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Hello.

I feel like such a complete idiot.

I owe a debt of gratitude to those of you who got hold of my brother 'cause my wife thought I didn't have anything strong enough in the house to do myself any harm.

Luckily, I was comatose by the time they pumped my stomach and stuffed it full of charcoal. I've had this done to me while awake (not because of having taken pills; it was punch containing really nasty drugs at a party many years ago) and it's not pleasant. No permanent damage - for about a day after they removed the tube down my throat I couldn't really make much more than whispering sounds because the tube was in there for quite some time. The nurses told me that the initial procedure involved a tube of much larger diameter. I guess I was still quite toxic on the drugs; I recall asking a nurse at one point if I'd "ever be able to sing again." She cracked the fuck up.

Thank goodness my own shrink was contacted. He dismissed my behavior as being rooted partially in exhaustion and partially in the need to cry out for help. The term "lacks the ability to express his feelings in a less than-grandiose-way" was used. Shrinks at the hospital where I was recovering were helpful pointing this out to me. I told them, "hey, I have manic-depression. I was manic." They said bullshit and that I was indeed deeply depressed but more interested in getting really high and feeling sorry for myself than using more functional coping mechanisms.

My wife's lack of concern and my brother's lack of willingness to talk to me still hurt. I still miss dad. That hurts a lot. So I've got a lot of fixing to do. This will involve a whole mess of therapy that I really, really, don't want to deal with. However, it came down to this: my prescribing physician said that there would be no more "happy pills" for me unless I showed up for my therapist appointments and actually did some work on myself.

I was, thankfully, saved from having to spend Christmas in the looney bin by some sort of bureaucratic "get out of jail free" card played by my psychiatrist. I plan to spend the holiday-time the way I always spend it - spreading joy and good cheer, having fun, and most of all, being charitable. The lady who runs downtown Hartford's homeless shelter always smiles when I come by because she knows that I'm one of the few volunteers willing to wash the huge pots and pans. While singing carols at the top of my lungs (I have to stop and chuckle here again - "will I ever be able to sing again?" What a scream.)

I love all of you. May your Christmas (or Hanukka, or Kwanzaa, or Pagan Love Fest or even Crass, Atheistic Shopping-And-Giving-Spree) be merry.

Sometime before I, a noder 18 years old, was born unto this earth, my Mom was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is a crippling disease that literally eats the brain.

Growing up, I hardly noticed her affliction. It had not progressed much and her Betaseron was keeping it in check. She was able to drive me to school, cook dinner for us, and basically be Mom. The other kids would sometimes make fun of me because she had this disease, but I fiercely defended her to the extent that elementary school children can. In my 5th year of education, I noticed she had lost much of her strength. She didn't have the energy to drive me to baseball practice. From then on my dad was the exclusive chauffeur of the family.

Slowly, the disease robbed her further. Homecooked meals were long sought after rarities. I went through high school on a diet mostly of french fries and burgers. On the occasions that she could cook, the food just wasn't the same. Something was missing. More often than not it was that special ingredient she has for a dish that makes it homestyle cooking. Her memory banks were becoming disconnected and unassociative.

Compared to others in my family, my IQ would seem to be quite lofty. MS eats away the brain, lowering IQ until death. I have a hard time with others who can't see the One True Way to do things efficiently. My Mom's MS has made it hard for her to think coherently about certain tasks. Don't get me wrong, I love her. Everyone loves their Mom. But the vast difference in logical leaps makes for a very grating relationship. We are constantly arguing and bickering as I do things for her that she can't do, and she complains about not being able to do it. At a passing glance, you'd have no idea that we were related (especially since I am adopted).

She went to the hospital today. Her MS has gotten worse over the past few weeks. Increased blood pressure, slurred speach, and dizzyness are only a few of the recent side effects. They want to keep her overnight to monitor her. I now realize that only a few weeks ago we were at each other's necks, yelling and screaming about building a fire in the woodburning stove. Stupid shit like that. She has been to the hospital many times before because of sudden side effects like this, but usually it was only for two or three hours. She left with my dad at about 4 pm. It is now 9 pm.

I hope I'll still have a chance to tell her I'm sorry. I need to tell her one more time how much I really love her.

G'day

and a happy holiday season. For the final in this series of podcasts, we'll end the season with a bang. Featuring some amazing talent and cool nodes, this is is a pretty nice show.

You'll hear from me again in February.

Until then,

Tada..

Nodes:

Direct download at http://e2podcast.spunkotronic.com/e2pod13.mp3

Hello everyone. It's me. The light. You remember me.

I know you've missed me, even with all those fancy electric things that remind you of me in the darkness. You know it's not the same.

I won't apologise for neglecting you. I've been busy down south. And anyway: when did you last apologise? Do you even know what you need to apologise for?

Never mind. It's all right. I don't need your worship. I was here before you came and I'll be here when you're long long gone. You can worship your pale Nazarene if you like, and feel free to welcome his coming. I know it's really me that you mean. You know it too, deep down. Don't pretend you can kid yourself that well.

I know it too. So thanks for the welcome. You'll be seeing more of me.

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