The effect of the nights seem to grow exponentially. The last night is the hardest, Wednesday night Jazz, a.k.a., "the cancer," and the hardest to recover from, and even though I get a bike ride in (on the trainer stand), I don't feel so hot Thursday, twinges of headache from mixing too many wines. Anxiety, pessimism, gloom, to varying extents, a sense of trying to run from the wrath of God, or of being swallowed up by the Leviathan, of having fallen off a cliff, of being so far outside of normal society that you'll never be let back in. This is what happens after four nights of tending bar, even when the nights go fairly smoothly, with pleasant customers; it's still all around drinking, even if it's all around eating dinner.
How am I going to get out of there, the last one in the restaurant, eating his dinner, with getting into the wine? How am I going to get home, and not want another? And then, how am I going to wake up not feeling depressed and anxious?
I desire to explore spiritual pursuits. I'm not going to fit in anywhere if I would try to be social. It's only hours away from most people's happy hour, and I'm still rehydrating, pondering breakfast. It's a fast four shifts, long hours when preparation and unwinding are considered, four days of rest, get ready for work, go to work, finally come back home. Not much else.
And so... what? Dishes. Laundry. Recycling. Trash day. A couple of yoga related books my therapist has suggested have arrived. A light rain is falling. Now it is heavy, straight down. After the fourth night, the household chores seem insurmountable. But... take one thing at a time.
The thought, needing to stop drinking. But how could I do that with the job I have? Impossible. Therefore, to save yourself, you must quit. You're not even happy with the job anyway. It's the fear of the unknown that is stopping you. That and a need for money, not having much. Or is it the true desire one must gain, to not accept anymore, but to change.
Drinking is a loaded issue, when you consider, when you think of how college could have gone differently... But I had that mysterious issue, the time spent writing papers, the time spent reading... Obsessive, depressed? I grew negative, pessimistic, and all the while feeling I had something to say.
Well, then you go and say it, and then what? Self-published works, where do they go?
I'm not even able to write anything today. As is staring at some fundamental problem without understanding...
I manage to do the dishes, cook lamb sausages under the broiler, take a shower, then out for a stroll under a dark sky, walking very slowly, almost a walking meditation. Up California from Massachusetts, up the hill to Connecticut Avenue and its view of the Hilton and the city down below, then finally down to Glen's where quite a social hour is going. I get my meats, onions, a piece of farmer's cheese, a quart of chicken stock, pay at the register, and then slip away out the door. People are drinking beers, wine, eating pizza and whatever else. People are sitting outside at the picnic tables, but not ready to join the party I head home and this too feels sad. As if the job that allowed such things to happen does not allow me to enjoy the benefit of the service myself.
I lay in a state of semi-sleep on the couch for a long time, hours, after my return. When I wake, I take up one of the books my therapist has recommended, Living Your Yoga, by Judith Hanson Lasater. The lessons, the exercises within, remind me of something I've fallen out of touch with. I lay in corpse pose, for the recommended twenty minutes, and when I come out of it, yes, what I've been missing all these years, which is compassion for your own self, faith in your own self, in acknowledging how difficult life is, and how brave one has to be, in fact, already is. So, let that be a lesson to those of us, taken by the throes of the tyrannical mind.
And I saw that I was in the perfect place to administer compassion, and mainly, yes, to myself.
That this would be difficult for a bartender, who practices compassion on a daily basis to others, would not provide it for himself, seemed meaningful and indicative, and so, I began to endeavor to do it for myself, which is a lesson to all of us.