The Deadly Secret

November 4, 2011

 

The Deadly Secret

 

I’ve heard that term so many times.  never thought it would apply to me. It did.

 

I had trouble breathing 4 -6 months ago.

 

Months went by and my left arm went back and forth from slight pain to numbness sometimes. My chest was occasionally tight. My breath was short and became shorter every few days. My little secret. My deadly secret.

 

Deadly secret.

 

I mentioned it briefly to a couple people but I wrote it off as a panic attack or being out of shape and they agreed. No big deal. I took extra anxiety medications. It sort of went away. I tried to convince myself it went away. I’m too young to have a heart condition, right? So I kept my deadly little secret.

 

I went back to my cigarette smoking, too much coffee drinking and over eating bad foods. Ate, drank and smoked as much as I wanted for a few months ignoring the arm pain and shortness of breath.

 

My deadly secret was about to surface. It started off like most days. I woke up in the morning and had my usual several cups of coffee, an energy drink and as many cigarettes as I could smoke. No breakfast for this guy.

 

After a long urination, my breathing became difficult. I assumed it was anxiety or another panic attack so I took my anxiety meds and was stupid enough to light a cigarette. I’m always stupid enough to light a cigarette.

 

I had to put the cigarette out before it was finished. This went against one of the rules of my smoking rulebook. Rule 3: Never put out a cigarette before it is finished. You can see how serious this was getting that I broke a smoking rule.

 

I decided to go the hospital. My roommate was home and asleep because it was Labor Day.  I didn’t want to bother him. I packed a bag and wandered to my car. It got worse. I tried to get in my car and couldn’t make it. I stumbled back in the house.

 

I tried to wake up my roommate but didn’t have the energy to do much more than knock and slightly shout his name. No answer.

 

I called 911. I couldn’t breathe and figured an ambulance can get me oxygen faster than driving to the hospital. I searched for a small paper bag to use to breathe in and out of. All I could find was a paper grocery bag. I used it until the medics arrived.

 

The medics arrived within 5 minutes or so. Luckily the hospital was close by. I was put on oxygen right away and wheeled away into the ambulance by 3 or 4 medics. It was so nice to breathe.

 

I spent 6 hours or so in the emergency room and was diagnosed with bronchitis and discharged. There was a huge note on the release forms that said “DO NOT SMOKE” so of course I smoked while I called my roommate for a ride home.

 

It was hot and humid when I got home and I had trouble breathing. Our air conditioner was broken so I called my mom and asked if I could sleep there. I packed my over night bag etc and settled in at my mom’s.

 

I had one more cigarette and tried to sleep. The symptoms all came back and my heart hurt this time. My mom drove me back to the hospital and after hours in the emergency room I was admitted with a heart attack and I was to have triple bypass heart surgery asap.  I did.

 

This all could have been avoided if I didn’t keep such deadly secrets.

 

 

 

 


Suck My Poem (reprise pt1)

August 1, 2011

Sleepless in New Jersey. Catatonic.

 

Careless. Reckless in my mind. My mind.

 

Count my fingers to pass time.

 

Count sheep at 2 in the afternoon.

 

I’d count my failures but there’s too many.

 

I’m ok.

 

You’re ok.

 

Stuper dooper.

 

Hands wander over my belly into my tight shorts.

 

Quick tug to make sure it’s there.

 

Light a cigarette. Ha. Always light a cigarette.

 

Sleep 10 hours straight then go out then come back and take a 3 hour nap and woke up 5 pm yesterday.

 

No sleep yet. Almost. Sort of. Kind of. Ya know? I know

 

Oh . . . I know.

 

Doze. Wake. No focus. No nothing nada.

 

Try to eat. My stomach is bloated from the water and anti stress tea I drank to make up for the coffee and / / /

 

Ever contemplate death mr Goodpeoples? Not me. Well, not by my own hand.

 

Sex is a foreign country. Relationships are memories so far buried it’s like I’m reading someone else’s story.

 

Not hard to understand myself but I always ask why am I like this? I know why. Sometimes I just won’t tell myself.

 

27 trips to the bathroom. Or was it 30?

 

My best thinking is when I am in the bathroom or on my way to the bathroom or on way back from the bathroom.

 

Pay my rent so I can try and sleep. Waiting. Still waiting. Wabbling.

 

Bullets of words blast through my my my my   . . . .  and hit you softly.

 

A parade of sweat falls everywhere. . . anywhere. I’m burning.

 

Tired.

 

Until.

 

What?


Livin’ the Dre .a . . uh . . . Cliche

June 21, 2011

I sit once again in the comforts of the coffee shop in Collingswood, NJ. I’ve always liked this place. The décor and the music. The owners are great. The workers are great. There’s always an interesting mix of customers. Some I know and most I don’t know. This may become a new hobby of mine: hanging at the Groove Ground in Collingswood. Writing. Drinking coffee.  Living the dream. Living the cliché.

 

I always thought that the people sitting on their computers typing away at a coffee shop were douche bags. Hey look at me. I’m a writer.

 

Yesterday it was slow and casual in here and I had odd conversations with truly weird people. The good kind. The ones that aren’t phony or pretentious just off the wall naturally. I like misfits that are real. In a progressive town like Collingswood it’s hard to separate real people from posers. Down to earth interesting people versus fake pretentious “hipsters”. They do what they think is cool because their little crowd are into it. They are usually the ones that see me reading John Fantte and know who he is. They make comments on my John Waters or William S Burroughs T-shirts. They fool me at first.

