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Planets in the Red Zone




      It is 3AM on Tuesday and I can't sleep – the pain medication that has helped me to sleep has worn off. Fidgety, restless, I stumble over to a computer Phoenix keeps in the living room. It has been a few days since I have checked my e-mail. The orders from a side business I have need to be attended to; the e-bills have no doubt piled up as well.

      As I scan my e-mail I am astounded by all the e-mails I have received from people all over the globe. All of this outpouring triggered by a simple posting my friend Maxwell had put on my site during my time out. My heart swells with gratitude from the kind words by people I have never seen - and from some people I have never corresponded with and will likely never hear from again.

As I sit in the semi-darkness – I am grateful for the kind words, grateful that the omnipresent pain in my head, my neck and my jaw has subsided, thankful that the feeling of dry heat in my brain pan is gone and that some semblance of metal clarity has returned – like friend long departed who has come home.

My reprieve from long dreaded medical concerns have been mostly alleviated. I feel a new lease on life – a refreshed outlook on what is important in life and what is not.

Though some of my previously long held medical concerns have been quelled I am not completely at peace.

Something has been gnawing at me, something I have done that was wrong. With the return of my long lost clarity the gnawing is stronger, more insistent. It has to do with lying. I hate lies, I hate when people lie to me. Yet, if were to tell you that I have never lied… I would be, well, I would be lying.  

I cannot escape the fact that I have lied and lied to people I care about, to people I trust and who I think trust me. This makes my lies more painful to bear.

For all my faults and weakness – which to me seem legion – this is the one sin I rarely engage in – specifically to friends and family. I don’t lie on my tax returns, Even during my highly sexed youth I never lied to women like many men do – to get what many men wanted – I never told them that I desire monogamy when in fact I wanted to practice promiscuity; I simply told them like it was and damn the potential rejection. I did not lie to save my skin or my job with the Postal Service. I would not lie by omission like they asked to me to for the six figures they would give me – if I promised to keep quiet. (I sometimes regret that I did not lie to them).

Yes I hate lying and I am simply not very adept at it, so I generally avoid it like a bad case of the clap.

On the rare occasions that I do lie, I generally do it to save other peoples feelings or even my own or to protect my privacy, to hide my fears or concerns or to spare people I care about feeling fear or concern for me – to spare them discomfort or pain. I may even lie to say a friend from stupid rules by an evil bureaucracy.

Since I hate lying and admittedly not very good at it – the rare occasions I lie to others, I use sneaky methods, such as lies by omission – what people often call white lies, or like a disingenuous politician I will sometimes resort to verbal misdirection, or humorous quips to evade the truth. I also at times lie to myself – after all, no one else really gets hurt… only I pay the consequences. But is that really the truth?

In the scheme of things it seems as if lying is not near as bad as stealing or cheating on your wife or girlfriend or murder; and in some ways it is not. Yet, in other ways I think lying can be worse and in fact is often the seed that leads to other more obviously harmful non-reversible sins.

Being guilty of any sin makes me feel like that a day of reckoning is going to come and come hard and lying feels no different – even from white lies and omissions. The reckoning may not come from God, but come it will… this I am certain. For those of you who do not believe in fire and brimstone for our misdeeds, the Greeks’ definition of the word sin or the root from which it comes – means to fall from the path – to lose the light. I think this is what lying does – takes us off the path of clarity, transparency and ultimately if can drive a wedge between us and the people we care about.

In the darkness I think of all this and I think about why I lied to certain people I care about and I struggle against my fear, my embarrassment and wonder how I will repair the sin I have committed. Will I be forgiven? I want to be.

I sit and ponder this until I fall asleep in the chair, in front of the computer. My friend gets up and rouses me and offers me coffee. As we sit – drinking our coffee – I pour out everything. He is after all one of my best friends and I have no need to protect myself around him or to hide my concerns and fears from him. Around him I can relax and just be myself. He more than most people knows what I have endured in my life. He knows the heartache that I still carry over my mother. He has known my mother and loved her like a son. He knows the things I dread and how I chose to deal with them; usually with humor, but not, at times without a good measure of fear or uncertainty.

