Jim Trainer

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#48: Brother Baker

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2020 at 12:25 pm

The Office of Jim Trainer
4610 Avenue D, #A
Austin TX 78751

Brother Baker
601 N. Lansdowne Ave
The Township

1/13/18, 11:54AM

Warmest Greetings from the War Room-

The office is a tight split between a loft bed and a love seat.  The long curtains are slightly drawn, it’s letting in a diffuse and brown Texan light.  Life is good, it could be better but even my worst day is heaps better than toughing, it out on those flathead streets of our hometown.  The city was better than the suburbs—because there were consequences. The police were slightly better, too, believe it or not, if only because they had bigger fish to fry than a punk rocking poet loony with whisky and chooch.  The City of Philadelphia Police let me get away with more shit than the Upper Darby cops ever would—they even tried to bust me for things I didn’t do. One night, on acid, the UDTP tried to bust me, J and Dan Judge for smashing the windshield of a pickup truck.  Turns out it was Steve Bacchus who, for all we know, is dead now while the three of us left the Township and the city of Philadelphia a long time ago.

Greener pastures are just that, Brother Baker.  Life should get better, and soften us, too, much to the chagrin of the hooligans and psychopaths we grew up with.  It’s spiritually sound, once the hierarchy of needs are met however. We’re sheltered and fed, we can count on the future, then we can look inside and figure how to be there for our loved ones and even our Brothers and Sisters.  Which is lofty and ideal. It sounds good in writing, but, that’s what I do. The reality is I’m in recovery, winnowing and narrowing down to root causes. It’s a lazy way to be and duck and cover mostly. Take last night, for example.  I came home after work and fed myself. All good things considering how slipshod I used to live and how bad it could be practically anywhere else in the world. All within 10 hours, too. In 10 hours I’d gotten out of bed, washed and clothed myself, worked 8 hours, drove home and had a light dinner.  By 7 I was camped out on the loveseat in the office/bedroom, giving the Electric Sun 20 Trial another go. I stayed there until about 9:30 or so and then I went to bed. I’m up late today but fully awake as can be expected after 10 hours of sleep. At no point have I thought of another human being. Nor did I attempt to thrive or push my evolution a notch or so further by exercising or meditating.  This is not coincidence. There was no prayer, no writing ( yesterday was Letter Day ) and nary a thought to the suffering of the world. When I mentioned I’m in recovery, I meant it in every sense. The small fires have been put out—I’m not drinking or smoking, but I’m recovering from a decades long depression and sinking IN as opposed to going out and whooping it up to prove something to myself that I’m not depressed.

I wrote that it wasn’t a coincidence.  I didn’t give a thought to my own evolution nor did I think of the suffering of the world.  They are the same and we know this. Plus it’s not totally true to say I didn’t think of anyone—I knew you’d be one of this week’s letter recipients for Letter Day.  As mentioned, I fell out, but when I woke up I saw you’d liked 2 of my Instagram posts, so I knew it would be you. Interesting times we are living in, eh Brother? We could be well within our rights to give up the fight forever, because the time bomb of our Mother is winding down.  I think if at least the weather wasn’t as fucked as everything else I could deal, I could climb and I could answer the call that is begged of me the better my life gets. Which is the strangest of all, I guess—now that I’ve found the littlest bit of light and it seems to be growing, I’m feeling stronger (or at least wiser) than ever, that I can actually find a reason to smile and mean it, the world decided to end on me, just when I discovered that negativity is the new positivity, too.  Oh well. Looks like I picked the wrong millenium to be happy. I’m sure our Buddhist Brothers should have a lot to say about this and I hope they’d knock some sense into my entitled, ice cream-eating ass—peacefully, of course. Because if they can’t, Steve, if even the Buddhists are at a loss then it truly is our time. All those years fantasizing about the end of the world weren’t just fantasy. It should’ve made us pay attention to what matters but it didn’t. There’s a Bukowski quote somewhere saying all this heaps better than I am at the moment.  I just mean to say I’m shell shocked but getting over, sober but still in hiding. I don’t know what it will take to awaken me but I’m 100 it won’t be the world’s dramas or charms. I’m not even fooled by women anymore, Steve. It’s that bad.

My tack these days is fascination.  And curiosity. And interest. Music still gets me, probably even more now that I’m sober, just like old times.  All Songs Considered blows my mind.  As does the NYT with their 52 Places to Visit in 2018 photo essay this week.  I’m getting off the grid as far as social media is concerned, reading as much as I can off paper and trying to stay present.  Let’s face it, that’s always been the problem, but, and here’s the great thing about writing—in writing this to you I’ve discovered something—some way out of this.  Instead of really being positive as the world crumbles, I think I’ll see how present I can get even as we sink into the Shit. I love a challenge and I hate being told to be happy, so, this is perfect.  Thanks for that, Brother.

Be well.  See you in the Spring.

Ab irato,
Jim Trainer
Austin TX

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