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Do I drive to Chicago or not?
I'm going to have to sleep on it, always a good idea, and then just take the steps toward it and see how it unfolds.
I will know the answer.
I want to know the answer before I've got all the information needed to input. It's like wanting to do a math problem without knowing all the numbers involved.
I tend to make a larger problem out of things than is really involved.
I'd love to have time in Illinois, see everyone, and three days in downtown Chicago will be great.
Fear - I couldn't get out the door, and I wanted to, was locked in by overwhelm.
So much to do that I didn't know which way to turn, didn't know what to start with.
Finally just started moving, often the thing to do when stuck. Not always but often.
And then friendship, and food, and chatter, clatter of forks and knives, very, very good food, a nice meal.
The conversation with Monica the deepest emotional connection of the day. One of my favorite people, heart wide open, big smile, an easy laugh, her eyes deep and knowing.
A good day.
The light as it lay upon the water was a sight to behold.
I wasn't prepared to see it, thought that I'd missed the last of the light of the day, and almost did, but what I saw instead of dark was so beautiful that it brought forth an involuntary sigh, actually a moan, pleasure in the beauty.
Rich in the way of a painting out of seventeenth century Holland, those burnished beauties, muted but powerful, the power in fact coming from the understated play of rich dark color.
Easily the prettiest thing I saw today; balm to my soul.
Awoke.   Soft gray.   Latte.    "Hey, it's raining!"    Idea:   'If I ride in this gentle rain, it'll be fun, and no joggers - I can blast the trails!'   Blasted trails; rain; mud; wailing music.    Fun!    Swimming - Barton Creek, dunked bike also; clean, shiny.   Home.    Shower.   Rest.   Food.   Email.   Internet.   Pray.    Meditate.    Read.    Latte.   Telephone.   Laundry.   Gorgeous sunset; clean, shiny bike to pedestrian bridge, prop on it, chat with the nice people, watch fireworks.    Boom!    Etc.   Idea:    'Ride crosstown, late night AA meeting.'    Traffic.   Hills.    More hills.   "Fuck!"    Meeting.    Warmth - friends; hold babies; new sponsee.    Hills.    Home.    Shower.    Food.   Pray.    Meditate.   Words.   Bedtime.
The fact of the matter is that it stung.
Regardless right or wrong -- the way she cut and ran was startling, confusing, stupid, rude.    What a nutjob!
But the fact of the matter is that it stung.
And I just don't have to know why it stung me, or why she did what she did, or why the whole scene played out how it did.    All I have to know is that I let a person into my day and ended up wondering what the fuck happened, in three short hours.
Never again do I meet a friend of Rogers.
Awoke early to a beautiful morning, rain and sun mixed, towering cumulous clouds, like a tropical island morning, except no sea breeze.
Biked to early meeting and then home, then drove to tex-mex dive, then to Jim and Jeannies, then back home, a short rest.
And then into sponsor day, which rocked, both sides of the chair.
Then biked to Louis and Monicas party, and what a party it was, a bunch of clean and sober alcoholics and drug addicts and a bunch of lawyers and a bunch of fat, happy babies -- we had a fucking blast!
A great day!
I guess the biggest thing today was the smartass in the detox meeting, my correctly not tolerating his bullshit, him storming out, only to come back in twenty minutes later, ready to participate.
It's not his fault, just acting the fool, a game he's used to playing, but one I will not tolerate in an AA meeting, particularly not in this meeting, their lives in the balance, where someone may desperately want to hear what we bring.
It's not fun to get into peoples faces when they're pulling stunts but it's gotta be done and I'll damn sure do it.
His decline was steady but graceful, a nice buttoning up of a well lived life.     The tumor ended that two years ago, gutted him, firebombed him, he's burning, he's Dresden, it's Valentines Day 1945.
He now shuffles papers endlessly, sifting bills, wills, the detritis of life.
He is losing track.
He is aware that this is happening.
I suspect it frightens him, but fear is a constant presence in his life now, I cannot determine what really carries weight.     He cannot determine what is causing him such anguish.
I love him.
Today is his 83rd birthday.
Please, pray for him.
Reading is not only recreation, it is life to me, thousands, millions of voices to be heard, many of those voices carrying messages that I want to hear, some that I need to hear, and often I need to hear them more than once.
And if I do, all I need do is walk over and pick up their book, and settle into a conversation with Marcus Aurelius, or Anne Lamott, or Abraham Lincoln, or Jane Hamilton, or Guy de Maupassant, or Richard Brautigan, or Jack London, or Alison Moore, or Mark Twight, or Gary Larsen, or Alison Luterman, or
2:36am rage, hostility.
5:45am Jim and Woody.
12:00pm car rental.
