in aa, i hear a lot of reference to god, but not so much the devil. i guess it’s on my mind today, being ten months sober.

there’s a white ford ranger that parks around my apartment. it’s scraped up a bit; one of those older models, slight of frame compared to the modern monsters that look more like armored police vehicles than something used to haul light fare around town. while this truck isn’t any i know, it has a strong resemblance to the vehicle of someone i once cared a great deal for—a person who, a couple months back, lined up a life without my presence necessary & one day simply said goodbye—i was not to contact them for an indefinite time period, though at some point they may contact me.

it was a jarring severance but not without precedent—this had happened once before, landing me in a psych ward & beginning my trip to this ten-month date of sobriety (this situation was written about with more detail in sunsets). i suppose i just figured after a person does something that sends their friend to a mental institution, they wouldn’t repeat the action. such the fool, i am.

but they also say in aa, ‘poor me, poor me quickly becomes pour me another.’ i know it’s my stay to accept how any individual sees me & whether or not my company is desired, be they who i’ve known or am yet to meet. it’s not easy work, but it’s the life i’ve found myself in.

now, though, there are all of these echoes that set me back to that day when there were words without sound. the banged-up white pick-up parked across the street, fluorescent post-it notes debating possible titles for unfinished paintings. dead plants & empty pots for others i refuse to buy so they will hopefully live on. a dropped polaroid picture on the sidewalk next to a half-lit cigarette; ready to be stepped on, put out for good.

so i sit and wonder what the devil is now. i may have a ‘higher power,’ but all the reading i’ve done seems to exclude the idea of an opposite that exists outside of my person—it seems to me rather odd to seek spiritual growth in the unknown without acknowledging the idea of some form of balance in the existential—unless this is to simply believe humanity, or at least the alcoholism within the alcoholic, is the devil.

i know this is a life-long battle, and i know this is only ten months. but for now, in many ways, i am at a loss.