Category Archives: biography

The Father Ghost of Jane Snitly by Matt Carlson

She had never really considered it. It was something that she’d just decided to do. One day Jane Snitly bought the auburn hair coloring treatment, went home, read the instructions on the box, locked herself up in the bathroom and one hour later it was done. She’d become a redhead at twenty.

On top of it all, she looked good as a redhead. It wasn’t the flashy bright red of some, but more classy, like Katherine Hepburn in the 50’s and 60’s. And so it was, she’d chosen this look seemingly out of the blue – thinking it gave her an aura of the beautiful actress. And yet, even while she looked at herself in the mirror, she couldn’t ignore the pressing images that assaulted her there…

It was a gorgeous Buick of light blue sitting outside on the street under the front yard maple tree  – to keep under the shade. It was a hot summer day in the valley. There’d been a woman sitting in the passenger seat. She was very pretty, quite well dressed and she’d come with her Dad who was now in the house. He was having a conversation with Jane and Jenny’s Mother. The two little blond girls were 9 and 12, Jane was the youngest; Jenny the oldest. The two little girls were intrigued with the woman but didn’t dare speak to her. They’d been playing jacks in the driveway.

Blue curling up smoke from the woman’s cigarette went into the tree itself – seemingly dancing with the leaves – and Jane wondered who she was: this silent friend of her Father’s. Jenny felt it too and the girls left long lingering looks in her direction while halfheartedly spinning and catching. Voices were suddenly raised within the house and Jane and Jenny knew what that meant: another argument between their Mother and Father. They’d known something was up as their Father had ordered them to ‘stay outside and play’ upon his arrival and that he’d ‘wanted to speak to their Mother alone.’ Hearing those words had created a stir in their young bellies, but they had no clue as to why.

The wailing coming from within was low at first: a kind of moaning. Was that human? They both wondered while looking simultaneously at the house where their Father was now exiting. He didn’t say anything to them except that he loved them and would talk to them soon.

Jenny being older asked,”Daddy, where are you going? Why is Mamma crying like that?” She asked while chewing on her fingernail. Her Father stopped and seemed to reconsider something. The woman in the car was watching intently.

“Honey, Daddy is going to go and live somewhere else for a while…. but I’ll come back soon and we’ll do something fun, okay?” This was a lie, of course yet he wanted to give them a warm fuzzy of some kind. A lie was better than nothing. And perhaps he’d made himself believe that his words were true. Jenny didn’t say anything and he got into the car and started up the engine.

The wailing from within the house went up a notch and Jane suddenly found herself standing in front of the running engine, standing in front of the car where her Father sat with a strange & beautiful woman. Jane knew what it all meant. He was leaving. Leaving their Mother; leaving them. Leaving with the woman with auburn hair. Her Father stepped out of the car and asked, “What is it Janie?” But a paralysis overtook the little girl and no words would come. “Honey?… Okay, I’ve gotta go now sweetie – move out of the way.” And just like that she did what was asked of her. Her Father drove away. The woman gave her a sad smile and a slight wave of a manicured hand.

“Don’t go Daddy,” she whispered as the car drove out of sight. She’d forgotten to breath for a moment and felt slightly dizzy. Jenny had run inside to see her Mother. Janie stood there for a long time. Watching, waiting, trying to figure out what had just happened. Her tears and the low moaning were suddenly hers. Her Father had left her. Had left her Mom and sister. Only a Father Ghost would remain now….

**** Explanatory Note:

Almost sixty years later, Jane Snitly (her name has been changed to protect her identity) would die of Emphysema at the age of 68. According to a certain psychiatrist, she chose this hair color because unconsciously she chose to be the woman that her Father left with. That means she wanted to be the woman he chose to be with. (To be the woman that her Father loved). At the same time, she also chose to be the Mother that her Father left. The woman scorned and angry. Probably too,  that both of these identities  co-existed subconsciously within.

