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Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Salt Mine's Breath Tastes Like Salt

I go back to work tomorrow.

My wife had two babies, so I stayed home for a bit.

It's been nine weeks.


I was supposed to be gone for eight weeks, but I freaked out (NEIN!) and extended my leave by a week. Work didn't care. Hey, what's another week of not paying me to them?

(The answer: not much.)

I'm gold that most husbands/partners/S.O.'s don't take so much time off when their wives/partners/S.O.'s, Baby Mamma, Bitches have children. Of course, most people have single babies. Twins are kind of more complicated. More screaming. More shitting. More... there.

There there, they're there.

And they're definitely there. And, tomorrow, from roughly 5:45am when I leave the house until 3:45pm when I return, I'll be here, and they'll be there. My wife'll be there, too, until April 2nd, and she's got a couple intrepid people coming in sporadically to assist but, for the most part, she's going to be a solo act while I'm deeply entrenched in the psychiatric salt mine.

I was thinking about writing this next paragraph about how I'm preparing myself to go back. But, see, there really is no way to prepare yourself to go back to a job after nine weeks of being away. What am I supposed to do? Zen out? Read up on Clozaril? Do mental push-ups? Please-- it's bull-cock. It's like preparing to have twins in your house every waking and sleeping (HA!) second of every day.


Can't be done.



SO, why try?

I'm just going to wake up tomorrow and pilot the car a little less mindlessly than I've been doing for the last year-and-a-half, and hope I remember how to interact appropriately not only with patients, but with coworkers. I hope I remember which little checkboxes to tic off and which ones to leave alone. I hope I remember to sign my name, stamp my name, and write the time-- specifying a.m. or p.m. I hope the new photocopier likes me. The old one didn't. Antisemitic piece of shit.

Faced with my inevitable return to the working world-- I'm angry more than anything. I thought I would be more hysterical and panicked, but I'm not. I'm just mad. At myself. At me. Mad at my meager earning potential. Mad at my schedule that necessitates my being at work every other weekend. Mad at the fact that we don't have gobs and gobs of money and cocaine stashed away under the floorboards that might facilitate a life of leisure for my wife and my children. Mad at this country that punishes procreatin' mothafuckas by offering them unpaid leave at a time when expenses rise dramatically and unendingly.

I'm one angry little blogger-boo.


I suppose it's going to be alright, though. People always say that, usually when they have absolutely no idea if it's true. I suppose my wife will be alright and my kids will be alright and, if I can get through the door without bursting into tears, I'll be alright, too. I know that, in some ways, I've lost my facility-- that breezy ease with which I strolled down the hallways and knocked on patients' doors and knew everybody's name and everybody's story-- who washed their pants yesterday with cigarettes in the pocket and had a meltdown, who assaulted whom, who's on fall precautions, who's being discharged soon-- who isn't.

Well. I suppose it'll all come back. People say that to people, too. After all: working in a psychiatric hospital's just like riding a bicycle.

Isn't it?


  1. You're gonna feel least for a little while, but I promise, it really WILL be alright! At least until the lil' angels at home become teenagers. Then it all goes to shit again.

  2. Can I just tell you how refreshing this was to read? Not that I'm reveling in your distress, mind you, just that I think my ex-husband was dying to get back to work after the birth of my daughter. It speaks volumes about your character that you are so ... well, distressed. Hope all goes well ... keep smiling :-) (And that new photocopier? Just smack it a couple of times if it gives you any crap ... works like a charm ;-))


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