and I rejoice

The San Francisco heat wave, our yearly week of Summer, finally breaks & I quietly rejoice. I am not made for hot weather – or at least hot weather where there isn’t a clean ocean or river or lake or large puddle to go swimming or stomping in.

September is knocking on the door of October, and if I had to choose a favorite, I think October would be it. I remember the way some of the places I have lived changed their color, the reds & oranges & hints of stubborn green flooding the air & ground as if the world was on fire, sacrificing itself in some sacred way to become the stark, haunting & beautiful bare branches of Winter.

The energy of Change is in the air. It finds its way into my blood – and my memory.

Twelve years & four days ago I decided to follow my dreams, whatever they were & whatever it took. Shortly after I was working with The Dresden Dolls & my life changed forever.

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It was on this day that my beloved Bean was hit by a train in Austin & killed, a few hours and eleven years ago.

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Ten years less a week ago I received an email from Mike asking if I was interested in becoming a permanent part of the Vau De Vire family.

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Six years & eight days ago I first stepped into the hospice, walking in easily enough but rapidly dying one week later as my body began to shut down.

Five years & a month ago I did what the doctors thought impossible, and walked out alive.

Four years & a month ago I talked with my Birth Mother for the first time in my life.

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Nov. 23, 2013

Two years & a week ago I first spoke to my Birth Father, who until shortly before that had no idea I existed.

And now I feel the story of this man should – will – change again. I’ve already begun to kick a nine-year morphine addiction & plan to have that entirely behind me in less than a week… yet I feel that is far from enough. I want more. Monumental change. I thrive on the shit. It’s my lifeblood, my constant need. When life gets too comfortable, too predictable, I have a bad habit of stepping into a dangerous dance to bring back, to summon life’s music – and far too much is dangerous these days.

The dreams I still have, but the energy to reach for them is as scarred as my liver. I will keep moving forward, doing my best to rip through the barriers, the walls both inside & out. Both physical & mental.
The failed Kickstarter shook me. It hit hard and I fell.
It’s time to rise again. Dust myself off and move on.
I will keep moving forward.
I will live to make my dreams come true.

I see the sun shining outside, feel the sharp chill of the breeze that cuts through my window. Today will be cooler…

and I rejoice.

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maybe

Yeah, I changed the theme again. It’s not in your head. Bear with me. I’m anal.

I don’t want to hope just yet, but as the nine years of incessant morphine begins to leave my system, my mind, my body through poisoned, oily, impolite sweat – when I take it to the edge of what I can bear and a little bit more before I let myself seek the help of a pill just a few steps away so I can just fucking SLEEP without the convulsions… as the happypills, the Stepford Wives pills, the ignorance and placidity drain from my system…

I think, I hope, my words are coming back. My writing, my unquestionable NEED to get my mind out of me and down on anything I can grab (I am NEVER without a pen) and get all the shit inside of me outside because when it has beeen written only then I can release…

maybe that is coming again. Maybe I am writing again not out of honor or devotion, but out of NEED because without it I cannot survive – and maybe the words are coming back.

And maybe, we’re all in for one hell of a ride.

A fools wanderings

So now I sit on my wee couch – typically called a loveseat but it’s been years since I’ve been in love, far too long, and then, sitting with her on this it was glorious- but that time has passed  so now it’s just a wee couch. Or a wide chair. Anyway, it’s, as usual, just me on it.

But that has nothing to do with this story.

This does:

Not feeling as horrible as I thought I would, I decided to go to Oakland – aaaaall the way to Oakland to a yearly event a friend creates called ‘Baconfest’. It’s exactly as it sounds. Baconfest.
Nearly all those who come – those who have a kitchen & money at least – bring a bacon-focused dish, drink – or disaster. From bacon-wrapped, chocolate lined shot glasses – to bacon wrapped deep fried Twinkies, and EVERYTHING in between – and beyond. If you like bacon, it’s the place to be, and usually a couple hundred people show up through the night. Though I don’t hold bacon in the cult-food status that many of my friends the people I know do, I like the stuff. In small quantities these days as the sodium just begs for swelling, and I’m much more along the lines of “Fuck that swelling shit”.

But the event existed, and I figured it would be good to get on the other side of my apartment door for a welcome change.
I took a shower, washing of the poison stench that seeps through skin during withdrawal, saved, and hells – I even washed my hair, which is rare indeed. I didn’t do it for them, but – it needed it. It really did. The dirt wasn’t working as a styling substance anymore, and it was time for a fresh coat. Now, my hair is all purty and in my fucking face.