How do I begin to repair the lies?

I’m not sure, but here goes.

     Last Saturday I was forced to go the hospital. I could not drive there myself, but instead one of my closest friends - Phoenix shuttled me to Urgent Care. I had been having medical issues on and off for about a year and these issues and symptoms had stepped up with increasing intensity and frequency since this past summer. Like too many men I chose to ignore these symptoms instead of doing something about it.

       I did not ignore these symptoms for the typical reasons men do. No, it was for reasons beyond simple machismo. I am like many men in that I do not like to show weakness - which I suppose one could argue is a form of weakness. Also, I realize it does no good to dwell on such stuff - worrying never makes an ailment disappear and certainly, despite the kindly assertions from friends and loved ones, most people really don't want to hear about the pain and fear of others.

        I hid my illness for what I felt to be practical reasons. What practical reasons you may ask? It is a fair question, a question I have asked myself; a question that needed answering. In the past six months, I lived with the dread that I was developing Alzheimer's disease; it is a disease from which my mother died at the early age of 62. The disease hit my Mother brutally in her mid forties and it took her down hard and it dragged out long.

       During my time on earth, like most people I have experienced the loss of many people close to me. They have died from cancer, heart disease, accidents, drug overdoses and various other events. In my opinion, nothing can match the brutality that Alzheimer’s inflicts. It takes away a persons physical health, their personality, the independence and autonomy and their dignity. It leaves them helpless to attend to their own bodily functions. It is hell on earth – for them and the people who love them.

       The possibility that this could one day be my fate always lingers in the backdrop of my mind.

        There are those in the medical community that believe there is a genetic link... and this certainly was reason for concern. Although the fact that even identical twins who have the alleged genetic markers for Alzheimer's there is some confusion as to who the disease will chose to strike and who it will spare. One twin may get the disease and the other will never show any signs of developing any sort of dementia.

     This gives me hope, but the concern is still there.

      Obviously genetics is not the only factor - otherwise all identical twins with these genetic markers would get the disease. Still, knowing all this has not completely wiped away all of my concerns. Up until the past six months I really have not given the possibility that I may be at risk much thought – I had been too busy.

        Though the thought that I may be at risk for Alzheimer’s on occasion springs out now and then - I am not one to worry unduly about things I have no control over. Worrying about such stuff does not help and in fact could only hinder your health. Since there are obviously a whole constellation of factors and events needed to trigger this disease, I simply chose to live a healthy lifestyle. Simple really - eat good, get your sleep, workout, have good social networks and keep your life stimulating and hang out with people who fit and follow that criteria.

       Years ago, shortly after my mother died, I decided I needed to develop a strategy in the event that I showed signs of developing Alzheimer's. Option A and Option B were my back up plans. With Option A, in the event that I started exhibiting symptoms to a definitive degree I would increase my frequency of the dangerous sports I most enjoy - such as scuba diving and sky diving and I would just let nature takes it's course. The simple formula of: as cognitive abilities diminished - the greater likelihood that fatality would occur. Not a bad deal I think... dying while doing something you enjoy.  I even toyed with other dangerous activities of which I had never engaged in and have always both intrigued and scared the hell out of me - such a bull riding, extreme motocross and perhaps even marriage to a former ex - though the last choice may be too extreme.

        In the event that symptoms of Alzheimer's came on too quickly, or if perhaps I waited too long for Option A to fulfill its desired outcome - then Option B would be my back up. Option B is where I go up beyond the snow line with some rocking music, a bottle of grain alcohol and grapefruit juice and perhaps I will try heroin for the first time. Why not? I won’t develop a pesky addiction.

        If I am unable to get to the snow line on my own, I have a few close friends that care for me enough to put me out of my misery - although I have acquired more than a handful people who are anything but my friends and they would be all too glad to take me into the wilderness and do the honors themselves - though I am sure -not without lots of abuse first of course.

       Why do I bring all this up if I had indeed made peace with the possibility of becoming afflicted with this horrible disease? As I said, I must repair the lies and I hope for forgiveness, release from my fears and refreshed optimism for the future.

