Day 20: Halfway

Lord it’s a hard thing to overcome to wake up and find the whiskey’s gone.

I roll out of bed. I grab a new pair of boxer-briefs and an A-shirt from my dresser. I open my bedroom door and walk across the hall into the bathroom. I turn on the lights. I place my garments on the back of the toilet.

I start the shower. I sleep naked so there’s no need to undress. I step into the ceramic and allow the hot water to rinse my body. The smell of whiskey and smoke is washed away.

I stand there for a few minutes, rethinking the way I wrote it over and over. Words I would have changed. Thoughts I would have better articulated. I begin writing. I go back through the memories, prying my brain for more details – smells, tastes, sights, sounds, textures, emotions, feelings, colors. What did I miss?

I reach for my face wash. I squeeze a dab onto my palm. I put both of my hands together and cover both with the solution. I wash my face, scrubbing my pores from my forehead to my eyebrows, cheek bones down to my chin.

I rinse.

I stand there for a few minutes, rethinking the way I wrote it over and over. Words I would have changed. Thoughts I would have better articulated. I begin writing. I go back through the memories, prying my brain for more details – smells, tastes, sights, sounds, textures, emotions, feelings, colors. What did I miss?

I reach for my wash cloth. I take my bar of soap and rub it into the cloth with both hands. I step forward, out of the way of the water overhead. I scrub my body from neck to ankle.

I rinse.

I stand there for a few minutes, rethinking the way I wrote it over and over. Words I would have changed. Thoughts I would have better articulated. I begin writing. I go back through the memories, prying my brain for more details – smells, tastes, sights, sounds, textures, emotions, feelings, colors. What did I miss?

I shut off the water, pull back the curtain and grab my towel. Standing in the tub, I dry off. Hair first, then face and shoulders, down to my feet.

I place the towel back on the rack.

I brush my teeth. I put in my contacts. I put on my boxer-briefs and A-shirt. I comb my hair into place. I apply product to keep it in place.

I open the door to the bathroom and walk into to my room.

I open my closet. I take out a pair of pants and a matching shirt. I get dressed.

I grab a pair of socks and put them on. Shoes. A belt that matches.

I put my gym bag together. Sneakers, socks, shorts, V-neck white T.

I head into the kitchen with my gym bag and Kenneth Cole laptop bag. I carry it with me every day.

I make a sandwich. Turkey and swiss usually, sometimes chicken or roast beef. Spinach and tomato. Yellow mustard.

I wrap the sandwich together and put it in a Zip-lock bag. One apple. One banana. Two chocolate peanut butter Power Bars.

I take inventory of the smoke and the whiskey.

I head out on to the street. The sky is about ready to turn the most magnificent shade of blue.

I get in my car. I put both bags in the back, my gym bag on the back seat, computer bag on the floor directly behind the driver’s seat.

I push the button to start. I hit the radio. I cruise.

Up and over Highway 17, which deserves more words than I will give it here.

I get to work. I’m there until 6-6:30. I head down the elevator to my car. I put my laptop bag in the back seat and grab my gym bag.

I walk four blocks to the gym with my headphones in.

I work out for an hour or an hour and a half, depending on the day. Leg day is Monday. Tuesdays alternate. Chest/back is Wednesday. Core on Thursdays.

I walk back to the parking garage. Drive back over 17. If the smoke and whiskey are still full, I head straight home.

I eat dinner with my roommates. We talk about the day. We bullshit.

Bullshit is important.

I shower.

I put on the same shorts and same shirt as the previous evening. I pull a hooded sweatshirt over my torso.

I grab a glass from the cabinet. Three fingers, two cubes.

I head out to our deck. Smoke. Whiskey.

I write for tomorrow. I write for a week from now. I rewrite.

There’s a small window of creative clarity somewhere after six fingers, four cubes. The thoughts and words spinning through your head for the last several hours, days, weeks, months, years finally materialize onto the page.

The words are flowing. You’re locked in.

The idea, the very inception of the idea, comes full circle. You finally understand it yourself. Words pour out of your fingers, words with double meanings, triple meanings. Metaphors are constructed to distract from the underlying meaning. Unintentional metaphors weave through. Font size, boldface, word choice, sentence construction are all used for direction and misdirection.

Colors. Colors are important.

Music. You have your headphones in. You recite the lyrics in your head. The lyrics work their way into the piece. The lyrics shape the story like they have shaped that part of your life, or at least the way you remember it now.

Nine fingers, six cubes. You do an initial edit. You sit back and sip. You rinse.

You go back through the memories, prying your brain for more details – smells, tastes, sights, sounds, textures, emotions, feelings, colors. What did I miss?

You realize 40 days is such a very long time. You can feel it in your skin, your lungs, stomach and mind.

You realize that 40 days won’t be long enough.

__

DAY 18 AND 19: ON THE BIRDCAGE
DAY 17: WHEN I SEE THIS BAR
DAY 16: DEAR MOM
DAY 15: IF I WON THE LOTTERY
DAY 14: ON CATS AND DOGS
DAY 13: ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS (PART 1)
DAY 12: MAKING MY WAY BACK TO CLEVELAND
DAY 11: ON FIRE
DAY 10: ON CONNOTATION AND DENOTATION
DAY 9: ON THE TIME I BROKE MY RIBS
DAY 8: ON THE FOUR UNDERSTANDINGS FOR A HAPPY LIFE
DAY 7: DEAR ERIC
DAY 6: ON WHY YOU’RE HAVING TROUBLE DATING IN YOUR 20′S, LADIES
DAY 5: ON SUNRISES AND SUNSETS
DAY 4: ON PARADISE
DAY 3: ON SMOKE AND WHISKEY
DAY 2: ON HOW CLOSE I WAS TO NOT EVEN GOING TO COLLEGE
DAY 1: WHY I’M WRITING EVERY DAY FOR 40 DAYS
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