Tag Archives: Mental health

The Ride is Life

24 Jul

Bike dudes

Emmet woke up on a chilly Saturday morning before everyone else in the house. He had been waiting in anticipation, much like a child with a new toy in its box, to try out some new riding gear that had been delivered the day before. With giddiness generally not present in his day to day life, he slid the gear over his thermal underwear and went to the garage to get his bike.

As he pushed the bike down the driveway towards the road, Emmet marveled at his breath that hung in the air after each exhale. It reminded him of his youth when he would wake up very early to go sledding after a nocturnal snowfall. A pulse of nostalgia pulsed through his body. More places he shall never be in again to add to a melancholy mental list he makes in moments of solitude.

He caught a glimpse of his neighbor, Kurt, pushing his bike towards the road. This could be fun, he thought, riding his bike with a friend like when he was a kid.

He shout out to Kurt, “Hey, buddy! How many you putting in today?”

“Ahh, a short one. Kid’s got gymnastics this morning and it’s my turn to take her. About 15-20” Kurt answered.

“I am stoked to try out this new bib, that’s perfect. Mind if I ride along?” Emmet asked.

“Don’t mind at all! The more the merrier. Besides, we’ve been talking about doing this for years”

The first two miles passed in chilly silence as the two men warmed up. Emmet was in front. Kurt sped up to ride next to him.

“Great to be on the road, isn’t it?” Kurt asked.

“The best” Emmet answered earnestly.

“It does get me thinking about things” Kurt interjected.

“Sure does” Emmet answered, coincidentally having been jarred from deep thought himself.

“Emmet, you ever think about ending it?” Kurt asked.

“What do you mean?” Kurt asked, knowing full well what his neighbor meant.

“You know, look, I loved that Anthony Bourdain guy. That hit hard. He had life by the balls. He was doing what he loved, saw the world, was extremely talented and was loved by millions, yet…” Kurt trailed off.

“That took me by surprise too. But, I think if that’s in you, it’s in you. Doesn’t matter what your circumstances are. It’s like a bad wiring or something.”

“Yeah, a bad wiring” Kurt repeated, more so to himself with the words echoing in his head.

“To answer your question though, no. It’s never crossed my mind. You wanna tell me something, Kurt?”

“Well, to tell you the truth, I think I have a touch of that bad wiring. Sometimes thoughts get stuck in my head, like on a loop. ‘It’s all gonna end anyway, like, nothing we do means anything. Nothing lasts. We are absolutely alone’” Kurt said, looking straight forward.

“There may be some truth to those things, but, I just say to that, enjoy the ride. Just like now, us on these bikes. We are literally going nowhere but I am loving the shit out of it” Emmet answered, “such as life” he added with a chuckle.

They rode in silence for a little while, Kurt digesting this delicious analogy from Emmet.

“So going home is death! The ride is life!” Kurt blurted out so suddenly it startled Emmet.

Emmet decided to play along, “Then we are Hindus because to them, death is birth, so going home will result in a whole new life”

“Jesus Emmet, I didn’t know you were this deep. That’s profound, brother.”

Emmet surprised himself, as well.

“Thank you for the ear, Emmet. I needed this; you have no idea how much. And please, let’s keep this chit-chat between us. Not even the missus. This kind of talk gets people looking at you weird or with pity or something” Kurt said.

“You got it” Emmet said. He meant it.

They rode on. For the remaining miles, Kurt pondered the new life he could have upon arriving to his home. It gave him hope.

They arrived to their street and before getting within eyeshot of their houses Kurt broke hard and Emmet followed suit. Kurt got off his bike and urged Emmet to do so as well. “Man, again, you don’t know how much I needed this. Let’s hug it out. Please?”

The two embraced. Kurt was careful to not let Emmet see the hot tears that rolled down his cheeks. “Seriously, anytime man” Emmet responded. He meant it.

They both jumped back on their bikes and rode to their respective driveways. They hoped off, gave one more good-bye wave and pushed their bikes to their garages. It was still very early and both families were still fast asleep in the warm embrace of their homes.

Kurt immediately went to the chin up bar he had installed on the wall. He looked up at the crude noose, haphazardly made of belts that he had put up before the ride. With more tears, he undid the noose and immediately threw the belts in the trash, handling them as if they were covered in disgusting slime.

He took off his riding gear and put his pajamas back on and slid into bed. His whispered to his wife, “I love you”

She, still half asleep, asked, “How was your little bike ride, hun?”

With more tears and a smile he answered, “Life changing”

Unwanted Wants Pt. V (Final Chapter)

14 Dec

If you haven´t already, please read Part I

 

crazy woman

Sitting on a park bench with a beer stealthfully concealed in a paper bag, Sean passed a joint to Justin, “How we gonna play this?” he asked.

“I don´t know. She ain´t biting. How about we take the money and run?”

“That´s what I was thinking. That Amanda bitch is loaded. I saw her house. I thinking ten large and we call it a day” Sean said.

“Ten? I was thinking five. You think she´ll go for ten?”

“Hell yeah! She dropped a grand on that cable box I hooked up. People never pay more than five hundred. I said ‘a thousand’ and she was like ‘ok’” Sean continued “Ten G´s to these people ain´t like 10 G´s to us”

“Ok. Good. Let´s set this up” Justin said.

*           *          *          *          *          *

Sean nervously sipped on a bottle of water as Amanda stirred a fifteen dollar, diabetes inducing iced coffee.

“So, how much?” Amanda asked.

