This morning I woke up sober.

This morning I woke up sober. That means this year I’ve spent more New Years mornings sober than sick. The balance has shifted to the positive side and will hopefully stay there.

I’ll never understand the appeal of the years waking up on the floor, surrounded by violent people. Drugged people, severely drunk people. Sick people.

Coffee tables covered in powders, and rigs and pills and guns and empty bottles and cans… a thousand cigarette butts.

Looking out on a clean slate, rather than a continuation of the poisoned unnamed rage.

Still, every day I feel a need to be aware, the need to say good morning to the voice of anger and sorrow and acknowledge him.

Never deny him, never pretend he’s dead and gone.

Yesterday I put on the gloves again. Something changes in me as I slowly wrap my hands.

Every time.

Preparing to fight calls up something old. Something primal. It calls upon some faceless, nameless demon council.

It’s different now. I’m so old and arthritic even hitting a heavy bag hurts my wrists, shoulders, and ribs. The countless cracks and fractures.

Every time I connect every broken bone screams at once, something screams to be free.

I realize I don’t need some angry twenty-something to come at the old man, the enemy has always been me. I can do all the damage that need be done to me, me alone.

I am my enemy.

A lot of friends who are no longer sick have found some god to comfort them. This god helps them rise above, to see the glass now always half full.

I prefer to live here in coexistence with my demons, the always present voice calling to my truth. Speaking of a truth only I know.

There has never been a victory, only and always a truce. A tense and bitter truce.

I do not take him for granted, he should show me the same respect.

It’s ok to see the glass half-empty. That’s how it is some days.

I take off the gloves, I’m soaked with sweat and out of breath and old and sore.

We have fought to a draw, once again, he and I.

A draw is ok. A draw a good. A draw is as close to a win as I’ll ever reach with him.

Again, I face him and I say, “not today…”

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