Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 39 (c.): Succulent gratitude (just plain sux)... Readers' appreciation day blog...a drunken mosaic of joy...

The neon signs go dim. The bartender carols out "Last Call."
What commenced in the Spring has transitioned into Fall
A sabbatical deemed by critics as abstemious yet forlorn
To go forty days w/out beer,
"Hey, Why not just give up porn?"

Forty days sans a cold one, a six pack, 24 case or pitcher
Forty days to make my liver inestimably richer
Forty days w/out Happy hour, Keg stands, beer pong, late-night frolick
Forty days to learn that N/A stands for non-alcoholic.

Forty days, a scrupulous intense self-analytic rout
You only dream of rain in the midst of a creative draught
Words, manna from heaven, 40 days on which to feed-   
-and now is the time to thank those of you who took the time to read--

As Vermouth is to a Martini, as Kim Deal is to The Breeders
This poem is a Toast of gratitude just for you, my dear readers:

There is Larry Bradley who writes about Barber shops in crisp stanzas as if with shears
Jake Long who whenever I need a friend to talk has perenially been near.
 David Hale's insight guides me like a Peruvian Shaman
And even though she smokes ersatz e-cigarettes I still adore you, Brianne Ahmann.

There's Regina Mooney whose lips remind me of college French and senior walk
My oh my how I enjoy 'Wasted Wed’s' with my poetic brother, Kyle Devalk
As we intellectually posit while pounding beers, beat literature  and bliss
Always a pleasure to hang out with my neighbor, new mummy, Jen VanNess.

Thanks to Stephanie Green Smith whose memoir just plain kicks phucking-ass
When I hang out with Mike Galletti of Dirty Gentleman we always drown a cold crate of Pabst
My girl Krista Buchannan saw me read while sipping iced chai tea
Thank you Becky Lynn and J. Whitmore, whose witticisms are nothing short of incendiary.

And while she corrected my botched analogy concerning  the vicissitudes of the feminine “clit,”
I’m eternally gratefully to Natashia Deón and her kick-ass series Dirty Laundry Lit
Which gave me Hollywood, traipsing down the heralded Walk of Fame
Man, I’ll never forget touching the ivory finger tips of Miss Sarah St. James.

Thank you dearest Molly Fleming who to me will always be Mrs. Paroo
and to Kristin Frazee who sent me a picture of her sexy new Tattoo
Invariably my drinking sabbatical availed me time to financially catch up on bills
and to reminisce about  performing on BLACKSTARSEA hosted by the impeccable Josh Wills.

Gratitude to Ash in London who delineates the color of my dreams
It’s hard to meet someone more talented than the graceful Holly Greene
Who sang at Champs West while I drank Oxygen backed with a double shot o’ Hydrogen
How cool it was after all these years to hear from my dear Aunt Marilyn.

For local artists who inspire me like cool Stormy Monday and Diva Suzette
And the Beautiful creatures whom through this project I feel blessed to have met
”Skeet-loving” Tiffany Gray and a beautiful scribe named Athena
And WOW what a summer did I ever have with a reader named Valena
Promenading across county lines, sunset smoking, drinking gas station cappuccino
How honored I am to be invited to the aesthetic union of Carissa and Roxy Reno.

 I’m Thankful for Cumbo Cannella, book thief, proprietor of the voluptuous double G-cup
And the hearth-sized heart of Harshi and Erich Gilbert who gave my prose two thumbs up
Diane Hollister and Michelle Veal,  culled Cullum-Davis Library lore
And where would I be w/out my Sunshine (smile!) behind the counter  at the corner liquor store.

Thanx to Patrick ‘The Great’ McReynolds who got embarrassed when I espoused his romantic foibles and fates,
And cool playwright Karen Howes who I tried to seduce my quoting William B. Yeats’
Song of Wandering Aengus, Golden apples of the Sun,

The Silver apples of the moon
Thank you so much to the Tartan Inn as we partied all last June.

