I don’t know where I am on the scale of emotions and transparency…

Posted in bed, books, family, friends, health, home, life, love, relationships with tags , , , on December 21, 2017 by me

…  I guess in relation to the rest of the world, I don’t know where I was.  I know that for me, I’ve grown and am doing better than I used to be.

One thing that’s funny though, is that even when I wasn’t very emotive, I knew that sometimes a woman can make a guy feel safe.  That while I didn’t mind being seen as the protector and the provider 99.9% of the time, every once in awhile I need to catch my breath and I appreciated it when a woman wrapped her arms around me and shielded me from the world.

I was reading “Cold Harbor” by Matthew FitzSimmons last night.  The main character in the series had a really, really bad time between this book and the previous one and is suffering from a variety of issues.  He can’t sleep without all the lights on and can’t sleep in a comfortable bed.  In this one part of the book, he’s been unable to fall asleep, sneaks past the bedroom where his (at this point, non-romantic) partner is sleeping and goes down stairs and falls asleep on the floor in front of the TV.  Later he’s woken up by his partner because he was screaming in his sleep.  They sit up for awhile and he explains everything that happened to him while he was missing, feeling better for opening up about it and getting everything out, including the weird symptoms of his PTSD.  After the awkwardness of his disclosure passes, they sit next to one another on the floor, watching TV in silence.

“Come here,” she said.  “Get up on the couch.”


“Just do it.  Lie down.”

“I can’t sleep like that.”

She stared small burn holes in his forehead until he did as she said.

“Happy?” he asked.

She climbed over him and lay behind him on the couch, fitting herself against his back.  She put an arm around him and held him close to her.

“Sleep,” she said.  “I’ve got you.”

He didn’t remember anything after.





Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2017 by me

It’s been a weird couple of weeks.  I went to the ER last week.  After I started thinking about being alone when I had the seizure, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  So I called and got my PCP appointment, and while I was on the phone, they told me that I really needed to go to the ER, that they couldn’t tell me to wait until Monday of this week for an appointment.  So I went that night (last Thursday) and they started running tests.  They did a chest x-ray to make sure it wasn’t an oxygen problem, the CT Scan and they mis-understood the order and gave me an EKG instead of an EEG.  Everything looked good at first notice, so they sent me home.

I went to the PCP appointment on Monday.  She noticed something weird.  I had CT Scans in 2009, 2015 and last week.  The 2009 scan showed the damage/scarring from the TBI that was caused by the explosion.  There was apparently negligible difference between the 2009 and 2015 scans, but between 2015 and last week the difference in one of their indicators was apparently noticeable, possibly significant.  So they’re getting the actual EEG scheduled as well as the neurology appointments.

They’ve suggested that I drive as little as possible for the next 90 days.  Which is kind of a gigantic pain in the ass.  It’s possible to create a life that doesn’t involve owning a car.  There’s tons of people who don’t have them.  But it’s another thing to stop cold turkey.  Fortunately I’m close enough to work that I can shift and start biking.  And my boss’ brother has a history of seizures, so he gets it and has told me he’ll work with me.

Before I found out about this, the longboard skateboard company that I volunteer with started taking pre-orders for electric skateboards.  To support them, I ordered one.  I take photographs and video for them to use on their websites and what not, so I thought that it’d be fun to have one and it’d be good to take photos and video of me and my son riding it for them.  So I talked to them about what’s going on, and they’re getting me one of their demo models so that I can use it to commute with until mine is done and they started work on my deck today.

A friend and I were going to get together this week over the holidays and he texted me to say that he wouldn’t be here, that he and the family decided to stay home in Wyoming.  I let him know that was ok, that I might not be able to drive anyways, so it could’ve been a pain.  I gave him some of the details, but tried to be matter-of-fact about it.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic about anything.  A couple hours later he let me know that he’s got an e-bike sitting un-used in his garage and he’d be happy to bring it down for me.

I thanked him, but told him I wanted to hold off on it.  Right now it’s hopefully just a couple months until they figure it out and hopefully it’s an easy answer/fix.  If it becomes bigger, I’ll take him up on his offer.  I couldn’t tell if I offended him by not accepting his offer.  Right now, I’m kind of trying to look at this as a good thing.  Get me in shape, even if I’m riding the motorized board some days instead of biking, it’ll still be good core exercise to stay on the board.  So I texted him later to thank him again.  “Yeah I get it, broad shoulders and all that.  Nonetheless you are one of my few friends and if you need anything you can count on me.”

