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Friday, October 2, 2009

The end...and the beginning.

Well kids, it's time to put this one to bed. I bid you peace of mind, because it's invaluable. Anything else, you're on your own. The first post to the new Blog, "Rebel Chef," was posted tonight and may be found at Cheers

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Moving on...

This blog is at an end. It has served me well, and also been a giant pain in the ass for reasons I choose not to share.
I thank everyone who has ever taken the time to read these ramblings and hope if nothing else, it served as a cautionary tale.
I will continue to write, however, a new blog is in the works, "Rebel Chef" soon to be on blogspot, detailing how a man at 49 chooses to start a career, working his way up the ladder from the bottom, without the benefit of culinary school, to become a Chef.
My next post will be my last and a rollout for the new blog.

Thanks again, it's been a wild ride...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The glitter fell off way too soon...

If something seems too good to be true....

Yeah, I know.

The relationship I was in is over. That's all I need to say.

Time to move on.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In the belly of the more time.

The business. Restaurants...up until now FOH (front of the house) but a passion for cooking, creating and being recognized for my meager efforts has landed me in the kitchen.

Outside responsibilities have kept me from culinary school so I'm doing it the hard way...learning as I go. Apprenticing as a prep-cook under two very accomplished Chef's while working as a line cook under yet another inspiring executive Chef and friend.

In the business, and I'm afraid fast food doesn't count-they could be making mufflers for all the artistry involved-we who work professionally making other peoples food are a clannish bunch-a tribe of sorts.

We thrive in the heat; the flames, the military precision of a "rush"...with the language of a busy professional kitchen almost musical. Orders yelled, responses short, "Yes Chef," being the most appropriate. We are tattooed, with burn marks on our forearms, many in some sort of recovery as the business can take a toll, some waiting with held breath for the after work "wind down" being alcohol, or other substances. Some with families, many divorced, tempers short, expectations high that we can "hold the line" and not be placed "dans la merde" or "in the weeds" forcing the flow to an interrupted standstill.

The customers expect their food fresh-hot and exactly the way they want it. (Often times with special variations as to what the menu items should be, having zero knowledge of the hours of back spasm, heat stroke inducing labor involved in first writing a menu and then preparing the items "as they are"...sure, feel free to throw a kink in the flow, without this, or this on the side or add this....sweet Jaysus...they just don't know.)

But that is what we do. Most of us have tried to live "out there" but we always come back to it. For the most part we are misfits, who understand the others in the tribe, tip generously when we get to dine out (often at places we can simply afford-rarely where we work) but critical to a fault. We could always do it a little bit better.

Two jobs are common-making food for you in one place, then another for the rest of you. We are not paid exorbitant salaries-those of us in the trenches, and ends must be met.

But it's the life-tickets rapid firing into the kitchen-a ballet of organized chaos; fast moves and sharp knives, 500 degree ovens, open flames, crushing criticism for mistakes, but deep respect when it's done right.

The majority of us have not had the luxury of culinary school and those of us who have, started in the trenches anyway- searing 40 lbs of chicken breast, trimming the same and slicing the chicken paper thin. Twenty pounds of homemade potato salad, quarts of dressing made from scratch, flash freezing, washing pots and pans, sharpening knives (nothing worse than being cut with a dull knife-ugly, terrible wound) cleaning grills, using industrial degreaser that scars the skin and burns like hell when it does, sprained backs, hands useless for anything more than curling around a glass at the end of the shift, legs like rubber, knees shot from 14 hours on your feet on concrete- sure order something special, we are more than happy to remove the already mixed cranberries, one by one from your cranberry chicken salad.

At almost fifty years old it takes either clinical madness or deep passion to begin this career move. Which is it? Hard to say.

But I wouldn't have it any other way...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Man I hope to be...

Yes, I have changed. My oldest friends recognize it as do I.

But there is still a lot of work to be done. I am in a better place, spiritually, than ever before and am thankful for that.

That being said, I am no Gandhi. I am no spiritual giant. I'm trying to make sense of a world I never thought I would be in and am still making mistakes. Sometimes very hurtful, thoughtless mistakes causing pain to people I truly love.

That is one of many aspects of my personality that needs a drastic overhaul.

I had considered ending this blog and starting a new one, but fear this one is just not through. This blog has chronicled my first fifty years on this planet. Fifty years of selfish, immature, dysfunctional behavior. I would like to think that the next part will be the opposite.

I'm not the guy that overcame adversity as a young man and bettered himself for it. I tried self reliance for years, and it failed me.

I stayed on the fringe, off the radar, and have paid a price for it. Some of us have ridden outside the herd for so long, when it's time to come in, we don't know how.

The new blog, starting perhaps on my fiftieth birthday, will chronicle whatever time I have left. Suffice to say, I'm not getting another fifty out of this ride, but will continue to write about the journey, for however long that may be.

I would dearly love to stop doing the things I do that cause people, some who know me, some who don't but know of me, to view me as a complete asshole. I am man enough to own that and will continue to stand strong and work on the Man I hope to be.

You may ask, what would that look like? For me it would be a man with a sense of compassion and responsibility for the people he loves. A man with a sense of honor and guidance. A man who can view his life, not as a series of constant mistakes, but as a series of lessons, designed to get me to that place.

A man with a sense of duty and service, placing his loved one's before all else. A man that can communicate verbally, as well as he does with the written word. There is a big difference in what one may read and the things I say. Having been too scared to talk as a child due to a horrible stutter, I didn't. And no one showed me how. But I never stuttered on paper and took pride and satisfaction in that. But now I have to learn to communicate without blame or defense or reaction.

I hope there is still time. But if not, I'll know I went out trying to be that man, instead of settling for who I used to be.

And that, will have to be enough.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Sometimes the end of the road is the best place you can be.

I haven't written in days. There is a reason for this. The narrative of this "life" if continued, would go on for another ten years, before arriving in the present.

I can't do it to you and I can't do it to me.

Those ten years were simply a loop of everything prior. History does have a way of repeating itself, unless change is initiated. If nothing changes, nothing changes.

The pain. The failure's. The pipe dreams. Struggling. Staying dry and getting wet. One last bad marriage and another disappointed little need to go through it any more.

It would be repetitive, and I'm afraid, boring because of it.

When I began this blog, I had no idea any one would read it, but I was writing more for me than for an audience. I needed to come to a place of peace with my past, so throwing it all out into the universe was one avenue of healing. More work needs to be done, but what I set out to do has been accomplished.

