Friday, January 31, 2014


As if I needed another reason to stay clean and sober.....I have some health issues that I've ignored for a long time, that I have to stop ignoring.  And actually address.  Unless I want to die young, or have a miserable disease-ridden rest of my life.

I've spent most of my adult life not really caring whether I lived or died, and sure did my damnedest to self-destruct.  Turns out that ingesting large amounts of illegal chemicals and alcohol do quite the number on the internal organs.  Who knew?  Ha.  I mean when you're young and indestructible (another ha) the warnings of "you're going to kill your liver" fall on deaf ears.

Now that I've (miraculously) made it to the age of 41, relatively intact, topics of health that used to not concern me are now occupying my thoughts.  Cholesterol?  Triglycerides?  Heart disease? Liver damage?  I actually have to think about this stuff now?  And do something about it?  Fuck.

Part of something I've struggled with in sobriety is a loss of identity.  It's warped, but my whole identity, for so long, has been wrapped up in the fact that I'm a drug addict.  Without the drugs, who the fuck am I?  What is the point of me?  Why should I care?

I guess where I'm going with this, is that I have to start caring about myself enough to want to take care of myself better.  And there's a part of me that is really fighting that.  It's stupid, but it's almost like the straw that broke the camel's back......"I quit using drugs, and NOW you want me to eat healthier and exercise?  That's going too far man, too far."

Even though I know I'll feel better if I do it....maybe that's part of the resistance.  Part of me doesn't want to feel better, because if I feel better, then I have to admit that it's possible to feel good without drugs.  Fucking brain.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Deep Roots Blogging Lounge #2

The old man pushed the wheelbarrow up the hill towards his destination.  The hill was not steep, but even a slight incline will seem like an effort when you're 80, he thought to himself, as he puffed slowly along.  The sun was shining, and the whole world seemed young and green and vibrant.  A perfect day to plant deep roots and feel the dirt between your fingers.

He reached the top of the hill and stood quiet for a moment, looking out at the view.  Behind him lay a grove of trees, bending and swaying in the spring breeze.  The effect was mesmerising, and the old man stood lost in his memories for several minutes before coming to.  With a deep sigh....not a sad sigh, per say, but a resigned sigh.....he took the shovel out of the wheelbarrow and started digging a small hole.

He slowly bent down to his knees, hearing them make popping sounds.  He took the hosta he had wheeled up, removed the plastic pot, and set it into the hole, breaking the root ball up a little as he did so.  He settled it firmly, and patted the soil he'd dug back in around the stem, softly and lovingly.  He then took a bottle of water he'd carried up and poured it all around until the soil was nice and moist.  "There you go, little fella," he whispered, "you'll do nice here, I think.  You'll both be good for each other."

He took more time standing back up again, the same joints moaning, and then dusted the dirt off his pants and hands.  He stood back to check his handywork.  "Could be just a little more to the left, but you don't mind, do you?"  he said.  He reached his arms up towards the sky, stretching as far as his 80 year old body would let him, making more joints pop.  He stood for a few more moments, let out another deep sigh, and made ready to go.  "I hope you enjoy it, Ella," he whispered, and patted his late wife's tombstone with his gnarled hand.  "I dug it up out of your garden, it's one of them you planted just last year."

He wanted to say more, but he knew that his Ella understood.  He put the shovel and water bottle back in the wheelbarrow, and slowly walked back down the hill of the cemetery, remembering years gone past.... and Ella young and green and vibrant in her sundress, working in her garden.

copyright Steven Clark 2014

Photo Prompt for week #2

Monday, January 20, 2014

Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Blogophilia 48.6

"Have you ever seen the rain?  I mean.....ever seen it rain this hard, before?"  said Rita, looking out the window of her hotel room.

She could see the room behind her in reflection, two double beds, astrewn with clothes, suitcases, and other travelers' refuse.  What their suitcases contained was different than the average woman's, though.  Most respectable young women didn't travel with thigh-high boots, nipple pasties, and dildos.

