Sunday, August 21, 2022


You can never get enough of something that almost works.

Grateful never relapses.

The argument you win is the one you don't have.

The truth you tell us equal to the help you'll receive.

You can't save your ass and your face at the same time.

Stay where your feet are.

Right now it's like this.

You are what you answer to. 

Whatever you put ahead of your spiritual program will be the first thing you'll lose when you get high.

Recovery is following through on your commitment when nobody is watching.

What you let consume your mind is your higher power.

Nobody can make me feel anything.

Freedom is forgiveness. What you don't forgive, you become.

Karma does it's job better than I do.

If you have to keep it secret, don't do it.

Love is cunning, baffling, cunning and expensive.

Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

The willow is stronger than the oak.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

What other people think

  I was 43 waking up near the end of June in Palm Springs. A town almost as embarrassed to exist as I had become. The day before I spent 4 hours driving in shitty traffic for 4 hours to arrive with limited time to visit the girl who had become my stubborn last stand to try and pretend to still feel correct about an idea which had become increasingly bad over the previous two years to everyone's direct observation who had ever cared for me. After two sweaty nervous attempts to get up to her hospital room I received my first direct clue to reverse course when the shitty candy striper asked me if there was already someone visiting her at the moment. I politely told her I doubted it, which I did, but I didn't know, which I didn't. With a smile I affixed the required hospital regalia to be allowed to advance to the elevator and finally got see my love for the first time in 4 days after watching her yet again be taken away on a stretcher due to complications from overdosing on the dark vacuum drug that has swallowed most of my life to this point. Yes somehow I was still hiding in the back rows of the funeral slideshow for the love and life with her I traded in like so many other amazing opportunities for the dark half digested dream candy of banal safety smelling of vinegar and loss.

Sorry to wax rhapsodic. This is a story of real shame and depravity, not some poetic attempt at making myself sound like something besides the cowardly loser that I have amounted to at this age. Over the hill. Not quite. I nearly avoided the hill and took the lonely way around. So afraid of looking like the loser I chose to walk blocks around the life I had in store. Except today was one of those days I had the rude Awakening that I hadn't been able to avoid the shame and humiliation as well as I thought I had. After pushing the button the elevator I turned to see her mother Nancy staring back at me with contempt and disbelief that I might actually show my face here at the consequences stage. The things Katie shares with her mom are unmistakable but sparse and peppered between very different styles of communication, expression and manipulation. They are both almost constantly in control of the room while appearing to just be agreeable and along for the ride. But while Nancy presents this almost childlike inquisitive kindness, Katie is introverted and withdrawn. It's almost impossible for me to observe her in her natural state or habitat anymore because she never wants to be anywhere with me where there might be new people to use. When I met her, I remember instantly feeling the instinct to protect her. I think that is her go-to tractor beam to pull in her tools with all their testosterone and self esteem still intact. Lucky bastards. For me, however, that sweet, shaken but not stirred vision of warmth has turned into a sulky, arrogant high school girl. Objecting to everything and as self assured as a condensed volume of Nietzsche. Anyway, I'm standing under the humming ,no buzzing bluish light that I can actually see strobing because my brain is that unnecessarily tuned up after the 60 mile 4 1/2 hour drive from skid row straight to the ICU at Riversudden Death Community Hospital. What I'm trying to convey is that it was already an unfortunate condition to be in while arriving 4 days late to see my girl in the hospital. The guilt trained behind me and parted the room like a rich blonde girl from Laguna's wedding dress. Or so I imagine. (Not something I'm ever likely to see first hand.) I turn around to the sound of my name being spoken halfway between question and disbelief. I turn around and run into those disappointed eyes at 60mph. My ears were ringing and I was aware that my eyes were vibrating too much to try and maintain eye contact with anyone. But not only was Nancy there letting me know she was there and I didn't need to be, but Lance was there to make sure I was aware nobody wanted me in the hospital or Katie's life at all. And if Katie thought she did, or said so, it was only because of how sick she was. I only served as a tool she could use to self-destruct, and she would never be crazy enough to want me anywhere near her when she was sober. Lance has been making that point to me for years now, and this was my first time defending myself over any medium other than text message. My best point was the obvious. if only to me, point that Katie is 40 years old, and seemingly capable of making her own decisions. I asked that maybe they let her have a say in whether or not she wanted me near her or not. Especially since she had been telling me she wanted me with her for the previous 3 weeks or so at least. Granted she clearly hadn't always wanted me around her. And that's a point that echoes with more and more volume and intensity each day since this stand-off. But even with Nancy asking me to leave, and Lance telling me what a piece of garbage I was, and telling me I better leave or else... I told them both the truth. If I could stop loving Katie and just walk away from her for reasons of logic, I would have already. But when she asked me to be there for her, nothing short of handcuffs was going to stop me. I guess it felt a little good to tell them that I was her boyfriend and that I wasn't going anywhere unless she asked me to herself... the feelings that followed after they left were pretty vast and empty. I have never known loneliness like this. To be told I was nothing but a part of the disease killing the girl I love, and to be left afterwards with nobody to talk to accept family members who were disgusted with me for doing nothing productive for myself or my family but throwing everything I had into a relationship with a girl who only even acknowledged my existence between guys she liked more than me, and when she needed free drugs. It is a pretty lonely place to be coming down from drugs, facing the dim reality I've been trying so hard to avoid for so long, and having nothing to distract myself with any longer. If I had Katie to talk to, I could let go of all that hurt so long as she was being partly loving. But instead, I have all that rejection, all those questions about my inadequacy, plus the fear that She isn't going to be ok and that maybe I really am the source of all the pain and destruction in her life. That is the very last thing on earth I ever wanted to be. All I really wanted was to make her life better. I know for sure I failed at that, even if nothing else was my fault.