        In the past six months I have been suffering some startling symptoms - many of which my Mother experienced in her mid-forties. To complicate matters I had put off getting my financial affairs and estate in order to best provide for my loved ones when it is my time to go.  I found myself in the unenviable position of not having enough life insurance - I needed more - something to increase the quality of life for those I care about while all of the assets I have acquired over a lifetime become frozen for the year during probate and of course my 'Last Will & Testament' also needed some serious updating

         Sky diving and other dangerous activities I loved in Option A:  had to be put on the back burner until I settled my affairs. 

         Blinding headaches were almost daily along with the sensation that my head was in a drying kiln... my brain felt if it was cooking - like the commercial - this is your brain on drugs.  Some days were fair, just low level discomfort - my Mother had those days of reprieve as well - but the bad days were as bad as you can imagine, the brain - dry and hot; my Mother had those days as well and as time went on those days became more frequent for her.

       As distressing as all of this was, life still has its blessings; a blessing to be working at a regular job with people I have come to care for is both a source of therapy and ironically - stress.

         Arriving at work everyday provided the therapy – my job was interesting and fun; my boss and the three women I work with are a joy to be around.  Being around them made both the good days and even the worst days more bearable.

          My symptoms made my job stressful; most days sometimes the simplest cognitive processes proved to be daunting. A year prior I could still after twenty five years memorize and recite most of the physiology and Anatomy texts that I had studied in college. I was able to visualize and discuss the wonders of atomic energy valences and how some atoms were prone to covalent bonding while others are attracted to each other by ionic bonds. I knew and often utilized the mathematical formula for power which is: Force/weight multiplied by Distance divided by time and I often utilized this when calculating workout protocols for myself and lifters I coached.  Hell, I had even written a six hundred page manuscript describing the various energy systems of the body - diagrams of ATP breaking down into ADP + P releasing energy for the use of various cellular functions. I had outlined detailed explanations of which muscles were involved in any given exercise and where these muscles attached insofar as origin and insertion and whether it caused abduction or adduction and exactly which nerves were responsible for their innervation - all from memory.

         I had done so well - a friend of mine - a physical therapist and world record holder in the bench press paid me the highest complement. "As a physical therapist and a competitive power-lifter your book is a must have item for me and all weight trainers."     

        Many people would be surprised to learn that in my youth - my I.Q. had measured higher than the famous physicist Richard Feyman. I am not offended that most people who do not know me would shocked or doubtful. No one is more surprised than me – especially that even during the healthiest of times not everything comes easy.

      Needless to say, despite acknowledgement of my intelligence and my limitations of areas of intelligence, I still secretly enjoyed the knowledge that I have on numerous occasions applied myself to various intellectual pursuits and have done well. No doubt this is why I have been entrusted with the honorable and prestigious e-mail address of vfaini@munchonmymoose.com by my employer.

     I have learned that one should not get too smug and comfortable with their gifts, otherwise laziness or complacency could set in, so I am often self-deprecating. Also, the fact that I have as yet come up with any invention or concept that will improve the lot of mankind as some geniuses throughout history are prone to do, with my only claim to fame is a workout manual of questionable value to humanity.

         My former abilities feel as though they are being stripped away.

         In the past six months I found increasingly difficult to do simple tasks or instructions. At work one embarrassing incident still sticks out sharply in my mind. A team leader in another department gave me a simple task that a trained chimp could follow. He said, “Okay, go into BCS; tab until you get to SPL then hit F2, code ROUT, tab down, type in e-mail, hit the space bar once, then type in vfaini@munchonmymoose.com  then hit F3, tab down and put Y for yes for hard copy, then hit F3 and then choose send subsequent notice to customer, then F3 all the way out – repeat as necessary.”

