I forgot to credit Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., for the lines re: “I didn’t think I had any secrets from me. I thought I knew all there was to know about me.”
These lines are lifted virtually verbatim from Slaughterhouse Five. I should have shown more care and merely let them inspire me. When I wrote the above bleat, I intended to credit him and I was typing so fast I forgot. Mea Culpa for the faux pas. The rest is from a tangled, jangled, star spangled hallucination/inspiration resulting from mixing sweet tea, chicken sandwich, night shift and good friends. May we be in Heaven five minutes before the Devil knows we’re Gratefully Dead.
The first time I was in treatment a counselor told me that all I had to do to get sober was to climb from the ground to the roof of the hospital on the outside walls, in a blizzard, naked, upside down.
She only let me think about how cold it was going to be for a second and then said, “Jim. I lied. That won’t work. What you’re gonna have to do is not drink or use drugs.” She let that shit SINK IN.
I was flabbergasted. I thought sure there was some kind of magic something. A pill. What I really had in mind was a pill. They’d obviously worked so well in the past. But if not magic or a pill or some kind of mysterious hoo dooery, what was it going to be? Never mind what the counselor said, she was out of her goddam mind.
Fast forward a couple hours, piled up, exponentially. Now I’m stark raving sober. Guess what? Sobriety was not a vaccine for life and what ails ya. Complete opposite. It was like stripping the insulation off my goddam nerves. Example:
I slid on the ice and dented a hole in a garage.
My first answer?
No. I’m not joking.
TCR talked about the wiring of me and my ilk. It’s peculiar to say the least. We run to extremes.
Example: The old one about when the guy who took a pill and it felt good. He didn’t want to know what 2 of them felt like.
He wanted to know what THIRTY of them felt like.
Interlude: I think this is why there’s no successful way to make one of us drink or use ‘normally’, as in not to excess. We have to either do it all the way or not at all.
Amusing observation: We’re fun on dates. I knew a girl who was also a qualified substance enthusiast and we went back to her place. About an hour after knowing her she opened up what was literally a wee suitcase and she had battery powered, plug in the wall and wind up amusements. She wasn’t messing around. We nicknamed her the Black and Decker Power Tool Poster Girl. I may have whispered a detail or two to the boys and within the next couple months they beat a path to her (ahem) back door.
Enough about all that. I didn’t think I had any secrets from me. I thought I knew everything there was to know about me. Turns out ‘that demon life’* had some tricks up his sleeve.
**Prepared for Twilight
Arrives on Time
In the middle of my life, stark raving sober, I got my heart broke. And it was nobody’s fault but mine. I was still too afraid to use dope again. I was forced to pick up pen and paper (a glowing screen with a keyboard) and start bleating about the after lie.***
Bleating is a wonderful way to get the feelings out of my noggin or heart or guts and into the open air. I was kind of jangly.
^^^The tangled, jangled, star-spangled manner
in which we receive
the blessings inflicted upon us
This wasn’t even the end of the first act. In all truth, there were Parts II, III, IV, etc yet to play out. I liked to think that I kept falling in love but there’s not a lot of validity to the notion of falling when I went running for the cliff with the blinders and handcuffs still on (just a feeble attempt at humor and a nod to Joy, the Black and Decker Girl).
I found out that I stalk abandonment like a, er, a…a junkie with a crush. It doesn’t matter which curtain I choose, Karma and Hubris will always come to collect, and they are timely book keepers. I’ll be screening them calls like a televangelist with a teenage boyfriend, and they’ll still know when I’m hurrying to my car, hoping I only get named and not indicted.
More to follow.
You know why we trudge the road to happy destiny? ‘Cuz it’s hard to tap dance when you’re knee deep in bull shit.
*”that demon life” —- Jagger and Richards
**Prepared for Twilight —- jimihindranceexperience
***”the after lie” —- more jimi
^^^”The tangled, jangled, etc” —- even more jimi (I told you Hubris would have her day in court, didn’t I?)
so this led me to St. Elsewhere theme and eventually looking for episodes. i didn’t watch it when it was on but it sounded good, especially the black humor.
i watched a fair amount of Hill Street Blues. It was koo koo kachew, mrs. robinson.