Stream of Consciousness Theatre Presents: Bubbles

Happy Mystery Monday!

NOTE: I’m really sorry, I was trying to get this up while it was still Monday in my timezone (London time) but today has been one long piss take though I guess that’s what I can expect from the first day of the term.  Anyway…

Bubblegum and rice.

Some time in the last month I remember i was having a bout of insomnia and a derby of racing thoughts and in the lower left hand corner of my head-space a small window of bubbles opened up, clear and black lit by a bright reflection and a grey backdrop. Like a scene in the cutting room the bubbles were cut into or rather imposed on the middle of the film. I read a mediation on rocks or pebbles and I thought about bubbles. Empty, temporary, lively.

When I want to clear my mind, the bubbles come bubbling up in my brain like cherry cola into my nose though these bubbles don’t tickle into my scalp up to my hair.  Hair is something that lives on and in my head or rather on my head and mind. I always believed  you could tell more about a person by the hair on their head than the shoes they wear. Hair can be smooth and thick indicating healthy and happy hair. Thin and brittle on the contrast.  Colour from natural redheads to out of the box. Colours, styles, and cuts.  Length, combed, out and down or up and about. Everything says something about the person from plats(1) to pins. Shoes can say how someone walks and where.  It can indicate status or wealth. Hygiene and age.  However what can shoes say about a person that hair can’t equally articulate?

Fizz is something miss(ed) about beer. I like soda and tonic for the same reason. I remembered a lot of things after detoxing in May: I love candy.(2)  Bubble gum and taffy, and the jokes. I have a joke I want to submit to Laffy Taffy: “What did the dog say to the book? Nice Tale.”  😀 <—this is my favourite emoji, it is the ridiculous face that I like to make when I make a funny.

Laughter and anger bubble and boil. The Buddha said “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

Found a bobble(3) of wood beads in front of the management building. Matches well with my green Pendle jumper(4). Black watch, forest green jumper, brown wood beads(5). I feel reasonably balanced in my ensemble. I wear the same stuff so often it becomes like a brand or a uniform. “Switch up” theme party(6) 2009 C, a previous flame, and I interpreted it as “cross dress night” and i wore one of her dresses and she wore my outfit which at that time was a forest green t-shirt, a loop style buckle brown cloth belt, and faded blue jeans to which G said, while our childhood friend got stoned for the first time “wow…that is the ‘Fin outfit'”.

water-bubbles

 

Footnotes:

  1. Braids.
  2. A common symptom of alcohol detox is sugar cravings, something I learned but sort of remembered via a study I read in a class I took at Mizzou “sociology of deviant behavior” saying that candy is really popular in prison because it’s a natural mood stimulant, likely in demand due to detox and poor situations.
  3. Elastic band, usually used for hair ties.
  4. Hoodie, can also be used in reference to a sweater.
  5. My flatmate said “these are like rosary beads“.
  6. A couple of brothers who used to throw great themed parties used to have themed all the time with themes like “ugly sweater party”, “wine and cheese”, “bring someone famous” (we supposedly had a [former?] cardnals baseball player [no idea who] which give the size and extroverted social scope of the core party hosts and guests, it didn’t surprise me).

Happy New Years Eve…eve! (comic)

Happy Friday Folks!

Oh boy it’s here guys, the long awaited end of 2016 and what a fucking strange year it’s been.  There are already plenty of articles talking about how many people we lost year, the implications of a Trump presidency and how relations between the US and Cuba will change with the death of Castro, and if the Cubs can take the World Series is that a good omen for the Blues in the Stanley Cup? (like did you even SEE the hat trick the other night?!)

However here I want to just reflect a little bit about my personal year (don’t worry, there is a comic this week) because as you can probably guess it has been a big year for me.

  • I got accepted into Lancaster as an exchange student in March
  • I got sober 25 April 2016
  • I started Offbeat On point in May
  • I got to live in one of my “Dream Neighborhoods” over the summer(1) (June – September)
  • I ran my first half marathon (110 minutes) in July
  • I moved to a new country (October)
  • I got to meet my musical hero MC Chris (November)
  • I got accepted into Lancaster as a degree seeking student (December)
  • I celebrated my first Xmas away from home

Overall it’s been a good year but it hasn’t been with out struggle.  Most of this year I’ve spent in one form or another of extreme isolation.

Before getting sober, this was my life:

Monday – Thrusday: School (12 credit hours), work (30 hours), drink alone at home until I couldn’t remember passing out(2).

Friday – Sunday: Friday I would work then go home and drink.  Saturday and Sunday I would do 12 hours of homework each day then come home and drink.

I had no friends left and I sort of tried to make friends at work and school fell kinda flat for numerous reasons. After getting sober, school was out and I started working a lot more, got promoted to manager at the sandwich shop and got back an old job I had in light construction. Between the two jobs I was working 80-100 hour weeks, which has never never really been a problem for me because ever since high school I’ve kept a kinda manic schedule where I would be “on” for a few months to a year and “off” for a few months to a year (“on” = working and/or in school; “off” = unemployed and not in school or unemployed and in school) which is partly why I’m 28 and still working towards a bachelor’s degree. All of this considered, you can probably start to see why I didn’t have friends.

