Good2begone

I'm not really here.

Month: February, 2013

It’s A Living


I often get asked-

“What is it you do when you are not here annoying us?”

It’s a valid question. Although, I think the word annoying is quite harsh. I prefer the term “painfully inquisitive”.

But that is neither here or there.

I usually respond with-

“I work in construction.”

Inevitably, the next question is-

“Do you know the guy from the Village People…you know….the construction worker?”

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Why would I know that guy? I don’t even think he uses his hammer the same way I do…..

And I don’t break out into song and dance on the job….

Ok…so I do….but not to disco and none of my other co workers join in when I do.

They just looked at me and ask,

“Did you used to eat glue as a kid?”

I didn’t by the way. I just like the way it smelled.

Anyway, here is what I do-
I turn this>

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Into this>

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I was never even “In The Navy”

I also have been known to do this>

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I never wanted to be a “Macho Man”

I apologize if I floor you with the next picture.

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When given the time I like to create rooms like this>

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Won’t find that at the “YMCA”.

Currently I am engulfed in building a custom dual entry shower with his and her separate shower heads and valves.

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That’s a curved wall that will have custom glass entrances from both sides. The other is the floor of the shower. Yeah, I know it’s dirty….but it’s not done yet….

To recap. I am not-

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Not do I work with any of his band mates-

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I’m this guy>

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And I have a nail gun…and I’m not afraid to use it.

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The Splits


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The unsettled mind branches
To protect the soul from rupture
One becomes 2
How long before
The fall

Ritual Fears


I pulled into the meeting parking lot…..I was early for once (thank you Baby Jesus). And who was the first person I saw? The one I call “The Frantic Man”.

I stick out my hand as I walk up and speak,

“Hey, Bud. You still praying to the doorknob or have you tried something else?”

He sheepishly looks up at me, while shuffling his feet, with a smirk and replies,

“F-f-funny. No….no….no doorknob anymore. I’m trying to believe in a God of my OWN understanding….”

I nod my head with approval.

“Hmmm. So…how goes it?”

He audibly sighs. Then motions me to sit down at the outside table with him.

As he heads to the table, I look at my watch and the people arriving and heading into the meeting.

I silently sigh. Then head over to the table to sit and listen to his latest dilemma.

He was about to speak when I stopped him.

“Any chance we could get some coffee from inside before we start? I just got off work and could use the jolt.”

I look at him and raise my eyebrows. And wait for a response.

It’s like 2 adolescents having a stare down….

………..

“Ok…ok…I’ll get it. You use cre…cream or s…s…sugar?”

“Nope. Just black. Thanks.”

He gets up to get the AA mud. I take the moment to talk to the God that I have come to understand by looking up and shaking my head back and forth with a smirk and say,

“I already talked to him when I changed out the doorknob. Wasn’t that enough?”

Of course I got no reply. I was about to ask another question but the frantic man returned….spilling the coffee all the way back to the table.

“S….s…..sorry. I get nervous a lot.”

“Really….I hadn’t noticed.” Was my reply.

“Thanks for the java. So…what’s got your peas out of your pod?”

He looked at me kinda strange…I don’t know why…then began.

“I…I…I have been reading up on God. Different as…as…aspects and religions. And…and…picking out what I like and not p…not p….not picking out what I don’t. And that will be M…M…MY God.”

My head kinda twitched with each of his stutters but I kept my composure and answered.

“That. Is. Awesome. I did the exact same thing. It’s a great start. I’m proud of you.” I said then glanced upward with a “ok, ok, I get it” look.

He blushed a bit and started to smile but quickly got frantic…again.

“But wait…..I…I…I don’t know about all of this…..I…I…I…I don’t want to have to go through the ceremony after I believe.”

“……………”

I look at him with a face that can only be describes as “Huh?”

“Slow down, Knight Rider…..what ceremony?”

“I…I’ve seen it on TV on Sundays. When someone believes they have a ceremony…and…and..pray….and..and..splash holy water on them….and everybody watches…and…”

I cut him off before my twitches turned into convulsions.

“STOP! We don’t have a ceremony. It is a spiritual program….not a religious one….no holy water…no confirmations…nada….”

This time he cut me off.

“Not true…there’s that ceremony this Saturday. Everyone is encouraged to be there…I know wh…wh…what’s gonna happen.”

