Just a Volunteer Here Myself

One can not, or one ought not, nickname oneself. This is not a hard-and-fast social rule, but it is similar to the unspoken rule about not declaring oneself humble. The person who volunteers that he or she is humble often is not at all humble. An exception comes when the humble person is speaking self-deprecatingly.

Every once in a while, I have desired a cool nickname, a moniker that precedes me wherever I roam. “Lefty” is a great nickname—Steve Carlton and Phil Mickelson both carry that name with distinction, but I am right-handed. No one goes by the name “Righty.” “Write-y”? No. No one needs a nickname that is a pun, a rhyme no less, and would always need a follow-up explanation: “‘Cause he calls himself a writer, get it?”

“No. No, I don’t.”
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The Bad I Do, Part 2

Doctor’s office, circa a few years ago.

I was sober for over a year at the time, but my life was still far from the “unicorns spitting Skittles where’er we walk on the golden highways to love” that I thought some people were trying to convince me that their (new, sober) life is like. I had asked to see a therapist, and bureaucracy provided me with a pretty good one.
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The Bad I Do …

“I was standing there, minding my mind like it was no one’s business but mine to mind.”“Another Song I Haven’t Written,” by Me.

Doctor’s office, circa a few years ago. Sober for over a year, my life was still far from the “unicorns spitting Skittles everywhere on golden pathways to love” that some people would have one believe life is for them. I had asked to see a therapist, and bureaucracy provided me with a pretty good one.

(The office, part of my county’s Mental Health Department, has since been de-funded and the service sold to private business by the county. Public mental health services privatized. Everyone in Ulster County, New York, was suddenly declared to be balanced inside and completely well. My therapist and I spent our hours twice a week for a couple months sharing stories of the bureaucratic heck we were experiencing; he with not knowing whether or when he needed to start looking for work, and me with not knowing how to apply for Social Security. I know that he helped me at least.)
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