So, how was your year?
According to a few sources: TV, Social Media, Radio, even fucking Church! I mean isn’t Church the eternal optimist? You come here, religiously (pun intended), and when you die, you go to this little place of dancing angels and smells of chocolate chip cookies called Heaven. Well, even Church said 2017 sucked. And since we put such faith in what we see on TV, read on social media, hear on the radio, and believe in at Church; it must be true then, huh?
Story Time with Uncle Keith
When I was 25, I went sober for three months. For the life of me, I can’ t recall the reason, but with laser-like accuracy, I suspect I made an ass out of myself, was going broke or both. When the drinking and drugging ceased, I lost a shit-ton of weight, got into the best shape of my life, and college became not only easy but fun. And I actually had sex with, by far, the hottest girl I met at that time of my life. Granted, she was cheating on her boyfriend with me, but I was never, or could ever be the adulterist, so conscious = clean.
Then I fucked up my back. It was due in part to sleeping on a feather bed a friend gave me. It was due in part to the refusal to stretch before and after I worked out. And it was due in part to the fact I’ve always suffered from sciatica.
Oh, and did I mention sex with the hot girl cheating on her boyfriend?
Or it was due in part to God saying “Fuck you! You’re about to learn the most valuable lesson of your life.”
Nonetheless, I was making my way into the ER wearing a baggy pair of American Eagle sweatpants, no underwear, a pair of flip-flops and a hoodie that smelled like really good weed and Berries and Creme Starburst. Remember those? Holy shit were they cubed crack. Not the actual crack…That’s for another blog.
“I’m going to put you on a painkiller and muscle relaxor”. – The doctor or whatever she was informed me. She had a badge, a stethoscope, and a notepad, so clearly she was in charge.
Yet, I suspected my appearance was what caused her to tell me what she assumed I wanted to hear. God, I hope that wasn’t the case…That’s for another blog.
“Please don’t.” I honestly pled.
I never had a problem with pills. Other than snorting Ritalin and Tylox in the back of my friends VW Golf in the late 90’s while listening to Phish, 311, or Sublime. Along with Heroin, pills weren’t my thing. Everything else though…That’s for another blog.
“Sir, that’s what you need.”
No, it wasn’t. For the pain maybe. It was the last fucking thing I “needed.”
I reluctantly accepted her verdict, took the note, hobbled my way to Walgreens, grabbed some more of those starbursts, grabbed my pills, and headed for the couch.
I was so blind, ill-equipped, and unprepared for what awaited. For you see cats and kittens, a week later, after my script ran out, after I smoked more weed, ate my delicious starbursts, and devoured those pills in a week when they were supposed to last me a month:
I “needed” something…anything…
I don’t know what it’s like to be asthmatic and need a shot of my inhaler. I don’ know what’s like to be a diabetic and need a shot of insulin. I don’t know what it’s like to be near death and need something to survive.
But I do know what it feels like to need a drink.
And, I don’t want to sound ignorant or obtuse to the aforementioned and so many more; but that feeling, the feeling of needing a fucking beverage so much that if…
Have you ever had to pee really bad? I mean so bad that you if don’t piss, you’re about to do something you will pay a shrink or go see Tony Robbins to recover from? We all have, right? Now think of the moment where the toilet was in front of you. The greatest and worst moment of your life. Because the toilet is finally in front of you, yet you regretted wearing skinny jeans, tight boxer briefs with no piss hole, and a belt with a Fort Knox like belt buckle.
The levee is about to break and what happens next is out of your control…
It’s worse than that.
Moments later, was a glass of scotch.
Moments, days later, it was a bottle of scotch.
Moments, a week to the day later, I was informed my dear friend killed himself.
He wasn’t so dear a few days prior when he called me and I couldn’t answer because I was too “hungover to talk”…
I had my reason to loathe me.
I had my reason to despise me.
I had my reason to be a victim.
I had my reason to go numb.
I had my reason to be irate.
I had my reason to be hopeless.
I had my reason to have a reason.
I had my reason to drink, to drug, and to make up for three months lost time.
And I went on a rampage of self-destruction.
If it was, in fact, God saying “fuck you”, I was about to say “fuck you” right back…
New Years Day, 2018
Did you know by smiling, simply smiling for a brief period of time, your mind will change in emotion? Seriously, you will be in a better mood by simply smiling.
Thanks Tony Robbins!
So, the next time you wake up and you’re homicidal and/or suicidal; think of the words of Jerry Garcia,
“Nothin left to do but smile, smile, smile.”
Raise of hands, how many of you are thinking:
“Go fuck a tree and sing kumbaya you goddamn hippie”?
