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08/01 Direct Link

I've listened to James McMurtry music for  years; he plays, late, at The Continental Club Wednesdays if he's in town.

I've driven by a hundred times.

Not tonight.

A great songwriter, a great band, a lyric-driven, rocking Texas show.



The loveliest woman in the club, Sara isn't just beautiful -- she danced freely, she acted naturally, seemed kind.

I'm no dancer, but we talked after the show, smiled, laughed.  A tiny redhead, huge eyes, a Texas woman, owns a llama ranch north of town, comes in with a friend Wednesdays, to hear the band.

A great piece of my day.

Bedtime.


08/02 Direct Link

I've started this fucker twice.

Annoying.

I can't find the pivot my day circled.

Prayer.

It's not magic but it's powerful, and gives me peace.

I ask for guidance, direction, power, then assume it's given, do what comes next.  The Next Right Thing.

It's simple, sweet, humbling.  The day hums.  So do I.

Days I don't pray, it's a suffering.  Fuck.  Why not just shit in my shoes?  It couldn't be any worse.

I'm not sure praying for others does anything, but it comforts me.  I think it gives energy for them to draw upon.  No telling.

Ask for help.


08/03 Direct Link

I'm sick, I feel like shit, I don't want to write.  Kelly and I went out to eat tonight and I think I got something bad there.  Or maybe it's the ibuprofen that I took, trying to ease my neck pain -- I hardly ever take that stuff any more, because it thins my blood and I'm supposed to avoid that, what with those heart attacks and the damaged heart tissue.  You don't give a shit about any of this and neither do I, I'm writing these words to get to one hundred and then I'm outta here, to bed


08/04 Direct Link

Swimming is all you can do before sundown, the heat and humidity a suffering.  I ride my bike some but pay for it, a Texas tariff.

We chatted it up, kicking laps in the late afternoon sun, had the lane to ourselves, fairly unusual -- it's a nice pool, and there's lots of swimmers in Austin.  I didn't have my flips and expected a beating -- Alison is one hell of a swimmer -- but a back injury has her moving slow. 

I got lucky.

I suggested a permanent back injury -- it's only fair.  Being disagreeable, she declined.

I'm flat worn out.

Bedtime.


08/05 Direct Link

Patrick, first thing.  The 9:30am meeting, and talking afterwards with Carla regards social and legal care for mentally disabled people, and what is the procedure to involuntarily commit someone in Texas.  Four loads laundry.  Meeting with Bob, new sponsee, the time spent with him.  Sincere prayer, on my knees:  What next?   Conversation with Vee.  Meeting with my sponsor.  A bike ride, monster upper-body workout on the sunset bridge.  Conversation with David and Carol.  The two comets that flashed the sky.  My phone dying when Kelly called.

I could write one hundred words about any of these pieces of my day.


08/06 Direct Link

They thought I was younger than I am, what with how fit I am, plus I look like I'm eleven years old.  The guys who cut off my clothing have told me that they probably wouldn't have tried to save me had they known my age ie if I'd come in there looking my age and/or out of shape.

It's certain that they wouldn't have worked as long as they did.

I'm surely glad they helped me, most days, though if I get caught somewhere with that stupid, bogus, NashVegas 'country' music playing I begin to wonder.

Don't you?


08/07 Direct Link

I was a good citizen, I held to my ideal of writing my hundred for this day.  I wrote it, it was on the screen, I fell asleep in this chair, dazed then dozed.

I awoke to discover that my puter had gone left-handed.

The hundred was gone.

Is gone.

This really frosts my balls.

I don't know if I'm going to use this as my 'missed' day in August; I didn't 'miss' this fucking day -- MSWinBlows took the son-of-a-bitch.

Now I'm left writing this shit.

Maybe I'll learn:  My day isn't complete until these hundreds are written AND entered.


08/08 Direct Link

I was driving with tags and inspection sticker months out of date.  Was.  I'm legal now.  A nice feeling; good for a year now.

Met with three of 'my guys' today.  That's a lot.  I'm worn down to it, in some ways; it can be tiring.  Only one tomorrow.  A day of rest.

