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An unfortunate occurrence required a desperate move

December 19, 2018

December 19, 2019

At a quarter to six yesterday morning I kept my appointment with my psychiatrist for followup after he stopped all three of my antidepressants.  He said I was doing well and did not any further followup with him.

Don’t get me wrong, here.  I didn’t just quit my meds.  He tapered me off them one at a time, excruciatingly slowly.  Like over a year.  Turns out I felt better than I did before I suffered my bout with depression, which started, I don’t know, maybe 10 years ago.  I feel sharper, somehow. He said other people had a similar experience.

I strongly recommend anyone with persistent sadness to talk to their doctor about getting help.  Depression is not trivial, you knew that.  I was in denial, though.  Doesn’t everyone feel sad sometimes?  Sure.  Doesn’t everyone self talk about what an asshole they are?  Sure.  Not constantly, though. Meds got me by.

What about anxiety? asked my doctor.  I reflected on the anxiety I felt about getting my wife a Christmas gift.  However, the anxiety will abate once I find her something.  I told him that, yeah, I have some anxiety, but it is not crippling the way it is for some people.  Anyway, he said I am good to go, but I should phone his office if I have depressed feelings that last for two weeks or more. I told him I have him on speed dial.

Brings me to my morning.  I sat in my pajamas as I listened to a program of NPR Christmas tunes on P’s computer until about 8, then got dressed for Gunther’s morning walk.  We made it to the end of the block where I snapped a photo of a persistent rabbit, a wild neighborhood bunny who blends in well with the lawn there.  A few steps more and Gunther did an enormous poop (for him.  You know, a decent handful) which I caught in one of the plastic bags I bought from Petsmart.  I get them in lots of 360 each.  They come on little rolls.  I made a dispenser, five dowels drilled into a board.  Each dowel holds two rolls of bags.  But I digress, as usual.

I plopped the knotted bag of Gunther’s poop into a dumpster in the alley, then snapped a photo of a graffiti’d garage.  Realism, I thought.  I shared it on Fb.  We had been out of town for a week, so I figured I’d continue the rest of the way around the block to see if anything had changed.  I picked up a bit of litter along the sidewalk.  “Service is the rent we pay for living on the world,” I recalled my high school English teacher saying.

Gunther kept wanting to veer onto the lawns, the way he does when he has to poop.  I thought, hey! He already pooped and I already used the one bag.  I pulled him back to the sidewalk.  Gunther persisted, so finally, I let him have his way and sure enough, he hunkered down.

He started to poop again just as the front door opened and a man stepped out.  He glanced toward me. “Nice,” he said, not smiling as he walked toward the street.

“Good morning,” I chirped, and in desperation, I grabbed up Gunther’s second enormous poop with my bare hand.  Well, I couldn’t just leave it there could I? I had nothing else to pick it up. I couldn’t even use any of the litter in my pocket because the bits were too small. I smiled in the direction of the man, but he wasn’t looking. He crossed the street. Maybe he didn’t live there? I felt a twinge of remorse that I had defiled my hand.

The poop was well-formed and warm, luckily.  I tried not to think about it as I picked up yet another small bit of paper from along the sidewalk.  I knew I could drop Gunther’s work into another dumpster when I passed the alley again on the other end of the block.  This I did, then I wiped my poopy hand on somebody’s lawn. The lawn of the woman with the crazy teenage son. I still had brown residue on my hand.

When we got home I faced another challenge, to take off my coat without getting any bits of poo from my hand in the sleeve.  I satisfied myself that if I made a fist no poop would rub off.  Man.  I am sorry to be writing this.  Am I depressed? I don’t think so. Not now. I mean, I could have told the man I’d return to pick up the turds. That was P’s idea when I told her my story.

In the end I didn’t make a fist, but I sort of formed my hand into a claw to keep the poop from getting into my sleeve. 

I carefully washed my hands twice, but I’m not eating any toast until I wash them again.

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