A Straight Shot of Politics

A blog from a gentleman of the Liberal political persuasion dedicated to right reason, clear thinking, cogent argument, and the public good.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

I have returned from darkness and quiet. I used to style myself as "Joe Claus", Santa Claus’ younger brother because that is what I still look like. I wrote my heart out about liberal politics until June of 2006, when all that could be said had been said. I wrote until I could write no more and I wrote what I best liked to read when I was young and hopeful: the short familiar essays in Engish and American periodicals of 50 to 100 years ago. The archetype of them were those of G.K. Chesterton, written in newspapers and gathered into numerous small books. I am ready to write them again. I am ready to write about life as seen by the impoverished, by the mentally ill, by the thirty years and more of American Buddhist converts, and by the sharp eyed people [so few now in number] with the watcher's disease, the people who watch and watch and watch. I am all of these.

Monday, December 05, 2005

So Why Did Downtown Columbus Smell Like A Box Of Fresh Doughnuts?

I haven't a clue. It might have even been an olfactory hallucination. There were no doughnuts in sight, there are no doughnut shops near, and none of the street vendors sell doughnuts. Besides, they don't even get there until 10:30, two hours after I do. But the entire block from my bus stop to my job smelled of hot, fresh doughnuts.

This is the sort of thing that tugs at the mind of a man with a mental health condition. An ordinary person can shrug an experience like that off as unexplained but not inexplicable. But I am routinely taking my mental health temperature, as a diabetic routinely pricks his finger to check his sugar, and things like that worry me a little.

They are like the damn PulseOx machines that they clip on your finger in the Emergency Room and are always set slightly too low. You have to wait anyway, for the doctor, for the x-ray, for the lab results, for a streetcar for all I know. Your bed is the most uncomfortable on God's green earth, but you're drifting off into a pleasant little snooze. Then: DEEP, DEEP, DEEP, DEEP, DEEP....because your blood oxygen drops! The sound really is somewhere between a "ding" and a "beep". Of course nobody comes running. Half the cubicles in the place are deeping.

So my dissonance threshold is set too low and the untoward smell of doughnuts disturbs me. I have been too self-indulgent and blogged too much over the weekend. The Claude Rains post was murder and took 8 1/2 hours to get on the screen, what with breaks for chores and meals. But the photographs, which took most of the time, were too good not to use.

Too much writing is a manic trigger for me. When I over indulge, the high stimulation of being outdoors the next day turns the world (metaphorically speaking, of course) into a kaleidoscope that some unknown hand is turning.

The reservation parenthesis in the last sentence is exactly the too-worried mind in action: will you, dear reader, think I am delusional when I merely mean a metaphor? will the person looking so intently at me as I walk by think so? will I think so...?

Doughnuts can no longer be just doughnuts, a pleasant tempting smell to tease your appetite. Metaphors can no longer be metaphors. People with mental health conditions are constantly reality-testing like this, checking up on themselves, checking up on everything else. It's OK. But is it really OK? Really?

It becomes wearying.

That weariness is the trigger for the depressive phase. You don't want to know about it. Really, you don't.


Blogger Upright Joe said...

There's a Wonder Bread bakery in downtown Columbus. I'm not sure why it smells like doughnuts and not bread but I used to smell it almost every morning when I was attending Columbus State.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Joseph Marshall said...

Hi, Joe!

I know the Wonder Bread bakery well. I pass it on the bus on the way home from work in the evening.

Thanks for stopping by.

6:25 AM  

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