My today is better than any time in my life. My "now" I would not trade for any ten years I ever had. I am viewing the world through a "new pair of glasses" (thanks Chuck) and I know from where the blessings and changes stem.

I have been blessed by those of you who have read any of this blog, much less all of it, and I thank you. I will continue to post, but from now on it simply be a daily journal, while I begin working on the material contained within for publication as a book.

It's been promised to a few of us that "we will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it." For me that promise has come true.

I am at peace.

At last...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A minor surrender equals a very small victory...

I realized I had no where to go. No home, no family or career. I had family in Dallas but I was not willing to subject myself on them. Somehow, I had to find my feet.

I did, and I began to shuffle.

I performed all the exercises I was told to. Prayer; forgiveness, the letters to my Mom and Dad, but they were empty and I felt, pretty futile. I had yet to learn to follow directions with willingness.

It was mentioned I could continue whatever type of recovery I was in living in a controlled environment in Temple. There was a center there for Veterans to stay. The domiciliary. I would have to apply and meet with a board of Doctors.

My options were gone, so I began the process.

A Bluebird bus took me from Waco to Temple for the review board.

The panel was about a dozen medical professionals, headed up by a skinny Vietnamese Doctor.

What a, he actually talked down to me in the review. I learned later he did this to all the Veterans, as did the majority of the government teat sucking staff.

With the amount of Vietnam Vets at the Dom I wondered how long before his head was found on a pole.

I plead my case, carefully omitting the real reasons. My alcoholism was holding it's breath, afraid I would spill the beans. I was accepted into the Dom and I felt like my disease clapped me on the back after it was over.

I packed my small amount of stuff, including the coffee cup and moccasins. The jewelry box I gave to my girls.

I shared a room with an old veteran, dying of lung cancer and renal failure. My nights were filled with his phlegmy coughing and moans of pain.

Boy, that was good for depression.

The Dom was across the street from the local college, so I applied for financial aid, got accepted and became an art major. I loved to draw, (see escape) as a kid and I thought maybe I could learn something.

I gained part-time employment as a desk clerk in a local hotel. I kept that until the night one of the housekeepers boyfriends showed up drunk. She met him in the lobby. Loud words were exchanged. He slapped her. I heard a roaring in my ears and everything went red.

The next thing I knew the police were there, pulling me off. Appears I had piston punched him in the face until he stopped moving. I didn't remember it.

I was my Father's son, after all.

So much for kinder and gentler. But that was my makeup, to defend the weak. Did it without thinking, which was good, because if I thought about it, there was no way I would willingly choose to do that. Unless a loved one was in danger...then, all bets were off.

However, I was let go. Whatever. I was looking for a job when I found that one.

Of course I was thinking a lot about my parents. And death. There had to be something after this, I thought, because if not, why bother?

One afternoon I was walking to a convenience store to get a diet coke. The sky was that light Texas blue and filled with huge, cotton candy clouds. So I began talking to my Dad.

I asked him...if there was something else...if we did continue on after this veil of tears, to let me know. I was going to purchase a quick pick at the store for the cash five lotto. Back then spirituality had a price. If any of his answers were yes, if he could hear me at all, I simply asked him to influence the ticket. That was that.

I let the machine crank it out, and I had my five numbers.

I had just finished an episode of the X-files that night when the lotto results came on. I had forgotten about it.

I dug the ticket out of my 501's and watched as one number, then two and three and four hit. I missed hitting all five and won $450.00.

It actually scared the shit out of me.

Be careful what you wish for...

Monday, July 27, 2009

I don't think it rained at all...


Washed out blue sky, and the odd, big white cloud. For thirty days.

It was Texas after all.

I had been placed on Prozac for the depression, and Trazadone...for the nightmares. After about a week, the anchor came loose out of the mud and I started to look at things other than my feet.

It was still heavy, but now there was forward movement. Guess it was progress.

My Doctor was a woman from India. We began to discuss grief and mine was thick enough to spread on toast. Then we came to loss, and worked backward...

As we worked through it, it became evident that loss and abandonment, were my two major issues. I didn't know it, but my entire life reflected that, and for many years afterward, I simply reacted to it.

Today, if someone I love says "we need to talk..." I understand the words, but my brain tells me they're leaving, or they want me to.

I lost my Mom to alcoholism and the court system, after they declared her unfit. I lost my Dad to his personal demons and subsequent rage.

I lost my innocence to sexual predators. And I kept on losing...especially those I loved.

Later in life I learned that if they had no intention of leaving, my actions made sure they did. I became oddly comfortable with loss...I could predict it...I knew what it felt was what I knew.

The medication helped the depression, but nothing changed my perception. I didn't get it yet. I didn't know that if I kept doing what I always did, I would get what I always got.

We talked. Or to be more accurate-she listened and made notes.

I made a coffee cup, and a jewelry box and moccasins, and they called it therapy.

All the while looking at the sky, sensing it had gotten bigger, since my Mom and Dad were now a part of it. I asked for guidance, a sign, a voice out of the tree's...anything.

What I got was a hot wind...that said nothing at all.

It was my thirty days in the desert.

If it had rained, maybe it would have been different.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A family affair...

The meds kept me under the radar. The television, mounted on the wall, was apparently tuned to the Matlock network.

All Matlock all the time, interrupted by episodes of "In the heat of the night." The nights were thick with late spring, Texas heat.

Three days of close observation-with smoke breaks on an outside porch-encased in the same gauge mesh that covered the windows. Once outside the familiarity of the building was even stronger, but the reality was always just beyond my reach.

How am I feeling? Do you want to hurt yourself? Others? Tell us about your alcohol and drug use...

Man, I covered that up. My alcoholism was so strong it was making my decisions for me. It couldn't stand it if I didn't romance the pain.

I was just there for depression...the using, (I told them) was a byproduct.

They nodded and never spoke of it again.

On the third day, I ate a fried egg. With watered down ersatz coffee.

At night the meds were stronger, and in the twilight between awake and complete black, the crying and isolated screaming from the other vets was stark, sharp and terribly lonely.

But the meds worked and night after night, I would spiral slowly into nothing at all.

They kept the dreams at bay...except one.

My oldest daughter, a baby in the dream, standing in a dark, barren landscape, wind blowing through naked tree branches. She had the voice of an adult and would hold her little arms out to's okay, Daddy...I'm here. (Today is that little girls birthday...twenty seven years...she doesn't visit anymore, in dreams, or reality...)

My crying always woke me up...then shuffle down to the nurses station. Gulp a plastic container of juice and try to shake it loose.

