A Thought for Every Word

Posts tagged ‘depression’


A tear touched the still surface
Ripples began to spread
I forced my hand against the motion
to stop the ripples from reaching the edge

Shed unexpectedly without thought
Nonetheless recognized - again
Not wanting the tear to move or flow
wishing it to be buried and drowned unseen

The wave rose and crested
Falling hard upon the sands of loss
Grimacing with bared teeth
The pain slipped and fell in the wet sand

Pebbles beneath worn shoes
Find their way into holes in the heart
Sharing past lives lived in sun filled days
Undefined measures of time tossed

Touch when unaccustomed, burns
Skin tender and bruised with mistrust
A hand extends to grasp another outstretched
Find the gesture was given to another

The tear would not be stopped
Ripples spread with rapid steps
Dashed now against the edge
A bowl of water inches deep

Drops of Rain

On the sidewalk they merge to form puddles.

On the sand they disappear.

On my face, the drops move in rivulets, and hide among my tears.

The wind whips at the bare trees.

It pushes the rain against the windows.

In the light of the incandescent bulb, the rain trails down the glass panes.

Mimicking the path on my cheeks.


The Dark

The light seeped through the crack

in the wall,

I didn’t recognize the significance.

Shielding my eyes,

I put my thumb over the crack

and the light disappeared.

Now, the dark is familiar

and that I recognize

Post Mortem

If it no longer beats, it is useless.
If it is useless, throw it out,
Can’t be missed if it no longer beats.
Won’t be noticed among all the clutter.

If it no longer beats, it is useless.
Useless things are discarded,
Out of sight, gone, and forgotten.
So many broken and empty shells.

If it no longer beats, it is useless.
To remove it you could use a spoon,
A pry bar, an icepick, a velvet glove.
Or words like razors that slice.

If it no longer beats, it is useless.
Can’t be reused or recycled,
Recharged, reclaimed, or rekindled.
And no one cares if it died.

Day Six ~ Eating Carbs and Writing

Day Six:

I woke knowing what I had to do. During our chat, my friend had posed a solution, and realizing that if I did not take the advice, I would spend another day sobbing and eating poorly, not writing, and sleeping far too much. I microwave scrambled and egg, slapped it on toast, then gulped down a large glass of water, and headed for the shower.

I got dressed to go out, but before leaving the apartment, I went to the fridge and tossed all the things that were depressing me and making me sick. The rest of the browning avocado, the last of the canned tomatoes. The cream cheese, that by now was growing its own penicillin farm, and the last of the spelt bread that was really rock hard. The fish was still frozen so it stayed. The remaining bit of soup was still good and I found I could not toss it out. The last tortilla was pretty brittle so I tossed that too.

Then I got on line and went to my banking site and transferred money from my savings to my checking.

I know, you are thinking, why didn’t I do that in the beginning. For a couple of good reasons, well, to me anyway: One, I am single, living on a fixed income and my savings is my only lifeline between me and living in my car. I hold every single cent in that account as precious, and it should never be touched. Two, I’m stubborn. I knew that I could sustain myself on what was in my apartment. I hated to think I was going to capitulate and break into my savings, just for food money. It irked me to no end. All along I knew I had the $21.00 in my wallet, and I could have, should have gone out an purchased some vegetables. I didn’t though and looking back, I believe I had gotten caught up in my own stubbornness. Seriously stressed and not thinking right contributed in no small way.

I did finally capitulate, and I transferred a small amount into my checking from my savings. I then made a list of items I would buy to complement the food I still had in the refrigerator and pantry.

Grocery shopping under such circumstances could have been disastrous, so I vowed not to deviate from the the list. If I added anything, it would be a vegetable or fruit that was in season. No pasta, no bread, period.

