(Flash) Natural order of things

Me, in his office: defensive, insecure. Him behind his desk: Disapproving, judgmental. “You’ll quit drinking,” he says. Not a suggestion, not a request. A declaration. An intervention. “I’m only here for my meds, my antidepressants.” Medication management, no prescription without a discussion. Power of suggestion? Voodoo? A good read of character? Yes, he was right. … Continue reading (Flash) Natural order of things

Crest the Hill

I’m certain this is bad mojo, Dunston isn’t dead. But it’s probably the nicest thing I can offer a person. I don’t communicate well. When people ask my opinion, it comes out combative, abrupt. When I give a compliment, I unintentionally balance some bad with the good. It’s only when I can sit at a … Continue reading Crest the Hill

Buzz

The four of us huddle in the dorm room, lights low, a single candle burns on the coffee table. The candle sits in a mountain of wax covering what was simply a Budweiser bottle just a few hours ago. Each of us digs at the candle, at the wax-mound, with glowing hot paperclips. Heat the … Continue reading Buzz

About Death

About Death Two scenarios; contradictory, and neither is true: Michael Weeks at forty-two years old: he spends his evenings in the company of his wife, his children and his dogs. He’s fulfilled by his career; his relationships are enduring; his hobbies, rewarding. He’s rarely sick. In total, he’s content. Or… Michael Weeks at forty-two: he’s … Continue reading About Death

Olivia’s

Dinnertime: Family conversation. Out of nowhere, Sophie announces her career change: “I’m going to get a job at Olivia’s.” My first response: “Who’s going to drive you to Olivia’s every night?” Sophie already has a job. She’s a babysitter at the Y. When parents with young children come in to exercise, Sophie’s the girl who … Continue reading Olivia’s

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

Pornography

Published one year ago this week in my memoir Fragments. My mother's birthday was last week. I totally forgot. Percussive. Dark, haunting, haunted. Repetitive, chromatic – evoking angst, possibly fear. Lyrics shouted from a distance, from the bottom of a ravine. Echoing, urgent. Chanting, mumbling, confusion. Chest tight, stomach in knots. Eight complex songs, each … Continue reading Pornography

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