Back to a fitful sleep, until first call.

Then do it all over. The memory of the building kept bugging me. It was an old complex and had been on the ground since the fifties.

A moment of clarity on another hot, dry, endless day.

I visited my Father here when I was four years old. WWII vets called it shell shock. Then battle it's PTSD. He had been housed and treated in the same building.

This shit runs in families.

I had come full circle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

A true psychotic break should leave one breathless...

I came to hearing Andy Griffith.

You have got to be shitting me. God has the voice of Matlock? I hate that show.

Apparently only if the afterlife consists of cheap, thin pajamas, with property of the V.A. Medical Center stamped above the right breast.

Brown tile floors; washed out brown walls, big, almost floor to ceiling windows, covered in large gauge steel mesh. Window fans that could power an air boat, slowly blowing hot air throughout the ward.

A thin antiseptic smell-pine sol- with a liberal dose of "end of the road."

At first I had no idea how...then snapshots of the day before, flashbulbs brightening brief memory.

My roommate, finding me, wanting to call 911.

Talking him out of it, promising I would go to the V.A. Throwing what I could in an overnight bag, including a carton of camels. Leaving the rest behind.

My ex-wife and my babies, picking me up. Driving to Waco. One of the largest V.A. nut hutches going. Tears.

Wind through an open window, and more tears.

The eyes of a kind, older nurse, calming me down.

A cupful of pills, washed down with diabetically sweet, warm, red kool-aid. Then dark.

The pills should have had me down for a full 24. I had no idea when I went out, or what time it was now. I simply knew it wasn't long enough.

I liked the dark, with no dreams. I wanted it again, because this reality was bullshit.

I heard crying, then sobbing and screaming.

Poor bastard, I thought. Someone needs to sedate that man. I wondered what nightmare drove him here.

Then I heard my children's names through the sobs.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stardust and straightjackets... Dad's favorite song.

At his memorial three of his musician friends played it. The first few notes reduced me to wracking sobs, while I held my twins for dear life. They were too little to know what was wrong, or why Daddy was so upset, but my little troopers hugged me back, and were very brave.

What kind of man relies on four-year old daughters to hold him up emotionally? The kind with nothing left I guess.

I don't remember much of the service but I do know the coffin was empty as he had opted for cremation. I was glad it was empty. It made things less real.

As usual, my pain and focus was all about me. I couldn't console his wife, or his brother or anyone pain was greater than anyone's. It had to be. My selfishness disturbs even me.

But I knew one thing...

My parents, as screwed up as they were, having an emotional and spiritual toolkit containing only a hammer and a bottle opener, were gone.

I was alone in the world without a rudder. No guidance or direction had ever been given me and I didn't have a play book. Thirty-five years old, and I felt like I was truly alone in the world.

I couldn't pick up the phone grudgingly anymore to make the obligatory phone call. I couldn't bitch about them to friends. I couldn't blame them for my failings.

All I could do was miss them.

I stayed in my attic room for three days, only venturing downstairs to pee and get water.

I talked to them, I talked to myself and I went a little bit mad. The screaming "WHY? WHY? WHY?" in the middle of the night must have been unsettling for my room mates, but crazy will certainly guarantee your private time.

Eventually, with tears streaming down my face, I picked up the shotgun. God didn't exist, my parents had abandoned me for good and my babies didn't really know who I was. Two failed marriages, failed careers, a failed life.

The only thing strong about me was my self pity, self-centeredness and my willingness to use people, places and things to patch up the holes. I had run out of all of them.

I thumbed the hammers back one more time, and placed both barrels over my heart.

I just knew it was going to hurt.

I pulled the triggers.


My roommate had removed the shells.

I laid on my mattress and cried, until I could cry no more...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Take it from someone who has's a hell of a long way down.

The next few months were a blur.

The hole in my soul was wide open, a cold wind blowing through it.

Part of me was not here anymore. She wasn't out of town...or in a foreign country. I could cover every inch of this planet and she would not be here. My Mother was gone.

I didn't drink, but used every other conveyance to try and stop feeling. Nothing worked.

(Authors note-never do cocaine right after eating beef ribs...I'll spare you the details.)

It was during this period that my Father elected to cease the medication he was on to combat his congestive heart failure. He had been reduced to an oxygen tank and a wheelchair, this man that used to fill ballrooms with his presence.

He had chosen to move on. He made his peace with God and hospice took care of him in his home as every day he got smaller and smaller.

Our peace was unspoken but we had stopped the jousting. I was hurting too much to defend or attack. He was too medicated to hurt. I suppose it worked out.

I would visit a couple of times a week, not staying long...I couldn't. I remembered sitting on his lap when I was too little to know what anguish was... smelling his smell, hugging his neck, dying for his approval.

But I could not approve of him dying. He was supposed to live forever... isn't that what Daddy's do?

My oldest brother came to visit, healing the 20-year rift the old man had started. We never had the chance to be close, but would have taken it, I know. (He died a year later-heart attack after work, walking to his truck on a muggy Houston night.)

When not visiting I would sit alone in my attic room. I would hold a double barrel shotgun, loaded, and place the barrels on different parts of my body, knowing all I had to do was thumb the hammers back and squeeze, just a little.

Eventually I tasted gun oil, but decided vanity wouldn't allow me to blow my head off. (How's that for ego?)

My Uncle called me on a night in March, telling me if I wanted to see my Dad one last time, this was it. They expected him to go sometime in the night.

I don't remember the drive. I remember him laying on a hospital bed in his living room, breathing fast, wispy breaths, his dry, paper thin lips making a small puffing sound when he would exhale.

He woke up and saw it was me holding his hand. His eye's smiled and he said, "I'll love you forever..." and he slipped back into sleep.

I left but can't tell you how I got back. There was a roaring in my ears while the rest of the world had been muted. Time was stopping and all I could do was watch.

About two-thirty in the morning, my Father was dead.

The hole in my soul had become alive, and it screamed in pain.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.- Matt Groening

And a torrid, brief little affair began.

Once it was determined that, while her baby girl was precious, I was in no frame of mind to be a new "Baby Daddy," I was replaced by a Frito Lay truck driver.

Good for her.

My guilt about my girls was a fog that would not lift, and the financial wagon I had hitched my sputtering star to, was in a considerable rut.

One missed paycheck...then two. Can anyone say "Karma?"

I wasn't drinking but changed the way I felt through fist fulls of Benadryl. Complete with muscle spasms in my legs, and feeling like I was sleeping in jello. The end result of yet another great idea.

