Saturday, September 5, 2009

Moderating Excess or Excessively Moderating...

Saturday mornings with the kids - I think I have mentioned this before - they are basically two little adults - they wake up, fix breakfast, and begin doing whatever it is they want to do (that is until I wake up and start organizing the day into digestable little tasks and activities). Last night, sometime around eleven (they had been in their room for two hours supposedly sleeping - Gabe fell asleep along with me) Gray came bouncing in with a smile on her face and wearing some newly purchased headbands - and woke me up easily, and said, Dad, I really want to sleep in here tonight (she also added that I had to wear clothes, and luckily, I was). The night lasted another thirty or forty minutes - we shared jokes - she strongly disagrees that my beard is as soft as rabbit fur, she only likes grape popsicles, and then proceeded to share a Klondike Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with me. I woke up this morning to the sound of potato chips being opened, and figured what the hell - it looked like she had eaten a real breakfast of fruit and cereal, so some saturated fried fat could not be all that bad...she is at the age where she is not too cool for hugs and kisses, and likes to feel like a little girl - she picked out her fingernail polish for today's toe nail and finger nail painting, and I had the image of a twenty something year old woman standing in the cosmetic aisle at the store struggling over life's decisions, looking for something or someone to pamper her, and being strong and confident in her decision to buy bronze and purple polish. It was a good Friday afternoon, it was a good time with them, and it was a good night last night -

This piece has been rolling around in my head for a week now - moderating excess is an oxymoron, but it is the way that I live my life - I bounce between eighty hour work weeks, too much drink, too much exercise, too much gambling, too much alone time - and spend a great deal of time monitoring each of them, counting them, and making sure that the excess that I love to experience is kept in check - it is a defense mechanism really - nothing more, nothing less, just a way for me to keep the demons at bay, and from pissing on the kitchen floor (that is another long story, I could share that one later after there is no fear of a real police report being filed - I think that is at least three years...) It has always been my opinion that you can't have fun if you are constantly assessing that toggle switch in your brain that says "This is a really, really bad idea" - but lately, my switch has been clicking back and forth like a crackhead on a social security check night - somewhere between go and stop and start and finish and run wild through the streets naked. Over the past couple of weeks, I have broken a hand with an unfortunate run in with a windshield, talked with St. Johns finest, stayed up until three in the morning in Vegas, bench pressed more than I ever have (and needless to say, think I pulled something), worked two 70+ hour weeks, and spent more money on counseling than I ever have in a two week period - that is the way my control mechanism works - it just shuts down, goes into hyperlock, and the rest of me just moves to keep the quiet at bay.

I noticed that in Vegas sitting down at the pool. It was 105 degrees, the pool at the Palace was chilled beyond comfort, and the new Pool Club had some sort of rap techno shit blaring over what used to be a comfortable resting spot for the weary gambler. I listened to conversations from hung over or already drunk tourists, watched folks parade around, noticed the bathing suits that were too small and watched folks compulsively squeeze their fake tits back into the packaging that was just a little shy of "adequate". Vegas highlights excess in stark ways - there is no moderation in Vegas. There is nothing in Vegas that speaks to control - it speaks to letting it all hang out, and then disappearing anonymously back to Idaho or North Dakota, or where ever it is you belong. For me, it was a strange trip to Vegas - I was with my friend, had chocolate covered strawberries, cold beer, undercooked eggs. I went to Zumanity, swam, played, listened to music, and really - managed to get out of the city not feeling like I had thrown every ounce of caution to the wind. If you want to see managing excess in action, go to Fremont Street, and walk through the old hotels, the old streets. Take a cab from the Strip, and stay off of the expressway, and look at the boarded up buildings, and the toothless hookers who no doubt once probably partied in the nicest hotels, look at the tourists stumbling home from too much drink, you can smell the vomit and trash rotting, you can see the thousands of business cards of women and men selling themselves, and most of all - you can see the transition from excess to bottom to consequence.

That was a good trip. Most folks never leave the comfort of their marbled bathrooms and protected nightclubs in Vegas - for me, I could have easily stayed at the pool, and remained a part of that Vegas - but the trip through consequence was a good one - it was still nice to get back to the safety of a Palace Room and a jacuzzi tub and 24 hour room service - but the reality of the lack of moderation and the overindulgence still is in my mind.

Now if only I could set the same boundaries with what pays my bills...that's another blog - it's time to do Wii Fit...


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