I’ve been writing about friends a lot lately, but it takes something like this to realize how lucky you are.


Posted in family, friends, home, life, love, relationships with tags , , , on December 17, 2017 by me

So last post I said that I haven’t reached out to Marla, even though she popped back up.  That’s not entirely true.  But it wasn’t an attempt to rekindle anything.

Generally if you ask me, I’ll say that my son’s mom is a great woman and I’m grateful that she’s in his life.  And I mean a lot of that.  She is really nice.  And she’s so different than me, that I think it’s a good balance in his life.  I’m not sure how much of that is 100% natural though.  Yes, I’m more grounded than she is.  But would I be that grounded in his life if I didn’t feel like I had to be to offset her influence?  I don’t know.

He turned 16 last year.  When he got his driver’s license, she was convinced he HAD to have a car right away.  I was of the mindset that he should borrow the car for awhile, ease into it, and then get a job and earn some money and help pay for his first car.  Which really didn’t need to be new or fancy.  The typical beater that most kids start with.

So she got a loan for a car that he wanted.  Then went to see it and decided it was a piece of junk.  So she went to get another car for him, but couldn’t get approved for that.  So she went and found the same year, color and model of car that she was originally approved for, and got it.  But she rushed into it, and so there were a lot of problems with it.  So she had to get another loan to fix the problems with it.  Long story, but my Dad offered to give my son a jeep he had, and with other problems popping up on the first all the time, my son jumped on the opportunity.  His mom had a new vehicle that she couldn’t afford the payments on, so she turned it in and defaulted on the loan.  Right after she did, more problems came up, so she tried to get her original car back, but she couldn’t, they’d already sold it.  So she had to take out another loan.

So she’s carrying three loans, the remainder of the original loan she defaulted on, the loan to buy the car for my son and the combined loans for repairs on that car.  The car she bought my son is so old that she can’t drive Uber anymore like she was before to make ends meet.  So Christmas is coming, and my son tells his mom that he wants to upgrade his jeep.  More problems popped up with her car, and she needed repairs on it, so she decided to put $1500 of new tires on the new loan for the new repairs as well.

The problem with this, is that the new tires require some big upgrades to the jeep.  A lift kit and the like.  Guess who’s nominated to buy those?  I have multiple issues with this.  For starters, I feel like I’m backed into the corner of having to spend a lot more money on Christmas presents for him than I’d like, and than I think is appropriate.  I also don’t like the example that she’s setting for him, that going further into debt for an unnecessary Christmas present is a good idea.

That frustration drove me to send Marla an email.  I have no idea what the grand master plan at work is, but I do believe she came into our lives for a reason.  And that reason may be in the past.  A large part of it was to be my rock bottom.  But I also think the other part was to be a good influence in my son’s life.  And she’s continuing, I didn’t mention in the last post that Matt’s interning with her.

So I did send her an email, a thank you for her influence on Matthew over the years.  She isn’t perfect, she has her faults.  And we both did damage to one another in our relationship.  But when it comes to being an influence on Matthew, she was great.  She was a hustler, she was responsible with money, she was a hard worker and a great person.  She was strict with him, and fun.  She made a house for him and us for a couple of years.  I’m glad he had that.  I hope it offsets some of his mom’s irresponsibility and crazy.


Cathing Up

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2017 by me

There’s some things I’ve wanted to write about for awhile.  Now’s as good a time as ever.  No deep thoughts to share or anything.

A couple months ago I wrote in a post about how Marla had been briefly back in my life.  My son’s a senior this year, and out of the blue asked if I’d mind if she took his senior photos.  It was kind of weird, but I figured why not.  Apparently he and my sister and she had been talking about it since the summer.  My sister had offered to pay for them.  So who was I to say no?

Around the same time, my sister was talking about quitting her job and moving to Colorado.  Not long after she started telling me about that, I text Marla to say that if my sister was going to move to town, we’d have to find a way to be able to hang out together.  She responded via text, so I might’ve added a lot of spin to her text that she didn’t intend, but it sounded very snarky to me.  She basically said that she’d never had a problem hanging out with me, that it was all me.