          Hell, even the retarded Charlie in the book ‘Flowers for Algernon' was able to follow the far more complex instructions of running the flour mixing and dough kneading machine at the bakery where his highest level of competence was simply sweeping the floors”

Not a minute had gone by when after this team leader had given  me verbal instructions along with a visual example and after dutifully repeating verbally back to this person what I needed to do - that I took the opportunity to sit at my computer and happily set out to perform such a simple repetitive task. How long had I stared at the screen with my mind blank - I cannot say. When awareness returned it was a struggle to remember what the correct sequence I was suppose to perform. Uncertain if I remembered correctly I’d often sneak to a trusted coworker or a person that had not previously shown me the basic tasks that I should have already learned. This is only one of many examples of my recent and fearful decline.

I thought I could allay my fears that I was losing it by reviewing many of the subjects that I had aced in college – subjects that I had many times tested over the years and scored high marks. If this failed I hoped that reviewing such familiar subjects would slow my decline.

I explained the presence of these books to my coworkers, telling them I was reviewing these subjects because I wanted to eventually challenge the courses and go back to school. It was after all the truth – I do eventually want to go back to school.

Reviewing these books did not do much to allay my concerns – though I can still remember volumes of material… the amount of information I could not recall compared to the prior year was alarming.

Other bothersome symptoms were cropping up. Rarely known for my brevity, I found myself taking much longer to express my needs or thoughts – often stumbling through rambling diatribes and just like my mother had done, I found myself stopping in mid sentence searching for the thought or word I needed to communicate. Even my coworkers sometimes frustrated would say, “Two seconds please.”

My coworkers have chided me for being too hard on myself insofar as to how I felt that I was not picking up new information or memorizing procedures we had learned fast enough. They thought my lack of confidence was part of my normal operating procedure.

They simply did not understand, could not fathom that this is not my normal perception of self that I carry. They could not understand the level of insecurity I was feeling about life in general - filling the place of where seemingly limitless confidence had once resided. I could not bear to share where I feared ending up – just like my Mother.

I'm not saying that I would have been able to perform better than my bright teammates had I not from these symptoms, it's just it would not have been such a struggle to keep up with them.

My declining health and diminished mental acuity made me all too aware that I am living in the Red Zone. In addition, it has been increasingly apparent that many of my close friends and family are also in this zone. In the past year I have lost about one person per month to heart disease, cancer, accidents, drug overdoses and various mishaps that life throws all of us. My beautiful 14 year old niece her life cut short by the complications the medical treatment of Leukemia she has battled for years.

Tragedy abounds all around us. My coworkers are not immune. One coworker - young, beautiful and athletic has developed permanent heart damage and struggles with the uncertainty that this brings in her life.

Another coworker - a wonderful and sweet woman - reminding me of my favorite Aunt - gave us all a scare the night she had to be rushed to the hospital.  I am not a man prone to tears - sure I can get misty-eyed from powerful feelings of sadness or joy, but weeping for me is not common. The few times tears threaten to spill forth - my conditioning to be stoic and manly kept me in check. Not since my mother's death from Alzheimer's or the death of my Niece have I broken down and wept openly.

Out of the blue, this wonderful coworker is faced with a life-threatening event and all of us are concerned. My boss is noticeably worried as she has grown fond of this woman. I was most surprised as to how I reacted. Considering my life and the issues I live with, I normally try to keep emotional distance from people - preferring to keep things light. Despite my best efforts and to my surprise her medical scare had me close to tears. I don't like to cry and certainly not in front of other people and yet, this is exactly what I almost did. It was then I realized how fond I had become of my boss and my teammates.

Thankfully, my coworkers survived their ailments and thankfully they are moving forward with their lives. Once again, another reminder that we are all in the Red Zone and we should take nothing for granted - especially each other. I am grateful that my coworkers merely had physical concerns would likely become resolved or at least be endured and dealt with. My concerns seemed more problematic, more shameful, not as easy to share with people that in time I would become a drooling mess unable to control bodily functions - unable to maintain my dignity.

Then came the lies.

My coworkers asked the usual questions that men my age who have been never married tend to get asked.

"You mean you've never been married?"

"How come?"

"Will you ever get married?"

"What do you have against relationships?"

"Didn't you ever want to have children?"

"Wouldn't you like to be in a relationship?"


The lies usually come in quips .


"None that I want to brag about."

