Photo Coal Train Graff © thosalumpagus
Click play for some coaltrain while you read, Blue Train Coltrane, that is…
First you whine and piss and moan about your sorry condition to everyone within earshot until the word gets around and folks avoid you and even your closest friends tell you to go fuck yourself. Now, with only yourself to complain to, you see what they all mean. You’re getting on your own nerves. And since every worthwhile thing you ever thought you had to say has up and left your brain, your nerves are jangling and clanging inside your head like a multitude of railroad crossing bells going off in an empty warehouse. Even though you’re not sure how to live now that you can’t write, you do know that you don’t want to live like this. The nerves must be deadened, no question. You must either find drugs or alcohol.
You snap into action and action feels good. At least you’re on a mission. You find nothing but Nexium, Zelnorm, and Nitrofurantoin in the house so you begin to take inventory of all possible sources of alcohol. Even though you know the two bottles of rum—the Old Boston Virgin Islands and the Bacardi—in the dining room cabinet have been there for at least seven years, you make a mental note for later. Same thing with the leftover Penguin Shiraz that gave you a ferocious headache—you make a note. There’s more ice cold Bud in the mini-fridge downstairs than you thought. This is good. Even better, you remember there’s a case of it, warm, in the garage next to the lawnmower. You’re going to need refrigerator space, which means you’d better indulge in the numbing bliss of a few of the cold beers right away. You can be tossing out passé food in the upstairs refrigerator in between swigs.
You’re on your knees in front of the fridge feeling no pain, sniffing containers of fuzzy food and giggling and gagging when your boyfriend calls. He’s brilliant, begins by asking, “Are you still in a pissy mood?”
“Since you put it that way…” you slur.
“Are you drunk?” he asks.
Then he yells into the phone something about rehab and psychological instability and inability to deal with normal everyday problems without drowning in alcohol and he’s fed up with this whole mess and it’s over and he hangs up. You shrug and go back to your refrigerator project.
The next day you wake up and your head is throbbing so badly that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to be dead. You look at the clock. Shit! What ever happened to the alarm?! You scramble to get out of bed, get tangled in the sheets, fall smack onto the floor. You can hear the dog, still on the bed, laughing his furry ass off.
“Forget it, just call in sick,” you think you hear him say. “Take me for a walk, why doncha! Grab your flask and let’s go!”
“Yeah, alright, that sounds good,” you mumble into the carpet. “Just let me get some Aleve and I’ll be right with ya.”
You do this a few more days of drinking and soon you lose your job. You have no job, no boyfriend, no money to pay rent or buy more of the bourbon you’ve found works stupendously, far more efficiently than beer. You get kicked out of your house. You learn the ways of the homeless, get bored, decide to travel, to do something with your life. So you join the hobo set, hop freight trains coast to coast for a few years. And being one who has the tendency to want to write things down, you’ve filled a few little ratty notebooks with all your adventures, keep them with you in your beat rucksack.
Then one night when you’re sitting in the dirt with your dog and Manny and Denver Joe leaned up against a bridge headwall and you’re drinking a bagful of some rotgut that Joe’s got the grace to share, and you’re looking across the tracks at the falling sun pricking up points into the gray clouds and gilding their undersides, it sets down onto your mind to make something nearly as beautiful out of all those notes you made. Why now, after all these years, you don’t know but you know it doesn’t matter. There’s no stopping it sinking down into your head all golden and hot, down through your scalp, skull, bones and muscles and tissues, and on down into your gut, a glowing ball stuck in your gut, burning so bad you just want to belch it out. And that’d be sure cause for concern but for the fact that you see a vast coolness of midnight lavender chasing down the grey onto the fiery orange and yellow of the downed sun, and you’re feeling nothing but lyrical and timeless and rolling with chaos, letting it roll you good.
Give me one reason to keep writing for you
“Coal Train Graff” http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1349/1400103562_8baeac9900.jpg?v=0
from thosalumpagus’ photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thos/1400103562/
Hobo train sunset from http://www.americanhoboproject.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/img_8614.jpg
Click here for more on prompt “#171 – Indulgence” from other Sunday Scribblings participants.