Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: Spring training is upon us!

Rockin' and rollin'

Rockin' and rollin'
The author of Mark's Work

Coleus flowers

Coleus flowers
Why I grow flowers

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast

HeadSodBuster and BossLady at the coast
Love is the greatest power.

Beauty abounds!

Beauty abounds!
Heinz tomatoes, used for catsup

If you've seen one butterfly, you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.

If you've seen one butterfly,  you've seen 'em all, said no one ever.
Painted Lady

Fall Jewels

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Praying mantis, attending services on a zinnia...

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017

My souvenir from Reggae on the River, 2017
Something I have always wanted...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Monday, December 5, 2016

I Fucked Up

This is part two of "Encore," in which I get to the nitty-gritty.

I Fucked Up

I fucked up. Let me get that right out there, with no beating around the bush, no extenuating circumstances and no attempts to gloss over my actions. I mean, there was nothing wrong with what I did, or why I did it, but the timing was so abysmally bad, that there is no getting around it: I fucked up.

The venue was Camp Wente, a multi-purpose facility located a few minutes east of Willits, and the site of my middle son’s wedding. Ben had secured the location, met with the powers that be and signed the papers. One of the rules set forth at this time, was that this was a cannabis-free environment.
This news had been conveyed to me in a timely manner, I had baked up a bevy of gluten-free, homegrown, cosmically-enhanced oatmeal cookies, and I was ready for action-ready for danger. No one need ever be aware that I was violating the terms of the agreement with my cookies.

You see, the cookies were not an option for me. I had completed my therapy dealing with panic-attack syndrome the previous year, and it was now time to flex my newly developed muscles. I was going to attend the first wedding of my life, during which I would not have to be petrified that I would have a panic attack.

Dr. Jill had furnished the written material, I had met with her seven times, I spent the following winter digesting and testing, and I had rid myself of a 48 year-old albatross. People bandy the term “panic attack” around these days like a tennis ball, but I am here to tell you that it’s no game.

I could not be in the center of a mass of humanity, for fear that a sudden noise, an unexpected turn of events-or anything that took me by surprise, would send me into a tailspin. What did that look like? My face would turn chalk-white, I would start panting, sweating, hyperventilating, and my knees would rapidly melt down.

Failure to get out from wherever I was, meant a dead faint-away. Have you ever fainted? I don’t mean collapsed in exhaustion into a chair. I mean just drop off the face of the cliff, into nothingness. One second you are moving forward in a disoriented cloud of confusion, and the next you are trying to get back on your feet, while trying to figure out what just ran over you.  

It kind of took the luster out of anticipating upcoming family events.

To be able to even attempt it, I relied on cannabis to get me through the rough patches, and settings with lots of people were the roughest. Don’t ask me why-it’s a form of claustrophobia that has always been a part of my molecular makeup.

It took me 45 years to figure out that the reason I was always able to attend [GASP!] LA Dodgers games, and all of those concerts at the best and brightest of SoCal’s music venues in my youth, was because I was always wasted. 

Whereas cannabis creates a panicky feeling in those not accustomed to it, I might suggest that I got past that stage, before I even entered it. I have a mood spectrum disorder that is kept far more even with cannabis, than I have a right to expect. 

That’s the background; that’s why I baked the cookies. I wanted to see if the therapy would work because as the father of the groom, I was going to be in the spotlight. Spotlights blind me and I lose my footing easily, but with a little help from my friend, I could do this.

It was a dark and stormy night, both literally and metaphorically. The rain hammered the venue, obviously not caring about the joyous event taking place within, attempting its best to put a damper on the scene. All of those people were trapped indoors and it was harder for some than for others.

A long-time homie, going back to 1982, was there at the wedding, along with his family. He was struggling for the exact same reasons I was struggling, except that he had never seen a therapist to help him sort it out.

He hit me up, “Dude, I need to get outta here and you know, fire one up. You know this place-where can we go?”

There was never any thought in his mind that anything could possibly get in the way of such a reasonable request.

And right here, at this point in the whole sordid affair, is where I could have nipped disaster in the bud. I could have agreed one hundred percent, I could have suggested my truck, out there in the parking lot and we could have gone and taken care of business.

Instead, as the two of us headed across the crowded room towards an obvious exit point, we created a vacuum of immense proportions. Like a pair of pied pipers, we were at the head of a parade and one glance at the faces parading past, answered the question of where we were going.

Again, I could have paused at the door and simply put my hands up in the air in mock surrender.

“I got nothin’ for you!” I could have said. “There’s only room for a couple of us in the cab of my little pickup. It’s pouring outside so do yourselves a favor and stay dry.”

But no, that wasn’t what came out of my mouth. Instead, I heard Markie say, “Look, let’s go up the steps to this big room upstairs, where we were hanging out before the wedding began. That should work out just fine.”

If you believe that, I have a golden bridge you are certain to be interested in.I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.

Tomorrow: “It’s a boy scout camp, for God’s sake.”




2 comments:

  1. I remember that evening.
    And, yes, you are human. You made a mistake. I hope in the follow up we learn that you have forgiven yourself for that mistake. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem. But there is still a lot that must be told. Can you think of a word that rhymes with spigot?

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