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Past & Present

I walked into Peace & A Cup of Joe with my lady. I was a regular here, but this was her first time in the state, much less the café. The owner, a tall, black man in a Baltimore Ravens jersey and tan khaki shorts waved me over.
“I just wanted to give you a heads up, Sean,” he said softly.
Before he could continue, my lady finished looking at the menu and went to the counter to order. I shrugged at him, then went to her side. She ordered a veggie burger with mushrooms, avocado spread, red onions, bell peppers, dried tomatoes and Field greens. It was called “The Power Plant”. As for me, I’m an omnivore, so I ordered “The MLK”, a grilled sirloin steak sandwich with sautéed red onions, pepper jack cheese, assorted peppers and topped with a chiplotle aiola sauce. We headed upstairs where it would be quieter. My lady was ahead of me, and headed to one of the couches with tables before it.
When I stepped through the door, I stopped. Directly across the door, in my usual spot at a long counter type table in front of a window, was my ex. My sudden stop at the door drew her attention. She flashed a brilliant smile at me, looking for all the world as if we’d just seen each other yesterday, and not over 2 years ago.
My lady was a gorgeous red-head, 5’6″ with a runner’s physique. My ex, could have passed for her physical twin. My lady was a cup size larger, while my ex had a sprinkling of light freckles across her nose and cheeks. These minor differences seemed to make them look even more alike.
My ex sauntered over to me, and gave me a tight hug. “Hi, Sean.” Her smoky voice made love to my ears as it always had.
“Sean?” My lady’s voice cut through my mental fog. “Who’s this?”
“Um,” I paused, swallowed. “Catherine, meet my ex: Catherine.”
The two women stared at each other. Seeing two women that looked like twins, yet were not related, one had dated me, while the other was my girlfriend giving each other dirty looks was too surreal for me. I started laughing. Both turned to look at me.


Mental Illness (Otherwise Known As BS)

Modern natural science relies on laws uninfluenced by human desire or motivation. We use the same physical laws to explain why planes fly & crash, the same chemical laws to explain the therapeutic & toxic effects of drugs, and the same biological laws to explain how healthy cells maintain the integrity of the organism & how the cells can become cancerous and kill the host. We don’t have one set of medical theories to explain normal bodily functions and another to explain abnormal ones.

Except where that relates to psychiatry, that is. We have one set of principles to explain the functioning of a mentally healthy person and another to explain that of the unhealthy, or Mentally ill person. We attribute acceptable “rational” behaviors to reasons, but unacceptable “irrational” ones to causes. The mentally healthy person is viewed as an active agent; he chooses such as to marry his childhood sweetheart. In contrast, the “mentally ill” person is viewed as a passive body: As a patient, he is the victim of injurious biological, chemical, or physical processes acting upon his body, eg., diseases (of his brain), for example, of an “irresistable” urge to kill.

According to psychiatric theory, certain actions by certain people ought to be attributed to causes rather than reasons. When and why do we seek a causal explanation for personal conduct? When we consider an actor’s behavior unreasonable and don’t want to blame him for it. We look for excuses masquerading as explanation instead of simply an explanation that neither exonerated or incriminates.

Holding a person responsible for his act is not the same as blaming or praising him for it – it only means that we regard him as an actor, or moral agent.

The “mental patient” who attributes his misdeeds to “voices” – that is to an agent, other than himself, whose authority is irresistable – is not the victim of an irresistable impulse; he is an agent, a victimizer rationalizing his action by attributing it to an irresistable authority.

It is not by accident that, in all the of psychiatric literature, the is not a single account of a schizophrenic to be especially kind to his wife.

– adapted From Mental Illness: Psychiatry’s Phologiston by Thomas Szasz

Guest Bloggers

Hey, Followers!

I’m looking for some guests to post about writing. Whether you just blog, are a beginning author (like me! :-D), or a published novelist, I’d like you to post a blog for my readers. Tell us a bit about what you’re writing about: Is it random thoughts? Is it a novel? A screen play? A children’s book? Or, share some of your writing routine: Do you write for two hours every morning no matter what? Do you map things out step-by-step? Or do you write by the seat of your pants? Maybe even share some of your writing expertise: Are settings your speciality? Are you great at showing your character’s feelings? Maybe you are awesome at allowing your MC’s to get into trouble? Don’t forget, after you post for us, leave a link to your blog and/or book(s). I want my readers to find you, too.

Any thing like that would be awesome. Leave a comment below indicating your interest, or contact me one of the otherways.