Had the strangest conversation this conversation this morning. Now, first of all, everywhere I talk about my book, I refer to metaphysics but I guess some people have no clue that such studies in general look for clues and metaphors, even practices like meditation and visualizaton, in the world’s religions.  Where these religions have common ground often sprouts a guide to sparking the Higher Self—or if you must–the God in yourself.  As my teacher David once said, “Man made God in his own image.”

As for the King James Jesus, he would have had severe skin cancer wandering around that desert with blonde hair and blue eyes!

So to this morning. I cannot possibly do justice to my book LIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, and at the same time build a strong social media platform so that you guys, you friends, whom I started as a child writing for anyway can hear about it and know where to get it.  Finally, I think I’ve found this person, and I won’t mention her name because psych’s may come and get her.

It’s so oxymoronic, with an accent on the moronic.  This woman know social media marketing and technology so thoroughly, I am mesmerized.  I know just enough to adore her wisdom. Ready to hire her at a reasonable but handsome cost. After all, I didn’t get a wink all weekend.

Then she stops. “Did you say you believed Jesus was a symbol?”

Don’t remember, but…. “I meant, a metaphor, what he said.”

Her tone is harsh now, like all extremists.  “Because He is my Lord and Saviour, because we are all born with original sin and he lifts us up and cleanses up….haven’t you accepted Jesus?”

“Uh, yeah,” I say. He’s around inside here somewhere, getting nauseous about you/

Guess I didn’t find her after all.  Again I wonder, as with doctors. How can one be so evolved on one end, and so encased with fear on the other they won’t let an active spiritual behavior tae the place of rituals ad fairy tales? Why can’t they move God a few inches, from outside the epidermis to inside the derms?

In that spirit, and for my heritage in the coming High Holy Days, brought back to me by my very spiritual but not so religious Israeli friends

  
A TIME FOR REFLECTIONSeptember 9th – September 15th, 2012

72 Name of the Week
Vav Chet Yud

REVEALING THE DARK SIDE

I concentrate on these letters and ask the Light to show me where I can make improvements on myself.

Reactive behavior, my ego, all negativity—I want it out.

I will push it away and pay attention to the circumstances around me.

I’ll spend each day spreading Light and joy in the world, sharing with those around me.

The most powerful time of the year to reflect upon our spiritual work is in these days leading up to the connection of Rosh Hashanah.Rosh Hashanah is the metaphysical seed of the year; not just a High Holiday but more importantly a window where we can go to the essence of it all, before the Creation of this world, of our souls; before time, space and karma. It’s a 48 hour period where the consciousness we have will determine our reality for the next year to come… individually and collectively.

To prepare for this great injection of Light that is on its way to each of us, we need to use the coming days to look back on our year and take serious inventory.

To ask questions like: What did I say I was going to do this year but I didn’t? What was I reactive about? Where could I have pushed myself to do more, to be more, to share more? How could I have been a better friend, spouse, parent, teacher, student?

I find it helps to make a list. Then, I picture how much more awesome my year would have been if I had done things differently—and finally, I make a vow to change.

This concept of spiritual repentance is called teshuvah. It’s probably something each of us should be doing at least once a week, but it’s particularly powerful in these days before Rosh Hashanah. The inventory we take of our negativity now and our commitment to change it, can determine the new person we will become in the next year.

It’s important to see what we’ve lost because of our own fears, limitations and selfishness—not so we beat ourselves up or feel bad but so that we can be inspired to change! In order to transform our negativity, we first have to really see it for all that it is and all it has cost us.

The wars in our life are always against internal enemies, never external people. Repentance assists us in finding the real enemy so we can battle it head on.

Let’s find some time to reflect this week and decide what changes we’re committed to making in the coming year.

“Rosh Hashanah can indeed act as a spiritual insurance policy for the entire year. We wish each other Happy New Year but will succeed in this effort only if we mean it and make it happen. Our lives depend on these two days of Rosh Hashanah.” – Rav Berg

All the best,

Yehuda

P.S. I think they charge too much to teach, but they are good, and after all, Madonna went there. LOL.