Late night Continental Club -- choke.  But hey, it is what it is.  All's well that ends well.  Or maybe just all's well.  That's the fact of the matter.  It's not my turf, that's for sure; I'm better off in AA clubs than out and about clubs.

Done.


08/09 Direct Link

I haven't eaten any meat for nine months.

I'm not a vegetarian -- I understand that animals eat other animals, that humans are omnivores.  I enjoy the taste of meat, the texture of it, it's nutritional value.

If I lived in the country, I wouldn't hesitate to take deer, or antelope, or run some cows, maybe raise some chickens, some ducks.

But I don't live in the country.

I don't have access to meat that comes from animals that have lived a decent life.

I loathe what humans do to our fellow travelers.

It's horribly unfair.

So I don't support it.


08/10 Direct Link

A monster bike ride and workout while watching the beautiful sky and its reflections upon the river in the hour of sunset.  Really sweet.

Hot as can be, and humid of course -- Austin in August.  I wore a mid-weight gray t-shirt; by the time I got home it was as wet as if I'd dunked it in the river.

I poured sweat, likely cleansed any gunk from my pores, got home energized, happy, moved about festively, hit the shower then hit the bricks, out and about, into the night.

A gift -- not just my life but good health to boot.


08/11 Direct Link

I was lying in bed, reading, and didn't want to write these words, or any other.

Had I not had to get up to take my medications, I'd perhaps have blown this off tonight.

But I have to take the medication or I won't even sleep, not for long anyways, and soon my days start going upside down and left-handed and then I'm fucked; once my days start going upside down and left-handed it's a short step until I'm fitting my days, and I'm in a daze, my life now a train wreck, blood on the tracks, luggage scattered about.


08/12 Direct Link

Earlier today, I had words I wanted to use here, but they've slid from me and we're left with these.  They'll have to do.

I don't want to write about swimming, riding that bike, working out, meeting with a guy that I sponsor, meeting with my sponsor; I did all those things today but I've written them all fourteen million times over.  Plus some.

What's annoying is that I had something in mind and I can't get to it.  And it was something I really wanted to lay out here.

It's such a pain in the ass to be me.


08/13 Direct Link

Summertime in Chicago.

Family.  Old friends.  A wonderful city that I know well, love dearly.

I'm leaving day after tomorrow.



I live in complete admiration of those who  those who travel with a toothbrush, a credit card, and $14.57.  Their travel  preparation consists of scratching themselves as they walk through the airport.

I'm not that person.



Boots.  Sandals.  Jeans.  Belts.  Shirts.  Shorts.  Underwear.  Socks.  Sweaters.  Jacket.  Computer.  Water bottle.   Thermos.  MP3-player.  Headphones.  Sunglasses.  Reading glasses.  Presents.  Sketchbook.  Notebook.  Pens.  Pencils.  Paint.  Knives.  Canvas.  Paper.  Bike tools, clothes, gear.  Bag-o-shit -- medications, razor, toothbrush, etc.  Cash.  Credit cards.  Camera.  Phone; charger.


08/14 Direct Link

If she does move out of town, it's the end for us.  Or maybe not.  I don't know.  I don't think she does, either.

Seems she's slowly breaking up with me.  Or just that we are slowly breaking up maybe.  We are damn sure spending less time together.

I don't know what to think.

I don't know what to do.

My father told me, years ago, that not making a decision is making a decision.  I know that is true.  But I also know that decisions moved into too fast aren't worth a damn.

One day at a time.

Bedtime.


08/15 Direct Link

I couldn't take my thermos to the gate; I shared my fresh-brewed coffee with sparkly, spunky, red-headed, left-handed, eighty year old Janet, who I'm glad I got to meet and spend time with.  Sometimes I need to meet soulful people, happy and moving, living  fully.

A nice chat on the plane, a deeply religious woman, but somehow we danced past our differences; it was fun.

Then.  Family.  My sister, her husband, their son, dinner at his country club, a chance to share a slice of his life.  It is so good to be here, in the heart of my family.


