Thank goodness for the daylog. Unless one's famous or has a vast and caring
readership, common garden-variety bloggers can't possibly get nearly the
kind of magnificent support that dayloggers do here. And journals
and diaries I must admit were never for me. Go ahead; call me needy for attention.
Those who've read what I've put here for posterity have heard me yell about
successes, wail about pain and grief, and share my ability to marvel at the
stupidest things on earth. I believe that every voter (and downvoter, as well)
who's read my previous daylogs deserves the candor that I'd like to express
here. What is friendship, whether face-to-face or in cyber-space, without
The Main Event
Two weeks ago, in my home, I had a pretty nasty argument with an employee who
was being a dick, and, in fact, popped me twice with a closed fist.
There is one thing that people just don't do to me unless they don't know
me very well; and that is to strike me or even threaten to. I shoved this person
out of the room, sending him down the stairs and then I picked him up and
destroyed a very nice glass-faced cabinet by shoving him into it. By that time,
the three women in the house were screaming like a bunch of banshees and the
guys grabbed me and held on tight. Some of them are quite aware that in my den
there is weaponry and I was so incredibly, agonizingly, sorely mad at this gentleman
that I may have resorted to at least chasing him out of the house with it.
Signs That Something is Wrong
Step back a few days prior. I'd become aggravated with an employee and thrown
a cocktail glass against a wall. I don't need to give you a reason why I was
aggravated. Nothing can be so aggravating that a rational 50-year-old
human being should resort to tantrums better suited to two year old toddlers.
A few days prior to that, I scared the hell out of my wife by driving like
Mario Andretti through the streets of Flushing, New York. She cheered,
however, when we were cut off at one point, only to end up next to the vehicle
at the next streetlight. An exchange of expletives commenced, but I, of all
people, should know that road rage in New York City often leads to gun
violence or other deadly tragedies.
Now let's speed up to the present. After making a bloody mess of myself, my
employee and my wife's lovely cabinet with glass doors (thankfully somewhat
devoid of breakable curios; just old VCR tapes and crap like that), I asked one
of the guys to take a look at where my victim was bleeding. There was blood
indeed and a lot of it. They picked some glass out of it but I insisted that he
see a doctor or go to an emergency room. My M.D. couldn't meet me at his office,
neither could a friend (who's a Specialist but will stitch for good wine and fine food at one of the clubs he belongs to). They drove him to the hospital Emergency Room.
Speed up a few hours more and despite the fact that the victim told them he
"fell," they filed a police report. At about five in the morning two cruisers arrived, came in and I greeted them. Mind you, I was somewhat
cleaned up but had blood on my nose and from a head wound. I cannot reveal to you right now
what I told the police beside the fact that it was not incriminating. They
handcuffed me and off we went to the New Britain, Connecticut police station.
I was uneasy about it because I've not dealt much with the New Britain force.
I've had a lot of dealings on the right side of the law with the West
Hartford police. But from the tone of things they didn't want to hear any of the
over-paid, under-worked West Hartford cops vouch for me.
I was a gentleman, used "yes sir," and "no, ma'am." They returned the
courtesy in kind, in fact, taking the handcuffs off rather quickly (I come from
half a family of cops and am relatively familiar with protocol. These people
were being nice.) I called my attorney and called my wife and told her not to
even bother bailing me out because I'd get a Promise
to Appear. So I waited, in a jail cell, until about 8:00 in the morning when we
received two pieces of buttered toast and some tepid regular coffee. At 9:00 in
the morning, off to court we went in one of those little boxy trucks with heavy
metal mesh on the windows. Funny how I've always been a bit self-righteous and
haughty about those trucks. Driving past one often elicited from me a snide
comment about "if ya can't do the time, don't do the crime."
I was not frightened of the punk-ass little dope dealers in the truck with
me. We were also held in the same cell in the bowels of the jail. It seemed like
an eternity before my attorney came by to speak with me. Then it seemed like an
eternity before I was called before the judge. I was in jeans and a sweatshirt,
what I wore to greet the officers at the door the evening before. Finally the
cuffs came off. It looks better to have them off before the judge. Personally,
it was one of the more humiliating moments of my life, having gone to civil
court many times in suit, white shirt and power tie. And for Heaven's sake it
appeared in the "Police Blotter" of the New Britain Herald (or whatever the
stuff they wrap fish in around here is called). There I was, along with 2 drug
sellers, a reckless driver, and an old lady who thought she heard a gunshot.
