PTSD, Eczema, IBS-C, and Thoughts of a Thursday in December

First off, a follow-up on the application of apple cider vinegar to the eczema on the bottom of my feet.

It didn’t help in any way.

Please don’t take my experience as universal. A lot of people on earthclinic.com said it worked for them. Maybe the nature of my eczema, which looks like a big red burn on the middle of each of my feet, isn’t conducive to that kind of remedy. The skin is extremely dry, peels and burns. There are no – sorry to gross you out – pustules. Maybe it would work better for that kind of condition.

I had this kind of dream of life planned after Jack and my uncle died. I’d get up early and hike in the mountains or do my walk/sprints nearby on pretty landscaped streets. I’d meet someone to hit balls with on a tennis court. I’d do yoga regularly at a place a few blocks away. I’d attend my support meetings and meet new friends. Maybe I’d volunteer at a stable and curry horses or volunteer at a hospital.

But the Universe has given me a big fat NO to these ideas.

Ever since my uncle’s memorial mid-November, my stomach has been killing me. It’s IBS-C and wakes me all night. Sometimes I can’t sleep at all. I might go four nights with little or no sleep, which is a total drag. I do not want to ever be so sleep deprived again that I hallucinate as I did years ago. (See my book PTSD: Frozen in Time or the short-read Startle: A True Story of PTSD and the Paranormal on Amazon or https://www.books2read.com/u/m0zzRl for other online stores.)

Interestingly, the inflamed area on my feet correlates to the stomach/GI area in the reflexology chart.

As far as the body-mind connection goes, if it’s anger trying to erupt, if it’s that simmering beneath my skin, I wish I could feel it, so I could release it.

Sadness, I release every day.

I wonder if it could be feelings of horror at what Jack and my uncle went through since I had a nightmare last night of a family having been horribly murdered in a camper outside my bedroom window. There was often no time to absorb, process and release trauma energy in the hospitals last year. Ditto with my uncle this summer.

Anyhoo, as a result of the pain and increasing exhaustion, I haven’t left the house much, but I do go to the post office almost every day of the week because I have a little business selling products on the internet.

Last week, I stood in line at USPS and started talking to the guy in front of me. He emanated such an incredible healing energy, he practically glowed.

When he told me he was 78 and a Viet Nam veteran, I said, “Forgive me for asking, but did you develop PTSD?”

His face clouded a moment. “Yes.”

I said, “You have such a healing energy around you, it’s tangible. Do you still have PTSD?”

He said, “No.”

I said, “How did you heal it?”

He smiled big and pointed towards the sky.

Our conversation soon ended as it was his turn next at the USPS counter.

I have no doubt he experienced a miracle.

Unfortunately, we don’t all get them. Although, when you think about it, if all of us did get miracles on demand for disabling conditions or difficult scenarios, what an absurd world it would be.

It’s my belief we choose to incarnate to evolve our souls (or contribute to the progress of mankind) through various challenges. We don’t necessarily see the details of how we might suffer or be challenged, but we know the issues we will work through as a result.

In Ram Dass’ Polishing the Mirror, he talks about being aware of our storyline in this incarnation, of being a witness to the soap opera or melodrama in order to get distance and perspective on it. I like that.

As for pain, he says, “Once you start to awaken spiritually, you reperceive your own suffering and start to work with it as a vehicle for further awakening.”

He admits when he had a stroke, he was overwhelmed for a while–I think for a few years–but eventually he saw it as a vehicle that pushed him into his soul.

He said “I am inside, and I live with the pain—not as the pain, but with the pain.”

Whatever we believe about this mystery of life we’re in the midst of, when we experience pain and suffering, we have a choice: to find a way to benefit from it or give up somehow, push it away, numb ourselves, get lost in blame and the details of the soap opera.

I certainly numbed myself for years, inadvertently with PTSD meds and, later, purposely with painkillers.

I’m not numb anymore, that’s for sure.

I wish I was as evolved as Ram Dass and felt my pain as grace, but I’m not that refined a soul at this point.

I do try to find a way to make periods like I’m going through work for me. I have plans ready for when the pain wakes me at night like working on my novel or writing to someone. Sometimes I’ll plug in my earbuds and listen to Binaural Beats while doing mindful mediation. I pray for others when I hurt, too.

