I’m so very thirsty. Somebody get me some water. Just kidding. Gotta soda right here. I have to admit, I feel a little proud of myself, which is weird. I’m patting myself on the back for something I didn’t do. Something I really had no business doing. Something that almost killed me. A bunch of times.
It’s like being proud for not bludgeoning yourself with a ball-peen hammer.
“Hey Eddie, how’s it hangin’, bro?”
“Slightly left, Ace. How you been, Goon-o?”
“Not bad. Got an easy gig at a tool rental place. New woman, too. It’s still in the sheet-burning stage, so that’s good. You know. Basically kicking the shit downhill these days. You?”
“Well tomorrow will be nine years since I stopped beating my brains in with a ball-peen hammer.”
“Holy shit. That’s really great. Is it hard? Like do you still miss it?”
“To be honest, sometimes. After a hard day, I’ll come home and think how good it would be to have a nice cold hammer. Just to beat the shit out of any consciousness floating around in my skull. Ah well, those days are over. Now I think it through.”
“Glad to hear that, dude. Good for you.”
“Yeah, I couldn’t stop doing it on my own so I had to summon a praeter-natural force to take over my entire guidance system.”
“Dude, that sounds like some crazy shit.”
“Tell me about it. Now I talk to the invisible and it talks back to me. Through everything.”
“Uh, yeah…that’s cool.”
“It tells me what to do so I wont want to start hitting myself again.”
“Everything. Everything that comes from nothing, which is one.”
“Huh. Yeah well alright, you crazy fucker. It’s good to see you’re doing…okay and shit.”
“I’m just grateful to have been restored to sanity.”
“Oh for sure, bro.”
Silence laden with subtext.
“Alright, well… throw one to your new old lady from me, Eddie.”
“I will, Ace. From behind.”
“Nice. Take it easy.”
Only another recovering Hammer Head gets it. The miracle of it all.
It’s a miracle alright. An absolute miracle that I’m sucking down a Diet Hansen’s ginger ale while typing this. With no looming court date. In a house without bullet holes.
Oh, I know. I’m not out of the woods yet. I guess no alcoholic is, until they’re dead. That’s sliding into home. In the meantime, try to be an alert base-runner. Don’t let your ass get picked off between pitches.
I remain a deeply-flawed individual, but I now realize that the measure of just how much, is based on arbitrary judgements. How fucked up I think I am, is always relative to a bunch of different moving targets. I am free to choose any measure. Some days I cut myself slack. Other times I roll out the Iron Maiden and really torture myself. Depends on the mood I’m in.
I seem to do better with slack. I wish I picked it more. What’s wrong with me? What kind of fucking idiot won’t pick slack over The Rack?
Okay, there I go again. Man, it’s a slippery slope before hammer time. Got to stay all present and shit.
I’m okay with the spiritual component to recovery. That whole “came to believe” thing wasn’t too much of an issue. I always enjoyed contemplating stuff. I’ve been a closeted mystic my whole life. In fact, at one point, as a young man, I actually thought about joining a monastery. It was just that whole celibacy deal that killed it for me. Certain haircuts too.
So I embarked on a different course. Hell yeah I did. Kind of opposite of monk-like. About as.
Dionysian abandon was to be my path and I tried to make the best of it. Hey, you play the hand you’re dealt. It wasn’t doing white martyrdom on Skelig Michael, but it had it’s challenges. But where it would lead was surprising.
A while ago, I read in Jung’s letter back to Bill Wilson. He recalled his diagnosis of Roland H., the alcoholic Jung had to wash his hands of as hopeless, leaving him only the thin straw of spiritual redemption as cure. He wrote, ” His craving for alcohol was the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in medieval language: the union with God.”
I dig it, Dr. Jungy. That’s it, baby. I had a thirst for union with God. Can’t blame a guy for that. Shit, all this time I thought there was something wrong with me. Does that include the wanting to be with chicks part too? That’s all part of that union stuff, right?”
