the clients was freaking out uncontrollably because he thought his girlfriend had put "dissolving cream" on his penis. Then, one of the clients had a seizure! I had to leap on top of him and wedge myself between him and a fridge to keep him from hitting his head. Afterwards he was unconscious, so I called 911. They had about fifteen paramedics come! It was wacky how many people were in there! So I ran around making photocopies of medical information. They shipped him off to the hospital. So, I am tired.

It's amazing how stress will come in waves no matter how much you try to block it out. I found out a few days ago that I might have another breast tumor, and I've been subconsciously fretting ever since. But I'm going to blame it on the fact that Mercury is in retrograde.

Posted by alex at 08:52 PM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2004


Well, the folks from yesterday's job interview don't want me. I got the depressing phone call today. But, I went to another job interview at a local hotel. Their Human Resources centre had one of those carpet designs that seems to crawl and slither up my legs. The bright red tile walls appeared to bow in upon me. It was as if that room were devilishly designed to evoke disturbing hallucinations. I managed to remain calm after a quick trip to the restroom to regroup my thoughts. However, my nervousness makes my visions and voices worse, so the whole interview was a blur of automatic responses. They said they'd let me know tomorrow. I'm not so confident about this one.

Posted by alex at 10:33 PM | Comments (1)


This morning I woke up terrified. I used to never be afraid of anything this Earth could throw at me. In college, I studied zoology, and dreamed of traveling to far off lands to capture strange new creatures. I've been bitten by everything from a lemur to an anaconda, and nothing gives me the willies. However, my brain has changed now, and I often find myself in a nightmare of terror. You see, the one thing that I was always secretly afraid of was a lack of control. And now, I cannot control even my own mind.

Today I had a job interview scheduled for three o' clock. I already work a part time on-call job at a local residential home for the mentally-ill. Of course, my boss doesn't know about my condition, and if I have it my way, no boss of mine ever will. However, I want to get an additional job. My entire life, I had a set plan: Graduate from college, get a job at a zoo, get married, move into a house and raise a kid. Now, I can't do many of those things. I don't know what sorts of jobs I'll be able to handle, so I've jumped from part-time job to volunteer jobs and back in a desperate attempt to become a contributing member of society. My newest endeavor is bartending. So, I donned my best interview clothes early, and paced my house in anticipation.

The problem is that the busses don't run today, so I had to borrow my live-in boyfriend's car. Driving is another new fear. I'm terrified that I will hallucinate and crash the car into a bus-load of kids. I spent five minutes shivering in the driver's seat, adjusting the mirror before I left.

On the freeway, I experienced the familiar psychosis I've come to expect. My ever-present voices grew louder. They were in the other cars all around me, they drifted in to scramble my brains and attempt to make me swerve the car. They all wanted to control me, to destroy me. So much hatred in the world pressing down on me. Suffocating me. I kept my hands locked on the steering wheel, determined to not let them take me. I spoke aloud to myself. I read every sign out loud, and talked to myself about my next turn. I made it safely.

The bar I applied at was quite nice, and a non-smoking one at that. I was disappointed to learn that there would be no chance of ever acquiring a full time position there, but I'm ready to try anything. For a year I was on disability, and living off the hand-outs of my loved ones. It's time for me to start paying them back. I'll find out tomorrow whether I've landed this new job. Wish me luck!

Posted by alex at 02:29 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2003


intrinsic justice forlornly unseen as matters of the skull / until morning i bled again. unable to control. / tired of being at fault you will / fucking die / unjust fool, liar to insanity / grace to be lost as raising fear imbues the alternative / roaches creeping under the skin of all / god crumbles underneath the dust of impurity / fucking in place / priorities are yours and you are shattered within / climbing up your spine implanted in your mind / controlled by influences radiating endlessly / sharp pain / insecurities / trouble is caused by those who hunt you / seek you / climbing through the night like buttered rain / itching to place you under a glass cage / torn by desire / fear / pain / swift lithe movements in the dark are seen / flying through the unconscious so that you can't escape / do you know what they find? / they search / they will stop at nothing / they want it far more than you can defend / it is in your blood / they must take it / in glass tubes away from your mind / a mind made of string / of twine / would and tied to every other controller in the universe / tied tight / bound / strung up like a noose but gravity is like centrifugal force / pulling outwards to the unknown. / pulling the faces of those you love into creatures of night / dispair is like blood on their faces. / you are pulled every which way you know. and when you are pulled so many directions, you can't move on your own at all. / controlled by all but the one you lost / yourself / they will destroy / they need it more than you can understand / you can't run! / pulling on those strings they draw you near / just around the corner / above your head / under your feet / under your skin / blood upon their faces / unknown / fear / you will die, but not in the way you can control / not even in the way you fear, but in a way you can never know / by its very existance it negates your own / you must take it and die by your own hand / before they leave without you.

