Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The First Doctor (Zombies, Psychiatrists, Stephen King, oh my!)

It had to have been a good year after my first suicide attempt when I woke up on that cold October morning. The double wide trailer we stayed in was all too big for a little guy like me. I was almost untainted by the world at that point, especially from medications and doctors. I knew I had to go to one today. As I lay in bed and watched the world pour down outside my brother and I’s window I began to feel a little bit emptier than I normally did. I decided to get out of bed and lay under it. I figured zombies were too stupid to bend over so that gave me an advantage.
                I had just watched Return of the Living Dead part two for the umpteenth time and I was even less scared of it than the first time I saw it. No, I wasn’t scared of the zombies in that video. I was scared of the real life zombies that must be walking around somewhere in the world at that very moment. I never bought any of that crap that the good guys always won (I was proved right with the first movie in that series, in the end instead of the army resolving their zombie mess they just nuke that small town in Kentucky. I suppose that’s where our minds were as a nation back in 1984…) and I decided that things in real life were far more complicated than the movies let on.
                Take the cops for example. When I had my break down there wasn’t any supportive people by my side, no… The school called the cops and I was handcuffed and brought to a mental facility. I learned later on that the children’s ward of anywhere charges more for kids to stay than the adults. That’s where most places make their money.
                Anyways cops… They’re dicks.
I knew my mother was up and my little brother had been awake for some time now. When I was a kid with my brother it honestly was like we lived in two separate worlds apart from each other. When we weren’t fighting we were… Actually I am not quite sure how he spent the majority of his time? I was blissfully oblivious to him, and he to me.
                From what I could hear, he was playing my Sega Genesis. That was fine with me because I had just gotten a new Goosebumps book. I think it was the one about the dummy. I had already read it but most of those books were like my shadow early on. I remember I read every one of them and foolishly hoped that someone would die in one of them like they did in the movies. To be truthful I always hoped it would be a character around my age at the time. Bad stuff happening to kids just felt real to me. I always wondered why the younger ones were always left alone in those movies. Sure the people dying were young enough but for my sake it would have been cool if a serial killer decided to check under the bed for the little ones he was so eagerly trying to dice up.
                But that was in the movies. I was too smart to think anyone would have any beef with my family. At least I never thought that at the time. No… What I had to worry about was the undead. My parents and brother were suckers for walking around in broad view like they were doing. If I could just keep myself safe until we went to the doctor’s then I would be OK.
                Did I mention it’s near impossible to read a book while under a bed? It really is because there’s no place to put the dang book. But I kept it by me as if it were some sort of mace can, ready to be emptied into the face of the intruder at a moment’s notice. I didn’t know how exactly it would defend me but the idea was there, as undeveloped as it was.
                My mother never bought my whole undead army coming after me thing. She reasoned they’d have more important people to eat. I never told her this but I held out secret hopes that I just might be the result of an adoption. My real parents were smart and sophisticated people who just happened to have a baby they didn’t want. I never had any ideas about me being someone special but I did have aspirations of one day finding out that I was never related to the people that I currently lived with.
                As soon as my mother stepped through the door with my toast and egg I could see her feet from under the bed. They stood frozen for a moment and I knew she was taking a head count.
                “David!” She cackled. Her feet came closer to the bed. “Get the hell out of there now!” Her voice sounded hoarse. Drink much?
                Then again it could have been the cigarettes. I hated her for smoking those. I never had the best breathing in the world and whenever we were in the car it drove me nuts!
                “Get out from under there and eat! Then get dressed!”
                I was never one to really rebel against authority so I took my chances with the zombies and got out from under my bed. I was dressed only in an extra-large green night shirt and some tighty whiteys. At that point in my life I had no shame about my body. That would come later.
                I took the plate from her hand and she put the other one on my brother’s bed. She never told him it was there, it was sort of implied. As if my mother had better things to do than to explain that she had just made this meal for us out of her own volition and that it was intended for our consumption.
                After a cold glance my way she exited the room. I sat on my bed next to the plate and looked at the meal before me. Something special had ceased to be ever since the whole mess started. It was as if one day somebody turned the depression switch in me on and none of these people that were in  my life now were helping any. It just made me feel more like a dead butterfly on display and it was their job to explain how I ceased to be. What about my tattered wings could tell them about how I lived?
                I was only ever asked general questions. And in honesty I think I could of only have given general answers at that point in my life because to be honest, why I felt the way I did was beyond me. I was just happy for hot showers. Not that we were struggling, we probably were but that never came to mind.
