Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday - Nice and slow

I carved this heart for Cherie's valentine. The box it's on I made for my father, hoping he would like it but he sent it back.

12/4/05 Sunday
When Cherie turned on this laptop and opened my journal this morning she found that there were huge chunks of text that was corrupted. They were full of strange symbols and an occasional happy face with an unhappy smile. It scared her and she was afraid she did it, or that I would be mad, or… a million other thoughts as panic builds up. She heard me wake up and came in to tell me about it, waiting for me to be upset.

It got my attention but I didn’t think it would be too bad. I got up to see what had happened and found a mess. Now I’m worried. I started looking around in this computer to see what was there. In the Journal folder I found two copies of the Word document, two labeled word back up, and about six temporary files. Pulling up the temp files I found they were copies of the journal that were created at different dates. From this I put together the journal.
I seem to be doing quite well this morning. Enjoying being with Cherie and keep getting struck when I look at her. She’s beautiful. It snowed and sleeted last night so we don’t want to go anywhere. Ate a piece of Allen’s brownie and it was very good.

Speaking of that I need to finish telling of yesterday. Fred had called me and said that he had a rough night and he couldn’t stop worrying about the car thing. In his raspy voice Fred said (As you read this imagine his raspy voice) “Bob, would you mind going to the library and getting a copy of that ad. I know it said from $8900 to $6745. We really need that, if we wait till Tuesday,…” and on as he voiced what he had been chewing on all night long.
So I went to the library near here on Glansman. I went through the few papers they had left and found nothing so I went to the main Library downtown. I didn’t know if it would be open as they said it would be closed during the nazi idiot rally. (The computer wants me to capitalize nazi but it doesn’t deserve that) It was open so I found the newspaper selection, looking to see if any of the staff who had taught me how to use the computers was sitting at the desk. Didn’t see anyone so I went up to the newspaper section and got papers going back two weeks.
Sitting at a table I thumbed through them page by page looking for the yellow full page Ed Schmidt ad. I found plenty as that is his usual format. I finally found a silver Cadillac that had been reduced from $8900 to $6900 but it was a different model and a year newer. I let Fred know and headed over to Allen’s. I had put the grill in the trunk cause Allen wanted to buy porterhouse steaks and grill them.
When I got there I dialed his number. “Here” I said when he picked up, as I always do. I carried the grill and waited till he opened the door. I was expecting to go in but he had keys in hand ready to go so back to the Caddy. “Where are we going?” I asked. Allen said “Andersons”. Even though I have been to Andersons tons of times, even after I woke up I didn’t have a clue where to go. “Which direction” I asked him at the first corner. It wasn’t till we were almost there I figured out where Anderson’s was. It’s in the Woodville Mall, one of those malls that is just hanging on to life.
We went in to Anderson’s and headed straight for the “House of Meats” counter. Allen is excessive in his cordiality. He is trying to hard to be my friend asking my opinion on everything “What do you like? Which one of those should I get? You want this one?”. We were getting along fine and talking about many things but there is a subtle strain there. We get the steak and head back.
It took a while to decide where to use the grill and once it was we went down stairs. Allen has been isolating so long that his social skills aren’t well practiced. Actually, when I think about it, I believe it is due to traumatic brain injury. We already know he has been hit in the head with hammers and fell through the roof of a barn. His isolation is contributing to his paranoia and the effects of extreme and extended depression. Just a little bit close to being out of touch with reality. Not there but almost.
We watched the new Batman movie. I thought I had seen it already but Allen told me, matter of factly, “No you haven’t”. I said that I recognized the scene but couldn’t remember what came next. This is normal for me. I’m the guy who can see the same movie as if for the first time several times before it sticks. While I can remember the immediate scene I often can’t recall what will happen soon.
It took a while but I finally figured out I had seen the whole movie but couldn’t recall where. I eventually deciphered this mystery through masterful logic. There are only three people I have watched DVD movies with and one of them is me. The others are Allen and Wayne and Allen was getting this in on his satellite so it was with Wayne.
Allen would watch for a few minutes and then launch on a discourse about how scenes had evolved and why this was the greatest Batman movie. He would keep on a thought till I told him “I got it. Look at that!” directing him back to the movie. A few minutes later he would get back on the subject and reiterate the previous conversation. After a while I recognized this as a same problem I have and that is common with TBI’s. It is called perseveration, where you repeat yourself often.