I started to interject…but reconsidered. He was on a roll.

“There’s gonna be that guy with all those years sober at the front…and…and..he gonna ask if there are any new be…be…believers here. And then I will have to go up there…and..and he is gonna douse me with non alcoholic beer to prove my worthiness…..and…a…and then everyone will cheer and praise…THEIR God….and…and then I will never be the same….”

I waited for him to catch his breath before I replied.

“WOW….that was impressive….but unfortunately, it was crapolla. This is not a cult, Hawkeye…..no one is going to ask you to drink the Kool aid…..Saturday is birthday night…when we “celebrate” annual sobriety dates for the month. We ask everyone to be there so there can hear how the individual accomplished their respective years of sobriety. When they receive their chip, they speak on how they made it another year without drinking.”

I paused to let what I said sink in to his frantic brain. Then added one more statement.

“Doused with non alcoholic beer? This isn’t “Sobers gone Wild” and that stuff still has alcohol in it….why would anyone do that?”

He slumped his shoulders and replied,

“I thought they said ceremony…maybe I should quit worrying about what people think and just listen to what they have to say for a while…..can we go into the meeting?”

“Lead the way my friend.”

As I follow him to the door I glance back upward and think

“I wasn’t this bad when I got here was I?”

This time, I either got an answer or my conscience answered for me,

“That IS you when you got here, Einstein.”

How Now…..


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Bet you knew the rest of the phrase…

But maybe not the meaning.

Wikipedia (who knows EVERYTHING, by the way),defines the phrase as-

“How now brown cow” is a phrase used in elocution teaching to demonstrate rounded vowel sounds. Each “ow” sound in the phrase represents an individual diphthong. The phrase does not have an explicit meaning per se, but can be used as a light-hearted greeting. Its use in teaching elocution can be dated back to at least 1926.

Now you know…..

So, go put on your diphthong and start learning.

Mine Drop


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I got nothing to write or say. So I took a picture of my finger…….it’s not even my middle finger.

That would have required effort, and way too many signals from

Brain to arm

Arm to hand

Hand to specific finger

Finger to upward motion

I got tired just thinking all that, much less writing it.

Basically, I hand my hand on the phone and it was pointed in the general direction of my finger. I hit the camera button, then the shoot button.

And wha-la……

Blogging genius…..

Or shear laziness…..

It all depends on what side of the fence your on.

The green side

Or

The greener side.

I’ll just sit on the fence. Making the decision between the 2 is making me dizzy.

Green is not even my favorite color. There are too many shades of it-

Pine green
Forest green
Light green
Dark green
Blue green

That’s 5 greens.

I couldn’t hit 5 greens in a row if I tried….but I don’t golf.

That takes patience. I have no patience.

Maybe I should be a patient.
__________

I have conversations that go on in my head.

This one occurred while I was blogging about having nothing to blog about.

Most of the time it’s good2begone…..sometimes it gets a little crowded.

Either way,

Louie, Louie
We gotta go.

The Fallen Resonation


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Sometimes when a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, it does make a sound…..and it resonates for years to come.

The Anticipation


The waiting may be the hardest part….but the fulfillment of the waiting is quite grand.

Naturally, I’m talking about the first drink of the night.

The simple motion of alcoholic beverage from glass to mouth to ingestion is glorious.

The wrongs of the day…gone

The mistakes of the past….gone

The about to made errors in judgement….gone

It’s good to be gone….and that’s why I go.
___________

I don’t go there anymore.

But to understand how I got to here (sober) from there (nowhere near sober), I have to remember where I was before I know how I got to where I is…..

You follow me? If not, keep coming back sooner of later you will get it.
_____________

I was a bar drinker (period). I love the crappy neon signs, the smell of stale alcohol and cigarettes. The dimly lit atmosphere of a hole in the wall 4 hour happy hour cover band starts at 9 continuous shot special having last call at 10 minutes to 2 am watering hole.

That scene was my Mecca. My place to find “it”.

I went in search for “it” as often as possible.

My favorite part was not the getting drunk…..although it was always the result.

It was the anticipation of the first drink of the night at “the bar”.
_________

It was where I always went and where I could always be found.

“Where are you. Where are you gonna be at?”