08/16 Direct Link

The challenge:  Encapsulate the largest piece of the day, wind it tightly into one hundred words.

But what if my day doesn't have a largest piece?  Maybe it's got lots of large pieces.  That happens.  It happened today.

Ongoing -- are Kelly and I to split the  blanket?  I don't know.

Medication -- My shrink wants me to dump a medication that's helped me in a way none other can.  I remembered today why I've fought against that stupidity; four hours of panic attacks.

Family:  These people love me.  I love them.  I'm part of these people, they are part of me.


08/17 Direct Link

Lunch with Judith, Fred, and Amy (artist, paper maker, book binder); blt's with home-grown tomatoes, fresh bread, good conversations.

Chores with Fred, bopping around town, listening to the ball game in the perfectly beautiful afternoon.

Seeing my cousin Sondra after thirty years or more, and getting to know her, and meeting her husband, Don, solid and strong and decent.  Good people.  Good conversation, good food.  A great evening.

Talking to Kelly; separation and the heart grows fonder, but I know the difficulties that are in it.  I have not read her email again and won't until I leave here.

Bedtime.


08/18 Direct Link

The biggest thing I did today was something I didn't do:  I didn't talk with Kelly.

Hard to imagine that we are to not be together but that seems to be what's headed toward me, us.

I'm not crying.  Am I supposed to be crying?  I am hurting.

I guess I'm not going to be able to be with someone over the long term.  Maybe any term.

Is the bottom to fall out?

As sweet as she is, tolerant as she is, I still can't allow our love?

I can fuck up anything.  Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


08/19 Direct Link

I don't speak in a straight line.

I wish it were different but it's the cards I've been given.

I wander.

I go here, and there.  Though I'd love to build a teleological logic edifice, I build instead a mosaic.

I throw it out there and see what sticks.

I copped to the fact that I was frightened -- which just blows fear right out my soul -- then started running it out.

If you don't know AA you don't know what I did this morning, though if you believe what I'm writing you'll know I did it well.

It was fun.


08/20 Direct Link

We're working in the mud and the weeds and the horseshit, the rain coming down, our boots and jeans muddied and splattered, our hands dirty, the Belgians and the Appaloosa and that paint are eating but also kicking it up -- it's dinner time, a highlight of their day.  They came running from down by the creek when we got there with the corn and oats.

It rained and quit then rained again, clouded and gray but then it sunned up, it opened out like a dream, still spitting some rain but beautiful, my brother and I celebrating his 65th birthday.


08/21 Direct Link

We headed north on 47, crossed the Wisconsin line, corn six foot high, huge barns, huge houses.  We talked it out, best as we could -- an awkward scene, to be sure; he's married to my niece, they have three beautiful children, marriage has been hard for both of them, and it maybe will end.  They are at the edge.  No -- they are on the edge.  It's probably a dead issue but I'd never say never, I've seen many marriages come back from the brink of death and theirs might also.  Time will tell.  I will keep him close as I can; if this marriage fails he has no one.

08/22 Direct Link

I met the self I may have become had I stayed here in Chicago.

Terry is a trim carpenter.  One year older than I; he's tough, strong, competent, weathered, clean and sober.  His body is wearing out, wearing down.

I'd like to think that had I stayed here I'd have made lots of bread, set the tools down, had clean hands and shoes.  Maybe I would have.

But maybe I wouldn't have.

My life just spun out how it did, unrolled here and there, and it's just fine -- it is what it is.

I'm glad I'm not a trim carpenter.


08/23 Direct Link

I met Lou in fourth grade.  43 years ago.

He never changes.  It's funny as hell.

Always, he's been a pain in the ass.  He wants to be a pain in the ass.   He works at being a pain in the ass.   He's not happy unless he's a pain in the ass.

Today we drove around looking at houses he's built or is building and/or properties he owns.  He's hugely successful, a blue-collar hero.

He's fun, bright, intense, funny, on top of it all.  He's done so well, I haven't, but it's okay, he's Lou, same as always.

Great fun.


08/24 Direct Link

Time.  Poetry.  Prayer.  Loss.  Opium.  Death.  Tragedy.  Transcendence.  Need.  Unattainable love.