1:00pm - 2:30pm Lombard.
3:00pm Downtown Chicago.
The pulse quickens.   The heart surges, the joy begins to flow.
Cass Hotel - Digs.
Whole Foods - Provisions.
Parking ticket - "Fuck!"
The streets - moving, pulsing, vibrant, friendly, alive.   Alive!
Moving into the flow, and into the beauty, and into the art, and into the heart of this remarkable city.
My intent is to distill here the most important event of each day as it ticks by.
I cannot do this today.
There was no "most important event" - the whole day a stream of fun.
A perfectly beautiful day to spend as I wished, downtown Chicago.
I do not know a place I'd rather be in the summer.
And I am not talking about the suburbs, which pretty much make me want to puke.
It's 2:00am.   I'm writing these words in the heart of this city as it goes to sleep.
I'm tired and I'm worn but happy as hell.
A day of celebration.
A beautiful wedding.
How is it that brides can be this beautiful?
Chris is a lucky man.
Julia is a lucky woman, also - Chris is experienced enough to take seriously the vows we witnessed them exchange.   While I dont know her well, my sense of her is that she too will lay herself on the line to honor the covenant she entered into this day.
There were given tremendous support as they committed to this voyage, its clearly a support that wont waver, their families and friends all believe in them and want this to work.
Ease in the heart of my family.
A day of family and fun and perfectly beautiful Chicago weather.
An afternoon hammock nap, some carpentry, some tv.
An understanding of the love and of the life of a sister.   Or maybe the beginning of an understanding.
Seeing once more what I've cut myself from, my eyes of judgement.   Painful to see the loss and painful to see how I've accomplished this.
But mostly the ease, resing easily in the presence of those who know me best.
You can go home again - I was there today - but I'd guess you can't stay.
I've not known what to write.
So I've written nothing.   Not having the words makes sloth appealing.
I realize I've been rude.
There's so much that I've not been able to write to you.
You're a married woman.
That's been difficult for me.   As you know.
I thought I'd be able to get past that, shelve the love.   But I've not been able to do so, it's been present each time I write your name.
Every word written hides seven that aren't.
I can't even send this.   But I'm going to.
These are the words I've not written.
I looked in all my pants pockets that are in the laundry, thought maybe I may have put them on last night, though I didn't remember doing so, but you never know - nothing.   No wallet.   I went from one end of this place to the other, was about to go ahead and call the credit card companies and start grieving the money I had in the wallet, when I noticed that the wallet was in the pocket of the shorts I've been wearing all day.   I wore these shorts even as I looked through other pants pockets.
The time spent with Gloria and Amy was fun, but unsettling.
Can I get involved here?
Dare I get involved here?
She is a mother, a deeply committed mother, as of course she must be.   But I've never really dated women with children, or haven't dated them much.   It's a different story;  it's as though I'm dating her and her family, not just dating her.
In doing that I'm doing something with much, much greater import than dating Gloria alone.
I cannot treat this lightly at all.
To get involved at all is to get involved in a serious way.
A great day.   Up early, six am AA meeting, then home to snoozeville for a while, and then out and into the day, most notably thirty miles down the road to San Marcos, which is where I want to go to school.
Met the chair of the art department and we chatted a few minutes and then he showed me the brand new facility where I hope to spend a lot of the next four years of my life.   Also showed me paintings by the main painting professor there, and they are rich and beautiful and insane, really fun.
And I felt you pulling back.
What I know is this:   I felt that I was leaning in toward you, felt I was in the position of waiting.
I'm not much on waiting.
And the idea that every word I wrote was not written to you but was written to an audience of two.
An impossible situation for me.   No, not impossible - untenable.
How is it that I feel that I'm losing you when I never had you?
I'm grieving a hope.
I'm grieving a foolishness.
I'm grieving a friendship.
I didn't know that til I wrote it.
As I rode that bike tonight, I thought of how disappointed I am in women, in people in general, damn sure in myself.   It's all a big pain in my ass.   How can I bear to be with even myself, much less anyone else?
When I look at myself, really pay attention to what I see, I throw up for days and days.
I spoke about it with Karen, and she of course feels the same, as she is every bit as neurotic as I am.
The only way out is to accept ourselves, and others, exactly as we are.
So this one is not to be thought about at all, just words keyed as the day turns night.
Probably my favorite light, the gloaming.
I don't want to write heavy stuff tonight, certainly much I could write, always easy to stir the pot and dig up goo, but not tonight.   Fuck it.   I'm tired and I'm sorta sick and I don't know why and I don't care, either - its just that I feel poorly, and have most of the day.
I have the right to write a shitty one hundred, any time I want.
I'm exercising that right tonight.
If you're looking for heart,
look somewhere else.
