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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

Blogtober 2021: Poison


Yesterday's general blahness and uckyness not only has lingered into today, but has also brought with it a deep ache in my bones. The Pork Chop 'n' Gravy Biscuit from Carl's Jr. brings no satisfaction.

"Maybe your body is trying to tell you it's time to stop eating stuff like that," my wife says. "What did your therapist call fast food? Poison?"

I shoot her a glance as she takes a bite of her own bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit.

"Really?" My voice has more edge than I intend. "You're gonna go there while chowing down on your poison?"

"Hey, hey." She holds her hands up in defense. "I'm just picking at you. No need to get offended."

"I'm not offended. What makes you think I'm offended? I just don't think over-analyzing my eating habits will explain why I feel so shitty about everything."

"You're cranky this morning." Her voice is that mix of playfulness and edge that tells me I need to get over myself and calm down, but now I don't want to.

"I wasn't cranky until now. Nothing makes me crankier than being called cranky. You know that."

Inside, a little voice tells me she is right. I am cranky and I am being an ass and I need to just stop.

"I'm sorry." I tell her. "This doesn't feel like sickness. I can't explain it. I just feel down."

"Do we need to get away for the weekend?" She's been after me for weeks now to go away somewhere, just the two of us. But where? When? What will we do when we get there?

She pecks me on the cheek and heads out the door and leaves me alone with my thoughts, which is not a place in which I always feel safe.


Sandy said 'poison' during our conversation which led my brain naturally to the band Poison which led to me now listening to their power ballad "Something to Believe In" on repeat. Perhaps not the most emo song I could listen to while processing whatever this funk is, but we all have our own forms of catharsis and I long stopped trying to judge people for their taste.

I should be working.

I should be productive.

I should be better.

The curt exchange with Sandy replays on a loop in my brain. Sadness gnaws at my spirit while the Poison song starts over.

Sometimes my brain operates like a search engine optimized for my worst memories of myself. Keywords trigger it with premium speed and accuracy. Guilt? Here are 3,644 matches for your search. Shame? Let us present you with 6,012 matches including your own special Buzzfeed article listing your top ten that confirms what people say behind your back.

Now having lost track of the number of times "Something to Believe In" has played, I turn it off and turn my attention to the mess I call my desk. Email to the left. Instant messages to the right. An unfinished project in front of me. The dark hallway just outside my office door looms long and daunting. I should really turn on a light. Yeah, that's what I'll do. Turn on the light. It's silly to let all that darkness consume everything. I stand, walk to the doorway and reach for the light switch. A spark of electricity flares and a current pricks my finger and sends tentacles of pulsing energy into my hand. I curse loud enough that Daisy raises her head from her napping position on the stairs. I look down the hall once more.

Some places just want to be dark, I guess.

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