This one has it all.

It is the most precious object in the world.

Beata Beatrix
     Dante Rossetti

If civilization was ending and only one item to be saved, I would  carry this painting across the fires of hell.

Though the love he painted for the wife he lost couldn't possibly be described, Rossetti does describe it, he captures it perfectly.

Acheful beauty.

But it's beyond beauty, larger, deeper, broader.

It is everything, and more, wrought clear, perfectly timed.

My prayer is that you'll see it before your death.


08/25 Direct Link

Jenner and Jason -- phew!  A rough one.  But I think they can maybe make it.  Time is the variable that'll tell.  I'm glad she's given him this 'shot', or, rather, given 'them' this shot.  The love is there, it's clear.  Not to mention the kids of course.  He talked about money, wanting to make more -- it's surely not about that.  You need enough I know but if they could resolve their 'stuff' it'd be better for the kids than two billion dollars.  I don't know what to hope; I'd not want them together if trouble continues.  Time is the variable.


08/26 Direct Link

I'm writing these words on September 06 at 4:38am; I've just completed entering the month of August hundreds.  I'd been entering them every day but the traveling got me out of line.  And then, when I got home, I wrote the hundreds for this day and lost it by a piece of shit software glitch.  Annoyance.  More than annoyance, actually -- it's important to me, these hundreds are, and it's clear I'm going to have to enter them daily to avoid this kind of shit.

So this is shit writing, and I'm sorry you're reading it.  I'm sorry I'm reading it too.


08/27 Direct Link

We sat in our local AA club in the silences of the afternoon, the collective wisdom of forty years of AA meetings surrounding us, there to be drawn upon maybe, if you're of that sort of person, one who'd believe in that.  I do.  Sortof, anyways.

Third step -- I gave him what I know about it.  Yet again.

Also -- he is not so much resentful at his wife and his employer and himself as he is at alcoholism and mental illness as manifested in his wife, employer, and in himself.  It's hard to learn those AlAnon basics.  But we must.


08/28 Direct Link

How could I forget?
You were like broken glass
embedded in my flesh
                        Jo Carol Pierce


I sat in the sunset crying, stirred by lyrics, taken by bittersweet memories.

Seems I'm an old man now, I've enough memories to sift; sometimes grief takes me.

Kathy opened to me and opened me and she was so goddamned beautiful and her eyes so goddamned broken and acheful and giving and loving and lying, and I so young and hurt and foolish and mean and confused.

I pushed her away until she left.

The ache though; that's never left.

She's in me deep.


08/29 Direct Link

I just can't get over what a great writer Jo Carol Pierce is.  I've listened to and loved and enjoyed her music for years but yesterday and today I've somehow heard what I've not really heard before, I'd not caught the depths.  She's a poet -- her writing is absolutely beautiful -- but so much of the poetry is in her phrasing also; she's just a great singer-songwriter.  A poetic, crazed Texan, -- that's my favorite kind -- creative and zany and warm and loving, using clear, simple, home-spun language to convey deep beauty and poetry and fun and love and heartbreak and joy.


08/30 Direct Link

Here we go again -- I'm loading all kinds of shit onto this laptop and will probably bog it down completely, all sorts of conflicts between software I won't even have installed any longer.  I'm really annoying in this; I try to find software solutions but am not able to do so easily or with competence or speed, seems I can't do much, I know only enough to get my puter into trouble.

This is really annoying.

I need to just use the damned thing.  My old puter is so bogged it barely runs; I need to completely reload the OS.

08/31 Direct Link

I can't think of what to write here tonight.

Sometimes this is a pain in my ass.  This is one of those times.

I've started three or four times,  headed out in this direction, then that direction, this topic, that topic; nothing fit.

So now I'm writing this drivel, and, sadly, you're reading it.  I wish things were different, but, clearly, they aren't.

It is what it is.

You're reading blather.

I'm writing blather.

Come on...  Sometimes it seems as though one hundred isn't going to ever get here.  For example, it's still not here, though it's getting closer and