Sunday, January 26, 2014

This is Not a Suicide Note

**DISCLAIMER: I feel as though I should include a disclaimer here, but I do not know what on earth the disclaimer would say other than maybe “Don’t worry about me,”  I guess. Don’t worry about me.

I believe that I am done. Finished. I am ready to move on. Everything in this world that has ever required me to complete it has been completed now.

This is not a cry for help; I’m just done.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Coma Knight

It was way back in June of last year when my girlfriend, Doctor Belloq, finally clued me in to the fact that I have episodes of sleep paralysis.

Now, you might think I would have already known something like this – I mean, I was the one who was having these episodes, after all – but in that case, you’d be wrong. The truth is I did not know, or I didn’t consciously know, anyhow. This was because so long as I went on knocking myself out at bedtime every night with what can only be called heroic amounts of wine and Benadryl, the sleep paralysis did not happen.

Or maybe it did happen and I simply did not remember it.

I am still a little unclear on that point.

After Doctor Belloq taught me that I have these episodes, I went and I did a little research on it, since I had honestly never even heard of such a thing as sleep paralysis before. I did a lot of research, actually.

It turns out that sleep paralysis is a real thing. You can run a Google search on it and everything, and if you do, you will come up with mountains of strange and stranger material. The pictures alone would be enough to drive a good woman to consume heroic amounts of wine and Benadryl.

This is what I learned. I can give you the basics.

Every night, while you are asleep, you have dreams. It is not just you who has dreams; I have dreams, too. So does your Uncle Charlie, and the Vietnamese guy who cuts your hair, and even that ginger kid from down the street who always yanks leaves off the tree in your front yard when he walks by.

Everybody dreams, although not everybody remembers it later on.

While you dream, your brain paralyzes your body. Your brain has a really good reason for doing this to you. Your brain paralyzes your body so that as you are fighting that dragon during your first dream of the night, you do not thrust your dream sword through your sleeping husband lying next to you. Your brain paralyzes your body so that as you leap off that cliff into the ocean during your second dream of the night, you do not fall out of bed or jump down the stairs in this  world.

Your brain is just looking out for you, man.

The problem is that – like everything else your brain does – your brain can mess up on occasion. Like maybe it forgets to paralyze your body during your dream so you wind up punching your sleeping husband in the face after all.

Don’t get mad. Your brain is doing the best that it can, I’m sure. Consider what it has to work with.

Mistakes are made, though, and at the moment, the variety of mistake with which we are concerning ourselves is the one where your brain doesget around to paralyzing your body, but at the wrong time.

So consider this: You wake up. Maybe you open your eyes. You go to stre-e-e-etch- and that’s right about the time you realize that you cannot move. Hell, you can hardly even breathe, or rather, you can breathe, only it feels like you can’t because your brain has your lungs on autopilot.  

Now, if you ask me, the whole autopilot breathing thing is where everything starts to go hinky. Without the autopilot breathing thing, the pictures and paintings that I’ve posted here would never get made.

You are awake. You are not breathing like you want to. Your chest feels crushed. Your lungs feel like lima beans.

You try to gasp… try struggling for deeper breaths…

…and you look for someone or something to blame.

It’s like I’ve already said: This is your brain’s fault. But brains get away with an awful lot of hinky shit that we wind up blaming on other things.

What you wind up blaming for the autopilot-breathing-crushed-chest-lima-bean-lung thing depends on who you are. Where you live. What you believe. It depends on what Mom and Dad taught you to fear.

The religious blame demons perched upon their chest, so they see demons. The secular blame aliens strapping them to the bed, so they see aliens. And the prudish see succubae mounting them for their precious seed, and people in snowy regions see an old hag, although it is not clear just why that is.

The Assyrians blamed alus  and the Sumerians blamed lillus. The Greeks blamed ephilates and pnigalions, the Norse blamed maras, and Arabs blamed al-hahas, al-khanaqs, and al-gathans.**

I blame my brain but I still see Tarab. Tarab looks an awful lot like the Silence from “Doctor Who.”

I am telling you these things because you are my friends, and I want you to know where I am coming from before we go any farther.