That being the case,  the two inner personalities or roles were at constant battle with one another; that the Mistress hated the Mother and that the Mother within hated the Mistress…The Father reassures and helps in developing a sense of identity to children in a family. When a Father abandons his children or is absent, the child will constantly search out that Father image – an image that he or she needs in order to construct their identity. The child (and later on adult) will do this subconsciously, of course and unknowingly will set up repetitive failures with people, people that the unconscious mind will perceive as a potential Father image. This is called the Father Ghost. Many of us have a Father Ghost, though we don’t realize it. He hoovers there constantly and is played out within the people around us, especially family members or other potential father-type images. Because it failed with their own father’s, and is an unconscious functioning, it will fail time and time again. No matter if you are a perfect Father figure, the scorned child will find fault with you somehow. Until the child becomes consciously aware of what is happening (and learns to make a conscious effort to change) he or she will continue to destroy potential Father figures. It is something imprinted within and a vicious circle…Some people will find other ways of creating identity with the pathology of the Father Ghost haunting them. Some will choose to work in psychology, health services and even religion…Anything that will give them a strong sense of belonging and reassurance…

*** ‘A noted sociologist, Dr. David Popenoe, is one of the pioneers of the relatively young field of research into fathers and fatherhood. “Fathers are far more than just ‘second adults’ in the home,” he says. “Involved fathers bring positive benefits to their children that no other person is as likely to bring.”  Fathers have a direct impact on the well-being of their children. It is important for professionals working with fathers— especially in the difficult, emotionally charged arena in which child protective services (CPS) caseworkers operate—to have a working understanding of the literature that addresses this impact.

Such knowledge will help make the case for why the most effective CPS case plans will involve fathers. This chapter lays out the connection between fathers and child outcomes, including cognitive ability, educational achievement, psychological well-being, and social behavior. The chapter also underscores the impact of the father and mother’s relationship on the well-being of their children….

THE IMPACT OF THE MOTHER-FATHER RELATIONSHIP ON CHILD OUTCOMES One of the most important influences a father can have on his child is indirect—fathers influence their children in large part through the quality of their relationship with the mother of their children. A father who has a good relationship with the mother of their children is more likely to be involved and to spend time with their children and to have children who are psychologically and emotionally healthier. Similarly, a mother who feels affirmed by her children’s father and who enjoys the benefits of a happy relationship is more likely to be a better mother. Indeed, the quality of the relationship affects the parenting behavior of both parents. They are more responsive, affectionate, and confident with their infants; more self-controlled in dealing with defiant toddlers; and better confidants for teenagers seeking advice and emotional support. One of the most important benefits of a positive relationship between mother and father, and a benefit directly related to the objectives of the CPS caseworker, is the behavior it models for children.

Fathers who treat the mothers of their children with respect and deal with conflict within the relationship in an adult and appropriate manner are more likely to have boys who understand how they are to treat women and who The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children are less likely to act in an aggressive fashion toward females. Girls with involved, respectful fathers see how they should expect men to treat them and are less likely to become involved in violent or unhealthy relationships. In contrast, research has shown that husbands who display anger, show contempt for, or who stonewall their wives (i.e., “the silent treatment”) are more likely to have children who are anxious, withdrawn, or antisocial.

THE IMPACT OF FATHERS ON COGNITIVE ABILITY AND EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT Children with involved, caring fathers have better educational outcomes. A number of studies suggest that fathers who are involved, nurturing, and playful with their infants have children with higher IQ’s, as well as better linguistic and cognitive capacities.Toddlers with involved fathers go on to start school with higher levels of academic readiness. They are more patient and can handle the stresses and frustrations associated with schooling more readily than children with less involved fathers.

The influence of a father’s involvement on academic achievement extends into adolescence and young adulthood. Numerous studies find that an active and nurturing style of fathering is associated with better verbal skills, intellectual functioning, and academic achievement among adolescents. For instance, a 2001 U.S. Department of Education study found that highly involved biological fathers had children who were 43 percent more likely than other children to earn mostly As and 33 percent less likely than other children to repeat a grade.

THE IMPACT OF FATHERS ON PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOR Even from birth, children who have an involved father are more likely to be emotionally secure, be confident to explore their surroundings, and, as they grow older, have better social connections with peers. These children also are less likely to get in trouble at home, school, or in the neighborhood.13 Infants who receive high levels of affection from their fathers (e.g., babies whose fathers respond quickly to their cries and who The Link Between Marriage and Fatherhood Caring, involved fathers exist outside of marriage. They are more likely, however, to be found in the context of marriage. There are numerous reasons for this, not the least of which being the legal and social norms associated with marriage that connect a father to the family unit. That may also explain, in part, why research consistently shows that the married mother-and-father family is a better environment for raising children than the cohabitating (living together) mother-and-father family.