* For further preparation of Rosh Hashanah, watch Yehuda’s new class on Forgiveness now available on UKabbalah.com:
http://www.ukabbalah.com/node/8656

Plus, get a deeper Kabbalistic understanding of Rosh Hashanah at YehudaBerg.com:
http://www.yehudaberg.com/content/rosh-hashanah

 

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BARAK OBAMA AT WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY RALLY 2...

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Driving under the influence (of something) . . .

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Civil liberties 2006

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ImageI seem to remember that George Bush suspended many civil rights following 9/11.   Which explains a host of strange things that have happened to myself and my friends. Like the odd circumstances surrounding my DUI. In celebration of the fact that today, my last AB541 AA mandatory CA government class was endured, I was filled with some major insights!  First, I must digress. The class was its usual post-punk no I am not upwardly mobile 30’s pissheads who refuse to acknowledge my hippie existence and my willingness to engage.

The fact that they are mostly alcoholics in deep denial is too much of a challenge to my ego nature, who frankly wants to tell them that I find them and their nihilistic behavior incredibily boring at best and at worst, SO Californian and old.  But, they would no doubt have some inane, bitter retort, and I would again feel better that at 35, they did not feel joy.

Enough.  What has been strange about AB 541 is the news that comes at the end of the 2 1/2 show. Although the opening act for the last two weeks, the film, was Bergmanesque, as well. It traced the aimless, hopeless path of a homeless drunk in our system, as he deteriorated physically and mentally over a ten-year period, with a social worker/cop/director (?) carefully videotaping and interviewing him,both of them noting his decline. We get to watch his teeth fall out, his toes rot, etc.  I doubt many of these people in my room are destined for such a future. The other films, concerning tragic car accidents, suit them to a tee. This clip obviously was thrown in by the LAPD as water torture.

Ah, that brings me back to my point.  Every week, we are advised of NEW RULES.  You can be arrested even if you blow beneath the legal limit if the police man doesn’t like how you’re driving.  You get a second DUI even if you’re sober but sit next to anyone in the car who had a drink. The breath-tester, or IID, is now attached to the cars of narcotics offenders, even though it does not measure anything but alcohol. It does however register orange juice.  Since you must blow into it to start the car and then 5 minutes later, it could cause you to have an accident.

Since it had done that, the government in 20 states in now trying out an ankle bracelet for first time offenders, which is that huge, bulky thing, you must sleep, bathe and go out in public with, leading everyone to believe you are a child rapist. Oh, and you can’t drink, alcohol, cough syrup or orange juice.

What is wrong with this picture? Driving home with my friend Jonathan, from Israel, not at all like my Facebook friends, an independent thinker who does not believe Barak Obama walks with God,asked a question that had been most puzzling. In his effort to raise money for the state of California, Governor Aryan Nation Brown has enacted such things as these DUI laws, unchecked. How? Well, because Bush took away The Bill of Rights–okay, suspended some of our civil liberties–when no one noticed that they made America America.

But what is more interesting is the question of why Barak Obama, super-good-guy of the masses, never PUT THEM BACK? Surely, he does not believe in the insane rhetoric of the “war on terror,” like “the war on drugs,” a mythic equivalent to Zeus and his chariot, or contesting the theory of evolution?  BTW, I would like to contest the theory of gravity next, and watch my glass fall UP.

One more thing, and then I’m off to shaping up my book, LIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, the 11th and one that I can promise you will not be a galley slave nor a victim of awful ID publishers. I do love Amazon deeply, however, and expect a long association with them.   You see, the obvious eluded me. I bitched that NYU, in my journalism degree, did not prepare me for a job; it taught me how to be a publisher. I bitched when younger people said I should get more than my usual 10% and find a self-publisher (to me, a Vanity Press.)  Now, it seems, it is just as hard to get noticed with a traditionally published book as it is with a self-published book.

Ah, my adept teacher would say. Read the hints on the wall. At 20, wasted education, taught publishing. 30 years in publishing. editor, author, website founder and editor, blogger ten years. publisher, publisher.