                For what we lacked in material things we made up with food. We never had an empty fridge. And if I’d known how much trouble everything would turn into just because of it I probably would have been a strict anorexic from an early age. The ensuing years bombarded me with healthy looking kids and young men and it’s forever fucked with my sense of self.
                I was small for my age and always was. My family isn’t exactly a tall one but they definitely had an edge over me. That was OK for then though, I wasn’t too bothered by it just yet. After all, I was only like eight or nine so I was sure I’d grow into things like the way kids did in those videos they were starting to show us in school. There was none of the puberty talk just yet but they were getting there. For now I was pretty much a young kid with no idea how anything worked other than my Nintendo controller. I made Mega Man go left to right, up to down, and such. That was good enough for me.
                Except for the books I was reading. I had a lot of Stephen King but to be honest it was just me peacocking. I never read any of them and whenever I tried it bored me to tears. I wanted the monster to just come out and kill people. What the fuck was character development? I wanted blood!
                Only years later I would find out that the books I had were indeed very graphic and to be honest I think my whole little world would have been over thrown if I had actually read one of his books from beginning to end. I never knew he was so fucked up.
                As of this writing I hope I get to meet him before he dies, which statistically speaking he would be more likely than I will to kick over anytime soon. Then again I could die by forgetting a red light and walking in front of a Mack truck during rush hour. But my money is on Stephen King making maggot buddies with death before I do.
                Not to say I’m hoping he will die anytime soon. I’m just saying he’s old. Like really old… And tall. If I knew how tall he was early on I may have viewed him differently. I never have trusted tall people. They have too much life going for them to ever leave me alone to be a miserable little bastard. They always butted in and pretended to want to help. I knew that they would turn on me given the slightest interest in the subject.
                They wanted me to go back in handcuffs. That’s what adults liked to do to people smaller than they are. I was sure of it. One perfect example was my gym teacher. She was always telling me that I needed to make a five minute mile even when I was having bad asthma attacks on the field. If I had had known that that’s what they were at that tender age then maybe I would have had more ammunition to work with when negotiating the logistics of my little legs making enough strides to constitute a mile in five minutes or less. The thin kids did it just fine. Of course they liked to gloat about it and I can’t say for certain that they meant to make me feel bad about it, they just did.
                Fuck them. I mean… Fudge them, I never started to cuss until I moved to Colorado. So pardon my French at least for a little while here.
                Kids are stupid. Adults are conniving. I just wanted to go back under the bed and hide from the zombies again. I looked at my toast and eggs with dismay. My brother had paused his game and was digging into his plate and I envied him for it. He was always happy for whatever life presented. I hated him for his contentment yet of course I loved him the way that brother’s do, which is you only cared about each other if something bad had happened to either one. Otherwise it was business as usual. Sometimes I think back to those times and sort of realize that we were basically acting like dogs pissing out our territory. Everything in the room had an owner. And it was either mine or his. There was no grey area and I doubt there are any between brothers so young.
                He was going to school that day, that made me a little happier at least. It was a rainy day and I was going to get to enjoy it in the car on the way over to the doctor’s office. I loved to ride in the front passenger seat of the Mercury and just make out patterns in the rain drops that fell onto the front side window. It passed the time and I got to imagine the passing places were actually ruined crypts. Our cities had become tombs and I was an unsuspecting college student too stupid to not investigate.
                But as for the task at hand, my toast had gone limp from all the butter on it and my eggs were microwaved, not stove cooked. Eggs always tasted like Styrofoam when you cooked them in the microwave. I felt as if I had been given a little less respect than I thought I had coming to me.
                Mother could’ve fixed them on the stove… But this was fine I guess. After thinking about it for a few minutes I just sighed and ate everything on my plate like a good southern boy. I never once thought of myself as a hick but it was things like cooking eggs in a microwave when your mother is a chef by trade. It just didn’t seem right to me. It was a contradiction, I was starting to fall in love with the idea. Everything about my life seemed to be one.
                I never once thought I was playing any sort of game with the people in my life. It just sort of became my personality. It has always been my experience that anything good will leave you. It never failed. Even at that early age I was always expecting someone close to me to just either drop dead or beat me, proving to me that that person was indeed a pompous dick.
                I dressed in my some oversized t-shirt and put on some of my khakis. Blue jeans are a new thing to me to be honest. I just never thought during that time in my life that I looked anywhere near decent enough in them to warrant buying a pair. For some reason though I thought khakis and green corduroy  would hide my expanding body. I never left the house without my oversized Microsoft hoodie. I remember getting it from a donor at Christmas and I was stoked about it. I could fit my whole body in it at the time and I love to curl up into myself and hide from the world.