When I do get quality sleep, oh happy day!! I’m appreciative of everything–the clear blue sky, the fresh air, the delightful palm trees, the comforting mountains surrounding the valley. Yesterday, I felt almost unreasonable joy dancing around my kitchen to The Isley Brothers’ “Harvest for the World”.

I went to the post office and started talking to the woman behind me. She was a 71-year old black lady named Fannie Mae. I was so grateful for her warmth, openness and kindness. The pain has isolated me. She told me a little about her life as we stood outside later and I told her a little about mine. She told me she sang. I asked her what kind of songs she sang. She said, “I’ll sing two.” And right there and then, outside the post office, she sang me two gospel songs. She had a beautiful voice. The first song made me cry–in a good way–and the second made me smile inside.

The Universe said YES.

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How People Accidentally Overdose on Painkillers and Other Thoughts of a Tuesday Night in November

I was addicted to painkillers almost twenty years ago. They gave me a sense of wellbeing.  I’d felt so lousy—so numb or filled with despair or obsessed and angry—for so long, I was absolutely thrilled to feel good. I didn’t care that its source was synthetic.

I don’t remember when I began taking more to get the same effect, but it was inevitable. Nature of the beast. After a couple years, I was taking fourteen a day during the work week and up to thirty on weekend days.

I remember going to bed one night and not being able to sleep. Although usually my mix of painkillers, Tofranil and Zyprexa knocked me out, every so often it didn’t.

So there I was, staring at the ceiling, debating whether or not to get up. All of a sudden, I became aware I wasn’t breathing. I thought it strange I didn’t have the normal sense that preceded the need to inhale. As a minute ticked by and I still didn’t feel any physical discomfort or bodily alarm at not breathing, I decided maybe I should stop contemplating the phenomenon and make myself inhale.

After I exhaled, again my body didn’t inhale on its own. I forced another inhale. This happened a few times before I got nervous. Something was clearly wrong. I figured if I exercised a little, everything would go back to normal. I walked around my apartment a while and finally sat on the couch, confident I was breathing normally again, but I felt too nervous to go back to bed before dawn.

Years later I learned that too much painkiller in your system can stop the mechanism that governs breathing. Your body can become unpredictably toxic from narcotics it hasn’t been able to metabolize. When this happens, your brain just doesn’t get the message to inhale anymore.

Unfortunately, the body doesn’t give you any advance notice that it’s becoming this toxic, so one day you take the same amount of pills you took the day before, but this time when you fall asleep, you don’t wake up again.

I think doctors should tell patients about this possibility and pharmaceutical companies (ha!) should label their painkillers with warnings that the drug may unpredictably stop you from breathing.

***

I’ve noticed that since Jack died, I’ve had this embarrassing compulsion to talk too much. I mean, it’s really excessive and it feels like I can’t stop it. I’ll become aware I’m doing it and say to the person I’m talking to, “Oh my gosh, I hear myself, and I’m talking too much and feel like I can’t stop.”

You can imagine their expression hearing this.

I’ve felt almost powerless over it and it’s demoralizing. I never did this before. I used to be so socially adept. Wha’ happen?

I was reading Victor Frank’s Man’s Search for Meaning a few weeks ago. At one point, he writes about the days after liberation from Auschwitz. He says of another inmate,

“…he began to talk, often for hours. The pressure which had been on his mind for years was released at last. Hearing him talk, one had the impression that he had to talk, that his desire to speak was irresistible. I have known people who have been under heavy pressure only for a short time…to have similar reactions.”

I felt a little better after reading that. I was under a lot of pressure taking care of Jack on my own 24/7 after we moved to Arizona. I was taking care of him in Chicago, too, but psychologically I was always aware his daughter lived nearby if we needed her. My brother’s family was close as well. In our home near Tucson, we had no one. My uncle and cousin were three hours away.

It’s a lot of pressure being a caretaker, especially when the one you love more than anyone in the world appears to be dying.

I’ve released a lot of buried trauma and emotional energy over the years. This unconscious, compulsive release through talking has a different feel to it. I’d like to find another way of releasing that energy than talking incessantly to strangers.

***

The eczema on the bottom of my feet that appeared a month before Jack died has not gone away. I’ve used the usual Cortisone creams and stopped scratching. Still, it remains.

It is not uncommon for those with PTSD to have eczema. When you’re going through trauma or intense stress and you are flooded with stress hormones (cortisol!), the body becomes ripe for inflammatory conditions like eczema.