The Machinations of American Jurisprudence
The cogs of jurisprudence move slowly but surely to their ultimate result: a
finding of guilt or innocence. Now, since the "victim" had chosen not to press
charges, it was up to the police officers to press charges based on evidence.
One slightly bloody, disheveled defendant, and another extremely bloody and
battered victim. The police had written down a whole laundry list of charges,
kinda like throwing a whole bunch of shit at a wall to see which turd sticks. (I
had to stifle a chuckle when my attorney, Marty, said that I'd been charged with
attacking the man with a lethal weapon; namely, a two-door glass curio cabinet
about 4' x 3' x 1'.)
"We'll call it a 'curio cabinet,' not a 'weapon,' Paul." Marty and I broke
out in hysterical laughter. He was, though, indeed displeased with my conduct.
Let's speed this up a little more.
The judge is a woman (reminds me of my mother so an extra pang of
anxiety gives me the jitters). Restraining orders were
handed down to both I and the victim. I go back to Court on April 6th for
sentencing. Marty tells me it'll be dismissed, it'll just be a record of an
arrest, and hopefully for an arrest on the smallest of the charges, a domestic
battery. The judge was doing her best to keep up a very, very stern looking
demeanor, but she was no Judge Judy.
The police charged me with "tampering with evidence," because I cleaned up
the remains of the curio cabinet (all the tapes, a bright orange Le Creuset stew
pot and a lovely wooden salad bowl set remained intact. The cabinet I left at
the curb, and picked up and vacuumed the room thoroughly.) Tampering with
evidence. Would that they'd have told me I'd have "tampered" with it, I'd have
shown them in the light of their police cars the offending cabinet and admitted
that the blood thereupon was a mixture of mine and my victim's, and that yes,
indeed, the victim came in contact with the curio cabinet.
The Hoops I Must Jump Through
I went to see my Psychiatrist a few days later. I told him what happened and
asked if he'd vouch for me in court. He agreed to on one condition. You see, I'd
been candid with him about my outbursts of temper, so he'd been concerned. Well,
this was the icing on the cake. He sat with me and re-assured me that people who
suffer Bipolar II disorder don't need to feel as much pain
nor as much anger as I've been feeling. He firmly rejected my suggestion that I
get a prescription for Valium to calm me down. He gave me instead a new drug
to replace the Paxil that'd worked so well up until now; a psychopharmaceutical
"one-two punch" containing an antidepressant and a mood stabilizer. (The thought
that went through my head for a moment was that great SNL
sketch with the punch-line "it's a floor cleaner and a dessert
The Good News
It's been over a week since I started taking Symbyax, the "magic happy happy
joy joy" pill. I'll tell you, the first two days I slept all day long from being
groggy. Now, however, I suffer a little dry mouth but feel once again like the
person I want to be. Less rage, less anger. Of course, there'll be lots more
talk therapy; but in this case that didn't do it.
DISCLAIMER: Kindly do not go out and tell your doctor that you're
depressed and suffering panic attacks. My illness has not responded to many
other drugs (lithium, Xanax, Prozac, Paxil, Effexor; to name a few). so Symbyax
may not be for you. However, it's working in the early stages; let's hope I can
hold the course. The best compliment I've gotten yet was from the person who
suffered my unbridled rage. He said in Mandarin that "I wasn't such an
unreasonable man any more." Well, that's what the translation machine in the
office said. Suffice it to say, I deeply and humbly apologized to him.
My prayers these days are to stop being so angry and
just vent my frustrations appropriately; grieve a little more for my dad and Lew
and my aunt and even my poor kitty, Luscious.
I've taken to talking to my Dad more often. And each night
I take one of my small collection of stuffed animals off of the shelf and talk
to them about how nice it is to
re-live my childhood the way I'd like it to have been. Now, mind you, I'm not
placing blame on my mother for anything. And I guarantee you that I'm doing
very, very good things for her. I just need to take care of the little boy
inside my big, fat grown-up, full-of-responsibilities body.
There will be more news to come whether I go free on April 6th or they lock
me up for "Assault With A Deadly Curio Cabinet" for many years (in the event I'm
incarcerated I have a friend who has my password and will tell any of you who're
interested what's going on; Heaven forbid!) Another turn in the river of life;
this time, I bumped into the rock instead of swimming around it. It is my
sincere hope that, though there certainly will be more rocks in the river of my
life, there won't be any more handcuffs.
ANOTHER DISCLAIMER: I treat the idea of being jailed rather flippantly
because I do indeed have a criminal record, and was incarcerated once for
days and once for nearly six months. But those are other stories that I'll get
around to noding as well, in the spirit of candor.