A note from Rob (Remember Rob? He’s doing great. Merry Christmas, buddy…Yes, I’ll fight like hell.)

“The fucking white picket fence! That’s so so nice to hear…and knowing your history through poetry, that is superfuckingduper amazing.
I confess to missing my madness that inspired my words. But you are right, a life well-lived is the truest and bestest life at all. Merry Christmas beautiful. And Yes! You found a golden ticket—>loving on your terms, ie promiscuity, is empty and demeaning. Loving from the inside out, now THAT’S something!! Gosh, I wish I could place a gold star on your forehead, you GOT it. You deserve it, and fuck if you don’t FIGHT LIKE HELL to keep it”

A friendship is born between two psychopaths (what is reality, again?)

It just makes me a little nervous because…well, I had sort of a psychotic break last year around Christmas.

What, no way! I was institutionalized for a week!

Really? Isn’t it crazy how reality can get sort of slippery?

For real. Once one thing in your life defies reality, the rest kind of turns to gravy. Because reality is supposed to be this solid thing you can trust…and all the sudden you don’t…nothing makes sense anymore. I didn’t know what was dream and what was waking. I didn’t know if my boyfriend was even a real person.

Yeah, I had really similar delusions. I could tell something was off when people started acting like what I was saying didn’t make sense. Their eyes glazed over and they just tried to change the subject, but I didn’t want to stop talking. I wanted to ask them what was real and what wasn’t. Then, I started walking until I got blisters on my feet, because I just felt in mind, body and spirit, all I could manage was wandering. Staring at a screen felt stupid, nothing really held my focus or made sense to me.

Totally! I feel like it’s all on a spectrum,  you know what I mean? Like sadness is to depression, nervousness to anxiety, hearing things to schizophrenia.

Yes! We all have the potential to go crazy.  My friend convinces herself all her shitty boyfriends are really good at heart. That’s crazy! And being afraid of the dark? And seeing things that aren’t there? I keep seeing my dead cat walking through the house like nothing ever happened-but that’s just grief. People say that’s crazy, but after a few nights without sleep anybody could see what I mean. Reality is slippery. You see one aspect slipping though, and the rest follows suit.

My friend’s delusion was, everything she thought was broadcast out loud and everyone could hear it.

Yeah, That’s batshit-but like, what happened? What pushed her over the edge? Maybe it was just too many coincidences that led her to believe this.

Yeah, I have to watch it. I have to make sure reality is making sense. I’m prone to nervous breakdowns. I don’t want to break again this Christmas.

I got your back. If you ever have any crazy questions, feel free to ask. I’ll give you a judgement free reality check.

Spotted Skin

Your cells are speeding up and mass producing
they haven’t done this since you left Spain
to go live with your parents. Back then you used
light booth treatments. The dermatologist said
the word “Cancer” out of context.
Then he said that your psoriasis was caused by stress.
You wanted to kill him. Next time,
don’t mention the c-word, you thought
if you want me to relax

This time, you don’t have health insurance
you stop smoking and drinking
you sleep with a humidifier
that blows straight on top of you
a cold, shimmering mist like a ghost
that your dog won’t stop staring at
that scares you when you wake up
from sleeping and dampens your clothes
you start to sleep naked. The spots
multiply and grow. You buy lotions,
coal tar ointments. It does nothing.
people start asking, “What’s wrong with your hands?”
you assure and reassure them, “Nothing contagious.”
you do yoga, breathing exercises
you fast, you do a penance
and then one day, in the shower
you notice the spots are disappearing.

Our Therapists’ Kids

“I’m worried I’ll be alone for Christmas.”
“Georgia, no one is going to let that happen. If you get lonely, just come to my family’s, we’d love to have you. Or your boyfriend’s, or your godparents.”
“Yeah, I don’t know. I guess I’m not seeing clearly.”
All these different shapes of what happened before send me reeling.
She says, “You’re not crazy. We all have our things.
Christmas isn’t easy. The luckiest people on Christmas
are our therapist’s kids. That’s when they get the most business.”

Disconnect (or, it’s strange to see you again)

What kind of person refuses
six different christmas invitations
in favor of staying home
in an anticonsumerism, athiest protest?
This one.
What kind of person
enters into a happy, fulfilling relationship
and then doesn’t know how to welcome
him back when he finally walks through the door?
Who just keeps staring at their computer
not finally writing “that novel,”
Who daily slips, dizzy, onto the floor?
This one does. It all just reminds her too much
of the life that came before.

Black Friday’s Hike

Ok, everybody, pile up in the car,
we’re anti consumerism literary hikers
we deserve to go to Walden pond
Where’s Melissa? You guys,
Melissa got lost. Wait-
Walden pond doesn’t allow dogs?
Ok, where’s the next state park-
God, why do each of us need our own car?
Whats wrong with your camera? The lense.
My boyfriend went home for thanksgiving.
I’ve been married twenty years…wait-
how old are you, Caroline?
I’m hungry. Oh my god, are you still
on that juice cleanse?