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10/01 Direct Link

In order to be 'fresh' and 'ready for the day' today, I went to bed before ten pm last night.  Good plan, yes?

Awake at midnight.  Awake at two.  Awakened at four-thirty and sick as hell, the worst stomach cramps I can recall having -- I lie here hurting for hours, doubled over, moaning.

Being sick, alone, and no one to call, now that is a bitch.  Okay, I could have called a few people but it wouldn't have helped and I knew it so I just gutted it up, moaned til I finally fell back into a deep sleep, 9am.


10/02 Direct Link

So I snapped and snarled at the woman I love, swore at her, hung up and didn't call back.  This after she had three hours sleep, after her step-father died, a man she dearly loved.

I'm certain that I qualify as a total asshole.

I'd bet her family would agree.

Tomorrow is going to be awkward, to say the least.

It doesn't matter the provocation -- there was of course provocation -- you're 'supposed' to be able to maintain some level of cool, or something, in times of crisis.

Impulse control.  What a pleasant thought, what a novel idea.

I'm a dickhead.


10/03 Direct Link

I'm writing another set of hundreds this month, about my experiences in Ashtanga yoga -- it's gotten to where yoga will end up being so large right now that I've given it its very own place, dancestoblue Ashtanga days.  Not sure if I'll do it for more than a month.

Meanwhile, back in the rest of my life...

Time spent with Mike and with Jason, both soaring, a pleasure to sponsor each of them.  It is the brightest spot of my life, my time spent with the people I'm lucky enough to sponsor.  It's a hoot, an honor, lots of fun.


10/04 Direct Link

Fred welcomed me -- a wacked-out long-haired pistol-toting knife-carrying unemployed low-rent Texafied yankee sleaze-bag -- into his pure-bred small-town capital 'T' Texas family; more than any other, Fred extended himself to me when Kelly dragged my dumb ass to meet her people.  I liked him, a lot, and paid him mind, talked with him.  I sat with him -- no one else was -- and was at ease.  I was closer to him than to the others.  A warm and kind man.

Gone.

And I've trashed -- such foolishness -- my tenuous relations with the rest of them, I'm WAY on the outside.

A hard day.


10/05 Direct Link

I spoke tonight with three great guys I sponsor, one after the next.  A pleasure.  I love them all.

It's a hazard, loving alcoholics is -- they'll break your heart, sometimes, open to love them knowing they might haul ass at any time, not to mention you might watch them fucking die, especially if they are also mentally ill.  Also:  I know I'm 'supposed to' stay on my own boat while their craft spins and founders -- Hey, fuck all that, sometimes I get in their goddamned boat.

I'm not as much a fool for womens love anymore but I'm exposed here.


10/06 Direct Link

let's say you're broken
defeated
worn down
addicted to cocaine
whiskey
anything else

but mostly cocaine and whiskey
which are of course plenty
plenty
and
if you're a musician
you can live in a land of plenty
freely

let's say you've lost too much
from way too close
and taken it hard
and taken it personally

and

plus

mental illness -- Isn't that nice?
capital 'D' Depression
compounded
aided
abetted
by alcoholism
that soul sickness
hollowed out
then stuffed with fear
and more fear
and then some more

souls break down
or shatter

I love this fuck
it's hard to watch

10/07 Direct Link

We talked it out, it's clear -- he owes an amends, and better sooner than later,  better a letter than an email or phone call.  We got a draft completed; he's being all polite and whatnot, apologizing without groveling, and no passive-aggressive bullshit, nothing to light her up.  The whole thing underscored what I'd told him about fucking AA women; she's a jungle cat, on the prowl -- hissing, spitting, rutting, snarling, clawing -- he's no innocent but she's a hustler, dangerous as huge shards of broken fucking glass falling on you when she doesn't get her way, sometimes when she does.


10/08 Direct Link

I was up WAY late last night and it's late now as I key this in -- 2:44am.  I like the night hours.  It's a foolishness I suppose but one I've found difficult to let go of.  Seems I've a choice -- I can go to bed at some 'normal' time and enjoy the daytime hours, or I can enjoy the night hours and my daytimes are sleazed out frowsy-headed stumbling about.