                I don’t think I ever thought of myself as being miserable back then. It was just a state of mind. Every day was rainy and dreary in my eyes. I never had rose tinted glasses, I always had a pair of ultra UV ray blocking sunglasses to protect me from the blinding stupidity of life.
                As my brother went into the living room to negotiate his way into staying home I took my Goosebumps book and put it with the others in the cardboard box next to my bed. What can be seen as OCD now was easily mistaken as a normal little hobby. I remember always getting upset whenever I found a wrinkle on the cover or a soda stain on one of the pages and just throwing the whole thing out. It wasn’t just books eithers, it was movies, games, clothes, anything. It had to be perfect otherwise it was flawed, and that reminded me too much of my own imperfection. It had to go.
                But luckily that morning all forty two of my books (always in even numbers) were in mint condition. I was still a few years from beanie babies so I would like to say I wasn’t too bad at that point.
                Then again I could always get weird about it too. Sometimes I would only collect things with flaws. Like after the mint books lost their appeal I started buying used books. They have a certain smell and look to them that appealed to me. If I had known at the time I would of considered this punk but it was a whole new sensation, imperfection! The sad thing is that this became an obsession unto its own self. I remember whenever I got a brand new book after that I would have to wear it in before it could join the other books in my book box. It had to be up to code. I think some small part of me wanted it to fit in with the others so it wouldn’t be the outcast. I don’t know why I apply human characteristics to everything but it still comes through every now and then to this day. Especially with books. I almost feel like I’m adopting them whenever I buy one. Like the book’s previous owner was neglectful and hated it so much that he / she just threw it away out into the cold and uncaring world.
                I think I’d be apt to punch someone if I ever saw a book burning in progress.
                The wet toast and eggs gave me a stomach ache. I remember being groggy too. I had just recently started taking medications and they were fucking my shit up something awful. In fact I don’t think I was conscious much during most of my adolescent years. It was just sort of one big, loud blur or my father yelling and me falling asleep whenever I got into a comfortable position.
                I knew the zombie thing was stupid. But part of me has always warned that I am a stupid ugly little fucker and that anything I believe in is probably not true anyways. I knew how the world worked but I just wanted to stay in my bubble for as long as I could without getting any older or taller. I thought of being an adult and that scared the shit out of me. I was in no shape for such thoughts so I generally drowned out all stimuli with Nintendo and horror movies.
                My brother lost out on the battle and was soon out the door into the rain and off to the bus stop. I can say I did feel a little bad about it. I never had grasped the severity of my actions before a certain age (sometimes I still feel like I am incapable of feeling these things even now) and I just saw the doctor as a nice little distraction from school. I’d just be sitting in class already knowing what Miss Longshore was teaching and I felt bad about wasting her time. I was also nodding out a lot which always embarrassed me because she always chose to wake me up during class whenever I got to the point I was snoring. That’s like waking a sleep walker mid stride. I think they say you shouldn’t wake people like that because the embarrassment would be so much that they’d be libel to grab the nearest pen and stab their left eye out if for anything but to get away from the situation. That and the pain medications too.
                I don’t remember how long I sat staring at my empty plate but my mother soon surfaced after the scuffle with my brother and took it back into the kitchen for me. I had wanted to do it and make her happy but I knew that I’d just get the same dull expression if I did it anyways so I opted to have her come to me. At least it would make her a little more responsive if she had to come to me. It wasn’t necessary to do this but I still had no fucking idea how to get positive reactions out of any of my family. It was sort of like a horrible crap shoot from hell where if I’d landed on snake eyes I would of most likely have been put out in the shed for the remaining season if I even burped at the wrong person.
                It’s sort of like dominating a dog. It won’t ever listen to you until you smack it a few times. I always hated using force to get my way but if I was anything like the dogs I would encounter later than life, I would of beaten the shit out of me to make me act like a normal little kid.
                My thoughts weren’t normal. I knew this, although I liked to think that it would get me somewhere in life, but the reality is that special people usually stay special and wind up being in the care of the state later in life.
                I don’t know why but I began crying, hard. I don’t know what brought it on but it was the same feeling I was having when I looked at my breakfast. I felt like I was existing only to be stupid. The only thought going through my head is that of my grandma telling me that God doesn’t make mistakes. He was too good to make a defective product.
