Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’

The Trouble With Jimbo

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2014 at 7:42 pm

The following post was originally intended to be published on my Birthday last week. I was hungover that day though, and wasn’t feeling it; so I wrote something else instead. I copped out on the real real. Took a dip into fantasy land. Poesy, as Papa would call it. Refuge, as it has become for me. My writing has become a pill I can swallow with cold mint mate in the once ever-crowned hateful afternoon. I can tie my pain to anchors and set sail. Aho I have rivalled the blues and outlived the old myth. Oh I’ll just let the 38 year-old me tell you all about it.

The Trouble With Jimbo
March 5, 2014, 6:42 PM

well I hope you don’t see me
in my ragged company
well you know I could never be alone

-Keith Richards

The truth about Jimbo is that I could never relax. Tonight’s a good example. It’s windy and warm. “Tits weather”, as my Yellow Lark would say. But she’s not here now. It’s just me and these fucking swarms of grackle, crowning the dusk and yelling at the sky. I’m drinking a Michelada cuz I’m bored and I’m bored cuz I can’t relax. It’s got me quoting the Rolling Stones for cry eye!
I mean, seriously? On the roof of the Last Confederate Governor of the U.S.’ old place, in the Live Music Captial of the World, heading out on the road in late Spring, one book in the can and another on the way-but crunching down ruefully on another triple 5 cuz I can’t relax?
I’ve known the blues, Brothers&Sisters. And I’ve known trouble. Believe me. But blues and trouble would be a fucking carnival compared to this ease and this comfort, this feeling my power fully and resting in it, my Truth.

The final and lasting danger is this contentment.

What kind of life have I lived if, even after all my dreams have come true, I rue the small moments and hate the “area of pause” and and basically not enjoy this exquisite boredom that would have been celebrated all those lean and gnarly, starving years before?

No solution, no problem.
-Melvis Lara

It ain’t easy takin’ it easy. Especially when I consider the scope of this vision and the weight of this dream I’m dreaming now. Welly well well. What do we have here but a rare and reflective moment of honesty from the writer?

Indeed as I buckle under this boredom and life has suddenly become too good for me it is this vulnerability, now revealed, that has made me feel brave enough to share this truth with you:

All those years, when you saw me sidelining it with a smoke and hater blockers on, when I was looking so cool and young and angry, way out on the far reaches of the roiling crowd? When I couldn’t tolerate phoniness and I thought it my foolish duty to shut it down always and in all ways? I was just coping, Brothers&Sisters. Walking sideways and seeking refuge from the fucking barrage of sights and sounds and yes, it was mostly pain. I couldn’t bare to see you suffer Brother. So I looked away. I tell you true in this rare moment of honesty-I am sorry. So sorry. Sorry I had to turn away from your pain and for foolishly thinking that it was any different from my own. Life was what I missed when I turned away, adolescently, in the hateful dusk, streaked in sweat and lust. And in the painful mornings, when I mistakingly confused life with a sentence and-while I’m being honest-death could not come fast enough.

What a fool I have been. So selfish and misguided and young. So unnecessarily sensitive. Even as I sit here this evening, with the blue dusk all around and the grackle suddenly silent, I know. I know what I’ve been sent here for. And it is at once so supremely selfish but not selfish at all. I’m here to celebrate and I mean that in the most authentic and all-encompassing way. I am here to celebrate your hunger and your pain. Your triumph and your victory. Your mourning-yes, we know this. I have sat in vigil but forgot who lit the candle. I want to remember and I want to remember that it was you. Yes you. As much as you’ve read I’ve rued you. Hated you. Felt held but never coveted by you. And as much as I’ve suffered hearing how intense I am, how I’m so deeply emotional (as if that could ever be anything to be ashamed of). I’m here to tell you that I could never handle my own intensity. But all that’s about to change. I’ve spent decades putting out fires foolishly thinking that the flame would ever go out. And foraging and ferreting my light as if I could ever run out of fuel.

The truth about Jimbo is I’ve been trying to change for awhile now and perhaps it high time to give a little credit where credit is due, do like the Yogis do, and start where I am, but also-walk through the fucking door.

There isn’t much time to be bored, tell you the truth. The world needs saving now and in this regard, my Irish/Italian-American Karma is about as useful as a pack a day habit. It really is that simple, People. I’m tired of living a lie but also I know what is true.
Beat down, fucked and fucking and any and all alcoholic writers whose life&work I will always cherish, all that ain’t me. I’m basically speaking through you (thanks) and trying to convince myself, in writing first (where else?), that what’s ahead could never be any worse than what I have already endured. Twenty years on the outside is long enough. I want you to have my heart. I know it’s in here somewhere. Enough the demolition and enough the clearing out. Enough the War Time. This has been Grim Jim’s Last Ride.
There is a great and grave suffering in the world. But all is as it should be. And can we avoid catastrophe? Can we stop hoarding all our love, and step out bravely from in between the memory of pain and pleasure and truly reveal our heart to the world? I don’t know. But here’s to trying and another 40 years.

