The croupier god comped me a suite at The Palace, (offseason), and led me through the hallways personally, making smalltalk, explaining how the elevators work, keeping a steady pace while his scuffed rake dangled from a black elastic loop sewn custom into the lining of his white suit jacket. He opened the coded door for me, (first try), deciphered the thermostat, unstuck the drawers, programmed the remote to new, in-house channels, and turned the well-dressed bed down.
He said, “This luxury is where you lie.”
He handed me a gold card with my name embossed, black laurel in the upper right corner framing a female silhouette with an EZ-Read magnetic strip on the backside hovering over a hotlist of company-owned joints.
He said, “This is how we feed you for free.”
He strummed his swarthy fingers over an orderly row of three-score and ten play-worn purple checks arranged in an open, unfinished wooden box lined in remnant green felt and set on top of the empty honor bar.
He said, “And these? These are a very good start.”
As of today, this poem is ten years old. Crazy crazy crazy. Happy New Year everyone!
1. Being a Horrible Hose Beast to myself doesn’t accomplish anything.
2. Self-Compassion vanquishes the Horrible Hose Beast even if it does look like a big, long-haired sissy.
3. Cold showers are invigorating only in the summer when the “cold” water comes out pool water warm because it’s a million degrees outside.
4. I can wash my hair and my whole body with one stock pot full of stove-heated water. (Did I mention our water heater broke this year?)
5. I can still remember the classical piano pieces I learned last October even though, after I learned them, I didn’t practice again until this October. Muscle memory is righteous.
6. I am capable of injuring myself in my sleep. I am gifted like that and also middle-aged.
7. I can withstand hour long phone calls with narcissistic jerks.
8. Other people can stand hour long phone calls with this narcissistic jerk.
9. If I spot it, man oh man do I got it!
10. Eight million twelve step slogans.
11. That even I give in and say “god” when what I mean is “gods.” Stupid three letter words being easier to type. Stupid western world thinking polytheists are weirdos.
12. With all the progress I’ve made at not being a Horrible Hose Beast, the Horrible Hose Beast is still worried about other people thinking I’m a weirdo. Sissy Self-Compassion doesn’t care, but says it’s OK that Hose Beast cares and wants me to give myself a big hug. What a sissy!
13. Life without corn syrup is possible and even preferable. Who knew?
14. My psychiatrist is kind and conscientious enough not to strangle me.
15. I am capable of watching a three hour concert sitting on a hard wooden bench in the Southern California level freezing cold with a spasming back. I am a middle aged endurance hero.
16. I am capable of talking about myself for 25 straight minutes without being a narcissistic jerk. At least I hope I am. If not, I owe about forty people a big apology.
17. Doing service for others is magical. Like, seriously, pop pop pop! Magical. That’s also a sissy thing to say. No less true though.
18. I can keep commitments… most of the time.
19. Tasing yourself hurts like a son of a monkey. Good news! If I ever need to tase anybody, I want it to hurt like a son of a monkey.
20. Wine and lightning are an excellent way to get and stay in the presence of the gods.
“Much have we loved you, but speechless was our love, and with veils has it been veiled.” -Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
In a moment of pain, suffering again with a traumatic memory, beyond trauma, that gave me tremors in my right arm and down the length of my leg, I cried out in loneliness and, in the imaginary conversation I was having with my therapist, I said how lonely I was with my trauma and how talking to my god was not enough because “he’s a ghost!”
(I am thinking of a ghost’s sheet as a veil.)
I hurt my god’s feelings. He has been right here with me through all the blood and guts.
Many times, talking to others about him, I have referred to him as “a figment of my imagination,” and “my all-powerful psychosis.” He joyfully laughs.
A very wise Indian fellow, or an Indian fellow we are supposed to think is wise, got awfully judgey when he said it is a terrible misconception that the governing force of the Universe is love. I mean, how sappy could we be? But the thing is, I know the Universe, have met it in a her/him person many times, and I can tell you for certain she is love-powered. She especially loves group hugs and jumping on your back for a piggyback ride. She giggles and sometimes covers your eyes as you run and run and run.