Monday, September 1, 2008

So, This is the End of Summer?

Ah Labor Day, a fine day indeed. Summer is coming to a close and soon we’ll have to hunker down as Old Bastard Winter comes slinking in behind the colorful foliage of Fall. I sit here on the back porch, Tootsie my fantastically obese cat screaming in my ear from the window screen. Looking back at the summer of 2008, it seems rather atypical to the summers before it. I missed every “Concert on the Square”. Not once did I venture out with that giant Jolly Roger and a gaggle of cohorts to claim our own stake of grass for heavy drinking and a gluttonous feast from a recent pillaging of Trader Joe’s.

Jesus! Two hornets, in what must have been some sort of domestic dispute, just feel from the sky and landed like a stone on the keyboard. This is supposed to be a day of rest and relaxation. I didn’t come out here on the back porch to me menaced my Mother Nature! I waved my hand in one fell swoop and brushed them aside. I was always taught as a child to avoid panic when provoked by any javelin wielding insect. This must have explained how once as a very small child playing in the sand-box, I left my Dum-Dum sucker outside by the box’s edge. Growing up “technically” lower-class, I was also taught, “Waste not. Want not.” So, I ventured out to recover my sugary treat on a stick. None of this is visibly retrievable in the brain, even for how traumatic it sounds. Upon returning to my sucker, I was confronted by a swarm of honey bees that were swooping down like tiny turkey vultures after my sticky sucker. Like I said earlier, I have no recollection of this event, but as my mother would tell it; I came into the house, minus the Dum-Dum, balling my eyes out. She said she counted 14 stingers in my neck. A guaranteed death sentence to any poor bastard with a severe allergy!

I came out here to read, drink and write a little. I look up to find a hole in the awning of the roof. That must be the gates to the hive? Maybe I should grab the can of spray Shellac. Stand real tall on the folding chair and blast the buggers with a long dousing of sealant, forever entombing them in a sticky translucent barrier. That way they can watch me write, and only pray other colonies don’t cross me in the future. This manic notion quickly passed as I considered the fact that the whole gang may come tearing out before the sealant has the two minutes it needs to fully set. Besides, Shellac isn’t cheap, and I need to be out in the sun today. I feel like I’m lacking in vitamin D.

What was I pondering? Yes! This summer has been different. I also have not once made it to Devils Lake. A staple of the last three summers. I now feel that I can’t bother trying to go in the next four weeks. That would just come off as some hastily arranged last ditch effort to feel normal again. Who am I kidding? Normal is purely subjective. For the last two months my body has been heavily medicated with numerous chemicals. Some prescribed and others not; all a part of this bloody odyssey whose end still seems out of sight.

As soon as my financial stability was put into jeopardy, I realized something was a foul, or maybe had been for longer than I would like to admit. I’ve chained myself to the modern American ethos of debt and years of repayment. I can’t just run off to Guatemala, I’ve only had two years of high school Spanish! No. It is time to face the music. This song has been playing on and off in the elevator of your life for too long to ignore. Now I have to start listening.

I could go into mass details and over embellished explanations, but the sun is creeping around the house at and increasing rate. A summer spent hunkered down inside one’s own mind guarantees a serious burn, come the time you finally step out into the sun. So, to make a long story enjoyable to the masses; I admitted myself into psychotherapy in an effort to avoid an Amy Winehouse fiasco that the national tabloids will want no part of. Lots of talking, tissues and pills have pushed me to where I am today.

I know that I’ve come a long way in a rather short amount of time, but there still seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe there isn’t… maybe I’m just getting comfortable with the dark. That sounds kind of ominous. I’ve hated emo kids for as long as I can remember, and maybe that’s only because I was afraid to acknowledge my own negative emotions. However, I still feel that romanticizing depression is not a cure in and of itself. No, a path like that will find you with a shitty haircut that cost too much, and will be laughed at by your children someday.

I’m not sure why I’m compelled to share this with others. Maybe I feel an obligation to all those who wonder what happened to me. An active social life has pretty much been a Band-Aid on an oozing sore. I’m not casting it off as some charade that I’ve pulled over everyone for the last five years. I still dance. I still dance a lot. There is just some heavy work that needs to be done, and no Pirate Potluck, or dance party will make effective progress.

If I plan on keeping “Dance Machine” as a valid pseudonym, I’m going to have to make public appearances now and then. Be patient friends. I have not forgotten about you, and please try not to forget about me. I will come around in my own time.

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