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BY Michael

09/01 Direct Link
I worked a six hour shift today, a long one for me, starting at ten, which is early for me. Got off a half hour early, and the apartment was empty when I got home. Tom and Heather may be out, or they may be moving things. I suspect they are not moving things. Itís a holiday weekend. Tom has mentioned he is short on cash and is juggling expenses to get into his place. I though that he had already paid for it, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I will have a roommate longer than I had anticipated.
09/02 Direct Link
I was going to watch my last movie for the week, Notes on a Scandal, but Iíd already seen it. I picked it out because it had a score by Philip Glass. I picked up the DVD box, scanning the cover, trying to remember having seen it before. But I know what happened. When I was getting my movies by mail, they came in little plain envelopes, so I didnít recognize the movie I saw on the shelf. So I put it away, turning back to the rest of the evening, turning back to wrestle the dusk with tired eyes.
09/03 Direct Link
Itís an uneasy feeling Iím left with after the third day in a row of 100 words not accepting my daily offering. I am assuming that it is a problem with month-end processing and that everyone is experiencing it. Iíll write anyway and tuck the darn things away in my computer for the day it opens up. Perhaps after the holiday when the proprietors return to find that they have complaints in their mail box. If itís not repaired by the sixth of the month, Iíll drop my own complaint in the mail box. Iím sure it is nothing personal.
09/04 Direct Link
I am just not going to think about it. If I donít think about it, it doesnít hurt. Itís as simple as that. And the thinking doesnít help a bit. The writing about it doesnít help. Talking about it doesnít help. Itís like running through the woods. You dodge the trees and you donít get hit in the face. I remember my father telling me after either my first or second divorce, ďNext time son, donít lead with your chin.Ē Itís an interesting concept. I understand the words. I just donít know any other way. I am what I am.
09/05 Direct Link
It was rainy this morning, and is this afternoon now. I slept nine and one-half hours last night, and remember hearing Michael Jr. passing by on his motorcycle on his way to school this morning. I remember it in half sleep because it didnít wake me completely. He has taken the baffles out of the mufflers on his Ninja 500, creating a distinctive sound. There will come a point where I do not hear him at all when he passes. I hope it is not too soon, because I like the sound of him passing through my world that way.
09/06 Direct Link
I watched another movie last night, The Departed. A number of people had recommended it. It looked like it had possibilities, with Nicholson, Dicaprio, Damon, and Wahlberg. And I donít know, several other major holly men I donít recall. Everyone gets killed in the in. All the major characters. I guess it was supposed to be a swipe of life. Iím not sure of the moral message unless it was if you are black you are fucked;, if you are Irish you are fucked; and if you are bad you are fucked. I guess that pretty well sums it up.
09/07 Direct Link
I can hear the apartment maintenance people scraping and cleaning the apartment next door. They have been working on it for a week now. The couple who moved out had lived there for years I believe, Sheila and Franklin, and their son who everyone thought lived here. it must cost a lot of money to prepare an apartment for a new renter. I have been here two years myself now, and am likely to be here a third year. I donít ask for much attention unless something quits working altogether. They must like having me around. Theyíre certainly nice to me.
09/08 Direct Link
I feel like I have been hiding from this place. But I donít think it is true. Yesterday was a difficult day following a difficult night. I start the writing part of today checking out 100 Words and find myself reading through Mathewís stuff. I sent him an email congratulating him on finishing another month, and I saw in his reply he was in Charlevoix, possibly at the Hemmingway convention. He had invited me to join him, I had planned to, but I could not. I am getting better. I am much better, but I am not that much better.
09/09 Direct Link
Taking a break here I see my med boxes and realize that I havenít taken this morningís dose. The morning took off quickly. I got some sleep. I needed some sleep. I felt good. I am momentarily confused about that, about whether I need the meds, although I know I need the thyroid. And I am a little confused because I read I am not to take thyroid with vitamins, or food, or antacids, and there are vitamins in the little box. Shaking my head, I cram the handful of pills in my mouth and come back to the keyboard.
09/10 Direct Link
I got up too early and I had gotten to bed too late. I was so sleepy I was swaying on my feet. Bob called to say Amandaís car was ready. I took a shower and walked to Bobís. I was thinking to just keep the car for the week. Itís an í88 Cabriolet and is fun to drive any way. Itís about a 20-minute walk to Bobís Tire and Auto. Amanda called as I was walking and I offered to drive the car to her in Lansing that morning. ďWe can have lunch when you get here,Ē she said.