When I got here, I knew from pretty early on that I was going to spend winter holiday alone on campus and that isolation kind of scared me a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  The week before xmas was my first week alone here and I might have been alone but I felt so so loved because every single day I would wake up to a phone full of messages from friends who lived in my block and others from school (and the odd person from the states) texting me “Hey how’s Lancaster?” “How are you doing?” “What’s the weather like there?” and it would literally take me about an hour every day to respond to everyone(3).  I’ve mentioned before that I feel the warmth of community here and that sense of community has really changed me.  Not dramatically but it’s helped me heal quite a bit.  It’s been a hard year for everyone but let’s not forget to take stock of the beautiful little moments that we’ve enjoyed this year.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve, folks.

img_20161230_201549_716

 

Footnotes:

  1. I mentioned in a previous article about the Webster Groves area but basically it’s one giant botanical neighborhood just on the county/city line where people who make much more money than I ever hope to live but what gives me (a little) hope is the guy I was living with was the original editor and chief of a few small local news papers and he had a nice place. If that writer could make a good living, I can too (maybe).
  2. I could hold my own when in company, as in I could drink upwards of 30 drinks in a night and not vomit, but when you develop a long term drinking habit you start to experiment and see if you can get that nail that precise amount of alcohol to time ratio for the “daily ritual”.  Mine was a 6 pack of beer, 3 nips (this is what we called airplane bottle shots, usually 1.5 floz/50mL), in the space of 3 hours.  I had it down to a science because when you’re a functional alcoholic, having “leftovers” is a really bad idea because when you wake up: you already have booze and because of that I found it very very hard to get my day started.  I needed to not have booze in the house so I could be motivated to get some work done and then walk to the shop for my “reward”.  Also if you don’t have enough booze, woah that is like seriously the worst.  Like you drink and drink then if you’re still awake and booze free then you’re at a conundrum: walk to the store and pray it’s not too late to buy booze (legal limit was 3am in St Louis but frequently grocery stores, they had the best prices, would shut down their booze isle by 1 or 1.30am) or try to tough it out.  Guess what won most times.  This set amount played deeply into the psychology of being in control. See I knew even if I ate, I’d pass out; I knew if I got this much, it would be enough and if I wanted leftovers I knew that I would need more; I also knew when to start drinking to be in bed by a certain time, I could even tell by texts and other time stamps precisely when I would black out and just about how long I was conscious before I actually fell asleep.  All these things are important in the addict’s mind when trying to maintain the illusion of control because as long as you’re in control, you don’t have a problem.
  3. Taking so long is probably mostly my fault because I like to talk and my average text is probably 160-300 characters.

Lean into the Pain

george-michael-bluth-sadwalk

Source: Arrested Development S02E04 “Good Grief!”

I’m depressed today. Lean into the pain they tell me.

I remember I didn’t celebrate the 4th that year, 2014.  She said she needed space the weekend before and went to stay with her cousin. All week I was alone with her things in our apartment. July 4th was a Friday. She met me at home after school. I wanted to propose.  It was the day before our three year anniversary.  We talked for so long.  Neither one of us could remember what we had fought or said about seven days prior that made her pack up. We sat and talked for so long.  Then we cried together. Holding each other, getting the other slimy with our snot.

We moved from the couch to the kitchen table. I think she had some food she needed to take home with her. The apartment was no longer our home. It became her temporary storage unit; it became my open cell.

I walked her out to her car.  We hugged.  She slipped, from habit, and said “I love you”.

“I know.” my inner Han Solo replied for me.

I went out, after she drove away in her red convertible, and bought a 1.75L bottle of Bacardi white rum & juice (grapefruit iirc).  Two liters of juice. I drank all the rum, one liter of grapefruit juice, and woke up on my kitchen floor the next mourning.

I kept drinking like that for the next six months until December 5th, her birthday.  I didn’t celebrate my birthday(1) that year. My George Clooney with lots of tattoos looking boss made me work, and bitter about his own life, while guilt tripping me about how he couldn’t remember the last birthday he had and how his wife left him and generally showing me how much bigger his saddness boner was.  Everyone forgot my birthday that year except for me.  I was trying to forget by the end though.

By December: I had lost my job, I dropped(2) out of school, and I had accumulated $5.000 in credit card debt.  On the fifth, a grey and wet mourning, I walked 1.8 miles or 2.897km to the nearest Schnucks off Grand and Gravois. On the way, I passed a forgotten a 2 foot or 60.96cm sub sandwich that was still in its package and untouched off Grand.  At the store I bought two 1.75L bottles of cheap clear booze and 2 gallons or 7.571L of cheap orange juice(3).  I checked out precisely at 7am(4) and the cashier lady gave me a look.  I couldn’t tell if it was envy or pity.  I wasn’t looking too closely.  It was a Friday.

On the way home, I took the sub with me.  I drank and slept and ate and drank and slept until late in the evening when, apparently, I called a couple friends of mine, as in a couple whom I was friends with, and they took me to get some tacos.  I was violently shaky.  Couldn’t eat.  Mentioned wanting some bam bams.  Got pulled aside and threatened with violence. They left me at my place.  Told them I was going to drink and pill myself.  They yelled at me, from the safety of their vehicle, “Get back in the fucking car.”

So cold and shaky.  I couldn’t hold a drink.  I vomit on my laptop.  I ran a bath to warm my self up.  I fell asleep in the tub naked and alone.

Two year later and I’ve sobered up but the pain pulses weakly still.

 

Footnotes:

  1. 23, September 1988
  2. Technically, I graduated early but I was one absent day from being kicked out.  Also my grades were piss.  However it was a technical school so I guess technicalities count.
  3. I’m not even sure if the stuff is real orange juice or if it is its like that stuff from the cardboard tube that you add water to that tastes like orange water.
  4. The earliest legal time one can purchase alcohol in St Louis, or earliest that I was aware of at the time.  It might have been moved back to 6.30am.