 

I assume because they like what I like then they might be cool. Unfortunately I am into a lot the “hipster” culture. I like the things I like because I like it, ya know? I get into a movie or a writer from someone I know that says “Hey Rich. Check out this (fill in the blank) if you like (fill in the blank). I usually end up liking it. I used to dream about hanging out with people with common interests. It was always the hipsters. I tried and saw how annoying and fake these people are. The more I immersed myself in the culture the more I disliked the people and could spot one a mile away.

 

I guess I’m judgmental but who gives a fuck?

So today the Groove Ground was crowded and loud when I walked in and nowhere to sit. I was ok with that because there were seats outside and I could smoke and drink coffee and write at the same time. I bought my drink and found a seat and settled in. The crowd dispersed. As some of then left I noticed their styles were similar to mine. Same glasses. Same hat that I wore yesterday. When I looked at each one I thought “douche!”.  At least I’m not wearing leather sandals like this “douche” “hipster” standing next to me right now.

 

Fuck it. I’m over it already. Just wanted to write about it.

 

My life is still moving along with or without them.

 

I might be living the cliché but I’m also living the dream. My dream, my thoughts, my life. Me.

 

Maybe I’m the cliché douche judgmental pretentious self righteous hipster. Ya know what? Right now I don’t care. It gave me something to write about for the day, right?

EDITOR’S (that’s me) NOTE: I got a better look at the guy with the hat and realized I knew him and he is a pretty cool guy and not a hipster. I guess my Hipstdar isn’t on all of the time. My Gaydar still works for what it’s worth.


Heat

July 7, 2010

I always have an obsession or obsessions with various topics or things. Usually topics that bore other people or they find uninteresting. One time I was obsessed with being obsessed. It’s had it’s good points and bad. Too much of anything is bad for a guy like me so over all it’s not good. This brings me to my new obsession. The heat. High temperatures and their effects on me.

As far back as I can remember I have always hated the extreme heat and especially hate to sweat. I hate that dirty nasty feeling I get from sweating. I even hate to sweat during sex. I don’t like to exercise because I don’t like to sweat. I’ve avoided the heat as much as I could through most of my life. Once I discovered air-conditioning I was hooked.

About fifteen years ago I discovered that it might not be the heat. It might only be the humidity. I traveled to the west coast for the first time in 1997. Actually, it was the second time. It was my first time as an adult. Throughout Washington, Oregon, California Arizona and Nevada I didn’t sweat and found that the heat didn’t bother me that much. I remember one day in Phoenix, Arizona it was 113 degrees outside and I didn’t break a sweat. It was hot and bothered me a little but it was nothing compared to an 83 degree day in New Jersey. Up until then I wondered if my problem with the heat was in my head.

Part of it is in my head too I’m sure. I also have extreme allergies in the summer and can’t be around fresh cut grass, trees, plants etc without having a reaction. I subconsciously associate the heat with my allergies.

Top it off I’m on some medications that are not a great combination with the heat. They make me really tired if I’m in the heat too long and I also can’t eat. I end up eating later in the evening when it’s cooler out. I know this is no good for me.

This year I swore that I was not going to complain about the heat. I was going to deal with it and not say a word. Easier said than done this year. I lost my job six weeks ago and I am home more and spend more time on my porch outside so I can smoke while I write. This is also the worst year for record high temperatures in years. It was 103 degrees today. Of course I am inside more than outside when it gets this hot but I feel tired and lethargic and sick from the heat.

I started looking up articles online to see the heat’s effects on various types of people. It affects people with mental illnesses the elderly, the young, the obese, and people with different medical conditions taking different medications. So, it’s not entirely in my head.

Even so, I am still obsessed with the heat and I keep reading articles all day. I keep checking the weather on and off all day and reading the warnings on the news. Meanwhile, I am writing this on my 91 degree porch at 10:44 pm.  I am 89 % tired, 5% miserable, 4% grateful and 2% sick.


I Love to Smoke – Found Pic of the Day

June 30, 2010


Global Warming & Cigarette Smoking

June 23, 2010

Heat first. Every year I try so hard not to complain about the heat. I try to deal with it and hide in the air conditioning until the summer is over. Problem is that my current living situation doesn’t allow me to smoke inside. I love sitting on my porch with my cigarettes, coffee and laptop when it’s less than 77 degrees but once the heat and humidity crawl in I go crazy. Sure, I’m sure you’re probably thinking “smoke less” or “quit smoking” but I don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to quit smoking. I love to smoke. For some reason I seem to be more creative when I’m smoking and drinking coffee. It’s n my head. I know that. I used to think that I would never be creative without drugs or drinking. That’s changed. So, I’d rather sweat it out on the porch just so I can smoke than work inside the cool air-conditioned house.

After this last month of being unemployed I’ve finally balanced my time. I spend so much time outside and so much time inside. I spend so much time looking for a job and so much time writing. I go to my meetings pretty much the same time every day. I go to bed and get up around the same time every day. It’s not a tight schedule but it’s better than the habits I was falling into. It might sound boring but it works for me until I find a job or the weather gets cooler or I make a living off of my art. The heat has at least helped force me to schedule a routine in my life.

My enemy has become an unexpected ally.


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