09/11 Direct Link
I was at daughter Amandaís apartment tightening the lug nuts on her new tires when she appeared with Dallas, the golden retriever. Amanda got Dallas out of the divorce. I was supposed to have gotten Dallas as Terry abandoned ship to her travel-the-world job while I sorted out the kids, pets, house, and myself. I was too busy to see that she was bailing out and was dumping everything on me. I thought I was dumping on her. I was sick. I had quit/lost my job, Iím not sure which. I guess I quit because I couldnít work any more.
09/12 Direct Link
Did she throw me out because I was sick? She was worried about that, about my telling people that. ďYouíre not going to tell people I threw you out because you were sick, are you?Ē

ďNo, why would I do that?Ē But my brain was spinning with this. I mean, well, that IS on way I could tell myself the story. There are so many ways to tell a story. But the sad fact was that the one thing I had wanted more than anything was for her to please stop coming home on weekends. Just stay in California, please.
09/13 Direct Link
I am hungry now, and I take a break to eat some of the omelet left over from my brunch with Amanda yesterday. The whole thing was left over. We went to the International House of Pancakes, and the pancakes, orange juice, and Amandaís sausage alone were enough to fill me up. I had two cups of real coffee. Between the coffee and the sugar I was left feeling that falling down jittery strung-out-with-no-sleep feeling like I was leaning out over an abyss, my head a balloon, and my body a broken stick mended poorly in the middle with tape.
09/14 Direct Link
Amanda was driving me back to her apartment, when she puked it out. She hated her apartment. She said that right after we got into the car, and she repeated it five minutes later. But it wasnít the apartment bothering her. ďMy roommate is making me crazy,Ē she said. ďHer boyfriend left, and whenever he leaves, she gets crazy.Ē I was sorry to hear this. I suggested a room in a house, or something like that. She mused about it, saying her boyfriend might be buying a house next year. But for now, she has already signed another one-year lease.
09/15 Direct Link
Tom came in last night in a rush, trying to rent a car moments before the rental agencies closed. He was trailing a dozen other demons and furies, and I tried to fix things, drowning myself in the process such that I was in tears in a restaurant with him a couple hours later. I had it that bad three times last month. It is a warning to slow down and take things slower, and perhaps to take fewer things. I tried to tell him the same thing about his own stress level, but it wasnít sticking to his head.
09/16 Direct Link
I hit a couple garage sales this morning. I got five 8-by-3-inch candles for two bucks, and a couple very heavy hooded sweatshirts for four bucks. Michael junior likes to ďborrowĒ my hoodies for the winter. I left him a phone message telling him we had two new nice ones. Tom called while I was out, telling me he had sorted out some of his problems. I think he was trying to ease my mind as much as anything. I think he has realized the extent to which I take on and try to solve his problems. Itís my nature.
09/17 Direct Link
I had thought to go to Ohio to visit my parents today, but my therapist still advises against it. She says I need rest. I know I need rest. I need many things. I think I want to go to Ohio. I feel like I should go to Ohio? It is a thing I decided I would do periodically and now I find myself not doing it, not out of neglect, but because I cannot? And why? I could possibly verbalize it. I donít want it to be true, so I go to Ohio so it will not be true?
09/18 Direct Link
Terry called. The Ex. I should not answer my phone when Terry calls. How many times have I said that? Why do I continue to answer my phone when Terry calls? Because I simply forget. The call was just her wanting me to do some things that she would not have time to do for me if I were to ask. Maybe I will ignore the call and maybe then Iíll get another phone call from her where she will begin to get ugly, but life for me is getting to a point where Terry cannot touch me any more.
09/19 Direct Link
Tom called yesterday noon. He wanted me to take him to the airport to rent a car. He has been unable to save enough money to buy a car, and his credit is lousy. He has been renting, but now finds he is going to have to pay over a thousand dollars to rent a car for 19 days. He is complaining about this. I lent him my car, but he brought it back. He can rent more cheaply at another place, but their hours are nine-to-five, and he feels he cannot take off work. I donít completely understand this.
09/20 Direct Link
I called Michael Jr around noon, asking if he wanted to go get something to eat. He had other plans, but said he would be home for a while, so I took a car load of his things over to him to clear some space in the spare bedroom. Tom is moving in for a few weeks. I delivered a TV/VCR, 300 records, 50 video tapes, and an assortment of other things filling four packing boxes. It didnít make a dent in the spare bedroom. Every day I throw something out. There are just a lot of things in there.