I came home with a satisfied feeling. I had spent my money on vegetables, fruit, almond milk for my cereal, and more fish. I hauled the loot up the stairs and into my apartment and then sent a quick email to my friend, stating that the mission to re-stock was accomplished with a minimum of stress and anxiety. I knew I could replace the money I took from my savings, it was only a matter of time. I hummed as I put the groceries away, munching on an apple while doing so. I brewed another batch of tea for the pitcher, and then settled down in front of my laptop to see what had happened to my story while I was away.

I had managed to get all the groceries on my list, with only one addition, strawberries. They would be great on top of my shredded wheat.

* * *

Depression whether brought on by outside sources, or internal demons, is not something that should be taken lightly. I am lucky that I have good friends and family that keep in touch. Having them to discuss the ups and downs of being single, on a fixed income, and living a very long distance away, has made all the difference. I owe them much, especially a dear friend of mine who never lets me stew over anything.  Persistence is that friend’s middle name I am certain.

GL Roberts is the author of Scar Tissue, a M/M Romance novella published by Seventh Window Publications. GL has also written a short story for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group Love is Always Write event titled A Pharaoh’s Promise, which is a FREE READ on the Goodreads site. The work discussed in this posting is titled Target Acquired and is currently out looking for a publisher. A second novella Light and Shadow is due out late summer from Seventh Window Publications.

Day Five ~ Eating Carbs and Writing

Day Five:

After eleven hours of sleep, I was not only feeling very lethargic but I was ill. The meal issues, the money issues, the writing, all of it left me exhausted. I couldn’t function. My friend, whom I try to chat with daily, was concerned. I had clammed up. I wasn’t my usual chatty self. That triggered a flood of emotions that even the Three Gorges Dam could not hold. I cried. I cried upon waking and reading my friend’s concern in an email. I cried as I dressed. I cried as I moved my laptop from the bedroom to the living room where I worked on my manuscripts. I cried as I looked at the refrigerator. I had no idea what was happening, but I cried regardless.

I did eat breakfast. A hard boiled egg. I choked it down between sobs. I made a cup of Earl Grey tea and sat down in the living room trying to cope with the massive emotional meltdown. Really, I was not eating much less than normal, and granted, I was used to a much greener diet, but to have this incredible gut wrenching mass of emotions was just not right. I tried to write. What I did write was tripe. I deleted everything I typed. I then did something I rarely did. I lay down on the floor with a pillow from the couch, put my back against the couch, and fell asleep. After eleven hours of sleep the previous night, I shouldn’t have been tired. I was exhausted and I had no recourse but to sleep it out.

When I woke, it was late afternoon. My stomach was growling and so I made another dish of pasta. This time adding an egg yolk to the dish of linguini, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, and garlic. I ate it all, then went to my bedroom and turned on my laptop. I watched old reruns of Night Gallery until it was time to chat with my friend. That was a bad night. I cried nearly non-stop and felt so bad about putting my friend in the position of having to try to make sense of the words that came out between the sobs.

I went to sleep right after our chat. I slept straight through again waking after nearly nine hours of sleep. This was not good and something had to be done.

Day Five over.

Day Two ~ Eating Carbs and Writing

Day Two:

I awoke a little hungrier than usual, but I had expected that.  I got out of bed, showered, checked my email…well okay, I admit, I checked my email first, then I showered.  This morning breakfast would be the last of the shredded wheat, a half cup of the almond milk and some grapefruit slices.  The day was gray and damp, and promised to be a perfect day for writing, and it was.

I managed another 3k words on my short story by lunchtime.  Lunchtime for me is when I realize I haven’t eaten it.  I can get so involved in writing that I will forget to eat, pee, and if I haven’t showered that morning, I even forget to change out of what ever it was I wore to bed. This day, was one where I forget to stop and eat lunch, so lunch was at 2:00 p.m.

