Saturday, February 28, 2009

And just like James, I'll be drinking Irish tonight. (Day 86)

Salutations, and greetings. This will be the last documentation of sobriety for the evening.

I'm in Mesa until tomorrow. So come tomorrow, a real, proper update. It's nice to be doing this again.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend.

-Until tomorrow.

You said, "Do you believe what you're sayin'?" Yeah right now, but not that often. (Day 85)

One of the annoying things with this whole process is the doctors themselves.

As of today, i would have run out of my medication, and as i recently learned...for the time being, i really don't need to be with out it. So I began to check around my wallet for when my next appointment was, or if I'd missed something. Well, actually I did this three days ago.

I knew the last time I had went to the doctor I was scheduled a follow up visit 30 days later. Fine, I can deal with that. Just sling me some pills, and I can be on my Mary Poppins way.

I had a follow up appointment card somewhere, but for the life of me I just cannot remember where I had placed it, and I really didn't want to wind up flaking on an appointment, so I wound up calling them up. I, at this point had three days worth of medication left.

Come to find out, there was no follow up appointment made.

I've had more than my fair share of issues with not only this doctor, but the whole facility entirely. I don't lose my cool that often, but this was definitely one of those times where I wasn't feeling like being an understanding individual. This is my health, and right now I'm just trying to get my life back, basically.

The closest appointment they could give me was two weeks away, unless somehow I could have made it into the office withing half an hour. As I've found out before, if you're five minutes late, you're up the creek. So no, there was no possible way.

I had to settle for two weeks of waiting. Honestly, that's whatever, that's fine. But the problem is, with only three pills, and the memory of what happens when I go off them so freshly embedded in my mind, I kind of panicked. I wound up having to practically beg the woman to prescribe me a refill.

It's always a fucking hoop to jump through with bureaucracy. I hate nothing more than bureaucracy. See, heres the catch with this medication and why seeing a doctor is so fucking "important":

In order for me to get a refill, she has to see me monthly. If I don't go in, I'm boned so hard.

It should not be this way. This facility has been nothing, and I mean nothing but a burden to me. After I was prescribed the lamictal, I began doing just peachy on my own.

So lets just cut out the middle man. I know people have to make those green backs, but you know what? Not at my expense.

(Side note: I just now went to scratch my forehead and wound up jamming my finger into my left eye. Shades of something that happened a few Friday's ago, eh Velvet?)

But there doesn't need to be a middle man here. Write my prescription, or call it in, and don't worry about me. I'll figure something else out. Alcohol has always been trustworthy.

Something has to happen to the state of mental health and it's treatments in this country, and most likely world wide. Lord knows we don't need too many people like me roaming these streets, frothing at the mouth and not being medicated. Health care, as a whole, is one of the saddest excuses for a template of modern humanity I've ever seen. too much bureaucracy, too much pussy-footing, and too many people with no idea what affliction truly is having way too much of a decision in other peoples lives.

Money is important, and theres no getting around that whatsoever. On many levels, whether it be a validation for all the hard work one's put into their lives, or to help sustain life as a whole. it's an equal value bartering system, and it's a lot easier to manager besides trading a daughter and couple goats for some milk cows and plow horses, but it will never be more important than the human condition. I don't necessarily believe it's never not more important than some human lives (murderes, child touchers, rapists), but in general it isn't ever more important than the human condition or suffering.

It's time to subtract that out of the equation, and introduce compassion back into the big picture when it comes to treating people.

-Until tomorrow.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now keep this line open to get this call from you, speak the words that keep me coming back to you. (Day 84)

So today is a special update of Days Gone By.

The last time I really talked, it was to announce that for a while I was gonna go on a hiatus.

I know the whole thing seemed kind of pretentious. But the thing is, I know there are a few people who read this blog, on the regular. And God help me, I'll never know why. I mean, who the hell am I? I'm just a kid with a dream, with aspirations and an admiration for the written words.

The syntax, the symposium of thought and dialect, the structure and iambic prose that fits like a piece to some puzzle.

The whole reason for this blogs existence is because of several reasons. I...I'm such a guarded and secretive person, and I'm not fully sure why. I just know that I don't want to get hurt again.

