Michael Rowed That Boat Ashore

Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle of Florida yesterday. It was a Category 4 storm and it plowed through Panama City Beach, Mexico Beach and Lynn Haven.

I live 50 miles west of where Michael met the shore. That’s why my town suffered little to no damage from the outer bands of rain and tropical storm force winds.

If I lived 50 miles east of landfall, my circumstances today would be much different. Less than a hour from my home, people have lost everything.

This morning, I said thanks then took water and canned goods to a donation center. I signed my band up to play at a couple of benefits for Hurricane Michael.

I’m no Father Theresa but I believe in hedging my karmic bets.

In other words, I’m going to do good by the folks hard hit today because it’s both the right thing to do and increases the likelihood they’ll return the favor when it’s my turn.

And, sooner or later, it will be my turn.

Alleluia

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Posted in 12 Step Meetings, Blues, Love, Memoir, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Aunt, Her Car And My Whiny Ass Attitude

I don’t like to blog about my depression when I’m depressed.

I write about it in my journal. And I talk about it to friends willing to listen.

But I don’t blog about my depression as it’s happening.

If I was 16, I would. I’d chronicle every tear, every instance of self-loathing, and each and every what the fuck’s the use this is how I’m going to off myself plan going through my head.

In my twenties, I drove my aunt’s car into a tree, or was it a telephone pole? All I know is I was drunk and thought it was as good a time as any to say goodnight.

But I woke up to an ER nurse telling me I was a lucky sum bitch.

She said, “Not only did you survive an accident that should’ve killed you, the dumb ass cops on the scene, for whatever reason, didn’t request a blood/alcohol level.”

I said, “What’s that mean?”

She said, “That means you’re free to go and do more damage.”

I caught a ride with a guy and his wife.

We shared a joint and, just before I got out the car, the wife kissed me.

I got sick to my stomach but waited till they left before I threw up.

My aunt was pissed. She said, “You need to go to Vegas because you are the luckiest mother fucker in this goddamn world. My car is totaled and you’re standing here without a scratch, missing only the matted hair you left on the windshield.”

I wanted to say I’d do anything to reverse the result, but she had no time for my whiny remorse, so I kept my mouth shut.

The insurance company said they were only obligated to pay off the car I wrecked. So, when it came to buying a new car, my aunt was on her own.

She picked out a vehicle and told me, “You’re never going to drive this car but I expect you to pay me 200 dollars a month to help cover the note and insurance.”

And, to the surprise of my aunt, and myself, I paid on time, every time, until the title to the automobile was hers.

That was in 1974.

My aunt died in 2004.

I never drove a car she owned again.

Because, 30 years after the fact, despite my 27 years of continuous sobriety, her insurance company forbade it, even on her deathbed, they said, “No.”

I don’t get depressed for the same reasons anymore. And I don’t think at all about suicide.

The end of my time here is coming soon enough.

I just let the bad stuff come and I let it go. I do whatever I can to hurry it along.

And, most of the time, it’s not worth a blog post.

Posted in 12 Step Meetings, Blues, Co-Dependency, Denial, humor, Love, Memoir, Money, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just to Clear My Mind

I drove 40 miles to another town today.

Work on the weekends is slowing down and I didn’t want to hang around the house.

I thought about calling friends but chose, instead, to take a short, aimless, road trip.

Then, 5 minutes into my cruise, the dark clouds on the horizon invited me to visit.

I said, “Be there asap.”

Twenty miles in, I rolled my window down.

I stuck my hand out to wave it in the breeze.

A few drops of water fell from the sky and splashed my palm.

The temperature dropped 7 degrees °F and the stuffiness in my nose disappeared.

By the time I made it to the other town, I was directly underneath my gray day hosts.

The rain was steady and my worn wipers were having a hard time with the windshield.

I pulled into a coffee shop.

I walked in and took a seat at the counter.

The server gave me a menu and immediately said, “Know what you want?”

I didn’t but, her tapping toe, rolling eyes and exaggerated sigh told me she didn’t want to give me a minute so I said, “Cheeseburger. Fries. Coffee. No cream no sugar.”

The rain had stopped by the time I finished my meal. I tipped my usual 20% and, instead of goodbye, I said, “Keep smilin’.”