Lunch consisted of one slice of spelt bread lightly toasted.  I toast it because it resides in the refrigerator to stay fresh longer.  It toasts nicely.  After toasting the slice, I applied one tablespoon peanut butter and one tablespoon of jam.  Seriously, have you ever seen how much there is to a tablespoon? I was surprised when I spread the nutty spread over one half of the toast and still had some left on the knife.  No wasting the serving, I wiped the excess on the other side of the bread. Then did the same with the jam.  It was a very good little sandwich.  I made a pitcher of ice tea and had a glass with my lunch.  It was filling enough.

My short story, needed some research before I went any further, so after lunch I hit the internet to read up on the event of which my story was centered. That was fun.  I love research and can get really into what I’m reading.  I got the data I needed, and another thread for the story.  First, supper.

Let me take a moment and discuss the word supper. The way I use it will be for most, interchangeable with dinner. For me though, supper is the evening meal that is less formal. A family affair as opposed to a formal dinner with guests. When I spent time on the farm with family in Kansas, dinner was around 2 p.m. and supper was a later snack consisting of leftovers from dinner. Today, I refer to my last meal of the day as supper.

Supper consisted of one serving of linguini pasta and a sauce of fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, sautéed onions and garlic. I paired it with a glass of red wine and a glass of water. It was a filling meal. I went back to my story for another hour, then decided to give my eyes a rest. I turned off the laptop, made a cup of tea, then took my self to bed. I don’t have television as I sacrificed both cable and satellite for straight internet. My stories are submitted electronically, and I needed, wanted, the better speed for the internet. With that choice I opted not to get any television. I have found several sites on the internet where I can watch a movie for free (Hulu is my current choice). I turned on the desk top in my bedroom, navigated to Hulu and watched Notorious with Cary Grant.

Day Two over, and I’m still smiling.

Day One ~ Eating Carbs and Writing

I am one of the many underemployed. That is not to say that I am struggling like some of my fellow man, but I do have to watch where the money goes and be sure it goes to the things that are the most vital. Like food. Making every cent count is not a new concept, but it is one I found to be challenging. Sometimes that challenge is fun and rewarding, other times it can be a stumbling block that sends you in to a head first fall.

A point came late last month where I had to tighten my belt and readdress my situation at hand. I checked the larder and discovered I have plenty of stuff to eat. Two cups of olive oil, roughly two cups of balsamic vinegar; a half of a jar of peanut butter; a half jar of jam; six eggs; some dried linguini pasta; a can of soup; a tin of sardines; three frozen tilapia filets; a round of unopened gouda; half a brick of cream cheese; a head of romaine lettuce; a crown of broccoli; one sweet potato; one carrot; 12 spears of asparagus; an avocado; half a loaf of spelt bread (roughly seven slices); two tortillas; a can of refried beans; a can of fire roasted tomatoes; a can of tomato paste; a grapefruit; a lemon; an onion, and several cloves of garlic. Over a dozen bottles of wine, plenty of tea bags and coffee; roughly a pint of almond milk, enough shredded wheat for two more mornings, and — I discovered $21.00 in cash in my wallet. I vowed I would live off that food for as long as I could,only resorting to using the $21.00 in the direst of emergencies.

I first started by looking at the serving size on everything that had a label.  Then I measured out those proportions.  I put twist ties around the linguini so that I only grabbed a serving size out of the box.  I knew what amount equaled a serving of tomato paste and diced tomatoes, and wrote in black sharpie on the label, making it easier to see. That gave me an amazing five servings, FIVE!  I could eat the pasta meal consisting of garlic and onion sautéed in olive oil, fire roasted tomatoes, and tomato paste for five meals. I was elated.

I roasted all the hard vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, asparagus, half the cloves of garlic and half the onion, and the broccoli, then divided them up into cup sized proportions with roughly one sixth of the vegetables in one cup, then put them in plastic containers to be heated throughout the week.  That gave me three servings. Those would be pared with my tilapia frozen fish filets.  Okay, now that all the prep was finished, I was ready to see if I could make this work.