This world is one big freak show if you take the time to look around.

Me, I am the Coma Knight, and I am just getting started. 

**A lot of this information can be found in Shelley Adler’s excellent book, Sleep Paralysis: Night-mares, Nocebos, and the Mind-Body Connection (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2011). 

Sunday, January 12, 2014


If only my parents had been more fucked up, there’s no limit to what I might have been by now.

I might have been a great artist or an inventor or the world’s youngest CEO, if only Mommy and Daddy had not wanted me. Or if Mommy had but not Daddy, or if Daddy had but not Mommy. Or if they had wanted me at first but then, for reasons no one could ever quite put into words, one day suddenly changed their minds.

I mean, I am gay and a little creepy-looking. Plenty of children have been rejected for less.

Or else my folks could have wanted me way too  much, leading them to that kind  of unnatural clinginess and dependency that goes on way past the age at which such a thing is really healthy. That would have been a way to screw me up something awful. 

If my parents had died before I ever got to know them at all, I might have had a hole way down at the very center of ME that I’d always try and fill with a parade of slightly self-destructive but incredibly interesting things.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Christmas Reunion... of Sorts

I might have come across a bit crazy.


It occurs to me that I might have been well-advised to have just waited. Maybe not approached you and the kids while you were picking out your Christmas tree. Maybe not told you all of it right then.

Maybe not told you all of it at all. Ever.

And my speech might have been a bit… erratic, from too much allergy medication and those steroids they prescribe for the rash I get on my elbow, and you know how too much medication makes me talk in constant run-on sentences, and talking in constant run-on sentences might make anyone come across a bit crazy, right?

I also might have smelled like rancid meat. This was not my fault. I might tell you that story one day, too, but I didn’t on the day at the Christmas tree lot, and as it turns out, it was, you know, probably just as well.

You might think I looked like I was stalking you, kind of hiding like I was behind that tree. Watching you and the kids from across the lot. But I was not stalking you, and actually I was hiding because I didn’t want it to appear as though I were.

Maybe that plan kind of blew up in my face. I don’t know. Maybe you tell me.

Everything I remember about that day is dark green and grey.

But I do know it had to have been you who asked me. You must have asked me, “What’s been going on, Katy?”  You asked me, and so I told you.

Maybe I just should have said, “Not much, Dana.” 

Maybe that was the kind of answer you were looking for. But “Not much, Dana”  would not have been the truth, and so I told you the truth, and the truth involved you… kind of.

I told you the truth about Tarab. Now, Tarab is the panic-induced hallucination who comes in the night to crush the air from my lungs during bouts of sleep paralysis. And no, I did not have bouts of sleep paralysis back when I was with you, but that was because I was drunk and on drugs back when I was with you, and now I am not drunk or on drugs.

Well, I mean, yes, I was on drugs the day at the Christmas tree lot, when I was telling you this, but that’s different.

I told you what Tarab told me. I told you he told me I’m a maniac. Or, rather, in some possible future, I am like a Hitler or I am like a Pol Pot or I am like a Billy Ray Cyrus. I am so bad that people take notice, and they send signals back in time or somehow alter the past to prevent me from ever becoming this… this… this maniac that I might become.

I told you Tarab told me that they’re the ones who introduced us. Introduced you and me. Back in 2004, Dana. We did not know each other the first time through, but they brought you in when things got changed.

To domesticate me.

I am living the wrong life, Dana, is what I told you. They  derailed my real life to prevent me from living a real future that I’ll never live now.

So you might think that sounded crazy, that day at the Christmas tree lot, and I might even have agreed it sounded crazy – what Tarab said – but the thing is, what he said makes a lot of sense. What he said explains so damn much about everything that has happened since 2004.

Maybe Tarab will tell me more. Maybe I can find proof of all he’s saying – mistakes in the fabric of this fake life I am living.

I might have said too much, but you did ask.

And maybe – probably! – if I had not told you all of that, at the Christmas tree lot when I saw you that day, then Rachel never would have snapped this photograph of our happy surprise reunion.

And what a poorer parallel future that  might have been, not to have ever included this photograph: