Tuesday, March 20, 2012

4 days & reckoning

Lewis - Pre-Rehab, smokin' & drinkin' up the night
I awoke last night in a sweat. Covered actually. Cold & trembling, I looked about the room for inconsistencies, something off, but all, of course, was normal. I tried to recall the dream, any dream, but could only come away w/ a sense of falling. Falling off what? I couldn’t say for sure. It couldn’t have been a climb (could it?), for I rarely dream about climbing, & when I do, they are usually glorious, sending dreams. Not like this. Not this one. This one had the consistency of rotten chicken skin, bumped over & grimy; a foreboding plastic of masks floating irreverently in a child’s closet. I got out of bed & stumbled to the bathroom. De JA vu hit me forcefully – god I’ve done this before. This feeling so familiar, so natural, so…awful…

…I stumble to the bathroom disoriented. Sick. Only slightly – in a hushed way- do I know where I am. I know I’m not home. The word ‘Rehab’ materializes in the forefront of my mind. I look about in the dark. I’m in a small cabin type building. To my left, before reaching the bathroom, is a small wood burning stove, crackling wood as fire licks the room warm. Next to that is a sliding glass door, out from which, I can see nothing. It is late, or early – I have no sense of time. On the other side of the room, sitting at a wooden circular table, a man. He looks younger then me. I have never seen this young man before. He stands, eyeing me with what I feel is suspicion. ‘Lewis,’ he says, ‘I’m Josh. How are you feeling?’ It takes me a minute to comprehend his question. I don’t care how I am feeling, & care even less about his concern w/ how I am feeling. I want a Drink. I want a Drink, I say. I don’t look at him, & say nothing more. Walking into the bathroom, I slam the door & take a piss. I am shaking. My skin feels like it is melting by the burn of my hot sweat. I am dizzy. For a minute, I stare tranced, into the toilet, thinking I can dive into it, disappear from this place, drown in a silent echo, atleast I’ll be able to quench this thirst. I come to. The dizziness dissipates, for now, & I walked out of the bathroom. Josh is standing there. Waiting. ‘Anything I can get you?’ He asks. I stare, & stare, &… No, I just want to go to bed. Thinking I might fall, he walks over to me & slings his hands around the bottom of my arm. I shrug him off, & slowly return the way I came, guessing the direct route. I walk into a small room, emanating sounds of sleeping bodies coupled w/ smells of unwell men -–vomit, stained urine, the ubiquitous odor of sickness. Stacked & packed, bunk beds, all full, judging by the shadow outlines of large lumps underneath thin blankets. It’s cold. All I want now is to get warm, to stop shivering. I collapse on a bottom bunk, the only empty one I can see in the dark, & quickly fall into the thin space between waking & sleeping...
Lewis - Pre-Rehab, Considering potential moves in every sense

…I shut the lights off in the bathroom & get back into bed w/ Haggle. My sweating has stopped, the nightmarish feeling gone. I lay there in the dark. Her breathing, rhythmic. It calms me & I start to get sleepy & begin to doze off. My thoughts are fleeting & are about dreams & their meaning. A conclusion I cannot come to. But realize it doesn’t matter. That dreams are a sure-fire way of keeping me on my toes, a way to remember. Some say that history repeats itself. I say history doesn’t repeat itself because history never stops. It is always w/ you. & should be. Remembrance is the lance that pierces your every action. W/out it, you are walking dead.
Lewis - Pre-Rehab, working on his Story

W/ 4 days until my next climb, I remember where I was & where I am headed. There is no yesterday, no tomorrow, just now. Today. W/ this, I fall asleep, thinking of Half Acre, which, yes, is 4 days from today, but exists for me now, the way Rehab exists for me now, & always will. There is moving on, & then there is forgetting. To forget is to deny that which you are, ensuring the repeat of a history that is no history at all, but rather a story: your story…my story.

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