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E.C.T. Update, Perspective, and an Unknown Poet

4:34 AM

E.C.T. Update

In June I went to Tempe, Arizona to get electroconvulsive therapy for my nightmares which have been regularly going on since 1988.

There were to be three treatments a week for four weeks.

I stopped after the fifth treatment which produced perhaps the most terrifying experience I have ever had in my life.

The nightmares are now not as violent but my stress or high anxiety nightmares continue and my insomnia in general is far, far worse. This is far from what I hoped for. I just woke up from a terrifying dream that left me in tears. This is far from what I hoped for.

The ECT Unit at Aurora is not providing my local psychiatrist my records. She has been requesting them for two months and has met with endless and nonsensical reasons as to why they cannot be produced.

We are now going around the ECT Unit to request records from the hospital at large. After that, a complaint and a records request through the State of Arizona.

Putting Things in Perspective

A BBC reporter said yesterday that terrified Afghans seeking to flee are confronted by documentation needs, visa requirements, and Embassy rules that they simply do not understand. Any reporter is beset with crowds showing them papers that will never let them escape the Taliban.

One frightened woman showed the reporter what she thought might take her to safety. All it was was a Certificate of Appreciation for learning English. This is heartbreaking.

I’m sure our leadership remembers Viet Nam but they want to forget it. The Viet Cong might punish an entire village by killing everything in it. Right down to the fish in a goldfish bowl.

They want to forget about the power vacuum we created when we left Viet Nam, allowing Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge to flourish in Cambodia. Unintended consequences. Anywhere from 15% to 25% of Cambodia’s population was slaughtered in the name of killing their old enemies.

The rock band tool had certain gripes. Like in the song Ænema:

Fuck retro anything
Fuck your tattoos
Fuck all you junkies and
Fuck your short memories

An Unknown Poet

“All my life I have searched for something I cannot name.”

I have always liked that line but I never really thought about it. That’s not good for an editor.

It sounds deep and mystical and melancholy but what does it mean?

I think we search for the concrete rather than the abstract. Perhaps we search for something that we actually found but lost.

In my early twenties I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I took a number of aptitude tests and tried to enlist in the military.

The aptitude tests pointed toward forestry with the caveat that there were enough forestry majors coming out of West Coast colleges alone to serve the industry until 2015. This was back in 1980! As to the military, my eyesight was so bad that no branch would take me in. There was a military wide vision standard at the time and so I was 4F with all of them. And the Coast Guard. And any Reserves.

But in wanting direction I knew at the same time that what I really needed was a job. Any job. You simply can’t sit in the park and feed the pigeons and endlessly debate in your mind what you want to do. Something concrete and not abstract. I later forgot all about seeking Life’s True Purpose or Calling. I’m still not seeking that.

What else do we search for? True love? Does anyone past their teens think about that in the abstract? Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right? Really?

I think of how one woman was nice in one way and another woman was nice in another way and I can’t imagine all of those qualities in one person.

Or do most of us look back at the few moments or days when we had true love and wish those times would come again? Are we as in Proust, in search of lost time?

Here, poor Albert is terribly conflicted. Proust was sickly and spent too much time thinking about thinking.

“‘Mademoiselle Albertine has gone!’ How much farther does anguish penetrate in psychology than psychology itself! A moment ago, as I lay analysing my feelings, I had supposed that this separation without a final meeting was precisely what I wished, and, as I compared the mediocrity of the pleasures that Albertine afforded me with the richness of the desires which she prevented me from realising, had felt that I was being subtle, had concluded that I did not wish to see her again, that I no longer loved her. But now these words: ‘Mademoiselle Albertine has gone!’ had expressed themselves in my heart in the form of an anguish so keen that I would not be able to endure it for any length of time. And so what I had supposed to mean nothing to me was the only thing in my whole life. How ignorant we are of ourselves.”

— translator unknown — by Albert Proust: Book Six of Six in the series Remembrances of Things Past. Alternatively, In Quest of Lost Time.

Or, as Fitzgerald so famously ended his great book, “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

Or, as to the mystery of Rosebud in Citizen Kane,

“Charles Foster Kane was a man who got everything he wanted, and then lost it. Maybe Rosebud was something he couldn’t get or lost. No, I don’t think it explains anything. I don’t think any word explains a man’s life. No – I guess Rosebud is just a piece in a jigsaw puzzle – a missing piece.”

By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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