Posted by alex at 03:11 AM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2003

The Voices' Poem

As recommended by a friend, I made a poem out of the things my voices have said that I've been writing in my journal, one line with each entry. I used all of their quotes (except for whatever one I'm going to write at the end of this post!), and gave each quote its own line. I didn't leave even a word out. I arranged them in the order that suited me, and altered punctuation accordingly. Then, they neatly divided up into scores of five lines each. I noticed that I have been doing this "Music" field recording exercise for Ten Days. So, that is the title of the poem. It feels kinda' wrong shifting their words around, and very wrong to claim to have written it myself. I feel like I'm plagiarizing. Or like I'm selling a recording of my neighbor's conversation. This is bringing to my attention how seperate and outside the voices are from me. So please, don't think of this as my poem. But maybe you can learn a little bit about me from it? Whatever, it was a fun thing to do, I think.


"Rocks, locks, talks, shocks, mocks!"
Unintelligible? You've got to be joking, asshole!
Rah ta da, look to the sun!
Fire up unknown planes of existence,
Arterial runways to the heart.

You'd better move it, before it's too late!
Rash feelings never high forever.
Mischief finds what mischief you do, fucking uniformly.
Intermittent anyrism, don't you know?
Change the arduous task before it is done!

Your nature is apriotic, through your snide superiority!
Outrageous financial expiration is near!
Soul crushing feat of science will bind your flesh,
In charge of unreal weapons, unlike the true master.
An infantry at your door, a stranger at your back. Hide yourself. The time is near!

Artificial retrograde is ultimately upon you,
Undone mischief inside your trashy self.
Why won't you fucking die? The sky won't melt, I promise!
Instant gratification is what you recieve for incessant whining!
Naughty temples! Wouldn't want to eat unfortunate pain, would they?

Arch your back as blood pours down your spine.
Actually, the skin is deeper than you think.
A glib interpretation of events shall cease to wonder, presently.
You need to bleed, you need to burn, you need to die.

Undue autopsy ridden with holes,
A stickler for tradition is not inflated but dead.
In actuality, it never so much as found him until midnight.
Attack ancient sepulchre to release the mind.
Interned forever in sycophantic complacency.

Posted by alex at 08:13 AM | Comments (1)

September 23, 2003

(no subject)

My voices are saying some odd things this morning. They usually aren't this coherent in the morning. Heh.

...They didn't have time to be crazy cruising down the freeway at 85,000 miles per hour eating yellow stripes splashed by dolphins and trailed by flashing butterflies of helicopters with two bucket seats manned by an interstitial breed of historian bent on turning on their headlights so that they would turn into a chicken themselves by sword. Going AAaah! Aaahh! Right, Eddie? What happens then? Whatever you say, but where's your mop? Ahahahaha! They were speeding down the freeway in a 1999 silver hatchback so that they'd have cheaper insurance but screaming all the same eyes bugging out to dogs on the side of the road screaming "don't know tuesday never!" Viking death march to their names. I don't want to turn into a zombie, myself. But years ago they didn't have time insipid freaks with tails for eyes eating paper 'till they die with words and can't stop hiding the chains worry snakes running rivulets down their 18 gauge 12 times more than on TV! You know what happened when they caught them, Nicole? Do you know what air was all? They didn't place in them a spine made of ice or a spine made of iron to chase away their elves they put in them a piece of that hatchback and you know what piece? Not the engine, Nicole, not a new heart or a floppy disk or any of that bull-shit you want but a spark plug! Placed in their breast just above their heart, like yours, Nicole. And it's recording everything it's recording your movements and your breathing and your heart and your soul and your brain until they want to and when they want to they push a button and electricity pumps through you searing pain in three-second-bursts and when they are done branding you for them they will eat you with another electrical shock they can kill you at will and they will kill Nicole. And every shine on your hair. That charges it. And every beat of your heart is a ticking time bomb of sharp death. Lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub to the 18-12 overture and that's how they will know...