I looked up remedies on earthclinic.com and a lot of people said applying diluted apple cider vinegar was a miracle cure. I mixed a solution of half water-half ACV and applied it to the bottom of my feet with a paper towel. I rinsed after twenty minutes. I was shocked to find it stopped the itching. I’ve been applying the solution every day. It has not cleared up the inflamed areas, but the eczema isn’t increasing and it continues not to itch. It’s only been a week. I’ll update.

Man’s Search for Meaning

I picked up Victor Frankl’s fantastic book again the other night. He wrote about surviving Auschwitz, and said, “…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…”

I like to remember that.

It’s true that PTSD symptoms, like flashbacks and intrusive thoughts, can undermine that freedom, but for the most part—I do have the freedom to choose.

I remember being involuntarily committed after an accidental overdose in my early 30’s. I was only in the hospital for eleven days, but, man, they were the longest eleven days of my life. It was terrifying to have my freedom taken away and my future held in the hands of strangers. I was in a state of fight-or-flight the entire time.

Despair led to the accidental overdose. My depression had gotten worse and worse the previous year, so eventually my therapist recommended I see a psychiatrist for additional meds. He gave me a prescription for something that knocked me out. (I can’t remember the name of the drug.)

Every time I woke up and remembered who I was, I sank further into despair and took more of the meds to knock myself out again. I wasn’t trying to overdose. I just inadvertently took a toxic amount over the course of five days, went into a blackout and the next thing I knew, I woke up in the ER, where, after they emptied my stomach, I was promptly committed.

When I got out of the hospital, I thought, I cannot afford the luxury of a negative thought. One lousy thought will lead to another and another and eventually I’ll feel so bad, I’ll somehow find drugs to kill the feeling and that could send me to the hospital or the grave. I don’t ever want to go to the hospital again and I’m not ready for the grave.

It was hard at first. I was used to living within a negative stream of consciousness.

I had no hopes or dreams for the future, so I didn’t spend time thinking about how to achieve goals or fantasizing about how great my life would be someday.

The past was a swamp, so I didn’t dare move in that direction.

I had no choice but to live in the present. But how was I going to do that?

It helped to get a job. (I wasn’t working.) That focused my mind for eight hours a day, but still left the hours before and after, not to mention lunch.

I didn’t know how else to fill my mind, except to narrate what I was experiencing in the moment.

For example, I’d think:

I’m now walking to the bathroom to take a shower.

The floor feels slightly slanted.

I’m shutting the bathroom door.

I’m turning on the water.

The warm water feels nice.

The sunlight is bright coming through the window.

I’m putting shampoo in my hair.

It smells good.

And so on.

It felt mentally weird and clumsy and took a lot of effort, but as the days and weeks passed by, I became better at it and ultimately it became effortless.

When a negative thought came through, I’d shout, “No!” in my head. And change the subject.

Over time, I discovered that blocking destructive negative thoughts and focusing on neutral or pleasant subjects gave me a tremendous sense of power and wellbeing. I no longer felt at the mercy of my regrets and resentments or fears of the future.

The year that followed ended up being the best year of my life.

I don’t know if it was coincidental or as a result of changing the way I thought, but I quit my crummy, low-paying job and broke up the dysfunctional relationship I was in. I moved into a cute little studio and got a great job that started my career. I became reacquainted with a couple old friends and we had a lot of fun doing all sorts of things. For the first time, I felt like I had a life—a normal, fun life like young people are supposed to have.

Unfortunately, my revolutionary way of thinking and being died a slow death as I found myself in another bad relationship (don’t date your boss!) and I slowly but surely got addicted to painkillers.

I picked up Victor Frankl’s book because I knew he wrote about the freedom to choose and I need to be reminded of that, especially when I’m tired and stressed. I’m still feeling the loss of my husband and though sadness and grief are natural, I have to be careful and remember it’s still my choice what I choose to dwell on and how I fill my days.

I had few options when I was little and in a bad situation. But I’m not little anymore and I have options now. To a great extent, I have the freedom to choose how I’ll live inside my head and in the world.

I’ve been waking up feeling pretty down lately, so today, for the first time, I got up early to explore my new neighborhood on foot. It was a gorgeous, sunny morning in the low 80’s. I plugged in my Dr. Dre Beats, hit a playlist with a fast beat and did my walk/run/sprints. The fresh air and music kicked in the endorphins as I focused on the gorgeous landscape and the tiny butterflies that weaved in and out as I ran down the road.

