(By the way, there are three people in the isolation wing on campus. For financial reasons the college is not testing anyone to see if they have H1N1. I would have thought the county would be mighty interested in tracking this, or maybe the CDC. I was looking on some Swine Flu website, and all they said about Northern Wisconsin was “insufficient data.” Makes me feel important. And safe. And some other sarcastic things.)

But today it’s all about demons. I have demons. Not the fun kind in the books and the movies and all. The shredding kind, the fetid air sort. I’m not sure where they came from, if it’s a contagion sort of thing or if I ate a bad burger somewhere.

There’s a fable about a crazy guy who lived in a cave up in the mountains by himself, miles from everybody. These demons kept coming from nowhere, throwing his stuff around and eating his jellybeans, and Crazy Guy would toss ’em out. Next day, same thing. After five, ten years, he said “This seems to be counterproductive,” and invited them in. Fed them burgers and fries and Cokes, the good Coke in those 8 ounce glass bottles. And they left. Here he’d decided to make friends with them, get comfortable, and they left. Poof.

So, I got thinking. A demon would show up, I’d turn my back. I’d try to stuff it down behind the bookcase, or under the mattress, or back in a mildewy cardboard box in the garage, and it was all well and good for a day or two, but it would come back, sure as shooting, and bring a couple of buddies along. Last night I got it into my head that maybe I was doing it all wrong, that maybe I should try being nice. Try admitting that these things are part of me.

I thought about doing a guest book, and making fancy pictures to illustrate them. I thought about categories. I thought about a loose-leaf binder so I could re-arrange them. I got thinking about how I could work on sketching and writing, designing this ever fancier and fancier book in my head for these demons. And then realized that this is one of my demons, the Demon of Elaborate Plans that Never come to Fruition, bringing along its first cousins Despair and Self-Loathing. Hi, guys! Come on in! There’s soda in the fridge, and Cheetos in a cut-glass bowl out by the tv. Make yourselves at home.

It’s hard for me to admit some of these feelings. But that’s the point. They are always there, waiting for me to lose that really tight grip I keep, and then they jump. This is all part of figuring out who I really am, without all the noise.

Like those lyrics from Lennon;

There’s nothing you can do
But you can learn how to be you inside
It’s easy

Lying sack o’ ….

I might need a bigger house for a while, for all my new friends. Maybe I should rent a canopy to put up out back, and string it with pretty lights?

And I should probably add; I thank all these demons for what they are teaching me. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am, or learning what I’m learning.

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