When You Feel Like It and When You Don’t

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05:40. I love waking before dawn– and I love this time of year in Alabama. Although I can say that it seems a bit warmer in late September than it used to. I remember when the leaves would all be painted vibrant red, orange and yellow by this time of year. But I’m sure the pope is wrong. And all those self-impressed scientists too. Maybe God just wants it to be Summer longer in the 21st Century.

I love getting up early. It’s one of the things I loved most about the Marine Corps. I like the feeling of getting more done before 08:30 than a lot of people get done before noon.

Mmmm. This coffee sure is good. I buy Starbucks (so shoot me) from Costco (so shoot me) and grind the beans myself. (Impressed?) If there’s some left in the pot from the day before, I heat me up a cup upon wakening. I never throw out coffee. That’s not true. If I forget and leave coffee in the pot and go on a trip and I return to find lily pads floating in the crude and the cone-shaped metal filter has been transformed into a petri dish, I’ll dump the whole business out, soak all the equipment in bleach water and make a fresh pot. But otherwise, if there’s still some from the day before, I just heat it up in the microwave and drink it. It pretty much can’t be too strong or too black for me. (There’s a joke in there somewhere.) Sometimes I have my coffee on ice if it’s summertime. I almost never drink ice coffee in winter.

20:12 I’m not big on working out at night but we did tonight. “We” is my housemate Caleb and me. He’s going to be housesitting/pet-sitting for me while I’m in Australia– he and William. Both are good mannies to the dogs (to include Dennis the cat) and both will be provided (as is my standard policy when leaving someone in charge of my place and my animals) with extra ammunition.

Tonight we worked back and bi’s. I had a decent workout although I felt like I was going to puke pretty much throughout the whole thing. My body was processing a lot of chemicals. I went to the dentist today to have two crowns put on. They gave me the nitrous oxide gas (which I had never had before) and a whole lot of numbing agent for my mouth. They shot needles full of feel-nothing in my gums and in the roof of my mouth. They had to because there was a shit-ton of construction going on in there– but first there was a whole lot of demolition as they jackhammered out the two teeth where the crowns were going. (I have a temporary right now, the permanents will come later– I’m hoping before Australia but I’m afraid it might not happen.) There was smoke and smells and chunks of tooth flying everywhere. My dentist said I was a very good patient. I’m hard like that. At first, when he said, “You need a crown,” I was like, “I know right?! I’ve always thought so myself!” but then I realized he was talking about my teeth. I really expected (and secretly hoped for) the gas to get me high but to tell the truth I really couldn’t feel it– maybe a little dizzy when I got up to go pee but that’s it. I was hoping for a little “‘scuze me while I kiss the sky” action but no so luck. I guess the fact that I ran everything but Drano through this body in my 20s might explain my tolerance to drugs. (Who knows, I might have even tried Drano in a blackout; you’ll have to ask my friends.)

So tonight at the gym, my body was processing all those chemicals and I could just feel them coming out of me– in my sweat and in my breath. I felt like there everyone should be able to see a cloud of purple haze hovering around. (Second Hendrix reference in as many paragraphs. The cool kids got it.) During the workout, I was nauseated and dizzy but I kept going. I want to be looking and feeling my best when I land in Sydney. I leave in 8 days. I know what you’re thinking and you’d be only part right. What I do with my body in the way of exercise, I do for me. If someone else finds me sexy– well, I reckon that’s fine too (wink, wink). Pushing hard at the gym is a not only great preparation for life, it’s a great metaphor. The spiritual lessons are limitless if I’ll only pay attention. And if it were easy, everybody would do it.

I got stopped by the cops on the way home from the gym tonight. Mom’s Cadillac sure can pick up speed; I’ll just say that. Luckily I didn’t get a ticket though. Caleb knew the cop. Thank God for that because I really need to save my money for fun in Australia– like those little bags of food to feed the Great White Sharks while snorkeling naked in the Great Barrier Reef. And Kangaroo burgers. With mayo. I’m not sure if they charge extra for mayo in Australia or not. Better safe than sorry.

I spent a good long while on the phone today with a Marine Iraq vet who’s told me he’s an alcoholic. My heart is hurting for him and I really want to help. But he only calls when he’s drunk and he’s not open to any suggestions that include the possibility of his stopping or even slowing down his drinking. He says he’s going to die. I don’t even know what to do with that. I’ll call him tomorrow and hopefully catch him sober long enough to perhaps see if there’s any willingness to become willing to do anything to get better. I don’t want anyone else to die. Sometimes it takes war a long time to kill someone.

Please pray for my Marine friend. We all deserve another shot at life.

See y’all tomorrow.

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