"I don't have the emotional endurance."

"Yes, if I can find a woman who won't press charges."

"What do I have against foot fungus?"

"Cats are easier to train."

"Sure, but it would get in the way of my love life."

Verbal misdirection in the form of quips - not too bad.

Next are the lies of omission. These I save for the life insurance companies.

I committed no fraud, but I have lied all the same.

No lies about family medical history. No lies about personal lifestyle.

Just lies by omission - No mention of blinding headaches, no mention of arrhythmia, or of the monstrous fatigue and the loss of mental functioning. No volunteering my fears of rapid decline. My only thought is to get as much life insurance for the people I care for - As much as I can get without having to submit to a medical exam, under the scrutiny of over linear bean counters. I hate doctors.

Next came the outright bald face lies.

These I save for myself, my boss and my teammates and other coworkers.

Questions about my love life had been broached the previous year by a few of the women I worked with. Some of these questions were from a few women interested in checking me out... some of the questions from women asking on behalf of a friend or they simply were curious about why and old guy like me has always been on the loose.

These questions often make me a little nervous and amused.

In the past few years I have been very wary of relationships - I am open to having a relationship - but I know that the likelihood of finding a woman that would be my compliment is as likely as President Obama reversing our National debt and halting global warming or engineering a workable health care reform that will insure all citizens will get adequate care without further mortgaging our children’s future.

I told all sorts of lies to keep their interest at bay.

One woman - eleven years my senior made the offer that we should perhaps move in together as soon as I sell my house - so that we could share living expenses and not live alone. Not certain that she was serious I was still nervous and stuttered excuses as to why I would not be a good roommate. She would have none of my excuses.

Later, another coworker had told me that this wonderful woman was serious. She asserted that this woman would not make this offer to just anyone. I was certain this was true and

I felt honored to be thought of with such affection and trust; and this was the source of my anxiety. I had no concerns that this woman had romantic aspirations for me, but I was anxious just the same.

I found myself making desperate excuses at a fast and furious pace as to why I would not be a suitable roommate. I tried to paint a picture that I was just an old single promiscuous letch set upon having a turnstile of women of questionable character lying about.

This is a bald faced lie. In past ten years for various reasons, I am no longer promiscuous - or at least I have become very discriminate.

I lied for two reasons - the first is that in the absence of life mate or a love interest I simply prefer to live alone; the second is I simply could not share my fear of the future. I could not share the fear that I would not be able to fend for myself - much less be there to help others.

My anxiety prevented me from saying the simple truth - a truth that is certain under healthy conditions. I prefer to live alone. The only exception would be if I were to run into a woman that I was sexually attracted to, in love with and if I were to decide that she would be an appropriate life mate.

Even then it is likely that our life together would be made easier if we owned a duplex – each of us residing in our own side.

Instead of telling the truth I complicated the situation from my lies.

The lies don't stop there.

I have lied to myself for so long and in the worst way; lies to help me avoid intimacy.

To avoid possible relationships with people who show promise - telling myself that people never fail to disappoint; and not just me... all one has to do is converse with practically anyone that has been or is currently in a relationship.

I cannot express the desolation that comes from a lifetime of disappointment from the belief, and from the evidence that most men and women are superficial, base, and simple primates lacking the tools or integrity to put out nothing but the most minimal effort to act in their own long term self interest in any given relationship. It is why I have given up looking.

I have found the most people - not all - but too damn many talk a good game when it comes to what they would do if only they could find the right significant other - but they lack the desire to put out the requisite effort to sustain any meaningful relationship.  They will tell you how great and loving they would be, if only they could find a person that would fulfill their laundry list of needs and desires. Rarely do I ever hear men or women ask another person what they would want from a significant other. Rarely do they mention what they would do for another.

Generally, I have observed people in relationships and interactions with others and I just know that they and their spouse have a bleak life - created by one or the other's lack of regard for the person they are in bondage with.

I been through the mill and as you can probably surmise I have been and am woefully unimpressed with people.