The Penny drop and Slams into My Cortex.

WELCOME TO THE ISIS GROUP. We’ll be publishing you soon, in a whole new way.

So, I’ve been doing the black/white thinking again, which always comes from the ego nature.  Do I self-publish, just finish out the book, and pick up the checks in an hour? LOL, I’m not that stupid. Maybe.  But of course, Gandalf the Magician is Grey. The Middle Pillar, The Middle Path. Nothing in excess. My Book Doctor says, you have the chops, girl, it’s all right here, now SLOW DOWN. Forty years ago, my  Teacher of Teachers David, told me that my karma was to learn patience, and I thought my life pay-off would take until I was 21, 25 at most. Now I’ll turn 60 on May 1st of next year and I still don’t grasp the waiting. The Great Work indeed. It’s just that my ego is wearing down, although my mania keeps on throbbing, 20 hours a day. Luckily, it’s not a matter of self-publishing or Random House, the urgent throbbing issue I’ve pondered all week.  Hey, they in the expensive suits never did it right anyway, even with my first, The Main Event. That was on professional wrestling and Vince McMahon promoted it in his own arenas and TV shows. The Dial Press did doodie. Sure, the books looked nice, but the re-printing took forever, the product never arrived when I was there, and I could go on. All the white glove prestige still stands though. Even today. Until they slap a fancy cover on it and take 90% of your earnings, you can’t really be a writer, an author. Self-published? Gawd.  You must be bad. Fifty Shades of Why Can’t Everyone in The World Stop Talking About This?  Because Rachel, the Book Physician is right. It’s a fluke. A Powerball ticket. Like the one pretty girl who comes here from Kansas (I live in LA, right near Hollywood Blvd., which isn’t Hollywood) and becomes a movie star without knowing someone or being the daughter of someone else. A fluke. You have to write a good book. My professor/mentor John, who liked to put his hand up my skirt (hey, this was way before Anita Hill and sexual harassment as a concept) said: “you have to decide, do you want to be rich, or do you want to be great?”  I always thought both would be fine. But Gandalf is gray,grey, whatever. LIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE is a fine first draft, well, 3/4 of a first draft. It has several problems. I don’t even need a doctor to focus light on them, but then again, Rachel is brilliant and a mighty fine writer, so much so it would be nice to have her sit with me one day a week. I was an editor for 30 years, and about the writing, well, you can go to https://www.amazon.com/author/robertamorgan and see I am an author of more than one book,  also you can go here: http://www.robertamorgan.com and learn all about me, at least on the surface. They’re both near the very top layer of the onion’s skin. Living Under The Influence now, it exposes the 2nd through 25th layer, and Rachel, darn her, caught me right away. Well, there’s so many more, aren’t there? The whole thing, Roberta, is that you’ve had this amazing and tragic life, being SO honest no one ever wrote this way but BS you’re not, things just don’t jive. Making things a little too nice, too packaged and just when you can’t deal, oops, off you go to another chapter in time and place, which is one excuse for why you fought for non-linear excerpts from the 1960’s through to the present, from the suburbs of NYC to Los Angeles via London and Miami Beach, till the bitter end. Yes madam doctor, I run from the worst of the truth in myself but mostly in others. Hell, we all do it. Drugs, lovers, booze, divorce, talking too much, spending, moaning, whatever–stay away from the real deal here. But this book, what is special was not that I messed around with Jagger or had a radio show the night OJ ran, or went to Woodstock, or got a DUI because I had a nervous breakdown in LA. What made and will make this book a different memoir is that it’s a big life I’ve had and will continue to have, and it’s time to pause and write about it all, like the fourth step of AA, the complete moral (hate that word) inventory. THE TRUTH. And yes, it will hurt me writing it, and hurt others when it comes out. But they must be written as scenes, not like reportage. Right down to the core of the onion. They will set me free and hopefully, will touch people about the human condition of pain, survival and possible redemption. That the Higher Self can win against the ego nature if it is ever vigilant, moment by moment, no matter what crappy things happen to us at however young we are. Or whenever. The first polish has to be redone from the top. It seems, LOL, that I was not only slurring my speech, courtesy of modern psychotropic drugs. I was slurring my words on the page! Withdrawing as I wrote, Rachel was astonished at how I went from competent to okay, to good to WOW as she read my 300+ms. I’ll tell depressed and anxious writers in the future not to take all those pills, or they’ll slur their prose! When it comes down to it, I won’t be able to bail my love and I out of an-all-work-no-play situation in flash time. I always told my students and writers to count on at least three drafts, a good year or more of crafting. I knew that, yet I didn’t. The ego remains the child who steals the cookies and hopes she won’t get caught. But she will, and yet she tries for decades. When she learns, she can move on. Satan or God can publish this book. Doesn’t matter. It’s the book that matters, the only thing which counts for anything in the equation. Not the links, clicks, likes, shares, tags, blogs, websites, publicity, apps. The Book. Everything else stands in service to that, as it should be. Lose sight of that, and we’re lost. Wish me well on this journey; it’s getting closer to the last chance Texaco.Image

