Somebody asked me today
How I get it all done,
I’d never been asked that before,
Because the person I run closest with
Does way more in a day than I can.
Come to think of it,
I know a lot of people who get quite a bit done.

So, after a long and sort of eventful day,
I’ve plugged in
Some kind of like noise-canceling headphones,
Turned off the television, and committed
To trying to figure out the madness of today.

It started yesterday,
When I ate what may have been the largest sweet potato,
Sharing some with my dog,
Both of us waiting for the behemoth to pass.
Unfortunately,
Mine hit a few minutes after the heated seat in my truck
Took the bite of the cold from my arse and
Just a scant few minutes before I had to officially commit
To a short run and boot camp workout in the pool.
Heavy is a balloon knot holding back gravity
Like some levee on the Mississippi.

After the run,
Off to the pool.
I’m not much of a student,
So flailing around in the water goes against my grain,
But my friends were going to be working out and
I needed a break from the routine of training.
How is it that I’m scared to jump off the deck?
I’ve been hogtied Seal style and forced to survive for extended periods
(Who said gym teachers don’t take tough classes),
But that was yoga compared to jumping off a deck.
I lived to tell about the class
And stayed hungry all day.

Work.
Six-hours, that’s all I have to say about that.
A ride to an away basketball game,
Again, nothing to add except,
The sound of babies crying does not help
Anxiety from losing go away.
I’m talking a real baby crying, literally,
My guys played tough and nothing to be ashamed of.

It’s about 7:15,
My lunch is made,
Einstein the pit bull is curled in a ball, giving
Off the greatest heat, and
I’m debating whether to run inside or outside tomorrow
When the temperature
Might wreak havoc on my nickname namesake,
So I guess you could say I have shrinking interest
In being that cold in the morning.

There isn’t really that much here,
Just a day.
The next one starts at four,
Wonder what gets done then.

It’s come to this, bundled up in gray sweats, lots of layers, Phish on repeat, and a struggle to keep my eyes open. The day of service has passed on I feel like I’ve been going all day, running, driving, trying new foods, putting laundry away, and whatever else got done. The clock says that it is only seven, but I feel like I could sleep right now. Why not, I napped through the first half of the Sixers’ game this afternoon. Sometimes workdays are easier than holidays. For now, I’m chilling, Roggae keeping me awake until I’m absolutely out.

Wrestling with those internal voices,
Threatening to throw some shade their way
Or maybe go so far as to ghost them.

It’s not like stuff is all that serious,
We all have stuff to deal with.
I’m just tired of the noise.

Defensive,
Negative,
Phantoms masking as confident and self-assured,

The kind of voices that hear drama,
Start drama,
Relish in the bull that swirls around.

Sometimes mine,
Sometimes the dominion of others,
Neither that I should ever own.

I’ll keep going
The chatter will fade into the distance
With plenty of shade and only the friendly ghosts.

In recovery,
Not that I know anything about that,
But I know what it’s like to be mad,
Scared, full of discontent,
And I’m sure that I’ve found direction
To steer clear of all that,

Most of the time,

Which puts me in the life-jacket of
Recovery.
Since it’s still easy for me to find a red line,
To blame others when I’m scared,
To fail to appreciate all that is beautiful around me.

Recovery feels good, though,
Peeling at the scars of hurt,
Confronting the scary shit that is fostered within,
Accepting the moment as a temporary piece of me,
A time that helps me grow and has whatever
Filter
I choose to put on it.

Learning to laugh,
Being less judgmental,
Living my truth
Not putting it on others,

Uh-oh,

Sounding a little angry,
Afraid of something,
Unhappy with a moment.

Awareness.
Baby steps.
“Out of my head,” they sang…

I was once at a conference
Outside of Boston
After taking a crop duster plane
In a serious strong wind
That blew the plane all over the place.
The noise inside the cabin
Temporarily damaged my hearing
Leaving me dazed and deaf
To the ways of the people I was about to meet.

We spent the first day getting to know each other,
Touchy-feeling kind of games,
Ball tosses, trust falls, alligator rivers,
And such.
That night, over beers,
Two of the guys bragged of strip clubs,
Getting liquored up, and extracurricular affairs
That did not include their wives.

I started to tell a joke that started,
“These two old country boys,”
Which my new mates from the conference
Immediately shut down as inappropriate
And the kind of joke that would have crossed their lines
Had we gotten to the punchline,
“Sunday, Monday, Tues…”
My radar had been off,
Thinking these two pretty much scoundrels,
Appreciators of stereotypical jocularity,
Purveyors of familial incongruity,
But evidently, I was the louse.

Confusion reigns as I try to figure folks out,
I’m never quite sure where I fit,
Playing the part of an outsider is always the safest
Because I’m fairly sure it’s best to be untethered
So I can just float away
When I get too disoriented.

Those two dudes from that convention went their way,
I caught the crop duster back to Philly
Full of the kind of knowledge those kinds of workshops instill.
In forty-eight hours we had met, been responsible for physical safety,
Heard stories of infidelity, and established a fuzzy boundary for humor.
Unfortunately, when those moments repeat I’m left confused,
With a hand on a carabiner ready to let go
So I can stay in the quiet confines of what I know,
Uncertainty, inaccurate perceptions, and a selfish desire to not give a fuck.

Someday I’ll get there.
Someday I’ll understand my place.
Someday.

I read a study today,
It basically said,
Elite endurance athletes
Think about the race,
The tactics, they cues their body is sending
While
Amateurs think about
Everything else with a drifting mind
That can’t seem to focus
On the strategy, the plan, the reason for being.

Okay, I read, even made a note
About focusing on the particulars of
Whatever it is I’m doing,
Swimming, biking, or running
Because my amateur ass won’t finish
If I let my mind wander
To all the stuff that floats
In my gray matter.

Fully aware, I made a mistake,
Sharing my intentions for an impromptu ride
One of many hours
Because what else am I going to do
On a frigid Friday afternoon when I was gifted
With a bit of free time.
Saddled up, fan on, timer going, I started.
Mr. Shelby and his brother Arthur
Made mayhem in season five.
I was struck by the religious symbolism of several scenes,
“Gotta remember to write that down, brilliant angle.”
The smell of barbecue wafted down the basement stairs
Allowing my stomach to send signals
That hunger was on its way.
Then I realized my butt was aching,
My legs were tired, the sweat was dripping hard,
Exams were over, the sauna is gross,
But it’s not as bad as the steam,
I’ll risk the dry heat. The food, the food, the food.

Seventy-minutes in, done.
A couple of hours short.

Amateur.

My hip hurts from running,
Only a normal amount,
The soreness will be gone
In the morning.

This is a good thing,
Certainly, my discomfort
Being temporary,
Is nothing like that in The Swamp.

I bet the pain of running from
ACCOUNTIBILITY
Has got to hurt more
Than a little Ralph run.

Better to for a run
Than be on the run
I’m doing another seven tomorrow
The orange one must be sprinting.