I've always been this way.

Even one hundred years ago this would not be able to have been done by most; the sun sets, daylights gone, your day is over.


10/09 Direct Link

I am deeply loved.

My brothers.  My sisters.  My dear sweet mother.  Had I not known it before -- I did know it before, but if I hadn't -- they proved it, in the biggest ways possible, when I died.  They showed up.  They kept showing up.

They keep showing up.

Kelly.  Her love is sure, there's no doubt -- this woman loves me.  No matter the foolishnesses I bring.  She shows up.

I am loved in my world.  People important to me know my love.  I know theirs.  They show up.

I show up for them, best I can.

I am lucky.


10/10 Direct Link

I know how thin the veneer of love that I stand upon.  All well and good for me to accept and live with the love freely given me.  I do so.  I'm going to do so.

Whoever wrote Job was writing about  humanity, how thin the veneer of love we offer one another.

There is none in Iraq.  The US government has stripped it from those suffering people, so I can have plastic bags.  The US government has used those people as toilet paper, a cum rag, worse.

I am sickened.  Appalled.  An unending nightmare there, and I'm into yoga.


10/11 Direct Link

I met Lori four and a half years ago.  I took an AA meeting into the detox.  Lori was detoxing.

Her sixth detox.

This time she got it.

She told us her story tonight.  Tragic.  Beautiful.  Sad -- so fucking sad.  Howlingly funny.

When an alcoholic gets to where she got, and makes it back, and, not only that, makes it back and finds peace, joy, happiness, integrity -- hey, you'll maybe think I'm ridiculous but you don't know -- they become almost a holy person.

She's got the most honest smile.  The deepest, truest, sparklingest eyes.

Lori is gold.  Solid fucking gold.


10/12 Direct Link

I can't stop thinking about Lori, and people like her, those who get so lost to addiction, to the life, and then make it back, bringing with them this tremendous humility.

They are the most attractive of all people.  Safe.  Warm.  Understanding.  Strong.  Compassionate.  Authentic.  Wise.

She'd be appalled to know that I think she's different, larger, better.  I tell her -- I told her last night -- she negates it.  She can't see it, not in herself -- she's too close.  Plus, it's her, it's her experience, it's what she knows.  She thinks she's just another person.

She doesn't know she's exceptional.


10/13 Direct Link

I slept in, then met with Kyle, who is so much fun to sponsor.  I love them all, truth be told.  It was good; we're easing back into the step work.

Horrific news from Mike -- his girlfriend has pancreatic cancer.  Two months to live.  They were trying to have a baby, is how good it was going.  Nightmare.

Tonight, Kelly and I went to Casa de Luz, my favorite Austin restaurant -- all organic, macrobiotic, remarkably healthy food prepared as best food can be prepared.  After dinner, we sat out in their garden in the beauty of an Austin autumn night.


10/14 Direct Link

I just watched a documentary about people who end their lives by leaping from the Golden Gate.

The Bridge.

If I can stay stable, I'm not going out by suicide.  (Other than Alzheimers -- I'm not going through that motherfucker.  But that's different.)

Mental illness is such a fucker.

Dazzling, jagged, howling, never-ending pain.

People who judge suicides just don't know.

It's almost impossible to imagine the agony.

You have to have been there.

I have.

Looking back, I'm surprised I didn't take myself out.

It wasn't that I wanted to die.  It just hurt so bad to live, is all.


10/15 Direct Link

The call from Judith was very amusing -- she's forwarded my response to her lament to all her friends and they all are having fun with it.

I sure do love having fun with writing, and passing it around.

Dinner with Mike after practicing was fun -- lots of smiles, hoots, snickers.

Meeting with Jon was fun -- he's moving so nicely.

A pleasure to sponsor these guys.

Talking with Savannah was fun -- she's so new to recovery, scared, uncertain, yet I can see she feels hope.  My heart is wide open to her:  A friend of Kyle's is a friend of mine.


