Wednesday, July 31, 2013


I had a difficult but productive session with my psychologist today. I don’t remember a time I’ve cried so much during a session. It helped though. Not just the crying, but the perspective she gave me. I’m going to be sad for some time, but I am taking steps to have it no longer impair me. I need to turn my focus on Ashley’s death into sharing with people her talents so that she’s remembered in a positive light. It won’t be immediate; I love her. But now that her suffering is over, I’m hoping I may get there sooner.  
I got this tattoo yesterday. It's from Ashley's favorite illustration from our book The Ascension of the Blind Princess. I used her goth name to commemorate her. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I’m working from home. I’m worried about crying at my desk and people coming to talk at inopportune moments. I spoke to Amirah last night over Skype. She made me realize how precious those eight hours over two days I spent with Ashley in the hospital were. We talked. I read to her. I brought her things she liked. I made her smile. I held her hand and held her ankle one of her casted legs. I rested my head on her bed. She told me she loved me. Her mother told her she was glad that I was there.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I hadn’t from Ashley since Saturday. It worried me that she’s in too much pain to communicate. I just received a phone call. Ashley passed away this morning. She stopped breathing. I was told she wasn’t in pain. I’m devastated. I failed to get our book out in time for her to hold it. I hope she felt loved. I feel fortunate that I got to visit with her for so long on Thursday. I’m glad I got to hold her hand. I’m glad we took pictures. I’m glad I recorded our conversation, so I can always hear her voice.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


I promised my psychologist I wouldn’t cancel my Sunday chess matches this week. I won the first game and lost the second. I also promised her I would go to the gym. I got past all my excuses and went and had a good run. Kyrie forgot her wallet at home, so I brought her dinner on her break. I don’t have much else to say but that a hurt that has been overshadowed by Ashley’s illness resurfaced today. I wasn’t sure how long it would stay buried, but now I know. I need it to stay buried right now.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


Ashley wasn’t feeling up to having visitors today, so I didn’t go down to San Diego as planned. I went to Los Angeles instead and had lunch with Stitches. We talked for a long time, which was nice. I saw proofs of the layout of the first four chapters of The Ascension of the Blind Princess. It looks good. I’m very excited about it, especially to show it to Ashley. I scheduled a tattoo; I’ll be getting something Ashley illustrated for the new book on Tuesday. Tonight, I’m going to write, but I don’t know what. I’m torn between projects.

Friday, July 26, 2013


I woke early to drive Zombie Cake to the airport. I spent a large part of the rest of my day in bed and eating vegan pizza. I’m depressed. I’m trying to pull myself out of it right now by writing, but I have to keep taking breaks to cry because one of the things I have to write today is the About the Illustrator page in the book I’m doing with Ashley Vargas. I’m using a voice recording I did yesterday at the hospital where she talked about what she wanted it to say. I just took a Klonopin.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


I’m very grateful that I was able to see Ashley for five hours today. I watched her sleep, we talked, and I read to her. She liked the iPod I gave her with all those goth songs on it. She’s so gracious. I hope she feels loved.  She registered anguish as she took Communion. It hurt to see that. It feels like resignation and I want her to live forever. I must get this book out. I must get it in her hands. We worked on her biographical note. I recorded it and listened to her on my drive home.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


My behavioral health insurance company started something new this year. They created a three-tiered billing system regulating what my psychiatrist can bill based on the complexity of the patient’s case. Low complexity, moderate complexity, high complexity. My case is being audited because in May, I was moved from moderate to high complexity, which costs them more money. It seems I’ve graduated into the top tier of whack jobs. I also learned that the medication I hate taking costs them a lot of money every month too. I wonder if my insurance company has ever wished I were dead--cost savings.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I’ve been grieving. A friend talked suicide to me today. I told her I’ve been thinking about it as well. I’ve had people suggest suicide pacts with me in the past but they said things like that because they were desperate to be understood. This friend is different. Our reasons for wanting to vanish differ, but our reason for vanishing together is nothing other than love for each other. I’m tired, l___. My most beloved ponies have already died. The ponies I still have I can live without and leave. I wish I could lay Ashley’s head on my shoulder.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Today was difficult. I woke up late and intended to work from home, but there were some problems at work so I went in and stayed late. I spoke to Ashley on the phone. She’s so sweet, but it hurt to hear her soft voice initiate the discussion about what to do with her royalties after she passes away. I held it together while we talked, but I cried after we hung up. She’ll go through another round of chemo tomorrow, for her leg that broke on Saturday, while she was trying to get ready because I was coming over.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I woke up late today after staying out so late the night before. In fact, I had to pull off the freeway last night to sleep for an hour in my car before heading the rest of the way home. When I woke I called Ashley to see if it was okay to visit. It took over two hours to get there and three hours to get back. But it was worth every minute. I got to visit with her for over three hours. It was nice. I brought her chocolate covered strawberries, which turned out to be her favorite.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