If you're looking for art,
look somewhere else.
If you're looking for love,
look somewhere else.
If you're looking for peace,
or joy in the reading,
you're not gonna to find it,
How is it you're looking for that shit here?
What the fuck were you thinking?
Were you thinking at all?
It doesn't appear so to me.
You're not going to find those things,
not in words,
not very often.
The fact that you're looking for it works against your chance at finding it.
Fact of the matter is that I think of her quite a goddamn bit.
That was of course the problem anyways, that I couldn't let it set, that I couldn't accept that she was not coming this way.
So, I cut the chain.
But I'm still there, quite a bit.
I damn sure do love her.   She's damn sure crazy, damn sure warm, damn sure creative.
And she's damn sure married, and she damn sure lives in the mountains, and I damn sure live in Texas.
But none of that stops my thinking of her, wishing it had been different.
Exercise and/or physical work are great anti-depressants for me, really keep my mind in tune wtih my body.
If I don't exercise, within just a couple of days I am flat and down and lazy and greazy and I don't know what all, other than it sucks, and it sucks bigtime.
But when I do exercise, I'm sore (real sore on awakening next day, and maybe even worse day after, if it was a particularly brutal workout) and physically tired the rest of the day, though there is a certain invigoration, that whole endorphin thing.
An easy one hundred....
I still wonder if it was the right way to handle the situation.
I wonder if I used the right words.
I wonder if I ought to have done differently.
I miss her like a son of a bitch, but I never did have her anyways.   I missed her when she was in my life, because she wasn't in my life in a way that made sense.
I at least did get to read her words.
We were not cut off.
It doesn't feel right, how is it that I cut that friendship, what the fuck am I doing here?
The power of friendship.
And it is a power, and a large one, and one which I extended to Rod today, and which he accepted.   And which he extended to me, and I accepted, also.
A good day, and a beautiful day - we sat at the edge of the river and watched it flow.
Friendships such as this clear it up for me, get me out of my shell, and out of my house - no way do I ride that bike in the monster heat of the afternoon without that I'd made plans to meet a friend.
A good day.
It's late and I'm not feeling worth a damn, haven't felt worth a damn since I woke.   Probably my first conscious thought was "Man, I feel like shit!".   Or "Jesus, what's with this headache?"   Or words to that effect.
I've not done a goddamn thing, stayed pretty much inside nursing my headache and my feel-like-shittiness, spent the day reading and moping, and scratching.   Washed some clothes and some bedding, mostly just moped around.
So don't expect stellar words here on this fine evening.
The best of it was probably the conversation with Karen, an hour or two chatting it up.
Hope all is well out there.    A pretty rough day here for me, woke up feeling poorly and it's pretty much been on that wave all day, didn't do much, hung out, stayed in mostly, reading, moping.   Thought lots about suicide, the usual black day bullshit, the thoughts that I have on rough days, seems almost a mantra - "I ought to blow my fucking brains out!"   It's been on me all day, off and on - I did have a real good conversation with a friend, earlier, an hour or better with an old friend, and that always eases things some.
We sit in a circle.
Though they are all lost,
their denial -
keeps some of them from knowing this,
that they are in a detox
on a bright Monday afternoon.
It's an honor to be with them.
Not to doctors,
only to an alcoholic
will they open up,
and that only once they know
that you know
that you too have resided there,
that you've lived in hell.
Identification is imperative.
A drunk knows a drunk.
You can't bullshit your way, not in this crowd.
Three years cut today, and cut without skill.
Not that I didn't need to cut, but...   It's my lack of finesse that bothers me.
I don't think that there will ever be able to be friendship, not that there really was friendship there...
I won't miss him.   Hard to say it that plain, but sponsoring him was like wrestling some fat fuck in school, and I hated wrestling, hated it every time I got on the mat.
So the fact is that I won't miss him, and he'll do just fine.
Or he won't.
Either way, it's his show now.
Totally in the moment, and happy, and at peace.
A rarity for me, realization - in real time - of the fact of life moving by, and all is well with it, and with me.   It's all ok, and even if it's not ok, that's ok.
What a great place to be in.
How I wish I was able to be in this place more.
The meditation of course helps me get to it, but it's no guarantee.   There is no guarentee.   Ever.
But I was in it today, and realized that I was, and in it I relaxed.
A great day.
I miss her terribly.
But not the way that it ended up, damn near unable to reach her, being on her long list, wanting to be on her short list.
What the hell is it with me and these crazy artists?
Maybe because Im a crazy artist too...
And even though I couldn't have her I could at least talk with her, and bounce things off of her, and be in her presence, if only in words.
As it is now, all I get to do is think of her.
And I damn sure do.
It stings today...
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