This time of year is always tough for me: right when the weather changes, I get hives and bloody noses, no appetite, vague anhedonic depression. I have mild arthritis in my spur claws and it flares up whenever it’s cold. I take anti-inflammatory roots and opium for pain management, and eat chocolate because it makes me happy. I found out Kanye West is bipolar and it makes me think I might be too; it’s common in geniuses. What’s happening to him right now is scary, watching the media pry and peck him down to the bone, even if it’s consensual. When you’re a public figure, you give yourself away to the judgment and psychic violence of millions of people. You’re surrounded by sycophants and bootylickers that just want a piece of you, anything, a scrap, a feature, a blurb. I won’t lie—it’s been difficult for me to cope with being an extremely famous writer. Upon the publication of my debut novel, Always a Stone, last summer, I started having panic attacks every day, and Monica had to give me cold baths in the hotel rooms on the book tour and rub my back and tell me it’s OK it’s OK it’s OK. I just couldn’t deal with being a huge celebrity. Another leg in the book tour is already confirmed for all of January and February, and I don’t know if I can deal with… any of this.
I’ve never been put on a 5150 or hand-cuffed in a stretcher. But Monica has kept me in many a night when I would’ve otherwise run train on anyone and anything that crossed my path. I do achieve a Saiyan-like focus and energy when I enter into one of my episodes and I keep the scene moving in my mind and concentrate everything on my core and my spiritual center, where I communicate with my God and elide myself into the fifth dimension and cease to experience time linearly. At this point I begin to see within and without myself and my body is removed and I abstain from all earthly matters. I’m very much in need of an emergency shower, says my wife. The smell is overpowering. I see the feathers around me floating away but I can no longer hold onto these earthly things and my body releases me.
I see Bennington and all of his guile, so misguided and helpless among the throng of violent racist idiots he’s surrounded himself with, those communities he joins online. I see my wife, hysterical and crying, riding with me in the ambulance, EMT’s pumping me full of fluids and oxygen. One of them says something about the propaganda film Chicken Run and my wife spur claws them in the face, drawing blood, and the other EMT has to keep both of us subdued. I look over and see into the sunroom of our barn, my manuscript for Always a Stone sitting in a heap of boxes and piles and messes, totally unfinished and unlikely to ever see the light of day, if I can only see the light. No more—
“Rooster. What year is it?”
“OK. Throw him in the fryer.”
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