And it goes on like that. Well, it makes more sense when you know that I had a piece of metal implanted in me that looks like a spark plug after I had an operation to remove a tumor in my breast. They put it there to mark the location in case stuff grew back. They were pretty secretive about that portion of the surgery, and didn't explain at all what they were doing, until I demanded to see what they were putting in me. They had to run and get a sample of one in a jar. But, people at breast cancer places are rude and mean because they can't afford to care. If you're there, chances are that you'll probably be dead soon.

Posted by alex at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)

August 26, 2003


I worked early at the zoo today and hefted quite a lot of aquariums. Since my parents just got back from their vacation, I thought I'd stop by their office to give them a coffee grounds reading and a listen on the CD copy of the radio show that I was on. I was eager to hear of their adventures. They proceeded to yell at me for the car accident we had last week, despite the fact that they have no financial involvement in the matter at all. They're just my insurance agents. I think I'll switch insurance agents so that, if I drive my next car into a brick wall and die, they won't be inconvenienced. I cried a lot today and accidentally bit my lip so it bled a holy hell of lots.


It was late afternoon on a sunny Thursday as she changed into in her favorite dress. A gift she had received one Solstice years ago. It was green, like the deep woods, and had the movement of a spring rain across a lake. She pinned a deep red rose over her heart and paused a moment to breathe in the intoxicating fragrance. She coaxed the dogs inside impatiently. She had to get going. Someone would be home soon to let them out again. She plugged in her cell phone. Wouldn�t want to run out of batteries. Briefly, she scanned the room for some manner of purse. Perhaps she should borrow this black bag? Pondering whether it might inconvenience its owner if she took it today, she stared at the logo. Beneath pretentious lettering a motto read, �It takes experience.� The bag still rested empty on the floor as she locked the door behind her. She stuffed a note on white paper and a one hundred dollar bill awkwardly in her bra and set off across the patio with a long empty box under one arm.

Visiting local gun shops was a much-loved activity! Though her favorite shop had closed down months before, and the only other shop in town had poor service, she still enjoyed looking through the clever accessories and angry-looking pistols as she waited for a free moment with a salesman. She looked over an affordable shotgun as she had seen others do before. She always had been a good student. Cash paid, she carefully enclosed her new gun in the box and left the store with a box of shells in addition.

Smugly riding on the 255-bus route with no one the wiser as to her box�s alarming contents, she picked up a schedule from its assigned slot. Her mother had told her as a child, �If you ever get lost, remember that the 255 bus will always take you home!� She smiled at the silliness. You could only take that bus if you were on its assigned route between Kirkland and Seattle! But, of course, she never had strayed far from home. She looked distastefully at the tables on the bus schedule. It looked so busy, full and complex. But from Kirkland to Seattle and back again wasn�t much of an adventure. Not the kind she had always hoped for, anyway.

�Hazen Hills� read the sign as she signaled for the bus to stop. She had arrived at the park that she had played in almost daily as a child, up until she left home. Stepping over the low fence, she pulled off her sandals so that she could feel the cool grass between her toes. She skipped gleefully across the field and up to her favorite climbing tree. Leaning the box against its thick trunk, she grasped a familiar branch and swung easily up into the arms of her old friend. She made herself comfortable on a large branch. The �hammock branch� that time had pulled out wide to greet her. She pulled the box up to rest beside her, propped up against the gnarled hands of the towering tree. Relaxing now, she pressed her cheek up against the bark that had been warmed by the late summer sun.

She recalled a time long ago, when she would run to this tree at times when nobody else cared. She would curl up against the hammock branch and talk out her troubles into the tree. Her tears would run rivulets down the cracked bark. She remembered another time, when the entire city was tangled in a summer thunderstorm, she had waited in this tree for the first of many men who would tell her that they cared enough to stick by her through tough times. That night had been one such time, but her sad face had lifted at the sight of his stocky body moving across the rain swept field. �A penny for your thoughts?� He had asked it with a forehead wrinkled in concern as he looked up at her in the tree. His hands opened to reveal that they were full of the copper tokens of his love. Her face broke into a smile as she helped him up into the tree. He revealed that those pennies were change for a chocolate bar that he had bought her while walking to the place where he knew his loved-one sat troubled. They both sat on the hammock branch and kissed with a passion known only to teenagers as the rain mixed with the tears on her face.