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att.net Mail (roberta323@sbcglobal.net).

Well, I may as well make this pretty and awful, instead of just having an entry that links back and forth to my e-mail.

I may never write a book again, finish LUI, never write anything at all.

Except for this blog, and a list of passwords I keep, that for some reason keeps changing.

I start out with the best of intentions, but now I see the PassWord Ghouls lie within, giggling in my neurons till I wake

and grab my I phone with all my mobile apps. Do I remember the passwords, as I’m supposed to do? No,

hence, I have to change them, which throws off the whole list and we’re off to the races again. Of course, because you

can’t use one you’ve tried in the last few months, or do this or that, you end up completely forgetting everything, and

your temper rises, like now. HOW DO I GET THIS BLOG IN ANOTHER TYPE AND DOUBLE-SPACED? WHAT IS

THE DAMNED RSS FEED AND WHAT’S THEREFORE THE REAL URL? I read the instructions and they didn’t

come through. Am I the only idiot on WordPress? Yet this is such a nice blog. I’ll go now.

"The Poke" Obession

All day People poke me, though not in the satisfying way. No one knows what a poke means, but in real life, I think I could sue them. Then I’d miss them.

“Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. . . .”

                            —Albert Einstein

Now, it would seem to me, that this describes our current emerging and most satisfying relationships in the social networking society. I feel as though I am in freshman orientation during my first week at NYU, with all the energy and enthusiasm of my 16 years on earth,looking forward to a limitless future in an immensely exciting city. But this time, decades later, people are buzzing around me from all corners of the world; I am surprised when I find a post so friendly and knowledgeable about my work coming from Finland or France.

I sit here in Los Angeles, the third city in which I’ve lived, and for the first time no longer an isolated, manic insomniac writer with a DUI and a breathalyzer (an IID, or device from the demon factory) attached to my car. I am a citizen of the world. An only child, I’m not used to having so many friends, and yes, all of you, each one, are friends. People with blogs, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Linked In, etc. particularly on Facebook, simply because it’s where I’ve been posting for a year. There’s Kim, whom I love, and Pierre-Andre (I hurt him by a sharply worded post about God, but we quickly reconnected through the Higher Self and only grew closer.) Then there’s the lovely April, I can picture her before me having coffee, having studied her photos and wait for her messages brimming over with warmth. Anne means the world to me, and when she has a good day, it makes mine a bit better.

Arlene is someone I truly admire, because she is, like me, one of the few older posters who refuses to stop and sit by the side of the road. Instead she’s right alongside, learning to network and link and I encounter her at Pinterest on my way back to tweet someone.  There are so many new friends I cannot count and more I’m yet to know better, I can’t wait.  Just posted this to them

I’m blogging about you guys over at WordPress. Be right back. Meanwhile, I’m remembering my first trip to California when I was in my 20’s. Didn’t think much of LA, but I loved the giant redwoods up North. Sat among them and inhaled that smell. It was then I knew what meditation was, instantly. Looking up, so engulfed by nature, feeling such peace, not one bit alone, but so loved…..

