Thursday, April 26, 2007

Addiction is the 'Pain in us"

Why am I writing this to myself? Well perhaps it is another phase of my repentance and redemption, yet another piece of my justification for all the failures that has plagued my life thus far.
I am an addict and has always been eversince I can remamber. I have been an addict to one form of drug or another one form of sexual deviation or another one form of 'bad habit or another in my life and has not been able to shake off one or two of the deep rooted ones.My addiction to drugs in the past has caused me a relationship or two includung my first marriage and the loss of my first son in the process for custody. I can try to justify all the conditions that had led me into these situations but none of them would bring me back the love and respect of my former wife nor would it bring back the many lost years i could have spent raising my son. I was an alcoholic and also a heavy Marijuana user when I was living in Wisconsin and while working as a Meat cutter at the Packing houses in Green Bay and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The fact that I was living in such an adverse condition having to face a new life in a new environment and trying to raise my son may play a part contributing towards my succumbing to the bad habits that I took on. Ten to twelve hours a day standing and boning on the packing line in a 45% temperature atmostphere was not exactly a healthy environment for even the tough hearted much less for a Malay kid who found himself in the thick of the the Wisconsin winter at the age of 25 trying to make sense of his life with an American wife and a four month old baby. But it is all still justifications and they will remain as such as they are no good excuses for my weaknesses.
I took to drinking like fish take to water once I acquired the taste for good wine and overcame the guilt trip of being a Muslim and so on. I had the money and the company and through hanging out at the taverns and bars made some real good friends as drinkers often are once they had drunk under the table with you. I learned that I can trust my drinking buddy more than I can trust my lawyer or doctor friends who never touch a bad habit. I found that I can expose my feelings without reservations when I was drunk and listen with genuine sympathetic heart to my buddies when they relate their inner mind to me.At the end of the evening when all the drinking is done and the bar tender calls for the last round, I will stagger out of the door into the Wisconsin cold feeling empty and relieved of all my trials and tribulations as I put on my auto pilot and and make a perfect beeline to my bed wherever it may be back then. I often woke up the next morning not remebering how I got home and got myself into bed with all the snow out there and and the winter cloaths I had on it was always a miracle to find myself waking up in my own bed.
I realized that i was walking the footsteps of my Grandfather and and my father into becoming a lifetime alcoholic and things become more obvious when your loved ones and close friends starts to call you one or remind you politely to give up while you still can. But Wisconsin was and perhaps still is a beer country and Milwaukee was and perhaps still is the beer capital of the world, while in Rome... well the rest is history. Waking up the next morning and looking into the mirror at yourself is the most hardest part of being a drinker and compound that with a nasty hangover for having mixed the wrong drinks the night before and you wish you had not been born. It was strange how just one more beer added would disslove all the bad and negative feelings you hae towards the guy in the mirror or you nagging headache. Breakfast of the champions! just one more for the road.
My drinking habit gathered momentum when I was divorced with my first wife and lost the custody of my child, a darn good excuse by all Wisconsin drinkers' standard. Women walked in and out of my life some I dont even remember their face much less their names. I often found myself waking up in their beds and feeling like now what am I going to do next? Say hi and bye? or lets go for breakfast or what the hell am I doing with my life, or theirs? Then hey it was fun right? We both balled ouselves till there wast no more balling to do and we both wake up with the same feeling or having had a good time the night through and why the regrets? Get the hell out of bed and take a good shower and if you are lucky you might get one last balling for the road!
Yes the life of an artist and an alcoholic, I have walked it crawled it and even got kicked around because of it but what have I learned? Many, many a thing that an average normal Malysian do gooder would never ever dream of learning or experiencing in the confines of their comfortable homes and careers and religious sanctimonies. I learned about relationships and trusts that transcends barriers of race and religions, that transcends the charade we call truth or beauty, sins or decadence. I found life at its raw unadulterated state where men and women bare themselves to the bones of their feelings and compassion towards one another as can rarely be witnessed when sober. I have seen masks torn to shreds off faces that once were the epitomy of sanctity and itegrity into that of a common hungry vermin just looking for another victim to prey upon. I am perhaps again at my justifying game again! But hell how would any one know or give a damn about unless they have been up the same alley as I have been or many like me who walkes the main streets of Green bay and Melwaukee bar hopping through the cold Wisconsin nights.
All my years in the United States (21 years) I had maintined a drinking habit although it slowed down as I settled down down in California and where I met my present wife and had two kids. Today sitting here in the Cafe I can safely say that I have kicked the habit but i am not a teetoteller by long shot as i enjoy a drink or two every once in a awhile at least the sense of being able to tear this mask that I am weraing for whatever it is worth and see what lies behind these fasade that I am assumig that is who I am or trying to become, just another brick in the wall, or a Jaded mandarin. I do not apologize for my grandfather or my father nor for myself for being an alcoholic I only apologize when it became an inconvenience to others. I apologize for my bad breath when it touches their sensitive olfactory lobes and my bad and often devil may care language when I express myself under the influence. This is one bad habit or aaddiction I am however glad to be able to put behind me and be able to reflect upon when sanity in these days and age seems to become a confuse state of mind for me so much so that I have a hard time distinguishing the difference anymore.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Where have I been hiding?