I made a left out of the driveway.

I was feeling adventurous so I took a different, longer route home.

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Thank You

I have been avoiding WordPress.

I get personal here.

I am honest about my life and experience on this site because I know someone will be reading my posts.

I have been posting my b.s. rants on other sites recently. I’ve been doing it to let off steam about people, places and things that mean next to nothing to me.

I don’t post this gibberish here because I don’t want to waste your time.

I post it on the other forums because almost no one, so-called followers included, read my posts.

In fact, the only folks reading my posts on those sites ( I find this out by reading their posts and bios) are also WordPress bloggers.

I come here to do my best work because I’ve made friends here.

Friends who will always say, no matter how long I’m gone, “Welcome home.”

Posted in 12 Step Meetings, Blues, Love, Memoir, Poetry, Recovery, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Grandson. My Godson.

I haven’t seen my boy in months.

My grandson.

My godson.

My boy.

Last year the scholarship to the private school was approved and the faculty was expecting great things from him till…

He took a pencil “shank” and drew blood from his best friend’s leg.

It had been a long time since my boy had been in trouble but it wasn’t the first time…

So he was expelled from private school just before Thanksgiving break…

He was still qualified for public middle school so he enrolled in time for Christmas holiday.

Sometime before January 1st, 2018, my grandson, my godson, my boy started smoking weed and having sex.

“Goddamn,” I said. “I was hoping you’d wait till you were 14.”

And I was also hoping I’d have the rest of his 7th grade year and upcoming summer vacation before I said goodbye to him.

But I didn’t make it to the end of May.

And I never got to say goodbye.

One day, he just stopped taking my calls.

His mother said he didn’t want to talk to me.

She said, “Thanks for your help. I’ve got this.”

And, I guess she does, after an 8 year period of me making sure my grandson got to school, to his games, to his band concerts, completed his homework and ate breakfast and supper, I guess she’s finally rested enough to take over.

Or, more than likely, she figures, “He’s big enough to smoke out, he’s big enough to raise himself.”

The first day of public school was August 15th. His math and homeroom teacher says, “He’s off to a fine start.”

Just like last year.

His teacher also says, “He is on the football team.”

He still won’t answer my calls but he’ll text me his game schedule.

And I go to his games when I’m not working.

Last week, I was running late and the contest had already started. I heard the announcer shout, “Touchdown. Number 88.”

And I thought, “That’s my boy.”

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I’m Back To Let You Know

Life has been changing for me and I’ve not wanted to keep anyone posted about my comings and goings.

I get that way sometimes.

Silent.

I tell myself I need to let the dust settle, the emotions stabilize but that’s bullshit.

It’s not what I need. It’s what I want. And what I want is to not have any emotion at all.

And, until today, I didn’t want to keep feeling the twists and turns my life has taken these past few months. I didn’t want to feel them as they were happening.

So, until today, I denied being affected and I avoided any discussion of the devastating events.

I told myself, “It’s not like anyone died. It’s not like I relapsed. It’s no big deal. Not worth talkin’ about.”

But, my tight lipped avoidance and denial hasn’t done me any good. In fact, I’ve taken a turn for the worse.

I’m irritable and mean. A couple times I would’ve gotten into a fist fight if the other men involved hadn’t decided to back down. And they didn’t walk away because they were afraid. They left peacefully because they knew something was wrong with me.

They knew something was wrong with me.

And, now, I know something’s wrong with me.

And, that something, I know exactly what it is. I know exactly what it is.

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May 28, 2018

The first tropical storm of the season should be hitting soon. Nothing much to worry about. Don’t care what Weather Channel wants or says, this is not a hurricane.

It’s gray, windy and promises to be wet. That’s okay coz I have a room. The ceiling doesn’t leak and the Netflix signal is strong.

I want to watch a foreign film. I want to hear the actors speak in their native tongue. I want to close my eyes and pretend I understand what they’re saying.

I have a friend 30 years retired from the United States Air Force. I saw him this morning and, because it’s Memorial Day, I said, “Thanks, man, for serving.”

And he said,”God, you’re stupid. I’m standing here, breathing air. And, you know what that means? Two things: One, I have not yet died for my country and, two, your premature appreciation of me cannot be accepted.”

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