Careen

Six-year-old me at the top of a hill. Straddling my bike, everything normal except the absence of a chain. “This will be great,” they said. “Without breaks, you’ll go faster.” 1969, a blue Schwinn with a white seat, a twenty-inch job. Still too big for teeny, tiny me. The ubiquitous stingray design that dominated the … Continue reading Careen

A new me

The drinker who doesn’t drink. That’s me. I quit eighteen months ago. No backsliding, no cheating. Once I got through the first few months, it hasn’t really been that bad. I have Tourettes Syndrome. But you’d never know it. My tics are fully in control. Effectively medicated with no obvious side-effects. As an added bonus, … Continue reading A new me

Google

“Hey, I should warn you, Charlene has googly eyes.” “What does that mean?” They pop way out, like on a frog… or a bug.” “Um, thanks for the warning.” At the start of my career, I worked for a Fortune 500 defense contractor called TRW. One company, 30,000 employees. In an effort to maintain a … Continue reading Google

Red Light

Before Instagram. Before Snapchat. Before Oovoo, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, MySpace or email, there was the telephone. In 1986, twenty-three years old, I took a business trip. Two weeks in Denver for training on a workplace population tracking program. I worked for the mega-firm TRW. A government contractor with tens of thousands of employees. So many … Continue reading Red Light

Drugs

Monday morning at 7:00AM: I’m sitting down to write. I’ve read the news, stretched my body, done my part in getting my kids on their school bus, and made myself presentable for work. It’s been a productive morning. Over the weekend, I seamlessly traded off between chores, exercise, reading, errands, volunteer work and spending time … Continue reading Drugs

Caffeinated

7:15 on Tuesday morning. Not a specific Tuesday morning, but any Tuesday morning. My laptop’s on my lap, and my coffee is next to me on a coaster. Printed on that coaster is “Hold me closer, Tony Danza.” It’s a gift from a friend who enjoyed my essay “Dewey Finn and the Dunder Chief” in … Continue reading Caffeinated

Panic

Jan 2 - Panic. Weighing me down. Tugging at my feet. Pulling me beneath the surface. I’ve been swimming on the edge of a panic attack for twelve hours, so I’ve carved out some time to write about it. Typically, I call these anxiety attacks, but right now what I’m feeling is panicky. My medications … Continue reading Panic