The Melt

by Nic Olson

I had a cup of coffee about twenty-one days ago. First time in a decade perhaps. Tasted fine. Any thing tastes good with three scoops of white sugar and some non-dairy powdered whitener. Put that shit on an old worn out boot and you could eat the damn thing. I had coffee because someone needed me to have coffee with them so badly that I didn’t say no. He waited until he had absolutely no choice but to call someone, on the brink of self-destruction sitting in the park.

I drank beer and pissed in the bush about ten times and eight times respectively on Friday evening. The beer kept appearing in my koozie and I kept talking, more than I may have talked in a few months. The topics discussed included petroleum, Aboriginal rights, picky eaters, atheism, plastic bags (reusable vs. one-time use), housing, Harper, Meatless Mondays and veganism, which brought us back to petroleum and Aboriginal rights and Harper. We cycled into the same topics on purpose, hitting the same points eloquently and intelligently, but after piss number seven the cycles looked more like a child’s attempt a drawing a circle. I held the left wing, and he, the right, and pulled so hard that beers brought left and right so close that they nearly touched.

Unless we are struck by bicycle-stopping winds that prevent me from delivering two donation receipts to my Alternative Measures Program this week, I am all but in the clear for my passionate stencil incident. “It wasn’t stupid, it was ill-advised,” said the mediator, “You’re not a stupid person.” This was my first mediator/participant that didn’t speak down to me like I was in grade school.

These stories have a theme. The theme could be summed up by a phrase I heard this week in the alley by our garden.
Just another goddamn bleeding heart. No perspective or guidance. With no fucking clue.

And thus I’ve hit a new stage of life. The catatonic stage. The one where you get home from your day and you realize that having two jobs you love isn’t enough to keep you happy. Karma has struck you lonely because of selfishness. Booze, bonfires, television, hobbies cannot distract you like work can, nor can they make you feel like your days are well spent. You are tired but you aren’t too tired. Laying on the couch staring at the ceiling, standing in the kitchen staring out the window, sitting in the work van staring at the steering wheel in the complete city silence, with no thoughts except simultaneous self-pity and self-loathing based on things you can’t even remember. Getting home is no longer a mental relief because you are alone with your thoughts, trying to find where one balances passion and sanity, trying to see how long you can drown your emotional and relational issues in work tasks and busywork. And when those begin to sour then the rest begins to heat up. The coffee melts the mandatory donation receipts and mixes with the beer.

The spring melt has ended, but the summer brain melt has just begun.

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