Out of the blue - in the past few months I have been in the company of a remarkable woman - in my mind too good to be true. After all, I have seen many men and women who are capable and high functioning - with oodles of personal resources to offer the best of who they are - as I have said, only to observe that they simply will not put out the effort to sustain long lasting relationships.

To my surprise and with great pleasure I have found that she is the real deal; a person that does what she says - carries her own water and is generous and loving to her family and coworkers - even under intense stress.

I can not adequately describe how wonderfully inspiring and refreshing it is to meet such a rare person. I can not begin to explain the bitterness I felt for not being lucky enough to have met someone like her in my youth. I can not express how desolate I felt knowing that my life and my illness would make it impossible to have a relationship with anyone - especially a woman of such value.

I cursed my luck that I was losing my health, losing my mind.

I could not however help feeling fits of real pleasure being in her company - she was after all a source of joy to be around. I could not but wish and hope that my illness was a passing thing and that one day I would have an opportunity to bond with such  a woman. She was after all proof that single woman like her do exists - rare as snow leopards perhaps - but they obviously walk the planet.

The week prior to my visit to Urgent Care the headaches were the worst yet - my brain on low cook - a God awful taste was omnipresent in my mouth and no amount of brushing, flossing or mouthwash offered any real or lasting relief and a pain in my jaw had become my Universe. Dizzy spells increased and a simple walk up three flights of stairs had me seeing stars and short of breath with my heart fluttering like the wings of a bird caught in a snare.

Something was wrong.

My fear of impending Alzheimer's disease was pushed into the background... I needed to tend to the universe of pain in my jaw.  My Dentist has been putting off a root-canal that I had needed six months prior and that had required antibiotics. The infection was back and in spades.

Fuck an appointment; I went straight from work on a Saturday and demanded immediate attention. After a few X-rays and a through exam - it was determined that I had been carrying around an infection for quite sometime - very likely low level for six months.

I was sick and in rage.

"I've been calling you guys for six months begging you to get me in for the root-canal. You assholes never call back."

He apologizes profusely.

He assures me that this oversight is not his fault, he is after all only filling in - my previous dentists had retired.

"We must put you on antibiotics"

He rushes off to get me a script.

The dental hygienist tells me how lucky I am to be alive.

"That infection is close to your brain", she says. People die from that."

I am not feeling pleased by her assertion.

Her voice is shrill, even accusatory, as if the infection and close brush with death and disability is somehow all of my fault.

"You just don't know how many people get permanent heart damage from such an infection... if it doesn't kill them outright."

My thoughts focus on the bird fluttering in my ribcage.

"Ah, perhaps that explains the arrhythmia"

I am feeling angry. I am feeling dizzy, disorientated and I am feeling spent... like if I lie down and sleep, I won't wake up.

I go to Freddies and get my script filled.

My head is pain. My jaw is a throbbing universe. The bird in my chest feels as if it is going to escape the confines of my ribcage.

I am short of breath... each flutter takes my breath away.

I can barely focus.

The simplest thoughts are a struggle - like wading waist deep in hot mud.

Out of the mire of consciousness one thought dominates.

I don't want to die.

Strange thought for a man who often pondered inventive ways to die while having the most fun possible; just to avoid the bondage of Alzheimer's disease.

Only the responsibilities of the previous three months kept me from Sky diving in my state of dysfunction.

The first reason: I had to get my financial affairs in order for the people I care about.

The second reason: I had become enamored with the mission my workmates, my boss and I had taken on; and why not?

After life time of observing family and relatives piss-farting around - with half heated measures of love, loyalty combined with chronic neglect and abuse; after years of government buggery and neglect from previous coworkers and friends - killing a handful of people I loved and swore to protect (and failed) - as they buggered their own self-interest - I fell in love with the mission.

I fell in love with my team mates and my boss.

I wanted the mission that we took on to succeed - I wanted my life and my death to have some meaning. I hoped to see the mission bear the fruit that we were desperately tending, I hoped to see it happen before every brain cell in my skull burned out.