Turns out, you don’t need nineteen Heinekens and a shot of Crown Royal to find God. Apparently there are other ways. A spiritual solution you say? Okay, fuck it. I’ve tried crazier shit. It’s got to be better than listening to me when I’m drunk. I’ll get us all killed.
I figured I’d try being a spiritual dude, especially if I could still bang it out. I didn’t really have anything better to do. I guess I could’ve built a tool shed or something instead. But I didn’t need one. So I decided to do the prayer and meditation bit.
Look, if this lunatic is going to make it through an average day without his amber anesthesia, I’m going to need some other kind of strong medicine. I’ll gladly dip into my mojo bag. Whip out my Obeah and Wanga. My consecrated wand. Anything to flag down a passing avatar to ask directions.
The crazy thing is, it works. When I ask, I get good directions. Something out there steers me right. If I pay attention. And follow them.
So yeah, now I talk to the invisible, and the invisible talks back to me, using everything…created by nothing, which is one. You see it’s…
Ah fuck it. Disregard.
Anyway, it makes for some pretty weird days. And I love weird. As long as sober can be weird, I’m good with being sober. And being sober has been good with me.
Besides not pissing my pants all the time, I’d have to say the best part is being available to my family and friends. I’m glad they don’t have to worry about me anymore, and that by not having to deal with the old version of Marius (Marius 0.24) their individual burdens are a little lighter. They deserve better.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s bring them out right now. My family and friends–
My mom, Chicken Head. My dad, Bodine. My sister, Inski. My friend Keller. Spike. Mike. Emmitt. Spudman. Sue Bob. Mad Dog. Marko. Sir Douglas. Riggsy. Ripper. Ramona. T-Bone. Tony. Todd. Tommy O. Timmy. Yimmy. Youngy. Danny. Frank. Garth. Gurz. Dez. John ‘Carnak’ Carnell. Johnny B. Justin O’Kane. Bubbles. Lili. Ruta. Red. Aida. Swell Mel. Flat Matt. Marsh. Max. Mugs. Mahoney. Stacey. Siggy. Sammy Pajammy (and her mammy). Gregula. Super Terry. Alexa. Davey. Candice. Peachy Peter. Guy Thomas. Judy. Ginger. Bobby. Ben. Eme. Ace. Felipe. The Mystic Man. The Plaza Rats. The Fellowship. The Hidden Chiefs. The Bang-Bang Girls. And my cats, Bugsy and Louie, with Terry Bozzio on drums!”
(The stage parts to make way for a drum kit the size of an off-shore oil rig, with two black and white cats running around inside the double bass. The crowd goes wild)
“And the guy nobody ever thinks of except Riggsy…Hot-Link! That’s right everybody, Hot-Link is in the motherfuckin’ house! Let’s bring it!”
(Polite applause sputtering to silence.)
“And of course, finally tonight, certainly last but not lost, my girlfriend, Lori Lee, the Sleep Pea. Let’s give it up for her long-suffering ass! She deserves a medal everybody. With oak leaf clusters. And caramel!”
(People rise to their feet. She greets them like Evita. It’s a long ovation. Very pointed, and she’s milking it)
“Okay, honey that’s good. Take your bow. Alright. Very nice. Okay. That’s good. That’s…just…just go stand with everybody over there. Right there. Over by the kitties. Very nice.
It’s not like I don’t have to put up with anything either.”
(Silence. Scattered coughing)
“Well there they are, Ladies and Gentlemen, just a few of the oh so many who have brought me joy in sobriety. Thank you everybody for making my world a better place. I’ll do my best to pay you back. Including the vig.”
“Now let’s all pray I make another year without beating my brains out with a hammer.”
(The crowd bows their heads. I think about the traffic getting out of here. It’s going to be murder)
“Okay, I guess that’s enough. I still don’t really know how long a prayer is supposed to take. But that seemed like the right amount of time. Anyway, thanks for coming tonight to our nine year gala extravaganza sobriety celebration. Please be sure to drive home safe and embrace the ineffable mystery of the infinite as you stumble blindly through your lives. And good night Austin Texas, where ever you are!”