To my  brother DAZ whose GOBZINE captures vignettes of hamsters and fairies
After the death of his father you’re still my hero Cousin Larry
And even though reading my prose gave them optical blisters
I’m so grateful to have two of the most fragrantly talented sisters.

And to those I forgot to mention due to lapsed mental ambiguity
Remember when the cops find you drunk in the cemetery to use the word, 'Perspicuity'.
Never forget Rumi’s mantra ‘ Let Beauty you love be what you do.”
(It's been  21 years since Young Columbus England and I’m still blessed to know Mark-Andrew)

With gilded Daedalus wings may your every dream flutter and soar
As Gavra Lynn cries out, “Darkness doesn’t scare me anymore!!!!”
From that poor man’s poet who candidly chiseled out his vices for the planet to pan and perceive
(Everyone) “Where would we all be without our good friend Barbara Antoniazzi?”

Dear Reader, thank you for accompanying me on this forty day moratorium
even though I foundered on day 38 and moved into a craft beer emporium.
Think of that old writer while sipping  your next alcoholic brew

And realize what’s inside is not as magical as you.

From closet tubesock sperm, as Ovum is to semen
Never be afraid to go inside and conquer your own Demons
Be intrepid and audacious, the Dharma to Kerouac's itinerant bum

Know that someday you will be the person you yearn to become.
Thanks for reading. May this autumn bring you leaves of sunset tiles.
Sobriety never sux in the forever succulence of your smile.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 39 (b): The courage to differentiate between our wants (which are never satisfied) and our needs (which are always provided for)...in defense of Alcoholics Anonymous...

Status: My first kiss duly transpired Friday Oct. 11th, 1991. It was junior high night at the Christian center and I was in seventh grade. Her name was Jessica and she had loopy earrings and fritzy auburn hair that somehow resembled a side order of curly fries. The maroon and gold fluffy mid-nineties integers sewn below the lapel of her high school jacket indicated that she was a sophomore at East Peoria while I was a seventh grader attending a Lutheran grade school across the river, though I lied, prevaricating that I was only in town a short while visiting my cousin and attended a fictitious high-school on the north shore of Chicago with the word Glen in the title.

It was mid-October. Shards of stain glass leaves raked and scurried against gravel parking lots cascading in dervish swivels and leafy seizures. Somehow I remember wooing her by quoting Markey-Mark and the Funky Bunch lyrics (rote) and somehow I remember sitting down next to her by the creek in the woods and somehow the next thing I remember was that our respective heads were cantilevered, awkwardly tilted, gravitating with pursed ring-pop lips in the direction slightly above the other's respective chin. She wasn’t exactly fat, more like ample. The sort of girl Ben Franklin might fantasize over espying the sight of her cottage cheese loins delicately alighted in a Victorian girdle. I remember the hottest cheerleaders in high school always sort of looked like stuck up Grateful Dead Teddy Bears with bad perms and side pony tails. During the inaugural act of teenage osculation her eyes were stamped shut like suburban blinders, emulating every kiss culled from every slow-motion bubblegum mid-eighties teenage pop oriented drama ever seen. My eyes remained welded open, the size of twin trash can lids waiting  to be inopportunely clanged together like cymbals in a junior high play. Everything was dry and then everything was just full-frontal sloshing and wet. I remember trying to suck on something that was squirming and moist that kept undulating and kicking like a fetus inside the bridge of my lips. I remember that I could taste the flavor of the stars and hints of a distant bonfire in the crimped sway of her hair. I remember cupping my arm behind her lumbar as if trying to climb her and the next thing I realized I was lying on top of her in the fashion of Pete Rose Johnny Hustle sliding head first into second base.

I remember one second we were kissing and then somehow our torsos are welded together in a pulsating denim pentagon.

I remember it was autumn and I am all of thirteen years of age.

I remember simply not wanting to stop.