I get that, and she’s not wrong, but she kind of forgets that I was the one who was dumped, and that although we’d dated for almost 3 years, a week later she was in a relationship with a guy that she was hanging out with before we broke up.  And that she broke some of our early agreements by taking him to places that we agreed would be neutral.

So after a text or two we went back to not talking, then my son asked about using her for the photographer for his senior photos.  So I reached back out to her, we worked out rates (no dumpee discount, btw).  It was fun.  We started joking around about the kid and some other things.  That’s what I was referring to a couple of months ago when I started posting here again.  But after a week, the pics were done and there was no reason for us to talk to one another anymore.

A weird thing happened then.  Matt was talking about their photo session and mentioned that she was dating someone new.  Apparently she’d broken up with the guy that she started dating after we broke up.  That’s terrible.  After trying to win her back for years, I know how much she loved him.  And I wanted her to be happy more than anything.  So I’m really sad to hear that that didn’t work out for her.  But at the same time, knowing it didn’t work out just did something…  it significantly changed something.  As much as a part of me wishes there was a way that things could be different between us, that I wouldn’t have screwed things up back then, I realize that’s not what this is about.  But I suppose I like thinking that there’s a remote chance we be friends.  That that barrier, that physical reminder of how things ended between us is gone.  Seeing her happy with him would’ve killed me.  Seeing her out and about with someone else, happy with him would be awkward, and would probably be accompanied with a twinge of pain or two.  But I think it’d be bearable.

I’m not planning on reaching out to her or anything, but I guess I’m not scared of bumping into her as much.





Posted in friends, health, life, relationships with tags , , , on December 14, 2017 by me

I’ve written about this before, I think.  So I’ll just hit the highlights.  In 1994 I was a young, dumb kid.  Engaged to a girl in Phoenix, who ended up getting accepted to Harvard for a graduate degree.  A couple months after she moved out to Boston, she called it off.  That was the week Friends first aired on TV.  Sometime in September of 1994.  I remember feeling all doom and gloomy, and then turning my brain off and laughing for a few moments during the premiere episode.  For the rest of that first season, I was addicted.  As I’ve mentioned, I kind of enjoy fantasy.  Not sci-fi/fantasy, but escapism.  Novels, comics, tv.  Always have.  Moving around so much, characters in different media forms were my friends.  So when this show came out, actually called Friends, it was funny.  I could relate to various people in the show, and it got me through that rough time.

In May of 1995, I left for basic training.  At some point during that time, after a month or more of not seeing TV or hearing the radio, I was in some random office for something, and heard a radio and “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts, the theme song came on.  That was a much needed lift in the middle of basic training.

On Slacker there’s a one-hit wonder station.  Lately, this has been coming up in rotation and I’ve been enjoying it.

Over Veteran’s Day I wrote this post.

The last couple of months, I’ve had a handful of…  weird experiences.  I guess, for lack of a better word I might call them seizures.  They feel like the worst head rush I’ve ever had x 100.  The first one happened at work a couple months ago.  I was following some people outside to the parking lot to go to lunch and as I was walking through the door, it hit me.  My whole body started to shake, I had to hold myself up by holding onto the door handle and the door jamb.  My vision blurred, blood was rushing through my head and tunnel vision was kicking in.  The people I was following stopped and turned around to check on me, and started to run back to catch me.

It passed and we laughed about it.  I didn’t think about it too much, until it happened a month or so later.  And again.  And again.  Earlier this week I was walking into the kitchen and one kicked in.  It was the most extreme by far.  It felt like it lasted for forever, but it was probably only a minute.  And several minutes after that before things felt normal-ish again.  I was really worried I’d pitch forward on my head in the kitchen.  The shakes kicked in and my knees were buckling.  I dropped my phone, couldn’t finish talking, my glasses fell off my face.

Afterwards I was thinking about it.  I became really aware of being single.  If I HAD fallen over and hurt myself, it could’ve been a long, lonely night.  I’ve called the VA and spoken with my primary care provider.  They’re going to start with a CT Scan and we’ll go from there.  I’m sure it’s nothing, but when you don’t know, your imagination can run away on you.  I let my folks know what’s going on, they’re going to be out of the country til next year.  But if anything comes of it, my Dad will come up to help if I need him.

