January thirteenth

I awoke to find an “Add New Post” window open on my computer screen. Only the title field was filled in. It said, “How alcohol saved my life”.

The night before I watched the movie, “Drinking Buddies“. Accept for the part where a drunk bicycle rider gets freaked out at the sight of blood, I found it to be one of the most accurate portrayals of drinking life that I’ve ever scene in a movie. I felt inspired me to write an honest account of the role alcohol has played in my life. I felt like I could finally do it without coming off like I was just trying to justify bad behavior.

But first I had something more important to attend to… my laundry. I’d kept my washing machine hobbling along for the past year or so but the time had come for it to retire. As a result I’d accumulated five loads of laundry so I loaded up my van and headed to Rainbow Laundromat in Uptown. They have free Wi-fi so I figured I could get some writing done at the same time. That never happened.  Washing five loads all at once doesn’t leave a lot of down time but an hour and a half later I had clean sheets, comforter and a fresh new wardrobe. I still felt like I had accomplished something.

I stopped by the liquor store determined to spend the evening writing but by the time I got home my brain had developed other plans. I didn’t want to spend another night at home drinking; I wanted to get out in the world and be with my people. I hadn’t been on my bike since November and this was going to be the night I stopped making excuses. The weather report said that snow was expected but I didn’t care. I was determined.

[It’s been almost a week since that night but sometimes a little time and reflection is helpful to sift out the fluff. Here are the highlights as I remember them now.]

I managed to find my winter biking gear including my ski goggles. It was cold and the roads suck but I was off and riding again. My first top after picking up tobacco at Sarna’s was the 331 Club. I found myself at the bar next to a man who was sitting alone drinking a Miller High Life; the two-for-one special of the evening. He explained that it’s been hard to find work and money has been tight since he got released from prison but he was really hoping to avoid going back. He explained that he would never do anything to hurt another person, except out of honor and loyalty. These were his guiding principles. He was surprised that I had never been to prison; I guess because he’s not used to talking to people who haven’t. I explained that fear has kept me out of prison and in a sense, fear was my prison. He told me that if you want to survive in prison, all you have to do is tell the truth.

He said, “I just tell them that I believe in God. They think that I’m crazy and leave me alone.”

I said, “You want to hear something really crazy? I think that I am God.”

“I don’t think that you are crazy. Not many people are willing to talk to me but you are.”

“That’s because I think that you are God.”

He didn’t believe me that he was God and maybe he was right. Still, he did look like God to me.

Next, I stopped at Club Jager to see if they had anything going on. To my surprise they were setting up for their monthly metal night. I vowed to return and headed off to Grumpy’s Downtown where a friend of mine holds a movie night on Monday’s. He was showing Robocop and Total Recall (the good one). I was more eager to see my friend than I was the movies. We had found ourselves in a three AM online spate recently and I wanted to make sure we were still “cool”. Our argument was over the placebo effect. I took the position that the brain has the power to heal and he was arguing for science and medicine. This is a pretty life or death issue but it’s not like either of us are wrong.

Then it was back to “Metal Night” at Club Jager. I love metal music but mostly I love the metalheads. Seriously, some of the nicest most loving people you will ever meet.

One of the guys I met described himself as a Satanist. He said, “This music is very spiritual to me.”

“A Satanist, huh?” I had to ask, “What do Satanists believe in?”

He told me, “Love.”

“Hmmm, that’s what I believe in as well. Maybe I’m a Satanist.”

The bike ride home was hell. Snow had covered the streets and it was still falling pretty hard. I just kept telling myself, “I can do this, I’ve been through worse.” It was slow going but I finally made it home. I had survived another day!

I woke up the next morning invigorated and feeling alive. I posted the following to facebook:

OMG Last night was amazing. I highly recommend doing stupid things. The world is just one big playground. A playground that could kill you but oh my god, not dying is sooooo much fun!!!

