It's been three years as of last Friday.
Unlike last year, or the year before, I don't have anything uplifting to say. I'm just not feeling it.
I'm not struggling, I don't think. I don't really have any compulsions, no monkeys on my back, other than maybe ice cream. But neither am I on some damn pink cloud any more either.
For a while I'd been kicking around the notion that maybe someday I could go back out. Just be more careful. Drink like a normie. That whole idea changed a few months ago when I was out with Maitri at some pub in the Quarter. I bought a round of drinks, and her Guinness spilled onto my can of Rockstar and down my hand, and without thinking I licked all the Guinness foam off of where it spilled.
It shot straight up into my brain and down my spine into all my nerve endings. It was electric. Almost orgasmic.
Alcohol. Wow. I'd pretty much forgotten. I'd reduced it to a distant memory, a sort of academic curiosity about myself, like my shrimp allergy. It was just something I'm not supposed to have. And it all came rushing back.
I liked that one little lick waaaaay too much.
I've been wrestling with my place in society lately. It's changed so much in the last three years, and even more since I moved. I used to be the guy that organized the pub runs, the Bigfoot beer schnocks, the Sunday afternoon darts and pints. And when I quit, I stopped calling people, and they stopped calling me. I know how it goes, I used to be the same way. You don't know whether to call up the recovering drunk and invite him out when you're gonna be drinking, in case it might somehow be rude. And so vast stretches of my social life just kind of slowly faded away.
And now we're in a new city. A city where everything revolves around booze, and where a guy who is visibly not a drinker just kind of doesn't quite fit a lot of the time. And I am the stay-at-home dad, and I have a high-pressure job, and so vast stretches of my social life just seem barely out of reach. I can see them, but I can't get to them.
Sometimes the only things that remind me what city I'm in are my lunches, and my gutting days. Which is why I'm so passionate about the gutting, and why I'm gaining weight. Another kind of gutting.
I had a majorly frustrating weekend, and I tried to finally clear my head of the crud last night by taking the Triumph out. Which led to more frustration, since the motorcycle is both 1. infrequently ridden, and 2. British, so it was a bitch to start.
I headed out to a meeting, to a place I'd never been, thinking to maybe pick up my three year chip. Turns out it was a speaker meeting, at a halfway house, and they don't do chips on speaker nights but I wasn't really feeling the love anyway. Halfway-house and rehab meetings are like that. Sometimes they can give you perspective, but sometimes they give you too goddamn much...perspective.
Afterwards I took the bike and decided to wander vaguely in the direction of Angelo Brocato's.
I was on the freeway, going way faster than I've gone on a motorcycle in at least a year, feeling the wind going up my sleeves and ballooning out my jacket, feeling my hands pulling away from the handlebars. I felt like letting go. I felt like something in the universe wanted me to let go, just to see what would happen. Do you ever get that feeling when you're looking over the edge of a great height, and you have to resist the urge to just step off the edge? I get that feeling all the time. I always have. It just fascinates me that it only takes one second of courage, or stupidity, to step off, and then you're committed and you can never take that step back.
The bike was like that. I could just let go, and maybe I would float backwards while the bike raced on ahead. Or maybe something else would happen.
Part of me wanted to find out. But more of me really really wanted a cannoli.
Maybe the Guinness was like that too. Maybe that one step is just a pint, and maybe nothing happens. Or maybe I die.
Maybe shrimp is the same way.
Angelo Brocato's was closed.
I headed back Uptown to the Creole Creamery. Thinking that it's dark, half the streetlights on St. Charles still don't work, I could hit a pothole and that would be the end of me. And I tried to remember what my last blog post was, and would it be a fitting last post. And I wondered what happens to somebody's blog when they die a premature death. Does somebody pull the plug? Or does it stay up for weeks or months while total strangers pick through the archives finding every mundane post suddenly fraught with meaning and foreshadowing? I remember thinking about this last summer when Hiromi was having her dark days. What happens to her blog? Would Karl and I, her blog maintenance man and her blog gardener, respectively, know what right thing to do if she were to leave us?
Creole Creamery was open. Chocolate malt chip is very good. I called somebody. They teach you rule number one before they even teach you the steps. Call somebody. Somebody who gets it. I know people who get it. I know people with only months under their belt who sometimes get it better than I do.
I'm OK today.