Monday, September 28, 2009

Stagnation's Purpose

This is Part 4 of my Mid-Live Crisis series.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every event under heaven.

"I would watch you sleep in my arms or in your crib," she said long, long ago. "I'd be loving not only you, but every breath you took."

That worked both ways. One of my earliest memories was loving her scent. I most definitely was a Daddy's Girl, but she was my first addiction. Decades later, when life began breaking my heart with disappointments, she was the drug I turned to, the one that would console me.

"I know you love me," she said matter-of-factly, sometime before I recognized that she was become more fragile with age. "Just don't lose your mind when I die."

I laughed then, but until this year, it never occurred to me that it could be a possibility.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Book

This is Part 3 of my Mid-Life Crisis Series.

Her name is Life. She's an old soul who wrote a book all about me. She enjoys drama, mystery, comedy, and occasionally, tragedy. Just when I think I figured out the plot and how a chapter will end, she'll throw in a surprise to see how the main character - me - along with the others, will handle it.

I imagine I'm in the middle of the book. The author is tricky though. Since I can't see the end of the chapter I'm in, nor the upcoming ones, I don't really know. The story could end at anytime.

One chapter this year was putting me to sleep. Not only did I, the main character, feel like not doing a damn thing, but it's secondary character, a spirit named Stagnation, was boring. For months, I couldn't understand his purpose. No one else could either, including my kids.


"Mom," my daughter Casey said, "You don't do anything anymore. You're too quiet. I think you're depressed. Maybe meds would help."

"I ain't depressed," I replied, probably smoking a cigarette and staring off into space. "I'm just thinking."

Yeah, and now thinking how ain't no way in hell anyone is ever medicating me. I work through my own got-damned problems without pills, booze, weed or drugs.

Casey looked like she was trying to choose her next words carefully.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Line

This is Part 2 of my Mid-Life Crisis series.

The line of those I had served was long, and stretched back decades.

In it were Spirits.

They came in all sizes, sometimes in teams and other times alone. Many were anticipated; others were not.

Some of their names were Expectations, Wild Hope, Love, Betrayal, Abortion, Regrets, Study Hard, College Success, Workaholism, Lethal Client Secrets, Lost Youth, Sexism, Racism, Compromise, Mo' Success, Great Dick, Endless Dating, Tired O'Dating, Adoption, Wee Bits O'Fun, Middle Age, Parenting A'Loony Teen, Burnout, Grim Reaper, Irrational Guilt, Mo Burnout, and Loneliness.

Every now and then, Dumb Luck would show up, but she hadn't been around in awhile. Now at the head of the line was Stagnation.

Like some of the others, this mofo was a Customer Service Rep's nightmare, and like the larger Spirits served before him, I could not see behind him. I'd come to hate this friggin' job. Problem was, it was the only one around.

"What can I do for you, biatch," I hissed.

"Nothing," Stagnation hissed back. "Absolutely nothing. Do that, and I'll be satisfied."

I glanced at my supervisor, Life.

She nodded.

I complied.


This was Part 2 in my series, Mid-Life Crisis.
To be continued...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mid-Life Crisis, Part 1
Dragging A Horse To Water
Is No Substitute

"I have a spot on my lungs," he revealed.

I lit another cigarette and nodded with understanding.

He smiled and lit another one too.

(Excerpt, Part 5 or 6)


Yeah, I know that sounds fucked up, and on some level it is, but it was one of those you had to be there moments.

I hardly knew Rocco when he said these words to me. He's my new roommate. I felt not sadness when he revealed this, but a strange camaraderie - that past week back in mid-July, I had been coughing up a spat of blood each morning.

But lemme first go back even further in time, and later I'll continue with this part of the story.

This is Part 1 of my new series, Mid-Life Crisis.


The New Year brought not the blues, but the lighter version of the blahs. My past remedy was to throw myself into work or doing nice shit for people, usually fam or friends but not always.

Work was thin in 2008. It wasn't a bad year, and politically it was so exciting that I began blogging. In my free time, I was generous with folks who needed help. Problem was, toward the end of that year, I wasn't picky enough with whom I shared my time and energy.

There's a concept called The Law of Diminishing Returns. As a relationship or project begins, the more you give, the more you get back. This works only up to a certain point. Then you began to get back less.

This 'law' particularly applies to business, but also dating, friendships, and parenting. It meshes nicely with another concept in the addictions field called co-dependency. That's when you do way too much for others, stuff they can and should do for themselves. Instead you carry their burden or responsibility.

The blowback comes when you meet apathy, resistance or even hostility while trying to help someone. They might have a hidden agenda and be using you, or they might not really want your help, although they may hint otherwise or outright lie that they do.

The more people involved, the more complicated the relationship dynamics. Think of the sickest office you've ever worked in, and how often it's only a few folks - usually with one or two near or at the top of the hierarchy who allow shit to happen - and together they screw it up for everyone else. We've seen this on political levels since time began, and chances are, you've been in a tight relationship with someone like that.

They keep the drama going so the problems can't be fixed. If you dig around and find out the real reasons and motivations of this person or these people, they may retaliate and try to fuck you over in ways that make you think they've never heard of the words ethics or honesty, and they like being like that.

So if you're feeling like you're getting the 'No good deed will go unpunished' treatment, or being used by a friend, lover, spouse, group, or place of employment, it's time to walk away - particularly if the situation ain't really worth it, or if that special someone or others are apathetic or scared to fight for change. Stick around too long trying to help make things better in your quest for inner fulfillment or altruistic motives, and you may end up suffering from a mean case of burnout.

As my late father used to say often, "You can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Keep trying to make that pony drink to quench your own thirst for his or her well-being, and you'll burn out before he does.

The thing is, I almost always pick up clues of pathology in others in the beginning, but ignored my inner voice - the one that so often whispers, not shouts - its warning that all is not well.

Wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been so lonely...


This was Part 1 in my series, Mid-Life Crisis.
To be continued...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Got My Mojo Back

Got my mojo back, and I'm sharp as blade.

With that blade, I broke that ma'fuckin' chain around my soul.

Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

I'm wired to the Internet again. Learned a great deal this year and this summer in particular. Some of these insights and miracles are raw, dramatic or entertaining, and they're waaay too long to publish in one post. I need to break 'em down.

Blogging, as many of you know, can be intensive and deeply personal. When you stop - as I did - and pull the plug from your computer, tv, and even your life, you run the risk of folks drifting away. So I ain't really sure who's left standing out here in cyberspace.

I ain't one for talking to myself, so if the interest is there I'll throw them up as a series of shorts in the Kit's Essays: Up Close & Personal in My Black America category.

Let me know; I'd like to hear from you. Special thanks to those who dropped me a line or left comments over the summer or had me in your thoughts or prayers.

~ Kit