I once saw a tree and wondered if a hippie drugged and/or drunk would try to have intercourse with it…
Anway, time after time, the mind is freaking out in a cage. Trying to escape the confines of an odd shaped skull. Nowhere for it to journey off to. And if, if it does, and the mind is permitted to take one of those long drives through the country of Vermont on Route 22A; it’s suddenly broadsided by the semi-truck carrying the cargo of reality on its 18 wheel frame.
But, if we smile, we can pretend to be happy!!!
I started writing this before Christmas 2017. A holiday, many of us treasure, many of us are apathetic about, and many of us avoid.
I treasure it.
Christmas Eve was always a special day for my mom’s family. We’d all get together, more often than not without my father in attendance…”Many of us avoid”.
Well, while the others ate and drank, I anxiously and impatiently waited for Santa.
I still do.
One of my uncles, typically my Uncle Benny, he would come down cloaked in Santas clothes and hand out gifts to all of the grandchildren. Me, being the oldest, thought and still do believe it’s all about me. And it’s a wonder why I don’t have children…
Benny was the best Santa.
Benny will always be Santa to me.
We almost lost Santa this year.
Benny had a heart attack that should have killed him. Emma and Quido almost had their son way too early.
Not yet…Not yet.
2017, you tried and in many cases succeeded in inflicting pain.
But listen up you cunt of a year; with pain comes the opportunity to be heroic, to overcome and to possess grace.
Grace for what we have. Benny overcame his heart attack, fought back and is 25 plus pounds lighter. And you think we have a fucking shortage of heroes these days?
Grace for who we are. The son of strugglers that struggled but never gave up! The brother to my inspiration. The nephew to a village of uncles and aunts that are older brothers and sisters. And the patriarch cousin showing what not to, and what to do with your life!
Grace for what we are. And that’s alive my friends.
2017 came in like a Tsunami in downtown Rutland, VT.
We don’t have Tsunami’s in Vermont, so, you know, it was “unexpected.”
Don’t get me wrong, many foresaw this, because of, well..,
Here is the thing though, when there is a storm, the sun will shine again. Hotter, and brighter than ever!
I once saw an Instagram post saying:
“Without darkness, you’d never see the stars.”
Ya, I think that’s horseshit.
It may have something to do with the fact it was a meme my ex-wife posted shortly after divorcing me.
Maybe a little.
And don’t be so goddamn sanctimonious! Like you haven’t heavy breathed on your ex’s social media window!
I also don’t care for the language in that meme either.
Why is difficulty always dark?
Why does life have to be dark?
I mean, Dark Chocolate is so spectacular that fat people everywhere are gorging themselves with the Lindt 2 for $4 special at Price Chopper.
Why can’t life be like the weather: Unpredictable? Yes. And it is unpredictable, I don’t give a shit what Jim Cantore says:
When was the last time you were that pumped about anything like he was over fucking thundersnow?
Life has storms, and storms don’t last forever, and rarely do they happen multiple days in a row.
While darkness, darkness happens every goddamn day of our lives. And if you’re in Alaska, well…fuck!
But with storms, we dry off, we shovel a path, and we rebuild.
I get it, many of you feel as if you’re in a 100-year storm but I ask:
Have you not toweled off when caught in the rain?
Have you not created a new path while shoveling snow?
Have you not fixed something that you loved when it was broken?
In 2018, go find your towel my friends. But, not one of those really comfy Better Homes ones from Walmart. They fucking suck when they’re wet.
In 2018, go find your shovel my friends. I recommend the ones with the curved handle and the blade at the end. Found at the Safety Wearhouse, South Glens Falls, NY! (Welcome Patty! She’s a client)
In 2018, go find your glue my friends. I highly recommend Gorilla Glue and not Elmers. Elmer’s has this sweet aroma and icing like texture that just dares you to not taste it.
I quit drinking and doing coke just over 3 months after my friend gave me the reason I needed to be my own personal nightmare I couldn’t escape from.
Truth was, it was an excuse. Don’t get me wrong, those pills sure as shit helped. And don’t get me wrong, Donald Trump, your job, your days, and your nights help make 2017 a massive hemorrhoid.
But here’s the thing…
I’ve been sober for just shy of 13 years since.
I stopped using him as an excuse to hate myself.
Stop using Donald Trump, stop using the economy, stop using all of these bullshit reasons to hate yourself.
In 2018, go get a fucking waterproof, really thick North Face coat, grab your hammer, and go take on the storm head fucking on!
And it’s okay to be afraid my friends…
For you see, with fear, comes the opportunity to be courageous!
In 2018, go be your own fucking hero!