Maggie & Mom?

At lunch in my apartment today, I squished a roach on the wall — the third one in two days, and that’s more than usual. I wisecrack about this place being a roach hotel, but it’s the least roachy rez hotel of the several I’ve lived in. Still, it might be time to wash the dishes piled in the sink since a week ago Sunday.

♦ ♦ ♦

Margaret called me at work again today. It’s weird talking to her, especially at work. Yesterday I was saying that I’m 7.5 on the batty scale, but Maggie is battier than me, even before today’s call, and today she said she’s having panic attacks and wants her shrink to alter her lithium dosage.

She sounded sorta scared for the whole conversation, and I said, “Relax” several times, and “Take a deep breath.”

She told me not to worry. "Maybe I've never called you when I'm this down, but I've been this down a lot. Downer than this."

I said, "Me, too," and we talked about our respective mental healths for a few minutes, Maggie very directly, and me more obliquely, since two co-workers were close enough to hear everything I said and they both hate me and the feeling is mutual.

As Maggie requested, I'm not going to worry about her, except that I’m worried about her, of course. Just generally speaking, I’m not the best resource for ex-girlfriends with psychiatric problems.

Then Maggie asked for my mom’s address, and the building turned upside down. They've met — Maggie and I lived at the same address in Seattle, and Mom knew that address, so of course they've met, but they're not good buddies or anything. Bit of a surprise, then, that my ex wants to write my mother a letter.

Here's my chain of thought: If Maggie writes to my mom, Mom will answer, probably with a long letter. Pretty soon Maggie & Mom will be having lunch and talking on the phone and going to church together. Sooner or later, Maggie will say, “Gee, in his zine, Doug said …” and Mom will say, “What’s a zine?” and after that it’s only a matter of time before my mother is reading Pathetic Life.

That would hurt my mom, and I’m not Wally Cleaver, but hurting my mom was never the intent here. In the zine I say whatever I’m thinking, unfiltered, exactly because nobody I'm writing about will ever read it.

Once upon a time, I stupidly mailed Maggie a copy of the zine, and never twice upon a time. Today I asked her not to mention the zine to my mother, and she said "I wouldn't, of course," but I know Maggie so my hopes aren’t too high on that front. If she wants my mom’s address, it’s in the phone book.

From Pathetic Life #3
Tuesday, August 23, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.



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1 comment:

  1. I'm 25 yrs too late saying this but it's better to let people see who you really are. He's not bad.


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