Thursday, April 18, 2013


Well, I broke up with my therapist recently.

It might've been around Christmas...can't remember.

My thinking is so cloudy and muddled lately; maybe I should start smoking again.

Ironically, I felt very clear-headed when I smoked.

It is ironic because it is smoky.

Anyways, I broke up with him in a manner befitting the terror-filled donut that I've let myself become.

Then I did my tension reduction teeth grit seizure I do when I'm on the phone and I can't take it anymore.

Something like this:

oh man, that's an ugly gif. Oh well, first attempt.

I hung up the phone and went into the basement to play toys.

Ten minutes later, it started ringing.

We have one of those caller IDs that shout out the source of the incoming call, but pronounce it all wrong like a really stupid robot.

You still have to get off of your bottom and check the number visually, which defeats the purpose of having any kind of talking machine.

It proclaimed his number: "U NIV OF MO EYE ITCH AGAIN".

I was afraid.

It was irrational fear; he was not a mean or a gruff man. In fact, I do not even know if his face registered any other emotion but empathic listening.

When he yelled at you, it was like being gently chided by Droopy Dog for not loving yourself enough.

But I could not put down my action figures and go get the phone.

I just could not.

Please have no illusions about me: I am fully aware that these are terrible, heartbreaking days in which we live; that the daily news has become a log book of what cannibalistic bastards humanity has chosen to be.

I never forget that, or lose perspective on how ridiculous it is that I cannot face obstacles head on like a corporate CEO or take the bull by the horns like a wrestler of large animals.

But really, in the final analysis, I am a ridiculous person.

No one is surprised by that anymore.

The doctor spoke into our machine.

He spoke for a long time.

I sang the G.I.Joe theme song and smacked the figures together even louder so I would not hear him.

"Hello, Gween, this is...."


"...and I thought that if we"


"....the odor probably comes"


" really just ten minutes to"


"...well, good-bye then".

Everything of significance he might have said, I drowned out with the power of my imagination.

But I knew.

Up there, waiting in the dark, the red eye of the answering machine blinked.

It called to me.

Come play back the guilt I have here waiting for you.

This doctor loved you and your problems.

Come push play and know how wretched you are.

I drank one Capri Sun, then another.

I rubbed at invisible stains on our basement windows.

Anything, any reason, not to go up those stairs, not to see the terrible blinking of the one red eye.

But time waits for no man, and eventually families wonder why a father might be standing in the shadowy storage area of the laundry room, having not moved for over an hour now.

Damned life; why come you cannot be spent in perfect isolation?

I climbed the basement stairs.

"Are you going to listen to the message?" my wife asked.

Are you going to unzip your skin and fling your skeleton about willy nilly? Are you going to put your face straight through the bathroom mirror?

Are you going to know the scolding of Dr.Droopy and then welcome Death?

I am a jumpy, excitable person.

Even, when I drink a prudent amount of coffee, I still manage to stutter and vibrate.

Anything beyond that, and I become a yodelling blur of topless idiocy and poor muscle control.

I tell you this because it is the only explanation of what happened next that I can reconcile with and not feel like an utter coward.

My every intention was to play back that message.

It was.

But when my hand neared the button, it spasmed. Instead of 'play', it mashed the 'delete' button.

All that he wanted so earnestly to tell to me, lost in a caffeinated stab of finger.

Gone forever.

You might argue that I could have called him back, or that somehow science can retrieve things from answering machines.

You would be arguing with yourself however, because I have already left the room, whistling and free of guilt.

As for my problems?

Ha! Well, let's just say....let's dammit.

I guess they are still here.


  1. I hate answering machines. Sometimes I "accidentally" turn mine off when I leave the house... and then when I run into people whom I really don't want to talk to, they say, "I tried to call you but your machine wasn't on..." And I say, "Oh, snap... sometimes it doesn't work. It truly is a mystery."

    I'm sure Dr. Feelgood will miss you terribly... perhaps you should send him a card and a box of cheese or something. You know, to lessen the blow of losing you.

    FYI, I'm always so ridiculously happy when you post a new blog that I don't NEED therapy. YOU HAVE HEALED ME.

    1. I have always thought of myself as somewhat of a healing figure. A calming prescence in the midst of conflict.

  2. I wouldn't take any calls that would make my eye itch again. Really, it was your phone's fault for making you afraid to answer the call...

  3. You are killing me softly with this song.
    That is me in the basement. If I had one.
    That is me ignoring the machine. If I owned one.
    I do not answer the phone nor do I dial out.
    I don't, however, own any GI Joe guys.