It's just that...every person I've ever trusted has either died, or hurt that in some way. And I'm not here to collect sympathy, I just refuse to make the same mistakes over and over again. I have faith in history, it's lessons it's taught us in the past are to be markers, teachers and stepping stones to not emulate and repeat the past, but to make new mistakes and make our own marks on history that are not only bad, but beautiful and great as well. Martyrs don't exist to give credence to a specific cause; but rather shed light on a time frame of intolerance of fear.

And I don't want to be a martyr, I don't want to be a person who repeatedly makes mistakes that I've made my entire life. I fall into the trappings that I react one of two ways: I either overreact, or I act foolishly at periods of time that I needn't.

I recently went off my medications. I'm back on the now, but for a short time frame, I went off my medications and the effect was something bad.

Prior to these medications, my moods would swing so violently that I never knew which ones were real. Each mood was fleeting, brief and untrustworthy.

One moment I'd be happy, ecstatic and prepared for the future. Literally seconds late I'd be depressed and finding myself questioning and telling myself, "whats the point? I'm born to lose, I'm going to fail."

All my life I've bee sporadic, on the moment, hard to have anything stick. I moved out a lot of times before, because it seemed like the right thing to do. I moved out of my house when I was a senior in high school, before I turned 18.

But then I started taking this medication. And whether some of the effects are placebo, or if they to most people seem inconsequential, to me they are more than that. I never wanted to think I needed to rely on medication to get through. My pride is sparing, but when it's present, it's overpowering.

But a few months ago, 84 days to be exact, almost three months, I started taking Lamictal. And after a while I started getting these headaches. I know now that that was the genetic make up of my brain evolving and changing.

Everyday is a learning process for me now.

I've never believed in myself. And about half a year, I took a gamble and tried to get hired by a magazine. While I hate being apart of anything journalism related, I just want to write. So the lesser of two evils, you know?

I had a lot of tragedy happen in September, though. One such tragedy caused me to want to bring happiness to people, and while I meant cost me a lot. Every bit of writing I did, for the most part.

I wasn't good enough to be picked up for a little blurb in an "alternative" magazine, and everything I'd done up until my mistake with a little online zine...I wasn't good enough, hadn't done enough for a second chance.

So I sunk into depression, and viola! Lamictal, this blog.

But going off the medication made me realize just how much it'd helped me. How much I've changed in almost three months. How for so long I never had stability, and now I have it. I have to relearn so much now, but it's an exciting process. Finally getting it right.

I believe in myself for the first time in my life.

Maybe I wasn't good enough to be a music journalist. You know what? Thats fine. It's not something I wanted to be anyway. I never fit in at Racket, I wouldn't at the other magazine.

Every writer needs a muse. I don't care whom it is, a writer needs a muse. Be it a girl, or a person in their life, or even a pet. Something to inspire me.

For so long I never had one. Nothing to inspire me, and as a result what I wrote always, to me, felt somewhat hollow because it was lacking a bit of something. A bit of soul. A bit of heart, and passion. That extra little something for me to prove myself too.

Almost two years ago, I met Velvet.

She came into my life while I was recovering from a lot of things had happened. Burying my Aunt, issues with my mother, health issues...and just a lot of hard times in general. I was scrambling for a sense, searching for a former clarity, if you will.

My Aunt Jane succumbed to cancer.

She never told anyone except for her husband, my fathers brother. One afternoon I got the call, and within minutes my father was home packing up and leaving for Colorado.

He's such a strong man. But to see him cry, to be so desperate and shook me to my very core.

I never got the chance to say goodbye. I never got the chance to mourn. We had to stand strong for him, and to be honest...I wish every moment since then that I could have went to her funeral. I never did though.

I met Velvet during a very rough period of my life.

It's so hard for me to trust. In the beginning I wanted so badly not to trust anyone again. I just didn't know if I'd have it in me anymore. There was potential for loss, for a broken connection, for so much.

And I acted like such an asshole.

But somehow she's stuck by my side throughout it all. I'm so very blessed to have a friend like her. The truth is...I've never had a better friend, ever. I love and out, through and through. I trust her with my life.

See, a writer needs a muse.

And you can write, and write, and write...but without soul, without's just nothing but ink on paper, word soup.

It's her belief in me that got File Under Powerviolence finished. It's her faith in me thats helped me to regain some of that confidence I once had, so many years ago.

