Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Gym, a Memory, & myself go a rambling

Kerouac Street - San Francisco
Inside the gym, sometimes, there is an energy which I cannot explain. It is oppressive. A stifling heat in an already stifled exhaust-spewing desert: my mind. Tonight is one of those sometimes. I am sitting inside the gym, arms pumped from a tedious traverse, watching hordes of climbers come & go, some climbing sloppily, some not, no matter, I fail to find the dance, the poetry I usually find in watching anyone struggle, or climbing fluidly, or & I begin to think of what climbing must have been like before my time, or even, back when I started climbing in the 90's(have I missed out?). Was it always like this? I can't say for sure. I don't remember. Can't remember. My mind has been trained to forget, & even in sobriety, it stays that way. In that sense, the damage has been done: I loose keys which I hold in my hand; forget to lock the door only to return to the house to realize that I had, in-fact, already locked it. Today, the gym sends me into a spit-fire depression that swirls & masticates my energy. I loose myself & walking out to the car wonder if I will find myself yet again, or be lost in plain sight, but I worry that I won't remember to look. I can't find peace. I am on edge, & can't say for sure if it is because I was shut down by The Gateway & am now worrying about my abilities as a climber, or my determination to complete Project 31 or if it is...something else. Something ghosting under the nostrils of my spirit, my being. I start the car, & breathe deeply, trying to smell whatever it may be, but all I can smell is the tangible odor of confusion. It is choking thick. Pungent & sour. My body constricts over a craving for Whisky. I sigh heavily, lite a cigarette & begin my drive home in a starry eyed, pensive daze...

Albert C. is a 19 year old musician, who just so happens to be a Junky. He is from Las Vegas, Altho he looks as if he should probably be from Beverly Hills. He has long, raven hair, a cherub face, & the most perfect teeth I have ever seen. He dresses like a Kurt Cobain applicant, which surprises me. Never have I met someone of his age that was such a fan of Cobain. Different generations, different times – to each their own I guess – but at least, I think to myself, I'm sharing a room w/ someone who has taste & intelligence wrapped in a neat little drug packaged mess. Albert C. is funny in the way an annoying pre-teen boy is funny: you can't help but smile at the antics of someone lacking the maturity of whatever age they are supposed to be. Again, to each their own. He & I are lucky. We share the only room in this rehab that has two beds & two beds only, the rest boasting up to 8 & 9 bunks, stacked like dead fish. But that is exactly what we are, Dead fish. 
Lewis - Pre-rehab

At the moment Albert C. is complaining about something but I can't say about what for sure, I'm not listening. I met Albert C. up in the withdrawal cabin where I spent the entire 4 or 5 days sitting out on the porch smoking cigarette after cigarette, arguing w/ the staff about this or that. Anything I could think of, really. Their philosophy was off, it really was, so I did them a favor by pointing it out, but they weren't listening. To each their own. Out of boredom, when Albert C. would come out & sit on the porch, I would ask him questions. He was quite open for a junky kid from a shitty town, so I began supplying him w/ cigarettes so I had someone to smoke w/. But this act of charity, I assure you, is pure selfishness. I needed something. Someone, lest I go raving mad. “Are you listening?” Albert C. Asks. I raise my head from off the pillow, tilt my head in his direction & say, yes, I heard every word you said. I put my head back deep into my pillow, it is late, & some sleep I desperately want to get. “And?” He says, sitting up in his own bed. What did you say again? Sorry, I forget easily, I tell him, my voice muffled by my pillow...

As I enter the freeway, wanting to get home as quickly as possible, I am remembering the way my room in rehab smelled that night, Albert C.'s voice as he asked if I felt as if I've failed at everything in life, how he thought he had & he wanted to know if he was the only one that felt this way. I am remembering how he looked when he smiled out of anger because he knew I had heard him yet told him otherwise & eventually feigned sleep to exorcise myself of that particular conversation, or how he would say, rather simply, “you are such an asshole, it's awesome!” It's hard for me to remember , but easy for me to relive many different lives, to conjure a feeling felt days, or weeks, or years ago; I can succumb to memory's laundry list of emotions as if they are occurring for the very first time. Confusion. Anger. Embarrassment. Disappointment. These all consume me every day. A fist to the sky consumption that burns me wildly into a frenzy of displacement...

I pull into my driveway & place the Buddha Beast in park, & sit there for just a minute. Staring. If I so easily forget that which spurs my spirit on & up, yet remember that which drags it into the murky depths, I have lost already.

Lewis - Contemplating the Gateway .12a
I tell myself all this occurs because I didn't send The Gateway, & disappointment has settled in. This is partially true, but inherently false, an excuse. It occurs from the false pretense we have about failure. It occurs when I find myself thirsting for the juice that stirs weakness w/in me. It occurs because of guilt & karmic debt yet paid. I should have told Albert C. the Truth. That yes, for 30 years I have failed. Perhaps it would have eased him, if just for a night, to know I knew exactly how he felt. each their own, I guess. . I get out of my vehicle, take a breath & go inside, thinking, at least I failed trying...this time.

“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.” - Marilyn Vos Servant.

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