I have a confession to make: my wife and I watch reality TV. Now, not the super-trashy stuff like Toddlers and Tiaras or whatever the trailer park one is. Not that stuff. I’m talking Intervention, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Hoarders, that sort of stuff. I’ve struggled with a bit of shame in watching the shows, but have reached a detente with myself now that I’ve put together just why it appeals to me.

hoardersI admit to having a fascination with “abnormal” (ugh that term) psychology and diseases of addiction and compulsion. This is not some carnival side-show fascination. It’s more that my life has been touched by those illnesses, in one way or another. For example, I’m pretty sure some subconscious drive pushes me to the hoarding shows in order to better understand my grandfather’s twilight years. We didn’t know the word “hoarder” back then, but when I see some of the homes on that show I also glimpse reflections of the packed trailer that my parents and uncle were left to clean up after his passing. I was too young to know better, but wish that I could have connected with him on some deeper level in the way that they connect on the show.

This all comes up because, in some respects, I’m beginning to understand the everyday anxiety with which hoarders grapple. The reason? We’re about 2/3rds of the way through our move and boxes are piled absolutely everywhere. As they point out on the shows, hoarders have to form paths, and so we have formed them as well.

And it’s driving me absolutely insane.

JengaWhen I’m outside the house I can be relatively calm and peaceful, but when I walk in and start navigating those paths I get restless and anxious. Keep in mind that this is a relatively clean place and that the boxes are stacked neatly, not just strewn everywhere. I can’t imagine the anxiety and depression that must build up in some of those homes. It’s amazing what it does to your mental well-being. It certainly explains a lot of the defensiveness and hopelessness that shows up.

So we’re kind of stuck this way for the time being, at least until the first full week of July. I hope not to lose my mind in the meantime.

Did not quite get to finish Chapter 23 yesterday, but did finish the exchange between Dean, Catriona the church lady, and her swinging husband. Lots of drama there, most of it connected to Dean and Catriona. While Dean is a sex addict, Catriona and Mark operate on a different level from him with their own addictions, a level that repulses even Dean and feels profane to him in the shadow of his wife’s funeral. It’s an interesting exchange.

I am now a good portion of the way into Sara’s arrival on the scene and Dean’s commiseration with her. I can practically hear the cries for these two to hook up, but alas, it is not to be given that Dean is 11 years older than her and very different in personality. They could eventually make good friends, however.

Also beginning to think of how resequencing can bring these scenes into greater focus. I have a feeling some character is going to be eliminated, just not sure who will be left standing when the music stops.

More work on the ‘shroom scene in Sara’s novel as well. She’s discovered a younger version of her mother down the rabbit hole of her own subconscious. Could be quite an interesting exchange.

That’s it for today…hope to have more to report tomorrow. Hope you have a great one.

Digging in the Dirt

Well, ready to get back to the grind, consider this my 15-minute check-in for Monday morning. I said that I want to start posting more regularly and here it is. Spot check? Got about 600 words knocked out on Chapter 23 this weekend. This chapter features a pair of encounters that our fearless antihero Dean encounters during his wife, Lindsay’s, funeral, one with his soon-to-be-ex-lover and the other with his wife’s best friend, Sara, who will one day have her own story to tell.

This is the kiss-off scene for the ex-lover and a turning point in Dean’s addiction and that’s all I have to say about that (as that portion is still in development). The scene with Sara is more important, however, as it shows her softening toward the man who cheated on her friend and offers a glimpse of what Dean’s life would look like if he didn’t try to fuck every woman he met.


Plus, I just like Sara and enjoy spending time with her. I’m very much looking forward to telling her full story, and it weaves throughout this novel, showing some of these scenes from her perspective and revealing Dean’s distortions in a greater light. It’s not necessary to read both novels, but they are related and revolve around Lindsay’s death. Oh, and Lindsay’s death is not a spoiler, it’s literally on page 1.

Other than that, life is a never-ending series of boxes and trash bags as we empty out the apartment. Who knew you could compile so much crap in seven years of living in one place? I mean I lived in my childhood home from 81 to 95, but as an adult this is easily the longest I’ve lived in one location (07 to 14). It’s going to be weird, and the packing is very strange, bringing up loads of memories, most of them not-so-pleasant. The condo has seen some very good times, but it’s also seen some of the darkest times in my life. Right now it’s hard not to concentrate on that darkness as I hold the physical artifacts of it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re purging that stuff for the better, but it still surfaces some long-forgotten emotions and memories.

As a result, I’ve been kind of distant and grumpy as I chew over this stuff. Sorry, Mary, it will certainly get better once we move and we’re in a better place.

NIGHT VALE 8inOne other note, I’m possibly the last human being to find out about this, but I’ve been digging into the Welcome to Night Vale podcast/audio book and have become a huge fan. For those who don’t know about it, the concept is community radio in a community where every conspiracy theory is true and Lovecraftian creations walk the earth and are involved with station management. It’s been described as Garrison Keillor in a Stephen King world, and I have to agree. Give it a listen if you get a chance, and I will see you here again soon.