Our neighbor Mark is the nicest guy. His arms are covered in super faded tattoos and he seems to be missing some fingers. I see sorrow in his eyes. His wife was in a coma and is now recovering. The pass that leads into our valley–Ad calls it Death Hill– causes an inordinate amount of car accidents and neighbor lady, Mark’s wife, almost died there.
Mark lent me this huge roto-tiller to use on our yard today. He says he rents it twice a year to plow under the goat heads–those little bastards that stick to feet and annoy the skin. There is a huge section of our back yard that I’d like to be our garden some day. I focused mostly on that section but also on a few other sections in need of some leveling. I like the idea that this yard will become nicer and nicer thanks to my continual efforts to maintain it. I’ve been adding nice soil, we compost and I planted a new bush the other day. My new rake and shovel have been getting alot of use.
While tilling this dirt today there’s been this thing on my mind. For two days I’ve been dealing with some regret, some guilt over a thing I did while drunk. It wasn’t violent but it was abusive, this thing I did on Facebook. To say it was a mistake would sort of miss the point. I’m not a big self-hater but the way I tried to embarrass someone online is un-forgivable. I just can’t stop thinking about it. It’s easy to beat myself up. About once a year I do something out of control while indulging on alcohol. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s time to quit.
It makes me think of my friend, we’ll call him Raul. Raul goes on these nasty binges for a few days or more and insults those around him. He seems to think that, in his heavily intoxicated state, his harsh criticism is needed. As if it’s Raul’s job to tell them “what they need to hear”.
They say honesty without compassion is brutality and alcohol seems to completely take away the compassion some times. Drinking is about defiance. Looking back I keep thinking I was trying to end a friendship on purpose. Why would I do that?
In the yard, my head was lost in guilt all day, churning up dirt. I’ve got four new scratches that made my hands a bloody mess and a new blister on each hand from using that beast of a roto-tiller.
I wonder if Mark was ever a drinker. I wonder if he’s got his shit together now because the insufferable blunders made in his life were related to alcohol. There’s a magical healing power in generosity. That whole God thing with AA is about giving up control. Getting outside of yourself seems to be an important point. I really want to make this a nice yard for the little family.