The job came to an end after a particularly nasty assignment. I was through with crime scene photos, diagrams, lying clients, and dirty prosecutors.

Defending the guilty had already begun to leave a decidedly sour taste in my mouth and finally, I had enough.

The underbelly of life. With it's pale; translucent, squirmy things, always digging under rocks, uncovering dirty little can wear you down, and it certainly had an effect on my general outlook.

Depression was settling in, and I never saw it coming.

My Father was in his last few months of life, and I decided to move in with he and my step-mom and care for him, one last time.

I wanted to connect. To let him know, that through it all, he was still my Dad.

I mowed the lawn, I cooked, cleaned the pool, and cut his toenails. I took him to medical appointments...always waiting for the right time, to have "the talk", or to let him initiate it.

Both of us were too proud. It never happened.

Before Christmas, I moved out.

Moved in with a friend who had a vacant attic. Six blocks from my Mom's house. I may have visited once.

Spent my days on unemployment; playing disc golf, smoking weed, and trying to start up a P.I. business. (i.e. delusional, grandiose, pipe dream)

The week of Christmas, I got the phone call.

My Mother was dead. She had been sober twenty years. She started to drink again on a Monday and was dead the following Saturday.

Dear readers, if any of you smoke weed on a regular basis, do not, I repeat, do not, under any circumstances attend your Mother's funeral high. I did. I thought it would help.

I forgot it was an open casket.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ego...not just a screwed up spelling for a waffle.

Powerful stuff.

The Ego, the Id, whatever it is.

It makes me believe my own bullshit, when left to my own devices, and that never, ever, ends well.

The home life was quiet. The hurt echoed through the house.

My head kept telling me I could do better alone. It's truly a terrible thing to be absolutely lonely when you're married. But I suppose I had it coming.

The firm I was working for was working me to death, as lead investigator, and the partners collected the cash, rode motorcycles and played golf. The nerve.

Again, my head told me I deserved better. Of course it did.

We lived next door to one of the partners, and late one afternoon I received a call from a prospective client and acquaintance I had known, working at the D.A.'s office. He needed us on a case, outside channels.

I told him I'd give him a sweetheart deal, do it on my own and off the books. We agreed on a price and he hung up. About fifteen seconds later the partner was at my door, phone in hand. He overheard the entire conversation on his cordless phone. I was busted flat footed.

Heated words were exchanged and I shut the door, hot with shame and embarrassment. I called another client, a prominent Defense Attorney in town and told him I was looking for greener, more permanent pastures. He agreed to see me the following day.

I interviewed in Preston Towers, and he offered me the job. My own office and secretary, a twenty-something, single, Hispanic Mom, who, truth be told was cuter than a baby duck wearing a hat.

Of course I took the job. The P.I. firm failed to take it well.

I told the wife I was moving out, needed some space, and rented a tiny apartment in Highland Park. She took it even worse. The guilt over leaving my girls was crushing, but my false pride carried me the next step. I was a shit heel and a fraud, and I knew it.

However the defense firm I was working for paid well, and I kept getting coy looks from my secretary, while she played with her hair.

Defending the guilty, while distasteful, is a requirement by Law. The adage, somebody has to do it applies. I admit to idealistic visions of defending the innocent, but no one innocent ever came to our office.

We won some and lost some, as is the case most of the times. But I was able to wear nice suits, afford Armani eye wear, and feel special.

One night I was working late, just me and our secretary. I was going over client interviews when she appeared in the doorway. A storm had rolled in, and lightning flashed through the blinds. She shut the door behind her, and turned off the light.

I heard the fabric of her dress as it dropped to the floor.

Oh, shit...this was not covered in the employee handbook.

And to think, I didn't even have dental...

Friday, July 3, 2009

The chronicle continues....

The last post in the autobiographical narrative of this is dated 12/03/08, if one wants to catch up.

Fast forward three years. Interior of Mexico, attempting to gain medical documents in an insurance scam case with disregard for the usual channels.

Once again, I do not speak Spanish.

Through ridiculous pantomime, a bit of mordida and ape like gestures I got what I came for.

Having passed a bit of a bribe to a border guard to expedite the process on gaining entry without too many questions, as I had absolutely no legal authority to be doing what I was doing in a foreign country, I felt smug.

Tracking the nefarious through foreign countries was pretty cool. I enjoyed it. For a time. But as with everything, a price will be exacted.

Sober four years and my twins were three years old. I was gone most of the time. Case after case.

My girls had a nodding acquaintance with Daddy. Back for a couple of days; a couple of tuck-ins, and gone again.

I didn't know it, but it was the beginning of the end, precluding years and years of ugliness between their Mother and I, and brief bits of it with them.

Lest one think the life of a real live Private Investigator is glamorous, consider if you will the following:

Exhibit A-I video taped an Insurance claimant from a Port-a- Potty, for eight hours, with an out-of-service sign on the door, at a Canton, Texas, trade day show. He was running a barbecue concession, claiming total disability. I will never forget the cloying smell of shit and barbecued turkey legs.

Exhibit B-I video taped another insurance claimant through a hole in my gym bag, while she conducted an aerobics class at an all black community center. She too, was claiming total disability.

Exhibit C- I staked out a Nigerian money laundering operation from an empty apartment, across from a Nigerian owned convenience store for three days, sleeping on the floor, with various people pounding on the door, screaming for someone named LaToya.

Either she was very popular or she owed some bad actors some cash.

There are many more of these exhibits; following unfaithful spouses, digging in to child abuse cases, tracking a stolen Lexus to a storage facility- somewhere in Kansas, and on, and on.

This was my job. I felt providing for my family was most important, as my wife at the time was not working, and from the growing impression on the couch, had no intention of it.

I will never get that time back with my girls, and if I had been going to regular meetings and working with a sponsor, maybe someone would have called me on it.

I wish they had.

The girls were making a foray into the child beauty pageant, commercial, modeling arena. I wasn't home enough to complain, but attended one event. Behind the scenes it was like Mother Bear's gnawing on pure adrenal gland.

Terrible ugliness, but my girls were darling.

The home life was headed down a narrow, steep, slope. It could only end crashing at the bottom. With any luck there would be survivors.

As we lay in bed one night she asked me an innocent, conversational question.

"You know what I'd like to be?"

"I don't know," I mumbled, " A size six?" What an asshole.

The crash had started and I never once pumped the brakes.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Resuming the tale...

