I am appalled at the lack of progress I have made over the last 365+ days. I sat down with the intent to do some sort of "reflections" post; after reflecting, I have decided that "looking-back" falls under the category of "why bother?"
After all, very little has changed in my life since 2006:
A year ago, I was unemployed, destitute and heartbroken. I had quit my steady job, lured away by the promise of greener pastures- after crossing the stile, I found myself hip-deep in bullshit. Three days later I was unemployed.
I had also lost my Muse. My Muse was a female blogger, a fellow refugee from Gull Valley and someone with whom I felt an uncanny kinship- 'kismet' she called it.
It felt magical, she stoked my creative fires- I dedicated entire broadcasts to her- I even changed my Blogger template and set up a music site- serious stuff for a typically results-free slacker such as myself.
All for naught - it backfired actually, the music was the deal-breaker- and it was all to end in tears shortly before Christmas, 2006.
My Sunday morning show fell on Christmas Eve and I had planned to play songs by my Muse- I often played songs for her and sometimes she'd be listening on-line from her distant time zone...on X-mas Eve I was going to play songs composed and performed by her!
How many men get to give their sweethearts airplay for Christmas?
I don't know the answer to that question- only that it is one fewer than I had hoped. I got my "Dear John" the day before the show.
I played her elegant music anyway...it was a transcendent moment of beauty, longing and sorrow; alone in the booth with the lingering notes of my Muse's songs fading, falling...fading, falling...falling and gone...this, I thought at the time, is a feeling that I will one day inflict on a character in a novel that I have not yet written. Poor bastard, he.
I went home and took down all the blog art and images I had posted for the Muse. I deleted my entire music site- it was my songs that drove her away- I erased our emails, scrubbed her files and came very, very close to quitting blog altogether, the infamous Beta Blogger transition wasn't helping my mood...somehow, another blogger saw these actions and decided that I was making a public suicide announcement- he emailed my blogroll (but not me) to let them know about my "sinister plan"...according to him, I was going to kill myself on-air during my New Year's Eve show.
I found out about my own devious plot via an email from someone that I scarcely knew at the time- someone who had taken the time to actually read the words on my blog, specifically the words that said: " suicide is not something that I would do".
Unlike my unwanted meddler, my new pal understood that adding "not" to a sentence significantly changes the meaning of the sentence...nonetheless, they wanted to check up on me- they'd gotten a weird email concerning my nefarious radio offing and just wanted to make sure I was alright- I wasn't exactly alright, but I wasn't swallowing hemlock either; still, I'm glad they asked...
OK. I had to email my accuser...look, you are mistaken, I said. I hadn't planned on blogging it, but my heart is really fucked-up now...I am not, however, going to kill myself. Sorry for the mistake, but I plan on living. Yadda yadda...
He wrote back , calling me a liar. He claimed to have saved screenshots of my blog and said he had shared them with a team of highly-trained psychiatric professionals, who all agreed that I was a dangerous sociopath who should be stopped before I hurt myself...huh? Say what?
Dude, what sort of person has the time to save screenshots of other people's blogs and also has access to a team of "highly-trained psychiatrists "?
An inpatient at a private asylum would have time and access...just sayin'.
Anyway, this bullshit webdrama ruined the blogging part of that holiday, but it did serve to introduce me to one of my best blogpals ever, so the story actually had a happy ending.
Other good things followed:
-Shortly after the New Year, my old boss called and asked me if I'd come back to work- hell, yes! Having an income changed everything...I went back to the Firm.
-Before long, I'd found a new Muse. This one was from the Real North and she was certainly my True Heart...our brief friendship was one of the happiest moments of my sober life...this woman wrote lovingly heartfelt posts about obscure guitar FX and little-known but true Rawk legends...I was smitten. Again, endless hours on the phone seemed to indicate a longer future of some sort. She liked my CD. She was perfect.
"Come to me", I finally asked her. She said yes without hesitation.
When it came time to plan the trip,' yes' became: " Legal trouble...I can't get a passport. Can't come to the States."
At this time the media was widely reporting that it was taking Americans a very long time to obtain passports, so I decided I'd better get my application in post-haste...I was told to expect a wait of several months.
My passport arrived 10 days after I applied. Yowzah!
I called my New Muse: "Woo hoo! I'm on my way to see you!"
"You can't come here", she said.
"Hah! It arrived! I have a passport now. "
"I can't see you. "
Then she told me that she was angry at everything and everyone -except me- that she loved me, but I had to stay away. Forever.
Then she vanished. I don't imagine that I'll ever know what happened.
I hate not knowing.
A few months later I got laid-off from my job and haven't been able to find steady work since then. Another Christmas here with no job, no money and no Muse...but also no booze and no psycho-stalkers...it could be worse.
Several days ago my old boss called me- he stands to get a new job at a different law office and wanted to know if I'd join his staff if he should happen to get the job- hell, yeah! I hope he gets it.
Having an income would change everything- including deja vu.
So perhaps next year I will have my old job back, only at a new firm.
Perhaps a new Muse as well... I admit that I still carry torches, but I'm surrounded by lights...so if I decide to "snuff it", please know that I'm not talking about my life, I'm talking about my lights. There are many, many lights but I only need one.
Not that I dislike lights- far from it. I love lights and the shadows that come with them, but my Muse bulb is dark and it *ringles* when I shake it...it needs changing.
I need changing.
But not as much as I thought- after all, I did make it through last year without drinking (which would have been suicide)- and this year isn't nearly as bad as last year.
Not even close.
I was with someone who'd been drinking heavily the other night and just their smell was enough to make me feel ill...wow, I thought as I drove them home, this is how I used to smell every day.
Every God-damned day. Until it killed me.
I haven't touched a drop of booze since September 6, 2005. I had forgotten the exact date, but the collections agencies have been very helpful with sending dated reminders to me...09/06/05.
This morning I walked down the beer aisle and saw people stocking up...beer for the games, beer for their parties, beer to blot out whatever it is that needs blotting out...I saw these 10 AM brew-buyers and I wasn't envious of them. They looked sad.
Is that how I used to appear? I know the answer to that question.
Today I bought cat food, cilantro, potatoes and rice; then I went home and drank coffee. More coffee than any human ever should consume; still, it was just coffee.
Tomorrow I plan on making homemade stuffing with rosemary, almonds and cranberries; real mashed taters; pork-less beans and some sort of messy baked vegetable casserole, all of which I will take home with me on X-Mas Day in lieu of gifts, gifts being in short supply this year.
I have to be a bit careful with the ingredients because of my Grandmother's health- she would eat a deep-fried salt block if you put it on her plate, not because she's senile or stupid
(she's not) , it's just a Southern thing...we Southerners like our deep-fried salt blocks, preferably served with a saline-based gravy solution on top and half of a pie for dessert. I can't eat like that any longer- two slices of pie is all I can manage.
In the last 27 months I have had zero alcohol and consumed fewer than eight slices of pie; I have lost 50 pounds of fat and lowered all of my blood numbers into the "green" range...and to think that I started this post by lamenting my lack of progress. Idiot, I am.
I should change the opening sentence of this post, but I'm not going to. I've come a long way, but I am still making mistakes and that incorrect opening sentence is going to remind me of that fact.
When I achieve a state of personal perfection, I will come back and correct it. Don't stay up late waiting for that to happen.
Have a Merry Christmas instead.