Am still alive and kickin’

Made it to Mississippi last Tuesday. So, been here a week now, staying at my Grandma’s place. Still feeling a bit funky, but that’s to be expected. Despite the privation of bars for nearly an hour around this town, I’m still able to purchase beer at gas stations to haul back to the homestead, so no, I am not yet a fully sober being. Though I wait until late before partaking. Hung out with my cousin a few days back and we hit the barscene in his city, which was fun. Just not certain where I’m trying to go with all of this yet. Becoming a teetotaler holds zero appeal to me, to be honest. BUT, I have deprived myself entirely of the herb while here, so there’s that. Which is probably beneficial.

On the way down I decided to stop at a motel/bar in a town called Marston, MO. Usually drive the approx. 13-14 hours straight on, but that looked like a good resting spot. And it was. If you’re a cigarette smoker and dive-bar drinker who can appreciate (or at least tolerate) kitschy Americana, it’s the kind of joint you might like.

And since being here I’ve completed Stephen King’s book Desperation, published in 1996, and enjoyed it. Has a lot of religious undertones (and overtones) to it, but still, I took it as sci-fi fantasy in its own right. Aside from listening to his audiobook On Writing in recent weeks, that is the first novel by him I’ve chosen to endure since my teenage years in the ’90s. Really engaging book. Great read. Just happened across it and became totally engrossed in it. Started it on Wednesday and completed it on Sunday (and probably would’ve finished it on Saturday had I not gone and hung out that evening with my cousin).

Been reading a bunch. Currently working through Aldous Huxley’s The Perennial Philosophy, on loan from that same cousin. Not sure what to say about it so far. Honestly, it’s not really up my alley (in terms of its incredible dryness, having read better books exploring the same subject matter), but he really liked it so I’m giving it a chance. Would prefer to read Joseph Campbell and others when in the mood for delving into spirituality. Huxley’s writing style here doesn’t make for easy reading, familiar as I already am with the Tao de Ching and various elements of Buddhist (and obviously Christian) thought. Will complete it before saying much else.

Also been listening to C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters on audiobook in my car, courtesy of my buddy before I started out on this trek.

Next print book in queue to be read is The Confederacy of Dunces, also on loan from my cousin.

Began working out again three days ago at a local gym, focusing on both cardio and weights for a couple days, just cardio tonight. Nice place. Not cheap, but at least I can pay as I go month-to-month and pro-rated. Clean facility with enough machines to suit my interests.

Haven’t discovered any fresh boiled peanuts so far in this town that are worth a damn. Unfortunate. Not cool. Gonna have to wait until I can travel an hour away to locate some better ones, which hopefully will be Friday since Grandma desires to head to a big city to look for home furnishings. She doesn’t drive, so that’s what I do when I’m around — drive her to and fro.

What else? Obviously haven’t taken any time to write thus far. No excuse for that other than still decompressing currently.

Nice weather down this way so far. Bugs are out though. As are the snakes, one of which Grandma killed a few days ago. Turned out to be non-poisonous. Bummer there.

But the sun has turned the landscape golden and green here this spring. Very beautiful time to visit Mississippi. Been spending hours each day sitting out on the porch barefoot and reading. Good for the soul.

Been talking to my former companion on the phone each night, and so far he’s remained very respectful and kind toward me. Hopefully he feels the same way vice versa. We’re still chiseling away at our former constraints and trying to figure out how to move ahead as friends, trying to drop the bs we’ve been mired in for over 3 years now. It’s not an easy transition, to say the least. One big reason for why I am here and will remain here until June. Gotta sever certain emotional ties enough for us both to move on, which we both know and accept. Strangely difficult to do. Perhaps this represents codependency at its extreme. I don’t know. But we both care and aren’t trying to hurt one another any further. I personally need to work on becoming stronger—mentally, physically, emotionally, and perhaps also spiritually—because that can only help in resolving this matter between us. Plus, it will prove good for me overall. And him, by extension. If we can not undo my progress this time around.

So the nuttiness continues to an extent, yet appears to be being actively curbed. Good for us/me. Radical change is sometimes needed in this life…

What else? Got an idea for the next tattoo I decide to get. Only have 2 small ones thus far, both marking chapters in my life, the first representing my young marriage to my ex-husband, the second representing my entry into sex work thereafter. The next being something to do with infinity, ultimate timelessness, but also pertaining to my Grandparents in a way. Saw the picture frame that now contains their wedding rings and thought about a very simple (and cheap) design that seems right for demarcating the next chapter in my journey. Not certain where I’d like to place it yet. Perhaps the back of my neck/nape. No clue when I’ll eventually decide to get this done.

Trying to figure and sort a lot of shit out right now. Won’t pretend otherwise. Came to be in a lot of pain up in my latest chosen city in the Midwest and just couldn’t break out of the funk for some reason. Tried and failed repeatedly. Got to feeling so unnerved, so desperately seeking, that I finally just had to up and leave for an extended spell. Not that city’s fault — just something going on inside me in recent years. Needed time away and am so fortunate to be granted it. That’s a real blessing. My best guyfriend is a saint in his own right for helping me out as he does. This puts pressure on me to not let others down, but…he knows already that I am a feral cat of sorts and a wanderer, so hopefully his expectations aren’t too high to begin with. Just needing to stick with the program on some level and to find the ways in which I am capable of contributing in a more meaningful way, one of which I am aware of and think about on the hour, every hour. Just a question of honing my skills. And time will tell. Praying I possess enough talent and develop enough discipline to pull that one off over time. Thankfully he believes in me, as do a few others, and I’d really like to not let them down in the end. Though, I can’t help but remain shocked that some people see something in me that I waver on seeing within myself. And that’s exactly why I need to grow and expand and figure this shit out to the best of my ability. Prefer to leave this planet without regrets someday.

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