Since we are pretty much caught up on my present situation I am going to resume the saga wherever it left off. I will post the date and title of the piece where I stopped and go from there.

As this takes more thought than simply rambling about my present circumstances, it may take some time to kick back into gear.

Thank you for your patience...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Under extreme pressure, diamonds are made...

The challenges I face these days are being met in a very foreign matter. I face them head on, instead of doing the 50-yard lurch and jerk, cowering in the shadows of a bell tower.

I am doing everything differently, including taking direction and making choices and decisions based on the needs of others instead of being based on self.

I have a hurdle to meet tomorrow and have committed to doing so. I am contacting the powers that be and telling them where I am working so they can start garnishing 50 per-cent of my earnings, for past due child support.

Ordinarily I would have waited and let them find me. Which would not be hard to do-they seem to know where I am working most times before I do.

But that would be entirely self-centered and not the next right thing, as uncomfortable and difficult as that is for me.

I can assure you, this decision is not martyr based, it is based on responsibility and commitment.

When my sponsor visited me in the VA hospital, I asked him how to proceed with my life, having turned away from all I had, in order to try and save my life. His response was, "Do everything differently." And so it goes.

I spent the afternoon yesterday at a sober pool party with my sponsor and about 35 other sober adults, and a maybe a dozen children, whom I assume were sober as well. (However there was this six-month old little boy though, demanding and crying and alternately laughing and sleeping, much like me when I was loaded, but who am I to judge.)

I just returned from my Sunday morning meeting, which was on self-centeredness, don't ya know, so as usual, I was right where I was supposed to be.

My sponsor mentioned on the way back to the Ox, that I was selling my Higher Power short. As I have just recently become acquainted with my H.P. and don't know him very well, I think it's understandable.

But we talk every day, so in time, I may learn to trust.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A matter of perspective...

I really don't know where the statement I am about to make derives from, but I am going to toss it out into the ether without fear of some cosmic reprisal or buggering.

This time in my life; these moments, these circumstances, may in fact be the start of the best year of my life.

Yeah, I know. I'm stunned too.

Something has happened; a psychic change, a spiritual enema, call it what you will, but regardless, I am not the same.

I face each day in these times ready to live my life, in the best way I know how, and my gratitude for being able to do these things is palpable.

My needs are being met and the list of real needs has gotten quite smaller and yet the wants don't enter into it.

My wants or lack of getting what I want kept me sick, alone and bitter, for longer than I can remember.

My now, ( as in present moments) while challenging, feels rewarding. And I am operating from a place of strength, humility and conviction.

Yet I am able to do the things I am called upon to do without too much grousing, if you don't count mowing a lawn straight up in 98 degree heat. A few choice words were uttered during that experience, and it really is medically or physically impossible for a lawnmower to perform the acts I was demanding of it.

My bad.

I have run across several folks living on the street over the last few days and instead of making a joke (like-What's the best thing about dating a homeless girl? You can drop her off anywhere.) I feel empathy, and I wish them better circumstances.

Then again, this could be a brain tumor, ending in me suddenly smelling cabbage and singing the Hokey Pokey in Portugese.

In fact this might prove it-"Põe o seu pé direito em, põe o seu pé direito fora, Você põe o seu pé direito em E você o sacudode todo sobre. Faz o Hokey Pokey E você se vira em volta, Isso é o que é todo sobre. " I thought I smelled cabbage.

But for now, to quote one of my mentors...Life is good and I surely am grateful.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Ox

A dear friend coined the phrase referring to my present living conditions. Oxford House-The Ox. It is the year of the Ox, in Asian culture and represents to me I am exactly where I am supposed to be at this given place in time. Cool.

The Ox is an older two-story affair, a couple of blocks from my favorite Street in Dallas; Swiss Avenue. There are eight of us cohabiting and of course being who we are, situations arise, friction develops and lessons are placed before us to learn. We have two house dogs; Ronin, (I thought it was Roman-my bad) a black lab mix and Belvedere, a madly affectionate toy Dachshund.

We share a computer; we have our own rooms-complete with cable, a work out room, large tv's in the common areas, laundry facilities and kitchen. It would appear several of us are in the food service industry-which seems natural, considering the amount of drug and alcohol use in this industry-but are all, thank God, in recovery.

I took the bus for the first time yesterday but had to get a ride back to the house from my manager, as for the first two weeks the conditions of my living arrangement dictate I have to be back prior to midnight-I suppose before I turn into some form of orange gourd. And orange is not my color.

There is a large adjustment in all of this, not only for myself but the other guys involved. I am the new guy. Therefore anything that appears odd or different within the house casts suspicion on me. I can accept that. I would do nothing to jeopardize this situation as getting here was indeed a gift and it allows me to practice the axiom, live and let live.

This has been described to me as an investment in my future and I would have to agree.

I now have to mow the lawn before I go to a noon meeting.

Responsibility-it's not for everybody.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Father's Day that almost wasn't...

Three days ago, after my trip with my girls, I was on top of the world.

Two days ago I received two, rambling, hate filled, dramatic, long (really long) diatribes by text message from my 18 - year old twins' Mother that I was to under no circumstances contact them because my contacting them was annoying and unappreciated and I was Mr. Horrible and if I loved them I would have blah, blah, blah....(She even forbade me to contact my youngest daughter who was visiting her sisters...who is not even her daughter.)

I have tried to repair that relationship every way I can, but in their world love equals money. Sad, really. But I know I have a part in this and I own it. However, I refuse to be the brunt of all their problems.

(Every few years she feels she needs to remind me of my failings in case I've forgotten. I don't know who left her in charge of that - but I thank her for her input.)

It takes two to destroy a marriage and she definitely played a part in that. But it's not about her. It's about me and my reactions.

I am powerless over people, places and things, and I will always keep my heart and door open for the girls if they ever wish to have a relationship with me. And I pray for the Drama filled Mama, and may she go to heaven...within the next fifteen minutes would be great.

I did receive a text from my youngest wishing me a Happy Father's Day.

And so it was.

So I'm one for three.

I went to a meeting this morning (the topic being restraint of pen and tongue- for the love of God) and afterward waited over an hour for a bus. None came. So I walked about five miles. God hasn't seen fit to cripple me yet so I'm grateful I can do it. (But the day's not yet over.)

Note from 10:00 pm. - One of my twins text messaged me a Happy Father's Day, and that she still loves me. Thanks God, I'm two for three.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Letting go...

The trip was great. Being with my wonderful, funny girls was the best day I have had in a very long time. It was enough to get me through whatever difficulties I have coming.