He said something about me not calling and I made the mistake of telling him I haven’t because we always argue. This bothered Allen immensely and became the subject he couldn’t get away from. He fixated on this, bringing up his past with being abused and suckered by his grandfather, and then wandering to other examples of similar relationships including other movies. To add fuel to this fire I said that I remembered bad experiences more than good. Allen became almost desperate, feeling like I was going to stop being his friend. He would offer me things, little gifts like his brownies. I started to tell him he didn’t have to buy my friendship but was afraid of where Allen would take that.
We did talk about his going to the Zeph Center. He brought it up which was good. It means he has been giving serious thought to what I told him a while back but it didn’t take him long to get back to our friendship. “I can’t believe you don’t remember all the good times we’ve had here. I would let you come over because you were cold and could watch movie’s and play games. You save my life. If you hadn’t come over and made me do things I would be dead now. I would have put a gun in my mouth” Allen repeated what he has told me ever since it happened. (For those of you who don’t know, Allen blew himself up in a fireworks accident when they were preparing a show.) There is a desperation there and I know I can help him so I will make sure I call him more often.
Cherie called and was depressed. I told her I would be home by five or so. When I hung up Allen looked hurt and stunned as he asked me “Do you have to go? I thought you were going to stay for a while. That’s ok. I’ll put the steaks up”. OOH! I thought. I forgot all about grilling the steaks and really had no idea how long I had been there. I tried to explain that to Allen but it took some doing, however it increased his paranoia of me not wanting to be his friend.
We got the grill going and even that was awkward. When I had brought the grill and steaks before we had a problem when Allen kept trying to tell me what to do. I didn’t agree with his suggestion and he wouldn’t let it go till I said it was my steak and grill and my gift to him so I would cook it how I want. Now he is trying not to get involved at all to avoid a repeat of that. “Allen, these are your steaks and we’ll do it the way you like, OK?”. I couldn’t gauge how done the steaks were very well at all so they came out raw. We finally got some cooked good enough to eat so took them downstairs to eat. He got back on the friendship thing again and again so I would apologize again and again for saying I only remembered bad things. Then I would again and again tell him “Alright, we’ve already been through this remember? We agreed to drop it so lets drop it”.
We watched another movie, something about the crusades that was pretty good. “I knew you would like this. See! We have a lot of the same taste don’t we?” Allen pointed out as he tried to convince me we should be good friends. He had seen this movie before so would just talk, explaining what we had just seen as if I already forgot it. Then he would segway onto another subject and come back to repeat himself. Then he would get quiet, looking down till he would tell of painful deep hurts that plagued his thought. He surprised me by saying he thought of me as a father in passing as he talked of another subject. Later he would talk of how much he sought and respected my advice.
There is a loneliness and desperation in Allen that I have known so my heart goes out to him. If I spend the time I can heal some of his pain. I can do this by teaching him how to change his thinking, how to choose strength, how to strengthen self control by using it, how to love life. It’s more than healing some pain, it is opening doors to a happier and more fulfilling life. At least I think I can, who knows, probably another delusion.
I tried my best to assure Allen that he was indeed my friend and that I liked it that way but his fear would always return. It got to 8:00 so I told him I had to go. When I told him I would call more often he told me thank you.
With that I came home to find Cherie dead asleep. I quietly whispered in her ear “Do you think she’s asleep? Should I wake her up?” then I stroked her cheek and said “Hi honey, I’m home”. Cherie stirred a little bit and in her sleep said “Hiiigh honee”. I left her to sleep and really don’t know what I did with the rest of the day.

As I write yesterdays account I figured I should stop and tell of what this morning is like. We are happy, laughing, and enjoying. I told Cherie we need to stop laughing when we are kissing as it makes it hard.
When I went back through the journal looking for the corrupted spots I stopped and read several sections. It is amazing how these entries unlock memories and also show what I guess I will call episodes, slow downs and how they affected my performance.
It’s 2:32. I just had another piece of the brownie. It’s still pretty good. Might have another piece in four hours or so. Cherie has gone shopping and Fred just called. He said if I wanted to go anywhere just take off. I almost always call him before I use his car.
I just looked up at Cherie’s screen saver while it scrolled the message I had placed over a year ago. “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU…..GOD” The only message I seem to be able to get from God is the one I wrote.

It’s 4:46 now. Cherie is fixing some kind of chicken for dinner. She told me what kind but I don’t remember. At least I remember it was chicken.
I finally baked that pecan pie I wanted. It got a little overdone but should be OK.

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