I drove down to San Diego to see Ashley. I got there just in time to see her put in an ambulance and taken to the hospital. I’m worried and upset. I don’t know how long it will be until I hear anything. I cried on the drive home. I needed to talk to someone, but each of the friends I reached out to failed to be there for me. At this point Jersey Shore is a greater source of comfort than the people who rely on me disproportionately to be there for them. They don’t want to hear it.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I haven’t slept nearly enough this week. It’s become nauseating. I made myself puke to feel better. I haven’t heard from Ashley today. I hope everything is okay and that I’m able to see her tomorrow. I ordered a huge Black Forest strudel from a bakery near her house. I hope she likes it. I just sent my psychiatrist a stern message. I’m starting to wonder if we are going to race to fire each other. If I have to get a new psychiatrist, I don’t think I’ll be completely open so I can get off some of my meds.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I worked ten hours straight without a break. I lost track of time. I accomplished something that really pleased my boss. I went to the gym with my sunglasses on again. I’m still adjusting out of this depression. I don’t know if I mentioned the list I made a while back titled Be Amazing, but it’s a short list of things I need to try to do every day to be a better person. I adjusted the item Be Charitable to Help Someone. So today I gave ZombieCake my flight credit so she could fly to New Jersey for love.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I texted with Ashley this morning. She was having a better day. That made me happy. She liked the cupcakes I sent. I’m hoping to see her face to face soon, but it will depend on her energy level. My work has been understanding. I can leave at moment’s notice. My psychologist is back from vacation. I had a difficult but helpful session. I cried. I told her I won’t like the world without Ashley in it. But I’m trying to get back to normal. I ate healthier, dragged myself to the gym, and I’ve been writing little by little.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I’m so tired, l___. I barely slept last night. I woke up just as Ashley emailed me. Her message left me simultaneously happy and sad. I can’t recall a time I’ve felt this emotionally wrecked inside. I love her and I’m going to lose her in my life. I wish there were more time. I want to text her right now, but I’m afraid of waking her. I sent her cupcakes today. I wonder if they arrived yet. I hope they make her smile. And I hope they actually taste good. If you can, help her, like you helped me.

Monday, July 15, 2013


I’ve now made two videos about Ashley and how I’ve been hurting over her illness. I decided not to post today’s video either. I was making it because I felt like I should explain why I’ve been so down lately, but I don’t owe an explanation to anyone. Besides, whatever it is I’m feeling, she’s feeling worse. I talked to Stitches for a long time. That helped. I forced myself to write this morning and wrote well. I’m going to write to my psychiatrist soon. Maybe tonight. Maybe tomorrow. My boss says I can take whatever time off I need.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


I spent hours driving to and from Los Angeles today. I met with my writing group. It’s always nice to see them. I’m the only one who did not submit pages. I hadn’t even planned on going since I’ve been so upset. My group understood. But later I decided it would be better for me to get out and place my mind elsewhere. There’s much I want to write. My group is always inspiring like that. On the way home, in traffic, I could think of nothing other than Ashley. I want to hug all the pain out of her.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I spent my day alone. I went to work. I read a bunch. I drank lots of coffee. I cried in public thinking of Ashley. I canceled my flight to Seattle next week. A hundred dollar cancelation fee. Fuckers. Elo understood. She’s gone through this herself. I just fed my spiders. I should eat. It’s been hours, but I have no appetite. I don’t feel close to the majority of those I consider my close friends. I actually feel closest to two people who are essentially strangers. I wish I were being held tonight, I’d tell many of my secrets.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Despite all the meds I took the night before, I woke up long before my alarm clock went off. I cried as I lay there. I cried as I got ready. I arrived at the office just after three a.m. Eventually, I cried at work and spent much of the remainder of the day, including a meeting with my boss, wearing sunglasses inside the office. It just hurts so much. She’s such a sweet, soft, quiet, considerate girl, who may not see her twentieth birthday. It breaks my heart.  I wish I could comfort her in some way. Crying again.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