To change subjects and to get to the title of this post-I am letting go of an old idea, for now. Comedy, or more importantly, performing standup.

Yes, I love doing it, and yes I can do it clean and sober, but I find I am as addicted to applause as I am a bag of "white widow" and a six pack of bass ale. It also feeds my already strained ego and fuels the grandiose delusions that have permeated my 49 years.

That is not to say I will never do it again, who knows? However the path I am on at the moment, which is rebuilding a life-one day at a time, one moment in time, appears not to include that.

More later...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obsess much...

That was the me that used to be. Not that I have given it up completely, but obsessing on things outside of my control is horribly counter productive. But it takes practice... laying down the obsession and morbid thinking (that being the worst case, and I mean worse, that my addled mind can create.)

For instance, I have been accepted into Oxford house, a sober living house for men, however, I don't have the money together to move in.

That will take me about two weeks...if someone else applies and has the money...well, to the victor goes the spoils. But there is nothing I can do about that, I have done everything I could... and now the tricky part.

Leaving the results up to God. That faceless, formless power that I absolutely have to rely on when my best is all I can do.

Sure, one day at a time applies, and I have to focus on that instead of two weeks from now, because if I don't I'm peeing down my leg thinking it's raining. Meaning I lose focus on the Now, and where I truly am, and reality takes a backseat.

So today is all I have - as usual.

God also granted me a gift today. I was able to borrow my sponsors car so I can take my twins to Central Texas to see their little sister, before her tenth birthday. For once I haven't disappointed them.

Just me and my angels...

Thank you God.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Changing my o's to e's...

Let us look at the following statements, one's that up until recently were everyday occurrences: I've got to get up because I've got to go to work. I've got to go to a meeting because I've got to help others. Seem pretty average? They are. They also are the seeds for resentment.

If I change the two simple letters within those statements they appear as the following: I get to get up because I get to go to work. I get to go to a meeting because I get to help others. These statements while similar couldn't be more different than the one's above. They are the seeds of gratitude, a state in which I need to stay.

Resentment never hurts the other party...but will eat my lunch with a spoon. I heard a great definition for a resentment, stated by a woman far wiser than I...

A resentment is like setting yourself on fire hoping the other person dies of smoke inhalation.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Expecting miracles...the fact of the matter.

They tell me to do that-expect a miracle-those folks in recovery and I sometimes fall short of the mark.

In my self-centered; grandiose mind, a MIRACLE would have a lot of zeros separated by a couple of commas; or I would be discovered doing standup comedy, or be a famous author, or SHE would walk into my life and realize I was the one for her.

No, none of these.

I am beginning to think in a different way.

The fact that every morning I hit my knees, asking to be kept clean and sober (after vowing I would kneel to no man-ever) and hit them again at night, thanking a power greater than myself for that privilege...and pray that I may be of service during that day to others...

The fact that I have not taken a drink or used a drug to change the way I feel, when things don't go my way, for 45 days...

The fact that I walk to work most days, performing a job I don't particularly care for, and try to do my best while there...

The fact that I attend at least one meeting a day, and try to listen instead of hear myself talk...

The fact that I am willing to take direction from others...

That I get to talk to my three daughters several times a week, and have them glad to hear from me...

That I may help my Aunt and Uncle, who cared for me and saved my life as a child-and are doing it again, without question or expectations...

The fact that friends have not turned away, after my behaviour would have been enough for that response...

I never expected these-but they are the miracles in my life today.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Recovery...the old fashioned way

In the past 37 days, I have made about 55 meetings, prayed every morning and at night, met my appointments at the V.A., taken my medication, called my sponsor every day, helped others where I could, and looked for work.

(19 applications in two and a half weeks and submitted all of them without a car.)

I finally gained employment and begin orientation on Tuesday.

That's one hurdle down.

I'm not sure where the willingness to do all this came from, and it was exactly that, becoming willing to do what I had to, no matter what, and it started with a willingness to be willing to believe in something greater than myself, to turn all my stuff over to whatever that is (call it what you will) and to do what was put in front of me, especially if I didn't want to.

A friend told me a story today about birds in her yard that built a nest about three feet off the ground. She was concerned because she has five cats...and so she built a little fence around the nest.

It was, she said, an analogy for her spiritual life. "You can build a fence around yourself and try to keep you safe (i.e. isolated) but eventually you have to learn how to fly. You could also be eaten."

Nice to remember...

Monday, May 25, 2009

One moment, one breath...

The now. Attempting to practice the ability to stay there. Not easy, but like any new endeavor it takes practice.

Far too simple to travel back into past pain and resentment, to relive the moments of loss...or to jump into an unknown future, projecting the horrors of bewilderment, or self-fulfilling prophecy (always in a negative context...forget the lottery.)

But the positive is elusive...hard to allow myself the luxury of thinking of a future that includes romance, financial security and peace of mind.

Easier to settle for the bullshit. The guilt, the shame, the things that keep me stuck. Allowing my past to keep me in the cycle.

But no one said positive change is easy.

Through letting go of the defects that keep me from being of service, and helping others without regard or regret, change will come.

My mind wails, "When will the change come? When will it get better?"

And a soft, still voice gently reminds me... as soon as I want it to.

Now, about that lottery.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In the theater of the mind there is gum under my seat.

Call it what you will; internal dialogue, the committee, old tapes or just fuckin' nuts but I'm starting to referee my thoughts. More often than not it's noisy and confusing but I'm doing what I can.

Filling out daily applications, meetings every day, family obligations and trying to avoid the wreckage I have caused can wear you down, but I'm still plugging.

I've even started to pray.

How's that for change?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

And on...

So it's on to plan B.

The VA won't accept me in to the program I had planned on for at least thirty more days, and I don't have time to wait. It's time to get back at it and rebuild, but this time, my priority is recovery. I can be no good to anyone unless I am at my best.

I'm staying with my Aunt and Uncle in the neighborhood I lived in in the first grade. Searching for work within walking distance and save up enough money to get in to a recovery based halfway house on a bus line.

Yes, my next car will be a bus pass, or the tennis shoe express. That's okay too. I'm not too proud to walk, done it before.

If any one has a direct line to a miracle, let me know. Although I suppose others are in more need of one, I'm just putting in my shot.

Onward through the fog.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm no hero...

I've thought long and hard as to how to how best to explain my absence on the blog and the truth is the only way to go.