                I countered that God also allowed Satan to continue living. Where exactly were his morals if he was always smiting people and allowing the Devil to be around doing the things he was doing. I remember one Sunday school when I was young when I insisted that they must be in cahoots. Lest to say that I was never popular in those classes.
                This just made me feel even more distant from reality than I already was. When I get really upset nothing is real to me anymore. I think that’s why I liked drugs so much. They gave me that intense feeling of not really being anything in life but a casual observer. With proper knowledge I am figuring that these feelings were my defense mechanism. I know that whenever I went to jail in the past I totally disconnected from everything. Nothing was solid and everything was fluid. I was on auto pilot. I ate, drank, read, and shit, but I was never really there.
                I was putting myself into a funk so I opened my door and walked the two feet to the bathroom, where my mother was putting on her makeup. She didn’t like to be interrupted so I walked back into my room and picked out a Super Nintendo game to play. I was always into the second generation knock off games. Stuff like Plok and Bubsy were always more enticing to me than the standard Mario fare. When I have to think about it I suppose that was my early hipster showing through. It is always a great feeling when you are sure you’ve found something awesome that no one has had the opportunity to look at and fall in love with yet.
                That and I had a preference for black shirts.
                When she was ready she called out to me from the living room. I didn’t even bother to turn off the SNES when I left. I just sort of left it on pause and exited the room. My shoes were the Velcro kind because I still hadn’t grasped the concept of tying my own shoes just yet and to be honest I always felt like a total dick whenever I had to have someone tie them for me. This was for the best, even if somebody brought it up, I knew that I had my limits and I wholly, and depressingly, accepted every flaw I perceived I had with sort of a detached sadness.
                After putting on my shoes I could see my mother in the car already through the fogging living room windows. I had a second thought and went back to my room for a book. It wasn’t though as I even read them things really, I’ve probably only read maybe three out of the forty ones I had, it was more like a totem for me to hold onto to reassure myself that I was safe.
                I had a doll and two stuffed animals (all three of which I still have) that served this function up until the age I realized that everyone would laugh at me if I held onto them in public. So I traded one of three objects for another. It didn’t really matter what book I took with me. It just mattered that I had one.
                Plus people were always impressed when my eight / nine year old self would come into a room holding a book in my small hands. If I wanted to impress someone I would bring a thick book. I basically knew the gist of whatever I had and could usually bullshit my way through a conversation. Even back then people cared dick about books. This of course was in my favor. I know I was at the age most kids are devouring little story time tales by the truck load but I still couldn’t even spell ‘but’ back then. I had to be deemed retarded and put into a special catch up class for reading soon after the events I’m describing. I was young and they were just beginning to find out how fucked up I really am.
                I shouldn’t had eaten those eggs… I had such a bad cramp. Once I got into the car I buckled my seat and we headed out into the rain soaked morning. The grey was comforting and I curled up into a little ball under my hoodie. If a cop would have stopped us he probably would have gotten onto us about how I was sitting with my seatbelt, but thankfully that never happened when I was around (at least while I was violating the seat belt laws at the time.)
                My mother was drinking a Coke-A-Cola and that made me sort of angry. I had seen not even a week before on TV that it was bad to drink and drive. I made myself vocal but was instantly shot down because apparently you could drink certain things in the car while you were driving. I had such a fear of being caught that I never drank anything in any vehicle until well after I was sixteen years old (That is probably about the year that I started to really fall apart, for now the current meds were keeping me settled.)
                I was always bad with names and directions. For some reason I could go to a place a million times and take the same way each time but I’d have to show you where to go because I was always dyslexic when it came to anything involving directions.
                I forgot exactly where this place was but the God honest truth is that it seemed to rain whenever I went there every single time. There was also a pawn shop on the way in the basement of this old decrepit building. I normally went there after t my doctor to look for old Turbografx 16 games. It wasn’t exactly the best system in the world but it had Bonk for it and that was fine by me.
                I think all little kids like playing a bald headed caveman with personal space issues on a shitty game system at one point or another in their lives.
                The doctor’s office was just like I remembered it from the last few times I went. Basically it was a narrow rectangle shaped room with manila paint on the walls. It was clearly made with kids in mind because the floor was always littered with toys. I always skipped over the baby games and went for a magazine. I never read anything but as I said I had a cover to keep up.
                I never had any friends growing up so talking to the doctor was always a plus when it happened. Although I was too young to feel as if I was being played I found out later in life that my parents were fucking with me the entire time. Whenever I told the doctor that I was sad he would give me placebos because my mother would tell him that I have nothing to be sad about. That I was faking it for attention.
