May 2, 2022
I was up in Dead Horse, Alaska. The storm had blown in that morning. It was now around 2200 hrs and I had spent most of the day curled up snug in my bunk. I had been startled awake by what I was not sure of, it had either been the violence of the wind blowing my truck and it’s 78,000 LBS around or, the incredibly vivid triple x-rated dream I had been having about the Nanny. It had been more than five years since she had married, and at this point I despaired that I would never be able to stop consciously or unconsciously thinking about her.
The loss I felt made me want to cry, but the thing there was, I had not cried since my mother’s funeral, and then it had not been for her loss, it had been about the senselessness of her death. The lousy cunt had taken the easy way out. I must have fallen back asleep because the next time I woke up my alarm was telling me it was 0700 and as I opened the drapes, it was still dark and would continue to be until early February, depressingly the storm was still blowing and seemed to have intensified. When I had awoken earlier I could see the lights at the fuel pumps, they were invisible now. I was headed for Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada to do a drop and hook back to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Awesome miles but grueling work.
A few months earlier I had been laid low by a stomach bug, and a waitress-like shape had suggested beef barley soup for my buggered tummy. I had kept it down, and dispatch had plugged me into this dedicated run. I enjoyed the challenges of running north, but I had now been out for nine weeks, it was time to go home and this stupid storm was preventing that. In the meantime all I could do was wait for the AKDOT to open the road. I got lucky and dispatch switched me out with another driver in Montreal, Quebec and I got home three days earlier than expected. Walking into my basement apartment made me wonder why I had been so anxious to get there. I think I had literally cringed when I had not seen a note from the Nanny pinned to my door, and I know I called her every nasty name in the book and invented some for her when there were no messages from her on my answering machine.
I kept trying to tell myself, “Chris, she’s married for fuck sake, let her go”, I could not and would not. My heart kept telling me that the asshole she had married was going to isolate her, and fuck her over, and in umpteen years she would come back to me and I would have to clean up the mess. Knowing that and being unable to do anything about that was eating me alive. I could not fathom the choices she had made, and it would be a long 21 1/2 years until I would find out why. In the meantime I called my friend Tom and went for coffee, he was with his girlfriend Kathy, Jimmy’s sister. I had known Jim for 10 plus years and we were good friends. Kat and I had never hugged, so it surprised the hell out of me when she got up, and came to me and hugged me too closely and for too long. As she pulled away she had tears in her eyes, and I was like, what the fuck?
I then learned that Jim had taken a massive stroke and had died at 32 years old on the day that I was stuck in Dead Horse. His funeral had been while I was switching in Montreal. It was at times like this that I really hated trucking, the times and distances involved, and cell phones were not yet a common thing, though it would be soon after this that I got my Bell Bag Phone. I loved that thing. It did not matter where I was, I got out on that thing.
There that day too was this east Indian fella, he was in his mid fifties and had lost his wife of 25 years earlier that year in a car accident. The two of them would come in to the coffee shop in the early evening and drink tea, she would always get a powdered donut of some sort, and giggle sweetly as she spread powdered sugar all over the known universe. It was obvious to everyone that they had been very much in love, and I had envied them. The poor guy though was really struggling with grief, he now often stank of body odor and alcohol. This day though he looked clean, and did not smell like a distillery, though he did seem to be trembling some. I could not tell if it was because of nerves or the DTs. That afternoon for the first time ever we actually sat down and talked, after he had made the unexpected statement that he had often felt not compelled but actual need to talk to me. It was his assertion that he felt a very real sense of familiarity with me.
I was somewhat taken aback by that but, for the first time I was able to put what that feeling was with the Nanny back in school, when I had wrapped her in my arms for the first time was, utter familiarity. Back then I could not begin to understand it, all I knew was that I loved it, and did not want it to ever end. As we continued to talk that day, I was given a crash course on something called Krsna, that in my arrogance, I could not begin to give due credit to.
Still being locked out of any sense of being able to connect with my sacred feminine, did not allow me to apreciate spirituality in any way. Even though my friend had just died, I did not seek solace for the grief that I felt in thinking that he had gone to heaven, or was with friends and family in some other realm. The only thing I was sure of was, that this realm was hell, and that we should not have climbed down from the trees. It was rage that was blocking me, and in less than a month I would start attending AA meetings where I would learn to confront that rage, and take personal inventory, and learn to see god in a new way. But before I could do any of that, I first had to learn how to accept the things I could not change, and have the courage to change the things that I could.
Even though I had lots of friends in Toronto that I would remain in touch with for the next seven years, I was miserable, mostly because of my own unreasonable expectations. To some of the people that I knew, my leaving Toronto was because I was running from my problems, I understood why they thought that, but that was not the truth of it. The simple truth of it was, that there was nothing left for me in Toronto, and it felt like I was beating a dead horse. It was the same feeling as I had when I left school, as when I left the whore, my previous employer, what was to be gained or lost by continued assoctiation was over. At the time I thought that it was about freedom of choice, little did I know that that particular feeling was absolute knowledge that the lesson was done. And it is that precise feeling that accompanied other changes in employment, and the end of the narcissistic leprechaun.
hough I did not understand it at the time, the universe was telling me that it was time to continue my lessons. A couple of years previously my 3rd eye had pried itself open, and at that time it really did not seem to make a whole lot of difference to me. The only notable change seemed to be that, if I was in a place, or saw a book that I was supposed to read, that place or thing would be limned in light. And I would always feel a sense of well being about it. That had been the case in Toronto and my coffee shop where I knew Tom, Kat, and Jim from, it too was the case in London and Mike’s Coffee Shop. I had learned to trust this, so Mike’s was it, the question was why? Some of the people there thought that I was some kind of cop, because I was overly observant, this I later learned was a trauma response – hyper vigilance.
I was in London a good three months before I met my saviour. I had done a quick load to Winnipeg, Manitoba then back between his doing his strip show and my actually being asked to go to a AA meeting with him. His strip show had been a bit disconcerting, but I learned that he had been a professor at Western University and had lost it all through addiction, and had now drug induced Schitzaphrenia. When on his meds he was truly an angel, and was the first person I ever met who actually cried for me as he learned my story. As my story came out either in the rooms, or in quiet with him, he would see how I would have these violent crying jags come on, and how I would savagely beat them down and maintain icy control. He would encourage me to let it out, but I did not know how. Acknowledgeing those tears meant that the pain was real, and that meant that I was real, and I had no idea of how to deal with that.
So the question came down to, how do you acknowledge yourself when you had spent your life being trained to not do so? Finding that question enabled the healing process to begin, and it gave a focal point to the rage that had always been part of me and had fucked up so many important things in my life. Making this realization now gave me a starting point, a really shitty one, but it was more than I had a month earlier, and that was truly unexpected.