Day One:

I decided I would eat what would spoil quickest. Didn’t want anything to go to waste. I ate a bowl of shredded wheat with almond milk. That gave me plenty of energy to keep working on a couple of my short stories. I have one that is already published, another in the hand’s of my publisher, one published as a free read, and one out in search of a publisher.

I try to work on one storyline per week. With several works in progress, I need the weekend to shake loose the previous week’s work and concentrate on one of the other works. That is my routine. One week a short story, the next week the novel, followed by the short story and so on… This particular week I was working on a short story to be submitted and hopefully chosen,  for an anthology to be published late this summer.  So, thoughts in my head, and breakfast cheerfully eaten, I sat down to write.

Lunch was a tortilla wrap with a fifth of the avocado smeared over the wrap, lettuce and one sixth of the gouda cheese, and one egg white. I saved the egg yolk for the pasta. The writing was going well. I managed nearly 3,000 words that morning alone. The theme of the anthology was Going For Gold, short stories with an Olympic bent. I chose my sport and the characters, and found the story coming at breakneck speed.

Supper that night was one serving of vegetables reheated in the microwave, and one pan fried tilapia fish filet. Each meal was served with eight ounces of water, with four ounces of wine served with supper. I felt pretty good about the whole day. The meals, and the writing. I closed my laptop, made a cup of tea, then grabbed my Kindle and headed for bed.

Day One over.


Captured sleeping beast
waits upon deprived dead scabs
crying saltless tears
Heard by no one now
with hollow sounds that fall still
and portend the dirge
Death knell soaring high
on wings of black taloned wrens
warbling a shrill note
Dry scabs crust and flake
falling off wasted wraith arms
to be pricked again


When Nightmares Become You

What do you typically do when you have a nightmare?  One that holds you in its grasp long after that fated scream escapes with force from the dire grip of ‘why can’t I scream’ to the explosive ‘I just woke myself screaming’.  Do you lie awake, listening to the sounds of your room, or stumble out of bed to check the locks on all the doors?  Do you call a friend?  Or text a lover?

Or, do you do as I do…Write down the dream; because you know in there somewhere is a great story.  Some of us are cursed with the capacity to think beyond the pale.  And I do mean cursed.  We see words in the nightmarish pictures. We tremble at the ferocity of the wayward assault on our senses, but manage somehow to put the words down.  Claiming the dream.  Making it a part of the daylight hours, to dissect and disseminate and redefine the parameters to suit our needs.  We still shake when we think about the dream, but in the end…we win.

I have been asked by friends and family, just where do I get my story lines.  To be honest~ from inside my head.  Sure, I read a lot as a child.  All the classic children’s stories before they were taken over by the P.C. police (politically correct police for all my non new-speak readers), you know, Red Riding Hood being eaten by the wolf…and Snow White being physically challenged by the Huntsman.  The stuff nightmares are made of, were my earliest books.  As I grew, I added new stories.  Of course I read Nancy Drew mysteries.  I also read Poe, and Melville.  I read Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ernest Hemingway.  No author was spared, no story unreadable by my definition.  I read Philip Roth and Erica Jong.  Anaïs Nin, and Evelyn Waugh.  I dabbled in Goethe and Grass, Whitman, Ginsberg, and Pirsig.  When a nightmare struck, I knew I could find a story buried deep in the inner sanctum of my thoughts, knowing I had all those authors to guide me.

It was the same with exciting, friendly, and even erotic dreams.  All were subject to my handy and easily accessible cross pen (a prize from an early school poetry contest) and notepad.  From those dreams, I found my stories.

Last night the nightmare was more vivid and more brutal than any I have ever experienced.  It was driven and dark.  I can only hope that the few words I managed to jot down, before I went and checked the doors and windows, will develop into something I can derail and control.  For now the words are the cornerstone, it will be up to me to raise the foundation and write…a story.

long halls and locked doors

cries of human animals

gasping air to scream

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