                That just irritates me to no end. I hate people who discount mental health. Just like all those dopes who say Kurt Cobain couldn’t of killed himself. It’s always the argument that he had everything going for him therefore he couldn’t of been in the midst of a gut crunching depression.
                Those of us in the know those sort of envy him for his courage.
                That and his knack for being really blond. He was pretty good at that shit.
                I don’t remember the specifics because it was so long ago but I do remember that my mother was always present. To be truthful I felt protected like this. I still had faith in my mother and I was too young to realize she was really a pill popping drunk backstabbing German / Dutch woman who only was looking after herself.
                I wanted French fries… But I was stuck there for at least thirty minutes. So I talked about whatever came to my mind. It’s surprising to me that I was never diagnosed right until recently. I think they saw my unhealthy obsession with round objects and circuit boards as a just some sort of phase. I remember being enamored with stuff like that. It bordered on obsession but it was always swept under the closet door whenever I saw that lady in that small office. It was painted and decorated in the same bright colors as the waiting room but I could swear to you those walls bled the blood of virgins when the lights went out.
                I talked and talked and she kept asking me stupid questions about what I was trying to say. I wasn’t the walking talking David broadcasting system just yet. It was all too new to me. The more I got frustrated the more I just told them that I’d rather be anywhere right now than Earth. I remember she told me that I couldn’t breathe in space or on other known planets and I told her that this was exactly my point.
                I was very young but I still felt like life had skipped out on the check, leaving me to wash dishes to pay off the tab.
                I’d rather be dead than have to wake up to school and this all the time.
                She was crafty though… She would ask me questions that sometimes went over my head but I was in that young phase where I thought I sounded smart if I put a technological spin on things. I didn’t know exactly what the web was back then but I wanted to sound like I did. I thought computer nerds were the most awesomeness that could be contained in human flesh, so naturally I wanted desperately to be one.
                My limitations were always shown to me and I was always brought back down to Earth by this person. I hated coming out of my bubble. In there I had zombies and video games, out in the open like this I just had a bad stomach cramp and soda withdrawal.
                Did I mention I was still skinny? This started the ball rolling toward getting me on those pills that bloated me up like a horny toad.
                I did what any young person would do when I was faced with someone who called me out on everything. I just started making shit up.
                I don’t really know how to end this. Basically I spent thirty minutes talking to a lady who was under the impression that she could wrap her mind around mine. Sometimes I think I told some of the stories I did because I genuinely like telling stories. And the thing about it is that they weren’t exactly lies. It’s all about how you tell it.

For example:
Bad way – I was drinking a cup of coffee when the cat scratched me and I spilled it all over me!
Good way – I was sitting on the sofa on that mild summer day back when I was a kid when Nightingale (my kitty witty, witty woo!) and she was meowing for me to give her a little attention. I was tired I have to admit so I didn’t respond in the timeliest of manners, which upset her greatly. She started pawing at my bare leg until I finally felt a striking pain in my knee; with surprise I jumped out of my seat and took the lightly sweetened coffee with me.
                I don’t know what hurt more, the scratch or the coffee burns!
The Stephen King way – It was a desolate and mild summer’s day in the small town of Duluth Georgia. David McGhee was unaware that he was about to meet a fate worse than a bully’s punch. He had made coffee from some of the instant stuff his parent’s kept in the cupboards just a few minutes before he took a cup and sat down on the family’s well worn out couch. It stood in the living room like a body with its flesh coming off the bones. Probably smelled a little like that too if he remembers correctly…
                Nightingale, his faithful cat companion, spied him from across the room. It all started off innocent enough. David maybe could of paid a little more attention to it and none of this would have ever started…
                She stalked slowly toward him like a lion hunting down its prey. The hunger in her eyes meant she wanted something and she would stop at nothing to get it. As David drank his scolding hot coffee she slinked in between his legs, purring as she did. David did not respond so she began to swat playfully at his bare legs. David giggled at the touch but did not do much else other than stare off into the distant nothingness outside the living room window.
                Her blood went ice cold and she revealed her monstrous bitch woman fangs! She extended her claws and made one mighty swoop for the poor young man’s knee. The pain immediately registered and David made a jump in horror, spilling the scolding death drink onto his lap. Skin began to peel off, revealing the inner layers as bloody as the day he was born.
                It could have been avoided… But instead there was mayhem!

                See? There are ways to tell a good story. Although if I want to be honest with you then I have to say that the most cataclysmic thing produced by that session was a new medication that I was to take.

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