Physiology: You see them all around only you would never know. Idling at bus stops. Skirting through the dim-lit linoleum at Walgreens. Sometimes you talk. Sometimes there is a silent yet gravid nod of earnestness. If you have been in the program for a while a conversation will indubitably ensue. There is usually a facial skitter cosigning acknowledgement. Sometimes a smile. Sometimes a squeeze of the arm or a hug. Some are court ordered. Some arrive dreary eyed and blitzed. Some go outside after the serenity prayer to vomit. Some are shaking from D.T.’s. Some have been through physical and emotional shit I wouldn't wish to inveigh on any viable creature bearing a pulse. A surprising number are professionals who make five times my annual income and arrive in posh vehicles and smile and greet you in the fashion in which overtly smiley and annoying people you don't know greet you in the annex of an out of state church you are visiting.

They come and they congregate in almost Sunday School fashion forming isosceles triangles with their shoulder blades, smoking, ashing filtered stems in an old Maxwell House coffee can, loafing on the wooden deck outside. I remember when I attended my first initial meetings I tried to look strung-out, tried to emulate the black-and-white jaded-dole eyed rectangle author photo of my mentor David Foster Wallace. Tried to look intellectually pensive, pawning off the appearance of a jaded academician.  I remember there being uproarious puffs of laughter in the room and feeling like I was seated at the adult table during Thanksgiving dinner. I remember people of disparate ethnicity and age seated together at the same table like a sociological mosaic smiling and chuckling and drinking coffee and commiserating about the inevitable pathos of day to day living. 

There is an emotional crutch. There is psychological I.V.  A spiritual hammock. A drip of hope in a weary world that continues to churn its cosmic neck with galactic insouciance into whatever future there may be one day at a time. 


Status: The lady with the long red hair is older and she is a survivor. When we first met she tells me about a friend she had gone through treatment with who is my age and who just died from a heroin overdose. The next day I find his name in the paper and wedge the obituary under the office door where she works. She thanks her capital-g notion of a higher power deity for her sobriety. She thanks God for enabling her to take things one day at a time and for granting her the courage to accept the things she cannot change. She smokes likes Chimney at Chernobyl five minutes before the incendiary frisson of nuclear light. She commutes an hour to work in a car that is non-smoking swearing and chanting the serenity prayer like a Buddhist mantra. She has poignantly made amends with things she has lost and has accepted the things she cannot change. She has succumbed to a peace in her life that is palpable when you are around her. She has a sponsor she swears on. She is there for others in times of need.  

She looks at each calendar square as an easel brimming with unlimited potential, a blessing sprouting with digits.

When I tell her that I am starting a project to investigate the philosophical pandering’s concerning why I feel the unerring need to drink all the fucking time she cusps my hand and gives it a little squeeze. She tells me that I can do this. She calls me by my first name. She tells me I can do this, David.

She is gregarious. She is older. She elucidates the jargon. She tells me what is meant by a ‘Belly-Button,’ anniversary. She tells me about when she got clean how she had a funeral for the child she miscarried while she was smoking crack. She is into Yoga. I tell her all about my crazy drunken forays. I tell her how every time I imbibe I feel like I slough all the pain and itinerant hurt and that  I don't feel like a  fucking failure. I tell her how every time I imbibe I feel immortal.   

She smiles. She looks at me like I am entertaining. She doesn't judge or harbor biases because I am drinking and she has made a commitment to stay sober.

"You can do this." She says to me again. "You can do this, David."



Physiology: I attended my first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting early 2009, crunching over clotted banks of chalky January snow trudging against the inky night of a starless winter to a nondescript building sharing its entrance with the Basket Case. I recognized it was an AA meeting from the Triangle trapped in the bubble emblem winking out from the window a la Free Masonry like fashion. When I used to drink at the Basketcase back in the day I remember seeing working class members that attended the meetings outside smoking cigarettes.   A month earlier I had lost my job at Bradley University due to a series of defamations (as has every writer in academia of note) and, after feeling worthless and seriously contemplating suicide (brushing it off because you can’t get piss-ass drunk when you are piss-ant dead, much less write) I decided to attend AA on my own volition.

