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memories are my crack

Memories of the past are my crack.  I keep wanting to dwell there to use them for a high, but in the end they really do me no good.  I want everything to be happy and I don’t want to give them up but in fact the spiritual solution to happiness is to stay present in the moment – all we have is now.  I used to think “But what if the present moment sucks?”,  However now I know that I, and everyone else, has a super power to help us through the tough moments.  The super power is one’s own breath.  Breathing through pain and fear and discomfort is the answer.  Because I don’t know about you but I instinctively hold my breath whenever I am doing something even slightly stressful:  changing lanes on the highway, talking about money with my father, when a dog I’m walking gets aggressive on the leash, or getting my latest piece critiqued in writing group.  Instead if I pay attention to and focus on my breathing it lessens the pain and fear and I am set free.
But back to my crack.  You may have noticed quite a few nostalgia posts on my blog.  So I am guilty of hindsight with rose colored glasses on. And to mix another cliche in here my hindsight is not 20/20 because memory is a fickle thing.  I may remember things one way, and other person who was present at the original event will most likely remember things differently.  Then there is the stuff that I don’t remember at all.  Which is a lot.  Except for the more volatile moment of my teen years I can recall very little of that time.  I get Facebook friend requests from people from high school and 80% of the time I don’t remember them.  The fact that I was intoxicated for a good portion of my teen years may have something to do with it, but also it was a traumatic time for me and sometimes our brains try to erase trauma.
I’ll insert a quick note here about the “trauma” incase your interest was piqued.  I was clinically depressed as a teen and self-medicated with any mind-altering substance I could get my hands on.  Furthermore I was rebelling at home and getting in massive, emotionally fraught fights with almost every member of my family.  I am a sensitive soul and total pacifist and can’t stand confrontation of any kind so living in constant anger, tension, and despair was hard on my psyche.
But back once more to the crack, the other day I pulled out a journal from my college days.  I rarely save my journals however the reason I saved this one was because it contained a considerable amount of artwork and poetry quotes:  lots of Yeats, TS Eliot, Plath.  The whole thing was so fascinating and exciting (crack) I momentarily thought about writing a memoir based on it.  And two things really surprised me.  One was my astute insights into my character with incredibly mature musings on issues that I still struggle with to this day.  The other thing was, I documented events that upon reading now, made me realize I was remembering them incorrectly all these years.  There was also a whole cast of characters I completely forgot about:  RT the night club manager, Phil was I guess a boyfriend though I didn’t seem to like him much and can’t even picture him today,  Tommy the junkie drummer in a punk rock band, and Claudia my bi goth poet friend.  I even made a running list of guys I slept with in the journal.  But one thing I was surprised to find was a whole page about “The Russian”.
I’ve always considered my one night stand with the Russian 34 years ago to be some of the best sex I’ve ever had.  Certainly up there in my top 5, maybe even top 3.  I don’t remember many clear details but I remember having fun.  And talking and laughing through the whole long drawn out act.  I remember being satisfied, something that didn’t happen often with my lovers back then.  That night I was only moderately drunk and The Russian made a real impression on me.  He was a visitor to my college, must have been a friend of someone’s though I know not who, and he was only there for the night.  He was perhaps a little older than college age and I remember him as being big like a tree but not necessarily burly.  He was boisterous, merry, comical, poetic, philosophical, and dead on romantic.  In his thick accent he told me stories of Russia – and how to cure a cold by taking a scalding hot bath while consuming many glasses of vodka.   With these memories I assumed I had romanticized the whole thing and exaggerated the importance of that one night.  But no, I wrote it all down in my journal and even wrote a little poem about him.  Maybe sometimes memory does ring true.  Regardless, I spend an awful lot of time in my past replaying those scenarios that serve me well.   And then I write about them here for you!  I truly hope you enjoy them, please feel free to share a snippet of your life with me.  Comments are totally welcome!

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