10/16 Direct Link

We met today in the cool gray silences of that warm room, we spoke for an hour as the day faded to dusk.

Step work.

Tamara almost certainly has pancreatic cancer, which is as heavy as life gets, or close to it.

Mike is holding up strongly.  His recovery is strong, it's been great to have a ringside seat, to watch this unfold, to watch him put the pieces together and then keep them together, day by day.

There is deep power in the steps.  Mike has accessed this power, is accessing it.  I'd bet he'll continue to do so.


10/17 Direct Link

Started slow and started late.  Or not late, not for me, though it almost certainly would be for you.  No matter.

A nice chat with Emily; I'm lucky she's my neighbor.  Yoga.  Continental Club AA meeting -- great fun.  Sat with Carrie, chatted with Savannah afterward, met her sponsor Jo.  Seton meeting -- welcome home.  Whole Foods tofu satay dinner.  Then met with Jason, after ten, til about midnight -- he's doing so goddamned great!  Then lots of hugs on the way out of the AA club, all my late-night friends smiling, chattering, milling festively.  Then home, thought some about  Pamela, now bedtime.


10/18 Direct Link

I spent way too much time with a guy I sponsor tonight.  Chris.  And in fact it wasn't even too much time; it was that he cannot understand the process of letting go the ego.  He is walking through the process of the steps but he just isn't getting it; he cannot understand the mechanics of the goddamned ego.  And his ego is eating his goddamned lunch.

It's exhausting, listening to him grind it out hour upon hour.

It's exactly what I was like when I got sober, and for years afterward; too spun to make sense of it all.


10/19 Direct Link

I'm letting mania get away with me again and I've got to stop it.  Pronto.  This is a very, very dangerous time of year and I can goddamn sure feel it tugging me about once again, that thin fine golden autumn light starts taking me onto or into it's pathway.

So it's early to bed tonight; take a fistful of medications to cut this thing to where it needs cut, so I can sleep, so I can rest, so I can live without getting sailed off into hell.  Heaven, first off, but hell is always right there, a yawning chasm.


10/20 Direct Link

The best in the day the time with Mike.  Really, that's all I want to write about, and I don't even want to write about that.  Or anything.  Fuck this hundred words jive, fuck it all.  Okay, okay -- it was a beautiful day.  How's that?  Are you happy now?  Pleased now that you've spent your time reading this drivel?  Probably you're no more pleased than I am to be writing it; I just want it to be over, I want that fucking word counter to hit one hundred and then I'm outta here, with no regrets, no pangs of remorse,


10/21 Direct Link

Maybe the most fun today was keeping a straight face when lying to my next-door neighbor Emily about a giant fake cactus plant I'd left on her doorstep -- surely she suspects it was me but I think I did pretty well, blamed it on this pathetic guy who has a terrible crush on her.

Anyways, it's always fun to kid her about him; she gets all fussy.  She HATES when we kid her about him.

Fun!

What's best about the whole thing is that she really likes the 'cactus' -- I knew she would -- it's just her style, cool and wacky.


10/22 Direct Link

It's the hardest part of being a sponsor, most especially if the person is really willing to do the work, and is doing it (quite frankly, I won't sponsor them if they won't), and just flat cannot see what is right in front of him.

It's actually too fucking simple for most of us.

I couldn't see it for a long, long, long time -- I KNOW it was a huge pain in the ass for my old sponsor in Houston, I know (now) how exhausting it must have been for him to hang in there with me.  Now that's love.


10/23 Direct Link

I can't stop thinking about Pamela.  I know that she's important in my life but she's so far in the past it'd be comical except that it isn't.  Not at all.

Life moves on.  But I don't, not well.

Thoughts of her have such a strong hold upon me.  It's come and gone since the day we met; it's damn sure here just now.

Talk about chemistry.

Unreal.

It's like that David Wilcox song "Strong Chemistry"; what Pamela and I had was never good, but very, very powerful, 'like a needle against a vein'.

It ain't love, that's for sure.


10/24 Direct Link

A perfectly lovely day in Austin Texas.