I was just released from the VA hospital. I checked in last week. Suicidal and self-medicating, again. For you novices to recovery I was drinking and smoking weed. No apologies, no excuses.

Turns out my medication stopped working about a year ago. I didn't know it. So every day, I slipped lower into the shit...wondering eventually how it got up to my nose.

Also let me know I have been dealing with untreated PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) since childhood. Untreated for forty years. Nice. At least I have a name to attach to it and thereby get help for it. So yeah, it's back to meetings, medication, therapy and an attempt to salvage my relationships with my children. If I have the time left.

I'm on new medication, and it looks promising. I hope so.

They offered electro-shock therapy, as an alternative to the meds. No effing thank you, I like what personality I have, and I have no need to arc weld when I piss, so I say no to the voltage. Jesus.

This stops. Regardless how this pans out, the self destructive, hateful behavior ends. I am electing to go into two different VA treatment programs, walking away from what little I had, to get better.

I was hesitant to try the VA as there are so many who really have paid the price, and will never come home, or get well.

A sideways kind of survivor guilt, maybe. Who knows.

I learned a lot in a week. I learned my guilt and remorse over my three failed marriages and the disastrous job I did with my kids has kept me from finding someone else to love. I stayed alone, and grew more and more disconnected. Talk about a fixer-upper.

I would love to write material for my act about the experience but feel it too selfish while others still fight and die and lose more than I have ever had.

They are the heroes. I'm just trying to settle the demons.

To my family and friends who have been supportive and continue to be, thank you. It means more than I can express.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If less is more I'm going to have to get a bigger empty apartment.

Back to survival boys and girls...everyone's favorite topic.

I won't bore you with trite details, although therein lies the Devil.

Or so they say.

I'm up to my chin in a pond of debt. Oh great...a wave. Just what I needed.

And here I thought it was a winning quick pick or an agent in the audience with a sweetheart deal.

While I wouldn't say no to either one...holding my breath is just going to make me winded.

Life's too short to wheeze around the ugly.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

If I was driving with my windows down, and had a male inflatable doll...would it look like I was driving a surprised Michael J. Fox to the Doctor?

I used that the last time I did my act. It went over really well.

I went through one of the hardest, bullshit weeks I've had in a while. I was going to cancel the show. Was not feeling it.

But apparently I have friends who believe in what I'm doing. They wouldn't let me cancel.

They inspired me to book a spot at Hyena's at 75 and Mockingbird on the Sunday after Easter.

Back Door Comedy on the Thursday after Easter and Hyena's on Sunday.

I'm not at all used to people believing in me...who are making me realize my potential, or at least trying to.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Third time up...

I performed for the third time last night. Strong material, good set, but the crowd was laughing at really simple stuff.

This set was new and the material I used required a little thought.

Maybe next time I'll just do knock knock jokes.

Odd crowd...I swear I heard cud chewing and the occasional moo.

Cows are great for hamburger and suede jackets but they like their comedy a little too straightforward.

Screw it. Next time I'll set up a grill and scare the shit out of them...'s not always funny.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Crickets...boy, are they loud.

I knew my first set I tried all new stuff for the second. The material I had was good, however, three jokes in and I went blindingly blank. Nothing. All I could hear were crickets. But I recovered and went on and finished.

The gap was probably about 15 seconds but seemed like six weeks. Wow. Not good. But next time I'm planning a strong set. Come out blazing.

Rehearsal is the key.

I book my sets every other Thursday. So the next time I'm up is March 19, again at 8:30.

This last time I went on before the amputee. Nice.

Hee Hee. Things are looking up?

Who knows...still working two jobs I loathe, but I am starting to live for three minutes every two weeks.

At least I have a goal.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I killed...

At least I'd like to think so. The show went better than I could have hoped and am expecting comments and pics from some folks who attended.

I was 37 out of 40 comics. I followed an amputee who actually removed his leg during his set. How did I follow that?

I'll let them tell the story...

It's a real indicator of my makeup that I am uncomfortable writing in public but I can get up in front of 60 people and try to make them laugh.

I have troubles...

I'm doing it again, but with a new set, March 5-8:30.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Standing on the edge...with one foot in space.

Writing in public, (I am using the library computer) is hard. Difficult to write in my robe and scratch myself while "Story time" unfolds across the room. But no matter...this is just an update.

I pulled the trigger and booked my first three minutes of time doing stand up. If you are in the Dallas area and read this blog, I would love to see you at the event. February 19, next Thursday at Back Door Comedy at the Doubletree in Dallas. I75 and Northwest Highway. The show starts at eight-thirty.

If you can make it leave me a comment on the blog.

Further update...I made my appointment at The VA and have to go back Friday for lab work. When I saw the Doctor last week he disturbed me. He told me I had to stop masturbating. Apparently it bothered the other Veterans.

I'm actually using that in my set. I have no shame...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

And on...

I don't feel funny today. Or cute, or particularly clever. Guess you can't have it all.

Struggling mightily to get rent paid in's not looking good. I worked a wine dinner tonight. Easy. But it's still a struggle. But I know it's a struggle for almost everyone, right now. I know I am not the only father behind in child support, and there are those who have even less than I do.

Poor bastards. Gratitude is my way out, and that, my friends, is a bitch. Always has been. Bumps up against this damned sense of entitlement I have always wrestled. At least it can be a goal. Short term.

I made that appointment with the VA, check on my meds. Need to. I am out of whack. Someone told me I might have a thyroid problem. Explain the largess and the lack of desire to do anything constructive. Worth a shot.

The weather is not helping. It has been colder than a blue fuck the past few days, and I'm heartily tired of it. Ice almost cost me a bad slip outside the apartment. Ice on the top step about resulted in the back of my skull rapping smartly against the sharp edge of the top step.

I imagined laying in the freezing ice storm, slowly bleeding to death. No one was out. I would not have been found in time. That would so suck.

I'm being told the best is yet to come and cannot imagine how this will all end up. But if we did know, would we still follow the course we set?

I can't imagine asking for this...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If you're afraid of being lonely, don't try to be right.

I know it all too well. Yet I am not lonely.

I do, at one time or another, sometimes all at once, piss off most everyone I know.

I do not do it on purpose. I simply have no more room for any more bullshit. My life is full, the tank is slopping...please stop.

The cable goes this weekend. I can't afford it. This frightens me. Time home alone will mean...silence. The only noise what my head can drum up. That is never a good idea.

I need a DVD player, at least.

But I will catch up on my reading, studying comedy, getting to know where it came from, and who paved the way for sick bastards like me...looking for an open mic. Writing material. Trying it out on an empty room. This could get really bizarre.

