I’m having a window of caffeinated sanity and peace of mind. It will pass. Let’s seize it.
I always forget that during this time of year I get more nuts than usual. I get squirrelly. I get more uncomfortable in my own skin than usual. I get the deep soul itch. I get angry from the inside. Then, I realize, this week is my sober anniversary. It’s wild how consistent and true it is that as one approaches the marker the brain revolts from the dark place a bit. It wants to take you back, take you down. Get you on its level.
I had a dream a few days ago. That was the tipper. That was when I realized what was happening. In the dream, I was just sitting at a bar. I was a well-worn bar. The kind that real drinkers drink at. I was with Dean Delray for some reason. It’s odd because he doesn’t drink either. All I really remember about the dream was that I was ordering another Jack and Coke and I was smoking cigarettes, Marlboro Reds, like I used to when I was a kid. That’s all that really happened in the dream. Just me waiting for another drink and feeling my lungs. When you smoke a lot there a specific feeling in your lungs that is kind of always there. It’s a wet ache. You feel it when you breathe. I remember feeling that and I remember knowing I was drinking and was no longer sober and I remember wondering whether or not I would cop to it. When I woke up I felt relieved but it felt too real. Then I realized all this stuff was happening because I was approaching another year marker of my sobriety.
If I don’t spin out and wind up in a hotel room in Desert Hot Springs on a meth and vodka tear I will have 18 years sober on August 9th. Right in time for a new coin. I just lost my old one. Happens. Fell out of my shorts pocket I think. I thought it was a sign and now I think it was just a sign to make room for the new one. I go in and out on the coins. Some years I don’t have them and I don’t really care but now I kind of like them. They represent a serious chunk of time. I hope Sarah the painter gets me another one. I didn’t tell her I lost this one. It’s not accurate anymore anyway. Maybe someone will find it and get started towards that 17-year marker.
I am maintaining some sanity during my downtime summer. I tend to get a little OCD-ish when I have a lot of time. I think it makes me feel better. With the world coming unhinged and the country in turmoil sometimes it’s good to go through that box of wires and cords. You know all those cords that come with equipment that you don’t even know what they are for. You assume someone does or that you will learn what they are for but that fades and they go in the box. Some of the wires are outdated and useless but they’ve never been used so you better save them. I got them all organized and I have the box ready to go. Where? I don’t know. I hate to throw them away. Giving them to Goodwill seems stupid. That’s just what needy people need is unusable cords and wires for unknown equipment. Maybe I’ll just put them on the street in the box and write ‘Free Wires and Cords’ on it. Then I’ll be checking to see if anyone is taking them. I should throw them away or maybe just leave them in the box on my deck until they eventually find their way back into the garage and I go through it again next year the week of my 19th year sober. I can only hope.
Today I talk to the very smart and amusing Lucas Brothers. I had a great time with them. On Thursday, I talk to Canadian comic Mike MacDonald, not the other one from Boston. It’s a harrowing story but he’s still alive, man.