Sean hesitated, then asserted “Ten thousand dollars and I guarantee your problem is over”

“Ok” Amanda said, relieved. She thought it was going to cost a lot more. Sean perceived her relief and immediately regretted not asking for more. Amanda continued “One thing, Suzy insists on being present. Not by your side or anything. She´ll be hiding somewhere. Watching”

Sean choked on his water. “Why? It could get ugly. I don´t want anyone to get hurt” he lied.

“Something about her stupid therapist telling her it will give her closure to see it”

Sean´s mind raced. All he could think of saying was “Ok”

*          *          *          *          *          *

Sean and Justin rehearsed their routine a thousand times. Only yelling, no violence. That´s how it was going to go down. They both agreed to go into this drug free, as well. This was going to be professional. They were going to earn this money. They wanted so badly to deserve it.

*          *         *         *          *          *

The day came. Suzy told Sean exactly where it was to take place. There was a little park, close to the apartment, where Justin goes to smoke a joint every week night. She was going to sit in a parked car. She didn´t tell Sean, but she was concealing a five inch blade that she bought at a head shop the day before. It was for her protection if things got out of hand.

Suzy sat in the car as Sean approached Justin. Suzy figured Justin must be high already because he was not smoking at the moment. She saw some small talk, then wild hand gestures. Then they started to yell at each other. Suzy was rooting for Sean but a boiling rage washed over her.

Consciously she thought her rage was aimed at Justin but it really was at herself and all of the other guys like Justin. She felt electricity run through her body. She was trembling. She felt for the knife. It was there.

The next thing she knew she was walking towards them, knife in hand, blade exposed. Midway to them she realized she would be easily over powered by Justin. She decided to sneak up from behind.

As she came out from a bush behind the bench Sean screamed “What the fuck, Suzy?”

Justin turned around in time to see the knife plunge deep into his neck. Suzy wailed. She took it out and stuck it right back in. This time it was lodged. She couldn´t pull it out. She momentarily snapped out of her trance “What am I doing?” she said to nobody in particular.

“Get the fuck out of here, Suzy” Sean cried “We´ll touch bases later” he said, barely audible due to how much ground he had covered in his retreat from the scene.

Suzy stood over Justin. He was gurgling blood and gasping for air. She bent over and kissed his bloody lips.

“Good bye Justin” she said, emotionless. “There will be no more Justins”

Giving it up

18 Feb

art_or_insanity

“That´s it, you either give it up or give me up! I´m outta here if you don´t stop it” April said.

Bruno could not hear her because of the Wifi signal that buzzed in his head and scrambled his thoughts. At least he thought it did, along with many other things that were going through his mind that indeed were not true, at least not in this dimension. In fact, there was nothing for him to give up. He was having what his doctors called episodes of psychotic behavior and he was blaming his actions on heroin use. The truth was, Bruno didn´t even drink coffee, let alone do drugs.

Bruno was in a semi-lucid state for the moment. He had to think of a way out of this. He loved April and didn´t want to lose her. On the other hand, due to past experience, he knew that this could go on for at least another few weeks and up to a few months. He didn´t want her to know about this side of him, yet. He had an idea.

“April, I choose you. I´ll go to rehab” he said.

Tears welled up in April´s eyes, “Oh, I love you. You´ll get through this. I´ll be there for you” she said.

Bruno had no money. During this last episode, he lost his job and spent every last dime he had in Atlantic City. When he was in this state he was more likely to engage in high risk behaviors. April was not that bright, so it was easy to get her to believe things.

“Give me 70 bucks so I can get a bus ticket” Bruno asked in a commanding tone.

“For what?” she asked.

“For bus fare to get to rehab” he answered.

“Oh yeah, of course. Here´s $200. I made good tips last night” she said and handing him a crumpled up wad of bills with pride that swirled in her stomach. “When are you going to go?” she asked.

“I think I should go immediately before temptation makes me change my mind” he said. What he really meant was, before he loses his feeble, finger tip only, current grip on reality.

“But if you go tonight, I cannot see you off. Make it tomorrow” she whined.

“No, it´s gotta be tonight” he said.

“Ok. Where are you going?” she asked.

Bruno looked around for an idea. Eureka. A bag of gold fish crackers. “Pepperidge Farms” he said looking at April crooked to see if she bought it, he nervously added “it´s a government run thing, free even” he said, now convinced she believed him.

After a long embrace, April said to Bruno, “Get better”

“I will” he answered.

On his way to the bus terminal, where he intended to buy a ticket to Akron, Ohio and wait out this episode with an aunt, the city started to turn into a jungle. “Oh shit” he whispered to himself as he felt reality become rather slippery.

As the cab pulled up to the terminal, Bruno was already planning how he would enter without getting attacked by the jaguar he saw following them for the past three traffic lights.

He skillfully made it through the front door of the terminal and as he wheezed deeply to catch his breath he said to the cashier, “One ticket to Atlantic City, please”

How much difference does it make?

2 Sep

How much difference does it make?

You can work out your body for years building muscles that protrude from other muscles only to have them atrophy to nothing in a few quick months of a little sloth.

You can spend years creating a fortune only to see it lost in moments due to a lapse in judgment or worse, something outside your realm of control.

You can spend years of your life and soul creating a family only to have them wiped out in the blink of an eye at the hand of a wild eyed killer or an inebriated driver.

You build relationships, they go away. You have ideas, you  forget them. You cook food, it gets eaten.

Even the tallest grandest mountains erode at the hand of wind, water and time.

Nothing is permanent not even the stain on your favorite shirt.

You’re born, you die.

I ask again, how much difference does it make?