09/21 Direct Link
I got five movies from Blockbuster yesterday. The last time I did that I watched two of them and returned the batch late. I think I will do better this time. I plan to watch some movies this week. It is restful if I donít get myself into a movie that I find disturbing for some reason. Unfortunately, I never know what that is until I get there. Last night I watched Pursuit of Happiness, and I found that a little disturbing. The man was killing himself to get to where I left. Happiness is unique for each of us.
09/22 Direct Link
Iíve been spending my spare time with Alan Watts lately, but I am coming to associate him with the greasy horror of King Tutís treasures. Alan does not reassure me about the after life. He would say I still cling to the ego too much. I would answer, Yes, Alan, I do cling to these things. Time for a ďduh.Ē I have not found Alan to be any more comforting than Presbyterianism. Of course he would agree with that. He would say I will not find peace until I stop looking for it. I donít need Alan to know that.
09/23 Direct Link
I remember once buying and reading a ten or twelve gilt-volume set of the works of Vivekananda. I gave them away when I was done reading them. That much I learned from Vivekananda. Something like that I also learned from Thoreau.

I have not heard from my other son, Michael Jr. for a while. I should call him this afternoon and see if he would like to do lunch, or if he would like me to bring him some more of his clothes and papers. I should call him and remind him he still has a father who loves him.
09/24 Direct Link
Today is Danielís birthday, my grandson who I have not seen for over a year. Iíd like to see him, but I know that I cannot, that the phone will not be answered, and I will be driven from the door. Tom called yesterday saying he had heard Danielís mother Carrie was taking Daniel to North Carolina. ďWhat do I do?Ē asked Tom. ďCall the Friend of The Court,Ē I said. ďMaybe, thatís a good idea,Ē Tom mused. I think it is time Tom considered putting Danielís mother in jail. I know she would not hesitate doing it to him.
09/25 Direct Link
Iíve moved everything I can from the spare bedroom. Tom can use much of what is left. There is the gun cabinet. Even though I have given the automatic to Tom and the shotgun to my nephew, and there are still guns left. I canít get rid of the rest of the guns my father gave me. So I carry them around with me. Like the cradle he made. And thereís the table saw still stashed at Terryís house. See, I do have things for a storage locker. I just donít think it is worth the thousand dollars a year.
09/26 Direct Link
I took off the nicotine patch last night and finally got to sleep, sleeping wonderfully until the chain saws woke me around ten oíclock. They are taking down a lot of dead trees around here. I believe the storm last month woke management to the possibility that someone could get hurt while they were letting nature take its course with 100-foot tall dead trees. I will miss the one outside my window and across the road, the one with the broken arm pointing out over my shoulder. They havenít gotten to that one yet, but I think they probably will.
09/27 Direct Link
Tom is sleeping late. I had told him last night that Iíd try to not make any noise this morning, so I popped under the headphones, plugged into my computer and grabbed a Rhapsody recommended track of music. Thatís one of the things I like about Rhapsody, the ability to explore an immense cyber library of music in high quality. But the Rhapsody pick this morning is a bunch of singer/songwriter things from thirty years ago about love gone wrong in various ways, about recovering from love gone wrong, and I find myself listening to the lyrics of these poems.
09/28 Direct Link
I can more or less keep moving. I can keep typing, pretending I am WRIting until my eyes refuse to cooperate anymore. That doesnít take too long. Then I can shut my eyes and continue typing, because I can type without even looking at the keyboard. I become a wonder, the man who never stopped typing. Look heís been typing for 62 days non-stop. What is he typing? We donít know. He would have to stop so we could print it off. We assume it is deep and meaningful. Perhaps it is gibberish. That would be meaningful too, wouldnít it?
09/29 Direct Link
I donít feel like going out to eat. I donít feel like cooking. Fact is, I donít feel like eating, which everyone says is a bad thing. So I should go eat. Perhaps I will wait for the mail and then run a couple errands and get food while I am out. That would not run me off my schedule too much, whatever that schedule is these days. It is raining. So, I put on a rain jacket, take an umbrella still go for a walk. I will take my walk. If it is in the rain, so be it.
09/30 Direct Link
Junior has essentially established himself as the alpha male at the house, something I was never able to do with his mother. That is part of why she wants to sell the house, I am sure, to get out from under the stress of the whole thing. She was supposed to send me papers to sign a couple weeks ago, but never did. At least I never got the papers. Maybe she was overwhelmed at the thought of what I might do when faced with the papers. She is human. She must have her own batch of anxieties and Whatiffs.