 

 

A Safe Place

I was listening to the Esther Phillips album And I Love Him! the other morning. The intro to Moon Glow was Theme from Picnic, which – like Proust’s madeleine — hurtled me through time back to when I was little, home sick with strep throat and watching movies on the TV set up on a chair by my bed.

That was my safe place, my happiest hours as a child, the only time I could dream. I could relax because my parents were at work and no one was home. I’d lose myself in these movies, which often had Henri Mancini-type theme songs. The violins at the start of Theme from Picnic. The mournful harmonica of Moon River. I liked these sad or yearning sounds because they manifested my feelings in a beautiful way.

The great thing about those movies was the ending was usually happy. I’d vicariously experience the neat resolution and feel hope.

Sad or angry feelings weren’t allowed in our house, but that didn’t make them disappear. I could live those feelings safely within the confines of those wonderful movies. But if other people were home, I couldn’t focus and relax.

How I rejoiced every time I woke up with that pain in my throat!

When I was getting burned out in my 40’s, I remember thinking, If only I could get strep throat. I associated strep throat with peace, feeling safe and hope for the future.

Jack was my safe place when I officially burned out at 49. As I wrote in my memoir PTSD: Frozen in Time (the chapter entitled Startle at the end of the book), I started hallucinating (and/or was seeing spirits). I was in a state of terror. I couldn’t sleep. I used to see a giant eye on the ceiling over my bed when I’d lay down at night. When I met Jack and told him what was going on, he said, “I’m not going to leave you” and stayed by my side, asking nothing in return, for months. I stopped feeling afraid that first night he stayed over.

Now I am my safe place. It seems like magic to me that this is true, but it was a long, hard time in the making.

Can’t Connect

I know it’s probably a common feeling for people to feel they aren’t connecting with anyone when they basically don’t know anyone in a new town.

Without Jack here, it feels like no one “gets” me. It feels like no one hears me or understands what I’m really saying.

It’s a lonely, disorienting feeling.

That new-girl-in-town feeling is glommed on top of a couple years of the stress of taking care of Jack, then him dying in May and finally my uncle dying a few weeks ago.

I know I won’t always feel like this.

All things pass.

For the first time in over ten years, I wanted to just sleep and sleep today. I didn’t want to be me. I didn’t want to feel sad anymore.

When I ignore my sadness and refuse to cry (because I’m so darn sick of it), my body/mind will wake me at 3 in the morning.

So I woke at 3 in the morning.

I still wouldn’t cry.

I ate a buttered, toasted Bays English Muffin with a Coke, finished a book on John of God, and started a memoir by P.D. James. (The latter quite good.)

I went back to sleep at 7 a.m.

I didn’t want to get up at 11, but the room was drenched in sunlight.

I didn’t want to do trauma releasing exercises.

I didn’t want to listen to the usual songs that elicit tears, even though I knew it would make me feel better.

I sat on the couch and drank two bottles of water, plugged in my earbuds and checked what playlists Apple had for me today. (I signed up for the free 3-month trial.)

The 70’s playlist had a song I never heard of by an artist I never heard of. The singer/songwriter was Judee Sill.

She has the voice of an angel. The harmony in her music is out of this world, the lyrics and melodies incredible.

I checked out the original album. Eponymously titled, it was from 1971. How did I never hear of her? I was 14 and 15 years old that year. All I did was listen to music.

Her big influences were Bach, gospel and country.

She signed with David Geffen, was critically acclaimed, opened for legendary rock groups, but never became a big name herself–even though the legends she opened for recognized she was way ahead of everyone else in terms of her songwriting.

Her second album came out in 1972 and there wasn’t another.

She had a terrible childhood and eventually became addicted to drugs, having to resort to prostitution in the end to feed her habit. She died of an overdose in 1979. She’d been forgotten by then.

I couldn’t get enough of her today.

Music can make me feel connected to myself and then I feel grounded and somehow recognized. I need to remember that.

Check out the fabulous artist, Judee Sill.

 

Eventually I flipped through other playlists. Guess which was the song that did the trick, got me crying even though I didn’t want to?

Mel Torme’s “That’s All”.

Ach! I’m such a romantic.

Anyway, I sobbed and sobbed and felt better. I didn’t feel as tired. I took my shower and did some errands, made a couple phone calls and scheduled my first yoga class for tomorrow.

 

 

Ode to the Cotton Bug VI

 

Oh Cotton Bug, Oh Cotton Bug,

Hello.

What’s happening?

Remember when we watched Keeping Up with the Kardashians together?

Or I imagined us watching it together anyway,

you in your glass bubble

me on the couch in my human container.

Good times.

I think you’re the only one I’ve connected with out here,

besides my uncle.

That doesn’t mean I want you back.

You go your way and I’ll go mine.

That’s the way it’s got to be.

Still…I’ll never forget you, Cotton Bug.

So long.

 

PTSD Freeze

Even though I knew I was doing all I could to care for Jack’s congestive heart failure and kidney disease last year, unconsciously I felt increasingly powerless and ineffectual. I think tennis is so appealing to me right now because I succeed in my intention to hit the ball across the net over and over and over again. It’s cathartic and gives me a sense of competence. It also releases a lot of tension.

Speaking of releasing, I do my Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE) every day.

One morning, I did TRE before tennis and, oh-my-gosh, I was on fire–or “in the zone”, as the tennis pro said. He asked what happened. I thought it was possible the TRE I did beforehand helped, although I didn’t tell him that.

In a trauma situation, the psoas muscle is activated first. It is in your deepest core and connects to your leg muscles so you can immediately fight or take flight. If you can’t fight or take flight, and the trauma goes on too long and you don’t get a chance to release that crazy life-or-death energy in a timely fashion, you freeze and can tighten up at your core and eventually get lots of physical symptoms like IBS (because you can’t digest in a fight or flight situation—only diarrhea and/or constipation), insomnia, all sorts of pain, inability to cry, and so on.

My childhood situation went on too long without a safe place or person to accommodate the release of my trauma energy. I was too young, small and dependent to fight or run, so I froze at various levels (emotionally numb, physically numb, etc.).

Every once in a while I physically freeze in situations that evoke some level of fear or apprehension.

About eight years ago, I stood with Jack on a Chicago street. Suddenly, a potentially dangerous scenario between the police and a man who appeared deranged and violent was playing out a few feet away from us. I remember wanting to back away from the situation. At the same time, I saw Jack moving closer. I tried to move towards Jack to pull him back and found myself frozen from the waist down. It was crazy. I couldn’t move. It dissipated, but ugh. Don’t like to feel like a little kid again, but the survival brain transcends the thinking brain so what can you do…

The following is kind of absurd. The tennis pro was trying to teach me something new last week—to punch the ball at the net, not swing–because there’s no time. I felt apprehensive, unsure of what to do. He started hitting balls at me fast and furious. Guess what happened.

For a few seconds, I locked up from the waist down! I could move at the waist and lean into the ball, but I briefly couldn’t move my legs. I was like, Give me a break, Survival Brain. We’re not exactly anticipating the threat of annihilation here.

It’s like my body learned this paradigm to survive when I was a kid and every once in a while, when I get a sense of apprehension, it won’t allow me to move until it assesses the situation.

I love my survival brain. Sometimes it’s like Shane with Alan Ladd (saw that last night). Sometimes it’s Don Quixote. Either way, it’s protected me for such a long time.

The best thing for me—and my tennis game—is to stay loose with Trauma Releasing Exercises.

 

***

Why do 90% of sports socks have compression arches now? They didn’t have them for decades. I do not believe the sock manufacturers of the world got together and said, What can we do that will unnecessarily increase our budget, but will potentially benefit the feet of our consumers? Let’s do something altruistic because love and compassion are what we’re all about.

I think it must be somehow cheaper for them to manufacture these socks by double knitting that area over the arch. Forgive my cynicism, but it just doesn’t make sense to me they would voluntarily do anything that doesn’t increase their bottom line.

I do not like these socks. By nightfall, my feet are super sore under the “protected” area–and I never had an issue with my arches.

I don’t like it when something is presented as if it’s to my advantage, but  it’s really to the advantage of the other party.

***

It’s going to take time to meet new friends here in AZ. I’m trying new things like a boxing lesson next week.

 ***

 

Ode to the Cotton Bug V

 

Oh Cotton Bug, Oh Cotton Bug

Where have you gone?

Is the season over

and you’ve gone on to more accommodating climes?

Was I your Palm Beach?

Was I your Breakers?

Or maybe I was West Palm Beach

and one of those little old, dank motels across the street from the big ones on the water.

Was I caviar?

Or chopped liver?

I finished watching all 300+ episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

I thought maybe I could take a selfie of us in my closet

before I flushed you down the commode.

