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One minute my kittens are trying to nurse my male cat and the next minute they’re trying to —him.

I’m trying to keep my mind off anti-depressants, “testosterone tablets”- and since, it’s been an estrogen sprinkler show in my body, and water works on my outside. Starting two months ago, I weened myself off of them by 25 mg then 25 mg more then 25 mg more and then 25 mg more. To keep my mind off it, I’m marking down pages in Kim Gordon’s autobiography by bulleting special lines I like, the one for example that mentions how that TV show with bland oh land Claire Danes, My So Called Life, was filmed at Kim’s old high school. Maybe it’s good that I didn’t move to L.A.. I would have just wound up turning into a name-dropper like the rest of them, like I wouldn’t be able to stay tight-lipped about sitting across a coffee table apart from Dr. Phill’s son and not telling anyone about it.

I’m naming the title of this, “I AM HERE” because I want to be able to find it. In my computer there’s folders upon yellow folders where I save the draw-ups or design concepts of ideas or sketches, and hit click and they go out into SPACE. It reminds my mind that I’m not an engineer when I try to look for them like, “If you were only organized like such and such, like he’d be able to sift through tons of organizers. You should do that.”

Back when I was trying not to go mental, I’d read for hours and hours on the back porch railway that accounted for the 700 square foot of apartment space that I rented from this dusty building. That spot kept me sane. I’d sit out on some couchy outdoor wicker that I got for nothing off e-bay and I’d read by the lamplight and this moth family would swim into the lightbulb and keep me company. If my cats stuck their heads out the railing, then I’d put them inside and if they whined I’d go back inside with them. To trade off for entertainment, I’d put out almonds in a candle cup lid and we’d wait for Chippy the chipmunk to crawl up the four-story  cement wall, to eat them. He became a happy neighbor and he crawled up sometimes 3-4 times a day, and if there weren’t almonds then he’d start at the stuffing off the couchy wicker pad and eat it like puffed rice.

I’m trying to let me just do things I’ve done for years, like talking while driving and talking with my hands while I do it, and sitting down to read and getting up to do ten different projects that I start but do not finish. If I finish one project that I start, one that requires more work then I realized, then I won’t want to ever start something like that again. So instead, I just wait a few days until its Friday and until I have zippo money left over from the middle of the week. Then I start the hardware stuff which is HARDWEAR. I try not to spend money on take-out meals or on buying books by staying inside after work and by taking a nice walk between 6 and 7 pm. But this Tuesday was different because I talked over the phone to the underwriter or whomever for Atomic Books who asked me to stop by. I was going in to see if I could sell my book “Indexing” on consignment, and ask if there were any forms I could fill out, and or if so, which ones. I had to close my eyes when I got there though, so that I wouldn’t look around at any of the independently published gems staring out at me from the white square Just-In tables. So I bypassed the brand-new’s, thick and full of reveling rock lore, and staved off spending to $4: A Comic Adaptation of the Song by Bruce Springsteen, Dancing in the Dark.

I am giving William a map of Pennsylvania and my IMAX DVD, Space Station Earth, for his wedding. I’ve been weeding out  furniture and things I don’t need, to make room for 7 cats. I pushed the coffee table into the center of the room, got rid of my great-aunt’s desk that had white paw prints accidentally painted over its surface, and made a square dance floor out of the space that was left. Now they can dance and run and triple over on their backs, on the carpet, and I won’t get on them for doing it.

 

I know this piece isn’t going to make it into the contest, or even probably be considered for it. But I “labor” over how to deal with still-times in thinking by creating busy ways to keep sanity chugging along. No one can see the meditations I make up in my head so that I don’t have to drift back into the vague cloud that’s my brain.

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