Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Depressed 2


Phoebe Prince

First of all I want to wish one of my favorite actresses, the lovely Courtney Peldon, a very happy 29th birthday. She's one year away from me not mentioning how old she is.
Now I feel a little better.
But yesterday was a different matter.
It had rained in the morning, but by the time I got downstairs for the Monday morning Garden Club meeting it was beautiful outside. The sky blue, the air crisp, and the ground of the garden only damp, rather than muddy, so we would be able to get some work done.
I went to the case manager's office. Knock, knock.
"Come in," I heard case manger Paul say without much conviction.
"Hey Rick," he said.
"Hi Rick," my lovely case manager, Erin stated. "What's up?"
"Garden Club," I said.
"You're early."
"I'm eating my breakfast," she said. She was busy dissecting an apple.
"I've seen you eat before Erin. It's okay. How was your weekend, Paul?"
"Fine..." Paul at times does not feel the need to elaborate.
"How was your weekend Erin?"
"Great. I took Julia to the airport last night..."
Julia, Erin's life long best friend had returned to the east last night. I was a tad indifferent. Julia had elected to isolate throughout her brief visit to Los Angeles, and sleep in every morning, and jog around Santa Monica in the afternoon, never making the trip downtown to see us, even after I had sent her detailed directions on how to get to the Las Americas all on her own. This depressed me for some reason.
"How was your weekend, Rick?" she asked taking a bite from her nice apple.
"Oh, you know, same old thing. Went to see "Murder by Death," at the Troubadour Friday night. You ever hear of "Murder by Death," Paul?"
"Then picked up some girls, and the rest of the weekend was just one long sexual rampage. Quite frankly, I'm disgusted with myself..."
"Huummmm," Erin quite adroitly commented.
"And I cleaned my microwave. That was exciting."
Knock, knock.
"Come in," both Paul and Erin intoned.
And then... Hardy, my arch rival entered.
My day went downhill from there.
It was determined that the case manager's didn't have enough petty cash to make a run to Home Depot to buy more plants. Oh no, they had plenty last week when they made mass amounts of meat lasagna at the Olympia. But when it comes to us here at the good old Las Americas suddenly they're bankrupt. So we were stuck with going out back and raking up wet leaves.
Hardy found a large piece of electrical cable laying on the ground which he got $19 for at the recycling center, the bastard.
Later in the day I took my depressed, sorry ass to the VA Clinic for the Depression Drop In Group, facilitated by the lovely Dr. Kimberly, and her cohort, intern Lorena.
Lorena is lovely as well... for a girl.
Lately there had been a lot of depressed veterans coming to the Depression Group, much more than the usual two or three regulars who show up every week. Yesterday there were twelve. We began the session as we usually do, each of us checking in, which means each took turns saying their names, then making a brief statement about how they happened to be feeling that day.
When it got to my turn I addressed the group, all of them total strangers to me by the way, and told them I was feeling a little more depressed than usual.
"Why is that, Rick? I see you rated your depression at four today, which is a little high for you. What's making you feel depressed?" Dr. Kimberly asked.
"Oh, I don't know. A lot of things really..."
"Name one..."
"Oh... Hardy..."
"What? Who?"
"Chevron commercials depress me..."
"Chevron commercials?"
"Yes. They have these crappy commercials on tee vee... I'm sure some of you must have seen them. They show pictures of these little kids in various situations, landscapes and things like that, the narrator is this sweet taking, mild, very sincere sounding asshole talking about how Chevron's not only in the energy business, and all, that it's in the "human energy business," whatever that means, with this soft piano music playing in the background, trying to sound like Chevron is just so concerned about people and therefore the environment and all..."
"I've seen those commercials," one of my fellow depressed veterans said.
"... all the time I know what a tax evading, polluting, battery technology restricting, evil entity it really is. Chevron cares about as much for people, here in the U.S., and throughout the world, about as much as a shark does right before tears your leg off for a quick lunch..."
"Well," Dr. Kimberly said, "You really shouldn..."
"Selfish people depress me. Greedy people. You know like this guy Blankenship, who runs Massey Energy, the company that was responsible for that mining accident which killed twenty nine people recently."
"Yes, I've heard of that," Lorena broke in, "but you..."
"That bastard had been proud of the fact they he was able to evade safety precautions, and tie up the hundreds of violations they've received in the courts by appealing them, who has Congress eating out of his hand through campaign donations. He's nothing but a freaking mass murder who should be treated as such. Will he ever see in inside of a courtroom? Hummm? Hell freaking no..."
"Well I can see where that might be a concern, but..."
"Republicans depress me..."
"Oh no," Dr. Kimberly chimed in, "let's not get started on..."
"Every freaking time they make some kind of freaking announcement they say that they, and only they, know what the AMERICAN PEOPLE want. The American people want this, the American People want that... what do they have the American people in their freaking pocket or something? I ask you! How the hell do they know what the American people want. If they were so in tune with what the American people wanted the American people would have freaking voted for them! They're so out of touch with the American people it's freaking pathetic is what it is, lying sociopathic bastards..."
"Richard it sounds like you're actually more angry than de..."
"Ignorant people depress me," I continued. "Present company excepted of course." (Several of my fellow vets looked at each other oddly). "You know they have this custom in Islamic countries called honor killings. They're just an assault on poor helpless women, is what they are. There was this teenage girl in Turkey, I think it was, fourteen or fifteen I think, who was buried alive by her own family... her own family... those who should have been protecting her and loving her, they buried her alive. Her crime? Talking to a boy. Talking to a freaking boy, that was her crime."
"That's awful, but..."
"She was awake when they did it. Dirt was found under her fingernails like she was trying to claw her way out..."
The room was silent for a moment.
"Bullies depress me. Like those who tormented that poor little fifteen year old Irish girl in Massachusetts. Phoebe was her name..."
"Phoebe Prince," Dr. Kimberly helped.
"Yeah, Phoebe Prince. Beautiful girl. Irish. I'm Irish... she was hounded by two guys and seven other girls I believe, each and every day simply because she had had a brief relationship with one of the guys, and because she was pretty... and because she spoke with a beautiful accent and therefore was a little different than them. They freaking tormented her to death is what they did, to the point where she couldn't take it anymore and she hung herself." My eyes began to tear up a little at this point. I'm such a sissy. "Where were the freaking adults, that's what I want to know. Where were the parents? Her's and their's? Where were the school officials? That really depresses me."
I stopped for a moment, then went on.
"Religious zealots depress me..."
Leona tried to break in. "Richard, do you think..."
"Like the Republicans, they always know what God wants, or what God is thinking. God it seems, is always trying to promote whatever it is they're promoting. Gee, what a coincidence. And God is always against those who oppose what they are trying to do. It must be nice to be able to converse with the almighty creator whenever they want. Where do you sign up for that kind of connection, freaking AT&T?!"
"You know what else freaking depresses me, since you asked. Freaking cable tee vee movies depress me, that's what. Every freaking week they play the same freaking movies, over and over again..."
"Rick, we've already gone over this subj..."
"When one channel stops playing the same freaking movie over and over again, then it gets picked up by another channel, and they start playing it over and over again, sometimes the same night!"
"Yesterday there was so many movies on tee vee that I'd already seen before I was forced to watch freaking shows about animals. Freaking animals!"
"Well, I think we should..."
"Did you know that the Cooking Club started ten minutes early last week. By the time I got there all the jobs had been handed out already..."
"That's terrible Rick. Okay Harry, how are you doing?"
On and on.
I felt much better as I walked back to my box.
There was a new movie on last night. "The Stepford Wives," with Nicole Kidman.
It sucked.

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