to deny my mind for its own good

I didn’t want to go out tonight. More because of habit than anything else I can see, where if I’m feeling a bit tired I knew it would get worse, to the point of dragging my weary body like a sack of dead meat, saying no farewells or ‘see you later’s. That’s easy when it’s a party or the occasional free show, but this was different. I bought the ticket with birthday money from a very old friend. She knows me and my situation well enough to insist that I spent it on living instead of survival.

So I bout this ticket, entrance paid to Odd Salon, a storytelling event. As reluctant as I was (yet try not to be), I had to go. Hells – I wasn’t feeling that horrible.
I was running late though, so after a quick walk with RuBeast and the quick decision on which hat I would wear, I was out the door, walking to the DNA Club.

The fresh air, the walking energized me. I took a different route – one I have walked many times but less frequently, enjoying the very small pieces of things I hadn’t seen before.

And then I was there.

I had no idea what to expect, this being my first time at this event, but I like it like that. I love going anywhere that surprises me in any way. It never has been bad – I can adjust to anything. Perhaps that is something I carry from my past – never knowing who i was, so I am able to become anyone. Is it a blessing?

It can be.

The stories were wonderful though much less personal for the speaker than I had thought they would be. I learned a lot. I have decided that Josephine Baker is my new hero. I don’t think I’ve ever had one before, but ultimately I knew I wasn’t there solely for the stories.

Raven, Joy, Bronica – people I see so seldom but still remain dear were there, and seeing them, talking with them was wonderful – especially the brief chat I had with Raven on dreams & art – and some big words that I can’t remember. She’s sending me the full notes from when she did her talk though, and I’m excited to read them…

I’m getting tired.

After the show, a good ‘how do ya do’ with Aaron (#SFSlim), and plans to meet up with Raven and he sometime soon.

The ending of this sucks. Sorry about that, but fuck it – I’m beat. I was before I began… but I needed to begin, and more importantly, finish.

Now, as I begin to fall asleep at my laptop, I give thanks to all the wonderful old friends I saw to night for making the night shine brighter.

And I give thanks to sleep, for it has eluded and tormented me for days. I only hope that this time it is serious, and means to let me find solace in the dreams I dream at night.

I’m having many more of them now that the false dream of morphine is gone. There’s some beautifully insane subconscious being awakened again…

but how insane is it really?

Good night. Make good dreams.

The Fog Clears…

Five days. Five days and six hours. And 35 minutes. Every moment important in the beginning, every moment a choice. A challenge. Sometimes it’s hard, other times harder. I feel that at this moment I am safe. Safe in my words, in the stories. Safe as long as I keep writing.

Eight feet away from where I now sit on my bed is my antique writing desk, and inside of it’s single drawer is somewhere around 80 pills of morphine in various doses. Their summoning losing strength, getting quieter as time moves forward. Their power over me is fading.

As time moves forward I feel the pain less and feel what the reason I chose to go through it more. My mind is waking up. I was kept awake by my thoughts last night, not the pain. I rejoiced in this, even as tired as I was from the two sleepless nights before. It has been years since the chattering in my head was so loud, so clear. The fog is lifting. This morning while reading I stopped in the middle of a sentence & out of need grabbed my pen and paper to write. I recalled when that used to happen a few times a day, but can’t remember the last time it did. The fog is lifting. The pain is leaving.

And I rejoice.

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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