I wanted my teammates and my boss to enjoy the fruits of our labor. As sense of duty, a sense of destiny to know that I may be a part of a project that if successful, the company would enjoy the profits it wants (and should have); my teammates and my boss would be assured that they would keep their positions in a division that brought the company profits and they would hopefully enjoy greater income and job satisfaction as well.

In my own muddled way I wanted to help make this happen. Each one of them after all had a full life ahead of them and a shit load of concerns and responsibilities as well.

I pondered many times how I had failed my mother, my lover, my former coworkers and I vowed that I would give my all with the hopes that they would succeed.

The third reason was because of my boss: I would be lying if I said that because she is an exceptionally attractive woman - across the board attractive - with oodles of sexual charisma - and around her the dying embers of what had once been a passionate man had flamed high - had absolutely no bearing of how far I would have pushed myself.

I would have gone the distance for that reason only... for the gift of renewed vigor - making my pain and fear and growing dysfunction more bearable, making everyday worth living more - not without bitter remorse however.

I can recount the times that she put a friendly and commiserating touch to my shoulder, emphatically thanking me for staying overtime to get the job done. Of course, to hide my pleasure, to hide my fear that I would never live long enough to reciprocate... I would stupidly say, "My pleasure, it's what I love best, coming to work everyday"

Another partial lie.

I could have said the truth.

I could have said, "Helping you with your mission and being in your light, basking in your warmth makes my life more bearable... at times even ecstatic."

I could have told her another truth.

I could have told her that even if she was unattractive and unfeminine and bland of personality. I still would have went the distance for her.

A few times I made a miserly effort to state this simple fact, but always fell short for fear that the other stuff would erupt forth - stuff that a man with my life has no business sharing.

But the simple and wonderful fact is that my boss has the gift, the common touch with those she works with and manages. She inspires my teammates and I to work long and hard - even to the point of compromising our health. Each one of us fell ill from the effort and each one of use would have gladly worked for free if it were legal to do so.

That is the love we all had for our boss and our mission.

My boss of course was the hardest on herself... working from sunup till past midnight - often taking on the tasks of other departments.

She lead by example and she was heroic and magnificent; as were my teammates.

Each one of them exhibited many of the strengths and qualities that the finest woman I have ever known - My mother who died so unfairly and so tragically from Alzheimer's.

How could anyone not love such women? How could I not put my fears and concerns on the backburner for such women as they?

And so I did.

It is with great misgivings that I may have fell short in my efforts to help them achieve their valiant goals.

I think of all this as I struggle get to Eugene - where I will feel safer - closer to my doctor and friends.

The inspiration of my boss and teammates make me want to live. The fact that some or all of my frightening symptoms may in fact be due to a massive infection originating from my jaw gives me hope.

An old mindless Catholic programming rears it's head and I find myself making deals with God - whom I am not entirely sure exists.

"Please God, Let it be just permanent heart damage instead of Alzheimer's disease."

"I want to live. I want my health back.

I want my life back - so that one day God willing (If he exists) I may find and bond with a remarkable woman such as my boss, such as a few of the other remarkable women I know.

After all permanent heart damage would be a fair trade for such a life with such a mate.

All of this is what led to the lies – lies to my self and to the people around me – to people I care for.  I have even lied in some of my recent writings such as 'Falling for Your Boss' and 'Remarkable Women Often Ruin Men'. Though mostly accurate I engaged in slight deceptions - mainly to protect people I care for, to protect their privacy - also to hide my fears, to protect my privacy. For the sake of self-reckoning I will make these right.

          To Be Continued

WARNING!  Many of the Stories I write have often been altered to protect the innocent and the guilty and to insure the privacy of both the remarkable and not so remarkable people that have inspired me to write about the many life lessons I have learned from them.  The names of people, places or business and even sequences in time have been changed - If I mention them at all - for their protection and privacy and any resemblance to any person, place or thing is likely just coincidental. I write to merely share what I have experienced, what I think and feel of such experiences and events of which we share in common that most of us face in our lives.

Take everything I say with a healthy block of salt.

"What I write about is not necessarily the truth or a lie - it is simply what I know."






most people talk bullshit

brent fletcher

requiem for a mindlife crisis



































































































































































































































































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