I decided to discern why I felt the unerring need to drink all the time.

I didn't want to go.

 I drank 16 beers to accumulate the courage to leave my apartment. I drank a beer en route, finishing the beverage at the corner of Main and Sheridan, punting the can across the street, trying to hit the pastel rodent on what was then the Church Mouse. I am an affable lush. I have never gotten a DUI or been arrested or court ordered to wear a totalitarian manacle to measure my blood alcohol content. I almost always have a beer cracked open when  write and I write my ass off every day. Somehow over the past decade I slipped in the habit of hitting happy hour after picking up my paycheck on Friday and partying for three days straight in a slot machine blur of bar stools and beer bottles and cigarette smoke.

Almost always I end the night staring into the passenger-side window of my computer screen looking at the poverbial love-of-my-life, the one-who-got away there-son, cupping the mouse, sliding the cursory arrowhead over her  hair in front of me, wondering what happened with us.

I continue to traipse, forming pterodactyl tracks in the snow. I am smoking like a motherfucker.  I can hear the sallow chimes indicative of bad Karaoke in the Basketcase.  The lights stretching outside the building is the color of a lost yawn.

The last thing I want to do is to go inside and get warm.


Status: I ask the classy lady with the red hair if she misses going out. If she misses partying. If she misses getting her freak on. I tell her I am at day five of my forty day sojourn. I tell her this is the longest I have gone without an alcoholic beverage in almost eight years.

She looks at me and smiles. She asks me why I insisted on forty days.

"Historically forty is a gestation period. It is always a period where people are lost and fumbling around and looking for something only they don't know what it is. When was is lost and searchin change is imminent and so is growth."

I ask her what she does for fun in addition to smoking and copious amounts of masturbation.

The lady with the red hair laughs. She squeezes my hand again.

"You can do this, David. I believe in you. You can do this."

She continues to call me by the twin-syllables of my first name.




Physiology:  Much of AA meetings are fashioned in the format of Church. There are Old testament and epistle readings  guised in plastic sheaths entitled HOW IT WORKS (which includes the 12 steps) followed by a reading of what is known in AA as the twelve traditions. There is then a daily meditative reading culled from the Big Book read in the fashion of listening to the gospel reading in church only nobody rises, they just look down and inwardly nod. Coffee always seems to be  percolating in the backroom. There is sometimes cake or a home-made batch of cookies. Via  recitation of the HOW IT WORKS/12 step epistle reading orated at the outset of every meeting, everyone in the room more or less admits that they are completely 100 percent helpless over their 'cunning, baffling'  alcohol predilection  and that their lives have become completely unmanageable. During this confession it is also acknowledged that the only force that can assist the plural 'us' vault over our addiction with alcohol is the psychological awakening of a non-denominational  'God' or personal 'Higher Power.' 

The person chairing the meeting often notes a list of local AA events such as socials or barbecues or incumbent Guest Speakers before notably inquiring if anyone in attendance has an alcohol-free anniversary to celebrate. If someone does they are awarded a coin/slash/token that looks like something you would slit into a ski-ball machine at Showbiz. If there is an anniversary there is always applause followed by smiles and shoulder patterings of encouragement.

A kettle is then passed around.  Each AA group is self-sufficient but a free-will offering is employed to ensure the maintenance and continuity of each chapter. No one in AA gets paid. The money is used to keep the electricity going and coffee brewing. Most members of AA have no problem placing a five in the kettle and then fishing out three ones to make change, something you would never see during a traditional Church offertory.