But you’re gone.

“When the rain beats against my window pane

I’ll think of summer days again

and dream of you.”

Goodbye Cotton Bug.

Goodbye.

  

***

Impossible Things

I saw an old boyfriend when I was in Chicago. We went to Gibson’s on Rush Street for lunch. The Eggs Benedict were scrumptious and the chocolate mousse cake to die for.

Budanyway, he reminded me of the one time in my life I was overweight and how shocked he was I was able to take it off. (I’m not particularly disciplined and virtuous. If cigarettes and pills had calories….)

Two things contributed to my weight gain of forty pounds at the age of 48.

I’d been taking Zyprexa for a while. (You really don’t need another reason.)

And my meds were no longer effective in helping me sleep, so after a year without significant rest, I drank ten to twelve Cokes a day to stay awake at work. That’s like how many pounds of sugar a day, right?

My old beau asked me what I did to lose the weight. I told him I worked out 2 ½ hours a day, five days a week for four months (70 minutes aerobic, 20 minutes hitting a punching bag, 40 minutes doing weights, twenty minutes lunges, squats, and crunches). I didn’t eat much. Mostly peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nothing else.

Here’s a strange thing.

I’d been 5’-6 3/4 “ all my life. Every doctor appointment confirmed this was my precise height from sixteen years on.

After I lost the forty pounds, I went to a doctor. The nurse measured my height.

5’-7”.

I said, “You mean 5’-6 ¾”?

She said, “No. You’re 5’-7”.”

“No way. I’ve been five-six and three-quarter all my life.”

She measured me again.

5’-7”

And 5’-7” I’ve stayed for the last twelve years per the nurses at every doctor’s appointment.

The only thing I can figure is that all the working out and stretching somehow straightened my posture and spine to bring me up another ¼”.

I was delighted. I love when something good happens that’s supposed to be impossible.

***

Around the time I grew taller, I read an excellent paper on PTSD that used the term “encapsulation” to describe a PTSD symptom. It brought back a memory.

One beautiful summer’s night when I was twenty-eight, I stood out outside my apartment in Chicago’s Old Town, waiting for my friends to pick me up. The sun was nearly set. There was a breeze off the lake. I stood on the pavement and felt suddenly strange. I didn’t have the words or a concept for it back then, but now I can say I felt encapsulated—as if I were trapped inside an invisible, weightless container that removed me from directly experiencing my existence. My senses had been involuntarily put at a remove. I couldn’t snap out of it. This feeling came and went as the years went by.

I think now it was a combination of derealization (the world seems unreal) and depersonalization (detachment within from one’s mind or body or being a detached observer from oneself. Dreamlike.) I’d get triggered by something and slip into this remote state.

Both the ideas of being encapsulated and impossible growth inspired my book Nicky Chase: Man in a Fish Oil Pill. (I’m plugging something new!!!)

It’s a short novel written in the first person, which tells the story of me finding a tiny man in a fish oil pill and how Jack and I helped him break out of it and grow into his full stature. It’s a metaphor for the experience of PTSD and its healing. I think literally two people have read it. Impossible I know.

There’s true life stuff in it, too, about Jack and me when we lived in Chicago and my dear uncle Roy when he was still living in his house on the golf course in AZ. He died a week ago Friday at the age of 100. I feel so fortunate I was there with him when he took his last breath. I know he is on the links with my dad every day—on the other side.

I’m happy to say I do not feel encapsulated anymore. For better or worse, my senses are rarely at any remove. In fact, most of my blogs have to do with releasing the energy of overwhelming feeling.

 

***

Ode to the Cotton Bug IV

 

Oh Cotton Bug, Oh Cotton Bug,

I came home last night and found you were gone.

I thought the whirling, swirling, twirling carpet-cleaning machine took you to the Eternal Cotton Fields.

I can’t say I shed a tear.

I might’ve even said, “Good riddens.”

Today around eleven a.m.,

there you were again

crawling up the side of my white couch.

It wouldn’t be so bad if you were encapsulated.

I could set you on the cocktail table

to watch the last 37 episodes of the Kardashian show

in your little, plastic bubble, which I’d puncture with tiny holes so you could breathe and still experience something of existence–however removed.

But this is an impossible thing.

I gently picked you up with a Puff’s tissue and sent you whirling, swirling, twirling down the drain.

Goodbye Cotton Bug.

Goodbye.

an