May 22, 2018


I am not a Pastafarian, though I fully support the right of the woman in Massachusetts to wear a colander on her head for her driver's license photo, citing religious reasons.  I enjoy that kind of protest.  My son's school won't allow any Satanic-themed clothing per its dress code, but anyone can walk around wearing "Jesus is Lord!" or a Fellowship of Christian Athletes t-shirt.  I have a problem with that, a big one, but I lack the financial resources to raise sand about it, as well as the heart to drag my self-effacing kid into the egregious limelight that accompanies engaging in a much-needed challenge to our Christianity-saturated culture.

It makes me shake my head when Christians in America claim they are persecuted.

Religion is not a laughing matter to me, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or not.  It causes too much damage in the world.  That did not stop me, back in the day, from sporting a Jesus-fish magnet on my car that reads "'N' Chips".  It is now a refrigerator magnet, and sometimes it makes me smile, but only briefly.

My mind is on colanders right now because my mind is in a colander right now.  One with large holes and handles that get too hot from the steam.  One that is designed for sorting, say, rotini or manicotti instead of spaghetti.

In a comedic display of paradox, I can remember, at this moment, four things that I forgot in the past twenty-four hours.  Never mind carrying a bowl around for no reason.  I promised someone I'd finish up an essential project yesterday afternoon, and remembered it when I pulled into my parking space at work this morning.  Shit.  I played Schickele's P.D.Q. Bach sportscasting of Beethoven's Fifth for my kid, who exercised good manners and waited until the end to remind me I'd played it for him two years ago.  That hurt, the whole "I'm getting older and my kid is completely out of touch with the things that were part of my life and I can't share them with him" thing, so while we were waiting in the office building for his counseling session, I stared out of the window and saw a tree that was probably five or six years old, in the center of the lawn in front of the building.  I knew that tree.  We had one in the back yard of the house when I was a kid.  The bark always peeled off.  It was smooth.  I remember the shape of the leaves.  And I stared at it and stared at it and could not remember the name of it.  Even a search online of native trees here with those descriptors yielded nothing.  I still can't remember what kind of tree that is, and this brought me to tears because not only could I not share music with my kid, I couldn't even tell him about the fucking tree in my back yard, which I'm sure would have been incredibly interesting to him.

All of that rendered minimal the fact that I forgot to mail a letter for four days in a row.  I finally mailed it yesterday.

What bills am I forgetting to pay?  Did I set things up with the lawn guy?  I need to update the vet on Chester.  I need to write someone back about the solar panels we're selling on Craigslist.  I think.  Or maybe I decided they're a scammer.  I can't remember.

I can't remember.

I am angry that I can't remember.  I am angry that people keep saying it will pass or that I'm still functioning just fine or that I'm now like everyone else and no one can even tell the difference.  I know they love me and mean well but it just heaps coals on my head and I don't like things on my head because they are touching my hair.

It's the price I'm paying to have the Lamictal make my brain stop whispering bad things to me.  I know this.  And if I were completely feeling better like I thought I was, I would grudgingly consider that worth the price.  I thought I had leveled out, but I haven't.  I've swung again just as wildly as ever.  The meds are obviously in my system after two and a half weeks and working, because I'm sitting here in this colander and I feel like my brain is draining out through the holes, into the sink and down the drain.

Just go ahead and say it:  I have to give it time.  And I will.  What else can I do?  I chose this.

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