KingMidget's Ramblings

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And So It Begins

Back at the end of November, I wrote about ropinirole, a drug I had been prescribed for restless leg syndrome.  As I noted back then, the seeming worst potential side effect of the drug is that it can aggravate compulsive behaviors.  The primary example being gambling.

After writing that post, I quit the drug.  For a little over three weeks I didn’t take any.  To see what might happen.  I felt like my sleep suffered as a result, but how could I possibly know.  As a friend has told me, I was born tired.  When you always feel tired, how can you tell if you’re sleeping better or worse.  Call it a change in the nature of my ever-present fatigue.

So, about a week ago, I started taking the drug again.  Half the dosage the doc had prescribed me.

This morning, unlike Olivia O’Bryon, who woke early to the sounds of her dog having a seizure, I woke at 4:17 a.m. and decided I needed to go play Blackjack.  Hide your wallets, stash your credit cards.  It has begun!!

But back to what Olivia posted about for a moment … she wrote about being lost in her mind at times, including the last couple of days.  All you writers out there — I bet you can relate.  It’s one of those things I experience that leads me to believe I live in a different world than those around me.  It’s not necessarily always related to a writing project I’m working on, but I frequently find myself lost in my mind as well.

Wednesday evening, the Midget family went out for dinner.  I was distracted as I frequently am.  One of my kids brought up that there is always a point every night at dinner when I get a far away look in my eye and my face kind of glazes over.  The other members of my family had a good chuckle about it.

Yes, son, you’re right.  It happens every night.  Because every night, I spend some time somewhere else.  I’m not really there with you.  I’m thinking about a story I want to work on.  I’m thinking about that thing at work that happened that frustrated me and that I need to figure out how to address.  I’m thinking about how I got to this point, raising two boys who threaten physical violence on each other, like guns and cars, and seem bent on growing up to be the opposite of me.  (That isn’t so unusual, I know, but I wonder about it anyway.)

It’s also frequently why I’d rather not engage in all the required social engagements … because, I’m lost in my mind.  I’ve spent a lot of time this past week in my own mind — it’s a part of that whole hibernating thing.

One of the things I wrote a few years ago was an essay about my father, who also writes.  It’s called The Shadow Man because there was a point at which he seemed to retreat from our lives and occupy the shadows around us instead.  On some level, what he seemed to be doing was retreating into his own mind, on a more or less permanent basis.

I worry some times that I’m happier there, in my own mind, than I am with the outside world.  I don’t think that’s a real problem, though.  I still enjoy people far too much.  I crave conversation — with the right people.  I crave touch — from the right people.  I crave and need humanity.  But, I think, in response to the aspects of my life that are driving me crazy, I’m retreating further and further into my own mind.  It’s one of those things that needs to change.

And, now, I’ve realized in connection with my recent post about what writing counts is that Theryn is right!!!!!!  As much as I hate that my writing these days has themes (or points), the reality is that it does and much of those themes can be found scattered through my posts about real life found on this blog.  But that’s one of the biggest dilemmas I face these days — I don’t want my fiction to track the themes I write about in my real life.  Otherwise, it’s not really fiction, it’s just my transferring my own feelings into a character’s life.

Enough about that.  It’s time to go find a blackjack table!!!  (Oh, shoot, there’s carne asada marinading and a pot of beans to make.)  OK, maybe tomorrow.

4 responses to “And So It Begins

  1. Theryn January 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Where’s the devil banana when you need it?

  2. oliviaobryon January 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    That’s so interesting that your family catches you retreating into your mind. Mine used to catch me all the time as a child. “Olivia, where are you?” “You’re extra quiet today.” Even now I have these moments surrounded by people I care about where everything goes quiet and I find myself just staring at the glass ceiling or the tea pot on the table, in a completely different world. I often feel invisible when this happens, though. No one calls me out on it anymore.

    I don’t know how to avoid overlap between real life and fiction. Some friends have worried I wrote a book about my true desires to escape everything. While my friends are wrong, there are alternate versions of reality in my writing that are consistent with my real thoughts. Maybe that’s okay though? Maybe it makes better, truer writing?

    Hope you get some rest. Are you joking about wanting to gamble? Sometimes I’m too literal. Either way, it’s amusing. Good luck getting it all figured out.

    • kingmidget January 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      They never said anything about it until dinner Wednesday evening. I also know the feeling about being surrounded by people and disappearing. I frequently find myself at get-togethers suddenly realizing there are three different conversations going on at one time and I’m not involved in any of them. And I’m OK with that. Or, I walk into a room and people are sitting and talking and I find a seat and wonder off.
      Your fiction is your fiction … there’s little doubt that there’s a piece of you in there. Whether it’s just a memory of something that created a scene, or a concept of your own you subconsciously inject into a story. You’re right, it may make better, truer writing. But, the stories I’m the proudest of are the ones where I was able to disappear myself from the story the most.
      As for gambling? Well, yes, actually. I woke up thinking I wanted to play blackjack. I fell back to sleep and had a dream that I had a lottery ticket with five of the six winning numbers. I even remember the numbers: 2,3,4, 8 and a blank, which was when I learned for the first time that they expanded the possible numbers to include a blank — which is actually true only in my dream. I’m going to one of the local casinos tomorrow to play some blackjack.

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