I’ve always maintained that there is never a time you can’t find the humor in matters – even when you’re perched before a firing squad. I mean, what the hell…what the hell…what the heck…hang yourself up by the neck. You might as well as get the last laugh in.
Like when the murderer James French was executed in the electric chair his last words were: “How about this for tomorrow’s headlines? French fries.”
I bring this up because I should be laughing hysterically right about now. But I’m not. I am laughing insanely. There is a definite edge to it. In fact, double-edged. Like my tongue.
I met a man the other day from Tucson, Arizona. We were blowing cigar smoke at one another when he let it drop that he was in Philadelphia for a couple of days to attend a highly unique seminar at the famed Hospital of University of Pennsylvania (HUP).
Jim Rocha is a quality coordinator and program director in Cardiovascular Services with that behemoth University Medical Center there in the Tucson desert.
Besides everything else, it turns out he knows my irascible cousin Burt Strug, a semi-retired thoracic surgeon, whose daughter, Keri, was the heroine gymnast of bygone Olympics.
Life has a way of bumping into the six degrees of separation.
Anyway, Jim got to jawing that a mental depression, much like Post Traumatic Stress, strikes “most everybody” who has had a serious life and death moment. A situation. An emergency. A trauma. Including those in his cardiovascular field.
Like me, who had emergency quadruple bypass surgery. Mine was before they did quintuple bypasses, which my doc said, I needed.
Then there was my two near death-by-carbine episodes in West Africa. The first one still has me screaming and sweating long before dawn.
Then there is my younger son, being born with transposition and just about every critical malady known and unknown. It altered the dynamics, psychology, finances and entire make up of my family – until, I had no more family.
Then there is another of several episodes. Like me having to stick a screwdriver in an unusual spot in one of the trio of highwaymen who sought to permanently borrow my personal belongings when I was driving away from my son’s hospital bedside one midnight night.
Then there is my three-year-long-very-long oil project in Russia being usurped and stolen by the Putin oligarchy.
When all these and more finally added up to the wrong answer with my brain, my future ex-wife decided I wasn’t depressed, but nuts. She reads lots of psychology books without comprehension.
Hmm….Fact is, she didn’t seem to comprehend most anything.
And then, months later, when I wasn’t depressed anymore, there I was trying to un-convince the doctors I didn’t need all those pills. Which they only ceased ‘after’ my future-ex – who had caused the father of her first child, Hanz, to flee to a cave in the Palestinian West Bank; had caused her next lover to kill himself, and her third long-tryst to stay lost in a marijuana haze — tried to kill me.
She overdosed me with all those pills that the doctors finally stopped when my body stopped functioning and an emergency van rushed me to the hospital in toxic shock. It only required excessive months of recovery.
Are you getting the zebra stripes here? Why was no one listening to any voice other than Stephanie Blatt who assiduously spent her time trying to know absolutely nothing about a great many things – and succeeded very well.
But nobody listened to me when I tried to tell them that my depression was a cause and effect. That, as my new-best-friend-Jim pointed out: I was a victim of delayed mental anguish.
It was Stephanie who needed help. And I honestly wanted her to get it. But I was the only one who was seeking it for her.
But who believes the man today? Certainly not that Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Kate Thurston. She dropped all-and-every charge against me that Steph manufactured. But only after she had no other choice but to recognize that Stephanie wasn’t only diminutive in stature, but also in character, veracity and cerebral bra-cup size — all a marked contrast to her huge mouth.
Who listens anymore to common sense?
Nobody. Because with all the lawyers and other debauched institutions we have allowed our common sense to go AWOL.
And what do we keep forgetting about those institutions? They are made up of those same geeks that were relegated to the back of the cafeteria in college. That the whole field of modern psychiatry is so experimental that only 30 years ago they still thought that homosexuality was a curable disease.
Look, pills are absolutely necessary for some people who think that when they talk to G-d it is praying. But when G-d talks to them it is schizophrenia.
But not me. Even when I tell those dour faced folks that sometimes I think I really must be G-d. Not because I’m Jewish, but because when I talk to Him I find I am talking to myself.
Look, the issue even runs to that soldier, Robert Bales, who putatively shot 16 Afghan civilians.
Bales was on his fourth tour. He didn’t feel he could do it anymore. He has been wounded twice rather seriously. And obviously the exhausted boy in this man-soldier finally snapped. It was bound to occur. He’s not the first – not in Afghanistan, Iraq or Vietnam and back in the day.
But who was listening to him?
Now they will.
Like Jim Rocha gleaned from his seminar in Philly’s HUP, which has become a leader in this field of trauma induced depression. Sooner or later the depression or trauma will strike. Maybe in a few days. Maybe in a few months. Maybe in a few years. But it will strike.
And what are we supposed to do about it?
If I may make a suggestion: I think we are supposed to use our common sense. And so are our psychiatrists, lawyers, social workers, etc. You just don’t hand out pills and deliver stigmas. The bureaucracy is fraught with too many people who were born stupid and work overtime to stay that way.
A wife, even an ex, like my Stephanie talks too much and says too little. Many of my friends who have known me over 30 years admit that her stories were compelling at first. It’s just that when she called 10 times, or faxed reams of esoteric medical stories that they became suspicious.
So why didn’t they talk to me?
Because they always thought I was a crazy guy. Yet, that’s why they liked me, isn’t it? But friends, or not, we all become disappointments to one another.
Now they’ll hear more folks like Jim Rocha speak up. And people like my friends will hang their heads and say: “We didn’t know. We didn’t realize.”
Yes they did. But like most folks they simply rather believe the worst in all of us.
And dats yDrewIS on DIS penal colony…