Author Archives: Tom Streeter

Hanging On

Depression lies. And sits. And rolls over.

Time is passing. As it does.

I’m trying to find places for my mind to go to keep it from coming to rest on Mia. I’m not as bad as I was the day of or the day after. But I’m in no way good. Haven’t been for quite some time, even before this happened.

The house is emptier.

Fare thee well, Miss Mia

This is my favorite picture of our cat Mia. For the next hour or so I’ll be able to use the present tense for her. Then I won’t.

Kidney failure. She’s been losing weight slowly for a few months, but she was overweight and her activity level was up. It was easy to believe she’d just gotten used to having food whenever she wanted it. Her littermate Dunkel has never had weight issues. Nor has Porter. Her first couple of years were rough. She has always been skittish. It’s clear she loves us very much, but she has her terms. She is the queen, after all.

Last week the weight loss accelerated and we knew something was wrong. She was drinking lots and lots of water. She went from stretching out and looking for snuggles to heading off to another room and sleeping. When she joined us it was from a distance. She crouches. Though as I write this she’s found a sunbeam and is laying down. Her brother is right next to her.

This is going to be so hard. It’s already so hard.

The vet yesterday. We woke up to a message to call. It’s never good. She hates being held and we had to sedate her to get her to the vet. A vet is coming out in an hour or so so we don’t have to do that again. She’ll be surrounded by love.

I call her “my little girl,” but Carla is her human. She really likes me, but Carla is who she follows. She slept between us every night. Many mornings I’d wake up with her on top of me. Not this morning. She was next to us. We got our skitches in.

Mia came into our lives when Carla’s dad had to move from Illinois to here so he could be close. He died at the end of July, the day after his 88th birthday. I guess her work was done.

She’s not well. She’s not in pain, but she feels sick. We’re doing the right thing. And it hurts so much. As it does.

In theory I like Fall. The thing is, it’s a time of loss for me. My dad died on September 17th. My mom on September 28th. Twenty-six years later, so there was time for September to establish its suck. Just to stick it in and twist it, my Best Man’s father — who basically turned into a surrogate father to me — died the same day as my mom. Our phone call to each other was the worst “Who’s on First?” routine ever. His mom died last week on the 29th. One of Carla’s aunt’s passed a few days ago. And now this. On the 12th Carla’s mom’s date rolls around. Maybe it can stop for a while. That would be nice.

Loss is not unique. The only thing that’s different from millions all over the world is that this is ours right now.

May the sunbeams be bright and the toy mice plentiful and have long tails. I love you little girl. And I’m going to miss your terribly. So very soon.

Closing time

So long, and thanks for all the fish.

I put in permanent maintenance mode today.

I feel like I shot Old Yeller.

It was long past time for it to be done. Regular updates stopped in 2017 and even the sporadic ones petered out earlier this year.

I started and stopped trying to turn it into something else a couple of times. I’m not sure I really believed in what I said I was going to try to do.

I’d dearly love to blame the goddamned pandemic for killing it, but the truth of the matter is that its days have passed. In some ways we did what we set out to do. The beer scene is so different from when we started. The online world is different. It was lightning in a bottle. I’m glad we were there to see it. I’m glad it’s turned into what it has.

I had a hard time accepting that this needed to be done, though objectively all that’s changed is one front page that never changed has been replaced by another that also won’t — but this one is honest about it.

Getting older seems to be a process of watching things you thought were important become irrelevant. Hoperatives has now joined … (let’s see … that … that … that… carry the three) … every job I’ve ever had in disappearing without a trace.

So yeah, it’s sad. But it’s also the right thing to do. Hoperatives changed my life for the better, and I’m always going to be grateful for that.

Failed State


Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

A government that can’t keep its own citizens alive isn’t worth a warm bucket of shit. A media system that makes money pretending black and white is a matter of opinion isn’t worth a warm bucket of shit. An opposition that doesn’t openly and vocally oppose rank stupidity and corruption isn’t worth a warm bucket of shit.

And a citizenry that politely lets it all happen to them isn’t worth a warm bucket of shit.

What follows is a rant.  You may not need to see a rant right now.  That’s cool. Don’t read this, then. Save it for another day. Ignore it altogether. Whatever. This is for me, and the last thing I want to do is add to your burdens. Your job is take care of yourself. Do what you need to do. I’ll be fine.

On the other hand, if you’re in the mood to watch a spleen get vented sit back and come along for the ride.

You know what I hate?  I hate that motherfuckers who’ve spent the last — oh, I don’t know — 40 fucking years telling me I was just some soft candy-assed soft-hearted lib’rul who should get on my knees and kiss their rancid knobs of 9mm manly manliness because they were “protecting my freedoms” — are now parading around saying that their “liberties” are at stake because they can’t go get a fucking haircut. Jesucristo en una tortilla, this is worse than those asswipes who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge a few years ago and forgot to bring snacks.

I hate that everyone is sitting around pretending they have to be respectful of people who are perfectly comfortable with the idea of you dying so they can get more imaginary magic beans. Yeah. That’s what money is.  It’s something we made up. It only as value because we pretend it does. It doesn’t occur in nature. My cats don’t give a shit about money. Nether does your dog. And SARS-CoV-2 definitely doesn’t give flying fuck about money. Sure, a  sociopath is perfectly willing to kill you over it, but Jezus Chrystus w kiełbasie playing along with them is is just fucking stupid.

We’ve never not fought a war because it was too expensive. Money is an excuse, not a state of nature. Death, on the other hand, occurs in nature. At a 100% rate. Sure it’s going to get all of us eventually, but 耶稣基督在蛋卷中1 do you have to help? What kind of sick fuck are you if shifting off someone else’s mortal coil is worth it so long as you can have more magic beans? And just what brand of moron are you if you think that’s something worth debating?

What set me off is that Brian Kemp — proof-positive that shit things can come out of Athens, GA, too — announced last night that he’s going to encourage people to start committing suicide by getting a haircut on my birthday so other people can have more magic beans. My cousin who I love like a sister and has the misfortune to be in Texas right now is having to help plan how to best open a medical library full of books that tell you what a completely fucking stupid idea it is to open a library in the middle of a fucking pandemic.

You don’t have to be civil to people who are trying to kill you so they can have more magic beans. You don’t have to be nice. You don’t have to be cooperative.  It’s fine to be a pain in their asses. Not only would they do the same for you, they’re doing worse. Right now. To you.

Just don’t forget to help the people who aren’t trying to kill you.  That’s most people, actually. Be a revolutionary. Be kind.

Stay home. Wash your damn hands.  Stay alive. That’s your job. Everything else is bullshit, and anyone who tells you different doesn’t give a shit about you.

And you don’t have to pretend they do.

1 And yes, I love Google Translate.  Why do you ask?