The audience filters out, some hurrying to make last call.
Congratulations, Marius. Keep it up!
Thanks Miss Daisy. Big kiss to you. Also, send one to your mom from me, via Houston. She was my earliest supporters, and I’ll never be able to repay her for that. Good clan, those Durhams. Big Irish hearts. Onward and upward. Your humble jester, Marius
Congrats M. Raising an empty glass to you bro! Oops! I’ve smashed it over my head. Some habits take even longer to change.
Good vibrations coming your way from Johnny Carnage.
Johnny Carnage. I like that. Oh to have been able to run wild, destroying everything in sight, with you would have been grand. Alas, now we can only reminisce, and think of what might have been. Thugs like us need to stick together though–to remind ourselves of our former glory and console ourselves about our mellowhood. I mean, it’s not like we’re completely harmless these days. You never really know when one of us is going to “go off.” Alright, Wide-O, let me know what the witch doctors found up your bum, besides smoldering ruins. Love you.
Maybe they’ll name a couple hurricanes after us? Hurricane Marius sounds good… but hurricane John sounds like a bit of a washout. Hurricane Carnage sounds better. Maybe I’ll add a character to my next story – Hurricane Carnage, druid, hell-raiser, ornithologist… with a love of the storm and an eye for the birds.
Will Carnage blow himself out or be driven mad in his quest to find the mythical Golden Puffin of Skank Island? Can Carnage escape the Sargasso Sisters of Silence? Or will he have to bed every single one of them – including the warty old one – to learn the secrets of the Skank
This and more than enough bird ‘n’ bed-hopping in – ‘Hurricane Carnage and the Unrepentant Sisters of Skank.’
I’ll have a lie down now.
Bird-watching bad-ass? Dude! This shit just writes itself. I’m telling you, if you don’t run with this one, I’ll…make you eat a spicy red chile New Mexican corn chowder. Yeah, think about that blast. Rock you like a hurricane, baby.
Anyway, really hope your feeling better these days. You must be down to fighting weight by now. I won’t schedule any bouts just yet. We need you to get re-hydrated first.
AWESOME! Congratulations! You are truly amazing. I don’t know how people stay sober 9 minutes much less 9 years. and if I’m the Mahoney mentioned, all I can say is I am honored and so glad BlogLand brought our two twisted minds together. Love ya. – Sean Mahoney
You’re the only Mahoney I know, and frankly, I’d be happy to keep it that way. You fuckers are a handful. Anyway, the feeling is mutual my fellow maniac. It’s been nice trudging along side of your crazy ass. Let me know when you guys come back to So. Cal. (for your play, visit, probation hearing, whatever) I’d love to throw back some fizzy water with you. My best, which sometimes isn’t good enough, to you. Love, Marius.
PS Peach Mahoney? Sweeeeeeet! Don’t let a monkey steal it.
Gotta give it up to you Marius, for giving it up and all. You know, in the final analysis, despite everyting-all the advice and direction you receive from your still, small voice and the Invisible, as you term it….you’re still the one choosing, you’re still the one deciding to listen and act as you will to make life for yourself healthier and bereft of felony charges. So the credit is due you, ulltimately. Self will run reasonable instead of riot.
You’ve done it for a whole nine years now. Now lets go chug a couple pots of french roast, chain smoke and hitch hike across Romania or something on book tour. Just to push the envelope of “restored to sanity” a wee bit. Well a wee bit more than it always is everytime we bust it up for hours via 3 am transcontinental bat chain puller conferencing.
You don’t have to give it up, Dave. But this Smith and Wesson 422, although not a large caliber firearm, can still make some nasty holes. So I “strongly suggest” you do so with great haste. ha-fucking ha! Dude, making pals like you has been the best part of this blogula business, besides banking all the serious coinage from T-shirt sales, and clocking a harem of Eastern European punk rock girls that want me. Oh wait. That’s you. Well, at least I get to live vicariously. Anyway, I appreciate the proximity that modern technology brings us. Old Forge, PA is now just a click away. And what could be fucking better than that?