I had my normal weekly get together with some friends tonight.  It came up.  One of the guys committed to checking in every day, just to make sure I’m NOT passed out on the kitchen floor, unable to get to my phone.  They all offered whatever help I might need if something pops up.  All said it’d be silly to have my Dad come up, they could drive me anywhere, run any errands, etc., if it does end up being something.

It was a moment of worrying when there wasn’t anything to worry about.  And I know that the reality is that they can’t be there for everything.  But the sentiment was nice.  Nice to still have that warm-fuzzy from Veteran’s day, and to have a real tribe, vs. some fictional people that I live vicariously through.





Posted in friends, life, relationships with tags , , , on November 14, 2017 by me

I’ve talked about this before.  But back when I was going through therapy, the counselor said that I needed to be be aware that if I made a lot of drastic changes, that I should expect to lose some friends.  She said that a lot of them needed something out of me, or relied on my stability, and when I wasn’t that for them, they’d resent it.  I was pretty lucky, that didn’t really happen.  There were some acquaintances that drifted away, but that was ok.  The close friends stayed close, became better friends actually.

A couple of years ago I went on a series of dates with Boobs McGee.  She was a hot mess.  She warned me not to get too attached, that it was just a casual thing, but then she got upset when she thought I was only interested in sex.  If I didn’t call her enough, that was a problem, but I wasn’t supposed to think she was interested in something serious.  I didn’t break it off immediately because when she turned a lot of the crazy off, she was fun and we had some good times and a lot of shared interests.  But I took her at her word and didn’t get too invested.  She was just good company when I needed a date.

After 7 or 8 weeks she broke it off.  She said I said something judgemental one night that she didn’t like, she’d met someone on a dating app the day before and was curious to see what happened with it.  A month later they were married.  A couple months later she was kicking him out of her house and filing for divorce.

She looked me up a couple months ago.  Because of my job and hers, we could talk online or text a lot during the day.  No dating this time, just friends.  She needed a shoulder to cry on.  So this past weekend, she was working a show a couple of blocks from my house.  The day was dragging and she asked me to bring her a cup of coffee.  It was the first time we saw one another in 2 years.

This is a very, very minor change.  Not like what the therapist was talking about, but it was funny.  The whole time we were hanging out, she kept mentioning my beard and earring, how I needed to get rid of them both, they weren’t me.  It was funny, how would she know?  Because we went out five or six times a couple years ago?  Because she’s been complaining about her ex husbands to me the last couple of months and not asking a lot about me?  What she means isn’t that “they’re not me”, but “I’m not the me she remembers and/or needs me to be.”

I’m a little happy right now…

Posted in family, friends, home, life, love with tags , on November 11, 2017 by me

…  I’m coming back from celebrating Veterans’ Day with some good friends and remembering some people who aren’t with any longer.

It started out a couple weeks ago.  My friend said he had made a reservation for 4 at a local restaurant.  Originally, I’d been planning on going to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe this weekend, taking off after work on Friday, spending the night, then going to the interactive art exhibits today and coming home tonight.  But he guilted me into sticking around tonight.  The weather is looking good, so hopefully I can get a good last long motorcycle trip in next weekend.

People bailed on this weekend, so it was looking like it might be just him and I.  Wednesday I had my meditation class and met with a fellow Vet afterwards and asked him if he wanted to come.  He’s working on flipping a house and declined, saying he needed to crank on some stuff this week.  So my friend and I get to the restaurant and one friend texts to say they’re in the neighborhood and coming.  Then my friend who was flipping the house texts and asked if I want to get a beer.  I tell him I’m going to crotch punch him and tell him to get his ass over there.  Soon the four of us are sitting at the table and then we recognize another vet we were in Afghanistan with, and all of a sudden we’re laughing, texting pics, posting stuff on FB, people are calling, etc.  It’s just one big happy moment.

I wasn’t with some people I originally wanted to be with.  Marla and I texted today, wishing one another Happy Veterans’ Day.  Dates didn’t happen.  I got home and, while buzzed, cut things off with someone who’s been stringing me along.  This isn’t meant to be doom-and-gloomy.  I’m sure things will work out with someone and I’ll live happily ever after.  But if things don’t?  I’ve got friends.  I’ve got my tribe.  And they’ll look after me.  If I go in for another operation and my kid or some loved partner aren’t there to take care of me?  Someone else will be.  Whether it’s family or one of these guys that I’ve deployed with.  And that’s almost as good.