“Just meet me at the bar”

That is all I would have to say.
_______

I would get off work and rush home to change. I needed to be there. I might miss something if I didn’t….besides the earlier I got there the….earlier..I…could…fulfill….the anticipation.
_____________

I felt like I was somebody when I walked in the bar.

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I asked for what I wanted. I got it.

Every time….with a smile.

I wasn’t the guy who screwed up the account. I wasn’t the guy who slowed down production. I wasn’t the guy who couldn’t do anything right.

I was a guy at the bar.

Slinging lies.

Wooing women I couldn’t woo.

Standing tall during happy hour.

Stumbling out after last call.

Go home, sleep it off.

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Wake up tomorrow.

The anticipation begins….again.
___________

Fast Forward to now >>

I no longer have that anticipation. My mind does not race nor does my stomach turn when I see others drink.

I don’t sling lies around for approval…although I am no saint.

I only have 1 woman I wish to woo.

Happy hour is time with the woman I woo and kids we raise.

I now stumble because I am clumsy not because of alcohol.

I anticipate tomorrow as a chance to be better than yesterday and today.

Life has taken on new meaning.

The anticipation is finally fulfilled.

Bark vs. Bite


CAUTION-HEAD INJURY PHOTO WITHIN THIS POST!!

Can’t say I didn’t warn ya.

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See the tree
See the tree fall
See the tree fall on Good2begone’s head.
____________

In AA, we are taught to pray for others. Think of others before thinking of yourself. A lifetime of selfishness can be chipped away with this simple tool.

But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

The picture above is the tree that almost killed me…..I know….I know sounds dramatic, but truth is stranger than fiction.
______

Halloween 2010.

It was a sunny Saturday. My wife and kids went out of town for the day. I opted to work. Extra money always helps out and my boss had a tree job we had to do.

I was about 2 years into sobriety. I had worked the steps to the best (half measured) of my ability.

Today I chose to put the power of prayer to its test.

Before taking this picture I said a short prayer.

“God…please keep my boss safe during this monster of a tree job. Thanks….oh yeah and I guess, amen”

Then I climbed the ladder and asked what he needed me to do.

To my utter shock and surprise he said,

“This ones yours champ.” And he hands me the chainsaw.

“Dude…are you high?” I said knowing he had been sober 4 years longer than I. “This tree is huge. I’m not ready for this.”

He replied, “Nonsense. We have it roped off and chained to my truck in the alley. When it starts to go I will gun the truck and pull it away from the house. Piece of cake….dude.” And he slaps me on the back and gets off the roof.

“Well hell, if he says Im ready then I must be.”

And I pull the cord on the saw bringing it to life.
________

I couldn’t get the full tree in the camera shot. It extended another 25 feet above.
________

I put chain to bark and started ripping through the tree. A little more than halfway through I heard a snap.

And then the gun of an engine.

The chainsaw got stuck in the tree.

I let go.

Then realized I was stuck in a valley of the roof covered in sawdust. Anywhere I went, I knew I would slip. So I stepped back. Then heard the sound of a bomb going off.

BOOM

It wasn’t a bomb. It was the tree. It was so top heavy that it split again when he pulled the truck forward. It had nowhere to go but down.

Where I was.

It smashed into my head and into the roof.

Creating a large crater and busting 2 ceiling rafters.

And split my cranium open.

Neighbors from a block away heard the crash and rushed over. My boss was yelling.

“ARE YOU OK???”

Without missing a beat I reply,

“Yeah, I’m fine except for this gash in my head that’s spewing blood.”

I get off the roof and rush to the hospital.

28 staples later I was allowed to leave. Much to my surprise I wasn’t able to go to work for a while.

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Don’t I look sweet?

Anyhoo,

I call my sponsor and tell him the story. I said,

“Look, I don’t think I like this praying for others deal. I mean…..ok so I got my prayer answered but….LOOK AT MY HEAD.”

He thought for a minute and replied,

“Maybe, god wants you to get another job….”

I answered.

“You’re telling me he was out of burning bushes so he decided to slap me with a tree to get his point across. Whatever.”

I called someone else I knew in sobriety and told him the story. He replied,

“Bad things happen all the time. God is not out to get you. You got hurt. Maybe the reason you didn’t die from that tree is because God WAS watching over you.”

Hmmm..

