Back in the Summer of Big Hair

Back in the Summer of Big Hair

“Your best days are ahead of you. The movie starts when the guy gets sober and puts his life back together; it doesn’t end there.” ― Bucky Sinister, Get Up: A 12-Step Guide to Recovery for Misfits, Freaks, and Weirdos

Many years ago,
back in the summer of big hair
I was cheffing in a small restaurant in PTown.
I was turning out 500 covers a night
and sucking down cocaine like it was Vick’s vapo-rub.
I carried my addiction with me for years
along with alcohol.
I went in and out of lovers like I went through nightly covers –
an endless production of food.
One night sitting at the edge of the ocean,
feeling the water getting higher and higher and higher
I sat until I was almost covered.
It came to me –
stupid. You are killing yourself.
I stood up and slogged myself to the shore.
I bottomed out and went the way of 12 Steps.
I picked a good sponsor. I got sober.
I learned to live not high.
I went to Japan.
I learned to honor the seasons.
I learned to love myself.
I came back home to the South.
I learned how to really live.
It is now October,
October of the season and October of my years.
I sit up in my oak tree
and enjoy the peace of the woods,
the impossibly blue sky, the sound of animals.
I love October.
I love the autumn more than I ever
loved the burning hot summer of my youth.
I draw the bow across my violin and begin to play.

La Musica Notturna Delle Strade Madrid from my personal playlist, a short version from the movie at the end of Master and Commander

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle Denness
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 12:52:31

    I am so glad that you learned to live-and Japan… wow a place I would love to visit


  2. Sherry Marr
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 14:02:50

    I drank down every word like an anthem of renewal. LOVED this poem! I admire the journey. And the contentment of this “October of our years”.


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 10, 2019 @ 14:31:54

      Thank you Sherry. I am glad you like this. It has been a hard life, list 3 friends by suicide and two by OD. But I choose not to whine about it. It has been a journey of renewal, of making amends, of growing , of peace. I gave up my profession of professional chef; it wasn’t good for me. But I found love and fulfillment.


  3. Misky
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 15:31:15

    You’re a courageous woman.


  4. sanaarizvi
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 16:55:07

    This is incredibly poignant, Toni! ❤️ I resonate with “October of my years,” and admire the sensitivity with which this poem is penned. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 🙂


  5. Helen L Dehner
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 19:40:45

    This left me breathless, happy, proud all rolled into one.


  6. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar
    Oct 10, 2019 @ 20:50:38

    I agree with Helen… life of hard knocks finds contentment and peace. It took a lot of grit and determination to get there. Glad you can relax in your “October”. Keep playing that sweet violin.


  7. sreeja Harikrishnan
    Oct 12, 2019 @ 01:02:15

    Loved the ending so much….very comfy and soothing…at home feeling!!


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