It is interesting to note that, contrary to stereotypes about low-income, unmarried parents, a significant majority—more than 8 in 10—of urban, low-income fathers and mothers are in a romantic relationship when their children are born.

Most of these couples expect that they will get married. One study found that more than 80 percent expected they would get married or live together. However, only 11 percent of these couples had actually married a year later.

Why they do not marry is an interesting question open to conjecture. However, as Dr. Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has pointed out, it may be because these couples receive very little encouragement to marry from the health and social services professionals with whom they come in contact.

Fathers and Their Impact on Children’s Well-being play together) are more securely attached; that is, they can explore their environment comfortably when a parent is nearby and can readily accept comfort from their parent after a brief separation. A number of studies suggest they also are more sociable and popular with other children throughout early childhood.

The way fathers play with their children also has an important impact on a child’s emotional and social development. Fathers spend a much higher percentage of their one-on-one interaction with infants and preschoolers in stimulating, playful activity than do mothers. From these interactions, children learn how to regulate their feelings and behavior. Roughhousing with dad, for example, can teach children how to deal with aggressive impulses and physical contact without losing control of their emotions.19 Generally speaking, fathers also tend to promote independence and an orientation to the outside world. Fathers often push achievement while mothers stress nurturing, both of which are important to healthy development. As a result, children who grow up with involved fathers are more comfortable exploring the world around them and more likely to exhibit self control and pro-social behavior.

One study of school-aged children found that children with good relationships with their fathers were less likely to experience depression, to exhibit disruptive behavior, or to lie and were more likely to exhibit pro-social behavior. This same study found that boys with involved fathers had fewer school behavior problems and that girls had stronger self esteem.

In addition, numerous studies have found that children who live with their fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior. In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children. A caseworker who understands the important contributions fathers make to their children’s development and how to effectively involve fathers in the case planning process will find additional and valuable allies in the mission to create a permanent and safe environment for children.’


The Closet Door by Joanie


The Closet Door by Joanie

‘Oh no! God – not another test-haven’t I had enough already? Oh well, I take a deep breath, shoulders back, pull up my boots and march forward!!! Let’s get on with it and over with…

I remember so many things  but I’m always saying, ” I can’t remember that”, “When did that happen?”…”Who was there?”, “How old was I?” So I’ve forgotten a lot of things, but oh! What I can remember…

Mother: shiny blue long evening dress, that special sweet good smell, loving arms, her smile, her reassurance and her giving… Her unconditional love and patience… Her utter belief in me. I will miss you and take you with me all the rest of my life; my best friend.

She doesn’t hear me very often anymore, she doesn’t even see me… Not even when I sit right in front of her and call her, “Mom, it’s me your daughter, Joanie… I love you.” Sometimes a soft, “I love you too, honey” ; maybe a little smile will follow.

Sometimes I want to shake her and say, “Hear me! I need you! Be there for me again,” but I don’t….and she won’t be there for me again.

Just before she really went away, she did hear me and I didn’t even say anything. She she just started telling me that we had to accept the things life sent us and that she didn’t like it anymore than I did, but we had to keep going…

Even though I know she’ll never truly be herself ever again, every time I go to see her, there is a little hope that whispers to me, “maybe today…”

Aw, but she’s free from this veil of tears – I hope- sometimes a smile hovers on her face and I make myself believe wherever she is, she’s happy now.

She shared her first loss with me and my sister, when Daddy went away. There was a redhead (strange that I used to color my hair auburn) he became enameled with and I remember my sister and I watching him the day he left – packing his clothes. We begged and begged him not to go. But still, there he was driving out the driveway…. And suddenly I dashed out in front of the car. He stopped and said, “What’s the matter Joan?” All I could do was cover my eyes and run back in the house.

Could I have ever done that to one of my children? No! No! Afterward I blamed myself for not asking him to stay with us.