And then there are the old and dearest ones I have reconnected with, the good friends from New York and Miami. Irela, the sweetest and smartest–shining Miami light, who I now find in big business with a beautiful son and whom I remember, standing alongside me at one of my plays, starring the beautiful and talented Lisa (who now lives in LA with hubby and little angel, Maya), Irela working with the man who would become the father of her gorgeous child.

Nat such a surprise and cherished memory I thought lost as a corporeal being, the genius, with the most class I ever met, the charmer who wowed a wide-eyed 21-year-old, Britt, my first editor in 1978 at The Dial Press, with whom I always had an almost psychic connection. Now renewed, as if not a day has passed, we call each other regularly and send music over e-mails. Jonathan, a new but dear friend, who’s taught me so much about Israel and about life, and of course Michael Gross, my best friend in LA, who dragged me onto Facebook in the first place.

I am writing a book, which will be my 11th, a quirky form of memoir (I don’t like rules) called LIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, which on the web, I sometimes refer to as LUI (given the love for acronyms), and on Facebook, on my timeline, I offer excerpts. In fact the whole book is non-linear and I know I’ll have the fight of my life to keep it that way, but each excerpt is a story from a different time and place of my story and they do fit together like omens and portents and pieces of a puzzle. FB is what kept me going, and for the first time since the age of eight, when this gift burst out of me and the pressure was on, I suddenly loved writing, I was in my dharma, and there you all were. Everything made sense.
Now there is Morgen, whom I wish to hire to re-design and focus this blog a bit better, and the very talented writer and editor Rachel, whom I will be working with next week on the 3/4 of the manuscript which is completed. When I started the project, the thought of self-publishing was like the old vanity publishing and so insulting to me, once a senior editor and twice a bestseller, I didn’t give it a thought. But I should have known better, because I’m a magician. That means a privately trained metaphysician, who learned long ago (but one never learns without constant vigilance) that the EGO is one’s worst enemy and is quick to judge such things, so often leading us astray. So when even Britt mentioned it, I began to explore.

Today I have come to many conclusions about my publishing plans, and which steps I might take, knowing that the old road was inefficient and in many ways, incompetent, and that for the author, the new road–through blogs, websites, Kindle e-books, and then, perhaps, a traditional house, might be a better a wiser route. Then again, I will leave it up to my Higher Self to show me the path. My job is simply to write.

It’s funny. I have two books aching to get out of this machine that you’ll love. One is a sort-of vampire tale, romantic and erotic, set in the adult industry, not for the kiddies. The one I spoke of, LUI, is for anyone acquainted with the human condition, but R-rated. And after that, my poetry, which has been published since I was a teenager but lately, lies neglected in various files within my Apple. I dig it out from the wildest places, like my Tax folder.  Anyway, I was thinking of what I’d use to build an Author‘s page for Amazon, totally forgetting I was an author.  So I went there yesterday, typed my name in, and what?  It said, among my books, Roberta E. Morgan, Author’s Page!
https://www.amazon.com/author/robertamorgan
I left one open space, for a Kindle e-book.
My new friend, my astrologer, Patrice Cole, told me it should be out by my birthday, which is May 1st. I’m a pro as far as polishing. Besides, I love rewriting, playing with words, truly I do.  And all of you can help.  Constructive advice I can take or not, but I again trust the universe to bring it to me.  The way the flow of things ever positive brought all of you.

The same friends either in front of me at a table for coffee or in front of me at my computer desk. Just keep in touch.

Roberta

 

 

Los Angeles, Present Days

AB541 Three Month Program of Classes begins the round of stupidity.  You get the list of what classes you have to do, then hunt for one on the internet that isn’t in Arizona.  The 541 classes and the

12 NA classes are for?  I don’t know.  The court.  But you end up with three sheets of thin paper which crunches in your handbag because on your first day in AB541, where you pay $760, they tell you to add another six classes.  Why? New rule.