Everything about she handles the troubles in her life so gracefully, how she lives life with a flair and sense of style thats unmatched...shes never stopped impressing me. And it's hard to impress me...I'm a recovering nihilist.

But she'll kick me in my ass when I need it. Call me on my shit, and encourage my stupid dreams and thoughts. Shes so's scary.

She's so beautiful, it hurts.

And I'm lucky every single day I know her. Just to be another pixel in the picture of her life. I'm grateful for that.

I went off my medication not too long ago, and I wound up back to where I was months ago, in feelings I had so slowly lost I didn't realize that they'd evolved. I always wondered why my dosage was so high...and now I know why.

I had no plans of taking it anymore, and I sunk to a really dark place. Enough so that I walked away from here just as soon as things had started to pick up.

And there was Velvet. Fighting through my evasions, and dark moods...and practically forcing the medication down my throat. Days later, I'm back to this.

I still get depressed, but now I'm just so thankful for it. It lasts, and I can assess it, know it, and learn from it. When I'm happy, I can enjoy it...and to be so very's great to be alive.

She might have saved my life. I'm eternally grateful for that.

Thank you, Velvet.

See, I'm proud of who it is I'm becoming. I'm working on changing some things, but honestly...every day is a new story, or a continuation.

Not many people get that second chance, and so many want to cut that story short. God knows I've wanted too so many times before. I didn't care to turn the page, and for so many years I've been rereading the same paragraph because I was scared of what comes next.

And I still am. But I'm ready.

Days Gone By is going nowhere. This is a means to end. For sanity, for me to learn about myself, to document the roads I've traveled and where I'm going. I'm back.

There will still be Guest Updates. But in the interim, I'll be back here. This is where I'm happy. It killed me not to spew words, and I felt so naked and useless.

And I guess the most important thing I've ever learned...

-I'm fucked without you.

Thank you, friends.

-Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What a wicked game are we. (Day 83) [Guest Update]

Todays guest update comes from a friend of mine, Daniel Langley. He's a dedicated student, and has proved to be a great guy.

His update is pretty positive. So much the opposite of my "wah wah, life is br00tal" rants and raves. So have fun.

Just like James, I'll be drinking Irish tonight.

-Aaron Hale.

I realize I will have your full attention only for the time it takes you to read this sentence.

Picture this:

Three women. One has magical powers, the other has the force, and the third has superhero abilities. What’s the difference? There isn’t one. All three situations would prove that the fields of physics and science are wholly incomplete when it comes to our known information and understanding of the supernatural.

And yet I could imagine the reality of any or all of those scenarios before I could ever imagine the continuation of human consciousness after death. Harry Potter could be real and in England right now playing broom soccer or whatever. Darth Vader could have been real in the past and dead now, death by suffocation during an explosion. And I secretly pray at night that Hugh Jackson does, in fact, have an excellent regenerative system that allowed for some military guys to graft adamantium to his bones and that for some unknown reason to give him sweet fucking claws.

What I do not give a shit about is whether there is a god or how much of a nice guy or a dick he might be. That I will die is a certainty. Therefore, the only thing that could possibly matter to my consciousness is whether or not it ceases when I die. And if it stops, then really, try explaining to someone else that things matter*, because they don’t, and there is no logical train of thought backing the notion that they do.

I can foresee the obvious counter arguments to what I said. Bear with me while I preempt this one of a few possible replies.

I realize that what “matters*” or does not matter depends on how I define that particular word. So let’s define it like this. To matter means that something is relatively significant to ANY thing other than a personal, human, relative interest. In other words, what flavor ice cream I am going to eat matters only because I only like a couple flavors of ice cream. The flavor then is relative, to me, and it matters only in the sense that it is a personal, human, relative interest of mine. The flavor does not matter to anything other than to a personal, human interest, relative only to a human consciousness.

Another example is the question…if I murder someone, does that matter to anyone or anything other than to myself and other people? Does it matter to anything beyond those personal, human, relative interests? I don’t think so. Show me if you can, but only if you can do it without resorting to anything based on your imagination.

The album “Somewhere in the Between” by Streetlight Manifesto finishes the discussion this blog entry began. Basically, the lyrics from the entire CD can be summarized like this:

Don’t waste time contemplating anything I wrote above. Instead just live your life like you can and have fun or do a good job while you’re at it. The end.

-Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I lost all my thoughts of angels in an aspirin billboard. (Day 82) [Guest Update]

I'm really excited about today's post.

See, most heterosexual men these days have a "mancrush", as touched on by Seinfeld. Theres nothing gay about it, you just really like and respect the guy and think he can do no wrong/is perfect in every single way.

My mancrush hails all the way from Canada. His name is Jon "Dreamy" Daley. All jokes and schtick aside, he's an awesome person, and I'm really proud and excited to present to you his guest spot.

sigh....he's so dreamy...

And ladies, he's single.

-Aaron Hale

I was sitting in one of my classes the other day, when the professor made an anecdote from his life in order to highlight how a certain aspect of the text held true. He related that many years ago when he was dating someone from Montreal there was a service that ferried people between Toronto and there called, the “bar car”. Essentially, it would be a taxi that a bunch of strangers would take and just drink and smoke in until they arrived. Knowing Montreal, this is a very Montreal idea. That city has a buzzing energy like New York, where you can walk a block and have the beginning of a novel or a shampoo jingle written. Mind you, I recently proclaimed the same thing about my then location at a bus terminal during a mid-week bender in Peterborough, Ontario.

The crux of my professor’s story was that it is amazing the things you will tell strangers. We do this because as people we have a strong desire to novelize our own history and to self mythologize. He used the example of a failed relationship where we go back through events and try to order them in such a way that our current circumstances happened for a “reason”. I realized that I too was guilty of such things in my own life. If anyone were to ask me, I’d say I was an atheist. However, given my disposition to the ordering of my past in these neurotic causal strings I feel like a shabby one. If everything I do is somehow in service to a product of an event yet to come what is the point of living each moment? Wouldn’t my philosophical leanings allow me to be simply content with the fact that things just happen? Maybe I am religious after all and rather than worshiping the moon or a zombie, I prefer a cult of personality ¾ my own personality. The upside to this is at least when I’m gone I won’t be leaving behind any followers or monuments to excess. I’m the leader and the follower, the father and the son, Hall AND Oates. Although…I do think I caught this girl giving me eyes the other day in lecture!

Speaking of lectures, I’ve been having a bit of a rough go of it this semester. I’ve been contemplating getting some professional help. Truthfully, I’ve had various people suggest that I do over the years. My own feelings on whether this is needed tends to ebb and flow. It is my opinion that with a healthy diet, sleeping pattern and exercise I can control things and have. The only issue is when something beyond my control triggers my mental problems making them more acute, it can offset one of those safeguards and in turn, all of them. I’ve been researching drugs and quite frankly, it scares me. It isn’t just the side effects, although anal fissures don’t sound like any walk in any park I would like to take. As silly as it sounds, in first year I watched this documentary on how these academics believed depression is linked to creativity and it spooked me. What if I get on meds and I’m cut off from the source of my creativity or what if that source is muted? What if it does manage to kill the leader but leave the follower behind? I don’t want to lose all my thoughts of angels in an aspirin billboard.

-Until tomorrow.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I try to bless myself with boredom, but I still feel cursed, (Day 81) [Guest Update]

Todays blog update comes from Rhode Island musician, and friend of mine, Justin. You can check out his musical out put by clicking this nifty-difty link to Blank Tapes and Empty Bottles. Worth a listen!

So click open another tab, sit back and envelop your auditory and visual senses with Justin-y goodness. You'll be disease free when it's over, and still have the feeling of pure elation.


-Aaron Hale

We probably need an intro for this since it isn’t Aaron writing today. This his friend Justin from Rhode Island and all I think about every time I read Days Gone By is the theme song from Family Matters, “Days gone by it’s the jigawuzz of the family”.

So anyways, it’s almost my twenty first birthday and what do I have to say for it? Nothing good. They say you shouldn’t say anything if you have nothing positive to say, but sometimes criticism breeds positivity. I’m almost old enough to drink legally, but the last couple of years I’ve really sucked at it… blacking out, forgetting important things, drunk driving (terrible idea even if I made it home safe) and just overall not doing it enough and getting terrible hangovers. I remember back when I started… I was around fourteen years old, sounds weird but nowadays kids are pregnant at that age or doing hard drugs, so I don’t feel that bad.