 The apex of nearly all AA  meetings consists of a twenty-to-thirty minute narrative jam session. A period of verbal sharing where the person states his/her name and publically confesses that he/she is an alcoholic accompanied by mass acknowledgements in the form of various intoning salutary 'Hi's' imminently followed by the persons previous said name. The only unwritten rules are that no one argues and that no one interrupts. Almost always you will hear someone explicate just how blessed they feel to be here in this room alive and sober today. Members with serious sober hangtime often talk about juggling mortgages or tattered relationships or health problems. Many will talk about the day-to-day struggle to remain sober especially when engaged in a rift with a co-worker or spouse. Occasionally someone who shot up copious amounts of heroin back in the day will sound like they are placing their narcotic of choice  on a soapbox pedestal of seniority, heralding that their drug-induced trauma kicked the wheezily alcoholic content of  your boxed wine cooler ass. More often than not, even if the addiction is going back up for second helpings of the Blood of Lamb during Mass, everyone in the room listens, everyone in the room commiserates with a nod, everyone says your name in jilted unison and smiles and nonjudgmentally accepts you, there but for the grace of God.

Many of the anecdotes shared are brimming with well-known AA bromides, easily pawned off as pathetic platitudes or campy cliches at first. The widely anthologized One day at a Time. The easy does its. The back sliding begins when knee-bending stops. The letting go of old ideas and change being a process not an event and how denial is not a river in Egypt. 64% of all narratives make a notion of thanking the members individual notion of a God or Higher Power for getting them here tonight. Many members (often it seems to me burly tattoo-riddled Bikers) will make a point how grateful there for this sort of fellowship and support system since they sure as shitfire weren't get any support from the church they grew up in.

The story-telling often escalates into some sort of emotional anagnorisis, pivoting on a spiritual catharsis with the hopes that, through divulging one's own struggle, fellow strangers in the room will find solace and peace and perhaps even hope.

AA meetings end with everyone in the room standing up holding hands, forming a human-puzzle piece, tucking their chins into the direction of the floor tiles chanting the Serenity prayer in stuttered unison, imploring the God of their understanding simply to grant them the serenity to accept the things they cannot change,  the courage to change the things they can and the wisdom to know the difference followed by the Lord prayer. Sometimes prior to the prayer the member chairing the meeting will rhetorically ask the question, 'Whose Father?'  To which the members wreathesdin a stalk of clasped hands will reply, "Our Father," before breaking out in the remainder of the prayer followed in tandem by the community fist clutching cheer, "Keep Coming Back. It works if you work it but you've got to work it every day!"


Status: Minutes after posting a Facebook group page for Succulent Sobriety I receive an I.M. flare from a neighbor whom I’ll call Ben. An acquaintance for over a decade, he married a friend of mine and now lives down the street. From time to time I see Ben and his wife performing Karaoke around town.

He seems intensely curious why I have decided to stop drinking for forty days and why I feel the need to chronicle the tale. When I tell him that after my forty days are up we'll have to all get together for  couple of beers he tells me . He informs me that he would love to meet me out only he doesn't drink.

"Why are you always in the bars if you don't drink?" I inquire.
“You kidding, man, sober people can party.”

He tells me that he has been sober and always drinks coke whenever he goes out. I tell him I always thought his coke had a few splashes of rum in it but I guess I never had the acumen to inquire.  Ben then asks me if I think he’s the only one in the bars not drinking.

“Recovering people love to party man.”

I ask him if he feels hypocritical chairing meetings yet frequenting local bars.

“When you attend AA you learn to have confidence in yourself and do things you love and not feel the need to drink.” He tells me that he’s known rock stars and comedians whose career revolves around performing in bars and that they are not going to refrain from going to work because the bar serves beer.

He then asks me what I love to do. He asks me if I need alcohol to do what I really love to do with the limited time I am allocated with life here on this planet.

 He calls me brother.


