You wake up one day and it occurs to you how incredibly routine you have become.
It happens in much the same way as water sips at a compromised point of entry; in the deep and cumbersome sleep of gravity’s lonesome push. And then one day, the breaking news is crashing down on your head. All those days of before, the ones that would sunshine themselves into a disco melody, have lost some of the boogie and some of the flash and most of that midnight funk.
Listen, shit happens. You get older and then Father Time gets together with Mother Nature and they start tinkering around under the hood and before you know it, you’re hearing one fucking noise after another. And all those noises come with bills. So you grab routine, because routine is predictable and predictable is better than noises and bills.
So it was that I had my day all planned out: Coffee, breakfast and the papers. Some meditation, a run. Do some writing and then get to some work stuff. Routine? Sure. Chill? Absolutely. Hey, I didn’t say routine was painful, I just said it was . . . well, routine.
Wat up homie?
This particular pal of mine (We’ll call him Brian since that’s his name) begins every single text to me the same way. I could bitch about it, but he’s part of my attempt to ditch the routine and get back to some modicum of unpredictability. The dude is the Ted Bundy of grammar, but he’s also inspired the return of poker nights and a St Patrick’s Day game plan, so Imma give him his props for getting the band back together; even if he wasn’t an original member. It still counts.
Getting ready to do some meth. I replied.
Haha! Wana go ski?
When? I replied.
As in RIGHT now? I replied.
At this point, I felt like telling him that I really had a date with some crystal meth. What in the hell gave him the idea I was ready to launch my ass off the side of a mountain without an oxycodone/bourbon drip at the ready? Oh yeah . . . I did. Because I’d been talking about carving up some white powder for the last month as if I was Tony Montana after a wholesale jaunt to Bolivia.
Sure I replied, because I really had no choice.
Wel be there in 20
Nah, I’ll drive up and meet you. I replied. Because breaking from the routine doesn’t mean I’m squeezing my ass into a quarter of a seat and listening to music I ain’t tuning up. No, it don’t mean that. Predictability has its privileges.
Back in the day, my pre-game for a day on the slopes used to consist of a donut stop, a fresh pack of smokes and a speeding ticket. It was the kind of clockwork that has allowed Switzerland to remain neutral in perpetuity. But that was back when I had my own ski gear and season passes and . . . oh you know what? Fuck Father Time and Mother Nature.
My piss poor New Years resolution was to go skiing three times this winter season. And just when it looked like I would have to mark it zero, I got a reprieve from the routine. And from the meth too. I’m not gonna lie, I still miss the shit out of the donuts and the smokes. But that’s what hitting 70 is gonna be all about. Because I’ll be damned if I’m gonna waste my golden years on applesauce and blood thinners.
So I did the black diamonds and it really was just like riding a bike. And falling off the bike, in gruesome fashion. Again after again after mind numbing again. And you know what? It was wonderful, to pick myself up out of those ugly bits of mayhem and to be thankful that all my parts were still attached to all the right places. And so I did it again until the again was director cut worthy, as if I was imploring that hill to give me its best Conor McGregor because if there’s one thing I know how to do plenty well, it’s take a punch. Mind you, I’m not nearly as pretty about the whole thing as I used to be, but that’s where routine is a Mother Nature’s helper- because it humbles you sufficiently, and it allows you to be grateful for the try.
I came to own that particular moment in time and it was a righteous bit of disco, tell you what. And the next day proved no big deal to me, because . . . as it turns out I’m more limber than I’ve been in ages thanks to a routine of running and meditation.
Funny how that works.