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Don't Date Buddhists With Guns
Mid-life meet-ups with sex addiction, insanity & spiritual growth.

Don't Date Buddhists With Guns

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Dad Gone Mad Rages Against the Meshugenah

bookcover_homeOn a visit to NYC last week, Cemetery Mary recently met her cool new literary agent. When I asked about some of said agents recent success stories, she handed me a review copy of a book called Rage Against the Meshugenah: Why It Takes Balls to Go Nuts, by Danny Evans, author also of the blog Dad Gone Mad.

But what’s Meshugenah, I asked? It’s the mad, crazy, and the mentally deranged.

Naturally, a gal who hangs around cemeteries, enjoys flamboyant funerals, and writes antidepressposts as a way of coping might just have a few issues that would make this book relevant. I opened it right after take-off on my flight home and was glued to the story until I reached the last page, just as the plane touched down in San Francisco.

Danny Evans writes about what its like for a man who presumably had it all to sink into an incapacitating clinical depression. And with a title like his, it will come as no surprise that the depressing depression story was punctuated with plenty of humor, as well as enough insight and hopefulness to warrant him a review in the Compost Heap Hall of Fame.

As a young man growing up in Simi Valley, Danny’s family wanted him to be a rabbi. Instead got a job writing ad copy, married his first love, Sharon, and figured when they had children they’d raise them “jewishly.”  Shortly after the birth of his first son, Danny was blindsided when he was suddenly laid-off and then four days later 9/11 occurred. With too much time on his hands, Danny became mesmerized by the media coverage of the attack and sank into complete despair for himself, his family, and humanity. (Like I said above, for those who are drawn to darkness, watching too much news is the quickest detour into full-scale mental illness.)

Making his way through many phases of recovery (beer, porn, unemployment, antidressants, talk-therapy, self-revelation, and eventually coaching a Little League baseball team), Danny came out the other side with his family intact.

Much of the story includes the amusing adventures of the writer’s penis, whether it was for pleasure (solo sex, porn sex, partner sex), pain (vasectomy), or priapisms (side effects of antidepressants), but we all know how proud and protective the fellas can be about their equipment. It comes as no shock that that even through major depressions boys will be boys, and even more so, men will be boys. But sometimes, as is demonstrated in this tale of woe, when this disease is faced with courage and honesty, men can also be men—which is where Danny Evans goes in the end, sucking it up to protect and provide for his “Hot Wife” and their two not-always-perfect wee ones. The good news is that he does this while also learning to express the parts of his personality he had buried years earlier when he thought he had to live life only to please others (something we girls/women know something about too).

hw_mainThe only thing missing in this powerful crap-into-compost tale is more insight into how this man’s sainted wife Sharon survived this period. Personally, I would’ve loved to see an epilogue from the “Hot Wife,” as she is affectionately referred. The narcissism of pain can drain the compassion out of the best of us, and even Danny wonders how he would have handled it if their roles were reversed. Would he have had the patience and stamina to stick by her? Sharon, what say you? I know love is a powerful healer, but on the days that love wasn’t exactly accessible, what prevented you from drop kicking his sulking, beer drinking, porn watching, and unemployed ass out the door?

Hmmm. I think I smell a sequel.

The story is raw, funny, painful, insightful, honest, and a little meshuganah. That, and the fact it kept me absorbed on a six-hour flight, makes it something to recommend. Note: It doesn’t hit the bookstores until August, but you can preorder it on Danny’s website, Dad Gone Mad. 

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