Put on my new birthday pants, my new hernia girdle that I just got today, a gift from a friend (it’s even BLACK!) and after a bit more primping, a few more herbs and a quick walk with The RuBeast, headed down to the BART station. On my way down Hyde I passed the usual bullshit, told the usual drug dealers to go fuck themselves when they asked what I wanted, and then came across something new!

Somewhere around the cross of Turk St I think, a rare sight –  burned out motorhome, very simalar to one I used to live in. I asked the cop what happened, and either for drama or in amazing ignorance and way too much Breaking Bad, he said “probably a meth lab.

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Not a damn chance. Burned in front, and hell – just the fact that it was still there and not a twisted frame on wheels said different. If it were a meth lab, it would have gone BOOM, and taken out a lot of everything around it. Knowing where the kitchen is in that model… it was just a stupid mistake, either in jimmied wiring or a kitchen fire that couldn’t be controlled. Mr. Cop man was nice, but – dumb, at least regarding this. I try to hold onto the belief that not all cops are bad – but it’s getting much more difficult. Much more.

TO BART, paid my fare, got on the train and headed to the OaklandBootyVilleBaconFest.

I got off at the infamous Fruitvale station, and on a whim decided to call and see if anyone was there that could save me the mile walk – who knows, I thought – it might be someone I don’t know and should, if anyone will. And it would save me a mile walk & time.

I called Otto, the King Shit of Baconfest, and asked him – after a couple minutes of talking we both realized that when I entered it into my calendar I put this event on the wrong date, and never bothered to notice since.

It’s not tonight. It’s on October 8th.

HOW I screwed up is just simply not paying enough attention, and believing what my calendar said. I AM KING FOOL.

But hell – at least I got out of the apartment, right? It cost me $8 on a crazy tight budget to o to Oakland & turn around, but on the positive side – at least I decided to call and didn’t walk to MOxy to find out then.

So now I sit at “home” again, not feeling great but not feeling like shit. Because I was weak. A couple nights ago, when the oil-thick sweat began, when my muscles started convulsing, twitching like a slow motion epileptic fit – that’s when I decide to severely taper instead of going from morphine fog-high to teeth gnashing rip your face off, and every few days I take a small dose – as I figure out the proper doses for me using Kratom to help it. So far, I can say that Kratom is holy-crap amazing, and know it will help me through this immensely.

But fuck – I need to get out of this apartment. I only had a taste tonight – but it was good.
 

 

 

Through the Brambles

As the clocked clicked on, 12 hours, 24 and further and ticking up to the door of 36 hours, I thought that somehow, the herbs I’m taking specifically for easing the withdrawals were doing far more, far better than I had expected them to – that I ever *dreamed* they could do.

I began to feel only the most minor of miseries after the 24 hour mark – energy draining, my mood faltering and becoming less optimistic and focus slowly starting to disintegrate. I felt some of the pain in my calves reminding me that it’s still there, and in a strange way I found comfort in that; here was something I knew.

But where was the rest?

Then, 32 hours after my last dose & after watching downloaded movies to the point where I couldn’t tolerate it anymore, I laid down in bed, propped my back slightly against the pillows & did my best to read more of “Look Homeward, Angel” by Thomas Wolfe. I just finished another book that morning and now desperately needed something to occupy my mind. I was tired, knew I should probably try to sleep, but the signs were coming on stronger then & felt I needed a place for my  thoughts to go and calm down a bit before sleep was even attempted.

Not being able to enjoy reading with a mind that wasn’t really seeing the words as any more than black scratches on paper, I gave in, got out of bed, stood up and did dome minor stretches of my legs, torso & arms, poured more coconut water into my thermos to do my best to stay hydrated. I brushed the dog hair off my feet, gave Rubes a hug and got under the thin top cover above the comforter, making certain that all the pillows were placed perfectly for the best comfort available, which under any other circumstances would have gently carried me away to dreamland within a matter of minutes…

This time, however, I wasn’t so fortunate. This time, I’m paying. a debt, and sleep is only *one* of the things I must give to the collector.

Not three minutes after I breathed the deep & final ‘sigh’ and waited for my mind to drift off into it’s odd ideas & dreams, my right leg twitched violently bringing my knee in the direction of my chest. Not to be outdone, both of my shoulders shot up in a convulsive manner – as if they were tying to say “Hey, don’t look at me – I don’t know what the hell that was”.

I’ve been here before.

I find it humorous, those that post “you can do it!” on my Facebook page. Humorous, but appreciated. They don’t know what I’ve been through already.

They don’t know of the pain that went on for months in the hospice, pain that even the morphine couldn’t touch. They don’t know that I wondered if the pain would ever even cease before I died, or every day would be like this until the end. They have no idea how many times I thought of taking away the pain myself – taking away everything.

