19 feb 1999  

twelve to ten

It’s yet another anniversary here on Rancho Suburbio. Exactly ten years ago tomorrow I walked into the Betty Ford Center to get sober, and whaddya know, it stuck. yee haw

The annual milestones of sobriety and their accompanying ceremonies were a big deal to me in the first few years. I’d mark their passing with the standard chip and cake at an A.A. meeting. Meetings and chips and cakes have pretty much faded now, and I mark the day in simple remembrance of all the crap that came with practicing my addictions so dedicatedly. It feels good to have come this far. I’ve known people who tried to clean up and failed and died. I bet you’ve known some too.

That’s really all I have to say about the matter, other than to encourage you and/or yours to get help if you/they need it. Serenity is a wonderful thing.

I suppose it’s the tenet of rigorous honesty which compels me to admit I wasn’t completely straight with you earlier. If you must know the truth, well, the fact is, okay, cake has NOT pretty much faded from my life. Not one iota. I love cake. I go at cake with gusto. I think I’ve had a piece of every cake I’ve ever laid eyes on, and this strikes me as a good practice toward psychological well-being. Cake good. Cake mean happy. Unless, of course, you have, as they’d say at Camp Betty, "cake issues".

* * * * * * *

I have a cold, and it's giving me all the usual problems. What bothers me the most is how easily distracted I am. As I stand here at my lectern, cradling my orb and sceptre, trying to think deep thoughts, my concentration is challenged by the shadow of a bird on the blinds, or by the way the dust motes swirl beneath the lamp on the bookshelf.

Usually, when I set my mind to writing something, I'll lie on the outskirts of an idea for a while, trying to get a feel for which way things are flowing. Time will pass, and I'll pick up a little speed and start moving around the center, like a leaf around a whirlpool. But with this cold my brain's just getting left out in the sticks, stuck, out of the flow. No ride.

Ooh look. A helicopter.

This is when I send in the trainer with a stretcher to take me off the field. I wave as I'm taken to the clubhouse for x-rays. "Yeah, we shoulda taken him out earlier. Too many metaphors in too short a time, no real substance. Let him rest up for the next game."

That's what I need. Rest. Let my brain goof off, float around.

Ooh. Cake.

today's music:

"Gimme That Wine" -- Lambert Hendricks and Ross -- SONGS THAT MADE THE PHONE LIGHT UP


today's wisdom:

"When you stop drinking, you have to deal with that marvelous personality that started you drinking in the first place."

- Jimmy Breslin