Sunday, September 29, 2013

leaving the control

The sign above one of the theaters near my apartment.
A late summer night in Los Angeles, California.  Specifically, the middle of Hollywood.  A hot night, music in the air, kids across the street milling about, cars occasionally speeding down the street on the way to god knows where on a Friday night.  Everything that I see from my patio, everything that I hear from my patio, has a precedent.  This scene could have happened in the 70’s, in fact, it probably did.  But most of the people I see from my patio were not even born until after the 80’s, so they mistakenly think that they are being original.  I think, as I sit on my patio, that I am being original.  What a laugh. 

It all goes down easier with liquor.  the drinking does not control me.  Youth is a shitty guardian, and quite devoid of control.  At my age, I am in charge of the liquor, even in the letting go of some control.  I am in charge. 

The corner liquor store
I came to liquor late in my life, having decided early on that I would never become my father (an alcoholic).  In some strange manner or reasoning, as youth are wont to do, I decided that if I took up alcohol, I would become just like him.  Well, he was so much more than his drinking, I should have known this—but no regrets about my choices.  There is something to be said about drinking later in life.  I don’t know what it is that is to be said, but goddamn it, somebody ought to say it.  I might as well say it.

My father did not drink like I do, completely. He drank to contract, whereas I drink to expand.  At times, I could see my father expanding when he was drunk, but it was a sad visage nonetheless—like a bird trying to fly in a cage.  Here in Hollywood, on my patio, on a summer night with music in the air and kids milling about and cars speeding along, I have no cage.  I am expanded.

My brother drank when he was young, and it controlled him (among other things).  Big mistake, big brother!  Now, he does not drink, and the only expansion he indulges in is the one that threatens to put pressure on his belts.  The thing with control is that it too, too, often goes against the physics of the world.  The physics of the world are the furthest thing from control; rather, the physics of the world are all about change. 

My reticence to drinking early in my life was an attempt at control that worked until it no longer worked.  In order to enter the pool, it is advisable to wear a swimsuit, so to speak.  The funny thing is that by the time I put on a swimsuit I preferred to enter the pool naked.  Naked, when older, is a glorious thing. 
On a late summer night in Los Angeles, California, I am naked to the world.  Many, perhaps my brother, would think that I was needlessly exposed.  He would be wrong.  The correct assumption would be that I am exposed to my nature.  The poisons that run through my veins are the poisons that kill the toxins of control.  Control is much, much more fatal than chaos.   I suspect that my father knew this.  His flaw, the flaw that killed him, is that he feared this. 

Dad, you don’t need to worry about me.  I got this.


  1. a lot of my job it trying to convince people to give up the zany notion of 'being in control'. These poor sods are often besieged by the gods with chaos and situations out of their control trying to teach them the lesson of forgoing control. Often they try to tighten done the hatches. Ugh.

    1. Well who knows better than you? But it is understandable, since humans have been trying to control the environment around them since we first walked. It is still "scary" for me, but I am moving forward despite the feeling. Thank you, feeling, now SCRAM!