I’ve always kept a stash of 500mg or more of morphine, secreted away but close enough so that I didn’t have to get out of bed if I couldn’t.

They don’t know how many times those pills sat in my hand as I stared at their round & oval shapes, trying to justify taking them, trying harder not to.

No, they don’t know any of that because I didn’t tell them. It wasn’t their business, and the last thing I wanted was a bunch of common bullshit attempts to cheer me up. Certainly not then, and most certainly not them… or most of them, at least.

But I digress.

This won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it will end. Like cutting away and climbing through blackberry brambles that have grown over a path, getting torn, flesh getting ripped & stained with blood & juice but persevering, knowing that once I make it through this dark thicket, leaving the parts of body & mind I don’t need anymore draped & dripping on the thorns…

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Once I make it through, I’ll find a clearing of indescribably clear beauty –
And I’ll find me, waiting, and smiling.
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The Fun Begins…soon (Kicking, day 0)

No ceremony, no ritual. Little more than a momentary pause as I looked at the small white pills in my hand this morning, but in that pause I thought of the nine years gone to the past, and the days or weeks of torture & agony immediately coming as I took my last dose of morphine. Ever.

I took the two half-full bottles out of my nightstand drawer, grabbed the near-full “emergency” pill container that I have kept for three years and moved them across the room to be placed somewhere clever later. Out of sight, yes – but I think out of mind isn’t very likely, at least for a few weeks or more.

If I could figure out the technique that always seems to work when I “organize” things so that they’re easier to find, only to end up lost for months when I actually *do* look for them, then that would be perfect – but I don’t think that will work. If I actually *want* to lose something or forget where it is, it seems inevitable that I’ll find it, even in the least likely of places.

I should figure out that backwards science & write a book about how to use & control it. I’d make millions.

It’s a strange feeling, kicking morphine after so long, so many years of depending on it. So many years of letting it control me.
I was half-expecting a huge mental fanfare – streamers popping out of my head, flame effects shooting out of my ears and little tiny balloons dropping from my nose, but alas, nothing of the sort. It was almost as exciting as putting my pants on.
Okay – as exciting as putting a freshly washed pair of pants on that have yet to acquire any dog hair on them, but still, not much more than that.

The exciting part – well, that will most certainly begin tomorrow, most likely as I race to the bathroom desperately trying not to crap myself in the 20 feet from my bed, or stopping in the middle of eating something for the same reason. It never ceases to amaze me how food can go through an entire body’s system almost as fast as dropping it – as if during withdrawals everything moves around and there is just one direct line from the mouth to the ass.

I think there should be an “Opiate Withdrawal Olympics”, with challenges such as ‘The 10 Meter Toilet Dash’, ‘The Cold Sweat Pool’ (judged by the amount of sweat the body produces in one night of attempted sleep), and ‘The Snot Sprint’, won by producing the most water-like mucus out of the incessantly running nose in an hour. Of course there could be many others – the most sleepless nights, muscle spasm gymnastics, distance or quantity vomiting, most creative screams of agony… it could be fun! Well… at least for the spectators.

And now, off to do some final preparations – give Ruby a *really* good walk, enjoy some of the last sunshine I might be seeing for a few days, clear a direct path from bed to bathroom, send letters to my Mother & Father thanking them for their birthday cards (finally) – whatever else I can think of.

I’ve decided to document the fun with pictures. Here’s one I have titled “Before the Descent” aka “Keep the fog outside of my head” aka “oh, shit.”

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See you all in hell. Be grateful you’re just looking through the window.

Open During Construction

Keeping with the whole “change” thing I have going on, I’ve also decided to change from the theme that I’ve used on WordPress since time immemorial. Some of you may have noticed – if you keep track of that sort of thing.

Or maybe you just felt as if something was a bit… different, but couldn’t put your finger on it. It started eating away at you, wondering what it was but also wondering if you might be going just a little bit crazy or being overly distracted by something else you aren’t sure of, but caused you to put the coffee grounds directly in the pot instead of the filter this morning.

Well, I can’t say for certain if you’re losing your mind or not – or if it’s already long gone for that matter. I can however tell you that I’m in the process of changing the theme for my blog, so that is one less thing you have to worry about.

It’s not you, it’s me.

As I figure out more of how I want it to look & what this theme is capable of, it will continue to change as well.

I regret that I can’t comfort you any more than that, however – though I’m sure that there’s a perfectly good reason why you put your socks on your hands instead of your feet this morning. The main thing is that no one noticed, right?

At least, no one as far as you know.

Just… maybe take a few days off from social media, and whatever you do, don’t visit YouTube. Or watch the news.