Mom cried for months it seemed, then went to work selling yardage or dresses or something like that. We had become ‘latch key kids’. Nothing worse than a silent, dark house when you came home from school. When Mom was a bit sick and stayed home from work – oh the joy of coming home finding her there! Even the house smelled better.

I never forgave my Father, I know. Although, when I was going to get married I tried to find him through my aunt. He finally contacted my sister – not me….my sister.

But I got even when I was pregnant. Once he called from the bus station- but I didn’t want to see him so my husband went down and talked to him. So who got even with who? He did spend some time with my sister and her family but I just couldn’t or wouldn’t go there then.

Then came the time when he drank so much even my sister wouldn’t let him come into her house….and then he punishes us all and took his own life. In a dingy little apartment he hung himself on the closet door. He left an inheritance for my sister and I: 800 dollars partly hidden in some dirty clothes and partly in a pair of bedroom slippers on a closet shelf. The rest of his legacy is a feeling of horror for what he did, partly for an old drunk, regret and a loss that can never be found ever again.


OMG! What Have I Done?? by matt carlson

March 14th here in Clovis California….I woke up in Fresno (where I’m staying) and I woke up with a stomach ache. I am feeling misplaced & lost. I have left my zone of comfort on every level here. I Have left France (for a while) to return back to my roots, to reconnect. Now, I just want to go  back home and take care of the fish in the pond, take a solar shower outside while looking at the Saint Victoire, feed the birds, sing in my wooden chalet…. see some of my friends…spend some time with my other half….oops! I Wanted, Wanted, Wanted our love to be real :

BUT That other half has turned out to be a monster in Borderline Personality Disorder clothes!! The lamb now a wolf has taken off his clothes and tried to eat the person who cared for him. I have become its favorite dinner and TALL TALE. I  have left to save myself, to recreate a new life here, to reconnect and to qualify people, places and ideas. I want NO REGRETS. I am full of intentions here in the land of the raisin…..OMG!

Fortunately, I haven’t had any expectations; nothing has happened that has surprised me. I learned alot living in France for 27 years and today I know and understand people: their motivations, their hypocritical ways, their words within words….As well as those that show true friendship and love. True generosity comes with NOT expecting something in return. It is not about getting something, or working out your own personal problems against someone, nor should it be a way to manipulate someone further down the road for gain…

I know when someone is being sincere with me or not.

Six weeks are coming up this week since I’ve been here and I’m still searching for my nitch. My nitch might be in Palm Springs, or perhaps even in the mountains nearby or perhaps on a tropical island….hmmmm Hawaii? Will my dogs be happy over there?

I am at the moment here in Clovis California at the PARISIEN, a French bakery… How funny is that? Maybe I could work with the owner by organizing French music concerts around his food…maybe we could organize events together….See? My mind is trying to figure out answers, trying to find my tribe. Palm Springs is a nice idea – had alot of fun there this weekend at the Indian Wells ATP/WTA tournament, with all the stars of tennis and located in a sublime place. On top of that, terrific company with a new friend orginally from Vietnam. I was treated like a king and also met up with some friends from the past, one who lives in Palm Springs….

In the meantime, I feel better after eating a French meal here in old town of Clovis, California. Funny too that name, Clovis. It’s French. Clovis was known as the first King of what would become France….


Intentions by Matt Carlson

At an angle from the gallery window in my alcove at Le Château de la Reine Blanche, looking upwards I can see a terrace with its stone walls, overhanging plants swaying in the breeze, one of two towers, the closed apartment windows of neighbors. The weather is grey, humid ; still undecided. A bit like my heart. Should I stay or should I go?

Yesterday, I was certain of my departure: Being an alien in an alien world where language and culture are constantly at odds with one another, I want to run home where life might be less complicated, surrounded WITH loved ones. I want to share life with them.  I know that that idea of running home is not what it used to be. Mom is dead. Dad is dead. Aunt Muriel, Uncle George  & Aunt Jackie too. All dead. All the grandparents that I loved too. If I want to visit with any of them it will be at a cemetery.