Rita's friend Rose looked up from what she was doing, and huffed a reply.  "Eh, so what?  It just rain.  You afraid of getting wet, honey?"  Rose laughed, a course sound that grated against Rita's ears.  "You should be used to gettin' wet, it's yo job.  You gettin' wet, making the men wet.  You make evy-body wet, evy-one is happy.  The happier evy-one is, the mo' money you make.  That's why we here.  Look, come away from dat window, help me sort this shit."

Rita moved away from the window and sat on the bed.  She knew this was a great opportunity, to be seen by Tad Falcon, the most infamous adult movie producer of the day.  She was under no illusions that "Tad Falcon" was his real name.....nobody in this business used their real names.  She also was under no illusion that she was a shoo-in.....she knew that if she were to get this job, she'd have to got to lengths she'd never gone to before.  And that scared her.

"Tad's a hard guy to please, ain't he?" asked Rita, trying to feel Rose out.  Rose had worked for Tad in the past, but she never talked about it.  She didn't talk about it now.  One eyebrow flicked up at Rita's question, but that was the only response Rita was going to get.  All Rose would say was, "You jus' need to remember, you'll be alrigh' in the end.  You do what he say, you be fine."  Rita didn't ask anymore questions, but went off to the bathroom to sort out what makeup she would wear the next day.

Tad Falcon was staying in the same hotel as Rita and Rose, but on the top floor, the penthouse suite.  His mind was occupied by business letters and questions about taxes....the very unglamorous side of running an adult media empire.  He needed a distraction, and was welcoming the audition of Rita leFay....or as fans and the industry marketing regime nicknamed her, "Rita leLay".

Rose escorted Rita up the elevator to the penthouse floor.  But after Rita stepped out, she said "God be with you, little one, you remember what Rose said.  You do what he say, you be fine," and the elevator doors closed, leaving Rita all alone in the hallway.  She stood there for a few minutes, gathering her breath, and caught a look at herself in a hallway mirror.  "I can do this," she whispered to herself.  She didn't know why she was so scared; she had been in the industry for a couple of years now and knew how to conduct herself in front of new producers.  Still, Tad Falcon had a reputation....girls, and guys, would do anything to become a part of his production family.

Rita walked up to the door, knocked, and waited breathlessly for it to open.  When it did, a squinting man ushered her into the foyer.  "Imagine having a hotel room so large, you have your own foyer!" thought Rita.

"Wait here," the squinting man said.  He shuffled off through another door, and Rita was left alone.  She could smell something like chicken soup wafting through the corridor, with hints of rosemary and thyme.  Her own stomach rumbled; she hadn't eaten any breakfast.....she thought whatever she had to face, she could face it better on an empty stomach.

Soon, she heard a door open and Tad Falcon himself was walking across the foyer towards her.  Rita felt a little weak-kneed and breathless; still, she kept her professional cool and spoke to him as she thought an industry pro ought to.

"Rita!  So nice to see you dear, please tell me they are treating you OK!" beamed Tad, his face nothing but polite concern as he kissed her cheek.

"Yes, it's been lovely here, thank you.  And....I'm so glad to be able to meet you," Rita said, coyly looking at him from under her lashes, her hand slowly caressing her breast.

"The pleasure is all mine," he said, taking her hand in his and kissing it.  He gently massaged her fingers for a few seconds, before placing her hand on his crotch.  Rita's eyes stayed locked on his, and after a moment, cooly unbuckled his belt and trousers, ever aware that the squint-eyed manservant was still present, watching them.

"Ah yes, let's just go inside here, shall we?" Tad said, gently pulling her up by the arm and guiding her into the suite living room.  With a sanctimonious glance at the manservant, Rita swept into the room.