When I got up to her room, I was able to run my fingers through her hair, to tell her how much I loved her, and to hear her say that she wanted me there and ask me to please not leave her alone in riverside. But I also saw that she was no better than she'd been 4 days before. She was in pain, and clearly worried about bigger things than our love life. I was able to get some perspective when I felt how shaky and warm she was. But she did say she needed me. She did ask me to stay near to her. That might have been the best I've felt since any of this happened.
In the days since, she has gotten worse. And I've had less and less access to her. Her mom has been great about keeping me in the loop, but today she asked me to give her Katie's bags. I told her I could drive them back to Eagle so she didn't have to ship them, and I got a polite no thank you. I then asked if she thought I'd be able to see Katie again, and she didn't respond. Katie has her phone. If she wanted to deal with or hear me enough, she could pick it up. She's fighting for her life, and she isn't getting any help from me. I'm starting to think that Nancy is really giving me the best advice there is. I'm not going to do her any good just sitting here in Riverside going crazy and worrying about her. It might be time to let Katie have the freedom from me she's been seeking this whole time. Maybe it gives her the best chances for survival and happiness if I disappear like Lance suggests. I can always show up for her if she asks for me, and I can do it with some actual heart left if I try and find myself and my own worth outside of her validation. Maybe if I walk away and find my manhood again, there is some chance she can find me attractive again someday if we ever cross paths again. Who knows? But what seems more and more true the more time that goes by is that doing anything else is just going to be more of the same despair, loss, and rejection all the way down. It's been a steady trajectory here for the last year. And I never thought I'd let it get this far. I need her to make it. I need her to live and to thrive and to learn from this. I think maybe I have to disappear for there to be any chance of that happening. I was getting her things ready to bring to her mom and some new troubling concerns came to my awareness. Nothing pointing in any different direction though. All signs point to the same place I’ve been trying not to head toward for over a year now.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Breath work

