ptsd

All posts tagged ptsd

Summer in Vietnam

Published July 10, 2013 by Sandee

Times Square

Willie walked, staring straight ahead with not much of an expression.  Unless you’re a tourist, you should stay away from 42nd Street, especially in this weather.  I’ve known Willie for years, but not intimately.  We have mutual acquaintances.  We didn’t talk much when I ran into him.  I could dig the energy.  It was about conservation.  He’s a heavy-set, older gentleman, Puerto Rican.

He glanced at me wanly.  “It’s tropical heat.  Like Vietnam.  The masters used to say, be still in the calm.”

“You were in Vietnam?”

“Yeah,” he said nodding.

I thought of his age, his demeanor.  I know Vietnam veterans, the ones who have PTSD, the ones who had been drug addicts and alcoholics to cope with the horrors and aftermath of senseless war.

“Stay cool Willie,” I said.  We departed and he waded slowly into the throng.  I went to the Super Runner’s Shop to return running shoes.

Instead of being a pussy and taking the bus, I walked to 49th.  I looked at the tourists and “dirty Elmos” in Times Square.  “Dirty Elmo” is a phrase I learned from my sister.  When she visited once, she and her son were accosted by one.

Today I saw two of them — God bless them in this heat, in furry red suits.

A man caught my eye, an edgy, downtown type, not a technicolored tourist dressed in pastels.  His hair was mussed and he was tall.  The tee-shirt’s the thing that got me.  Black and white, faded.  The tee-shirt had an upside down cross, and the words, “Hail Satan, drink coffee.”  I’m no fan of Satan, but that tee-shirt was, kind of, cool.  Would I wear it?  Hell no!  He walked past me and I turned to look.  If it weren’t for the tee-shirt?  But I don’t do religious zealots uh uh, no — sorry.

I traded in my running shoes and headed for the one train uptown.  This all hadn’t been so bad.  On the downtown side, across the platform, were dull streams of light pouring in from the street gratings above.  The pillars were angular shadows.  A woman in a sharp and casual business suit stood between the shadows, reading an electronic device and holding a briefcase.  Her hair was swept back in a pinned up pony tail.  She was a lone slender figure, her features blotted out by intermittent darkness, the perfect silhouette for a New Yorker Magazine cover.

Sandor

Published July 15, 2012 by Sandee

When I sell another book and I don’t know who the person is, I get excited.  My first 16 sales were people I knew.  A friend or family member would say, I’m going to buy your book.  I’d look at my records in Kindle and, voila, another sale, to John.  It was an, awre, kind of a thing.

The last few days amidst spasms of PTSD after dental surgery, I trudged through part of the process of turning my Kindle book into a hard copy book, using Amazon’s Create Space online publisher — following technical instructions — bleh.  I’m formatting the pages of Mean-Spirited Tales to fit into the Create Space template.  It’s tedious.  For anyone considering using Create Space, there’s a nice man there.  He walked me through the technical instructions.  I told him that he had great communication skills and that he was very suited for the job.  I hope he didn’t think that I meant that he should stay in a job like that all of his life, though I’m not a job snob.  How could I be, with the job I have?  But you know how some people are.

The key to life is knowing you, and being humble about what you can do — you can do it, you can do it, you can DO it Sandor!  Oh yes Sandor’s my other pseudonym — Sandor’s a superhero — anyway, I must remind myself of my capable me.  ‘Remember when you completed the Kindle book technical publishing process Sandor?  Sandor, remember when you rode the Nitro Roller Coaster at Great Adventure and survived, although the paramedics carried you off in a catatonic state?’   These accomplishments are very nice reminders of what Sandor is capable of doing.

Hip Hop from the 1940s

Published July 4, 2012 by Sandee

Warning:  the content below, as relayed by my 86 year old friend M, may be considered offensive.

“The dozens ain’t my game but the way I f**k your ma is a goddamned shame.”

“I took your father in my car, and I beat your ma.  Now you know who you are my son, my son.”

I’ve written about M before.  We’re friends.  He visits the botanical garden where I work.  He was in WWII.  I had asked if he had PTSD from the war, from killing people.  M’s Jewish.  He says to me, “I tried to kill as many of those motherfuckers as I could!”  I asked him to stop right there because he was getting me hot.  Some of you may have heard me say that I have been turned on by a 90 year old man.  This is him, though he’s really 86.  I like extremes so I round it off.  He has soft hands and likes to touch my face – don’t say il!  He has good genes.  He’s spry, cute, funny as hell, he exercises, and still has sex.  He says it wipes him out for days after however.  He comes to the botanical garden where I work with different women – cute, 70 something year olds with nice shapes.  I don’t get jealous.  I just hope they’re not jealous of me, because he comes to see me in the gallery to tell me different things.

He told me those lyrics above yesterday.  I said, “That’s hip hop M!”  “Yeah well, where do you think hip hop came from?”  He says.  He went to school in the South Bronx in the 1940s.  The school he went to was half black and white.  I was surprised, although I did see a dead relative’s year book with half black and white people from back then.  Wow.  M had black friends.  He told me stories yesterday from the days of yore, and how he learned those lyrics up there.  He used to get into a lot of fights too.  I am totally crushing on M.