But now, on this particular warm Thursday, her tears met dry bark as she shook her head out of its reverie. She calmly reached for the box and wiped her wet cheek with her shoulder as her hands worked mechanically on paper and metal. There were things to take out and things to put in. Finished now, she sat up on the bough and pulled a white piece of paper out of the bodice of her dress. She looked at it with a critical eye, then shrugged and placed it at her feet. She stared absently up at the light that was filtering through the long fingers of the branches, and then turned to the west to watch the red sunset creeping across the sky that matched the color of the rose pinned across her heart. She smiled, lifted the muzzle of the gun to her mouth and pulled the trigger.

The cruel sound of her shot thundered through the quiet neighborhood. Blood splashed angrily against the bark of the tree. Her body slumped gently back onto the hammock branch like a boat beaching on a sandy shore. A dog barked as the note fluttered gently to the grass below to expose her smiling picture taped below her scrawled handwriting.

Short years, yet I'd begin to wilt.
From the blossom of my mind already petals drop.
Though my stalk is strong and healthy all my nectar's spilt.
The most conscientious gardener knows it's time to stop.

Do you
Remember when I had those hopes and plans?
Graduation, with my future like a garden bed.
Keep that memory, like dried flowers passed from many hands,
Forever beautiful, to be like this they must be dead.

And now,
Before destruction happens over time,
Before the winter, there's one bloom that I must save.
Even you will give to me a flower cut down in her prime;
Lovely past, without a future, for my grave.

Posted by alex at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003


Bad crazies last night. I had an argument with my boyfriend about him saying that he doesn't like me. But we stopped arguing and soon he was snoring. Then, the voices that I always have started getting louder and louder. They screamed as a monster loomed out of the darkness. I stole out of bed without waking my boyfriend and stepped into the cool night air outdoors.

Now what was it my therapist had said? Practice paying attention to reality. I needed to give myself a distracting task. So I went to the gas station in my pajamas at 3am to buy bubble gum. Strange men followed me, and I watched the liquid movements of dog-like monsters as they stalked me. The voices said that a spy was eyeing me. I combed my hair nervously with my fingers until it was frizzy. At the gas station, I purchased Bazooka Joe gum. But, once I left the station, the monsters weren't going to let me go home unless I did a good deed, because they said I never did anything right. They said that, if I tried to go home before doing good, they would tear off my skin to show my boyfriend how black I was inside. Then he would never like me.

At that time, I found a Fred Meyer shopping cart, so I decided that I would return it as my good deed. At 4:10am, the city of Bellevue turned its sprinklers on and I was drenched. I walked 2 miles with a shopping cart in the night, discheveled and in wet pajamas, all the while glancing over my shoulder and mumbling to myself while blowing big pink bubbles with my gum.

With my task completed, I pondered whether I should take a different way back, so the monsters wouldn't find me. I opted to take the same way back. I had tried my best, and now it was time to face my fears. On my return, the monsters crossed and re-crossed their paths in front of me. Eyes pressed in all around me. The voices taunted and growled as my thoughts clustered in a corner of my mind like scared mice. I broke into a run. A lady in a black and red dress was in front of our house and she reached out to warn me, but I passed on by.

When I returned home, my boyfriend was awake and angry. He said that I lied to him about leaving the house, because I had tried to make a deal with him earlier to that effect that I didn't think he agreed to. He said he couldn't take this anymore. He yelled at me, shrank away from my touch, ignored my pleadings and refused to be in the same room as me. I didn't sleep last night. So, in the end, my good deed didn't work and my monsters were right. Bad crazies last night.

Posted by alex at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2002

Bad Relapse Today

Just how long am I supposed to be living like this anyway? With my craziness popping up at odd times. I know that depression counsellors get taught to tell us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. That part of depression is thinking that it's going to last forever. Well, I thought there was a light. I've suffered for months thinking there was a light. And you know, I don't want to suffer even one month more.

Tonight I freaked out for no reason even though I'm on the pills. Am I faking all of this just so that I can get concern from people? Because my boyfriend was mad at an unrelated matter at the time, maybe I just subconsiously fake it so I'll get more attention or something. At any rate, I called my therapist so maybe he can do some of that therapy he's supposed to be doing.

Posted by alex at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)