    1. I take that back. I have Cobra and Storm Shadow....

    2. Just cobra and storm shadow? Who do they fight? Every good story needs some conflict....I will send you Duke and Lady J. They can make out with everybody.

  4. Wow, I'm not the only one that goes into palpitations when the phone rings. That's either reassuring or terrifying, I'm not sure which. How are you with going to the mailbox?

    1. We live out in the country, so getting the mail is fine. When we had an apartment in the city though, I peeked out my blinds to make sure no one was getting mail so I could get mine alone.

  5. I know that when you "delete" a file from a computer system that usuaLLy the file system simply disconnects the header portion away from the actual data, so it is just the header portion in the directory that is removed. The real data of a file is spread out across the drive in packets that have pointers to the next sequential piece of the file, so that is how another piece of software can (forensically) find things. The voice info on a digital answering machine takes the data and probably takes the analog noise and runs it through a convertor to turn it back into a digital blob of information that is just similar to files on a hard drive. So the short answer is most likely YES, Abby from NCIS could probably recover the message. There is also the likelyhood that the medical professional recorded himself on his own system while leaving you a message on your answering machine. You could check this out by sending a team of nerd ninjas to break into his office and search for the message in his possible system. Think Watergate Nixon combined with Ninjas. The other possibility would be to travel faster than the speed of sound to a distance just great enough so that you could use a directional antenna to focus the sound waves that came out of your answering machine when the Doctor of Brainagans was speaking. Oh, you could also have yourself hypnotized and have yourself then tell yourself what the message was. No, I keep liking the idea of Ninjas, yes, go with the ninjas de nerdski.

    1. Those are all good suggestions, esb, but based on my limited resources, I will have to forego all of them. I do however have a plastic ninja sword that bends ineffectually when you smackeroo someone on the head with it. It is very unsatisfying.

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  7. This makes perfect sense to me.

    That terrible blinking of the unfeeling red eye. I know its terrors, my friend. I know it too well. You did the right thing. The only thing that could be done. Yes, I am an enabler and therefore the best kind of friend.

    1. I am behind on comment replies and therefore quite cold response wise. That being said, thanks for enabling Mandeline.

  8. Awww, gee, Gween. You are awfully hard on yourself. Maybe he just wasn't the right therapist for you? If you're going to spill your guts you need to have someone you trust and that you like. He may be a fine therapist, but just not YOUR therapist. It's going to be OK. *pat pat*

    1. Oh he was all kinds of wrong for me. But I don't really feel too bad about it, you know I just exaggerate things for my own amusement.

  9. Admission... I totally hate answering the phone and fully utilize voice mail... Tis a wonderful alternative to being trapped alive, slowing choking to death by the endless self absorbed chatter of those whose governor was murdered by the rabid need to express "feelings"...
    Phew! I don't know about you but I feel much better ;o)
    Hang in there, we're pulling for you.

    1. I love voice mail! But I don't love choking to death or feelings.

  10. Gween, this whole post - I understand. Completely. Euggh.

    I agree with thecousewife - it could just be that that was the wrooonggg therapist for you. You shouldn't feel too horrible about it, buddy.

    ... my therapist knows that she can only reach me by email! Which I can't help but find because I have good things in my email often and I can't just avoid it or pretend it isn't there.

    Also, my therapist has mostly good-ish associations for me, so it's not as hard for me to deal with her. But if she was using the phone at me - well. I'd probably hide too.

    1. I wish I often had good things in my email. I just don't.

  11. I don't answer the home phone ever. And we have voicemail. So I live in guilt free abandon never knowing that there are messages piling up in there. Until my mother literally yells at me so hard I can hear her from the suburb she lives in. Then I check the messages. But really it's a few months until that happens each time. I bet if I checked right now I would hear that funny little dial tone that tells me that there is a message. And I know I won't listen. I just can't. be. bothered. Don't worry about our therapist he'll get over it. He already is. Eat more fudge.

    1. My favorite thing in the world is not answering the phone; it's right up there with not answering the door and not answering my wife when she tells me about her new scarf.

  12. I hate talking on the phone. I hate when I have to call someone to get information and the conversation drags on and on, and I just answer things in short bursts, then hang up without ever getting the actual information I needed to begin with. Telephones are the devils work, and cell phones are the work of the evilness that even the devil fears.

    Sorry, I don't know where that came from.

  13. Great as ever Gween. I squealed with not-so-silent joy at seeing a couple of posts to catch up on! Keep up the good work.

  14. Love it, thanks for the giggle and helping assuage my own guilt at not answering calls or door knocks or husbands in trouble when I'm reading one of your wonderful posts :)