No sooner had she stepped into the room did Tad have her on her knees, her face hovering in front of his crotch.  "You have quite the reputation for satisfaction, Rita.....prove it to me,"  Tad said.  His voice still sounded menacingly gentle, as if he were inquiring after a favorite poem or opera.  Rita wasn't scared, not yet.  This wasn't anything she hadn't already experienced.  Still, she was a bit pissed off that she had to prove herself this way, hadn't she brought in a million dollars for other producers and even won an AVN award?

******here, dear readers, is where I have to stop.  This went in a much darker direction than I had originally intended, and these days I'm trying to stay out of the darkness.  So, instead of deleting it and starting over, I will leave it up to you to finish the story in the comments.  Tell me your take on things......does Tad rape Rita and hire her for his movie, or discard her like trash?  Does Rose rush in and save Rita from making a dreadful mistake?  And just what is Tad's and Rose's history?

Blogophilia Week 48.6 Topic: Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 points) Use the name of two magazines - "Look", an old publication , and "Penthouse"
(Easy, 1 point) Incorporate rosemary and thyme

Friday, January 17, 2014

Letting Go part 1

You know the old adage that "like attracts like?"  Or maybe, "trouble attracts trouble."

In 2011, I was putting a brave face on things, but was a wreck inside.  And how is that any different from my normal state of being, you ask?  Well, there are wrecks, and there are wrecks.  

I began a relationship with a gal I'll just call R.  I kept it quiet, because it wasn't the type of relationship one brags about.  We met at a meeting, both of us there for reasons that didn't include real recovery.  

I guess I was lonely.....desperate is probably a more accurate description.  Imagine two co-dependent addicts using each other as an excuse to use drugs.  Throw in lots of binges and sex, fights, and broken windows, and that pretty much sums things up.  Until we discovered that R was pregnant.

All my adult life, I've been meticulous in a very paranoid way about using protection in my casual encounters. Because of my own abused past, damned if I was going to allow a child of mine to be brought into the world and have the cycle continue.  But this time, I got careless.  When the pregnancy was confirmed by the doctor, both our worlds turned upside down.

We talked.  And talked.  We both had delusional pipe dreams about staying clean, getting our shit together, and raising a child.  Maybe get married and pretend to be normal. But deep down we both knew it wasn't going to happen.  

When she started talking about getting an abortion, I have to admit that my  liberal, pro-choice values were sorely put to the test.  I panicked.  Shit just got real.  For a few weeks, we both stayed clean and talked some more about what to do.  It seemed, for a while, that she was keen on keeping it.  I remember feeling baffled about how to feel, if that makes sense.  Part of me was angry, part of me was scared shitless, and yet another part of me was a tiny bit hopeful.  Maybe, this was what we both needed to get our lives back on track.  If we couldn't get our shit together for ourselves, maybe we could get our shit together for this little being.  

I made plans, looked for a second job to bring in more money.  I stayed clean.  I thought about how to rearrange stuff in my trailer to have R move in with me, and where we would put this little being when it was time.  We talked daily, and for a brief few weeks in 2011, I was almost a father.

R came over one day shortly after that and I could see that she was high.  She said she had made up her mind to go ahead with an abortion.  Stunned, I asked why.  She got angry and defiant, and I got angry and defiant back at her.  She left, and I broke shit.  The next day I went to her place and begged her to change her mind.  She was adamant, and in a moment that seemed to encompass eternity, I realized that she was right.  Even if I was willing to get my shit together.....she wasn't.  There wasn't going to be any happy ending to this, even if she kept it it would be born drug addicted and faced with a lifetime of health problems.  

The appointment was made, kept, and we parted ways shortly afterwards.  I knew she was hurting, but I was hurting too and wasn't feeling generous.  Sobriety was a joke after that.  I binged and went back to hiding from the world.

