Waiting in the monkey patch for the Great Ape

Five years sober and

I’m loving every minute of it and

I’m hating every minute of it and

I’m indifferent to every minute of it.

Humans are complex, you know?

I mean, it’s not an excuse,

but it is a reason.

When I decided to stop,

to decline my animal vice,

I started building a new type of animal.

An animal that’s neurotic,

depressed, insecure,

and happy to be dying at a slower rate.

These things were always there,

but are now enhanced, intensified,

because there’s no monkey-time booze

within my grimacing veins to suppress them.

The depression is so intensified it could drive you to drink,

which is an irony I hold close

so it can warm my aging heart.

And dependability.

I’m more dependable than I used to be,

I can come pick you up at

the Kaiser ER or the police station

at three o’clock in the morning.

I won’t be passed out

under beer sweat-soaked sheets

next to a box of old family photos on my cold basement floor.

Atmospheric 693-1

So keep that in mind,

I might come in handy.

I mean, someone’s got to have a use for me, right?

Because some days

I find it hard

to even find a use for myself.

There’s so much shit

swimming around in my head

even though the beer filters are five years gone.

Five years gone and still no love for Jesus.

I’m actually rather proud of that.

I’d rather spend the rest of my life

Struggling like Sisyphus

to find solace in myself

than to look to some spook in the sky

and try to give his ass all the credit.

I’m the one doing the fucking work, for chrissakes.

If I’m to suffer or sparkle, I’ll take all the blame.

I’ll get more of the royalties that way.

There’s no shame in suffering,

and no suffering in shame.

And when I get to that place,

if I get to that place,

where I never think about booze at all,

how much of my life I wasted with it,

it will be, I think it will be,

a notable, happy day.

I could use a notably happy day, let me tell ya.

And I will give you a call, and

offer to take you out for a drink.

You can pick the bar.

I’m pretty sure they’ll have club soda.

(Photographed from my front porch one sunny day in October, 2022. See my other work on Flickr and Instagram.)

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