This was possibly the most significant thing I’ve ever done for myself and I had no expectations. Well, that might not be true. I had probably more negative expectations than neutral. I cannot overstate the intensity, and the familiarity of this experience. It is somehow related to both DMT hallucinations, dreams, and a few daydreams or visions I’ve had during periods of meditation and hypnosis, but I felt so much more present and conscious and sober. Through my breath, some subtle guidance, and an intention I met myself. I then fell in love with myself. The self, fell in love with me, and entered me. We talked, and then laughed and cried, and decided to do some work together.
I am here, clearly, to protect and love other people. The way I usually do that is to try and help them in some way. But I have always neglected myself. And everyone sees this, and I know this. But I didn’t really even believe in myself. And that is somehow so much more meaningful and literal than it sounds. I was starting to get into the experience and kind of normal emotions and seeing myself as a youngster, and the usual inner child stuff that always gets to me… Then I started visualizing other times of my life and seeing myself at different ages and times. And in different situations. And then I got to now. And I was lying there staring forward with my eyes closed at a mirror image of myself…. Maybe a little younger…. But perfect. Like I am. Perfectly flawed and rad. And I started crying as he investigated me. He saw all my shit, all my lies, and my fuckups and my trauma and my sins. And my veins, convictions, and perversions.
But all I could see was his power, and his wisdom, and his intelligence… and his gigantic fucking heart. I told him I loved him when he was starting to really look into me to a degree that was almost uncomfortable… and when I did it, it wasn’t really except I thought I was supposed to. And he like opened his eyes again and said, “HOW” with his god voice. And I instantly knew what he meant. I started shaking my head no and squirming about… and I screamed loud and started bawling hard. And then I could feel that heat open me. It spread me open by the soul…. And he came into me. He entered my body with his body fully, and there was this full couple of minutes of like resonance, and adjustment. He told me he loved me with my own lips, and he filled in every gap I have with his love. And when I kept laughing with him about how silly I’ve been to try and help all these people when I wasn’t even complete myself. And I cried with him about when I began to believe we were different and separate.
I could feel him read me and breathe into me and feel me feeling him. And I could feel the darkness go. The density increased in my body and my heart. And then I saw the blue fairy… or maybe thought of her. And the Pinocchio fixation totally made sense with an event from my childhood with such obvious clarity that I laughed again. And I could no longer see anything that wasn’t there, but my minds eye was very clear and my imagination and ability to conjure images in the mind was turned up… I pulled the mask from my eyes, but kept them closed and saw the light of the room.
I said I love you. I heard I love you when it came from my mouth. And I realized I couldn’t stop with the deep breaths. It made me laugh. I giggled my way back all the way into reality. And when I stood up I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I realized all of the last two weeks was about this… and All of my life really had led me to this place. In Hollywood, with these people in my life. I felt like Dorothy waking after the tornado. I was washing gratitude all over the room and over the trip here, and the experiences that preceded it. For a moment I wished Katie could have come here, and thought how much she could benefit from it… but then realized that I really didn’t know when this streak of things coming together so obviously to help me or show me the way began…. I had to consider that maybe things happened the way they did for a very particular reason. I haven’t seen Katie for two months. I am no longer bound to her by commitment. I am no longer putting her first in my life. I am putting myself first. And I do love myself. I do love the qualities I have. I love the me who joined me especially today. The qualities he has, have been with him since birth. And maybe because they caused some pain, or because the rest of me blamed him for that pain, somehow in my later childhood I pulled him from me and disowned him. Or I suffocated him behind lies I tried to become. But he is strong, and I need him so bad. And he is who I really am as well as all these scars and lessons on my skin and my mind. He is who I am. He looks at me from the mirror and sees all the way to the gold inside. He is still here. We are finding our strengths and how to share our work.
My creator made me out of love. And by the virtue of his love, and the grace of hope and gratitude, my strings were unnecessary. Some magic visited me as a child and presented me with work to do. I was granted certain gifts and certain challenges. I had to learn to have hope, and perseverance. I had to learn to experience the world, and all the intense pain and feelings that being human provides. I had to learn how to discern the true from the false. I had to become brave. I had to be truthful. I had to be unselfish. And if I could learn to love first by learning my truth and loving myself…. I finally became a real boy. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Growing Older

My grandmother is in town. Ramona. She is 85. The first thing we did when we found out she was coming to town was run down to Albertson's and buy a case of Coca-Cola. Ramona is a diabetic who has had two bypass surgeries. She is as full of defiance, opinion, and love as I ever remember her. Today she had two demands of me. The first was to stop getting tattoos on my arms, and the second was to get married and start having kids.

It is really hard for me to imagine that I am at an age where anyone would think it a good idea for me to have children. I feel entirely too immature. I am still too young to want to put any boundaries on my life. I am 34 years old. When I spend time around other people who are even my age, they feel old to me. They seem like they are too old to identify with me. And to look at someone who is 85 and imagine that someday I will be dealing with a body that is full of pain and the scars of age is too much to comprehend. I know it is happening already. Life has a funny way of giving you all the clues, but keeping you too busy to know what the storyline is. I suppose it is better that way.

One of the only clues in my life that leads me to the conclusion that I have learned anything during these past 20 years is that I feel gratitude for the people who have graciously consented to share their lives with me. When I was a teenager I had no time or patience to listen to my grandparents and I missed out on a lot of chances to enjoy their company and learn from them. It is frustrating to think of all the pain and disappointment in my life that I could have avoided by following the guidance of more experienced people who loved me enough to tell me what I should be doing. I could have had a lot more fun if I would have stopped pretending I knew everything, shut up, and done the next indicated thing. I guess youth is wasted on the young.

