Before it was pretty routine to self publish, I put together a book of poetry which I called 44 Pieces of Me. My wife had just died and I poured my heart into some of those poems. Her death followed a long struggle with bi-polar and addiction. I wanted to tell the story to my kids.
That effort turned into a longer memoir which I called “The Imperfect Logic of the Heart.” From Amazon:
“Now in his 70’s, the author looks back at his life to explore the seeds of behavior that blurred distinctions between love, empathy, and codependency–behavior that would allow, his bipolar wife, in mental decline, to exploit “the imperfect logic of love.” The author’s journey includes a career in law and investment real estate with outrageous adventures along the way. The cast of characters include Barack Obama; Muhammad Ali, Robin Williams and the mysterious Black Label lady. You rarely hear a man’s perspective on a codependent relationship which makes this book particularly interesting.”
The book also addressed my issues of co-dependency and has actually been more widely read since I published it. One more book followed my frustration with seniors ignoring the most basic senior planning because they felt they didn’t have the resources for an attorney or not enough assets to warrant the effort. These books are still available on Amazon. I decided to share the Imperfect Logic of the Heart Book in this blog by Chapter’s: Check out the first:
HER ROOM LOOKED like a hotel room at Circus Circus after a week of gambling and drinking. There were multiple ash trays that were no longer “cleanable”; doggie bags that may or may not contain edible substances; folded aluminum foil balls that contained either the remnants of ash from her precious crack pipe or just plain cigarette ash. Somehow she knows the difference. And then there were slippers and robes that may be for warm or cold weather or more likely for pre or post hangover and of course vodka bottles. When she was a beginner they were classy bottles and brands like Stoli, Grey Goose and Belvedere. Now they were store brands or worse, like a jug bottle of Costco.
Nothing was hung but rather arranged in piles based on utility. A pile for stepping out of the shower. A pile for having to go downstairs to the kitchen. A pile for vehicle travel without leaving the vehicle and a pile for vehicle travel when you have to leave the vehicle. This last pile essentially just added a jacket.
There were things to make her nails look less like the ruined, cracked remnants they were. And then there were the bed toys. The thing you see advertised late night: a vibrating back rest so you can sit up in bed and watch TV while you die from cigarette smoke. The cigarette smoke is winning its battle over the overpriced Sharper Image Air Cleaner. A four hundred dollar lie. And of course along with the smoke comes the ubiquitous cigarette burns. These marked yellow and brown trails randomly spot the cheap but new carpet and even test the rubber backed mattress cover. Is there a more fragrant violation of my lease terms than these burn marks in my smoke- free apartment?
She had the windows closed and the air conditioner off.
“I know it’s a little stuffy in here, but I can’t stand to hear the ambulances. The Delray Beach geriatric ambulance club. Free Medicare ride to the hospital and always when I’m trying to sleep.”
“Did they get it right?”
“Two orders of Beef Yegamachi. Tora?”
“I hope you didn’t tip them. Those assholes?”
“You’d think after all the money I’ve given them that they wouldn’t give me a hard time. So I slurred a little in their precious restaurant. Fuck them!”
“I didn’t try to order a drink.”
“I was just waiting for their overpriced Jap food.”
“If they don’t want me in the place they should deliver.”
This familiar rant barks from a mouth parked parallel to a king sized Westin Hotel pillow attached to a slender t-shirted female frame reclined on a king-sized pillow-top Sealy. It’s not the W but her apartment in Delray Beach. Actually my apartment. Our sixth in seven years. I’ve moved out.
“Anyway, THANK YOU.”
“You didn’t have to drive over to pick it up. But I wasn’t going to wait there and let them continue to humiliate me.”
“Have you eaten?”
“Yes, dear, it’s 10PM. I ate at 6.”
“It’s 10? Ok then.” She seems to be corresponding with someone. There are small legal pads everywhere with notes and lists and still larger pads with block letters reminiscent of a serial killer’s note to the newspaper announcing his next victim.
Pill bottles are everywhere. Some with names ending in “azapam” for fun and others which are supposed to help her bipolar condition. So says Doctor New Black Lexus Convertible who would write a nun a prescription for heroin if asked.
And there I stand, Mr. Codependent, barely taking it all in because it is now so familiar.