LTC Leaderboard

Monday, October 31, 2016

Halloween Three Years Ago

I clearly wrote this some time ago and then I was working with the homeless. Things change.
31st October 2013
Dear Cassi,
Well, the cats got past their first Halloween with no casualties even if I had something of a scare when pickles came home. He left the door open and caramel nearly got out. As it was late I think he would have been okay, but I’d rather not take the chance at getting him hurt. Halloween is the number one cat fatality day in America, or so I’m told, and I want to keep my furry wrecking crew off that statistic.  They scattered at the sound of trick or treaters as they rang the bell and called out for candy so I had no worry of the cats getting out until it was rather late.
I do have to say that the trick or treat crowd was rather annoying this year coming in at strength after eight and knocking on my door even after the lights had been turned out. I left the house early to deal with traffic and could still see a few of them on the street at nearly ten.
Another thing that bothered me was the rather young girls dressing in costumes that made them look, well, like strippers. It seems like every year the girls develop earlier but they shouldn’t be out at night showing it off. Even if we forget that this is a junior high student they should dress more sensibly for the night chill. I know it isn’t that cold this time of your in California but still.
This is one of the few evenings I was glad to have arrived at work. At least at work I know I’m dealing with folks over eighteen. Grant that my clients are a myriad of diseases that I wouldn’t like to come near.

Don’t eat too much candy, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Monday, October 10, 2016

Can Use the Walk

13th November 2014
Dear Cassi,
It has been something of a tradition with Pickle to reward those who drive him about with food, and as his best friend is now occupied in some academic manner he has turned to my services.
He picks the restaurant and often the food. I feel this is proper as he is paying and I never complain of his choices, but today I swayed things some in the form of a long walk.
It turned out that he wanted to eat at ‘In n’ Out’ burger and, in the time of doing so, find himself a sport strap for his sunglasses. I took to parking at the sporting goods store some half mile from the eatery and insisted we walk.

This proved to be a poor idea because eating and long walks are not often good bed fellows. The feeling of a large burger in you makes the body feel slow. Keeping my lunch down wasn’t easy but that is the price you pay for good health I guess.

Find time for things, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Sunday, October 9, 2016

An Odd Idea

It's an odd idea to me that in this world we speak of veterans over refugees or if someone needs help if they have tattoos. We talk of our civilized world, but I see people sleeping on the streets and know that we are still savages. To say that anyone should sleep on the street is the mark of a beast unfit to be called an animal and to call ourselves a free nation when anyone within our boarders is chained to low paying jobs, hunger, or fear, is that sad joke told by the most despicable of all creatures that is man.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Accused of Misconduct

29th January 2015
Dear (Nun),

I yesterday received word from the labor board that I will retain my benefits as I may not be accused of misconduct. This finding is not set in stone as the company still has one appeal left but a reversal of the decision is unlikely.  

I can, however, confidently move on with my complaint of retaliation.

On another topic, I gave that script to (other person) some two years ago and in two years time he never found fit to read the volume. I can understand his family taking priority, but at some point I do need to give up on him.

I’ll grant this to be one of the bitter situations of my life given how rarely I can get people to read my work. Still, at some point I have to say that if he wasn’t going to read it he probably should have said so and not given me the run around.

Well, I guess then the question is: should I give up on him reading my work? I can’t imagine it will do me any good to remind him further.

Hope for the rain,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Prozac and the Green Fairy

13th December 2014

Dear Cassi,
I think most of us want to find a magic doorway that will transport us away from all our troubles. This has been a running theme in my family as the old man was fond of snake oil buying thousands of dollars of pills that eventually rotted in his cabinets.
Me, I’m no better. I read some were on the internet that alcohol hits you harder if you take Prozac. This is because the Prozac occupies your liver until it gets eaten up and so then the alcohol fills your liver like a flood. I reasoned that if it worked that way it might work the other way. This idea led me to have a shot of Absinthe ten minutes before taking my Prozac.
Much to the chagrin of my doctor I now take this medication on weekends as it makes me too drowsy for the night shift. I think my body was catching up on months of lost sleep but, well, the company has little love for sick men.

In any case, Absinthe is called the ‘Green Fairy’ because it’s one of the strongest alcohols you can get. It has a reputation of hallucinations and tastes oddly of bitter black liquorish.  

The Green Fairy didn’t heal my wounds. I didn’t feel any different after this experiment and I’m unlikely to try it again.

Do what you can to be well, little sister,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Aladdin By William Glennon: Book Review

"Aladdin" adapted by William Glennon is a play that I was involved in back in high school. It was a fun little production that we cut up something fierce to get it on stage.
This adaptation is designed to appeal to young children and so it has little in the way of substance and more in the way of humor and jokes. The action is simple, the plot is wish fulfillment and the work is short and direct.  

Who should read this book? Theater Geeks looking to produce children's theater. 

Books' Read: 27 of 5,000

Pages 63

Total Pages Read for 'The 5,000 Project' 6,196

Monday, October 3, 2016

Battled Bepression

By the fact that this letter has no name at it's end I can tell I never finished it. Well, I was depressed. 

In any case, I hope what is there makes good reading. 

6th March 2014

Dear Mr. (YouTuber),

It was the fifth of March that you asked your audience, of which I am one, to tell you the stories of their depression. I have battled depression for the whole of my life, and so the story of my depression cannot be held in a comment. So long a story needs thought and introspection notwithstanding the need of all things done by the depressed: time.

My depression found its start in the rough handling I received in tender youth. The youngest of three children in an unsupervised home my older siblings would unite against me as a force of violence and so I would fight until exhaustion against them. This prompted my mother to send my older (sibling) to live with other family members for a summer, but it did little good as (they) had to come back for the school year.

These beatings of youth left me with what is called transient brain damage as a result of trauma to the back of my head. I struggled to read and struggled to write because of this problem, and even now I would be unable to write this letter coherently without a program that reads my work back to me as the written word and I simply do not get along.

My depression worsened with my mother’s second relapse of cancer. She fought the disease for as long as she could but lost and died a week after my tenth birthday. My father was what one may call an absentee parent. He would arrive at my residence on Friday night and leave Sunday evening, and so I would see him for the weekend. This left the home in the care of my older (sibling) who, mentally ill and violent, ruled by needless force.

At the time, in wake and sleep my life was a nightmare. In my waking times I stood silent looking after myself and staying away from siblings as best I could. I often had dreams where my hands were cut off, and I learned in college this is symbolic of the feeling of helplessness.  

By age fourteen my depression had reached its height, and I could hardly lift my hands. I had medical insurance, but my father refused to take me to see a psychiatrist. Why I cannot with certainty say, but he would always dismiss my maladies with “it’s all in your head” or “You’re a hypochondriac”.

For much of my high school years I felt like a piece of dead meat with a soul trapped within. There were times I would sit in bed unable to sleep but unable to stand as if a prisoner in my own flesh. Every morning I would vomit, I’m not sure why, before or when I got to school.

I made it past high school and suffered with depression my whole life finding what friends I made of little help. I learned in psychology that the abusers find the abused and that many of us accept abuse as we think it to be normal. I was twenty nine when I walked away from the abusive people in my life, and I still have trouble making friends often due to my condition. I take medication, and I live with my problem but there is little hope of recovery.

The one great silver lining to my condition is that I can relate to my clients as I work with the homeless population of Los Angeles. Many of them lived a life as sad or worse than my own. They find in me a listening ear and accepting mind a comfort.