Maybe mid 70s, soft breezes, big ole blue skies, smiling sunshine.  It's easy to be happy on a day like today; you'd have to work at being miserable.

From October through part of April, Austin surely is a great place to live.

I got out and about in the day and in the evening and in the night, and now, late, I'm writing with the sliding door cracked open, mid 50s, great sleeping weather.  I just cannot deal without AC in the summer, and closed windows; this is sweet.

You should be here.


10/25 Direct Link

so I cannot change some things
or haven't yet
maybe I never
ever
will
that's going to have to be okay
even if it's not

the point being I'm not
not
going to beat myself
               pummel myself
               denigrate myself
other than what slips through
the cracks cut deep
into my soul
my amigo ego

which doesn't want me to
            accept myself
            forgive myself
            enjoy my life
            my days
            my nights
            my any other goddamn time
            either

no,
ego doesn't want that
but I catch the bastard
now and again
smile at it
which melts it
I'm freed
and move on


10/26 Direct Link

I watched 'Breaking The Waves' tonight and found it as powerful, or perhaps moreso, as upon first seeing it.

Emily Watson is astonishing.  It's impossible for me not to sortof fall in love with her.  Which is ridiculous; it's a movie, she's an actress, it's a role, plus it's a fable, an acheful black and blue but oh so beautiful religious, sexual fairy tale.

But Emily Watson lives that role.  She is Bess McNeill.  And Bess is a hugely complex, large as life character.

It's one of the most powerful performances I've ever seen.

This ain't Hollywood.

See this movie.


10/27 Direct Link

This is my 'missed' day -- I key these words at 8:26pm on November 6th. I'm sitting at Whole Foods, upstairs, I just finished a bowl of a really good soup (vegetarian of course), I've a bottle of mineral water right next to this lappy, I'm refreshed after my (yoga) practice earlier today, and from the shower afterwards, and the meeting Metal Mike, moving forward to right here, right now, watching my fellow citizens eat their gourmet fast food dinners.

I didn't write on the 27th because I wasn't up to it, I just didn't want to write.

So I didn't.


10/28 Direct Link

It's the time / of the season:

       When I run high.

       When I run fast.

       When I run on.

       When I run manic.

       When I go nuts.

I've gone nuts here or there anyways, of course.  But the fine, beautiful, thin, golden light of autumn heralds 'mania time'.

It's sortof like those old beer commercials only with mania rather than miller -- "It's Mania Time!"

Jesus.

I'm all stocked up, I've garbage to knock me out of even the highest of highs.

But I *like* the high.

I'd like to get tied to the mast so's I could listen.

There's no mast.


10/29 Direct Link

Every day, for weeks, I've had their contact page open in my browser.  I've looked at it at least every other day, in a cursory way.

I didn't look away today.

Today I called.

Damned if they don't have a slot for me.  With the therapist I'd requested.  Sliding scale.  Tomorrow.  At nine a.m.

Nine a.m.???  Holy shit.....

I am NOT a morning person.  Probably I'll spend the whole time bitching about the time.

Or maybe I'll be tired enough to let my guard down, maybe I'll let someone in, maybe I'll get some help.

It could happen.


10/30 Direct Link

The office is brand new; I watched them build the building last year.  Julie's office is nice, orderly, warm, a therapists office.  From the look of it, she therapizes children also.

She seems bright.  Happy.  Glad to be doing the work she does.  She's awake, alert, kind; asks good questions.  She's not leading anywhere other than 'What's up?', it's not like she's trying to direct or move the flow.

She's a good therapist, from what I can see.  And, together, at her lead, we came up with a plan; what do I want, what steps to take to get there?


10/31 Direct Link

An old friend.

I'd not seen Rex in ten years.  Real nice to have run into him tonight.

A good-hearted man.

It's nice to have someone else to talk with about having been dead, and how it changes a person, and how it doesn't.  We're survivors.

His daughter, Rachel, now grown, living here in Austin.  School.  I hope to run into her, and I have a darn good chance of doing so; she and Savannah are good friends.

We talked and laughed and smiled in the gentle Austin evening, two old guys catching up and enjoying doing so.

Great fun.