He pushes the heavy doors to the dojo to enter. I haven't seen him in awhile. His face puffed, skin sick, eyes exhausted, he has aged. He is only 23. Lack of attendance from my men always alarms me. I care, I'm emotionally invested, that's how it is. I can move on only after I have done all.
I am a point of light. A weathered man with the love Jesus behind me.
I'm at this bar I have loved for years, dark red lights dot the mirror walls of glassed booze, cool crowd and amazing live music. I'm asked by new friends if they can get me a drink. What would it hurt if I said yes? A beer and dance to some Texas funk sounds like the most marvelous thing in the world.
I am a grinding, sonic heavy beat. Shattered yet full. Jesus is ahead of me.
Basement of church. Our circle of greatness commences. Group prayer opens the meeting. I'm comforted by the familiar older faces. Honor you elders runs through my tired mind. A stranger enters. I huge burly giant. Gentle and soft spoken. Lets call him Mr. Charlie. Cleaned shaved head and striking mustache that spells of an older generation. A generation of men that drank, smoked and cursed while building this country. While dying for this country. Mr. Charlie then talks about hanging fruit.
I'm a Zen monk doing battle with the ego and yet no battle at all. Buddha is here.
Have I done all for this student of mine? When I was 23 I was in the outer space world of booze, lights and love. Maybe I should let him be, let him be stubborn and make his mistakes. Learning curve, soil those oats. He's a man and we all deserve the fruits of this world. So drink up buddy, go for it. What the hell do I care?
I'm am my dark monster, The wolf staring in the sun. Sun, all night.
The band plays on. Feet and sweat move in beat. My mouth waters for a drink. I see my old self now, dancing drunk, flirting till lips meet. I've come so far yet in that moment all I can think about is what would my old self be doing now? Was I that far gone? little over a year ago I was dancing in dark holes for love. Did I have any clue to joy and self respect? I grab a Topo Chico mineral water, the dense bubbles sedate me clean. I'm refreshed. I take to the dance floor, sober and sweet.
I'm a born again bailador. My aura shines bright in those dark caves.
"You are the low hanging fruit Paul," Mr Charlie states with old confidence that predates colonized, insecure minds. Hanging ripe fruit, my mind tells me, wisdom filling and love tasting. "Let your students, anyone really, take a bite of your fruit." He's got a way with words and I'm sold. I love this time of day, twilight and I'm sipping on blueberry green tea. I'm on the edge of my seat, silent, taking in all this knowledge from the scriptures but also from these ancient people. If I fall off the tree, ripe with history of wrong, then I'm ripe. Eat of my flesh. Don't let me rot.
I'm my dear friend who left us too soon. I'm her brave, living light in this cowardly world.
His son almost died of an asthmatic attack. He was told days after and only called upon for money. Told he couldn't see him. He couldn't see his flesh. Our pains connected. I told him find inspiration to come train everyday. Do so every morning you wake. Find your truth, if training is your only solace, so be it. I do care that you drink yourself to death. Stop it. Stop it now if you can. I know that dark fucking pit you are in. I know it well brother.
I'm a repeated loop of fizzy hope. St. Teresa holds my hand.
I don't dance enough. I don't let out that dragon. But dancing sober in the sun of the night was a delight. I have to say I got my 3 or 4 songs in and I was good. I need to dance more. Dancing makes us all smarter, Facebook told me so. The topo, the talk and the movement made this whole self control thing liberating.
I'm ready to taste your tainted breathe. Bite into me, take his wisdom and love. I hope you can get out of your dark pit. Your drinking keeps me sober, but just don't keep drinking. Mr. Charlie, with clinched fist, kept empowering me with his words and smile. Let me do the same to you men, young and old. Start with one dance sober, see how the steps feel with the music. You've raged against the beat long enough. What did it get you? Praise from cowards and female warmth for the night. I got something much better. Everlasting and honest. I got his faith. I got his wisdom.
Christ, Buddha and St. Teresa are dancing, holy spirit drunk, along this Texas funk. Masters of music, love and self control. As I sway to this beat, I pray this song never ends.