May 05, 2005

Mount St. Kern

Men are sometimes peculiar in how they deal with crisis. Some make a big deal about everything, so when a real crisis comes along, people have little sympathy. Others keep their struggles inside until they snap. I usually lean towards the latter. Like a volcano, I sit dormant, quiet, and lull the community into security. Then, when the pressure starts building, some rumblings and steam vents open, then go quiet again. You and I know that the inevitable blowup is coming. Yesterday it arrived for me.

You probably know what crisis I'm talking about, so I'll skip the background. I hit a deep blue funk yesterday afternoon, and determined that tonight I'd have to do something about it. I needed alone time, to vent and get my head together. On the drive home, I felt so low that I wanted to skip out of Choir practice and just leave for a while. I felt marginally ill from all the stress, and thought about staying home from work tomorrow, if it continued.

Drinking. Drinking or gaming. I needed to do at least one of these tonight, or I'd go mad. I'm no alcoholic, but a well-placed drinking binge can be useful, when used strategically. And as they said on The Simpsons, "Nothing like a depressant to chase the blues away!"

I got home and gave Mel the situation. I had to make a decision and act on it. She understood, and we talked it over while we fixed spaghetti. By the time we ate, I felt better, and decided to go to Choir after all and take off when we got home again. Practice helped. Being around other people and cracking my usual jokes helped.

We got back at 9 PM. I kissed Matthew goodnight and Melissa goodbye as I headed for the cyber cafe around the corner... Which was closed. It was a Wednesday night in Flowery Branch, GA, which is not exactly a hotspot for tech-savvy gamers. I settled for a glass of Shiraz at "Hops and Grapes" across the street.

I pulled out my pad and paper and laid out the situation, the options, and the Pros and Cons of each. I had the facts all laid out by the end of my glass, when they were closing up at 9:30. (Again, Flowery Branch.) I grabbed a large bottle of rotgut cider from the bottle shop next door and set up shop on the patio of a nearby restaurant.

For half an hour I reviewed that paper and added the possible courses of action. By the time THAT place closed (10:00), I had it all down. I was amazed that it took roughly an hour. There was a whole lot more thinking to do, but I'd laid the groundwork, most of the heavy lifting, by the time I got home at 10:30. The burden had lifted, my eyes were no longer squinting and my shoulders were loose again.

I looked at the 40 of cider in the paper bag and decided that if I WAS going to call in sick tomorrow, it would be from a hangover and not a nervous stomach.

1 comment:

  1. Sooo, what did you do? I'm sorry that I wasn't any help, as I was on my way into the snip doctor's office when you called. Do you still need a little away-time to let the pot simmer down?