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All The Difference

Sitting in my favorite sports bar enjoying some rare alone time (hi baby), Im struck by the overwhelming idiocy running rampant, all due to a baseball game. Yet, in the midst of all the excessive cheering, obnoxious shouting and overwhelmingly loud decibel levels, Im stricken by the sense of overarching community. Life can be hard, difficult and arduous, so joining together in a tribe with your fellow men and women can be cathartic, a kind of barricade between us and a world devoid of love. Or maybe Im just waxing a bit too poetically. Ive been reading "The Autobiography of Giacomo Cassanova", history's foremost seducer. The libertine lifestyle has always appealed to me, not just the sexual aspects, but the sensuous appeal of existence itself. All knowledge is worthwhile, all experience deep and fulfulling. As a writer, you are little more than a medium, taking in thoughts, ideas and conversations with essential alacrity, before carving them into the sheer rock wall of the collective soul of the Earth, adding your own personal flair through the use of organic language, praying for just one sentence to become embedded in the heart of a reader, thereby securing your immortality. The consumption of new information is as essential for the survival of the mind as eating daily is indisposable for the pulse of the body. Ignore the latter and you die surely, but neglect the former and you will become a zombie, wanderimg somnambulantly through life, a pawn for the use of others. Best not to degenerate that far.

Today I ran 1.5 miles for the first time in 6 months. The entire ordeal was terrible, made nearly unendurable by the blinding sun projecting its seemingly piercing light directly into my eyes. Suffice to say, I loathe running with a disdain commonly reserved for the ignorant, the arrogant, and supporters of Hilary Clinton. In the act of plodding along heavily and tensely, Eminem blaring through my headphones, teleporting me back to my old boxing gym to alleviate some of the pain in my taut hamstrings, I had the luck of encountering a stiff, cool breeze. This revitalized me sufficiently enough to continue the journey with a semblance of comfort. Fueled by an aggressive second wind, I sprinted to the end before collapsing in fatigue. I lay on the clammy concrete pathetically, realizing with a resigned, weak laugh that I finished near the middle of the pack. Not my best showing, but pretty impressive for a guy that generally ignores cardio like a brutal contagion. As I rose on locked, weary legs to stand on exhausted feet, I took consolation in the fact that, if the race were run in a handstand, I would become the sideshow equivalent of Usain Bolt.

I find relaxation and contentment on a barstool. Chalk it up to my rather privileged upbringing mixed with a familial and genetic predisposition for alcoholism, but I feel at home and warm at the raised marble counter of an exclusive lounge. Sports playing rousingly on the beaming TV's with blues, jazz, country and rock intermingling in the background, coalescing into a melodious white noise, I am among my people. Since leaving my childhood home, Ive taken to wiling away my nights leisurely in a variety of locales. In the absence of the basic necessities needed to feel satisfied, a watering hole will always be a welcome replacement. After getting my first car, I would disappear for hours at a time, occupying more than my fair share of space in restaurants, shielded from the world by a stack of books, forever growing miraculously, reaching towards the sky in a futile attempt to escape before they toppled. I always get my best writing done over a glass of iced tea, liberally sweetened and scented with lemon, surrounded by a crowd yet alone with my thoughts. Im often asked what I do during my solo excursions into the surrounding city, whether I spend a small fortune every night or simply squat outside in public parks, clad in a leather jacket and brandishing a hardcover novel. The truth is that Im a regular at many bars throughout downtown San Diego, Chula Vista and La Jolla. Blending in seamlessly with the crowd, invisible until I wish to emerge. A drifter and vagabond, completely free. What a life.

My shoulders ache and my arms burn. Im suffering from a splitting headache and my quads are uncharacteristically sore. My wrists pop in a symphony of bone everytime I flex them, and my chest screams agonizingly as I move my rough hands forward. This is the price for an active life, and tonight it is enacting its will, demanding the payment of the debt Ive accrued, with devastating interest. I long for the recovering embrace of sleep, the warmth of her body pressed lovingly against mine, healing by body and bathing my heart in passionate heat. But I must write. There are books to read, more poker statistics to memorize and an endlessly revolving wheel of future plans to consider. A dull, throbbing drum of pain makes its presence known as I lift my glass, and I know the time to retire for the night is near. Why is there so much life to meet and delve into when the body is so frail and delicate? To mourn the fragility of the body due to the desire to court more of life's enticements; what a curse to have, telling of the euphoria of the afflicted. Yet, there are worse problems to have. I wasnt always blessed so. Ive struggled, toiled, cursed and spat against the universe, angry and furious with my position and lot in life. Id grown so accustomed to solitude that Id forgotten what it was to have any company besides my own skulking shadow. If anything, its taught me to enjoy the divine workings currently enhancing my life. And with this, I must take my leave. She misses me, and this beaten body needs to collapse into a well deserved, restful hibernation. There will always be more to do, and such a limited time to do it all in. But, theres still time, and that makes all the difference.

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