Friday, February 6, 2015


I suffer from a strange condition, one I wonder anyone else similarly experiences. The first time I recall ever feeling it was at my high-school graduation, as I gazed at the gathering crowd in old Curtis Hixon Auditorium in Tampa in 1978, and thought about the end of my public-school years, when I was struck by a fierce constriction in my chest, a squeezing that was physically painful and mortifying, combined with an overwhelming sadness. It didn't last long, but it was strange and troubling, and I quickly threw it off. I experienced it again at my college graduation, and lesser occurrences while attending similar ceremonies for family and friends. I thought, for sure, it must be some aversion to these events. Then, it started happening in response to certain songs (such as Harry Chapin's Cat's in the Cradle and Bread's The Diary). It also seemed to hit me, with varying pain and discomfort, at certain movies (such as Tom Hank's Philadelphia) or television shows, especially when a long series that I enjoyed was coming to an end, and often in the final episode if they chose to utilize flashbacks. Sometimes I react so strongly to them that I have to stop watching, or skip over a portion in order to miss only a little of the finale. I am usually able to complete shows (as I now watch most of my television series on dvd), but just as often I am forced to sit up, or get up and walk around, and frequently I will read for about an hour, which seems to calm me. I have even, when struck particularly hard, taken a Xanax. It happened again last night, a not-so-terrible one this time thankfully, with the closing episode of True Blood, a show that stumbled a bit in its last seasons, but whose characters and story lines I have enjoyed. I think it may be that I suffer from situation depression (the worst of which was my two-year episode after the death of my mother), and these types of events or entertainment trigger minor episodes of the condition, or melancholia. Of course, that could be me just self diagnosing, and since it doesn't seem potentially fatal I will continue to enjoy my shows and just be careful in the end. That being said, I am going to miss the Bon Temps crowd (even though it seemed they were not too engaged in the late seasons, perhaps tired with the show and wanting to get it over).

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