Everyone has procreated too and those kids are young adults now with lives, jobs and yep you guessed it: kids of their own! These kids know me mostly through Facebook, though I visited briefly this summer and got to meet a few of them in person – which was terrific. Looking forward to meeting/seeing the rest of them…

And then there are those that are maybe mad at me for leaving. Maybe too for something else – who knows as they haven’t made any statements yet (or perhaps I’m just imagining all that…)  In any case, the dynamics of the family have changed since I left the states over 26 years ago. Internet was just kicking in…

So, I want to focus on my INTENTIONS; an essential to me. Intentions are the hows and whys we do things. So my intention or desire is  to spend more time with my family and HOW to do that! Being that I’ve lived thousands of miles away for several years adds brain clutter to the equation. That and social security/health care….

And now that I’ve seen the ugly heads of some that I never imagined possible before, I’m weary of that possibility. One brother has already showed signs of ‘non- reception’ . Maybe that’s changed…I hope so!

Stay tuned to following FUN chapters on Fresno Times and Paris Times!




“BE HERE” & Life At Le Pin Pastèque

BE HERE  (& Life At Le Pin Pastèque)


May 19th, 2014. Approximately day 3,328 at Le Pin Pastèque (the watermelon pine tree) in the south of France.

It was a blustery day: the wind rattled so much that even the screws safely secured in wooden posts trembled. Branches bended & leaves sang. Squirrels and birds huddled safely in their nests; cats in their country hotels slept, dogs too on their masters or mistresses beds. Outside hanging on the home made wall of a wooden veranda – a small square mirror. It had been rescued from the trash. Tiny red tiles framed it – though a few were missing. It went “bang, bang” and then “scrape, scrape” :  a  dance of wind & an old mirror.

A large grey  barrel sat on the dirt nearby pushed up against the wall beneath the mirror. “Gloup, gloup, gloup,” went drops of rain into the barrel. The wind had freed the drops from their pine needle prison on the plastic roof. There were always a lot of pine needles on that roof.

The barrel didn’t mind more drops joining the party, it just sat there full of water. As a matter of fact, the barrel didn’t think at all: it was only a container – left there in that exact spot to collect rain water. But it was steadfast sitting and a comforting sight. The ensemble : an outside bathroom of sorts. There was an old iron brasserie stem too (next to the barrel) used as a small table, though the marble had been broken long ago, with enough room to put a glass and a few tooth brushes. Tooth brushes that were now laying in the dirt.

With the television off, I could attend my ears to those sounds around me. An instant ago, they had been mere background noises, but now I could hear them. Joining the mirror dance, the thin door of the laundry room banged too as the machine inside shook my clothes angrily in its ever revolving mouth of plastic and steel. Outside: waves of air rolling, twisting & crashing into inanimate objects. A dog barked in the distance. Someone whistled.

Each time a new noise sounded, Foebbe and Fender (2 white Jack Russel’s) jumped down from the couch and ran to the glass front door. They jumped onto it excitedly with their front paws or in realizing an absence of anything worth discovering, would return to lie down, each in separate corners. “Of course”.

I took a deep breath. Aside from the dogs, I was alone. Of course Truc (Thing) the cat was there and the fish in the pond, but for all practical purposes, I was alone. And I desperately wanted to bring myself back to me! Back to my own thoughts – not those that were once again clamoring at my brain’s doorstep. Those were NOT my thoughts.

It was as if I wanted to read a book, but instead of the first page of a book I’d chosen, there were 1st pages of other books opening at the same time in my mind. Books from other people. “Read this one!” They yelled simultaneously, or almost. Similar to one door opening and suddenly shifting into perspective:  another door! Way the fuck too many doors- or books! I took a deep breath and with impatience yelled at the dogs to go and lie down again.

“Breath in deeply,” I told myself. “Count to four.” Wait four seconds. “Exhale,” and I did while still counting “1, 2, 3, 4″… There was no need to be anywhere. I mean, I didn’t have any obligations outside of the house, the animals, taking care of the home front kind of stuff. O had left a couple of months earlier and I had had little news.

Today I would just try and exist. To breath. To listen to the wind. I would not even try to focus on that first page of any book. I would not sing. I would not write. I would not try to figure anything out.  I would just sit here with Foebbe and Fender. Together we would listen to the wind.

“Be here,” I said .


