autumn — art by Brooke Stevens

Too late in the morning to start a blog. The day, as it sits, feels strange.

We slept in.

Coffee should be further into the bloodstream, but I opened up with a cup of decaf, while the potent stuff brewed.

Cats loaded the litter boxes overnight. Dog shit in the house. Something—one of our furry friends—vomited in the bathroom. Clean up has always been my job. Spills, leaks, clogs, piss, poop, blood, puke. That’s me. I’m numb to the act. It’s not fun, but there are people that have to do it for a living. I choose to do it.

Life goes on.  

I want to hit the road today. Get the 4Runner dirty. Run it through mud. Up hills. Into sand. Bump through puddles and smell fall through the open windows. I want to hear gravel pop and shift under the tires. I want to be simple and quiet and reserved. Digest a movie. Disappear. Lock myself away.

Not sure how it gets like this.

We went to a friend’s house last night. Halloween movies by a bonfire. Bacon-wrapped jalapenos. Good conversation. Stars. A wild, leaf-rustling wind that blew over the projector screen three times. We laughed. We got serious. Talked about life and death. A body found in the quarry. Strange happenings. How great it was that the kids were playing together. Not on their phones but engaged with a board game.

My wife got to have a few drinks and relax. Share happy moments. I like hearing her laugh.

I had three decaffeinated, sugar-free sodas and half a bottle of water. This is all new. Being sober in social situations. And it was easy. If anything, I felt kinda bad for all the times I had been at this friend’s house and other friends’ houses, family gatherings, at bars, restaurants, and at my own home too drunk to care about the fact that my wife could not relax. Have fun.

But, there’s no sense beating myself up. That’s what led to all the drinking in the first place. Guilt. Sadness. Not feeling good enough. A whole bag of regret and poor decisions just stewing and stinking it up. And instead of addressing them, I drank.

Sobriety’s interesting. I remember it. And I feel good being back to it.

Normality. Reasoning.

Taking care of shit, doing the clean up as necessary, so we can carry on.


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