This is my shadow.
A life a few feet behind me.
That shirt. God, I thought I tossed it.
This smell..brings me back to here.
When it was then.
I sat at this very table processing, organizing, dreaming, concocting.
He sat catching a show on the tube.
I would go to sleep full of dreams and plans and, well, darkness.
How can you build on unsteady ground?
This work is hard and real and very necessary.
These pants. I hope they fit.
Do I still want the books, the socks, the dusty makeup?
Maybe not the makeup.
The muffled city outside taps on my window.
Tomorrow, lovely one. Tomorrow.
My little treetop of goodness.
How it fills my soul.
Silence. No dog. No schedule. No errands.
Not yet. Just. Me.
Hard work happens on an exhaustive plane home,
Unpacking and sifting and embracing my fragile heart.
Eyes like thick drops of oil.
Body like a sleepy kitten. Make that an older cat.
Mind swimming uphill with zest, or maybe desperation.
Tomorrow, lovely one. Tomorrow.
Name: Nick from San Francisco
Occupation: student of hair
Tattoos on his face
Why the lapse in time? I relapsed, went back to rehab. Yeah, I’m 1.5 years sober, third time now. Did you know 3% who leave rehab go back to using, and only 1% kick it after 5 years? Yeah, it’s no joke. Opioids are the real thing.
I mean. When you’re on it. It’s like you’re being hugged by God. The feeling. I mean, I can’t explain it. But here’s the thing: the first few times, you get that God-hugging feeling, but then, for all the other times, you’re trying to feel normal. You’re doing what it takes to avoid the detox feeling. And that feeling, is like death, 10x. It’s the worst kinda flu that just doesn’t go away. I mean, it does after 3 weeks but that feels like an eternity. We all dread it so we keep using. It’s living in hell on a hamster wheel.
You know, I think that’s what happened to Michael J and Prince and even that actor guy, Phillip Hoffman. They detoxed, they tried to kick the game, they went back to the same dose they were taking before — bang, bang — it tips them over the edge. Heroin makes you sleep, so they went to sleep.
I know so many people who’ve died in my life. Oh man. My girl, her boyfriend – I mean, they never really broken up cuz he died – his death rocked her. And she was a user, that’s how we met. She was in a rehab in Milwaukee and then transferred to the San Francisco one and yeah, that’s how we met. She’s one month ahead of me but she’s really miles beyond me. I think it’s the combination of having a rock like her, and purpose. That keeps me outta trouble.
Don’t think my parents are whack. The two of them are the only sober ones out of a family of users. We have a good relationship. We talk every day. You gotta understand, opioids they’re non-discriminative. It’ll swallow anyone who wants to dance. Anyone. You too. [he shyly laughs]
Dear Lil’ One,
Oh mighty one
Survival is an interesting thing.
Living from a fight or flight perspective is daunting and exhausting.
I know you know this.
And yet, here we are yet again, sitting opposite each other.
It’s the waiting game.
Who’ll quit first.
I want you to know
I come with peace in my heart
A white flag in my hand
Hoping we can come to some agreement.
Hoping you’ll be open to some space
A lil’ room for a shift in perspective
See what kind of information that tells us.
The truth is,
What we’ve been doing hasn’t been working.
I know you feel this.
We are spinning plates.
How about a new journey
A new path
No map, besides our instincts and love
Not fear, not competition, not stupid pride
Nothin’ but us.
There is space for you.
There is love for you.
There is possibility beyond this.
Every day has its dawn,
Its soft and silent eve,
Its noontide hours of bliss and bale; —
Why should we grieve?
Why do we heap huge mounds of years
Before us and behind,
And scorn the little days that pass
Like angels on the wind?
Each, turning round a small, sweet face
As beautiful as near,
Because it is so small a face
We will not see it clear.
We will not clasp it as it flies,
And kiss its lips and brow:
We will not bathe our wearied souls
In its delicious Now.
And so it turns from us, and goes
Away in sad disdain;
Though we could give our lives for it,
It never comes again.
Yet, every day has its dawn,
It’s noontide and its eve:
Live while we live, giving God thanks—
He will not let us grieve.
FADE IN: Two women, one smokes.
A: I was in a Uber car, well, really Lyft but you get what I mean. The driver, Jamal, asked me what I do. I said nothing. No really, I said, “Nothing,” all nonchalant and shit. He took a second to understand, much like me, really, I mean who says that?
I said nothing. Ugh. What kind of despicable human, am I?
A week later, I’m at this yoga retreat and someone asked me again. I was just about to answer Nothing, when I stopped myself and took a sip of my organic hot apple cider, and pretended I didn’t hear them. Or maybe I pretended to react like I was still thinking about what we just talked about. I looked stupid, is all. Well, if I’m not sure what your intentions are I’m going to blow you off.
[beat, she smokes]
Why do I do that? I know damn well who I am. Why is it hard to say it, “Who me? Oh, sure, I’m an Artist, with a capital A.” Or, “What do I do? I do greatness. I am greatness.”
[she laughs, and smokes]
You know, Mohammed Ali would say that, “Who me? I’m the greatest.” So why can’t I?
B: You can.
Continue reading “dip your toe”
In 1923, Babe Ruth broke the record for most home runs in a season. That same year, he also broke the record for highest batting average.
However, there is a third record he broke that year that many people don’t know about—Babe Ruth struck out more than any other player in baseball.
Most people want to hit home runs, but they are afraid to strike out. As Babe Ruth demonstrated, you can’t have one without the other.
If we plan to swing for the fences, we have to be okay with the high probability of failure.
Writing from the car
Sun is shining the weather is sweet (queue music)
I am parked among the wealthy, the exuberant, the luxurious.
Why does this always feel so foreign to me?
Oh, that’s a bigger question for another cocktail.
I have a few minutes, and the only thing I want to do is – touch
Hand to heart
Close my eyes, and
Anchor into me.
Can materialistic overwhelm disconnect you from you?
They say it’s true.
I say that it does.
I find myself unchained and segregated, searching for my anchor.
Physical proof of value and entitlement
The statues, the sprawling greenery, the dream of…
The world loves this shit and I am torn and yet curious by it
Why isn’t it easy?
I look at my basic car
My simple keyboard that connects to my, yes, luxurious phone
I look at my leather bag, authentic jewelry, Nike shoes, American citizenship, and on.
When you look at me, my life is not far off from that.
The abundance I take for granted
I toss to the side as I look for the next