By the way, I’ve been summoning strange beings to manifest in your building. Let me know if you see any of them. They might take the form of humans, but you’ll know they’re not.
Thanks again, strange beast.
Justin O’Kane’s wife here…just wanted you to know that your blog posts always bring a smile, rueful or otherwise, to my face. You’re one of my damn-I-wish-I-wrote-that regular reads. Congratulations on making it through another day without bashing your head in…a very good thing. Sobriety is the kind of weird you couldn’t make up if you tried, and “the ineffable” always strikes me as gentle shorthand for the unfuckingbelievable. I’m grateful you’re still around, willing to meet it, face to face.
Thank you, Lee Ann. Very nice words. I read them over and over. So, you wound up with The O’Kane, eh? Good for you. He’s one of the finest beings that ever crawled on land. Sneaky bastard 12-stepped me without me even knowing. You know, with that whole “attraction not promotion” bit. He was the first example that there was life after alcohol. Not only that, but that you could still be an insanely funny person too. Well, it got into my craw and slowly gnawed away. I will be forever grateful to his Irish Republican ass for that.
I’m doing a little deductive reasoning here, and figure you must be something else yourself, since he was rather discerning about who he let into his inner sanctum. Myself being a charitable exception at the time. A stray curr he took in to dry out during the rain. So now I must check out your work. I have a good feeling about it. Thank you again. Take care of that man.
PS. Did you know he can tie all kinds of knots? hahahaha. I meant for sailing, not S&M, but hey, I don’t judge either.
I was his elementary and junior high school sweetheart, believe it or not. Thirty years of varying forms of “character-building,” later, along with learning how to look past the damage and distill the best of those years into a life worth enjoying, we found each other again. Got married last April. He’s my heart, always has been, sneaky-ass knot-tying and all. Also, he’s gut-bustingly funny, which makes me giddily happy..
My blog is woefully outdated…haven’t posted since I moved lock, stock, barrel, and kid back home to NH, to shack up with Mister O’Kane, and I’m only just now braving the rejection-letter wallpaper to send out poems again (yep, one o’ dem poet-types…) so there’s not a lot of my work out there to check out. Yet.
We take care of each other, and try to use the hammers for building stuff. Also, you’re far more than a charitable exception, I hear. Take care of you.
Ok Lee Ann, I’m going to give it to you straight. No whipped cream to hide the spoonful of laxative. You need to get back to your blog. Your neglect is inexcusable. Too busy raising a family? Who the fuck does that? It’s a scientific fact that families raise themselves–into whatever dysfunctional unit they’re destined to be. You need to get back to writing.
I put on some Ben Nichol’s Last Pale Light in The West on the headphones, and took a little scroll through your blogula. The combination of good music, the right mood, and a good writer all came together for me. Seeing the lunatic in his knit capper was an extra treat. Anyway, I can honestly report, and no snow, that I had “a reading experience.” You dig? Like most writers want-hope-pray-don’t-think-will-happen with their imagined audience. I can tell you it scored a hit.
I’ll get into the particulars in an e-mail, but you’re a totally entertaining writer. This tying knots thing between you guys is a pretty beautiful thing. I remember Justin was totally into it when he still lived in Santa Fe. I’d come over and he’d be trying to tie this and that knot, and I used to think “What the fuck is up with that? Is this what dudes do when they stop drinking? Seems kind of pointless.” Certainly compared to hitting yourself over the head with a hammer. Anyway, now I see how that little thing of his has woven itself, with you, with your lives, with wool, to create a very rich and intricate tapestry. It was a poignant realization for me. Poetry is writing itself around us all the time I guess.
You sure captured some of those moments for me tonight. Thank you.
Anyway, I expect a new entry on my computer by next Saturday evening. Break that block, Dalton! Baa!