The good news. Comedy is filled with very disturbed people.

I should fit nicely.

Comedy Samurai. That works.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There is no lifeguard in this end of the gene pool.

I was thinking about my family. Show business and all.

My Mom the stripper. What? They can have kids...not a particularly good idea, but it happens.

She ran the VIP booth at the school carnival, and was a riot at PTA. Yes, she wore fur. She would have had at the big eyed baby seals with her teeth and hands, if it meant she would wear fur.

I was six and strolled through the house draped in it. I drew the line at jewelry.

It swallowed me. I was a midget pimp. There is something inherently wrong in a young boy wearing expensive fur. Just ask the Vatican.

Of course I was never allowed a birthday at a firehouse, either, for obvious reasons. "Mom, get off the pole, for Christ's sake."

Breakfast, according to Mom and Dad and their strange jumble of entertainment friends, and kids too, was after work. We all had breakfast at 2 a.m. Didn't you?

Agents; acts, musicians, characters and criminals.

My people.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Never hit a man with glasses; hit him with your fist.

The motherless bastards are closing in. The disconnect notices are gospel.

Catch up? I'm grabbing at branches just to slow the fall.

Soon I will be forced to 'borrow' the signal it takes for me to continue this.

I don't do well with silence.

The strange gets thick.

Every one is on the change bandwagon. How about getting a foot up off my neck, how about changing that?

It's odd, the idea about stand up. I ran 'from' a show business family only to come back full circle.

I did everything I could to behave and look like a normal productive yada, yada. I did not fare well in that regard.

So take your head off in public a few times a week, practicing in front of strangers, three minutes at a time.

It won't be for everybody. Most people aren't ready for 'filter free' commentary.

Oh well...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If you truly go crazy, it's best to get paid for it.-HST

As my impending 50th birthday looms larger than life in October, I have been thinking of ways to mark the milestone.

The fact that someone like me lived that long should be enough, but I feel it should be memorable. And no, I have no desire to completely cliche my lifestyle by skydiving. It is not a rule. I cannot see myself hurling me from a perfectly good aircraft-not on my best day.

So I thought of something. That little nigglin' thought, in the back of my mind for years, and I think it stands for something, a change in my life.

Finally doing what I've wanted my whole life, letting the outcome be what it may.

I'm finding an open mike night. I'm performing standup.

I have nothing left to lose.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

If you board the wrong train, it is no use to run along the corridor in the opposite direction.

It's not for nothing that reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.

My grasp, at the moment, is tenuous. But it beats the alternatives.

The V.A. Hospital is not high on my list of places I want to go. This would be a third trip and that's way too much evidence saying I'm nuts.

The last time I stayed in the same ward my Dad had been in when I was five. PTSD. I had it too. From childhood they said. You don't have to be in combat to be involved in a war.

Perhaps a brief checkup from the neck-up might be in order. A tune up, as it were.

Not any time soon I'm afraid. Too busy playing catch up. Screw wreckage of my past, I've got wreckage from right now. And no one to blame.

Good. Not a victim.

Not anymore. Trying to be stand up, and do the next right thing.

Looking for a day job...again. And we all know how much bloody fun that is. Desperation leaking from my pineal gland.

I swear they can smell it.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


It has been written that intent is a force that exists in the universe, when someone living "of the source" beckons intent, it comes to them and sets up the path for attainment.

Intent. Intentions. Good ones.

The road to hell being what it is, I'm not too sure about this concept.

If I fall of a building my intent is to fly, however briefly.

Man. Good intentions, when looked at in a list, could also score every major mistake I ever made.

I have been divorced for nine years. No girlfriend, no pet (tried it-I suck as a pet owner-too impatient,) not so much as a house plant. Too much responsibility. Or so I thought.

And I had generally become what I thought of as 'comfortable' in a monastic, bitter kind of way.

Someone recently called me on it.

"You've been hiding..."

I am open to the possibility that they were right.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Some people never go crazy. What truly humble lives they must live.-Charles Bukowski

Life on life's terms. Never been good at it. It's work.

As if everyone else on the planet received the manual; "Living life on life's terms without screwing yourself into the floor up to your neck."

In your family of origin, there was never a lot of middle ground. Black. White. Up, down. There was no grey, no yellow stripe. Either in the middle of the highway doing 85 or on the side of the road, watching the rest of it pass.

You know reality is sharp edged. That's why every time you drank, you did it until things 'rounded out'. But you couldn't keep it round.

You truly think if given enough time, you could fuck up an anvil. Left to your own devices.

But therein lies the truth. You're not alone in this, not anymore.

As much ass as it sucks, asking for help, you do it anyway.

You become acquainted with the term "our", instead of "your".

You try to use it, to feel a part of-instead of so isolated.

You know the steps to the dance.

And you try to stay in the light.

The dark is there...always has been. But until Sally Struthers starts to campaign for the eradication of "Underground Cat Juggling," you will look the other way.

(Cat juggling is a dark, underside of our sub-culture and should never be attempted. No one needs to see that.)

*Young men in Wisconsin are excluded from this statement. Do whatever you have to. The nights are long and the days are cold. Juggle, if you must.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"You sold me Queer Giraffes..." Oliver Reed.

Oliver Reed as the slave merchant in Gladiator.

The Character. The visual. Not the drunk.

I can then put a face on a God concept. Silly?

Whatever works.

Granted God didn't die in a Maltese Bar, arm wrestling sailors, after ingesting three bottles of Captain Morgan's spiced Rum, several shots of grouse, and a flotilla of beer.

But that's not important. When I pray, I need a face to hang it on.

I need to know who I'm dealing with.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Checking in...

I am, among other things, a writer. I write; you read.

Lately I have not met my end of the bargain. Sorry for that.

But this is a journal after all. And so it continues...

I hit a dark patch, fast slide into dark.

I am back to struggling. In all areas. The blame falls on me.

I know how to do this. Back to practicing turning care over to a higher power, while I go 'a day at at a time,' sometimes by the minute, with my back to the wall.

I know that life is much like a pendulum. High points and low, and it always swings back.

But it takes the focus of a laser. Unwavering. Not wanting to go back, not wanting it to get worse.

Re-aligning my concept of a higher power; slowly...this will take time.

That 'crisis of faith' from a few weeks ago has given me the opportunity to regain faith a mustard seed at a time.

And I remember lately that what I am not grateful for, I am bound to lose.

Let's hope it's not too late.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...