I told what happened to only a couple of people in my private life, and none of my online friends.  It was a kind of pain that I had never experienced before, and I didn't know what to do with it, couldn't explain it to anyone, so I didn't tell anyone.  The closest I came was quietly alluding to it in this post from August 2011:

One of those people in my private life that I told was Kelli.  For those of you who have read me longtime, you know that Kelli and I had an on again, off again, relationship for years.  She desperately wanted a family, and for years tried to 'fix me' so I could be that soulmate, perfect partner to provide her with one.  In 2005, when we were "on again" and living together, (and also during one of the longest clean and sober periods of my life), she underwent fertility treatments to try and get pregnant.  It was a time of anxiety and endless waiting, and of me feeling like nothing more than a stud bull.  At that time I didn't want to be a father, but how could I say no to a woman I loved?  I never admitted to anyone, not even myself really, but every pregnancy test that came back negative I breathed a sigh of relief.

When I told Kelli (even when off-again, we were still close) what had happened with R, her reaction was horrific.  The fact that I had fathered a child on a woman that wasn't her, after her endless attempts to get pregnant, was too much to bear.  It forever fragmented our friendship and while today we still call each other 'friend,' the closeness we shared is gone.  She is now married and she and her husband are looking to adopt.  I wish her nothing but happiness, but I regret that we no longer share that closeness.

I've kept this experience so close to me that it feels strange to share it now, but things we think are buried and dealt with have an unfortunate tendency to remind us that they have never been dealt with.  

Part 2 to follow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I hadn't logged into this blog since last summer, until I decided to write something recently for the new Facebook writing group "The Blogging Lounge," and before last summer, it had been 2012 since I'd logged in.  Wow.

Four whole posts for 2013.  I think that's the longest I've ever been MIA from my blog.  

It hasn't felt like that long to me, but then, 2013 has pretty much been a blur.

Since logging back in a few days ago, I've read over a lot of my old posts and found nuggets of writing that I'd completely forgotten about.  A few are worth sharing again, but I'll wait until the time is ripe.

So what has been going on in my life all this time?  Or in other words, "where the hell have I been?"

When I first started blogging waaaaay back in 2008 in the Myspace days (Jesus, that's a lifetime ago it seems), my life was an open book.  I wrote about anything and everything and didn't hold much back.  Now though, I don't feel comfortable sharing that much of my private life to the world.  It's like I stripped down and exposed myself, and now I want to put my clothes back on.  The last few years I've written some really soul-bearing stuff, but it's still "mylife-lite".  I've written alot about emotions and thoughts, but not a lot about what is really going on in my life.

I think I'm ready to share some of that now.......but not in this post.  Soon, though.

I know the burning question on everyone's mind is "Is he still clean?"

Yes, I am clean today.  Taking it day by day, and it's only today that matters.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Who Am I? Blogging Lounge #1

Who Am I?

"You're a pathetic waste of time."          No, I'm not.

"You're nothing but a failure at everything you touch.        No, I'm not.

"You know you'll give in sooner or later, you always do."          Not for today, I won't.

"Your father was right, you're weak."           Sometimes, yes.  But I'm also strong.

"You know you want it, you dream about it all the time."          Sometimes, yes.  But I also know it's just a dream.

"Your veins are salivating right now just thinking about want to get high."          Sometimes, yes.  But I know it's just a lie and a false happiness.

"You'll feel better if you do it."           Perhaps briefly.  But I know now that the consequences aren't worth it.

"You've never been able to succeed at staying clean long, because you're a such a weak failure."        And yet I keep on trying.

"You're a disgrace to manhood, you even cry at night."           Embracing, not burying, my emotions makes me stronger.

"Your father wished you'd never been born."           And yet I'm the one still here, alive and kicking.

"You're such a loser."             No, the fact I'm still alive after all these years makes me a winner.

"Who the fuck are you?"         I am a survivor.

Submitted for the Blogging Lounge topic #1, "Who Am I?"
(Thank you Ariana Browning for continuing the work of GBE under this new incarnation!)