It was at that point that I realized that the day before was just any other day. It was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the day I nearly died; the day of my car accident, the day I lost my right eye. I call it my re-birthday. Every year I celebrate January Thirteenth as the beginning of my new life but this year I totally missed it… or did I?


I seriously don’t know why I ever plan anything for Thursdays. I always think, “Oh, I’ll be fine. I can do that.” Nope, not likely. Wednesdays tend to wipe me out and I need a day to recover. I need a day to be extremely unreliable. So all in all I feel pretty damn good about what I did manage to do yesterday.

Hell, I wrote 1,500+ words. Don’t know the last time I’ve done that. I’ve been wanting to for quite some time. I spend a lot of time thinking so it’s about time I started writing down those thoughts in my head. And that is something I really need to do. Get thoughts out of my head. I also need to write down what I do everyday because I just can’t remember this shit. I can’t tell you what I did last week. I mean maybe I could if I though really long and hard but my past starts to get really fuzzy really fast. Most of it I don’t miss but it can get frustrating. If I can manage to take an hour out of each day to document my life I can see this being of great benefit to me. If I share it, who knows, maybe it can even be of benefit to someone else. At the very least it will hold me accountable and I want to live my life with honesty and integrity.

So as this blog is starting to take form what I see it being is a fairly comprehensive documentation of my life, the highs and the lows, the trials and tribulations, from the mundane to the magnificent. And then shared with the world in the present day, not as a memoir of the past but as it happens. I don’t know if that has been done before. I don’t know if anyone will find it interesting but I think it has the potential to be. This is my art. This is my experiment. What it becomes is yet to be known. Of course I have to make sure that I have the time to do the living part or I won’t have much to write about. Yesterday’s post took nearly four hours to write. I guess one of my fears is that becoming a blog writer will turn me into a boring person. Oh well, sometimes I am kind of boring.

After yesterday’s writing session I ran off to meet my friend and pick up the chowder she made for me. I didn’t even take a shower. I just threw on the clothes I was wearing the day before and ran out the door. I didn’t have that far to go but I drove anyway. In part because of time constraints but mostly because it was too damn cold out and even I won’t bike under certain conditions.

My friend was getting some work done by Miss Kitty at Live Fast Die Young Tattoos in NE Minneapolis. For someone who doesn’t have any tattoos I sure do love them. And there is something really magical about a tattoo shop. It was a fun time. I enjoy watching people get tattooed and my friend is one hell of a story teller and she had some good ones to share yesterday. BTW, I’m just referring to her as “my friend” because I haven’t decided whether to use people’s names in this blog. I may find that I have to. It may get too confusing or become too awkward not to but in the meantime I will try to protect my friend’s anonymity. It may turn out that people will just need to accept that if they interact with me parts of their life will be publicized.

After that I ran to the tobacco store then home to eat the chowder before my daughter got there. Fantastic chowder by the way! Really hearty, creamy and rich. Other than a few peanuts, that wound up being the only thing I ate yesterday.

My daughter was dropped off by her mother around six. Usually I would have picked her up but she had an after-school class so plans got a bit screwed up. I was actually quite grateful for this. I certainly could use the time and I did not want to go back out in the cold.

I had a wonderful evening with my daughter. We played two games of chess. I haven’t played in a long time but my 14 year old daughter is just learning. She is a remarkably brilliant kid but I still managed to beat her both games. We’ll see how long that lasts. I don’t believe in letting kids win but I did let her know what my strategy was and helped her not make suicidal moves.

After that we watched Rango. I do love me some Johnny Depp and chameleons are bad-ass! After that my daughter went to bed and I returned to my room to watch The Daily Show. I wanted to go have one more cigarette but was simply too tired to move and I faded off into dream land… well almost. I did get a phone-call at 12:54am that woke me up briefly after which I turned off my ringer and was out.

I have much to do today including much that I had hoped to do yesterday. So here we go…

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