You have my heart. Don’t waste it. Don’t be like Jimbo. Go forth. Love each other. Don’t be bored. Read my blog.

Nights now fallen. I’ve voiced my regrets. And that’s all I can do. I’ll make my ablutions and lay down to sleep. And I will rise into that Great Eastern Sun with this vow redbouled. I will give my heart to you.

Grim Jim’s Last Ride

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2014 at 9:33 am

I shoulda known. I’d had more fun in 3 hours with them than I’d had the whole Fall. What a bleak time, the Fall. Bitter yellow months chomping fistfuls of black time and smoking triple 5s. Not the best basis for comparison perhaps, but this night was special.

We were at Gusto, 48th&Burnet in Hippie Town. We decided to get another bottle of wine. We drank that one much quicker and then dinner was over. We were having tea up in the high rooms when Rach asked me to go out with her for some cold beers in the midnight w/Southern et al. We trekked over to Gourmand’s and waded through the thick bario night to get there. Once out front, some dipshit was drunk and Alex and another broad discussed how he had just texted her looking for a hookup but-aho, here was out front the bar, shithoused and stupid and talking to her. We went in. I ordered a water and stood there at the end of the bar with my hood up, glowering. I observed the crowd dynamic and theatrics sullenly. Then I ordered a beer. I shoulda known. Years of alcohol abuse have rendered me curiously sensitive to the stuff. That’s the thing about alcoholism. You’d think with your increased tolerance you’d be able to handle it better. The truth is you handle drunkenness the same way every time. That is to say, you don’t handle it at all. That’s what being drunk is. But with the increased amount of time and larger quantities it takes to get there, you’ve got more time to think about it and reason it out. But even the most seasoned alcoholic like me will find his senses muted, his sensibilities non-existent and a burning desire for confrontation, or at least something to grab hold of to stop the Ferris wheel from a-spinning.
I’ll spare you the details of what happened next and just get right to the point. After 2 hours of watching young people stab each other with conversation, rope you into one and suddenly ask you to step outside to smoke about it-I was only getting angrier and angrier. Shit. It’s nobody’s fault. Being angry with the misguided and unkempt and rude-the young-is like expecting to win a bullfight because you’re vegetarian. How’s that for a mixed metaphor? What do you want from me? I was drunk. And after all these years of doing it the hardway my emotional switchboard is all-wet and shorted out. You know what my problem is? Anger. Aho. Been my drug of choice for as long as I can remember, even when I was a straight-edge skinhead. Well I guess I always smoked but anyway, yeah. Fuck it. At least that’s what all systems read when I get shitty. Which I will get. No doubt about it. Alcohol is Jim Trainer’s rainstorm in a bottle. Instant black cloud. Now, get me drunk in a dirty shithole east side with a bunch of folks who don’t know they’re gonna die and it’s a recipe for catastrophe. So anyway. I almost came to fisticuffs with the lesbian who tends bar there and I’m not looking forward to seeing her again. I don’t do well with alpha males. I mean, I get it, you’re a lesbian-but, you’re still a woman, right? The fairer sex? The goddess? I’ve been wearing white tees and jeans longer than you’ve been alive honey. And I wasn’t hitting on your girlfriend. My comments to her were some of the realest conversation I’d had all night. I didn’t realize she was so shithoused but after standing at the end of the bar for 2 hours I shoulda known. When I finally opened my mouth and said what was really on my mind, and in fact it was the only positive sentiment I had come up with all night long and not only that but found the need to communicate it, and then you come up “swoll” as you say, pointing your 20-year-old finger in my face and judge ME? Well. Here’s the thing, honey. Alpha males are a conception of the losers. You know what tough guys do? They throwdown. They don’t talk about it. Would I react that way given a choice today? Probably not.
What would be your answer to that question?
Actually it doesn’t matter because by that point, my friends were thinking that I had an anger problem and I just needed to be dropped off and put to bed and THEY WERE RIGHT. I was up past my bedtime and I’ve been hit too hard, I’ve seen too much. You don’t grow up in Hostile City and reach the age of 40 without more than a few forgone conclusions about your own behavior when alcohol takes the place of sleep, let alone in a dirty ill-lighted room full of 20-somethings after midnight on the East Side.
Fuck it. Sorry doll. I am. I think you should take a look at yourself a little more closely but, that’s me. Live your life. I hope that if we do meet again it’s peaceful and we can reach an understanding. But it won’t be after 10pm. And that goes for the lot of yas. It’s the Year of the Pumpkin and March 1st was Piscean Independence Day. No more bullshit for this old soldier. And no more a whole lot of other shit, too.

