Day 936: Weightlifting

My co-worker and I slumped against opposite elevator walls like we were riding the Gravitron. “I’ve been here for three years and this has been the most chaotic week by far,” she said.

“Same,” I said. “Most chaotic week in almost ten years for me.”

“That makes me feel a little better,” she said.
At one time a week half this crazy would have ended in a very different Friday night. But tonight, I changed clothes and ran five miles down 1st Ave and back, past the Bread of Life Mission. I like a mission with a good name, a name in touch with reality. There are usually men lined up outside and not a single one of them has ever bothered me, ever. Sometimes when I pass I think of watching COOL HAND LUKE on TV–turning to my boyfriend halfway through and saying “Were these guys all jailed for being too *nice?*” Or maybe they can tell we have things in common. The run didn’t strip the week away like I wanted it to. But then, wine never did either. It just made me think I didn’t care, and then later that I didn’t deserve to care. Better to know I deserve to care, whether or not things go the way I want, which they often don’t. I want a lot now and the odds are still the odds.

There was a little gift box waiting at home, from my husband’s secret store. A necklace of leather, metal, and antler. “That’s warrior jewelry,” he said. And a mysterious envelope marked ‘Do not bend.’ I opened it nervously–who in this day and age gets *envelopes* anymore? What if it contained a curse from a distant age?

But it was just a sheet of paper with the lyrics to the Trash Can Sinatras song ‘Weightlifting’ handwritten in ball point pen, signed by the band members–I must have funded something and forgotten. I’ve heard the song hundreds of times: electric, acoustic, live, recorded. Once in person. Still, I read the lyrics as if they were new, and gasped a little at the line ‘You could make your way out if you lay down the load.’ All these years I’d thought it was ‘the law,’ not the load. I thought I was supposed to *lay down the law* to be free. But I was wrong; the proof was right there in Bic: just drop what you’re dragging around.


“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” I said out loud.

“Did you just say you’d be a monkey’s uncle?” John called from the kitchen.

“Yes,” I said. “Yes, I did.”

Day  935.

5 thoughts on “Day 936: Weightlifting

  1. Isn’t your husband thoughtful, How lovely of him. congratulations on day 936! You really give me something to aspire too.

  2. Heeeeeey! So, I just found your blog and I love, I love, I love. I just finished reading it all the way through and I am many shades of sad that there is not more. BUT! But. I am a girl that thinks, uh, knows, that I need to quit drinking. But it is so damn scary. And uncertain. But I think you and Alanis are right. I just need to take the leap. And your blog is helping me immensely in making that happen. I have tried one million things (plus) to try to *want* to quit drinking but, oh, you are so right that I need to kill the yes. Quitting drinking is the first, and only, thing. How simple is that? How simple is that.

    I ramble. I hope it is ok to put this comment here, just on your most recent post. It did hit home with me, though, as I recently walked down that street, on my way to a bar, to drink with a ‘friend’, and chat up a cute bartender. I think that alcohol and drinking give me all of these social connections and ease of conversation but I am realizing that they are just transitory, just a social band-aid, when I really want and crave is true human connection, which, coincidentally, is almost impossible to find while half-cocked. Go figure.

    Thank you, thank you for this blog. xo

    1. Thank YOU for your comment! I know, believe me–it’s so scary when you want to stop and haven’t yet. I remember seeing a line on Belle’s blog that said something like “Come to the other side, it’s so nice over here!” and getting tears in my eyes because I wanted to be there so badly and didn’t think I’d ever get there. But I did. And you can too. The ONLY thing you have to do–for now–is just not drink. And I promise if you give it time, your life will open up in ways you probably haven’t even imagined. Hang in there. Be really, really nice to yourself. And stay in touch. 🙂

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