Today I am writing just because I feel like there is not much else that i can do with myself opr the situation that I am in. My son is at his cousin's home most probably watching TV while his sister is in Brown Gardens with her cousins selling burger at the burger stand in front of my late uncle's house. I have just got here at the cafe after work and decided to check the mail, found one from Ayu in New York a forwarded letter about making sure to wash all new garments upion purchasing them or else suffer the consequences and from the look of the picture that accompanied the mail it is definitely not something i would want eating away at my balls! It is a picture of a woman's breast being eaten away by a bunch of humongous parasites from the inside and it looked like some horror show.
What happening at the Jerejak Resort and SPA? Well the resort Manager is no more with us and there is a new one in his place, my Lord as much as I hate to see him leave I am relieved that he is no more with us. I have worked with all kinds in my life and to date I have yet to work under such an egotistical dickhead! I once told him to take the job and shove it but I had to return simply because I could not risk unemployment at the time and I am glad I did swallow my pride and anger today as i out lasted him at the place.
The Penang State Gallery had an exhibition opening on the third of this month launching the Directory for Artists in Penang and the northern region, I am one among some 140. The piece I entered is my favourite called "Flight of The Soul" a 5'x5' painting in oil and Acrylic. The show itself is called the "Artist's Favourite" exhibition.I am still reeling from the cost of framing the painting and having to pay for the book itself, to make it more intresting on my Artist Profile write out the publishers mistook San Francisco to be in Canada instead of the USA! A dinner was held on the fifth for which again I had to pay fifty bucks and which I did not make it to simply because I forgot about it. What a bummer!
Noe my present New Boss is keen on helping me through his wife to get me have an exhibityion at the national Gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps this is it, but I hate to keeping such high hopes about my art work these days, it seems like I am destined not to see the limelight or the financial returns as far as Art is concern. Tried as I amy I seem to end up hitting a wall or walking into a blind alley. Off course it does not mean that I am giving up on being creative as creativity is a part of my God given nature, it is a talent I inherited from my Grand father and my father and they too died practically paupers having abandoned their own families to start new lives as Artists in a foreign land. I wish I could step back in time to discover where my ancestors on my Grandfather's side or even my father's side were like. All I know is that they are from Sri Lanka which in the old days went by the name of Ceylon. They were Buddhists before they came and met their respective wives and were converted to Islam by marriage. My Grandfather met his wife in Medan, Indonesia where he was travelling with a theaterical group known as the 'Bangsawan', he was the artist or prop designer.
My Grandfather's name was Paul Mariano before he was converted to Islam in Medan upon marrying a cousin sister of the then Sultan of Medan who it was said was his drinking buddy. My grandfather was a drinker and he drank his health and wealth away like all great Artists. He and my grandmother escaped to Penang from the late Presdient Soekarno's pogrom of Indonesia's minor rulers or sultans and their entire families. I am of a royal blood at least half of it if I care to dwell on such claims for whatever good it would do me today and I have a disdain for royalties as they to me are not any better than parasites living off the nation. Then again, the nation deserves to be lived off as it has yet to evolve out of this subservient mentality not unlike the one one left behind by the colonizers, the colonial mentality.
I better get off from criticizing my sovereign rulers before I get myself into a situation that would make life more miserable than it already is. Let sleeping dogs lie, if everyone is happy paying other to rule them why not? As far as parasites goes they are found everywhere aLTHOUGH MOST ARE NOT VISIBLE JUST LIKE THOSE THAT WERE DISCOVERED INSIDE OF THE LADIES'S BREAST.