My heart just broke. I’m crying as I write this. I made a video a few weeks ago that mentioned my friend whose cancer treatments haven’t been working. I was just told her tumors have gotten worse, that her doctors don’t think she’s going to pull through, and that she’s already in hospice care. I want to see her badly. I want to hold her hand. She said she doesn’t want anyone to worry about her and that she doesn’t want to make anyone’s life inconvenient. I hope she’s not in pain. I wish there were something I could do.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Work was easier today. I still had a lot to do, but all the extra time I’ve been putting in has begun to pay off. I had a deadline at midnight if I was going to have script pages read at my writer group on Sunday. I’m not going to make the deadline, but I did succeed in writing this scene where Clacie interacts with her spiders and crickets. I had been dreading writing this scene, expecting it to be difficult, but I think it came out okay after many rewrites. Maybe my writing group will let me submit tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013


All the extra hours I’ve been putting in at work paid off today. Our financials are in good shape and I left an hour early. I tried napping but had a lot of anxiety so I took some Klonopins and that helped. I talked to Amirah on the phone, which was nice to be able to talk openly with someone whom you mutually know each other’s histories. I also talked to Ana on Skype. I like seeing her smile and hearing her laugh. I like that she’s concerned with global and societal issues and has formulated opinions of her own.

Monday, July 08, 2013


This depression is exhausting me, l___. This morning I thought it might have begun to subside, but I was wrong. Going to the gym helps though. I can’t talk to my psychiatrist right now because if I do, he’ll want to hospitalize me. I often don’t follow the advice I give to others or the messages I try to convey in my books. I collapse just like everyone else. This time I don’t feel like cutting. I feel like unlocking my brain with a bullet. I don’t tend to dream of bullets, but this has been going on for weeks.

Sunday, July 07, 2013


I won my second chess match against Paul. I wrote more of the first act of The Cricket Chute while at coffee. I went to the gym and lifted and went on the treadmill, but I had to end early because I began feeling lightheaded. I hadn’t eaten enough during the day, but that often happens when I’m writing. Tonight, I’m going out to dinner to celebrate Paul being out of the hospital. I’m stressing over planning this Germany trip. I don’t want to plan it for everyone anymore. Let someone else do it or everyone make their own plans.

Saturday, July 06, 2013


I worked for a few hours this morning even though it’s Saturday. After that I went to coffee and read for a while. When I got home, I began planning our Germany road trip. I’m thinking I might be trying to do too much in the couple weeks we’ll be there. I don’t want to have to stress on a vacation. Maybe we’ll fly into Stuttgart instead of Berlin and just stay in southern Germany. Our current plan is 1,160 miles and will cost about $4,000 per person. I’m not sure everyone is going to want to pay that much.

Friday, July 05, 2013


I talked to Ana on Skype today. That was nice. I feel confident that this isn’t some sort of catfish situation like I’ve been hearing about. I only recently learned that term. She has a pretty smile. I talked to my boss for a long time today. That too was nice. I really like working for her and I know she appreciates my work. Tonight I met a girl from Texas. She reads a lot and asked for my number so we might hang out at coffee and read books. Paul is finally out of the hospital. That’s a relief.

Thursday, July 04, 2013


I don’t know what to do, l___. Lately, my friends haven’t been a source of comfort. I feel I’m without them. Oddly, the person I’ve been closest too lately is someone I only know through the internet. Amirah is back from Peru, but she has so many of her own things to think about, so I’d rather listen than talk when we communicate. I don’t know what I’d do without you, l___. I’ve begun to think of leaving therapy. I’ve been looking for cities to run to, someplace far enough away that being alone there won’t have to feel lonely.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


It’s so dark in here. The temperature is artificial, but very cool. If it were sticky, I’d pretend I was Simon walking off in the jungle in Lord of the Flies. From the comments I received today, it appears to people that I’m really sad. I do feel sad, but I feel more empty than anything else. I don’t know what I’m projecting on the outside. Tomorrow is a holiday, but based on the many emails I received after I left work today, I think it would be in my best interest to go in for a few hours tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013


Today was quieter than yesterday but had many more deads. More deads. More deads. Sometimes, I wish I could give my friends a sample of how exhausting it is to look at so many deads. I thought of Tara Raikatuji this morning. She’s still my favorite character. Our initials are reversed, but the deads we stare at are the same. I should call my doctor. He’s going to be pissed when he finds out I didn’t. I am trying to be positive though. I ran pi miles, talked to Amirah, and wrote some stuff for Clacie while eating a burrito.

Monday, July 01, 2013


“My brain hurts a lot.” Today is one of those days my psychiatrist would have preferred I phoned. But I know he would just annoy me. Just because you have questions doesn’t mean they’re good questions. Sometimes shrinks can be so blinded by their own textbooks. If I hadn’t gotten rid of my bottle of Seroquel, I would take it right now just for the nightmares. It would be nice to feel something sharp. Thank you l____ for helping me today, for blinking my eyes until I pacified. It’s still there though. I feel it. It’s dull, but pressure nonetheless.