The final and lasting danger is this contentment. All my heroes are dead. I’m going dark, while simultaneously going suit-and-tie guy with the career. I may write about my life but that doesn’t mean I have to live it all the time. Or live it down. Or give authenticity to my writer’s voice by drinking like Henry Miller and fighting like Papa. What a fool I have been. And I don’t mind apologizing for it, either. If I did I’d still be a fool. 39 will be a banner year. 2014 is the Year of Jim Trainer. The Year of Jenn Spransy. The Year of Maureen Ferguson and the Year of the Pumpkin. No more deep-cuts in the lust-smothered night, no more rueing of the sunlight and no more bitters for the ingenuine. I’ve rivalled the blues, and trouble cain’t touch this. After all these years I’m like a lion tamer, and my patience-once ever lacking-has found a new fount. I know what I’ve come for. I will have no use for my own heart when I’m dead and gone. I ain’t takin’ it wit me. I’ll be leaving it here, with all of you and hopefully years before I check out.

we may have caved to tempests of lust
and hid, shut out behind walls of resentment

-Ring The Bells

Thank you for joining me in this version of death we call life. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Signing off, this is the end of our broadcast day. This has been Grim Jim’s Last Ride.

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Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo

In Uncategorized on December 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm

About the only good thing to come out of being raised Catholic was that it gave me all the reason I needed to hate myself.  Guilt, ablution, shame-these are great motivators if you want to be a career alcoholic.  You can hate yourself for not being godly or perfect and then punish yourself by drinking&smoking way too much.  Feeling like shit the next day is a perfect way for shame to infiltrate your entire being and the whole thing can start all over again.  It’s perfect.

I think I held onto religion allot longer than my atheist and iconoclastic friends out of respect for my mother.  When I was on my own, and after I read The Stranger for the first time, I realized that God didn’t need me to believe in him.  I could make that choice.  It’s been a dark fucking 15 years without God.  It’s been fun, too, depending on your definition of  fun.  I enjoyed doing the thing that they said could not be done.  I enjoyed burning it all down.  But I never escaped the guilt, the shame.

When my father died I met Bass Player X.  His name was Doug Kirchner and he was a sick upright bass player.  His name, Kirchner, betrays that he was a total East-Coast Pisan.  A real gangster, the kind of wiseguy you only find in the northeast.  I was looking for a teacher.  Doug told me that he had chanted for my father.  It really struck me that someone would pray for the dead.  I never considered that the dead would need our prayers and that my upright bass teacher would do that for my dad, completely unbidden, was just as remarkable.  Doug not only taught me upright bass, he began teaching me about Buddhism. 

Here is a religion that you are perfect for.  All you need is to step into it.  There is nothing to be done about the past and the future begins now.  The Wisdom of the Lotus Sutra is that the future actually began in the past until it became the present.  And so it goes.  I know this blog will probably cause my iconoclastic friends to chuckle.  I’m not concerned with that right now.

I guess this is one way that I can thank the light and love that I have been a part of with all of you, and for all those who are no longer with us.  Being a drunk, while providing me with a surplus of material to write from over the years, just isn’t fun anymore.  The toxicity of my mind and body now only amounts to torture.  I don’t need these coping mechanisms or a crutch, and it’s simply because it’s not total War all the time anymore. 

We are survivors.  That’s why we’ve found each other, that’s where my love and respect for you lies.  We have survived.  I don’t want to exclude anyone; while well-adjusted, happy go getters used to be the bane of my existence, without War I’m learning to experience their Wisdom, too.  The fact that most of the beautiful people don’t want to look on the dirty side of life isn’t really a point of contention with me anymore.  I’m happy for my dark.  I’m happy that I survived.  I was living like I would be dead at 30 and it was because I would have preferred death over being that old.  Now I’m 35.  There comes a gratitude.  And a feeling that I want to give back, now.  I want to respect what the universe has done for me.  All those years that I felt like I blew it are behind me.  In fact, I can make the choice whether to blow it or not, now, and only now.  After all that War.  After all that burning down. 

I believe we can be set free.  I’m starting with these toxic chains.  It’s fucking ridiculous to be learning this lesson again.  After all the proof, all the suffering this lifestyle has only perpetuated.  But it is what it is.  I needed to learn that lesson as many times as I did and only until I was sure of the answer.

May we live in light.  May we embrace the dark, remembering those who live and have died there.