I could drink five or six beers or girl drinks (i.e. Smirnoff coolers, mike’s hard lemonade, etc.) whatever the high school kids gave us for free and be carrying a fine buzz and then wake up like nothing happened. Fast forward to a couple nights ago I’m at the bar with my brother and his friends and I’m drinking whiskey cokes. I have five and feel nothing, then on the sixth it all hits me. I feel really great and all of a sudden girls are interested in me, it’s like a dream almost, but it’s really happening.

So I black out and we’re back at my brother’s house and suddenly the chick is mad at me so I go to leave and my brother takes my keys. At this point I’m not that bad… I’m on the verge of it, but I didn’t even have anything else to drink. So someone gives me a water and I start walking home in the twenty degree weather. My brother’s long time friend who is pretty much another brother to me picks me up and agrees that my brother shouldn’t have taken my keys, that it was a dick move. So we go back get my car and he follows me home to make sure I’m safe, like a good brother would do.

So you’re saying, "Well it had the potential to be a good night, but your brother fucked it up."

Yes and no. It was him being a dick that ruined it I would have been fine with my nice buzz and accepted that the girl wasn’t down because she was also kind of young. So the brother comment brings me to another point… my brother recently moved out and in all it’s glory along with it came some great things and some terrible things. I took his room and made it a band space… ace.

However all the shit he used to get living here was subsequently poured on me full time. I was trying to do the right thing and take college classes but one sucked so bad I dropped it and my father flipped out and cut my funding for school, so now after switching to part time at work I’m stuck there, kind of ironic, kind of run on sentence. So now I work at Lowe’s part time, play instruments not nearly enough and thought about quitting drinking only to be taken back by how awesome being drunk correctly is.

On top of all this I haven’t been laid in two years. If I was a married guy that’d be common place but I happen to be twenty years old, so it’s a god damn shame. What to do about it? Well my dad took me out of school so there goes all those options. I work at Lowe’s so all the girls are either pregnant, married, disgusting, taken or have had kids. Interesting huh? My only hope seems to be concerts I haven’t been to since last year and the bar scene. Which brings me back to drinking. It’s good when controlled it gives you a high and makes things overall way better than they normally are.

Think about it, you sit around with your friends and talk. Without booze you do that and constantly complain there’s nothing to do, with booze it’s the greatest thing since the internet. The down side to booze is health concerns and getting out of control. Many people like it use it as an excuse to do retarded things. “If I do that chick I’ll just say I was drunk or I’ll just get drunk and not feel that bad about it” Hilarious? Kind of. Extremely unintelligent? Of course.

So the great debate that’s being going on forever seems to never end. Some of the best people in my life drink and they do it for a good time, as that’s what it’s intended for. Benjamin Franklin said something along the lines of, "You know God wanted us to have fun that’s why he invented the drink." Ben also spread syphilis across our entire country… you get the point. Low and behold I will give into my Irish genes and keep up the drink, however if I continue to fuck it up I’m done.

As for my job everyone says I’m lucky to have it, but really am I? I’ve been demoted since the two years I’ve been there, I make ten dollars an hour which isn’t bad, but I literally stand there for hours and occasionally handle money. Yeah the economy is fucked, thanks to a few thousands people, while millions starve and somehow aren’t murdering the thousands?

Now out of all that was spoken for this far, this boggles me the most. There’s a few thousand people ruining it for everyone and they still have their lives in tact? Not only that, but they continue to fuck it up for all the while somehow benefiting more. I’m really disappointed in you America… but at the same time I just wrote a page about drinking and not getting laid. We need to get our priorities straight before there’s no future. And as terrifying as that sounds you will promptly react by going straight back to work and completely forgetting about it. I can’t say I won’t do the same. What’s changed since the times of revolution? Everything is easily available to everyone now, so nothing seems as bad anymore.

Also people used to do a lot of drugs back when all the hippies protested, so maybe we just need more drugs as motivation. Or maybe you need to witness someone die in front of you. Maybe you need to see someone starve to death, or someone get kicked out of their house that they’ve lived in for thirty years. I don’t know but we need to find it soon because as great as Obama being in the white house is, it isn’t enough at all.

Everyone needs to get off their ass and stop using credit cards because it’s literally fucked our whole economy, and to fix it? Oh we just use more money that doesn’t exist. I’m really proud of you America, like a dad that missed your championship game because he had to work.

