Friends who call out your bullshit while it falls off your lips are the only kind I can have right now. The delivery can vary—one can listen until you’re done then break it down, another might chant oxymoron while you keep verbally angling around your self-destructive plans—but they are treasured the same and what I need.
My therapist is like this—THANK GOD—and today I’m a mess.
We’ve been sick over here since Monday, and now my son and I are on the mend. The apartment looks like a dead battlefield. We really fucked some shit up, and I haven’t gone outside our front door in over 72 hours. I scrubbed my face today, though, and that helps. My bedroom window is open even though it’s cold outside; the sound of passing cars and breeze are a good warm-up for this afternoon when I drive to ___________. It won’t feel as abrupt.
This weekend, I leave for ________ to see my daughters for the first time since they moved back down there during the holidays. I’m dying, dyyyyying to hug my babies and have some eye contact with them.
I need to drink a smoothie. Nothing nutritious has gone inside me in days, because prior to The Plague, we had a birthday party. I’m eating Pringles and potato salad as I type.
All of this fuels my gratitude that in about an hour, I’m going to be sitting across from a woman who gets paid to have the patience to help me talk through my shit. My friends do it all the time, but it gets old for them. Now is about finding patterns and disrupting them, tracing behavior to root causes and recognizing them for what they are.
Today might be a doozy of a session. Wish my therapist and me strength and humor.
Grace is waking up as late as your dizzy, dizzy head needs to and knowing that a stream of angels will pass through today, that your bar manager is getting your day covered for tomorrow so you can move out of your apartment on time. It’s relocating your three customers on yesterday’s shift (favorites all–trusted–five years ago you lied and said you were a niece to one [you and another bartender who has resurfaced too] so you could visit him in the ER after he fell off his bar stool) to the far side of the bar so you could share the small space heater on the counter away from the doors. Love is when one sunbeam fought through the awful December sky and landed all over you and you caught one of them seeing you bask in it without any objectification fucking up the warmth.
This is what it looks like when your circle knows you’re tired. They carry you.
Your mother packed your boxes while you practiced the tease with Old Man _____ at the bar. Sometimes you held his hands on the counter. He’s a kind old man who hugs you and tells you to be careful when he leaves always. He’s the one who fell all those years ago. This, too, is love and grace.
You spent as much in the jukebox as you made in tips, but you made it through and home. That’s what counts on those days.
Today is different. Better and just starting. I could die this afternoon, but I probably won’t. The fact that I can even type that out means I’m wandering out into thinner trees. My Tribe will come like they said they would, and somehow this will get done.
Midterm elections are over. Blue Waves, Red Tsunamis–whatever they were or wanted to be–saturated pre-Tuesday headlines, but the Green Current of medical and recreational cannabis floated to the top of a few states’ polls. This Forbes story gives a nice surface view of the big wins, from municipal decriminalization in Ohio towns to Michigan going recreational statewide.
Here in Illinois, we elected a new governor: J.B. Pritzker. I have a J.B. story. It goes like this:
I stood behind J.B. Pritzker at a rally for higher education funding in Springfield one time. I didn’t know who he was, but he seemed pretty all right. Then he won the Democratic gubernatorial primary, said he’d legalize recreational weed, and got elected.
Soon-to-be-Governor Pritzker in Springfield, IL when I had no idea who he was until he spoke during the rally I was photographing for a university marketing gig I fail/learn a lot at. If you would like to turn him into Weed Jesus using your bad-ass Photoshop/whatever-suite-you-use-now skills for me, I will proof and edit some writing for you. Or write you a very mediocre poem on any topic you’d like.
So happy day, Illinois stoners (and cancer patients, poor people, incarcerated ones, and accidentally suicidal ex junkies–and congrats to everyone who will benefit from the cannabis industry that’s about to boom)! The headline: