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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

Euterpe's Beautiful Madness

Arabella doesn't need makeup to be quite stunningly beautiful,
yet she has enough makeup in her purse to accentuate
the natural beauty of a herd of buffalo.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,
mdcrawford@gmail.com

Monday, December 31, 2018

One of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, Euterpe is the Greek Muse of Music and Lyric Poetry. Just the day after Arabella and I met I realized that she is for me the very embodiment of Euterpe herself.

These nine Muses entertained the Gods on Mount Olympus, but when they aren't actually on the job, the Greeks posited that they were the sources of all human creativity.

Arabella inspires my writing; what's more, she actively encourages it. She's not at all offended that I write so openly about her, rather Arabella is comforted by that her story is finally getting told.

It's been far too long that I've been without a love to share my life with. But my Arabella - my Euterpe leads The Life Of The Damned. How so?

Photo of Sarah wearing a knit cap

My Beautiful Muse

The only thing that gives my Euterpe any peace of mind whatsoever is to fuss with her makeup. Last Thursday night she worked on her makeup for fifteen solid hours then Friday morning left for work without having slept.

My beautiful Muse dropped by to visit me at the NedSpace co-working facility in Downtown Portland late that night, but as she is wont she then proceeded to disappear into the ether.

Fell right off the edge of the Earth.

I feared that she was dead.

No, just going her own way. And I myself find great joy by wandering alone for hours in the very deep of the night.

The very worst kind of Insomnia is to sleep but not to rest. The very best Arabella can do is to cat-nap from time to time but when she does she is tormented by her dreams.

Just now I'm at the Starbucks on Portland's Pioner Courthouse Square. It's packed solid with the festive. As I wrote this "Auld Lang Syne" was playing. And I am practicing my own Compulsion by writing, while my Euterpe fusses with her face powder.

Arabella is exceedingly intelligent and well-read as she attended a private high school whose studies focussed on the Liberal Arts. To the extent I can tear her away from her compact she and I often while away the hours discussing classic literature.

My own historically-unprecedented Hypergraphia is at times the product of my own Anxiety. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is driven by Anxiety while our chosen Obsessions - and they are so chosen, albeit unconsciously - comfort us.

There is nothing so comforting to me when I am distressed as my writing does. For Arabella, there is her makeup, when her makeup just isn't doing it for her she smokes like a chimney. And in fact primary among the reasons cited by smokers as to why they are unable to quit is that their cigarettes give them something to do with their hands.

It's eight o'clock on New Year's Eve as I write this; by ten-thirty my Euterpe and I will be in our humble yet happy home. I've got the idea in my head that I can lull her into dreamland with spaghetti and a Therapeutic Massage - I took a class once then later dated a Certified Massage Practitioner.

Perhaps I'll even spare her my favorite lullabye album, Apocalyptica's Reflections, four virtuosically bowed and electronically distorted Celli. Instead I'll put on Frederic Chopin's Greatest Hits turned down low so as to facilitate relaxation.

But I am as confident as I am that the Sun will come up tomorrow that within the hour Arabella will be up, in our bathroom and glued to the mirror that she may touch up her completely unnecessary eye shadow.

OCD is no laughing matter: to compulsively pluck out one's own hair is known as Trichotillomania. I understand it's comforting to pull out just one hair by its root then to nibble on its now-exposed hair follicle.

Trichotillomania can kill you from infection.

Better to write like the Madman that I am, and to touch herself up as does my Muse than for either of us to go bald from our bloody scalps.

I am tired, Arabella's wired but by no means through the use of stimulants. For me to go five solid days without having slept leads me to hallucinate so hard the I cannot see where I'm going when I try to walk. For Arabella to do so leads her to realize that she needs just a bit more Mascara.

To sleep...

... but not to rest.

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