-Until tomorrow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The promised land. (Day 80) [Guest Update]

Today's guest update is a very special one, coming from and Bitter Press Editor, Jesse Raub.

Jesse is a great guy, who works 23 jobs and never sleeps. He's extremely talented, and a pleasure to know.

He's given me a lot, and I mean a LOT, of valuable advice as per writing, and the less than creative sides about it. If it weren't for him, I'd be walking blindly with a big smile and steak wrapped around my neck into a den of hungry lions. I wish I could thank him for all the nice things he does. I'd try, but he literally works 49 jobs and still somehow manages to do things for his own site, Bitter Press, and Punk News.

Once you get to know him, you realize that all our lives are shit without him.

I'd suggest any, and all aspiring writers take heed to what this post is about.

Go to Bitter Press. Diddie Mow! Do so after reading this (as well as all the guest updates) and love life! Give him money so he can quit one or two of his goddamned jobs.

- Aaron Hale.

"I seem most instinctively to believe in the human value of creative writing, whether in the form of verse or fiction, as a mode of truth-telling, self-expression and homage to the twin miracles of creation and consciousness. The special value of these indirect methods of communication — as opposed to the value of factual reporting and analysis — is one of precision. Oddly enough, the story or poem brings us closer to the actual texture and intricacy of experience." – John Updike, "This I Believe" essay for NPR

I was driving in my car, listening to NPR on the day of Updike's death, and was taken aback by the essay he read from 2005. He was right. In editing a piece about counterfeit goods in China for a local magazine, my managing editor and I both agreed that there needed to be more first person anecdotes sprinkled throughout the piece. The author told a story about a friend being physically chased out of a counterfeit Cartier store for trying to help a Canadian couple barter, and instantly the counterfeit markets became a real place in the world staffed by real people.

But what Updike was saying goes past anecdotes for magazine essays. Sitting in my car, driving home with my dog in a snowstorm after work, I felt like I had let Mr. Updike down. Something clicked off a few years back, and after my last fiction class, writing had become a sideshow to paying bills and pursuing easier publication (album reviews, news posts, blogging, etc.). In just a few years after graduating with a degree in Fiction Writing, most of my pieces were small, inconsequential stories worth a smile but that didn't communicate any Universal Human truths. All attempts at novelling had run into brick walls after the first twenty or so pages.

It's easy to assume I'll never become a successful fiction writer. And that's because writing fiction requires complete ultimate dedication. Getting your novel published or a short story collection or even a singular short story means that you live, eat, and breathe what you are doing, sacrificing human contact and any other work. Of course that's a generalization, but I've never met anyone who's had it work any other way.

I made a big choice three years ago that the most important thing in my life was my fiancee. So for the past three years, my focus has been on working to support her while she's in grad school and writing what I can on the side. That's fine. I had a period of decompression after all my fiction deadlines in college and worked on writing short pieces and incidental short stories. I climbed my way to editor positions at a variety of magazines and honed my editing and writing skills. I even kept cheery about working on long form pieces. But the long and short of it is that my time is limited, and my dedication is to my happiness in my home life.

Rarely do you hear about the great writers who had successful first marriages. And while I don't want to discredit Updike's personal life compared to what he gave the literary world, my future wife is the foundation that provides support, love, and understanding that allows me to be happy with my life and pursue writing. Without her, surely I'd have more time to write, but I wouldn't have happiness, and that, sometimes, is most important.

I also believe that writing relies on pattern and habit. With most of my writing work occurring at my full time job when I have some downtime, it's hard to get in and out of the setting of a story. And as much time as I've spent denouncing the influence of fiction in my life, it's the mistress I'll never be able to quit. So I'm making a resolution for when I leave this town for the next this coming May: I will spend time each day reading from a novel and writing in my own. I will dedicate attention to my own personal goals and ignore the opportunity to slap my name on another small publication.

"The Promised Land" -- that's how I see the new house we'll be moving into. Our plan is to have a small library on the main floor with a reading chair, and to have a small office in the basement where I can work on my fiction. And while my own pursuits don't quite match up with the character from the Springsteen song, I think the underlying feeling is there.

After all, I owe my debt to the "twin miracles of creation and consciousness," the two forces in my life that make everything possible, be it a healthy, nurturing relationship with my future wife, or a love-torn fling with my latest novel attempt.