Jim Trainer

Take Your Medicine

In alcoholism, recovery, Uncategorized on December 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

…to live outside the law, you must be honest…
-Bob Dylan, Absolutely Sweet Marie

I’ve really let myself go. I’m doing my best but my best is paltry and weak. Nights I fall out, days I do what I have to. What I know, in my mind, is fear. It’s fear keeping me in line, not taking any chances. What I don’t know, in my body, is trauma, or the memory of it, the abuse that continues, that’s changed me and keeps me on a dark and narrow track. I tried to disengage from this blog. I shared poetry and performances and I wrote about others. Writing about others came home to roost when they started taking notice. Not so much because they took notice but for the kind of attention they paid to being what I felt was a hack anyway. It’s all fine and well. Writing isn’t a perfect art. Guns need to be cleaned and even then you’ll breach wide and fire into the blue—instead of taking down the enemy you only alert them to your location. My explanations only dug me in deeper. To the uninitiated, the newsletter I sent out last week made me sound petty and worse. There’s no excuse. It’s not funny anymore. Asserting masculinity can no longer be at the expense of femininity. True power never seeks without but always comes from within. We know this, and the world going to pot? That’s no excuse either. Ultimately, the truth is a good medicine. It’s often bitter and harsh but that doesn’t make hiding out in the dark any easier or any more sense being afraid. The truth hurts but it’s trauma that keeps us hid and a memory of pain that’ll keep us suckling at a lie.

This is the blog I’ve been trying to write—for weeks, the diamond in the mire and sticky dross of gossip and vituperation. I can’t live down that it worked, for a while, that I felt like I was living Mencken’s life of kings slinging ‘em down week after week. There’s hardly anything more satisfying than taking down the Goliath in 600 words. Nothing feels better than a bourbon in the morning either, but the real problem ain’t the hangover. The truth is the truth. When the light of day finds you it can feel like it’s cutting you down your cold middle, especially if you’ve been hiding out stanchioned in the frozen night. The light ain’t wrong, the light is the light. It feels good on your back and bids you enter the sacred spaces of dusk and dawn. The night is ok for poets and soldiers advancing, and alcoholics and sex addicts—me, I’m peeling back the layers. I quit drinking to get to the Real and oh boy have I. The fireworks, Doc, have started. I’m confronting myself, it’s dank and musty in here and like the song says there’s too many skeletons in my room today.

I been trying to dig myself out. Hang up the gossip column and get to the hard stuff. I fell into a hall of mirrors. I was so busy trying to convince others what an artist I was, when the truth is I was only trying to prove it to myself and either way I haven’t been an artist, haven’t been writing—not in earnest, anyway. I wrote about chronic masturbation at the end of the world, burying horrible xs and practically day drinking cocktails of resentment and woe, leaning grim and perverted beneath the masthead of this column. I was getting by, which, for a co-dependent, alcoholic, anger addict is ok. It’s better than getting fucked up or shacked up or using precious bandwidth on folks who can’t even comprehend the problems you’re railing on. It’s fine and well, survival. It’s what we know but, to thrive? Like our heroes have done, to thrive is far from this day to day I’ve taken on—delivery shifts and YouTube marathons, sugar gorges and late, musty masturbatory mornings. As deplorable as the Gossip was, and as trite that I’d be focusing on someone else are the endings of these posts. They’re always wrapping it concisely, in a bow for bullshit. It’s contrite and positive and 20th Century Essay Writing 101. Don’t leave your readers behind in the mess and quagmire you’ve lead them down—lift them up Good Writer. I can’t anymore, Good Reader. I can’t lift you up. You’re on your own. We’re on our own. This is our world now. At least I’m not having to explain, though–backpedaling into sexist doublespeak that was somehow supposed to defend a heartbroken romantic on the edge of Empire.

Sometimes the best you can do is call it, a bad hand is a bad hand, as she used to say, and probably still does, in her happy married life far and away from me and my mawkish bullshit. See you next week, motherfucker?

  1. see you next week.

  2. I’ll be here next week.

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