Dead Heat

It isn’t a butterfly exactly but it could be something similar, like a fire, like something which purifies, burns and then resurrects. A phoenix, is that what it would be? I just don’t want to ink something permanently onto my body that I can’t get behind, that I don’t feel absolutely belongs to me. I want a design which reflects the magnitude of the transformation I have gone through this year. Sober day one was six months ago but it could have been a lifetime, it could have been many years and it could have been yesterday. They tell you to take one day at a time because otherwise there is no reliable sense of time at all. You are ten thousand years old, you have lived and died ten thousand times, you are new born every morning, every evening, every minute of each and every day.

As it happens, this particular Saturday afternoon is gray, rainy, and not hot, which is a relief to me because I hate the heat. I am also not terribly fond of the sun or sunny days, though it seems they bother me less now that I am off the drink. I’d no idea how imbalanced my hormones, my inner chemicals and therefore my emotions and feelings, were – shot to shit by my daily indulgences. Did you know that drinking kills off your ability to experience pain and also pleasure, and not just pleasure from drinking but all pleasure from doing anything? It’s fucked up but it’s true. These days the thought of licking on an ice cream cone sends watery anticipation sliding all across my little pink tongue. Back then I couldn’t imagine wasting time, money or calories on anything that didn’t promise to sever my prickled senses from the unbearable pain of reality.

It is still strange to me, jarring in a way, to see people drinking in movies. I think because I have no immediate or instinctual desire to actually pick up and do it, too. I could never have watched people drinking before. Not without joining in. Whether they were with me in real life or not, drinking was always the thing to do around other people. Or alone, as it were. Didn’t matter. Only the drinking really mattered. Only the beautiful euphoria of the numbness softly blanketing my limbs and organs and brain. Maybe I’m not supposed to romanticize that part but christ it was so sweet, so smooth, so divine. And that is exactly why it is so hard to clutch sobriety close to your precious chest each time you think you want to drop kick it in the mouth. You know what rock solid bliss you’ve got but damn if you don’t still, sometimes, secretly, fantasize about what you once had. The shimmering siren of succulent self-abuse.

I should shower but I’m sick of showering every goddamn day. Instead I sit sipping coffee and observing the long tendrils of my lovely green ivy plant as they sway gently in the breeze which flows through my open bedroom window. I’m preparing to send my manuscript out to a very cool small press on Monday, they issued a call for submissions and they seem very genuine, very devoted to the beautiful craft of writing.

For no real good reason, I think of all the friends who have come and gone in my life and wonder what some of them would think of me now if they knew I was clean. It doesn’t matter. All of my old lives are very much over and done with. At this very moment I am all alone in a room not missing or wanting for anything or anyone. No cravings. No illusions about writing or alcohol or relationships or life in general. No nothing except for what is. And how this is what life is for the most part, little did I ever previously realize. Just empty nothingness, unchartered waves of peace and confusion on repeat. Until we crash in with our arrogance and greed and trembling anxieties, roughing it up just to fuck with the silence because the silence doesn’t answer to us and that pisses us all the way off, which the silence doesn’t care about either. It just stays and stays because it’s got nothing to prove and no one to please.

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