Bottom line-

My belief in a higher power was not shaken….it was strengthened.

I keep praying for others.

The other man I called became my new sponsor, and took me through the steps completely and honestly.

Sobriety and spirituality continues.

Oh yeah,

6 months later I blacked out from on top of a 12 foot ladder with a running pole saw in my hands.

Unconscious for over 20 minutes.

Another head injury and hospital trip.

Shortly after I did get another job.

Not a suggestion from God or my sponsor.

A pleading demand from my wife.

Her bark is much worse than the trees bite.


Any father will understand this.

16′ x 8′ Of Cold Silence


The only clarity my life had known was found through the bottle and/or overuse of the white lightning known as cocaine.

These 2 items.

Made.

Me.

For upwards of 20 years, the legend of me (in my mind) grew to enormity.

Unashamed.

Uncaring.

Unbreakable.

Without those 2 items I was an egg without a yoke. A goo encased by a shell.

Ingestion of the items broke the shell, and the beast inside would come alive.

Clarity through chemistry. No goals. No guidance. Just go.

Until I wasn’t allowed to pass go to get my $200.

Clarity was redefined.
______________

I awoke on concrete. It appeared my wardrobe has been drastically altered from what I remembered putting on last week.

A week of lost time.

Eventually the pieces would return to complete the puzzle, but for now I was left with

“What Happened?”

I was wearing a white jumpsuit, pink boxers and orange slip on shoes.

I arose from my concrete bed and looked around. This did not take long.

I was in a cell.

Not the type of cell I was used to.

This was the isolation cell.

“What…..happened?”

4 thick concrete walls. 1 thick plexiglass door with a slot on it. A sink, toilet and an aluminum mirror above it. A raised concrete slab with a 2 inch foam mattress. A stool to sit on. A light high up above.

Clarity.

Silence.

Mindless silence.

I sat and tried to….remember. How long? I do not know. There was no clock.

There was a loud click of a lock being released. I looked to my right. My door had opened. An extremely large officer stood at the door and spoke.

“1 hour out for shower and to walk around. You want it?”

Dazed I replied,

“What happened? What did I do?”

He answered,

“1 hour out for shower and to walk around. You want it?”

I got up and headed to the shower. The officer walked out of what was called the day room and locked the other steel door.

I took my shower. Then walked around.

The day room was surrounded by 8 cells. 2 unoccupied. I figured one of the other 6 occupants might know where I was.

Cell 1-empty

Cell 2- a Hispanic man who spoke no English. He occupied his time by drawing ducks on his cell wall.

Cell 3-a young black man who yelled at me for looking at him.

Cell 4- mine

Cell 5- a very tall lanky white male. He was naked. His mattress in tatters and what appeared to be his own feces splattered all over the walls. He was face down on the floor mumbling.

Cell 6- empty

Cell 7- an old black man with no teeth. He growled at me and told me not to take his stuff as he wrote the entire layout of a grocery store on his walls.

Cell 8- a middle aged black man wearing glasses and reading the bible.

He looked up at me, took off his glasses and spoke.

“Are you doing ok? I ask because I heard you screaming and rambling most of the last 2 days. Word has it you told the officers to kill you….which is probably why you are here.”

I looked at him kind of stunned.

“So….where am I?”

He smiled a little and plainly replied,

“4th floor of the County Jail. Also known as the psyche unit. I would tell you to get comfortable…you will be here a while….but it’s impossible to get comfortable in this box.”

I sighed then replied,

“I don’t know what I did. Blackouts, hallucinations I’m lost. You don’t seem crazy? Why are you here?”

He looked me sternly in the eyes.

“Crazy is undefinable in here. They will figure that our for you. My crimes are only relative to the ones who will judge me….are you judging me?”

I shuffled my feet and was about to attempt to answer when the steel door of the day room opened again.

“Hours up, back in.” the extremely large officer said as he lead me to my cell.

I made a mental note to myself not to engage in conversation with the other animals for the remainder of my time in this concrete paradise.

23 hours a day I remained in the cell.

No contact.

No conversation.

No interaction.

Each day spending time pacing.

16 paces heel to toe long side.

8 paces heel to toe short side.

Hour after hour.

Day after day.

Searching for mental clarity in the cold silence.
______________

This is part of my story.

For more of my journey follow the link below

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