The House That’ JACK’ Built by Matt Carlson

I’m looking again at this picture of a wooden house, the one you see there with the trees and the garden. That wooden structure is actually sitting on what was once a very big cement terrace. I built it myself with my two little hands; it’s insulated, has a see-through roof (though now that’s covered with a special material to keep the warm air in); it has two rooms (a living area and a half office/half entry way. It has a glass door (recuperated from Gréasque) has a front door and one window (from the ex brother in law) and a large bay window (from the ex mother-in-law). It is attached to the original stone house. which is about the same size. It’s sitting in the middle of a forest.

I began building this structure when O. (now my ex-compagnon) was hospitalized for BPD (Borderline Personality Order). I actually built it for him : an act of love. I went and chose the wood, paid for it and hauled it back to what we later called, ‘Le Pin Pastèque’. I emptied the truck and stacked all the wood, put a tarp over it when it rained, bricks too, (on the tarp) when the wind was strong; I bought too the necessary tools and materials in order to build ‘our future cube” : nails, screws, a hand drill, an electric saw, a ladder, a measuring device, big plastic plaques and systems of attaching them for the roof, etc, etc. The list is so long… and I don’t remember the names in English right now… But you get the picture.

At the same time, that O. was in the hospital (and he was in very bad shape): he’d been trying to hurt himself by mutilation, strange epileptic type episodes, stating that he wanted to end his life – he said that he almost drove the car into a ravine. So I had him hospitalized.There was no other choice and he accepted it. My Mental Health Worker experience from 20 years earlier came to life in an instant –  though this was not in an enclosed facility with a close knit team…I was on my own & at that same time, I too, was going a little bit crazy. My Father ( a recovering alcoholic) had just recently passed away and then suddenly O. took a turn for the worse.

We had  been together for five years, initially I hadn’t known that he was suffering from BPD – didn’t really understand what that meant either at that time. I did understand that there was something wrong with him; I remember our first disagreement: he just sat on the couch across the room with this strange blank look on his face. As if, he had become a zombie in the twink of an eye….My days were quickly filled with visiting O. at the hospital, dealing with the administrative problems that went along with that, and taking care of my own health issues. Working on the house gave me a focus – thinking that it would help make things better somehow. Knowing that while you battled with your mind in a crazy house, a physical nest of love and support would soon be opening it’s doors to you? It was not to be so…

O’s Mother and brother showed absolutely no assistance, or moral support whatsoever. Not even one phone call to inquire how I was doing. This was not very surprising, though the initial reaction was to ‘O’s’ being hospitalized. There had always been a strange love/hate relationship going on between O and his family, that I didn’t understand. I continually encouraged him to work through it, to stay in contact with them on some level, even though he stated his hate for them.

O. had specifically asked me to call his Mom  and tell her not to visit for a while, including the brother in that scenario – that he needed time to think, to not be in contact with them. But upon calling her and relating O’s wishes, she hung up on me! Then proceeded to tell O’s brother that I wanted to “control her son” and the situation. I know this because the brother wrote to me an email relaying this information and telling me to ‘stop telling everybody what to do’. I was amazed as it was so far from the truth. Of course, I quickly defended myself by clarifying what had been actually said and by whom – in a very neutral tone yet feeling obliged to make him aware of the inappropriate reaction from his Mother….but to no avail. I wouldn’t understand until several years later the strange reaction from Gigi (the Mother)…. that she was also suffering from BPD! I was surrounded by a family with BPD and didn’t know it!!

Then, suddenly (shortly after O’s being hospitalized) I received a direct message by a young man (via email- oh the joys of Internet, right?) that O was having an affair with someone! And that ‘someone’ was telling me what a terrible person I was (this time O was fabricating stories about me)….Of course,  I told the guy off and NOT gently either. I was furious and went to see O at the hospital, only to find the same person physically present – though he quickly leaves upon my arrival)…Visions of kicking his ass briefly flashed in my head… O tries to explain at first that it’s his ‘barber’. Instantly, I tell him about the message I’d received earlier and it is CONFIRMED with apologies (“I’m a worthless human being – I don’t deserve you” etc) and that the barber and the email sender are the same person – AND that he lives in the same village (Fuveau) AND that the guy is in love with O!…. Of course, O tells me he had only gone a few times over this guys house to get a hair cut and drink coffee. Uh huh, right….I don’t kick anybody’s ass, but driving home I am wondering how the hell to get out of this sticky situation, or to fix it somehow. And wouldn’t I have noticed those hair cuts??