Physiology: My first hardcore junior high make-out session  with the semi-portly curly-fry haired girl in the woods lasted all of five minutes.  The moment I  straddled my limbs around the inflatable life raft of her splayed body wildly frisking her back in search of anything remotely resembling a horizontal elastic strap my adolescent foray into adulthood was  notably truncated by my friends Tim Flanagan and Patrick 'The Great' McReynolds who were conveniently spying on us. While Tim began warning us about the evils of lust and the incendiary snickers of Hell that will invariably accompany our untoward behavior, Patrick had a cheesy future Brother-in-Law-coordinating-the- Bachelor-party smirk glued on his lips and felt the compelling need to shake my hand offering his unadulterated congratulations  in front of poor Jessica, who would adopt the moniker Second Base in the junior high cafeteria  for the remainder of the semester.

Later that night I got Jessica's number but was too coy to call. She would have found it odd since I lied and told her I was from the hoity-toity Chicago suburbs anyway. 

I saw her only once again after that.

 It was the winter night I tramped out loaded into the unforgiving cold to seek help because I couldn't understand why I was drinking so much.

It was that night I saw Jessica, the first creature I had kissed when I was in 7th grade.

She was seated in front of the room, chairing my first AA meeting.

I didn't recognize her right away. Her hair was still long but it had straightened. . She seemed less vivacious then she was in the fall of 1991. Briefly I considered being an asshole saying something like, "Hello my name is David and I'm an alcoholic, and boy did WE ever get it on to Markey-Mark and the Funky Bunch twenty years ago."

Only I didn't. I sipped watered-down coffee and listened as Jessica talked about having a Meth addiction and how she even stole needles from her grandmother who was diabetic to shoot up.  She talked about how shooting up meth made her lazy and not want to do anything but lounge around all day and watch Lifetime and text shady people in search of accumulating more amphetamines. She talked about doing anything with her body in order to be able procure funds to supply more dope.  She talked about how it was only after her son was taken away by DCFS that she began to take what is referred in AA jargon as a moral inventory of one’s life. She talked about how, after a year of sobriety, she was able to reinstate custody of her son and how maintaining both her son and her sobriety are the most important things in her life.

 At the end of the meeting I held hands with strangers and bowed my head, supplicating to a power greater than myself for help, asking whose father it was, stating it was ours.
I  then left the meeting. The lady who I made out with another lifetime ago never knew who I was or that we had practically made sloppy teenage love in the woods all those years ago.
I left the meeting without telling her the identity of my name.
I remained anonymous the entire time.


Most of us don't know much about the fleeting breath of time we find ourselves evaporating against across the foggy windshield of this planet. Millions of years constituting the evolutionary backwash and genetic residue christening our perception of reality. Our addictions. Our emotional fetishes. Our desires and our loves.

Say what you want to about AA. That it's a cult. That it is for pussies. That it is only for junkies or people who are lightweights or lower income derelicts. That the bulk of the members who attend are court ordered and don't have a high school diploma and have a hard time reading aloud from the 12 steps pamphlet because they read at a second grade level. Say that AA is no different than attending a local church ofrcongregational setting choice (only everyone contributes to the sermon and curses and smokes outside afterwards and no one judges anyones behavior).

Say what you want about the organization known as Alcoholics Anonymous but know this:  

There is a distilled beauty in congregating in a room with random strangers and watching someone publically admit that they just can’t do it on their own anymore.There is a beauty in witnessing human beings yield to an inscrutable power transcending the vicissitudes and intellectual contours of their own understanding. There is a beauty on witnessing human beings refusing to be sociological  victims of their circumstances. There is a beauty in watching human beings jettison and refute the pain of yesterday; refusing to be neurological inmates in prison of the past. There is a beauty in realizing that they have made a psychological commitment to humbly experience this terse film-strip of reality in the fashion in which they were born, crying  out sans substance yet crying out nonetheless, moment by moment, meeting after meeting,  year after year, lifetime after lifetime, one day at a time.



People who have seen me perform sometimes note tears skiing down the slope of my cheekbones in medias performance, almost always when I'm reciting a piece by a writer I love, words, narrative appetizers and esculent vowels gnawing into the alphabetical prairie of the page.

