When our dalliance was a daily waltz groping with the interior narrative of discovery I would nocturnally harvest five or six portentous dreams about this creature a week where I was reeled out of my body into a pasture of cumulus and light, coalescing, finding myself somehow being as one with her. Over the last couple of years the dreams arrive maybe twice a year where I wake up, my sockets dripping with tears and longing.
It was a symposium of peace and heralded serenity and there was laughter and no bias and somehow, more individuals kept appearing, plopping out of the quantum ether like soapy childhood bubbles on Easter Sunday and laughing and giving and loving free from the invidious sociological manacles of bias and spite. It was humanity as an aesthetic apiary of oneness, all lifting their hands and worshiping the light they were helping to create by their spiritual altruism, and there was joy dolloped with unifying fits of laughter and when I turned around in an almost a carousel of dervish display of soul-wrought wailing I espy her behind me, the dark-haired girl of my dreams.
Normally in the dreams we are together and our arms are draped like sails around each other's neck and we are magnetically tugging and there is this nuclear glow between us. Sometimes I will wake up and feel like she is in the room with me. I almost always wake up bathed in a permeated daze of peace, tears skidding down my cheekbones in an avalanching nostalgia of bliss.
I then find myself in a desolate alley of an inner city, the dregs of society. When I locate the swaying black haired girl of my dreams she is making out with an Spaniard man I have never seen before whom she refers to as 'Rodrigo.' I accost them and break up their little back-seat junior high make-out session. I glaze into her countenance and ask her, after all this time, why am I never fucking good enough for her and in the dream she still doesn't have the balls to look me in the face and barter sentences. I tell her that I love her again and ask her why. Again she is reticent. When the Spaniard lad gets in my face I hurl him to ground and he begins to whimper.
Again I ask her why she is like this.
Again my inquiry is met with a hummed blanket of silence.
‘What shall I do with our child?’ she asks. ‘How can you ask this of me?’
‘Just put him here,’ says the man, at the bottom of the tree.
She does not want to do what he has asked her, but does. She takes the child off her back and puts in the base of a huge tree.
Soon the transformation begins. Her hands become claws, and her face becomes hairy and changes in structure; all the while she is glaring at the man. She turns into a growling leopard. When she is fully transforms she moves to attack her husband and he clambers up the tree Now she circles around the child as is to eat it. The man knows he should do something, but he’s too frightened.
Finally she goes off and kills one of the bush cows. . She drags it back and begins to transform back into a woman. When the transformation is finished she calls back to her husband, ‘Come back down! What are you so afraid of?’
‘I’m not coming back down until you put the child back on your back.’ He says, trembling. If she puts the child back on her back then he knows that she won’t turn into a leopard again.
She does as he asks and he comes down. She looks him in the eye and says,
There's a Buddhist anecdote where a man who is threatening to commit suicide informs his Zen master of his plan. Rather than dial a hot line the Zen master nonchalantly turns to the man and says, "Why don't you just go ahead and kill yourself now so you can go on and enjoy the rest of your life later."
Five months ago at the snapping fresh linen outset of another spring I decided to endeavor to go 40 days sans alcoholic ambrosia as a Self-diagnosis, a psychological biopsy to discern why I felt the need to drink all the time.
I made it thirty-eight point three days.
Here's what I have gleaned from the experience:
I've learned that I like beer and that I'll probably always be a drinker and at times, pound more libations into my anatomy than is probably salubrious for my literary longevity.
I've learned that there is absolutely nothing wrong with AA and that there is a certain beauty to throwing up your hands like a referee and a field goal and capitulating that you just can't do it on your own anymore.
I've learned that everyone has shit from their past and a lot of people who have had less opportunities than I have deal with their shit every day in healthier manners than I ever could.
I've learn there is such a thing as yearning and growth and sometimes, in order to achieve the level of growth desired it is necessary to momentarily give up (or, in the biblical tradition 'sacrifice') in order to achieve a succinct caliber of growth.
I’ve learned that I don’t have a body but that I merely live in one for an extremely terse finite quantum half-breath of what is perceived as calculated winks of time.
I've learned that I'd rather have a couple thousand dollars in the bank than an apartment strewn with crushed aluminum shingles and a complimentary beer belly that resembles a yeasty cumberbun.
I've learn there are alternative ways to have fun other than drink and masturbate all the time.
I’ve learned that there is no better feeling in the world as a writer then when someone you have never met before comes up to you at a Reading or a dinner party and blithely informs you that something you have spent secluded hours upon hours polishing and crafting means the fucking world to them.
I've learned that I have worth as a human being. For years I felt like a fucking statistic treating my body and ambitions with as much respect as I would the urinal puck located in the Men's room my favorite West Peoria Watering hole. Worth that is not vain nor narcissistic. Worth in that I have a job to do as a writer and that, as much as I enjoy getting my readers' soused on the happy hour shot of my sentences or hung over on the suds of the page, I also have a duty to get them home safely and to tuck them in and make them feel loved.
I’ve learned that, like the dream, no one person or event is going to come along and be the transformation I need. No spontaneous spurt of financial augmentation, no wedding dress strewn like an ivory puddle across the carpet of a wedding suite, and no (and I say this as delicately and with as much cultural deference I can muster) no Deity, no solipsistic cultural notion of ‘God’ is going to come along sprinkle fairy dust, no pastor is going drip holy water or spoon feed me blessed vittles, a mock panacea to assuage my pain, neurologically speaking, no different from what I have been doing drinking fifteen beers a day for the last five years.
Then give a little more.
Promise me this, and you've given me the greatest gift any wayward writer, succulent or sober, could ever hope to achieve.
Thanx for readin' and escorting me on my quest for growth via chronicling the drunken foibles of my past in an endeavor to till the wheat fields of eternity with the seeds of perennial growth for all mankind. In the immortal words of Guru Rumi let the beauty you love be why you do.
As long as we are here we are immortal.
Special Thanks: You. Simply you. Thank you for reading. It means so much.
Gratitude to my muses who over the spilt calendar squares of the last half-decade have permeated the high alcoholic content of my poems with the draught of their hearts...each of whom I love rather ardently and each of whom I had to emotionally jettison in order to grow, respectably, Cheri-Lee, who gave me the shot glass of youth, Kirbie Chop-Chop, who gave me the carafe of humor (dorkwad!), and Arya Joon who metaphysically milked and then kissed the keg of all eternity.....love and joy and amended-peace (phuckin' Aires!!! I tell you!!!)
Extra-extra special gratitude and thanx: Jenn Gordon, incumbent mummy Beth O'brien,
Linda Von Behren, and (oh yeah) the refulgent holistic hosanna's of Valena Jackson.....
love, longing, drizzled vats of succulent happiness to you all...