I find my first AB541 class on Hollywood Blvd and Cahuenga, which should take me ten minutes, but like all things in the last five years, I’m so nervous I get there an hour before.  Although they’re gentrifying Hollywood, this ain’t the bit. And if I hadn’t spoken to the girl on the phone, it would have been hidden.  Over a massage place on Hollywood, on the side.  It was a souvenir shop, and in the back, on the second floor.

Parking up the road costs ten bucks, but everyone else seems to know where to park that’s free.  I know I’m in the right place because about a dozen hunched over men and three girls are smoking, trying to drag something out of the filter.  They don’t seem to see me there.  Average age of the group: 22.  They talk about cars, speeding, beer parties, pools.

Gradually, a big guy, still a decade or so younger, comes out and they all greet him.  He lights up and shakes my hand, knows my name.  Brings me up to sign some paperwork.  A schedule of dates.  This gig is a one hour “movie” and a one and a half hour meeting, nothing like NA or AA, just like a requisite…something.

We all trudge into a room, after signing our names, paying our money.  I am still invisible and that does not really change much.  When I speak it is school again, last kid on the team, almost two years younger than everyone else except this time the other way around.  Ma, or grandma, dressing too cool, hair too long, but hot body.

The guy, Dan the counsellor turns off the lights. Cheap TV, he turns on the tape.  A female doctor is at the podium discussing Prescription Drugs: A Menace on The Road.  Found that out lady.  Her monotone does me in.  I nod off at least twenty times.  People turn around and stare.  This will be a recurring problem, and could be dangerous, as well.  Did I just shoot up before attending? Will they demand a drug test and cart me off again?

Suddenly, the lights come up and I rouse.  This first time no one catches that I missed three-quarters of the film.  Small mercies.  We get a 15 minute smoke break.  Better than prisoners.  Awkward,’cause I’m still like a lawn chair, even when I smile and try to ask a question.

A few speak Armenian, a few Russian.  One girl is rich but thinks she is a prostitute and all the men hope she is.  Also thinks she can drive her father’s car with no problem.  I suppose girls with sixteen different shades of highlights do not belong to Mensa, but then, neither do I for different reasons, like they’re boring snobs.

Head guy Dan comes out for a smoke and here I see his bitterness with the system, or just his act.  Sure, to do his job you need a long checkered past of jail, drugs, alcohol, lord knows what else. Then you have to go to school.  The school part I’d like.  I was always reporting on, reading about, and fascinated by criminals.  But this is petty shit in my eyes.

Too bad the state doesn’t see it that way.

We got up to the meeting, go around the room. I’m already in panic.  It’s the wrong place, though the girls at the desk and Dan waves it off, although I’ll learn in the future that even when you don’t make a mistake, they make it a mistake.  Wrong form, right typeface.  Right type, wrong form.  Go straight to jail.

Everyone in the room has “blown” a something or other. A .17 or the saddest one, a poor Mexican fellow with a .09; the legal limit being .08.  Nice cop for busting him and taking away all his hard saved funds for a family home.  They come around to me.  Only thing I’ve blown lately is Brian.

“I’m not a drinker,” I say, and eyes narrow, as though I’m a spy. “I was busted for drugs.”  Now they look at me like a dirtbag in an alley.

“Man, oh man,” one guy says.  “Those NA meetings are so depressing.”  And these are?

I see most of these people are almost done.  No one tells you what to do.  What do people with no money and not a stinking clue get through this? They go to jail, and then lay tar on roads for 100 hours.  For a first offense.

I recently heard some NYPD stories.  About people being sobered up in the station if they had no priors.  Of cops sharing boozy war stories.  In New York, we know what crime is, and how to treat which ones accordingly.  Back in the day, Grace and I were smoking a joint semi-secretly down 15th street, too young to know how we smelled.  A cop came from behind us and we jumped.

He whispered, “Got another joint? Smells like great stuff.”

That was MY city.  All of a sudden, I’m in Singapore, getting 1000 lashes.

15 more weeks of this.  Bullet through head.  Don’t have a gun, so there’s no choice.