 Sometimes it is George Saunders. Sometimes it is Lorrie Moore. It's difficult for me to recite certain passages by Shakespeare or Whitman or Yeats sans breaking down in a gulching avalanche of triangles and tears.

The last story in almost any edition of the Big Book features a personal narrative of a writer who chronicles his botched odyssey with alcoholism. From being a literary wunderkind, to a vodka-blitzed wizened wordsmith to a cirrhosis-riddled middle-aged  copy-right editor to an enervated esophageal hemorrhaging soused statistic of expired promised and anesthetized ambition to after years, finally drying out, discerning the narrative pulse of his own ethos through attending meetings, through sitting in a cluttered circle with random strangers in a dim-lit room while drinking weak coffee, through sharing stories finding strength in his sobriety and finding it oh-so succulent indeed.

Like my literary fetishes, it's a story that forms dampens prisms of moisture around my eye sockets while releasing rivulets of joy in my chest:

"We are taught to differentiate between our wants (which are never satisfied) and our needs (which are always provided for). We cast off the burdens of the past and the anxieties of the future, as we begin to live in the present one day at a time. We are granted "the serenity to accept things we cannot change"-- and thus lose are quickness to anger and our sensitivity to criticism."

I love that. Our wants are never satisfied, though our needs are always provided for. No matter how desultory destitute or flat out fucking impecunious my life has been at times  I have been blessed beyond the scope of human measure to always find sanctuary (even if it was living in the back of my station wagon in the old Jumers parking lot) or (menial) employment or even the occasional cold beer.Even though my wants were never satisfied. The creature I consider my soulmate  who lives in Europe and who gave me the mystical highlight of my life when we groped each other's hand on a holy relic and then held each other for hours, for days, for eternity, not kissing, just holding each other and feeling loved ; or the doily-skinned twenty-one year old who gave me the best sex ever on Bloomsday a year ago and how we kissed in the rain and made love for what seemed like collected art movements and I dreamed about proposing to her in an abandon house and how the fire alarm across the street always went off when we made love and how I never felt physically closer to another human being before she dissipated in a spring wisp, or good ol' Chop-Butt down the street.

How I hurt so much after these three beautiful creatures who I would gladly sacrifice 95 percent of my entire literary corpus just to be around them when they are feeling grouchy and bloated on their period and who, each on their own romantic volition, passed me over in favor of short-haired vacuous fucks (fucking Aires!!! and the street I live on is Ayres!!!) leaving my chest a Yahtzee cup fraught with lost legos and sandbox splinters and how for years I felt wounded and worthless supplanting my hurt by pouring as much alcoholic ambrosia in my body as was humanly possible to assuage the pain and psychologically augment my esteem and foster my self-worth all the while feeling loved and less alone and less of a sensate failure on the arable scalp of the planet.

Yes readers, my wants often were never satisfied.

But somehow my needs were always provided for.

The last paragraph in the Blue Book is a tautological coda, a doxology of the heart, a paragraph availing the promontory of individualization and self-worth. It is one of the most beautiful testaments of leading a life untethered from inevitable pangs of the past, hatching into the unlimited pasture of infinite potential, the vivid fragrance of one’s identity, the beauty and unparalleled uniqueness of one’s own destiny--- the color of your own name.

“Above all we reject fantasizing and accept reality. The more I drank the more I fantasized everything. I imagined getting even with my hurts and rejections. In my mind’s eye I played and replayed scenes in which I was plucked magically from the bar ( addendum: or writing desk in the woods, wink) where I stood nursing a drink and was instantly exalted to some position of power and prestige. I lived in a dream world (wink, again).  A.A. led me gently to embrace reality with open arms.  And I found it beautiful!!!  For at last I was at peace with myself. And with others. And with God.”

Amen to that, brother.

Amen indeed.