There’s the link everybody, let’s see if she does it. http://knotgoodblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/youd-tell-me-wouldnt-you.html
Besides myself, you’re the one I could never really see getting sober. It was just such a part of our DNA that I figured we were destined to remain marinated forever. What an example you’re demonstrating to the world having thrown your shackles and speaking your gutbusting truth to an ever-growing legion of readers…
Your posts never fail to bring that same warm glow to my innards that I sought through the barley soda. (Not to mention, partaking of your genius does not induce any hangover, make me forget how I got home nor expand my waistline…)
So cool to have made it out before the calliope crashed to the ground-
Keep on rockin in the free world…
Raising my goblet of purified water in your honor,
Thanks dude, most humbled by your generous homie pour. It means a lot coming from my personal savior of 10th grade. Seriously, I’m sure God was behind it, but you were the skin-saving saver-of-the-day. I could not have handled that time, then, without you as my friend. You know. Mrs. Cantrell. Spanish Teacher. MILF. And that guy gets how utterly brutal it all is.
My misery sure loved your company. Funniest fucker I had ever run across. Same “interests.” Same devious streak. Match.com shit.
I think what saved us then was that no matter how fucked up our individual days went, we knew we could recount the events to a friend who would practically piss himself with laughter. Me you. You me. We took turns. If what I went through could bust you up, it somehow made it almost worth it. It sure redeemed a good part of it. I would sometimes be in the middle of some shit and think “I can’t wait to tell Guy about this, he’s going to choke on his puke from laughing.” It helped me hang on.
And you as a storyteller, my friend, I consider to be one of the greatest that has ever walked semi-prone. Of course a receptive audience brings out the best in a raconteur, so I was privileged to witness some of the most amazingly told tales of adventure, misfortune, luck, and romance to ever tickle the human ear. And in the most pants-pissingly funny way possible.
You have the gift, Guy. The Kavorka.
Use it wisely.
Thank you for everything, dude. Back then and now. And thanks for going before me. Showing me it could be done. Fuck yeah. Dude, we still rock. Kiss Army stormtroopers we are. Modern day…menof steel.
So let’s command them to kneel. Love you, dude.
It is an honor to be included in your list. You’re on mine, all-time. The force of your personality, the scope of your perception, and the hilarity of your mind have never failed to amaze me, drunk or sober. I send big beams of light and love your way, amigo. You figured it out.
Dood! Include you? I was actually debating putting you in twice. I couldn’t decide between Youngy and just Garth. Hold on.
Just did it. Put you in twice. ‘Cause that’s how I shot-call up in this bitch, yo! Lay down the law and break it, bro. Under my shoe. Like a cockroach, beeyatch!
Garth, I’m going to ask you a question. And I want you to be entirely honest with your answer. Just yes or no. Have you ever seen something? Anything? Ever?
I suspect so.
I suspect things go into that brain of yours to be processed all the time. And sometimes I will make myself laugh late at night thinking about just that fact. That Garth is thinking about something he’s seen. It doesn’t matter what. And I can’t really explain why it delights me so, but please…I beg of you!!! Keep thinking about things you’ve seen. Just do me that one solid, bro and I’ll forgive all the fucked up shit you did to me.
But for serious, Youngy, I do enjoy the fact you exist. But as a friend is such an extra bonus.
Oh wow- Garth, I was actually eating a piece of cheese right then. I just snapped on that. That is hilarious. “Please don’t eat so much cheese!”
Alright then, I am now maximizing the efficiency of all your molecules with a sustained and concentrated beam of good will. You may feel light-headed. Treat any dizziness with a gin and tonic and a cheap cigar.
You continue to behold. And I’ll witness.
Just hearing the name Mrs. Cantrell again makes me bust out laughing. Like we did at the blue tables at lunch. You and Guy used to make me spit milk out my nose with those tales. I couldn’t believe you could get a way with tormenting a teacher like that with no repercussions, I’m sure she actually loved it. Glad you’re diggin’ the Ben Nichols too. Much love. K
Yeah, we didn’t torment her as much as Ms. Solomon. Now that I think about it, I owe that lady an amends. Damn it. Yeah, if we could get the milk to irrigate your sinuses, it was a good lunch hour. Wish you drank soda back then. Oh, and really digging the Nichols and Lucero. Good shit.
