Tokin’ with Jesus

Last night was brain fever night. That’s my name for it. I don’t know if it’s a medical condition or not. A sudden attack of hallucinations and brain shudders. Like a bad trip on LSD.

I don’t know what brings it on, out of the blue, or rather out of the darkness of midnight. Unless it was the four gin and tonics, three beers and two brandies. But I’ve drunk that much before without a brain fever attack.

Maybe it was the Xanax at bedtime that went on a diabolical rage with the alcohol already streaming in my blood.

You can’t sleep. You lie in bed and ride it out like a storm in hell. Around four o’clock in the morning, the waking nightmare begins to abate. Finally you sleep, mainly from the exhaustion of the battle.

The doctor told me my liver was more like a die-r, and to knock off the booze. I don’t see how. Drinking is my last pleasure. Like smoking cigarettes and grass was to my wife. And when she fell ill and was told not to smoke, she still smoked.

And now she’s tokin’ with Jesus.

My wife was a believer, especially when she was high. I try to be, but I can’t get there. Jesus was always high. So were his disciples.

As Matthew relates (14:24): But the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And he [Jesus] came to them, walking on the sea. … So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

If you get high, man, you can do anything.

As the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia said:

Brain fever night

Getting high on the Universe is cool and I can do that, but taking it a step further, maybe if you get high on Jesus, you end up getting high with Jesus.

I don’t know, man — just keep tokin’.


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Alone at Cocktail Hour

He decides to live in her memory

This is the only option he can see.

The few people he knows get annoyed

That he lives alone in a void.

Look for someone else, he’s often told,

And do it soon before you’re too old.

Go out, find another companion,

Go together to the Grand Canyon.

Or hop on a flight to old Cancún

There’s a woman waiting under the moon.

Not the least interested, he tells them

I have a much simpler stratagem.

What, pray tell, to just sit there and brood?

Look, they add, we don’t mean to intrude

But your gloom is seriously chronic.

 

He sits alone with his gin and tonic

Down it goes and he makes another

Thinking only of his wife and lover.

On the fifth gin he begins to weaken

If he wants friends he must go and seek them.

He decides to drive to the local bar

And order a fine wine and Arctic char.

He staggers a bit when he steps outside

And starts out on his bleary-eyed ride.

It’s dark now and the road is winding

The oncoming lights blurred and blinding.

A final blinding light ends his life

In that crashing flash he sees his wife.



 

Living in memory

You try and kid yourself, you join a bereavement group, you volunteer at the local library, you distract yourself by putting extraneous posts on your blog, you try to get back out into the real world, but the reality is you don’t have a life, you don’t have the energy, the will, so you sit in the former “living room” and you dwell in the memory of your wife, whose photos are on the mantel, and you watch old movies, often with the sound turned down so you have the silence to live in her memory, her memory is a sanctorum and you are inside it and she is still alive, and you’re smoking again and of course you drink a lot, gin in the summer and rum in the winter and Jack Daniel’s whatever the season and you oh so smoothly slip into a tolerable haze, imbued at bedtime by Xanax which helps you sleep and you sleep until noon and your first thought on waking is, five hours to cocktail hour and the beginning of the haze, the sanctum, the illusion she is still alive.

LIVING IN THE PAST


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