Sunday evenings are the worst time of the week. It is the end of the week-end's technical time out, and the looking forward to the mornings jump back into the fray, completely unprepared and without a clue as to how you are going to make it through the week without getting into some big trouble with someone. Big trouble because that work you had put off, until the weekend, hadn't gotten done (best intentions).
The fall,as we call it here in the US, also wears deep. The flush of hope and confidence that started the school year in September with new books and good intentions, have started to show the lie. In the choice of staying in and doing the work that is required, or cracking open a new pack of Camel straights and walking into the fog for the warmth of a bar, one finds oneself powerless to take the right road.
I remember October 1977. I had spent an emotional but adventurous August in Europe, based at my grandparents on a beach in the Netherlands. I came back to a losing small claims case against a crooked recording studio owner, and my senior recital at New England Conservatory, at which my precious instrument was stolen from the dressing room in the hour before the concert (I went on with my teacher's, Barry Galbraith's guitar). That finished school, now I was moving out to Los Angeles, where a band I had produced some sides with had moved the month before, on my urging.
There was a girl. She had been with me, off and on, since I was 18 and she was 16, inbetween all the others. I had been ruthless in my relationship with her, and she had gotten her own back a few times, we had a history. Now I was moving away, although it was ostensibly for good, neither of us probably believed that until a few years later. The Sunday before my Tuesday departure, we drove out to a party in Amherst. I proceeded to drink hard and make an ass out of myself, again. After enough coffee, as the sun started to set over the multi-hued hills of western Massachusetts, we set off for Boston and our last nights together (but first, a stop at the Casablanca for a couple of drinks, eh?).
Life for this young alcoholic seemed to rush between best of intentions, high hopes for the future and a hopeless grind of the way things always seemed to actually work out. And I hadn't a clue. The lord is my shepherd, but I wish her luck, for my brain is a veritable basket of snakes.
Life is very different now. I live, maybe even thrive where many of my running (drinking) buddies have fallen. My happiness is simply contingent on a daily spiritual maintenance. But I have never been very good at maintaining consistency in daily rituals, so sometimes, on foggy, cooling autumn Sundays, an old familiar hopelessness tries to sneak back in. SHOO! I HAVE WRITTEN YOU AWAY!