Irreverance… you’d like it: http://www.crimsoncircle.com/audio/we121006.rm
I cannot get this irreverence to download. Hmm. Help me, Gurz!
Congratulations on completing another trip ’round the sun, sans the sauce.
Thanks Mugs old soul. I sure hope the sun knows where it’s going, because all I can do is hang on to this orb circling it. I guess if space is infinite it doesn’t really matter. So let’s relax and enjoy the ride. Like the swan in Liber 65, who although sailing through eternity, wingeth no whence and no whither. When questioned by Reason for the motive of motion, in the absence of all destination, the swan asks back, “Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging? Is there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some goal?”
That’s one fucking smart swan. Burned reason’s ass, I think. With that one. Good one, Swannie. Now what bitch? You want some of this? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Reason be damned for a dog.
Now, let’s set our course for impossible and see where that takes us, Mugs.
So much luv in one spot
an embarrassment of riches.
Here’s to you, each and all
I mean what I say.
OK laff if you will.
Oh, I’m going to laugh, Frater, all the way down the hall, up the steps and through the trap door. Then I’ll kick up my goat hooves in a little jig before I come to rest, dangling. The other prisoners will all say it was the happiest hanging they ever saw, and a welcome relief to an otherwise boring afternoon.
Destiny is a mind boggling thing. My co-worker talked me into joining Gold’s so we could be workout buddies. She quit and I didn’t want to go it alone. Hooked up with Dan- but before he flew off to vacation in government run resort, he passed me on to you. Who would have guessed this seemingly quiet,loner with the odd name of Marius would become my lovely friend. You are who you are as a result of all your life shit–and I think your are FANTASTIC!! Here’s to #9!!!! Judy
It’s a shame Dan had to do hard time to make this all happen, but I’m sure it was worth it for him. Yeah, I can picture him nodding. Right over there.
Anyway, it’s been a gas, Nurse Judy. Thanks for being you. Oh and remember…Fitness isfun!
Congratulations on 9 years! Yer a drier man than I. And props to you for it, but if it weren’t for me Imperial pints o’ Guinness I’d go stark raving mad.
Thanks Yimmy, but I have news for you–you’re already stark raving mad. We wouldn’t be pals if you weren’t.
Drink a pint or farty for me, old son. But NEVER a Black and Tan!
You know what they say about Black and Tans: If you make ’em right, the Irish always come out on top.
Slam enough of them and you’ll be ready to take on the entire British Army, James Patrick. The brick Frisbee was invented by the Irish. Around 1919.
In the history of The Universe, has an Irishman ever gotten into a scrap?
Congratulations, Marius…keep sailing sans the albatross, Ancient Mariner…One of your biggest fans, among the hordes. You’re a good, lucky man. Nice that you’re both.
Why thank you, Mortimus Mundi. Yeah, I have a lot more freedom of movement without the dead seagull necklace. Switched to this over-sized time piece as medallion. “I see you clocking the enemy, you should be clocking the time…”
Glad you’re part of my swelling mob of fans. (If you call a horde, enough people to fill a small conference room at a Holiday Inn Express. One that’s had the folding room divider pulled across and has a big table of muffins, orange juice and coffee taking up a third of the remaining space) I don’t know about good, but I sure am lucky in the duck department. Peeth to you and yourth. Marius
Why, thankth to you. So, re Holiday Inn Express. My immediate family and I took a trip to New York to bury Grandma’s ashes some years ago. I was a grown man, but active in my disease, and Moms, Pops, Sis and I were in the same hotel room. (Paging Satan! Satan, come to room 666!) Anyway, this “luxury” resort had so much bullshit going on, my take-control sister was on the phone with management at least twice a day, and her main point, from her personal experience going to professional conventions???–“Holiday Inn Express puts this place to shame.” So, my point? Ummm, I forgot. Oh. What’s so funny bout muffins, o.j. and coffee? Huh huh huh, you said “swelling.”
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