california state university. sacramento. i got lost on the campus again, after dark. asked for directions no less than three times. i know why they call it eureka hall. the moment i found it i felt that way. the kids were packed in the classroom, florence gave me a big smile and i took my place on the panel. the three stories came before mine were nothing short of inspirational. i hoped my truth could keep the spirit alive. about halfway through my story i found the pulse. the faces began to light up. these are difficult memories to draw. i told them how i owed forgiveness to my dearly departed cat. around 2001 Raccoon turned on me and slashed me in the face with his claws. that’s when i knew what an asshole i had become, deep in the heart of addiction.
when we were kids a raspberry was a scrape you got running around rough. the kid with the biggest raspberry was honored for a warrior. i remember once when i was 8 i injured myself on purpose, jumped from a real high spot hoping i would break my leg. i ended up landing on my hands and sprained my wrist. i wanted a cast for kids to write their names on, and all i got was a sling and a bag of ice. i went on to hurt myself in decidedly dangerous ways in life. driving too fast in the rain, age 17, i hydroplaned and rolled my vw. i was known to put a cigarette out on my arm. i had a lot of one night stands with strangers. hooked up with randoms. addiction was my tried and true. i wanted to numb the shame that came of hiding and fighting my identity. that was my biggest secret. i was trying to protect myself. i ended up in jail and rehab after rehab until finally i had to face myself, take my medicine, and face the world. my lease on life was renewed. today i have learned to let the feelings rise and fall. be true to yourself no matter what. today i like my raspberry red. i pack a peanut butter sandwich for my lunch with jam.
i moved to california from chicago hoping to renew my life. i was always looking 4 the energy to carry on. depressed and reluctant 2 try antidepressants after all the pills in china failed to help. some good people helped me get through the day by days. i got a job and sold my house in illinois. i bought a truck and read some books. i could not write anymore. not without cocaine and bourbon with milk. believe me, i tried. i carried a deep sense of self-betrayal (though no longer self-medicating and destroying myself). a better life was waiting to receive me. my demons were not done with me. i read more books. i walked around and thought. i enrolled in graduate school to study transpersonal psychology. i read William James and Carl Jung and Bill Wilson. i wanted to make a difference in my community. i had to teach myself to be responsible all over again. i had to be alone. to write without putting anything in me. just a cup of coffee or tea…ten years later i found the courage to really live.
The medical tech excused herself to speak with her supervisor. She hid her worry rather well. I was in a gown after an EKG. I had a paperback in hand, from the donated library in the waiting room. This happened almost every time. I was once living at high speeds. Sleepless nights. Racing around to no end. Years ago I exited my madness. Since then life has been something to cherish in slow motion. Few sudden surprises. When I saw her, she looked relieved. I asked her the number. Today my pulse chimes in @ 39.