Spending time with two other generations of my family also gives me a great insight into the patterns that form in relationships. I watch my mom and her brother argue over things in a loving way that mean next to nothing. I watch my mom show a level of service to my grandmother that is truly remarkable. That gratitude that I am just now starting to feel aware of is demonstrated in every action that my mother performs in the presense of her mother. When the conversation turns towards my recently passed grandfather I see the deep reverence and respect that we all feel towards a man who sacrificed so much of himself to guide us all into the best things in life. I feel lucky to be a part of this family.

Every year of my life seems to go by a little faster. It seems that in the blink of an eye I will one day be remembering the lessons I learned from these amazing people without the benefit of having them so accessible. I suppose I am fortunate to be aware of this fact while I can still do something about it but the powerlessness and weight of it is difficult sometimes. It is days like today that I would love to freeze time and keep the loved ones I have now forever in my life. I would love nothing more than to spend as much time with these people as they could stand just so that I can learn everthing I can from them and show them how very important they are to me. I can only hope that in the limited time I really do have that I can convey that love and respect to them. Sometimes I really doubt I do a very good job at that. I suppose I can start trying harder now.

It doesn't have to be true that we never realize what we have before it is gone. It doesn't have to be that we never are able to show the people who comprise our family how much we love them. But it can't be done while worrying about the things that so commonly trap us into doubt, self pity, and fear. We can live our lives in the present moment and serve those around us in such a way that makes the wold a better place. I believe this. I just have to figure out how to do it.

Maybe it is growing older that teaches us how to do things right. Maybe it is the humility that comes with the the loss of youth that causes us to be better human beings. That would seem to be the case with my family anyway.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Isn’t it interesting that human beings feel so self important as a species that we feel the need to create some kind of justification for our natural instincts? Teachers and politicians would have you believe that some wise man came up with the idea of cooperation between individuals to form a society. But does that mean that ants have some philosophy of implied consent to form the structure of their civilization? Are all these books and professionals in the field of law merely acting out a pantomime of evolutionary necessity?

I am currently a member of a Grand Jury and looking back at the history of the institution and the other covenants of the Magna Carta, I have a definite gut feeling that without these necessary parts of our system of law, we would fall apart as a civilization. But I also get the feeling that we don't have a choice. We either work together as a society, or we perish. The question is whether we follow the instinct of survival or we selfishly smother ourselves in greed, avarice, and pride. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Thirty-three years old. This adulthood thing still doesn’t make all that much sense to me, but it isn’t so bad. It seems as though the past couple of years I have just been sort of floating downstream and watching the sun peek through the cottonwoods overhead. It’s easy so long as I remember to relax and keep breathing.
This past year has been unlike any that has come before. I have made a partner, and I am slowly learning how to live my life in conjunction with someone else. At first it was a little strange, and vestiges of my isolated mindset kept trying to get me back to solitude, but this new lifestyle is slowly becoming comfortable and the love I have for my girl has eclipsed my selfish motivations for the most part. It is strange to learn how to open my life to someone after a decade of pushing everyone away. She really does make me want to be a better person; not to change who I am, but to improve who I am.
Life is funny. My adolescence was so full of pride and contempt that I thought it would never leave me. I thought I was destined to walk through life fighting everyone and everything that pushed me in any direction but the one I was headed in. I pounded my fists against the wall only to turn around one day to find that nobody was watching anymore. At some point, I opened my eyes and found that I had surrendered, and in doing so I had been lifted by a current that continues to carry me into experiences more amazing and comforting than my best childhood daydreams. I like where my life is carrying me.
I am not the best at anything, and my ignorance leaves a lot of room for me to grow. I am grateful for that. My expectations and entitlements were dropped with my pain. I feel as though I am past my expiration date, but nobody has noticed yet, and I continue to thrive. Each day is a day I am not owed. Each experience is a measure of grace. I did nothing to deserve this life, or all of the splendid people in it, but that won’t stop me from soaking up every last drop of love in this world that I can find.
I want to thank you. I want to thank this world for everything that you have taught and given me. Someday this body will shrivel and fall, but this life will always be, and it will always be amazing. 

Monday, November 15, 2010


This collection of days, and this scratched up mind of mine, often seem incompatible with the present moment.
In this flat light it is hard to tell where I stand.
I walk past a building, or a space that holds some ghost of an emotion, and it seems like I am still there, hanging in the past.
A face conjures up some draft of an idea that I am unable to reconcile with the current circumstances.
I was so broken… so utterly irredeemable, and yet here I am; all shiny and new. I wear matching clothes and I pretend not to know how transparent my mask has become.
Everything is on the surface, so that it blends in with the passing of the seasons. I wear the loss of alternatives just like a bad tattoo.
But everyone seems to have tattoos these days.