Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Redeem Life?

Well, I suppose God is the long term value, if you're going to try to orient your life to long term values.  So getting sober and/or translating the 12 steps into long term values doesn't completely suffice if you keep asking, "so what then?"  Getting sober may be enough if you keep getting so damn drunk that you're ruining your life, no doubt.  I don't doubt it, that is, because I can remember vividly drinking 13-15 drinks worth of whiskey and (and I'll resist the urge to tell you the name of the whiskey I used to love and devour so much) and climbing to the roof of my old apartment building in Brooklyn one September (of 2008 I believe) to be one with the wind and air and view that was downright spiritual. I lit my cigarette and sat down hard on the silver roof just as the sun was coming up.  I had finally "arrived" at a perfectly reckless drunk, and I was "in it" for a little while.  There are two things I'll remember from that morning.  The first was that exact moment of perfection; the second, related, was when I looked up over Prospect Park, I could see the lights memorializing the twin towers shooting up into what was left of the night.  I gawked at them until I couldn't stand any longer, and then almost locked myself out to be stranded on the roof. I was 20 seconds from climbing down the fire escape with the "what's wrong with this?" kind of attitude that I'd hoped could get me down safely, when I realized I would have to lower the final ladder to street level, and I grasped at the knob-less door's crack even more until prying it open.

So, I'm serious, and a bit naive.  Tell me: how do we redeem life? 

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