Of course, infidelity had been a serious problem with O from the beginning – that and his drinking. Only my music was saving me, therapy through songs, and the building process of the house, but I was being pulled down by outside forces way beyond my control…. The good news was that a new treatment had been found for me – the famous cocktail of three HIV drugs was actually working. Physically, I was slowly becoming stronger for the first time in 19 years. Why was I staying with this guy? What was wrong with ME?

‘I’m An Alien in A Human Body!

‘I’m An Alien in A Human Body!

by matthew carlson

I am here, safely landed onto alien territory. After having parked my space vessel, now hidden as a family style Peugot 307, (an unassuming replica of a native mobile transportation unit- with appropriate dent markings), I have recently secured quarters in an ancient building in the southern part of the city known as Paris. My two furry four footed drones ‘IDU’s’ (Interstellar Drone Units) alias Foebbe and Fender have accompanied me on this mission, berift of danger and the unknown.

Through no fault of my own, recent planetary voyaging has created a rift in my neurological pathways whereby I have forgotten at least a part of my mission here in this stange land. I am in the middle of a thorough analysis which should be completed within a twenty four hour period. I have great hopes to remember soon my primary function here on this planet known as Earth.

The two drones due to their altered state, actually require processing matter in order to utilize their new physical units, as do I. Although pleasurable to consume, the appropriation of food is a strange process: one must render physically to structures where supplies are kept. These supply structures are known as ‘grocery stores’ and are heavily guarded by security personel, along with video surveillance systems. When entering, it is a custom to utilize a kind of cage on wheels, whereby one puts young children and required nutrition known as ‘food’. Although, there does seem to be some confusion as a great deal of these elements placed in the cages, are not nutritious. Further research is required to  understand the hording of such objects.

My two drones have been refused at the door, forcing me to return them to my current living structure. I have been warned not to leave them secured at the entryway of the ‘grocery store’ due to individuals who may ‘steal’ them away for ransom ( money in exchange for rending the animals stolen)  or for food at one of the many asian restaurants within the city limits. Though I am quite sure, my drones could protect themselves from such a misadventure, I do not wish to implicate myself into such a messy affair. They will, from now on when I procure eating material, wait at our sleeping quarters. After filling ones’ ‘cage on wheels’, it is customary to wait in a line with other people who are also supplying their own cages with food stuffs. While waiting, it is customary too, to either look at your smart phone, talk on it or send brief messages called ‘texting’. If you do not have a smart phone, you either avoid looking directly at people or do the opposite by engaging in ‘small talk’, or eventually when the occasion arises, talk badly about the person behind the ‘cash register’. “She’s so slow” and “there she goes again picking her nose…” etc.

Now the cash register is a computer which reads numbers on the objects that we ‘slide in front of it’ something called ‘scanning’. The machine takes all of the indentification sequences along with a second number called a ‘price tag’. These price tags are added up at the end and one must ‘pay up’ (render  the desired sum) with something called ‘money’. Money is a form of exchange, measured through a very complexe  system called the ‘monetary system’. There are many terms related to money; further investigation is required to fully understand the process.

In any case, once it is your ‘turn’ with the computerized cash register and the person behind it, you either give money (rectangular paper notes and or coins, small round hard shaped flat objects) or  insert a small square card into another small box. Then you must enter a designated code to activate said card, whereby an account is ‘debited’ for corresponding money due. Then you mst engage once again in small talk, but this time with the ‘clerk’ behind the cash register, which seems odd especially if you’d been ‘talking badly’ earlier about her performance levels.

All is terribly confusing. I have managed to obtain the neccesary ‘bills’ in order to procure nourishment. I am exhausted though, from the experience. The terrible lighting, horrendous vibrations known as MUSZAK, and the anxious natives running through the aisles of packaged foods has zapped me of energy. I require rest and quiet….and a relief room to dispose of waste materials. Hmmm, hopefully that will not be too complicated.

Captain out.