One funny story: a morose girl tells of her field test when arrested in which you have to do various acrobatic tricks with your eyes closed.  I’ve asked friends, even trainers, and not one could do them.  She tell us she was ordered to stand on one leg with her eyes closed for five minutes. She tells the cop:

“Shit! I couldn’t do that if I was sober.”

@@@@@@@@@

David taught me all about the teachings of Ernest Holmes and The Science of Mind.  Basic metaphysics, but too much Jesus for me.  Down the block is Spirit Works, based on his teachings.  Wow!  The signs.  These are the NA meetings.  My good friend, who’s been through it all via AA, warns me.

“Don’t volunteer to share.  Just do the time. And for God’s sake, don’t say you’re a writer.  These people are terrified.”

The Anonymous part is read, read, and read again.  It has no legal binding, but it is an ethical one.  So I will be general, although I’ll mention that I nod off here, too and everyone looks at me.  They’re much older for the most part, many who make me feel young, so they think I’m still “using.”  Which I am, because only a skillful psychiatrist can wean me off these cocktails in a year or more.

I am fresh meat; everyone wants to be my sponsor.  It’s supposed to be same gender, but there’s one gay guy who makes this his life’s work and cures everyone.  I may take him yet but so many of these people appear to be Stanford Clean.  Don’t like therapists.  Are accused of being a crutch or a cult.  A cult, I can see, but whatever works.

They have rituals, like a church.  Celebrating months, years sober.  Birthdays.  announcements.  Then reading from cards.  The infamous Twelve-Step Program.  Won’t buy the book, it’s all boiled down on the Net.

People cry a whole lot here, for there are sad stories to tell.  My friend explains that booze does damage more slowly, while drugs do you in quick.  Shows you how much he knows, being an ex-alkie.  I took Xanax for 30 years, two milligrams a night.  Smoked marijuana just to get to sleep since college.  No more photographic memory, but a lot of good shit published.

I didn’t know at which meeting, but I admit to having taken a Xanax the night before. (I had to share, I am a performer, and if I don’t, I nod off.)

A woman shuts me up, tells me I can’t share because that’s the rule.  You must have at least 48 hours clean.  I start to cry and cry and don’t stop. Look at the floor with hatred.  She tries to apologize; others touch my shoulder.  Only later do I realize how selfish I am, how like an addict.

Like an addict?  I am one.

I have made people who already are miserable feel even worse.

Like instant karma, I trudge back home, and there is a thick envelope my lawyer said would never come.  From the bowels of Hell itself, the DMV.

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David would be beating me with a metaphorical stick.  A magician has power, he is never overwhelmed.  He has courage, he walks through adversity.  And all these memories.  How have I not forgiven, let alone forgot?  Tonight I sit with another bureaucratic mistake, another debacle to handle which may or may not work out and I feel like Job in the Bible.

How?  Because I’m getting better at what I do. These last few years have humbled me, sweetened me, and left me prone to forgive weakness.  I thought I knew it all, that I was chosen.  Fact is, if you think that, you probably have a lot of learning to do.  That’s why most of the Holy in the East are beggars.

So one day I will forgive. Until then, I’ll try.

(I will say that I have always been a sucker for those old fortune-telling structures, the kind with the wax dummy that moves its hand over a deck of cards at fairs and amusement parks—and Las Vegas, where I found one.  The card was happy enough for my 50 cents, but it said watch out for my “karma.”  Just one word. MOTHER.)

When I walked out of the NA meeting crying, I had a breakthrough with my old here again, gone again Brian.  Up and down Brian.  Just stop taking drugs Brian.  He saw the state I was in.

“You mask your pain with all your rituals and sleep and OCD,” I said, finally, after 40 years.  “I mask mine with drugs.”

He held me, shaking and crying in the parking lot, for a good half hour.  Next week he was back to the same warm again/cold again Brian.

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Image  —  Posted: August 19, 2012 in Magic, The Absurd World View, Writing Books
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Artist, Art Director, Designer, Legend.

Aside  —  Posted: August 19, 2012 in Art

Self-Publishing News for Self Publishing Authors

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